Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From The Shelf

I would love to be posting more about the books I'm reading because I always find it so helpful when others share with me books I might enjoy. Maybe I can start a new habit this fall......

Tender -- by Nigel Slater. Slater is perhaps my most favorite food writer of all. He is so talented with words. This book is all about his garden, season-by-season, vegetable-by-vegetable, with plenty of recipes. Love it!

Organized Simplicity -- by Tsh Oxenreider. Brenda recommended this book and I am finding it a great read! So far I've covered family goals, money organization, and use of time. Oxenreider's aim is to help you achieve a simple lifestyle that aids in reaching your family's goals.

The Knitter's Year -- by Debbie Bliss. Lots of little projects organized by season. There are so many things in this book that appeal to me and it is relaxing just to flip through and look at the serene photos throughout.

The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking -- by Jane Brocket. I have loved all of Brocket's books so far. The Gentle Art of Knitting is sitting by my bedside right now. Reading Quiltmaking, I was so tempted to start making a quilt right away. Brocket's ideas are beautiful!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Trunk Show

The Trunk Show was a huge success!!!

The Village Yarn Shop looked festive with bunting hung and Christina's pattern samples hung everywhere.

We had the tea table set with newly knitted tea cozies and lots of real china.

Aren't the tea cozies fun!!!! You can find the red and white roses cozy in the book "Wild Tea Cozies" and the cream and strawberry cozy is in "Tea Cozies 2". Christina made up the pattern for the blue and white striped cozy.

Everyone loved the cake table, complete with chocolate, gluten-free chocolate, butter-pecan, Victoria sponge, and lemon cake with ruffle icing.

We had somewhere between 75 and 80 people show up!!! It was a terrific evening and the shop was bursting with good cheer.

There was a table at the entrance with all of Christina's patterns. I didn't get a picture of the shop when things were really busy but you can see we started with quite a good-sized group.

In the center-back of this photo is a glimpse of the newest pattern which is "coming soon". Everyone wanted to try it on and we all can't wait for the written pattern!

Thanks to everyone at Village Yarn Shop for letting Christina have a trunk show!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Forget

Don't forget!! Tomorrow is Christina's Trunk Show at the Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville, from 6-8 p.m. She and I are busy baking and getting everything ready!

And here are the flowers that will be at the shop in time for the show!

Can't wait to see some of you there!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Latest Purse

This purse has been a work in progress for many months. I finally finished it this month, just in time to give it to a friend who is moving away.

I love the texture from the big cable patterns and I really did like the three-toned rose made to decorate it. I must make some more of those!!

The purse is quite large, and has some sturdy interfacing inside so that it maintains its shape.

I've just finished three dozen fall flowers for the Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville so be sure to stop in and have a look if you are in the area!

Laura is Walking!

Laura is walking all the time now!!! She is SO proud of herself and loves any attention she can get by showing off her new skill! She wears a little pair of black dress shoes all the time and these shoes have helped give her the stability she needs. She's just as crazy as ever!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Ruffle Cake

Have you seen the Ruffle Tower Cake yet? My friend who stayed with us introduced me to them (we made 3 while she was here!) and now I'm hooked! The effect is quite stunning and I can't wait to create one for Christina's Trunk Show this coming Thursday.

You can find the recipe and instructions right here. Do be shocked at how much butter it takes!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Latest Knitting

The Emma Tunic is my latest piece of knitting. I loved it when I first saw it on SouleMama and decided it would make a perfect baby gift.

I also loved the soft pink with the white and couldn't resist making a few flowers to go with it. It was an easy pattern to knit except for one or two places where I either messed up or the pattern was not quite clear.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Old Friends and New Friends

I have been quite absent from the blog world these last two weeks. We've been busy enjoying the presence of old friends from Scotland and meeting many more new friends.

The festivities centered around the baptism of baby Islay and her family gathered from far (Scotland) and near (NY, VA, IN) to celebrate. This meant we could be reunited with our dear friends from Scotland for 10 days as well as get to meet the rest of the family! Here are most of them at the baptism:

I have lots to post about from our visit: fancy cakes, good food, incredible thrift store finds, and even some knitting. Our relatives begin arriving tomorrow for another weekend of festivities, but as I find time, I'll be posting!

Here is my friend Rachel. It was so good to catch up after 6 years of not seeing each other. There were several kids to meet too! Can't wait to tell you more about our adventures......

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Visit to a Thrift Store

After our tour in Amish country we headed to spend the night at some friends of our family whom we have known for 29 years. It is always a treat to enjoy Christian hospitality and the fellowship of friends.

