Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Navy Wool Cape


When I get time to sew these days, I'm still busting away at my stash. This cape used up two lengths of vintage wool--navy for the outside and gray for the inside. Shop here if you're interested!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Georgiana, a Doe


Daisy has just branched out to true dairy goats, and now has a herd of one Saanen doe. Georgiana has never been bred, but that will happen in February in hopes of a July kidding, then plenty of goat milk.

 Daisy still has her two little Nigerian dwarf friends--a wether, and a female too tiny to breed. Milking a goat will be taking her responsibilities to the next level, for sure.

And thanks everyone for your kind wishes to Bella and Arthur! We are so happy to welcome him to our family. Stay tuned for wedding details . . .

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thursday, November 09, 2017

A Baby at the Stone House


Strictly speaking, when these pictures were taken, baby August was still in the hospital.


But he is at the Stone House now, thrilling everyone with his dimpled chin.


Unexpectedly, I ended up attending the birth and helping Eliot coach Emma through her labor.


She was magnificent--such strength and determination.


And she is richly rewarded for all her hard work.


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Oil Painting: First Draft, and Finished Project



I thought you might like to see the difference between half-way done and all the way done. The right half of the canvas was quite empty, and pulling your eye away from the subject, so it's been darkened. The shadows were too warm, so they have been cooled down with blue and a cool purple. More darks in the vase give it more depth. 

Monday, November 06, 2017

Clara's Tatting



I don't know how to tat, but Clara has taught herself. She's done shuttle tatting and needle tatting (like this) which she says is much easier. This is going to be a snowflake. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Oil Painting: Chubby Roses


Monday, October 30, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Turning the Living Room Around Again



Today was one of those too-warm and too-waspy days that come right before the weather changes.

Felix was over part of the day so I put him to work doing some heavy lifting--he carried Frederick's large cage out into the yard so I could hose it down for it's bi-annual super-cleaning

And he moved all the living room furniture around for me, to re-orient everything around the fire, which we will be lighting tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Log Cabin Quilt Top: The Meadows*


Usually Clara helps me with my piecing projects--we do assembly line stitching, pressing, and cutting to knock these log cabins out. Last week, however, she had mid-terms and multiple outside engagements and just didn't have time for me. No matter, I thought, charging ahead! I can do this on my own. I'll just lay out thirty-six block starts and get to work.

Three days later I started putting my beautiful, Meadows-inspired blocks together. Oh yes, I was short by a count of TEN.

So, change of plans--twin size quilt coming up.


* The Meadows is the name by which Felix and Molly's charming house and extensive gardens are known around here.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Hugels of Felix

When Felix and Molly bought their house in June, the first thing Felix did was start to build some hugels. What was he even doing? 


Now, of course, we know all about hugelculture and we are all true believers. I have paid Felix and Eliot to convert my vegetable garden into hugels. I can only hope that next year, like Felix, I can grow okra plants that are eight feet tall and have to be taken down with a chainsaw.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fruit for a Teenager


Daisy was headed to Laney's birthday sleepover this afternoon. It was "no gifts," but Laney loves fruit, and her mother said it would be fine to send some along. Daisy put this together and it looked stunning, especially in the afternoon light.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Strippy!




Another one pieced and waiting for a cozy winter of hand-quilting. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oil Painting: Green Mums


Not done yet, but a good start tonight. Working on black canvas again--I like it!

Monday, October 16, 2017

This Year's Birthday Feast: Italian Farmhouse


Our annual feast to celebrate the Composer's father--this year it was all Italian farmhouse-style (inspired by a library book). 

Food centerpiece was a beef tenderloin roast. I patted it with chopped garlic and rosemary, laid on bay leaves, wrapped the whole thing in bacon, and (thanks to Daisy for the smart suggestion) pinned it all together with rosemary sticks.



Clara made an incredible arrangement of herbs for the center of the table.



Let's talk about this mad polenta. I used "Dixie Lily" cornmeal because the name is so charming. Made it up into mush, stirred in an unconscionable amount of butter in which I had sauteed garlic, then stirred in fontina cheese. After in cooled in a pan, we turned it out and Bella faithfully fried it up in some olive oil. I do not exaggerate when I say that Felix took a bite, then started crying.



Salad was farmer's market lettuce with tomato, hard-boiled egg, prosciutto, and Parmesan,


Here's the menu . . . 


And here's the family.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pretty New Things for the Sitting Room


My mother's neighbor had a garage sale and passed on the leftovers--so I got this sweet hooked rug which Fitzwilliam loves to settle on.


And this big green platter which is perfect for all the mail that comes here for Felix and Molly. And anything els outgoing.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Daisy's Advice Column: Ask Miss Manners


This has been issuing forth from the typewriter lately. The cats submit their questions and Miss Manners answers. Above: "When can you bite a lady's legs?" (probably submitted by Fitzwilliam, who is known to turn on those he loves).

Below: "What are the rules for sitting on a hotpad?" (likely from Lucy Gray, who recently sat on my sewing project and covered it with bits and fur.)


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Oil Painting: The Cake


Monday, October 09, 2017

All In


 I'm serious about using up all my scraps. It might not be this week, but it's happening. This is a gigantic quilt top to get things started. I pieced it using these instructions which of course I could not follow properly. I cut four strips, sewed them together, then cut them in half, then cut them into triangles. At that point, Clara looked over my shoulder and said, "You needed to sew these two squares together first. That's why it shows the fabric in the sewing machine. "

Who knew? Well, I know now. I'm probably about to make another one of these, not quite so big, and then take stock. Scraps, your days are numbered.



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Friday, October 06, 2017

An Array of Kale


At several plant nurseries this week in search of spirea and oak-leaf hydrangeas for the Stone House. This one had such a beautiful array of ornamental cabbages and kale!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Scraping Out the Scrap Bin


My goal was to use up every single three-inch square that had been hanging around in my bin for ages. I used to cut huge quantities of these for my scrap quilts, but then I switched to strips, and was left with the less-desirable leftover squares.


I threw them ALL together and kind of like what came out. It's a large crib size (one day soon all these little quilts will go in my shop, with measurements).


Now I'm working on using up all my cut *strips*. And wouldn't you know it, there were a few squares lurking around in that bin. I'll make a hotpad with them.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Clara Studies



Dress from the thrift store last week. Early nineties vintage rayon, with tiny buttons and a wide sash

Monday, October 02, 2017

A Dainty Little Quilt


This is a crib-size quilt, just nine blocks of the tiny dainty prints you see here.


 Some of the fabrics are vintage, some are Japanese.


I did a second version of this quilt that's a little larger, but it's not quilted yet. I'm in the middle of a compulsion to use up ALL my scraps.


It's making for a lot of quilts.

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