Hello! How are you all? It is a beautiful summer here in the Midwest. I am out the door every morning, the moment the coffee has been poured into a mug. In the soft morning glow, I water trees and flowers, and wander the yard sharing it with the birds. I'm finished just as the heat starts to get a little too warm for my shoulders, and then I settle into a chair in the shade, and often smile at the beautiful breeze that blows through the trees up on this hill where we live. Sometimes I knit a row or two, or embroider a small picture, and it's nearly noon before I return inside.
I find myself enjoying many of the things I enjoyed about summers long ago, and that might be the attraction to it all this year. Sun tea in a 1970's pink and orange flowered jar, taking a close look at a lightning bug on my finger, spending time with butterflies, grilling simple food, pulling out the ice cream maker, and even washing my hair in the hose on more than one occasion...the simplest things, are always the best part of summer.
I received a bike for Mother's Day, and my first wobbly ride (It's been a while, ahem) was with my husband. We pedaled over to my sister's house who lives a couple miles away. She and her husband are avid gardeners, so I knew they would be in their backyard. Other days, I've taken off for a ride around the block. I realized I don't really know my block, so I look forward to getting to know it better. When the mailman delivered a package to my mailbox by mistake, I felt happy that there was a need for my basket, and I delivered it to its proper owner a few doors down. I think seeing birds taking baths is one thing I have enjoyed the most this summer though. Is there something you find yourself loving about summer this year?
Oh yes, and then there is the construction. On May 26th we closed on the sale of our previous cottage, and on May 27th we started four updates that needed to be done here at our sweet, new home. The first job was to replace a sinking front porch. The concrete workers kindly worked among the tree cutters who arrived at the same time. The work will continue here for a couple more weeks. The planning and managing of it all has taken much of my free time, despite the joy I mentioned above. Yesterday I started thinking this might be a good time to update this little space as well. Hmm.
All is well here my kind friends.
I will share photos of the completed work here later. May the summer season gift you with beautiful skies, nature, and knitting. Love to you! xo Jeannine
For England. I’ve tried to type the proper words. I don’t have them. All children are so precious. There is no reward in heaven for such an act. Ridiculous. There simply could not be. May this one truth, one day, be understood by all people.
My mama’s old stationary box houses my embroidery thread. You may or may not remember how beautiful stationary used to be when it came in such a box; back when writing to friends and family was the least costly way to stay in touch. Stationary boxes were often given to my mom for Christmas and birthdays, and even though this one is tattered, the box behind the wrapping is still sweet. My mama stored her embroidery thread here too. I knew when I came across the box, I’d continue to use it for the same sweet purpose.
I’ve been working on some embroidery for the Etsy shop opening in June, and dividing my time between working on projects for the shop and a little knitting.
There is something about embroidering that brings back precious memories of happy times in my childhood. Perhaps that’s because the quiet moments it brings with it, reflect the times when I was most comfortable as a young girl.
A new knitting project has been started as well. I was feeling the need for a new color on the needles. I’ll share more about it tomorrow, (we are heading to the last violin and piano lesson before summer.) I promised myself picnics this summer. I started this morning. The air is brisk and the sun shining. I did need to go back in for a sweat shirt though.
Fabric is waiting to be sewn into projects bags.
The food we have been enjoying lately has been simple. Yesterday my son made this for lunch. I can honestly say it will now be my favorite lunch! We enjoyed the crispy bread, topped with avacados with iced, sweet green tea. The second sandwich, is lightly buttered bread, place butter side down on parchment paper, lightly spread with an olive bruschetta spread (bought in a jar), and sprinkled with gorgonzola and parmigiano cheese, then baked at 350 until crispy. Yes please!
Sending you all love during this incredibly sad time. May the simple comforts of home, quiet crafts, family, good food...a picnic… may it in some way comfort you. Love, Jeannine
Hello! It’s almost the weekend friends!
I have a cold and allergies trying to keep me from doing all that I love this week, but I am pushing on regardless. Today will be very windy, so I’m out in the yard early and plan to spend the afternoon indoors.
To build the cottage life that I love here at home, there is a need for simple and pretty things, both inside and out. One of those things, is the beauty of fresh roses. Did you know that roses all have unique names almost as lovely as the blooms themselves? Yesterday roses were planted throughout the yard...Fragrant Clouds, Cherish, Mister Lincoln, and First Prize. Queen Elizabeth was planted earlier this spring, and more just like her are waiting patiently.
