It's been a long week. Stress has been building and I let it get the better of me. I've been crabby, irritable and generally not fun to be around. Just ask my family.
Something shifted this morning. I don't know what it was and why it happened, but I am thankful for waking up with a better attitude. Two free days lay ahead of me - the weatherman is promising sunshine and mild temps. I'll take it. My personal agenda includes two good runs, some house cleaning, hanging out with friends and some recreational sewing. Sounds promising, doesn't it?
The word I chose to represent this year is present. And I have to keep reminding myself that it's important to be in the moment, whatever that moment is. To live in the now and not worry so much about what the future may or may not hold.
I've also been shooting film with the new to me, but old camera. I'm learning as I go, but I like some of what's happened so far (see above).
This turned out to be an entirely random post, but this is what's on my mind at the moment. I hope you all enjoy the weekend. Back here next week with a long overdue and entirely new look for the blog.
I made 6 of these as gifts. I went ahead and bought the kits from Anna's website so I could have a variety of colors. I even swapped linings on two of them so that none of the six I made are exactly the same. The pattern is very straightforward and they came together pretty well. I did have to trim the kit precuts so that the pieces were exactly the same size - in most cases, each scarf ended up being 17" wide before sewing. Not a big deal, it didn't make a difference in the finished product. I tried pinning the first one while sitting on the couch, but the fabrics are a bit slippery so when I got to the sewing machine, it wasn't lined up right and there was much swearing. Ahem. Take my advice and find a clean spot on the floor or a long table where you can lay everything out nicely and then pin, pin, pin. Then go ahead and pin some more. I used a walking foot. I'm not sure if that is necessary or not - I found it helpful.
The velveteen is super cozy, the voile smooth and silky. Doubling the scarf up on your neck is quite warm, but not too warm, and I think it looks equally as nice with a coat or just a sweater. I'd love to try this again with a light-weight wool and voile. Or even real silk velvet. I think that would be pretty swell, too.
You guys are awesome! I knew that you would give me lots of great ideas to jump start some different dinners. I've gone through the comments a few times now and I plan to go through my Everyday Food mags this evening and sticky note your recommendations. There are so many wonderful suggestions in the comments of that last post - check them out for some great links. Also, Mad Hungry was mentioned a few times. I bought that cookbook this fall and LOVE it. It definitely deserves a post of its own, though.
I started chain piecing the Liberty quilt this weekend. I started by sewing one white square to each of the Liberty prints and then sewed another print onto those strips. After an hour of piecing like this, I realized that I was going to have to come up with a better plan. It's very random (which is what I want), but I'm worried about balancing the prints and the white. So for now I think I am going to make 2, 3 and 4 piece strips and then lay it all out on the floor, add the white where it is needed and then I can sew the pieces into blocks or strips and go from there. I was trying to avoid laying out a huge 27 x 30 block rectangle, but it looks like it's inevitable.
I've put this all aside for now so I can focus on the auction art projects this week. I'm treating the auction work as my day job (Monday - Friday, daytime hours) and the quilting and other crafts as my leisure (nights and weekends). It's my sincere hope that I can keep to this schedule and by doing so that I can avoid stressing myself out too much. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Gotta run - I have some rain barrels that need a final coat of spray paint. Later!
We have this strange corner in the butler's pantry that probably covers some kind of pipe. There's a little cabinet there - it's long, narrow and very shallow. In reality, it's not a great storage spot for much of anything. It does fit all my Everyday Food mags pretty nicely, though. I have all the issues - starting at number 2 - and refer to specific ones often. This magazine has always made so much sense to me - easy to make food without too many steps or unusual ingredients. I also think a subscription is a bargain - there is so much good information for a little amount of money. It's perfect for week night cooking and for busy families. And really, who isn't busy these days? I find, though, that we go back to the same recipes over and over again because I know those recipes so well that there is no guess work at the grocery store. I'd like to widen my repetoire and this is where you come in.
I'm looking to shake up dinner time just a little bit and would appreciate your help. Are there certain Everyday Food recipes that you go back to again and again? If so, would you share them with me in the comments? If you know the month and year, that'd be great. If not, no worries, still tell. I might be able to find it anyhow.
Just to start things rolling, two go-to meals in our house are:
Lime marinated skirt steak and chili-roasted sweet potato wedges from January/February 2006 (#29) - most often I serve these two items with roasted zucchini and sweet onions (large dice, toss w/a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 - 30 minutes).
The spinach and proscuitto lasagna from October 2008 (#56) - We skip the proscuitto because one person won't eat it and I often use a small rectangular casserole dish instead of a square one with 9 instead of 6 noodles, but the same amount of filling. I find that seasoning the ricotta/spinach mixture with the salt and pepper, and maybe a bit more garlic, is key. Serve it with a salad and some bread - yum!
I'm looking forward to seeing what you all like. And then, I'm going to cook up a storm.
Hello. It's Tuesday night. All day long it has seemed like a Monday. I woke up with purpose and got a lot of tasks checked off the list. That felt good. Unfortunately the list still has many items left to tackle. Tomorrow. Or maybe Thursday. It's school auction season so it'll probably be this way for awhile yet. I'm not complaining. Just stating.
Yes, I know I have a problem. But (and this is a big BUT), sewing is my therapy right behind exercise. If I give either of these up while I am overloaded and stressed, I just get more overloaded and stressed and then my family doesn't want me around which stresses me more....
