Thank you for all the crochet love! I am feeling very inspired to start on a new project...just thinking about picking out the yarn makes me weak in the knees (that is the very best part of this whole crocheting thing!). But before I start on that, I need to finish up my quilt. With the help of the lovely Pernilla at Kreatelier, I learned how to machine quilt and I just love the results. Now all that is left is the binding...oh my, that is a LOT of hand sewing, just ironing it made me tired!
I am finally finished with my first ever crochet project. My blanket turned out beautifully and I am so proud of myself for not giving up when the thought of attaching 49 squares and sewing in millions of loose ends loomed before me. I am sure that you are all thinking...it's about time, since I have shared the entire crocheting experience with you from start to finish. But this blog is my chance to share, because Lord knows I get no recognition in my own home.
I showed my husband the finished project and explained to him all the work that went in to it and he stared at me blankly, as if this was the first time he had ever seen it. Please note...I have been working on this project for the past six months, sitting next to him in bed, crocheting like a mad women while we watch our Netflix choices together and I now realize that he has no recollection of any of it. Argggghh, men.
*A few of you asked about the yarn that I used, so here are the details. The company is Lorna's Laces, I used the Shepard Worsted, 100% Superwash Wool and I bought it at Purl Soho! It was an absolute dream to work with!
I received my copy of Sew Hip! magazine in the mail today and was thrilled at the way my article on Squam turned out! I know this magazine is very hard to find in the States, so I will post images of the article here for your enjoyment (if you click on the images, they should enlarge so that you can read it). I don't normally do this because I want all of you to run out and purchase the magazine! If you have the chance, definitely pick yourself up a copy, this issue has some great patterns and a fabulous article on organic fabrics. Not to mention the fact that it is so important to support high-quality craft magazines right now since business is not exactly booming in the magazine industry.
I also want to give a HUGE shout out to the amazing Jen Gray, whose photos absolutely make the article. Enough 'thank you's' cannot be said.
I am in need of some help here my dear readers...I am trying to get my hands on a few copies of the newest issue of Sew Hip Magazine (issue 9). I have an article in this issue and I would love to get some extra copies to give to the people who contributed their time, photographs and quotes to make the article a reality.
Do you have any idea where I can find Sew Hip! in the States? Is anyone in the UK willing to do a magazine swap...Martha Stewart or Artful Blogging for a few issues of Sew Hip?
Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day, the perfect weather for picking flowers...almost four pounds worth! We had company over last night and the house looked beautiful with all the fresh bouquets. My goal next year for our backyard is to have a little cutting garden. I can think of nothing better than stepping out of my backdoor, coffee in hand, to cut a fresh bouquet of my very own.
The farmer's market was beyond amazing this morning. We got up early, rode our bikes down to the market and started filling our baskets with the colorful bounty. You can tell that the season is in full swing, each stall was overflowing with produce, whereas in the previous weeks, it was slim pickings! As soon as I got home, I poured out our purchases on the counter and marveled at the glorious colors. I simply had to share. As I am writing this, I am snacking on the tastiest cherries and blueberries imaginable. I hope your weekend is just as sweet!The delicate yellow of heirloom tomatoes, followed by a completely local breakfast of fresh yogurt, berries and homemade granola.
I have been reading some excellent books this summer. A few of my favorites so far are The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Julie & Julia, Fast Food Nation and The Omnivores Dilemma. I always bring my book-of-the-moment to the beach and when the wind starts whipping off the water...well, there goes my page. So I decided to craft some simple and sweet little page markers.
Step One: Round up a few pretty buttons, a couple paper clips, some matching ribbon and thread (thin wire or stretchy jewelry cord works well too!)Step Two: Thread a needle with your cord/wire/thread and make a few loops through the button hole. Tie off your thread in the back and then insert your paper clip through the loops. Tie on your matching ribbon and hide your knot behind the button. For extra staying-power, but a dab of hot glue on the button and press the paper clip and ribbon on.Now off you go to do some beach reading, without worrying about losing your page!
