Some weekends just don’t go as planned. Illnesses, kitchen accidents, tantrums. The only thing to do is give life a little bow and find an alternate route.
Oddly enough, even in the midst of a not-good weekend there can be lovely highlights. Watching your child discover that he’s great on gymnastics equipment, or snuggling with your preschooler while watching Cinderella, just the girls. It’s the solace of children, or, as my mom calls it, baby therapy.
Late last week, before things went awry, I did some sewing and binge-requested books through the inter-library loan program. I have a new camera and as much as I like it, the strap is itchy. So I made a little cover for it. I was planning to write up a tutorial this weekend but, obviously, it didn’t happen. I will post one soon, though. And there’s a happy stack of sewing and YA books that have started arriving…I will be writing about those soon, too. Inter-library loan is such fun. Kinda like Amazon, but without money.
Be grateful for the little things.
If April is the cruelest month*, then what is October? The kindest, sending us off to winter’s hibernation in a blaze of autumnal glory? I’d like to think so. This past weekend was, simply, glorious.
There was a lot of outside time – bike riding and playground visits and leaf piles. The foliage colors came inside with us, too, showing up in fabric choices for a new pillow and paint colors in the kids’ projects.
This big, bright pillow started as a challenge. When I wrote about Quilting Happiness a month or so ago I decided to try one of the exercises in the book: take a block that you do not like and make it in a different color palette. I chose the Odds N Ends block and pulled some favorite leftover fabric** from Mr. K’s quilt right away but managed to sit on the project for five weeks. And then, all of a sudden, I found myself pulling everything out this weekend and spending a late afternoon piecing while the kids recovered from leaf fights and hanging on the monkey bars. Inspired by the trees across the street, I chose red for the solid instead of my usual white. I was quite happy with the result:
So, what to do with this 15″ square of brightness? Make a pillow to go with the quilt, of course. I added a border so the block would measure 20″ square and fit a pillow insert I already had. I added batting, did some simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting, and used more of the red solid to create a basic envelope closure back. Mr. K immediately commandeered the pillow for a nap. Apparently it’s quite comfortable.***
What did you make this past weekend? Please share here or on Flickr!
*At least according to T.S. Eliot. (Opening line of The Waste Land. Once an English major, always an English major.)
**Fabric from Flutter and Apple of My Eye by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake.
***Recommended: 20″ down pillow insert from Pottery Barn. So comfy!
We picked up our pumpkins this weekend! Although we went in for two, we came out with…seven.
The Boy and Miss R were very excited to paint all the little weebee punkins. This is a super easy way to entertain two kids in the kitchen while making dinner. Just put down some paper to cover their work space (we used paper grocery bags on the floor), put dollops of acrylic craft paint on paper plates, find a few small brushes, and let the artists go to work.
We dried our pumpkins on wire racks overnight and then put them out in the living room to admire. Now we just need to decide on a design for the enormous pumpkin in the bay window. I’m thinking owl. Any suggestions?
Last weekend was a rainy one. Grey, foggy, drizzly, but not cold. Good weather for boots and raincoats and puddle-jumping walks. Late in the afternoon Mr K took the kids out and snapped this iphone photo of bobbing umbrellas on their way back home:
The photo reminded me of an image from a much-loved picture book that someone should bring back into print (I’m talking to you, McGraw-Hill!):
This book made me dream, as a little girl, of going to Paris. (My dad made sure I got there.) I loved the illustrations, the muted blue-grays and blurry blacks with pops of red. I wanted a big round window to curl up next to and peer out of on rainy days.
When my children received their big-kid beds, I put them under the windows right away. Only when I was done and stepped back did I think of this:
It’s not the same of course – Jean and Jacqueline have adorable bed frames and no clutter – but when my mom came by later to see what I’d been up to she immediately said “It’s Paris in the Rain!” Now if the room was in black and white I’d really be on to something…
Paris in the Rain is a sweet book, full of innocence and delight in big umbrellas, rain boots, paper boats, cozy bedrooms, and the explorations of small children. It’s out of print (copyright 1963) but you can still find discarded library copies online.
And…fabric people…..wouldn’t these end pages make a great cotton print?
Not a mouse. Maybe a large rat. Or a creepy crawly. Something wicked this way comes…*
The Kaeslets loooove Halloween, so we’ve started with the decorations around here. My Fall choices have received a kid-directed Halloween twist: The mini pumpkins have witch hats, the wreath sports a black raven, and a huge hairy spider hangs over the leaf-and-pumpkin garland. There’s a skull in the dining room, a black lantern in the window, and jack-o-lantern votives in the living room. A witch’s hat, my alter-ego’s apparel, hangs on the coat rack. Even the flowers are jack-o-lantern orange. And there’s more to come. I believe we’ll have rats and some ghosts and spider webs soon, although we’ll probably stop short of dyeing the cats black.
Costumes are under discussion, as are jack-o-lantern carving ideas. Halloween books are making their way off the shelves.
I think I’d better go find a copy of Bunnicula, too.
*Macbeth, of course. Act 4, scene 1. Best witch scene ever.