Category Archives: Heirloom Hacienda

Less Control

Christmas 2015

I walked through A’s room this weekend, picking up errant candy wrappers and tidying her bed. There were a few water bottles and I took out her trash. We’d just gone to the store to pick out linens for her new bed; it was frustrating she hadn’t bothered to make the bed after such an effort to get the new furniture and details in place.

After a sleepover, she returned and we had dinner. She looked at me with wide eyes, playfully. “Why did you clean my room?”

I hadn’t cleaned, really. But it was enough of a change that she noticed and was bothered.

I stumbled in response, my mind flooded with my own 13 year old memories of just wanting my space. A space where I could lock the door. A space where I didn’t have to make the bed. (And truthfully, a space where I could stay up all night reading, if I wanted to.) I hadn’t had any of this in mind when I’d “picked up” her room earlier.

“Because it needed it? Because you shouldn’t have food in your room! Because MAKE YOUR DAMN BED ALREADY.”

I said none of these. I just shrugged my shoulders and continued to shovel my dinner, running a list of justified responses over and over in my head. Why is it so important to have the children in my home make their beds? I’m rarely in their rooms. Is it because I want to feel in control? That I need them to listen to me? That I must feel respected?

Whatever it is, it is about my ego and not their cleanliness. They are not slovenly and they will not likely ever meet my ridiculous expectations for tidiness. I have a sick feeling that this is all about me feeling like I am the boss — which is gross and highly unnecessary for the circumstance. I am yet one more adult in their lives, not a parent, but an example. And I can chose to continue this battle of wills where I show them how to be up tight and grouchy, or I can do as Princess Elsa consoles: let it go, already.

Christmas 2015

This holiday season, I had a chance to spend good time with this kid. We baked — one of her favorite hobbies, and worked on Christmas cards together. My sails could be full if I let them be.

2016: I welcome you with both arms. And with a mouth that will no longer nag these children into doing chores that stroke my ego. I’m going to hug them more and enjoy these days. (I will also happily close their bedroom doors.)

~K

Dry off!

I love these kitchen towels. They are soft, easy to iron crisp, great to tuck into your pants when cooking or to lay across your lap as a giant napkin. One of my new favorite sewing projects is to embellish these and gift them with a jar of something canned out of the garden.

Quilted dish towels

Quilted dish towels

Quilted dish towels

 

~K

Fall Pillow

Half square triangle scrappy pillow

Half square triangle scrappy pillow

Half square triangle scrappy pillow

Half square triangle scrappy pillow

Half square triangle scrappy pillow

I made this for the couch; there are two more in the works — one a log cabin pillow using a Grand Canyon patch in the center, and a W pillow. I love putting this home together.

Half square triangles are fun and these are totally wonky, but I love them all the same. Perfection is over rated.

~K

Piecing and the Joys of You Tube

Scrap Pillow

I grew up watching my mom quilt, who made it look easy. Her skills improved rapidly, as did the complexities of her completed projects. I have a left-hand brain. I am left handed and when looking at something spacial, I often have to turn around and literally look at it upside down to have it make sense. Sewing has been an extra challenge; sewing, like many, many other hobbies, is set up for the right handed world. The sewing machine, for example, would be much easier for me if it was turned the opposite direction. (It doesn’t work well that way; I’ve tried.) As are good sewing scissors. Thankfully, cutting mats and rotary cutters don’t discriminate.

Scrap Pillow

So, I make a LOT of simple, silly mistakes in how I see something coming together, rather than how it does come together.

Any other lefties out there feel my pain?

Scrap Pillow

I was thinking of this a lot yesterday when piecing together this scrappy pillow. That and how great it is to have You Tube sewing tutorials. When in a pinch these days, I immediately turn to the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s channel. It is very likely they have the answer to my question, and another simple inspiring idea for me to try.

Scrap Pillow

The next project I’m trying is a scrappy pillow quilted out of triangles. Not flying geese, but smaller right angle triangles. But first, I’ve got to quilt this one and get it stuffed! Who doesn’t love/want a scrappy quilted pillow full of crazy color and love for their living room? Something both righties and lefties can agree on.

