What a month it has been! Hello! I’ve missed visiting with you! I could talk for hours! Fall is at our doorstep and I’ve been daydreaming of hot apple crisp cooling on the stove. I honestly find myself slowly inhaling, thinking of the sweet smell of cinnamon that will soon fill the kitchen. Glazed vegetables are on my mind too. Shiny, from a deep, rich stew of beef and barley. Oh Fall! The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, and the flowers are trying their best to remain the queens of the yard for just a bit longer.
There is so much happening here at Stone Cottage. I have thought about what on earth to say here when we would find time to meet again. Homeschooling is happening for one, and the rhythm seems to be the best we have had yet. I feel a little pull on the heartstrings too, with the realization this will be our last year. Next year we’ve determined, Jordan will attend high school!
Early one morning, when a neighbor’s dog came to visit and clearly wasn’t going to leave, we found who he belonged to, and my husband and I took a walk to take him back. The neighbor immediately asked us in for coffee, and as I was already turning away to head home, while politely saying, “Oh no, thank you ever so much.” My husband was moving toward the kitchen, and drowning me out with a big, “Well sure!” One (Moka pot) and a couple mugs later, we were home and ordering one of these sweet pots of our own. There has been way too much coffee drinking ever since.
Fall is just that, isn’t it though? The change of season brings with it gifts of comfort foods, coziness, children back to a regular schedule, warm drinks with friends, peace, and joy. The season's rhythm is just right.
Changing seasons happen in life too as we all know, and we are experiencing a life change here at Stone Cottage. Our stone cottage, that has served us so well for many years, is for sale! With that, there is another little cottage patiently waiting for us to love and turn into our forever home. We will continue to live there as we do here, only we are excited about some things that will be different there. (I’ll tell you more soon!)I’m certain this change will feel strange for us, this being the only home my boys have known, but I have secret plan to make the new house feel like “home” right from the start. I will be making dinner the first day we are there. That sweet aroma of hot apple crisp and beef stew will be filling our new home:)
Once settled, there will be sewing, knitting, baking, and lots of painting to be done. I think a proper cottage name needs to be decided as well and I have one in mind. The decision to move was planned for some time now, and is a happy, positive “move” for us.
I hope you’ll join me there for our visits over tea. If I tried to explain what the past month has been like, selling, buying, preparing, staging, and showings, with four men and three dogs, a cat, chickens, homeschooling, and working part-time, topped with the little emotions that go with leaving behind a home you have loved for many years, well, I think I might have to type in CAPS over the pure physical demands of it all. But nonetheless, this is what it takes and everyone understands.
The only sewing I have done is a big hope chest pillow and a little cross-stitch. I do wish I hadn’t packed my knitting already though, but I’m keeping the things that are most special, packed for when I have time to cherish them again. A time for every purpose.
I’m wishing you a beautiful day sweet ladies! The kind of day where daydreams come true.
Hello! There’s a light on in the basement. Can you see it from where you are? Would you like to come on in, and see where I have been the past few days? I’ll put the kettle on for tea!
It started with a Craigslist ad. Something I think I have only done once before. The Tin Lizzie quilting machine, that we had saved our money to buy from a co-worker, just didn’t seem to be the right fit for me. I admire people who can make the beautiful feathers and fancy designs of quilting, but I don’t know if it’s my limited skills, (yes probably,) or my love of all things simple, but I am drawn to very basic quilting designs. Straight lines and stitching “in the ditch,” is what I often fancy. So I placed an ad to sell the machine, and three days later, a sweet older man from Iowa took a drive with his niece and her husband to pick it up here in the woods, and it was gone.
Before they even got here, I stayed up late folding fat quarters and moving things around, starting to get my sewing room back in order. (It’s been in disarray since we bought the machine.) The next morning after coffee was poured, a big stash cleanout of fabric and wool occurred, and when the nice man arrived, it all went home with him! He was happy to finally get his Tin Lizzie, and I was happy to have it go. I finished up the day organizing the remainder of my yarn and fabric.
