Monday, January 23, 2017

Hospitality: Yes, You Should


Two years ago we instituted Young Adults Dinner once a month after church. On this day, any young adults we can find at church, and anyone the girls have invited from their networks of school friends, are encouraged to come for Sunday dinner.

I've really grown to love this time. I gave up on trying to present Interesting and Varied meals, and instead just go for really tasty, and plenty of food. Generally featuring chicken. But the best part, of course, is the young adults gathered around our table.

You know, you could do this too. Or you could do something really small. Just once. Or more. You could, and you should.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

New Orchid


Several of mine are coming into bloom, but they're still weeks away. So I shortcutted and brought home a new plant from Wal-Mart.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Clara Piecing


Clara and I pieced the squares this week--now she uses our super-secret algorithm to lay them out for the quilt. The boys can't believe I have an algorithm. Best thing I did with it was teach it to Clara. Now it doesn't get messed up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The View from the Laundry Room


My laundry room is a little half-floor mezzanine above the kitchen. When I'm working in it I can see over the little half-wall into the room. Today I was liking the greens.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Needs a Dachshund


I recently made a plaid wool tote, and it looked a little plain.

"This needs a dachshund," I said to myself.

($30, send me an email if you want it.)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter Salads: Romaine with Chicken, Feta, Cranberries, Butternut Squash, and Crispy Fried Parsnips


School-Time Bella is different from Vacation Bella. School-Time Bella doesn't have time to cook, not with work and classes. But Vacation Bella makes us things like this salad for our Saturday lunch: grilled chicken, roasted butternut squash, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and crispy fried parsnip strips.

Friday, January 13, 2017

"A World Made to Measure"

"You can't build yourself a world made to measure, but you can build a village."

--Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera, The Awakening of Miss Prim

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sorry to Keep Doing This + The Last for a While


Really, this is it for a while. My cubby at the studio is pretty much cleaned out.

Shop here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Four More Paintings



I thought that since the dining table is already a mess of bubble wrap and cardboard slices I'd keep on with posting the paintings for sale in etsy. A big thank you to all who shopped! Just a reminder, these proceeds go to charity--I'm currently giving to a young family who had an unexpectedly complicated childbirth resulting in many unexpected thousands of dollars owed to the hospital.



Monday, January 09, 2017

Oil Paintings in My Etsy Shop


The thing is, if you keep painting, the paintings stack up. Help me out! Four of last year's oil paintings freshly in my etsy shop, and more to come each week.

[Edited to add: a stuck a few more in this morning].


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

This is the Lord's Doing; It Is Marvelous in Our Eyes

A first taste of wedding photos!


The cake triumphant. 
Gingerbread baked at home, iced with citrus-cream cheese buttercream, decorated on the spot with extra flowers, and consumed to the last crumb.


The men! Felix front and center.


That's right, I wore the same dress to both my boys' weddings! It's my traditional dress now. I'll wear it to the girls' weddings too, Lord willing.


Breathtaking ladies.
 I proudly lay claim to FIVE of these young women. From the left: Bella, Daisy, Tia, and Molly, then Clara second from the right.


Molly's flowers.


They didn't see each other until the ceremony.


And then it snowed afterward.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Best, Most Random Present

Because of the wedding, our Christmas was somewhat catawampus. The boys' contingent stayed in the northeast for the holiday, since the rest of us were heading there right after Christmas, and there was much to do in preparation for the wedding. MUCH to do. 


Felix had an outstanding cadre of friends and relations who pitched in at full throttle to realize the winter wonderland visions that had danced in his head regarding his nuptials. I've touched on the prep (pictures will come, I promise), but for now I'll leave it at literal *miles* of twinkle lights and a forest of fir trees.

All that to say, we didn't get around to giving Giles and Tia their Christmas presents from home until the morning after. And that's when we found that Grandpa had sent up a bullhorn. Best ever. Just a day late.

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016: The Year in Quilts







Friday, December 30, 2016

Fireworks


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rehearsal Evening


We are in a winter wonderland for Felix's wedding. I stepped out to run this morning and there was snow everywhere!
 

Everyone here worked so hard today, transforming the church sanctuary into an evergreen forest with eight fir trees (bless the Christmas tree farm that cut them down and gave them to Felix for free!)
 

A second crew was busy in the reception space, turning a big blah room into a twinkly enchanted land.


Meanwhile my mother, my cousin Sal, and I prepared the rehearsal dinner. Yesterday I had cooked at Sal's house--a giant vat of beef stew and another of creamed chicken. Those got finished today, and a mountain of cream biscuits got baked, and vast quantities of salad with citrus got prepped.
 

Just like last time, I forgot that I had to actually go to the rehearsal, and leave my dinner preparations right at the crucial time! Next time I will get it right.


Unbelievable, these precious young men lined up for this occasion.
 

Oh my, here she comes on her father's arm. She walked down this aisle with Felix in June when they were bridesmaid and groomsman at Giles' wedding. Who could have known?
 


Stepping up.


The view from the evergreens.
 

These two!
 

Tomorrow is it!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Dinner



A small group this year as the boys are already in the Northeast preparing for Felix's wedding. We sat down with the grandparents for Christmas Eve dinner.

***
Tasting menu of assorted sausages
Mushrooms stuffed with crab and cream cheese
Smoked oysters on crackers
Grapefruit, avocado, and romaine salad
Cheese tortellini 
Dark roasted asparagus
Cheese log, grapes
Waldorf salad

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fog and Coziness


A day of rain and fog, food shopping, gingerbread cookie baking, list-making, dish-washing, and general coziness.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Clara Presses Forward on Her Bridesmaid's Dress


Closing in on the end of the bridesmaid's dress--just the charmeuse sash and the hem are left, and the hook and eye.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I Had a Minute to Sew


I had a minute to sew! And was determined to use up some of my stack of wools. I made four bags assembly-line style, and this pair of blankets for the car. I like to have something to cover up with if I'm traveling in cold weather.

They're available in my etsy shop and all the sale proceeds will go to a young family hit with unexpected medical expenses due to a premature birth and complications. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Wedding Cake for Felix


Felix asked if we could provide his wedding cake--and I agreed, flattered that he apparently thinks I can do anything. Clara and I started baking the layers up to freeze. There are nine.

 She went to the kitchen and produced a test cake last week.

"This looks great!" I said. "Where did you get the recipe?"
"Cupboard door," she replied.


It's our beloved gingerbread, which will be trimmed, stacked, frosted, and decked out for the celebration.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Almost Too Good


Almost too good to be true. This life is filled with wonder!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oil Painting: Box of Chocolates


Not a quilt, but the same appealing (to me) array of squares you can mess around with.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Felties


Felt ornaments are my very favorites.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Daisy Hosts a Party


Daisy put together her own Christmas party for five friends. I made the food up for her, but she had it all planned out, including the games she got from her American Girls Handy Book (or something). They ate a lot of little sausages and drank a lot of cocoa, and then there was a LOT of running in the house. So glad she joined 4H and tapped into the motherlode of little girls who love rabbits and chickens just like she does.

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