I AM sewing!

Guys, I may have lost my sew-jo last year for various reasons, but it is back big time now.  I have so much to say, but I’m gonna ease myself back into blogging with a few snapshots of what I’ve been doing.

Working on this and that:

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I instagrammed a couple of videos while I was working on the above clamshells, so go look for those if you’re wondering how these go together.  20180212_164845.jpg

IMG_20180214_113020_747 - CopySent Diabolical Jane to Stitched in Color to be longarmed.  Thrilled with the results!

IMG_20180218_212812_256 - CopyThese are Paleo! 

What? your caveman ancestors didn’t have chocolate cupcakes?  well someone’s did.  The cookbook said so.  Anyway, they’re delicious and if you are eating healthy but getting desperate for a treat, check out My Paleo Patisserie.  Everything I’ve made from it has been good.

20171114_135938-copy.jpgI washed dried and folded like a million yards of fabric.  I had decided to freshen up my stash and there was no going back.  Then I donated half of it to my local crafty thrift shop because I have too much.  OK maybe a quarter donated.  But there’s more to wash.

Parenting!  Oh the parenting.  Everyone’s back to homeschooling now and I am so glad.  The school schedules were just not good for me.

20171121_162712 - CopyLooking for a farm.  Yes, I want to farm.  really bad.  But we have to come to terms with what we can afford and figure out where that’s going to be and it’s a really huge decision, so for now the talk is still all hypothetical.

IMG_20180102_141930_481 - Copy20180111_162613.jpgChicken farming:  I may not have land yet, but you don’t need much space for chickens.  We have been eating exclusively our own chicken for a couple of years, and added egg birds last fall. We love our chickens but they are definitely not pets; the kids are understanding where our food comes from and the animals that will become our food live a good life, and that means a lot to me.

So there’s a little snapshot of where I’ve been!  Back soon!

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Big changes- I’m going home

 

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At the beginning of this year, I had one of those moments. A moment which, though you don’t know it at the time, is going to change everything that comes after. I was having a little new-years introspection and I realized that this year I turn 37, our oldest child turns 12, and we’re still not living life as I imagined it. I felt like my life so far has been just a giant holding pattern, we are circling, circling, waiting for something to happen.   But what, exactly?

“Welcome to the club,” some might say, but I wanted to do something about it. This is not at all about having the money to do whatever, and all about the choices we have been making. It’s been 7 years since I graduated and since then we’ve been renting a variety of places, moving here and there, never wanting to commit to anything. We’ve been in our current house for 3 years, mostly just because it was easier to stay than to make any more choices. I shared my feelings with my spouse, and we decided that we would commit to looking for a permanent home.

SO. We were looking for something to buy. I want land, privacy, space.  Well guess what?  So do a whole bunch of people in the greater DC/Baltimore region. Places with any land in our price range were an hour or more from Garrett’s job. He was willing to commute, and in the past has done so up to 1.5 hours each way, but was that the lifestyle we wanted to commit to?

We discussed very seriously getting a country place for the family and having Garrett live in a hotel 3-4 nights a week for work.  I think that was the solution we had settled on when on a lark, he applied for a job in our hometown. We were rather astounded with the speed at which the whole apply-interview-offer process went, and he got the job.

Oh my god, we could move back home! Really?  Family, the ease of small town life, the mountains… All those things I’ve been pining for, could be mine! Never mind the massive pay cut. It doesn’t matter; we don’t care. Now we can build a life!

We have found a tiny house to rent, well within our means, while we look for a home, a true home, where our kids can spend the rest of their formative years and hopefully remember it fondly as they grow into themselves and away from us.  Where I can plant those fruit trees and be there when they begin to bear, and have piggies and chickens and just be able to go for a walk without being assaulted by the relentless traffic….

So, here’s what’s happening. We move home to Central Pennsylvania in 3 weeks.  Just enough time here for one more DCMQG meetup. 🙂

Our tiny new place won’t support a home studio, so Faraway Road is going big-time and moving to its own address!