A little Juki-2010Q machine is replacing the machine this week, and I think it will fit perfect at my table and with my quilting. I am very much looking forward to using it, and to start layering my quilts.
I now have a room with minimal stash, (not quite seen in this view.) What I have left I love. With the extra space, and loving what is there, I have found myself drawn to sew more the past few days, or returning here to just look it all over. There will be more added to the room, but I’ll be careful now, not to buy yarn or fabric just because it’s on sale as I did in the past, but instead in small amounts, carefully chosen, because it is adored.
The pictures I have framed are vintage patterns from my mom’s sewing room that I framed with scrap booking paper in the background. I love how they remind me of her, and the days of those 70’s fashions.
The chickens are doing well and on top of their grain meal, they get one meal a day of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and triscuits or granola. My son said they eat better than him. Hmmm, he had homemade Shrimp Gumbo that evening. Ha!
A dryer outage and no repairman until Wednesday, inspired us to hang the clothesline this weekend, and although I love a dryer as much as any woman, the clothesline did get me out in the yard more often this weekend, helped me slow down to the pace of life I love, and even got me to look up with gratitude to the sky unexpectedly a few times. I’m looking forward to Wednesday, but until then we’ll be just fine.
Well friends, it’s time for tea! I’m so happy you stopped by. I hope you have the most wonderful and peaceful week!
Sweet summer carries on here, but try as it might to hold on, fall is gently nudging its way in. More leaves are falling, requiring the porch to be swept now, and although the days are hot, mornings are glorious.
It’s been really hard to write lately and I’ve missed visiting with you, so I truly appreciate your visit with me today. This space was created to express the peace and joy I find in my quiet, simple way of life, but finding peace to write about lately, has been tangled up a bit, with busy days of full schedules.
Today though, I’m able to write and to let you know, that regardless of busy days spent car shopping (mine was determined totaled in the accident), school shopping with the boys, cleaning, trying to stay afloat on my chore list, and running to numerous dental, doctors, and registration appointments in preparation for a new school year, I have still found ways to incorporate peace of mind, no matter what the day may hold. I’ve known for a while now, that for me, happiness is found when there is quiet inside me, even if the day is overflowing with things to do. I’ve found a quiet disposition, may be as important to me as my next doctor's appointment, and discovering this over the past couple years, has really changed my life.
So during the busy that’s been building here these past days, I knew that to conquer it, I could take a little better care of myself. There have been some late evening quiet walks, to see the neighborhood pets like the llamas and horses. I’ve taken time to love my kids even more and to enjoy time with our own pets.
I decided to treat my skin like it is special, instead of dropping into bed without removing my makeup, like I’ve been known to do at times. (Ew.) Who knew that caring for your face could feel so good?
I signed up for “Stitch Fix” too, a company that picks out clothes for you. (I haven’t bought new clothes in a long time.) They sent me five pieces of clothing, and I kept them all; a dress, two shirts, a pair of jeans, and a necklace. This will be my new way of shopping, since shopping is something I don't really enjoy.
I’ve also found peace of mind, by taking time to read, even if I do only get through a page before having to move on to something else.
Lastly, I’m consciously drinking more water. By taking good care of myself, I’ve realized it’s possible to feel relaxed and happy, even in the midst of hectic days.
Well then, we should move on to crafting, should we not? Christmas fabric has been cut! I reluctantly uploaded these pictures, for fear that those of you who want to wait until much later, okay, at least until after August (I know:), might not find Christmas fabric too pretty of a sight right now. But I have several quilts in progress, and if I’m to get them done by Christmas, I do need to start sewing now. So late last night, after everyone was in bed, I pulled out some fabric and started sewing. I must add, it was a surprisingly exciting, in a Christmas preparation sort of way:)
Well my dear friends. I hope it’s beautiful where you are today. May your busy days be balanced with beauty, and with moments of treating yourself extra well, so that even in the rush, there is always peace and joy.
