Monday, September 28, 2015

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse 2015

     Did you check out the supermoon eclipse last night? If you missed it, don't worry as there will be another one in 2033. Anyway, from what I read on the internet, the supermoon phenomenon occurs when the moon is full at its perigee - the closest part of its orbit around Earth (226,000miles), which is why it appears larger in the sky. According to one of our local weathermen, the "Blood Moon," gets its name from the reddish hue the moon takes as Earth's shadow passes over it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis in the USA

     This evening, Pope Francis concluded his historic six-day trip to the United States. Though I was not lucky enough to have been in Washington, D.C., New York, or Philadelphia, I did spend many, many hours watching the coverage of his visits to these great cities. These photos were taken with my iPhone 6 from the TV set. The coverage by CNN and MSNBC and other networks was outstanding.

     Papa Francisco's words challenged politicians and members of the clergy on a number of important issues.  His powerful words spoke to the hearts of all who heard him at each of the many stops on his journey.  What a great blessing it was to have him visit our country and to see this good and holy man if  only through the medium of television.

     While I was writing this post, I kept pausing to go outside to see the lunar eclipse. Thank you, Kristin, my wonderful godchild, who sent me a text message; I would have totally forgotten about it.  While I was outside, my neighbor encouraged me to try getting some photos with my long lens. I was skeptical that I could get any good photos, but I did take a few which I will post tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Day of Fall - 2015

     It doesn't seem possible that summer has come to an end so soon. Time to pack away the summer decorations and turns to shades of orange and gold. Yesterday after a lovely lunch with friends in Plymouth, I stopped at a craft store to purchase the makings for a new door wreath. Before making the wreath, I decided to see what door decorations I already had from last season. I came across the above decoration which was a bit sparse and not very impressive, so I took apart some of the newly purchased  items and began weaving them into the existing framework. No hot glue gun necessary and filling out its frame made quite a difference. 
     As I mentioned, yesterday I had lunch with some fellow retired teachers as we do each month. On Monday, I had gone to another monthly lunch with another group of retired teacher friends.  Monday's lunch was also in Plymouth where both days the the food and friendship was wonderful and the weather absolutely gorgeous.

     This weed caught my eye as I was leaving a quilt guild meeting at our local library on Tuesday morning.  I'm not sure of its name, but this weed is pretty enough to grow in anyone's garden.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Second Completed Paintbox Quilt

     I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that I have finally finished the second paintbox quilt top.  Blame it on the hot, humid weather or my overcrowded schedule, but I just couldn't seem to get it done. Tomorrow, I will send the top off to be quilted and will cross my fingers that I get it back soon to add the bindings and labels. As I have mentioned in previous posts,  I'm making quilts for my little triplet cousins who turn ten next month. The boy is getting a Star Wars quilt which is all done except for the label. The paintbox quilts are for his sisters. Though the pattern used was the same, the colors in the two quilts are a bit different to reflect their favorite colors.

     On Thursday evening, Tom Brady took the field to lead the New England Patriots to victory. The Patriots have a motto/motivating phrase . . . "Do Your Job!" On Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II made history by becoming the longest reigning monarch in English history. We haven't had a king or queen since the original patriots took care of that back in 1776, but when my sewing friends came to my house that night these pieces of china were on display on the credenza. The box on the left was from 1977 which marked the twenty-fifth year of her reign. The cup on the right marked her jubilee year. The box had belonged to my aunts and the mug was a gift to me. The queen has steadily "Done Her Job" and continues to do so at the age of eighty-nine. At supper I led my friends in a toast to this remarkable woman, "Long Live the Queen!" 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Beachcombing Fun

     This morning I attended a meeting of the Crosstown Quilters. Shortly after I returned home, my godchild and her two little girls arrived for a visit. It was very, very hot and since school for them starts tomorrow, we decided to head to Nantasket for one last afternoon of summer fun. After a not-so-quick lunch, we spent an hour or so beachcombing. We searched for beach glass, interesting rocks, and shells, and the girls brought all of these treasures home.

     There were sandpipers scurrying along the water's edge, but they were too quick to get a good photo with my iPhone. I'll have to head down there with my "real" camera to try to get some better photos. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream.

     It's hard to believe that these little cousins will be starting first and fourth grades this year.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Holding on to Summer

It may be Labor Day weekend, but I intend to hold on to summer as long as I can. We have had some hot, extremely humid weather lately and next week the forecast calls for more of the same, but for some unknown meteorological reason Friday was very cool and fall-like. My friend Laurel had come to spend the day quilting, and when it was time for lunch we headed to Tony's Clam Shop at Wollaston Beach for a lobster roll. We figured that if it was too cool, we could always eat inside. . . Wrong!!! . . . The inside seats were all taken so we had to eat outside. Was it cold? You betcha! Was it windy? You betcha! Was the lobster roll yummy and worth the discomfort? You betcha!!! Downright delicious!!!

Near the parking area I spotted this. Is it just me or doesn't this stump appear to be some kind of adorable little woodland creature???

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Moku Hanga App

The other day as I was taking a photo of the kitchen in the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, I wondered what it would look like rendered in the Moku Hanga app. I love how this looks, and it is so very easy. The Moku Hanga app for iPad or iPhone costs $2.99. You open any of your photos in the app and then play with the various effects. The effect above is Fluid Detail which creates a lovely painterly effect. You can also go for a more subtle effect with the Landscape choices.

or try something like the Thin Line Low Contrast selection.

These photo renderings took only moments to do and there is absolutely no learning curve . . . just click on the various buttons. Not all photos will turn out well, but after a while you can predict which one might work.

Finally, today there is total jubilation in Patriots Nation for Tom Brady has been vindicated by federal judge Richard M. Berman in the Deflategate matter. What a relief!!! Go Pats!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Paintbox Quilt Top

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am working on quilts for the upcoming tenth birthday of my triplet cousins. Fortunately, the Star Wars quilt just needs to have the binding sewn down. I wasn't sure which pattern I would use for the girls' quilts until I purchased the Spring/Summer2015 - Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler magazine. This publication features selected quilt shops in each issue. As soon as I saw the "Paintbox" pattern designed by Lori Krueger of The Patchwork Co. in Windham, New York, my decision was made. Here is the completed quilt top for one of the girls.

Yesterday, I went with friends to pick up some completed quilts, and I was able to drop this top off. We often bring our quilt tops to be longarmed by Suki Wright at Dancing Crane Quilting in Contoocook, NH. After that, we headed to a favorite quilt shop, Quilted Threads in Henneker and later had lunch at Daniel's which is just down the road from the shop.

Why visit just one shop when you can squeeze in a stop at another one on the way home? That's exactly what we did stopping at Bits and Pieces in Pelham, NH. This is a good shop to visit if you are looking for any kind of novelty fabric as they have quite a selection.

 I really have to get busy and finish the third quilt top. The blocks are done, but I still need to add the sashing and sew it all together.  Of course, I wouldn't be in such a rush if I wasn't such a terrible  procrastinator. Yup, I've been this way my whole life. Oh well, it's probably too late to change this character flaw now. Besides, I work best when faced with a rapidly looming deadline. :-)