Happy Friday to you!
I haven’t knit with worsted weight yarn in a long time so it feels a bit “chunky” in my hands. This particular worsted weight is by Yoth Yarns in Woodinville, Washington. The company is featured in the book, Farm to Needle, Stories of Wool. The color is Cacao, and it seems to change slightly in every lighting, from a dark brown to a greenish grey, to rich, dark coffee. (Yes please!)
I chose a simple cowl in the pattern, Dovetail, by Carina Spencer. I love the long version, but this will be the shorter, quicker version. The pattern is an easy, knit and purl repeat, so it is a good pattern for beginners. It calls for several stitch markers to be placed, so I enjoyed choosing my favorites to use for a little while.
We have appointments this afternoon and I’m happy to have a little project to carry along that doesn’t require too much focus.
I’m glad I revisited this book this morning and I think I’ll have to do some reading in it. It’s full of pictures and stories about sheep farms in the U.S.
Have a beautiful Friday friends. May peace and all the goodness that comes from a home built with love, greet you this evening when you gather there. xo Jeannine
Hello! I’ve made it through a few busy days, trying to pick myself up from those cleaning blues that sometimes get to me. I feel a pause in the crazy schedule today and it’s lovely. The tossing away of things, and organization of the house continues, but I make sure and stop in the evening and seek that peace that comes to me only with quiet time. I’ve been spending this time with my family, my embroidery basket, and doing a little knitting. It’s been refreshing!
There hasn’t been much time to read, but I found the first pages of Twelve Extraordinary Women, to be so meaningful and uplifting, I’ll be returning to this book whenever time allows.
When I noticed the old bass in my photo, I thought of how incredibly blessed I am that all of my children play music. The flute and piccolo, the trumpet, violin, piano, and the bass; they have all been played here at Stone Cottage. I don’t want to take for granted the times I hear the kids play music. It’s more than music to my ears. It’s music to my heart. I want to capture it all in my mind, and remember how happy and proud they are to play too.
If I could give a wee bit of advice to moms of new school-aged children, it would be not only to put children in music, but also to encourage them to stay with it through the initial hard phase. Lots of positive encouragement through the first two years may help, and past that, they probably won’t want to quit. Looking back, if I had had encouragement, and stuck with band, I think a lot of things may have been different for me in school. (Oh, I see the shelves need organizing again too!)
A border for a quilt has been cut and I want to finish it for the family room update, so I’ll be working on it over the next several days. I'll share soon. I’m really excited about finishing.
The back yard is full of butterflies and beautiful plants. The leaves below are huge and I’ve always wanted to do something like this with them. I’ve bought some paint and I’ve been experimenting a little with it. I’d like a pillow with one big leaf on it!
And of course there are flowers about the yard that I admire and love. When I see flowers through my camera lens, I see them as a gift of God; and a promise that beauty will always be part of our world regardless of what people do to try to counter it. I have such love for the details of flowers, and find joy in the blessed assurance found in their incredible design.
Have a beautiful and lovely Thursday friends. I hope there is beauty in your world today and music in your heart. Jeannine
P.S. Here is a favorite little video of mine. Enjoy! xo
Good morning. It’s hot! There is only one word to describe to you what’s going on here at Stone Cottage today, and also to encourage myself if I may, and that’s…Purging! Yes, that’s it!
As I stepped outside this morning, and passed the untidy “accumulations" of things in the garage, and knowing that it’s trash day, I pushed myself into action before the trash man arrived and rid the garage of anything I could manage, that I didn’t truly need or like. Hot, sweat pouring, it got cleared out. This sense of needing to “purge” is not new to me. I’ve read the books, and followed the websites, that say this is the first action needed to feel happier, and to really love where you live, and as a result, a few years ago I started giving things away. Once, when my friend wanted things for a sale, she arrived with her sister, a truck, and a couple young men and I went room to room, saying, “Take that too!” I couldn’t believe how much I gave away that day, all things that really had no purpose here in the house, and I knew then, that for me, a lighter house was the only answer. So light as it may be now, it will be lighter yet!
I’ve been feeling a little blue the past few weeks really, as laundry piles up, (even the clean), and “stuff” is all about the house. There’s dishes, (always dishes), and bathroom items we all have, that seem to cover entire vanities. Fingerprints on this and that. Sigh. You name it, we've got it.