Love to you.
Happy Friday to you!
I haven’t knit with worsted weight yarn in a long time so it feels a bit “chunky” in my hands. This particular worsted weight is by Yoth Yarns in Woodinville, Washington. The company is featured in the book, Farm to Needle, Stories of Wool. The color is Cacao, and it seems to change slightly in every lighting, from a dark brown to a greenish grey, to rich, dark coffee. (Yes please!)
I chose a simple cowl in the pattern, Dovetail, by Carina Spencer. I love the long version, but this will be the shorter, quicker version. The pattern is an easy, knit and purl repeat, so it is a good pattern for beginners. It calls for several stitch markers to be placed, so I enjoyed choosing my favorites to use for a little while.
We have appointments this afternoon and I’m happy to have a little project to carry along that doesn’t require too much focus.
I’m glad I revisited this book this morning and I think I’ll have to do some reading in it. It’s full of pictures and stories about sheep farms in the U.S.
Have a beautiful Friday friends. May peace and all the goodness that comes from a home built with love, greet you this evening when you gather there. xo Jeannine
Hello! I’ve made it through a few busy days, trying to pick myself up from those cleaning blues that sometimes get to me. I feel a pause in the crazy schedule today and it’s lovely. The tossing away of things, and organization of the house continues, but I make sure and stop in the evening and seek that peace that comes to me only with quiet time. I’ve been spending this time with my family, my embroidery basket, and doing a little knitting. It’s been refreshing!
There hasn’t been much time to read, but I found the first pages of Twelve Extraordinary Women, to be so meaningful and uplifting, I’ll be returning to this book whenever time allows.
When I noticed the old bass in my photo, I thought of how incredibly blessed I am that all of my children play music. The flute and piccolo, the trumpet, violin, piano, and the bass; they have all been played here at Stone Cottage. I don’t want to take for granted the times I hear the kids play music. It’s more than music to my ears. It’s music to my heart. I want to capture it all in my mind, and remember how happy and proud they are to play too.
If I could give a wee bit of advice to moms of new school-aged children, it would be not only to put children in music, but also to encourage them to stay with it through the initial hard phase. Lots of positive encouragement through the first two years may help, and past that, they probably won’t want to quit. Looking back, if I had had encouragement, and stuck with band, I think a lot of things may have been different for me in school. (Oh, I see the shelves need organizing again too!)
A border for a quilt has been cut and I want to finish it for the family room update, so I’ll be working on it over the next several days. I'll share soon. I’m really excited about finishing.
The back yard is full of butterflies and beautiful plants. The leaves below are huge and I’ve always wanted to do something like this with them. I’ve bought some paint and I’ve been experimenting a little with it. I’d like a pillow with one big leaf on it!
And of course there are flowers about the yard that I admire and love. When I see flowers through my camera lens, I see them as a gift of God; and a promise that beauty will always be part of our world regardless of what people do to try to counter it. I have such love for the details of flowers, and find joy in the blessed assurance found in their incredible design.
Have a beautiful and lovely Thursday friends. I hope there is beauty in your world today and music in your heart. Jeannine
P.S. Here is a favorite little video of mine. Enjoy! xo
Good morning. It’s hot! There is only one word to describe to you what’s going on here at Stone Cottage today, and also to encourage myself if I may, and that’s…Purging! Yes, that’s it!
As I stepped outside this morning, and passed the untidy “accumulations" of things in the garage, and knowing that it’s trash day, I pushed myself into action before the trash man arrived and rid the garage of anything I could manage, that I didn’t truly need or like. Hot, sweat pouring, it got cleared out. This sense of needing to “purge” is not new to me. I’ve read the books, and followed the websites, that say this is the first action needed to feel happier, and to really love where you live, and as a result, a few years ago I started giving things away. Once, when my friend wanted things for a sale, she arrived with her sister, a truck, and a couple young men and I went room to room, saying, “Take that too!” I couldn’t believe how much I gave away that day, all things that really had no purpose here in the house, and I knew then, that for me, a lighter house was the only answer. So light as it may be now, it will be lighter yet!
