Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas Everybody

Despite what the holly tree may tell you, I think it looks fine after the slight pruning I gave it this morning.

The holly bush reminds us to regard those things that are evergreen, including my best wishes for your continued health and happiness.

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Fine Time of Year for Pointless Handwork

What is a person to do once the garden goes dormant for the season?  I don't know about you, but this is the time of year when I return to the more obscure handicrafts.  The really pointless ones.  Like tatting.

I don't remember why, many years ago, I was so intrigued by tatting.  In the dark ages before the internet, I had to haunt many yarn, handicrafts, and book shops in a search for instructional and patterns books.  I'm left-handed.  There is no such thing as a left-handed tatting instructional book, so I had to transpose right-handed instructions in my head.  My mother thought learning to tat was going to drive me right around the  bend.

I did eventually get the hang of it and worked my way through several designs for tatted snowflakes.   For about 350 days a year, this one and its cousins live in an envelope in the box of Christmas ornaments in the attic.   Every year I'm happy to see their lacy little faces, but I don't seem to have any burning desire to make any more.

Monday, November 12, 2018

It's full of stars

Actually, grape juice is full of tartaric acid.  When you make your own grape juice and then put it in the fridge, the tartaric acid forms crystals.  They're white now, but will turn a dark purple.  I just happened to open the fridge before that happened.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Somebody thinks a lot about you!

I keep this postcard on my bulletin board.  There are some excellent books on knitting and war, but that's not what this post is about.

For today, all you need to do is think about filling in the name of your town and who you'd send this to if you had a chance.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Season Finale by the Maple Trees

This was the one sunny day during my recent week in Vermont.   I hadn't been back for the color in a number of years.  It was grand.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Little Quilts Go Out Into The World

There is great satisfaction in getting up on a Saturday morning, deciding to make a quilt, and having it all done by Sunday afternoon.  Having a large stash of fabrics and quilt batts makes this possible.  As part of a general tidy-up at the Blue Door First National Bank of Fabric and Quilt Batts, I've decided to start making regular withdrawals.  Over the last few months I've been drawing down my supply of small quilt batts, which measure in the range of 45" by 60."

I then pick one fabric for the front and a different fabric for the back, and typically a third fabric for the binding.  I'm old-fashioned in some ways, so I baste the layers together by hand, but then I do the quilting by machine.  I finish sewing the binding down by hand.  I just think it looks nicer.

This batch have been sent out into the world where I hope they'll look bright and cheerful on the backs of sofas or recliners.  They're a good size for naps or watching television.  The red one with the green back measures 36" by 45", which I understand is a good size for a wheelchair user.

Ha! Missed me by a mile!

Cox's Orange Pippen from my tree
Most adults will admit to being terrified by the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, but fewer people seem to remember the apple trees.

When I was little I knew about apple trees.  At this time of year my family would visit orchards and cider mills.  Sometimes we'd pick apples from abandoned trees growing along fence rows. 

Imagine my horror when I was very small and watching The Wizard of Oz for the first time and learning that the grown-ups had forgotten to tell me that the apple trees might be tetchy about having their apples picked!

But I'm glad to say I coped, have always liked apples, and have planted apple trees just about every place I've lived.  My apple trees are largely sweet-tempered, providing the loveliest blossoms in the spring.  At this time of year they're finishing up dropping their crop of apples, and if I happen to be walking under one of them when an apple lets go, well, I don't take it too personally.