13 September 2005
autumn is herfst in Dutch

Wow, has someone set the clocks on fast-forward? Last night I had my hour of Pilates and when I stepped outside, it was pitch black! Last Monday I could still bike home without using my bike light, so that seems awfully sudden. And when we got up this morning and I looked out the bedroom window, it still wasn't fully light out. I don't think I'm ready for this!

This year we are buying a full spectrum light for the living room. Both Max and I suffer from SAD to a certain degree, and the Dutch winter is terribly dark and wet. Back home, in Maine, it seemed so much lighter during the winter. The sunlight would reflect off the snow covering and some days were absolutely brilliant. Here, it rains (and rains!) through the winter and that soggy landscape seems to just absorb what little daylight there is. After 8+ years here, I am still not really used to the winter. I remind myself what a luxury it has been to not shovel snow even once in those 8 years, but some days even that trick doesn't work.

We are fortunate in that we have a lane of large trees planted just beyond the perimeter of our property - they give us shade in the sun, shelter from the wind, and the whisper of the wind through the leaves is a wonderful sound. But around the first of September, our back yard is suddenly full of leaves. No colorworks display, just lots & lots of leaves. They smell great, though! I just love the smell of autumn.

On the stitching front, there are a number of Christmas gifts I want to make for family members, and several I've already completed (but not framed or otherwise finished) and one charity I've promised to make an ornament for. But my thoughts are already drifting to the long winter evenings of comfortably stitching on the sofa while DH plays chess or table tennis or goofs around with his new XBox. I went through my old WIPs (I refuse to give up and call them UFOs!) and guess what? I really want to finish them! They are great projects, and no where near as 'hopeless' as I'd feared when I set them aside. There are also a number of smaller projects I want to do for the kids' rooms. And I have almost made up my mind to ask Niek to buy me the 4-part Celtic Quilt series from Martina Weber for Christmas. I've never asked him to buy me a pre-arranged gift, but I would so love to do this quilt and am put off a bit by the cost of buying all four sets of patterns at once. But if it were a gift, that would be okay, right? LOL!!

Before I go, I want to thank everyone who has had such supportive and helpful suggestions regarding giving handicrafts as gifts. It's been a bit of shock to realize that not everyone values hand-made gifts as much as I do, but I guess I've had my head in the sand. Ha ha. In fact, almost all the gifts I have given have been recieved with appreciation and delight - so I know I am very fortunate in my circle of friends and family. In the future, I'll demonstrate more caution when giving gifts to people for the first time but I certainly won't cease making and giving gifts from the heart.

Today's lovely photo has been lifted from here.
posted by mainely stitching at 8:52 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ |


  • At Wednesday, 14 September, 2005, Blogger Lelia

    pre-arranged gifts are ok. They are not SURPRISES, but appreciated. I've been reviewing and going thru my WIPs all year & like you, still find something valuable in each of them. some I've really enjoyed putting the finishing stitches into.

    So enjoy -- the day

  • At Wednesday, 14 September, 2005, Blogger Barbara

    "Sweet Dreams" is actually a pre-arranged gift, so I feel pretty good about it being well received even though they are "new" gift recipients.

    I am really looking forward to a chance to finish off my old WIPs!