I’ve been feeling a little blue the past few weeks really, as laundry piles up, (even the clean), and “stuff” is all about the house. There’s dishes, (always dishes), and bathroom items we all have, that seem to cover entire vanities. Fingerprints on this and that. Sigh. You name it, we've got it.
I won’t let the little feelings of blue really discourage me however, I know it’s home and homes get messy, don’t they though? But I know there is only one thing that helps this problem, and the sure thing to brighten my feelings....Purging.
I started this time with the garage. Then it will be the storage room in the basement, followed by bathrooms, and extra clothes the whole family has. Clothes that somebody else needs to love now. Goodwill! Books, “stuff,” and more junk; it all needs to go! :) It's never easy work, but it is rewarding, and ultimately, I know my family will love home more, when it is clean, beautiful, and where love has room to grow.
See you soon! There isn’t time to knit or sew this morning, and no time for slow, inhaling of morning air. That will all be worth the wait. I have cleaning to do! When it’s done, I’ll enjoy these sweet past times that much more:) I wish you a beautiful day full of love friends! Jeannine xo
Happy Saturday dear friends!
I’m a bit late getting this little visit in due to early morning doctors appointments for a certain boy I know and vaccinations needed for high school.
It all started yesterday morning, when I picked up one of the pillow covers I stitched way back when, but never had time to stuff. I started stuffing, and I liked it so much. (These colors are going to be my new color plan for the room.) I then thought of the walls that I’ve never got to painting in the family room, and right then is when plans were made. I’d stuff the pillows, make lunch, and then take a drive to town to look for paint. I declared to myself, “I’ll do it today. Today I will paint the room!”
I made enough lunch that it actually covered dinner too, which is always a good thing. One of my family’s favorite recipes is Ina’s Grown Up Mac and Cheese. I’ve been returning to this recipe for a long time. I use prosciutto pieces instead of bacon, and top it with my homemade crushed croutons. I’ve served it for special lunches along with a salad several times for showers and get togethers, and someday when I open Stone Cottage up for small group gatherings like I plan, it will be part of the menu;) Once it came out of the oven and the boys were fed, it was time to paint.
I picked Olympic paint, in color Aria for all the walls, (family room and kitchen.) The walls are already gray, but Aria is about two or three shades lighter, with a white base, which is just what I need right now to brighten and lighten things up. The room will need two coats, but I am not rushing. I have decided to paint a couple walls a day and in just a few days it will be done.
I spent the evening thinking of the new blank walls, and doing a little embroidery in preparation. I plan to have another little hoop design hung on the wall that I’ll be working on next, photos, and this embroidery project framed and hung above the old hope chest. The chest will be recovered and the new pillows will rest there. I’ll be making one of these too! I’m such a fan of these cuties.
Sometimes it only takes getting started on a little project to find the motivation to take on something bigger. Getting myself to start stuffing pillows was all I needed to create the incentive to get the whole room the way I’d like it to be, and I’m really happy about finding that motivation. Sometimes these tasks just feel too big and that can steal motivation, can’t it though? I’ll show before and after pictures on upcoming Sew Saturday posts, and keep you updated on the projects.
Have a beautiful rest of the day and weekend. Perhaps the hot outdoors will offer inspiration to make a little change you’d like to see indoors. Jeannine xo
Well hello! Happy Friday!
It’s been a while since we’ve had a “normal" Friday here at stone cottage. The kind of Friday where “home" is the only thing on the schedule, and everything else is just a big happy bonus.
