Saturday, December 9, 2017

Jack Frost and Milo's first snowfall

We don't usually have snow before Christmas in the Mid-Atlantic but it's snowing today. 2"-4"
We went out for our morning walk as it started, and I saw some "cool" sights I want to share with you!

A snowy poodle
The snow started as tiny pellets. Millions of little pellets that made a fabulous sound.
We tried to put it in words, sort of a faint rattle, a shhhhhh like wind through leaves...
faint, but distinctive, indescribable but maybe you know it??? How would you describe it?
Definitely peaceful. Quiet. One needed to be still to hear, be still and listen.

The marina was being covered with it...
Milo says, let's look over there! Or jump in the water!
Mama says, let's don't! It's so cold!!
Even the boats are wearing a coat...
and the houses are being covered
I thought this dried grass looked great... my quilter, and painter's eyes saw the white on cream colors. If you click to enlarge the picture for details, it looks really interesting.
Then something caught my eye with snow on a wind shield of a car...
I called Drew over... LOOK! The flakes are little stars! Little snowflake shapes!
I've lived in Edmonton Canada, gone to the mountains of NC each winter as a child to our lodge, lived through several major blizzards and Drew grew up in Cleveland Ohio. We've seen lots of snow and neither of us has ever seen snowflakes this shape!

If we'd gone out a half hour later we'd have missed this as the quality changed and it piled up. These are like quilting stars! Like painted ideal snowflakes!
You have to look closely but there are hundreds of stars on this windshield

A few thousand on this poodle
Some on this snowman scene
a few on this display
This family has a golden, can you tell???

And these gleeful geese are saying
yea! It's snowing!

I liked these leaves, imagining them saying...
I "heart" snow!

linking to

Thursday, December 7, 2017

I Like Thursday # 66 ---- moons X 3, race cars, and a poodle

from one of my art quilts, "at night the ferns danced"
Welcome to this week's list of likes! 
since I wanted a picture of the full moon this week, but didn't get one because of the haze, I put in a close up of one of my art quilts. I painted the leaves and appliqued them to the top. I painted the face, covering it in layers of sheers. Heavily quilted and beaded. One day I might show the whole quilt... it's one I share in lectures. 
On to the list of likes... 

Starting with the brilliant full moon this week!!! It was like an enormous friend in the sky. 
This picture is one I took at dusk, of a sliver of a moon. For some reason the picture made it look like a half moon, but it was a crisp cool evening, the kind that makes you look up!

On the same evening we saw this lonely little pumpkin, kicked to the curb.
sorry little fellow... your time is gone, it's time for Christmas lights now. Sad little chap.

We often drive to another neighborhood to see new things on a walk. On this afternoon-walk last weekend we saw three very tall young men fiddling with the car one of them built.
heehee! The young man is going to university studying engineering. He built this for a project.
I loved it for the creativity and the fact that he took a vehicle down to the basic elements.
And he made it from found objects. Patio chair is cool. We laughed at the extreme bolting... that's an engineer for you, it will never, NEVER fall apart.
Steering mechanism, the headlights (flash lights)
the brake, a handle as a lever. Can you see the light switch? It is how the engine is turned on and off.
Obviously I was taken with these men and their project. I am not mechanical but I am always interested in chatting with a creative person, and asking about their process. He said he learned some things at school, came home and scavenged for possible components, requiring him to think of new uses for parts. He had to know how each part functioned, and how to make them into something new with a new use.
Then he folded up his long legs, sat down and took a ride. I liked the idea that a young person is using his intelligence to create, and not just looking down at a devise. Yea! There's hope!

Seasonal scents are back at Bath and Body works! I hoard candy apple and twisted peppermint. They did not bring back the balsam I liked last year. How to move the extra bottles I got? I don't know but I wanted to feel normal so I got some.

I found my jewelry, put in a "SAFE PLACE" which means I lost it in the basement.
Look at two special pieces here...
Long before I met my handsome husband, I was engaged to a man who promoted high end art shows in Tampa. I was his assistant and often purchased special pieces during the run of the show.

These are so lovely....I know the images don't do them justice but the carnelian and  the moonstone in the giraffe, and the opal on the moon piece are astounding in person.

I'm so glad to find them again.

I hate the thought of losing things, not these which will be in my hands but other special items, in a move.

Really it's become my overwhelming fear along with all the other fears. 

I unearthed this wool sweater last week.
I lost a lot of weight once, it was too big, so I washed it in hot water to turn it into boiled wool. That worked, it shrunk and now it fits. Of course I gained some of the weight back... never mind...