You get the picture. I need to sew.
This quilt is for Jane. It's a collaboration because at 11, she has very solid opinions about what she wants and does not want. She first wanted a zig zag quilt. And I was good with that. Actually, I was looking forward to a bunch of half square triangles to bust through some of my stash. Then she said no. Something different. I proposed dresden plates because, let's face it, those were fun to sew. I pulled out some photos, held my breath and she said yes!
Suh-weet! Aquas, greens, reds, pinks and yellows. It's going to be cheery and bright and so very fun. Just like my girl. And thankfully, I'm quilting right along with some friends. It's my hope that they will give me the push I need to get this wrapped up lickety-split.
That is right after I make the two quilts for the auction. (Did I forget to mention that?)
During pillow week, I cut three pillows that I didn't get around to making. The week before Christmas, I found myself with a free hour and got around to finishing them.
This is one half of a pair of small lumbar pillows for the ticking stripe chairs. I love this fabric, but I did not love fussy cutting it. I wish the pillows were a little longer (these arer 14" x 18"), but I was intent on using pillow forms I had on hand. The piping is a solid khaki color from scraps of the pillow below.
I needed something a little plainer with all the prints going on in the room, so I used this slubby khaki cotton for this 22" square pillow. I rooted around the studio to find a trim and the only one that was the right color and I had enough of was this green velvet. I edge stitched it onto the pillow front before I sewed it together. I am really happy with the way it turned out. The textural differences make the pillow more interesting. A wider ribbon would have been perfect, but this one does the job nicely.
Here's the couch in the family room with all the pillows. I didn't fluff or plump or straighten up for this, but you get the idea. To the left of the photo are the two ticking chairs with the red pillows. The dresden plate floor pillows sit on a shelf below the coffee table. The pillows on the couch get moved around a lot and look good together in any combination. I think it is all coming together nicely, but the room still needs some work, namely a rug, lamps and a big edit of some built in bookcases. Also, I'd love a new coffee table, but I am not sure that is in the budget right now. I do have an idea to hack the one I have - I just need to put that plan into action.
Spiffing up the family room made me realize just how easy and fast it is to revamp the house with things I already have. For the cost of a few yards of fabric, I have a much more pulled together room. I want to keep moving in this direction. I'd love 2011 to be the year I focus on my home. There are quite a few projects on my to-do list and I plan on knocking them off one-by-one. I'll keep you updated as I go along.
When I started this blog over four years ago, I thought I knew what I was getting into. It was going to be a place for me to show and tell about the things I made, to keep a record of all my creative pursuits. That was it. An online space for me to journal my comings and goings and makings.
I had it all wrong.
I'm not saying that this blog isn't a record of my creations and doings. It is. But House on Hill Road has opened up a world to me that I didn't know existed. I'm talking about the community of blogging - the relationships I've made with people I wouldn't know if it weren't for my little slice of the internet. How I connected with these people is a bit of a mystery still, but the connections are solid, built on common ground. It's hard to explain this to people who don't blog. In fact, Fatty did not understand it for a very long time despite my efforts at explaining it to him. But when you are in the thick of it, or perhaps, in Fatty's case, when you witness those connections face to face, it's immediately apparent that these friendships are real and valid and important. That my "blog friends" are more than people I correspond with via the internet. They are my friends, plain and simple.
Getting to spend the weekend with six of my friends was an incredible blessing. We talked and laughed, supported and cheered. It was comfortable and comforting, seeing these amazing women all in the same room, laughing with each other and taking photograph after photograph. The houses were cozy and familar and the personalities just as I had imagined. We shared stories and told tales, celebrated a book and its author and photographer. We saw art and learned from an expert. We ate great meals and traded gifts. It was all I had hoped for and then more still.
That's the thing about good friends. They rarely disappoint. And mine blew my expectations away.
Yes. Thankful. I am.
I bought a used Pentax K100 this summer and this past weekend, I loaded the first roll of film in it. Well, really, Emily loaded it for me. (I'm totally out of practice - it's been a long time since I've shot film.) What better excuse than a new-to-me camera is there for cutting in the also new-to-me Greenfield Hill fabric by Denyse Schmidt? I can't think of one so I did just that and sewed one patchwork camera strap for me and another non-patchwork one for a friend. I bought all the prints in all the colorways of this line because I totally dig the old-fashioned and modern aesthetic that is happening together here. Plus, black, white and green? I had to have it. And now that I see the colors in person, I'm going to have to move beyond the quilting cotton and on to the voiles. I really can't resist.
I've heard talk that many people aren't as enamored with these fabrics as I am. What do you think? Love it or hate it? Why?
Hey! Happy New Year! I thought I'd be here earlier in the week, but it just didn't happen. Hope 2011 is off to a great start for all of you.
The squares are cut. All 624 of them. I haven't added any from the stash yet - I need to re-do my math to see where I'm at. I figure I'll add one or two more prints (including the bicycles for Fatty, you know, so it's not all pink and all flowers) and balance out the rest with white. Then I need to decide how to attack the making of this quilt. I want it to be a random pattern. I'm wondering if I should make smaller blocks or piece it in strips. I think the points might be easier to match in blocks. Anyone have an opinion or experience with this?
Not sure what I am going to do with all these little strips, either. They vary in width and are about 9" long. Ideas?