Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Big Four

Felix has been living and working in South America for about two years now. Molly will be joining him there as soon as they're married in December.

In case you're new, that's Tia on the left (married to Giles), Molly in the middle (engaged to Felix), and then Felix.

Giles and Tia. First time to South America for her--she looks great in that scarf.

Adventures, for sure. I hear the hike was eleven miles. At altitude.

This is my favorite. So much beaming and explaining. So much happiness.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Back at the Boutique

It's blowing my mind that we are back at the wedding business--the girls and I shopped for bridesmaid dresses on Saturday, in shades of blush and champagne, yum! Bella found something gorgeous, and Clara has decided to make hers. I'll be sewing for Daisy.

So sweet of Molly to include all three sisters in this wedding that we are all so happy about. Bring it on!

Monday, September 26, 2016

An Open Front Door

That's some really nice air coming in . . . and a really ragged screen. Maybe I can get to fixing that.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Fluffy New Chapter Begins

That's right, Daisy caught rabbit fever at the fair this year. As of this afternoon she's the proud owner of two of everything--cages, water bottles, feeders, hay racks . . . and lionheads. One lilac, one sable. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Stack of Wool

My neighbor brought over all this and more when her sister cleared out her storage. I will put on my thinking cap. It's all wool!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gold Beading on a Corset

I'm working away, not in any hurry, at a jersey corset. It's stenciled in the Magdalena pattern (a favorite) and I am doing a bugle bead quilting stitch around each shape.

This is the first time I've done my stencil in Liquitex paint made for airbrushing. It's much more fluid than the stuff I've found in the past--and I really like it. I bought it at the Alabama Chanin store and I know it's on the website too. A little goes much farther than the stencil paints I've tried before.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Let's All Take a Minute to Imagine a House by the Sea

"Big, wide rooms with fine white matting on the floors, and many comfortable willow chairs and couches, with cushions of faded but fine texture. . . 
Long, sheer curtains at the windows, floating in the breeze . . . .

[And lunch will be] fried fish and hot biscuits and a tomato and cucumber salad for the main course, and iced coffee for the drink, and sponge cake and strawberries and cream."

--Grace Livingston Hill, The Strange Proposal

Friday, September 16, 2016

Evening at the Fair

Back at the fair this evening to engage in more livestock business. It's strenuous! I can't even imagine keeping a cow comfortable here. Those who have cows set up entire living/lounge suites with haybale footstools, Crock-Pots, and coffeemakers.

An array of quilts. I feel the judges don't get my quilts. They're not fans of the visible knot. But that's okay.

I'm fascinated with these wooden signs. Someone designed and painted them. They chose to slope the word up to make it fit in. Good for them!

Part of Daisy's display featuring various chicken breeds. Since we don't have a color printer, she prints out a black and white image and then colors it in with Prismacolors.

Just before the storm blew in.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Covering the Seat Cushions

Clara and I are painting two tables and six chairs for the stone house. Sister is in charge of covering the seat cushions.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Daisy at the Poultry Show

A hot six hours in the poultry barn.

Daisy showed a lot of birds. Was it seven?

Her Buff Orpingtons came in third.

Monday, September 12, 2016

September Afternoon

Friday, September 09, 2016

Candlesticks + Begonia Cuttings

Thrift store candlesticks, begonia cuttings from a friend. I kind of like them in a plastic cup.

Thursday, September 08, 2016


I got a text from my art teacher : "We can't get Peepaw to stop planting muscadines. Would you take three gallons?"

So I did, just for the pleasure of smelling them in the kitchen.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

A New Quilt: Leaves of the Trees

"On either side of the river was the tree of life, and the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations."

"There shall no longer be any curse."

"These words are trustworthy and true."

This is a VERY large quilt. Clara and I used the traditional Tree of Life motif to create a landscape of twelve trees with a quilted river running across the quilt (see above). 
The main text is embroidered across the two groves of trees, and the secondary texts are embroidered in white, one of each side of the quilt (the part that hangs over the side of the bed).

