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March 27, 2015

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...

{this moment}

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."


March 25, 2015

A Sweater and a Very Good Book

Lately knitting has taken a back seat to sewing.  Working with fresh, springy fabrics, creating items to be worn and used during the warmer seasons simply seems more appealing at the moment. I go through such phases with my crafting...knitting in fall and winter and sewing in the's the same every year.  I do, however, always have a knitting project on hand, even in the summer, for rainy afternoons spent on the porch.  Something about knitting while listenig to the pitter patter of rain is so very soothing. The last few weeks I have been working on quilts, summer nighties and even a few things for myself, and I can't wait to share those items with you. I, however, have been forcing myself to work on this sweater for Little #8, which will be very useful once the weather warms a bit. This wool sweater, with its adorable hood, will be perfect for the breezy days of spring when it's too warm for a winter jacket but not warm enough for shirt sleeves.  I am on the home stretch, really. The front and back panels and sleeves are complete.  All that remains is sewing the pieces together and knitting the hood.  I hope to complete it by the end of the month.  I guess I'll have to ignore those pretty spring  fabrics sitting on my sewing table for a few more days.

I have been thoroughly enjoying The Child From the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge.  This historical fiction engrosses us in the story of Lucy Walter and her relationship with King Charles II.  I have such a difficult time putting this book down at night, sometimes reading past midnight; it is just that good!

Joining with Ginny today.

March 23, 2015

Never to Return to the Red Room

I'm sorry for my absence and sporadic posting. I've certainly missed being here on a regular basis, but it has been a busy (and a bit stressful) the past few weeks here at Front Forty Farm.  It's amazing how much goes on in a day with twelve people, of all different ages, living under one roof.  I wake in the morning with plans to accomplish certain things, but by 9:00 am most of those plans have been thrown out the window, and new ones have taken their place.  We all have cabin fever and are ready for a change. We are ready for spring.  It's coming, I know, but with snow, wind and single digit temperatures again this past weekend, it certainly didn't feel like spring. We remain hopeful, though, knowing winter never lasts forever. One of my cures for cabin fever, as some of you probably know from past posts, is cleaning, tidying and changing things up a bit in the house, so I decided it was finally time to change the "red room", time for a lighter, more cheerful color. Time to actually do it!
Remember the red?

The color is "Cargo Pants" from Sherwin Williams. It's a lovely greyish-green...just enough green to keep the grey from being drab, but not so much green that it actually looks green.  Does that make sense?  I absolutely love the color and the change it brought to this room.  And the best part?  The change only cost us the price of one gallon of paint.  Hubby has a stash of paint in the basement that he has saved from past construction jobs, and we looked through the colors he had.  I was skeptical at first, not thinking he would have a color that was suitable.  If I was going to put all that time and effort into painting the "red room", the new color had to be just right.  I was pleasantly surprised, though, when we found a gallon of "Cargo Pants", and was even more surprised when I found that it only took two coats of that light color to cover the heavy, dark red.  We only had to purchase one more gallon of paint.

It took me about a month to complete the project because I could only work on it on Saturdays when we all took a break from school lessons.  I kept my goal to one wall at a time, so that I didn't feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the project, and I finally put the finishing touches on it this past Saturday.  I am so pleased with the results.  The room is fresh and airy, and it brightens my spirits whenever I walk into it.  I picked a few branches from my forsythia bush and put them in a vase of water on the piano, hoping to force the buds to open.  For now the "red room",which, thankfully, is no longer red, is my breath of fresh air, my "spring "amidst all the snow and mud.