I won’t let the little feelings of blue really discourage me however, I know it’s home and homes get messy, don’t they though? But I know there is only one thing that helps this problem, and the sure thing to brighten my feelings....Purging.
I started this time with the garage. Then it will be the storage room in the basement, followed by bathrooms, and extra clothes the whole family has. Clothes that somebody else needs to love now. Goodwill! Books, “stuff,” and more junk; it all needs to go! :) It's never easy work, but it is rewarding, and ultimately, I know my family will love home more, when it is clean, beautiful, and where love has room to grow.
See you soon! There isn’t time to knit or sew this morning, and no time for slow, inhaling of morning air. That will all be worth the wait. I have cleaning to do! When it’s done, I’ll enjoy these sweet past times that much more:) I wish you a beautiful day full of love friends! Jeannine xo
Happy Saturday dear friends!
I’m a bit late getting this little visit in due to early morning doctors appointments for a certain boy I know and vaccinations needed for high school.
It all started yesterday morning, when I picked up one of the pillow covers I stitched way back when, but never had time to stuff. I started stuffing, and I liked it so much. (These colors are going to be my new color plan for the room.) I then thought of the walls that I’ve never got to painting in the family room, and right then is when plans were made. I’d stuff the pillows, make lunch, and then take a drive to town to look for paint. I declared to myself, “I’ll do it today. Today I will paint the room!”
I made enough lunch that it actually covered dinner too, which is always a good thing. One of my family’s favorite recipes is Ina’s Grown Up Mac and Cheese. I’ve been returning to this recipe for a long time. I use prosciutto pieces instead of bacon, and top it with my homemade crushed croutons. I’ve served it for special lunches along with a salad several times for showers and get togethers, and someday when I open Stone Cottage up for small group gatherings like I plan, it will be part of the menu;) Once it came out of the oven and the boys were fed, it was time to paint.
I picked Olympic paint, in color Aria for all the walls, (family room and kitchen.) The walls are already gray, but Aria is about two or three shades lighter, with a white base, which is just what I need right now to brighten and lighten things up. The room will need two coats, but I am not rushing. I have decided to paint a couple walls a day and in just a few days it will be done.
I spent the evening thinking of the new blank walls, and doing a little embroidery in preparation. I plan to have another little hoop design hung on the wall that I’ll be working on next, photos, and this embroidery project framed and hung above the old hope chest. The chest will be recovered and the new pillows will rest there. I’ll be making one of these too! I’m such a fan of these cuties.
Sometimes it only takes getting started on a little project to find the motivation to take on something bigger. Getting myself to start stuffing pillows was all I needed to create the incentive to get the whole room the way I’d like it to be, and I’m really happy about finding that motivation. Sometimes these tasks just feel too big and that can steal motivation, can’t it though? I’ll show before and after pictures on upcoming Sew Saturday posts, and keep you updated on the projects.
Have a beautiful rest of the day and weekend. Perhaps the hot outdoors will offer inspiration to make a little change you’d like to see indoors. Jeannine xo
Well hello! Happy Friday!
It’s been a while since we’ve had a “normal" Friday here at stone cottage. The kind of Friday where “home" is the only thing on the schedule, and everything else is just a big happy bonus.
The sky is cloudy today and getting darker. Cool, gentle raindrops sprinkle the drive and the ground. It's a good morning to sit for a while on the porch over breakfast. A kitty visits me and asks for a bit of egg, and I happily oblige. I bask in the silence here, and the sweet solitude that I love, offers me a kind of comfort similar to a visit with a very best friend. Flowers are cut for a jar, I visit the chickens, and enjoy the cool morning air. The chickens are half grown, getting bigger, and I look forward to the day when they can wander free in the yard. The clouds and rain have brightened the flowers, giving each a brilliance of color hard to find outside of nature.
Today is sewing day. I’m making a few new pillows for the family room that I will share tomorrow. As I write to you, the sound of songs I love are playing in the background; songs that Jordan had to help me download :) It’s a beautiful day!
