These Are The Places I Will Always Go.

I know there's California and Oklahoma
and all of the places I ain't ever been to but
down in the valley
with whiskey rivers
these are the places you will find me hiding
these are the places I will always go.

These are the places I will always go.

I am on my way
I am
on my way
I am on my way back to
where I started.
                           ~from Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart 




This photo was taken in June:
The day after DRL and the girls piled into a car and headed to Minnesconsin.
I was alone for two weeks and occupied my time by sewing aprons.
A whole lot of aprons.
Which reminds me, I need to make more aprons!
After the above photo was snapped, I added a back to the queen-sized quilt top
and it became a duvet cover.
I threw it on our guest bed and didn't look back. 

Until I did.
I looked, and I did not like what I saw.
It just didn't look...finished.
So I tore some seams and folded the quilt top up and packed it in a box.
After we moved back home,
as I unpacked our little studio of space,
I came across the pinwheels and knew I had to finish it. 

It just so happened that Elena liked it,
and needed a fun, kid-friendly bedspread.
So the queen sized duvet was converted into a twin size quilt
with a fun, coordinated, turn-down-the-bed-in-style pieced back.
I absolutely love how it turned out.

Fabric: It's A Hoot by Moda, Kona Snow Cotton, It's a Hoot Home Dec for the binding.




I adore the heck out of these girls,
and I wish I could spend more of my time with them.
They truly are remarkable little people.

I am so blessed to be their momma.



Anatomy of a Fabric Shop

I like shopping for textiles.
Yarn, fabric, thread.
I like walking into stores and seeing color, vivid, muted, soft, vibrant.
Patterns. Textures. 
Most of the time I go into a fabric store just to look.
See what's new, if anything inspires me.

I almost never go in with a plan for what to purchase.
I yarn shop like that, too,
and I really like the organic nature of it all.
Letting the textiles speak to me,
as it were,
and beg me to take them home and make something wonderful.

But I am a nerd like that.
*pushes taped glasses and adjusts pocket protector*

For those of you who've never ventured into a fabric store
this is the magic that it holds:

Especially if you're lucky enough to find yourself in a store with bolts upon bolts upon rolls
of Echino and other Japanese imports.
And the thread wall?
My favorite part of almost every single store.
I long to have selection like this at home.

Special thanks to the Common Thread in Austin for allowing me to photograph their amazing store.



Amber Waves of Grain

Happy Wednesday.



Chasing Tails

I snapped this photo of Jennifer a couple weekends ago while the girls and I had a tea party in the shade of a tree on a perfect Sunday afternoon.  The portrait of a perfect pet. For the past eleven years, Jennifer has been another extension of my mother, a shadow, a constant presence in all our lives. She has been there. Loyal. Playful. Bright-eyed and mischievous, Jennifer was everything a golden retriever should be.


Jennifer left us on Wednesday evening. Suddenly, and without warning she was gone. The house, though still occupied by 5 adults, 2 children, 2 cats, and a 3-legged beagle, feels empty.  Hollow.  As if the pivotal piece of a magnificent puzzle is missing.

I can't help but feel like a complete idiot for blogging about the loss of my family dog. How profound an effect it has had on me, my brother, most of all my mom, who has a cavity in her chest where her heart once was. Empty. Aching. Threatening to hurt for the whole of her existence.  Jennifer was a dog, not a human. Not a child or a parent or a sibling. A pet. Four legs, shedding fur, stinky breath.

Except she wasn't. She was as much a member of our tribe as any of us. Another of my mother's children. My dog-sister.  And I ache as though that is exactly what I lost. A sister. A best friend. Gnarly breath and all.

I'm sure the ache of her absence will eventually dull, and our hearts will heal. There will be a new puppy who will fill the space that Jennifer once occupied, her barks echoing through the now silent halls, her nails clicking on the hardwood, her nose wetting our faces.  She will fill our home, and our hearts, without ever threatening to replace Jennifer in our memory. Instead, she will serve as a constant reminder that time heals all wounds, that love carries on, and that pets hold a place in our lives of immeasurable value.

I love you, Jennifer.
I'll remember you always.


Wednesday Wisdom

I had a family photo session on Labor Day at one of my favorite locations in Osceola.
A photo preview will be up on my photography site shortly.
Or right now, depending on when you're reading this.
Ah, the wonders of technology.

I've been sewing a lot lately.
To show for it I have a finished quilt,
another one in the process,
a gift for my bff's soon-to-birthed baby boy,
and a Festivus dress for Elena.

I've been knitting, too.
I'm working on a cowl (that I'll likely never finish because it's hat season),
and a baby blanket for an upcoming newborn session
(see above comment about a bff's soon-to-be-birthed baby boy)
as well as a hat (for said session. Man, I'm a great bff....)
I also have some hat orders that have come in
that I have to get crackin' on.
Oh, and one for Faith for being so amazing with grammar.
Or an apron.
I can't decide.
Neither can she.
Turns out we're perfect for each other.

But I digress.

I don't have any photos to show of my craftiness.
Please keep your disgruntled disdain to yourselves thankyouverymuch.
Photos are coming.

I made a half dozen felt flower headbands over the holiday weekend.
The girls hate wearing them.

I painted my nails dark grey.
Essie's new fall grey.
I love it.

I'm addicted to Spotted Cow beer.
Thanks to Anda, and my trip to Madison in July.
I want it on tap,
but I'll settle for it in a bottle.

Lucinda has been on vacation for two weeks.
We've barely talked in that time
and I miss her like crazy.
I feel bad for being glad that her vacation is up today.....
Sorry, Luc.

College football started over the weekend and I bet on Georgia
even though I knew Boise State was going to win.
Good thing I didn't bet anything of any real value...
Sorry, Noel (aka, my brother).

I found myself missing Texas the other day.
Was sort of weird.
But not.
We'd have stayed if some of you would have been there with us....

That's the news for now.
What I can remember of it anyway.



One Year Later

I wrote the following post a year ago (tomorrow).
It's still all completely true.

Except the part about the shoes,
they're not so new anymore.


But the part about hats?
Completely, wholly, fully, without-a-doubt true.
I mean it.


Because this is my blog.

Because it's Friday.
Because it's a three-day weekend.

I thought I'd share my favorite things with you
dear readers.

*{new} Spectator Shoes.

*Deep Red Nail Polish.

*Ecco Domani Pinot Noir

*80 degree weather.

*My MacBook.

*Mac's iPhoto Booth.

*Messy Hair. Especially when used to disguise short hair attempting to go long.


*Uninterrupted sleep.

*The hum of my sewing machine.

Wait! Wait just a minute.
What did that say?
The one about sleep?
What was that one?

What's that mean?

*The promise of crisp fall weather.

*The return of knitting season.

*Hat orders.

Seriously. I LOVE hat orders. You should place one.

I'll make you a kickass hat.


Have a great holiday weekend!

Oh, and go check out my first ever quilting tutorial.