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the cow jumped over the moon

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it's still spring, isn't it?

Every time I start a post, something else happens and I drop that post, and start another.  And then something else happens ... gah!!

Since it's been nearly two months or so since I last posted -  check out the chickens:

it's still spring, isn't it?
Bettie isn't in the photo - Lettie, Nettie, Myrtle and Hettie
I went to the March for Science in Cleveland on April 22nd (Earth Day), with my friends Evelyn (we worked at the nursey/garden center together for a few years) and her husband Don.  Their signs were photographed so many times it was awesome! Oh and Viva La France!  And we still have work to do with this administration - esp the current joke of a health care bill.

it's still spring, isn't it?

Finished my quilt!! It only took three months.  I learned a hell of a lot about myself with this project. Doing anything with precision is very hard for me, but I stuck with it. There are a lot of mistakes in this, but I did have a lot of fun and a lot of yelling-at-the-sewing machine; but I'll do another in the fall.

it's still spring, isn't it?


it's still spring, isn't it?Robert and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on May Day, and then last weekend, we went away for a night. It was the first time we were able to get away in a L O N G time. That whole week it was raining nearly every day, so it was wonderful that on Saturday, the skies started to clear and we were able to see the sun.

We just went to the Lake Erie Islands - I have lived in Northern Ohio my whole life and I had never been to the islands before. It was really really sweet and necessary. We walked along the beach - I was looking for sea glass, but we found a lot of cool stones and shells;saw a lighthouse; and an egret; took the ferry to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island.  We didn't think we'd be staying overnight on the island because lodging is expensive, but we saw this adorable old-fashioned hotel (no TV in the rooms, the bathroom was like a boarding house, down the hall) but the price was right so we took it!  We hadn't brought our overnight clothes with us (they were in the car on the mainland) but what the heck.  We were only going to be there one night.  It was fantastic. I won't bore you with all the photos, but you can see many more of them on Instagram.

it's still spring, isn't it?
The ferry Sunday morning
Busy with work at the non-profit - the community garden is getting ready for the season, and we had a Spring community clean-up recently where we helped folks rake old leaves, clear brush, and clean gutters. We also had a ribbon cutting for the rehabbed home we did for a family.

This month I'm not teaching pottery so I hope to get a lot of my own work done. Plus all the spring gardening stuff - weeding and prepping beds, transplanting seedlings.  I'm planning a special herb garden this year.

Oh speaking of herbs, I am still doing a lot of herbal infusions, and just started a tincture of cleavers. Along with studying herbalism, I'm still learning the tarot, and I'm still enjoying it! Fascinating.

it's still spring, isn't it?
Cleavers tincture
And a final photo - our house covered with wisteria! Last year, it didn't bloom so here it is, going insane!

it's still spring, isn't it?



good things

Hello everyone:  I had to take a little break from some social media. And I'm back, with a few good things as of late:

Denise and I went to see Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Cleveland Museum of Art two Sundays ago.  It was absolutely fantastic. I never got to see his work in person back in the '80s.  Gosh he was (we were) so young then!


I stopped by the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse on the way - what a serene and sweet place:


A few years ago, I promised myself that I would either use up a bunch of fabric I have sitting around, or donate it. So I started my first scrap quilt.  I am going to make a few minor changes to the layout, and I am a bit nervous about sewing it - I am not at all precise so we'll see how it turns out. I also promised myself that I wouldn't buy any new fabric, and I did keep that promise.  All I bought was spray basting and batting.  Once it's done, I'll post the finished quilt.  It's quite small - only 9 - 5" blocks by 10 - 5" blocks - it (will hopefully) fit on a piece of fabric I have had for years that I'm using as backing:




Another thing I have wanted to learn for a long time was fair isle/color work/stranded knitting. So I am knitting this hat - the pattern is here and yarn by Candice at The Farmers Daughter Fibers who I happen to follow on Instagram. It's quite fun and I'm happy how it's turning out!  Since it's my first time, I am really twisting my yarn a lot so I'm knitting very slow. Between the quilt and the knitting, I am checking the news less often, which is good for my mental health. (I'm still making phone calls, writing letter, etc, though)


And last but not least!! Happy Valentine's Day (early) to us!! A darling new flock of chicks!!!  It's so good to have chicks again - been too long (I think it's been over two years since we have had chickens   Robert reminded me that it has been three and a half years since we have had chickens! Wow).  We named them (and this is not in the order of the photo) Bettie, Hettie, Lettie, Nettie -  and Myrtle!  (I cannot stop laughing when I say "...and Myrtle!").  Beware that I'll be boring the pants off of you all by posting lots of photos of them in upcoming blog entries :)


EDIT:  If you have never seen a baby chick fall over falling asleep - well, you have to!! When we first had chickens, and saw that happening, I thought the chick had died.  Now I am laughing all the time when I see them do it.  Ahhh good things :)

hallowe'en

We think our home was built sometime in the 1860/70s. Additions such as the front and back porch were probably added on later. We say "we think" because there are no records of the house before 1900, which is pretty typical here in the US.  But because of the architecture and building structure (using tree trunks instead of milled lumber as joists beneath the first floor, etc), and the fact that our town was founded in 1833, a few people who know their stuff have suggested that the house was probably building around the time of the Civil War.

