2.28.2011

quilting weather

Today’s forecast called for a 100% chance of something called wintry mix. If you’ve never experienced this, I’m very happy for you.



The Good Folks quilt returns! It is so delicious…the perfect thing to brighten up the bedroom in a rented house. I’ve (miraculously) sewn the binding to the front of the quilt, but hand-sewing it to the back is, shall we say, a work in progress.



March is my month in the Rosey Little Bee, and I have my heart set on creating something with this fun little stack of fabrics. I’m on the hunt for more solids and gray dots, too, and I think I might have found just the ticket.



The focus fabric is from a line of cult favorites called Munki Munki, which are sold as pajamas, then purchased, dismembered, and distributed by adoring Heather Ross groupies (I can say that ‘cause I’m one of ‘em).





When we got home from errands today, the girls rushed out to stand in ice-chunky, ankle-deep water. ‘Cause, you know, it’s fun.

2.25.2011

wings + muffins + birds + free



Butterfly wings and tutus were among the girls' first requests this morning. Before breakfast, even.



We made Dorie's Allspice Crumb Muffins yesterday, and they are delectable -- hot from the oven, at room temperature, or split, toasted, and spread with jam the next morning. Whether they are equally delicious at 9:30 pm the next day may be about to be tested.



Lizzy wanted to take some birdseed outside yesterday. She put the bowl on the ground, stepped back a few paces, and shouted, a la Frog and Toad, "Hey, birds! Here's some birdseed! You can come and eat some if you're hungry!"

Unrelated: I about peed my pants when I saw Katrina's post yesterday about the free images and textures available at Mellowmint and downloaded 10 zip files, which I just now remembered that I still need to organize in my desktop file.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{paper + stitches via Mikitoko}

2.23.2011

of bum geniuses, fuzzibunz, and why i switched

Hi everyone! I've been getting some questions in my inbox lately about cloth diapering, so I thought I would go ahead and do a whole post about it.

We love cloth diapers. People do it for lots of different reasons (the environment, allergies, economics), but for us, it really just boils down to the moola. I haven't calculated exactly how much money cloth diapering has saved us, but it's a substantial amount.

When Lizzy was born, we spent a few weeks of experimenting with prefolds and covers. Once we decided to commit to cloth diapering, we dished out the cash for 12 one-size Bum Genius diapers, which are super easy to use. We freaking loved them and used the same 12, washing every other day, for about 2 years, no complaints whatsoever. We more than got our money out of those.

By the time Maren came along, the elastic and velcro on our trusty BGs needed replacement, so I replaced it myself, which was a royal pain in the butt (ha!), but it gave the diapers an extra year or so of life. Then a few weeks ago, our BGs started leaking, probably just because they've reached the end of their lives.

To replace the diapers, I decided to go with FuzziBunz one-size diapers, for one reason only: the leg elastic is both adjustable and easily removable. When it's time to replace the elastic, you just button in a new piece, no sewing required (I feel like ripping out and sewing in new elastic in the Bum Genius diapers may have weakened the waterproof material, hence the leakage issues we're experiencing now). I also really like the snaps; velcro gets all tangled up with everything in the wash, and I am happy not to be dealing with that anymore. I have to say that the shape of the BGs seem to fit my kids a bit better than the FBs, but ehh, it's a trade-off.

Dirty diapers get disassembled, sprayed with Febreeze, and go in a lidded garbage can that's lined with a nylon laundry sack. I have an HE frontloading washer; I do a full cold wash with no detergent, a "whitest whites" cycle with 1-2 scoops of Rockin' Green, and usually an extra rinse after that. Inserts get tumble dried; the waterproof covers air dry. Everyone washes differently, and it usually requires a bit of tinkering, but there are a zillion online forums and articles out there to help you figure it out. We do use disposable wipes, as well as disposable diapers at nighttime and on vacations. I tried cloth at night, but it's just kind of a pain.

It sounds like a lot of work, but really, once you get it figured out and do it a few times, you go on autopilot and it all becomes a no-brainer. Easy peasy.

If you are new to cloth diapering, don't miss Cloth Diapering 101 on The Cloth Diaper Report. It's the best resource I've found that explains the ins and outs (eeww) of cloth diapering in a clear, user-friendly way. There is a LOT of info out there and you could spend weeks trying to sift through it all.

More questions? Hit me...

2.22.2011

two things right





As I was bringing up wood from the basement this morning, my heart just about melted when I looked up and saw those little girls sitting shoulder to shoulder in their jammies, "reading" their scriptures. Of course they squabble (frequently), but when it boils down to it, those two are best buddies. They love each other so much. And it makes me so happy that they are beginning to love the scriptures, too.

I feel like I did a lot of wheel-spinning today. I took both those pictures before nine o'clock this morning, and it was reassuring -- after a long, wheel-spinning kind of day -- to sit down to blog those photos and remember that at least I did two things right today -- and maybe a few more, besides. What did you do right today?

