Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hancock Adams Common

The other day I went to lunch with friends at a local restaurant and this scene caught my eye.  Along the wall separating a smaller room from the main dining room there is a wall with wine racks. The sun was hitting this grouping at such an angle that the bottles positively glowed.

Today, I  played around with this photo in the Moku Hanga iPad app which renders images to resemble Japanese wood block prints. Pretty cool . . .

Since I was in Quincy Center on Friday, I thought I would photograph the John Hancock statue at the Hancock Adams Common in front of Quincy City Hall. I had posted a photo of John Adams in an earlier post.


The sculptor did a wonderful job capturing the signature of this merchant and patriot.

Hancock is at one end of the Common and John Adams at the other. The common is across from the Church of the Presidents where both John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams along with their wives are buried.

It really is quite well done.

I do wonder, however, why it is the Hancock Adams Common and not the Adams Hancock Common??? They were both towering founding fathers, but Adams was our second President. You might have thought his name would have come first. . . . . . 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

"Wrapped in Comfort" - Scenes from Our Crosstown Quilters Guild Show 2018

As promised, here are just a few quilts from our show last weekend. This octopus quilt was made by Donna as was this lovely hand embroidered piece, "Over the River and Through the Woods." I have seen it done in redwork, bluework, and in tones of brown, but in black is was truly amazing.

*** Click on any card below a quilt to read more info in a clearer, larger format. ***

A wall of red, white, and blue BOMs (blocks of the month) . . .

 This music theme piece was quilted with gold thread which was striking, but unfortunately, it doesn't show up well in this image.

Don't you wish that you had stopped by? There were ninety-eight quilts on display. What I tried to do was show you the diversity of the quilts shown; I would love to have been able to show them all!!!

So, if you are not a quilter, the next time that you see a quilt show advertised, by all means stop in.  You will be amazed.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Quilted Autumn Wallhanging

What a wonderful weekend it was!!! "Wrapped in Comfort," the Crosstown Quilters Guild Quilt Show this weekend was a great success judging by the smiles and comments of visitors to the show. Tomorrow, I will post photos of some of the quilts that were on display.

Saturday afternoon, there was a family birthday party for my thirteen year old triplet cousins.  My, how the time has flown.

For today, I thought that I would post about this recently completed autumn wallhanging. Last summer,  I attended a workshop sponsored by the Quilters Connection Quilt Guild in Watertown featuring renowned fiber artist Betty Busby from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The two-day workshop took place in a non-air conditioned old brick school on two of the very hottest days of the season.

One of the activities was creating leaves. We gathered real leaves, painted the veins, and stamped then on a sheet of Evolon, a microfiber product. The stamped designs were colored in using Inktense pencils. We then applied aloe vera gel or plain water to blend and make the colors deeper. My tablemate had brought some Lumiere paint which she graciously allowed me to borrow, and I lightly brushed some on the leaves.  (I even bravely added a few more 'sun-kissed' mini streaks to the leaves after completing this piece.)

I had begun the project by pulling autumnal colored batiks, but soon realized I would need more to make the curved strip piece that I wanted for the background, so it was back to my stash to find more. Surprise, surprise, I had enough in my stash.

We had made various sized leaves, but I chose to work with a smaller size in this piece. (These leaves are truly much prettier in person.)

After completing the background, I arranged and stitched the leaves. This close up will give you an idea of how I quilted it.

All in all, I was very pleased with the piece and happy that I had finally used the leaves.  :-)

I finished reading another book this week, The House at the Edge of Night: A Novel by Catherine
Banner which I do recommend. The setting is a remote fictional island, Castellamare, off the coast of Sicily. The characters include: the doctor Amadeo, a collector of fables and stories; his wife Pina, a woman of grace and intelligence, his daughter Maria-Grazia who struggles to keep the family's bar and only source of income thriving, and her soldier husband Robert who washes up on the shoreline and falls in love with both Maria-Grazia and the island. This multi-generational story traces the lives of the island inhabitants through the course of the 19th century. At first somewhat isolated from the forces of the outside world, they gradually become more and more influenced by the world beyond their shore. It's a novel of beliefs, customs, rituals, superstitions, and traditions.

Will you like the people of Castellamare? Yes, some more than others, but you will come to know them all well.

