Tuesday, June 18, 2013

book review, sewing updates and horsey news

Some have said this is a "guy's book", a description so lacking it is almost comical. Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead is a short novel set in the southwest desert, and follows the disasterous mission of an expedition of cavalrymen to hunt down Pancho Villa. Napoleon, the leader, is a seasoned horse soldier, and nearing the end of his career. He leads his young and untested soldiers across a brutal landscape to a certain death. That they are unaware of the futility of this mission and Napoleon is so very aware gives the reader a glimpse into the tender side of war.

What happens to Napoleon sets in motion an hallucinatory fight for survival and an examination of his war career. He struggles to live, while recalling his boyhood and trying to make sense of the viciousness of the attack. Napoleon is aware that war is changing, and horse soldiers will fade from the landscape. Old and new warfare, cynical and idealistic soldiers, brutality and tenderness play against one another in this moving novel of war and redemption.  Highly recommended for those who read Cormac McCarthy style novels.

storm over Tucson,AZ
What's happening in my sewing studio?  I've been sewing through stash, and really enjoying using fabric that was so lovingly packed away.  I have come across some fabric that I know was bought to match a pattern...but what pattern that would be escapes me now.  No worries though.  I have my beach capsule in the works, and a few vintage projects, and some home dec I must get to.  

Here are my most recent projects:

DOS 1944 house dress
The dress is from Decades of Style.  I love the main dress, but those sleeves!!  They are going to take flight :-)  I plan to make the dress again, but in a cap sleeve and a heftier cotton or linen.  It is a great pattern, even if those sleeves are a bit puffy. 

This apron is perhaps my favorite thing I have sewn this summer so far.  It is B 4945 and made from fabric given to me by Theresa of Camp Runamuck fame.  Thanks Theresa!  Click on the picture to see the detail of the trim.  Yes, those are the owl and the pussycat of this nonsense rhyme-poetry, of sorts 

Finally, Nick is doing a great job becoming an all-around companion and trail horse.  Yesterday, we opened the gate for other riders.  Those who ride will know that gates are a complicated maneuver.  I am so proud of him!


  1. Oh, thank you for the book review. I am a Cormac McCarthy fan, although, wouldn't it be novel to have one with a good ending.....

    Pats and praise to your handsome black beastie for acting the adult (even though we know he will always be a youngster at heart). Let's not forget to give a hand to the gal responsible for all this new found confidence either. Good job! And what a brilliant use of that fabric. Now where is my runcible spoon?

  2. Yes, I can't quite see that this is a "man's book" - I mean, Earnest Hemingway wrote along similar lines, as did many others, and I always understood them to be "classics"- I thought literature was about understanding the human condition - which is not specific to men only.

  3. I did not know that book ... anyway, here in Spain, I'll have to find it translated into Spanish ... if it exists.
       But I really came to enjoy your sewing projects. Love that dress with puffy sleeves even ... it's sooooo girly! and apron is beautiful!

  4. The apron is so adorable! I feel like anything you make while wearing that will come out delicious. I like the house dress too; the square neckline could not have been easy and you got it perfect.


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