Thursday, August 27, 2009

in the air

Things that are "in the air" here right now:

* cat dander (sorry if that made you sneeze),
* the smell of oatmeal+chocolate chip cookies,
* steam from the rice cooker,
* a few unfinished knitting projects,
* live guitar twangs (singing to go with),
* lots of laughter from cousins (and sisters) who are happy to be together,

and finally,

* autumn!

I will submit that it's probably really just Indian Summer, but this morning it sure did feel like fall here. Chilly and wet with a vague drone from crickets, frogs, and cicadas, all of them seeming to me like a call out for change. The change that is coming is nearly tangible in the air, it's definitely visible in the garden; the leaves of many of the plants are just slightly more yellow than last week, the hummingbird is visiting less often, the nasturtium are full and glowing, the pumpkin plant seems to be racing to spread its vine.

Of course, then there's the calendar (sometimes I just want to bury it!) Early September means a surgery for my father. The surgery brings a visit from my other sister. And, of course, autumn brings high school for Koji with all the dates to be kept for welcome-gatherings, parent orientation, etc. Also on the calendar is hubby's graduation from graduate school - big, happy letters on the calendar next weekend, then a lot of free time that certainly wasn't there for him/us over the last year-and-a-half. That will be a very welcome change!

Seeing that last paragraph written out explains to me why I feel a sense of pending. I'm glad for this place to think, write, and share. Thank you for reading. I hope you are all well wherever you are in place and time... :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

bag lady, me

Clearly, I've been working through some mental clutter! By that, I mean more of my things to make someday list! It started a couple of weeks ago with the maya*made buckets, which we are making good use of, thank you very much.

Next to be checked off the list was the blue zipper pouch. I finished it off finally, after it sat and sat on the project table, waiting for some hand sewing. The gorgeous print is from Echino, and it is full of paper-cut-esque silhouettes of woodland creatures+botany+nature. The navy portion is some linen left over from hemming off some pants. It's lined with part of an old chambray bedsheet that I've been slowly hacking away at (stay tuned). I embroidered a running stitch along the top edge, just for handwork's sake. I carry this pouch in my everyday bag to keep a bitty brush, hair things for Hana, lip stuff, arnica, etc. I love to use it and look at it.

Then another box bag. This time my favorite mushroomy fabric! It's lined with the chambray too. I think it's best for me to make several of these at once, because I forget from time to time all the parts to include: pull tabs + handle! I took this one apart twice before it was done... :( This one's a gift, but I'm not tellin'!

The bright blue one is a bag to house our RushHour puzzle/game. I never did like the box it came in but tolerated it all these years (we've had the game since Koji was little, a pillowcase, I think), always thinking that someday it would get its own special cloth bag... someday came last week! The fabric is from when Koji was little and in his vehicle love, the back is the chambray. I used french seams so the insides would be tidy and not fray. Hooray, I'm so glad I don't have to look at that box anymore!

The light blue bag is my new knitting project bag. The main fabric is from Aunty Cookie. It is every knitter/sewers dream because it's knitting-related phrases ("knit" "purl" "count" "recount") fabric! There's a drawing of two hands casting on too. I think I need to get more... Do you have trouble knowing when to stop; as in when is a project done, when does it need more detail or personalization? I always have. I felt I was teetering on the edge of "too much" when I embroidered some steam rising from the tea/coffee cup on the stamped patch, but now I like it. I probably could've left it off, but I was on a roll, I guess. The yarn ball stamp and the mug stamp are from Craft Pudding. We love them!

The sling bag is my new everyday bag. The fabric is an African batik that I ordered from Retrosaria. I first got hooked on Rosa's blog, then her ribbon, now it's just about anything she picks out for her on-line store! She has fabric, tools, books, yarn, haberdashery, and her own creations. It's worth checking out if you're into handwork like I guess you are. Guess what I lined it with?! Right. I used a pattern from Pippijoe but altered the strap to be one long piece instead of using the cute knot at the top (I thought it might bug me). The bag is functioning very well. Yahoo!
Clearly, I have a thing for bags. :)

Also becoming clear, I have a thing for Etsy. Oh, boy! Don't get me started. We'll talk of that another day, there is so much to say. Fun.

