Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope your day was full of more treats than tricks!

Here at Agrestic our house was crawling with spiders... The wind kept blowing our cobwebs into bunches, which made them look a bit sloppy in the daylight, but they were perfectly spooky at night!

While the ones above were for scaring, some unlucky readers might be more frightened by the one below:: We were having a slight fruit fly problem until this lady moved to town {C asked how I knew it was a girl, I don't, but when I see a spider on a web, I always think of Charlotte}. Seeing the fruit flies this close reminds me of looking at them under the microscope for the genetics lessons in high school biology. I may have 99 problems, but the fruit flies aren't one {groan}.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Soup and Snow

Last night my brother suggested that I "publish something relevant", because in his words, "everyone knows you can knit a hat". Taking his suggestion to heart, I've decided that nothing is more relevant on the first snowy day of the year than soup!

If you want some meat in your soup, may I suggest a good ham and bean soup served with buttered sourdough and a seasonal pumpkin beer?

If you want a meat-free soup, try Maya*Made's Three Sisters Soup {named for the corn, squash, and bean ingredients ~ a fun science lesson in itself}, served with some warm soda bread fresh from the oven and kale sautéed with garlic::

Need a quick and easy lunch for work next week? Layer rice, black beans, salsa and cheddar cheese in a jar. Pop it in the microwave to warm it up and melt the cheese and enjoy*

Monday, October 24, 2011

Some minor happenings inside and out ~

I replaced the petunias in the hanging basket with heather and pansies, two flowering plants that will keep flowering late into fall. I was first introduced to heather as a cool/cold weather plant when visiting England and Germany. It seems that most of my visits to Europe have occurred during the cold and grey months of October or December, and I would see flower boxes bursting with blooming heather. Heather's a plant that grows along the coasts of England and Scotland ~ it thrives in the cool wet weather and acidic soils, and it doesn't particularly like heat, drought, or fertile soils. As a result, it's not a popular plant in the nurseries around here, and it took me quite a while to find some. I don't expect it to make it through the whole year {although that would be awesome}, I'm just hoping that it stays green for most of the winter.

Pansies were something I started paying attention to when I lived in Philadelphia, where the winters are generally just a smudge warmer and shorter than they are in central PA. Some years, you can plant pansies in your fall pots in Philly where they'll thrive, as winter arrives the blooms may stop, but the foliage stays green, and then as soon as the cold winter days are ending, the pansies will be the first to bloom again in the spring! Of course, if the winter's too harsh, they may not survive, and once the heat of summer comes, they're toast. Again, pansies weren't the easiest bloom to find around here ~ the nurseries are practically giving mums away, but not pansies, unless they sold out?

Inside our Christmas cactus decided to dress up for Halloween:: This guy was full of buds when my mom bought him last year, but most of them fell off without opening. Maybe it was the commotion of changing locations from nursery to store to kitchen table? I'm excited to see that this year we haven't lost a bud yet!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Sash

Oh the drama that is the wedding dress. In this case choosing the dress was a relatively easy and pain free experience. It took one day, two? or three? shops, I found the dress I loved, and that was that!

The sash, on the other hand was not that simple.

On the day I bought my dress, I tried on a gold/champagne/tannish sash {the photos in this post provide a good example}. When our lovely saleslady approached me with the sash, I made a face of slight displeasure ~ it was a color that never crossed my mind and I didn't expect to love, but after it was on, I loved every bit of it! The only question left was whether or not it would match the yet-to-be-decided bridesmaids' dresses, so I decided to wait and order it when we got the dresses.

Fast forward a month or two, and we're shopping for bridesmaids dresses. We pick out a fantastic yellow dress that will look good on everyone {and it has pockets!}. We ask our current not-so-lovely or with-it saleslady to bring out the "champagne" sash, and wouldn't you know it, as she approached with the sash, I made yet another face of displeasure. This was definitely not the same champagne sash we tried during our first visit, this one was a very light, almost white pinkish color... maybe the color of a baby's bottom? Questions were asked, it was denied that our "champagne" sash ever existed, or maybe it was no longer available, who knows when you're as ditzy as this sales lady was. Then she made some reference to Christmas, I made some retort about Christmas in Russia ~ who knew if either of us were making sense?

Oh the drama of the sash.

Bottom line, the awesome sash was no longer available. BUT it looked so good, and looked great with the bridesmaids dresses, AND maybe, just maybe, my mom was up for the challenge of making the sash...

So that is what we/she did. We bought a swatch fro the dress shop that was the same color and fabric as the sash we loved, found a near-perfect match at the fabric shop, and the fun began! The dress came with a white sash, so she took that apart to figure out how it was constructed and to have the templates necessary for cutting out the fabric. I wish we thought ahead and took pictures of the whole process for sharing.

It was a full family affair ~ my brother drew the vine designs on the bottom of each side. He did a great job of making them slightly different but balanced. My mom hand-stitched the embroidered design and added the bed detail. Looking to other beaded sashes, we realized that the key to a nice sparkly piece was to put a sequin under each bead or crystal.

The final sash was amazing! So much more personal and unique than anything we could have bought, and it looked lovely with the wedding shoes!

A number of buttons and loops were added to both my dress and the sash for bustling, but on the day of, we moved from ceremony to party so quickly that I never too the time to properly bustle anything. Instead, the sash was tied into a big bow, and off I went to socialize.

Unfortunately, in all of the merriment, we never slowed down to take a full detailed picture of my back to show the sash. For example, if you're curious what the back of the bridesmaids dresses looked like, I have it::

Back of the wedding dress and sash? Not so much, but like the day it was perfect.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Colors & Textures in the Bedroom!

I'm excited about the little changes taking place in the bedroom. We're taking away some of the dark colors, lightening up the space, and adding a bit of life and texture to the space!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Bracelets

A few more details about our bracelets from the last post. Theys are super simple to make following the directions from Honesty WTF, and purchasing the supplies from Ornamentea.

Our color choices:
~ brown and natural leather
~ turquoise, pomegranate, and sunflower waxed linen
~ antique and nickel plated ball chain

You may want to make one using the exact measurements in the directions and then adjust accordingly for future bracelets. We found that using 12.5 inches of the ball chain {rather than the 12 inches suggested} gave us a nicer fit.

I love these and want to make more... the only probably is that after making two, they're so easy that the "making" part is a bit boring, and probably best done around a campfire with sisters or over a few drinks with friends to pass the time!

Monday, October 10, 2011

We camped, and ~

Reveled in the beautiful weather::

Took an afternoon nap by the stream::

Made some bracelets::

Marveled at the mushrooms::

Sat around the fire::

Woke up to sun on our tents and faces::

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Small flowers, small vases, big impact!

I never thought of cutting fall mums for vases, but then a few flowers fell off as I was replanting and an idea occurred::

I could put some in a small bottle, adding a sweet touch to the bathroom::

And I could snip off a few more flowers to make a big impact in one of the vases from the wedding {if you missed that post it's the bottom half of a beer bottle!}::

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Version B

I worked out a worsted bean version of the star-topped hat. And look ~ this one matches my sweater. This year's fall uniform is complete!
It's been a lot of fun knitting up these hats... it's a busy week, so the pattern's on the back burner, but I've already started to think about star-topped mittens, and baby sweaters!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Location Perks

Over the summer, we've witnessed quite an airshow::
The realtor never mentioned that we were in a hot air balloon flyover zone. Showtimes vary throughout the weekend, but you know it's about to start when you hear the roar of the flame.

Then the flame goes quiet and you can't take your eyes away from the balloon as it gently and silently floats through the air.

Going, going, gone... until next time

Saturday, October 01, 2011