March 11, 2015

A Playdate Dress

Pattern:  Oliver + S, Playdate Dress

Notions: Vintage buttons, bias tape found at a yard sale

Fabric:  Navy and white polka dot cotton found on sale for $2.00/yard, white linen recycled from a thrifted curtain panel

A little more therapeutic, spring sewing filled my free afternoons, this time for Little #9.  I love the classic lines and unique details of the Oliver + S patterns, and the Playdate dress ranks high on my list of favorites. The contrasting yoke with flat piping is so sweet, and I love the unique way the hem is sewn, allowing for such creativity with the use of fabrics and colors.  I thought it would be fun to add a splash of hidden color on the hem duplicating the piping around the yoke.   I am so happy with the way this little dress turned out, and Little #9 is equally pleased.  I already have plans for another using vintage calico from my stash. Sewing is such a win-win situation for therapy for me, smiles and excitement for the Littles.

Sharing on Frontier Dreams

March 2, 2015

Dear March -- Come In

March is the official month of spring, but it certainly doesn't look like spring will be arriving any day soon. We woke again to a thin layer of snow, shining in the sun like millions of tiny crystals, and although I am longing for the warm breezes of spring, I can not deny the beauty this winter has bestowed upon us.  As I'm writing this, a new bird has come to my feeder, possibly a redpoll, adding another little blessing to the day. So for today, instead of longing for spring, I am going to absorb the beauty of the winter around me.

Dear March - Come in - (1320)

Emily Dickinson1830 - 1886

March - Come in –
How glad I am -
I hoped for you before -
Put down your Hat -
How out of Breath you are -
You must have walked -
Did you leave Nature well -
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
I have so much to tell -
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me -

I got your Letter, and the Birds -
I declare - how Red their Faces grew -
The Maples never knew that you were coming -
But March, forgive me -
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue -
I will not be pursued -
There was no Purple suitable -
You took it all with you -

Who knocks? That April -
Lock the Door -
He stayed away a Year to call
And Praise as mere as Blame -
When I am occupied -
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That blame is just as dear as Praise

February 26, 2015

Reading Pillows

Hubby and I enjoy reading in bed at night before going to sleep, and we like having little "reading pillows"to pop behind our heads or under the book or wherever we feel we need them. We had these cute little white embroidered ones that were hand-me-downs from my mom, but the light-weight linen eventually wore to a point where the fabric tore, and I could not fix them.  Hubby and I needed new pillows, and I had a perfect idea in mind.

I purchased two white linen curtain panels at the local thrift store for $2.00 each...such a steal for linen fabric! I only needed 1/2 of one of the panels for the fronts and backs for two reading pillows. Inspired by this lovely tutorial, I drew scrolley leaves on the front panels with a pencil, and after pinning a batting layer (I used a thin white towel for the batting layer) to the front panels, I stitched over the pencil lines, using ecru embroidery thread and a straight stitch on my sewing machine.  I then simply sewed the fronts and back together, and after washing and drying, to get that lovely quilted look, I filled each new pillow with the filling from the old pillows...two new pillows for only $1.00 (the cost of half of a linen panel)!  I am very pleased with the results, and it feels so good to, again, use recycled/thrifted materials or items that I already had on hand, and Hubby and I are both quite happy to have our "reading pillows" back.

February 24, 2015

"Think Spring" Quilt

With snow continuing to pile up around us and temperatures still barely climbing out of the single digits I needed to do something that would remind me of spring.  What could be more airy and spring-like than a pile of vintage sheets? I have countless ideas for my ever-growing pile of vintage sheets swirling around in my head, and I decided now was the perfect time to pull out the sheets and immerse myself in the cheerful colors of spring by making a quilt.  I chose to do a coin quilt design, alternating between colored and white blocks.  I used a thrifted, cotton sheet for the white strips and blocks. A thin, cotton bedspread will be used in place of the batting, and another vintage rosebud sheet will be used for the backing.  As I have mentioned before, I love using recycled materials in my quilts, and after reading this blog post, I'm even more motivated to get creative and use what is taking up space in my house.   This quilt has been such a joy to work on...the pretty little squares put such a smile on my face, and I dream of the nights that we no longer need the heavy down comforter, but can sleep comfortably under my new spring quilt.

Have you been doing anything to help remind yourself that winter doesn't last forever?  I'd love to have you share or leave a link in the comments about any "think spring" projects you may be working on.  Have a great day!
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