Thursday, August 27, 2015

Daisy's Life with Chickens

I found her reading with a chicken feather decorating her hair.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Alabama Chanin Bolero: Magdalena in Wine

And in the category Took Forever/Worth It, this bolero in Wine cotton jersey, stenciled with the "Magdalena" stencil, stitched in embroidery floss, then reverse appliqued (that just means the stenciled shapes are cut out after they are stitched around). 

These little jackets are perfect for me. I wear them over matching and non-matching jersey dresses. They are just big enough to host a Stitching Statement without taking a year to make, and they are big enough to let you really develop the pattern but not make you crazy.

The Magdalena stencil, which I downloaded and cut out of acrylic pennant felt, is enormous, and interestingly runs from a very small scale design to a much larger scale. You can play with this when placing the stencil on your pattern pieces.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Donkey Bits

I was down in the pasture first thing this morning to clear chicken manure out from under the roosting box (I like to celebrate nice weather). The donkeys were, as always, in my business. Those are Burley's ears. Baby donkeys are really good at ears full of fluff.

I have made *great* strides taming Dolly. Who knew? Now she lets me clip the rope onto her halter and walk her around. Next we're going to learn to take the halter off and put it back on, so she doesn't have to have it on all the time.

Also, here's Burley's nose for you. It's also great.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bowlful of Grapes

I totally get that apples and peaches grow on real trees, and berries come from real vines and bushes, but somehow it's hard for me to wrap my head around real grapes coming from real vines!

Probably because I've rarely picked them myself. I didn't pick these either, but the Composer stopped by a fruit place and brought home huge quantities of these.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Daisy's Cardboard Village

When I visited my mother yesterday she wanted to stop in at Hobby Lobby, and we spotted these adorable plain brown houses just right for Daisy and her Little Animals.

They are sturdier than cardboard (they're labelled paper mache), and the roofs come off like lids, and you can color them.

And they're very inexpensive--I think the largest was $7 (and there's always that coupon code . . .) The timing was perfect for Daisy, as she had recently acquired a goat postman. Now he's got somewhere to deliver the mail

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Backyard this Afternoon

We are all pleasantly disoriented by this crazy cool weather. The house open in late August? What planet is this? I sat and sewed outside before dinner.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Corner of Clara's Green Room

 I know you can't see the new floor and the rest of the white furniture, but here's a corner of Clara's fresh green room. I love the dark wood against the light green, and the little Clara details here and there.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Piecing a Log Cabin Quilt: Ashes and Roses

I frequently find that one quilt top leads to another . . . hence this second version of Ashes of Roses. I'm calling this one Ashes *and* Roses, because I actually segregated the pinks and the grays in fine log cabin style. Not my usual. 

We will start quilting when the temperature drops just a little bit more, although I can't miss this opportunity of saying Thank You Lord!! for the coolest middle of August I can remember.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bella with the Big Boy

Friday, August 14, 2015

Piecing a New One: Apple Orchard

I started a large log cabin quilt this week--42 blocks, each seven strips across. Last night I finished the last square, and today Clara helped me lay them out and sew them together.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Freshwater Shells

A friendy day for Daisy looking for shells along the lakeshore, then playing dress-up at home with a friend and the world's best kitten.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oil Painting Inspiration: Scottish Florals

I'm loving the fresh and gorgeous, almost-primitive florals of these two Scottish painters:
Alison McWhirter (above) and Mhairi McGregor (below).

(all images from Google images)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

So Much Excitement in the Laundry Room

It's the time of year for domestic renewal: I threw out the old laundry hampers and bought new plastic baskets that actually sort of fit in the shelves of the laundry room. Now I have four instead of three (white, light, dark, delicate) which is just right, and they are off the floor! The room seems twice as big. I am truly enjoying sorting the laundry these days.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Glowing Girls

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Tiny Adorable Chicken Pot Pies

Bella decided to make a big batch of these so that she and Clara would have something interesting to take for their lunches this week (physical therapy clinic and law office, respectively).

She used our usual chicken pot pie recipe (I say usual, but with half of us off gluten for the last many months it's been a while since I made it!), but used the biscuit dough to line muffin tins. Without pre-baking them, she filled them with the creamed chicken and vegetable mixture, then popped in the oven. Amazingly, they slid right out of the pans after cooling.

Not eating gluten, I had to give these a pass, but they sure did smell good, and make the girls happy.

Friday, August 07, 2015

A Pair of Golden Birds

I love the pairs of birds I find at the thrift store--often white, but these are an actual weighty metal. Not so impressive by themselves, but grouped with other pairs they are nice.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Summertime Sister

Oh sure, Sister, this is fine for summertime. But what about winter?

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Alabama Chanin A-Line Dress

I found two sets of jersey sheets at the thrift store--and with two flat sheets to work with, was able to try out the Alabama Chanin A-Line dress from Natalie Chanin's latest book.

It's very, very A-line, and though I took in the seams down to the hips, it's still a lot of garment floating around out there. It's very comfortable, but not really me. I will, however, wear it to swan around the house on occasion in the summer.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Bella's Roses, Fading

Monday, August 03, 2015

Vintage Simplicity 3552: A Collar for Embroidery

 Over Christmas break I cut this dress out for Clara, and sewed the collar pieces together in preparation for some elaborate embroidery--and Clara took over from there. It was her carrying-around handwork for spring semester, and then she made the dress.

She's pretty handy with the satin stitching.

And I was very impressed with the chevrons she achieved with the skirt pieces.

On plain old ticking.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Middlemarch, and a Cat

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Daisy's Chickens, An Update

 Daisy finally got all her ducks in a row, chicken-wise. The coop got built, and the birds got purchased (you may remember that all twenty-four of her chicks were victims of a racoon in the spring).

She's got five Barred Rocks (three are going to the fair), three Cinnamon Queens, and two Aracaunas.

And one rooster.

I can tell this is going to keep being funny. 

Also, Dulcie is thriving on her bottle regimen. She especially enjoyed this week because we house-sat for the neighbors and milked all their goats--and brought the milk home for her. It's so much better than formula.

 It's so good, you want to bathe in it. Shower in it, really.

And Corky continues handsome.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Eighteen for Bella

Eighteen today, wow! 

For the longest time she was my youngest baby. Also, for the longest time she's seemed so grown up. Happy Birthday, dear daughter!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A New Room for Clara

Clara's in the process of moving to a downstairs bedroom. Once upon a time it belonged to Giles, then to Felix. They have both officially Moved Out, and it doesn't make a great guest bedroom, but Clara wanted it.

First she wanted to freshen it up. She ripped out the 1974 gold shag carpet from the closet, painted the closet interior a fresh white, then got her father to lay down a laminated floor (so easy, you just put them down like stickers. This is just the closet, mind you). 

She's painting all her furniture a fresh coat of white, out on various porches, and I've taken on painting the floor of the room. It had a scuff or two. Or forty. You can see it with one coat, and it gets another this weekend. Once all this is put back together, it'll be a lovely place.

And, Daisy's got her heart's desire: Clara's upstairs room for her own.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Squishy Sister

Bottom line: Sister is the best kitten of all time. 
As soft as a chinchilla, squishy, silky, and boneless. And she sits up to drink out of a spoon.

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