Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Annie Does Etsy

For months Annie was asking me to please start an Etsy shop for her.  It would be called Cute Conference. It would be full of cute things that she makes.  It would allow her to earn money. 

We finally opened the shop a few weeks ago. We made some stuff for it and I took the pictures and listed it (tedious).  And then I breathed a sigh of relief that I could move on to making stuff *I* want to make!

She made her first sale quickly--thanks to a law school friend who has two little girls. 

If you're in the mood very Very Handmade bookmarks or felted flower clips, Cute Conference is the place for you.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Coyote Season

Well, it's calving season here.  Which means it's also coyote season.

Tonight as I was tucking the children into bed my husband said: "coyotes! and they're close." 

We opened the deck door.  Indeed, they were close--they were in one of the cow fields.  

"Do you think they're going after a calf?" my husband asked.  He barely finished his sentence before I was exclaiming "that's exactly what they're trying to do!" He ran out onto the deck and started making noises as I thundered down the stairs with a flashlight, and then out the basement door to the backyard, to shout and shine lights. The coyotes quieted. 

At that moment I saw that my cousin's truck was already making its way through the dark field; he'd heard them, too.  He parked and worked his way around part of the perimeter of the huge field, shining his light.  I heard his rifle fire only once.   He continued around part of the perimeter, and eventually made his way back to his truck in the dark. I'll text him tomorrow morning to see if he lost a calf. I sure hope not. 

Did I mention that two weeks ago Annie and I were hanging out on the porch in broad daylight and watched a skunk saunter to the neighbor's chicken run....and get inside? We quickly alerted our neighbor--not only to protect the chickens, but because their children were playing nearby, and the skunk was probably rabid. Our neighbor shot it quite neatly.  

We joke that for a quiet rural life, we do have our share of excitement...thanks to the varmints. :) 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

This afternoon my husband was watching me sew in our schoolroom with the poor task lighting and various school supplies around me.  He suggested we move our elliptical trainer out of the laundry room and set up a "real" sewing room for me. 

I thought for about 2 seconds before saying yes!

My laundry room currently holds all of my sewing stuff--and that's a lot of stuff. Fabric, notions, pillow forms, patterns, my dress form.  But my machine was in the adjacent schoolroom. It's not far away--just a matter of a few feet, really.  I just had to run back and forth while sewing.  Somehow having everything in the same space feels both luxurious and efficient!  I spent the evening setting it all up, but haven't sewn in my new space yet.  

Because you know how it goes: move two pieces of furniture, and rearrange other stuff. I'm also preparing for a book sale and have boxes of books stacked in the basement. Whew! It's going to be organizationally so much better once it's all done, but as my husband and I reminded each other this afternoon...when it comes to rearranging rooms, it gets worse before it gets better.

Hot bath, bed, and Sabbath rest will rejuvenate me.  

(And in the midst of it, I went through my vintage patterns and chose the size 6 patterns.  I have at least a dozen darling little patterns to choose from for Annie this year from my grandmother's collection.  I'm excited!)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Real Home Love

"This household happiness did not come all at once, but John and Meg had found the key to it, and each year of married life taught them how to use it, unlocking the treasuries of real home love and mutual helpfulness, which the poorest may possess, and the richest cannot buy.  This is the sort of shelf on which young wives and mothers may consent to be laid, safe from the restless fret and fever of the world, finding loyal lovers in the little sons and daughters who cling to them, undaunted by sorrow, poverty, or age, walking side by side, through fair and stormy weather, with a faithful friend, who is, in the true sense of the good old Saxon word, the 'houseband', and learning, as Meg learned, that a woman's happiest kingdom is home, her highest honor the art of ruling it not as a queen, but as a wise wife and mother."

            --Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Good and Tired

My husband loves an episode of the Andy Griffith Show where Opie works hard all day on something (I can't remember what) and at the end of the day Andy asks, "well, Opie, don't you feel good?" And Opie responds "yes, Pa.....good and tired."

Today was a perfect example of how one thing leads to another. I started the day switching out my winter and summer clothing.  By about 10am it was clear that I was also on a big purging streak.  And well before lunch I had emptied all of the dresser drawers and the closet, and was happily immersed in sorting, purging, and organizing. 

But of course I didn't stop there.  That would be too sane.  I continued on to purge the kitchen (breadmaker?  juicer? bye-bye!), some of our bookshelves, the dining room linens, my bed linens.......I only stopped because it was time to put everyone to bed.  And then when I stopped, I really stopped; that is, I came to a screeching and exhausted halt.  Reward; hot bath. 

So yeah, I feel good. Good and tired!

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Slip for Annie

Annie outgrew her slip, just like that.  I took the old slip, traced it--with a couple of inches added--onto some old sheet that I had (actually had to piece the back out of two pieces, simply because I was working with scraps), and made a new slip.  For free!

The tracing step.....

Slips are so easy.  I trimmed the bottom with a bit of lace from my stash (probably inherited from my grandmother). I noticed a little late that the front piece had black marker on it, so I just cut a few hearts from other white scrap fabrics and appliqued those onto the front of the slip. 

Here you can see the finished slip as well as the little black spot, which is only visible when its brightly backlit.  Totally not noticeable otherwise, and certainly not noticeable under a skirt!

Guess what?  Annie lost this slip.  I hope it turns up before it's time to sew another one......

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Exposed Hem Tape

My Grandma Polly made this dress back in the early 1980s. I think she probably made it for my sister.  At some juncture the hem was ripped out--probably because my sister grew--but was never stitched back in--probably because my mother didn't have time. Since it's now in Annie's size, I decided to hem it for her to wear.

But after I stitched the white hem tape on with red thread, I couldn't resist the little decorative pop the lacy tape provided.  Ergo, I left it just like this!

I do think I'll hem it sometime this year, but it has been fun to enjoy the band of white at the bottom of the dress, and it's always fun to see Annie wearing clothes my grandmother made long ago.