Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Wonderful Weekend

What incredibly beautiful weather we enjoyed this past weekend for parades honoring our veterans and fallen heroes, barbecues, gardening, etc. Our family celebrates Cousin Day/Weekend at this time each year. What fun it is to see all of my young cousins playing happily together. Their ages range from seven to thirteen: four girls and three boys. I also enjoy spending time with my older cousins and their spouses, too! :-)

On Sunday after church, I headed to the cemetery to plant some flowers and then returned home and did some gardening. Yesterday, it was more shibori fun at Cannizzaro Creations in Rockland.

I finished the binding on the "Grandmother's Flower Garden English Paper Pieced" quilt last night so that I might bring it to today's meeting of the Crosstown Quilters in Weymouth for 'Show and Tell.' The pattern called "Flowers for Emma" is available at Sherri McConnell's Etsy shop. Regular blog readers will smile knowing that Emma is also the name of my mini schnauzer; trust me, she will not be curling up on this pretty quilt. :-) You may remember that I started working on this quilt while recovering from my second adventure with breast cancer last fall. I didn't feel like taking on any big projects, but I loved hand stitching each colorful hexi flower. Each flower was then hand appliqued onto the background. I truly enjoyed working on this piece and discovering the joy of hexis.  If you are a quilter, be sure to check out Sherri's blog, a Quilting Life, as I know you will enjoy it.

So, as I mentioned, this morning was a guild morning. Since the forecast was for rain this afternoon, I wanted to get out and photograph my poppies which would not hold up well in windy, wet weather. I allowed myself just ten minutes to photograph as it wouldn't be good form for the guild president to arrive late for the meeting. I grabbed my 100-300 zoom lens to shoot these images. I love the color of this mandevilla vine, not red, deeper than pink, a lovely shade for a lipstick.

It was windy but I did manage to get a few good shots.

Now, if you like well planned, tidy gardens, please pass on by as in early spring my big garden is a bit of a jumble, BUT a wonderful jumble of color, and I love it!!! After these columbine and phlox start to go to seed, I will attempt to get things in some kind of better order, but not yet.


By the way, everyone enjoyed today's speaker Betty Habish.

May you all have a colorful, interesting, fun-filled week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Offerings for Their Osprey Offspring

Last evening the meteorologist's forecast was for a gorgeous day today, so this morning I grabbed my camera and headed to Falmouth in search of Osprey. There are many nesting platforms in Falmouth, but I had difficulty finding one that appeared active and accessible for my camera. Eventually I headed toward Old Silver Beach where I had success. If you click on the photo below or any of the others, you will see larger versions. Please do so as they are interesting. 

Can you spot the little guy looking out of the nest? From the screeches that I heard, I know there were more chicks, but I was not able to see his/her siblings.

The hungry screeches summoned a parent who carried a 'tasty' morsel which appeared to be of the rodent family in its talons. A passing motorist told me that earlier he had seen one delivering a good size fish.

After delivering the goodies, the osprey immediately took off again.

Patience is necessary as it was sometimes a very, very long time between deliveries, but I had a railing to rest on and it was truly a gorgeous day.

We do have Osprey Overlook Park in my town, but my lens (100-300mm) is not long enough to zero in on those nesting platforms. The nests in Falmouth are on poles to which wooden braces have been added by the light company to help accommodate the heavy weight of the nests and keep it off the lines.

PS . . . How did you like the title of this post? Try saying it three times quickly. :-)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Another Excellent Adventure

My dad always said, "Life is short; never go the same way twice." Indeed, whenever we visited relatives or went out for a Sunday afternoon drive, he always took a different route home. I am my father's daughter so I do the same thing. More about that later . . .

Yesterday, for the tenth Friday in a row we had rain. Knowing that none of the annuals on my picnic table would get planted, I decided to drive up to Contoocook, NH, to pick up a quilt that was ready at Dancing Crane Quilting. I normally quilt my own quilts, but this was the hexagon grandmother's flower garden quilt that I worked on while recovering from BC, and so I wanted this one professionally quilted.  My friend Laurel drove up with me and after picking up my quilt and stopping for lunch, we headed home hoping to get a jump on Boston rush hour traffic.

Down the road from Dancing Crane Quilting, we spotted this beautiful, weathered old barn, and of course, we stopped to take photos. Since it had been raining earlier, I unfortunately had not brought along my 'good' camera; these were taken with my iPhone.

While we were photographing this lovely old structure, the owner drove up and told us a bit about its history and his desire to preserve the structure.  He recently replaced the flooring and has plans to fortify the inner walls.

Look at the lovely arched windows.

