Thursday, November 8, 2012

Autumn Blessings

Autumn is all around us, we are immersed.  We have had Halloween, fall-back an hour, our annual favorite craft show, and plants blooming everywhere.  One of the best highlights was costume-making.  I was lucky to make our two favorite little people into their choice of character, Brian a bat and Lilah a ghostie.  They are the children of my dear friend and co-worker Maria. 

Robin surprised me with her choice for a costume this year:  Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Definately different than Robin Hood last year!
We googled how to do the exact hairdo from the movie, got it down after an hour.  I should have taken a photo of the back of her head!
Here is the official "pose":
I was pretty surprised that not one, not one! person at her party had ever heard of Audrey Hepburn or Breakfast at Tiffany's.  I thought it was a classic!  Anyway, I think she looked fabulous and we had a great time putting it all together.  Here is what she looked like last year when she was Robin Hood.  We made everything from scratch, even the arrows.  I think she made a fabulous Robin Hood!
They did the trick-or-treat so kids can eat again this year, colleting canned goods and non-perishable food items for the mission, but it was raining pretty hard so we skipped that part this year. 
We also enjoyed our favorite fall craft show, our four favorite venders were there, Gail the knitting and antique brooch lady, another brooch lady, the crocheted animals lady, and the gourd painting lady.  Robin got a lovely pair of alpacka fingerless gloves from Gail, and I got a really neat rustic painted santa on an old tobacco drying rod.  Definately a bit of Kentucky folk history for $5! 

This month, on Thanksgiving day, will be my baby sister's 50th birthday.  I made her a little sumptin-sumptin to remember me.  I love that girl!
One of the things we love about Thanksgiving time is Pumpkin pie.  I didn't make one this year, but we definitely had some - we spent the day with our dear friends Amy, Ryan, and Charlie Beth and their family.  This outfit Robin is wearing is her "pumpkin pie" outfit. The coat is the crust, the shirt is the pumpkin and the hat is the whipped cream.
Holly is taking a nap in one of the "houses", the doors stay open so they can nap if they want while we are all in the kitchen.
Here's little man - Spuddie, and then here is Honey:
Another special day this fall was little Charlie Beth's Baptism.  Here are a couple of pictures:
I havn't blogged in so long I forgot how to rotate.  I got it to rotate before I inserted it, but somehow it goes back when I try to add it.  Anyway, here it is sideways.  Just tilt your head to the left :).  I was lucky and got to make her gown and bonnet.  I was really happy with how they turned out.  The lace I found online from Lyon, France.  It was made on a lace machine from 1800 and has been made and then stored on a roll for about 50 years.  It is pristine white, and the lovliest lace I have ever seen.  There was enough for the hem and the sleeves.  The yolk is fully smocked in white, and there is a tiny cross charm added at the neck with a little white ribbon bow.
Here is a close up of the bonnet, this was from an old pattern I found online from the 1930's. 

Here is the family with Father Jeff.  It was definitely a very special day.  We were honored to be included.  Next up, Advent and Christmas!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Peahen Sighting

A few minutes to create a post...still living without a computor.  I like it, really.  I have more time in the day!  I do admit to checking Pintrest rather frequently...I recently spotted a peahen there...
This is pretty amazing!  There are lots of peacocks, not many hens.  Sort of makes me want to work in the garden.  I know I have lots of rose bush pruning to do this fall.  Robin is so gracious about mowing for me.  Here she is mowing last weekend - I was in the kitchen and overheard her singing over and over - "all I want for Christmas is a goat".  Pretty funny. 
We have an old fashioned push mower, so it's a bit challenging if the grass is long like it is here.
I don't have any cross stitch photos today, though I am still working on the Cottages of the Month.  My mind is on English Smocking lately, as I am gearing up to make a Christening gown for our friends Amy and Ryan.  I'd better get busy - the baby is due next month!!!  I finally convinced Robin to dig out the box of her baby clothes that I had made her that I hand smocked - for inspiration, and also to copy a few techniques.  I really want to find the photos of her wearing all of these, but for now, I took some snaps of a few, wrinkles and all.  This one is my absolute favorite and the one I'm going to copy.  It's a Grace Knott pattern, a baby gown with raglan sleeves and a smocked yolk.  I used Imperial Batiste cotton, satin ribbon, and pink floss for the stitching on the pleats, as I no longer had a pleater, I hand pleated the fabric first, which is what I will do with the gown I'm going to make soon. 

Here is a close up of the smocking, maybe you can see the little gold heart charm at the neck.

Here is another dress I smocked for her:

and the yolk:

also, a detail of the smocked bonnet, which, the day I finally finished, was the day she decided she didn't like bonnets anymore! 
While we were in the box, I did a little snooping for fun.  Robin really liked Pooh Bear.  Here is a little winter hat she's a little small now.