We had a discussion on QuiltArt (an online group) this week, when someone mentioned the adage, "if you haven't used it in a year, you don't need it" 

Not in my experience! After one woman wrote of taking all her clothes one at a time, deciding to keep or discard it, with a friend there telling her the background story of special garments.
I wrote back:

 I had the hardest time with clothes, and you made a ritual of it, which was honoring the feelings about them. Great concept Margaret.

Certain things were easier.
 I found giving up all my cookbooks to be really easy, til it came to about four of them. I would happily live a rich life of having a chef these days, if we were rich that is. Now I eat to live and would be content with whatever is filling and healthy. 

You remind me our tastes change, and that is when it's best to get rid of something. When it no longer gives you what you wanted from it.

I tend to just keep things, long after they have given their all to me.

  ...Stuff that I spent good money on but never worked for me, the books on how to diet I'll never read, the size 10 jeans that I wore once before they became too tight again, the cookbooks from Thailand I'll never find the ingredients for because I don't want to, the pretty shoes that somehow I just never find a reason to wear. All that make up. The gifts well meaning family gave to me because they had to give me something. The half chewed up dog leash because the new one is nicer but the old one could be used as back up except it never is. The fabric someone gave me for a quilt back, that I never choose for the back of a quilt. Tools bought that never get used.

There are people in the military for instance who move every two years, so they keep only the necessities.

 I am not that person.

 I'm the magpie nester who drags shiny things back to my place just in case.And then stores them.
moving supplies? I'll help tear off a chunk!

Milo had a lot to like this week starting with the surgeon. Dr. Leisure asked to see Milo walk...
I said, well, he'll more likely run, buck, bite, jump, dart, and grab the Daddy's arm but I'll give it a go.

He laughed when Milo did all of the above, finally prancing around the ring like a show poodle.

He said Milo is about as healed as he'll be. The muscles need strengthening, stretching, and use. No more braces. Let him play! Yikes! Are you kidding me? I'm terrified he'll re-injure it right away.

Still, Milo senses what the Doctor said, and reminds me daily, let's play! Doctor's orders!

He spins, and runs, and grabs and jumps. He darts at other dogs. He pretends to stalk me. He constantly exercises his vocal chords. He mostly eats at night like a lion, ready to play all day. He only eats if he's hungry, so we keep a bowl of kibble for him, and he nibbles during the day, but eats more at night. We're aware of bloat so he gets small meals at a time.
Look at that face... he's saying WALK TIME!

He is tall and skinny with impossibly long legs. All the neighbors comment on those legs.
He turned 9 months old, weighs 55 lbs, and as Diane in Texas says, waves his teeth around. He seems to be turning grayish, so he may end up being a blue poodle.
He's ready for a ride in the car to our new residence.

Please visit the others keeping it positive today!


linking to some of these
Our World Tuesday

http://sky watch Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade
willy nilly Friday (random images)
habbyartboutique fridays

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas quilts --- from prior years

As I am going through my stack of finished quilts, and there are lots of them, I am trying to make sure they are all on my spreadsheet list. I am trying to remember to take a quick pic of each one. I thought I'd show you a couple Christmas ones.

Santa on vacation... I titled it "Wish you were here!"
I cut all components free hand with no patterns. The shirt was printed on a tropical fabric. It's small but there are always little places for a display...

I didn't try to take a real quality photo of each quilt because of time, just took them on my bed, then folded each to keep with the other seasonal quilts.

Santa is cavorting on the beach with Prancer who is wearing a life preserver, Santa is resting under a 3-D palm tree, holding a Mai Tai, and has sunburned knees! I grew up in Florida and saw many snowbirds with white skin, and red sunburns over the holidays!!

The other little quilt was a purchased embroidery. I set it simply and quilted hills of snow into it. A little embroidered fabric is tempting, but then you need to figure out how to quilt around embroidery. It reminds me that one doesn't always have to choose to be good... Milo has taken that to heart!

As I mentioned, I am taking quick shots and this one is fairly large for a wall piece at about 55" square. It was a kit using Linda DiBono patterns. I worked on it at a retreat, when we moved to this house and didn't know where my stuff was. That was about 17 years ago.

 Each applique is fused on, and heavily machine embroidered. The quilting is heavily done with sliver mylar thread that is fussy but very shiny and reflective.

The borders were my idea, and have couched brightly colored chenille yarn, and lots of sparkly threads.

I made this runner last year I think. It's done with a pretty border print and 60 degree triangles. 
It is also quilted with metallic gold thread, from Superior.

I love to see my older quilts come out of hiding. There are more Christmas quilts including bed quilts of Hunter Stars and others with applique or row by row designs. Our home is so small I just have stored them without being able to bring them out each year because they were "stored"

Now they have to be transported out West.

Have I mentioned I have more than 200 quilts?
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays
great things  

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
Main Crush Monday
the mop link party mondays
sew can do mondays
Inspire me mondays
embroidery mondays

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I Like Thursdays # 65 Dishing it up!

