Monday, September 29, 2008

The Sweetest Pressure

Cider Pressing
Originally uploaded by BCharmer

Yesterday was one of those glorious fall days; what better way to spend time than to press apples in our cider press. Some of our friends and neighbors came over to help, which made the whole experience just so much better.

I feel very satisfied by the whole process of harvest. The day prior to pressing, my daughter and I went out and picked all of the apples from our trees. We sat outside in the sunshine and washed them all in preparation for press day. Several neighbors came by to chat. After pressing, there was a big mess, but even the clean-up felt good and honest. We got about three gallons of the sweetest cider; doesn't it look beautiful in the sunlight?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flavia's Gift

Flavia's Gift
Originally uploaded by BCharmer

I have a story for you today: Flavia, a woman that I "met" on a photo site called "Flickr" suggested that we do a fabric swap, since we both love fabric and live on different continents. I selected some of her brazilian fabrics, and she said, "I love suprises; send me some suprise fabrics." Well I sent my package off to her, and today the package from her arrived. Inside was not just some fabulous fabric, but she also custom made some adorable zippered wristlets for my daughter and me. Each bears our name, hand embroidered. I cannot tell you how loved and special I felt, opening that gift. Flavia selected fabrics that she knew were amongst my favorites, and took the time to make these just for us, out of the goodness of her own heart. The generosity of people just astounds me. The lesson? Never underestimate your power to do good in the world, even with a seemingly small gesture. We can reach out to each other all over the world, even without having to meet face to face. I feel so happy. Thank-You, Flavia. What a friend you have become. You can see the fabrics that she sent me on my flickr page: and you can see more of Flavia's work on her site:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Blessing and the Curse

Originally uploaded by BCharmer

Well, we had a chilly summer, and so most of my tomatoes did not turn red. And they are somewhat mealy in texture. It is getting down into the upper 30's at night now, so I went out and picked everything off of the vine that looked useable. I will be processing for a few days; I'm thinking tomato sauce and green tomato chutneys. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year?

It is rainy out, and I've got Billy Holiday on the stereo. I'm cleaning up after all of the construction that we've had on the house (which is mostly over now) and trying to rid our surfaces of dust and chunks of drywall. A hot cup of tea helps my attitude.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Waning Light

Originally uploaded by BCharmer

Going outside this morning, it is windy and sunny and cold. The sounds are of leaves, discarded by their branches, scraping the pavement. The school flagpole clangs and flaps and the attention of birds and other wild creatures turns toward survival; the audible concentration of busy-ness fills the air. I myself am thinking of apples, squash, and picking my green tomatoes with hopes of their ripening on windowsills. It is good to be alive to witness this change of season. I am filled with hope and love.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Building a Home

Pillow Cover Front
Originally uploaded by BCharmer

I awoke this morning to the hammerings and thumpings of the guys putting a new roof on our house. It is fall, and they're trying to get us all weathered in before the rains come. So far we've been blessed with excellent weather, but we know that it is about to change. A simple siding project turned into a huge re-building project because so many of our structural beams were rotten. This was discovered after the THREE layers of siding were pulled from the house. The whole process of putting our house back together has given me pause for reflection: Somehow, during the turn of this season, everything feels fresh and new. I am excited to get up in the morning and get started on pushing my own boundaries and being a strong woman.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Coffee and Me

Coffee and Me
Originally uploaded by BCharmer

Well my house is in the process of getting a new life (new siding, new roof, and some structural support). This means that right now my studio is closed and my fabric is packed away to keep things clean. I was looking at this picture and feeling the yearn for my space back. It will happen soon enough, I know, but in the meantime, I can look at this picture and dream about the days ahead. I covered this ironing board with fabric from Amy Butler's Nigella collection. It is a heavy weight satiny-twill and I think it adds just the right amount of chic to my chore of ironing.

Happy days, everyone! Love,


Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Arrival

She Didn't Want to Open
Originally uploaded by BCharmer

Yesterday, one of my dearest friends had her baby. I got to go and see him last night, and I was filled with love and awe and respect for the whole process of becoming a parent. Looking at him, so new and tiny, reminded me of how much my own child has grown, and how much time has passed from the day she was born until now. I feel like savoring my moments right now. Everything feels so precious and fleeting. Here is my challenge for today: to be present and awake in what I am doing, even though I have so much to do!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Good Morning

Turkish Apricot
Originally uploaded by BCharmer

It is fall here in the Pacific Northwest, and we're having lovely weather. It is supposed to be in the high 70's today (come on, tomatoes!). But the leaves are turning gold and russet, and it's chilly in the morning, and there's dew on the ever present spider webs. This little wallet reflects this particular time of year to me. It's just the right color combination and the round shapes remind me of the ripening squash and tomatoes in my garden. Have a lovely day, everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Messenger Bag/Diaper Bag-Prototype

Messanger Bag/Diaper Bag-Prototype
Originally uploaded by BCharmer

Well, my daughter is starting kindergarten this month, and at the same time I got asked to design a diaper bag for a local natural baby boutique. I thought, why not combine one design and make it flexible enough to have two functions. So after much pattern cutting and measuring and thinking, this new messanger style bookbag/diaper bag was born. So my daughter is having her first day at kindergarten BY HERSELF today. I have been there for a week and a half every day to make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable (Mom, included). But this nifty bookbag is in Bronwyn's cubby, and it makes me glad for her to have such a friendly and stylish accessory that was designed by me and made with my two hands with love for her. After using it for a while, I have decided to make a few small changes to it, but for the most part, I think it's great.