I would warn you that it is definitely not an easy book to get in to. I had read about this novel on another blog. That blogger had spoken glowingly about it attributes. Frankly, for the good first fifty to one hundred pages, I was considering ditching it and couldn't imagine what the blogger had seen in it. But, I stayed with it and ultimately found it worthwhile.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Cranberry Harvest 2018

Earlier this week, an email went out to members of the South Shore Camera Club letting us know that a bog owner in Plymouth had begun flooding his bogs. Let's just say that this news is irresistible for photographers. Photographing the cranberry harvest has been an autumn ritual for me for years. 

I knew that my forever friend Cathy (we've known each other since we were toddlers) had the day off so I called and asked if she would like to accompany me. She had never seen cranberries being harvested and was truly amazed. In case the process is new to you as well, I'll try to explain. Cranberries may be harvested wet or dry; wet is far more colorful.

First, water is flooded into the bog. A machine not unlike an overgrown "eggbeater" is driven through the bog agitating the berries off the low growing bushes. The berries float to the top creating a glorious crimson field which is then corralled by a wide band.

Next, the cranberries are siphoned up into the trucks.

As always, you may click on any image for a larger view.

After watching for a while, we went for lunch to Plymouth Harbor where an art installation featuring colorful lobsters dotted the area.

The foliage in our area has been disappointing thus far, but as you can see, we still had a colorful day.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Another Sunday Smorgasbord

 This cheerful, smiling scarecrow family greets passersby in my neighborhood.

After church this morning, I visited the old, colonial High Street Cemetery in Hingham, MA. The trees are beautiful and the early signs of the foliage changing may be viewed here.

The Whiting Chapel . . .

At the summit, across from the chapel is a memorial to the Grose family. I searched but could not find any information on the statue. This beautiful figure holds a large key. To what? I don't know.

So, do you have plans for next weekend?  Why not come to the Crosstown Quilters Guild Show, "Wrapped in Comfort" at the Abington Senior Center,  441 Summer Street, Abington, MA!!! The hours are 10-4:00 on Saturday and 10- 3:00  on Sunday. The admission is $5.00. There will be a hundred quilts on display. If you are a quilter, note: we will have vendors!!! If you are a not a quilter, come see some stunning quilts and bring your Christmas shopping list since there will be a wonderful boutique of handcrafted items. (Some lovely pocketbooks for the boutique were shown at the last guild meeting; come do some early holiday shopping. :-)

On the reading front, I just finished  Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schulyer Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.  Since the phenomenal success of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway show based on Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, this founding father has become a household name. Though I was an American History minor in college, I'll admit my knowledge of Hamilton was limited to a few key items: his troubled youth, his founding of the treasury system, and the duel with Aaron Burr. When I saw "Dear Hamilton" offered on BookBub, I decided to give it a try. It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton from the point of view of Eliza, his wife, a truly remarkable woman in her own right. I learned so much about the early days of our country from reading this book. If you think politics is nasty today, it may well have even been worse in those times. 

I recommend this book, but if history isn't your thing, at least please take a moment to read this short Smithsonian article, "Why Elizabeth Hamilton is Deserving of a Musical of Her Own."  As I indicated above, she was a remarkable, remarkable woman.

Now if you have read this far, I am going to make it worthwhile for fellow pistachio loving fans. :-) You know how there are always a few nuts that you just can not open without risking destroying your nails? Well, I recently came across a tip which will amaze you. If you have a stubborn nut, simply put the tip of a half shell of an already cracked nut into the slit and give it a little twist. The shell will then magically open. Try it. You'll be amazed, too.  :-)  :-)  :-)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Two Days in a Row!!!

I photographed this Queen Elizabeth rose yesterday morning. There is an interesting story about this rose. My Aunt Alice was quite a gardener with roses being her favorite flower. When I was young, she showed me how to propagate roses using a short piece of the stem. She selected a piece with seven leaves below the blossom, cut the pieces to about seven inches, dipped the end in rooting compound, and placed it under a large, glass jar. She helped me do that with a piece of her Queen Elizabeth rose. The large, over sized glass mayonnaise jar acted like a greenhouse. It just looked like a small stick the first summer, but the next year there were a few leaves and the rest is history. Yes, this is that very same rose and let's just say it has definitely celebrated its golden jubilee. Amazing!  

