• Family,  Hodgepodge Cottage,  Home

    Old and New and Loved

    I am so touched by some of your emails, inquiring as to my whereabouts lately. I haven't been here at the computer – mostly because I've been tending to the On Prudence model (to be released next week, hopefully!) and to little bits of spring cleaning here and there.

    But the best thing that's happened this month is that my oldest daughter, Breanna, found a new place to move into! I'm so, so happy for her – especially because the apartment seems beautifully suited to her personality: the entire building is quite vintage, with the original wood flooring from 1917, as well as radiators (I love radiators) for heat, and a clawfoot bathtub (which we didn't realize required a special sized shower curtain). What a cozy, sweet, darling little place it is! (And the best part for her mom and dad: a state trooper lives on the floor below.)

    Mike, Sophie, and I made the long jaunt out to western Nebraska with a rented truck and Uhaul trailer-full of Breanna's furniture, which had been in storage. (We had been saving all of Mike's parents' old furniture for the day that Bre got a place of her own.) The ride felt like it was about 3 days long…





    Finally, sunshine! Here we are, but we look so much smaller in our shadow. 🙂




    Immediately upon arriving at Bre's new apartment, we got to work unloading all of the furniture. Bre and Mike did the heavy lifting, while Sophie and I scurried in and around them with all the little boxes of pillows, plates, utensils, accessories, and coffee. Always coffee.

    I love that Bre had her favorite items in the living room: her sewing machine, fabric tote, her grandmother's sewing box, Tilly's scratching post, and her beloved hoola hoops.

    Photo 1-2

    About an hour later…

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    Sabrina (she couldn't come with us, as she had classes) gifted Bre with a framed family picture…

    Photo 2-2

    After we got everything put in the rooms they belonged, we decided to go to dinner and call it a night.

    The next day, we all got right to work moving and arranging furniture, cleaning floors, and finding out the hard way that almost all of her walls in her apartment are brick! (When a large nail meant to bear the weight of a heavy piece of art bends right in half under the hammer, you know you're not exactly dealing with drywall.)

    For her "coffee table," we brought along Mike's dad's old foot locker from Vietnam, which Bre absolutely loved. Not only for the storage space inside, but because her grandfather's name is stenciled on the top.

    Photo 1




    I spent the day in the kitchen, doing lots of cooking, and enjoying every minute of it. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to cook efficiently with no counter space except for the drain board, but I actually found it to be quite easy, as long as I kept everything picked up and put away. I'll never forget that day, with everyone taking turns dodging in and out of the kitchen to scoop up some of the hot corn dip I'd made (from a Tricia Yearwood cookbook)… or to have some of the delicious Zuppa Tuscano soup that Bre's co-worker brought to us (along with a delicious loaf of garlic bread and cake – what a lovely gesture! Thank you, Alona!), or to ask why we didn't buy a pitcher at WalMart for some sweet tea…


    I'll also always remember how Big Papa's Big Idea was to buy a stand to build around the toilet for extra shelving, which we all applauded, and which made him very pleased with himself. 🙂


    … And how excited Sophie was that Bre entrusted her with all of the decorating and organizing in both the kitchen and bathroom…


    Photo 1

    Photo 5

    As the sun went down, the living room became more and more cozy…


    Sophie decided it was time to find someone to spy on, and whatever she found warranted her calling to Bre to come take a look…



     It turned out to be a neighbor who had locked his keys in his car and was using a flashlight to search for them. 🙂

    Oh how I've missed this sweet baby cat… she was so happy in the new place, exploring everything and purring nonstop. Kaia will live at Josh's house because she is so close to Josh's dog, Nahla, and Bre and Josh didn't want to hurt Kaia's feelings by seperating the two. However, I imagine this arrangement works out just fine for Miss Tilly, as she can have Bre and company all to herself…


    I've always loved this silly girl's feet!



    When I took this picture, Tilly was watching Bre arrange her Grandma Frieda's figurines into her old shadowbox…



    (And across from the shadowbox, just outside the kitchen, is a blank wall I've instructed Bre to leave blank, because it needs a sampler there. Ha!)

    I suppose I've kept you long enough.. see there? I'm either never here or I'm here too much. Feast or famine, nothing in moderation with me. 🙂

    I leave you with my favorite picture of Miss Tilly… it makes me laugh.


    And thank you again to those of you who checked in on me. 🙂

  • New Designs,  Stitching

    Gloom Away

    I love that Nebraska has all four seasons, and I enjoy each one as they arrive, but winter certainly does seem to take more than its fair share of the year!  I really do love winter – and we've actually had a typical winter here, so there's been nothing to complain about – but the sunshine is sorely missed.

    In an effort to chase away the wintry-snowfall-blues that come from gloomy gray skies, I've been working on a design that uses a slightly different color palette than I usually design with. And it's put me in the best mood!


    I brought it with me to market to work on, and thought I had my colors decided, but when Gentle Art came out with their new Loganberry, I knew it had to be added to the floss ring, which includes Raspberry Frost and Linen, and Weeks Dye Works' Mulberry and Sea Foam.. lots of beautiful colors to brighten up my day. 🙂

    The moral of this story: If you need some cheering up, and you turn to your stitching for comfort, be sure to take out a happy project! New, soft colors, or a lighter-colored linen can work wonders!

    I'm about half finished with this sampler, and have enjoyed every stitch of it. I'm not sure when I will release it, but it will be some time this spring, I'm sure.

    By then, the sun will have most likely returned, and I can begin looking forward to the gorgeous wintry snowfalls that come from the softest, silvery-gray skies, just a few short months ahead. 😉