Wishing you a break from the heat this weekend friends. May joy and happiness be all there is to reflect on as you rest in the evening. xo Jeannine
When the news includes heat warnings and temperatures are in the nineties, or climb to one hundred even, it may be hard to recognize, but still I feel it. I sense the slightest change in the seasons now, and that has me feeling a bit of a whirlwind in my mind.
Yesterday I found myself taking photos of fall flowers, which are ready to bloom, and there are two trees here at home, which kindly tell me fall is approaching each year by being the first in line to shed their leaves. I’ve also noticed when I’m up early in the morning darkness, that dawn is now lazily taking its time to arrive each day.
The thoughts of change came again this morning, as my husband reminded me Jordan has piano and violin today, marking his first lesson of the new school year. (Oh my!)
The whirlwind of thoughts comes as a rushed feeling, a feeling like I’m behind, and I think I am. The things I need to focus on, include my wanting this to be the best year of homeschooling for Jordan since it will likely be his last. (Oh my!) I’ll be adding a math tutor to our days at home because math has never been my best subject, and I don’t want his achievements limited by my ability.
Fall arriving also reminds me I want a home that is decorated and clean. It is not big things I desire for my home, but big desires to have small things that say I love you to my family throughout. I am feeling a need for some organization, tidiness, and all the things I love, like pictures, candles, throws, and pillows, to be replenished and refreshed. And some fresh paint, which has not been achieved this summer, is still on the list as well.
And then, there is my knitting. (Oh my!) I can’t seem to find the time to finish my projects, and I have several that need to be done by this fall. I have issues with cold you see. I love fall and winter, but I require layers of warmth, or stiff, achy bones and chills often take over. This is the least I can say about my joints, which are terrible today because of rain, and that sometimes require a heating pad, a heated throw, or both, to get enough warmth delivered to alleviate pain. So the shawls, scarves, and socks need to get finished because they help so much, and it's difficult to find wooly goodness in the stores, even if I wanted to buy them, and of course I prefer homemade.
I know you’ve seen this shawl so many times. I do apologize and at the same time, I am not worried because I know I’m among friends, and in my real life I share here, I’m still working on it. From now until Christmas, when it comes to knitting, I’ll work on finishing one thing at a time, and try to finish them all one by one. So this is the first I chosen and really I do hope I can get it done quickly, because fall is turning the corner now, and will be on the doorstep in just a few weeks, and I would like to offer it a proper welcome.
Well friends. It’s dark and rainy today; a help for the garden. As you see there is much to do around here. Do you like to plan for fall as well, or do you prefer to sail through the changing winds and just enjoy?
Love to you! I hope you have a beautiful day.
I have some homemade catching up to do after a busy day at work yesterday and appointments this morning. I’ll see you this evening or tomorrow for a friendly get together. Have a beautiful day! Jeannine
"The soul and the schedule don’t follow the same rules." - Emily P. Freeman
Hello, and a happy Sunday to you!
I couldn’t help but search for a project for the bamboo yarn I purchased while on vacation. I chose Bakersfield, by Corrina Ferguson. While I think the drape of this new yarn will be pretty and I do love the color, I am not so sure I’ll love working with it. It feels like a cotton without any stretch, and then there is my love for the feel of wool which I think I'll miss, but I will keep knitting on and see how it goes. I do love shawlettes though because of how fast they knit up, and how they can be easily worn as a beautiful scarf, so I think it might be worth sticking with.
Some new friends have come to live here At Stone Cottage. I’m pleased to introduce Delta Dawn, Mon Cheri, and Buttercup! When we bought them, the cashier gave me a sign that reads, “Home is where the flock is.” I wouldn’t call our three little girls a flock exactly, but home is definitely here where they are. In just one day, I can see the different personality of each, and I could easily watch them all day. They are half grown, so it will be a while before we have eggs, but for now we’ll just enjoy the entertainment of their curiosity.
I was able to find a new basket to hold my embroidery yesterday at the store, and I’m pleased with it. I love that I can just leave it sitting somewhere in the house to take with me when I go, or to pick up any time to start working on my projects. My knitting basket on the other hand, has to constantly be kept in a closet, which I don’t like, because a little pesky cat that lives here as well, just once in a while, decides to come indoors, but when she does, she can smell wool a block away. She will look at me in the most unsuspicious way, as she creeps toward my yarn, and if I’m not careful she will have it pulled from one end of the house to the other. Once she even got into a drawer from behind the furniture, and pulled yarn out from the back.
