Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello Monday - Neutrality

Hello lovelies. It's Monday again, and the week ahead looks to be made for diving in and tackling long overdue projects. I will be going deep down into the basement of chaos and turning the lot of it on it's ear. I will attempt to reach a Zen state and move through with efficiency and try not to panic. Aspiring to neutrality, I will temper my sentimentality and soften my harsh critic. Hopefully by weeks end, a tidy and much more serene basement will emerge. This will require complete immersion in the task at hand so, I bid you fair adieu until next week, may it be a fine one.

1. Linen lavender heart, 2. Pine Cones, 3. Knitster, 4. Setting the Table, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. 255:365 Childhood Is a Short Season, 8. Lailah's Shimmery Poncho, 9. Linen Rickrack

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Like moths to a grain

Fall has fallen - bringing gray skies, apples, coats, puddle jumpers and moths. It seems to be a particularly bad year for the moths here at the little green cottage, (well, perhaps good for the moths but, bad for us). They have been sneaking in, fluttering about, finding their way into our closets, nibbling on sweaters and nesting in linens. Oh just the wee ones, so quick and spazzy as they drunkenly flap around the place. Try as one might to capture them, they seem to multiply lickity split so that when one is caught, five more find hidey holes.

I made the heart sinking discovery the other day that they had infiltrated my kitchen cupboards en-mass. Oh yes, I had learned from previous battles waged, that certain foods must be stored in sealed tight containers, lids battened down and double checked. This year however, they have learned a few new tricks those pesky devils! A well sealed plastic container seems no match for their wiles, they have managed to make their way into the most imperceivable of crevices.

Surely not the raisins! Yes, the raisins, the banana chips, the pecans, and of course the corn meal. Oh it made me ill to have to chuck the stuff. So, this morning I set about moth proofing the pantry. I store most of my regularly used grains and beans in glass jars and they seem to fair much better against the invasion, my mission was to put everything in glass! Fortunately my grandmother left me well stocked in vintage canning jars so, I set to it. For the jars without proper rubber seals, I placed regular canning lids on top. There can't be the slightest whisper of space for the moths to wiggle through, for I have seen what they can do, these ninja moths.

And I must say, all these jars of food stuffs look kind of gorgeous to me. Take that ninja moths!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Now that the small one is busy in school, cramming her wee head full of knowledge, I have my week days to potter about in the little green cottage. So anxious was I to fill up my days with the long overdue tidying and organizing, that my daily lists have become long treatise on herculean tasks. Alas, the number of ticked boxes in relation to un-ticked boxes has become a bit disheartening. I have been bit over ambitious and to be honest, each task seems to open up a whole new can of worms in the process. So...

I've been making a few somethings instead.

Hand printed cotton Treat Bags, perfect for the season and not just for the kiddos. I had a grand time making these fun, sturdy and washable totes.

With school on the brain, I also sewed up some gorgeous hand printed linen into pencil cases like these...

This morning I popped them all into the shop! It was such a good feeling to be putting some new stock up on the shelves after the summer hiatus. I think now I might just reward myself with a cup of java and a home made brownie, and go visiting my favorite blogs!

So, what's new with you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Year of Living A Challenge of the Utmost Kind

Today is the official end to my year of only buying handcrafted or second hand goods for my home and closet, otherwise known as "A Challenge of the Utmost Kind". This was all set into motion by the lovely Dottie Angel, who had to twist my arm just the smallest bit to get me to join up.

I must say that after this year, I believe it was a satisfying study in how simply we do live our lives here in the little green cottage. It also made me mindful and aware of the little impulse buys we don't give much thought to, how much we really don't need. I have been the recipient of many wonderful gifts from family, friends, and those blog buddies of the utmost kind. I have mended and made do, I have purchased a few amazing handcrafted items from the most talented of folks, I have made so many things myself for my family and home, and I feel good about the choices I have made. However, I am in desperate need of socks!

