Monday, October 31, 2016

Head Above Water, Barely

Whew. This is just a busy, busy season. Travel, wedding, giant party, whole-house renovation, work. My idea is that all of it will be finished by January, and then I will sit down with Sister in my arms. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Eightieth Birthday

It was that time last weekend--my father in law's birthday. And this was a big one. Eighty.

We kept it on the quiet side, since my step-mother-in-law was still recovering from an ankle replacement. In fact, the most exciting moment of the evening was the stair climb.

I lifted the menu straight out of my 1936 cookbooks, which was fun. And I included some insights on the menus.

As is so often the case, the appetizer plates were the most interesting. I followed the cookbook to a tee, and served "radish roses, a mound of coleslaw, an olive stuffed with almond, an olive stuffed with celery, and three shrimps marinated in French dressing and served on a lettuce leaf."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Not That It Needed It

Today I borrowed the neighbor's power-washer and started in on the front deck. To my knowledge, it's never been washed in thirty-five years. It took a long time to do a little bit, so after a couple of hours I decided I'd do better working at my desk, billing for my time, and hiring a professional to do the rest. He'll be here Saturday morning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Walls in the Stone House

The living room is painted! Still waiting on the new slab of stone that will be the mantel above the gorgeous fireplace.

The small bedroom is painted! All that's left to do is hang some curtains and clean the floor.

The hallway is in the process of becoming Enchanted Forest Green. With lots of white closet doors.

The kitchen still looks like this, sadly, but will receive its subfloors this week. After that, it's full speed ahead with sheetrock repair and tile floors. The cabinets will arrive in mid-November.

And turning back around, here's the view out onto the front porch!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Last Apronful of Tomatoes

Clara and Daisy and I went to New York this weekend to meet up with our kids there--it used to be the boys, but now it's Giles and Tia and Felix and Molly--Felix was able to join us for the weekend. Actually, we were a secondary consideration. He was there to see Molly, and boy was he happy.  Bella couldn't get off work but plans to make the trip in December.

We met Molly's parents, shopped for bridesmaids' dress fabrics, and looked for special tea and chocolate croissants. 

We got back really late last night and Clara had to plunge right into teaching her classes at 8:00. Daisy and I eased into things a little slower, and I found time to check the garden for one last apronful of tomatoes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Foliage in a Gray and White Room

Foliage looks good anywhere.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sister, No Caption

Monday, October 17, 2016

The End of the Work Day

Afternoon light; time to cook dinner.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Palette for the Stone House

Oh, it's fun to see these coming together! From top to bottom (and these are all Benjamin Moore):
Decorator White--for all the trim, and for the kitchen.
Green Tint--for the master bedroom and the hall bathroom.
Gray Cashmere--for the living room.
Wild Aster--for the small bedroom and for the lady's bathroom (clawfoot tub).
Enchanted Forest--for the hallway, which runs from the front door straight back to the kitchen, and the tiny study.

Joys of small-town life--Daisy's piano teacher is doing all the interior painting and acing it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fun with Linen and Stitches

 I'm thoroughly enjoying just making things up on my new quilt. Random colors, random patterns, and apparently a constant dropping of thread. I've had people call me after two separate meetings saying they found floss under my chair and would get it to me. The hazards of quilting on the go, I guess.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

First a Quilt, Then a Painting

This is the first of at least two abstracts I'm working on that come straight from my quilts.

You can see that the painting is much warmer overall, because of the red-brown underpainting. I'm not sure I like that, and I may try again with a cool underpainting.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Before the Reupholstering

The girls and I found this couch a couple of weeks ago (for the stone house, of course). It's very old, dating from the 1920s, and used to be horsehair! It has some very sturdy springs.

I started the reupholstering adventure today by taking the fabric off the bottom and back. Bottle green cotton velvet coming up.

Friday, October 07, 2016

A Spur-of-the-Moment Quilt Top: Urban Renewal

Like someone who eats the whole package of cookies so it will stop tempting them, today I pieced this whole quilt so it wouldn't sit there distracting me from things I should be doing. I'm calling it Urban Renewal.

I had the pieces cut out--it's simply garments cut into as big of rectangles as I could get out of each shape. If you've ever taken a random assortment of rectangles and tried to piece a quilt, you will know what a miracle it was that this went together like a dream with no measuring at all. The force was with me.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Before School

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

White Birds: Two for One

New for me: a double-decker rendition of the ubiquitous white bird. 

Monday, October 03, 2016

Sea of Chairs

Clara and I have been scouting around your junkier antique stores for affordable furniture for the stone house. A while ago we found a dropleaf dining table and six chairs--all orange wood and terrible fabric on the seats.

It's been a primer-and-three-coats kind of project, but we're to the point where we cover the seats with ticking now. 

The rising tide of furniture here is going to swamp us all if we can't get some of this into the other house soon.

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