Well then, I truly hope this is a sunny day for you both outside and in your heart. Here, the warm sun is still slightly hidden by big fluffy clouds, and a summer breeze blowing in the trees and the sound of birds is the only thing I hear. I’m grateful for this day and for you my friends. xo Jeannine
Happy Saturday to you friends! Despite bad world news that weighs heavy on hearts and minds, I hope the smaller world, where you wake up and live out each day, is full of good, comfort, and peace today.
Welcome to the first post of a new series I’m calling Sew Saturdays. Each Saturday I’m going to write about sewing, mostly quilting, but occasionally a garment or a new bag. I want to start experimenting making different types of bags. There are so many cute patterns available and adorable fabric lines to work with; I think it might be impossible to run out of new ideas. I’m hoping this new series will help me reach for my sewing projects a little more often.
I have a couple notebooks that I’ve had for ages that I write patterns and notes in regarding my sewing, and they have been great to have. Sometimes the simplest pattern that I love becomes hard to find as time goes on, and even more difficult to recall how I did it. My little notebook has a few treasured patterns sketched in it, that I’m able to go back to. This quilt pattern is one of them.
So today you will find me here at the table making a few quilt blocks, and later this morning, I’m heading to the farmer’s market, the fabric store, and finally to Whole Foods, to purchase a new basket that I can use as an embroidery basket, because I’d like to start keeping a few hand sewing projects in one place. I’ll finish up the day making dinner. We are trying to eat healthy, but I think no one will mind a custard or fruit pie for dessert;)
Wishing you a beautiful Saturday! Do you have a sewing basket? I’m wondering what little treasured projects may be in there:) Jeannine xo
Hello! I am back home at Stone Cottage, and it seems like ages since we’ve had time for a proper visit. I’m glad to be back here with my family and among friends!
One morning on the trip, when the boys were busy with my daughter and her husband, I asked my husband to take me on a little drive to a local yarn shop. We went over the bridge and through the neighborhoods, to the cutest yarn shop I’ve have seen in a long time. If you are ever in the Clearwater area, I recommend you plan a morning, or afternoon at Criativity Ranch. The owners, Terri and Alicia, were nice to me and my husband from the moment we walked in the door. They offered him a chair and a beer (ha), he took the chair, and Alicia helped me choose locally dyed yarns. I chose two beautiful yarns, one is a bamboo, by Kristin Omdahl Yarns and the other is Sprout, a hand dyed sock yarn by The Fiber Seed.
The choice was difficult because there were several locally dyed yarns to choose from. The shop is well stocked, and has a central table for gatherings, where several ladies happily sat knitting. They also have kits, tools, pins, and so many yarns to admire. I easily could have spent the entire day there, just visiting! The yarn was a bonus:) I would love to go back and spend more time there some day. Thank you Alicia, Terri, and to the other friends I met there. Your shop is awesomely sweet!
We had good family time over food while we were away as well. My favorite meals were shared at Buco Di Beppo, a family style Italian restaraunt, and the local fish tacos at Reddington Shores were good too. I plan to copy the fish taco recipe for dinner tonight. Yum!
My favorite photo of our trip is the one of my daughter. Kayla’s smile can light up a room, (and the beach!) We had a fun evening. I watched the kids play frisbee and we admired the clams, birds, water, and the sunset. Her husband and my oldest son are behind her, watching clams burrow into the sand when the tide moves out.
After a very early morning start yesterday, we were back home by early afternoon. We were all happy to be here, and to see the pets we left behind. On the plane, one of my boys whispered in my ear that he was looking forward to meals made by me, so I knew there was no question that I would be cooking when I got home. I made pineapple chicken and cornbread with rice and vegetables. It felt good to be in my kitchen preparing homemade food and sharing it again with family.
Thank you for visiting with me friends, and for checking in while I was away. A vacation is a lovely thing, but perhaps the greatest treasure of a vacation isn’t the food or fun, but the gratitude felt for home, that grows stronger with each new day spent away.
Have a beautiful, lovely weekend friends. I hope all is well and I am thinking of you all!
P.S. Sending love and praying for you, sweet, beautiful France. Beaucoup d’amour! xo