Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Along Came Arthur



Just days after Felix's wedding, Bella announced she had a coffee date With a Guy.


Who has turned into The Guy. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges


Carol was telling me how to make her new favorite sweet potatoes. "Cut them up like Jojos at the convenience store."

Okay, what? Since when has Carol bought Jojos at the convenience store? Also, what was she even talking about?

She meant wedges. Leave the skins on. Toss with olive oil, then salt (plenty) and cumin (generously). Roast at 425 on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet for about 50 minutes.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

I'm @ The Factory



It's close enough to my birthday/ the Composer is always up for a little road trip/ who needs a reason to visit Alabama Chanin again?


A jumble of salvaged chairs painted in cheery colors.


Stenciled pieces available for sale. I think these may be journal cover size.


The collection garments are so substantial--even monumental--in person.


I absolutely love the varying shades of white and cream and the different elaborate treatments in the wedding collection. Of course.



My real business today was choosing a small palette of fabrics for some new summer clothes. Two pale grey, some hyacinth, and a dab of pink.



I tried very hard to stick to my plan. And also remember to get foldover elastic. Done.


Eye candy: this "Lace" stencil which is one of my favorites ever. Here are three treatments. I love the top one because of the extra row of stitching above the edge of the design, which carries the embellishment further into the plain fabric (this is an elaborate scarf, so beautiful). Also love the coppery sequins filling the cut-out spaces at the bottom.


Then here you can see the same stencil treated differently--the dark areas are totally filled in with coppery bugle beads. Oh my word.


And finally, below, the same stencil done in a black appliqué on pale pink, with all those openings filled in with black beading. Just like glamorous lingerie from the fifties.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

While Baby Napped


This baby is a great sleeper (also eater, also spitter-upper), so we got to read for a bit under the rosebush during the afternoon nap.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

An Update + An Iris


The girls are having their spring break so we camped this weekend. Now, I pride myself on having survived outdoors through pretty much all the difficult conditions from hail to plagues of caterpillars. This one was new though: fog so extremely thick we couldn't see thirty feet. It wasn't raining but water was running out of our hair. 

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I've been whittling away at a sizable work project. Fortunately it's easily quantified so I know just where I stand. Running up a tally and marking things off a list are very motivating rewards for me.

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And today we brought our crib down from the attic. We'll be hosting a friend's foster baby for the next couple of days. *Lots* of attic dust to deal with, and the Composer is out at Walmart right now buying new sheets. I guess I'm a little excited.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bits of Daisy's Room + Cat


We were going for a soft, luxurious, cocooning thing in Daisy's room. Clearly it worked for Sister, at least.


No doubt she appreciated the creative layering of fabrics--crocheted afghans on top of embroidered quilts on top of dust ruffles, and the sheepskin laid over the cotton rag rug.


For Sister, it's a little bit like the Princess and the Pea. For Daisy, it's a perfect retreat. Best part: I didn't buy a single thing (beyond the can of paint), just pulled furniture and goodies in from other parts of the house.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

My Mostly Off-Line Lent (So Far)


Much reading, thinking, and discussion going on in the house about the issues surrounding Distraction by Technology. Lots of practicing the discipline of being unplugged.


Also experiencing an unprecedented interest in leather notebooks:

 (much cheaper on ebay than on the Filofax website!)

And in old-fashioned letter-writing. I use Daisy's piano lesson as my Correspondence Hour. 

. . . And Two Totes


Also, two fun totes available.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Silk and Mohair Capelet


I've put this capelet in my shop because it's just a little too large. Happy shopping to just the right lady!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cold Out; Tea In


Finally, as a season untimely born, we are having a bit of winter. Sleet outside, Earl Grey inside.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Log Cabin Quilt: Cloud Shadows


This time I was disciplined and sorted those dark and light scraps! Then put them together in diagonal rows. We think it gives the effect of cloud shadows going up and down hillsides.


Also, I inaugurated the use of the 1/4 inch seam. It added an astonishing amount of square footage to the quilt--so this is one of my biggest efforts!


Proceeds from this quilt will go to  our dear young friends who are the first married couple of our kids' group to have a baby--they just found out last week. They're still on the church-mouse student budget, so I'd like to help purchase a nice stash of quality cloth diapers for them. Here's the shop link.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Puffy Cheeks


Sister was not the only girl today with puffy cheeks--Daisy had two wisdom teeth removed yesterday and has entered the puffy stage of recovery. We've had two quiet inside days watching the sun shine and the wind blow, and tomorrow we'll be almost back to normal.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Miss Buncle



My cousin Sally sent me the first book, and I was hooked.


I ordered the next two on my own, and they've been my Sunday afternoon treats.


Friday, March 03, 2017

Oil Painting: White Camellias


I went to the studio Tuesday evening and mentioned I was thinking of painting white camellias. 

"There are some blooming in my neighborhood," said my teacher Sarah, "but you'll have to drive the getaway car."

So I kept it running at the curb while she crept across the dark yard and snipped a few blossoms from the rent house down her block.

Anything for art.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Wasp's Nest


Strictly for decorative purposes, in the sitting room.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Hyacinths Say Hello


 . . . hello, and Lenten blessings. I am giving up internet distraction for the forty days. I will post on my blog and check my email, but nothing else for the weeks to come. A new season!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Alabama Chanin Walking Cape


I've been interested in the Alabama Chanin Walking Cape ever since I saw it in the store and admired its secret inside pocket. And outside pockets! Last year the AC website offered the pattern as a pdf purchase, and this week I bought it and made it up . . . but in a woven, not a jersey.


I chose a light gray wool woven because 1. I didn't have four yards of jersey to use and 2. I had this free wool. I fully lined the cape with a second layer of the wool, machine stitched it, and (as you see) put rounded pockets on the outside. There's a square inside pocket that's perfect for phone and keys if you are, in fact, walking. Or use the pocket for a tissue if you're going to wear this cape to the movies with your husband to see Lion.

A super-simple project and one I look forward to sewing up in jersey.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Bright Sunset




Inside and out.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Daisy's New Ice Cream Parlor


Daisy's bedroom has always been known as the Mango Lounge, but Clara and I have been re-doing it in the softest, creamiest pink. It will hereafter be known as the Ice Cream Parlor.


(Benjamin Moore. Walls: Melted Ice Cream in Pearl Finish. Floors: Pure White Latex Floor Enamel)



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What We Put Up With



This is what we have to put up with all day.

Monday, February 20, 2017

At the Greenhouse with Clara


Saturday morning errands with a little recreation thrown in.


I've been wanting a maidenhair fern--they didn't have any, but I got a little rabbit's foot fern.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Someone Else's Needlepoint


Needlepoint pillow from the thrift store, perfect condition, just a dollar. The back is velvet!


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