Wednesday, May 27, 2020

This and That Thursday


We in Massachusetts are now in phase one opening status. For me, this meant an appointment at the dentist this morning. I had had an implant procedure quite a few months ago, and today was to be just a quick visit to have the tooth attached. Of course, I was concerned about going, but I knew my dentist would take all necessary precautions. The long quarantine meant that what I feared might happen, did. My teeth had shifted slightly, the new tooth didn't fit, and new impressions had to be  taken. G'rrrrrr. I will have to go back in three weeks. So, why am I bothering to tell you this? It was interesting to see the changes at the dental practice. First, upon arriving in the parking lot, I phoned to let them know that I was there.  Since I was the only patient at that time, I was told to come in and fill out some forms with covid-19 related questions. My temperature was also taken. Only two chairs at opposite ends of the waiting area were not roped off with caution tape. When I reached the dental chair and removed my mask, I was given some hydrogen peroxide mouthwash to swish around for twenty seconds. The dentist and his assistants were all masked and some had protective face shields.

After leaving, I drove to a local garden center for some gardening retail therapy. To make up for my disappointment that the procedure was still not completed, I treated myself to this beautiful hanging pot. :-) Although they appear purple, these flowers are actually a beautiful shade of blue.

Another reason I am posting today is because of what I read on another blog this morning. Did you hear that Crafty/Bluprint is ceasing operations soon? What???? Yes, it is true. You may read the letter to customers here. I know I have a couple of classes that I haven't even viewed yet. They haven't indicated when operations will cease, but it would appear that classes, which we purchased with the understanding access would be available forever, are now in jeopardy. I'll have to view all my purchased programs soon. 

My down the street neighbor, fellow Crosstown Quilter, and friend of Emma, Elizabeth R. shared this advice.  You may click on this image to enlarge it.

 _____________           _______________           _________________         ________________

A very somber note to end on . . . 
This evening the United States has reached a horrible milestone with over 100,000 deaths.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Have hope. We will get through this.

Monday, May 25, 2020

A Memorable Memorial Day 2020

This stand of purple irises has grown in the same spot in my backyard for as long as I can remember. Following the advice in Jim Crockett's book, I try to divide the irises in the fall every seven years. (I try to remember to do this; note: "try" being the operative word. . . ) Back in the day, Jim Crockett was the gardening expert/host of "Victory Garden" a PBS program which began in 1975 and was must see TV. Whenever I have a gardening question, I still go straight to his book first.

Now a bit about Memorial Day. . . 620,000 soldiers gave their lives during the Civil War. The tradition of visiting and leaving flowers and flags on the graves of fallen soldiers began a few years after the war ended. Gradually, folks began visiting and leaving flowers on the graves of their loved ones, soldiers or not. The tradition continues along with patriotic parades and speeches. For many, it marks the unofficial start of summer, and usually on this day, along with parades, there are barbecues and trips to the beach. This year in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic things have changed, but we still remember those we have lost and the brave men and women who have given so much to protect our freedom. I wonder where we, our country, and the world will be next year when
Memorial Day comes around?

Here are a few more one inch wool circles that I have stitched based on Sue Spargo's designs.

Below is a shot of my overall progress. I've stitched thirty-nine circles so far. I rested it on my puzzle board to take this shot. The puzzle's theme is New England and features many of the places I would like to be visiting this summer. Maybe next year . . .

 I worked on two circles during the televised epic golf game for charity yesterday featuring only four players: Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. Two great golfers and two great quarterbacks ... the event raised 20 million dollars for corvid-19 relief efforts. It was pouring, soaking rain throughout the match.You have to hand it to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady playing golf in front of millions of viewers. One of the announcers at the end of the match wondered how it would be if Woods and Mickelson had to play in a football game. :-)

Well, Miss Emma has waited patiently long enough, so it is time to go stretch our legs. 

