Friday, November 30, 2007


Found this bike on the side of the road. Ezzie loves it and is now riding a bike like a big boy. He announces to all that it is " my own, own, own, big, big, big, bike". There is no question.

Henry's came. I didn't pay for them and I am glad. Check out my kdg. picture. Our eyes are the same. And we are both showing our cute lower teeth.

My curtains are almost halfway done. I tacked them up just to check out the color. I am so glad that Matty is an openminded bloke who actually likes my almost over the top color choices.

And that's all about farmer Small.

vintage fabulous

see below

Lots of good things are happening today. Christmas tree getting. Coffee drinking ( so thats everyday but still special), new zipper pouch ( very imperfect but I am a beginner) and my beloved little sis is coming to visit. I miss her terribly. Matty is blasting baroque harpsichord music in the kitchen, Ezzie is dancing, Henry is absentmindedly getting dresed, I have more pictures to post. Sometimes if I try to post them all at once it doesn't work so I do it in batches. Here goes.


Monday, November 19, 2007

new bag

I just made this bag. It didn't take very long at all. I followed the tutorial on tinyhappy or you can find it at sewmamasew which is introducing a new sewing/giftmaking project for every day in November. I made the bag from an old pink mostly wool blanket that has developed some holes.The lining was made from a number of scraps that I sewed together before I could even cut out the templates. The button was the only thing I bought for the project, I like the pearly, granny flavor of the button. I am going to try to dye the rest of the blanket to make things with, I'd like to make some gifts and I don't think many people want such a pink bag!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

my wee corner

my little corner

This is my little corner. I made the cushion on the chair out of an old April Cornell pillow cover ( I just used the back envelope part) that was all busted up. I love the pink fabric from Denyse Schmidt's Fleamarket Fancy line. I love pink even more since having two boys. I live with a lot of testosterone. Pink does not show up often and usually it is tempered with a lot of brown, but it is there. So here are my paints andpaper, sewing machine rests in the corner on the floor. I need to make a sewing machine cozy...

henry's interpretation

This morning it is rainy. Henry did not want to go to kindergarten, he and Ezzie were playing together so well. He went anyway and Ezra got a lunch pail and pretended he was going too. I was able to distract him with something else and go through a box of drawings of Henry's. Some were a couple years old, like the flowers he copied from the batik I made in college. Others were from last year. I keep most of his drawings in folders with the rest of our files/bills etc. Other drawings are kept in binders and sit with his books. I love taking them out and looking at them. Henry has always been so intense and busy, but he has always been able to sit down for a long time and draw. He does it well. His people/creatures are really engaging. I am so glad that Matty and I have been able to draw with him. It is a gift really, in so many ways. he will always have it. Can you guess which drawing is my little sis Molly's??? She is so amazing, she will sit down with the boys and draw anything they want her to. "Make me a knight Auntie Molly, Make me a cowboy riding a horse, draw a beautiful princess!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

applesauce in nana kitty's china

I made applesauce today. Not a lot, just enough for lunch and a couple quarts more. Applesauce is one of those magically easy things to make that transform your home into a domestic haven of bliss. A dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla elevate this simple concoction to another level. Just make sure you invite someone over soon afterwards so they can gush over what a fabulous mother/father/domestic superhero you are.

I don't measure when I make it. I just cut up some apples into chunks, add some spices and make sure there is a little bit of water at the bottom of the pan so the apples don't burn. Then I cook them slowly until they fall apart. Pink applesauce is lovely but you need a food mill. Just leave the skins on the red apples and put it through the mill. You can also roast the apples to make sauce.

I think I may make some bread today....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Yes, that is what I would call this blog if it were all about crafting. I can't finish anything quickly or even in a timely fashion. This hat was begun last Spring, it no longer fits my son. It will fit a new friend if I get it done in the next month. I am going to add ear flaps of brown fleece, a lining too.

7 Things I love

Okay, I know a list of things I love is so cliche, silly really. Silly, if I list things that everyone loves. But if I try to make a list of things I love that are perhaps unique to me, Well then it is an interesting list. I think if we all search back through our personal histories we will remember things that we used to love that are still part of us. That perhaps we still love them. Like that old boyfriend that my husband jokingly asked me to get over. I said, deadpan,"I never will", not that I am in love with him, not that I don't love my husband, but to my 16-17 yr.old self (which, let's face it, is still in there), I still love him.

#1. Alizarin Crimson, oil color, 1997-1999, I painted in this color almost exclusively for a few years in college. It is a beautiful sheer bluish red, absolutely gorgeous.

