Saturday, December 20, 2014
I picked this up at the thrift store because of the back extension that comes up and over the shoulder.
However, I don't believe I will be making contrasting shirt halves and sleeves. Or sewing that neckline as is, because who looks their best in a crew neck? No one I know. I'll be scooping it out a little.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Another gorgeous sunrise, the first of the Return of the Exiles (as the Composer calls it when the adult children come home), and several fabulous fruitcakes.
Felix is the first one in the door of the three Away Kids. It didn't take him long to ensconce himself in what we call "Inventor's Corner"--a computer, a calculator, and a notebook not too far from the woodstove. Serious inventing going on today.
I've found fantastic fruitcake recipes that don't rely on any kind of flour at all! Just ground almonds and lots of fruit:
Christmas-Spiced Chocolate Cake by Nigella (oh my)
Gorgeously Golden Fruitcake also by Nigella, much more traditional
Alsatian Christmas Bread (not a bread at all. I didn't use this recipe, but it was the closest I could find. Mine required only dried fruit, fruit juice, spices, and ground almonds)
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
Anyone who loves baby goats will be glad to know that over at the neighbors' house Jezebel, Ruby, and Cinnamon have all had their kids. Seven of them, all together!
This is Cinnamon, a very good mother. She had twins. Baby goats are just about the best, for cuteness.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
A while ago I made a set of patchwork curtains for my lavender bedroom. Then recently I got tired of them and wanted something visually calmer.
I took them down, sewed them together, and then started sewing strips of purple and brown scraps around and around my patchwork rectangle. Now I have a huge quilt top, and the center is my patchwork curtains.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
At my house it's not quite time for a Christmas tree, but it's not too early for a Winter Tree. I set up this pine cone tree in a milk glass container as the table centerpiece. Then I realized that the tree was from the thrift store, the pedestal was from the thrift store, the bird, the candleholders, and the doily--all from the thrift store. For the win.
Monday, December 08, 2014
I've recommended Jennifer Grant's writing on motherhood before, and I'm doing it again today. Wholehearted Living is written for busy parents, who can find maybe five minutes to spend thinking or reading at a time.
Jennifer begins each reflection with a quotation from a real thinker or writer--and it's surprisingly refreshing to be confronted with the real deal in small, manageable doses, even for mothers who may feel like their thinker has gone missing.
But the real reason I am so drawn to Jennifer's writing is her genuine and lifegiving humility. She invites, never commands. She suggests, never tells. She is tender.
Written to last all year, this is a wonderful choice to stretch your soul.
Saturday, December 06, 2014
She's been wanting a sailor dress for so long. I used a regular dress pattern and added a sailor collar overlay, and changed the skirt from the usual semi-circle to one with inverted box pleats. Better picture later, also maybe then it won't be falling off her shoulder.
Friday, December 05, 2014
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
I'm thinking about a new quilt and for once in my life (as Daisy's friend David would say) I'm Planning Ahead on fabric! My key fabric is the not-too-in-focus larger gray strip with the pink end. It's an ancient but highly valued cotton skirt from the fifties, printed with cellos. To keep it company I've got some linens and wools from the thrift store, and a couple of men's shirts.
And, in an excess of organization, I've got this little pinned together pile in my purse so that I can pull it out in any thrift store and scan the clothes racks for the perfect garment to join the pile.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
This is what we've been listening to this week at my house. We've been Beta Radio fans ever since Giles introduced us to their first album several years ago.
Colony of Bees is just out and is oh so good! If you only want a taste, check out "I Am Mine" and "Monument."
And their Christmas music--they release two or three songs every year, and I think they may be free downloads.
Monday, December 01, 2014
I found a cotton velveteen dress at the thrift store and brought it home because I can't resist really good fabric. Purple velveteen--where am I going to find that around here?
Turns out it was a Laura Ashley (that explains the quality). But the cut was so weird, I couldn't tell the front from the bag. So I lopped off the bodice, added a side zip, and had a luscious skirt for Clara.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
I was marveling this week at how rituals effectively slow down time. Instead of this holiday weekend whizzing by, first we had Thanksgiving. The next day we had our annual Outside Workday, where we rebuilt an arbor, raked all the leaves and mulched the garden, burned both the bonfire piles, cleared brush at the end of the driveway, and brought five loads of firewood up from the pasture. And ate leftovers.
Today we had our Saturday Trip to the Cabin in the most glorious sunshine. The colors! The blues! The blue-green water! The silver and gray trees! And the knitting on the porch, and the hiking . . . .
(No one planned their clothes to match. The boys only own these neutrals. That's Jane that Felix is dating, and the extra boy is Jonathan, Felix's roommate, who is always, always welcome at our house.)
Friday, November 28, 2014
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
To feed twenty-three people and have plenty of leftovers.
Dairy-free mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows
Sauteed green beans
Tian of potatoes, tomatoes, and beets
Butternut squash, radicchio, and kale gratin
Brussels sprouts roasted with chestnuts
Gluten-free cornbread dressing
Wild rice dressing with dried fruit
Lots of pies
That ought to do it.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Today was too early to start the massive preparations for our Thanksgiving meal (for twenty-five people).
That will happen tomorrow.
Today I puttered in the sewing room, bought Daisy some overalls at the thrift store, and visited the neighbors to get instructions on caring for their cat, dog, pigs, chickens, and goats.
It felt kind of like the calm before the storm, but in a good way.
Oh, also all the girls are home!!
Monday, November 24, 2014
This weekend I replaced Daisy's blinds with new curtains. The blinds were falling out of their brackets and due for improving.
The new curtains are single lengths of white denim hemmed topped and bottom and clipped to curtain rings on a rod, and they are much softer and cozier, especially when accommodating a cat.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Last year I found a printed embroidery kit at the thrift store. Lots of flowers and plants, and I believe it came with a mess of crewel yarn.
I threw that out.
I knew I wanted to embroidery this whole great big piece in just shades of gray. So I bought every shade I could find at the craft store.
When I finished, I thought it still needed something, so I went in and embroidered random star shapes here and there above the plants and in between them. And then scattered it with clear seed beads.
Soon I will make it into a pillow.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
On Wednesdays, we make sure that we are all caught up on putting our laundry away, and that the laundry room is empty, tidy, and cleaned.
Daisy tidies her dresser up in conjunction with this task each week. Today she decided to re-sort her dresser. I walked in halfway through, and suggested she try the method in Marie Kondo's book and get some of that life-changing magic going.
Fold the garments neatly, and set them in the drawer *vertically*. Nothing is stacked, everything is equally visible when you pull out the drawer. Nothing to topple over, nothing to get lost at the bottom to be left unloved.
It worked perfectly. All her hot-weather clothes are in one drawer, all her cold-weather clothes in the bottom drawer.