Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"That's the most awful book cover I've seen in a long time."

Yup...when I brought home this book, my husband looked at the picture on the cover and said, "That's the most awful book cover photo I've seen in a long time." I gasped...not in agreement, but in surprise because I was attracted to the book for the very reason that I loved the cover photo so much! I am one of those odd folks who is drawn to the forlorn, downtrodden, and paint deprived. I love the evidence of years and years of use. I love worn surfaces, chipped paint, and especially those wide, wide boards that you only find in a truly old structure. For some odd reason, I always think I can make ugly stuff look good again. much as my hubby doth protest, I can't imagine either of us being happy living in a brand new structure anymore. We've both become accustomed to the nuances of an old space.
But back to the staircase. The photo on the front of the book in question reminded me of the bottom steps of our own staircase here at home. It's directly off the kitchen and it leads up to our bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. During the remodel of our k
itchen, the bottom four stairs had to be removed and completely rebuilt in a very customized manner. At one point, we had to climb a ladder to reach the remaining steps in order to get up to our bedroom at night(see photo)! The replacement left us with four bottom steps constructed of plywood that didn't look all that great. Ah....but my hubby can come up with some ingenious ideas when he wants to. Noticing some 1/4 inch thick material at our local Lowes Home Improvement store, he devised a plan to basically encapsulate the plywood steps with hardwood. It took a lot of intricate cutting which just happens to be his forte'. Once the boards were cut and in place, he glued them and nailed them, sanded and stained them. The beadboard wainscoting was something that came out of my brain, to solve the problem of adding trim between the new steps and the wall. Out of a necessity of sorts, came a decorating success. I absolutely love the way the wainscoting looks and it serves a good purpose as well, protecting the wall from scrapes and dings.
Now if that danged primitive light fixture I ordered would arrive, I could show you a good view with
proper lighting!
Also...check out some new aprons at my online shop....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You just never know what you're gonna see along Surf Drive in Falmouth in the morning!

I posted this picture on my facebook recently and it seemed to trigger a lot of response. So...I thought I'd share it with my blog friends.

A sentiment of holiness is visible on the Cape each autumn when this group of nuns from New York pay a visit. They stay in a cottage across from the beach on Surf Drive. Surf Drive is the beach road that's on my morning bike route so I see them each day for two weeks. Two of them regularly sit in chairs on the beach, right in the sand, facing out toward the Vineyard. It is a sight to behold.
On this particular morning, I hurriedly rode back home to get my camera. Since hubby was just about to depart on his daily ride (no...we don't ride together...he goes way to far for me) I asked him to take the camera and snap a shot of them. But,by the time he got back, they had retreated to the deck. It's been very windy for the time of year, so I imagine they just didn't last long on the beach. Seeing them sitting out in the morning sun, reading scripture, (is that what they're reading?...who knows?) always gives me a good feeling. I like that they come to my little place in the world to spend what must be their vacation time each year. They often smile and wave. I'm certain they know they are a novelty in an environment that is normally filled with bikini clad girls, sun tanned kids, runners, bikers and the usual summer vacation lot. Maybe that's why they visit in the fall. Things are quieter. Most of the people out and about now are year 'rounders. The nuns seem to fit in even though they never quite lose their novelty. You just never know what you're going to see along Surf Drive in the morning. (Be sure to click on the picture to see it close up and personal.)

One of my facebook friends wrote that her preacher always says, "If you can't find God then go to the beach. He's always there." So be it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


