Thursday, March 5, 2015

a birthday fox

When Alicia Paulson released her new patterns, our Gretta just had to have a fox. That was ages ago, and hoping that she had forgotten about it, I stitched up this handsome guy as a birthday surprise. Today Gretta turns 24, but she is a little kid at heart and I suspect that he will be a welcome addition to her futon in Brooklyn.

I had ordered a kit for my first stuffed critter from Alicia's website. When I made another rabbit I used the same instructions and my own supplies. I decided to simply order the PDF for the fox, which was very easy to do. I ordered the felt from Prairie Point Junction, the calico and stripes came from my fabric stash. I knit the scarf with scraps of wool that Gretta had gifted me with. It's spun from the sheep at Shelburne Farms, where Gretta did a nine month residency in 2013.

Alicia's instructions are well written and full color photos accompany them. The fox's snout was a bit tricky, and took a bit of fussing. The only disappointment I had was with the shirt. Alicia 's instructions called for cutting the buttonholes carefully with a seam ripper and finishing them with fray check. I was a nervous wreck doing this, and I am not at all happy with the results. In the future, I would sew snaps up and down the front, with buttons "for show" stitched on top (especially if the shirt will be taken on and off by little fingers).

I loved making this handsome fox, packing him in a box along with carefully wrapped Vermont maple syrup and a few other goodies, sending him off via the USPS and imagining him waiting for Gretta in Brooklyn. The birthday girl may be miles and miles away, but our best wishes are filled with love and warmth and I hope they travelled well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

thank you, sweet paper whites,
for bringing light and hope to the dark days of winter.

after you have composted a bit,
i'll see you again in the summer garden.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Town Meeting Day

Today I attended my first Town Meeting as a full time Vermonter. It was the 227th annual Town Meeting held here. 227th! We gathered in the antique Town Hall, nestled in on metal folding chairs. The Moderator had the annual report in hand, the five selectpeople gathered on the tiny stage. Before the meeting began, attention was called to this quilt (above), hanging behind the selectpeople. It is being raffled to raise money to restore our beautiful meetinghouse, just down the road from us.
(the meeting house, photo taken summer 2014)

Then two very articulate young ladies came forward, holding a poster promoting a spaghetti supper being held in a few weeks to raise funds for their sixth grade class trip to Boston. I think Batman and I may have to go eat some pasta!

The Moderator read a lovely quote by Susan Clark, an expert on traditional New England Town Meetings, reminding folks of best behavior. He also reviewed Robert's Rules of Order, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited and we jumped into the business at hand.

The "warrant" for the meeting included electing town officers, approving the purchase of a new truck, approval of the budget, consideration of the purchase and installation of solar panels on town property, the collection of property taxes and consideration of an ordinance to regulate barking dogs. 

I rode over to Town Hall with friends and we left when the meeting ended. For those who stayed, a pot luck lunch followed, and school district business was to be taken up next. (I think I'll make a day of it in 2016!)

While politicians do their thing in far away Washington, DC, neighbors gathered all over the state of Vermont today to practice democracy and self governance. The state motto, "Freedom and Unity" seemed very fitting today.

(While we await yet another snowstorm, I whipped up this Limerick Soda Bread from Sift Magazine.)
A year ago we were on the verge of accepting an offer on our house in CT, and today we are feeling more enmeshed in this new life of ours here in rural Vermont... Life is such a wonder!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

crawling out of the den

Well, hello friends! We are just dragging ourselves out of the deepest hibernation den of perhaps the coldest February on record here in Vermont. And even tho the calendar says March 1st, it has just started snowing again.

Batman remains the eternal optimist and claims that meteorological spring begins on  March first, and so we are determined to embrace that fact.

Hyacinths are filling the house with an intoxicating scent, and I whipped up a batch of Lemon Zephyr Pancakes from the premiere issue of SIFT, a fabulous publication from King Arthur Flour.  I had a case of cabin fever the other day, so I drove 45 minutes south to King Arthur headquarters in Norwich, VT. It is a very dangerous place. In a very good way. I came home with the magazine, some wonderful flour and a fresh batch of sourdough starter. 

We've been watching lots of movies, and have become a bit addicted to some locally grown popcorn. On Friday, we went out into the world to see The Theory of Everything, both the story and the acting were amazing. Last night, we watched the true story of PRIDE, via Netflix DVD. (SEE IT!)

This week will be filled with some special firsts and a special sewing project. Come back soon to check things out.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

imagining warmer days

If you look through the window and through the house,
you might spy some of the faithful paper whites
that have been standing bravely on the other windowsill
these past few weeks.
We have plenty of snow here in Vermont,
but the story this year seems to be the near record cold 
temperatures we've been dealing with.
It's a balmy 26 degrees today, with brilliant sunshine
and so I stepped out with my camera.
And walked down the road a bit.
Shadows, snow, clouds, pines and indigo skies.

February still looks fierce, but the days are getting longer,
the seed packets for summer gardens are in the house
and Gretta and I have been looking at patterns for her dress...
It's kind of hard to imagine a wedding tent here, eh?
But that's what Mother Nature does best here in Vermont...
the seasons.

Friday, February 20, 2015

sometimes life is best navigated 
simply by taking it row by row.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

february cheer

Our windowsills have been busy this month...
growing pea shoots for salads, paper whites and tiny daffodils for cheer.