Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ashokan Farewell - from the documentary

Here it is again by Jay Ungar, from the soundtrack, The Civil War, by Ken Burns. So beautiful I could cry.

Ashokan Farewell

This piece is so hauntingly beautiful. By Jay Ungar and used in Ken Burns' documentary, The Civil War. Performed here by Doc and the Lady. Just breathtaking.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Upholstery Needles

I went to Joann Fabric late this afternoon and purchased a package of Dritz needles. What I really needed were the upholstery needles, but Joann's only carried then in this package. I have the pattern for the cushion made and pinned onto the cushion. The fit is perfect, so tomorrow I'll move to the main parts of the chair. Thinking ahead to a fabric for the slipcover...I'm really perplexed here. I'd like something that's machine washable and ight and airy - summery. I had originally thought of a white cotton duck, but I think that might be too stark for this room. Maybe a "mattress ticking" sort of fabric in a pale blue and white. I guess I have plenty of time to figure it out while I continue work on the fabric pattern!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Slipcovering 101

I spent a good part of yesterday learning all I could about slipcovering - once I cut into my chosen slipcovering fabric, I definitely need to know what I'm doing. I've had this book, SLIPCOVER CHIC, for several years and finally read it cover to cover. And one of the things I decided is that my first project is going to be an old armchair and not the sofa - which can wait till I have some slipcovering experience under my belt. The armchair I'm going to slipcover is a few decades old and a hand-me-down from my parents; somebody's used parts of it to sharpen her nails (Hint: it wasn't me!) Basically, the chair looks like dump materiel, yet it has good bones and is the most comfy chair in the house - and just ask any cat to confirm that. ;-) Today I'll be getting all the measurements of the chair in order to figure yardage of fabric needed.
So here I go! :-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Making A Slipcover

I am back - a little older, a little sadder. But life goes on. I continue to study on harp, but what I was anxious to share is how I am planning on slipcovering my sofa!
Since I love lots of white, I'll be using a white cotton duck fabric along with a white cotton muslin for the lining. My first steps will be to measure my sofa and figure out how much yardage I'll need. This will be my first big slipcover project and I am so anxious to learn how to do this! So here goes - wish me luck! :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Eriskay Love Lilt

"Sad am I without thee." I love this.

If I Were a Blackbird

Today is the first day of spring, when all things are new. Time for spring cleaning and putting our nests in order. No groaning now! When all is tidy, clean and gleaming, you'll feel much better that all is ship-shape inside the house when you skip outside to plant your garden or simply to enjoy the fine weather Spring blessings to everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring in the Air

It was in the 60s yesterday! I opened all the windows and let the clean fresh air whoosh through the house. Tomorrow is the first day of spring! Just about time to air all the quilts out on the line and put them away till next winter.
Today hub and I went to the cottage and trudged through the still-deep snow to the door and went inside. All was fine and the same way we had left it last fall. Gosh, it's tiny in there! I measured again, and yes, only enough room for a 3/4 bed and nothing bigger. Then we measured for the new windows and drove over to Home Depot. I'd wanted to do this yesterday, when it was warmer outside, but hub wanted me to have one more day to recover before going on this outing. This week and as I am feeling up to it, I'll be working on the vintage Hoosier cabinet that will be going in the cottage to serve as the little "kitchen".
Aren't the colors in this painting just too gorgeous! It's by one of my favorite Maine painters.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St Patricks Day 2011 Central Station, Sydney, Australia.

What a completely wonderful St. Patrick's Day surprise! :-)

Little Waterfront Cottage

This is the dock at the little waterfront cottage I was able to get last August. Early last fall I replaced the rotting boards of the dock, and hub cut down the posts so that they are the same height. I wire-brushed the posts and painted them a flat black and added little solar lights on the two posts at the end of the dock - so pretty when they twinkle on just after sunset. I started with absolutely nothing and had no help over the years, did not even have any help with child support from son's father, and I can say that it an absolute dream come true, an absolute blessing, to be able to have this tiny waterfront cottage. I hope to be able to do lots of work there after all the snow melts and I am able to get to it. It's something to look forward to and help me get better as I have been sick almost all winter. Being so sick and also losing a precious little loved one, and then the horrific disaster in Japan has got me so down-hearted - I am looking forward to a better spring for everyone. Blessings to all.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fanny Power on Harp

I continue to study on harp, a bit painful with the broken rib and must stop and rest more often than usual. I have been learning Planxty George Brabazon which is very pretty and makes me want to search for more music by O'Carolan. The news from Japan is completely heartbreaking and sad. Here is Fanny Power on Harp - perhaps I will be able to play it that well by summer.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Painting and Sympathy Card

This is a new painting, along with a sympathy card from the vet. I am still not better which is why I'm barely blogging. I am over the flu and yet it settled into pleurisy and pneumonia. The pleurisy is so so painful! :( Xrays and another appointment with my doctor tomorrow. This has not been a good winter. Hopefully the coming spring will be kinder to me. In the meantime I hold onto the kind words of my farmgirl sisters. Much love to Erica whose comments have helped so much.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fresh Egg Omelette

Here is today's mid-morning omelette: fresh organic eggs with a topping of oats and sunflower seeds, and a sprinkling of dried organic herbs. "Mmmm, something sure smells good," says DH who has followed the aroma and wandered into the kitchen. So after I gave the omelette to my little flock of sweet albeit completely spoiled hens, I made another, the next one tailored especially for hub and sans the oats and the seeds! :-)

