Friday, August 27, 2010

Box of Happy

Not too long ago, a friend and I decided to do a trade. I had some things and she had some things and we agreed to send the things to each other. O.k., first let me say that this was an awesome idea! Secondly, oh what a box of happy I received! I am overwhelmed with silly happy goodness.

That gorgeous fabric is just screaming to become something wonderful for Pony Girl. It is from Nic of luzia pimpinella and it's called LOVEchirp, so lovely! And ribbon trims of happiness in all their glory.

Some goodness for Pony Girl included a much adored polka dotty tea set...

...the cutest wind up mama duck with 3 ducklings, which seem to have waddled off somewhere unknown, and a super fantastic skirt of Nancy's Studio Tantrum Laguna Skirt design.

And for me, more stupendous gifts of the vintage persuasion! Check out this vintage strawberry cannister, which looks to be from a soda fountain...

How cool is that? Also this beautiful vintage purse which now proudly hangs in my bedroom!

Oh, there was also some chocolate but, you can imagine what has become of that.

Dearest Nancy, I can not thank you enough. Everything was so perfectly perfect and brought us such joy! I am truly blessed with amazing friends. Such a lucky lady am I!

I hope you all have a groovy weekend, I'm off to contemplate a first day of school dress for the one and only Pony Girl.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Best Laid Plans

I want to thank everyone for your lovely comments on my last post. Your praise of the shirt, the pie and your supportive words about our girl going off to school. You are indeed the best sort of folks.

I had big plans for this weeks blog posts... more stitching, sharing of a most amazing gift received in the mail and other groovy things. Alas, what is that saying..."we make plans and god laughs"? So...yeah.

While things have gone topsy-turvy this week, I'm gonna roll with it and see where it all leads. And if I get stuck, I might just play with my food.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hello Monday - Remake, Remodel

In these last days of summer, there is a sense of impending change. Change in the weather, change in the routine and change in life as we know it. Soon, our little Pony Girl will be entering a whole new phase of her young life...Kindergarten! It's hard to believe that it has come so fast. In keeping my mind away from thinking how quickly she is growing up, I am busying my hands at the task of school clothes making. Sewing for me makes things better, helps me make a little sense of this fast moving world.

This little number was made using Sew Liberated's Woodlands Shirt Pattern, which I have seen popping up all over the place on the web. Cute no? For the fabric I used this lovely lightweight printed linen (that was wonky like crazy to work with). The linen came from a skirt and top that my mother passed onto me thinking I could make something of it. The pieces sat for a long time and when I got this pattern I knew I could finally cut into them for a complete re-fashion.

Some notes on the Woodlands Shirt pattern:
The pattern is fairly easy with straight forward instruction for the most part.
If you plan to use the pattern I highly recommend checking measurements carefully, as it seems to be geared for a more petite child. Pony Girl is 5 with a stocky build, she wears a US size 6 in most store bought clothes with the sleeve length running a bit long. I traced the size 7 from the pattern (for room to grow) but, cut the sleeve and bodice length a size 6 thinking they would be plenty long. I should have checked the length of these pieces before cutting. The end result is that the sleeves and bodice were a bit short for my liking. Overall though, I will make this shirt again with the right lengths, I think it's a quick and versatile pattern for fall. It's pretty darn cute too.

In my last post I mentioned the possibility of pie, so here it is, a perfectly peachy peach pie! Made by the Engineer no less. He offered to take over pie duty after he heard me whinging about how I had done the laundry, dishes, watered the garden, made breakfast muffins...all before he had even gotten out of bed. He makes a damn fine pie I must say!

Oh how I do love pie!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm A Winner!

I've been meaning to post about what a winner I am for a bit now and I'm finally getting 'round to it. These days it seems that I am so far behind, that I have actually gotten ahead of myself. I have also been speaking in nonsense for days now.

So right, I recently won a giveaway over at Fox's Lane of a beautiful bundle of vintage sheet pieces! Aren't they lovely? Thank you Kate! Now I get to make something sweet with them.

Wait, there's more! One of my favorite blog sites is The Yard Art Game, I always get a much needed chuckle when I visit. Well, recently there was a giveaway and I won! I know, I know, I'm on a roll! I won this super duper cool solar powered Glow Stick! Check it out.

