Saturday, September 27, 2008

Aprons for Kids

Just sharing a few more apron pictures with you. In my last post I shared adult aprons made by Terry. She also made these darling children's aprons. I love the wide rick-rack and the bias-cut trim at the bottom of each. Aren't they cute? I know they are 'aprons', but I think they would be darling worn as a pinafore over a simple dress as an 'outfit' to wear for a special event. Or can you imagine a room of little girls wearing pastel leotards and cute aprons like this --- dancing in a studio and enjoying the freedom of a child's life? Very sweet! Great job, Terry! You were inspired when you stitched these up --- and now you inspire us!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Autumnal Aprons

The last days of summer are upon us. Where did the season go? Autumn will be here this week, and it's being ushered in with rain and gentle breezes. A few dry leaves were scattered by the wind across the back porch today, making things look even more autumnal as the equinox nears. Although the rain was needed and welcomed, I did worry a little about sisters Paula and Terry today as they conducted their '1st Annual Sale' at Elm Street. I hope rain didn't hamper their celebration. By the way, the aprons shown here were stitched by Terry --- beautifully! I just had to share a picture with blogland, they are so cute!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Break the Waves

"Break, Break, Break"
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill:
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

Photo: Lava beach at Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Storing Up Sunshine

Next week autumn officially begins. But in the meantime, little bits of sunshine and heavenly warmth abound. So, this is a reminder to make the most of each and every day! Enjoy nature's gifts --- of sunshine, warmth, green, and comfort. With winter days ahead, store up a little Vitamin D while you can!
Photo: Drift Creek Falls, Oregon

Friends and Sunshine

Brent's trying to soak up the sunshine, although the forest is tall and the sunny patches are sparse. But what a beautiful day to go hiking with friends. This is such a pleasant time of the year, between the intense heat of summertime and the freezing temperatures of winter. I hope you've been able to enjoy special events and activities during this season with those you love most! Enjoy a happy day!
PS: Blog posts are scarce right now due to computer troubles. I'll be back with a vengence soon!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Calming Gurgle of Tea

Calm, Peace, & Solitude

I am sitting in the blue chair
listening to this stillness.
The only sound the occasional
gurgle of tea coming out of the pot
and into the cup.

How can this be?
Such calm, such peace, such solitude
in this world of woe.

From 'The Sixth of January' by David Budbill

Autumn and Apple Crisp

Autumn is just around the corner! Harvest is in progress and the first of the season's apples are ripe, crisp, and ready to eat. It's time for apple desserts! Here's an apple crisp recipe I'd like to share with you. Because it uses natural sweeteners, the full flavor of the apples comes through to the palate in this recipe. Happy eating and good autumn!

Apple Crisp

6 apples, peeled and cored, sliced thinly
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Place the oats and flour in a mixing bowl. Add the apple juice and soy milk. Stir mixture until well blended. Add the raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup. Place half this mixture in the bottom of a prepared casserole dish. Add half the apples, then layer with the remaining flour mixture, and top with the rest of the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve with soy milk or your favorite frozen dessert.

*To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free oats and replace whole wheat pastry flour with a gluten-free baking mix.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tasha's Quilts

I promised to report on my personal choice for celebrating Tasha Tudor Day last week. I wanted to do something that would celebrate something about Tasha's life. I thought of gardens and flowers; children's books; and art. I thought of tea and old-fashioned things. But I decided to focus upon some of Tasha's handiwork and celebrate her special day by concentrating on old quilts. Tasha was an artist not only with brush, pen, and pencil --- but with her needle as well. Stitchery of some sort was a common part of her daily life. So --- I set out to visit my friend, Paula, and to see the antique quilts she'd recently brought back to her shop after her trip to the 'longest yard sale' in Tennessee and Kentucky. We had a lovely time, setting up her antique quilts on an old trunk; over a railing on the back porch; and on the front porch bench --- and taking pictures of them. We examined patterns, fabrics, and simply appreciated them. Although they are very old and some are worn, each has an individual beauty that is expressed even more deeply by the wearing of the fibers. Each has a story and was part of a life of someone and their loved ones during a time in the past. Sixty or seventy years of experiences are worn into the very heart of each one. Each is a precious keepsake; a treasure to even those who know not the stories each quilt represents, but to those who choose to become the keeper of the memory's unknown.

[I would share the pictures with you, and will soon, but they are 'locked up' in a computer that is not working right now and is under the careful repair of Rylan. Pictures of Paula's quilts will follow in another post.]

The quilt Tasha Tudor was working on when this book about her handiwork and craft projects was published was called Yankee Pride. I wonder if she ever finished it. It sounds like it was an ongoing project. She stated that "before I leave earth, I intend to finish my quilt --- you can count on it." For more than a decade, it was an ongoing project. For some reason that brings me much comfort (I have a quilt that I'm hand-quilting and hope to complete by the time a decade is up myself. I was feeling quite slow. . .but maybe it's the way quilting should be. . .soothing, relaxing, and something to do peacefully over time.)

"cold enough at night to make forced bulbs content"

Of course Bucky Bo-Jangles didn't want to be left out of the quilt experience. He's the most curious little thing! While I was taking pictures of Tasha's quilt --- he was climbing the chair and working hard at not being left out of things. So, here you go, a picture of the little guy as he's up to much mischief! Needle sharp claws! Maybe I should have him finish my quilting project!