The Changing Seasons – November 2019


It’s time again for the wonderful challenge The Changing Seasons hosted by my dear friend Su from Zimmerbitch!


As usual November is a very busy month for me as I try to make as many handmade Christmas gifts as possible for family and friends.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure if they actually like these handmade presents of mine.

I know that some really do, but the majority probably doesn’t. That’s okay, I guess, and maybe it’s even a bit mean of me to keep gifting them like that. 😉


So here are the first two Snoopy amigurumi of many more to come:


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A pair of crocheted Snoopy amigurumi (Nov. 2019)


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Snoopys (Nov. 2019)


My handmade clay yarn bowl with octopus design has been fired but is still waiting to be glazed.


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Handmade clay yarn bowl (Nov. 2019)


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I loved making these tentacles! (clay yarn bowl, Nov. 2019)


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And I loved making pictures of them! 😉 (clay yarn bowl, Nov. 2019)


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Typical octopus – always clinging on to something 😉  (clay yarn bowl; Nov. 2019)


And this weekend I spend a bit of time to form these Christmas funny gnomes from clay! I’m not actually a fan of your normal gnome like the garden variety ones, those I really can’t stand.

But these “Wichtel” as they are also called in German (that or “Gnom” which is identical to gnome), that hide beneath their pointed caps are quite cute, don’t you think?


Christmas gnomes (Nov. 2019)


The gnomes need to dry about a week before I can put them in the kiln to be fired. After that I’ll glaze and fire them again.


Christmas gnomes (Nov. 2019)


And when I’m not busy creating presents, I’m relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea.

The German translation of Tolstoi’s “War and Peace” counts nearly 1600(!) pages – my guess is, that the English translation might have a few pages less. Anyone got a copy and can verify this?


“War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoi and a cup of green tea (Nov. 2019)





If you would like to join in, here are the challenge guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su’s original post, she can update hers with links to all of yours.

Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

77 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – November 2019

  1. Sarah, who wouldn’t love to get these cute handmade gifts.You are gifted with amazing talent and such creative imagination!!
    Wishing you happy holidays and Festive Greetings!


  2. Hi Sarah – you know I like your art style and coming back
    Again to this post – I slowly perused the art and saw more I liked in the octopus yarn bowl.
    You should set up a Etsy shop for some of your work.
    And snoopy is classic and also I do like that version of the gnome with the hat pulled so far down.
    Super cute
    And regarding if folks “value” your homemade gifts – I think it is an important question because some folks might not really value it – and so with some of my friends and family – I tell them to pass something on if they do not like what I “have” for them – but it was Art I made – I would specifically tell
    Then to “give it back” if it is not something they wanted right now – keep the dialogue about it very simple and open without heaviness – ya know ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Yvette! Thanks a lot for taking the time to come back to this post and comment! 😀 I’d love to set up an Etsy Shop but would need to find time to do it!! LOL! And also especially with the ceramics I’d be afraid to send them via postal services, they break so easily even if you wrap them a thousand times in bubble foil!
      I really like your idea to tell folks if they don’t like the gifts you’ve made them they should feel free to pass them on or give them back. No hard feelings and all. Because really, I do understand if people don’t value them the same way I do. I’ve been brought up with honoring selfmade gifts in my family, but many might not. And as you said, we should keep the dialogue about it very simple and open without heaviness.
      In that sense, I’m wishing you a peaceful and very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! x


      1. Thanks for the holiday greetings – and yes – ceramics are also heavy and that could be costly even if wrapped 1,000 times – ya —
        Also – with the gift giving – I have learned that it applies t homemade gifts and store bought – people’s tastes vary or they might love it but don’t want it “at this time” — and recently a friend declined something I was regifting and because she was so honest – it was able to go to someone who valued it and really wanted it.
        Keep us posted on how it goes -;)