Following breakfast the next morning we made our way to the thrift store where our friends, Cecil and Judy, are involved. Cecil manages the building that houses the store and Judy works part-time sorting things for the store (guess which section is her job? -- all the fabric and craft stuff that is donated!!!!! how fun is that?!). We got to start with the backroom tour. It was fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes at a thrift store like this.

Everything was extremely well organized and neat, all in readiness to go to the shop floor.

The thrift store was a perfect follow-up for our visit to the Mennonite museum since the thrift store is run by the Mennonite Central Committee and proceeds go to their mission work, which involves relief work throughout the world.

It was hard to stop myself wanting to look at everything that was going to be sold......

Clothes that will not be sold at the thrift store are baled up and will eventually find their way overseas. When we lived in Africa we would go to the town market and buy clothes just like this!!!! (That's how we ended up with some beautiful Laura Ashley dresses in the middle of war-torn Uganda.)

There is a room full of electronics and appliances and people volunteer their time to fix them in preparation for selling.

One thing I learned about the Mennonites from our time up north was their heart for relief work, feeding the hungry, and volunteering. This thrift store (which encompasses all these back workrooms and THREE stores) is almost entirely run by volunteers. They even have volunteers who take every puzzle home and put it together so that they only sell puzzles with all the pieces!

Here is the beginning of Judy's craft area, still behind the scenes:

Judy is showing the kids where she works:

And now a glimpse at the first thrift store -- for kitchen items, crafts, and bric-a-brac.

Behind the thrift store is an area where ladies volunteer to weave rugs that are then sold for money to put towards the relief efforts:

There is also a quilting room beyond that.

On our way home we stopped and bought some local produce and enjoyed melon, corn, zucchini fritters and tomato pie for dinner.

It was a great trip!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Classic Cable Knits Trunk Show

You all are invited to come to Christina's Classic Cable Knits Trunk Show

Christina will be displaying samples of all her patterns (yarn and patterns will be available for purchase) and we'll be serving homemade cake as well as tea and coffee

This exciting event will take place at the Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville

Thursday, August 25, 2011
6-8 p.m.

I hope some of you can make it!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Visit to our Amish Friends

Staying overnight at our Amish friends was one of the highlights of our summer! We met our friends in the ICU at Riley and have kept in touch since. They invited us up to see their farm and we decided to make that part of our vacation.

I couldn't take any pictures of our friends, but I do have a few of us to share. Believe me, my mind was constantly trying to capture every photogenic moment I saw since that was the only way I could remember it for the future.

After lunch we all went on an hour and a half buggy ride to see the surrounding countryside. The parents and the babies rode in the big buggy and all the rest of the kids rode in the pony cart! I wish you could have seen the fathers in the front seat, the mothers in the back seat with our babies, and all the rest driving behind having a fun time of their own! (Our friends also have 5 children of similar ages to ours).

Our kids spent as much time as they could in the barn, swinging on the rope swing. It made me so happy to see them enjoying a farm!

Here is a view from the barn toward the neighbors.

A little chick was discovered in the bowels of the barn and brought out for James to hold.

Everyone headed to the barn at chore time to either help or watch. And, yes, several people were barefoot!

Here is the milk for the calves being mixed up.

Our friends raise calves which, when grown, are shipped to Turkey to become milk cows. The calves begin by being fed from these bottles:

Rachel was eager to jump right in and even got up the next morning at 4 am so she could help with the morning chores.

Here are the calves:

And there were some goats as well. Our friends drink goats milk and James got to try milking the goat.
The family dog:

The were two new kids who had just been separated from their mother and had to be fed with bottles.

Our friends also raise pigs and this is the pig barn, smellier than you would imagine!

The most fun of all was had on the pony cart, which was kept hitched up all day long. Is that not the most adorable thing?!!

I finally broke down and asked if I could have my turn.

Rachel was quite at home by the time we left and even started wearing her hair up!

Riding the ponies bareback was also fun:

After we said goodbye to our friends, we headed north into more Amish country.

We drove through a few "touristy" towns:

stopped to let the kids ride on a merrygoround:

And then went to tour the Menno-Hof Mennonite Museum. It dawned on me, while paying for our tickets, that maybe they might carry the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. I looked up and there it was on the shelf in front of me!

The museum was very helpful, attention-keeping and well-done. We all enjoyed it.

We ended our time with a donut from one of the big bakeries.

And then we were off to our next visit, which I will tell about next time.

We are just so thankful for such a wonderful time with our friends. I was so happy for the kids to experience a farm, and it was fascinating to learn about the way others live, and yet also to see how very much the same our families are in so many ways. We all can't wait to go again!