Friday, October 19, 2018

Cranberry Harvest 2018

Earlier this week, an email went out to members of the South Shore Camera Club letting us know that a bog owner in Plymouth had begun flooding his bogs. Let's just say that this news is irresistible for photographers. Photographing the cranberry harvest has been an autumn ritual for me for years. 

I knew that my forever friend Cathy (we've known each other since we were toddlers) had the day off so I called and asked if she would like to accompany me. She had never seen cranberries being harvested and was truly amazed. In case the process is new to you as well, I'll try to explain. Cranberries may be harvested wet or dry; wet is far more colorful.

First, water is flooded into the bog. A machine not unlike an overgrown "eggbeater" is driven through the bog agitating the berries off the low growing bushes. The berries float to the top creating a glorious crimson field which is then corralled by a wide band.

Next, the cranberries are siphoned up into the trucks.

As always, you may click on any image for a larger view.

After watching for a while, we went for lunch to Plymouth Harbor where an art installation featuring colorful lobsters dotted the area.

The foliage in our area has been disappointing thus far, but as you can see, we still had a colorful day.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Another Sunday Smorgasbord

 This cheerful, smiling scarecrow family greets passersby in my neighborhood.

After church this morning, I visited the old, colonial High Street Cemetery in Hingham, MA. The trees are beautiful and the early signs of the foliage changing may be viewed here.

The Whiting Chapel . . .

At the summit, across from the chapel is a memorial to the Grose family. I searched but could not find any information on the statue. This beautiful figure holds a large key. To what? I don't know.

So, do you have plans for next weekend?  Why not come to the Crosstown Quilters Guild Show, "Wrapped in Comfort" at the Abington Senior Center,  441 Summer Street, Abington, MA!!! The hours are 10-4:00 on Saturday and 10- 3:00  on Sunday. The admission is $5.00. There will be a hundred quilts on display. If you are a quilter, note: we will have vendors!!! If you are a not a quilter, come see some stunning quilts and bring your Christmas shopping list since there will be a wonderful boutique of handcrafted items. (Some lovely pocketbooks for the boutique were shown at the last guild meeting; come do some early holiday shopping. :-)

On the reading front, I just finished  Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schulyer Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.  Since the phenomenal success of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway show based on Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, this founding father has become a household name. Though I was an American History minor in college, I'll admit my knowledge of Hamilton was limited to a few key items: his troubled youth, his founding of the treasury system, and the duel with Aaron Burr. When I saw "Dear Hamilton" offered on BookBub, I decided to give it a try. It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton from the point of view of Eliza, his wife, a truly remarkable woman in her own right. I learned so much about the early days of our country from reading this book. If you think politics is nasty today, it may well have even been worse in those times. 

I recommend this book, but if history isn't your thing, at least please take a moment to read this short Smithsonian article, "Why Elizabeth Hamilton is Deserving of a Musical of Her Own."  As I indicated above, she was a remarkable, remarkable woman.

Now if you have read this far, I am going to make it worthwhile for fellow pistachio loving fans. :-) You know how there are always a few nuts that you just can not open without risking destroying your nails? Well, I recently came across a tip which will amaze you. If you have a stubborn nut, simply put the tip of a half shell of an already cracked nut into the slit and give it a little twist. The shell will then magically open. Try it. You'll be amazed, too.  :-)  :-)  :-)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Two Days in a Row!!!

I photographed this Queen Elizabeth rose yesterday morning. There is an interesting story about this rose. My Aunt Alice was quite a gardener with roses being her favorite flower. When I was young, she showed me how to propagate roses using a short piece of the stem. She selected a piece with seven leaves below the blossom, cut the pieces to about seven inches, dipped the end in rooting compound, and placed it under a large, glass jar. She helped me do that with a piece of her Queen Elizabeth rose. The large, over sized glass mayonnaise jar acted like a greenhouse. It just looked like a small stick the first summer, but the next year there were a few leaves and the rest is history. Yes, this is that very same rose and let's just say it has definitely celebrated its golden jubilee. Amazing!  

So why am I posting two days in a row? Well, I wanted to be sure you knew that Craftsy is allowing free viewing of its lessons until Oct. 10. Craftsy has been bought by   So far, I have viewed two complete sets of lessons: "Stitch and Slash" by Carol Anne Waugh and "Art Quilt Backgrounds" with Judith Trager, both of which I enjoyed. The inventory of classes include: quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking, art, photography, etc.. Up to now, you could purchases individual classes which I like, but it seems that with Bluprint, unfortunately, they will only be offering a monthly or yearly subscription. I suppose that if you have a lots of varied interests, it could be a good deal.

