Tuesday, September 30, 2008

English Muffins

Attempted English muffins for the first time today--what a thrill to see them coming off the griddle looking just like store-bought! I used all white flour for this first try, but if we like them enough to make them again, I'll do part white/part white next time.

Bella has promised to toast these, and fry ham to go in them, while I run intervals in the morning. Yum!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rusty Hydrangeas

I almost love my hydrangeas best when they're shabby and rusty . . . .

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Felix Builds a Boat

Felix spent part of last week building a cardboard boat. Eschewing frills and fancies, he stuck to a streamlined form meant to function like a kayak.

The squirt gun of super-adhesive made him feel powerful, he said.

The "Shearwater", ready for action.

Except for an unfortunate tendency to fold up in the middle, the Shearwater did fine. Felix made it all the way to the end of the course, despite being accidentally rammed by . . .

the S. S. Minnow, complete with the entire cast of Gilligan's Island, plus two headhunters.

And here's a fantastic cardboard boat built to look like a dragon, that I'm throwing in because it was so cool!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Pie for My Nephew

This is a boy I like to cook for, since he appreciates everything I put on the table. He's here for the weekend, and he likes apple pie, so we baked him one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I've just stuffed my etsy shop with clothes that I loved making, but loved making right before I started running. Guess what? They don't fit now! Apparently all that running has made my shoulders smaller. Or something.

I hope these dresses, blouses, and aprons will find good homes where they are loved for their own vintage-styled selves. Happy looking!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Perfect Daisy Morning

A perfect morning for Daisy because it involves her blankie, her markers, and her princess coloring book. And staying in her onesie.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oak Leaf Hydrangea Turning Red

Just red enough to be a good match for a vintage dresser scarf.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bella Has Dishes Too

The beginnings of Bella's set of vintage china, all gifts from her grandmother. The china is stamped "Eggshell Nautilus".

A most beautiful sugar bowl resting on a square salad plate. Not shown, at least forty other pieces. And more on the way!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jars of Buttons

It's not a busy Saturday when there's time to sort out the vintage buttons by color, and mess around with the camera.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Felix Painting

. . . a bird

. . . with acrylics.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Wrap Skirt for Bella

Bella asked for a wrap skirt of some stone-colored denim sitting in the stash. I started with a plain rectangle and darted the front and back to fit her figure.

After turning down a waistband, I sewed a velvet ribbon over it both to hide my messy top-stitching and to reinforce it for the buttons and snaps. And because it looks cute.

But the fun really started when I looked on my shelves for something to embellish the hem. I picked out a tablecloth that shares the same neutral color, but is sprigged with soft daisies. I cut out squares, pinned them across the bottom of the skirt, and zigzagged them on, leaving about an eight of an inch for a raw edge which is fraying nicely in the wash.

If it's good enough for Boden, it's good enough for me!

Shopful of Aprons

Three aprons, a housedress, and some Grace Livingston Hill in the shop tonight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yellow Goods in the Shop

I've tucked several items into my shop, and most of them are yellow.

Detail of a Jersey Blouse

I was amazed to find this much detail in what is basically a glorified tee. The back and sleeves pleat into a rounded back yoke.

The front neckline gathers under a cotton lace overlay.

Blouse from Banana Republic.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good Times in Savannah, and Goodbyes

A full day of tooling around Savannah? I'll head straight to the Paris Market and Brocante, thanks!

Daisy chose a long violet-scented marshmallow,

and I thought the violet and lemon French candies would look good in my purse.

Delicious infused water--this was strawberry and pineapple. I've been making it myself since we got home, with everything from lemon balm to apples and rosemary. Beautiful!

Off to a picnic in one of the many squares, with French sodas stashed in the lunch bag.

On to the paper store, where I loaded up on little brown paper notebooks to embellish, and Clara splurged on scarlet hummingbird stationery.

Then Giles had to get down to business (imagine!)

so we left him to it, and went to the Gryphon Tea Room which is run by SCAD. Lusciously beautiful inside, of course, with high ceilings, white light reflected off marble, and a tiled floor.

The milk pitcher was just Daisy's size, and she poured for everyone.

She also claimed the prettiest tart,

but there were plenty to go around.

Off to the beach for a little wading . . .

and bird photography.

Sunday we did our last meal together for a little while,

and had one last hug,

and said our goodbyes. We know Giles will be happy in this wonderful place.

Out of the Hat

Congratulations to Sian Draycott, comment #82, and winner of the flamingo apron! Thank you to everyone who participated. Sian, email me with your address at pleasantviewschoolhouse-at-gmail dot com.

Monday, September 15, 2008

In Savannah

Amazingly, everything fit into the back of the van, and everyone still had a seat.

We headed back into some heat and humidity.

Dropped off the dorm stuff, met the roommate, drove around town just a little: Savannah is just as enchanting as everyone says.

Went out to dinner. It was delicious and no one was wanting to argue with the constant cool ocean breeze.

But we all felt a little, what shall I say, funny?

A little bit of heartbreak when I took Daisy to the potty, and while washing her hands she asked trustfully, "Is this Felix's Christmas trip?" When I explained that we were here so that Giles could start living in his new room she said, "You mean he isn't going to live at home anymore at all?" Oh dear, I don't think she has been listening the last few months.

At least, she won't be bothered by him loving on her *all the time*.

More Savannah tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Week of Lasts and Firsts

Tomorrow we carry Giles off to college. The week has been filled with lasts: last evening of cards with Grandpa, last golf game with the Composer, last set of photos for me, last dinner at home . . . .

Tomorrow the firsts begin as we drive this gorgeous, talented, helpful, obnoxious, mature baby off to a new home . . . and drive home without him . . . and become, for ten weeks at a time, a family with four children, not five. I can't imagine how that will feel.

Good thing Giles has a lovely set of thrifted gray and white dishes! And that I machine-embroidered his white towels to match. Because goodness how things would go for him without these goodies in hand.

"I have written to you, young [man], because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." (1 John 2:14)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Charming Flamingo Apron Giveaway

I have been playing around with the patterns and ideas in A Is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu. Lots of good inspiration in there! So much so that I was inspired to create this Charming Flamingo Apron, which I am now going to give away in honor of my 1000th post. The flamingo fabric is a rayon/linen blend, the polka dot pockets are cotton, and best of all, there is a sterling silver flamingo charm tucked into one of those dotty pockets.

This should fit a wide range of sizes--in fact, it's tied its tightest on Lucille's 28" waist. So lots of room through the middle! The neck straps button with a vintage pink button.

Dear readers, I am grateful for each of you! Leave your name in the comment hat to win a delicious package. I'll draw on Tuesday, September 16, at noon Central time.

[edited for better photos--from Giles]

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back on the Bikes

Yesterday we loaded up the bikes and dropped eleven riders, kids and adults, on a back road, then drove around to meet them at the lake.

The Composer and I brought along a huge spaghetti dinner. A meal together, some readings from John, a dip in the lake at sunset.

Carol and I have been watching our kids swim together for seventeen years.

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