Spa by Tractor Supply

A cool dip with a cold Topo Chico

Last year I finally got around to filling up this galvanized stock tank pool, and it may have been one of the best things I did all summer.

The water is always cool and the tank is deep enough for the water to reach our shoulders and long enough that we can both sit in it, or I can just float if I want to. I always want to. I love nothing better than jumping in after yard work and then drying off in the warm hammock. We originally set it in the sun and the tank itslelf was too hot to touch after a day in the sun and the water felt like bath water. Not the refreshing dip I’d envisioned. We moved it to the courtyard and found the perfect palce between the pines against our neighbor’s garage.

We decided to keep it simple and not add a pump or chlorine, but we hooked up a hose to the spout to drain the water for the Oak Leaf Hydrangea and trees in our courtyard.

Read this article for tips on setting up a hillbilly soaking tub of your own.

With Apologies to William Styron & Guy Clark

Would you sacrifice your summer squash to allow heirloom tomatoes to live long and ripen? I encountered this ‘Sophie’s Choice’ dilemma this weekend. Tomatoes won. For obvious reasons.

It’s simply much easier to find a nice zucchini or yellow squash than an heirloom tomato at the HEB.

I am leaving this post here mostly as a note to myself for next year when I want to plant squash. While I love butternut, spaghetti, and acorn, I feel kinda ‘meh’ about summer squash. I mean I like it, just not as much as it thinks I like it.

I know these are fighting words in the Lone Star state, but I don’t love this song, but can get behind it’s ode to one of life’s simple plaeasures.

In the legendary words of Guy Clark;

“Wha’d life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things money can’t buy
That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes”

You Might be A Maximalist if…

One glance at my Instagram feed (and our home) and it’s pretty obvious that I don’t fall in the minimalist camp. Clean white backgrounds, rose gold and millennial pink seem to be the norm. I just I feel happiest surrounded by a lot of color, a room full of books, and small collections of things I love, like snow globes and vintage ephemera. Here is a small sample of my collection of vintage recipe booklets. I wonder if the booklets I received with my Vitamix and Instant Pot will appeal to someone’s sense of nostalgia decades from now. Doubtful, but perhaps these once seemed like everyday design to the consumer.

I just love the images in “I can’t believe it’s not clutter: maximalism hits our homes” from The Guardian

I’m sure some see these images and are overwhelmed by all the color and stuff, but where I find them cozy. I love them.

What about you? Are you more of a minimalist or maximalist? Or somewhere in between?

Read “10 Signs You Might Be a Maximalist

I definitely worry less about whether things match than if they’ll fit.


Out of the Kitchen

Slowly but surely the living room studio is taking shape. I need to think a little on how to best sort and store the million little bits that I use, but I have already been able to jump in and get to work without having to haul everything out of a closet or make room for dinner prep. I love it. I highly recommend carving out your own space to make things if you can. Also, it still is cozy, if not cozier. It is now my favorite room to read, drink coffee, and write my blog posts in the morning before I scoot off to work.

The natural light in this room is perfect all day, bright and golden in the morning and softer as the day rolls on. It’s the perfect place for Olive and I to watch the parade of dogs on walks, neighbors driving their riding mowers to the gas station, and the man on the yellow bike who argues with himself all the time.

I think Bee likes it here, me too.

Three’s A Throw

I was gifted these great, wide, wooly scarves a few years ago. While each of these scarves are truly wonderful on their own, I decided they would be more wonderful and get more use if I stitched them together.

I picked a grey wool yarn to just whipstitch them. I like the contrast, and the visible stitches. Three unworn scarves are now one chunky, graphic, textural throw to hunker down for a rainy weekend of British TV and cooking shows. It remind me of a Swiss army watch for some reason.

Voila!

I am O-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with Bunting

Cathe Holden, Inspired Barn

I am hell bunt on draping bunting, garland, or pennants from every shelf and window frame I can get my grubby hands on. Wow, I am inspired by these lovely collage pennants. The wheels are spinning. Steve will be thrilled! He already complains there are tote bags hanging from every door knob. Let’s call them door bunting… but functional.

Look how cool this photo garland is.

Are bunting, and garland the same thing?

bunting [buhn-ting]

noun

  1. a coarse, open fabric of worsted or cotton for flags, signals, etc.
  2. patriotic and festive decorations made from such cloth, or from paper, usually in the form of draperies, wide streamers, etc., in the colors of the national flag.
  3. flags, especially a vessel’s flags, collectively.

garland[gahr-luh nd]

noun

  1. a wreath or festoon of flowers, leaves, or other material, worn for ornament or as an honor or hungon something as a decoration:A garland of laurel was placed on the winner’s head.
  2. a representation of such a wreath or festoon.
  3. a collection of short literary pieces, as poems and ballads; literary miscellany.
  4. Nautical . a band, collar, or grommet, as of rope.

