Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Quilt for the Cottage

 I just finished this throw quilt for the cottage.  Do you recognize the fabrics?

 When I did the towels (see The Great Towel Mix-Up) I got extra for a quilt.  I cut out big pieces of fabric with templates and a rotary cutter last summer.

 My youngest and I collaborated in arranging them the way we wanted.

 Then we sewed them.  Boys can enjoy machine sewing, too, of course.  I know my son thinks of it as "operating the machinery."

 This summer I bought a quilting hoop.  I used to think that people who did hand quilting were awfully patient, much more patient than I could ever be.  The quilting hoop made the sewing so enjoyable that I quilted the whole thing, and loved it.  It was a very busy summer, sometimes too busy, sometimes kind of exhausting, and the hand sewing made me slow down and calm down.  I was grateful to have handwork to do.  I handquilted whatever I felt like at the moment....swirls, loops, circles, zigzags, and lines.  In the picture above I am finishing the border.

When it was finished I put it on my young son and tucked it around him.  He looked comfortable.  He even yawned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cottage Days

 Cottage days mean painting one another's toenails,

in a house that is blue, green and yellow with touches of orange.

 There is time for brothers to catch up and be together,

 and time to cuddle the new puppy, Baxter.

 We get to have some lobster!

We play on the swing.  I tell people we bought this house for the fine swing tree.  I always wanted a good tree swing!  I dreamed of it for years!  There was one at my grandmother's house.

Cottage days for us is birthday cakes and cake, vanilla buttercream cake, Mama's peach pies, and blueberry pie!!!!!  My niece and I made this birthday cake for Gramma.  It is the delicious orange cake from the Moosewood restaurant cookbook, one of our favorite recipes.  Gramma always requests it for her birthday.  We sprinkled orange zest on top, and bachelor's buttons.  Bachelor's buttons are edible, but ours tasted liked nothing, so we tossed them when we cut the cake.  I'm going to plant borage next year for our summer cakes.  Borage is beautiful, and we'll experiment to see if it has a nicer taste.

 Cottage days at this time of year is a last hurrah for the garden.  It is getting to be a disreputable sight.  Some of the flowers are turning brown and I am letting some, like the bachelor's buttons and purple coneflower, go to seed for reseeding and to feed the goldfinches.  The goldfinches check every day to see if the seeds are ripe yet.  If I photograph selectively, I can still find some pretty flowers!

 The cosmos are a bright spot, sunnily carrying on while everything is dying all around them.

 My friend Magda, who died of cancer a few years ago, who was one of my great gardening teachers, called this flower "outhouse yellow," so that's what I call it.  It is a very tall plant and she said people used to plant it around their outhouses!  I always like to have some in my garden in her memory.
 I can still make a little bouquet with what is blooming there!  The cottage days are winding down.  A friend is visiting.  A niece and sister are coming.  I am starting to pack a little.  Next week.....back to Switzerland!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Make a Driftwood Mirror

 This project was so much fun!  A long time ago we lived in a seaside town where I walked our dog Royal on the beach every day.  I used to beachcomb, picking up driftwood, seaglass, and the occasional piece of sea china.  Once in a while I found a marble!  That was a red letter day!

 I saved the driftwood for about 14 years!  Last week I got it all out and used it to decorate an inexpensive mirror.  I sorted it into different sizes and shapes.

 This piece seems to be turning around and gazing at me with unintelligent curiosity.

 The piece on the bottom is bone.

 These are pieces of my baby driftwood collection.

 The piece on the left is my favorite piece of all.  A hinged piece of driftwood!  A little door to an undersea hideway or treasure box?

 More special pieces.  They deserve to be in a special section.  The bumpy piece on the bottom left looks like a character from the Czech film "Kooky."

 I used hot glue and started by using the largest and flattest pieces I had on the frame.  I tried to find a frame which was close to being a driftwood color.  It is just plastic, nothing special or expensive.  Once I got started, it was so much fun that I worked on it intensively and it was done in about a day.

Here are some details.  A little driftwood door....

 This unique piece goes in the center at the top.

This dainty piece at the bottom may be doomed.  It twangs when you flick the little twig.  When I was little I would have twanged it until I twanged it right in two.

Here is the Kooky character looking alive from every angle.

Here is a lobstery looking character stealthily reaching around a piece of driftwood.

And now, the finished mirror hanging in place in our new bathroom.  I love how it came out.  Hooray!  Best of all, it was so fun to make!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Visit With Salley Mavor

 This is the artist Salley Mavor, one of my favorite artists, with a project she is working on.  She is the author of one of my favorite books, "Felt Wee Folks," a craft book which I would also call a coffee table art book the way she illustrates it, and and another favorite book of mine, "Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes"  I like "Pocketful of Posies" so much that I have a copy of it both in Switzerland and here in the seaside cottage.  It's very inspiring and must represent years of labor.

Anyway, I got to visit her a few weeks ago.  I didn't get to write about the visit sooner because I have a terrible internet connection at the cottage.  Actually, I have no internet connection.  I "borrow" it from neighbors or go next door sometimes.  I envisioned doing lots of wonderful summertime seaside postings and that isn't going to happen, but I must share a bit about my visit with Salley.

I almost didn't post about it at all.  I just wanted to have a visit with a friend.  I didn't even bring my camera.  But there was so much beauty to record that I borrowed Salley's camera.  As usual, I took up-close pictures, and I took the picture of Salley, but all of the pictures of the studio itself  are Salley's.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed when there is a lot to see!  I need time to take it all in. Look at all of her beautiful collections!  I'm glad I can look at these pictures.  Thank you, Salley.

Look how Waldorfy it is: the baskets, the natural materials, the natural colors, the collections.

 If you visit Salley's blog, you will find out about this amazing piece of art she is doing about birds in Beebe's Woods.  Look at the cool wisteria or grape vine in the background.

Here's a detail.  Her art is breathtaking.  Click on the link to her blog in my favorites in the right hand column.  Hers is one of the most consistently interesting and worthwhile I know.  Thanks again, Salley!