I have been a busy little bee, working on my pretty pink quilt. The top is almost done and since my quilting skills are limited, I will be heading to Kreatelier on Saturday afternoon for a lesson in machine quilting. This quilt, compared to the doll quilts I usually make, seems so large (the top measures 60x60). I am a little nervous for the edging. Sewing that much edging by hand is a little daunting...I will need quite a bit of encouraging!
I have a total love affair with the paintings of Janet Hill Studio. I bought my first original a few months ago and it hangs in my living room, where it gets heaps of adoring comments. One such comment came from my mom when she was here visiting...she completely fell in love with my little painting. So I decided to get her an original of her very own. The question is...can I manage to part with it (especially when it looks so lovely with my pottery collection!)? This is a true testament of my love for you, mom!
No...I am not going to post about some bizarre Indian beauty pageant, unless you are referring to the one in my backyard. It seems my girls have been showing off for the neighbor kids, who love nothing more than to line up at the fence and watch the silly antics of my four lovely ladies. On Sunday afternoon, I was mowing the lawn and the youngest (4 y.o.) of the four next-door-neighbor children asked me if I had named the chickens.
"Not yet," I told her. "I can hardly tell them apart."
"Well we have named all of them," she informed me. "The one with the shiny head is Polly, the other one with the shiny head is Sunshine. The darker one is RocketSpace (chalk that one up to her brothers) and the darkest one is Indian.""Hmmm...I love those names. How creative! But I have to say, Indian is a rather interesting name for a chicken." I replied, while thinking... well now I know how their parents must refer to us! Those nice half-Indian neighbors of ours with chickens! Hence Ms. Indian.
I love a weekend with no agenda, plans or commitments. At about 3:30 on Saturday afternoon, we decided it was a beach day and so we packed up our books, towels and bathing suits and headed to Bristol Town Beach. The crowds had just cleared out, making it the most perfect beach expedition.
We spent most of our time chatting... over lunch, dinner, breakfast and coffee at the dining room table. We had so many stories to share, so many commonalities. It was the type of visit that left me refreshed, revitalized and inspired. I feel so fortunate to have met Elizabeth and Lisa, to have experienced Squam Art Workshops and to now call these amazing women my friends. I have no doubt we will be meeting again soon...in fact, dates have already been set!
I have some very special guest arriving today, driving in from New Hampshire...Elizabeth and Lisa, or as I like to think of them, 'the ladies of Squam!' That's what I keep telling my husband..."The Squam ladies are coming, the Squam ladies are coming!"
So of course I am tidying up the guest room, arranging everything just so... They are coming in this afternoon and leaving tomorrow morning. I can hardly wait...but, oh, what to show them? I could spend days showing newbies around Providence, my favorite town. It's just too hard to narrow it down!My own little quilt wall...more on that later!
It's all in the details...notice the light plate, covered in gorgeous vintage wallpaper....a Squam project, remember?
While we were in Michigan, we had dinner at an insane asylum...yes, you heard me right, a creepy old insane asylum. Okay, well it used to be. Stella's of Traverse City is a gourmet restaurant housed in a partially renovated old state mental facility (see the postcard image below) that now houses shops, restaurants and soon, condos. I am not sure if I would want to live here, what do you think??
After dinner we walked around the grounds, which are sprawling, and discovered that most of the buildings have yet to be renovated. I loved the rusted, boarded up images that I managed to capture. They evoke such haunted feelings. So "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest," don't you agree?
We are home again after our Michigan vacation and I woke up this morning missing my family, the muffins we had every morning from the local bakery and my sweet little puppy, Honey, and her crazy antics. It is always so difficult to settle back in to work after a long and wonderful vacation. I am doing my best, but my mind keeps wandering to... the turquoise blue of Torch Lake that makes it look like something out of a Caribbean daydream,
the sweet little shops of Alden,
the gorgeous flowers bringing riots of color to every yard in town,
and gorgeous sunsets.