There's a crispness in the air and the trees are beginning to turn in Tuscaloosa.
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Hello there, lovely!

We’re at the end of October and I just can’t believe it, can you?! The trees are beginning to change colors here in Alabama and it looks like we’re going to have a beautiful fall.

Cooler weather is finally here, too. In fact, we turned the heat on this past weekend and I brewed my first cup of hot apple cider tea just yesterday morning.

My first cup of Hot Apple Cider Tea of the season.

We’re settling into the cozy season here at my house…

and that means pulling out the hand-knit blankies and my grandmother’s quilts, the cinnamon spice candles, and, of course, the electric tea kettle. I love a warm tasty cuppa in the morning when the temperature drops.

How about you? What’s your favorite cold weather beverage? Hot tea and hot chocolate are my favorites.

I went to the Farmer’s Market earlier this week and found myself in an explosion of fall color.

Bright yellow mums, vivid orange pumpkins, ruby red apples, golden bales of hay – signs of fall everywhere!

It's pumpkin season at the Farmer's Market.

 

That reminds me – there’s a charming fall-inspired design by Julie Mar that I shared with you earlier (maybe over on Facebook or Instagram?) and I’m about to start it. (squeeee!!!)

I thought I had all the threads I needed, but I changed my mind about some of them. Do you ever do that?

Here are a few of the threads I’m going with now…

This canvas by Julie Mar vividly captures fall in the Appalachian mountains.

I can hardly wait to dive into stitching this happy canvas! It’s getting my full attention – right after I wrap up the project I’m doing for the spring issue of Making magazine.

I already have some ideas whirling around in my head for what I’m going to do. I’ll share some of my notes – and my progress –  with you when I start. 😊

And if you want to see my progress on the Tuscaloosa canvas, just click here. I’m nearly finished with it!

Before I go, there are some housekeeping things I want to share with you, too.

First, there are now two free Serendipity Needleworks Facebook groups…

one for needlepoint and embroidery and one for knitting and crochet. (I’d love to have you join me in one – or both – if you aren’t already a member. Just click the link(s) above to hop over and request to join.)

I added the new yarn group so you’ll have a place to gather with other kindred spirits who share your love of knitting and crochet – and so that you’re receiving the best in curated content for your favorite hobby.

Second, the blog post publishing schedule is changing, beginning November 6th.

Going forward, new blog posts will be published on Tuesday morning instead of Thursday morning. And the reason I’m switching around the schedule is… (cue the drumroll)

I’ll be hosting FB Lives every Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Central time in our Serendipity Needleworks groups, beginning next month!

Here’s the schedule for November…

  • Needlepoint/Embroidery Group – November 8th
  • Knitting/Crochet Group – November 15th
  • Thanksgiving Surprise – November 22nd
  • Needlepoint/Embroidery – November 29th

Finally, NeedleNotes will be delivered on Thursdays, beginning
November 8.

That means there won’t be an issue of NeedleNotes or a blog post next week, so….

I’ll see you back here on Tuesday, November 6th, bright and early.

In the meanwhile, have a wonderful rest of your day and Happy Stitching!

XOXO!
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

PS: What do you do to cozy up your house for fall and winter? Tell me in the comments box below and I’ll add your name to the drawing for an exclusive Serendipity Needleworks needle minder. I can’t wait to hear from you! ❤️

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15 Comments

  1. Laraine Criall

    October 25, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Love staying and crocheting or doing needlepoint. And also live to read a good book especially Christmas themed books at this time of year. Why Christmas just because it is my favorite time of the year. Love everything about Christmas. My needlepoint is Mr and Mrs Santa.

    Laraine

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      October 25, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Hi Laraine!
      Thank you so much for sharing your favorite ways to spend a cozy autumn or winter day. Christmas is my favorite holiday, too! My daughter’s birthday is December 24th and my wedding anniversary is December 26th. 😉 Mama still carries on about how she hoped I’d have a daughter who got married on the day after Christmas one day. (tee hee!)
      Have a wonderful rest of your day and thank you, again, for writing.
      Sending you lots of love and a great big hug!!!
      XOXO!
      Ellen

