View from Mt. Battie

On top of Mt. Battie

View of Camden from Mt. Batty

Up High

Parenting on the Edge

Stone Tower on Mt. Battie

Mt. Battie

Mt. Battie

Laite Beach

Laite Beach

Farnsworth Museum

Flowers at Farnsworth

Farnsworth Museum

Farnsworth Museum

Farnsworth

Day two of our trip took us to see two different kinds of beautiful sights, 1) the stunning views of Camden from the peak of Mount Battie (fortunately very accessible by car) in Camden Hills State Park where we got LMC the first stamp in her Maine State Parks Passport, and 2) the American art at the Farnsworth Art Museum.

The Farnsworth is known for its collection of paintings from all three generations of the Wyeths, N.C., Andrew and Jamie. Mr. Cleaver is a huge Andrew Wyeth fan (I’m most partial to the more fantastical to N.C. myself, but enjoy them all), which was a big part of our decision to visit the area, and the Farnsworth collection, particularly of Andrew Wyeth studies and paintings did not disappoint. I was particularly struck by the 1982 work Adrift.

The day as a whole, made me itchy to do some painting again, which I haven’t touched in far too long. (So many art forms, so little time).

Camden Hills State  Park/Mt. Battie, Camden
Laite Memorial Beach Park, Camden
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland

Moody's Diner

Lunch At Moody'sDiner

Lunch at Moody's Diner

French Fries at Moody's Diner

4 Berry Pie at Moody's Diner

Rockland Public Landing

Rockland Public Landing

Rockland Public Landing

Clementine

Clementine

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Clementine

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Whale's Tooth

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This past week, the Cleaver’s packed up and headed off the Midcoast for our first vacation since LMC’s arrival in our lives. We set our sights on the Rockland/Camden area, about 2 hours north of Portland, and with reservations for a cottage and the loosest of to-see lists, we set off on our grand adventure.

The trip provided us with some stunning views, some additions to the fabric stash, good food (THAT PIE!!), and some much-needed down time

Moody’s Diner, Waldboro
Rockland Public Landing
Clementine, Rockland
Whale’s Tooth Pub, Lincolnville
Lincolnville Beach
Pine Grove Cottages, Lincolnville

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As a designer, my ideas often flow from or build on a previous idea. Picassco had a blue period, I get obsessed with colorwork, or texture. But usually, because of the diversity of my publishing outlets, this is less obvious because the order I design something and the order they’re released are often vastly different.

This past week’s release of Maian by Quince & Co. makes for a rare exception, as it was both designed and released on the heels of Lamassu. Like it’s predecessor, Maian was inspired by an ancient culture. But where Lamassu looked to the Near East, Maian takes its inspiration from the areas due south of the US border.

Maian is knit in Quince’s new’s yarn, Piper, which is an entirely Texas-sourced wool/mohair blend. With that info about the yarn and ancient cultures on the brain, it only seemed natural to make a shawl inspired by Aztec and Mayan stair-stepped temples.

Maian is worked from the tip up, with 1/2 the increases in each section worked as end row increases, and the other 1/2 worked as cast on increases at the end of each section. The lace is a super-easy chevron-style repeat that results a graceful and not overly-literal take on its inspiration.

If you’d like to make one for yourself, the Maian pattern is available through Quince & Co. or Ravelry for $6 USD.

All photos courtesy of Quince & Co. by Emma Sampson

Splash Pad

Splash Pad

Splash Pad

Splash Pad

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LMC is not a child lacking for new experiences, because it is so much fun seeing your child experience something for the first time. It’s so easy to forget how amazing things are and how much we, as grownups, take for granted. I took LMC for a walk around the block today sans stroller and she literally stopped to smell every flower, and collect every loose stick, rock, and acorn. When do we lose that and how can we get some of it back?

By the end of the day, Mr. Cleaver and I are exhausted, LMC definitely wears us out (in a good way). But I think it was less than 5 minutes out of the Wildlife Park parking lot that she crashed in the car seat, so it’s safe to say that we wear her out too. We’ve spent a lot of time cramming activity into the short time period that is summer weekends in Maine, and we’ve made a valiant effort, but I have to remind myself that it’s okay if we won’t get to everything on the list and that a walk around the block has as much to show us as a walk around an wild animal park, if you take the time to look.

I’ve been seeing a bit of theme in the blogosphere, that we’ve all gotten so busy. Guilty as charged. I, for one, don’t handle down-time all that well, it’s a skill that I sorely need to develop. But it may just be that I’ve got the best instructor right in front of me, because who knows how to live more in the moment than a toddler?

