Sunday, June 29, 2014

T. and D. Christmas 2013


They rock our world and float our boat.

Stella-Mother

Rainy Sunday Taking Inventory

 Five weeks to lift off...

*Our boy has two more days with us before he flies off... He's still sleeping now but soon, we will wake him to join us... He's been delightful, huggy, funny, sweet, passionate when talking about medicine and all around easy-going and happy to be home.

     This is A. with his Daddy and Mommy on Tatie and GUV's deck on
     June 7th when he had (cake)sugar for the first time on his first birth-
     day and fed some to Mommy and Daddy too.



*Last night Sister D., her husband, her daughter, husband and our baby A. came over for supper.  I made Chicken Curry, a spinach and mushroom side-dish, coconut rice and cucumber raita.  There was animated conversation aplenty, baby was shifted from arms to arms to arms all evening and remained happy. We plotted and planned our next projects and trips... There may be a car-trip in Ireland in the not-too-too distant future as there is a direct flight from Marseille to Dublin that lasts a mere 2.5 hours...


* Today, I'm off cooking as our two boys are going to their fave 'Furusato' to have sushi and sashimi.

* Tomorrow, I am offering orientation to possibly my last renters of the season.  Marc and Josée.

* Wednesday we're having a few friends over for a little drinks partay.

* Saturday is a supper with and at our friends Eveline and Barry...

* The second weekend of July, we are having our garage sale.

* The third week of July we are having supper for our friends Nicole and Claude.

* The 31st of July, we are having a reading circle on our deck and discussing: "The Invention of Wings" by the incredible Sue Monk Kidd. She is are most-read author as we've also read: The Mermaid Chair, The Secret Life of Bees and Traveling with Pomegranates by her.

Then, then, we are going into hiding for the last week before departure to: pack, organize, rest, clean and advise our son on how to best take care of the garden during our absence.

Life is so very good.

Are you having fun too?

Stella-her-cup-running-over

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Commenting

A friend of mine has told me she is unable to post a comment on this blog.  Please let me know if this is the case for you by emailing me (see side-bar).  If not, could you try to leave a little comment to tell me it's o.k.? I know it's the end of the school year, the beginning of summer and you are all super busy...

Merci,

Stella

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chalk Paint Project #4


Numbers 1 and 2 were the candlesticks and the side table that I wrote about here.  Number 3 was our front door and number 4... is this dinky old spice rack that my Dad gave me when I was visiting last week.  Cleans up pretty well doesn't it?  I wanted the rack to disappear into the decor and I think this does it.
BEFORE

AFTER
I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Chalk Paint is my friend.  I want to do my kitchen cabinets in this.  They were painted about ten or so years ago but the paint chips.  Chalk paint doesn't, so next year, I'll be redoing the exterior kitchen cupboards unless I hit pay-dirt and then I'll just get one of these new kitchens.
via Pinterest
Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest
Stella-the-eternal-optimist

Monday, June 23, 2014

Qualify

This evening, we ate on the deck as we have been doing the last week or so.  It's a lovely conversation-rich time with my two men, V. and D. (our youngest son aged 22).  D. has been ill and stressed with school the last 6 weeks or so and has not quite been himself.  This evening, he was back.

Just for the fun of it, I asked D. what 5 words he would use to describe V. and  5 words for myself.  He began, and V. helped with my 5 qualifiers:
Creative
Expressive
Animated
Hard-working
Loving

Then we went on to our top 5 words to describe D.:

Authentic
Loyal
Objective
Balanced
Physical

V. had his turn too:

Humanitarian
Devoted
Easy-going
Patient
Dutiful

This little exercise was as rich as it was simple.  We all had to agree on the 5 words, including the person being described.  T. (our eldest son who is going to be 25 in September) arrives tomorrow night.  He will be getting his gift of 5 qualifiers too.

Passionate
Humorous
...

Try this with your loved-ones and friends.  It's very revealing and validating at the same time.

Love,

Stella

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Buns and Bunners

I've been for a visit with my elderly father (93 next month) with Sister D.. Dad is not a big talker so we made sure to bring a project along with a little food to sustain us during the 900 km round trip.

Sister D. likes buns as in BCC, that is buns cold meat and cheese,  so we had chicken sandwich buns for the trip, also consumed with appetite and gratitude were blueberries and strawberries, San Pellegrino Pompelmo and trail mix. D. and I pack a mean lunch à deux.  We just put together this great little meal without a lot of planning.

Bunners were the project we worked on.  Posie Gets Cozy is a lovely blog by Alicia Paulson.  Alicia is an artist, wife and mother to the lovely Amelia.  Alicia created Miss Maggie Rabbit a little over a year ago, and although I am not a dolly kind of person, I fell hard for this little lady.

Fast forward to last winter, Sister D. and I ordered up the special felt, purchased calico prints and cut out about 10 kits for making bunners. Above are three of the five that we made these last days, sitting on the shelf in the hallway at Dad's.  From left to right: Penelope (Pen) Priscilla (Priss) and Prudence (Prue). Please note that Penelope is not a fat rabbit, she just looks 10 lbs heavier on the photo.  Sister D. calls her 'Pig Pen'.  Not shown are Peg and Peony.
At this stage, we were still fiddling with Pen and Prue's boots.  Note: these bunnies are entirely hand stitched and knitted and take about 5 hours each to make.

