Friday, January 20, 2017

Every Body Up North Says It's Grey

Hi Dear Folk,

Everybody up here in the Northern Hemisphere, well at least almost everybody are saying it is dull, the dull, dog days of January.  So in keeping with that here is a poem I ran across in my diary.

The grey morning I well remember,
The grey mountain new-waked from slumber,
The grey dews on the trees and hedges,
And in grey distance the grey sea's edge.

from The Grey Mornings by Katharine Tynan

I searched high and low for a nice diary for 2017, no time to make one of my own as I did several years ago.  There just wasn't anything in my little circle of searching, so in the back of my mind I thought I would use a Book of Days Journal that I picked up at the thrift.  An Irish Woman's Book of Days, inspiration and celebration.  I said to my co-worker, who is Irish decent, his grandmother would be proud of me. So I just have to write what day it is by the date and of course the year and voila, I'm a happy girl because every page is a page of joy, poems, quotes, photographs, paintings and sketches.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Long Weekend

Hi Dear Folk,

The flu bug has laid us all pretty low in our household so I'm rather behind at work, at home and blogging.  I had to take several days off work, and just let my body work through it, and that was two weekends ago and I only just now feel like I'm getting back to normal.

Today I forgot the CEO was coming down for a visit from NYC office and taking us all out to lunch, here is where we dined Del Frisco's, which is housed in the old Pennsylvania Bank and is a most stately interior, so setting is gorgeous and just around the corner from our office. I had lobster bisque soup and filet medallions served with cream potatoes and green beans, was very good.  Nice to be treated, it's not like we eat out a lot at home.

On saying that, The Boy and Mr. B. were out on the weekend and treated themselves to Texas brisket and all the fixings from one of those roadside smokers, I tried a sampling of brisket, beans and potato salad, was yummy and the boys certainly enjoyed it, was a nice treat for them.  They had run over to Phoenixville to visit a record shop.

Monday was a day off work Martin Luther King Day.  Cooked a crockpot meal of chicken and stuffing, carrots and onions, very good.

Crocheted and had a special cup of tea using a teabag that came in the mail from a friend, quiet time.

Some weekend thrift finds at 30% off.

A summer dress which I will wear with a short sleeve cardi or shrug.  It had these tacky frayed edge flowers across the front, and I took all these off, which gives the dress a classic look now.  Looking forward to summer days.

A little Indonesian box.

Of course some books.  It seems that this sculptor was rummaging round the old abandoned knitting mills in Cleveland when he ran across a stash of mint patterns and actual apparel archives packed away, from the forties to the seventies.  He brought all the stock and for several years sold it out of a shop in Brooklyn.  See the story of the Ohio Knitting Mills here and where they are today.  Some lovely old patterns in the book.

I must have been on an Ohio run because this crock is made in Zanesville, Ohio.  Just right for all sorts of things and even has the lid. American made stone ware here.

A little tea book, oh for a tea party.

Love these old bevelled hand mirrors and so handy, excuse the pun.

Last but not least repotted my poor plant.  It was OK in a plastic pot while it sat inside my grandmothers Edwardian copper pot, but out on the table that plastic pot was driving me crazy.  Here it is repotted in terra cotta, might actually do it some good with more room to spread.

And this is how I spent my long weekend.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Baby Boomers Baggy Trousers

Hi Dear Folk,

I have been home ill the whole weekend, my head hurts so much that my teeth ache.  Rob had a terrible head cold a couple of days after he came back from Chicago, so probably caught it off him.

We had some more snow, not too much, but I'm at hearth and home.

The Baby Boomer generation was born between 1946 to 1964 and is now aging out between 50 to 68.  I fall right in the middle there.  I could write about the fashion industry and how they haven’t a clue how to engage this generation.  They seem to have this idea that people past fifty don’t wear clothes, or if they do they are the perfect size; some are, but most in that age group are not and we admit to that.  I could go on about how this is an ignored market, BBs have a lot of buying power but nothing to buy. 

At the Thrift and while routing through my favourite book section, on crafts, I ran across this book, No Time to Sew.  The major reason I bought it at $1.60 is that they had lovely baggy trousers to make and I have long looked for a pattern.   I always liked some of the trousers that Laura Thyme wears in Rosemary and Thyme.

Later in the evening I’m sitting down with a cup of tea, and looking at the pictures on how to make the baggy trousers when I realize, where are the patterns that they are referring to, not in the book and no instructions on how to make your own. So after some internet research I realize that the patterns to the book were sold as a separate item, but thanks to the wonder of eBay and Etsy I found a complete envelope of patterns on eBay, much cheaper than on Etsy. 

