Wednesday, July 24, 2013

If I had a million dollars....

Last Saturday, the annual Museum Quilt Guild summer picnic was held at the absolutely beautiful Hillside Inn, in Wyoming, NY. The inn is closed right now as it is for sale.
So we had the run of the place!   The realtor, who is a member of the guild, took us on a semi-guided tour of the place.  There were a lot of oohs and ahhs, and not a few of us carrying our cameras taking pictures of one detail or another.

 The way the bedrooms were decorated and furnished reminded me of the Grand Hotel in Michigan.

 And my husband will tell you I never saw a mossy rock I didn't need a picture of!

                                                                                I have a tendency to wander off, especially when I see things like this!

Apparently this is referred to as the grotto?  You can't go into the tunnels ( not that you could PAY me to!), but I remember hearing something about the underground railroad here, so maybe this was a way in and out of the house?

This is the same area when viewed from the balcony of one of the guest rooms.

The gardener in me really wanted to get to work cleaning up these gardens!  There are some beautiful flowers growing in them!

My friend Mary Lee says that she embraces Queen Anne's Lace as a garden flower!
Thistles growing near the grotto. Wild, but I wouldn't mind having them in my garden!  (remember, it's all about whether you want the plant where it is growing or not!)

I really have to look into getting some more varieties of day lilies for my own garden! (like these!)

We all agreed this place would be a perfect quilters roost! A great place to have meetings and retreats and small showings of our work!  .....If I had a million dollars!

The GLOW region solid waste management committee is holding a household hazardous waste collection on September 21.  You need an appointment.  Call 1-800-836-1154 for more information.  Outside the GLOW area, check with your town clerk's office for information on hazardous waste collection in your area.  We used to toss it all in the landfill, which is why we are now paying for cleanup of toxic waste.  So please dispose of these items safely!

I am grateful for:
playful kittens
cooler weather for sleeping and gardening
feeling useful
hearing from an old friend
a pretty short "have to do" list this week

Thursday, July 18, 2013

More mandala painting.

 I decided to try the mandala again using the folding techniques I found for tie-dying. 
I did get more clear mandala designs this time, but the dark areas must be part of using paint instead of the dyes.  I have noticed the paint migrates to the high points on the fabric as the water evaporates during the drying process. 
I am not displeased, and may actually use the one with the pink in it for the challenge. 

 It continues to be extremely hot here this summer. 
I noticed how awesome the clouds were while watering my plants. I never cease to be inspired and awestruck by the beauty of the sky.

Since this is a quick post I'll refrain from pontificating this time. 

I am grateful for:
Tiny kittens acting more like normal healthy kittens
The beauty in nature
Work days that don't tax my brain power or my patience
Using my creativity even when it's too hot to sew
a hubby who doesn't complain too loudly over cold sandwiches for supper

Monday, July 15, 2013

Not quite what I had in mind

 In my small art quilting group, the ArtCGirlz, we have a challenge- due in September!- to make a mandala quilt.  After our last meeting, I was looking at online pictures Mary shared, and found this site with snow dyed mandalas!
Says I, I bet she just folds that like for a paper snowflake.  I have to try that.  Except I don't use dyes, I use paints.  I know it isn't the same process.  I just can't get past the part of dyeing where the instructions say you should wear a mask when  mixing the powder.  I have enough respiratory issues without that.

So anyway, I dampened a piece of muslin and folded it paper snowflake style.  Added blobs of paint and scrunched it up to get those cool patterns.  This is what it looked like at that point. 

This is how it turned out.  (fail)  Very pretty, but not what I had in mind.  I'll probably cut this up and use each section individually.  Or maybe do a Ricky Tims "convergence" thing with it? 

I've realized you would have to have the folds up, not flat, to make this work.  I may try again.

I also thought I  would paint a piece with a spiral, like the one Mary
Lee gave me a few years back.

 She said she just twisted it up from the center. So that's what I did

 Here it is with the paint dropped onto it.

And here's the finished piece.    I love it, but the spiral isn't as obvious as I'd like.  (fail)

I did get a pretty washcloth out of it.  About halfway through the drying, I flipped the whole thing over, since paint tends to follow the water up as it evaporates.

It was fun anyway!

It is HOT again here this week.  I remember reading a report the NOAA did on climate change about 10 years or so ago. They said the Northeast would become more tropical over time as the climate changed.  Looks like they were more right than they knew- or perhaps more than they wanted to be?
Anyway, my friend Marcia sent this link to me about electronic waste.  I had read about this before, but this video is a really clever way of presenting the information.  It's another example of how we CAN create change, but we have to find ways to do it with our dollars- the only language the politicians understand!

I am grateful for:
Extended family events
My three remaining foster babies are holding their own!
Having the option of staying inside out of the heat
Cold drinks, ice cream, a cool cloth around my neck, a coo shower at bedtime, and- oh, did I mention AIR CONDITIONING!!?
 (I used to hate it, believe it or not- and still hate having to put on a sweater in July when I go to some restaurants and the movies)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pretty flowers!