These verses are all from the last chapter of Revelation. And we made it for Jonathan, who is like a dear third son for us, and is in vet school *and* studying public health.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Thursday, September 01, 2016


You really do not know what the thrift store holds for you. This will be a pillow on the couch in the stone house living room. Unless Molly is afraid of dinosaurs? 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Let's Roast Okra!

Never saw this one coming, but I am now roasting rather than frying okra. It's easy and cleaner and (of course) better for you (I guess?) than frying. And we all love it--it's still crunchy and chewy and all that. In any case, being grain-free, I had to ditch the cornmeal.

So, cut the cap off the okra, then slice it into two or three pieces using a long diagonal cut. You want long skinny pieces with a slanty side. Toss with a lot of olive oil (any kind) and kosher salt. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 400 for about 30 minutes, turning once before the end. Go for dark edges.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

For My Mother Going to Bed in Pain

"It is difficult to find anyone in our culture who will respect us when we suffer. We live in a time when everyone's goal is to be perpetually healthy and constantly happy, and if any one of us fails to live up to the standards that are advertised as normative, we are labeled as a problem to be solved.
 But these Psalms give dignity to our suffering. They do not look on suffering as something slightly embarrassing which must be hushed up and locked in a closet . . . because this sort of thing shouldn't happen to a real person of faith. And they don't treat it as a puzzle that must be explained . . . Suffering is set squarely, openly, passionately before God. It is acknowledged and expressed. It is described and lived."

Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction  (extracted thoughts on the Psalms)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Her Non-Classical Debut

While Bella was boating with a bunch of physical therapists and Daisy was at a birthday party, Clara was making her Non-Classical Debut. 

She played with a folk-rock band on a the first part of the set. It was awesome.

She says when Josh Garrels asks her to sit in, she's getting some skinny jeans and slouch hat to wear.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Felix and Molly: The Couch Photo

Molly had been in Europe for ten days, and Felix has been in South America for weeks (he lives there) but he surprised her at the airport when she flew in yesterday. Now it's a happy hang-out weekend with Giles and Tia--and squeezing in two premarital counseling sessions Sunday. Wedding is at the end of the year!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"It Was Officially the First Day of School"

"It was officially the first day of school so Anna made muffins for breakfast . . . the entire family was gathered . . . Mrs. Ray tall and slim in a starched yellow morning dress, Julia and Betsy in new shirt waists and skirts, Margaret in a new striped gingham with a big striped bow atop her head ."
--Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy in Spite of Herself 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I'll Just Cook Everything This Way

Vegetable roasting season is fast approaching and I have two words for you, my friends: chicken grease. I save it from the pan of chicken thighs I roast at least once a week and use it to turn winter squash into candy.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Clara, Teacher

The retro-style grade book makes it official--this week, Clara starts teaching Freshman Comp. The Fundamentals Of, I believe. It's getting students up to speed for regular Comp.

She's also starting back to class herself, learning to teach English to speakers of other languages. She'll carry on with her cello and piano students too, and manage several of the law firm projects. And continue to knit socks.

Friday, August 19, 2016

"Life Is Fragile"

Still in its thrift store frame, but will someday be a pillow.

Just a reminder, 100% of my etsy shop proceeds are donated to charity, and this week I am supporting flood victims in Louisian.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Before It Gets Better

Everyone knows it gets worse before it gets better. Above, the stone house kitchen with all the fixtures and junk and subfloor plywood pulled out.

Then we went the next step and pulled up the pine (it was just too rough to keep, bummer) and exposed all the joists. Several will need replacing. My workers are my heroes.

We're really glad we didn't try to lay subfloor and then a tile floor on top of that pine, because it was a mess under there. I'd rather shore up the floor now, when it's slightly easier.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Embroidered Pieces in the Shop

 New tote bags and a quilt in the shop tonight. The bags each sport loads of hand-embroidery--very different from each other. And there's a quilt!

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