Portland Splash Pad
LL Bean KidsFEST
Maine Wildlife Park

Poppies Raglan Dress

Poppies Raglan Dress

Poppies Raglan Dress

Poppies Raglan Dress

Poppies Raglan Dress

Poppies Raglan Dress

Poppies Raglan Dress

Poppies Raglan Dress

I purchased ithinksew’s Ella Raglan Blouse a while back, with plans to sew up a ton of cute tops, but I only finally got around to actually making one now. It’s a good thing I did too, because the size on this print of the pattern only goes from 6-24 months (a bit small of a range, if you ask me. Also the long-sleeved version is a totally different pattern, which I also find silly).

I lengthened the pattern by two inches to make it into a dress/tunic and cut out the 24 month size, in hopes of expanding it’s wearable time period. As it is now, it’s definitely a little big, especially around the neck, so I added a ribbon from my stash (actually left over from my wedding nearly 7 years ago) as a sash to help keep everything in place.

The fabric is a quilting cotton that I picked up at Marden’s back in 2010. (I’ve now officially used 1/2 of the prints I bought that day!) I love the print, it’s very Liberty-esque, but it is definitely on the stiffer side. It works well as a dress here, but for a blouse I’d use something lighter-weight. In fact, I think it would be especially dreamy in a Liberty lawn or a voile.

As you’d expect from a raglan top, this one is super simple to sew up and I’d say it’s a great beginner project. The only complicated bit is attaching the bias tape as the neckline casing, which if you use store bought bias tape (which I did here), it’s fairly simple. I definitely sew this one up again, particularly if I can get my hands on some good fabric for it.

Also, one outtake, because it makes me giggle, as I can’t look at it without thinking of that infamous Bigfoot photo.

Bigfoot Baby

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Basic Black Ginger

Made: May 2012, about 2 years old

Update: For something meant to fill a basics gap in my wardrobe, I wear it very rarely.

Fit: Looking back on the original post, I mentioned that even then, the waistband was too large. In general, it’s just too big. I cut the waistband too large and I think I even graded out in the skirt, when I didn’t need to. The shaped feature of the waistband means it needs to hit the waist on the right spot and sadly, this one is about an inch too low.

Style: I really wished this one worked better, as it does looks so cute with my saddle shoes.

Materials: More than the fit, the fabric is what kills this one for me. I love twills, but this one attracts lint like crazy and looks dingy from the second you put it on. Though I’m not sure what black bottom-weight fabric wouldn’t be so linty – any suggestions?

Construction: I thought I did a great job on this one, with homemade bias binding on all the edges, but I didn’t sew it on very well as it’s pulled off in several places. I’d add pockets again though because everything’s better with pockets.

Lesson(s) Learned: Even for basics, even more so for basics, fit and fabric really matter.

Final Verdict: I’ll probably still wear it occasionally, until I finally get around to making a replacement (I still want a black Ginger in my wardrobe, just a better one). When I do get rid of it, I’d only reuse the fabric as stuffing for cushions or something, it’s just awful.

 

Tomatoes ripening on the vine

Plum Tomatoes

Rainbow of Tomatoes

Not a Bell Pepper

Highbush Blueberries

We’re far enough into the growing season now for me to discover some surprises in the garden beds due to free-wheeling labeling practices on my farmer’s market purchased plants.

For instance, in my last attempt at a veggie garden, one my my “bell peppers” turned out to be a banana pepper. This year, I once again have a fully grown “bell pepper” that is distinctly not bell shaped. Is it a hot pepper? A sweet pepper? Is it even ripe? I have no idea. Based on a preliminary search of the Johnny’s catalog, my guess is it’s a “Mellow Star” Japanese-style sweet pepper and usually eaten green, but probably not the “Yankee Bell” I thought I bought.

That beautiful rainbow of cherry tomatoes? Supposed to be a sauce/plum type called “Juliet”. My plan was to make salsa and sauce out of my tomatoes, since I’m not a big fan of eating tomatoes straight, but we’ll see. In any case, I’m going to have a lot of them!

I’m not to worried about my mystery plants though, it’s a good way to try something new, but it does make it harder to replicate if I find out I really like it!

With the exception of the broccoli, which is struggling against dual attacks from woodchucks and some insect I can’t find (probably cabbage moths), everything is growing well at this point.  I’ve been enjoying some delicious salads and pesto and best of all the blueberries are starting to ripen! We put bird netting over the bush this year, in hopes to getting to harvest more fruit than usual, fingers crossed for some blueberry muffins soon!

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