A surefire recipe for cooking up cozy. It's only October 18th, but it feels like December on this dreary, rainy, cold day. It's actually snowing not far from here in Foxboro where
our beloved Patriots are having a romp over the Tennessee Titans. The Titans obviously aren't accustomed to playing football in such weather. But we New Englanders are always ready for anything.
I felt like cooking today. I felt like baking. And...I even felt like putting the little candle lights in the windows. A bit early, I'll admit. But why not? Halloween is just around the corner and our house sits back a bit from the street. The little window lights make it seem more welcoming. And I love the way they look and feel now that we lose the daylight so early. So, I did it. The neighbors might talk and my husband thinks I'm crazy. But the little lights make me feel happy. So be it.
Didn't finish the apron I started because I got sidetracked with the lights. There are twenty of them to put up and they all have to be checked out each year for dead bulbs, broken wires, etc. Pay us a visit anyway, if you haven't lately, at
An adorable new red batik apron that I made yesterday is up on the site.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Get up and get going!!
Seems like every morning, just as I'm waking up, I say to myself, "C'mon, Joanne. Get out the scissors and fabric and the ironing board and start sewing. You've been waiting all summer for some sewing time." But it's hard to convince myself to stay indoors on these beautiful fall days.
We spent the Columbus Day weekend in Vermont with our oldest daughter and her three little ones. It's a very lively household up there, especially compared to the laid back lifestyle we enjoy now in our retirement years. Once back home, I took a bewildered look at the many projects on my list and decided to get
back in the groove of sewing....but not until after I took apart and put away all the summer furniture on the back deck, did three loads of laundry, ran some errands, and cut and sewed a new ironing board cover. Always makes me grumpy when I start a sewing project, only to discover that my ironing board, (which gets a lot of use), has a big rip in the cover, right in the most important spot. (It's like when you rip your pants in the crotch.)
Can't properly sew anything unless the iron and board are in tip top shape.
Making a new cover took me over an hour, for some unknown reason. Guess I'm getting slow. I always try to make my covers in some sort of fabric that corresponds with my living room decor, since the only place I have to iron in this old house is in the living room. Fortunately, the red toile fabric that I've been using to cover it recently, blends in with our pillows and couch upholstery so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb when it's set up during the day.
Anyway...after all this delay, I ended up with two new aprons. One is constructed out of a beautiful Amy Butler fabric called "Lacework in Olive." Amy Butler fabrics are especially gorgeous, not only in color and design but in the quality of the fabric, as well. This fabric is a dark brown with lush greens and a touch of pink. I named it "Chocolata Cutie."
Styled with our trademark baby-doll pleats at the bodice and a deep, fully lined
pocket, Chocolata Cutie is your party apron. It's dressy and just a bit fancy, with its pleated ruffle on the pocket and it's polka dot ribbon trim. Chocolata Cutie is edged in a soft sage green polka dot that is the body of the other new apron I sewed. That one is named, "Sage Dottie." It's also sewn in our exclusive Aprons Gone Wild design with subtle baby-doll pleats at the bodice. You can see the fit of the baby-doll styling on our model, Emily, by visiting our online shop at
Sage Dottie is trimmed in the same brown Amy Butler Lacework in Olive fabric that our Chocolata Cutie apron is sewn in.
Two new, very pretty aprons. I feel accomplished today!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sweet and red and juicy.

That's the only way to describe my cherry tomatoes. I love my tomatoes. My cute little cherry tomatoes. Still producing here on October 7th. Still providing a hearty snack for hubby and me. They are firm and ripe and pop in your mouth when you eat them. Delicious. Pretty. Healthy. Love them.
I put in only one plant each year because one plant produces just enough for us. Hate to think of myself running around the neighborhood, trying to hand off an excess of tomatoes. Just enough is just enough. I dig a small hole each summer near the outside wall of the outdoor shower and put in just one little plant. It grows and intertwines with the honeysuckle vine that grows upward. The vine suitably holds up the entire plant which makes me very happy because there's no need for one of those unsightly wire cones or even a stake to hold up the plant. You almost don't even know it's there. Nature does the job. I love it!
When the tiny little cherries start producing, they are near at hand. Each morning, after I enjoy my sunny, fresh aired outdoor shower, I pick a handful and bring them indoors, setting them out on a little dish on top of our counter. Some are still not quite ripe, but they turn a deep red quickly indoors. (And yes, I'm still enjoying the outdoor shower even on October 7th. It's still beautiful and sunny and warm out there.)

I fear the tomato windfall will end soon. The nights are beginning to chill here on Cape Cod and it's getting dark earlier and earlier each afternoon. Tomatoes need sunlight and warmth.
But, I'll not complain. This year's crop has been outstanding. I just love my tomatoes.

In between gathering tomatoes, I'm sewing some new aprons for
my etsy shop. Check us out at