Now is my quest to at least make the baggy trousers, I would love to say I’ll make the whole coordinated wardrobe, but I know my time constraints working full time, will probably not allow me to.

So for the baggy trousers it said to use drapey fabric, at first I thought it said use drapery fabric, and then realized my mistake.  So now I am looking for a drapey fabric.  Do I go with a neutral color which is a base for a mix and match coordinated wardrobe, or do I go all flamboyant?  What I see and what’s on sale will tell and maybe just my mood that day.

I do like the basics that are put together in this book, to make up a complete coordinated wardrobe.


Friday, January 6, 2017

The Boy In Chicago

Hi Dear Folk,

This morning we woke up to a light dusting of snow, just cold enough to stay for a while and brighten everything up.  Dashed down to the train station and parked the car, which is harder now to find a space, since everybody is back to work.  I sat on the side where you can view the river, and got to see two herons fishing for breakfast.  I love the snow it enhances what's beautiful and covers what's dinghy.

Reading my first out of print American woman writer, her autobiography, Mary Austin - Earth Horizon.

Just a few pics from The Boy's visit to Chicago last New Years weekend.  Rob has two lots of friends who live there, Charles who's family are in Chicago and Rob met at Ithaca and Yesenia who went there to Art College from Rob's High School and now lives and works there.

He booked a ticket and the realized that it was an evening flight on Friday and not a morning flight, so had to change his ticket, needless to say it cost a lot, you know how that goes.  Live and learn, I always check and double check.  He did it late at night and was tired so another no, no on booking an airline ticket.

I always like to see what is in the bakery where ever I go.

Rob thought the Cultural Building, but correct me if wrong.

View from the John Hancock Building 96th floor Signature Bar.

Rob at a local book store, just down the road from his friends.  Looks like my kind of book store.

Breakfast at a Super Hip Diner, is how Rob puts it.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Aren't these flowers lovely?

Taken with phone, and not his good camera.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Vehicle and Vagaries of Life

Hi Dear Folk,

Just as you think you want to really cut back, like cut back working full time and then what happens, you need a new car.  Mr. B. phoned with bad news that the engine on the Pathfinder is kaput. Running on only five cylinders and not six.  So we have swapped vehicles, as I only need to make it to the train station one mile and he needs to drive to work on a three lane highway. In town I never need a speed more than 25 miles per hour.  In fact as I said to Mr. B. if it passed inspection and kept going I wouldn't bother to get another vehicle.  Although the writing is on the wall as they are both almost sixteen years old, mine only has 110,000 though.  When I say new car I mean second hand car.

We could manage with one car, but is has it's problems.  Mr. B. could drop me off at the train station in the morning, but that means I have to walk home in the dark and also means I have no car to go out in the evenings as the hubby is at work. I don't want you to think I gallivant about in the evenings, because by the time I get home from work at around 7:00 PM I'm ready to hibernate, but one evening a week I have a meeting and positively do need a car.  Such are the vagaries of life.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Coat Tree

Hi Dear Folk,

Debut of the new coat rack, well new to us.  We found this at a little antique shop and Mr. B. worked his magic on the woodwork.

I like the two tiers of hooks and the fact that the top ones are rounded for hats.

Mr. B.  cleaned up the  metalwork but didn't over do it.

The inlay adds a little extra.

It's just so handy for our in use coats.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Beaten Gold, Felted Alpaca

Hi Dear Folk,

What kind of a friend sends a parcel in the mail to you of a shrunken alpaca cardigan? A friend who knows you very well.  I would call felted alpaca the beaten gold of the felted yarn world.

A coworker of my friend shrunk this alpaca cardigan, it is so small.  I'm sure they wanted to cry, I would have done.

Obviously they didn't read the instructions, or it just slipped in with the regular wash, it smells lovely and fresh.  It happens to us all sooner or later.

So the decision where to cut into this and what to make out of it, every little piece is precious.  So I took the buttons off and the labels, cut the sleeves off and cut them open.

What to make? I'm thinking possibly a hat, or two hats, combining this with other fabrics, I have velvet in mind, embroidery, who knows a creation develops as you go.

Thank you C. for thinking of me.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Starting With Friends

Hi Dear Folk,

Spontaneous get together, don't you think sometimes they're the best, not so much pressure, starting the first day of 2017 with friends.  It came to me on Sunday morning that wouldn't it be nice to have a few of my girl friends over and the fact that I had Monday off work the next day to recoup if I so needed to, probably more psychological.

I made a pot of Florentine soup, wine and mint, chocolate biscuits and everybody brought something which slotted into all the missing items food wise, snacks, and desert.  So simple and just a happy evening together, laughs too.

