Saturday, May 30, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Blueberry Cobbler in a Skillet

The blueberries are ripe for picking and we've been to the berry farm twice this week. Clara made this cobbler for those who eat gluten. Besides that, we've been feasting on milk glass teacups full of them with every meal.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blue-Gray Facets: An Alabama Chanin Jacket

I was happy today to finish this jacket which required many stitches. I used the Alabama Chanin bolero pattern in an extended version  that's more jacket and less bolero.

I made two layers. The outer one I stenciled using the "Facets" stencil--and let me tell you, cutting that thing out is a project in and of itself. 

Then I stitched around each shape using one strand of button and craft thread. Then I cut around each shape.

Then I added strategic beads and sequins. They helped the shapes to read as organized rosettes or stylized flowers.

Then I constructed the garment and bound the edge.

I'm wearing it over a six-gore dress that's been pumped up with four godets to add fullness to the skirt. Two in the front, two in the back.

All done, at last.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Afternoon Walk

Afternoon walk. Or scooter, actually, for some.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sister's New Skills

 Sister continues to study the Cat Manual. Today she covered two lessons: Climbing on People's Shoulders to Bat Their Hair, and Hanging Out Near the Budgie. Francis, the budgie, doesn't care that Sister napped by his cage. He seems unaware that she is a cat--she's the wrong size, and she looks like a part of a dust mop.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

A big fresh bouquet of oak leaf hydrangeas,
new overalls for Daisy from the farm store,
a visit to the cemetery to my grandparents' graves,
and a family walk on a newly opened nature trail.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Making Progress

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A New Home for the Telephone

This short length of wall in the kitchen used to have a little table to hold the phone and the pens and message paper. This weekend I got a bee in my bonnet about streamlining this little space, so the table is out, and a shelf is in. We hung it quite high--I wanted the feeling of a very old-fashioned telephone counter. 

 I realize that having a telephone counter at all is old-fashioned, but I won't give up my land line--I've had this phone number since I was four years old, if not before.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

After Dinner, in the Garden

Daisy's got her animal business to tend to.

The grasses have some growing to do.

Clara does some weeding. (And Bella flies home from visiting a friend in Chicago).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Your Custom-Made Wrap Cardigan!

Here is something new! I'm taking orders in my etsy shop for custom-made wrap cardigans. You can read all about them if you want to order one, but I will tell you here that you can choose any one of the delicious colors of jersey offered at Alabama Chanin. I'll order the jersey and stitch it up.

You'll wear it. At least five days a week, if you're like me.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jasper Gets Used to the Halter

We bought Jasper's pink halter and lead rope when we still thought he was a girl. He's very amenable to being trained, and loves the hugs and kisses he gets afterwards. Corky watches everything from a discreet distance.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Crawfish Stencil

Felix designed me an awesome crawfish stencil. I've made a few journal covers with it, and next it will go n a shirt. The whiskers make it happen.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Navy Bean and Tomato Soup

I remember my mother making us a navy bean soup and encouraging us to try it with ketchup--who knew this was a thing in the South? I made this recipe yesterday and realized that it was a gussied-up version of that same thing.

I made mine without red meat, so it is dairy-gluten-and-red-meat-free. Also inexpensive, nutritious, and generous in its quantities

*Navy Bean and Tomato Soup* 

Soak 1 lb. navy beans overnight.
The next day, drain them and put them in a large pot.

 Stir in: 
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 packages frozen Cajun-style mirepoix mix (or 2 onions, 2 bell peppers, 2 c. celery, all chopped)
4 minced cloves of garlic
2 t. dried thyme
several smoked turkey wings (however many are in the package), and
salt and pepper (generously)

Add water to cover by at least an inch. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 1/2 hours or until beans are tender, or use a pressure cooker and cook for about half an hour. You want the beans tender but not falling apart. You can take out the turkey wings and shred the meat into the soup, or don't bother--just work around.

I served this with some pitas split and drizzled with olive oil and toasted, because I needed to use them up. And a salad with a mild creamy cheese on the side.

Recipe, with some modifications, comes from Marion Cunningham's The Supper Book .

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Life Full of Animals

Kitten attacks Bella's foot first thing in the morning.

Also, Daisy realized yesterday that Dolly's baby is actually a boy.

We suspect that Dixie Trixx is pregnant. She visited the neighbors without permission on Superbowl Sunday. Check back at the end of June.

Finally, Daisy's piano teacher is going to give the kitten a home. In a little while.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

All the Honors

Clara has graduated from college with All The Honors. We are so incredibly proud of her. Every one of her professors I spoke to said fantastic things about her intellect and ability. Some of them pointed at their own foreheads. I interpret this positively.

Baccalaureate and commencement were both wonderful services.

 It all just felt so . . . right. She is the third generation in our family to graduate from this college.

It was a cool, drizzly weekend, so we alternated being out and about for graduation activities with warming up indoors/packing up her apartment. We even had a cozy meal or two around her table, using many improvised implements and pieces of silverware, since most things were packed.

We loved seeing her friends one last time and going out to dinner together.

Here she is, nineteen years old and graduated with two majors! She's back home for a little while with many possibilities. I'm looking forward to watching the next months unfold for her.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Brief Grey Hello

Just popping in to say, in Frederick's words, "Hello!" We're just back from Clara's graduation from college. Her graduation from college! Life will return to normal tomorrow.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Softest Donkey in the World

Well, that went well. Dolly delivered a flawless silver baby girl* in the night. When we woke up on Wednesday, there she was in the green grass. She smells like sunshine and hay and her fluff is four inches deep.

Her legs are too long and her head is too big--she's perfect.

Way to go, Dolly!

*Oops, no she didn't. Turns out this is a baby boy! My bad.

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