May 23, 2013
It figures that I would finish a winter hat on the first day of the year to nearly hit 90F. I won’t be able to enjoy this hat until probably 4 or 5 months from now when the green, young leaves are old, crisp and falling to the earth. We aren’t even into summer yet but I’m already ready for fall. I’m an Autumn child, through and through (with Spring following in a very close second.) I’m trying to remember that those first really hot, summery days in late spring always feel worse—simply because I haven’t acclimated to the heat yet. As well as trying to be graceful and grateful for summer, try to psych myself into loving the season, but I’m just not a big fan. I’ve become no different than those people who complain about winter before the first snow flake falls. Maybe it’s time to sit down and make a list of all the things that are great about summer (like I do almost every year) to remind myself of the beauty of this season. Fresh produce, for one. That’s all I’ve got so far. Care to share some things you love about summer to help me out?
In the meantime, this challenge to make a hat every month might bring me a little reminder of autumn and cooler weather. This is my hat for May. I’m pretty pleased with the Rustling Leaves Beret from Coastal Knits. It can be worn like a cap or (carefully) as a slouchy hat. If I had more yarn, I would have liked to have made it bit more slouchy but I was happy to just have enough yarn to finish it. The yarn is a secondhand acrylic. My notes for this project can be seen at its Ravelry page.
The Twelve Hats in One Year Challenge is being run by two lovely French ladies: Melody of Mandarine’s and Charlotte of Fille d’hiver. You can join in and share your creations at the Facebook Page.
PS: Don’t forget that the Shabby Apple Giveaway closes tonight, so you better throw your hat in for a chance to win before it’s too late.
(And I just realized it might look like I’m flipping you the bird in the last picture. I swear, it’s not my middle finger!)
May 22, 2013
Summer is here. It’s hot and muggy. Before we turned the air-conditioning on, I was so grateful to steal away to my cool studio (one of the very few perks to a basement studio.) I’m skipping Yarn Along this week because I have been sewing a lot more than knitting lately.
It has become increasingly difficult to spend time in my studio in the last year and a half. I’m blaming it mainly on the lack of natural light. But I’ve been forcing myself to spend time in there everyday, even if I’m just organize some things. If I got around to sewing something, all the better. Eventually, this immersion method of jump starting my sewing spunk has paid off. I started cutting and sewing make-up bags since I have a ton of 9″ zippers to use up. The goal is to make them all without having buy anything new. (Actually, that is a general sewing goal of mine—use up what I have. It’s a small room and quite cluttered.) Going through these piles of fabrics and trims is inspiring future projects as well.
How about you? What have you been stitching?
May 21, 2013
May 20, 2013
Since my last update, the garden has really filled up (as you can see by the chart seen here). All that is left is spot we reserved for the tomatoes and a small area where one or two rows of something small could be planted.
May 6th to May 19th:
- many of the potatoes are coming up already
- round 2 of the bunching onions planted in a container are doing well–I hope (the photo above was actually taken almost a week ago and round one didn’t do too well so it was abandoned)
- planted 3 parsley and 3 dill plants in a flower bed by the house
- the snow peas are coming up well so we put up some chicken wire to help support them
- then we did a row of zucchini and four kinds of bush beans (we’re not bothering with pole beans this year, although harvesting bush beans are rougher on one’s back and knees, they seemed to yield a lot more last year. Guess I won’t be able to enjoy this this year.)
- as well as more lettuce, radishes and beets
- pretty much all of the old seed has come up except for one kind of spinach, which was resown
- a couple nights of frost warnings had us bringing the recently bought tomato plants inside
- luckily it wasn’t strong enough to kill the summer squash we planted (hopefully that means we will get early summer squash!)
- the rain nixed the plan to get the tomato plants in the ground this past weekend
How are things growing by you?
May 19, 2013
Every week, I try to join in Gratitude Sunday with Taryn and others over at Wooly Moss Roots. We take the time to acknowledge all the things (big and small) that we were most grateful for in the past week.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper Gratitude Sunday. I think I’m in need of slowing down and acknowledging the things around me that I’m thankful for.
Lately, I’ve been grateful for:
- spring sunshine.
- a stack books from the library.
- knitting and how it’s great distraction when your mind is worried.
- getting an email from a customer who still loves a bag they bought from me back in ’08.
- rhubarb and asparagus.
- and ice cream and hummus and so much good food.
- being able to help people.
- the furry, four-legged girls around here.
- living in the country.
- some hand-me-down clothes.
- having friends on Facebook who post inspiring things like this (among the sea of snarky comments and complaining.)
- plants in the garden, growing, growing, growing.
- the family dinner table and how, all my life, we’ve made sitting down to eat dinner together a necessity.
- and all the laughter and conversation that comes with it.
- a newly installed window in the bathroom.
What have you been grateful for lately?
(I should be back tomorrow with a garden update.)
May 18, 2013
In 2013, I am aiming to do 52 self-portraits. I hope to capture a representation of where I’m at each week this year. I’ll probably often include a quote or lyrics or other smattering of current thoughts or feelings. My 52 Weeks posts can be seen here.
