Today, I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me. Even today, when the sky is full of smoke and the sun peeps desperately through the haze, the pink light and mountains disappearing into the air give the morning a mystical flair.

This morning, we walked down to a area where I surreptitiously let the dogs run along the bank of a little creek.

Lake Louise Creek

Here, cars run along the top of the gully and houses line the other side. However, at the side of the creek, civilization almost vanishes. At the entry to this trail, a water wheel sits silently and a small waterfall descends.

Lake Louise Water Wheel

This year, I was lucky enough to live in two beautiful places, Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Weaverville, North Carolina.

Mt. Werner from Crawford
Mt. Werner from Crawford Avenue on a random cloudy day

Leaving Steamboat has been hard, but the beauty of Weaverville has softened that blow.

In working at the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, I spent my days surrounded by paintings, photography, and sculpture.  A visit to the Denver Art Museum to see the Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibit changed my life.  I stood, surrounded by paintings and choking back tears from the joy that filled me.  I left, fully in love with Helen Frankenthaler and inspired by those women to make my art.

And as I spent time at Sew Steamboat, I continually rejoiced in the color and beauty of the yarn and fabrics.

Fabric & Yarn at Sew Steamboat

Now that we’ve made the move, we’re living with my mother-in-law who is dedicated to beauty in her home. She makes each small space into a little stage, combining floral arrangements with paintings and creating pieces of art out of her “junk.”

Barb's Junk

I am lucky enough that even as I sit here in my office area (where I seem to radiate messiness), my mother-in-law has placed a little bouquet of silk flowers in a locally crafted vase and the christmas cactus is blooming.

Office Space

(I do plan to clean it up by the end of the day so I can feel “done” for Thanksgiving.)

The beauty of my knitted pieces continue to amaze me. Delicate beads and lace are just as lovely to me as the more solid stockinette. Deep cables and garter stitch vie for my attention. The colors of the yarn bring me joy.

Pile of Knitted Things

This is a gorgeous world, and I am thankful every day for my place in it.

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(PS – The Indie Gift-A-Long started last night and I’m picking my first pattern to cast on today! Join us for all the fun and don’t forget! Selected patterns from all the participating designers (including me!) are 25% off until next Wednesday, November 30th. Stock up and cast-on, you Crafty Santa!)