You may remember that last year I gathered songs from some of my friends and made a music mix inspired by the sunshine season. This year I decided to do it again. And seeing as how this weekend is all about picnics and parades and cold lemonade I thought you might like to take a peak at what we’re listening to:
All This Beauty — The Weepies (Emily)
Áqua de Beber (Water To Drink) – Astrud Gilberto (Morgan)
Beautiful Day — Miranda Lee Richards (Eren)
Everybody — Ingrid Michaelson (Sally)
Free Again — Alex Chilton (Melissa B)
Girls In Their Summer Clothes — Bruce Springsteen (Erin)
Gives You Hell — The All-American Rejects (Rachel)
Half Acre — Hem (Alicia)
Hammer and a Nail — Indigo Girls (Emily)
Kick Drum Heart — The Avett Brothers (Erin)
The Life of Dreams — Julie Doiron (Melissa F)
Rangers — A Fine Frenzy (Papa Urchin)
Say Hey (I Love You) [feat. Cherine Anderson] — Michael Franti & Spearhead (Molly)
Shine On — The Kooks (Blair)
Wagon Wheel — Old Crow Medicine Show with Davis Rawlings (Emily and me — thats never happened before)
Warm Whispers — Missy Higgins (Stefani)
We Are Okay — Joshua Radin (me)
You & Me (Acoustic Version) — Dave Matthews Band (Kathy)
Have a great Independence Day!
24 days, huh? That’s not a lot of time for making and oh do I have a lot of making to do. I started a list today and it’s a little bit long. One thing I did get done on time — actually early — was this wrap for my sister-in-law’s birthday tomorrow. We gave it to her last week with the easiest chocolate cake ever and she seemed pleased.
The pattern is free from Martha and very easy. I made this one from some really gorgeous boiled wool jersey. I think the color will look great with brown or black, grey and jewel tones, and keep my sister-in-law warm in a drafty office. I also think this would be really beautiful made of a silk jersey for the warmer months. The edges are unfinished so it makes a very quick gift and at this time of year that’s something we could all use.
I returned this morning from a fantastic weekend in Colorado. Amanda Jean was the guest speaker at a quilt retreat at the Inn at City Park in Fort Collins and I was lucky enough to go. When Amanda Jean announced she would be speaking at the retreat I offhandedly told Stefan that would be fun. A month or two later — after a weekend where he was away with the guys — he told me that I should go, seriously. One side benefit of a traveling husband is that he has miles you can use to go to quilt retreats.
What a wonderful weekend we had. It was so great to meet Amanda Jean in person after being friends for years. Plus I got to meet a bunch of other great women, some bloggers, some not. It was so much fun. I learned a whole bunch — you are allowed to carry-on a sewing machine — and got so much sewing done that I’ve nearly completed a pretty big quilt top. Papa did such a great job flying solo that Katie said it was okay if I needed to stay away longer. Coming home though, was wonderful too. I kissed Tristan in his bed when I got home at about 1:30 AM and he rolled over and smiled and said Mama in a dreamy little voice. It just melted my heart. So, now I’m back at it, housework, school, you know, the schedule. But this week I thought I’d share some quilts I’ve recently made that never got blogged. And maybe by Friday I’ll have that quilt top done. Happy Monday everyone and see you back here tomorrow.
We were lucky enough to participate in the Seasons Round Exchange, hosted by Kyrie. This round of the swap had a Harvest theme and the idea was to send a few things for the children to use on their nature table or seasonal display. We have a nature table on our front porch which corrals any natural stuff the urchins collect. Inside we have a basket of seasonally appropriate toys that get switched out every few months.
On our end we collected acorns and a few other things on our walks. I made two drawstring bags — one to hold the acorns and one to hold the other things — for the two children in the family we swapped with. We also made a little book about oak trees and acorns. I knit a hedgehog — pattern by Little Cotton Rabbits — and felted him in the wash. He was knit in worsted weight yarn — held double for his body — so he is quite large and perfect for snuggling. I also made a little quilted mat from some harvest prints. The last thing we included was a fabric pear and undetermined red fruit. It was meant to be an apple but I think it looks a bit more like a tomato. Oh well, more room for imagining I guess.
In return we received a fabulous box of goodies. The urchins have been fascinated by the jar of buckeyes — I am in love with the actual jar. The felted acorns have been a huge hit. I seriously was looking to make/buy some of these before the package arrived. The acorns live in that cute little knit basket. The little gnome has journeyed all over the house already and his cloak is perfect for taking on and off many, many times. We’re really looking forward to the next round, sign-ups open October 1st.
Over Memorial Day weekend we were eating outside on our deck and I was trying to figure out what music I should put on the stereo. What I really wanted was a summer music mix so after dinner I attempted to create one. Hmmm, easier said than done. Talk about an overwhelming task. So in a moment of inspiration I thought, what if I had my friends help? So here it is, a summer music mix created by a bunch of crafty girls.