Herbs are ready to be planted as well. A trip to the market is on the to do list, in search of a large pot. I’m suddenly becoming fond of the pots I’m noticing everywhere. Pots can be simple, pretty, and I find the arrangement possibilities enchanting.
I’ve made progress on my Day to Remember shawl. With busy days and so much to do, I’m focusing on one knit at a time at the moment which is quite relaxing, even if there isn’t a lot of knitting time each day.
So I can do the things I enjoy, like knitting, and creating a loving, cottage style home for my family, I want to find ways to be more frugal. One change I have recently made, is to use my local library more, instead of buying books that I typically end up giving to resale shops after reading. When the boys were small we went to the library every week, but I stopped going when they grew, and when Amazon allowed me to purchase any book with the click of a button. I had a few minutes to run in the library last week, and if you haven’t visited a library lately, there is a particular feeling there, I have to say, that Amazon just doesn’t offer. Trust me, I love Amazon, and a week doesn’t go buy that we don’t use it, but browsing slowly, through hundreds of books, finding authors you love, learning something new, and leaving with something free…it’s all quite wonderful I think. So the other night, as I came across a Susan Branch book on her blog that I’d like to read, (love her!), I resisted the urge to hit click, to purchase, and instead headed over to the library’s website, reserved it from a library far away, and asked them to ship it to the one close to my home. It was done just as quickly as adding it to my cart on Amazon and hitting "pay now". Who knew? I’ll look for more ways to save, but this change is one I was happy to make.
The Etsy shop I’m starting this summer will have a few baby dresses available. The first is ready to cut. I hope to take simple patterns and add something a little special I have in mind, to make them extra sweet, and create an item that isn’t found in a store bought dress. I’ll share more as it comes along.
Flowers I planted from bulbs the week we arrived here, are blooming and bringing joy to the yard and my heart.
The Queen Elizabeth rose. Rose petals are such an amazing creation…and the scent! Wow! I’m thankful today for the Queen Elizabeth Rose... and for you dear friends! Thank you for visiting. Have a beautiful week. Love, Jeannine
Yes. That is my laundry in the picture! Ha.
Hello Dear Friends!
Has it really been ten days since my last post? Seriously, I don’t know where the days go! Simply put, the days are still busy. This week I found myself knitting quite happily on my most recent knit, A Day To Remember, only to find myself a little too comfortable with the easy pattern, continuing to knit through hearing the boys daily adventures, planning dinner, helping with math, and a host of other aspects of daily living, only to count stitches inches later, and all of three times, there has been an extra stitch. Oh, I know you are undoubtedly shaking your head and saying, “Oh yes, been there, and done that!" I’ve frogged several inches each time, and now a couple extra stitch markers are placed to hopefully help.
I took a break from counting pink stitches, to start the button band on my Anna Vest. It’s finally off the needles and ready to be sewn together.
A surprise will be coming this summer! I’ll be opening an Etsy shop. There has been a lot of planning happening. My shop will feature hoop art, hand embroidery, project bags, and baby items. I’ve been practicing, working on ideas, and collecting supplies. I hope to have it open near the end of June. You may see hints of the offerings here in the coming days;)
We rush through tests, concerts, and lessons, but know we are about to transition to the beautiful, slower days of summer. We’re almost there! There has been band and orchestra music filling the house and this never gets old. Sweet boys, sweet music. I’m so so thankful for it all. At last night’s final concert, the musicians filled the auditorium by lining the steps of the audience for their final song. Seeing their talent, and knowing how hard they have worked, fills my heart each year. The music though…I’m still amazed, and I hope they know, that I considered it a most precious gift.
Wouldn’t it be fun if we could all gather for a concert…and knitting? Next time I listen, I’ll imagine you were all there.
I hope you enjoy Central High's final song of the 2017 school year. The Pirates of the Caribbean. Love to you! Jeannine
Hello! Happy May! Has it been raining cats and dogs in your part of the world? There has been crazy amounts of rain here, but today it has stopped for the time being.
This morning I looked through a cookbook by Tea Time magazine, and decided to try the Caramelized Shallot and Blue Cheese Honeyed Swirls.
I mentioned on a previous post, that when I was too busy to actually do the things I enjoy, like baking and the like, I started making a list in the hopes that when things returned to normal, I would fit something from my list of loves into each day. Recently, I’ve been doing just that, and oh, finding time for what one loves, does make life sweet.
