Wednesday, March 28, 2012

::right now::

Right now, I am:

::preparing for a shower to celebrate my cousin's first baby and...

::enjoying our house and yard while it is in entertaining mode; ah! so clean and lovely ;-)

:: crafting something lovely for the expected baby girl and her mama.

:: loving the automatic scissor button on my machine! It was the deciding factor when I was picking my machine and I am so thankful I have it, especially when I applique lots of tiny separate pieces.

:: sharing our leftovers with our hens and...

:: collecting all the eggs we get in return... The longer days are adding up to many more eggs per day- hurray!

:: wishing I had practiced self restraint when I passed the Easter aisle at the grocery store... having a party is too easy an excuse for having yummies around!

:: noticing the signs of lovely spring weather... we are living outside these days!

:: anticipating some summer harvesting... see our tiny carrots? We love them roasted in some olive oil! We have added some metal buckets near our house for planters... we get so much more sun there than in our bigger garden area.

::right now:: inspired by soulemama.

Monday, March 26, 2012

do you see a pattern here?

 I was drawn to this chair as I was at Home Depot on a search (our craigs list folding chairs had succumbed to the elements after a few years... we decided to go with something more durable than wood)... There were several chairs to choose between, but I felt like this one was more "us". After a few moments I realized what it was that felt familiar ;-)

Do you have a pattern or image that starts showing up everywhere in your home? Something about these interlocking circles just feels right to me. Some quilters call this pattern "pumpkin seed"... Anna Maria Horner calls her print with this pattern "Cathedral"... whatever it is called, for some reason I just can't get enough!

Friday, March 23, 2012

ten minute shorts

The following is a post from summer of 2008... with the seasons changing these shorts are great! PERFECT for beginners or those needing some instant gratification:

this is sooo easy ... you've got to try!
this pic doesn't do them justice-- they are extremly cute! a light weight denim w/ a little scrap of quilting fabric for a pocket.

i found this post { } on a crafty blog i like to read. i took the 10 minutes (plus a little extra b/c i put a cute pocket on them) to make darling pair of shorts. she has a whole tutorial including how to pictures. check it out and make a pair.
i don't know if y'all have seen the pledge to 'buy handmade'... these were so easy, i'm tempted to take the handmade vow and make elisha's clothes next season... maybe i'll vow to make half, and buy the other 40% at consignment sales... we'll see...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

in need of a chuckle?

A friend shared a blog post with me all about chicken glasses... oh my! so funny-- please go over there and watch the hilarious newsreel from 1947. (Feeling thankful that our girls have yet to show their cannibalistic nature.)

On another note- I found something at a consignment sale that I had to get because it puzzles me, makes me laugh and I just had to share here... and I'm looking forward to the quizzical looks Anna gets when she wears these unusual shorts. Take a look:
So, tell me- when was the last time you saw pink lions wearing Santa hats on summer shorts??
I'm mystified... and it is rare that shorts mystify me.
Hope you got a laugh!

Monday, March 19, 2012

village cardigan tutorial

There may a cool spell yet... But, at the very least this cardigan is perfect for the chilly mornings and evenings during spring.
I have a passion for demystifying 'art'. I want to show my inspiration so that you can see how you too can find things that make you happy and then copy the parts you like ;-) As Mason Cooley says," Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation." I'm pretty sure I like the originals more than my version, but at least I can wear something close enough! These next two pictures are my darling darling inspirations!

from here
from here
I had to decide on a coastal village because I couldn't choose which inspiration to go with ;-) 
I photographed my process so that you can follow right along. I give a little more detail about the applique process in this tutorial.
I started with the water by cutting out a piece of Wonder-Under in the size and shape I wanted and then sketched with pencil the divisions between the waves. I was afraid that if I cut the waves apart and ironed them to fabric all at once they would get switched around and it would be a pain to fit them together again. So instead I cut out one wave at a time, ironed it to fabric, cut the wave out of the fabric and then placed it back in it's spot.

Once I finished the water I started on my little hillocks. I laid my Wonder-Under over the area I was going to cover and sketched it out while I could see through the paper exactly what size and shape would work best. It is important to remember lay the paper out with the rough adhesive side up or else everything will be mirror image when you iron your fabric.
Land and sea are ironed on-- now it's is time to add a boat and some homes...
See how I got the boat the right size and shape? It is really great to utilize the transparent nature of the wonder-under.
Adding rick rack ups the cute factor ten fold ;-)
Everything is laid out, now the pieces need to be stitched into place so that they peel off in the wash. I also added some finishing details like button windows, embroidery stitch doors, smoke coming from a chimney, and a tree trunk for those floating green tree tops in between the houses. I did all of that with my machine, but I like to add some hand stitching to give it a handmade presence.
You can see the washable maker I used to draw my clouds and primitive birds.
I stitched along the lines with embroidery floss....and...
Ta Da! All done!
*** a point to note when sewing a lot of woven fabric (i.e.-quilting cotton) onto stretchy knit: enough gaps need to be between the areas of applique to allow for some stretch and give. at first I was going to have my land and water pieces touching each other with no spaces, but luckily I tried it on before I sewed it down and realized that having all the woven fabric took away the stretch and I could no longer button it... it was too tight.***

