Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Birthday Adventures and Furniture Nostalgia

People are getting older around here.  And this fledgling girl gets so excited to be a year older... this year was one of transitions.  Gone are the crib and the toddler toys, and a new, old big-girl bed and some bigger kid toys have arrived.

Make a wish

There was a chocolate cake with chocolate mint ganache... we don't fool around with bland cakes.  They are so seldom baked around here that I like to make the fun ones for birthdays.  This recipe was from the Baked cookbook, of the namesake bakery in Redhook, Brooklyn.

Birthday friends
I had a chance to experiment with fondant molding too.  The peanut very specifically and consistently requested that her cake be adorned with a bunny, a turtle and a squirrel.  So thanks to a little surfing around pinterest for fondant animal inspiration, I came up with these.  They worked quite well, even if the bunny did try to lay down just before the candles were lit.

In progress
And the big gift this year was the big bed.  Her sister got the same on this birthday, and she was very excited to have a big bed of her own.  I am the fortunate new owner of this charming twin bed from the furniture left behind in my grandparents home.  I have the fondest memories of spending nights there as a little girl.  Noni loved yellow, and this was the cheerful bedstead in the smallest bedroom upstairs.  In the summer you were guaranteed to sleep on crispy clean cotton sheets, probably with a floral pattern.  And in the winter it would undoubtedly be flannel... that upstairs was chilly, which made the bed that much more cosy.  

I am so excited to have the opportunity to put this bed to good use in our own home and update it a little for our girl.  Lots of love then and now around this well used piece of furniture. 

Sanding and sunshine

Ready for a new coat of paint

Not too subtle to go with her cheery new quilt
Earlier this year I made a log cabin quilt for this anticipated birthday.  Most all the fabric for this project was remnant material from garment projects or other pieces here and there.  And the log cabin pattern is so easy to put together.  I'm not much of a quilter... but I really wanted her to have a quilt of her own.

Log cabin debut

It was a good birthday.  There was plenty of family, laughter, sugar and love.  She got lots of attention and spent the day at full tilt, until the car ride home when she promptly passed out.  Oh, to be three again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Good bye sweet summer.  I'm always ready to see the end of the heat and anxiously anticipate the cooler weather.  And we've been pretty industrious around here since I last wrote... my pictures are better at showing what we've accomplished in the last few weeks, so here goes...

We tried on last falls sweaters and they still fit, which is great news – but probably won't prevent me from knitting more sweaters for my little people.  These are knit in Jill Draper's super wash wool called Hudson... one of my all time favorites.  The patterns are Lori Versaci's patterns which are classic and well written.

There was a bit of travel, so I knit some socks... the yarn was gifted to me by the dearest girl, Jen. They remind me of the confetti frosting that my sister and I used to covet.  The kind with the completely artificial tasting rainbow chips in it... and made your teeth hurt from eating too much of it. (Which we may have discovered after "stealing" a can of it from Mom's pantry and secretly eating it in my sister's closet... sorry Mom.)

And proof to the earlier point, I finished this very pretty and fine gauge sweater for the small fry.  It's lightweight and she loves it and I hope it makes many trips back and forth to school... The yarn is Crave Yarn One hand dyed by the lovely Amor, who I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and spending a class with in June at Squam lake.  You should look her up, you will not be sorry.

There was a small amount of spinning.

And the stairs and the banister and spindles finally got sanded and stained, after a mere 18 month delay.  We're pretty happy with how they turned out... and even more excited to take that "project" off of the list.  Hurray!

And last but not least, my thoughtful and talented better half build this "house in the house" as the girls call it.  It's a play house – ingeniously build over the opening of what was a full closet.  And it has become quite the place for entertaining friends, storing dress up clothes and locking your sister out of.