MDK Field Guides are coming. Little books, big fun. Learn more here.

Woad Scholars


Dear Ann: The schedule for our week at Château Dumas had Thursday down for a “woad workshop.”  I knew that woad is a natural plant dye, and I think I vaguely knew that it was blue. It seemed kind of odd to have a day of dyeing in the middle of our sewing workshop, but I was curious, and game. On the first day after we arrived, as we headed out to explore Sunday flea markets in nearby towns, they suggested that we keep an eye out...

Read More

Workshop Withdrawal Syndrome


Dear Ann, I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me, but I’m suffering a distinct lack of lavender in the air here on the Upper West Side, now that I’ve returned from a weeklong workshop at Château Dumas in the South of France. I would like to take a restorative walk on quiet roads by fields of sunflowers, but all we’ve got are the cut ones in black plastic buckets on Columbus Avenue. I’ve got some wonderful things...

Read More

Sheepy Saturday: Thanks, Norway!

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 10.02.24 PM

Dear Ann, The other day, reader Mary Z sent me a press release that she had received because she somehow made it onto the Norway tourism email list. Apparently, Norway is promoting tourism by putting cameras on some of its 2 million free-range sheep. (Is that true about the sheep ranging free in Norway? Norwegians, please write in.) Here’s the press release. Enjoy the video links. Explore Norway from a sheep’s point of view!...

Read More

Life’s Rich Pageant: Remembering a Good One


Dear Ann, As you know, my hiatus from blogging last week was for a sad reason. My dad died on June 18, after several years of having a miserable time of it, in and out of hospitals and care facilities. When he finally gave out, the end seemed sudden, after all he’d managed to survive. Dad was not a regularly appearing character here on the blog, although once I did make him a rather gorgeous Portly Dad cardigan. As I headed to Omaha, I...

Read More

A Ramble in the Woods

IMG_4092 (1)

Dear Kay, Oh, come on, the news is grim, so let’s leave it all behind and go for a walk in the Tennessee countryside. I tend to walk early in the morning, when there’s still a breeze. The moss is so much better than the mushrooms this year. I have not seen a single mushroom. The frog pond is low, too. Not far from my cottage is a ruin of a stone house. There are people around who could tell me the story of this place, but I...

Read More

Postcard from Syria, Virginia


Dear Kay, Before I lose these in the cloud or the pool (a moment of silence for Hubbo’s phone, which went swimming with him yesterday), a few pix from the family reunion. A memorable, hard-earned sack lunch from the dining hall. Why does a ham sandwich taste so good when you’ve hiked for it? The signs were numerous. I never located Small Lounge. This just doesn’t seem quite enough for a town name. And it’s not a trip...

Read More


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)