Friday, July 29, 2016

Raw Stairs

The last step, if you will, in our toy-room-to-library transformation has been the reclamation of the stairs that go up from the sewing room to the new library. They've always been carpeted, until now.

This summer Clara and I ripped the carpet up, painstakingly removed every staple and nail, then turned them over to the Composer who had the supremely messy job of sanding them with a major sander.

Then we cleaned all that up. They're not quite finished, as I will be painting the risers (not the steps) the Pure White floor paint of the library floor, and the Composer will be cutting out trim to finish off the sides of the stairs. These are probably way too rough-looking for most people, but I love them. They are smooth and soft to the touch, and the staircase itself came from an abandoned hotel across the river. So I'm going to love it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Daisy's Floral Shorts

Ignore, if you can, the sight of Sister gathered up like an armful of laundry, and instead see that Daisy made herself the cutest pair of floral shorts yesterday! She did everything herself, from cutting, to finishing her seams, to putting the elastic in her waistband.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Carol Throws a Party

Carol threw a beautiful party to celebrate her daughter's wedding. 

Given the hideous heat, it was good to be up high outside of town.

Carol has known me for thirty-two years, and she still can't believe how many tablecloths I own.

Some of the finished flowers. Home stuff with grocery store discounts thrown in. Always wisteria tendrils. You can't buy that kind of awesomeness.

The groom, and David (the bride's little brother).

Beautiful Carol. She made the cakes (chocolate, and tres leches), and most of the food. Although like a good Southerner, she got her barbecue at the oldest place in town.

"Do you want me to throw some hydrangeas on that cake?"


 Bella (or Angelina Jolie?)


Friday, July 22, 2016

Flower Duty

Clara and I had flower duty today--fifteen bouquets for a party tonight. Carol's daughter up and got married earlier this summer, with no fanfare--but tonight was going to be the celebration.

Just after the crack of dawn we put on rubber boots and hauled out the mop bucket. It's not the best time of year for flowers, but our standards are low. The last few hydrangea blossoms, the phlox, zinnias, butterfly bush, lanatan, naked ladies, gooseneck, some crepe myrtle, lots of basil and rosemary.

We lined the jars up and started dropping flowers in.

And kept on and on, and then added in the bundles of flowers I got at Kroger for $2.99 each. By the end, we had some really full bouquets. Finished pictures tomorrow, after we've recovered from the party.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ladder Girl

I'm getting too old for this. 

Clara and I have been painting the sewing room this week. Twelve-foot ceilings. Endless walls. Endless windows. She's the ladder girl, and cut in all the high edges perched on a terrifyingly tall stepladder.

We are so close, but won't be able to finish until Sunday afternoon. Oh, to have it behind me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Soft Babies

 In my very very few spare moments recently I've been sewing these Soft Babies. Their faces and limbs are made from cotton jersey, and their dresses are cashmere (from thrift store sweaters). The one on the right is the prototype, and her sister on the left has her head trimmed into a more human shape.

The creative impulse is mysterious and unpredictable--for now it has me stitching up these very soft dolls. Clara and I are also painting the sewing room (ouch!!), but when I have a few more made I'll be putting them in my shop.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


These two in the sunshine.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I Always Wear a Hat When I Am Buying a House

We fell in love a month ago and have bought this little hundred-year old stone cottage.

It needs a lot of work, and a big can of Nandina-Be-Gone spray,

but it is loaded with charming details and has a very sound structure.

A porch with three stone arches, and a free-standing garage with a full apartment above. That will be the Composer's new office and studio space.

In this back view, the garage is on the left. The main house is just one story (that's the kitchen you see there). We'll rent the main house out, and use it as extra family housing when necessary. 

So much work to do! Dead trees came down today, new roof goes on later this week, and the painters are already hard at work on the wooden window trim. 

Inside pictures to come, and lots and lots of before and afters, so stay tuned.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Beautiful Morning at Alabama Chanin

The garments on display--the current collection--are beautiful shades of cream and ochre.

Someday I'll do this myself--the appliqué over a vintage quilt. Gorgeous!

Ice cream shades. Yum. And look at that subtly-curved side seam.

Sample garments to try on before you DIY. Brilliantly, all the smalls are gray, all the mediums are black, etc.

A look at the sample books, of course,

And one last bit of drooling over the elaborately embellished collection. Breathtaking stuff.

I shopped quite small this time--I'll save my major yardage purchases for a sale weekend. But I wanted to put together a project for Clara's Christmas present. I bought the Climbing Daisy stencil, realizing I couldn't face cutting that one out myself. So many little petals. She'll make it up by embroidering it with cotton tape. 

Artful botanical things: gladiolas on the front desk, and galvanized steel tubs of reeds outside.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Weekend in Alabama

The Composer and I are off on a short trip away to Florence, Alabama which is home, as you may know, to the Alabama Chanin jersey company. We'll be hitting The Factory pretty hard tomorrow.

Tonight there was just time for a bountiful dinner at Yumm, an Asian restaurant. We were full of plans to go to Odette, but it was closed for renovations and we will miss it, sad face.

I couldn't believe how much food the Composer ordered (and ate). Then we strolled around the University of Northern Alabama campus, which was beautifully lit.

Jersey. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Very Good Year

Turning out to be a red-letter year for us.

FELIX AND MOLLY ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Summer Evening, Seven O'Clock

It was hot today! We swam in the late afternoon, and I put off my grocery store trip until after dinner. The girls and I are headed out to camp in the morning, so we needed things for chicken salad and rice crispy treats and etc.

Back on Monday!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Oil Painting: Farm Field

I went crazy and did something that wasn't a bouquet of flowers.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Felix and His Banjo

When I finished picking the garden tonight I heard a banjo out on the porch. Felix was entertaining Daisy's new Buff Orpington rooster, who remains in seclusion in the front yard until his health is certain.

Anyway, I went inside for the camera, because this is Felix's last evening at home for several months. In the morning he's off to the far-away lands where he's building a company.

Although I understand he'll be stopping in the Northeast for a few days on his way out.

I'll enjoy coming back to these pictures while he's gone. And apparently I'm not the only one who likes him.

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