Welcome to this week's list of likes

 It's officially the start of the Christmas Season, according to these salt and pepper shakers given to me by my friend Nancy at pugmom

Although it's been in the 70's here near Annapolis... we walked past the marina in our neighborhood Sunday and this lovely view caught my eye
There are reasons we're leaving this neighborhood, but also things we'll miss that we've come to take for granted. We can walk past one of the three rivers off the Chesapeake Bay every day, and feel the breeze in our hair...
 This row of rocking chairs facing the water was inviting but we have a lot to do. We have to let go of the Annapolis area and reach out to the Colorado West!

We've been going through our belongings especially in the basement, or as I like to call it, the
 "archeological dig" 
 another gift from Nancy who gave me a box of her collected cows for Christmas last year! She'll remind me of the ocean! 

I have found some cool stuff! My sister gave me a number of boxes from the house we grew up in, and I never really looked through them until now. I found this set of dishes from my Granny's house. 
There is an almost intact set of china made by 
Brock of California Pottery. They only made these dishes between 1947 and 1955. I love their logo! I like most things from the 40's and 50's but these whimsical western dishes are so whimsical I love them. 
 I was adopted as a baby, my granny's daughter met my birth mother at granny's boarding house. I stayed at my granny's house many times, watching her hand piece quilts in her lap on the porch, learning to handle a sewing machine as soon as my pudgy little legs could reach the treadle. I loved the smell of the machine, the power I felt using it, the fabric going together like magic. 
My granny and I knew each other as adult and child. She might have been surprised to know how much I loved these kitschy  dishes with their whimsical shapes like tiny frying pans, and cute little tea cups. I know my family gave them to me because they didn't know what else to do with them, but they are a precious connection to a grandmother who harbored a young woman during her pregnancy in the 50's.

The very idea of a mover possibly breaking these or losing them in a move is part of my panic. I am sentimental and gather things for my nest like a magpie.

I love all the things left after the great purge of 2017.
These have never been handled by a mover, they went from Granny's house, to mother's, to Patti's, to mine handed off generation to generation.

They may look old to you, and they are, but so am I and it's okay to be old.
They are more than dishes, they are a connection to the past, like Granny's mother's treadle I learned to sew on, and still have. Like the top she pieced for me and left to me.

 All being entrusted to strangers.

Among the dishes, (and some mouse poop) were some little toys I played with as a child. Little fingers moving household furniture around my doll house. They looked bigger to me back then...

These came from the archeological dig, again in boxes brought to me by my sister but not gone through at the time. Too much emotion back then, but with the tincture of time I'm able now to see them more clearly. 

To remember how I felt as a child, to know that little girl with hopes and imagination and excitement at life is me. I remember the fun of finding that doll house in our old garage, and playing with the tiny furniture for hours. It's not as much fun to move big furniture around a house now. These days I want to write and create my artwork in a nest , not to constantly redo a nest. 

The movers say we have insurance but how could I replace these things? I don't know if I can take any more loss at this point.But... 

from my curly girl calendar
 And this page from my calendar this year reminds me...
I am a nest maker, not a mover. This is so difficult. The not knowing if it will be better there. The letting go. The trust of strangers with the collections I have spent years collecting. 

We took some time yesterday to do some of the things here we've put off for years. Like changing this cool switch cover to a plain one for whoever takes over this nest.

like putting back up the blinds in our bay window so the new owners will have some privacy... we always meant to do it after we got new windows...
it's interesting to see the house returning to a neutral palette with none of the personality I've given it.
Pictures of my labradaughter Chelsea in Newport RI
personal effects boxed up in preparation for life's changes.

Milo had a lot to like this week. He's pretty much out of that hobble brace, and has taken up position on the landing. Cole used to lie there too, in order to survey his domain.
This house has seen three dogs... Chelsea was with us here for a few months, then Cole spent his 14 years here, and now our baby Milo is here. Remember when these stairs were a challenge to tiny puppy legs? He was so proud to climb them to greet me in the mornings... unable to contain his glee that we all survived the night, unable to wait for me to come down, he climbed Mt Everest each morning.
Now he's a big tall boy who feels responsible to guard the house. When he disappears, it's to his new perch.
able to nap lightly in case a leaf blows outside, requiring barking alerts.
Milo: I love this nook! What a great place! I can see into the place food comes from, I can watch the front door, and Mama can't escape upstairs or to the bathroom without me knowing!
 Finally I'm in charge!
Believe me y'all, I keep my peeps informed! 

Whew, that's exhausting... better take a little nap. Go see the other people on Mama's list! Thanks for coming!



linking to some of these
Our World Tuesday

http://sky watch Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade
willy nilly Friday (random images)
habbyartboutique fridays