This is something I made for someone I admire- a politician who has been having a rough time of it lately. MT works for issues I deeply care about (namely child poverty and conservation in our fine land) and last year, when reading the newspaper, I saw a photo of her crocheting in Parliament.
Tom crosses paths with her through his job, and deduced that she didn't have a case in which to keep her handwork. So hopefully this will do the job. It's made from dark grey linen, red silk ribbon and this fabric for the lining. Free-form plant embroidery in white thread.
Struck by the uncharacteristic warmth and absence of wind last night, we bundled everyone into the car for dinner on a hill above the city. Other people had the same idea- I spotted an older couple sitting on camp chairs eating a three course meal with wine glasses and all.
When you are above the hustle and bustle and looking out for specific places ('there's my school, that's mama's office, that's where I play soccer', etc) you get an entirely different take on the whole place.
And all the while, the cicadas screech in the trees. Quite beautiful.
In the photo above, you can see the new addition to our family. Tom's cousin R has been living with us since the new year. We built a little sleep-out for her over the summer, and she is studying her last year of high school far away from her home in northern Germany.
I like seeing the city (and in some ways, our culture) anew through her eyes.
We went to a wedding last week for a sweet young couple. They like retro stuff and are just getting started on making their home together. So, for a wedding gift, we decided to find them a vintage armchair and Tom spotted this one at a second-hand store one day last month. After a bit of TLC and a new cushion (made using my favourite Finnish/Japanese linen print), we delivered the armchair to their house. I hope it's at home in a sunny corner beside a pile of books.
These are some of the grey-on-white/white-on-grey embroideries I've been doing lately. There's something soothing about monochrome, I think. I sewed the work up into pouches for my neglected etsy shop, along with a few other things.
I use one of these linen pouches to tote my knitting within my work satchel. It's always a good feeling to reach inside and find something with very small stitches, very 'handmade', waiting there.
Hope you're having a love-filled February the 14th, even if you're not into the Valentine's thing.
This pottery wall-vase was given to us by Tom's Mum- it's the perfect thing for outside the laundry, I think. And especially nice now there are some flowers in the garden to grace it.
My Valentine's celebrations will consist of a glass of wine and a movie with Tom later tonight. I made a new cushion for the family couch, from some William Morris-y linen, which is kind of romantic, in a way, I guess? Everyone likes to sit on the couch and read books.
I'll also make dinner for everyone when they get home. That thought reminds me of a love poem by Carol Ann Duffy. It starts:
- An old, painted-wood shelf is happily gracing the kitchen wall and looking after favourite coffee cups and tins of tea. I had grand plans of painting the wall, building a special unit, and more, but in the end practicality won and this shelf is doing a lovely job taking care of things. Kitchen work can wait till next year, or the year after, perhaps...
- And here is the sun shining through the window. Lemony chrysanthemums from here and an old 'Villeroy and Boch' jug from the op-shop down the road. It's been broken then glued up but I still love it.
- Bought an old, worn blanket at a fundraising flea market- it's a traditional, cream wool one with blue and yellow stripes along the edges. I plan to sew it into draught stoppers for our big old windows (the idea comes from this book by Lotta Jansdotter)
- This is some coriander I grew. Completely gone to seed! It's so beautiful- fine lace flowers with feathery leaves.