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 I confess, it’s my least favorite time of the year.  November in our valley can be unbelievably depressing – we often don’t see the sun for weeks on end and the days get steadily shorter until by early December we’re down to about 7 hours of daylight and that’s only on days when there isn’t any cloud cover.  Which isn’t often.  There’s snow on the mountain tops, but down here in the valley it’s just been day after day of rain.  Living this far north, summers favour us with so much daylight that it’s often still light at 11:00p.m and light again by 4:00 a.m., but in the winter it doesn’t get light until at least 8:30 a.m. and by 4:30 in the afternoon, it’s getting pretty dark.

The rain gives me an excellent excuse to stay inside and spend time sewing which is exactly what I’ve been doing.  In an effort to stock pile some small items that can be used as gifts when a small gift is required, I’ve made some ‘mug rugs’.  The first two are from the 2015 issue of Fons and Porters Quilting Celebrations which features items by Patrick Lose, one of my favorite designers. Unfortunately, my less than perfect circles in satin stitch likely means that I’ll be keeping these two for myself.

These four can be used as gifts.  The two on the left are also Patrick Lose designs from the 2014 and 2013 Quilting Celebrations, and the two on the right were free downloads from Connecting Threads.  When our quilting group gets together for our potluck Christmas Party and gift exchange in mid-December, two of these will be wrapped up for one of the other ladies. 

One of my non-sewing  lady friends asked me to make Christmas stockings for her granddaughter and her fiancé.  My friend cross-stitched the pretty designs and while she was visiting her sister in the San Francisco area, she purchased some lovely co-ordinating fabrics and I’ve spent this weekend putting the stockings together. Bless my Husqvarna/Viking sewing machine – it went through many layers, including the cording without a single complaint.   

A sure sign that “Winter is Coming” is the arrival on our lake of the Trumpeter Swans.  Just as they always do around the end of October they have started to arrive, along with their ‘friends’ the Mallard Ducks.  We also have resident Canada Geese that spend the whole year here.  The other day when I was returning from town, as I backed down the driveway to my parking spot, I could see a family group of Canada Geese in my rear view mirror fly up from the neighbours lawn and amid frantic honking they flapped their way back out onto the water.  The neighbours will be less than happy when they see what those geese have been leaving on their lawn!  

On one of the few days in October when the sun actually broke through the clouds, in the early evening it highlighted this patch of trees on the other side of the lake!


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Comment by Barb/WI on November 7, 2016 at 5:41pm

Wow, lots of really great show and tell!  All the mug rugs are so cute.  Those stockings are perfect.  And the outdoor photos - breathtaking!

Comment by Janet/MO on November 7, 2016 at 7:27am

I so very much enjoy reading your posts & looking at your pics.  I hear what you are saying about weather being depressing.  We have had so much rain here in MO this year, that I was finding myself getting really down in the dumps.  I like some, but not several days in a row!  I too like Patrick Lose and his designs.  It has been enjoyable seeing him host quite a few of the Fons & Porter shows this year.  He seems to be the sort of person that you can just sit down & visit with. 

Comment by Irene Gallway on November 7, 2016 at 4:36am

I enjoyed looking at your pictures.  You do beautiful work.  I love the snowman pictures.  I have a thing about snowmen. They make me happy. lol  I don't think I would like your weather patterns with so much darkness and rain.  The lake picture is absolutely beautiful. 

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on November 7, 2016 at 4:18am

Nice mug rugs, Rebecca!  I couldn't see anything wrong with the first two - thought they were as lovely as the rest, but I can relate to being critical of our own work.  The outdoor pictures were lovely as well.  Extra Vitamin D helps me in the winter months when we don't have as much natural sunlight.  

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on November 6, 2016 at 10:08pm

Wonderful photos, Rebecca! The sunlight on the far side of the lake could be a French painting! You have made some delightful gifts for your friends. The Christmas stockings in particular!

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