Tuesday, May 31, 2016

More Glimpses of My Garden

The rain yesterday on Memorial Day spoiled many parade plans, but it made for some pretty pictures when it finally ended. These were taken with my iPhone


Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend - Triple Treat

What an interesting, fun weekend Emma and I have had! On Friday afternoon, my cousin Brian dropped his triplets off for a weekend visit. The two girls and a boy age ten came with sleeping bags, pillows, suitcases, and a slew of electronic devices. :-) They stayed for three night and boy did we have fun.

When they first arrived, I asked them if they would like to have an upside down dinner. Our first stop was for ice cream at Hornstra Farm in Norwell. I knew that if we had gone there after supper, the parking lot would have been jammed with ice cream lovers. The children enjoyed the ice cream and seeing the cows and not surprisingly, they didn't seem to mind having their dessert before dinner.

Saturday was sweltering, so in the afternoon, we went to see Disney's The Jungle Book. Whether you have a child to bring with you or not, be sure to see this movie. After seeing it, be sure to view the YouTube videos showing how the movie was made. The young actor, Neel Sethi, who played Mowgli deserves a special acting award. I remember the first time I saw Mary Poppins and how delighted I was with the scenes of Mary, Bert, and the children jumping into the magical chalk art scene on the sidewalk. It is beyond amazing what filmmakers are today capable of doing.

In addition to visits to local playgrounds, countless card games of "Kings in the Corner," yesterday afternoon we met my godchild Kristin and her family for lunch at Tony's Clam Shop on Wollaston Beach.

It was a busy, fun weekend, and I loved having my young cousins come for a visit. The house is so quiet and empty now that they have gone home. :-(

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Hawk Family Returns

As you can see, Mr. and Mrs. Hawk have again chosen to build their nest between the speakers at the top of the church that I attend. I've been keeping a 'hawk' eye out for these parishioners who were later than last year setting up their home.  The nest is somewhat hidden behind the speakers, and the babies are just becoming large enough to see. These images were taken with my 300m lens. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will see two babies next to mom. There may be more, but that's all that I could see.

Dad is usually perched as he was last year at the very top. This will give you a better idea of their temporary residence.

This afternoon, Emma began barking excitedly on the sunporch when she spotted a turkey in the backyard. No doubt he had come to check out my gardens which are coming along nicely. He soon flew into my neighbor's yard, and Emma was pleased with that.

A few  more garden glimpses and a question. . .

Should Knockout Roses be deadheaded? The answer seems to be fifty - fifty on all the sites that I visited. I have planted two red and one yellow this year for the first time. If you have this type of roses, I'd love to know what works best for you. . . deadheading or not.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Glimpses of My Garden

What joy it is to stroll around my gardens in the early morning to see what flowers have blossomed overnight. Yesterday, this gorgeous orange poppy surprised me as did one purple iris. Though the poppies won't last long on a windy day or if it rains, they are beautiful to behold for a short time.

I also enjoy photographing the unopened poppy buds with their promise of color to come.

Here is the poppy from yesterday which was more fully opened this morning.

In my garden and along my fence wild columbine plants beckon to the hummingbirds, but alas, I have yet to see any as of yet. My nectar feeder also awaits their visits to my gardens.

Yesterday, I purchased two fuchsia plants to place in a hanging pot as fuchia are one of my very favorite flowers to photograph along with poppies, irises, coneflowers, etc..... There is something so elegant about the blossoms of a fuchsia plant.

My friend Laurel came to quilt a bit later in the morning, and since it was such a gorgeous spring day we headed to Tony's Clam Shop for some lunchtime nourishment. Quilting is. after all, really hard work, and yes, it tasted every bit as good has it looks. Yummmmmm!

Tomorrow I'll need to do some more serious planting, weeding, and mulching. :-)

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunday Sampler - Swan Boats and Lilacs

Each year, members of the South Shore Camera Club head into Boston to shoot at dawn in the Public Garden. Traditionally, they go on Mother's Day, but this year due to the weather they had postponed until yesterday. It always sounds like a wonderful idea as the soft, morning light must be truly glorious, but I wouldn't know as I have never rolled out of bed early enough to join them. :-) They are there by 5:00! My friend Marilyn and I did go to the Public Garden yesterday, but we arrived at the far more civilized time of 9:30.  The sun kept going in and out, but I did take a few photos.

When I was little, on Sunday mornings after church, my dad and the man next door would often fill his station wagon with the neighborhood kids and take us to special places such as the Public Garden and Franklin Park Zoo. They were two very good dads.

Dating back to the 1870s, four generations of the Paget family have operated these iconic Swan Boats. Click here to view a pictorial history of the Swan Boats. 

Next we headed to the Arnold Arboretum to view the lilac display. It was windy so I didn't take many photos, but I loved the colors of these two bushes.

