Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Queen of Spring

Daisy and I are back home  in our warm and blooming woods. Bella reigned as Queen of the House while we were gone, handling her schoolwork, job, and all the meals. The fridge is still filled with leftovers.

It was warm enough to eat dinner outside in the Bistro tonight, and after we finished Daisy got up and started weaving flowers into Bella's hair. Too beautiful.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

"The Most Progressive Man"

"If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man."
--C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Here's Dolly

Here's Dolly, our silver donkey. Gentle but a little shy. Daisy will be wooing her with sweet feed, after we get back from going to visit Giles tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Felix with a Banjo

Felix looking handsome during spring break.

* * * * *

In other news, we're getting a donkey tomorrow to guard the goats from coyotes. We had a heartbreaking event Sunday night in which four goats were killed. The new donkey (pregnant!) is the silver lining.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

When Daisy Travels

You can expect the vintage train case, the bag full of books, the sewing box, and the (very) lucky doll or stuffed animal chosen to go along.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Handful of Hyacinths

I got wise and planted these in the fenced-in vegetable garden where the deer can't eat them. Daisy's picking handfuls every day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Slippers. I Made Them.

Somehow I'm fascinated with vintage patterns for slippers--they are often included in bedjacket patterns. I tried these out this week.

 They are completely hand-stitched because I couldn't get them under the machine.

For materials, I cut the sole out of some kind of fake suede/shearling I had a hand-me-down scrap of, and the cream color is wool felt. The outer layer is pink corduroy, and they are bound with commercial quilt binding. They were fun and easy--but I don't think they'll stay on without a strip of elastic sewn in place to be a heel strap, as suggested by yet another vintage slippers pattern.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Full Bloom

Saturday, March 14, 2015

More Fun in Florence

Last night I literally dreamed about jersey. After breakfast we headed back to Alabama Chanin. I had to finish looking at the swatch books.

These samples are all so beautiful to see and handle in person. Look at the saturation of these different shades of red that make up this Facets design.

And I love the red peeking through the apple green in this one.

I found myself really drawn to the appliquéd samples. Which is too bad, because it's my least favorite technique. Too hard to keep up with all the little bits and get them placed correctly. But my, it makes for a beautiful piece.

I had never been particularly interested in either the Vitae stencil *or* the spiral embroidery, but I just love this combination. The figures are appliquéd on, and the negative spaces are filled with spirals! It's just enough.

And look at this sample of Climbing Daisy worked in light on dark! With some sequins sewn in the mix. Also love the effect of working it down from the top--imagine that from the neckline of a dress, front or back.

Finally I settled down to the serious business of choosing what to buy. 

The moody blues definitely led today. I picked out several, including this baby blue (it's deeper in person), and some silvery-plummy "pewter."

After lunch we wandered around Florence, which is full of great old buildings, many of which have awesome names in the doorways.

One building used to be a glorious department store, and its elevator doors are still glamorously intact.

We did go to Muscle Shoals and visit the most famous music recording studio. It's just the building now, with a few defunct instruments left around. But it draws people from all over. While we were there one very talented musician had his guitar with him and sang and played in the studio just for the fun of making music in the same place all those greats had been in. This may be the only place I have crossed paths with Paul Simon--just a few decades late.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Oh, Just Hanging Out at Alabama Chanin . . .

Yes, I actually am at the Alabama Chanin store in Florence, Alabama. We drove in in time for lunch, and then took the 2:00 tour of the Factory.

No surprise, these garments are beautiful in person,

and the jersey yardage is almost irresistible.
I'll be doing my purchasing tomorrow.

I think I'm going to buy some socks, too.

So far I have looked at half of the swatch books. They are arranged by color story--but the current ones are in NYC on a trip at the moment. I'm in the archives.

Everytime I found something I really liked I had the Composer photograph it as a reference. His trigger finger got worn out.

I'm thinking about chop beads and bugle beads--the bugle beads here are so long! Much longer than the ones from the craft store.

Some stitching samples below--everywhere you look there's something handmade!

Believe me, there will be more tomorrow . . . .

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Crocheting with Old Sweaters

I'm crocheting this rug from old sweaters. It's amazingly soft and springy and supportive, with all that wool--lots of it cashmere! It's about two feet across, and I'll keep going until I've emptied the Old Holey Sweaters bin. I'm using the easy, no-sew way of joining the strips. 

Please note that I've washed these sweaters several times to get them at least a little felted. They don't seem to want to ravel at all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring Day, with Daffodils

Today is suddenly spring. The daffodils are out in force. Clara and I dug up all the strawberry plants and built a *real* strawberry bed with raised rows covered in black plastic.

 Poor Bella doesn't have spring break for another two weeks, and had to go to class, to work (physical therapy clinic), and work on a paper. But her turn will come!

Daisy went to 4H, one of her favorite things ever. And I started crocheting a rug out of old sweaters.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bold Pink Tulips

Tulips, sunshine, jersey doily.

Monday, March 09, 2015

102 Things to Do on a Rainy Day

Clara came home for spring break bringing this Gilbert & Sullivan Treasury with her--a thrift store find of one hundred and two songs. Daisy has been counting down the days.

For weeks she has been filling the house with the music of Iolanthe, and now she's adding Ruddigore, H.M.S. Pinafore, Patience, and the like to her repertoire.

Friday, March 06, 2015

A Little Break While I Babysit

I'll be back in a day or two--we're keeping a nine-month old and I'm distracted!
In a good way.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

My Jersey Wrap Cardigan

After making the sleeveless short stays, I decided to modify the pattern into a 3/4 sleeve wrap cardigan. The best thing about it is that it's made from a thrifted men's t-shirt (long-sleeved, of course). The color is wonderful and the jersey is very thick and warm.

To turn a sleeveless garment into one with sleeves often involves changes to the shoulder strap part of the shirt. This took a couple of tries, and I might still need to trim the armhole down a little and extend the width of the sleeve cap, but you know jersey--always forgiving.

I hope someday soon to turn this into a downloadable pdf pattern!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Living in the Not Yet

When we fast we place ourselves in the Not Yet, the place where we look forward to the provision of all that we need.


O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers:
Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant Lisa the help of your power,
that her sickness may be turned into health,
and our sorrow into joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Bonnie and LulaBelle

The neighbors had six baby goats born at Thanksgiving, and now that they are old enough to wean, they've moved into our pasture to live with Daisy's two young lady goats.

The two very best, sweetest, and prettiest are Bonnie and LulaBelle. Bonnie is white with a black head, and has a lame back leg. But she's so pretty! And LulaBelle has a half-pink nose and long, lustrous hair.

Neither one was doing well on Friday though. They got cold and wet and just couldn't get comfortable (AND they had loose droppings--a bad sign in goats), so we brought them inside. For two days and a night they lived in a playpen by the stove, carefully tended by Daisy.

Then I couldn't take the smell anymore--just too barny--and they went down to Phyllis' house. Now they're well enough to be back out in the pasture. But I ask you: would you look at that pink nose?

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