Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Blue, Blue Day at the Cabin, and Rituals

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

Thanksgiving, and a Psalm of Thanksgiving

 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

A Menu for Tomorrow

The goal: 
To feed twenty-three people and have plenty of leftovers.

The means: 

Three turkeys
A ham
Mashed potatoes
Dairy-free mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows
Sauteed green beans
Buttered rutabaga
Tian of potatoes, tomatoes, and beets
Butternut squash, radicchio, and kale gratin
Brussels sprouts roasted with chestnuts
Cornbread dressing
Gluten-free cornbread dressing
Wild rice dressing with dried fruit
Cranberry sauce
Green salad
Lots of pies
That ought to do it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Calm Before the Storm of Cooking

 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

Lucy Inspects the New Curtains

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

Daisy's Room Plants

She loves orchids and has bought herself several from the grocery store. She waters them on Mondays, and they share bookshelf space with her aloe vera.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Embroidery in All Shades of Gray

 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

Magic for Daisy's Drawers

 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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow on the Maple

How often does this happen? With horses in the background?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bold and Stripey Totes

Three bold and stripey (oh, that sounds like my cat!) tote bags in my etsy shop

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Pillow, with Bluebirds

I found someone's pretty awesome piece of crossstitch at the thrift store. I believe it was taped around cardboard and stuck in a cheap frame. Didn't take long to rip that apart.

Besides the sentiment, I love the fresh and happy colors.

I backed it with pieces of a vintage tablecloth, and stuck that coral zipper in there because that's what I had. 

To love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth, but a good thrifty sewing project comes in a close second.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Bare Enough Table

This mostly bare tabletop is a huge victory. If you've ever painted your kitchen cabinets, you know what I'm talking about. All the contents of every drawer, half the contents of every cupboard--all of that was everywhere until this morning.

I spent the first two hours digging out from under and then sighed a big sigh of relief and began to enjoy my sequined fruits.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

. . . And While We Were in the Mood to Pan

It's a good thing the Composer knew how to pan the camera, because we found this monkey set-up on the couch yesterday.

That's the UK Country Living they're all reading.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Sugar Maple (and the House)

• click the photo to see better •

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A Cow from the Stash

My sewing room stash is truly magical. It's not that big--truly, it's not--but it always manages to have *just* the right thing at *just* the right time.

Today I was poking around a half-empty shelf and found just a little of this purple and gray plaid wool. It's a loose weave, and had a few moth holes, so I was going to throw it away, until I happened to wonder if I still had a needlepointed pillow front featuring . . . a Holstein. That looks just like Mabel. 

Yes, I did have a needlepointed version of Mabel in the stash. I put the two together with a little black piping (from the stash) and am looking forward to presenting Mabel's owner with this little token of my affection for her cow.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Country Store (Pretend)

The kitchen is currently torn apart as the cabinet doors and all the drawers have gone to the shop to be repainted. I thought I just painted them, but the math indicates otherwise--and so does all the chipping, streaking, and just plain worn-outness. It's kind of luxurious to have someone else laying on the Atrium White.

Meanwhile I'm cleaning, sanding, and (soon) painting the remaining frames. 
I hardly recognize the room, it's so visually busy with the white doors gone. I'm pretending it's a country store for the duration. It's not my kitchen at all! No worries!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Storybook Afternoon

Yes. More Shop.

Throw pillow, vintage books and magazines, handmade apron, jersey quilt.

Go here, if you're interested. 

Thank you so much to the readers who have purchased from me. 100% of my profits are given away. I'm currently giving to the orphanage where Bella is volunteering. They have just broken ground to expand and are building six new cottages to provide family-style homes to children who are in desperate need. Win!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I've only had this book for four days and there is an actual mountain of discards on my kitchen floor. Good stuff, too, not trash. But things I've realized I'd rather live without.

Marie Kondo's approach to tidying is the symmetrical opposite of what I've always practiced. Before, I would ask myself: "Can I get rid of this?"

Marie has you ask: "Does this give me joy?" The answer, a lot of times, is "Not really, no." Boy, does that make it easy to let go of things.

And when things are gone, suddenly it is so much easier to keep the house clean. To keep my mind on my task; to get to that thing I was putting off; to breathe. Life is changed indeed, for the better!

More Etsy Goodies

I'm still working on my backlog of Etsy goodies. New in the shop today? Vintage books and a baby quilt. 

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