Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In slow mode



Peaceful, slow, winter days. 
I attempt to be a quilter by day, a knitter by night and a reader when I should be sleeping.

So far I have pieced one very true scrap quilt top out of my slightly old work shirts and am now stuck on the backing. 
The knitting has consisted of one slightly slouchy hat for winter, even though it now looks like spring outside with melting snow and rain right now. I hope I get a few more chances to try it out. 

As for reading, I finished "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", by Marie Kondo, "Humilty: True Greatness" by C. J. Mahoney and am currently on an old book from a library book sale years ago titled, "Keep the Wagons Moving" by West Lathrop. I loved pioneers and any stories set in the 1800's when I was growing up, and this one certainly fits the "pioneer" category. Why I didn't read it when I was still living at home, I don't know. 

The Polaroid picture above of Natasha, was taken by my brother-in-law, with my sister-in-law's "new" old Polaroid camera. This was the first shot with it, and we weren't even sure it worked, but it does, and how truly fun it is. 

Lace is not normally a textile I decorate with much, but I discovered my Grandma's lace tablecloth in the last un-opened box from when we moved. Hung as a curtain, I love seeing the design with the light coming in from the window. 

What keeps you busy these winter days? Are you dreaming of spring? 

Monday, January 18, 2016

The New Year










Do people blog anymore? I know I'm not very faithful, but I still enjoy posting some pictures and a bit of our lives. It's kind of like online scrapbooking. I thought at one time I would be a fabulous scrapbooker. Now though, it's one of those activities I have easily let go of in favor of different pastimes. I'd rather sew than create detailed pages of our lives and have to store huge albums. But, just in case all the internet goes kaput one day, I do a Shutterfly photo book to have in hard copy. Usually of our travels, but sometimes I get a "regular life" one made too.

January has been nice. Not rushed or crazy with events or holidays. I think it's wonderful not to need to be planning anything in particular and I wake up in the morning with simple things on the to-do list. 
Like: Make bread
Have coffee with a friend. 
Casually tidy Natasha's room. 
Take the tree down (in stages). 
Learn how to properly fold clothes, according to the KonMari method, which I'm reading about in, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondō. 
Request new books from the library.
Attempt to make menus.
Dream of cheesecake. 

And...so on. It's been a good start to 2016 and I look forward to the rest of the year. What have you been doing in these slower days of January? Do you still read blogs? 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Scenes of the Season















Before 2016 is too far in and all the Christmas lights are taken down, I have to sneak a little bit of Christmas onto my blog. It was a fun December. We baked some, I knitted gifts, Natasha folded laundry under the tree, we slept in the living room after watching "White Christmas" for the first time, enjoyed our traditional creme brulee on Christmas Eve and treasured Christmas day with family. 

Now, I look forward to January and the new year and all it has to offer. Which, from the way it looks and the things we've talked of doing, it should be a very fun year. 

Just in case you're wondering, the homemade marshmallows are from Danielle Walker's e-book "Joyful". I've made them a few times now and it is like magic-making your own marshmallows. I highly suggest trying it. They're made with honey too-no granulated white sugar or corn syrup. I make a batch, use some fresh, and then freeze the rest to save for later. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thanksgiving to Christmas

We hosted Daniel's family for Thanksgiving, so the day before, Natasha and I made a banner. And restrung it at least once to get all the letters in the correct places. I love decorating the table for meals like this.




gluten-free flour tortilla that trumps all I've made so far. 


Earlier this month we took a little get-away to Phoenix for a few days, to use a Southwest companion pass. The weather was incredible and the zoo was most entertaining. Animals are so funny.


In-N-Outs are common out west, and not here. So we took advantage. With 6 double-doubles, served protein style.



I saw a post on Instagram from Stephanie that SAS Fabrics is a great place for bargains. I simply had to go. And what fun it was. I found two really nice striped knits, some invisible zippers for .50 cents and 8 yards of lavender trim for Natasha's Christmas gift, for only .25 cents a yard. I was super pleased.


The Original Chop Shop was another fun place to eat. (They have sweet potatoes in a bowl with veggies and meat. Sound perfect for our family or what?!) I especially liked their decor, and of course the food, and...the bathroom floor tiles.


If anyone feels so inclined, they could send me a cement planter for Christmas. Or, my birthday is in February. I'm not too choosy.


We walked around the Christmas light display at the Mormon Temple without winter coats on, or even hats and gloves. Practically unheard of in the Midwest. There were even lights on a lemon tree. With lemons on it. How about that.


Back home again, it was high time we found ourselves a Christmas tree. The past 3 years we have been grateful for a friend's free Blue Spruce's, but we decided to go for a softer needle this year. So we have here a White Pine. It smells...oh so good.



My sister and I used to have the job of picking up pine needles off the floor every year, and now, I get to make my daughter do it. 




Our little reader has been reading everything recently. I found the little series of "Ling and Ting" in the "I Can Read" section of our library, handed her a book, and she immediately started reading. I went to the side of the library, and when I came back, she had picked up two more from the same series, and continued to sit there reading away. When it was time to check out, she walked slowly across the library with the book open, reading out loud to herself, the whole way. 

All I have to say is, we have had absolutely no trouble teaching this child to love books. 


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sneak Peak

We had snow before Thanksgiving for a few days, and of course I had us all head outside for family pictures. Christmas card season is upon us, you know.  The camera had some issues focusing with all the snowflakes coming down in front of us, but that was okay. This one gives you a preview of the better ones that are in focus. 


Now that Thanksgiving is safely behind us, I have removed all pumpkins from the house and hope to buy some lovely fresh pine garland from Trader Joe's very soon. I heard they have 20 ft. garlands for only $7. I had to verify that our closest Trader Joe's has them (it's really not that close at all...an hour and a half north), and they do. The kindest clerk told me I can call ahead and she can hold one for me. How about that? So I plan to make a day trip and have some of this for my very own home.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Little Girlie

I came across this picture when looking through some to get printed and it is officially my newest favorite picture of Natasha. This was taken in Strasbourg, France when we were in Europe this past July.  


Friday, August 28, 2015

Two in One Week

I must be on a roll or something with blogging...

This is to document two things that make me happy these days:


My girlie learning to sew (her first doll quilt) and iron. It's such fun to share my love of sewing with her and hopefully teach her a lasting skill for years to come.


Also, new dishcloths. 100% cotton. I'm hoping this will be helpful in eliminating the greasy dishcloth problem that has been on the increase in my kitchen. The only ones I've ever had are a cotton/polyester blend and I think the synthetic fibers are causing issues. My soap suds disappear too quickly, the dishes seem greasy even after being washed, and the dishcloth itself even feels greasy directly after coming from the washing machine. Has anyone else ever had this problem? So. New dishcloths make me very happy. Plus they're a fun yellow theme.


I had to pose them beside fresh tomatoes from my garden because it looks summerish.