Number 57

Soft November

OCTOBER IS ALWAYS an exciting, hectic month for me, my own biorhythm—do you remember biorhythms? So 70s!—my own biorhythm seeming to match that of the natural world. There's this grand crescendo to "peak" color and more moderate temperatures and the great enjoyment of the many pleasurable outdoor activities October affords. And for me, it all leads to one grand finale: my birthday, October 30th, and Halloween, a fun celebration of ghosts and witches and alter egos galore that I have always loved. The little girl in me still loves, loves, loves October.
Then how fitting, it seems, that we get to exhale into November. The rush of the holidays is coming, there is no denying. But for a brief moment? In these early November days, at least—I love the quiet. The dried leaves and soft light and slow turning. The early November birthday of my own sweet baby-turned-grown-up-woman, Eliza Ellis Doyle.
celebrating our birthdays, mother and daughter
It's crazy how much we love our grown-up children. Eliza is beautiful and wise and grounded and my very best counselor. Having her as my bestie is a joy in this life I did not expect.
an earlier Eliza birthday
On another note, I'm bringing my little art effort, Studio CRM, to Melrose Heights Art in the Yard on December 3rd! It's a great event in our neighborhood here in Columbia, SC, with more than 100 artists and vendors. I'll have lots of quirky birds, abstracts, hand-painted ornaments and other great Christmas surprises—for you or someone on your gift list! Details to come.
IT'S THE GOLDEN season, November. May your table and your heart be filled with good food, great friends, and the eternal love of family, in the hundreds of ways we define it. Happiest Thanksgiving!
Do you Wordle? I do, and I found this resource helpful! How to Choose the Perfect Starting Word on Wordle, from Word Genius
You Are What You Read, with Adriania Trigiani
I'm a big fan of author and filmmaker Adriana Trigiani, who goes to kind and extreme measures to both connect with her readers and to promote writers everywhere. She has a gigantic platform, as well, having launched an author interview series on Facebook during the book-tour-shut-down days of COVID. Now she's launched a podcast though which she talks with famous guests about all things books and reading, with a focus on their lives as readers. Episode 1 she talks with Sarah Jessica Parker. It's a great listen.
Bloodroot, by Amy Greene
I've long known of Appalachian author Amy Greene and I'm so happy I dove into her debut novel, Bloodroot. The Atlanta Journal—Constitution writes: If Wuthering Heights had been set in southern Appalachia, it might have taken place on Bloodroot Mountain . . . Brooding, dark and beautifully imagined." (No wonder I loved it!) Excellent on audio, by the way, performed with a full cast.
via Bookshop
via Amazon

AUTUMNAL, a Spotify playlist by Nester Smith
Is there anything better than a seasonal playlist? This is a great one by Myquillyn Smith, AKA The Nester.
Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili, from Lemons for LuLu
I'll bet I've made this four times this year alone. It's tasty, it's easy, and the Italian Sausage gives it just the right kick.
recently on THE DAILY GRACE

The Constant of Change

If there's one thing nature insists, it's that we're living in a world that's constantly changing. I've had this on my mind as we've made the move into autumn, and also as I reflect on 36 years in business.
the view from my downtown studio, sweet Stella in the sun and on the lookout!
(looks like I was painting ornaments when I took this photo)
10.29.23, 3:37 pm
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