Monday, November 16, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things...

As promised earlier in the month, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things of the Thanksgiving season before it quickly vanishes ....

The little acorn.

Something so tiny and seemingly insignificant, has potential to become something grand and of great worth, providing shade, a thinking spot, and beauty for all to enjoy. All the little acorn needs is a warm spot, attention and care, plenty of time and patience, and someone to help it establish its roots. Aren't our little children, and all of us like that little acorn? Full of so much potential to become greater than we can ever imagine. I love thinking of that as I pass by this acorn pillow in my entry way. (It's free, by the way, for both machine and hand-embroidery--so you can have your own acorn inspiration).

Susan Branch.

She has some of THE cutest artwork on the planet, I think. Her book, Autumn From the Heart of the Home is simply delightful to peruse and dreamily read in hopes of making all the beautiful and delicious items inside. She offers harvest recipes, gift basket ideas, fall decorating ideas, and treat recipes, as well as some insight into her artwork. I love it. Her shelf scarf on the cover was the inspiration for the table scarf I made using this embroidery design. It's one of those books you pore over on a chilly day in front of the fire.

My little scarecrow friend.

This one has a story that goes back 14 years. Back in the day, my husband was a student, we were living in a one bedroom basement apartment, and I was teaching school full-time. My oldest son was just a year old, and my hubby was his primary care-taker during the day. They were difficult days in so many ways, yet in others, full of happy and warm memories.

We realized about August of that particular year that we needed extra money for Christmas, as we were barely able to pay for our monthly needs from my modest income. (Don't we all have stories of struggle in those first years of marriage?)

So, we got creative, and made these scarecrows that year to sell and earn a little extra income. We invested a little money in fabric and supplies, and used old worn jeans from the second hand store for the scarecrow pants. I taught my hubby how to use the sewing machine, and he would sew the straight lines for the shirt and pants while I was at school (he was so good-natured to go along with my crazy ideas!). At night after teaching, I'd paint the faces, and we'd assemble and hot glue the scarecrow parts together as we laughed and enjoyed being together. I remember my little toddler was so pleasant through the whole process, although our apartment was a ruin of scarecrow parts, straw, and fabric that had been carried from one end to the other!

It's one of those memories that will always stand out as one of my favorites, and that I will always cherish. We were poor, yet my hubby and I worked as a team, building scarecrows and another little level of our relationship. We accomplished more than we anticipated in the beginning. We sold every scarecrow we made, but I hung onto one little scarecrow guy, as I wanted to always remember that fun-filled "scarecrow and relationship-building" year.

And lastly, the concept of Abundance.

In those lean years that we experienced, and still now when times are tight and I get feeling gloomy, I have to stop and think of all I've been blessed with. My kids are healthy and happy (well, you know--for the most part, minus the teenage hormonal moments), we have a warm home, food on the table, a job, vehicles, and most importantly, each other. How truly abundant our lives are. May you each experience that same feeling this Thanksgiving Season.


  1. These are all, really lovely. Pillow with acorn and scarecrow I lllliked them.

  2. Oh Shelli! I loved reading this post, but I especially loved reading the story about the scarecrows. You are such a real person and that's why I just love you so much. What a great experience to look back upon and be filled with gratitude.

  3. Your table scarf is adorable. I have Susan Branch's Autumn book but never thought to take something from one of her drawings and use it as inspiration to actually make something myself. Thanks for sharing; it turned out gorgeous.

  4. I can't believe you got Kent to work on those scarecrows with you! Kudos to him! What a man! That's a great story. Love all your thanksgiving decor. That book sounds delightful! So I have a question: you know that jello salad you brought to our house last time we had dinner? Can I get the recipe from you? I need to bring a fruit/jello salad to Doug's fam for Thanksgiving dinner. Love you Shelli! Do you have my email address?

  5. What a wonderful story, sounds like you are so blessed to have each other!


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