I didn’t forget to add a little cleaning schedule to my planning, since I know to truly enjoy doing the things I love, the house needs to be on the tidy side. (psst..most days I don’t get it done, but it’s always good to have a plan;)
I love to make things at home, that make an ordinary day just a little more special.
I’m still working on my two shawls, Shaelyn, and A day to Remember, both easy and relaxing to knit. Also, earlier this morning, a certain knitted vest was rolled in a towel, and is waiting to be blocked. More on that soon.
There were mostly rain puddles and tall grass on the nature walk this morning, but these little beauties don’t seem to mind the extra water at all.
Have a lovely day friends. I hope this week offers you time for the things you love most.
Good morning and happy Friday to you all!
Rain has been falling, and with that comes a break from watering the flowers, as well as some cozy knitting time. I casted on a fun shawl yesterday, A Day To Remember, by Joji Locatelli. I love the pattern so far, and I think I’ll take a closer look at her other patterns as well. Her photos are lovely. The yarn is from Pigeon Roof Studios, a superwash merino/silk blend with a high twist and soft yet strong to the touch. I’m unable to read the hand written color way.
One thing I have noticed about our home, is that I seem to hear the birds even more than I did at Stone Cottage. That might be because we lived in a valley there, and here we are at the top of a large hill. There are also large trees closer to the house here. There are so many kinds of birds, and the songs they sing are so unique. One morning, a black bird was making the exact sound of rippling water. Listening to the birds is one way I slow down and enjoy my day. Oh little birds, you are such a gift.
Wishing you a very happy and peaceful weekend dear friends. xo Jeannine
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
Hello! Since moving I’ve been so busy, that my days have felt like a whirlwind. By the end of the day, I would wonder how it all got done. Also, I’d think of all that didn’t get done, but I took comfort in the fact that the important things somehow always work out. We’ve been trying to sell a house, applying for colleges, driving to tutoring, school, and music lessons. Then, there is a homeschool push to prepare the youngest for public high school next year. Meaning we must do Math, and more Math. My job takes me away on weekends, a challenge, and we celebrated a Senior prom!...I haven’t been able to spend time writing here, nor with my camera like I have wanted to. There were days when I’d snap a photo of a sunset, or a flower, and think this would be lovely to share with friends, only to resign to the fact that there wasn’t enough time, or energy to finish the job. One factor is that my sons who were making A's in Honors classes at their old school, suddenly found themselves struggling to pass in the new, advanced district. Yikes! Being placed in new classes half way through the year hasn’t help either. My computer is in use most nights until 2:00 am, by a dear boy who will not give up, and is determined to succeed:) (Love, love, love.)
Some of you who know me a little, might guess, that that kind of busyness is not easy on someone of my character, who tends to prefer quiet, peacefulness, and time alone, to recharge and ever so purposely, slow down. Whoo!
It’s really all been ok however; happiness was felt each day that the kids met their challenges, and each evening, knowing they were well fed. Everything else could be saved for the following day. I did find a minute here and there for tea, or a moment of time to sit on a bench. I’d take a slow deep breath, complete a stitch or two, or make a list of what I’d like to do when things slowed down, and somehow these moments kept it all in check.
Vanilla sock - stash yarn.
The front yard. My kind brother-in-law has been stopping by each afternoon to haul away the rocks. Pesky rocks.
Shaelyn By: Leila (Stash yarn)
Then, all of a sudden I felt it. A shift. Yes! I felt a shift toward slow. Spring had sprung! Homeschool network was finished for the year, a college was chosen, and difficult classes are nearly complete. With the shift, came a little extra time to finish a pair of socks, time to enjoy that cup of tea, to complete a few more stitches, to plant flowers, and oh sweet goodness...time to knit! Glorious!
Have a beautiful day friends. I’ve missed you all! Jeannine:)
Good Happy Friday to you all!
I feel very happy as I write to you because I know it’s been way too long since our last chat. Wow! The days roll along so quickly and it seems there is little time for me to slow down lately. I don’t yet feel the quiet rhythm of my days. Since our move, there's been too much to do, getting two boys into a new school, preparing one for college, homeschooling sweet Jordan, and taking care of the home. I intentionally find a few moments throughout the day, to read a paragraph, knit a row, or cook something yummy, and these moments do feel very right, so I think it will just take a little more time. Here we are at another sweet Friday though friends, so that alone is reason to slow down and smile:)
I found some cute little cupcake holders on clearance and wanted to try them out. I really liked how they bake up, and I used this recipe. I think this is the best blueberry muffin recipe I have tried, and I have added it to my recipe box. They were so good! What’s not to like about crumb topping?
