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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!

February 17, 2015

A Chunky Cowl

I had such fun with this project, using size 13 needles and super-soft, super-chunky, alpaca wool. Oh, what lovely yarn (I wasn't the only one, however, that found this wool delightful.  I woke, not once, but twice, to find my entire ball of wool strung and wrapped around every corner of my bedroom. Our kittens thought they had won the jackpot of toys upon discovering it my knitting bag.)! It was my first project using needles larger than a size 9, and it definitely won't be my last. What a gratifying feeling to make such speedy progress! This project was so enjoyable it was actually contagious, inspiring Little #3 (my model) to knit one as well. It was only her second knitting project (the pattern is that simple). She chose a lovely charcoal gray and since her wool was not as floppy as the alpaca I used, she shortened her cowl a bit, which I thought was a wise decision...two different looks using the same pattern, only different wool. She was very sweet in agreeing to model my cowl for me...maybe I can entice her to model her own cowl and let me share her work with you. Not only was it satisfying to be able to start and finish a project so quickly, but the best part was being able to share the project with my daughter, sitting next to each other, near the wood stove, after the youngest Littles were in bed exclaiming on each other's progress and the different look and feel of the individual projects. Being able to share one my passions with my daughter was priceless, and I hope we do it again soon.

Sharing on Frontier Dreams today.

February 10, 2015

A Bit of Sparkle

With a winter landscape of mostly white and gray, working with some color in my sewing room has been refreshing.  Although I tend to prefer muted tones and neutrals in my clothing, Little #6 does not.  She wants color and sparkle.  After choosing a few fabrics from my stash, we picked out ribbon that would add the perfect hint of glitz and glamour that Little #6 loves so much, but she couldn't stop at the ribbon.  She wanted more, so out came the garish buttons (a few that had been left over from costume making).  What fun it was to sort through those fancy buttons!  Using one of my favorite patterns, the Geranium Dress, these two little dresses sewed up quite quickly, much to the excitement and pleasure of Little #6. Plans for more fancy dresses are in the making since Little #6 has a younger sister that loves dresses and glamour as much as her big sister does.

Joining Nicole today.

February 6, 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."


February 4, 2015

Snowing, Knitting, and Reading

With the snow piling up outside and the temperatures hardly climbing out of the single digits, I find myself quite content to sit next to the fire with knitting needles in hand. My sewing room is a bit on the chilly side, and although I have a few sewing projects that I am anxious to work on, the lure of the warmth of the woodstove quickly draws me out of my sewing room and back to the coziness of the crackling fire.

I have been working on a sweater for Little #8 and have the front, back, and one sleeve complete, but yesterday after receiving an order of  the softest, squishiest, loveliest wool imaginable, I couldn't resist setting aside the sweater to start work on my chunky cowl.  What fun it is to knit with this bulky yarn using size 13 needles! It's amazing how quickly it knits up, and the yarn is ever so soft and warm, making work on this project perfectly comforting.  With another storm on its way for tomorrow, I will be very motivated to complete this project, so I can enjoy its wooly goodness around my neck as soon as possible.

And when the house is quiet and all are asleep, I try to sneak in a few minutes, before my own eyelids start to flutter, to indulge in a Victoria Holt gothic romance. The historical settings and intriguing characters are a bit reminiscent of Downton Abbey and Jane Eyre...a bit of a mystery and a gentle romance...a simple and enjoyable read when I'm feeling sleepy and looking forward to snuggling in for a good night's sleep.

Joining Ginny and Nicole.

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