Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015 - My Little Ladybug

The other day one of my faithful blog readers remarked that there haven't been any Emma photos posted lately, so just for her, here's Emma, my little Halloween ladybug. :-) Speaking of pets, let me introduce my new betta, Brady Blue, "Blue" for short.  This little rose petal betta seems to be a happy little guy who is settling in well to his new home.

What happened to Valerie? She has moved to a new home in New Hampshire. For those new to my blog, Valerie was the goldfish that I have had for over six years.  She was a lovely fish, but she just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I simply didn't have space for a larger tank; mine is a ten gallon one.  The last few years, Valerie's orange color has faded to silver white and friends were beginning to call her "Moby." :-) Anyway, when I went to NH to pick up the triplets' quilts, I went to lunch with the lady who does my longarm quilting. I mentioned my dilemma, and she offered to take Valerie as she had an empty thirty gallon tank. Wow! The perfect solution!! That's not to say that I didn't agonize over the decision. I had had Valerie so long that I wasn't sure I could or should give her away. In the end, I decided to do what was best for her. Here she is in her new home looking happy and contented. She even appears to have made a new friend. This is only a section of the tank which is huge.

Finally, a Halloween safety notice; Don't Text and Fly this Halloween. Look what can happen. This poor witch flew straight into a telephone pole!!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Projects

I purchased the kit for this quilted Halloween witch wallhanging during the summer, and once the quilts for the triplets were finished I began working on it. I love the colors and her sparkly, silver shoe buckles. Once completed, it was time to start on "Ghosts," a "Grab 'N Go Kit." The ghosts were pre-cut so I simply had to attach the figures with buttonhole stitches and stitch around the edges of the candle mat. Beside the fabric, thread, and needle, the kit also included the cute little pumpkin buttons. Two projects completed in time for Halloween . . . put a gold star on my forehead. :-)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Autumn in New England

     Is there any place more beautiful than autumn in New England? The other day I was lamenting that the foliage didn't seen to be as colorful or vibrant this year as it usually is. Then my friend Laurel, who came this morning to spend the day quilting, remarked how beautiful the trees were when she had driven past the High Street Cemetery in Hingham, MA. After a few hours of work and a quick lunch, I just had to see for myself. The sun was shining brightly against a deep blue sky, and we were struck by the simple beauty of this small, old cemetery.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Two Interesting Quilt Presentations

On Sunday afternoon, I joined a group of volunteers making breast cancer comfort pillows at Heart in Hands  quilt shop in Weymouth.

On Monday evening, I attended a meeting of the Quilters Connection Guild to hear a presentation by Ann Shaw from the state of Washington. I had joined this guild in the spring after attending their quilt show. The group, which originally held meetings in Watertown, now meets at Bentley College in Waltham. This wonderful new meeting space means that they will able to accept many more new members. If you are interested, there is information about joining on the website.

Here are two samples of Ann's amazing use of color and prints. Patterns for some of her quilts are available on her website, Ann Shaw Quilting along with information regarding workshops and retreats.

Last night, I went to a meeting of the Rhododendron Quilt Guild in Walpole. Why? I am not a member of this guild, but I really wanted to hear Jacque Gering, the high priestess of the modern quilt movement speak. As you can see from this photo, her ebullient, warm, funny, friendly manner did not disappoint. She was delightful!

Her focus is on line and negative space as you can see in these pieces.

To see more of her work, visit her Tallgrass Prairie Studio where you will also find her blog and a number of tutorials. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore . . .

I took a drive with a friend down to the Cape today in search of some autumn color. This familiar group was spotted along Route 6A in Barnstable.  We also made a stop in Sandwich where I took the shot below.

It was near the Dexter Grist Mill that I spotted this goofy guy.

These next two photos were taken last week in New Hampshire.

Overall, I don't think this has been a great year for foliage viewing though here and there you may find spots of deep color. The yellows seem most intense this year.

Over the weekend, I attended the birthday party of my now ten year old triplet cousins. They were excited and very happy to receive their quilts which, of course,  also made me very, very happy.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Civil War Encampment & The Intern

     Yesterday was an absolutely perfect autumn day, and when my friend Marilyn told me that the Randolph Historical Society was having a Civil War Encampment at Powers Farm, we decided to check it out.

     There were many interesting displays. The photo below was taken of a group representing the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the first military unit consisting of black soldiers from the North. That regiment's role was brought to life on the big screen in Glory.

     There were also raw recruits drilling in the field.

     There was one thing that I found particularly interesting. On a table, there was a large display of rifles used during this period. When my friend inquired about the weight of the rifles, the gentleman encouraged us to pick one up. We could not believe just how heavy it was. 

     After a visit to the camp, for a change of pace, we headed to the cinema to see The Intern starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro. DeNiro plays a retired, widowed businessman who looking to fill his days, applies for a job as an intern at an online fashion site. The movie has received mixed reviews, but I really liked it!!! If you don't get hung up on the perhaps implausible plot, you will really, really like it too! Both actors and the movie are totally charming, and it's a very pleasant way to spent a couple of hours. I'd give it a B+ and as my former students would tell you, I was not an easy grader. :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thrift Shop Treasures

     As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the weather on Friday and Saturday was cold, windy, and wet; so, what were we to do??? We visited thrift/consignment shops run by local churches and civic organizations. This pansy table from the Habitat for Humanity store will be perfect for holding a beverage or book, and it has found a new home on my sunporch. Pansies always offer a burst of happy color! I also purchased this heavy ceramic vase for my sunporch. Isn't it pretty?

Another find was this cobalt piece which I will either use for serving or possibly as a jardiniere for a deserving plant. The photo doesn't do justice to the color.

     What else did I pick up? A wooden box which I will show after I apply some wood stain to it, a couple of utensils to use in my surface design projects, a brand new wallet with lots and lots of pockets for cards, a package of canvas style photo computer paper, and a new 4x6 photo album. It sure was a fun and interesting way to pass the time.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cape Gataway 2015

     I spent the weekend with five friends in Eastham, and though the weather was cold, windy, and rainy everyone had a wonderful time. What do you do when you can't walk the beach? Go shopping, of course. Tomorrow, I'll post photos of some of the treasures that I found.
     Sunday dawned clear and bright, so after Mass, my friend Kathy and I stopped at Boat Meadow in Eastham, a beautiful spot where these top two photos were taken.

The next two photos were taken at First Encounter Beach.

     After picking up our other friends, we stopped at Fort Hill, but it was far too cold and windy to take a walk there as we had done last year. 

 Next, we headed to Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Light, and Marconi Beach to check out the surf. We found that many others had the same idea.

Due to the nasty weather, I had only brought along my iPhone this weekend to take photos; unfortunately, these photos only hint at the power and majesty of the raging ocean.

As always, simply click on any of the photos to get a larger view.