Monday, February 29, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pruning Class

I got to spend the whole afternoon learning about pruning. I attended the blackberry and peach workshops, and now I know a lot more than I used to. As soon as it warms up a bit I'll be out doing some short-term damage, long-term improvement to my brambles and baby peach trees.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Little White on White

Clara and I are about to put together our next quilt top, which involves quite a few words (from the Bible, and having to do with ravens). She is an embroidering machine! But I don't mean that literally, since she does it all by hand.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Winter Salads: Grilled Chicken and Smoked Cheese

Grilled chicken, smoked cheese, and avocado over Romaine hearts.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cabin + Blue Sky

I tagged along with the Composer on a photo shoot. 

This cabin was moved into the mountains from the bottomlands. Wouldn't this be the best yard ornament ever?

Friday, February 19, 2016

The One-Minute Jacket

Yes, this is a one-minute jacket. It's a thrift-store tee shirt (with some spandex in it) cut up the middle and pinned back together. 

Pin it at the waist if you like, or under the bust to emphasize the ribcage, or leave it open.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Coat in the Alabama Chanin Style: Winter-Blooming Rose

Inspired by a project Natalie Chanin posted several years ago, I'd intended for a while to embellish this plain black coat. 

I made the enlarged stencil last year, but it was only Sunday that I got around to gathering the coat + stencil + felt + chalk.

The project went shockingly fast! And it was a pleasure to work with the wool materials, especially the felt. 

I don't really wear black anymore though, and I no longer wear a size 14. So I don't think I'll be wearing this. If anyone is interested, it would be $80 including shipping. And please note, the coat itself is in great shape but the pockets (invisible, in the seams) are tattered and would need mending or ignoring.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Boreal Forest Quilt, Finished

This is Boreal Forest, the quilt. The forest is populated with creatures seen and unseen. No one knows who made these tracks:

It wasn't the bear--he's headed into the trees.

It wasn't the pine grosbeak--he flew in.

So did the Great Horned Owl.

And the hare hopped in from the west.

The boreal forest is full of animals,

and their secrets.

Design by Clara and me, embroidery by Clara.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Little Twinkle on the Hem

Clara's very-useful velveteen skirt was a little heavy, visually.

I used a drinking glass to draw the scallops, and used bugle beads, sequins, and chop beads to wake things up.

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Simple China-Blue Wrap Dress

I'll keep searching for the perfect housework garment while there's life in my bones, hence the try at McCall's 8245 last week. Although the pattern is from the 90's, there's nothing about it that couldn't have been from the 1940s. 

And there's just a devil-may-care insouciance about throwing a wrap dress on, don't you think?

Although out of print, this pattern looks like it's readily available at the usual spots (ebay, etc.). My copy is from the thrift store and is awesome because it was made for Memorial Day in 1996. Picnic time!


Also, just in case you didn't see, Giles is engaged!! and we are so happy about it!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Something New

Yesterday morning, Tia and I drove to a beautiful overlook on the Palisades, cliffs overlooking New York City.

 . . . and then she said "Yes!"

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sweet Olive

I had never seen sweet olive in real life--or smelled it, that's the main thing--until today. Clara and I stopped off at the biggest nursery in town to wander in the greenhouse. There were two bushes in bloom, and the fragrance was indescribable. We brought one home to enjoy indoors, and then plant outside in April.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter Salad: Broccoli with Sesame

A super-quick salad made from cold steamed broccoli left over from dinner, drizzled with tamari sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar, and sprinkled with some sesame seeds.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Norfolk Pine

This weekend my dad brought over a Norfolk pine--a houseplant--that he wanted to pass on. I believe I remember this very specimen from my childhood, when it was two feet tall and lived in a whiskey crock. Now it's eight feet tall and a little overwhelming. But it's history! I'm going to find a spot for it, maybe in the new library we are making out of the toy room under the eaves. It might--just barely--fit.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Pink Roses in the Kitchen

A day of mercy for me as my five-day back spasm subsided and now I can get up from a chair by myself. 

Also, at one point this afternoon I realized we were maxing out on Millennial employment--Nick from across the road was building bookshelves upstairs, Clara was working for the law firm in the living room, Daisy's clarinet teacher was giving her weekly lesson, and up in the studio the Composer was getting graphic design input from Giles' friend Alejandro. An economic hotspot, that's what.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Beautiful Little Lives

Sometimes it amazes me that we can have beautiful animals living their perfect little lives right under our feet, in our houses. Sister is tops.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Plenty of Jersey in the Shop

I have a new selection of jersey things in my shop. A couple of cardigans I made to sell, and several items that I realized really aren't my color--including this mesmerizing gold. Happy shopping--and don't forget that all these proceeds go straight to charity.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Painting Class: Bird's Nest

I painted this in one pass, from a real-life nest in the studio. The nest is actually lined in mud.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Valentine's Garland

These wool garlands are so fun and easy--I had several wool blazers from the thrift store I had felted by washing and drying multiple times.

I cut the circles out free-handed, then strung them on perle cotton. It's a fast, satisfying project that uses inexpensive supplies. Try it!

Or buy one from me--the proceeds go to orphan care.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Big Sister, Little Sister

Clara pretty much has Sister's number. Sister is powerless in her arms.

Also, Clara has a special secret hold where she gathers Sister's back paws and tail all in one bouquet of kitteny softness.

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