Friday, April 17, 2009


I've been practicing different crochet patterns, in preparations for making a new blanket. I haven't been able to decide which I like best, but I've decided to turn these three samples into cushion covers. They'll either look lovely on the Adirondack chairs on the patio this summer, or they'll make super gifts for Marlene when we visit her in France in June (as a university student, I figure she might like something to decorate her rental with and these are in her favorite colors).

These are two cushions I made when the girls were very small. The pink one is made from a dress that I finally had to cut up and make something from to prevent Cheerleader from finding it and trying to wear it again. It was her very favorite dress, but plainly she had outgrown it! It's hard to see the detail, but I did some fancy applique, some embroidery and some crochet on them. There is so much scope for imagination in fancy cushions, and they always put me in mind of Anne of Green Gables. Remember in Anne of the Island when Anne and Priscilla were living in the boarding house with all the cushions?

"Miss Ada's cushions are really getting on my nerves," said Anne. "She finished two new ones last week, stuffed and embroidered within an inch of their lives. There being absolutely no other cushionless place to put them she stood them up against the wall on the stair landing. They topple over half the time and if we come up or down the stairs in the dark we fall over them. Last Sunday, when Dr. Davis prayed for all those exposed to the perils of the sea, I added in thought 'and for all those who live in houses where cushions are loved not wisely but too well!'"

I have a couple of photos of fancy cushions that I have purchased at various times, but for some reason, I am being prevented from uploading them into this post. I shall have to include them in my post (and rant) about El Guapo's Birthday Cheesecake.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Tea

As promised, here are some photos from this year's Easter Tea. The menu was Ham and Turkey Sandwiches on Gluten-Free Orange Pecan Bread; Devilled Eggs; Gluten-Free Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream; Haroset; Gluten-Free Lime Curd Tartlets; Jacque Pepin's Chestnut and Chocolate Cake (flourless); and Strawberries. We drank Irish Afternoon Tea.

The house was clean, the table was beautiful and the rain held off until after tea time!

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring has Sprung

While I have been frantically cleaning in preparation for Spring and Easter, there has been a glorious springing up of flowers outside. Here are some photos I took this afternoon from around the yard. Aren't they lovely?

Have a beautiful Easter! I'll take pictures of our Easter Tea and post them afterwards.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Preparations

Preparations are underway for our annual Easter Tea. I boiled two dozen eggs today and they are tucked away in the fridge awaiting their transformation tomorrow into colored EasterEggs. Cheerleader is home from school today as it is conference time again, so she and I just baked gluten-free tartlet shells. In February, I found some Lime Curd at my favorite grocery store up in Portland -- New Seasons (they have a huge gluten-free department!). This year we will break with tradition and have Lime Curd Tartlets for Easter Tea rather than Lemon Curd Tartlets -- can I mix things up or what? I try every year to prepare as much as possible ahead of time for Easter Tea, but there are numerous items that really just have to prepared the same day -- Devilled Eggs and Scones, for example.

But the house cleaning has come along nicely, tomorrow while the girls are out of the house in the a.m., I will vacuum and mop and then it is simply a matter of everyone PUTTING THEIR BELONGINGS AWAY, instead of dumping them in the first likely spot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


We're having a bit of a re-org here in the Willamette Valley -- no, I'm not talking about "downsizing" or "right-sizing." I'm talking about the beautiful springlike weather and the alarming approach of Easter -- both of which inspired a mad housecleaning mood in me yesterday. I started (and finished) with the kitchen. It was a whole day project! Just look at this kitchen cupboard -- I have 28 varieties of TEA!

But now I'm thoroughly in the mood and the dining room falls under the ax today. Here are the girls' comments on the kitchen when they got home yesterday. Sunshine: "I don't see why you had to move the microwave just because you were cleaning the kitchen." Cheerleader: "I really like how the kitchen looks, I like having the microwave in a new spot." This is what I live with people. Sunshine didn't speak to me for a day when I cut my hair off and Cheerleader has an appointment this Thursday to get hers cut off! When something happens that they both agree on I feel like we should declare a national holiday.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Finishing the crocheted bag

Can you see where I started the slight alteration from Lucy's bag at Attic24? I left space in the 5th row from the top to put a draw string through. I am a real purse slinger and felt that it would be safer for everyone involved if I were able to cinch my bag shut before slinging it hither and yon.

I found a tutorial for braiding cord online and created this pretty cord out of matching yarn for the drawstrings. I did as the tutorial suggested and made a loom from cardboard, but definately, make a new loom for the second string -- I didn't at first and the second string did not work out (the cardboard had gotten too loose, which made the cord too loose, which meant the 2nd cord was too short). Learn from my mistake.

So here is the completed bag as we were heading out the door for my brother-in-law's 40th birthday party. I am still undecided about adding flowers to the bag, but if I choose to, I can always do that anytime. Cheerleader likes it so much she asked me to make one for her!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Crocheted Heart Bunting

I'm still crocheting madly on my new bag, but I thought I'd post pictures of some recently finished projects. I saw some beautiful crocheted bunting at Knot Garden and wanted to make my own, but since it was right around Valentine's Day, the bunting morphed into hearts (found a nice pattern from Bella Dia). I made one bunting for Cheerleader's window in her highschool colors

and one bunting for Sunshine in pastel colors. I think both turned out very nicely and they were fun to make which is always a bonus.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On Sunday Cheerleader and I took Ripple and hiked up into the hills behind our neighborhood. Ripple gets soooo excited when she realizes where we're heading -- it's one of the few places we let her off leash. It was a beautiful day, the clouds scudding across the blue sky and hawks circling on the updrafts.
It was a beautiful afternoon, too bad Sunshine was stuck at home finishing up her science fair project!