Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Studio Tour :: 4

As part of our Home Improvement Summer Studio...I bring you: The dresser. Jonas's, to be precise. It's solidly built (read: really heavy to move) but came from a sweet library volunteer (one of the best, and that's saying a lot).

It used to be a very shiny brown.
Now: Lingering Lilac.
(I was looking for just the right shade of purpley blue that wouldn't feel to girly, and the alliteration was a total bonus.)

The hands of a favorite
who came bearing fruit.
Can you hear me? "Wait! Stop! Let me get my camera!"

a little nest found under the galvanized metal tub in our yard
::Thank you, BeautyThatMoves, for inspiring the Summer Studio Tour::

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Is that a cucumber in your pocket?

Well, actually, yes. AND I'm glad to see you.
The cucumber was tucked in the pocket of my clothespin apron, also handy for transporting garden produce.
I went to the garden hoping for *a* cucumber. We have three cuke plants, one of which is clearly an overachiever, 4.0 average type of plant. Or perhaps planted in the feng shui spot of cucumber glory in our garden. So when I lifted a leaf, excited to see a single cuke...and twelve more friends lurking!
These cukes were ready to be pickled: half sour refrigerator variety if you please, recipe in here. This lovely relic of the 80s is the go-to book for what to do with any vegetable. The recipe is easy, no fancy canning, just a brine poured over the cukes, stand overnight on your counter and then put in the fridge for a day or maybe less if you can't stand the wait. Which we barely could.
Refreshing, delicous, pickly goodness. (Matt and Susan, there will be more when you get here, I promise to guard them from Sylvan! And get ready to consume massive quantities of tomatoes, it looks to be a banner year.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's all a little much, thanks

two boys, two girls,
all that hair
We are moving the boys into two separate spaces. It's the right time and all that. But man. I had no idea the time that it would consume. Essentially we are losing a boatload of storage space, our office, and guest room all at once and condensing it all into one small room. It's been a good time to purge!

So there is not much going on around here between me and the sewing machine, for starters. Creative endeavors? Ha. Packing boxes a bit at a time is more like it. And I hate the chaos of my house right now, so I can't even really get excited about photos lately. I am misplacing things left and right and feeling a bit nuts. Most of the creative conversations I have lately go like this:
J: What day should we rent the wallpaper steamer?
me: Um, Sunday? And then we can spackle the walls, right?
J: Sure, but let's get all the pictures down.
I: OK, I'm off to paint that dresser now. I just finished sweeping the attic so that we can move some stuff up there. But first, a bunch of trash and yard sale stuff has to come down.

there was this wonderful purple glittery ball,
that did not photograph properly
It's like this elaborate game of strategy, where every action depends on many other small actions being performed in the right sequence. I'm terrible at this but thankfully I am married to a patient strategist who can just tell me what to do when. Add this to the fact that I usually start getting cranky with summer at about this time anyway and you will have a picture of how I am approaching my limit with summer and her lack of form and general level of chaos. (oops, I guess I am early with my whining, just like everything else this year.)
In other news, Sylvan turned 8! (Remember 7?) We had a really glorious day of quintessential summer: bowling, followed by swimming and dinner and cake at the lake with several dear friends and family. It was my first experience of big ball bowling and not candlepin, which is a unique Northeastern phenonmenon. And here is what I think of the big balls: Really Difficult, Unwieldy, and Heavy! (There was a one-armed bowler there who really blew my mind!) Potential for bodily injury is ramped WAY up.
Have we shared with you the wonders of a watermelon in the lake? For sport? It is a short-cut to pure joy and tons of giggling. You can toss it in the air or propel it underwater! Sometimes it surprises you and pops up in unlikely places! This was also part of our festivity! (No you don't need to grease it first, this sounds to me like a mess on your bathing suit.)
And we had to get the requisite dock-jumping pics!
Are you a leg-out-to-the-side jumper?
Or more of a graceful beauty?
Perhaps you're more inclined to take a leisurely stroll off the edge:
At the end of the day, it was golden, and I couldn't stop taking photos of so many beautiful faces. Here is the birthday boy, newly brave with dogs and water on his face while swimming.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Studio Tour :: 3

~a busy summer week~

~moving two boys who have shared one room
into two separate spaces, still in process~
~a birthday with lemon cake and a boy who is almost 8~

~and a knitted sleeve,
no, not a new sleeve,
not the second sleeve,
but the first sleeve
~taking comfort in the words of Winston Churchill
on my knitting bag
(because if the sleeve needed re-knitting to make it fit, so will the body. sigh.)~

::Thanks to BeautyThatMoves for organizing the Summer Studio Tour! Check that link to visit her site as well as finding links to others who are participating in the Studio Tour!::

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Studio Tour :: 2

~Someone special had her birthday~

~June saved the best for last (I was late)~

~She needed Millie's Hotpads in the prettiest summer fabrics~

~Repurposed, felted sweater batting~

~My mods: little finger pockets on the backside~

::Thanks to BeautyThatMoves for organizing the Summer Studio Tour!::
Stop by her site to find links to others who are participating.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monhegan Island: Part Two

One of the other wonderful things about Monhegan is the fairy house tradition. A woodland path dedicated to making homes for fairies (a nice book is here). Little mica walkways, pinecone dance floors, lean-to's made of fallen sticks and bark. The idea is that no living item is uprooted or torn off to create the fairy home.

Sylvan used the sea glass he collected for a pathway.
If we visit again in future years, will my oldest boy still participate? Did you see that photo, the first one of this post? I love it that at 11.5 he's still interested in careful placement of twigs and pinecones. I remember so well when he was not even two, these little cones were a favorite thing for him to collect. We'd be on our little walk and he'd be pointing out every little pinecone he saw, insisting that we collect them all. When we got to the end of our walk we'd find a little spot for him to leave most of the cones, but I would always let him hang onto two (one for each chubby little hand).
The good people of the island used the perfect Maine summer weather, dry and breezy, to dry their clothes outside. Island clotheslines! Swooning!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Monhegan Island: Part One

We had three lovely days in a quite lovely place. Perhaps one of my most favorite and best places, to date, Monhegan Island. It's an hour or so to get out there, by ferry. And once you are there, there's not much to do other than admire the gorgeous coastline and hike along the cliffs and woodland trails. And sit and knit or read your book. (Alternatively, you can listen to an obnoxious cell-phone talker who is doing a conference call about internationally shipping rates. But instead, I alternated between sending relaxing waves of love his way, and wishing I had a cell phone scrambler like the Secret Service.)

manana island, to the west of Monhegan,
former home of a hermit shepherd
Or you could listen to your boys squeal as they fly their kites.
There are just a few island trucks, but no cars otherwise. The perimeter of the island is about 4 miles, and most of that is undeveloped but crisscrossed with hiking trails.
What the boys both really love is the privilege of independence: waking up and taking a sketch pad to draw on the beach. Strolling alone through town. Or being secret agents and spying on your mother, without her knowledge. Truly! I had no idea that there was someone with binoculars hiding in the bushes that may or may not have been on private property.
There were plenty of opportunities to feel like mountain goats. That's me, above, hiking through a little cave that we had visited before and found again!

Wait! Don't jump!
Really, I mean it!
Mom! It's just this small of a jump!