It charges during the day and then at night it puts on a little light show, and changes colors!!! I am way more enchanted by it than is perhaps "normal" but, I just can't help it. I am very entertained by such things plus, I am now prepared for my very own backyard eco-friendly RAVE.

Look at the colors!
It also does green but, I didn't capture that on film.

Right now it is placed next to the chicken coop so that the chooks have their very own nightly light show, maybe I should pipe in some Pink Floyd so that they can have the full experience.

Thank you to my generous gifters, you have made my days (and nights) a little sweeter.

As for you dear readers, I think that you are winners too! Have a grand weekend and I shall return with stories of stitchery and perhaps even pie!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Fresh hand made sheets of pasta. We love our pasta! The deep yellow color comes from our eggs.

The best fresh ingredients. I love having everything ready to go in front of me. Then I can pretend that I have my own cooking show, he he.

Ready for the oven.

Now Eat!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hello Monday - Heat Wave

We here in our spot on the planet, are full on with the sweaty palms and the stifling sleepless. A heat wave that presses down and makes tidying the house about the least desirable task there are ants in the kitchen and a general flush of messy. The garden scolds with it's fried blooms that need to be discarded and the lettuce that has bolted tall as a 5 year old.

Frizzled dandelion fluff drops and rolls - making it's wishes that will come true in a dizzying multiplication, the chickens are lackluster burying themselves in the dusty shade, and popsicles are mandatory by mid-afternoon.

A constant serenade of fans singing "flup flup flup" fills the little green cottage, syrupy peach juice fingerprints call the ants to new territory, and the Buddha Cat keeps infiltrating the cool dark of the basement where he does bad things.

Sheets are bleaching in the sun, fading vibrant florals to whispery hues, the red bucket gets filled again and again to quench thirsty new trees, and the tomato plants are big as buildings.

By 5 we are overtaken by a sticky ennui and a general malaise, a lethargy of spirit leads to absurd negotiations between the small grump and a tether-less mama (it couldn't have been me who was heard to say, "I've lost my tether altogether and don't know where to find it"). But then it is certain that cool showers are miracles at 6 in the evening. We call truce and set to the industry of keeping up with the ice demands, outside we will wait out the dusk into the night - whispering incantations to summon a breeze.

We'll sit quiet, unmoving - until one of us says, "It's supposed to be hotter tomorrow."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just Showing Off

My gorgeous sister!

photo by Yona Appletree

Click here for a listen. I recommend the song "Carry Me"!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Festival on the Farm

Well, it took me a day or two longer to get back into the swing of things after our Festival adventure than I had planned. There were 4 days worth of dusty funk to wash off of everything and a brief interlude with a flu bug to get over. Still, I am ready to report that we had a swingin' time! As always, it was one of the best parts of the summer by far.

Our compound was way back in the far right corner of the car camping area, a bit of a walk from the main stage area but protected on two sides by the woods. We start with a core group of friends and family and usually wind up with some wanderers joining up during the weekend. It's such a wonderful group of people to camp with. Each team plans a breakfast or dinner for the group. Let me tell you, this bunch can cook! We eat incredibly well with beautiful meals that are pleasing to the eye as well as the stomach.

Of course it is a weekend filled with music, wonderful music. It's hard for me to pick out my favorites. Many bands were caught on the fly by as I was chasing Pony Girl through the woods or on our way to see Lucky the horse.

Frazey Ford from The Be Good Tanyas was a favorite of many, Blind Boy Paxton seemed too accomplished and soulful for his years, Heartless Bastards rocked, and the headliner Bonnie Prince Billy (Will Oldham), was a pleasure to see and put on a very animated show! With over 40 bands it's hard to catch them all or choose the best. One of my favorite shows was Michael Hurley in the woods, an intimate gathering in a magical setting to listen to a legend.

Another enchanted musical moment was 'round the campsite, several of us playing and singing, with a random banjo/mandolin/guitar player wandering by to sit in. Sweet!

For the kids there is a circus, with hula hooping, stilt walking, juggling, puppet shows, crafts, and high wire acts! So awesome and not just for the kiddos.

Besides the amazing amount of good music, Pickathon is a festival that is unique in many other aspects. It's commitment to being as sustainable as possible went up a notch this year. In a joint effort with Kleen Kanteen, the makers of stainless steel water bottles, they produced reusable stainless steel cups for the beer gardens. You purchase a cup for $5.00, permanent markers and stickers were provided for personalizing, and you use your cup for the remainder of the festival.