From 1904 to 1908, the Peabody family lived here.  In fact, if you check the records at our local historical society, the name of our house is the Peabody house.  The Peabodys had a daughter named Hallowe'en who was born on October 31, 1895. She went to the Conservatory of Music, and was a music teacher before her marriage, and later moved to Tennessee.  She is buried in the cemetery here, though (shame on me!) I haven't visited her grave yet. I wish I could find a photo of her.

So instead of a photo of Hallowe'en, here is a photo of me dressed up for Halloween, in a cave-girl costume that my Mom helped make, which was a huge deal because my mother didn't often sew.  With six children, she had her hands full!

Happy Halloween/Merry Samhain/Feliz Dia de los Muertos!
hallowe'en
1970  at my friend MJs house - I had just turned 11.
I am the same age as Hallowe'en when she lived in our house!

a few things

Yesterday I attempted to tackle the weed bed.  I gave up after 15 minutes.  It's been taken over by ground ivy, so I decided that I'll gather some cardboard and/or landscaping fabric and smother the dang stuff, and then cover with mulch. I'm not sure what I despise more - ground ivy or buckthorn.

a few things

The husband spent many hours in the basement, cleaning up the floor. Because our basement tends to flood, and because we use clumping cat litter, the basement was absolutely disgusting.  So he methodically took care of that mess. The basement floor has never been so clean and sweet-smelling.

Since I was feeling guilty that I wasn't accomplishing much of anything, I pruned some rose bushes (late, I know) and then made a very simple upcycled tee-shirt, katwise-style.  I had three identical long sleeved tee-shirts (in three different colors - btw, I do that a lot.  If I find something that works, I buy a couple of them.  I like uniforms) and each of them had holes or stains but the fabric is so nice and soft I didn't want to put them in the rag drawer.

I cut away the areas where there had been stains or holes, and serged together.  I only used two of the tees to make this, and maybe I'll cut down the sleeves. I like the tunic length of this.

a few things
used our wisteria trellis on the front porch to hang the shirt on for lighting purposes
For dinner, I treated us to take-out at The Feve - he had the Buffalo Shishtawouk (with masochistic sauce) and I had The O.T. (a pulled pork w/cole slaw sandwich, named for Officer Tim).

Today I think I'll make another tee from pieces and parts.  Not sure yet. I didn't wake up until after 10:00 a.m. this morning and I'm still drinking my morning coffee.  

what to wear, what to wear

Yesterday's post about the boot cuffs, and the photo I took of myself wearing them, was my first step into the fashion/personal style blogging world.  I'm sneaky, aren't I?

For years, the only fashion-type blog I ever followed was Advanced Style.  I have followed art bloggers who make their own clothes and/or upcycle.  Most notably Rice of Notes from the Voodoo Cafe and it was through her and her blog that I have done a few upcycled and hand-stitched articles of clothing. - my crappy ratty gauze skirt (click here to see the finished product) and an upcycled denim jumper/dress with some embellishments.

And of course, Katwise.  I have washed and set aside the sweaters to attempt to make a pull-over Katwise-style.  But I have a feeling I won't get to that project until the fall.

But only very recently have I been obsessed with the fashion/personal style blogs that mostly deal with vintage and 'gently-used' clothing.  Plus some of these folks make their own clothes, too! And I have Jayne from Thrifty, Crafty Things to thank for that!! I need to think a little bit more about what I wear; I have become much too dull lately.

Here are a few links to some more personal style blogs I started following recently:

Helga Von Trollop!