2.21.2011

custom skirts



I am totally jazzed to say that I've (finally) thought of a way to offer custom skirts in my shop! It was one of those well-duh moments and I'm sort of embarrassed that it took this long. I'm working on getting a listing together for women's skirts, too. Hope you like it!

mantra for the week


I've had this little phrase written down on a piece of paper, sitting on the kitchen counter, for the past few days. Lately I just haven't been so good at spending time with my kids, and I hoodwink myself into thinking that spending time near them is enough. Too often I hear the words "in a minute" or "Mommy's busy" coming out of my mouth, and that never feels quite right. So this week I'm going to try a little more "yes" and "okay." Wish me luck!

2.18.2011

shop update









Hippity hop to the shop! New girl's skirts and women's skirts and tunics today. I've got lots more in the works, so look for new goodies every day next week!

2.14.2011

ode


I love you so much, my sweet -- not only because you excel at both -- but also because you know the difference.

I'm so glad you're mine. No matter how much hair you have on your head.

2.13.2011

weekending


I hope you had a productive, happy weekend. Mine involved lots of sewing, napping, churching, and hanging out with the fam. Happy Sunday, everyone!

2.12.2011

diaper alert



I'm de-stashing some cloth diapering gear over at Diaper Swappers, so come and take a peek! You can contact me via Diaper Swappers or at themodernmarigold@gmail.com if you have questions about anything cloth diaper-related or if you want to buy something.

2.11.2011

navy + dots

I guess it's not just me.



{via Modcloth}





{via Modcloth}




{via Ruche}



Louise had the brilliant idea of adding lace to the bottom of my too-short dress (see below), so maybe we'll see what we can whip up over the weekend.

Also on my mind today --

Ms. Horner's unfailingly perfect color instinct --



Further adventures in sourdough (look how happy my starter is!) -- and the suspicion that some pain au chocolat might be in my near future --



And this happy reminder --



Stay snug this weekend!

2.10.2011

on shady street



I found a new-to-me thrift store yesterday -- one of those holes-in-the-wall that's been around forever (located, appropriately, on Shady Street) and hasn't raised their prices like some of the bigger chains. They were having a sale -- everything you can fit in a brown paper bag for $2. The girls were with me and we had all our snow gear on, so I didn't try anything on. The top two skirts fit really well (they're tea length skirts that look really cute belted at the waist!), but the other two are too short. Which makes me sad, because that blue dress would look really sweet with some red heels and a white belt. Now to figure out what to do with it!

2.09.2011

the view from wednesday

:: been wanting a picture of this spot for weeks -- we drive by it every time we leave the house -- today I finally remembered my camera ::



:: more snow coming tonight ::



:: plucking pretty sheets during naptime for a big order of little skirts ::



:: 3 doors on this house -- 1 of them was bound to end up this way -- just so happens it's the front door ::



(no really, come by anytime)

2.08.2011

february hibernation



I think this is what they were all talking about when they said that winter in this place is harsh.

The girls and I went out to the mailbox after lunch. They were whimpering by the time we got to the road.

My man is at the outdoor firing range today. All. day. long. I have a few words to say about that.

With wind chill, it is -11. At 3 pm.

Thankfully, we have no shortage of firewood, snacks, cartoons, or chocolate.

I just realized that I sound mad in this post -- I'm not. Just in hibernation mode -- the kind where you eat half a bag of cheddar pretzels without realizing it -- then you decide to go sit by the fire and eat some more. I don't hate winter just yet -- I'm not even sick of it just yet. It is so, so pretty here -- and it's hard to feel tired of that.

I have been on a Spring sewing rampage, though. Lots of tunics and minidresses and crochet/lace detail and vintage textiles galore.

2.05.2011

new ways to stay up late



I am just hopping with excitement. Today I discovered Gimp, which is like Photoshop, only free -- for reals -- like with all the fancy tools I don't know how to use and everything.

Then (thanks to Heather) I discovered the gorgeous (free!) clip art at Pugly Pixel, whose blog you can bet your booty went straight into my Google Reader.

Last night some inspiration came around 10 pm (doesn't it always?) so I stayed up late to sew. R stumbled out of the bedroom somewhere around 11 and mumbled, "You're staying up late, aren't you?" Yep. Crochet doilies, layers, ruffles, necklines, vintage details...all going into some new designs for springtime in the shop.

That is, if I can quit plastering digital deco tape all over everything long enough to get a little shuteye.

2.04.2011

flickr faves



1. For Kelly - Twice Around the Block Bee, 2. Safieh's placemats 2, for PQS4, 3. African Flower Cushion, 4. Swerve mitts in Chroma, 5. Belle, 6. Kaffe Fassett circles, 7. August Fresh Comfort 2---#5, 8. Finished Value Quilt, 9. do. Good Stitches

Crafty color explosion! It's killing me. Happy Friday; I hope your weekend bursts at the seams with inspiration, comfort, and the time to do whatever your heart desires most.

2.03.2011

favorite five

Hi everyone! We've been busy.



Today I want to share some of my favorite blogs with you. They are all a little bit different, but their similarities jump out instantly: color, positivism, beautiful images, and good design. These ladies' blog posts always make me want to make my home and/or my attitude a little bit prettier and worthwhile to hang around:

Blessed Little Nest
Heather (who is also a knockout designer) blogs about finding the loveliness in everyday life, and runs the series Life Made Lovely each Monday. She shares images from her beautiful, bright, ever-changing home, real moments with her children, and luscious crafty inspiration.