Whilst I could ramble on, philosophizing on the true meaning of this challenge; I think instead, that I will just go on living simply and being mindful. Always trying to appreciate what a blessing it is that we have so much and that we have each other.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lay of the Land

Well, we've just about made it through our first full week of school and I think we are getting the hang of it. We now know where all the restrooms are, the gym, and have navigated the cafeteria with aplomb. I am starting to get the hang of packing lunches, sorting school clothes and going through all the papers that come home at the end of the day.

Pony Girl's first day was a bit overwhelming for both of us. When I picked her up, she had a faintly dazed look about her, glasses askew on her sweet face, sweater dragging behind her and dizzily making her way through the throng of milling children and anxious parents. On the ride home she proudly exclaimed, "I only cried 3 times mama, 'cause I missed you so much!" She then re-enacted her lamentations for me, all with subtle changes in desperation and posture. I asked if she made any friends and she told me yes, their names however, were not forth coming. She did inform me that she "loves monkey boy," (apparently a boy in her class who as of yesterday, remains named only "Monkey Boy").

She is not divulging too much information concerning her school time activities but, has reported that her "teacher is quite nice", that the music teacher is "very musical", and that there have been no tears since Monday afternoon.

I do believe we are getting the lay of the land and that our routines will be second nature very soon. Thanks again for all the encouraging comments, they helped a lot!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Creative Space

It's been ages since I played along with "My Creative Space". Since I am feeling a little creative today, I thought it was high time.

I am loving linen. I am playing with prints.

I will be visiting all the amazing creativity over here, and you should too!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vintage Bee

Well, it's our third day of school and I promise to report our adventures soon but, right now I want to talk about a bee. Yes, a wee buzzy bee in my bonnet ever since these lovelies arrived at my door from the equally lovely Kate. It didn't take me too long to decide what to make of them though, the actual making was in bits here and there.

Sometimes sewing keeps me sane, sometimes it is a meditative exorcise and a peaceful sanctuary, where I can quiet my mind to the stresses of the day and focus in a singular manner that brings a bit of joy and satisfaction.

As I was carefully pressing and cutting, I thought about the interesting journey these bits of fabric had been on in their lives. Their most recent being from across the universe (o.k. from another hemisphere) having passed through the hands of another making mama and sent to me. I felt quite a connection while working with the fresh and floral scenery, I felt encouraged and happy whilst sewing my seams...

...and this is what I made.(go ahead, click the pictures, you know you want to)

I used the pattern for the Insa Skirt from the book "Sewing Clothes Kids Love", also available separately from Farbenmix. I added some vintage sheet stash of my own and everything but the thread and label is vintage.

The back...

I absolutely love how it turned out, I really enjoyed the making, and I love that I felt connected to the person who sent me the fabric and the persons responsible for the pattern. What an amazing thing this bloggy world is. Don't you think?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hello Monday - Thanks

today I'm just stopping in for a minute to say hi and to thank you. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you are the best bunch of folks! I was touched and amazed by all the sweet comments you sent my way last week. With our anniversary and the first day of school, you all said such lovely things and made my heart so skippy happy! I read every comment (sometimes twice) and it really makes my day better to see your kind and encouraging words.

We are still settling in to our new routine and I think an adjustment period is inevitable. Since I have been busy with this adjusting, I have not been able to visit you all or reply to comments nearly as much as I'd like. I'm hoping I can pick up the pace soon. Please know that you are in my thoughts and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love!

I will be back soon with more shenanigans.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Moves

Another school dress made to her very specific order. She chose the fabric and ribbon and wanted something "not too fussy". She is smitten and declared it good for showing off her new moves!

gif animator

I used the pattern "Tini" by Farbenmix. I added a couple of inches to the Tunic version to make the dress. A very easy pattern and always loved by the Pony Girl.

Tomorrow is the First Day of School!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lucky Number 7

Seven years ago today, I went to the best wedding ever!


...and The Engineer's.

Thanks to our amazing friends and our wonderful families, it truly was "The Best Day Ever!"

And thanks to you my love, my friend, we have turned that one brilliant day into 7 years of a wonderful life together.

Happy Anniversary my sweet! I love you so dearly.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Peace, Love and Giant Pants

this is a click happy post, click away!