Stay safe.  Stay strong. Have hope. We will get through this. Peace out.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Stronger Together

Hello Fellow Quarantinees! How are you all doing??? I've been meaning to post all week, but time has gotten away from me. Gardening and stitching and walks with Emma have been keeping me busy. Yesterday as I drove down Green Street in North Weymouth I spotted this colorful display. Isn't it great!

This morning I was greeted by the first of the season poppies. These old fashion poppies originally came from my aunt's garden many, many years ago. Hopefully, tomorrow's possible showers will not ruin them as the blooms are as delicate as tissue paper.

Speaking of tissue paper, I received an order of large size "bleeding" tissue paper, so I hope to do some more sun printing with it next week. The package that I had used in my first attempt had smaller length pieces, and I wasn't thrilled by the seams it caused.

I have been keeping up with the Sue Spargo "Down-Toned Circle Sampler," and here are a few of my favorites. 

I have not done every one of Sue's suggested circles as a few did not suit my taste. In the end, I will create some of my own designs to fill the other circles. I did stitch one circle that simply says, "Have Hope."

 I'm also working on the Alex Anderson "Sequoia Sampler" quilt. She is giving instructions on Youtube for this project. When she first talked about it, I knew just what I wanted to use. After scouring the internet, I found this Timeless Treasures bundle of lemon themed fat quarters, and yes, you guessed it, I'm going to call my quilt, "When Life Gives You Lemons." It seems perfectly appropriate to mark this time.

A few types of businesses are beginning to open on a limited basis here in Massachusetts. As you can see, it is not a moment too soon for Miss Emma. She has a grooming appointment for June 2. Now, if you think she looks cute but more than a bit shaggy, you ought to see me. Bushy does not begin to describe my new coiffure!!! I am reluctant to go to the hair salon, so I may have to order some industrial strength clips to hold back my curly, wild, incredibly bushy locks. I used to dreams of having long, curly red hair, but common sense and a look in the mirror always motivated me to keep it short and controlled. Now I can see why.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Have hope. We will get through these troubled times.
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Covid -19 Statistics: May 22, 2020

                                  Cases                       Deaths
World                     5,168,665                  335, 941
 United States         1, 509, 349                   95, 495
Massachusetts              90,899                       6,228         

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Sun Printing on Fabric

Hello Fellow Quarantinees! How are you all doing? The last three days in Massachusetts have been absolutely gorgeous . . . so much so that it makes one forget for a brief while the troubled state of our world.

My absolute favorite magazine is Quiilting Arts, and I am not happy that our local PBS station is not showing the latest series. I'm a great one for watching surface design tutorials on Youtube and then buying necessary supplies, but my follow through isn't always so good.  I'm determined to change that and to use some of the items that I have in my studio. (Wait a minute . . . I don't have a studio; yes, but I do have a big cellar with a table and lots of shelving with "art" stuff just waiting to be used. . .  so it's sort of a studio :-)

Anyway, Wednesday evening I watched Sun Prints with Karen Eckmeier of The Quilted Lizard on Youtube.  Her tutorial focused on sun printing fabric using 'bleeding' tissue paper. I had purchased 'bleeding' tissue paper the first time I had watched this video, so bright and early Thursday morning I decided to give it a try. It was great fun!!! (I will not discuss the steps; I recommend that you watch her wonderful tutorial.)

I love this result as the colors remind me of a Southwest sunset.

She does say that the colors will dry lighter, and clearly, I may have diluted my paints a bit too much for this one, but there are still some very usable sections in this piece.

After I tried the 'bleeding' tissue paper, I decided to use up the rest of the paint left in the cups. This mat is something that I picked up at the dollar store. 

 Didn't it turn out pretty!!!

Here's another one. I love the snowflake piece and let me say the purplish/blue background is more vibrant in person. You might be wondering about the bottom two examples. That's what happens when you don't realize that you have mistakenly used two layers of fabric. :-) Oops!

Sun printing fabric was definitely fun, and I will do this again soon. Give it a try. We all need to have some art playtime and Karen Eckmeirer's Youtube tutorial is a great place to start. Be sure also to visit her website, The Quilted Lizard, and her Youtube channel.

