Saturday, December 31, 2011

Peaceful on the Prairie

Twelve hours later from yesterday's post I woke up to a foggy morning. As ridiculous as this may sound, I didn't want to waste any time by getting dressed.

 So I went out in the early morning with no one around, still dressed in my old blue flannel nightgown, black tights, "gardening shoes", and camera in hand. Try not to dwell on what that might look is not a pretty sight!

I wanted to share the view with you. I live on a hill top, surrounded with other hills. But, this morning all I could see was my space.

After such a scorching summer, it feels so good have moisture again in the air. Dew drops were hanging everywhere.

Even a few spider webs with dew drops are clinging to the almost bare branches of the apple tree.

 Here are a few pumpkins from October still holding their shapes. The metal tub of water is for the thirsty birds. I imagine they are waiting for the pumpkins to break open and release their tasty seeds.

Two rocking chairs on the prairie cottage porch, just waiting for you to sit down with your cup of morning tea or coffee, while I go inside the farmhouse and start the apple pancakes.  It's your chance to take in the view.

The Christmas lights have today and tomorrow to burn....then be put away until next Christmas.

Just for fun....a broken wind chime I couldn't bare to throw away.

If I'm not at home, well, read the sign. Most likely, I will be there.

The often used back entrance is still decorated 2 more days with Christmas.

Open the gate and this is what you will see. Come on in....and let's visit for a while.

Meggie Mac

Friday, December 30, 2011

Evening Sky in the Country

At sunset is was crisp, with the temperatures in the upper 40's. The clean country smells were all around me.
There are no other sounds except for the animals settling down for the night.

As I was closing up the door to the barn, I looked up, and saw the moon directly overhead.

 Since I have been living in the country over 12 years, this is not my first time to experience a December evening. But, the breathtaking effect is always there.

The planet Jupiter was also very visible in the early evening, just to the left of the moon. Take a look at this, and learn about the Winter Circle.

Meggie Mac

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It Takes a Team

If you have been following me since the beginning with my first November posting, you know I started out with a dream almost 12 years ago. That dream is still alive in me and I live it each day. Country living has many ups and downs, but the rewards are too numerous to list.

What I want you to know is that I hire some help to fulfil this journey that I have chosen. I still have a full time job in the city that allows me some flexibility. Three of those days in a week, Monday through Wednesday, I work 10 hours days in the city. On those days I have a handyman that feeds the animals.  He also works with me on Fridays for a few hours doing things that are too difficult for me. This in turn, gives him money to supplement his family income. And , truthfully, I think he enjoys being out in the country for those few hours.

One of the things I don't like to do is remove snakes that are almost as long as I'm tall. This particular snake has been around for a long time, unnoticed. But earlier this year, when my guineas arrived as tiny chicks, he found a way to get into the brooder I had set up in a stall in the barn. By the time we noticed him, he had eaten 11 guineas.

 In fact, at the time, I thought he ate all 12.  The next day, I found one lone chick left. And I named her Pretty Woman.

The other part of this support team is a local carpenter, from a town 7 miles away. He helps hold the old building together, including the windmill.

It has been a good start for the blog. My goal was to have it up and running by the first of 2012. It has already met my expectations. I hope you will continue to enjoy reading about my adventures in the country.

Meggie Mac

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fun Accent Pillow

A Gift for my Daughter

It all started with buying several travel pillows at the local discount store. When giving a gift of an accent pillow, I believe small is the way to go.  The travel pillow is the perfect size.

These pillows, including a pillow slip cover, were less than $5.00 for each one.

 I used the slip cover as a pattern for the new project.

This book was my inspiration. Because I decided to give it as a gift to my daughter, I pulled, from my stash of fabric, colors that would fit her color scheme. Look at  this page for some beautiful fabric by the author of my patchwork book.

For this variety in color, you will need at least 4 different prints and 1 solid color fabric for the slip cover.
1 - 5" circle for the large yo-yo
1 - 2 1/2 " circle for the small yo-yo
2 - 3 3/4" x 3 3/4"  large square
2 - 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" small square
1 - 90" strip cut from 2 pieces ( 45"width of fabric) and sewn together.
1 - solid color fabric according to size of pillow

The first step for the yo-yo is to fold over a small edge and stitch all around, drawing the thread tight to form the yo-yo, Tie thread and press flat.

I decided to add a felt button in the center of the largest yo-yo.

For the 2 squares, I first stitched around two pieces of fabric with the right sides together. I trimmed the corners and cut a slit on one side. Using the opening, turn to the right side and press.

