Wednesday, October 31, 2012

i wiped the counters down with a half a lemon.  and sprayed my vinegar and dish soap concoction on a towel to wipe away the stickiness.  my fresh and chemical free disinfecting routine, because i know the cats wander around there in the night.  it's morning.  i'm boiling water for both tea and coffee.  i'm in a tea loving phase lately and tom wants coffee before he leaves for work. i cut up fruit for our morning smoothies.  just a basic morning routine. and it's while i'm doing these mindless little tasks in the dark of early morning that i think of all our neighbors just a few hundred miles away who's homes are burned and flooded or just dark and cold with no power.  i watch the news reports of communities burned, patients being carried from darkened hospitals with no power.  premies who's nurses fill their little lungs with air by hand with a plastic bag of a pump.  mother's who have just given birth.  and i start my day with sadness and concern as well as gratitude, marveling at the resolute human spirit.  

today we start our new hours at the studio.  tom is appalled that we'll be open through the best halloween hours.  but we'll have candy to give out at the studio as well. we'll be there today from 11 to 6. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

the ghost of a jar stretching off the windowsill.  with a tree sprouting from it's innards.  i love the way this photo mirrors my muddy state of mind.  it's gray, the earliest gray of morning.  and my sleep was interrupted all night.  i couldn't find a position comfortable enough that i didn't awaken.  and i'm pretty sure it's because yesterday i gave in to my fatigue and spent the day lounging with edgar on the couch.  refusing to do much of anything. my laziness re-paid me with a sleepless night. 
this morning there are warnings of a storm that could swirl into infamy with the potential of it's damage.  we don't seem to be in it's direct path, but so many are.  little communities like ours.  and major cities as well.  i hope the warnings have been overstated and the destruction is minimal. 
i'll get the kettle boiling now.  clear my mind with some steaming tea. and head off into this morning, immersed in fabric.    

Saturday, October 27, 2012

it's saturday morning and i'm tucked up in the corner of the couch with coffee and computer.  telulah is sleeping on the pillow beside the iron grate floor vent that has been her favorite spot since the furnace came on.  telulah is failing and her 18 years are starting to show.  she had an overnight at the vet this week hoping to revive her with iv and tests to see if there was anything we could do to make her feel more lively.  she's home now and is a little more interested in her crazy little family and all the goings-on around her.  the studio is calling me and i'll go over soon.  but right now i'm enjoying my quiet little house.  it's an overcast morning and the stillness makes drinking coffee and eating my yogurt and almonds seem like a little luxury.
but i'm eager to get back to my charles bovary quilt.  emma, in her subtle, periwinkle toiles and paisley and floral, dotted in pinks and a few pale greens, has been listed on etsy and awaits her new home.  however, charles is still tangled in the machine being secured into a proper quilt.  i 
hope he's finished today.  
these quilts are the result of listening to books while i work.  i've moved from the bovary's of normandy, to hester prynn and her odd little family  in puritan-era massachusetts.  i wonder what sort of quilt the scarlet letter in all it's rage inducing misogyny will inspire.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

it's astounding how easily one can stagnate.  even while i worked away happily and creatively.  i didn't realize how stuck i was.  that trying to make all manner of items to fill a shop was draining my talents. but finally beginning the process of streamlining my work has uncovered and strengthened much in me.  and i love it.  as i work now, the quilts are shifting and growing.  each one with a fuller, broader and truer story.  a personality like mine that can get lost in work can forget to take the time to grow.  and now i feel the growth every day.  i feel the meaning.  i feel the certainty and the fullness pouring into the spirit of the quilt. this quilt is listed in my shop

the studio is a busy and a messy place.  but we have finally put our heads together, krista and i, and starting next week, we will have weekly hours as follows....

wednesday to friday 11 - 6
weekends and any other time by appointment.  
(i'm almost always at the studio or next door, so an appointment is no imposition).
and we will continue to have our weekend events that i'll let you know about in advance.    

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a sleepy blurry morning.  stella sitting on my chest and watching me wake up.  we're all a little sleepy.  the last few mornings have been super early. they still feel like night, these mornings.  dark and deep and quiet.  now the coffee is in hand.  the house is warming.  edgar has been outside and there are stirrings in all the little corners that the cats find to sleep through the night.  i'm impatient to get to the studio but the darkness keeps me home.  when the sky starts to brighten, i'll slip across the yard and get to work on quilts.  i have some beauties on the go.  
and last week, i promised photos of 'the storybook robin'.  i'll link you through to the story book robin blog.  you can get to know the new little nook in the little white house.  it's a wonderful and charming little space full of wonderful books and beautiful energy.   

