Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Peaceful Moments

Peaceful Moments:
- picking berries with the family
- crocheting stars in the night
- visiting a bookstore over the mountain
- getting phone calls from my one year old nephew... he rang me all by himself
- eating homemade ice cream... this time with some bits of fresh mint leaves
- coffee breaks with Mr. Wildwood
- cutting out fabric for tiny bowties
- reading in bed
- collecting herbs to dry with Oona

Sunday, July 27, 2014

30/52 The Red Berry Queen

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week in 2014"

Elsa: enjoying a bite of sour apple
Oona: very diligently being the berry basket holder... a secret raspberry harvest... I have no idea what the berries are behind her, but if I find out they're edible, I'm going back!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

29/52 Better Late than Never

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week in 2014"
Elsa: all teeth these days... those tiny little pearls have been giving her trouble all week as more poke through
Oona: the artist at her work table... little girls with long dresses, mermaids, llamas, deer families... there's always something colorful

*These were meant for last weekend... I'll post my current photos tomorrow!


Garden Journey: Daffy Dill, Spinach and Flowered Books

Ferociously trying to battle weeds... the orange bucket contains comfrey tea fertilizer.
Due to an unexpected net failure for an entire week I've been unable to blog of late. Yes, it is both nice and frustrating to be without net. (It definitely adds distraction to the day, but so do small children!) The garden is entering that satisfying stage where there's lots to eat and enjoy everyday. Jake snuck this photo of me trying to finds the veggies buried in weeds. I'm happy to report after one happy evening spent in the garden I was able to get the weeds back to a more managable level... it's a wonder what you can do with just a little extra time with the Mr. watching the kiddos. I still desperately need more mulch, but I've gotten a lot done in the last few weeks. All the Fall veggies are in (I think) and I've done a bit of thinning (though I always delay and fret over it).

 Parsley, dill, onions and spinach combined to make this delicious and easy Greek rice dish.

My spinach is nearly at it's end, but the Fall spinach has been planted so hopefully it won't be too long before our supplies have been replenished.

While the net was out at our house, Jake did some of his online business at our wonderful local bakery/bookstore, "Sandy's Books and Bakery". They have a charming little flower garden out front that's always an inspiration. We took one family trip their so I could get caught up on my e-mails too, and while Jake used the laptop, I took some snapshots of the garden. They also have a veggie garden out back where they source some of their food for their delicious cafe. I thought I'd share

 Beautiful red-orange climbers decorate their sign.
I just noticed driving by that they've added some pretty purple flowers and such to the area where you see some withering. They're so on top of things!

Their sunflowers are looking very cheerful... our ones at home haven't bloomed yet, but are reaching high to the sky. Hopefully they'll be ginormous!
I don't know what this is... some type of herb, I guess, but I love the look of it.
Teepees are pure magic in the garden.

Miss Elsa didn't much notice the plants because their was a fine set of stairs to go up and down

A pretty little stone patio next to the garden.  I'd love to someday have a large enough garden to have a dining area in the center. The hops growing on the side of the porch are a great source of shade. I'm thinking of doing this with grapes on one side of our porch.
A close up of the climber that's on the sign... need to find out what it's called... it looks a bit like bleeding hearts.

Obviously I'm trying to avoid the realities of my own garden by sharing other happy spots of earth, but I do feel my enthusiasm rise when I get to investigate what others are doing. I hope it inspires you a little too, even if you only have a garden in your day dreams.

I've actually been doing a bit of sewing lately too, so more from that realm soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Bit of Gardening Inspiration

Simple wood arch way looks oh so lovely with fabric scrap garland.

This lovely Beatrick Potter-like garden belongs to my friend Megan. Can't you just see Peter Rabbit dashing off now? They have the most magical mountain view surrounding their property.  We spent the day over at her house yesterday visiting with her sweet girls and another mama friend and her kiddos, and I'm always so enchanted with this spot that they call home.

Megan is my gardening guru around here. I'm not sure if she knows it, but whenever I see her garden, I feel determined to someday have an amazing garden like hers... someday in the way, way future when I'm not so distracted by other things. I love how simple and easy to navigate her garden is. And she always manages to have amazing and plentiful produce for her efforts. She also has numerous fruit trees and bushes and raises chickens... yes, she's a hardworking lady!

I don't think the photos do justice to the size of this thing. It is immense, and I don't know how she keeps up with it as well as she does. I should mention that she also has two kids about the same ages as my own. 

 I think I might have to include her garden in someway in a painting. I love vast country gardens. They're the best addition to any yard!