Vintage Vixen

Pull Your Socks Up

Fashion and Pho

what to wear, what to wear
For your entertainment: 1982 art school film - I wish I still had that outfit, especially that headpiece!

scented sunday and a bit of nostalgia

Admittedly, I'm growing very very weary of the bitter cold.  The snow doesn't bother me too much, although our truck got stuck in our driveway on Friday and thankfully a good samaritan stopped and helped us so the husband was able to get to work on time on his first day back after three months.

scented sunday and a bit of nostalgia

In order to bring about thoughts of spring and roses, I wore Le Labo Rose 31 yesterday, and today, inspired by Blacknall Allen's latest blog post about growing roses, I drenched myself in my beloved Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie. Early this week (or was it last week?) I put on some Malle Portrait of a Lady. (Perfume-related links in this paragraph are directed back to my now-archived perfume blog, bloody frida)

I'm a big fan of rose in perfumes, mostly due to wonderful memories of my much adored British great grandmother, who if you remember also taught me how to crochet.  She wore rose water, and gave me some when I was young, and thus began my love of scent.  I once sewed a blouse for her when I was 12 or so, out of  blue and white floral patterned cotton fabric, as she was very fond of blue.

Here's a photo of Great Gramma in 1989- she was 99 years old and meeting my son for the first time. And as you can see, we are all wearing blue!

scented sunday and a bit of nostalgia
Great Gramma, me and Joseph 1989
It's a fascinating story of how my Great Gramma, originally from Cheshire, England, came to the States and how I ended up in the world (truthfully, most if not all immigrant stories are fascinating to me as I love to read/hear/watch documentaries and biographies, and especially since I am a product of at least four countries -  Ireland, England, Poland, and Greece).   One of the days, I may blog about it.  In the meantime, I need to do some chores, but I'm happy to report my mood has lifted!

homemade truck bed cargo net

I deliver Meals on Wheels every other Tuesday.  I was inspired by my Mom, who at 83 years old is still delivering M.o.W. to the 'elderly' in her neighborhood.  She's been doing this for fifteen years.  Since I'm currently unemployed, I figured if she could do it, I sure could.  My Mom is such an inspiration to me!

I truly enjoy it and wish I could do it more often.  One think I don't like about it is that I have a pick-up truck.  It's a new-to-us 1997 Toyota T-100.  I love this truck, but I don't love that the two coolers that contain the hot food and the cold food end up at the front of the cab so I have to crawl into it every time I get to a new house, and pull the coolers up to the tailgate.

homemade truck bed cargo net

So today, after I got back from my gig, I decided to do something about it.  (I'll get to washing the truck one of these days - all the snow melted and we have a lot of mud.)

Remembering that I have a bunch of upholstery fabric, I cut off a 12" strip of  fabric that matches the truck perfectly, serged the top and bottom edges (the sides were selvaged already), then added grommets. Of course, I'm never precise especially with a pair of scissors so the fabric kind of arches up in the top middle. Oh well.

I had to drill holes at the bottom side of the plastic truck bed liner as there was no way to tie anything down on the bottom edge (but there was on the top - weird, huh?) and added screw eye hooks thing-a-ma-jigs.  I don't think I did the screw eye hooks thing-a-ma-jigs correctly; but they are holding, for now.

homemade truck bed cargo net

I wanted the fabric to stretch as close to the side of the truck bed as possible, so of course that meant that no bungee cord was short enough.  And of course because I'm really weird, I'm annoyed that the rope doesn't match the fabric!

homemade truck bed cargo net

I have no idea if this is going to work or not, or if things like grocery bags will slide underneath, but we'll see. It's a good start, and I know it will keep the coolers in place!

the mezzanine re-do

We have a really old house.  We think (and so do the local historians in town) it was built in the mid-late 1860s.  I believe the house is about 1100 square feet.  My son's apartment is bigger than this house!

There is a weird upstairs hallway that I call the 'mezzanine.'  At one point, this area was the place where I had my computer and ran an on-line store where I sold used knitting needles, but mostly it has been the place where junk ends up, as we have very little storage space, a crawl-space type attic, a damp basement, no garage....

So I decided to paint the walls, and floor, and moved my sewing things up there.

The furniture is now where I want it, and I'm now putting things on the walls.

This is a photo of my serger, and above it a lino print I did in the late 1980s while I was in college.

the mezzanine re-do

Garden veg and pennant string

Here's some of the harvest from yesterday - our allotment/community garden plot also gave us some English cukes. I'll be making spicy Bread and Butter pickles SOON. I also will be making some zucchini pickles but I need to find another zucchini (I'm sure someone around here will want to unload some! ;)

Garden veg and pennant string

Here's another pennant string - now I made this awhile back but am giving it to my friend P who helped me re-home a naughty kitten.

Garden veg and pennant string

Better get off the computer - our spare room/office has no A/C and I'm a bit warm! Plus I have too much to do!
it's still spring, isn't it?good thingshallowe'ena few things what to wear, what to wearscented sunday and a bit of nostalgiahomemade truck bed cargo netthe mezzanine re-doGarden veg and pennant stringGoodwill fabrics for pennant strings

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