Friday, September 30, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Please remember that October is
Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This is a fight in which we all need to be involved.
Please visit my Fundraising Page if you
need a place to start.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Entrelac Hats!

One of my favorite blogs to visit is
Its writer, Tanna and I have become
virtual friends.
We share our passions for knitting
and our bungalow houses.
In fact, Tanna's icon of her house when she left a comment
for someone else blog is what first caught my eye.
It reminded me a lot of my house.

We often seem to be on similiar paths.
Earlier this month she did a blog post on entrelac hats,
which you can read here .
It just so happened I was knitting entrelac hats too!

 Entrelac is a knitting stitch which gives a woven look to the finished piece.

It's fun to use more than one color to define the woven effect.
On this hat, I'm using a solid teal wool from my stash
and Brown Sheep's Handpaint
which is a space dyed mohair and wool,
one of my favorite yarns.

How about a poinsettia hat for the holidays?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Urban Renewal at its Best!

I think I've mentioned before that I live in a very eclectic neighborhood.
My neighborhood is designated the "historic district" of my city.
(i.e. old houses)
The neighborhood  also borders a university.
(i.e. old houses subdivided into lots of student apartments.)
So, we have a real mix in the neighborhood.
You can read all about that here .

The house above is down the street from Buttermilk Cottage
and has set vacant since I've been here.
The picture above was actually taken before
renovations began last year,
but the appearance of the house is pretty close
to what it looked like when I moved into my house.

Last summer the house was purchased.
I snapped some pictures along the rehab process.

Siding going on!

Almost done!

And voila! Quite an improvement!
The house is now on the market.
Let's hope a nice family takes up residence soon
and gives this house the TLC it needs!

Friday, September 23, 2011

From My Book Shelf

What a storyteller Louise Erdrich is!
is a beautifully written book, full of quirky characters,
family secrets, the beautiful and the grotesque.
This book weaves around, in a completely fulfilling way,
 telling the stories of its numerous characters.
You will care about them all.
(Well, maybe all except one.)
Somewhere in the midst of reading this book,
I began to realize how so many of its chapters
could totally stand on their own as short stories.
I don't particularly like short stories.
They seem to be over before you can
sink your teeth into them.
But, this book is not a book of short stories.
It's a saga, fully integrating the characters,
their relationships and their stories into a rich tapestry.
I liked this book a lot.

CALEB'S CROSSING by Geraldine Brooks
is a historical novel built upon the true fact of
the first Native American to graduate from
the newly established Harvard College.
It is told through the voice of Bethia, who at the
beginning of the book is twelve years old
when she secretly befriends Caleb,
the son of a Wamponoag chieftain.
This book is the story of Caleb's "crossing" over 
to Anglo American culture as he is educated
by Bethia's father and then the university.
This is not a romantic novel.
Historically, we know Native Americans 
did not fare well against America's settlers.
Caleb's story is very much a reflection of that fact.
Bethia's voice is very authentic and
I felt as though I were reading a Puritan's journal
from the 17th Century.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Office Window Redo...Finally!

Six years ago when I bought Buttermilk Cottage
I had to have a small addition made to it.
There was no space for me to work,
so I got a brand new office/sewing room.
The window treatments were planned
before the room was even finished.
Unfortunately, I did not consider
the natural light/sunshine in the room.
I have two double windows in the room, 
which are wonderful for viewing the garden... 

...or other little distractions from work.
However, there are certain times during the day
when the sunlight streams in so strongly
I cannot see the images on my computer screen.
There have even been occasions while sewing
that the sunlight reflecting off the throat plate
of my machine makes me wonder if
sunglasses would help.
I've let this go on for six years.
First of all, I liked the window treatment I already had.
Second, I thought I would have to get
custom made blinds.
The times I checked prices for that
were enough for me to put the project on the back burner.

A few weeks ago while in Lowes I took another look at their possibilities.
Lo and behold, they had a tortoise shell, roll up blind
(the exact look I have wanted for about five years)
by Levolor which Lowes would cut to desired width,
while I waited.
I actually have carried around the window dimensions
for a long time hoping I'd at some point,
find something that would work for me. 
I walked out with my four, custom-cut blinds!

Now the fun part...

Undressing the windows was no problem.
However, getting a ladder close to the windows was.
It involved unplugging computer, router, printer, internet wires,
and all the lamps, radio and other electrical things
that set upon a desk.
Then I could move the desk away from the windows
to position my ladder.