There's a large strip of raspberries that runs right through the center of the garden. The kids had a ball feasting on berries in the sunshine.

This patch of giant sunflowers and pretty purple flowers greet you at the entry way. This patch is her daughter's special spot. I think she might have her mother's green thumb by the looks of things. But just in case, there's a little Buddha nestled in there to help things along.

And here is one of Megan's many tricks of the trade for occupying her children while working on the garden... a dirt pit nearby. We have a sandbox, but really need a dirt spot too. Oona, who shows no interest at anything garden related at home, was very happy to dig away in this little spot for at least a good half hour.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of a country garden! Now I need to get out there before it rains and do some of my own digging!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden Journey: Snap Peas and Tricky Weeds

I don't know about you, but when each new flower appears on the scene, I think, "This is my absolute favorite!" I definitely feel that way when the first day lily opens up. When I see them I know that summer is in full swing. We had a huge patch of them at my childhood home, enough to swim in.  They also signify for me the abundance that is taking place all around us and in the garden this time of year.

 My intentions to do weekly garden posts have quickly fallen by the wayside, as both busy and lazy summer days have dragged me happily from the screen. But things are kicking along, surprising me like fireworks every morning. I was a bit depressed again about the garden when I discovered tomato blight. I never had it before, and I nearly panicked and pulled out half my tomatoes until I realized they all already had it.  I'm just removing the damaged stems and hoping for the best.

And I had another sad moment when I realized what I thought were gigantic zinnias growing in my front flower bed were just a weed that looked very similar. My zinnias are actually not very large at all... most likely because that tricky weed had taken over!

These flowers/weeds above are just on our hill side... something for the bugs and bees to romp around in... so pretty and no work at all!

 Corn and soybeans and black beans are mingled around our circle garden.

 Jake finished the teepee a few weeks ago and while nothing is quite climbing yet, I think very soon it will be covered... and as I often find myself saying about things that haven't quite gone as planned in the garden, "There's always next year!" 

I am delighted to be enjoying more of our garden bounty on a daily basis...  lettuce, kale, spinach, basil, oregano, a few tomatoes and and just recently, my late planted snap peas are finding their way into salads, sauces, eggs, and sandwiches. We've gotten a few raspberries and I can't wait to pick more. This is the time when you can begin to say... oh, yes, this is what all this work is for!

And as it turns out, soil is good for you! I found this article reaffirming! If you are like me and a bit of a disaster gardener, at least the dirt is doing good things for your stress levels.

P.S. Tomorrow I'm going to give a little tore of my friends inspiring garden!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

28/52 Slide

A portrait of my girls every week in 2014.
Oona and Elsa: somehow when they're together their activities always swirl in the same direction like magnets... sometimes for good and sometimes for ill


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Potato Sack Flapper Dress

It's been a while since I've shared anything crafty around here, and probably even longer since I've shared anything made just for me. I recently made this dress for a very special (but informal) wedding coming up. Jake watched the kids and gave me the afternoon yesterday to finish it up. It's not often I have uninterrupted time with my sewing machine... quite nice! Yes, I admit, it's a bit like a potato sack and has it's imperfections, but it's also super cozy, has hidden pockets ( a mom necessity) and makes me feel like a twenties flapper girl (all those "Miss Fisher" episodes are rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I'm not one hundred percent sure that this is the dress I'm going to wear for the wedding, but it is a nice summer dress, even if people might accuse me of being pregnant. My post-baby-growing body loves the lose and flowy look... I adore those Japanese sewing books with their forgiving patterns, and have plans for more moo-moos.

Jazz hands were needed to show the dresses full potential. And perhaps some dancing!

The fabric below is what I'm probably going to use for matching sundresses for the girls. (I have to stop making them match... it's a bad habit!) It wasn't my initial choice, but with two cooks in the kitchen (Oona and me) this is what we came up with. I better get to work, as the wedding is fast approaching.

Construction notes: 
Pattern: Simplicity Miss 2004
Fabric: cobalt shot cotton (forgot the maker)
I tried to lengthen it five inches, but then realized I didn't like the extra length and probably ended up cutting five inches off at the hem. I also did away with the binding and add a seam allowance for the neck and sleeves so I could fold it in. I hate making binding, but it would probably be nicer with it. I'm not sure if it's just the photos, but it seems the pockets might make the dress hang slightly funny, so if I use this pattern again, I might do away with the pockets. Maybe I should rework it without the pockets, but they are so handy to have!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

27/52 Music on the Park

A portrait of my girls every week in 2014

 Elsa: watching so sweetly
Oona:  dancing the day away