A bit of yarn arrived in the mail from Jimmy Beans Wool. A new to me yarn club, and a mystery KAL shawl, had me casting on these beautiful and equally soft yarns, perfect for February knitting. Fabric has been purchased also and quilt batting has arrived, so I will be finishing up a couple quilts and starting a new one for summer.
I think Sunday or Monday I’ll have to plan a day of photography. (The flowers are from my kitchen.) There isn’t much to see outdoors with the trees being bare, and the snow staying far away this year. Perhaps a closer look through my lens will reveal something I’ve been missing. This usually does surprise me with a gift that nature is always willing to share.
A little advice if you find yourself wanting to do more, and a sweet reminder to myself as well, that maybe what we are doing right now is very significant in itself, and enough by itself to make a beautiful life. At this time, I would much like to get my house in order for Spring, visit with friends, and adore my family. Oh truly, it couldn’t be better.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend dear friends. May peace, joy, and love, be waiting for you at home. Jeannine:)
Hello! How has life been treating you this week? I hope all is very well!
As I neared the end of a baby bonnet, I realized a Picot Edge was required. I thought, ew! Not that I thought it would be difficult, (or maybe I did just a little.) I remember trying the picot edge with crochet once, and well that was enough to steer me away I guess. None the less, this little bonnet seemed to need one, so I pressed on. It turns out "picot edge" is a very general term, and there are numerous types and ways to accomplish the look. The edge on this bonnet turned out to be very easy after all, and I thought in case you haven't tried it, you may want to take a little closer look at a basic picot edge! The bonnet pattern is the same as my last post and can be found here. The yarn is, hmmm,from my stash;)
The first step for a simple picot edge, is to start on the right side and knit two together, yarn over. Repeat across the row. Then, knit 5 rows of stockinette stitch followed by binding off the edge. Like below.
Next, simply fold the stockinette edge, to the wrong side and whip stitch it into place. The finished picot edge is even and sturdy, with a double thickness. It makes a very nice edge for a bonnet. What could be simpler?
Blocking each little picot bump is not needed, but I went a little crazy with the pins regardless.
Winter is playing hide and seek, and the Pear Tree seems to be falling for the untimely little game.
The weather has me missing winter and wishing for sun at the same time. Trips to the market end with me saying yes! Flowers please!
Bluebirds apparently love holly berries. They have been visiting each morning. Seriously, I wish they would never leave.
This year, you will find me writing more, knitting, sewing, and visiting here with friends. It all sounds very perfect for another year!
Much love to you all!
P.S. Yes! You should do that! Follow your heart:) xox
Happy Sunday to you!
I've set aside my current knitting projects for just a moment, to make a couple wee knits for a friend's new baby girl. The tiny crocheted flowers are so fun, (it's been a while since I've crocheted,) and I will definitely be making more. The pattern for the basic hat is here, and the tiny crocheted flowers are easy, and the instructions can be found here. I'll be finishing up this bonnet too, and then sending them off to my friend in the morning.
We finally got a couple inches of snow, and frigid temperatures have settled in as well. I'm trying to stay inside as much as possible, only really wanting to go out when tea is running low, and I'm thinking of a new flavor worth going to the store for.
Yesterday I started unpacking a few boxes and without thinking about it, I found myself setting up a proper little sewing area. The task of starting up a new sewing machine didn't interest me at the time, but a little peek inside the manual had me threading it up in no time. It's powerful! I can't wait to start sewing everything:)
We have finally brought our chickens home, and being the new chicken owners that we are, we didn't think they would lay in the cold temperatures. To our surprise, there were six frozen eggs in the coop, and later in the afternoon, one perfect blue egg. Apparently 8 degrees doesn't faze them.
Dinners have been simple, warm, and comforting, and sitting with family is a happiness that just never feels old or routine. Every time we gather there, gratitude completely sweeps me over.
A trip to the feed mill leads to the river, and a house with curtains, full of turkeys and ducks.
Wishing you a beautiful week friends, full of happy days and peaceful nights. Jeannine xo