So, I'll leave you with this beauty. We're going on a family trip tomorrow, so I won't post until Friday or so. I'll miss the garden while we're gone. Take care!

ETA: There's a new bag that came off the sewing machine tonight, but I'll have to show you that one when we get back from our little family trip, ok? What is it about going out of town and needing a new bag?! It happens to me almost everytime we go away... it might be a packing procrastinating thing, I don't know. Just sayin'!
Ps - About the commenting, if you're still encountering trouble, please try the Anonymous option... I had my remote support guy test this method and it worked for him. ;)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

yum. yum. extra yum.*

What a nice day we had!

First, we went to the Farmers' Market for some peaches and blueberries. Once home, I did a bit of blog reading and found Alicia's post which included a recipe for blueberry buckle. I've been thinking on blueberry buckle for a week or so, but couldn't come up with a recipe in my cookbook library, so coming across this recipe was perfect timing. YUM. Next, for dinner I had some chard to use. I was thinking quiche, and when I referred to Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (thank you, S!) I found the recipe for Chard and Onion Omelette (Trouchier). I did a "favor" for a friend and took over (read: "received a gift of") her CSA share for this week which included the chard, basil, onions, and parsley of the recipe along with bunches of other gorgeous food and flowers. I think this is like a frittata, right? It was delicious and is all gone now; the whole family liked it! We all recommend it! YUM. I made a great big salad with one of the heads of lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and pepper that came in the share. I think it was the best salad of the summer - everything was so crisp and tasty! EXTRA YUM.

Then, after dinner, my son, one of his good buddies, and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! It'd been a long time since I'd been to the movies. What fun! I really enjoyed it and wished the story would go on, I love it when that happens. By the way, have you every seen a pink nasturtium?! I love it. This one is from a mixed seed pack I planted which has produced the usual orange, gold, red, and then this surprise. So far, two blooms, but I've been checking every day for more...

*The title of today's post is brought to you by Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a book of Hana's which she received from my sister and her family. Little Pea expresses his love of spinach (over candy!) with the words, "yum. yum. extra yum." We say that a lot around here, as we love food in this house! Thank you, sible.

Ps - A techie I am not. I only yesterday figured out how to allow comments w/o a Blogger account and have changed my settings. Actually, maybe someone out there should try it out, because like I mentioned, a techie I am not. Sorry if that made it difficult for anyone to comment. It makes my day when I get comments on my expressions here. Thank you!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

buckets of thanks

Earlier this summer at Camp Michigania, my campmate with whom I sewed (alot!) gave me a "thank you for the pj pants sewing workshop" gift. She gave me a Maya*made coffee sack/burlap bucket! Now, I don't think my friend knew how much I'd been wanting one of those, hovering at Maya's etsy shop, waiting for just the right one, but somehow in that way that good friends (or sisters!) always seem to know, she knew! I gushed thanks at the time, but here's another big shout out: THANK YOU! to K... ;-) You're such a generous friend.

Now, right before camp, Maya made available in her Etsy shop a PDF pattern to make a round burlap bucket, and I did not hesitate to purchase that as soon as I saw it. I set the pattern on the sewing room table for "someday". Well, "someday" happened last week, and look what I made! Speaking of generous people, I think it is very generous for designers/makers to share their patterns for re-interpretation; it is a kind-spirited offering on many levels, don't you think? So, thank you to Maya too!
I made the medium size, without handles, and turned over the top inch or so for show. I used heavyweight linen which I purchased from LinenMe for the outside and quilting cotton for the linings. Since the linen is so sturdy, I only padded the bottom of the buckets with cotton batting, not the sides as in the pattern. I left the selvage exposed because I like the look of the linen strings. The cotton of two of them matches the new bathroom cutain.

The buckets are now housing the lotions+potions in the bathroom. I'm very happy with these! The pattern is very clear, it was smooth sailing all the way. I'm sure I'll make more since there seems to be so much stuff around here that needs to be contained! It might as well be a pretty container, right?!

Just for fun, since I know you'd like to see it:

This threesome visits out apple tree every day. :-)