~K

Nesting, just enough

plates

before

during

after

The plate wall is up. I appreciate that it is a little wonky and full of trees. The green jadeite platter is my favorite, and I’m happy to showcase it. I used these plate hangers after a good bit of research and they are absolutely worth the expense. They worked like a charm!

folded

The linen closet is sorted and it makes me smile to see this odd collection of vintage sheets in their new home.

nook

I really am loving turning this place into our home! This week: selling a few pieces of extra furniture, putting together the dining room table, setting up the sewing/craft room and hosting some girlfriends for my first happy hour.

Nelson and I have found our new three-mile walking path. It is just long enough for him to need a nap on the cool tile when we return and for me to catch up on just enough world news. Once it cools, we’ll hit the nearby trails for morning adventures. For now, we watch the heavy gray afternoon clouds come over the Superstitions and pray for just enough rain to water the garden and break the heat, but nothing strong enough to damage the giant backyard mesquite.

We soldier on, trying not to complain too much about this heat. (And I’m plotting a quick beach getaway.)

This life is so much better than just enough. My heart is full and very happy!

~K

Moving Right Along

Transplanting baby tomatoes

Transplanting baby tomatoes

These will stay in peat pots for another two weeks before being transplanted. This is just the first half of the 65 or so heirloom tomato babies I have going in my kitchen. It is going to be a big year for tomatoes around the homestead.

In other news, I’m making grapefruit marmalade and rosemary lemon cake this week too; time to stock the pantry shelves and our bellies with the abundance of citrus this time of year!

What are you growing? Cooking? Canning?

~K

Holiday Odds and Ends — tied up with some pinterest-y twine and hand stamped goodness

Holiday knits

Holiday knits

 

This is the last of my knits for a bit; I’ve got something going on with my left hand. A pulled tendon? Considering my mom once needed hand surgery from too much quilting, this sort of nuttery comes easy. I’m ready to wake up and not have my hand throbbing. The swelling isn’t so pretty either.

Christmas eating

 

I’ve been trying to eat far more vegetables this month in lieu of all the other goodies hanging around the holiday table. It seems every day there is some invitation for a workplace potluck or celebration. Small bags of sweets keep arriving. Rather than abstinence, I’m trying to find a bit of balance. Green apples, red onion and butternut squash, roasted with a bit of olive oil for 2 hours at 250 is delightful.

Christmas glimpse

 

I love this Christmasy/winter fabric. Like last year, I sewed a few cheese cloth tea towels. They are super soft and an easy project — nice to wrap around a loaf of holiday bread or a bottle of wine.

On my Christmas wish list

 

And finally, this is on my Christmas list. I’ve been toying with a wall of shelving in my kitchen, but I think this would do the trick. And I’m considering painting it. Red? Or perhaps a soft, spring green. Santa! Dude! Throw this sucker in the sleigh.

I hope your week is going well, friends. I’m off for a bit of holiday festivities and back to the novel editing. (I promise you Basket Baby will be published in 2015._

Hoping you get some down time with your honey under the mistletoe!

~K

 

Thrifty Pillow Transformation

Let’s say you see a pillow in one of your favorite catalogs and you think, “Come on. I could make that. Right? I mean. I think I can make that. Well, let’s ride this train until it crashes and proves us otherwise.”

You have these sorts of conversations, right? Right.

Take a pillow from your favorite thrift store.

Sewing and repurposing

 

Cut that sucker open. Be surprised when it is filled not with an enclosed pillow, but filling. Press on.

Stamped Pillow Tutorial

Stamped Pillow Tutorial

Use that gross, former pillow case as a pattern. Dig through your bin of remnants and find a piece that will work. Cut to size.

Stamped Pillow Tutorial

Stamped Pillow Tutorial

 

Get out a ruler and stamps and some dark ink. Pick your message. And go!

Stamped Pillow Tutorial

Stamped Pillow Tutorial

 

And sew. Leave one end open so you can stuff that sucker again.

Stamped Pillow Tutorial

Voila.

~K