So why am I posting two days in a row? Well, I wanted to be sure you knew that Craftsy is allowing free viewing of its lessons until Oct. 10. Craftsy has been bought by   So far, I have viewed two complete sets of lessons: "Stitch and Slash" by Carol Anne Waugh and "Art Quilt Backgrounds" with Judith Trager, both of which I enjoyed. The inventory of classes include: quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking, art, photography, etc.. Up to now, you could purchases individual classes which I like, but it seems that with Bluprint, unfortunately, they will only be offering a monthly or yearly subscription. I suppose that if you have a lots of varied interests, it could be a good deal.

Also, the 2018 Wooly Row by Row Experience is currently under way. Every other day you may visit two online wool shops where you may download a free pattern. The theme this year is "In the Garden." Even if you don't enjoy stitching wool, you might still like to get the 8" block patterns to make with fabric.

Speaking of wool, I plan to do the pumpkin wool piece featured on From My Carolina Home. I always enjoy reading this blog. Right now Carole is featuring an Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along. It's a two block quilt with Block A being a pumpkin block. From My Carolina Home is a blog about quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography, and more. No wonder I like it!!!

Here's my prep for the wool pumpkin piece.

I have two more quilted autumn pieces in the works, but I'll show them another day.

Have a lovely, colorful week.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Sunday Sampler

It's been a while since my last post; let's just say life has been a bit complicated lately.

This autumn scene was photographed at the Derby Street Stores in Hingham; their seasonal displays are always delightful.

The Herring Run Quilt Guild show last weekend was spectacular!!! Here are a few quilts that my friends had in the show. Below is Laurel's "Color Love" which is a pattern by Nancy Rink. It was quilted by Maureen Anderson of Anderson Quilts. 

Edith and Maribeth both took on the daunting online 365 Day Challenge which  was developed by Nancy Kerr of Australia. Absolutely amazing!!! You can find out more about this challenge and sign up for the 2019 "365 Day Challenge" by clicking on either of these two links.

Edith's quilt received an Honorable Mention. It was hanging along the side of the gym, and I wasn't able to back up far enough to get the whole quilt in the photo.

Here's Maribeth with her equally stunning version. I loved her color choices.

I know what you are thinking . . . if only one of these quilts received even an Honorable Mention, what were the winners like?  It was indeed quite a show!!!

Here's my "Sweet Dreams" quilt from Lori Holt's Let's Bake pattern.  I've shown bits and pieces of it as I was working on it, but I thought it would be easier to get a photo of the whole quilt when it was hanging in the show. It was fun to make with all of the hand stitching (cross stitching and embroidery).

If you are wishing that you had attended this quilt show, never fear as Crosstown Quilters Guild will be having its show on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21 at the Abington Senior Center, Abington, MA. Mark your calendars!

Autumn colors are just starting to appear. After a visit to my otolaryngologist in Quincy,  I went across the street to the new Hancock Adams Common in front of City Hall. There is a lovely fountain bed and statues of John Hancock at one end and John Adams at the other end.

Isn't this statue of Adams, our second President, striking! You know, John Adams married a Weymouth girl, Abigail Smith (no relation to me :-).

 I hesitate to write this next part, but I'm going to. As I mentioned, I had an appointment with my ear doctor. For many, many years, I have had periodic problems with my hearing . . . sometimes it's seasonal, sometimes it just is. I have been having an issue for a while with one ear,  and tubes haven't resolved it.  It used to happen while I was teaching, so fortunately, I have developed the ability to lip read . . . it was a necessary survival skill dealing with eighth graders. ;-) :-) :-) 

Anyway, here is my pet peeve. When I sometimes say  that I am having a little problem with my hearing, why do some people cup their ears and say, "Huh, Whatcha say???" with smiles on their faces?  I'm sure my non-verbal, stone face conveys how I feel about these remarks/actions. Lovely people who would never, ever think of joking if you said you were having trouble seeing, some how think it is acceptable to joke about hearing problems. I don't get it!!! Let me just say, there is nothing funny about not being able to hear well. It's frustrating and many times quite uncomfortable. I can only imagine how isolating it must be for those who deal with permanent hearing loss.

In my case, we're working on resolving the problem, but in the meantime, I have had to cancel my plans to go with friends to the Houston International Quilt Festival in November. This would have been my fourth time attending, and I was really looking forward to it as I had actually gotten into all the classes that I had requested. Flying is out for me until my hearing issue is resolved. It would be too risky. Bummer!

So as to not end this post on a low note, here's my pride and joy, Miss Emma  after being groomed on Tuesday. :-).

Have a lovely week.