Friday, October 31, 2014

Corduroy + Plaid for Daisy

The simplest of dress patterns, the softest of fine-wale corduroys, the best of fall play dresses.

I have no idea where this fabric came from; Daisy found it in the stash. Also I don't know where the pattern came from or who traced out the perfect size onto soft plastic pieces for me. But I accept with thanks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Marigolds

Are these not the color of fall? I still have mounds in the garden.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daisy on the Back Porch

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daisy's Pumpkin

Daisy decided this was a good year to carve a pumpkin. Our Saudi Arabian student named him Sultan. Apparently they don't get good pumpkins like this in Saudi Arabia.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Day with the Cows

The cows spent their last day here. After sunset Neal, who is a busy man, or I would have expected him to be here during that convenient time called "daylight", rattled up with a truck and trailer. It was almost too dark for me to admire his lasso skills, but he roped Corky around the middle on the second try.

That's when we all realized there wasn't much of a plan in place. With Mabel shut in the milking stall, but in a panic of mother-terror trying to tip it over, the Composer and I were asked to sit upon Corky in various specific ways while Neal backed the truck into the pasture. I won't lie: it was terrifying. I had visions of Mabel successfully upending the milk stall and coming to Corky's rescue, broken legs or not. Daisy stood outside the fence weeping with fear.


All's well that ends well. Neal dragged Corky into the trailer, set him upright, then backed the trailer up to the milk stall. When he opened it up, Mabel hustled into the trailer to see about Corky, and that was the end of the scary part.

After seven or eight tries, Neal got the truck and trailer up the slight incline of the pasture and onto the driveway. I'll be calling to check on everyone tomorrow.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Alabama Chanin Rose Skirt: Gunmetal Gorgeousness

I started a beaded skirt in August and it was my trusty handwork companion through the fall. Now it's far enough along to be worn, though I do plan to continue embellishing it (probably until it's so heavy it won't stay on my hips!) because beading is fun.

It's the Alabama Chanin four-gore skirt cut to tea length. The top is finished with foldover elastic--I found a perfect color match on etsy. Too bad I had to buy ten yards--let me know if you need some, seriously.

I have decided that the four-gore skirt is not my favorite. The center seam down the front is awkward for me. Skirts from now on with be six-gore, with smooth center panels front and back and plenty of flare. Plenty of room for beads and embroidery!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Log Cabin Quilt: Grandmother's China

I pieced this in the summer, and it is the most delicate collection of pale values--I felt like I was working with flowered china. I quilted it using perle cotton in pink, with a few rows of blue and green for fun.

A friend bought it before it was even quilted, and today it went home to live with some beautiful girls.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vaseful of Autumn

French blue and oak leaf hydrangeas. Two stems of each and the bouquet is done.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silver Morning

Monday, October 20, 2014

Log Cabin Quilt Top: October Wedding

On Saturday Felix brought a friend over, and she brought a stack of fabric with her. Her older sister had just gotten married, and she had asked each of the fourteen (?!?!) bridesmaids to give her a piece of fabric that somehow reflected her relationship to the bride. 

Believe me, there was no rhyme or reason to these fabric choices. Fourteen imaginations, all going in different directions.

I pulled out some cranberry squares for the centers (the bridesmaids had worn this color) and we got to cutting, sewing, and pressing. After four hours, we had a quilt top.

And it was beautiful.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Daisy's Room on a Sunny Afternoon

Daisy likes to change out the quilt on her bed. This vivid, fuschia-forward one looks surprisingly good in her pale blue room.

This is a rare sight--the top of her desk. That little green cabinet sitting there is something I found at the thrift store, in plain wood. It was the worst thing of all time to spray paint--the paint slid off even after sanding *and* chemical stripping. Whatever. It's cute now, but don't look too close.

Last, here's the view outside Daisy's window. The hydrangeas are blooming late this year and no one is complaining.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vintage State Flowers

I've noticed before that my stash is full of mysteries--for instance, I have no idea where this collection of state flower embroideries came from. I think there were about thirty-six, all beautifully worked on a creamy yellow silk (?). How can something like that just appear?

I've made them into two table runners, both backed with linen. I hope to get them in my etsy shop soon, in case there are people out there needing a Vintage State Flower Embroidery Table Runner. I hope there aren't more than two people like that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Parrot and a Clown

I don't want to scare anyone, but, a parrot and a clown. I saw this giant framed picture at the thrift store when I first went in, and I started laughing. Out loud. Really out loud.

I finished my tour of the store, and was still laughing when I got to the check-out counter. That's when I realized I needed to go pick it up and take it home.

It took some convincing, but Felix agreed to take it to live in his apartment at school.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Plums for a Cake

This is not the first time I've made the delicious Plum and Almond Chocolate Cake from La Tartine Gourmande. First you caramelize some plum slices with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, then mix up a simple cake batter with melted butter and chocolate, and ground almonds and buckwheat (I think it calls for spelt, actually). The plums get poured over the batter and all gets baked, to pleasing effect. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

"A Window Towards Jerusalem"

On this gloriously rainy day

• Daisy rearranged her room all by herself AND made the chili for dinner

• I vacuumed the entire house, top to bottom

• Professional window-cleaners, for the first time ever, made their first pass at the insides of the windows (hurray)

• I wrote a Petrarchan sonnet about credit card fraud


• I pondered this: "The sheer activity of reading scripture, in the conscious desire to be shaped and formed within the purposes of God, is itself an act of faith, hope, and love, an act of humility and patience. It is a way of saying that we need to hear a fresh word . . . To open the Bible is to open a window towards Jerusalem . . . no matter where our exile may have taken us."

(N.T. Wright, After You Believe)

Friday, October 10, 2014

And Now It's a Fruit Plate Collection

I found a strawberry-printed platter at the thrift store--a larger version of one that I already own, but hadn't thought about in a while. So now that I have two, I've put one on the wall with two other fruity things.

And this is a really crooked picture, but that's okay. Because all of these charming objects are pretty crooked themselves. Even the strawberry platter (which says "Shortcake" on the back, for the win) doesn't sit flat on the table.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"The Long View"

"Taking the long view allows us to be truly attentive to the details of the here and now. It all matters. Nothing is wasted."
--Christopher Smith and John Pattison, Slow Church 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

An Operatic Weekend

We visited Clara this past weekend (well, it was an extended weekend). Unbelievably, this is her last fall away at school. She graduates in a mere seven months.

So it's imperative to fit in as much gelato, thrift-store shopping, and opera as possible while there's still time.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

October Centerpiece

A placeholder until the leaves turn brilliant.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Boys in the House

Home for the weekend, hurray! Science reading, science talk, chainsawing, eating,

card games, clearing brush, and tickling Daisy.

That's the kind of weekend we like.

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