He purchased this old tractor and had it placed in front of the barn for which  all photographers are grateful.   The license plate reads "Moooo." :-)

Now, did we then head directly back in hopes of getting a jump on Boston traffic? No . . . friends who ride with me know that the drive is seldom direct. I may spot an interesting road and decide to go check it out. Sometimes it may be a dead end or nothing special, but sometimes it may offer a delightful surprise. I also can't resist checking out interesting signs.

"Beech Hill Farm - Ice Cream Barn" Who could resist? Down a side road we went and we were delighted by what we found. 

There were cows, lambs, goats, pigs and even two peacocks.

There were tempting garden art pieces in The Gardener's Barn.

 Out back there was a large pile of dirt with many toy bulldozers which are no doubt a huge hit with the juice box set.

The building that had the ice cream also had a gift shop!!! I bought some wind chimes with a beautiful tone (I tried out all of them) and a small planter. Laurel also found two items.

Here's the view looking down on Beech Hill Farm. Wouldn't this be a magnificent autumn scene?  I'll surely have to return in the fall.

All in all, it was a long day but another most excellent adventure.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Finished Project - Embroidery, Stitching, and Surface Design

I finished a project!!!  As mentioned in a prior post,  a few months ago I signed up for an online class, "Layered Pages,offered by Janelle Girod and Kristin Rodrigues, a mother/daughter team who are the owners of  Fabrics on a Whim, a good online source for your art quilt and mixed media needs. The course consisted of a weekly online video and instruction sheets for each of the six lessons.  You had access to these videos for a month or so after the class ended which was great for me because I got started a bit late.

While I do enjoy making regular quilts, I really enjoy exploring all aspects of art quilting and of hand stitching. Give me some bits and bobs, lace, trim, beads, buttons, etc.,  and I am one happy lady. Through this course, I discovered a few products that I had never used before.

You were encouraged to do your own thing. A small kit with supplies was provided, but I had lots of this wondrous 'stuff' already on hand. For example, the vintage button that I sewed onto the cover has been in my stash for quite a while just waiting to be used in the right project.

I followed many of the ideas presented, but since I had enough material left over, I added a few of my own designs and a few more pages. Pinterest was an excellent source for embroidery ideas. Let me show you some of the pages in this book. . .

The page above on the left has a round charm that says "Be Strong" and some lettered beads which spell out my spirit word RESILIENCE.  I had the tiny pink bird button in my stash, and I love how it gives the other page some life. (By the way, each page is about 4.5" square; click on any photo to see a larger version. )

I stitched/wove this tiny basket using two colors of yarn; here's a close up.

This is the back cover .

All and all, it was a very good, fun class.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Today's Crosstown Quilters Guild Meeting

Harvey Leonard, chief meteorologist on Channel 5, remarked tonight that we have had significant rain on thirty-three of the last forty-one days. In fact, last night we even had a nor'easter with even more pouring rain and wind. Though today dawned cold, wet, raw, dismal, and miserable, it didn't deter sixty-two members from attending this morning's Crosstown Quilters Guild meeting. Warmth and laughter filled the hall.

After our business meeting, we voted on a quilt which will represent our guild at this summer's Lowell Quilt Museum's annual guild display. Edith's Blooming Nine Patch was selected from a field of positively lovely entries, any one of which would have represented our guild well. (I thought that I had a photo of Edith's quilt, but unfortunately it doesn't appear that I do.)

Then it was on to an awesome Show and Tell session. I'm including a few photos throughout this post for you to enjoy.

 I loved Linda's hexagon quilt with its exquisite free motion quilting.

And look . . .  Ann's quilt even had feet!!! ( I couldn't resist not cropping this one. :-)

We saw many completed versions of our guild mystery quilt that had been designed by Laurie G.  What fun it was to see the color and fabric choices that were made.

And after last month's string quilt workshop with Mary Cannizzarro of Cannizzarro Creations many brought their colorful quilts.

Pssst . . . Don't get your hopes up, but Harvey also said that the upcoming weekend might be warm and dry . . . Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Full Steam Ahead

While we were on the HRQG quilt getaway last weekend in Sturbridge, my friends and I tried a restaurant that I had seen featured on Chronicle. Steaming Tender Restaurant on Depot Street in Palmer, MA, was a delight. Train buff or not, you are sure to enjoy this restaurant.

Tufts Library photo update . . .

I've been reading . . . 
I am not really a mystery fan, but I did enjoy The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes - A Stewart Hoag Mystery by David Handler. The protagonists are a ghostwriter Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag and his anchovy loving basset hound sidekick Lulu. I enjoyed the witty writing style of this author. The plot set in Hollywood involves murder, stardom, and dark family secrets.

From what I read, it has been twenty years since the author has written a Stewart Hoag mystery. There are eight previous novels in this series.

Have a wonderful week. I don't want to jinx anything, but after days and days of gloomy, cool, dark days, we might actually see the sun this week.