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Celtic Christmas…

first step cut and ready to sew

first step cut and ready to sew

It is that time of year again.  Christmas and a new Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  Bonnie Hunter – one of my favorite quilt designers has a mystery quilt every year.  It starts the day after Thanksgiving and ends some time in January, she posts new steps every week and we sew like mad to get the quilt steps done.  This year Bonnie’s quilt is called Celtic Solstice – here is the link up.

http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2013/12/celtic-solstice-mystery-monday-link-up-1.html

Her colors are very bright and while I am sure that her quilt will be amazing the colors just didn’t work for me.

work in progress

work in progress

So, after careful thought and a little bit of sleeplessness I came up with a solution.  I am making the quilt out of my stash of Christmas fabric.  I have been buying Christmas fabric for 30 years so I have lots of choices and fabric.  The salvage on one of the fabrics said 1991.  Yup, lots of old fabric.  By using it up it will free me to buy more with no guilt!

chain sewing

chain sewing

Bonnie has given 2 sizes for this quilt – a twin/double bed size and a king size.  I have opted for the King size – that way when I am done I will have a wonderful large quilt for our bed.  I will use it every year for the month of December.

completed units

completed units

I am not yet done with the first step but I will finish it today.  I am more than half way finished and that gives me the incentive to keep my little Featherweight chugging along.  I am very happy to be using up all of this old fabric – the goal is to refrain from buying any new fabric for this quilt.  I have never done that before – and I may not be able to do it with this quilt either.  I may need to buy some fabric for the back but hopefully I can be resourceful enough to make due with what I have.

A little Christmas thought – from The Little Book of Christmas Joys – 

#248. Read “The Gift of The Magi” by O’Henry  It always brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart.

Be Kind…

Faith

Eagle Lake – Acadia National Park….

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake

So the plan was to take a walk around Eagle Lake and then go to The Jordan Pond House for Tomato Bisque soup and Popovers. I am sure, had the day gone according to plan that I would have added a nice glass of dry white wine to that order.  But the best laid plans do not always happen.

We had explored Bass Harbor Light that morning and had gone back towards Bar Harbor to park the car and start our walk.  We had a little knapsack packed with water and snacks.  We had our guide books so that we would not go the wrong way and walk even further than the 6.1 miles that we had planned.  Chuck figured that we would be finished with the walk in about an hour and a half.  I had my doubts about that – I was not going to “briskly” walk for over 6 miles.  I wanted to see the beautiful scenery, take pictures of lake and the foliage.  I wanted to stop and listen to the birds and the babbling brooks.

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I wanted to savor the entire experience.

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Well, I thought that it was a walk around the lake.  Haha – it was an uphill walk around the lake.  Of course when you go uphill you must go down hill.  It turned out to be a beautiful day. The sun came out – the temps were around 58 degrees and the views were breathtaking.

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake

It took us over 2 hours to finish the walk and by the time we were finished I was a sweaty mess.  I had stripped off my windbreaker/rain jacket.  My very light weight polartec was tied around my waist – the sleeves on my long sleeve t-shirt were pushed up as far as they would go and my new Red Sox cap was on only to hide the mess that was my hair.  Not to mention that I had a huge blister on both the bottom of my foot and my heel.

Carriage Path

Carriage Path

It was a beautiful walk – in a beautiful place with my best friend.  It was never a race, it was always a journey.  I love to walk – I have found that Maine is a beautiful place to walk.  When you live by the ocean you have the advantage of seeing the ever changing seasons.  The Sea looks beautiful in all seasons – but it can change from hour to hour depending upon the weather.

Needless to say we did not go to the Jordan Pond House for tomato bisque, popovers and wine.  I would not be seen in public.  I skulked back to the car – chugged a bottle of water and we went back to our rooms.  Thankfully I was a girl scout in a previous life so I was prepared and had brought cheese, crackers, salami and a bottle of both white and red wine.  The white wine was chilled to perfection and the cheese and crackers tasted wonderful.

We relaxed, showered and walked to dinner.  The completion of a wonderful day.  Thankfully the Red Sox were traveling that day so we didn’t have to struggle to stay awake to watch the game.

Take a walk, enjoy where you live!