Tissue Box Covers

I have been known to stand for 5 or 10 minutes (possibly more, but that's all I care to admit to) in front of all the tissue boxes in the grocery store, trying to find even one that I liked. I've actually made friends at the tissue box displays after another woman and I were there for the longest time, hunting, searching for that one jewel among many. After maybe 7 minutes had gone by, I realized I wasn't alone, that another woman stood by conducting her own search. Could we possibly be tissue-box fanatics? Y'know, like just any box would not do. ::sigh:: When I could no longer find the cute boxes with the flowers and fairies, I told the other woman, "That's it - I am making my own from now on!" And that decision has been quite freeing and even very cost effective. I now grab the ugliest box of tissues which, no big coincidence, is also the cheapest, and I make my own fabric covers for them. These covers are nice and easy, and if I double up fabric, I can cut out and sew up two of them in roughly a half hour. I now have pretty tissue boxes all over the house - which is good since it seems I've needed mountains of them over the last month or so.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kitchen, Morning Light

The new harp sits in a corner of the kitchen, by a row of south- and west-facing windows where the light is good, even in the early morning hours.
Baked Canadian French pork pies today. Made a nice omlette for the hens who made fast work of it. Lots of harp practice today. Miss my baby so much it hurts. I hope she is loved and being well taken care of, up in heaven with God.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recovering :.((

I hate to admit just how very sad I have been at losing my beloved Annabelle. I try to recover, knowing it will take a while, knowing I will miss this precious little creature for a very long time.
If they only knew how much joy they bring to our lives. I have a trillion wonderful and sweet memories of her. Oh god, how I wish I could have her back for even just a day, to hold her and love her one more time.
I thank god for this wonderful group of Farmgirl sisters - I don't know how I would have made it without their kind and sweet words of comfort. I love every one of them.
My new harp arrived today via Fedex, and my first song has been All Through the Night. It makes me cry - I am apparently still in mourning. I hope Annabelle knew how much I loved her.

Friday, March 4, 2011

GUIDELINES: It is the Time When...

Today I have been cleaning up a storm - I have this need to keep myself busy today. While sweeping here and polishing there, my heart and my thoughts and prayers are still with Annabelle.
When is it the right time to put a much-loved pet down? While it might seem that there is no right time, I've come to think that with lots of prayer and thought, maybe there is. So when is this "right time"? What I offer are guidelines to consider as you try and come up with a decision that is best for your sweet pet and yourself.

It is time when death starts seeming more a loving and gentle blessing than a curse, when you start praying for a blessed release and relief from pain for your pet. It is time when you look into your pet's eyes, and you know that if they could speak they'd tell you that living has become too hard for them, that while they do not wish to leave you anymore than you wish them to leave, this is what they'd choose for themselves if they could.
It is time when you check on your pet in the morning and hope that God has spirited them away while you slept - and He hasn't, and you know that your pet had another bad night and with no hope it sight other than continual and worsening pain and decline.
It is time when it hurts too much to see them alive and suffering.
It is time when they can no longer eat and drink; when they have all they can do to walk and fall often.
It is time when you know your pet has forever lost its pride and sense of dignity.
The best we can give our much-loved pets is a good life - and a good death. With lots of love, with lots of dignity. Decide for them what you'd want for yourself, if this dying little creature were you. These thoughts are intended for guildelines, to help you figure out for yourself and your pet when to release your loved one to Heaven.
Much Love and Every Good Wish,

Fields of Gold - For Annabelle

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Annabelle's Window

This was Annabelle's last day at her window. It was March 1st and we'd had a lot of snow.
At the end I wrapped her up and held her and my husband drove us to the vets. It was only 4-degrees out and I didn't want her to be cold. Annabelle was so weak and sick, yet she looked around as we drove, gazed at me a while, then, content, she would rest her head on my shoulder. At the vets, at the end, she stood and clung to me. :.(( Thank you for your prayers and kind words. I really need them right now.

Prayer for Annabelle

Treat me kindly, dear master. Accord me the courtesy due to a cat — and I for my part will love you, amuse you and cheer your heart as only a cat can do.

Give me a sunny spot to sleep in when morning dawns and I will warm your lap on cold evenings.

Respect my independence and my need to walk alone at times and I will look after myself, so that you may come and go as you please.

Speak to me in our secret kitty language, let me hear my name sung in the music of your voice, and I will meow happily in sweet harmony with you.

Stroke my fur gently and lovingly and I will soothe you with the soft purrs that can only come from a happy cat.

Indulge my curiosity and I will show you the joys of bird watching, star gazing and other kitty pleasures.

Play with me and see me rejoice! Toss a humble ball of yarn and I will delight you with my cleverness and acrobatic leaps.

But do not laugh at me or allow me to be teased for there is nothing I prize more than my dignity.

Keep my surroundings neat and clean and I will be fastidious in my habits.

Feed me and be fair and I will teach you how to tell “kitty time” by instinct and tummy tunes.

And when I am old and the time comes to say farewell, hold me gently in your arms and I will go without a whimper.

For with you I am trusting, safe and secure. A cat who walked alone but loved you with a full and happy heart.