The next step is to position the two squares and two yo-yos on the front of the pillow slip cover. The book shows these pieces machine stitched on the top. I decided to hand applique mine with an invisible stitch.. As you can see, I decided to add one more yo-yo and one additional square. Just play around with it and adjust according to your taste or size of pillow.

After assembling the slip cover, insert the travel pillow and your accent pillow is ready to share with someone. Or, simply keep for your enjoyment.

Have fun adding your touch to the project.
Meggie Mac

Monday, December 26, 2011

Take a Break

It's the day after Christmas....too many lists, too many desserts, too many activities.
So, for today..."Just Be".

Look for a new sewing project tomorrow.
Meggie Mac

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Farm!

"And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."  Luke 2:12

Meggie Mac

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Pottery

My feet are up for a while...

The tetrazzini dinner went well last night, breakfast was full of good conversation, and now my son and wife have left for other relatives to visit.

Bringing out the Christmas dishes by Waechtersbach always puts a smile on my face. These dishes were given as a gift from a family member. The label, moulded in the pottery, is stamped W. Germany. Of course, the newer pieces, you buy today, have the word Germany printed on them.

                                         If you look closely, you can see the word W. Germany.

Would you like to join me in a cup of tea and some of the leftover goodies? Let's not weigh ourselves until after the New Year.

Meggie Mac

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I did not do today

Are you asking yourself why would I feature my vacuum cleaner three days before Christmas. It's to show you what I did not do today. Yes, it was on the list. And I had good intentions when I pulled it out this morning.

Do you have days you get side-tracked? This morning it seemed like a good idea to work with the carpenter on my sewing nook.

And nook it is! There were no original closets in this old farmhouse. So, on one end of a 12' x 12' bedroom, I have a space enclosed to serve as a closet/ sewing nook.

I was a little hesitant to show you my fabric collection. But, I'm thinking if you sew or craft, you probably understand this need to be surrounded with fabric. Especially fabric that was found at a bargain price.

The chair can be moved before rolling (it's on wheels) the table in front of the window.

 If you are working on a project most of the day, it is nice to be able to look out the window.

If you decide to watch a favorite TV show, then you can face the nook and leave your sewing machine in place.

It is a tight space. But, at the end of the day, I simply turn off the light and close the bi-fold doors.

Now I'm ready for the New Year and all the projects I will be sharing with you.

I can always run the vacuum cleaner tomorrow!

Meggie Mac

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Is Coming

As I'm looking over the list again this morning, I think it is best to put away some of the Christmas projects that didn't get finished.

Did you run out of time with some of your projects? I guess we all do. And so, again, I promise myself to start earlier next year.

Remember to take a little time for yourself today.

Meggie Mac

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five Days and Counting

The day is starting off with my usual cup of green tea, bowl of oatmeal...and today, The List. It is 5 short days before Christmas and the list is being revised again this morning.

It must be busy at your house too! It seems no matter how much ahead we plan, the last few days are hectic.

My goal today is to prepare Chicken Tetrazzini for 25 and freeze it for my Friday night dinner plans.  I have been using this recipe at Christmastime for more years than I care to remember.  It comes from vol. 10 of my 1966 Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery. I remember the 12 volumes were offered at the grocery store, one volume each week for 12 weeks. I'm sure the cost was less than $2.00 a book, but as you can see by looking at this, it is now $75.00 for the set.

Try to take a little advice from Lionel with a rest during your busy day.

Now, to finish my tea before I get this show on the road!

Meggie Mac

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decorating A Little Late

Is your stocking hung by the chimney with care? It need not be a chimney, a door knob will do!

Since my rooms are so small, I decided to put a tree in an old speckled blue cooking pot. My decorations are usually the same each year.... angels, stars, bows, icicles, hearts and strands of cranberries.

 I always add a red bird or two because all trees should have birds in them. Right?

Just to emphasize the size of my rooms here is a view from the Keeping Room, looking through the library into the parlor.

The Santa is hand painted by the writer of this blog. The two ornaments were made a couple of years ago by my sweet daughter in law and my grand-daughters.

If you read my post from yesterday, you know I injured my eye while working outside. I'm still recuperating by not using my eyes with any strenuous crafting projects.

My reference to myself as Meggie One-Eye, came from a story I've read in Scottish History of the Clan MacDonald and the Clan MacLeod. If you are interested in the history of Scotland, read this story and it will tell you how it all came about. Not exactly a story to go with my Christmas decorations, but I couldn't pass this opportunity to tell you about it.

Sometime in January, I will start writing about my Clan Macpherson history.

Meggie Mac
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