Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One Last Post for 2014

Last Friday through Sunday was spent quilting with friends in Stoughton. I was able to complete another block for my crazy quilt book of cigarette silks featuring turn of the century actresses from vaudeville, stage, and screen. Here's a close-up of some of the beading.

Anticipation . . .  This amaryllis will soon provide a bright splash of color as the holiday decorations are packed away. 

At least I won't have to waste time contemplating resolutions for the year ahead ; I can just use the same ones from last year!!! Wishing you a happy, healthy, adventurous new year!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Emma Turns Three

It doesn't seem possible that my little Emma will turn three tomorrow. Here she is shortly after returning from the groomer this afternoon. She is tons of fun in a tiny package. You should have seen her yesterday when my cousin and her little girls came for "Ladies Lunch;" she was delirious with happiness.

I hope you all have had an equally deliriously happy holiday season.

Monday, December 22, 2014

O "Deer" Me!!!

       Last week I mentioned that Emma had spotted some deer in the small strip of woods behind my house. Here's the proof that I wasn't dreaming. There were a buck and two does and a few houses down there were two more deer. I know what you are thinking . . . doesn't she realize that flash only carries  about twelve feet? Yes, of course I know that, but it was really, really early and really, really dark and I wasn't quite awake. I didn't even realize that I had the flash on. The image was so dark that I had to lighten it to even reveal the deer. I've been thinking that I ought to try getting up super early to see if they are still coming by, but as yet I have not done so.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lobster Trap Xmas Tree


Our local paper published a photo of this Christmas tree made from a countless number of lobster traps and buoys in Cohasset. Naturally, I had to go to check it out.  

It was decked with lights and so I waited, and it was worth it.

Isn't it absolutely magical?  Speaking of things magical, on Tuesday morning I went to a Kindergarten Nativity performance and yesterday afternoon a Christmas show at the parochial school that my cousin's little girls attend. Both were beyond wonderful. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Adventures with Emma - Turkey Alert

     Here's Emma just back from our morning walk. I'd like to tell you it was uneventful, but that wouldn't be true. We started out, and as it was much colder than I thought it would be, I decided to cut our long walk in half.  Everything was fine until we were passing a house where there were fifteen to twenty wild turkeys pecking around the front and side yard. Fortunately, there was a hedge, so Emma didn't see them. I kept silently repeating, "Don't let her see them," and as I indicated she didn't. My luck ran out two houses down where there were eight to ten more turkeys in a side yard. Oh my gracious goodness!!! Such frenzied barking and flapping of wings as they took off up into the trees . . . truly a sight to behold!!! Two turkeys ended up on the roof of a neighboring house. How I would have liked to have captured that picture. My iPhone was with me, but I didn't dare loosen my grip on her leash. Sometimes I will just step on the end of the leash to anchor it, but she was much too excited. 
    One dark, dreary morning last week Emma also spotted three white-tailed deer in the woods behind my house. I wouldn't have even seen them if her barking had not caused them to turn around, check us out, then jump leisurely over the stonewall and be on their way.
     Life with Emma is always interesting.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Halls Are Decked - 2014

     Anyone who knows me knows that I love to decorate for every season and every reason, but when it comes to Christmas I go all out. This is the living room tree which features angels, vintage ornaments, ornaments from my travels, schnauzers, Santas, and more. There is another fully decorated tree on the sunporch and one in the backyard. Why am I telling you all this? Well, I just finished watching HGTV's White House Christmas 2014. It's one of my favorite Christmas programs each year. It's amazing to watch the volunteers who come from all over the country to decorate the White House. Each room and tree is beyond beautiful. I don't really have a bucket list, but if I did, visiting the White House to see the spectacular decorations would be on it. If you missed the program, it's on Monday, 12/15 on HGTV at 8:00.  If interested, you may also visit the White House site to see some videos.
     I haven't posted since last Sunday since it has been a lovely whirlwind of decorating, shopping,  get-togethers, and lunches and dinners with friends! Life is good!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Full, Fun Friday

   A few friends and I headed north early Friday morning to Hopkington, N.H. to attend an artisans' holiday fair.  I purchased some handmade ornaments including an adorable angel. According to the tag, these angel ornaments were also selected for the White House Christmas tree. ( HGTV takes a look at the process of decorating the White House each year. The White House Christmas 2014 program will air next Sunday 12/14 and Monday 12/15.  I always look forward to this show. ) Anyway, back to the fair . . . there were some wonderfully decorated wreaths for sale and two of them came home with us. I forget what other items were purchased.
     We passed this barn with the large American flag while driving toward Henniker. My friends are always willing to stop, so I may hop out to take a quick photo. We were on our way to Quilted Threads, a favorite N.H. quilt shop. Next it was time for lunch at Daniel's which is just down the street from the quilt shop. Since it was still early, we also stopped in Concord to check out a few of its interesting stores in the center. We made it home with time to spare before attending our quilting group's Christmas party at Heart in Hands in Weymouth. It was a really full, lovely day.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Crazy Quilt Pages - Actresses - Cigarette Silks

   As you can see, I have been making progress on my crazy quilt project. Today I thought I would show you some more completed pages.

