Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
These are Daisy's thirty paper dolls. They live together in a little fabric zip bag. There are sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, grandparents, and neighbors.
Some of them came from the same sheet of paper--like Harry, Jerry, and Terry. Others are singletons. Daisy curled up by the fire with them today. They engage her for hours.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
I looked in some phobia directories to see if there is technically a phobia that is "the fear of running out of hand-sewing projects." There's not. But if there was, I may have it.
That's why I put this quilt together with a back this morning, before I had even finished binding my current quilting project.
If there is such a phobia, I think it is hereditary. I actually had my mother take a quilt away from me and keep it for herself on a trip to New York. At first it was enough that we sat beside each other on the airplane and each had an end to quilt. But at the end of the flight, she took it for herself. She's worse than me.
Anyway, I love these blues, and love the subtle plaids used close together.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Though it's not quite warm enough for this week, Daisy has this new cardigan at the ready should the sun come out in a major way. Clara finished it over Thanksgiving break, then was cruelly thwarted in her quest to buy more yarn by the little yarn shop being closed for the holiday. We went to the thrift store instead and Clara got an awesome crewelwork project of a happy raccoon, to work on the train.
Anyway, this is knitted in a cotton yarn we bought in Germany, and the pattern is from Ravelry. I've got the paper printout here, and the keywords I'm seeing are "DROPS collection" and "wavy pattern," so good luck finding that!
It's so cute, and it takes me right back to my own personal and beloved baby blanket. That I loved til I was twelve.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Much of the fun of preparing for Christmas is filling too many tins with goodies to stash away in the freezer, and bring out on fancy trays on Christmas Eve. I like a wide variety, myself, and have to provide gluten-free treats as well as the traditional favorites. If you want to put together a dessert trolley of GF goodies, and prefer not to bake with odd ingredients or anything that starts with an X, here are some suggestions:
Ricciarelli--these are beautifully-textured almond cookies
Chocolate truffles--holiday classics, great from the freezer
Creamy rice pudding--serve in small portions in stemmed fruit glasses, with kiwi and strawberry slices
Coconut macaroons--so easy, and they freeze really well
Chocolate hazelnut meringues--in case the truffles weren't enough.
Monday, December 09, 2013
Friday, December 06, 2013
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Today is all about the weather, since ice is coming in. To that end, I made a run to town to stock up on muslin and lanterns. Heaven forbid I run out of things to quilt, or light to do it by, should the roads ice over and the power go out. Stay cozy, all!
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
I'm going to say that today I got very, very lucky at an antique store.
I stumbled on a stack of hand-pieced quilt tops, all in perfect condition, most priced around $25. I bought these three for $60 (by the simple expedient of asking for a discount). I am so excited about quilting them by hand, especially the middle one here.
Monday, December 02, 2013
A rich and happy Thanksgiving for us here, with abundant food, beauty, children, and handwork.
We had eighteen people for our dinner--two turkeys and a ham. Next time I'll know to cook more. What we had was delicious, but it all disappeared on Friday!
We joined the Composer's parents at the cabin on Saturday, bringing baskets and baskets of food for this crew. If you look closely you'll see Cornelia in from New York (with Giles), and Clara and Felix each brought a housemate home for the weekend.
Felix found a wasp nest (and a salamander and a millipede),
and though I didn't witness it I hear he jumped nekkid in the river.
Giles wore his city shoes.
and took the arty photos.
So thankful for my big and happy family, and our big and happy time. God is good to us!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I've been wanting to make this Swedish Tosca Cake for a while, but it seemed a little much for just me and the two girls. With Felix heading home this morning I took the opportunity--it's a simple plain cake baked in a springform pan, but ten minutes before you take it from the oven you pour a mixture of melted butter, sugar, cream, and sliced almonds over the top to caramelize. It's just as delicious as it looks and we had it for tea this afternoon.
Recipe from Jane Brocket's Vintage Cakes.
Monday, November 25, 2013
The last few days Daisy's been tooling around the house again on her scooter, issuing tickets. I believe Fitzwilliam was cited for camping on private property, and I know the Composer found a speeding ticket on his steering wheel--but at least I don't have to pay *his* fines.
I'm not sure I'm responsible for this plant's legal problems either. Is there really a statute regulating frond length?
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Daisy needed a black skirt for her children's choir, so I went with the cheapest, easiest, and most last-minute option--a man's black t-shirt from the thrift store, cut off below the armholes, with the top turned down to make an elastic casing (as a bonus, the discarded part of the tee said something about exotic cat rescue!).
Then I cut a few long strips from the sleeves, ran a gathering stitch down their middles, and then sewed them to the bottom right above the hem, to give it a little fancy.
No need to join the strips, just overlap them a little as you go.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Company's coming--time to replace the laundry room curtains that shredded in the wash a month ago.
Lucky for me, my Magic Stash contained a length of crisp white cotton the EXACT length I needed for two curtain panels, and the breadbox full of trim had some cotton lace. I truly do not know where this stuff comes from, but it's always there in my hour of need, and I'm grateful.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
This is the brightest, and most stubborn, I have ever seen the silver maple leaves. This is a beautiful fall, and the days swing from bright and cold to warm and nostalgic.
Either way, I have been so enjoying Autumn-on-a-Bike, a first for me. I get out most mornings and ride between seven and nine miles at the trail, depending on the length of the Composer's run. I'm trying to mix in some adventure too, so on the weekends I go out on the roads and tackle hills, traffic, dogs, and chains that fall off.
Friday, November 15, 2013
I quilted this one myself because a) I needed a mindless sewing project; b) I wanted it quilted in spirals the way you would peel an apple; and c) Mother's already working on one, with one waiting in line.
It was so much fun, and I especially loved using DMC Perle 8 for the first time. Easy to thread, easy to pull through the quilt, and I love the luster! I'm using it for my next quilt too.
There's a lot of linen in this quilt (all the teal and natural), several beloved flannel shirts, and some familiar dressmaking scraps. It was different working with mostly solids rather than prints.