 I don't have much to share this week, quilting wise.  I only spent about an hour and a half in th sewing room all week- and didn't quite finish the quilt top I'm assembling.  (It's a gift for a friend anyway)

So I thought I'd share some of my favorite flowers with you.  In another couple of weeks, most of the perennials will be done until late August.  Poor planning on my part, I guess.  So I try to enjoy them while I can.
I photographed so you hopefully can't see the weeds I still haven't caught up with.
I love how the water beads on :Lady's Mantle!

I love my lilies!

We had a brief sprinkle this morning.

Day lilies

Another day lily.  I'm not sure which is my favorite

The sedum is blossoming around the cactus

My favorite Lily!

I wish I could preserve the hydrangea at this stage!

Pink powder puff poppies
The blossoms last only a day, then they do this.

My first zinnia blossom- grown from seed!

I only have one convolvulus plant this year.

Very happy Nasturtiums

I find these rocks every so often out in the field.  I call them poop rocks, but they are not fossilized poo, or Coprolites
I found it once, but can't now.  It's some kind of creature.  It fits several of the shapes in this picture, but it seems to me it was a worm-like sea creature.

These are the newest babies I'm fostering.  They really were a bit young to be separated from Mom, but they are doing ok so far. Isn't it funny how their eyes glow like little led's?

The smallest one weighed 13 ounces when I got her!  She has a slightly deformed front foot, which I call her lucky fin.  Yup, her name is Nemo!

(see how it sort of hooks off to the right?) 
The big floppy feet are mine.  :-)

I got a survey from my congressman the other day.  One of the questions was which issue is the most important thing congress should be focusing on.  Climate change/ the environment wasn't even one of the choices.  I wrote it in big letters- adding, you know the whole clean air and water thing!  If we cannot breathe, NOTHING else matters!!!  It's a few years old, but "An Inconvenient Truth" should be required viewing for anyone with the power to make the necessary changes.  (And don't get me started on those who don't believe in climate change!)

I am grateful for:
A fantastic circle of friends.
Four of my five feral babies have found homes already!
Friends who I can count on to have my back.
A day that was good in both the garden and the sewing room!

Monday, July 1, 2013

When is a weed not a weed?

So I decided to tell the pokeweed story because it is part of the sewing I managed to do last weekend.  I got the strips from the cheater Bargello class assembled.  I'm not sure yet which end is up. 

How do these two fit together, you may ask?  Let me 'splain.

 A few years back my friend Jennifer moved into a house which has a thousand Rose of Sharon bushes around it.  She asked if I wanted any and I said yes I did.  So armed with shovels and buckets to put them in, we went up to dig a bunch.  While we were looking around the yard, she noticed all the poke weed seedlings around the yard and jokingly asked me if I wanted some.  I said No thank you I have enough weeds.As far as I know, I had never even heard of pokeweed before that day.  But if it's a weed....
Later in the same year, I noticed a cool bushy plant growing in the garden at a house I pass on my way to work.  (I bet you can see where this is going)  I thought the blossoms were pretty- small clusters of white, and then noticed the berries- dark purple!  I wanted one!  But I didn't even know what it was.  I started noticing them in other places, but never where I could stop and get a picture to show anyone.  Finally one day I was at a garden center and thought to ask.  I described the plant in as much detail as I could.  The nice young lady there went into her little office and then called me to join her, showing me a picture asking is this it?  Yes!  What is it?  Pokeweed!  I burst out laughing, then told her about Jennifer asking if I wanted some.  So I knew where to get one.  They don't transplant well.  Only one of the 5 or 6 I dug survived.  But it obviously likes it here.  The windows in the picture above are easily 10 feet high at the top.
The other funny part is that now I know what to look for, I notice this grows wild in spots just up the road from my house!

So, back to my quilt.  I decided to use a bluish fabric for the bargello and use the pokeweed shapes I had drawn years ago for the applique.  This picture is my inspiration. 

Below are the detail pictures.  Aren't they the coolest?   I just love how the berries get that half green/ half purple look!

Pokeweed blossoms
Pokeweed berries ripening.
I drew some shapes, planning to do this using the techniques I learned from Jane Sassaman.  (the quilt at the top of my blog was made in the workshop I took and is still one of my favorite pieces!) But the project got moved down the list again and again and now it is several years later.  So these are just the interfacing shapes I traced in preparation for the project.  I haven't decided if it will have the purple at the top or the bottom.   (I think I like it at the top)

More gardening adventures.  George has decided birds are more fun to chase than the chipmunks, much to my dismay.  (although if she would focus on the English Sparrows I wouldn't mind)
It looks like she's asking if anybody's home? I chased her away after I took the picture, by the way. 

 I realized afterward I left this picture out of my garden post last week.  I asked Al to build me a hobbit house, thinking something very simple (and bigger) I could plant some ground covers on in a difficult spot in the garden.  He watched the Lord of the Rings movie to make detailed drawings and made this.  It's only about 12 inches high.  There's creeping thyme in front and Scottish moss on top.  It broke my heart to put it in the garden, actually.  But while it lasts, it dresses up this weedy patch a bit.

A "green" update- I did use the vinegar on my edges.  It works to an extent.  It does not kill the weeds, but it does slow their growth sufficiently to keep them from invading the garden.  Good enough for me, and no chemicals used!

I am grateful for:
Some cooler days (and nights!)
Making someone else's day special
Sewing time.
Peanut butter cookie in a cup (I add chocolate chips)
Kitty cuddles