Good morning, friends! There is a wonderful post and giveaway of my samplers and Tilly fabric over here today on Soulemama. It closes early tomorrow morning, but the coupon code for my shop goes until April 7.
Honestly, I didn't know Vermont was that close to us. It's a mere three and a half hours away through the prettiest rural counties and towns on the back roads of New York. Years ago I met Meleen at Silver Bella and got to know her at other events too, Mary's workshops in Saint Louis and the ones I hosted here in New York. Such a lovely, generous and delightful friend! She always said that one day we would all get together for a girls' weekend at her cottage in Vermont.
You know by now that I'm infatuated by birds. Since I was a little girl and Martin let a hawk fly through the chapel at school, I've loved the big birds the most. But they are all interesting to me. Their shapes, their song, their nesting, their stories. I like to watch them, draw them, stitch them.
To the book. From time to time, I'm one who wanders the library stacks with my head tipped to the right, reading the titles lined up on the shelves, hoping I'll randomly run into a really good book. This title got my attention.The Conjurer's Bird by Martin Davies.
It's fiction about the race to find a rare bird in contemporary London, but the mystery is revealed through the story of naturalists in the 18th century. Beautiful writing, wonderful story. The thing that most surprised me though was that the book hadn't been checked out since 2006. All those years it's been sitting there, waiting for someone to take a chance on it. So glad I did.
We have screech owls hanging around our house these last few weeks. At night they are right over the back door calling each other. The image at the top of the post is what I found pasted against the screen door one morning. Hmm. I don't know what happened but it was ominous to see this feather at eye level after a night of noisy birds.
A few weeks ago Maggie turned us onto the HBO documentary Birders: the Central Park Effect. We've watched that several times too. Fantastic. From that I learned that warbler season is approaching. They'll be passing through on migration and I've got my binoculars ready to go. We saw an American Redstart the other day and hummingbirds a few times lately. Regular residents this summer are cardinals, woodpeckers, nuthatches, goldfinches, house finches, chickadees, titmice, house wrens, sparrows, mourning doves and a flicker who does his own thing near the feeder. The grackles and cowbirds still stop by too.
And over the weekend I designed a new sampler for my shop. I hope to have it all stitched up and ready to post in a few days. It has birds in it.
It took me so long to blog the epic adventure to France that I completely skipped weeks and weeks of life here. It's been tricky getting back into the routine of things. I'll just blame it all on lazy summer days. Oh, and the Olympics kind of put the whole world on hold, didn't it?
I uncovered this painting and decided maybe it needs to go over my desk. Just have to find the spot.
It's been raining for days and the budding peonies are all so heavy with water that they are leaning to the ground. Last evening I picked one nearly ready to open, brought it inside and put it in the studio where the light was darkening. Did you know that flowers sleep at night? Just like us, they rest in the cool darkness and recover the energy spent photosynthesizing all day.
This morning it was waiting for me, fully open, reflecting the soft light in every exquisite petal.
There are lots of pretty little surprises around here.
Places that catch the light (and the dust).
Bits that I've collected. Or made. Scenes that make me stop and think about how long I've been at this.
In fact, my next post here will be my 1000th!
And that's something to celebrate with all of you, my friends!
Have a lovely holiday weekend and I hope to see you back here next week. xoC
Yesterday I stopped by the church to help with sorting in the linens room. The spring sale is tomorrow and Saturday. A little late to show up and help really, but you know, I've been trying to stay away. Can't do it though, all that bustle at the top of my town's main street calls to me.
My friends who work in the linens/sewing room knew I'd show up sooner or later and had a few treasures set aside for me. And this is the one that made me gasp. When I lifted her skirt and saw the little petticoat felts for needle keeping, .... !
Looking closely, I wondered why her bonnet was sewn all around the edges but not the front and it dawned on me that it was for a thimble! Brilliant (though a little creepy when you look into the dark hollow of the thimble tucked inside). I brought her home, found a thimble and knew I had to share her with you. Still time to make one for a Mother's Day gift. Or a super-sweet gift tag made out of paper ... her hidden petticoat could be little love notes for Mom!
I sketched up a quick how-to pattern for you. (Click to enlarge and right click to save.) She's 4 1/2" high made from 2 pieces of felt, the top piece cut without the shoes. Each of the little rosettes is felt also, anchored with a French knot. You'll also want a few inches of dainty lace for her petticoat and bouquet and some felt scraps for the petticoats to hold needles inside.
Whoever made this donated their vintage orange felt a few years ago. Guess who bought it?
Happy day, my friends! I'm heading back there again to .... um, help. xo