Our little group Mr. B. took the photo.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking At Life, Living With Love 2017

Hi Dear Folk,

Winter landscape with ice skaters, Hendrick Avercamp.

"Looking At Life, Living With Love" is my 2017 take on the upcoming year.  There are changes I want to make to have that happen, more time for family, friends and what I love on both a spiritual sense and physical.  For both you need time and working full time does not enable me to have the time or the energy I need for these.  So on meditating on the thought "If this was your last year how would you live it?"  I am going to make some changes.

Cutting back and going part-time at work.  That will take some doing, being even more frugal.  Plus as my friend says "When you have money you have no time, and when you have time, you have no money."

I love to travel but always tend to do the larger trips and not too much in-between, but I have made up a list of places that we could take a long weekend and drive to.  I came across these less well known pretty towns. I have no idea what these are like, but lets have an adventure.

Wolfeboro, NH - Keene, NH - Little Compton, RI - Wood Hole, MA - Guilford, CT - Frederick, MD - Berlin, MD - Milton, DE

Plus I have old friends, from my single days, out in Minneapolis which I've been meaning to get out and visit them for years.  They were just here  and visited with us, so have an even bigger incentive to get out and visit them, the invite is open, so if it's open don't close the door.

My girl friends and I spoke all last year about visiting a mutual friend in Maryland, but this year I'm going to urge us all on to do it.  And I want to have some laughs. Obviously travel will have to be frugally done, but it can be and if I have to get my tent out I will and always on my mind is, if possible, to squeeze in a trip to UK to visit with family and friends.

Pottering in the garden that has been sorely neglected, getting "a lick and a promise," as my mum would say.  It is so soothing to have your hands in the soil, grow plants from seed, find things in the trash and make something of them in the yard and garden.

Big sort out of the garage, big sort out of the house.  All needing time.  I'd like to make space in the garage, but want to carefully think about what I'm getting rid of, it's been my experience that when you get rid of something, then you realize you could have used it.

I am going on a reading quest and that is to look up out of print American women writers.  I am excited about this and you will see more on this front.

Time for family, friends, garden, create, read and just be.

So that's the framework, and as with all things there must be wiggle room and a fluidity to work around the problems that always arise.


Thursday, December 29, 2016


Hi Dear Folk,

Here are a couple of indulgences I bought at the Village Market.

A felted flower scarf from Nepal.  All the work that goes into those felted flowers.  It looks nice on if you double it up and pull the ends through the loop.  The only thing is that it is a little scratchy so I'm thinking of getting a long silk scarf and wrapping it around the stems, I think that would look nice.

Painted hair barrette from Russia.  It was the only one they had that was larger and here I am wearing it.  I had to resist all the painted boxes and Baltic amber.

Two little treats.  I have to mention the cardigan, which I found in a charity shop in the UK, and it has a tulip design, and on the same trip last year I found a marquisette broach in the shape of a tulip, which I keep on this cardigan, plus in another charity shop I found a needle point windmill picture, and this was all after Jean and I had just been to Amsterdam.  It seemed to be the theme of my vacation, or maybe psychologically I was just attuned after the trip.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Gift From Near and Gift From Far

Hi Dear Folk,

Before the holidays FedEx phones me at work and says "Have you moved your office?  We have a package for you."  I said "Yes" and gave them the new address.  I asked where it was from and she said "China," so I said "Oh! they must be pen samples."

So the next day a soft package comes in and I knew it was some kind of apparel so gave to Tom as I knew he was expecting samples.  He opened it and said "Did you order a shawl?"  I said "No, let me see if there is a packing list."  Then I saw who it was from, a vendor in China, who I had used for several jobs throughout the year and we always work so well together.

So this was my lovely surprise and the colour is a rich blue, I will enjoy wearing this.

And these delightful Teatime tea towels came in the mail from a friend not too far away and what a lovely surprise these were too.  I do like to tuck in a special tea towel when I pack a picnic basket.

Enjoying my goodies.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Stepping Out In The Country

Hi Dear Folk,

Today is overcast, but yesterday dawned bright and sunny, Mr. B. and I, got out for a long overdue walk.  How lovely to just be outside in the countryside of our local park.

Wearing a jumper, hat and scarf that my mum made.  I love the colours in this hat, but what to do with it as my mum had made it so long, so I came up with this idea from a hat I bought in Yorkshire a few years ago.  It was from one of the many old woolen mills there that have been made into multi craft centres.  The rounded edge is a foam ring, around which you wrap the edge of the hat, and by doing this I was able to use up the length of the hat and get to wear it.  I love the autumn leaf design.  I have orange gloves to match, also too large, but I'm thinking of gathering the back of the wrist and this would take up some of the excess size.  By the way the jumper fits perfectly.  Remembering my mum.



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