Saturday, July 13, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I was visiting some friends yesterday,
and when it was time to give me a ride home,
the mom was trying to coax their 6 year old whirling dirvish
to go along for a ride so she could have a little break.
"Does she have a dog?"  "No", said the mom.
"Does she have a cat?"
Again, the response was "no".
"Well, does she have a bird?"
The dad piped up and told the little girl
that Karen has lots of birds.
So, in anticipation, she climbed into the van
and off we went.
When we arrived at my house only minutes later,
their were 5 or 6 tree swallows
putting on the most amazing aerial show
above the meadow where their houses stand.
The American Goldfinches were lined up on the thistle feeder
their little bright yellow bodies
just popping out against the verdant backdrop
of firs and spruce that form a half circle around my feeding station.
Robins were hopping from tree top to tree top,
and although we couldn't see them through the foliage
that lines the sides of my property,
the Yellow Warblers filled the air with their song.
Without saying a word,
she climbed out of the van to take it all in.
Right on cue, a little Song Sparrow hopped right up to her
for a more thorough inspection.
Little people are not a common sight in my yard.
Hands on her hips,
she looked up at me and asked,
"What happens to all your birds when you are gone?"
I explained that my housemate stays all winter
and feeds them for me.
"How does he know which ones are yours?"

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Is it ADD?

Finally, another finish.
It's difficult to juggle sewing time
with outdoor time!
I know I'm not the only one with this dilemma.
Before pressing - just too excited to take a picture!
So wanted to get a little of my view into the photograph
before the morning sun became to bright!

This small quilt is a "Grandparents' Quilt"
to be gifted to the first time grandparents
of a new little baby girl.

Pressed and on the wall.  Not quite as pretty!
This is my first QAL
and I was quite enamoured with the process,
altho' a walking foot is a must
The fabrics, a fat quarter bundle I picked up at JoAnn's
(with a coupon, of course,)
were fun to work with.

I wanted to make them a quilt that could be used
for a long time, so I made this
48" x 56"
Quilt As You Go Crazy Quilt
in Colleyville, TX.
Jill DeQuilt (no blog) gifted me with the pattern
for last year's birthday!
Then, tutored me on the process
during our Quilt and Gab Week this past winter.
Thanks, Jill.
This is why it takes me so long
to finish things:



I'm slightly distractible!
Have a great day!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mow a Little, Sew a Little

It's been difficult trying to keep up with the lawn.
Now that the rains have slowed, it's a little easier.
I bought a self-propelled mower
and can mow twice as much in half the time.
But the mower is very heavy.
In order to accomplish everything on my list for the day,
I mow a little,
then come in for a break
and sew a little.
A few quick pics
of projects in the works.
A Grandparents' Quilt
Soon to be a lavender sachet.

Almost a bag.
And a finish.

The quilt I made
for my friend's husband with leukemia.
Sadly, he took a sudden turn for the worse,
and passed away (more or less) unexpectedly
only 3 days after recieving this warm embrace.
Rest in Peace, dear man.
Got mint?
Here's a tried and true recipe for you!
                                 Fresh Mint Butter Cookies
1-1/2 flour                                              1 egg
1/8 tsp salt                                              2 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp baking powder                           4 Tbs chopped fresh mint
1 stick butter                                          1/4 tsp vanilla
2/3 C sugar

Cream butter. Gradually add sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla, and beat thoroughly.

Mix dry ingredients and chopped mint together. Add to dough. Let chill overnight.

Drop by tsp. 2" apart on greased cookies sheet at 350 for 10-12 min.

Makes 3 doz.   Rolls out great for use with simple cookie cutters.

One last thought. 
The mosquitos are out!
They don't like lavender.
I keep a bottle of lavender lotion at the back door,
and a tin of solid lavender lotion in my backpack.
Have a great day!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Join Me For a Paddle

Summer has finally arrived in Cape Breton!
It's even almost a little too toasty,
especially for being right on the ocean.
But the calm, albeit very cold, water
was perfect for the first paddle of the year.
Here we go!
A Belted Kingfisher protects its territory
from human invasion with his screaming rattle
and imposing presence.
Let's zoom in on him a little.
The Kingfisher "nest in burrows that they dig into soft earthen banks,
usually adjacent to or directly over water."
His nest was tucked in here, about a foot below
the treeline in the center of the picture.
Sorry you can't actually see the little hole.
The same spot from further away. 
Isn't it beautiful?
Common Terns were our next encounter.
You can see this rock is well used!

They let me glide quite closely
before they felt a little threatened by my presence
and flew off to a nearby rock.
My paddling companion brought along his fishing pole
and wasn't disappointed!

Meanwhile, this little butterfly, perhaps the size of a nickel,
pauses for a rest before continuing on his journey.
He was a surprise!
Through the mist that developed over the water
from the heat of the day,
this sailboat has a rather spectral appearance.
In the immediate foreground are a couple of
cormorants drying their wings,
while nearby, and proabably
 the highlight of the day, were these massive gray seals.
Although a distance away, their moans and groans,
snorts and chortles,
could be heard all along the shoreline.
They appear to be laying on top of the water,
but the tide was receding
and they were on the tippity tops of the rocks.
They do not let you get very close,
so it isn't even worth the effort.
I hope you enjoyed your paddle.
I could go on and on,
but after almost 4 miles of paddling in the hot sun,
I'm a little weary.
Calgon, take me away!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Edith's Flower Patch

I met an older quilter
with a vision.
She wanted to share her passion for quilting
and provide a venue for others to learn and work together.
She started a delightful little quilting group
that I decided to join one day.
This was huge for me, as I'm not a joiner.
Edith and I clicked right away.
I loved this woman.
Sadly, she passed away quite suddenly
and I miss her terribly.
But she shared a pattern with me
that brings me great joy to work on.
I travel many long hours during the fall and spring,
and always have a "to go" project prepared
to fill the time on the road and in the air.
That fall,  following her death, I began to work her pattern.
I don't have any pictures of Edith. 
Our precious time together was
before I afforded myself a (digital) camera 
that I never left home without.
But, someday, I have what will be a
beautiful, bright, and cheery quilt
to remind me of her positive and encouraging manner.
I work on putting it together a little every summer,
however, because it's for me,
it always takes a back seat to other projects.
But someday, I will feel Edith's warm embrace
whenever we met,
Her little quilting group?
They still meet once a week for a couple of hours.
It's more a social gathering now,
without Edith's guidance.
And I've moved on.