Husband will have a truly “new” job for the first time in 15 years! What else? Just a complete lifestyle shift is all…

So excited.
In very big denial of how much work I have to do in the next 3 weeks :-).
But happy. So happy!

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Happiness on the side of the road

The other day when I went out to get the mail, I noticed in a neighbor’s yard  a little unmowed strip where some lovely roadside weeds had sprung up.  This is chicory, with its delicate starry shape and pretty periwinkle color, and it’s always been one of my favorites. The way the flowers are perched on their stems seems almost sculptural.  Definitely an inspiring subject to photograph.  That tiny section of lawn smelled like summer to me, like long walks along back roads and driving in a hot car with the windows rolled all the way down.

Later in the day, I saw two men with weed-whackers milling about over there, so I’m afraid my little beauties have met their fate.  I’m glad they existed for that brief moment and that I saw them; they reminded me that it’s time to move out of this town and back to the country for good.

 

 

 

 

Winter Hike

We snuck out from the holiday clutter to get a little fresh air a few days ago.  Thank goodness because now it’s 17 degrees out and the wind is blowing like crazy.  The kids picked up pretty rocks and looked for tiny minnows and all those things that I always want them to do… getting boots thoroughly muddy was a highlight for some… and I loved finding dried flowers and seed pods and just enjoying that low winter light.  A lovely little trip!

Stocking up

I’ve got nothing but computer work lined up today, but I am comforted by the basket of freshly washed fabric acquisitions at me feet. (and a plate of Cranberry-Quinoa Scones from Aran Goyoaga’s beautiful cookbook)

I feel like a squirrel, putting things by for the long winter… we canned over 100 quarts of applesauce, some veggie soup too, I stocked up on water and pantry items (because I dream of stormy days when we are all cozily house-bound), there is talk of getting a chest freezer and a pig to put in it, and now a lovely collection of fabric for the cozy crafting months ahead.

Some of the fabrics in my basket mimic the view from my window.  The children wore themselves out already today, playing with dad in the leaves, and I want to make a quilt to remember these golden days.

Cozy Wozy

These are the best kind of days.  It’s wet and windy outside and we are warm and dry inside.  We have gingerbread-chocolate cookies and apple cider and enough apples in the house to make 80 quarts of applesauce.  Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons concerts streaming in the kitchen.  There’s a pile of basted hexies beckoning me to settle in and stitch them together, some precious new fabric to run through the washer and dryer, and more apples, apples everywhere.  The children have concocted some sort of dinosaurs-at-school game and they even remember to include Eva in the fun.  Just when I began to worry that I was not doing enough for the children with our homeschooling, I heard Gus drilling Violet and the dinosaurs in Latin roots and I was reassured that everything is OK.  Eva desperately wanted to go outside and so all 3 suited up in their rain gear and went out on an adventure.  Everything is different in the rain.  I watched through the window with hot spiced cider.  I’m sitting now in my room looking out at the treetops and I love how the rain makes the bark on the Sycamore look even prettier.

I want to make some pretty stitched things to hang above the mantle.  Just simple embroideries.  Probably some English Paper Piecing, too.

A good day for applique

Looks like a good day to sit by the window and sew.

I love to watch a storm blow in.  Dramatic, beautiful, little bit scary, making you realize just how big the sky is up there.  My favorite kind of day.

The huge raindrops make a pretty pattern on the sidewalk.   Later I’ll send the kids out to puddle-stomp and make muddy footprints all over the porch.

I finally sewed this appliqued panel into a pillow this week!  I never had a plan for the arrangement of these shapes, I just sort of piled them on there.  I love how it turned out.  Everything I did here, I want to do again on a bigger scale- the orange peel shapes, the random curvy hand quilting, the neutral colors with just a bit of bright color.  I’m glad I at least have something small that I’ve finished, though!

In other news, are you on Instagram?  I finally upgraded my phone so I could join, and I’m finding it really hard to get back to blogging now that I’m on IG!  It is just so easy and informal.  Love it.