The Captain –Kasey Chambers
Coney Island — Good Old War
Don’t Call It Love — Christa Wells
The Dress Looks Nice on You / Make You Feel That Way — Tor / Sufjan Stevens (f. Gift of Gab)
Heavenly Day — Patty Griffin
I Don’t Know — Lisa Hannigan
I’d Like to Know — Meg Hutchinson
Jacaranda Tree — Josh Garrels
Kamera — Wilco
The Littlest Birds — The Be Good Tanyas
Love — Matt White
Lucky (feat. Colbie Caillat) — Jason Mraz
My Mirror Speaks — Death Cab for Cutie
Ok, It’s Alright With Me — Eric Hutchinson
Passe em Casa — Tribalistas
Slow Pony Home — The Weepies
A Summer Song — Chad & Jeremy
That’s Not My Name — The Ting Tings
They’ll Soon Discover (Album Version) — The Shins
Walking On Sunshine — Katrina & The Waves
With the loss of mixwit I don’t think there is a (legal) way for me to post the actual music but I encourage you to check out some of the bands/songs you haven’t heard of before. I love this mellow mix, just perfect for sitting on a picnic blanket or a day at the beach. Thanks go to : Alicia, Amanda Jean, Anina, Blair, Emily, Eren, Erin, Hannah, Kathy, Melissa, Melissa, Molly, Morgan, Rachel, Sarah, and Stefani.
Well, it’s that time of year again when we all are searching for the perfect gifts to thank our urchins’ teachers for inspiring, guiding, and sometimes just putting up with our children. I usually have trouble deciding whether to just go the cash/gift card route or to try to get some thing. The thing is often hard though since a lot of times these teachers come in pairs and what might be good for one is not always good for the other. This year, just as I was working myself up to deal with the procurement of the 13 gifts I need something serendipitous happened.
My dear friend Melissa decided that she was going to give full-time pottery a go. Perfect. You may recall that I’ve been a fan of Melissa’s work for a while, and we’ve even gotten to hang out and have coffee together. So, Bridgman Pottery is my official year-end teacher gift supplier. Tristan will be presenting the teachers and director at his preschool with tiny bowls and tiny soaps to go in them:
Katie’s various dance and choir teachers will be receiving little vases:
And the librarians and special teachers at Katie’s school will be sipping coffee from the world’s cutest mugs:
You might want to hop on over to Melissa’s etsy shop and order some year end goodies for your favorite teachers. And while you’re there you might want to pick up something for yourself. A little birdie told me that there are berry bowls…
:: wearing matching outfits with my girl on Mother’s Day ::
:: first berries of the season, and consequently the first canning session of the season as well ::
:: herbs in pots on my deck ::
:: a vegetable garden that is planted and ready to grow ::
If you read Amanda Jean‘s blog you’ve seen this quilt before. She quilted it for me a bit ago and I just needed to get the binding on. I did a poor job of it but it is now bound and ready to send off. It will be joining the blocks and balls that were made of the same fabrics. The back is chenille and super soft — learn more about quilting with this type of chenille backing from Amanda Jean — and will be very tactile for the baby. I love this circus line by Felicity Miller for baby gifts. It’s so fun and bright. I think it’s still around so if you’re looking to make a baby something you might want to hunt for it.
Next up in the parade of baby gifts is this pair of baby bootees. They were made for a friend who did not know whether she was having a boy or a girl. I went with this rainbow Cherry Tree Hill supersock merino yarn — leftovers from Katie’s kneesocks — thinking it would be gender neutral but in the end I think the bootees ended up looking a little girlish. All’s well though because my friend has since given birth to a healthy baby girl.
The pattern is Saartje’s Bootees. I made the newborn size and the colorway of the supersock merino is brights. The buttons are vintage mother of pearl and were part of this haul. I’m hoping they’re suitable for a new little princess.
The second part of the gift was a baby rattle made by Papa. This one, like the last one, is made with holly and finished with food-safe mineral oil. He’s been able to get back in his woodshop a little more recently and I think he’s been very happy about it. Is anyone seriously interested in buying one of these? I’m told that more can be made if there is interest. And, as promised last time, I’ll leave you with an action shot:
Those scribblings up there are notes and observations by two budding scientists. Stefani recently published the first installment of her incredible project, The Book of Days and this egg experiment was one of the activities. Stef and her boys have obviously done a lot of work to prepare this incredible resource for families that want to, in her words, cherish their days. The February edition was released today and looks to be even better than January. It seems hard to imagine that’s possible since Katie’s response to the first edition was that’s the coolest thing ever! You should check it out, you may find you think the same thing.