Monday, October 22, 2012

i made butter the other day.  we had tracy and dave over.  we were all gathered around the kitchen island.  we were putting together a little birthday feast for ourselves. the october babies....3 of the 4 of us were born within 10 days. we nibbled on cheese and fruit and chocolate and bread with glasses of wine.  while roasting a prime rib and sauteeing garlic and rosemary.  rinsing vegetables.  chopping and blending for leek soup and salad.  it was a warm and happy and busy little room.  a beautiful chaos. 
i have been eager to make my own butter lately.  fresh butter.  so in the spirit of our wonderful little evening, i powered up the kitchen-aid and poured in the cream left over from the leek soup.  and in ten minutes after much speculation and splashing, like a miracle, we had wonderful creamy, icy cold butter.  the best i've ever tasted.  really truly, the best. 
everytime i reach for the fresh butter in it's little red pyrex container, i can't help but think of my grandmother.  my grandmother in her farm kitchen.  with her 5 children who would bring buckets of milk to her from the barn each morning. and she would seperate the milk from the cream.  the cream separater with it's dozens of discs she had to take apart and boil clean twice a day.  and then turning that cream into the butter that her crew of sons devoured on the bread she made daily.  all so basic.  and all such monotonous hard work.  no wonder her hands were twisted and arthritic for most of the time i knew her.  beating cream into butter by hand, whipping it and beating it as it grew heavier and heavier for up to 20 minutes without stopping.  and yet life was sweet and full of happiness and love. maybe moreso because of the hard work. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

it was another magnificent day in the studio.  the weather was balmy and the lake steamed in the unusually warm air.  i sat in my window seat making quilts (this one is listed in the shop) and listening to 'madame bovary'.  neighbors stopped by to share the beauty of the day.  we talked of weddings and babies and love affairs.  there was lots of loud laughter. 

early in the afternoon, tom came in the back door with post boxes that had been delivered to the house.  i knew that i was about to unwrap loveliness.  last week i told you i had ordered some items from jen at country weekend. they arrived today and i couldn't be more thrilled.  a pansy painting for my mama.  and the most perfect little clutch for me that is just the right size for my wallet, keys and phone.  and to top it off, a willa cather book i didn't know existed. she is one of my favorites.  thank you jen, for making my day such a special one.  

 happy dreams and i hope the week ends perfectly for all of you.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the 150 year old words of flaubert filled my head all afternoon.  the first part of 'madame bovary' echoed across the studio as i sewed through the afternoon.  the tale of her discontent twisting along with the thread and the rumble of the sewing machine.  the ennui of a past era pulsing through the room as i worked, as i filled the room with my own story.  
i've been concentrating on words alot lately.  i've been enjoying the silence and hearing my own words hum through my head.  but today it was about listening to others.  and breathing life into my newest farmhouse quilt.    

Saturday, October 13, 2012

it's been a while since we swung open the doors to the little white house and welcomed the public in to discover it's charms.  but tomorrow we are doing just that.  tomorrow.....sunday, october 14th from 10 to 4.... please come by.  
not only will there be quilts and color and a sweet energy as always, we are also introducing a new venture. upstairs under the eaves, floating in the colorful trees is 'the storybook robin'.  this is a little room full of vintage books carefully chosen for their charm and beauty and value. 
the little studio at 55 mowat avenue in lovely portsmouth village makes a perfect autumn destination.  we hope to see you tomorrow!

Monday, October 8, 2012

a weekend of beautiful people and wonderful food.  the days bright and full.  feeling fortunate and grateful.  a long weekend with an extra day of ease.  and tonight we move gently into next week. 

jen from country weekend has beautiful items in her etsy shop that i've always admired.  i did a little christmas shopping there tonight to end my weekend, my country weekend,  with an extra little smile.  

it will be back to sewing for me tomorrow.   

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the angled ceiling of a tiny enclosed porch.  windows swing open on either side of a slamming door that never quite latches.  there is room for a chair and a table and a pile of books.  lavender hanging in dusty clutches.  aluminum buckets, dull and hollow from decades of sun and water.  the floor is worn.  this is the room i settle in the evenings for the transition from summer to winter.  it's my autumn room. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

tea steeps under the faded cloak of a cozy that my grandmother pieced together from quilting scraps.  when my tea brews beneath this hood it seems to absorb a little of her breath.  a little of her spirit.  and i sip little memories of her, bits of her story while i sit in the half lit night with the music of wheezing dog.
(the baby quilt pictured is listed in the shop)