To Amuse and Delight

Monday, February 22, 2010

Out and About

After a couple of weeks with car trouble then back to back snow/rain storms I was feeling the effects of being house bound. Lack of the great outdoors left me lethargic and my head hurt. I hadn’t realized how much my body needs and craves fresh air and sunlight. Well, this past week the situation was remedied. I took every opportunity to be outside. Although it’s still quite cold we now have blue skies and sunshine. My energy has returned and my head is clear again. What did we do out there in the cold? Well, one day we went down to the Hudson River to see the eagles coming back from their migration. That in itself is amazing but what I was taken most with was the ice floating on the river, the magical way it sparkled. A few days after that we took a walk on a frozen lake until our ears were burning from the cold. That was exciting and a bit scary. Our last trek of the week was a nice jaunt around one of our all time favorite places for nature walking Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Stone Barns boasts “80 acres of gardens, pastures and woods”. Our walk brought us to where the cows happened to be hanging out that day. I love the way the cows look in their long winter coats. The sky, the trees, the cows all showing off their particular winter beauty. If I had not purposed myself to bundle us up and get out there we would have missed out on all of these fleeting treasures.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sheets For Curtains

My girls have a trundle bed so when I buy sheets I get two matching sets. That leaves me with two unused top sheets. They are never used for their intended purpose anyway. Instead they sit in the linen closet waiting patiently for a rare opportunity to become a makeshift tablecloth or picnic blanket. This time I did something a little different. I turned the top sheets into curtains. Since there are two of them, there are my two curtain panels. I just hemmed them to the required length and added a coordinating although unnecessary ribbon at the top. Voila! New curtains. I hung them up with ring clips, you can’t get easier than that. Not to mention that this project satisfies my thrifty nature. You can easily change your curtains whenever you change your sheets, and they’ll always match. Oh, make sure that you wash and dry your sheets before cutting into them so you don’t have them shrinking up on you after they are finished. Also, since sheets are not meant to hang in direct sunlight they will fade, but I am finding with this set that they are fading at the same rate as the sheets are due to the fact that the sheets are washed more often than the curtains. So it works out. I hope some of you will try this. It's not often that you get such a big change with so little effort.

Monday, February 8, 2010

God's handiwork

“The straight line belongs to man, the curve to God.”
Antonio Gaudi

I came across this quote while reading about a favorite of mine, architect Antonio Gaudi. I immediately agreed with him. I don’t know why but it just rang true. Some days later I walked into my kitchen and was met with the scene of the sun shining on my little purple cabbage. It was so beautiful I almost didn’t chop it up. The Gaudi quote came right back to me when I saw it. It got me thinking about the greatest accomplishments of man like space shuttles, skyscrapers and the pyramids. They are all so stiff and unbending. I much prefer God’s cabbage.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Swirly Bucket Bag

When you have children in tow it seems that you cannot carry enough in your bag to meet all foreseen needs. It starts with diapers and it just snowballs from there. They grow out of diapers but there is still always the inevitable stuff to cart around. I like to be prepared. My kids get splinters, they get stung, cut, muddy and itchy. They require potions and potties, and sometimes underwear. They are hungry or thirsty. According to the season our car is also stocked with a certain amount of stuff that may be required. There are sun hats and lotion, binoculars, sketch books, field guides, nets and jars because you never know when an interesting critter may cross your path. Oh, and extra clothes. My eldest has the unfortunate habit of falling into any and all bodies of water from puddles to ponds to oceans. She’s done it all. It’s enough to make you forget to pack your own stuff!

In the warmer months I usually have a back pack for everything but that doesn’t work now with a puffy winter coat. So I carry a large shoulder bag that serves as a “purse” but I don’t like the rattling around of snacks and water bottles in there. I wanted something other than a big floppy tote for the extras, something with a bit of structure. I made the bucket bag. I call it that because it packs up with the ease of a bucket or basket. Things stand up in it all nice and orderly, not all flopping around. I wanted it to look wintery, this fabric reminds me of swirling snow or ice. It’s made from upholstery fabric so it’s heavy and stiff. It’s small but roomy enough for food, bottles, my knitting and even a stowaway doll or two.