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Just your basic salsa, made with the most fresh ingredients possible. My harvest has been pretty small thus far, but definitely delicious. I’ve done two batches of salsa thus far, and expect to have a few more in the coming weeks, though I won’t have enough to can anything. I’ve never been a fan of eating tomatoes out of hand, but I’m in in love with these tomatoes (San Marzano, I think) – so easy to seed and prep and perfect for those tomato-things I do love (sauces and salsa) – where have you been all my life?!

The blueberries have finished their run, but there’s a second (smaller) batch of strawberries on the vine. I’ve gotten two sweet peppers thus far, though it looks like there’s a few more on the way. We also cut our first bit of broccoli and the second set of lettuce is getting close to harvest. I forget that this part of the season is so robust. I guess that’s why the fall is harvest time!

What are you gathering in your garden these days?

Cross Stitch Stocking in ProgressWaldorf DollCross Stitch Stocking in Progress
Waldorf DollCross Stitch Stocking in Progress

Waldorf DollThe end of summer came all too quickly this year bringing with it big changes (LMC started daycare two days a week) and big deadlines (knitting and day-job related), and the sad realization that I should have taken more days off of work. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all and have found some soothing simplicity in hand-work. Setting all knitting aside for a a few weeks, I’ve been focused on my cross-stitch, and this newly finished Waldorf Doll for LMC. At other times, I would find it all a bit tedious, but for me, for now, it’s just right.

What do you turn to when you need some quietude in your life?

Beech Hill Preserve

Beech Hill Preserve

Beech Hill Preserve

Beech Hill Preserve

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Beech Hill Preserve

Beech Hill PreserveBeech Hill Preserve

Olson House

Christina and Alvaro

Olson House

Olson House

Olson House

Christina's Garden

Alvaro's Hops

Olson House

I think we saved the best for last. On our way back out of the Midcoast, we made two lovely stops on a beautifully sunny day.

First up was the Beech Hill Preserve in Rockland, which doubles as a working organic wild blueberry farm. This spot was recommended by a coworker of mine, and has some stunning views. It’s also far less trafficked than Mount Battie, thanks to the fact that you have to do a (rather gentle, if you’re not carrying a toddler on your hip) hike up to the top.

Finally we stopped at the Olson House in Cushing. Here I’m glad that Mr. Cleaver had me do some reading up on the Olson’s and Andrew Wyeth’s relationship with them. Without context, the Olson House is nice, if a bit dull, as it’s basically an old empty farmhouse. With context, the place has a lot of resonance.

I mostly read the 1982 book by Betsy Wyeth, Christina’s World, and the first chapter of Richard Meryman’s 2013 Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait, both of which I found helpful. We also picked up Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World and The Olson House at the Farnsworth gift shop. I haven’t read it yet, but according to Mr. Cleaver, it tells more about the history of the house, in particular what happened after siblings Alvaro and Christina died.

After wandering the house and grounds, including a visit to the A. Wyeth and Olson graves, we drove back to Thomaston for a nice lunch at a local cafe, then it was back on the road and back home.

Beech Hill Preserve, Rockland
Olson House, Cushing
Thomaston Cafe, Thomaston

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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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

_Maian_-5741_medium2 _Maian_-5804_medium2 _Maian_-5967_medium2 _Maian_detail-5921_medium2_Maian_-5994_medium2 _Maian_back-5870_medium2 _Maian-5723_medium2

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

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