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Monday, October 25, 2010

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

Last night, I went with a friend to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. She always find interesting things for us to do.  There were thousand of carved, lit pumpkins along the trail and in the pond. It was really something to see. There were pumpkins depicting famous people and scenes from different periods in history and pop culture along with hundreds of other "regular" carved pumpkins.
You were not allowed to use flash photography or a tripod, so these photos are hand held shots.
Here's one of my favorites.
Even the Duke was there.

The event runs through Halloween. Here's my advice if you decide to visit this Halloween spectacular. The gates open at 6:00, and it is very crowded at that time. Wait until 7:30 when the first rush is leaving and you will be less crowded on the trail, and you will be able  to park closer to the entrance. Also go Monday through Thursday as the weekend has the peak crowds.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Puppy Girl Katie


My miniature schnauzer was groomed today, and she looked so cute that I thought I would post this photo. The flash makes it appear as if she is white but in reality she is salt and pepper grey. She's my pride and joy and also my fitness buddy as we take long walks  each and every day.
                                            

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cranberry Harvest


I love living in New England and truly enjoy all four seasons. The foliage has not been very spectacular this year no doubt due to the dry, incredibly hot summer that we had. In search of some fall color, I headed down to Carver last weekend to see if any bogs were being harvested and took these photos.



                                                                                                                      

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Treasure of Montano Bay

 "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. . . " was the theme of the challenge issued for our recent guild show. I decided to create an underwater cove based on ideas and techniques  explained in Judith Baker Montano's wonderful book, Fiberart Montage - Combining Quilting, Embroidery, and Photography with Embellishments. This was my first attempt at an art quilt, and I really enjoyed the journey.

In her book, the author uses velvet to create the walls of the cove. This would give incredibly richness to the piece, but as a beginner I decided to try something else. The walls of my cove were created using multi-colored batiks and Texture Magic which after some experimentation yielded just the effect which I was looking for. My friend, also named Janice, is a  jewelry maker, and she gave me access to her vast collection of beads. I thought the piece needed something more, so I added a treasure chest overflowing with pearls, rubies, and gold. That explains the title of the piece which I named in honor of the author.
  I was thrilled with the final  product. My only regret was that I didn't make it larger. The finished piece measures just fourteen by sixteen.   Some day I may revisit this subject.                      

Friday, October 8, 2010

Summer Breeze - Kaleidoscope Quilt

While I was in Tuscany, the Herring Run Quilt Guild of which I am a member had a wonderful show. What with preparations for my trip, I barely had this quilt finished in time. This paper pieced kaleidoscope quilt was from the March/April 2008 issue of Fons & Porter Love of Quilting, and it took me about a year and a half to complete the eighty blocks.

I belong to a group which meets once a month for the weekend at a local hotel. We set up our machines and supplies and then come and go as we wish returning to our homes each night. During the course of the weekend, there is usually a visit or two to local quilt shops.  It's a fantastic arrangement. Anyway, I'm sure those ladies never thought I would get this done as it was all I ever worked on, and truth to tell, I'm not the world's fastest paper piecer. I liked having this project though as I always knew what I would be working on and would just pick up the project box and be off.

I'll try to post a better photo soon which shows the borders. It is a large quilt and my friend's arms were not long enough to hold it up and out straight!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Balmy Day at the Beach

Last week I suggested to friends that Nantasket Beach would be a great place to meet for a walk. We usually meet at Webb State Park. I remember the joy of walking the beach on warm September mornings last year and feeling as if I was playing hooky from school. We met this morning just as the drizzle began getting steadier and steadier. Hearty New Englanders that we are, off we went. We walked the length of the beach and back which was close to two miles with the ocean spray giving us marvelous facials. We saw only four other brave souls on the route including a women with a small black dog nattily attired in a hot pink, floral raincoat. Were we all nuts? No, it was fun, and it was an adventure, and that's what life is all about. Of course, after our healthy walk we immediately crossed the street to have a calorie-laden breakfast at Toast. Y'mmm . . . life is good!

     It was much nicer last Sunday when I took this photo from Fort Revere in Hull.
                                                                            

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quilting Under the Tuscan Sun

I've just recently returned from an amazing art quilt workshop in Tuscany. The instructor and organizer of the trip was award-winning quilter, Esterita Austin. It was truly a dream vacation. I had first seen Esterita  on episode #506 of The Quilt Show. Earlier this year, a local quilt shop had a one-day workshop with this wonderful teacher. The experience that day was so enjoyable that a few months later I decided to sign  up for the seven-day trip to Tuscany. I am so glad that I did! What a friendly, talented group of people attended this workshop. Four days were spent working on our quilt pieces and two days were spent exploring the beautiful cities of Florence and Siena.

The piece I chose to work on is a scene of the villa where the workshop was held.  I've started this blog to motivate me to finish this piece and to continue to develop as a quilter and fiber artist. If you would like more information about the trip, visit http://www.esteritaaustin.com/tuscanworkshop.htm

Here is the view from my room at the villa.
                  

Okay, now that I am committed, I better get to work on finishing my piece.