Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saddle Up!!!

     Over the weekend I went with a friend to see True Grit. The original version had recently been shown on AMC, and it has definitely stood the test of time. Why then would the Coen brothers revisit this classic? That I do not know, but I'm here to say that this movie is great. Jeff Bridges gives an Oscar-calibre performance as Rooster Cogburn, and young Hailee Seinfeld, in her first film role, is absolutely wonderful. The Coen brothers have you from the opening moments when Mattie Ross, seeking  retribution for the death of her father, steps down from the train.
     Whether you are a fan of westerns or not, see this film; it's a great ride. I definitely give it an A.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nevica di nuovo!

     It's snowing again! I thought it might sound better if I said it in Italian. :-) The forecasters predicted six to ten inches, and they were right. I'd say we have ten inches of new snow. The nice thing is that it is the confectionary, powdered sugar snow which is easy to shovel compared to the heavy wet stuff of the last few storms. Is it just me or does it seem as if we no sooner shovel, then we have yet another storm? Oh well, we're hardy New Englanders, so we can take it.  Now Katie, my miniature schnauzer, didn't seem to be too thrilled to be out in the snow today. Usually I toss up handfuls of snow and she jumps around having a fine old time, but today she just took care of business and headed straight back to the porch while I shoveled the deck and stairs.
     I intend to make good use of my time today and layer and quilt this top.
   The fabric for the quilt top was in a kit put together by my friends Donna and Liz. The quilt will be donated to charity. The Herring Run Quilt Guild of which I am a member collects many quilts each year to be given away. I'm sure some child will enjoy the bright colors in this Paddington Bear quilt.                                          

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Canadian Rockies Photos

     Last night I attended a South Shore Camera Club program on photographing the national parks. The photographer showed slides from the American West and also some which were taken in the Canadian Rockies. I've been meaning to print enlargements of some of my shots from my wonderful trip there in June with my cousin.  Here are a few of my favorites from that trip.
           Banff National Park
          Johnston Canyon
       Cleveland Dam in Victoria
         My two favorite images were taken at Lake Louis and Moraine Lake. Perhaps I will post them another day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Woodsman, Spare That Tree

     The poem Woodman, Spare That Tree passed through my mind as the men from the tree service removed some storm damaged limbs from the oak tree in my front yard yesterday. One broken limb was hanging directly over the sidewalk and the other dangled precariously over the driveway. It was simply amazing to watch the man maneuver the bucket at all  kinds of angles up through the branches. I took this shot through the front door.
     Today was snowy then rainy and miserable,  but last Sunday was bright and beautiful when I took this photo at Weston Park.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bolts, Buffalo, and a Bridge

     On Saturday, I drove up with two friends to Contoocook, N.H. to pick up their quilts which had been machine quilted by Suki Wright at Dancing Crane Quilting. I also dropped off a just finished quilt top to be done. While in the area, I finally got a good shot of the Rowell Bridge in West Hopkinton.
     Next if was off to Warner to visit the Lizzy Stitch Quilt Shop. This little shop has been opened since July, and the selection of fabric is lovely. While in Warner, we had a bite to eat at the Foothill Cafe which is down the block from the quilt shop.
     These three very cool and colorful steer were grazing in the yard next to the
quilt shop.
          Then on our way out of Warner, I spotted a sign for the Buffalo Store and convinced Donna and Edith that we just had to check it out. After all, it's not every day you get to see buffalo.
      Our last stop was at our favorite quilt shop in New Hampshire, Quilted Threads  in Henneker where we all did our small part to help the New Hampshire economy.
        It was a lovely way to spend the day.                                                              

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Country Strong

     I went to lunch with friends today and saw the movie, Country Strong starring Gwyneth Paltrow. If you are a country music fan, it's a safe bet that you will enjoy this movie. Tim McGraw is also in the movie, but ironically, he doesn't sing a note until the closing credits. He is, however,  becoming a very fine actor. 
     Some people have suggested that Country Strong is just a feminized Crazy Heart which won Jeff Bridges his first Oscar. While the movies both feature protagonists with substance abuse issues trying to reclaim their careers, that's where the similarities end. I would give this movie a B- rating.
     The music is pleasant enough, but I will probably only be adding to my iPod two selections  from the movie both sung very well by Gwyneth Paltrow: the title track, "Country Strong" and the powerful "Coming Home."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Scrapbook Quilts

      I attended the Society of Sewing meeting at Ann's Fabrics in Canton this afternoon and while there I purchased Fast, Fun and Easy Scrapbook Quilts, Create a Keepsake for Every Memory by Sue Astroth. The author gives instructions and ideas for creating small wallhangings incorporating techniques used by scrapbookers. The approach is similar to making a journal quilt. Sounds like fun! I think I'll make one to commemorate my trip to the Canadian Rockies and another based on my trip to Tuscany.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here is my second amaryllis which opened on New Year's Day.  The color is so soft, and I love the ruffled edges.

    My outdoor Christmas tree survived the blizzard after all. From a distance after the storm, it looked as if the top had snapped off. The snow was too deep to take a closer look. After the warmer weather we had the last few days it turns out that it was a large limb from a maple tree which had fallen across the tree. Once I removed the limb and the snow melted on the branches, the tree made a recovery. Cool!