Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A New Dress

I finished my dress idea for my little girls today. I worked on it last night until 1 a.m. and had to finish it this morning but I have mixed feelings about how it turned out.
I took an Old Navy T-Shirt, a vintage cotton pillowcase, and I indulged my current passion for red and white with some red and white fabric I found at Joann fabrics - not too inspired, but instantly gratifying.

I created my own redwork pattern for the top based on a Tasha Tudor drawing, and it turned out ok - I don't have much experience with embroidery, and it shows.

Then I joined them all together appropriately, using the pillowcase as a petticoat, and although there are some definite issues with puckering and the like, I'm enjoying the effect, and although I'll never let either of the twins actually wear it because of the stain magnet tendency they have, I'll try it on one or both when they get home from preschool today. For now it is lovely just hanging on my bedroom door.

What a terrible picture. I think I have the up-too-late shakes.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day

This is the little altar I keep on my dresser. It has photos, treasures from Australia, my baby teeth jar and doilies and ceramics from my Nana. I look at it every day at some point, and if I had to save one thing in a hasty getaway situation I would sweep all this into a box as I ran for it.

Anyway, on the dresser are two photos, both taken many years ago. One is of me and my mum with my first car, and one is of my Nana when she was only a few years older than I am now, hanging out what must have been shocking quantities of laundry done for her seven boys.

My mum has influenced me in so many positive ways - she went back to college as an adult to earn her degree, she is an inspired fabric artist and she has come through illness into wellness again with courage and tenacity. She came to the States to attend each of the births of my children and was the best doula a new mother could want. Although we talk on the phone and email it's not like living near each other, and as I watch my children grow I miss her more each day.

My Nana raised seven sons, one of whom is my father. As a child the time I spent at her and my grandfathers home was warm, nourishing and loving, as only a grandparents home can be. I remember jam and cream on toast, being snuck lollies, and picture frames filled with photos of people I didn't know, but who I was of.
Three years ago, when I last saw my Nana, at her kitchen table watching my kids drinking green cordial and eating cake, I found myself a happy and contented child again, safe and loved completely.

Mum and Nana, if I could see you today, for all the good you have done me, I would offer simple gifts -

A bouquet of flowers,

and a cup of hot sweet tea on a sunny table where we had all the time in the world to reminisce, giggle, gossip and chat.

And, as you do, that would mean the world to me.

Where Have You Been? (why it's more than a week!)

That's a line from 'Now we are Six' by A.A. Milne, I think it's in a poem called Emmaline. We have a tape read by a fantastic British lady theatre star (I wish I knew her name), and I can hear her saying it in my head clear as anything. I looked for it on Amazon and couldn't find it there, but I will try to get her name from the library copy.

Anyway, I took a long break, in case you didn't notice, and while I was gone, Spring came...

Things got busy when the kids went back to school and I didn't have opportunities to take pictures I wanted to take, so I didn't post. Easy as that. But I was thinking about you all, I was.

We put a bid in on a house last week, but we were gazumped by another bidder. This house I had overlooked for three months because the land was not what I was dreaming of I finally aquiesed to because it was across the road from the kids school and because it was lovely inside.

The funny/not funny part is that the folks who outbid us are estranged once-friends moving back from another state where they have been for a couple of years. We put our bids in on the same day. What to think of that I do not know yet, but I do think it is worth contemplating.

So our house search continues, and I am dreaming of a slightly shabby but unaltered century farmhouse, not too big, on about two acres with some woods in back, a barn if possible and sun for flower, herb and veggie beds. Is that too much to ask? This is Ohio, for the love of Pete!

Speaking of Spring, this is how you can tell the days are finally getting warm here.

The squirrels start to drape themselves over gutters, garage roofs and branches. This one, who is a little mama and who comes every day for sunflower seeds, is draped over our deck rail. I wonder who's with the babies?

My latest crafting was inspired by this site, http://www.larkdesigns.com.au, and all my sewing, well almost all, has been related to the lovely items I spied there.
First I went and bought these flannel beauties which were $2/yard a Joanns, for wintery versions.

Then I bought feedsack and vintage reproduction cotton prints from one of my favorite fabric stores, http://www.fabricattic.com, as well as sale rack grabs, and thrifted little t-shirts, and made some of these: (this is the Joanns fabric, the others to come)

They are pretty plain, but sweet, and simple to make - about half an hour with no mistakes. But now I have newer, bigger ideas, which involve embroidery and ruffles and maybe vintage lace pillowcase petticoats, so stay tuned. There are also smocks in the works.

Oh, I have so much more to tell, but it is 2:15 here so I must be off to bed.

Before I go though, I need to wish a happy belated birthday to a guy I have known his whole life, but haven't seen nearly enough of for most of it. He and I live on opposite sides of the planet, to my deep regret, because he is a kind, warm, funny and wise man who I am deeply fond of - and he's my little brother.

Here he is with the twins and Paulie this past Christmas in his swish new real winter jacket.

Happy 31st Birthday Lee!

(I will send you something, as soon as you send that electronic thingy you promised me....okay?)