A washing station and drying rack were available so that you could leave your cup next to the bar and retrieve it for your next beverage.

This eliminated over 35,000 plastic cups from going into a landfill! Along with that, no bottles of water were sold at the festival. It was announced that you must bring your own water container. Certified drinking water was brought in and there were filling stations throughout the property. You just fill up your containers at no extra cost, perfect. This eliminated over 15,000 plastic water bottles from being chucked into landfill! More solar power panels were added this year as well.

The food vendors were fantastic, though admittedly we did not need to use their services much due to our camp kitchen. All food at the festival is sold at "fair market value" meaning, prices may not be jacked up to outrageous cost like so many festivals. There was much organic, vegan and vegetarian options, a little something for everyone.
Oh, I almost forgot...biking to the festival was highly encouraged and many people did just that!

All in all, this is one of the most special festival events that I have been a part of. The sense of community and wellbeing is overwhelming. A perfect family tradition. There is a bit of bittersweet sentiment when it comes time to pack up camp and go home. We look forward to next year, which will be our 7th year going as a family! Thanks to all the bands, Pendarvis Farm, the organizers, and the countless volunteers that make this happen!

Whew! That was a long post and I still have yet to see the bottom of the laundry pile. I'm off to tackle it. Take care my friends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Black Prairie - Red Rocking Chair

I just saw this and couldn't wait to post it. This video is from the band Black Prairie. The music is haunting and lovely. Our dear friend Jon Neufeld (guitarist) is the one with the Axe. It made me laugh, which only sounds mean if you don't know him. Dark and menacing he is not! I love it. They will be playing at the festival this weekend so, I thought it appropriate to show you the video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Bluebird of Happiness is Tickled Pink

It's been a mad week, much rushing and to-doing and wondering where the time goes. Oops, there it goes slipping out the back door! The next day and a half is all about preparations for our annual music festival and camp out called, Pickathon. You can read about the last two year's adventures here.

In the midst of the madness, I realized last night that I had not made Pony Girl her happy festival dress for this year. Really, I could have let it go since last year's dress still fits and there is a closet full of happy clothes that would do. But you see, I'm a manic sewing mama, and I just could not let sleeping fabric lie. So off I trundled into my basement...I mean studio, and began looking for inspiration.

I remembered a photo of a wee cutie I saw over at Foxs Lane, dressed in an awesome stripey number. In a flash of brilliance, I remembered some fabric strips I had already cut for some wayward quilt project that had gone astray. Some late night speed sewing...

...and Voila!
These photos look much better when clicked!
One Festival Express Skirt! Ready for dancing the days away.

The back...

All I did was sew together 4 inch X 17 inch strips with a 3/8" seam allowance until I got the fullness I wanted. Then I embellished with ribbons and some felt appliqué bluebirds and then sewed the final seam closed making a tube. I then gathered the top of the skirt to fit a separate waist band I made from 2 extra fabric strips. Insert elastic to fit and finished the hem with some pink eyelet trim. Easy Peasy! This fits to a size 6-7. Thanks Kate for the inspiration!

I am hoping to get some pictures of this skirt in action at the festival.
I will be back next week to tell you all about it and give you my new band picks.
Have a wonderful few days all!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hello Monday - We're Jammin'

Yes, it's more jam. This time, Marionberry. Marionberries are similar to Blackberries or Boysenberries and they make the most delicious jam, really! Deep purpley goodness. Yesterday we processed the berries, leaving our fingers stained and the kitchen steamy.

Any berries that were remaining after the jam fest, were put to work as a mash over vanilla ice cream. Pure summer taste!

While we have been spending most of our time out of doors, enjoying the summer tent and the garden, I have managed a wee bit of sewing craftyness. Most of it I can't show you (oh yes, quite the tease aren't I?). However, I have been working on a new pattern for a shopping bag.

And once I get a few kinks worked out, I'm hoping to provide the pattern and a tutorial in the next couple of weeks!

Here is a little extra Monday goodness for you - Sherri of Little House in Paradise is having a contest! It's all about cookbooks and you have until August 12 to enter. Here are the details. Please pop on over to her lovely blog and tell her Lola sent you, she is just as nice as can be!

Happy Monday!