If it's back to school time, that means it's Miss Madeline time.
I love this pattern, and have done enough of them that I can whip one up in just a few hours time. It sure makes me feel like a competent sewist, even though I'm really a beginner.
I purchased these fabrics at a little quilting store near my parents house this summer, knowing this would be my daughter's back to school dress. I just love it!
I had a great time this weekend, hitting the flea market with my sister, led by Eddie Ross. We spent about two hours with Eddie & Jaithan, touring the market and stopping at some item-specific booths.
We stopped and chatted at booth's focusing on linens, glass, silver, serving ware, prints, furniture and jewelry. In each of those instances, Eddie guided us through some of the finer points of object identification and construction, and then elaborated on new and innovative ways to use these items.
The quality of shopping was better than I expected, and I really did learn a lot. Annie from Firefly Hill was there and has blogged about some of his specific suggestions, tips and tricks. (Plus, her photos are so much better than my phone pics!)
Both Eddie and Jaithan were so interesting, easy to talk to, and such fun! If you get the chance to join them on a trip, I'd highly recommend it!
We did find some goodies, too! I came home with this great little French wire tray, a half-rounded shape. I might use it for mail, but I bet it would be great with a small baguette waiting for some cheese! I've been searching for a small, simple footstool that I can paint and/or reupholster, to go with a rather ornate chair I have in the living room. This one, flimsily upholstered in a grayish-blue, is a simple and inexpensive fix.
We also found a great old apple crate. I might put little casters on the bottom and use it for toy storage, or turn it into a home for my ridiculous amount of magazines. But what makes it really special is that it comes from my husband's hometown.
All in all, a crazy-successful day. My brain is still swirling with ideas I gleaned on our tour!
I love my neighborhood for so many reasons. It's where I had my first 'grown-up' apartment, where my husband and I fell in love, the corners where we kissed, where I've walked countless miles and miles, sometimes alone, with a friend, or pushing the double stroller.
After I walked the kids to preschool yesterday, I continued the walk on my own. Listening to an audiobook while I walked, I found myself distracted by observing all these things that I love. So I snapped photos of them, document my walk around the neighborhood.
During those walks I've admired the mix of architectural styles, the beautiful well-kept row houses, and the juxtaposition of those buildings against the run-down apartments, occupied by college students. I enjoy the constant activity of people and places, the contrast of the outside noise and the quiet I find inside.
Thus, I've made a decision about my house issues. Much like an episode of the show House Hunters, I've laid out the three options, revisited them all with a keen eye, and must choose.
I choose Option 3. I'm going to stick it out, patiently and responsibly, hoping that sooner, rather than later, we'll be able to find the 'dream house,' but in the neighborhood we both love so much.
Option #1: Stay where we are. Deal with the lack out outside, realizing it's just the trade off for living in this part of the city, which we love, and in the house to which we dedicated so much time, energy and resource.
Option #2: Move to the other city neighborhood, sacrificing some house and atmosphere for the outdoor space.
And then we have ...
Option #3: The most practical. Stay. Wait. Bide our time. Be responsible. Save money. Eventually be able to find a house, in our current neighborhood, one that has more outdoor space than we have now. Hope that it won't be ten years from now, and that we'll still have kids actually interested in being outside.
Of course, It would never be as much space as option #2, but it certainly could be a happy medium. The biggest drawbacks are timing and money. There are very few houses in this neighborhood that sit on a large lot. Thus, they're rarely available, and they cost more.
It's been really helpful to me to think through it all by writing it out, and I expect a decision is forthcoming very, very soon.
Probably by my next post (hint, hint).
I have little flea market experienced, but am so excited about my guided flea market trip tomorrow with Eddie Ross and Jaithan!
I'm visiting my sister this weekend, and this will be us totally indulging in girl time. I'm more of a browser than a buyer, but am hoping to find some oval frames (for all the silhouettes I keep planning to do ... someday!) and artwork for my bedroom, living room, and dining room.
I was checking through my reader, and found that the author of one of the blogs I love to read will be shopping with Eddie this weekend, too. Small world!
This is turning out to be more of a shopping weekend than I expected. My sister lives in this great community, a mix of residential, retail and business. Literally right across the street from her are two of my favorite stores, one an old favorite and one a new favorite (I've only been an online shopper ... have never been inside!!).
I hope to be back early next week to show you all my bootie and finds from both this local shopping and the more adventurous shopping with Eddie. Oh! And I'll conclude my earlier House Drama post.
I love my home. It's a beautiful brick row house on the edge of a great city neighborhood, built at the beginning of the last century.
I certainly didn't love it when I first saw it: a run-down duplex that hadn't been treated well in years and years. But after enjoying the rent from our tenants for a few years, we fixed up some areas, ripped out and started over in others. It's unrecognizable from it's decrepit past, yet maintains the important historical moldings, and some of the room layouts.
This was our first home as a couple, and it's the house that my children came home to from the hospital. I know every nook and cranny, because I made it.
However, it is missing one thing: outside space. Grass. Room for a table for four.
Yes, we have a garage (huge deal around here!) and a small backyard postage stamp, which we have made the best it can be. But it's still tiny. It's still paved.
This is not my house, but you can get the general feeling from it.
Frankly, I never thought I needed more. The house is more than generous in size, but I'm getting more than a little tired of not having a backyard to send the kids out to, having to pack up a bag or car to get to an actual green space. I want to dig in the dirt and grow beautiful flowers, I want the children to climb a tree and maybe even fall! Thus, I've been looking at "house p*rn" for about 2 years now, and we've put an offer on one house...it was perfect. It obviously failed. And yes, I'm still bitter.
I'm okay with leaving this house, but I'm not so hip on leaving the city. Nothing wrong with life in the 'burbs, it's just not for me.
Thus, my choices are limited.
I recently came across a great old farmhouse, a la Martha Stewart, that's still within the city limits, but not really a walking neighborhood. It's on a beautiful acre lot, hosts some magnificent old trees. The house has charm, very different from my big-moldings home now, but a quiet charm full of natural light. Oh, and some awful 1970s remodeling.
Awful. Awful. Not livable. As in: must-renovate-before-moving-in-type-bad. But the price is right, and this house with renovation would equal out with the sale of our current home.
Nor is this the house I'm contemplating, but you get the idea. Imagine a similar house, in a city neighborhood, significantly more run-down, but with great potential.
There are kids on the street, great potential for a beautiful home and crazy-big yard (by city standards, that is!), and definite livability. But no place to walk. Wait, I already said that. Yea, that's because it's important to me.
Alrighty, that's where I'm cutting this one off. If you've read this far, I commend you. This is therapy of sorts for me, and I'm hoping after writing it all out, I'll come to a decision.
I'll continue later with Option #3. Hint: it's not moving to the 'burbs.