Saturday, August 31, 2013

Log Cabin Quilt Top: Zinnias Going to Seed

What's catching my eye this summer? The particular yellow of the cornstalks in the still-green gardens. Other things are still growing, but they're done for the year, punctuating the vegetable rows with their definite golden-brown.

The zinnias want to go to seed, too, if I don't cut them every day. 

Pieced in deep red, pink, yellow, and natural linen.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Felix Loses

It never fails--when Felix comes home from school he engages in a battle with the couch, and loses every time.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shelf Full of Milk Glass

Assorted sizes and shapes, and especially textures, of milk glass. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Standing Date with Daisy

It's the last part of the summer, when no one has the time or inclination to swim except for Daisy and me. We have a standing pool date for 4:15 every afternoon, when it's shady enough to skip the sunscreen. We have a lot of races, slap at wasps with the wacky noodles, then come inside to cook dinner.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Alabama Chanin Couching: Chlorophyll Splendor

This is the simple six-gore tank dress from Alabama Studio Style.  Made up in Alabama Chanin cotton jersey in a single layer.

The neckline is finished with green glass bugle beads in a parallel whipstitch pattern, and the armholes are simple thread whipstitching.

The entire skirt, front and back, is the "Bloomers" stencil pattern in a very intense green. Each leaf shape is outlined in couching. I cut a bunch of half-inch wide strips of leftover jersey and pulled them into thin "ropes". It's such a great way to use up scraps. I couched the ropes around the leaf shapes, and the little accent shapes in between I outlined in bugle and seed beads.

 If you don't like green things, you won't like this dress. But I do!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Working on My White Bathroom

Over the tub now, a mountain scene! A nice, big, paint-by-number from the thrift store. I popped it out of the frame and plan to mount a branch on the wall above it. I have a hard time selling this to my husband, but he'll learn to live with it.

The windows in here are so out of square ("handmade" is my mother's term), that each curtain only fits its particular window. So I've embroidered "West" and "East" on the two curtains to tell them apart.

Such a tiny room, it's hard to back up and get a picture. But you get the idea: white.

Friday, August 23, 2013

In Which I Note Differences Between My Two College Students

 Clara left for school having worked her way methodically down her list of preparations, from the neatly bagged ingredients for tea loaves to be baked in the dorm (above), to laundry detergent, to a custom mending kit with the right colors of thread.

On the other hand, Felix got himself off to school for his senior year while we were gone, catching a ride with a friend. Today he called and asked if we could bring him a bed, and maybe a mattress too.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bright August Morning

Monday, August 19, 2013

Clara's Knitting: Linen Apron

From an issue of Jane Austen Knits, Clara's linen apron.
She did the whole thing on our two-week trip to Germany.

The bib is a lovely wheat pattern, and the bottom of the skirt is deep lace. The straps  cross in back (not shown) and attach to a waistband (Clara added buttons).

I think if she were doing doing it over she'd make the bib wider, but it's still really pretty, and yes, washable.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Light in His Eyes

Felix comes home tomorrow after first a semester in Peru, then a summer working with at-risk kids in NY. We're ready for some of that sunshine, and for some of the many facts he will share with us about birds, life on Mars, possibilities for public transport, and the redemption of Detroit. As well as why he should buy a 3D printer, go to Madagascar, and plan a year of travel by blimp.

I didn't mention this at the time, but last winter he was chosen over 1700 other students as the outstanding rising senior at his school within the university. It's that light in his eyes.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Such a Fresh Morning

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Slow Backroads Day

The Composer and I had the day together and decided to spend it driving slowly around back roads.

Stopping for stone churches and anything else that looked interesting.

Apple tree in a churchyard. No, we didn't steal any. I don't think they were quite ripe.

We never could figure out what these bunker-like structures are in the middle of nowhere. The Composer shot down my theory of nuclear warhead storage. What does he know?

Kind of like being back in Germany.

An evening in mountain air.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Turquoise Train Case, and Carol's Bears

I was at least twice-lucky on our camping trip--not only did Carol take the kids to the amusement park while I stayed at camp "working" at fixing dinner, I got to go to some thrift stores as well. And lastly, the black bears went through Carol's trash, not mine. Ah, she's my hero.

I would offer her the gorgeous train case I found, but Daisy's already claimed it. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bungalow Aprons: Is This Pattern the Holy Grail?

I'm currently slightly obsessed with the "Diane" Kimono Dress and here's why. It doesn't use any zippers or buttons, which makes it super fast and easy, but it still fits well because of the drawstring waist. More importantly, when made up in the just-below-the-knee length, it turns out to be the perfect bungalow apron! It hits all the marks--a comfortable fit, made from crisp cotton, short sleeves, and it has that indefinable 1910-20's air.

 I think it looks very lounge dress-y in the longer length shown above, but the shorter length is definitely happening! Compare here with the real thing. See, you can do the contrast inset belt and hem, and sleeve trim. All that's different is the crossover front.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Floating Gingham Patch Scrap Quilt


I thought this crib quilt was about the two strips of deep-toned scraps I put together with natural linen. But when I picked it up from its stay at my mother's house, I found out that it was actually about the two charming "floating patches" of gingham she had added to the edges. These quilts have a life of their own!

I'm headed out to camp with the girls tomorrow, but hope to put this in the shop on Saturday. If anyone's interested before then, they're welcome to email. I'll be asking $125, since it's loaded with hand-quilting. See you in a few days!

Monday, August 05, 2013

"I Learned from My Mother"

"I learned from my mother . . . that everything at home can be made more beautiful with some thought, a little care, and extra attention."

--Alexandra Stoddard,  Daring to Be Yourself

Friday, August 02, 2013

Ferns for the Bathroom

This is the shelf above the tub in my newly-tiled bathroom. It used to have an array of vintage rosy tins on it but I'm strongly drawn towards a more severe aesthetic (tuberculosis sanitarium) now that I have this gorgeous floor.

Hence the spindly ferns, which I literally dug out of an outside plant and plopped into milk glass bowls. We'll see how they do. If they continue to look scary I'll spring for cute fluffy ones at the home store, but somehow I'm rooting for these.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Daisy's Beetles

David was over swimming with Daisy today, and they sorted through the skimmer baskets as usual looking for whatever, including several of these brilliant beetles. Frankly I was surprised when Daisy fished them out and (not so surprising) mounted them on felt-lined boards in pink and blue.

David is good for her; he brings out the bug-handling, water-gun-toting, pretend-burgling side of Daisy we wouldn't see otherwise.

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