it all feels right

It’s my first evening alone in my new home.

Just me and the ocean and the mourning doves. Oh, and the dog and two cats, of course.

No need to cook dinner, snacks will do. The upcoming weekend plans have radically simplified, so there’s no need to prep, to pack, to clean. (The Guy did a bunch of cleaning today, I can see that. So we’re good.)

I water the plants, and take photos from new angles. I stand on the cliff’s edge, watching the pelicans fly home, and let my shoulders drop as the waves crash in. No need to hold the world up.

Sometimes I wonder what I am doing, why I am here. In this place, in this life. Do you ever wonder that, or do you know the answer, without question?

Tonight I listen to the ocean, and the doves, and it all feels right.

Oh my, I needed this.

little fog feet

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June Gloom hugs our cliff on these early summer mornings. I’m getting a new AM groove. Let the animals out, read the Guy’s late night note, make coffee, clean litter tray, wash or put away dishes, then out the door at 8. The quiet nudges me to move gently and deliberately; even the mockingbird is silenced by the fog.

slow and steady

#reflection

#veggies #365gratitude_hashimaree

My vertigo is back, so I’m moving gently, with no sudden turns. Vacuuming makes me woozy, but I go slow and get through it. I take my time grocery shopping; I’m not yet familiar with the supermarket layout, so there’s a lot of wandering involved. Later, some tree-tending. I feel like I’ve had an easy day, but he exclaims after dinner, “You’re just so damn productive!”

Maybe the tortoise was onto something.

coming home

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Now, instead of turning into the winding canyon as I drive home from work, I climb a small hill above the ocean. I pause at the top of the driveway to check the mail, and breathe in the briny view and the homestead below. This is where I live.

Man and dog greet me happily. He shows me the wall he’s been building, and the hummingbird nest he found. Then I go inside to start dinner while he waters the trees.

embroidered flour sack kitchen towels: tutorial

Teatowel tag

Lots of my loved ones received this Christmas gift: a set of two embroidered flour sack tea towels. I thought you might like a tutorial for this easy project.

Note: If you wish to share this tutorial, please repost one photo and link back to this original post. Do not repost the entire text and pictures. Thank you!

embroidered flour sack tea towels

Start with purchased, unadorned, flour sack kitchen towels. (I got sets of four at Target.) Wash and dry them on high settings, to gain maximum shrinkage. Unstitch the hem over the labels, and discard the labels. Iron the towel, stretching it out as you go.

embroidered flour sack tea towels

Draw a line parallel to the selvedge with a disappearing marker. I did mine 1.75″ from the edge, because it seemed a pleasing distance and that was where the previous label had been. Unstitch a little of the hem on the both sides of the towel, for an inch or so on each side of your drawn line.

Thread your needle with all six strands of embroidery thread. The length of the thread should be about 125% of the width of your towel. Tie a knot in one end. Slip your needle inside the hem, and come up through to the right side of the towel within the hem allowance.

embroidered flour sack tea towels

Taking smallish running stitches, sew evenly along your line till you get to the other side.

embroidered flour sack tea towels

Do your finishing knot within the other hem allowance. Stitch a second row just above your first, starting and finishing as above. You can use the same or a different colour thread. I didn’t draw a second guide line; I just eyeballed the distance.

embroidered flour sack tea towels

With white thread, restitch the hems over your embroidery. This will hold your knots tightly and prevent unraveling. Press your towels, fold them nicely, and tie a ribbon around the set.

Embroidered tea towels

I made two versions of the label: this one is for those with littlies in their lives. Spot the difference?

car caddies and (too) tiny pants

More handmade Christmas roundup.

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Above photo by Nettie.

For toddler nephews, a pair of car caddies. Apparently they were a big hit, which of course gladdens this crafter aunty’s heart. I should have included a matchbox car with each, but thankfully they can supply their own :-)

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For Corey-pie, stretchy pants. But I was delusional about babies’ growth in the first four months of life, so these are gonna be no use to him. Cute, but tiny! Ahem, time to make some bigger ones! Sorry, Corey!

christmas without you

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I miss my family at Christmas. The excitement of littlies, the chaos, the food, the crackers, the tree. Yesterday we opened gifts via FaceTime, and later videos were posted (so I could see how much glee the bubble wrap brought), and that was all lovely. Thank goodness for the technology that allows these connections.

Today good food and wine were shared with dear people, and pleasantness abounded, but …. I miss my family. Especially at Christmas. Love you guys so so much. Big hard hugs to you all.

toddler fedoras

#felixhepburn

Felix has loved this hat since Tui first gave it to him. He’s been wearing it daily for about a year — even to bed, sometimes — and its looking the worse for wear.

Baby fedora

So I decided to make him a new one for Christmas.

Baby fedora

And, while I was at it, I made one for Cali too.

For both, I used this pattern. The fabric came from thrifted suit pants (finest Italian wool, $1 each!) The lining is cotton voile from my stash.

The project was a bit challenging, and my top stitching is far from perfect. But the babies won’t notice that, I’m sure.

I hope Rhea will send me photos later, but for now I have some Christmas morning FaceTime screen grabs.

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Felix thought the hat was fine, but that the bubble wrap was AWESOME!

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Cali kept hers on for approximately 2 seconds before pulling it off.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

home

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Travelling is fun. So is coming home.

xoxoxox

corey

Corey

Sweet little man, so chill. Born five weeks early, now three weeks old. He’s doing great, as is his mummy.

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