  3. Sarah, you’ve been very busy. I love your octo yarn bowl – what a perfect critter for keeping yarn from tangling. I know how challenging it is to carve deeply into clay; your skill is evident. Can’t wait to see when it’s fired. And those gnomes are adorable – much cuter than the more common variety. Would I ever love to take a ceramics class with you. Or just watch you work.
    I think you’d have to consider word count, not pages, for any book comparison, and a translation is always likely to have a different word count from the original or any other translation. The skill of the translator has a lot to do with this. Of course you, who speaks several other languages, know this.
    Happy holidays to you and your mum, Sarah. I hope you enjoy every moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shari! So lovely to hear from you! I keep meaning to write you an email – I’ll try to do this tomorrow, or at least during the week.
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Wouldn’t it be awesome to do some pottery together?! Although I kind of suspect that we would end up chatting all the time and just knead the clay a little. 😉
      I actually always wanted to learn Russian, not only because of being able to read the Great Russians in the original but that’s part of the appeal. Sadly last time I tried – about three years ago – I gave up almost immediately because of that darn alphabet! 😀 Also I guess, I shouldn’t try to start off on my own, a tutor would be a great benefit I think. Maybe someday. 🙂
      Wishing you Happy Holidays and a wonderful time with your family and especially with your grandchildren – I can imagine their excitement what with Christmas being around and all that music and the lights! Ah, too be that young again! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How could anybody not like gifts like these Sarah?? The snoopys are fab and I adore the gnomes already, and the octopus! You are so talented and imaginative my friend 🙂

    I have never read War and Peace and probably never will, but I hope you enjoy it. It is not the size that puts me off by the way – I choose books by size and usually go for big ones simply because I read so fast that I feel thin ones are poor value for me. I once took a 6oo page paperback to read on holiday and started it on the train to gatwick, read a little in my hotel and then finished it in the departure lounge before even getting my flight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww – thank you so much, Darren! 😍
      It’s the same with me – thin books are of poor value to me too. 😄 Though it sounds like you’re a much faster reader than I am! 😄 So far I really enjoy War and Peace, it’s always quite nice to read something written in a time where there were no mobile phones or the internet. Maybe we should send me to the Middle Ages along with Molly! 😉 Though I would really miss central heating and chocolate, not to mention blogging! 😄


  5. I can’t imagine anyone not appreciating a gift made from the heart and hand of the giver. My favorite kind of gifts. I make as much as possible too but have been slowing down the last few years. Your yarn bowl is fun and the gnomes are whimsical, Who doesn’t love Snoopy? They don’t look all that easy to make. Your artistic talents are many. Have a great week, Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Marlene! And I’m so happy to know that many people still hold handmade gifts dear and also love making themselves. And don’t feel bad for slowing down – it’s only natural and I’m sure your family simply wants you to be happy and spent time with you. I always think that the time we spend with each other is the most precious gift we can make. 🙂
      I find the making of these amigurumi dolls not as hard or difficult as many might think – most of the time you only use single crochets and simply have to increase or decrease their number in order to achieve a certain form. The only thing that can be tricky is, that the smaller you make them, the more difficult it gets. 😉
      Wishing you a wonder filled week and weekend too, Marlene!


  6. Lol, I would love your gifts! I love the gnomes. They’re so cute 🙂 I had no idea what a yarn bowl is.. I’ve been knitting scarves this year (two so far, 😄). I should get myself a yarn bowl!

    I also hadn’t heard of #thechangingseasons tag. I think I might try it for December. Do you have to put The Changing Seasons in the title? or only on the tags?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! 🙏💕 I find yarn bowls extremely helpful when knitting or crocheting – no more hunt-the-yarn! 😁 And yay to the two scarves! This winter I only managed a small hat and one sock (just started the second one). 😄

      I think you only need to put the Changing seasons in the tags, the title is optional. 😊 Looking forward to see your December!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s so lovely you make handmade gifts for your friends and family- what a lovely thing to do 😀 Love your snoopys! And your bowl is looking great!! 😀 And oh my goodness hadn’t seen your Christmas gnomes before- they’re adorable!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!! 😍 I saw these Scandinavian gnomes on my IG feed last week and knew I had to give it a try because they’re the first gnomes I fell in love with. 😄❤