#2. The scent of a fresh orange being peeled. It brings Christmas to me. I only buy oranges in winter. It is a strong association.

#3. Christmas. I unapologetically love Christmas. I can say in all honesty that it has nothing to do with the consumeristic hullabaloo that the holiday has become. I love the ritual, I was raised Catholic, it's in me. I love the food, the sweets especially. I love the parties. I love being with my family and friends. I love sharing it all with my two sons, who don't even notice that mommy and daddy get them one present each for Christmas, probably because they have a zillion relatives that like to spoil them...The candles, the music, I could go on and on.

#4. Splinters being taken out and vice versa. Strange but true.

#5. French films, I hardly ever see one I don't appreciate. I think it may be a combination of the beautiful women who aren'tafraid to be a little curvacous, unlike many american actors and the openness about sex and the body and all that.

#6. Jane Austen. Let's face it she was brilliant. Her novels are timeless. They are funny and smart at the same time .Her heroines are intelligent, witty, young women. The language is beautiful. Her characters are so vibrant and alive. I especially love Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey who manages to be one of (or perhaps the only) young male character who is kind, funny, smart and yet unpretentious. I didn't name my Henry after him exactly, but in hindsight, I could have. What about Persuasion? The quiet Anne Elliot, patiently putting up with her snobbish father and boob of a sister. Obeying the family friend and not marrying the man that she loves only to meet him years later, the dashing Captain Wentworth. The restraint... it's heartbreaking. I haven't even mentioned Pride and Prejudice. I reread at least one Jane Austen novel a year.

#7. If I mention novels I get stuck. I love to read. I must mention one more and then I will make myself stop. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy is a favorite as well. It is a swashbuckler. I am not generally a fan of this genre, but I make an exception. Here again we have a strong heroine. The novel's title is misleading. The central character is not, in fact the Pimpernel ( a man) but a woman. A brave, smart and couragous woman who loves her husband but because of his politics and an incident involving her family is cold to her. The story takes place during the French Revolution, a mysterious character who goes by the name of Pimpernal is rescuing aristocratic families from France by bringing them to safety on English shores.

And now I am tired, to be continued...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

cereal and pomegranates

That is what we had for breakfast. Henry and I had a great date yesterday. We so rarely get to be just the two of us. We had to shop for a friend's birthday and get some groceries. He is not usually excited about grocery-getting but he loves food and I let him pick out some things and that helps. He wanted cherries but they were too expensive and came from Chile so we got a pomegranate instead. He looked like a vampire this morning after breakfast.

My quilt top is down there. I can't tell if it is ugly. Isn't that funny? I just got the new Amy Karol book, "Bend the Rules Sewing". It has some great projects in it and advice for different kinds of crafters. I am a speed demon crafter and one of the pitfalls of being one is misfiring and mixing patterns in a strange/ugly way. The reason I am a speeddemon is that I have an hour to work ( during Ezzie's nap) a day, and I desperately need to create something.

I am reading an interesting book right now. In a strange way it is helping me be a better mother. I think it validates my frustrations with staying at home. On a day when I have more time and less of a crazy caffeine buzz, I will elaborate.

Halloween was fabulous. I made our traditional colcannon, although it was more like champ this year. It was delicious. We went to a great party at our neighbors house. As you can see, we looked fabulous. There I am, Queen Kelly and her knight, Sir Henry with his page, Ezra.

Colcannon, Irish dish traditionally served on the eve of the Celtic new year. Aren't we all a wee bit Irish??? If you're not Irish you must know someone who is or at least you love potatoes, right?

4 lb.s large red potatoes, quartered, peeled if you want

lots, ok maybe a stick and a half of butter

1/2 small head of cabbage, thickly sliced, you could use leeks instead but then you are making champ

2-3 cups of greens, less is probably more traditional but my family likes greens, chopped

11/3 c. milk

4 scallions, chopped

salt and pepper

1. Steam potatoes until tender, 45 minutes
2. Saute cabbage in butter and a bit of water 'till tender. Discard liquid.
3.Melt 2tbs. butter in a large skilletover med. hi heat. Add chopped greens and saute until just wilted. Add cabbage until heated through. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
4.Put milk, scallions, and remaining butterover med. heat simmer until scallions are wilted.
5. When potatoes are done, mix everything together and mash with potato masher. Lumps are good. Season to taste. Serve hot.

We love this dish, it is adapted from a recipe found in Saveur magazine, number 91.


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