     I am really enjoying this work and have another crazy quilting project in mind when I finish this one.
     Yesterday was "Ladies Lunch" day. When my cousin's little girls have early dismissal, we often have "Ladies Lunch." They arrived a bit after noon, and Emma met them with every ounce of tail wagging - happy dancing possible. She loves these girls and their mom as much as I do. Next it was off to lunch and then we went on an adventure to The Christmas Place in Abington. Interestingly enough, this store was featured on Chronicle last night. They said it is the largest Christmas store in all of New England. The girls each selected an ornament and enjoyed seeing the dancing penguins, the train layout, and all of the trees and ornaments. Our last stop was at the quilt shop where Lucy picked out fabric to be used in a quilt that I am making for her birthday. All in all, it was a very fun day!!!

Update: I have reposted these photo which now reflect the colors more accurately.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend: I know I sure did. On Thursday I went to one cousin's home for a delicious dinner and a very relaxing, fun afternoon. All of my seven littlest cousins were there with their parents. 
    Friday morning I headed to Stoughton for our monthly quilting weekend. I left early in the afternoon, stopped home to let Emma out to play, fed her and then headed to Beverly for another cousin's annual Beverly Tree Lighting pre-party. Armed with cups of hot chocolate guests headed to the Common. The crowd was entertained by a choral group from Beverly High. Soon, a police car's flashing blue lights signaled the arrival of Santa Claus. It's amazing how this very, very busy man manages to fit the tree lighting ceremony into his busy schedule each year! 
     Saturday and Sunday after church I went to Stoughton where I spent the time working on my actress   cigarette silks  - crazy quilting blocks. Tomorrow I will post some completed pages. 

     Finally, last week I was at the pet store to purchase food for Emma. I happened to stroll by the apparel section, and this little pink jacket caught my eye. Really, you have to admit it's perfect for Emma. It has an attached little black knitted hood. It would have taken a stronger woman than I am to pass it up since it was on sale!!! This photo was taken Wednesday morning; here's the next day, Thanksgivng Day after we received a few inches of snow. Emma is wearing her warmer little blur parka.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Leonora Harris and Nora Bayes

 I have been working on making a crazy quilt book. Each page will feature a cigarette silk with an actress from the turn of the last century.  This is Leonora Harris (1882-1953) who starred in seven silent films and appeared on Broadway from 1900-1947

Another completed page shows Nora Bayes (1880-1928).

Nora Bayes was a comedian, singer, actress, and women's rights advocate. There was quite a bit of information about her on the internet.  She was a very popular vaudeville star unafraid to go up against impresario Florenz Ziegfeld. Another interesting tidbit was that she was married five times!  To read more about this interesting lady, visit Nora Bayes - Jewish Women's Archive. For fun, thanks to YouTube you can listen to her perform two WW1 era pieces: "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm" and George M. Cohan's Over There

The purple strip joins the two sides. Eventually this piece will be folded in half and the edges whipped stitched to create one double-sided page.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Final Reflections on Houston Quilt Festival 2014

     Final reflections . . . one more look at just how large the George Brown Arena is. Across the street there is a little park with a small lake.

I can see either of these as a subject of an art quilt.

Here's the view from one of the arena's outdoor balconies. 

Another new hotel is going up.

I thought this interesting building had the look of a modern quilt.

On Thursday night we went with two ladies I had met on a quilt retreat in Tuscany in 2010 and their friends to have dinner at a restaurant at the Aquarium. It was truly beyond awesome. We had an early reservation, so we were lucky to be seated only a few feet from the giant central tank.

When I returned home, I told Valerie all about it. She appeared to be listening intently especially when I told her how big the enormous tank was.

We flew home on Saturday. Don't you just love having a window seat!

I urge any quilters reading this to definitely go to Houston some time  for the International Quilt Festival.
     Note to self for future reference: next time plan to arrive on Wednesday for the preview evening and leave on Sunday.  Also, consider taking one of the all-day trips.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Some Interesting Quilts from Houston

     All of the quilts at the Houston International Quilt Festival were outstanding. I took photos of many quilts that caught my eye, and here are just a few. The above button creation, "Red Sunflower," by Susan Bianchi was a delight to the eye!

     Not only am I drawn to buttons, but I've also been bitten by the crazy quilt bug. Look at these impressive pieces.

If you love crazy quilting, check out Geraldine's blog Older Rose

Betty Pillsbury has a website . . . Betty Pillsbury - Crazy Quilts & Embroidery

Here are three more wonderful pieces.

To see more of her work, visit her website Eileen Williams - Fiber Art from the Crystal Cove of North Carolina.

Virginia Greaves quilt was based on "Migrant Mother", an evocative black and white photo taken by Dorothea Lange from her work documenting the living conditions of farm workers and their families during the Great Depression for the U.S. Farm Security Administration.

Look at this lovely quilt by Nancy Ryan and see more of her work on her website Nancy Ryan Quilts.

Finally, what with going to the quilt festival and finishing the Halloween quilt for my now six year old cousin, I haven't spent much time practicing my flute. My next lesson is on Wednesday, so I'm trying to practice twice a day to make up for my laziness. Here's Emma casting a critical eye as I practiced this morning after church. I know I have posted a similar photo before, but it just cracks me up whenever I look down and see her. She is either enjoying the music or wondering just how much longer she will have to wait before we go for our walk.