  8. You make so many wonderful things Sarah. I especially love the yarn bowl with the coolest tentacles! I would think anyone receiving such a lovely gift from your heart would be happy. You are so gifted! Happy December!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww – thank you so much, Lisa!! I really wish I could send some of these to all of you, but you know how tricky and sometimes disappointing that can be, right? Wishing you a beautiful and creative December too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww – thanks so much, Tracy! How I wish I could send some of these to all of you! But alas, postal services aren’t to be trusted anymore, and so this has to wait until I’m on my way around the globe one day. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Everything in this post is just full of love and thought and care and craftsmanship and time (including War and Peace–that is an investment of time for sure)! I honestly can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t appreciate all the effort you put into these gifts–your friends and family are a lucky bunch! Lovely November, can’t wait to see what your December will bring!♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Hehe – I imagine War and Peace will keep me busy until Spring arrives. 😉 This book is just massive! 😀 But surprisingly easy to read too.
      Wishing you a fabulous and creative December! ❤


  10. Cuteness galore! First of all, you know how much I love Snoopy AND octopuses. I have a batik print of octopuses that I adored from an artist in Japan hanging in my place. And gnomes? Who doesn’t like gnomes? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww – thank you, Chris! It was fun making these gnomes, and I’ll make some more this week just in case the first batch won’t work for whatever reason. 😀 Have a wonderful Monday! Cheers!


    1. I’m so glad to read that there are so many people here who think the same, Diana! And yes, none of us needs those merchandise gifts really, and luckily there are lots of artisan markets everywhere to provide us with unique handmade ones. 🙂
      Wishing you a joyous and beautiful holiday season too, my friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wish I could send you one, Liz! But postal services have disappointed me so much in the past years, that I’d prefer delivering them in person. So, if I ever make it to your side of the Atlantic, I’ll let you know. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww – thank you, Jill! ❤
      Wish I could send one to you, but postal service hasn't been kind to me in recent years and I'm afraid it would get lost in the post. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! You know how to make the coolest gifts, Sarah. All your craft projects would make adorable home accents or perfect hostess -or anytime- gifts (read awesome presents). I love them all, sweet Snoopy amigurumi, creative Christmas gnomes, and oh my THAT clay yarn bowl with octopus design is so stunningly beautiful! Your photos of it are Instagram-styled perfection too. Sending big hugs. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww – thank you so much for your lovely comment, Dominique! It means the world to me! I wish I could gift you and my other WP friends with my handmade gifts but I don’t trust the postal service to deliver them in one piece! Or at all to be honest! LOL!
      Wishing you a beautiful week ahead! Hugs! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My dear friend, you are so talented and creative.
    You know I love the Snoopy amigurumi, and it was wonderful to see more photos of your clever and beautiful octopus bowl, but I can’t stop smiling at the gnomes. I generally loathe garden-type gnomes, but you have created something different and cute and funny.
    Like Lois, I can’t understand people who prefer shop-bought. There seems to be fewer of them around, judging by how busy the weekend markets I visited were.
    My War and Peace runs to 1315 pages. Guess that’s why I’ve never actually finished it.
    Wishing you a fun, creative and happy month my friend. xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Su, thank you so, so much for your wonderful comment! Coming from another garden-gnome hater your compliment about my Christmas gnomes is especially wonderful. 😉 Did you know? There’s a Garden gnome Liberation Front active in France, they kidnap garden gnomes once a year to set them free! I’m not sure if they do it because they also can’t stand them, or because they think they should be free to roam wherever they please. 🙂
      I’m glad to hear that people in NZ are frequenting weekend markets in their pursuit for Christmas presents. We have lovely stalls and markets here as well, and business has to be reasonably well or they wouldn’t come back every year. 😉
      Thank you for letting me know about the English translation – I knew it!! It had to be shorter. 😀 Now I wish I had an English copy! 😂 I suspect the book will keep me company until Spring arrives – lol! xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t know about The Gnome Liberation Front. I have (way back in my distant past) participated in some informal gnome liberation; but the details are hazy. I suspect alcohol may have been involved.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Lois! 🙏 I don’t get them either. I always like handmade gifts better than store-bought ones, to me they represent the most precious gift we can make: time. 😊 Time that was spent thinking of the person you are making the gift to.

      Liked by 2 people

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