Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Where Women Create Magazine Giveway

My sincerest apologies for not being back here the end of last week with a giveaway, as promised.  I kept meaning to fit it in, but instead I got carried away working on journals, launching a new shop website, mowing and trimming trees, shrubs, and blackberries on our property, and enjoying a Memorial Day picnic and flea market.  It was a great weekend, but now that life has settled back to normal I am happy to announce the giveway ~ an issue of the latest Where Women Create magazine.  Jo Packham, Creator & Editor-in-Chief, has kindly sent me a copy to give to one of you.  

It is an honor for me to be included in this May/June/July issue.  Jo Packham, besides a creative genius, is an absolute pleasure to work with, going out of her way to be kind and helpful.   The current issue features the work spaces of Bethany Kramer, Anne Freund, Beckah Krahula, Betz White and more.  As always, it is full of inspiring photographs and stories.

If you would like to enter to win a copy, please leave your comment below.    

  • This is open to all readers, even if you are outside the US.
  • Only one comment accepted per person
  • Comments will be accepted until end of day Sunday, May 31, 2015
  • Winner will be chosen by random drawing and announced on Monday, June 1, 2015

Thank you dear readers and customers for all your support,


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'our building adventure' update

Building our new home should begin in a few weeks--we are just waiting for the basement people to give us the date they plan to dig and install the pre-cast walls--and I can't wait to get going!

Meanwhile, we have been gathering some materials.  Above, a before picture of a marble vanity top for the powder room.  It was sitting outside an antique shop for probably quite some time.  An internet search offered information on cleaning old marble, and it seems to be working.  I still have to apply a poultice on a couple stubborn stains.  Another center hole will be drilled for the faucet, but that is a job for the professionals!  I have not yet found the perfect base for the vanity, but if need be, we will probably build something...

A couple weeks ago, we found these American soapstone countertops and slab sink at a salvage warehouse.  The soapstone is marked Alberene Soapstone, a company formed in the late 1800's and located in central Virginia.  These countertops and sink were reclaimed from a university and, though they look rough, with a gentle sanding and cleaning I know that they will look beautiful in our new kitchen!

Here is a link to an identical soapstone sink so you can see the potential :)

Now, I have a great announcement...there is a giveaway coming up and a sneak peek into Where Women Create's latest issue.  So, please stop back later this week for a chance to win,  

Monday, May 04, 2015

making a rental a home...

It's hard to believe it's already been 7 months since we sold our home and farm and moved into a rental.  Reader Melissa inquired about the kitchen here, so today is the tour.  
The parsonage we are renting was built around the 1930's--though much of the house is original, the kitchen was updated at some point.  The appliances were all included and there is a lot of cupboard space.
Though many of our things are still packed up in storage, I did bring some of my favorites, like my ironstone and vintage silver, to make it seem more like home.

There is a sunroom adjoining the kitchen, which receives lots of light from the wall of windows and skylights.  My plants love it in there...as does Fluffy, who always manages to find the most comfortable spot for a nap...

The chimney cupboard holds all my cookbooks, the bread board hanging was made by my late father-in-law, and the two copper pots were recently found at a yard sale for a few dollars...

The chalk board was a flea market find, and I rely on it for keeping my shopping list.  My father-in-law found the butcher block long ago beside the road; it was cleaned up and eventually passed on to us...

Through the archway is the dining room, and the door on the right leads upstairs...

So there you have it! Though I can't wait to get our new house built, I am so thankful for this temporary home.

 Our building plans are moving along and we hope to have a starting date very soon.  Weekends now are busy spent looking for some unique materials, and I am having a lot of fun poking around the salvage store warehouse.  
I do hope you'll stop back as I document our adventure,


Monday, April 27, 2015

a finished baby quilt, a new basket, and some totes

The baby quilt is finished!...just in time for the shower this past weekend.  The hand quilting with perle cotton went fairly quick, but still took me some time just working on it a little each day.  I decided to use black & white gingham for the binding and intended to finish it with hand stitching, but was out of time.  I ended up using this Fast Machine Quilt Binding tutorial, and it worked wonderfully.  The quilt was then popped in the washer and dryer which gave it that nice puffy look.  Already I'm considering what the next quilting project will be--maybe that Amish quilt top that I started repairing long ago...