I decided my maudlin approach to the coming Autumnal season wasn't doing me any good. It was time to take action and squeeze out whatever left-over summer giddiness I could into my graying environment. Taking a last taste of summer from a bag of peaches, turning them into a cobbler and promising that I would embrace whatever may come. As the cobbler came out of the oven; perfuming the house with summer sweetness, the sun came out from behind the clouds and gave me a feeling of peace, love and understanding.

Contributing to this state of groovitude, was the fact that I was also riding a small wave of blissed out satisfaction from finishing up a dress for Pony Girl. A dress that had gone from a twinkle in my minds eye, to paper pattern, to completed garment in under 3 hours. A dress that was no doubt created under the influence of the music on the stereo and the incense I was burning to cover up the cat smell in the basement.

Using up some scraps of quilting cotton from my grandmother's stash, I whipped up a little number just to see what I could see. I give you the Holly Hippie Dress...

So named, because it hints of vintage Holly Hobbie and smacks of Happy Hippie. Pony Girl fell head over heels for it and pronounced it "Beautiful!" As you can see, I was still holding onto summer but, it can be worn with a long sleeve Tee and tights... to be seasonally diverse.

I was still feeling mellow, when I found myself with a couple of sewing hours yesterday afternoon. I felt fond of Fall and put on the AM station I'd been listening to before; this song came on and I thought, 'O.k. break out the soft cord in muted tones and make a pair of "Natural Born Tree Hugger Pants ©".'...

(Pony Girl, from the time she could stand, has always been a passionate tree hugger and conversationalist. There are times it takes us ages to walk two blocks when every tree must be hugged and chatted up. "Oh, it's so nice to see you. I missed you. So, tell me how you've been. You look so beautiful.")

...A baggy legged, free form pant, simple, honest and good for brisk, bare-branched days. Well, there is truth to the saying "too much of a good thing." Drafting under the influence is tricky. Perhaps all the good vibes had gone to my head and clouded my judgement, made me feel invincible, cocky even. I tuned in and dropped out. I went wild and went free hand! Now that I look back I see, there were warning signs. Turns out, it was "Three for Thursday" on the AM radio. Turns out, Simon and Garfunkel had just gotten started. When this song played, I remember thinking, 'these look a little big.' I dismissed it choosing not to doubt, reminding myself to "Be here now." I kept on, hand printing wee trees and leaves, I was swept up in being a bridge over troubled water, stitching things together, making good.

I worked as if in a trance, sparks flew from my top stitching, all was done but for hemming and a few embellishments. I held them up to the light to have a look see and I heard, "Hello darkness my old friend...". Suddenly, it was all too clear; what I held before me was a serious buzz kill in the form of a pair of giant pants. They were tried on and hilarity gave us the giggle fits. When Elvis Costello asked, "What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?", he obviously had not seen these giant pants. Ah, well...I wont let it get me down. By the time Pony Girl is in Jr. High, corduroy culottes will be all the rage, right?

Well folks, I've done worked my 60's love fest theme to the bone and all I am saying is...give peace a chance but, lose the giant pants.

Have a groovy weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


"It is a sad moment when the first phlox appears. It is the amber light indicating the end of the great burst of early summer and suggesting that we must now start looking forward to autumn. Not that I have any objection to autumn as a season, full of its own beauty; but I just cannot bear to see another summer go, and I recoil from what the first hint of autumn means."
- Vita Sackville-West

I must admit to a certain melancholy, with the shift came gray and rain and I am not altogether prepared for the fall. I feel a bit panicked concerning the unripe tomatoes and the sugar pumpkins. Sad for our doomed apples and us, suddenly thrust into layers and socks and closed toed shoes.

The summer so short, and I promise I was not complaining of the Heat Wave when it came, only describing it. I'd welcome one more. Still, there is much to do, where sad faces don't carry much weight and it's best to move on...

So, there is back to school sewing and the garden that couldn't wait, must - in it's soaked tendrils be patient.

Soon, when it cools even more, there is much to look forward to. Fumbling with yarn, drinking hot cocoa, hiding in cozy blankets, all worthwhile pursuits indeed. I am just not quite ready yet.