Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Bloomsday!

Read as many pages of James Joyce's Ulysses as you can, while drinking a pint or two of Guinness!  Click here to read about Bloomsday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

25 Years Ago Today

Pete and I were married at my brother Tim's home in North Branford, Connecticut.  It was a totally homemade -- and handmade -- wedding.  Pete and I washed all the windows on the house, and planted a garden.  We did all the grocery shopping and ordered tables and chairs, glasses and plates.  We made a dance tape -- lots of Michael Jackson (Thriller had just come out), Pointer Sisters and the Beatles.  My sisters (Patty, Nancy and Barby) made their bridesmaid dresses out of upholstery chintz from the Lower East Side (we were living in Brooklyn back then).  Barb was my bride's maid and I later remade her dress into a party dress for Clara.  I wore a 1920s lace dress from France I found at an antique store on the West Side and carried gardenias -- my mother's favorite flowers -- and a lace and linen handkerchief made by my great grandmother.  Pete wore a navy blue suit.  We served hors d'oeuvres, as it was afternoon: crudite, little corn muffins stuffed with ham, cold shrimp, zucchini latkes,  little tart shells filled with oriental chicken salad.  Patty made a fabulous wedding cake: three tiers of pound cake with a truffle filling, all covered with fondant and decorated like dotted swiss. People came back for seconds and thirds.  When the guests had gone home, we cleaned up the yard and opened presents.  We received not one, not two, but three picnic baskets!  One with champagne and a gift certificate to a fancy food store, another with plates, cutlery and cloth napkins, another with wine and wine glasses. 

So tonight, instead of going out to Greenport's fanciest restaurant, as we had originally planned, we're picnicking in the back yard.  Today's weather is just like it was that day a quarter century ago -- bright sunshine, blue skies, cool breezes.  Our hair is grayer, our knees creak a bit and we won't be driving off in our beloved but long gone 1960 Buick La Sabre, but we'll be remembering a wonderful day completely wrought by hand and heart.

Felting Class at Hallockville!

The Peconic Ruggers are hosting a great class this Saturday at Hallockville.  We'll be learning how to wet felt with Elizabeth Palmer Buchtman!  I've been wanting to learn to wet felt for years.  I was lucky enough to see some of Elizabeth's work at the Fluffystuff show in March.  I'll be there Saturday, camera in hand, and will post my results!  There's still room in the class if you would like to join us!    Email, or call Judy (631) 924-2636 or Jennifer (631)744-8608.

Also: today is update day for The Primitive Gathering.  My sister Barb has a fabulous new piece called Yankee Doodle Dandy that you have to see to believe.  He is needle-felted by hand, a laborious effort that really paid off.  Click here to visit her page:  thimblefolk on The Primitive Gathering.

Thanks for all the nice comments about the front yard.  We had someone move the tree and lay the sod, but we did everything else ourselves, including moving all the plants we wanted to save.  I added a dwarf oak leaf hydrangea and some little orange sedges this morning to fill in the blank spots.  It'll take time to mature, but we are on our way.   I am also in the process of moving my studio from the basement to the attic, which is why there is no news about rug hooking around here.  But as Cathy of Orange Sink said, I'll have more time for hooking now that the yard is easier to take care of.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Yard: Before & After



It is easy to see why the neighbors have been stopping by in droves to compliment the new front yard.  It is much more conventional than before.  When we bought the house 20 years ago, we ripped out the grass and planted a rather wild cottage garden.  The weeding was much more work than just mowing a lawn, but we loved the look of it.  People would stop their cars in the middle of the street to look at it.  When we started our renovations 2 years ago, the garden went to seed and weed and we just don't have the time or energy for it anymore.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Scones

My favorite thing to do on Sunday morning: curl up on the couch with a good book and a good cup of coffee.  I'm reading another Benjamin Black mystery that takes place in 1950s Dublin.  Yes, I am still enamored of Dublin.  The characters were having tea at the Shelbourne (probably the fanciest hotel in Dublin), and it made me want a scone.  Pete got up early too, to watch Slovenia play in the World Cup.  His mother's family is from Slovenia, and we keep in touch with the relatives there.  We even spent part of our honeymoon -- 25 years ago this Tuesday -- in Slovenia.   I decided we had to celebrate their win against Algeria with -- you guessed it -- scones!

