Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Little Boy Blue: Yarn Along

I'm joining the Yarn Along at Small Things again this week, though I don't have much to show for myself in the way of knitting or reading progress...

I'm making G a new vest for the Spring season... with a lovely blue sock yarn, pattern details coming soon -

and I've been casually leafing through The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman.  Trying to decide what to make for my own bed, but there are so many beautiful quilts in this book!!!  Right now - I'm just enjoying the eye candy.

And there has been lots of reading by the big people and the small people in this house about chickens lately.
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby chicks!

And lastly, still reading and enjoying the Yarn Harlot's: The Secret Life of a Knitter.  I have always followed her blog, but this is the first book of hers that I'm reading, in great anticipation of meeting the legend herself this summer at Squam.

Now - back to work.
Back to taxes   - <grimace>

I am cutting it really too close this year...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recycled Circle Skirt

We paint a lot in our house.  And while this mama is very good at remembering to put smocks on the children, she is not always very good at remembering to cover up her own clothing before the paint starts a-flyin'.  

So - my most favorite white skirt met Mister Purple Paint in a most tragic way.
And this happened...

and in spite of my best stain-fighting efforts,  the blotch remained.  Actually, there are 2, see the little one a little higher up?  Yes - I really should have been wearing an apron.

Ah well.

As I said, it's one of my favorite skirts, so I just couldn't toss it, or even cut into it... I needed to rescue it because I wasn't done wearing it by a long shot.  (I keep clothing a long time!!  I have a favorite Indian print skirt that I've been wearing since high school - and I fully intend to wear it at my funeral...when I'm 106.)

So, as I said, I refused to toss it, or even cut into it to recycle the fabric in some other way...

But Mike's old shirts?  

THOSE I can cut into with no guilt, and no problem at all!! I pulled out my rotary and started cutting circles.

and then I ironed them onto my skirt with fusible interfacing...

and then...

...I discovered that I could still see the paint splotch through the shirting fabric.  
<frowns and crinkles forehead>

BACK to the old ironing board!!!
(and cutting board - because I needed more circles, and this time preferably not see-through ones).
Then to my sewing machine, to sew around the circle's edges.  I am getting pretty good at the zig-zag stitch, I must say!    I don't have a close-up of the stitching, so you'll just have to trust me.  

and then (finally!)  TA-DAH!!

I have a new skirt!!!

I put it on, and trudged the kids off to the library ( I was determined to make it there on time for the first time in my life.  A "No Fine" Library visit.  More rare than a unicorn sighting...

And - what was the first thing another mother said to me when we entered the children's book room?

"I love that skirt!"

made my whole day

thank you - other mother!  I love it too!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sugaring Off

So we went back to the farm this weekend for the annual "Sugaring Off Party".

I know I've said before how much I LOVE New Hampshire, but really -

I LOVE New Hampshire!   In every season, there is something wonderful happening here.  And Sugar Weekend is one of my favorites :)

the sugar shack at our CSA: Middle Branch Farm.  I missed this place so much this winter.  I can't wait
until our Spring Share starts up again...  2 more months, 2 more months...

Here's farmer Roger showing J how to load the firewood into the evaporator.

the sap is flowing in - and we're waiting for it to get all hot and steamy :)

me with a mouthful of donut and my sugar stick (that was my second one).   I won't tell you how many donuts I ate because that's none of your business.

J with his "Sugar on Snow" by the snack table. 

There is no way this will last me until next year - but I couldn't carry any more...

Plus I have another pint from my AMAZING friend, who forbade me to mention who she is so that
no one else would know I've got some of her prized syrup. 

I am a syrup hoarder - and I don't care who knows it.

Next year - we'll tap our tree, and make a small go-of-it  ourselves.

Love N.H.

Did I say that already?

