Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Secret Library

Sometimes I dream that there's a room in my house, or a building downtown, that I've never seen before. It's always a wonderful space, full of inspiration and creative potential.

It feels like I've found one in real life. You know, every day I take Daisy to town for half an hour of practice on the pipe organ at an old brick church. Last week I realized that there is an empty library room right there, with a big empty table, big windows full of sunlight and flowers, and absolute silence. I have pulled my notebook of poems out and gotten busy.

A dedicated time and place? That works.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

First Day with Lily

We did our first day of dog-sitting baby Lily and everything went SO well. She's much better behaved than any puppy I have known. I was cracking up at how soundly she slept when she finally crashed for a nap. I vacuumed about two feet from her head here.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Consistent August Palette

Today Clara's embroidery project exactly matched the flowers on the dining table.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Five Photos of a Collie Puppy

Felix and Molly have acquired a collie puppy named Lily.

She'll be staying with us on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

We've never had a dog around, but Daisy is fully in love.

Can't think why.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

An Electric Beauty

We've loved our manual typewriter in the past, but I was recently given something that outshines them all--an early electric model. Its awesomeness stems from the fact that the mechanism is still an individual key coming up and hitting the paper with a nice report--but it's POWERED. So crisp. So fine. Such a snap. And you can type really fast without the keys tangling. It's a dream.

This very machine was used for decades in the office of a teeny-tiny railway line that served our town and one town over. Back and forth, just the two end-stops. And now it's mine, thanks to the railway manager's daughter, who is a painting studio friend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Here's the Alabama Chanin Wrap Dress

Here's my take on the Alabama Chanin wrap dress I mentioned last week. I made it without any alterations and it is a good fit through shoulders, bust, waist, and hips, although there seems to be some extra fabric just under the bust which allows the front panel to hang too low. I've pinched a wedge-shaped piece out of it, and will sew it again with that change. That should make the bottom front hand evenly across. I'm not sure what the trouble is--a small ribcage maybe?

This is the mid-length, sewn in cheap jersey from Hobby Lobby. Earlier someone noted that the photos at AC make it look like there's a lot of extra fabric in this dress--there is not, actually. It is quite sleek, and nothing bunches up--at the same time, there's enough in the overlap to keep the dress from flying open. So that's good.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Ancient Path

"Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good is, and walk in it."

That's right, we're using a rotary landline as the main house phone. Fun to dial, and impervious to lightning.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

One-Man Band

"Does this make me look like a one-man band?" Clara asks as she heads out to teach piano . . . and cello . . . and violin.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Very Practical Sewing: New Napkins

Some *really* down to earth sewing--cloth napkins. We've been running low so I bought enough of this cheery print to make fifteen. That's a lot of little hems to press and then stitch, so I did it in very short sessions. After a week, they were all done.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Alabama Chanin's Wrap Dress

Having downloaded the pattern, I'm trying out this Alabama Chanin wrap dress. The instructions are over-optimistically sketchy, I think, especially for that bust dart. It can be hard to get the corner point to lie nice and smooth. But we shall see.

I'm on my second go-round, since my printer actually gave me a slightly shrunken version of the pattern. My usual size was a little dainty. Currently trying again.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Making Lotion

I accidentally checked out a library book on making your own bath and body products. It's called Little House Living and it's by Merissa Alink. I figured it was a decorating book but it's all about the magic of making these awesome things at home.

After reading some recipes, I realized I had most of the ingredients at hand, and I dove in. I made an eczema salve and sent it home with Felix whose skin is sensitive to the dust of gardening and home renovation. Still waiting for some feedback on that one. I do know that the moisturizing lotion I made for myself is the most effective skin treatment I've ever used. My skin feels like a baby's!

Also, have you smelled cocoa butter?
It's like living in chocolate land.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Laying Out the Squares

I got my fabric cut into strips, and all the blocks sewn up, and here they are laid out on the floor to be sewn together.

Clara and I got the top pieced on Saturday, and now the ball is in her court to add some embroidery--this will be a wedding gift for a friend of hers.

It's going to be Rose Window.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Shamrock, Thriving

I took my sad spindly indoor shamrock to a bigger pot and put it outside in deep shade for a couple of weeks. That's all it took to grow by leaps and bounds.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Tonight I Painted Cosmos

This is just a section of my larger painting, which isn't done yet.

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