Also, the 2018 Wooly Row by Row Experience is currently under way. Every other day you may visit two online wool shops where you may download a free pattern. The theme this year is "In the Garden." Even if you don't enjoy stitching wool, you might still like to get the 8" block patterns to make with fabric.

Speaking of wool, I plan to do the pumpkin wool piece featured on From My Carolina Home. I always enjoy reading this blog. Right now Carole is featuring an Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along. It's a two block quilt with Block A being a pumpkin block. From My Carolina Home is a blog about quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography, and more. No wonder I like it!!!

Here's my prep for the wool pumpkin piece.

I have two more quilted autumn pieces in the works, but I'll show them another day.

Have a lovely, colorful week.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Sunday Sampler

It's been a while since my last post; let's just say life has been a bit complicated lately.

This autumn scene was photographed at the Derby Street Stores in Hingham; their seasonal displays are always delightful.

The Herring Run Quilt Guild show last weekend was spectacular!!! Here are a few quilts that my friends had in the show. Below is Laurel's "Color Love" which is a pattern by Nancy Rink. It was quilted by Maureen Anderson of Anderson Quilts. 

Edith and Maribeth both took on the daunting online 365 Day Challenge which  was developed by Nancy Kerr of Australia. Absolutely amazing!!! You can find out more about this challenge and sign up for the 2019 "365 Day Challenge" by clicking on either of these two links.

Edith's quilt received an Honorable Mention. It was hanging along the side of the gym, and I wasn't able to back up far enough to get the whole quilt in the photo.

Here's Maribeth with her equally stunning version. I loved her color choices.

I know what you are thinking . . . if only one of these quilts received even an Honorable Mention, what were the winners like?  It was indeed quite a show!!!

Here's my "Sweet Dreams" quilt from Lori Holt's Let's Bake pattern.  I've shown bits and pieces of it as I was working on it, but I thought it would be easier to get a photo of the whole quilt when it was hanging in the show. It was fun to make with all of the hand stitching (cross stitching and embroidery).

If you are wishing that you had attended this quilt show, never fear as Crosstown Quilters Guild will be having its show on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21 at the Abington Senior Center, Abington, MA. Mark your calendars!

Autumn colors are just starting to appear. After a visit to my otolaryngologist in Quincy,  I went across the street to the new Hancock Adams Common in front of City Hall. There is a lovely fountain bed and statues of John Hancock at one end and John Adams at the other end.

Isn't this statue of Adams, our second President, striking! You know, John Adams married a Weymouth girl, Abigail Smith (no relation to me :-).

 I hesitate to write this next part, but I'm going to. As I mentioned, I had an appointment with my ear doctor. For many, many years, I have had periodic problems with my hearing . . . sometimes it's seasonal, sometimes it just is. I have been having an issue for a while with one ear,  and tubes haven't resolved it.  It used to happen while I was teaching, so fortunately, I have developed the ability to lip read . . . it was a necessary survival skill dealing with eighth graders. ;-) :-) :-) 

Anyway, here is my pet peeve. When I sometimes say  that I am having a little problem with my hearing, why do some people cup their ears and say, "Huh, Whatcha say???" with smiles on their faces?  I'm sure my non-verbal, stone face conveys how I feel about these remarks/actions. Lovely people who would never, ever think of joking if you said you were having trouble seeing, some how think it is acceptable to joke about hearing problems. I don't get it!!! Let me just say, there is nothing funny about not being able to hear well. It's frustrating and many times quite uncomfortable. I can only imagine how isolating it must be for those who deal with permanent hearing loss.

In my case, we're working on resolving the problem, but in the meantime, I have had to cancel my plans to go with friends to the Houston International Quilt Festival in November. This would have been my fourth time attending, and I was really looking forward to it as I had actually gotten into all the classes that I had requested. Flying is out for me until my hearing issue is resolved. It would be too risky. Bummer!

So as to not end this post on a low note, here's my pride and joy, Miss Emma  after being groomed on Tuesday. :-).

Have a lovely week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tina Craig Visits the Crosstown Quilters Guild

The speaker at today's Crosstown Quilters Guild meeting was delightful Tina Craig from Rhode Island who presented a twenty-five year retrospective of her varied work. She shared many types of quilts, some large, some small; here were a few of my favorites.

