Monday, April 11, 2022

My Calico Kitchen


Hello, Dear Friends. 

I hope that you are enjoying the lovely renewal of spring,

with warmer days and the sweet scent of flowers.


Lately I've felt an overwhelming urge to surround myself 

with the simple comforts and routine of ordinary days. 

Things that so many in this world, right now, dearly wish they had.

My sewing room is always a source of comfort to me,
where pretty fabric and trims get turned into tablecloths, 
pillows and curtains to brighten my days.  

There's something so soothing about the hum of the sewing machine
and the lovely possibilities of a length of new fabric.

As I measure, cut and sew, I feel connected to all of the women 
throughout the ages who performed these same tasks 
to provide clothing, bedding and pretty things for their loved ones
and to brighten their homes. 

Poppies - the symbol of remembrance.  

I wanted to tie the colors of the pillows to the beautiful painting. 

Sweet gift from a dear one. 

I sewed new calico curtains for my hutch, too. 
When we were expecting our first child, 
we had just moved to Oregon to start a new life. 
We rented a tiny cottage in the middle of a cherry orchard
that needed a bit of work, but it was all we could afford. 
In exchange for a discount on the rent, we 
turned the neglected little cottage into a sweet little home. 
We painted, wallpapered and replaced flooring and counters. 
To finish it off, I bought yards and yards of calico cotton 
very similar to this, from the Sears catalog, to sew curtains for windows 
and closets that had no doors. 

When we eventually moved, the dear, kind landlord gave us 
this hand-built hutch to take along with us. 
Over the years I replaced the glass doors with curtains
and painted the cabinet. 

It's homey and quirky, but holds sweet memories 
of a time when we had very little money, 
but many treasures of the heart. 

'If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich'
-from the Tao Te Ching-

New curtains for the sliding glass doors. 

My toadstool pincushions came downstairs - just because :)

I fashioned a little curtain out of homespun 
to hide my extra coffee cups.
When the whole family gets together, 
we use every one. 

A favorite cookbook on the cupboard door. 

My enamel sign says:
'I like hugs, I like kisses, 
but what I really like
is help with the dishes'. 

Calico dishes. 

Vintage pot-holders. 

No One Cares :)

For the long-winded among us. 

'Do not speak - unless it improves on silence.'
-Buddhist saying-


 Tablecloths I made for a birthday celebration 

to honor my dear Ramblin' Man. 

I baked his favorite cupcakes - Boston cream pie. 

The cheese-stuffed manicotti, ready for the oven. 
I baked two big pans to feed the whole family. 

I also made a cheese pizza for the 5 little grandsons. 

We had salad, warm Italian bread and a little wine to go with it.


"When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces. 
Women go right on cooking."
-Gail Sheehy-

The amazing charcuterie board that my daughter, Heather brought. 

This was the first time we had all gathered together since Christmas. 
We all took covid tests just to be safe.
The house was full of love and laughter. 
Something we never take for granted.


"Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody."
-Samuel Pepys-
Diary, Novermber 9, 1665

Papa with the grandsons. 

And one more...! 

The loves of our lives. 

Sweet dandelion bouquet. 


After the party I did a little Easter decorating. 

I had some calico leftover from my hutch curtains, 
so I made another tablecloth. 

The eggs are actually sidewalk chalk for children, 
but I love how they look so real. 

Glass eggs. 


I just found this little sign at the craft store. 

The colors are perfect. 

I can't decide if these are chicks or eaglets!

Bunnies I made years ago. 

Vintage flocked bunnies on the mantel. 

Painted wooden eggs and a clay rabbit. 

Clay basket and painted rock bunny. 
The books belonged to my children.  

We all know how this story ends. 

Let's take a springtime stroll. 

'Nature abhors a garden'
-Michael Pollan-
Second Nature (1991)

'To create a little flower is the labour of ages."
-William Blake-

"A garden is the interface between the house and the rest of civilization."
-Geoffrey Charlesworth-
A Gardener Obsessed (1994)

"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity."
-John Ruskin-

Spring is very fickle. 
One day it is sunny and warm enough 
for shirt sleeves, 
and the next day we are getting hail 
and need winter coats! 

The good news is that we know the cold won't last. 


When you arise in the morning

Give thanks for the morning light. 

Give thanks for life and strength.

Give thanks for your food. 

And give thanks for the joy of living. 

And if perchance you see no reason to give thanks

Rest assured the fault is yours. 

-Native American Saying-

Flowers from my dear one. 


"The salvation of this human world lies

nowhere else than in the human heart,

in the human power to reflect, in human

meekness and human responsibility."

- Vaclav Havel, poet-


Wishing you Easter blessings, Dear Friends.   


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