Contented Sparrow
If I could nab anybody's decorating style, it would be Megan's. Her home exudes cheerfulness and creative refuge. Faith, homeschooling, and nature are frequent topics, and I always leave Megan's blog a little more determined to recognize and embrace the little gifts He gives.

ISLY
An acronym for "I Still Love You," Melissa celebrates her love of art, crafting, and design every day, even though she's had to push her hobbies over a little since having kids. Her calligraphy is to die for (check out her freebies page), she has serious thrifting ninja skills, and she knows how to put together cute, affordable outfits, even when 9 months pregnant. Her approachable, can-do vibe that makes me feel like I can do cool stuff, too.

Soule Mama
I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to be a fly on the wall at Amanda's house. She writes frequently about mindfulness -- always striving to slow down and savor the simple moments for what they are. They've recently moved into the farmhouse of their dreams, and it is a pleasure to watch as they settle in with their four (soon to be five) kids, flock of chickens, and pair of pigs, crafting it into a most inspiring and beautiful home.

Oh, Hello, Friend
Every post on Danni's gorgeous blog is eye candy. Her site is chock-full of inspiration, which comes in the form of home dec, handmade goods, themed photo roundups (get a load of her post on drawers), and design work. Clean, fresh, and lovely.



I hope you find a few good reads! Please link to more must-not-miss blogs in the comments!

2.02.2011

YES! yesyesyesyesyesyesyes











It’s alive! Practically overnight, my starter went from producing a thin layer of bubbles to breaking forth in rolling, bubbling foam. The magic key: aeration. In Whole Grain Breads, Peter Reinhart suggests whisking up your starter a few times a day as a simple cure for sluggishness -- and boy howdy, zippity doo dah, and hallelujah, it worked!

This is the best bread that’s come outta this kitchen yet. (By the way, this is Vermont Sourdough with Rye from this indispensible book...if you want one serious book about sourdough, this is the one.) It would be hard to overstate how excited I am. Amped, people. I have been trying (granted, in a very on-and-off fashion, but still) for five years to get this right, so I am totally totally totally stoked to continue on this path and try more advanced formulas. CAN I GET A YEE-HAW!!

I really hope this is not a fluke.

I could kiss every single one of you on the mouth.

snow day, dreaming of food

Bread progress is happening. I was having trouble getting my sourdough culture off the ground, but I think it's just about ready to rock. The last loaf I made was so flat and misshapen, I was too depressed to take a picture of it. A few days later I made some ciabatta (not using sourdough), which turned out really nicely.



A couple of months ago we started getting raw (unpasteurized, unhomogenized) organic milk from a local farmer (more info on raw milk here). It tastes completely different from store-bought milk, and I feel good about having it for my family. Depending on where you live, it can take quite a bit of sleuthing to track it down, but if you can find a source -- particularly if that source is organic -- it's totally worth the trouble. And it makes the best yogurt.



Also, the farmer from whom I buy milk is Amish. As in, buggy-drivin', straw hat-wearin', Dutch-speakin' Amish. I read a fascinating book that helped me understand their culture a little bit better. It really is a different world, and it captures my imagination every time I visit.

I think I need one of these fancy chocolate bars, but I'm not sure whether I'd pick the A'Chocolypse or the Peanut Butter & Chipotle. Speaking of which, we made some peanut butter ice cream last night (that I totally forgot to take pictures of) and ate it with brownies and hot fudge sauce. Yep.

The Man got a snow day from work today, yee haw! So we are snuggling in by the fire, building trains, cleaning floors, stitching things, baking bread, watching movies, and napping (happy sigh).

2.01.2011

buffalo plaid dress refashion

Well, goodness! I might have to ask R to stick a pin in my head tonight -- thanks for all the sweet comments and great suggestions! I decided to take the path of least resistance: I chopped out the middle of the dress and used the existing hemline to make a minidress, moving the gathered waistline up to the natural waist.



I almost shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length, but it's still really cold here (in case you missed the memo), so I kept them long for now. They might get whacked once it gets warmer. I did take them in by several inches so that they are now maybe a hair too small, but eh, it still fits.



I didn't plan this, but I love how it looks peeking out from underneath my pea coat (I've worn that sucker every winter for the past 13 years -- it's a winner). I wore it out on errands today with a chunky knit cream-colored scarf and black boots. I originally wanted to wear it with a wide black belt, but they didn't have my size at Wal-Mart (tangent: I am reading The World is Flat, which helps a little in justifying such practices as shopping at Wal-Mart, but I am not sure how I feel about that, but that is neither here nor there) and besides, the skinny belt I got is reversible. Like you can twist the buckle around and suddenly it's a tan belt. Awesomeness.



This last picture is for my dad, who, when I was talking about this dress with my mom on the phone, hollered in the background (with reference to the previous post), "Why isn't she smiling??"

Plaid is rad, yo!