My friend Liseanne has a bounty of fruit trees and an incredibly generous heart. Whenever things come into bloom, she shares her harvest. Once upon a time, I had pounds and pounds of key limes that were transformed into pies and frozen juice. This week, it was plums. I took these (super tart) purple gems and turned them into a small batch of preserves.
I didn’t take a photo of the 5 half pint jars this made, but you can imagine. I added brown sugar and all spice to the Ball plum preserve recipe. We included a bit of this last night over pork chops and it was delicious — even the little one liked it. (Win!)
I am so thankful for this community of women in my life who share what they have, whether it be fruit or ideas or support.
When I went on the walk-through for J’s house, I had to focus on keeping my feet on the floor when we walked into one of the bedrooms to see it had been converted into a sewing room. The previous owner had custom cabinetry installed and racks for fabric in the closet. I wanted to giggle with glee. A real sewing room! Not everything spread out on the dining room table, where you have to shuffle to get things organized and tucked away before guests come over.
A real sewing room.
It took 18 months or so of sorting and organizing, but this week the sewing room finally transformed from the catch-all for everything else in the house to an actual sewing room.
Just in time for some Valentine and spring birthday projects.
This weekend I had a few girlfriends over for a sewing bee. We chatted and enjoyed a potluck. Of course there was laughter and gossip and sharing of ideas and support. It was a lovely way to spend a few hours with friends in my new home.
And I started an intense new project for us: a bit of fall color for the couch. I hope to post photos as this pillow progresses this week.
Happy week, friends!
Once upon a time, I lived with three of my girlfriends in a house that was falling down. Like the three little pigs, but we likely had less to eat. These were the salad days — I was out of college, working my tail off to make ends meet. They were still in college, working their tails off to make ends meet.
We had a lot of fun that year, including hosting Mini’s wedding shower and seeing Rebecca get engaged. We also all sat on Kacey’s denim blue couch and watched as the towers fell, one after the other on that bright blue Tuesday morning in 2001. Six weeks later, we were on the same couch watching as our hometown Arizona Diamondbacks took the World Series.
It was a strange, terrifying and exhilarating time. I loved living with those girls. We came up with the most ridiculous reasons to have people over, including craft outings — like painting pots. One afternoon our living room was full of young women wielding paint brushes. Terra cotta be damned! The results were pathetic, but fun was had all the same.
As such, I can’t paint a pot today without thinking of the Broadmoor. So many fun memories in that crazy, rambling house.
Far from perfect, but perfection is so overrated. They’ll be filled with succulent starts soon enough.
Trying to find the light and positive, seeking the warmth of the Arizona early spring. My vegetable garden is going wild, eating up buffalo loam and drinking up as much water as I can provide. The heat comes on strong, and stronger.
Again, I plant a garden. And again, the earth reminds me everything happens in its own season. It is as pointless to dream of watermelon in February as it is to hope for citrus on the trees come May.
Oh, hello there Mr. Nelson. Are you playing with your favorite toy — the Target Cupcake (of which we have purchased and destroyed dozens?)
Wait? What’s that you say? You aren’t playing with your toy? You are trying to distract anyone from noticing the gobs of junk “hidden” under the bed?
Few closets meant I stashed my craft and art supplies under the bed, only to realize they were still in plain view. Thankfully, I found this tutorial, which made sewing a bed skirt for a bed with a frame a snap.
Well, maybe not a snap. But easy enough — even though scooting under the bed with a hot glue gun was probably not the smartest idea.
Voila! A few bucks spent in velcro and canvas and now I can hide my junk with pride. And unlike previous hot glue adventures, I neither burned myself, nor the carpet. Success!
What this house lacks in closets, it makes up for in windows. There are big windows in every room — most of which give us a garden view. While D is away this week studying in England, I’ve been busy trying to get things organized, and homey.
Sorry, darling. Your Mad Men poster will not suffice. Although don’t get me wrong — I like that you are willing to share the house with Don Draper.
I made this dresser our linen closet, with folded quilts and rugs tucked beneath.
Plants and farmer’s market baskets make me happy.
As does a well organized, tidy bathroom with a pretty curtain runner:
Any other creative storage ideas for small spaces? I would love to hear them. Otherwise, this is all happily coming together.
A friend’s husband showed up unexpectedly at my doorstep yesterday afternoon. He’d been up canyon on his bike when it had begun to snow. By the time he reached my house, going some 40 miles an hour down Clear Creek, he was blue. His hands were frozen and the inner linings of his eyes were swollen to an alarming shade of red.
Could he sit down for a second and warm up?
I shooed him in the door, got the dogs off the couch and plugged in the electric blanket. Soon, the kettle was singing and his hands warmed around a mug of tea. Dinner was already on the stove — Spanish chorizo and lentils from this month’s Cooks Illustrated. I had pans of salted caramel upside down pineapple cakes on the oven waiting to go in next.
He warmed up slowly, and stayed for hours, telling how he realized he was in trouble when he couldn’t keep both hands on the bike. Navigating down the canyon with two hands is terrifying, doing so with one hand tucked under your other arm for warmth is suicide. Thankfully, he made it. I promised him he wouldn’t have to ride any farther today; we’d find a way for he and his bike to get home.
Soon, BJ joined us around the dinner table, swapping stories of our day and sipping soup. The snow began to fall in thick flakes. By the time dessert was served, inches of fluffy powder rested on the roofs of cars, the patio table, the greenhouse light fixtures, and everything in between. The mountains, so near, were out of sight for more than 14 hours as the snow continued to dance downward.
The soup was even better as leftovers today for lunch, enjoyed from the small kitchen table with a view of a golden sun, ringed by the brightest, clearest blue skies.
Time to walk the dogs, plan the next meal and push forward. Visitors are always welcome.
I like making things for the second time much more than the first. And the third more than the second. There is such a learning curve with most creative projects.
Also, I get a little obsessed. Once I want to do scrappy quilting, or bake the world’s best gingersnaps, that’s pretty much all I want to do.
I’ve eaten so many of these, I very well may have pre-diabetes this week. But hey! The sugar highs fueled another table runner. Similar fabric choices:
Loving the new quilting foot I received for my machine. It makes such a difference with the consistency of stitches and flattening all the layers during quilting. Of course, now I have three quilting books on my desk and I’m eyeing table runners that might as well involve climbing Everest. A logical leap in skill and ability, there, Donley.
Next up: two beard hats. I’m starting over because the original pattern I used created hats and beards for a man the size of Paul Bunyan. And the men I’m knitting these babies for? Well, I wouldn’t call them delicate, but I’m pretty sure I could piggy back them up a mountain. Like, say, Everest.
Project: Table runner with cloth napkin set
Next up: Denyse Schmidt patterns. I want to be less Little House on the Prairie with these projects and more avant-gard.