Dapple Design Shop will be CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS from December 10, 2016 to January 4, 2017.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Craft Fair

Have you heard?  I've signed up for the North Doug Christmas Craft Fair on November 23 with lots of gift wrapping goodies from the Dapple Design Shop.  I'll be partnering with Lorrie from Fabric Paper Thread, who will be selling lots of wonderful items to go inside my gift bags.  Have you seen her handmade journals?

This is my first craft fair event, so if you live on the South Island, I'd love to see your friendly face.

Monday, 28 October 2013

In Defiance of the Season & an Update from the Dapple Design Shop

Tulips.  In October.  Not from my garden, of course.  Gary brought these home on Friday to help me celebrate the recent action over at the Dapple Design Shop.  More on that in moment.  

I took the flowers out to the garden this morning and pondered the bizarre juxtaposition of tulips in October.  Here, they're photographed against a clematis vine thinning itself down for winter.  Jarringly oblivious, the tulips beam their springtime yellow.  They join the host of unseasonable luxuries delivered by greenhouses and rapid transport.  Tomatoes all winter.  Bananas at any time.  Tulips in October.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy them. 

Returning to the Dapple Design Shop.  It's been an exciting week with packages dispatched to new and distant places.  Another package arrived -- full of Christmas fabric.  Don't you love the bright, cheery colours?  Which is your favorite?  Gift bags from these beautiful prints will soon be available in the shop, so visit often and stock up early.  
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Monday, 21 October 2013

Autumn Candles

My mom says that candles provide the illusion of warmth.  She's right, of course.  They do.  So I light them and huddle nearby with a mug of steamy tea, acting out the tableau of the chilly night, as I saw my mother do so many times.  That's just what I was doing last night when my Little Miss wondered over to point at the candles and declare, "pretty".  Thirty years from now, she'll do the same.

This particular candle arrangement came together an hour before Thanksgiving dinner with almost no planning.  Some of the best ideas come off extempore, but if you'd like to make your own version, here's how:

DIY Instructions

Begin by placing three pillar candles on a pedestaled cake plate and wrapping several layers of hemp string around them.  Tie a pretty bow or knot and, if you like, add a seasonal tag.  Then arrange fallen leaves and acorns around the candles, taking care to keep leaves well away from flames.

Now make some hot tea and enjoy your illusion of warmth.
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Friday, 11 October 2013


I took the camera into the yard with me yesterday afternoon.  Overall, the garden has that tangled, thinning look of fall, but a few bright spots hold their ground.  Dahlias and purple mums bloom until frost and succulents thrive in the cooler weather.  I'm not sure what those white flowers are.  A bush from our neighbour's yard has hopped the fence.  Far be it from me to cut back anything that flowers white in autumn.

Since embarking on this blog and my creative journey, I've become more observant -- or maybe just more willing to stop and observe.  The simple act of taking a picture requires noticing, pausing, circling, composing.  It's about seeing beauty and interacting briefly with it.  Best of all, these momentary flashes of creative energy -- this noticing -- fit around and between the demands of motherhood.  While snapping the above photos, for example, I was playing peekaboo with this little sweetheart.

And that brings me to thankfulness.  This is a weekend (in Canada, at least) to sit around a turkey dinner with family and reflect on the goodness in our lives.  Family.  Abundant food.  Health.  Freedom.  I remember that two years ago on this day Gary and I learned that we would be parents.  One journey ended and another began.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.  
His love endures forever. 
--from Psalm 136--
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Thursday, 3 October 2013

One Project, Finished, and a Confession

It's done!  I finished my Wuthering Heights wreath (more about that here) with a simple plaid bow and a spray of fall coloured branches and beads.  It has found a home on my mantle, but due to the weather and the whirlwind who is my daughter, I couldn't get a good picture there -- too dark during nap time.  Here it is, basking by the patio door.

A confession:  I'm very proud to have finished this project within a week.  There was nothing complicated or especially time consuming about it.  It's just that I have a dismal track record when it comes to finishing such things.  Why is a fall wreath imagined more alluring than an actual fall wreath?  Why do the creative juices stir and then go stagnant?  Why is starting more fun than finishing?  

Is your track record for finishing projects any better than mine?  Please share your secrets.

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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Feeling Blue

I like blue.  It makes me feel tranquil and content, perhaps because some of the nicest things in life are blue.  The summer sky.  The sea.  My daughters bright eyes.  These dried hydrangea flowers are still blue as blue can be.  It's a good thing I brought them in when I did, because the last few days have brought enough rain, wind and hail to tatter the garden.  

While Miss S naps, I'm working this bundle of squishy blue yarn into a set of baby leg warmers.  Last night the urge to crochet took hold.  I really wanted to start a new sweater for Miss S, but that requires more than scraps, which requires planning ahead.  Instead I dug out the pattern for these little leg warmers and settled in.

The pattern, by the way, is one that I bought a while back from this Etsy shop.  It's a sweet design and, after a little experimenting to get the gauge right, I'm finding the pattern easy to follow.  I might even make a pair for myself as the pattern includes an adult size.  Maybe they'll be blue.
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