From Art

Scrap happy…

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I joined my mom for a scrapbooking date this Saturday at a local crop. (Yes, they still happen, no, scrapping isn’t dead yet!) I’ll admit the last couple of times I have attended I didn’t get anything done- just sat and stared and pushed the paper around. The muse was not there. This time, however, things were hopping. I got these five done (the Coppelia is a two pager) and could have kept going well into the night. My fingers are itching to finish the others that were in my head from Saturday—and we won’t talk about how very long it has been since that has happened! Years! It is a great feeling- I’ve missed this aspect of myself quite a bit. All the pictures are from at least two years ago, sometimes earlier than that. If anything has changed since I first started scrapping, I have definitely learned to date or put an age somewhere on the page- when I look back at older work, I’m really hard pressed to figure out when it was and have to look for clues in the background photos. Save yourself some consternation later!

Yarn Along

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I finished another Garter Stitch Cowl in Grey last night for my husband. (Here’s mine from this summer.) This was an extremely fast knit this time- literally the fastest I’ve ever completed a project to date- from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening. I think what is most gratifying about this one is that there are no mistakes. When I made one I was able to figure out how to fix it without frogging, or caught it quickly enough to only have to frog a few stitches. The one visible mistake I made (an extra purl row) I was going to go back and fix, but my husband liked the way it looked and asked for another line another third of the way up. It gives it a delightfully chunky ribbed look.

I finished both The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne and Glimmerglass: A Novel in the last few weeks. I liked the quick read about the Bronte sisters- I had read Jane Eyre previously and was curious to know more about these authoress sisters and this book was a great introduction. (So many author biographies can get scholarly and dry!) Glimmerglass was introduced to me via a reading/book signing back in the fall. The portion she read aloud absolutely whet my appetite to find out what happened next,  but I was too broke at the time to buy a copy. I finally found it at the library last month. It’s a lovely fairy tale of a book with a mystery or two. She has such a lyrical voice…it’s a very falling down the rabbit hole sort of book. The twist will surprise and delight you and scare you by turns.

Sharing with Ginny.

Yarn Along

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I made some progress over the last week on the sweater’s neckline. Alas, I think I’m going to have to frog it back because I’ve gotten too many stitches on the needles. I do think I have conquered the new skills for the increases though, so these rows will go much faster once I start again. I knew starting something like this would definitely test my limited skill set, but the only way to learn is to practice and try new things!

I’ve been reading back through Laying Down the Rails, which I’ve had forever and have read once before. Sonya basically collated all of Charlotte Mason’s writings about discipline and forming character into one volume. It has very little commentary from Sonya herself, but many helpful notes and explanations in the margins that further clarify what Charlotte is discussing. After reading A Mother’s Rule of Life I realized that we had fallen off the tracks, so to speak, in character training and development, and this resource is helping me think and pray through where I’d like to go from here.

The children and I are reading through The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I made the mistake of promising the kids that I would not read ahead, and now I am absolutely dying of curiosity. It is such a torture! I want so desperately to read at my own pace and discover what happens, but I promised. We are all really enjoying the book. From all I have been told the whole series is good, so we look forward to joining in on the adventure.

Sharing with Ginny.

Getting stitchy with it…

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If you are now humming along to the ear-worm-y Men In Black theme song, sorrynotsorry. Whatever happened to good funny movies like that, really? At least the original. By MI3 the joke was getting a bit old…

Anyways. I had a backlog of sewing related repairs I needed to do, and last week and this week saw that to-do list finished too. Above, I finally hemmed the older boys’ curtains. We won’t talk about how long it took me to do that, m’kay? Suffice it to say, my boys have probably grown the amount of inches required to hem the curtains up…

Below, a husky repair for David. He was a very soft and cuddly patient. I can see why he is so loved!

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Our house is styled in found objects. Some from the thrift store, some from antique stores, some even from the curb. (No shame! I’ve found some of my best stuff there! It’s amazing what people throw out sometimes.) For some reason, this has been the year that the kids have been super duper hard on the furniture. I think both of these started as small wear and tear holes that were “helped” along by the children.

First, the blue chair before:bluehole

And the blue chair, after:

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The blue chair repair was ‘good as new’…you can’t tell that it was stitched back together. Before, I think this would have been a chair I would have looked for a slipcover for without realizing I could repair it with a needle.

The white antique love seat is another story. It wasn’t overly precious to me- I knew that the pretty silk damask would probably get discolored more over time, and I was okay with that- the artist in me actually considered eventually painting the fabric at some point in the future. Just not this year. I wasn’t expecting such a horrible gash to happen. This one was definitely helped by a certain child in the space of about five minutes- what was quite small (and could have been easily darned) turned into this massive gash with stuffing missing. By some serendipity, I discovered there was a four to five inch wide, foot long strip of the fabric underneath the framing, probably left there just for repairs. I was able to create a small patch for the hole, which I darned on with a sort of make-shift blanket stitch. I’m hoping that the patch itself will quickly discolor to the same state as the rest of the couch, at which point the difference in color won’t be so obvious. I may try gently cleaning the rest of the couch- I’m not sure yet. While it’s not the prettiest fix, the damage has been stopped and protected.

Here is the white love seat before:
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And after:

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Eventually it’s going to need a better, long-term solution. Perhaps I will try my hand at reupholstering it? It has a pretty unique shape, being so old, so average slip covers would be impossible. I can’t decide if making a sort of custom slip cover for it would make more sense (with the removable, washable factor) or actually reupholstering it. Whatever I decide, it will be as frugal as possible. For right now, a strategically placed blanket does wonders!

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