I used the Dorset Scone recipe from Sheila Lukin's All Around the World Cookbook.  (Sheila was half of the duo who created The Silver Palate.)  I used half as much salt as she calls for, added a couple of extra tablespoons of butter along with pecans and dried cherries and they are FABULOUS!  Buttery and not gummy at all -- very much like my all-time favorite's from Aldo.  Pete and I both ate 2!  Though, in our defense, they are not very big.  Pete actually said they were better than Aldo's!  They're close, but not quite . . .  I'm going to have to make these for Paula and Ann, scone tasters extraordinaire, and see what they think.

Monday, June 7, 2010

O, What a Beautiful Morning!

It's glorious here in Greenport today.  The hot and humid weather of the weekend broke around midnight last night.  It's 60 degrees and sunny right now -- just perfect.

We spent the weekend tearing up the front yard -- which we are redoing -- and painting the attic, which will become by new studio.  I feel a little like Goldilocks trying out the three bears' beds.  I started in the garage, which was lovely for years, but is now too wet for any sort of fiber art.  Pete will take that over for his ceramics.  I moved into the new basement, which is really dry and has radiant heat, but I hate being underground -- even though we have over-sized windows.  We are going to turn that into a music room and studio for Clara when she is at home.  So -- the attic is the last place I can go and I am loving it.  It is a little smaller, but I will keep my light table and non-hooking craft supplies in the old basement.  I'll get lots of exercise walking up and down two flights of stairs.  I will post pictures as soon as it is set up.  I am stripping paint off an old desk I bought to fit a specific space, so it may be awhile yet.

In the meantime, here are some more photographs from Ireland.  That trip has just stuck with me.  I have been reading some Irish thrillers by Benjamin Black, which I found in the library totally by accident.  They take place in 1950s Dublin and it so fun to read about places I have been . . . .

The view from our room at the Burlington

A leprechaun
A Hen Party  (the woman in pink is the bride-to-be)

A fabulous green cowhide-covered chair at Monart

The salon in the manor house of Monart
The hallway into the modern addition at Monart
A stone stile near Wexford
The Samuel Beckett Bridge.  Ann took this photograph with her iPhone upside down in the back of a taxi.  I think it is fabulous, as is the bridge.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Some Rug hooking . . . Finally

Seems like forever since I've posted about rug hooking.  Life has been full of graduation and gardening.  I want to get the yard in shape now that the renovation is complete.  We are having a party in a few weeks to celebrate all the good things that happen this June: Clara's graduation from college, her 22nd birthday, and our 25th anniversary.  (I wanted a cruise down the Nile, but Pete thinks I'm kidding.  I'm not!) So the yard and the house need to be in tip top shape.

I have been working on a rug -- forever!  I am finishing a rug for my lovely friend Lucille, who cannot hook anymore.  I posted about it over a year ago -- listed it as one of my ufos.  I struggle to hook other people's patterns.  I don't know why I find it so difficult.  And to finish a partially hooked rug is almost worse.  I hook much tighter than Lucille, so I re-hooked a lot.  She didn't have enough wool for all the elements or the background, so I had to match that as best I could and integrate it into what was already hooked, which meant ripping and re-hooking once again.  It is nearly finished now, and I think she will be pleased with it -- even though it is a year late!  I cannot wait to hook one of my own new designs again!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One of the Many Reasons I Love June

They are my all time favorite flower: full and frilly and fragrant.  I found the ironstone pitcher at a church rummage sale on Saturday and bought it on the spot, knowing the peonies would look perfect in it.  I wish you could smell them . . .