Thursday, March 15, 2012

garden tour

I mentioned our big planting project in the previous post...I thought I'd give you a little tour. It's not all at it's best at the moment, but there are promises of loveliness up ahead. We did an overhaul to our front yard and when we do that much planting we try to save money by getting the small size plants and being patient as we wait for them to fill up their spaces.
One hundred and twenty five holes were dug (albeit, some very small-see note above), and now all our plants are tucked nicely into their beds with blankets of pine straw tucked under their chins ;-) What a satisfying feeling!
We enlisted the help of a landscape designer that we met at our community garden. After seeing the magical secret garden of her own yard we knew that Caroline could help us transform the straight row of box hollies that were original to our mid century house into a curvy inviting space with texture and interest that would make the outside of our house feel like our home. We are thrilled with the final product... and especially that she has encouraged designed things in such a way that it doesn't have to be "done". The layout lends itself to tucking a few plants here and there as we find new things we want to try. Another huge bonus of having her help is that she introduced us to many new delightful little friends. Would you like to meet a few?
This delicate dancing wisp of a ground cover is "Georgia Blue" Veronica. We can expect these sweet sweet blue flowers every spring... be still my heart!
 This little guy is called "Shorty Euphorbia" ... follow this link to see how funky it's chartreuse bloom will look.
You may be asking yourself, " why did she post a picture of dead sticks?!?" This may not look like much now, but oh, the anticipation I feel about it! It is an Incrediball Hydrangea... it will have white blooms that are 12 inches in diameter! That is HUGE.... I truly am giddy with excitement for this one!
This tiny little bit is an example of our thrifty (encouraging patience ;-) choices. I got these "American Halo" Hostas for $1 each(at the Growers Outlet--see resources at the end for a link). They are maybe 4 inches in diameter, but supposedly they will grow to 60 inches... may take a while, but you can't beat $1!
I have had a special spot in my heart for the mournful Lenten Rose. I am so thankful for a sweet friend who had them spreading around her yard... she invited me to dig up some for my yard. Gladly, thank you thank you! So obviously it is so fabulous when you get plants this way because they are free, but I love it for other reasons as well... It makes me think of my great grandmother who most likely got a lot of her plants by sharing with friends. I like to be reminded of days gone by, but I also love the connection you feel to plants that have lived with friends. It is just a different way to start a relationship than by stopping in at Lowes for whatever's on sale.
We have had Oak Leaf Hydrangeas everywhere we have lived... Andrew and I both grew up with them growing wild in our woods. The white blooms are so elegant and the leaves also add lovely fall color.
Ahh! It is so nice to be reaping the rewards of my fall planting! I've been telling you about what some of our plants will do as they grow and seasons change, but this is the glorious now.
I bought a huge bag of tulips at Costco and packed them into this bed under my pansies and parsley. The red tulips are in full bloom now, but we have a second act as well... Some apricot tulips will be following in a week or so.
Here are a few resources that may be helpful if you are in the area:
Atlanta Landscape Materials-- We had a delivery of screened amended topsoil delivered to mix in with the red clay to give our new plants a better environment. You can also pick up smaller loads in your own truck. This would be a much more economical way to fill raised beds than buying bags of dirt from Lowes.
Riggins Landscape Co.-- This is the company that Caroline and her husband (Darrell) run. She does the designing, but they can also do the installation if you don't share our love of playing in the dirt ;-)
Buck Jones Nursery-- A great nursery... they supply to retailers in the area, but are also open to the public. I think the plants I got from them were about one third less than they would've been at Pike's.
Growers Outlet-- A great spot in Loganville to get great prices($1 hostas!). A lot of times the plants aren't as mature, but the savings are worth it to me. They update their website daily so that you will know what is avaliable before making the drive.

*If you are waiting with bated breath for the tutorial I alluded to last week, I'm sorry. It is mostly ready, but for a variety of reasons it is not quite finished. When I get some good sunshine, time, and someone to photograph the sweater while it is worn I promise I will get that post out.*

Friday, March 9, 2012


Just a little peek at what my Instagram feed looks like  lately.
first salon experience

hobbitish lass

prelude to a peach

makin plans for makin

warm 'leave the door open' days don't mix with free range chickens! 


Twin egg: enormous with double yolk--- our first!

one hundred twenty-five holes to dig
... And this last one explains why my sweater tutorial isn't ready yet. I have been planting until after dark... up to my elbows in dirt and giddy with excitement over enjoying these chlorophyll filled friends over the years.