We All Have Secrets

I came upstairs well after tucking the children into bed to find Annika's glowing quilt giving away her clandestine reading,

and a copycat, much less clandestine, in his corner.


This year was a bumper one for wild blackcaps.  The girls ate them by the bowlful and wore perpetual stains on hands and mouths.

For the epicureans among you, blackcaps pair well with calico cats and freshly-picked day lilies.

The meal is best finished with a pair of satisfied grins.

I Guess You Can't Eat the Power Cosmic

After letting the feta cure in salt for 3 days, I opened the container to transfer it to brine, and voilĂ !....

I discovered what Silver Surfer does when he's not saving worlds from Galactus. 
He snitches feta.
(How petty.)


Someone's Growing Out Her Bangs

And looking far too old in the process.

After Church One Sunday

I took pictures of this old man running around our yard.

And here's a fancy-pants girl eating a hot dog in the lilac bush.

Summertime Doodles

My sister Debbie has a running joke about any Christmas celebration or birthday of hers.  Here's the joke-- I'm going to doodle her something.  Great joke, huh?!  It stems from a birthday a few years back when I painted her a red-winged blackbird on her birthday and was so displeased with it that I ripped it to shreds while she watched.  Yeah.  Happy birthday!

Since that point, as every Christmas or birthday approaches, I say I intend to paint her a replacement, yet I never do, so this year on the morning of her birthday, I determined that this was the year to make good on that intention.  I had no waterproof pens, and the ink ran once I added the paint, but it was hugely satisfying to put paint on paper.  I had so much fun I'm planning more paint-a-doodles for people....someday.

This doesn't really count as a doodle, but since I doodle so rarely these days (years), I'm counting it!  My sister-in-law Sarah asked me to draw her wedding invitation, and it only took fifty million tries before I doodled people who looked like her and her intended. ;)

A Happy Day

I think I took these pictures mostly because the sight of this boy toddling about was more than I could withstand.

After an auspicious start to cherry season, with a couple of bowlfuls and lots of bellies-full, the birds ate the rest of the red while we had a family picnic, and then the monsoons arrived and rotted all the yellow cherries before they even had a chance to ripen.

Ah, but this day was wonderful.

And this boy?

Wonderful-- even when he's upset and covers his ears.

And there were roses, but you knew that already.

Those of Which I Do Not Tire


Motor sounds coming from the library.

Children below with late-night sparklers.

This little boy

and his big brother.

Summertime Sewing

One day, in a land long, long ago, I tackled a garbage bag full of mending.  Once that was done, I turned this old quilt top into a curtain for the children's room.  (I'd been procrastinating from doing this for over a year, and it took less than an hour.)

When the curtain was done, I decided I'd better cover some ugly pillows (from which I'd also procrastinated for over a year.)

I wanted their reading nook to be cozy enough that they'd actually want to read there, but Elephant immediately stole the spot.

Typical reading choice for him, too...

And if you're impressed by how neat and tidy that window seat is, don't be...

When I showed the curtain and pillows to the girls, the response was lukewarm, but seeing me sewing reminded Annika and Susannah that I'd promised to make them bags to hang on the sides of their bed to hold bedtime books and sundry treasures.

So I turned the last bits of the quilt top into FOUR hanging bags, because, of course, Luci and Pip chimed in that I'd promised to make them some, too.  ( I do not recall making this promise.)

Then I made one for Zeke to hang on his bed, because it only seemed fair.

Then Millie said she'd love a drawstring backpack for books, so with a harumph, I looked up a tutorial and made her this.

By the end of the day, I was so sick of drawstring bags and backpacks that I don't want to make another for a year or two.  Lucky for me, my procrastination gene will ensure that I don't.

For the drawstring bags, I used the tutorial found in this post, only I added ribbons inside the top hem to use for tying onto bedrails, and I used this tutorial for Millie's backpack.  And thanks to keeping all those cast-offs people give me, I had all the materials on hand.  Thank you, people.



I made this shirt for a baby whose dad likes racing.
(Titi, behold the racing flags that help justify hoarding fabric.  See?  Totally worth it.)

A table runner in green for Mom O., twin to the burgundy one from a couple of years ago. 

More scarves for folks, because they're so stinking easy to sew and give away.

And a birthday shirt for our Little Bird, who requested "a fox, wearing blue beads, holding...something."  Yup.  She has a thing for blue bead necklaces, which will probably soon be the biggest rage in America. You heard it here first.

Because-- Susannah is clairvoyant when it comes to fads that sweep the Western world.  

Proof #1:  Several long years before the "moustache" phenomenon, she started telling moustache jokes, requested a moustache party, and received-- though he had to hunt all over the internet in order to find the ONE place that sold anything moustache-related-- moustache necklaces from her Papa.  Now, moustache paraphenalia of all kinds can be found in the dollar store.

Proof # 2:  Before I even knew the song "What Does the Fox Say?" existed, and definitely before foxes started popping up all over crafty mom blogs and hipster t-shirts, Susannah started drawing foxes, which the other girls declared her specialty.  Now?  Even I couldn't resist slapping a fox on something crafty.

I blame all of this on John.  NINE YEARS AGO, before anyone was "putting a bird on it," he said, "What do you think of the name 'Susannah Wren?'"  I liked it, she became a Bird, and that's the end of the story.  (So beat the crowds and buy your blue beads now.)