The sky is cloudy today and getting darker. Cool, gentle raindrops sprinkle the drive and the ground. It's a good morning to sit for a while on the porch over breakfast. A kitty visits me and asks for a bit of egg, and I happily oblige. I bask in the silence here, and the sweet solitude that I love, offers me a kind of comfort similar to a visit with a very best friend. Flowers are cut for a jar, I visit the chickens, and enjoy the cool morning air. The chickens are half grown, getting bigger, and I look forward to the day when they can wander free in the yard. The clouds and rain have brightened the flowers, giving each a brilliance of color hard to find outside of nature.
Today is sewing day. I’m making a few new pillows for the family room that I will share tomorrow. As I write to you, the sound of songs I love are playing in the background; songs that Jordan had to help me download :) It’s a beautiful day!
Wishing you a break from the heat this weekend friends. May joy and happiness be all there is to reflect on as you rest in the evening. xo Jeannine
When the news includes heat warnings and temperatures are in the nineties, or climb to one hundred even, it may be hard to recognize, but still I feel it. I sense the slightest change in the seasons now, and that has me feeling a bit of a whirlwind in my mind.
Yesterday I found myself taking photos of fall flowers, which are ready to bloom, and there are two trees here at home, which kindly tell me fall is approaching each year by being the first in line to shed their leaves. I’ve also noticed when I’m up early in the morning darkness, that dawn is now lazily taking its time to arrive each day.
The thoughts of change came again this morning, as my husband reminded me Jordan has piano and violin today, marking his first lesson of the new school year. (Oh my!)
The whirlwind of thoughts comes as a rushed feeling, a feeling like I’m behind, and I think I am. The things I need to focus on, include my wanting this to be the best year of homeschooling for Jordan since it will likely be his last. (Oh my!) I’ll be adding a math tutor to our days at home because math has never been my best subject, and I don’t want his achievements limited by my ability.
Fall arriving also reminds me I want a home that is decorated and clean. It is not big things I desire for my home, but big desires to have small things that say I love you to my family throughout. I am feeling a need for some organization, tidiness, and all the things I love, like pictures, candles, throws, and pillows, to be replenished and refreshed. And some fresh paint, which has not been achieved this summer, is still on the list as well.
And then, there is my knitting. (Oh my!) I can’t seem to find the time to finish my projects, and I have several that need to be done by this fall. I have issues with cold you see. I love fall and winter, but I require layers of warmth, or stiff, achy bones and chills often take over. This is the least I can say about my joints, which are terrible today because of rain, and that sometimes require a heating pad, a heated throw, or both, to get enough warmth delivered to alleviate pain. So the shawls, scarves, and socks need to get finished because they help so much, and it's difficult to find wooly goodness in the stores, even if I wanted to buy them, and of course I prefer homemade.
I know you’ve seen this shawl so many times. I do apologize and at the same time, I am not worried because I know I’m among friends, and in my real life I share here, I’m still working on it. From now until Christmas, when it comes to knitting, I’ll work on finishing one thing at a time, and try to finish them all one by one. So this is the first I chosen and really I do hope I can get it done quickly, because fall is turning the corner now, and will be on the doorstep in just a few weeks, and I would like to offer it a proper welcome.
Well friends. It’s dark and rainy today; a help for the garden. As you see there is much to do around here. Do you like to plan for fall as well, or do you prefer to sail through the changing winds and just enjoy?
Love to you! I hope you have a beautiful day.
I have some homemade catching up to do after a busy day at work yesterday and appointments this morning. I’ll see you this evening or tomorrow for a friendly get together. Have a beautiful day! Jeannine
"The soul and the schedule don’t follow the same rules." - Emily P. Freeman
Hi, my name is Jeannine. I live in the Midwest, US, in the woods, but not exactly far from town. I am a wife and a mom of four. I spend my time taking care of my family, cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening, and homeschooling my youngest child. I created this space to share my love and gratitude for all of these things here. I'm so happy you stopped by. Jeannine:)