Binge Watching . . . Speaking of beautiful days . . .

 I am not a TV binge watcher. Oh, sure, I could probably do the dialogue along with Leroy Jethro Gibbs and the gang on any old NCIS episode. I will admit to passing many a wintery afternoon watching episodes of my favorite show, BUT I have not really been a binge watcher until now.

"It's a beautiful day at
the Red Pony Cafe
and continual soiree."

Yes, thanks to my friend Laurel, I have come under the spell of "Longmire." I love this show on Netflix. How much? I'm in the middle of season three, and Laurel only told me about it a week ago. Last night I watched three episodes!!!  I think that I need to pace myself so it lasts longer as there are only six seasons.

Well, it's time to go out and enjoy more of this beautiful day.

Stay safe. Stay Strong. Have hope. We will get through this.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Well Owl Be . . .

Hello Fellow Quarantinees . . . How are you doing this week? Isn't this little owl cute? It's a design from the Sue Spargo "90 Day Toned-Down Circle Sampler." Believe it or not, I was originally going to skip doing this one as it didn't appeal to me. Crazy! The other evening I thought better of it and spent the night stitching him, and I am glad that I did! I love the drizzle stitches on the top of his head. Come to think of it, my curls are beginning to look a bit like that as well. :-)

Maybe I should break out the hand clippers. I've shown this vintage gem before. Not only can you use it to cut hair, you can "MAKE HAPPY FRIENDS EVERYWHERE." A win, win!!!

Here are four more circles. I changed the design of the one in the top left simplifying the flowers by filling the basket with French knots.

I saw this incredible bookcase image on Ariane Zurcher's blog, Where Life and Art Meet,  this morning.  Click on it to enlarge it and then read the booktitles from left to right. Amazing!!!

Ariane Zurcher also has a Youtube channel, "Ariane Zurcher - On the Other Hand" where she posts videos showing the various stitches that Sue Spargo is using in each circle. The videos are especially aimed at Lefties, but Righties like me also find them incredibly helpful. :-)

One last thing . . . did you see Anderson Cooper of CNN announcing the arrival of his precious baby boy, Wyatt Morgan Cooper? We all need to see moments of pure joy like that during these difficult times. He will be a wonderful dad.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Have hope. We will get through this.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

A Glorius Day in the Neighorhood

Well it turns out that my neighbor Dewey is not the only feline jigsaw puzzle aficionado. Here is my godchild Kristin's cat Franklin. How many piece he actually placed or whether he merely served in a supervisory role is unclear. 

We have turned the page, and it is finally May. Thank goodness! April was the coldest April on record since 2007 with not one day over 62F.  Today, May2, it is already 68F. Yeah!!!  Emma and I were able to take a long walk this morning in the bright, warm, restorative sunshine.  The glorious weather does seem to lift one's spirits.

I have completed a few more circles for the Sue Spargo "90 Day Toned - Down Sampler" wool project. You may find information on her Facebook page and her website. I love how the wings on the butterfly and the bee are dimensional.

Though I continue to make face masks, I have not been able to get my quilting mojo going. Alex Anderson from The Quilt Show is going to do a live streaming quilt along starting Monday, and so I have purchased her pattern, "Sequoia Sampler." (Note: the lessons will be on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and you may also check them out on Youtube at your convenience. You may purchase the PDF or the paper printed version of the pattern HERE. )

Her Friday program dealt with choosing fabric from one's stash for this quilt. I have only one fat quarter packet that I won at a recent  guild meeting, but as I have another quilt in those colors presently in timeout, my quilt will be probably scrappy. {Note to non-quilters: when we get tired of working on a project, we will often bundle it up for another time and say it is in "timeout."}

I wish you peace. Stay safe. Stay strong. Have hope. We will get through these troubled times.

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   It is the end of week six in isolation for those of us in Massachusetts.
   As of May 2, 2020 . . .

                                      Cases                         Deaths 

World                        3.3 million                 241,000
United States            1.1 million                    65,000+
Massachusetts            66,263                           3,846