Because I can't seem to work on one project for too long, I took some time out one day to make a cotton cord basket.  The dogs' toys need to be contained, and I thought this would work well.  I'm very happy with the basket, which was so easy to stitch up...but, no sooner is my back turned, and Fluffy has every toy dumped out, the basket in her mouth and proceeds to shake the living daylights out of it.  The basket has now been put away for its own safety.

Despite some snow last week, it seems Spring has finally arrived.  Some daffodils and forsythia have appeared around the old garage.

Some new bags have made it into the Shop, and I'm now working on some vintage book cover journals.

There's been a reader request for a peek at the Parsonage kitchen, so if you are interested, stop back later this week and we'll take a little tour.
Thanks for visiting,


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Easter, rum cake, and sewing projects...

I hope your Easter was good.  A new tradition here is a holiday tablecloth that I started last year--everyone signs their name and maybe even adds a comment or drawing, which I later embroider.  I hadn't actually done any stitching however, so last week I pulled it out, selected a palette of embroidery flosses and got caught up.  Sunday we added a new section of memories and had fun looking back at what we wrote in 2014.
For our gathering, I made a ham dinner.  For dessert, I thought about making a lamb cake, but since the lamb mold is somewhere in storage limbo, I decided to try a rum cake instead.  I wanted it to be from scratch, and so I used this recipe for the vanilla pudding mix.  It turned out moist and delicious, and I'm enjoying the leftovers with a cup of tea.

This week I've pulled out the patchwork I pieced for the baby quilt, made a quilt sandwich with cotton batting and a blue & white dotted flannel backing, basted with pins, and started to quilt.
After going back and forth as to whether I should machine or hand quilt, I decided to hand quilt using perle cotton.  The larger stitches are going fairly quick, and I'm really enjoying that time in the evening when I can sit down and stitch away.

Some new bags for the Shop are also coming together; the latest
is this striped shoulder bag using an Indian-style striped blanket and recycled belts.

For today, a flour sack tote is in the works...so back to work,


Friday, March 27, 2015

an update from this week...

I have {another} new houseplant--a spider plant--which loves the light from the front window in my workroom.  Surrounding myself with plants is becoming a new Spring ritual that cheers me up when it's still too cold/wet/snowy to get outside and do any real gardening. In the sunroom I've added a split leaf philodendron, and a Hirt's Fiddleleaf Fig Tree - Ficus - Great Indoor Tree - 4" Pot/Decorative Cover* that I ordered online--it arrived in the frigid month of February, miraculously lived to tell about it, and, so far, appears quite healthy.
A couple projects that I've finished this winter are the drawstring dress 3C, made as a tunic, from Interweave Press Simple Modern Sewing* and the Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf.  The tunic is sewn from a somewhat sheer linen-weave fabric that I had on hand; I think it will be great for summer over a tank top or camisole.  The scarf is crocheted with an indigo heather, baby alpaca yarn from mooglyblog's pattern--it will be the perfect scarf for Spring.  More information is available on my Ravelry page here.  There are also new bags in progress for the shop--a new-style lined leather bag and another Indian stripe blanket tote.
The muffins pictured are from a new-to-me recipe, flourless peanut butter chocolate chip mini blender muffins.  I double the recipe and make a dozen regular size muffins, which I bake for about 13 - 15 minutes.  They are a new favorite around here...delicious!
A visit to the library this week was especially worthwhile--the Birds, Insects, and Outdoor Cookbook were found on the sale shelves. I could not resist the illustrations on that cookbook cover!  The rest are borrowed, and I will be reading up on quilting and house building--a perfect way to spend a cold weekend.  Hope yours is a good one,


*contains affiliate links

Monday, March 16, 2015

getting away...

After enduring the cold and snow that was the month of February, it was heavenly to recently spend some time in Palm Beach with my sister & brother-in-law.  We planned a similar trip last winter, but our flights were cancelled due to weather, causing great disappointment. What are the chances that our flight would again be cancelled this year, due to weather?!...yes, it happened.  But this time, we were able to fly out the next morning thanks to a Jet Blue employee who went out of her way to get us all booked together on the next soonest flight.
We walked the beach, soaked up some sun by the pool, did a little shopping, and took a few nature walks where we sighted some amazing birds.  We quite hated to pack up and leave at the end of our stay,
but have come home recharged and happy to see that some signs of spring have finally arrived here at home.



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