      Reply
  2. Berniece Sullivan

    October 25, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Now that you have me thinking about “cozy” I realize that this is one of my favorite times of the year in New England! For me I will be sitting in my chair by the window with a throw over the lap and my needlepoint close by. Of course my needlepoint has to stop when my 16 year old cat decides he wants the lap and he is a great lap warmer! My cozy usually includes a fall scented candle burning and a crockpot cooking something yummy and hot. Don’t forget the fireplace and weekend football. When I have had enough of the husbands football (Pats or Cowboys) I just pop in the earbuds and watch a movie on my pc. Let the snow begin!!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      October 25, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      Awww… Berniece! You just made me want to come to your house for a cozy afternoon of stitching! 😊
      Thank you so, so much for sharing with all of us!
      XOXO!
      Ellen ❤️

      Reply
    • Laurie Goodson

      October 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Berniece,

      Go Pats! I’m from Newport, and wow, do I miss New England in the fall! Everything you said sounds just perfect!

      Reply
  3. Laurie Goodson

    October 25, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Fall– there is no better season. I’m using darker colors in my needlepoint right now. They aren’t typical fall colors though. I do have some of the greens and purple shades you have in the photo. I’m using hand-painted threads with blues, teal, greens, and purples. I have a sparkly braid in it, too. This has a lot more colors than I usually use, and I am enjoying that.

    I haven’t had to turn on the heat yet. I have a lot of light coming in–tall windows, the kind in houses built in the 1800s. So copious amounts of sunshine is doing the warming for me. I do have an extra blanket on my bed, though!

    My mom was married four days before Christmas, so that was hectic, too. I’m planning to visit her in May.

    Thank you for all you do, Ellen. You spoil us!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      October 25, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Hi there, Laurie!
      How nice to hear from you. 😊And thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on fall with me and the rest of our stitchy friends. The colors you’re using for your needlepoint right now are amongst my faves – and, of course, I ❤️ that you have some sparkle mixed in. I love me some bling! 😉
      Your home sounds so inviting, too, Laurie. Lots of tall windows with oodles of sunshine. I can just picture it – makes me wanna’ come and spend an afternoon stitching with you, too!
      I know you’re looking forward to visiting your mom in the spring. I’m very fortunate to have my mama here in Tuscaloosa with me. In fact, I’m going to have dinner with her tonight. Is your mom a stitcher? Mine’s not – her hobby is genealogy.
      Well, I’ve rattled on for long enough. Thank you, again, for taking the time to write. I so enjoy hearing from everyone!
      Have a happy Thursday and a terrific weekend!
      XOXO!
      Ellen
      PS: You’re very welcome – and thank you for being such an important part of the Serendipity family.😘

      Reply
  4. LC Genecco

    October 25, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Thank you Ellen for creating and maintaining your Extraordinary Needlepoint and Knitting Website. Your knowledge and gift of teaching is unsurpassed.
    I have needlepointed off and on since a young child and your suggestions are helping so much to avoiding unstitching. Currently I am only working on knitting but I read every one of your post and often take hand notes for future use. Thank you so much for sharing your talented gifts

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      October 25, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Laura! 😊
      Thank you so much for your kind note. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know – and you, sweet friend, just made my day! I’m tickled to hear that my website has helped you with your needlepoint. It warms my heart to know that I’m helping stitchers improve their needlepoint skills – and it’s truly a joy to be able to share my knowledge with you.
      Again, thank you for taking the time to write. Good luck with your knitting projects, too!
      Have a happy Thursday and a terrific weekend!
      XOXO!
      Ellen ❤️

      Reply
  5. El Mathias

    October 25, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I love the Fall. Of course, at the moment, it is Spring in Australia! However, the Fall is my favorite season as I love to see the leaves change color. I have the heat on, throw blanket that I have crocheted on my lap, special light and magnifier on, and my project at the ready with a nice hot cup of tea. The TV is on, but it’s just nice background noise to the stitching that I am doing. My husband usually fills me in on the plot – he’s used to me not watching!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      October 25, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Hi El!
      I love the fall, too. 😊 What a wonderful picture you’ve painted for us… I can close my eyes and see your stitching nest all comfy and cozy. I do believe that, after summer, fall is my favorite season. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around our “opposite” seasons, though. I guess after you’ve lived in Australia for a while, you get used to it. And if you’ve always lived there, our seasons must seem just as backward. (tee hee!)
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write – and to share your lovely fall inspiration with us. Have a happy weekend!
      XOXO!
      Ellen ❤️

      Reply
  6. El Mathias

    October 25, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I posted a comment, but I don’t think it went through! So pardon the repeat.