Pen wanted me to take another picture of her looking her lean self, at home on the window seat:

Pen with Prue awaiting her frock

The little darlings were sewn up with vintage linen thread from France... no less!


Why are we making these? I dunno, because they're cute? Because we want to give them to our grandchildren? Because we can? Because we want to be remembered?  This pattern is very well designed and the dolls are very sturdy. I expect my descendants to pick this out of a trunk in the attic, blow of the dust and think: "Boy, somebody had a lot of time of their hands!"

We want to make boy bunners too.  Their names might be: Pippin, Perry, Percy and Paddy. We may also shoot for a couple called Pepe and Pillar....


I think I'm blabbering so I'm going to go to bed now.

Cross-eyed-Stella

Monday, June 16, 2014

Follow by Email

Readers,

I have added the 'Follow by email' feature on the right.  Simply subscribe and you will receive a notice in your email when there's a new post!

With gratitude,

Stella

Friday, June 13, 2014

Future Triplet: Venice

Tripletnoun   (word invented by Stella) a small trip as in not far or not long.

So, V. and I are taking a  triplet to Venice for four sleeps in October with my sister and her husband. We have rented a two bedroom apartment which is a six-minute walk from the piazza San Marco.

In preparation for said trip, I've just finished reading: The Glassblower of Murano.  Good book, not great,  but I love the references to the history, the glassblower's trade and the city. It has gotten my
imagination all fired up with color and light and leather and paper and moorish outlines and sounds like water slapping against centuries-old buildings.

Did I tell you this will be a second visit for me?  Yes, I was there as a girl in 1980 and was almost overwhelmed with sensory overload.  As a student, I couldn't afford anything, I just studied my guidebook and walked for miles around the little streets, across bridges, in and out of churches and ate unsalted bread and funny looking fish dishes that can be found displayed in most coffee/bar places.

This time, I am doing the cheesy gondola ride and attending a Vivaldi concert at the Scuola Grande Di S.Teodoro. I would also love to see the Fortuny Museum as his clothes designs were exceptional in every way...  Oh, to own a scrap of Fortuny fabric...
Gondolas, St Mark's Square, Bellinis, Fortuny, blown glass, good wines, marbled paper, golden facades, great food, history, age, romance, here I come!

Stella-with-her-head-in-the-clouds

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

All Wrapped Up

Last night as our son D. was preparing for his Sport's Injury exam at the university, we served as 'patients'.  Over the past few weeks, we've had thumbs, arms and feet wrapped for various injuries.  Last night was general revision in preparation for the exam.

V. always gets to have his limbs wrapped first.  He is a very willing patient, lying on our bed, all limp and hurting, trailing the offending appendage off the side of bed, awaiting bandaging.  I tell, you, I have to fight to get my turn. 

Last night I had three turns... and we took pictures to show off his bandaging prowess. 



Naturally, we think he's gifted.

Love,

Stella

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Little Mother

A few days ago, I was perched on the ladder on the south wall of our home, cleaning out the dead wood from the Virginia Creeper.  I was shocked when I discovered not one, but two robin's nests hidden behind the dead foliage and branches.

I immediately stopped my cleaning activity, and with a pounding heart, rushed down the ladder.  Needless to say, we stopped all activity around the nests especially when a young mother returned to the nest by the window on my side of the bed... The second nest is not occupied.

For the last four days, we've been observing the little bird's nesting habits.  She knows we are there and flies in and out with confidence.  It is indeed a great gift that Nature has bestowed on us.

The lower deck is right beside the wall where the nests are.  We might call it the "observation deck" now, because we spend many precious moments watching our little mother incubate.

As I was writing this post, I put down my computer, removed the screen from my window, perched on the night table and took the last two photos. I am amazed by what goes on around us that we sometimes have no clue about...

Stella reporting from the observation deck

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

This n' That

Finished...the...fence... aaaaaaarrrrggghhhhh!  125 feet of fence, 14 bags of slats... I think I'm going insaaaaaaaannnnnneeeee.


 On the other hand, we were out at my sister's farm on Saturday to Sunday and we made trellises for the house (3 of them) and then we got to play with hypertufa.
Me and Bobby McGee sister D. making
hypertufa stuff at the farm.
Hypertufa is a mix of cement, vermiculite and peat moss.  You can shape it into a number of things.  We made a few containers and balls, yes, I said balls, for me.  Only the balls didn't work out too well.  You see, you have to buy plastic inflated balls, like the ones kids play with, cut out a circle at the top and then fill it with hypertufa mix.  Let harden and then voila... instant yard art. 
Picture via Irena731 at Etsy
We're going to try again and it's going to work and then I will post pictures of our fantastic results... I hope.  Sister D. and her husband are delivering the trellises on Saturday.  Did I mention that they are 8 feet tall and we don't own a truck?  Anyway, Saturday is a very special day.  I'll let you know how it went...

I bet you cannot GUESS what is happening on Saturday... You would have to go way back into my posts to find out what happened roughly a year ago that was REALLY significant for me... and a couple or three other people...

Stella-the-workhorse