I've been working on Bea's quilt again. It's the best time of year to work on a quilt - especially now that we don't have snow - just mud and slush.
Not sure if we'll arrange the blocks like this or not. There are several patterns you can make with this block. I think I'll let Bea choose.
I've also made some progress on another long term project... my stairs. I spent three long days priming right after New Year's. Brian was home and I was able to work uninterupted for many hours. Then we got the stairs painted. I painted them after the girls were tucked in bed and then Brian and I slept on the couch so the paint could dry overnight. Now I'm working on painting the rest of the trim and the spindles little by little. It's slow progress as usual. The walls look like hell next to the gray and they are so dirty. I can't wait to paint them a fresh bright white. But there is progress and that is encouraging for me. Someday I'll paint over that last bit of blue trim and then I'll have a party. Here are some pictures of my work in progress.
I saw a turnip the other day and I couldn't resist buying it, bringing it home and carving it up. I'll explain. In Switzerland, in the Fall, kids carve up turnips and turn them into candle lanterns and then they walk around the town singing songs in the dark. So when I see a turnip in the grocery store I think of that special quiet tradition. You see there is always a piece of Switzerland stuck in my heart.
Also, I've been making my own version of bircher muesli. It's the creamy, oaty, fruity breakfast mush that I remember eating in the hospital after Claire was born. So yummy. I would sometimes buy it at the train station and then eat it on the train going on weekend jaunt. Even the smallest convenience marts had a good bircher muesli to buy and eat with a plastic spoon.
So it's not that I want to move back there right now (like my husband does), it's just that a million little things make me think of it fondly. And if I did move there I would think of 999,999 little things that I associate with living here.
Oh Switzerland, I can't quit you.
A visit to the Garfield Park Conservatory is a good thing to do on a wintery weekend. It feels like a mini trip to Florida.
There was a big hail storm three years ago and they are still replacing some glass in parts of the conservatory. The place is huge - so even though some areas are closed for construction there is still lots to see.
I made a dress for Claire out of the old curtain fabric from our Switzerland apartment. I channeled Maria from the Sound of Music.
And I added an old apron that I bought at an antique store. It's sheer pink - I sewed it right on at the waist line.
Here she is (fingers crossed) I think she actually likes it.
It's the Playtime Dress from Oliver + S. again. I've whipped up that pattern so many times I can almost sew it with my eyes closed. The fabric is from IKEA.
I must have some color to cheer me up at this time of year.
I love to see the flowers with a backdrop of snow out the window. Don't you think their colors look different in the stark January light. I always think of my dad-in-law when I see cyclamen. He showed me what a beautiful plant they are.
I hope you have a bit of color to cheer you too - any flower will do.
Claire is suddenly SO into all these fantasy characters! Princess, sparkle, wands, evil forces, fancy dresses, long pink hair, spells, castles, kitty families. I try to play with her but it makes me yawn and the time drags by slowly. What's the trick to getting into the play world of a four year old without falling asleep?
Trees can give hugs too:
We finally have some real winter weather this week and I'm happy to see it. I was up early doing a little shoveling - the snow was cold, cold, cold and it fell off my shovel like sugar. And now we are having a frigid, blue sky, bright day. It's my favorite kind of winter day.