Today, I have been putting off posting this week’s self-portrait post. I had the photo and the theme but I guess you could say my heart and courage kept wavering. I often write up these big long confessional posts and (luckily) stop myself before hitting publish. I often forget this is such a public place, especially for such a private person. Sometimes, like today, it takes me a while to really whittle it down to something that makes sense to both you and me and something I’m comfortable sharing.
Anyway, this week I found myself listening to this song by Sarah Jaffe a lot and then thought a lot about how the things we do (or often don’t do) when we’re young can greatly affect us later on. To me, the future was (and is) so blurry, so distant and unfathomable, so I didn’t think much about the valuable stones I carelessly dropped in my (younger) youth. I’m afraid I’ll continue to do things I’ll regret, continue to neglect things that seem unimportant or abundant now, only to realize I need them so badly later in life.
I guess this is like what they say about hindsight often being clearer than foresight.
Though, don’t misinterpret the the tone of this post: I am hopeful. Besides, the sun is warm and spring is turning out to be quite lovely.
May 16, 2013
Today, I have a great giveaway for all you ladies craving a fun and feminine piece to add to your summer wardrobe. If you’ve spent any time visiting blogs, I’m sure you’ve heard of Shabby Apple. But if you haven’t, they are an online store that specializes in vintage clothing inspired dresses, tops, skirts and accessories. I’m quite impressed at how many eras they seem to cover and offer. The styles range from chic to casual, sweet to sexy. So many of the dresses are right up my alley—finding that balance between vintage and modern. They even have a section featuring clothing produced right here in the US. At the very least, it offers great inspiration for possible future dresses to sew (for instance, now I’d love to make a peplum dress or top!)
Through this giveaway, Shabby Apple is offering a $50 gift certificate to their shop!
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what you would buy with the gift certificate if you won. (I’ve shared four of my favorites above.)
Earn extra entries by:
(Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry.)
Rules and Fine Print:
- This giveaway is only available to US residents.
- Comments will close on Thursday May 23rd, sometime in the evening US Eastern time.
- Winner will be drawn randomly.
- Please be sure to provide a valid email as that is how I will contact the winner.
- If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will void their winning status and draw a new winner.
This giveaway is now closed and the winner is Sarah.
May 15, 2013
I’m joining in Yarn Along this week hosted by Ginny of Small Things. It’s the chance for us lovers of knitting and reading to share what project is currently on our needles and which book we have our noses buried in.
On the knitting front, I was busy working on my next hat for the Twelve Hats in One Year Challenge when I had slight mishap with my needles. Once new needles arrive, I can get back at it. More details when I finish.
The recent humidity kept me from reaching for my Jane Eyre Shawl (being knit with an aran weight yarn) so instead I have been working on perfecting the sleeves of my Buttercup Top (seen above.) I cant believe I started this top a year ago! Hopefully I can finish it and be able to enjoy it this summer.
I’m still reading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Schedule constraints are the only things keeping me at it so long. It’s definitely not because it’s boring. Actually, it’s highly entertaining. Every night I read until my eyeballs start drying up and I simply can’t physically keep them open. I don’t want to stop reading, I want to find out what is happening. I know I have seen some of the film adaptations but I honestly can’t remember the specifics of the plot well so it’s like a whole new story to me.
What have you been knitting/crocheting and reading lately?
Two quick notes: 1) Thank you to those of you who took the time to take my survey so far. If you haven’t yet I would greatly appreciate it. 2) I’ll be back on Friday with a great giveaway from a lovely vintage inspired clothing shop, so do come back!
May 14, 2013
I’m hoping these pretty pictures of the amazingly lovely Red Bud this year will entice you to take a short survey to help me gauge a bit of what works and what doesn’t work here at the Liesl Made blog. Thanks in advance for your help and feedback!
May 13, 2013
Whether or not you are a Mother, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Mother’s take many shapes and forms. Perhaps you have a wonderful relationship with your birth mother, or just her memories to cherish and keep alive, perhaps she adopted you, maybe your mother figure is an aunt or old friend. Maybe you’re a mother now yourself, whether they be two-legged or are four-legged (and furry and even stinky.) Maybe you are learning how to be your own mother. I hope you found time to celebrate what “motherhood” is all about—the joys and challenges involved in giving, nurturing and unconditional love.
We spoiled our Mom with a dinner of fresh asparagus, beef, roasted potatoes (inspiration was originally found here— we used olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary with chunks of fresh garlic and slices of onion randomly placed here and there to add a little extra flavor), corn bread, white chocolate chip pumpkin cookies, rhubarb crisp (Which I made for the first time!) and good wine. (Cookies were made with Butternut squash from the freezer from last year’s garden. The asparagus and rhubarb was a gift from a friend’s garden and the beef was local.) Lotto scratch offs and flowers. Lots of laughter and smiles. A short walk in the evening sun.
How did you celebrate?