    Fall is my favorite season. Of course now, in Australia, it is Spring.

    In the Fall, I love to sit in my favorite chair in the living room, the heat is on, my magnifier and light are at the ready, my project is set up, my crocheted blanket is on my knees and I have a nice cuppa (cup of tea) ready to drink, usually made by my husband.

    I also have the TV on, but that’s just background noise when I’m in full stitching mode. My husband is used to filling me in on the plot in the ads!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      October 25, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Reply
  7. PAMELA BARR

    October 25, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Where I live now, Fall is a memory or a thought. We really do not have a beautiful Fall color season here in the Southern California Desert — the seasons’ changes are very subtle, other than the extreme heat of summer. We dream of travel to colder climates, such as the Northwest or Northeast, or even Northern California, or the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where the colors change. Here, Fall is a season that ushers in our best weather — Winter — beautiful, sunny 70’s days, cooler nights, green grass, colorful flowers, palm trees, and some cacti, and the ever-present bright colors of Bougainvillea, new green grass, lawns and golf courses. When we are very fortunate, we will bask in the winter sun, look through the tall date palms, and view the surrounding mountain ranges topped with snow. Not much rain for us, but winters are the best here. The mountains will turn green again with the rain we do receive plus snowmelt, and the summer browns will disappear for a while, only to return. The seasons are reversed here. We all look forward to winter. If we want traditional seasons, we have to travel. So, all of you who live in those beautiful places, enjoy the four seasons of the year and appreciate the cycle of nature!

    Now we will decorate and pretend that Fall is here by shopping the farmers’ markets for pumpkins, apples, dried grasses and leaves, and winter squash. Or maybe we will have to shop for faux Fall items in the arts and crafts stores!
    We will shop for Fall-colored bouquets of flowers and other decorative items to remind us of the season. We have to create it — traditional Fall does not exist here. We will change our indoor decor to remind us that seasons do exist, and we will think of getting out the warmer hand-knit throws and needlepoint pillows in a Fall palette created by our family members, our favorite seasonal candle (mine is Diptyque’s Pomander) to be followed by pine cones, red berries, and collected vintage holiday ornaments. I will dress my antique doll in her Fall, Halloween, Winter and Christmas dresses. The gas fireplaces will be on in the evenings, candles will be lighted, and pup walked early at 4 pm. I will try Ellen’s recipes soon, when the weather is cooler and calls for warm meals. Time for hot tea!

    Our summers are long and hot and the time of year to stay inside and stitch away. So, I do not mind. It’s a great time to stitch with friends — the people who live here all year long, and then await the winter visitors who come here from colder climates to enjoy some Winter weather for outdoor activities like golf, tennis and hiking. Of course, the stitchers will always find time to stitch. After all, that’s what we do. Our stitching groups expand in the winter and shrink in the summer. That’s life here in the desert. It’s not really home for me, but it does have its advantages, and I have some lovely friends, many inspired stitchers doing great work!
    xo from sunny Southern California

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      October 25, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Oh wow, Pamela!
      What a wonderful gift you’ve shared with all of us. I’d never thought about the change of seasons (or lack thereof) in the desert. I have a friend, Jeanette, who was reared in Massachusetts. Her husband, John, was in the Navy so they were stationed around the world. When they finally retired to Pensacola, Jeanette’s one “complaint” was the lack of a change in seasons there, but that’s as close to thinking about it as I ever got. She and John eventually moved to North Carolina and she has her change of seasons again.😊
      I do remember a trip out west “way back when” – Rebekah was just a baby, so it was at least 30 years ago. We flew out to Scottsdale (in July!) for a meeting and I remember thinking, when we first arrived, how brown everything looked. Of course, after a few days, I got used to it and didn’t really notice anymore. But boy-oh-boy what I did notice was how green everything was here when we were circling over Birmingham to land back home in Alabama. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever noticed how many different shades of green there really are until that trip – pine tree green, oak tree green, kudzu green…
      I ❤️that you create your own change of seasons by sprucing things up with traditional decorations. And I’m certain that I’ll be just as green as your grass come January, pining away for some of your wonderful warm weather. (I’m a summertime gal!😉)
      Thank you ever so much for crafting a delightful virtual escape to Southern California for us, Pamela. I feel like I’ve really been to visit you!
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      XOXO!
      Ellen 😊

      Reply

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