Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Author review :: Michael Perry

While browsing the "Check out our new books!" rack at the library last year, I stumbled upon a local author named Michael Perry, hailing from northwest Wisconsin.  I am always drawn to local writers, perhaps mostly because I like Wisconsin and have never felt ashamed of cows or cheese or the Green Bay Packers.  You throw in the Violent Femmes and Harley Davidson, and you've got a powerful mix of chest-swelling awesomeness right there.  So I flipped over this local author, figuratively, and read what it had to say on the back cover.  "New York Times best-selling author... a sensitive New Age Hemingway... sometimes comic, sometimes sad... the real deal."  Well, I thought, Hemingway had his moments, and the book went into the tote bag.

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Cheshire Quilt

A few months ago, in an attempt to reduce the Stash and use up terribly out-dated fabric, I pulled together a selection of purples with a larger piece of contrasting aqua.  As I was not overly concerned with size, anything from wallhanging to queen-size was fair game, I waited for the fabric speak to me, tell me what era or style to go with.  Eventually an idea took shape to do a Gee's Bend inspired quilt by combining wonky squares and stripes until I simply ran out of fabric.  To that end, I pieced together this...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Retro Restyle: Men's Ties

It's been a couple of years now that the Little Rancher declared a moratorium on anything pink and girlie.  Not only her bedroom but also her closet received a thorough going-thru.  Blue and yellow were allowed to stay and anything that invoked thoughts of horses, cowgirls or Southwest Native Americans.  After some thought, I decided I could work within these new parameters, and out of that came this collaborative restyle project. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Retro Restyle: Cashmere Sweaters

I love sweaters.  They are part and parcel with the whole sheep and yarn hobby.  Some day maybe I will do a proper write-up on my sweater addiction, but not today.  Today I have a story of two oddball sweaters that never were circulated in the daily wardrobe.  One started out life as a men's XL v-neck in grey, the other was a women's L crewneck in red.  They were cast-offs, one too big, too baggy, the other too tight around the neckline and stained on the lower cuff. Eventually they were taken to the sewing room and  left folded in a pile, waiting for redemption.  Individually they were not particularly exciting, but together they created something beautiful. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

DIY: Wooly dryer balls

I am not sure why I did not do this sooner.  I have plenty of wool.  I love all-natural, diy projects.  I had friends asking me about it.  In any case, it has happened.  I finally stopped the spinning wheel and turned my wool roving into those eco-friendly dryer balls that everyone is talking about.  These are used instead of dryer sheets.  They combat static, soften your clothes, and shorten your drying time because they tumble the clothes better.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Small-town Christmas Bazaar

handmade notecards

There is a certain nostalgic charm to small-town Christmas Bazaars, and this past weekend I shopped one of the best in the state.  One Saturday only, every December, a small-town high school in north-central Wisconsin opens its doors to nearly 80 vendors, filling the cafeteria and gymnasium with handmade crafts, and they've been doing this for thirty-seven years.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Indian Summer

It's the first week in November.  I'm hanging laundry on the line, and the kids are outside in their shirtsleeves. 

Hello, Indian Summer.  

This has been a mild Fall here in Wisconsin, and I can't imagine that we'll see many more days that reach the 70s until next June so we are making the most of this week.  And Little Rancher is enjoying some sunny pasture-time with Misty.