Just look at these teeny, tiny pieces! Wow!!!

She does her own spectacular quilting on her Bernina.

Here is her Polaroid quilt . . . what fun!

This quilt commemorates a family trip to Alaska. She purchased the laser cut center and the batik fabric there. She noted that there was a quilt shop in every port . . . another reason to put an Alaskan cruise on your bucket list.

These were only a small fraction of the quilts that Tina brought with her. If your guild is looking for a fun speaker,  contact Tina. We loved her!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Smorgasbord

Friday was a glorious weather day, so it meant one last lobster roll of the season at Tony's Clam Shack on Wollaston Beach. It was a busy week with breakfast with friends on Monday and lunch with another group of friends on Thursday. (Retirement is so much fun!!!)

I wanted to share a tip with the quilters who are reading this post. You are probably well acquainted with all the wonderful Missouri Star tutorials on Youtube, but have you seen the ones from Jordan Fabrics? They, too, have a great selection of quilt tutorials. Be sure to check them out.

I came across an interview that fans of Jenny Doan will find interesting: "Missouri Star: Meet the Family That Built a Quilting Empire by Accident/ Forbes"This Youtube video is about five minutes long, but you'll enjoy it!

Thursday evening brought the first meeting of the season for the Quilters Connection Guild in Watertown. The speaker was Texas art quilter, Andrea Brokenshire, who delighted us with her stunning flower quilts. I don't know why I didn't take a photo of this whole quilt below, but each of the blocks had fussy cut pieces in the star points. This was one of her earlier quilts. The majority of the many quilts shown were her flower quilts. She does not have a website, but if you google her name, you will see galleries of her amazing quilts.

I was one of the volunteers holding up the quilts which proved to be both good and bad. I had an up close view of each piece, but was not able to take photos until the very end.

One aspect of her quilts which I loved was her confetti backgrounds which provided both color and texture for her flowers. Andrea appeared on episode #1706 of The Quilt Show, and on that program she demonstrated how she creates her backgrounds. These two close ups are of two of them.

The first flowers quilts shown were made with pieced fabric; the later ones were painted then stitched. Her quilting and color sense are truly masterful!

Now, speaking of amazing quilts, (how do you like that segue?), be sure to come see the Herring Run Quilters' Guild show Saturday and Sunday, September 29-30 at the Norwell Middle School, Rt. 123, Norwell, MA, 10:00 to 4:00.

I'm watching Tiger Woods as I write this post hoping that today will be his day. He had a very public fall from grace and a long time struggle with back issues, but he is nothing if not determined and right now is doing extremely well.  I'm also looking forward to watching Sunday Night Football with the Patriots. If I plant myself in a comfy chair for a few hours, perhaps I'll finally get all my labels and one more sleeve sewn on quilts which will be in next week's show.

And finally, always be "grateful' for

smiles wherever you find them. :-)

Wishing you a week of smiles and laughter . . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Tomato for Lunch

Yesterday was the first meeting of the season of the Crosstown Quilters Guild in Weymouth, and my first as its president. I am happy to report that all went well at this agenda packed meeting. Seventy ladies were in attendance, and all were delighted to see these teddy bears which were made by Clare on the left and Nancy on the right. They had taken a class on making these patchwork bears at Dragonfly's Quilts Shop in Bellingham, MA. The pattern for these bears is Kwii Sew K 3246.
Notice how Clare and Nancy color-coordinated their outfits with the bears . . . not a requirement for "Show and Tell" but always a lovely fashion statement. ;-)

Clare also showed this adorable cat quilt which she is donating to a cat-themed raffle basket for our upcoming Crosstown Quilters Quilt Show in October. The quilt is even cuter in person. The pattern is "Jazz Cats" by Janet Kime from a book called The Cat's Meow, The Patchwork Place, 1994. It was machine quilted by Maureen Anderson of Foxboro, MA.

I wish I had taken more photos as there were many wonderful quilts shown.

Now, as for the title of this post . . . Meet Cordelia, an eleven year old Cocker Spaniel owned by Joyce, a Crosstown Quilter member. I haven't stopped laughing since she showed me these photos yesterday.

Here's Cordelia approaching the tomato patch.

Joyce said that each day Cordelia goes into the garden and helps herself to a tomato for lunch.

It doesn't matter if the tomatoes is red or green she seems to enjoy them all.

Now, if only they could teach Cordelia to weed. . .   :-)