Collage pennant and photo garland ideas found here http://inspiredbarn.com/2019/03/studio-pennant-bunting/

This watermelon bunting I crocheted is a favorite.

These two images show off bunting on the bookcases in my living room studio

WIP Wednesday: Knits & Space

Olive in front living room last Christmas

A Space of my Own

I’m fairly convinced that I’m not unique in that the space I’ve carved out for myself to create my own personal projects, stamp Potluck Tableware, print letterpress cards, and do graphic design work is my kitchen. Am I right ladies? so this means I have to ignore the dirty dishes, or worse, move everything out of the way to make dinner. Luckily my husband agreed I needed my own space and that I could take over our entire front living room as studio space.

The biggest obstacle to starting is now out of the way. Yesterday the 400 lb concrete coffee table was moved the back studio patio to make room for my takeover of the space. I am so excited to finally have a space that I can leave a WIP (work in progress) out for me to just pick up where I left off instead of having to set up the space every time I want to make something. Fun fact, it takes the same amount of effort to set up for stamping one cheese spreader, or printing one letterpress card as it does 100 of them. I’ve started moving furniture around and hope to spend much of this weekend setting it up. Watch this space…

I couldn’t wait to move the buffet into its new space.

Procastiknitting, Just Finish the Damn Thing Already

Procastiknitting:
verb (used with object),  pro•cast•iknit·ting

1. to finally finish projects that have been taunting you from totes hung on door knobs.

I like to consider myself a monogamous knitter, but in reality I think mostly ditch projects in their last stages to move on to the next shiny project. Sometimes the allure of a fresh new WIP is simply too much to resist.

Who on earth stops knitting a pair of socks when they only have the toes left? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Squad Mitts with one thumb left to knit… you’re next.

If you’re anything like me, leave a comment below and tell us what WIP you have hanging around waiting to be finished… knitting or other WIP.


Friday Favorites: Pie, Pie & More Pie

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This year our Pi(e) Day Social was a great success. Lovely pies and reasonably good people. Image courtesy of @dchav_

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And speaking of pie…I found myself needing a super quick piecrust because my frozen pie disk had taken a bad turn during a power outage. Though conventional wisdom tells me it’s unwise to try something new when entertaining, I decided to give this quick pie crust a try. I scoffed at the claim that this piecrust is revolutionary… but am now a convert. The crust is kind of shortbready, buttery, flaky, and so easy. Perfect for single crust pies. You can buy The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook here.

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I find it hard to find sprouts in the small amount I need, so felt it economical to try sprouting my own. I found these on Amazon. I believe these are radish, lentil and some other guys.

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I am just about to bind off this lovely poncho in Rowan Felted Tweed and am itching to start something with Euroflax Linen, maybe this tunic or another wrap.

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Sharing your bounty. While planning your spring garden, plan to plant just a little bit more to share with your local community food bank. Contact them first, but many of your local organizations will gladly accept washed, home grown produce to offer their clients. Ample Harvest has a Find a Pantry button on the top of their site to help you find a local food bank or soup kitchen that would love to accept your produce and eggs. If you live in Elgin you can donate food here.

Fab Five for Friday

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1. Fall. My other favorite four-letter word. I can’t help it, but as someone who grew up in cooler climes than my new found home in central Texas… once the calendar ticks autumnal equinox, I’m ready to whip up large bowls of oatmeal and wooly ponchos.

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2. Fleabag.  So smart. So funny. So sad. So good. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is brilliant.

3. Magazines. Not just because I work at one either. Whether I subscribe or pick up at the newsstand, I rarely crack them open immediately, but tend to stack them up on a side table until I have a quiet hour or two to savor the glossy pages with a cup of coffee.

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4. This Podcast… Becoming a Badger. Firstly, I love anything about badgers. Frances the Badger is my spirit animal. Secondly, the story of the french comedian and his struggle with his humor not translating is very funny. Perhaps funnier than him. Someone should pitch this to Netflix for a series… full of obvious gaffs, awkward moments, and witness shame. Then finally the rat hunting terriers in NYC. My favorite part is when the interviewer asks Paco’s owner, “What’s his way in?”, and he answers, “He weighs in at 32 pounds.” Thinking she wants his fighting weight. Priceless.

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5. These cookies