After stopping for lunch, I was home by 2:00 after what seemed an already quite full day. My plans to veg on the sunporch were put on hold when Emma pointed out that she hadn't had her walk yet . . . so  . . . I was off again.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Two Days of Gardening

I've been working on my gardens yesterday and today and also helping the local economy with visits to a few garden centers. Emma was inside the house while I planted this double Knockout Rose. (The squirrels at the neighbor's bird feeder had been driving her bonkers.) When she was released from house confinement, she headed straight for this new rose to investigate. She sniffed a number of the blossoms which gave me time to grab this quick shot. Digging the hole was not easy as it had to be twice as wide and deep as the rootball. Unfortunately, this section of the backyard is filled with hard packed dirt, rocks, and tree roots. Then I had to fill the hole with good dirt from my compost. Planting this rose nearly did knock me out!!!

I have put together seven hanging pots and filled six large planters. Whew!!! At the end of today, I intended to spread fertilizer on the front lawn, but after doing so much work, my back indicated that wouldn't be a smart idea, so I'll just add that job to my to-do list.

This cute little watering can with succulents found its way into my cart at the garden center. It should do well on my sunporch.

 Finally, last week I attended a book talk at my local library. Marta McDowell spoke about her book, All The Presidents' Gardens. Her talk was so interesting that I purchased her book which I am enjoying immensely. In just the first few chapters, I have learned so very much.  American history and gardening . . . now that's a winning combination for me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Thomas Crane Public Library in Springtime

While driving by the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy this morning on the way to the gym, this spring scene caught my eye.  On my way home, I stopped to capture these images with my iPhone. Please click on any photo for a larger image.


 The architect of this magnificent library was Henry Hobson Richardson, who also designed Trinity Church in Boston. To read a short article about the architecture, history, and landscape design of the Thomas Crane Public Library, please click here 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Auction Fever

One of the quilt guilds to which I belong last night held an auction.  I was one of the worker bees on the auction committee, and I couldn't believe all the fabric, books, quilt tops, etc., which had been donated. Louisa Smith, who taught a workshop at the guild, sent a quilt for the auction. Her piece was the big ticket item for the evening. When a friend and I arrived at the meeting place, we along with the other committee members began putting out bag after bag after bag after box after box of items!!!

Many, many items were priced for the sale table while the rest of the items were for the auction. The auction was quite spirited and folks obtained some very good bargains. As you can see, I was the winning bidder for a large bag of pink yardage.  As the evening went on and time grew short, the organizers began to bundle items.  I was the high bidder for this bundle of grey and black fabrics which also included a tote bag.  It would appear that I have enough grey and black fabric to keep me busy for a very long time. :-)

Was that all I bought? Well, no, but these were my only two successful auction bids. From the sale table, I purchased a box of animal print fat quarters, a few other fat quarters, and a last minute purchase of a box of upholstery fabric samples. I have yet to go through them, but I will weed some out. Others I will keep as I often incorporate small pieces of textured fabric into my art quilts. Some pieces are large, so I will have to figure out a plan for them. A few other odds and ends completed my purchases.

The auction was a great success, and I think many people went home very happy with their purchases.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

An Author in the Family

We are all incredibly proud of my cousin Linda Murphy who has had a book, Social Thinking and Me - a Two Book Bundle published. She co-authored it along with Michelle Garcia Winner. Linda is a speech pathologist and co-owner of Peer Projects - Therapy from the Heart which is located in Beverly, MA.  Linda has also had a number of articles published in Autism Spectrum Quarterly and if you are interested in reading them, you may do so hereWell done, Linda. . .

Monday, May 2, 2016

Simpler Times - Part 2

Today, I thought I would talk about the images that I selected for my crazy quilt project and the transfer material that I use.  There are many products which allow you to print photos on cotton fabric sheets using your inkjet printer, and I have tried many of them. The one which I have the best results with is Jacquard's Cotton Fabric Sheets. When I edit the images, I prefer to use the "antique" filter which gives a slight tint as opposed to the "sepia" filter which is too dark for my light colored crazy quilt blocks.

The images in my grandmother's album are small, faded, and in some cases badly degraded, but with a simple editing program, iPhoto, I was able to get some fairly good images. Though I won't be using any of the photos in this post in my crazy quilt project, I thought you might enjoy seeing them. 

The photo above and this one both appear to have been taken at the same time as yesterday's ladder photo.  If you look very, very closely, you will find nine people in this photo. 

In this picnic scene, my grandmother is seated on the left.

It is difficult to see, but I think my grandmother is the woman taking the photo in the image below. 

It appears she is using a camera similar to this Kodak Pocket camera. The one below is a model from 1922, sixteen years after these photos were taken in Winthrop, Maine.

Just for fun, check out this price list and magazine offer.