Why is it these projects ALWAYS create such
chaos and disorder???
And, of course while the windows were bare,
it was a good time to wash windows,
and really dust behind the desk,
which had not been moved since I moved in.  Ugh!

One down, three to go!
I didn't mention I had to reposition the curtain rods
while in the midst of this project, did I?
Me using a power drill is not a pretty sight, trust me.
And, if I dropped one screw and had to get down
from the ladder, I dropped at least twenty!

But, you know what?
It was all well worth the effort!

Shades up.

Shades down.

No reflection on my computer screen in the middle of the day!

Since I  think I may be redoing the paint in this room within
the next year, I repurposed my original curtains
to a simple valance.

Why did I wait SO long???

This week I'm linking with
Metamorphosis Monday/Between Naps on the Porch
Wow Us Wednesdays/Savvy Southern Style
Look What I Made/Creations by Kara
Transformation Thursdays/The Shabby Creek Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday/French Country Cottage
Show & Tell Friday/My Romantic Home

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Colors at my Etsy Shop

The seasonal changes have really put me in the mood for fall colors!
This is a new tote bag at my Etsy shop.
It makes a great knitting bag!

It's lined with a pretty coordinating stripe.

And how about a pretty "Autumn" colored yarn to put in it?
(FUSION Yarn from Buttermilk Cottage)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Big Fantasy--Being a Restaurateur

We have just finished one of the busiest weekends
of the year here at Buttermilk Cottage.
It was our neighborhood yard sale,
which is a very big deal.
It's one of our neighborhood association's
bigger fund raisers for the year.
It's promoted heavily in our city and
neighboring area and brings
thousands and thousands of people
into the neighborhood.

The crowd starts early, often before the sun is even up.

Saturday morning started misty and cool.

But, the seasoned shopper knows the good stuff goes early!

Even so,  there's no shortage of something to tempt everyone!

Interesting merchandising--athletic shoes and baby dolls.

Are you thinking flea market, maybe?

The sale here at Buttermilk Cottage
is always small by comparison.
we have found a way to compensate!

I often fantasize about having my own
Bed & Breakfast, Tea Room or Bistro.
For one day a year, I get to do it!

I've been baking and freezing for weeks,
but by Saturday I was ready!

We started with hot coffee, muffins and
cinnamon cake early in the morning
and sold our last (#90) chicken salad sandwich
 just before the yard sale ended at 3 P.M.

The porch becomes a nice oasis for weary & hungry shoppers.

As for me,
my little fantasy is usually completely satisfied
 by the end of the day;
and I'm quite content to go back to my
"day job" as a knitter and seamstress.

This week I'm linking with
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Creative Process for Me

I start by pulling a variety of yarns,
usually in a similar or same color.

It becomes a skein of FUSION Yarn.

Then, start knitting!
This is a scarf in the making.

Hope everyone is doing something enjoyable this
Labor Day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

From My Book Shelf

I have always admired Ernest Hemingway's work.
I love his "to the point, no excess baggage"
style of prose.
I remember a college professor I once had
 saying of  Hemingway's style  of writing,
"What takes Faulkner three pages to tell you,
 Hemingway will tell you in one sentence."

THE PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain is fiction,
told from the point of view of his first wife, Hadley.
If begins with their first meeting at a party,
his wooing of her, her total adoration of him,
their marriage and then their
Paris years.

If you were creative in any way,
Paris was the place to be just after WWI.
What I liked about this book is its glimpse into
Hemingway's Paris years.
I like that the book references his conscious
efforts to hone his writing  into his
characteristic terse style.
The book is also a name dropper,
and it was fun to read about Ezra Pound,
Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
These were all friends of the Hemingways' in Paris
and the book does a nice job of defining how each
mentored and influenced Hemingway's writing.

The book is also a domestic drama
about Hadley and Ernest's relationship.
Hadley is presented as a "plain Jane,"
somewhat out of place in the heady Paris,
but hanging on for dear life....
or should I say "dear Ernest?"

Ernest evolves into the total egocentric
we all know he was, and before long
has moved the soon to be, second Mrs. Hemingway
into his and Hadley's life.

I enjoyed this book and it has whetted my appetite
Hemingway's own version of this story.
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