Category: Uncategorized

Transition Land–The Benefit of Hard Labor, Etc.

Yes I was a weepy girl a couple of weeks ago…the cure was some more time, and a lot of hard labor, and probably a big dose of sunshine☀️. I couldn’t tell you if one is more necessary than the other, they are too interrelated. Or, maybe its the satisfaction from nearly finishing a huge job. First, I must credit DH, because he did the heavy lifting…literally! We were both exhausted, and filthy,  but we managed to complete the most important tasks before the rain began again this past week, and in spite of horrible weather, my spirits are excellent. The fence is up and only the door is left!

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In fact, I haven’t really thought about my old career these past two weeks! Conclusion: I have either turned the corner or have finally embraced a summer vacation. I don’t really care which at this moment, I am just pleased to be content. I know I am, because I’ve spent the past two rainy days in the sewing room, and I don’t usually sew more advanced stuff unless I am in a good place mentally. Quilting is therapy, but garment construction, for me, requires a different mood. I have also begun turning over new projects in my mind, which is another healthy sign, as is an interest in experimenting in the kitchen.

Yes, I have more BIG TASKS on my list, but as I have caught up over the past month, those big tasks are getting more manageable. Now we are down to things like washing the curtains and washing the outside windows. Oh yes, and cleaning out the linen closet.

Outside, there is huge pile of firewood to move, and then yard renovation. I have waged war on the dandelions in the front yard, and at the moment, I am winning! And the nasty pile you see in the first picture, well it has been re-purposed; the materials have all been put to use and this space is going to become the new woodpile/privacy hedge. That means that there will be some shaded lawn in the backyard again, which makes me very happy.

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Still a ways to go, but we will be done by the weekend I think! In retrospect, I believe that all that manual labor was exactly what I needed, along with the satisfaction of seeing a big change in our backyard.

Peace Sweater #9

I officially hit the wall this week. I frogged my sleeve hem and redid it, and it is now correct. I did the first border and things were going well, until it was time to circle up and continue the sleeve in the round. I muffed it, my only option was to frog it and try again.

So let’s discuss this very interesting sleeve. It has a slit at the wrist, closed with a pewter button, so you start by knitting back and forth. The edges will join at the top sleeve center. At the top of the slit, you change to knitting in the round. The concept makes sense, I am struggling with starting the pattern correctly, which has a graphic centered on the top. To keep that pattern smooth on top, you begin the circular pattern at the under sleeve center, which is where you will also do the increases. Clear as mud? I agree! Fresh eyes and more coffee helped me, but I’m still unsure whether I was supposed to not finished the pattern on the under sleeve or have an extra half round of white. If anyone has ever seen something similar I would love to compare instructions! 


I need to solve this so I can get serious about picking out stuff for a shawl for the MIL’s birthday. She is going to be 81 this June, so I think she would like that. I really like this pattern, and it only takes 100g of sock yarn.  The reviews say simple and quick, good for a car trip.

I’m thinking this might go well, and she likes warm tones, so this seems like it would go with her usual color scheme.

This is KnitPicks stroll, a machine washable merino fingering weight in eucalyptus.

Surprise Mail

Yesterday I went out to get the mail, and there was a lovely surprise for me all the way from France! Thank you Claire for the unbirthday gifts!


Claire sent me a wonderful blue fabric tray, monogrammed no less, and a fabulous French magazine with cross stitch designs and a wonderful article about historical costume sewing. My childhood friend will be stopping by later this summer, and I will have her read it to me, since she is fluent in French, or I’ll have Girl #2 give it a go…with her Latin and Italian she will be able to give me the gist! 


I was so surprised and delighted by Claire’s gifts, which came right when I needed a lift! So, merci beaucoup, mon amie! (I hope that’s correct, high school French class was a LONG time ago!)

Cleaning out the Drawer…

And what did I find? Several pieces of needlework that were languishing in the drawer because they were in need of a frame or something so they could be displayed or used.  I decided that my afternoon would be devoted to emptying this drawer of at least a few items!

The first two were framed and ready to go, it was their larger partner that had hit a snag; it was an odd size, and I couldn’t see my way clear to have a frame custom built, knowing that I could never match the smaller two.

I pulled out a frame I had picked up at the thrift store, and took some bits of paint, giving it a somewhat gilded appearance. It doesn’t match the others in style, and it will require a mat, so I don’t think an exact match of frame color will be necessary. While it was drying, I used some leftover batting and got the cross stitch ready to mount. Fortunately I had a mat that was close to the right size, allowing me to test the width of the borders. I found the dark rose color from my threads, and once the frame was dry I measured it for the mat. A visit to Hobby Lobby to have my mat cut, and I have a trio of flowers to hang, probably in the living room.


I also found a piece of hardanger that I had DSCN0728completed and never hung, probably because I lacked a frame and a mat. I decided the best alternative was to turn it into a pillow. While perusing my fabric stash, I remembered I had some left over canvas from my messenger bag project, so I used that for the hardanger backing. I found a piece of faux duiponi in the fabric stash, so cut out pieces for the back from that. I had stuffing downstairs, sent by my MIL to make stuffed animals with (never did), so I put it to use as well. The resulting pillow looks great in the chair I reupholstered several Christmases ago.

Finally, I took one of the “knot head” pieces I stitched years ago and constructed a round pillow from it, utilizing fabric once used for covering the sofa pillows during the holidays. It was always too dark, so I traded for a cream and gold fabric last year. Even though it is a holy berry print, it is so dark you really have to look, and being on the back, why not! The stuffing filled that pillow as well, with plenty left over for whatever project I try next! DSCN0729

I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself, making some of my languishing projects into something that can be out and used instead of laying in storage! Even better, the only thing I bought was the mat (with a 40% off coupon). A well spent afternoon. 😃

Sewing for Me!

Yes, I have made a decision about the first thing Iwill sew   for our graduation trip to California….and the winner is….the Kay Unger dress and coat! Now there is some altering to do on this dress; it needs to be longer, and I think that the back may be a bit wild for a daytime dress.  

Now for the fabric…I have two fabrics in my stash that I would consider, but both require finding a match, so the hunt is on! Girl #2 says that the temps could be in the 90’s, so I definitely need to consider that! 

My first choice is to use this for the coat. Unfortunately,  there will not be enough fabric to do the entire thing, so I’m going to need to be careful and creative. This fabric is a silk linen blend, really great texture, with a faint window pane plaid. I am trying to decide my best course of action, assuming that it will be impossible to match the blue. There is the white of course, along with a thread of pale pink and melon running through it.

After spending the afternoon cutting about 40 pattern pieces, I believe that I can squeak most of the coat out of the silk/linen. I think the pockets will fit, leaving me option of adding just a bit of something like a floral print, maybe for the buttonholes and the tabs on the sleeves. 

I have also found a pink linen that looks like a decent match, but maybe that’s too silly for an old mom? I would love to do a floral, but I think that may be too much. Or I could go with plain white and put a band of color or floral on the bottom…ugh!

Opinions? Advice? Fabric shops?  Anyone with a totally different idea? I’m interested in any and every possibility!

SAL April 23

Today is our three week SAL update. Do check out what everyone else is doing, because in this SAL, everyone chooses their own project! There’s a lot of inspiration and variety for sure!

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusan,   MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine, Wendy, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

Last time I had just finished a project and so presented you all with this:

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I have made some progress on this blank canvas, but the roof on this barn goes on forever!!! Too bad, because I already bought the matching frame, so forward we go. 😉

Some decent progress made, though it is still pretty sketchy.