Saturday, December 26, 2009

Trench and Regroup

Twins and their big brother having a great visit at grandma's house.
Patrick and Aaron are ready to chow down some Christmas dinner.
Claire telling Aaron a NYC story.

Now that Christmas is past, my energy can be focused on household organization and crop planning
in earnest. The steady rain sounds soothing to my ears. The two foot drifts of snow are melting puddles of gray slush. This afternoon I have decided to tackle the basement clutter.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder:Aaron and I have been working on very easy cards. At this late date nothing extraordinary is going to see completion. So with a few sheets of colored foil, assorted cookie cutters for tracing, rubber stamps and a snowflake paper punch, the job gets done.
This gorgeous, to my eyes, hand spun and dyed wool is truly luxurious. I have had this in my stash for quite some time. Too exquisite for knitting, I stare at the strands. Felting comes to mind.

Do you remember these steel potholder looms? Superb fun and a project small enough that gets finished! Aaron wants to give each person on his list a handmade gift. He needed to be reassured that it was a worthy goal. I would much rather receive a handmade effort, no matter how humble and imperfect, than the finest gadget. So, while helping him I thought of a felted hotpad made with my treasure. Knitting changes the look of yarn, frequently a very dissappointing change. As you can see, even weaving will alter the countenance of the yarn. I will be curious to see how it all comes out in the wash, so to speak.
The machines are back home so I am embroidery central till next week!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Machines = Headache

Whether it is farm equipment or an embroidery machine, something will go wrong at some point!! My 200 is waiting to go to the shop and now my backup is acting up. The problem is TENSION! The machine's and mine. If you click on the photo you can see the thread is forming loose loops instead of tight, smooth stitches. I tried every trick to solve the problem to no avail. Monday both sources of my frustration are going to the Shop.
Here is a towel for one of my favorite machine fixers, automotive mechanic Dom Pernaci. He is simply the BEST! People complain about shady mechanics, not me. Honest, caring, goes out of his way the extra mile (sometimes literally), professional, in every way Dom is a wonderful guy.
I don't worry if he retires. His son is just like him. They work, eat and have fun together, real kindred spirits-I love that.

The stuff that looks like plastic food wrap is water soluable topping. It keeps the thread from sinking between the warp and weft threads of the towel.
It is true that Dom knows his vegetables and likes to eat good food. He knew what to do with his CSA veggies.
Bib and little girl's apron. The apron design is from an OESD series, Grandmother's Linens, which resemble 1940's handwork. You can still find original items with this kind of embroidery in antique shops and flea markets.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


These are woven flat check towels embroidered with heavy weight heirloom cotton thread. The registration marks have not been washed away yet.
Here are some lace designs embroidered on linen hemstitched towels. also done in Madeira Cotona 30 weight thread. These will be washed to remove stabilizer and registration marks, then starched and pressed.
Some of the thread spools not surrounding my sewing machine. Too many colors.........not enough time. Of course I could say that about books, or any other passion.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Already????

Too soon the days are old. Are clock hands moving faster? Farming is a time driven occupation with a rigid schedule. Tasks not completed in their allotted frame will surely not succeed! So, here I am, December 1st (!!) and still not done garlic. It has been too wet in the field. Aaarrrgghh!

Custom embroidery orders, thankfully, can be done in the house. I sit between two windows, which even on a cold, thickly gray day, give abundant light. And it is while sewing that I contemplate the coming season. In little more than sixty days another kind of sowing will commence. Those in the far North, buried under their annual white blanket, will have a bit longer to ruminate.

Until the ground dries I am patient, no point flustering. There is a series of "piles" to keep me sufficiently employed:

dust bunnies pile
laundry pile
mending pile
dishes pile
paper pile
embroidery pile
unpaid bill pile
books to read pile
etc, etc, etc..................................