Resolutions for 2014

New Years resolutions have never been a thing of mine, however, this year might be different. My new Babylock ‘Molly’ sewing machine is a marvel, my sewing skills are improving, and the style and relevancy of my wardrobe is declining,( the latter faster than the former). So, sew I shall. I’ve just treated myself to 4 vintage sewing patterns that I intend to complete within the year, along with a wish list of 8 basic, stylish garments that I feel are within my skill level (although I will have to create patterns for them) and that I can combine with ‘off the rack’, inexpensive, leggings and shirts.

This, my New year’s Resolution, is an attempt to reclaim a sense of style, however modest, that seems to have been lost in the shuffle when we packed up from our cosmopolitan, NYC apartment and moved to the country to dig gardens, chop firewood, can vegetables, make bread, build stone walls, husband chickens, ducks and turkeys, wallow in horse manure,  and, generally, be slovenly.

First up is ‘The Smock’, view #3. Okay, granted; not that stylish, but it’s a comfort thing, a garment I wore when I was 5 and, after all these years, it might qualify for a sort of retro-stylishness, that’s what I’m thinking. I plan to make it in a natural, undyed belgian linen.

1960's Artist's Smock

1960’s Artist’s Smock

Once I get this one going, I’ll post about the other up and coming garments.

What’s YOUR New Year’s Resolution? Do you have one? Any goals or wishes or hopes? Please share them in the comments section.


May you enjoy prosperity and good health!

Winter Settles in at Stonewell

Snow settles on Stonewell Farm. Dust from the woodstove settles on everything inside Stonewell Cottage. Out come the recipes for Andrew’s Venison Bourguinon, the garden produce from the freezer for Michelle’s vegetable curries and the ingredients for eggnog. The chickens cling to their roosts in the coop; the turkey’s too.  A huddle of ducks has rooted inside the henpen, heads tucked beneath their wings like stone statues, only occasionally opening an eye to see if its still white out there, as if checking a kitchen timer.

Slogs to the shed, loading wood into fireboxes and unloading fireboxes of ash, replace the routines of weeding, and harvesting, and collecting eggs, of which there are precious few. Jars of salsa that we canned in September are carried up out of the basement,  on return trips from the laundry,and nachos and reruns of MI-5 episodes on Netflix punctuate the end of the day. New Yorker articles are finally read. Seed catalogues begin to rise precariously like leggo sets on the edges of available horizontal surfaces and we know, despite what the calendar says, its winter here at Stonewell.