Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Little Ladybug - Halloween 2013

     Emma and I have just finished filming a mini birthday greeting for one of our favorite little girls who turns five on Halloween. Emma stood still just long enough for me to warble out a quick, shaky chorus of "Happy Birthday." She loves my cousin's little girls, and they love her right back.
     We are presently in the eighth inning of what all of Red Sox Nation hopes will be the final game of this year's World Series. Though we have a comfortable lead, I'm still anxiously watching the game as I write this.  Favorite sign of the night - "Ortiz for President or MVP." Even if you are not a Red Sox fan, you have to love David Ortiz's amazing hitting prowess and spirit. The last time that the Red Sox won the World Series at home was 1918. Let's hope it happens again tonight.

     Here's a shot of my front window which greets those passing by and will welcome all of tomorrow night's trick or treaters. 
     We are just three outs away from clinching the title! Now just two . . . The roar of the crowd is absolutely deafening. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!! BOSTON STRONG!!! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Unexpected Surprises

     The clouds were thick this morning, but the weatherman said it would eventually be bright and sunny, so a friend and I headed south to Rhode Island. I had recently seen some photos from the Little Compton area taken by some photographers from the camera club to which I belong. I didn't plan anything but instead just drove around. Imagine my surprise when I encountered this literal fork in the road.

I'm not exactly sure which town this was in, but one direction indicated River Road and the other Harbor Road. We chose the river road. A mile or two down the road, surprise number two, this rusty relic.

These cows sure had a magnificent outlook.

We weren't the only ones out for a little ride as we later passed this lovely family.

The girls were all dolled up in their finest outfits.

Sometimes wandering the backroads you discover the most wonderful things!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Venice Landscape Update

     I've been working on this landscape on and off this past week. I've added a bridge in the background, the posts in the foreground, a couple of wooden pilings, and have just begun to add some of the windows. Hopefully, I'll be able to work on it a bit more this week.
     This was the weekend for getting together with quilting friends in Stoughton. I managed to finish the bindings on both a table runner and a one block wonder quilt. I'll post a photo of the quilt in a day or two, but the table runner photo will have to wait as my dining room table has my landscape project materials spread out all over it. I do have a sewing room, but I like this big surface to work on. That's another reason to keep working on this piece, so I can get my my dining room back in order.

      I grabbed my macro lens early this week to record what will surely be the last rose of this season. As the backyard fills up with leaves waiting to be raked, it's lovely to have this last vestige of summer to enjoy.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn Reflections

     I was running an errand this afternoon when driving by Whitman's Pond in Weymouth this site caught my eye. On the way back after completing my errand, I pulled into the parking lot and took this quick shot with my iPhone. 

     I've been making some progress on my quilted landscape. The water has been a real challenge. I debated between three different fabrics and finally settled on this greenish batik fabric. It was originally too bright, so I mixed up a wash of water and a little black Setacolor transparent fabric paint. After a few attempts at toning it down, I'm finally happy with it. I've also changed the colors of some of the buildings.
     The individual sections are adhered with MistyFuse, a lightweight fusible web. After the entire top is completed, the piece will be layered and quilted.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Search of Autumn Color

     I didn't make it to the backroads of Vermont this fall, so I've been waiting for the leaves to change in my area. Finally, there is a bit of spotty color here and there. My neighbor had made this little house a few years ago as a winter shelter for a cat which used to hang around our area. When I got Emma, he brought it over to my yard, but she has never used it. It's merely a yard decoration which I have been meaning to paint for the last year.

These photos were taken of some trees in the woods behind my house.

 A neighbor's tree . . .

Yesterday, I attended a fun birthday party in Berlin, MA, for my cousin's triplets. It doesn't seem possible that they are now eight!!!

     It was so lovely this morning that after Mass I called a friend and we headed to Concord to the Minute Man National Park. I had visions of taking photos of the wooden bridge with canoeists gliding by under  a canopy of colorful foliage. No such luck! Most of the trees along the river had already lost their leaves.

 There were two tree which were glorious, and it was a perfect day for a visit.

  Quite a few people had the same idea, and many were walking with their dogs. Whatever you do, please don't tell Emma. :-()

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Starting a New Quilted Landscape

    This photo was taken on our camera club's 2012 trip to Tuscany. At the time, I knew it would make an interesting subject for a quilted landscape. Actually, I've been debating between this photo and another taken in San Gimignano. Okay, not so much debating as just plain procrastinating, but finally, I've begun working on this new piece. Documenting my progress here will hopefully keep me focused on finishing it.
    First, I printed out my 8x10 photo. Next, I taped a sheet of clear plastic over the photo and used an extra fine point permanent marker to trace the edges of the key elements in the photo. At the copy center in Staples, I asked for an enlargement of this plastic sheet that would be 18" in length. This seemed to be a good size, but eventually I returned to get the piece enlarged to 24" in length as some sections of the first enlargement were just too small.  Here is the enlargement.

Isn't that cool? You don't have to be an artist to make your own pattern. Even better, the enlargement costs only a few dollars. This is my master copy. I taped it to the window, placed a sheet of freezer paper over it, and traced over all the lines to make a working copy which I will then be able to cut apart as I work on each section.
    Next, I put down a piece of black fabric and over it a piece of Transdoodle, chalk side down. (Don't you love that name? It's works like carbon paper used to, but this is intended for fabric. One side is smooth and the other side has a chalky surface. The same sheet may be used many times.) I taped my working copy over it and once again traced all the lines with a pencil. When done, I removed the working copy, the Transdoodle sheet, and here's what I had.  The black fabric clearly shows where each fused appliqué piece will go. It's magic!!!
     To fuse the individual pieces, I will use Misty Fuse.  I learned about using Transdoodle and Misty Fuse and the process of creating a quilt landscape at an incredibly fun  Quilting under the Tuscan Sun workshop in Tuscany with Esterita Austin back in 2010.  

So that's how it starts. The process isn't difficult, but it does take time.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Coliseum

     No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Coliseum. The photo above was taken from the bus window as we approached the site.

     This six acre amphitheater was constructed in 70 AD.

     Will I ever return to Rome? Who knows, but I did toss a coin over my shoulder into the Trevi Fountain! :-)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Walking Tour of Rome

     Our wonderful guide, Gaia, took us on a walking tour of her city. The photos above and below show the site where Julius Caesar was said to have been assassinated.

     This impressive building below is the Victor Emmanuel II Monument in Piazza Venezia. It was built in tribute to the first king of a unified Italy. 

     We had lunch in a small piazza where there was an open air market surrounded by outdoor cafes.

A bookstore named for Ray Bradbury's classic novel . . . 

Apron, anyone?

Bike security . . . 

And the invisible man . . . 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rome - Part 1

     On our first full day in Rome, we visited the Vatican where our local guide explained with clarity and depth what we would be seeing and what to look for on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.The architecture of the new Vatican museum was very impressive.

     No photography is allowed in the Sistine Chapel, but it is permitted in other areas. This magnificent ceiling was in the map room that you pass through on your way to the Sistine Chapel.

     As you can see, the walls of this room feature very large maps of the different regions of Italy.

After the Sistine Chapel, we toured St. Peter's Basilica. 

     Later we visited the Spanish Steps.

More tomorrow . . .