She also had a Pooh bathing suit...
Here is her very favorite dress, her elephant dress, we found it at a garage sale, and it's pretty tiny.  After all, she started out at 2 1/2 pounds!  This is pretty cute - I would have liked one in my size this past summer.  My grandma Mee Mee hand made all of her summer dresses, very similar to this with the high yolk with gathers, and pockets.  Another project for next summer...

Next time we snoop through Robin's closet, I want to look at the stuffed animals.  Teenages like them too, here are the two Robin keeps out in her room currently:
She says "what? so I have varied interests!"  This from the girl who just finished a book on Thermo-Dynamics and is studying Calculus.  Variety is the spice of life, after all!
One last little thing - a little miracle - got this plant at Kroger on the mark-down table for $1.00 last month.  I love succulents, they are my favorites, and this little darling decided to bloom for me!

Seems like this is short and scattered, I guess since I didn't pull it together like I wanted to, but it's nice to send something out.  Have a very blessed week, please come back again!  Shari

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Something's Fishy

We had the most fun ever one afternoon last week - so that became our summer vacation.  Our dear friend and Seminarian Bill took us fishing.  The day was lovely, temperature mild, and it was so peaceful.  Even though Robin is a vegan, (I was too in the days of consuming gluten), she proved a gifted fisher and caught 4 or 5 bass.  I caught a large bluegill and a bass.  Luckily for the bluegill, it got away. 
Robin with some of her fish:
Bill commented on what a great team Robin and I make, since I won't touch the fish or the bait, and she won't eat the fish.  Ideal.  Bill is a fantastic and patient teacher, and we learned so much.  I think the most important thing we learned was to step out of the ordinary and enjoy the beauty of God's creation and have a lovely summer afternoon together. 


Speaking the language.
Smoochy smoochy.  She said she didn't really kiss this fish, but it sure looked like it to me!
All in all, a day I will never forget.  Thanks Bill, and we are keeping you in our prayers.
Well, this whole post is quite short, as we are currently enjoying a computor free lifestyle at home.  I still have much more to share, but for the time being here are just a few photos for my stitchy friends - these are just a few samples of vintage Swedish cross stitch pieces.  I am very fond of Swedish folk art - mostly cross stitch and allmoge, folk painting.  Here is a lovely cross stitched piece of some Linnaea, or Linnea flowers, native to Sweden. 

The Linnaea flower or Linnaea borealis is named after Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist from the south of Sweden in Smaland, around 1778.  Fascinating man!  Here is another sample of some linnaea's from Smaland - an older piece:

This long delicate fringe is common on many Swedish pieces.  Here is a photo of the actual flower, which not only blooms in Sweden but also on this continent in Alaska.  Isn't it lovely?

Here is one last piece, showing the charming folk style and native dress:

and a close up:

This makes me want to stitch!  Maybe this will be a "three dog night" - you know the Australian term for a night so cold it takes three dogs to keep you warm?  Well, at our house, every night is a three dog night, we curl up and I get to stitch.  Look who's waiting for me:

Thanks for sticking around, posts may be shorter and posted a day or two late each week while we live computor-less, but I'll keep showing up.  Peace and Joy, Shari

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy National Dog Day

I just read that today is National Dog Day - yea!!!  I'm all for it.  Around here every day is National Dog Day.  Here are some piccys from this week of my three fur heroes:
Spuddie, Holly, and Honey dining al fresco.

I'm done with mine...can I have yours?

Time for my after breakfast nap. (Honey Biscuit)

Me too, yawn...(Holly Moonbeam)

Whatcha doing Mom?
Wanna snuggle? (Spuddie) Yes!
Summer...and flowers even bloom indoors.  My violets are very happy right now.  These darlings were rescued from the 1.00 bargain table at Kroger awhile back.  Patience and love work wonders.  We all CAN rebloom. 
Aren't these lovely?  Here is a close up:
Also, I made a new friend this week.  This little green one showed up on my magazine this morning:

I finally finished my cross stitch project last week - it is called The Queen's Crowns by Plum Street Samplers.  I  learned a lesson.  When you stitch with silk, Belle Soie, it is not colorfast.  Hum.  I've already started on my next project and the red is running on this one too.  Any ideas? 

Next project - in progress:
Next time I'll share some things I've already finished.  Here's one of the places I can sit and stitch with a cup of tea - the kitchen table.  The roses are from the garden and smell so very beautiful - much more fragrant than store roses.  Care to join me?

We had a very special week this week, the end of the Novena to Our Lady of Knock, and a special Mass today.  The statue was dedicated, there were bagpipes - and the most beautiful chanting in Latin.  Very nice.  Here is my darling Robin with Bill (Seminarian), the Eagle scout who built the grotto and waterfall, and Father Jeff. 
I love this photo!  Here is another one of my darling girl:

and a close up of the statue:

Another grotto:
Be inspired by love.
 I have LOTS more to share next week:  English Smocking, some antique folk stitching pieces, and lots of photos.  Blessings and Peace, Shari