Friday, March 25, 2011

::This Moment::

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.   
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your ‘moment’ over at SouleMama for all to find and see.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yarn and Books

I'm joining Ginny's yarn along today over on Small Things.  This week I finished my tweed V-Neck sweater (Ravelry link), which was my first finished object for myself in quite a lot of time... since at least before the holidays.  And I haven't taken it off since, because it's so warm and comfortable.  Love it.  (it's hard to take a picture of yourself wearing a sweater)

Then, I needed to move on right away to an easy, light-and-airy type Spring knit.  So now I've wound my lovely Manos Silk into a ball, and I've cast on for a Branching Out lace scarf in this warm orange shade.  Not a particularly Spring color - but pretty.  I may not finish it until Fall anyway :)

And as for reading, the kids and I have been reading these small poems by Robert Louis Stevenson,  A Child's Garden of Verses, and looking at the beautiful illustrations by Gyo Fujikawa.  Wish we owned this book, but I'm glad our library does, because it's a favorite!  And I haven't been reading anything much myself this week, except for leafing through my More-with-Less cookbook almost everyday.   Specifically, this week, I'm especially reading recipes for homemade granola mixes, and for soups that are heavy on vegetable on light on meat.   We made another Garden Veggie soup this week that I loved loved loved.  It is so easy to make a huge pot of soup, I can't believe I didn't start making my own soup years and years ago.  Plus it feeds us for the rest of the week.  Awesome.

What are you reading, and/or crafting this week?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nature Walk ::: with George

The temperature rose to 60 degrees this weekend, so we threw open the windows excitedly and then G and I embarked on a "Looking for Signs of Spring Nature Walk".    Today, let's go for that walk again together!

First, let's stop by and say hello to G's chipmunk friends.  They live in there.

But ... no, nobody's home today.  Oh well.  Let's keep moving, shall we?

Wait - what do we have here?

Little daffodils?  Yep!  Don't step on them.  Try not to step on them.  Well - OK, go ahead and step on them...

Gosh - they're everywhere aren't they?  It is hard not to walk on them, when they're hiding like that :)

Now - let's walk!  Much more to see...

You will notice, lot's of mud and puddles right now.  That's a good thing.  Of course, when we see a puddle, it's important to get in there.  Really look around, feel the water, carefully measure the squishiness to make sure it's right.

Yep!  This one's OK.  Let's go!

Now let's visit the cows.  They're just over here.

Don't worry about the fence - it's more to keep the cows in, than to keep us out.  You really can't see our cow friends unless you're standing properly on the fence.  Hello Cow Friends!   Why are you way down there?

 Hello!!?  OK, they're not coming.  Let's go check out that rock!  Goodbye cows!

This is a good rock.   Actually, all rocks are good rocks, and the best thing to do with a rock is to climb it.  Everyone knows that.

Of course... Hmph...  some rocks.... ech...... are trickier to climb,  ugh..... than they look.

But proper rock climbers know to persevere.    Eventually any summit can be achieved!

Remember to enjoy the view for a moment.

And that concludes our Looking for Signs of Spring Nature Walk today!!!

Join us tomorrow for "Making Things with Needles and String".

In the meantime ... check out the little Spring flower children she made - they are so adorable!

Friday, March 18, 2011

:: This Moment ::

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.   
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your ‘moment’ over at SouleMama for all to find and see.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The small things

It is the middle of March.  It is dribbling freezing rain and bits of sleet outside my window.  My house is a complete disaster.  I spent most of the night coughing on the couch and cannot seem to shake this sickness from my body once and for all.  My taxes are undone (not even close).  If I were to turn on the television set (I'm not), I'll hear about world-wide troubles, disasters, civil wars, and nuclear meltdowns.

**  sigh  **

It is not hard to be a pessimist in mid-March.  It is very easy.

Yes, mid-March is the very best time of year to pause and appreciate the best things, the small things, the little joys, the extraordinary ordinary of everyday life.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Swimming Pools and Sweaters

First: I did finish Johann's birthday sweater.  It's a simple top-down raglan, my Ravelry notes here, in a pretty gray marbled tweed wool.   It seemed small as I was holding it and making it, but J tried it on and it fits perfectly. 

Hooray for finished projects!

Now: Some photos of our (much-needed) weekend of fun, laughter, and family in North Conway.  We really don't go away much, so even just an over-night in the hotel was such an exciting occasion :)  for all of us.  We ordered pizza to the room, ate birthday cake, swam in the pools and went down the water slides (J even went down the super big tunnel slide!! how brave!)  We also spent an afternoon in the Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum and I may have had a spare moment to pop into one of the local yarn shops too.  I also may have purchased a small bit of handpainted sock yarn :).

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