Be Kind…

Faith

Bass Harbor Light House…

Bass Harbor Light

Bass Harbor Light

In mid October Chuck and I took a couple of days off and headed Down East.  Our destination was Mount Desert Island.  We try to get to Bar Harbor once a year.  It is one of our favorite parts of Maine.  We love Acadia National Park and if you have never been there it is definitely worth the drive.  It is an amazing mixture of mountains and ocean.  Towering pines, crashing waves, amazing wild life and a wonderful place to relax, walk, ride a bike and see nature.

On the second day that we were there the day started out rainy and dreary.  Not a great day to take a long walk.  We decided to take a short drive to Southwest Harbor – the most southwest corner of Mount Desert Island.  It is also the location of Bass Harbor Light.

Bass Island Light

Bass Island Light

This lighthouse is perched on the very edge of the rocks.  The views are amazing, even on a drizzly day.  We were on the edge of the rocks looking down on the crashing waves.

To the left of the Light house there is a path that brings you down through the woods to more rocks.  It would have been a great place to bring a picnic.  There was a very steep set of wooden steps that brought you even closer to the water.IMG_2521

I love walking through the woods on a rainy day – it reminds me of playing in the woods behind the house with my sisters when we were kids.

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There is a certain scent in the piney woods that can’t be duplicated by a candle or any thing else artificial.  It is a the smell of the woods – I can’t find the words to describe it, but I love it.

We wandered around the lighthouse area taking pictures and talking to other visitors, then we hopped back in the car. The rain was letting up just as the weatherman had predicted.  We drove through Southwest harbor – stopping at a local quilt shop to pick up a couple of yards of fabric to supplement the stash.  Then on to Eagle Lake for our hike.  We had our knapsack packed with some trail mix, cheese, apples and a couple of bottles of water.  The hike was a 6.1 mile walk.  I will write a post about that in the near future.

Off to my sewing machine to work on a quilt for the veterans.  Love being in front of my sewing machine!

Be Kind…

Faith

Wow – 1 year anniversary!

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Who would have thunk it???  I wrote my first blog post over a year ago.  I have really enjoyed sharing my world with you and I hope that you have enjoyed taking a peak.  This fall has been very busy – we have done a bit of traveling, we have watched our beloved Red Sox win the World Series, I have worked on many charity projects and Chuck has removed bags and bags of leaves from the yard.  Over the next couple of days I will share a lot of the wonderful pictures that I have taken and tell you about some of our adventures.

In September Chuck and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary.  Don’t ask me where those 28 years went.  It is pretty nice to be married to and spend everyday with your BFF.  We really enjoy each others company, we look forward to spending time together.  That is a really good thing because we work together also.

We took a trip to Bar Harbor in October.  Thankfully the idiots in Washington had re-opened the Federal Government so we could walk through Acadia National Park with out “breaking” the law.  I have some really pretty pictures from our walk around Eagle Lake.  It was mid-October so the trees were in full color.

leaves on the carriage road around Eagle Lake

leaves on the carriage road around Eagle Lake

I have been very busy being the President of Evergreen quilters.  We hosted 85 quilters from all over southern Maine for a pot luck dinner and speaker.  We had a wonderful meeting and handed out some fabulous door prizes.  Leroy the Chicken was one of the door prizes.

Leroy

Leroy

Leroy is a very large pin cushion.  I need to make one for myself.  I would love to have Leroy keep me company while I sew.  I would just need to keep him away from Gracie -he is stuffed with crushed walnut shells.  It seems Gracie likes to eat pin cushions that are filled with crushed walnut shells.  She devoured Henrietta the hen a few months ago.  Bad Dog!

So stay tuned – I have loads of wonderful things for you to see and read about.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog – I really enjoy the creative outlet that it gives me.  I also love to share bits and pieces of my daily life here on the coast of Southern Maine.

Remember…. Be Kind…

Faith

A walk on the beach…

I Love Candy Corn!

I Love Candy Corn!

I love October.  I also love it when the kids come up to visit.  Saturday was overcast and windy here. The ocean has such a huge effect on our weather and sometimes storms just hang off shore and we have misty, windy days.  It is part of living by the coast.  I am not complaining at all – sometimes a drizzly day is perfect.

We had a semi-house full on Saturday.  I decided that it was a perfect day for turkey.  Not just any turkey, a deep fried turkey.

Deep Fried Turkey

Deep Fried Turkey

It is amazing how moist and flavorful a fried turkey is.  Of course you need stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash and carrots with and roasted garlic, cranberry sauce (yes jellied Ocean Spray, love it) and homemade applesauce.  Pumpkin pie with vanilla bean ice cream.

Pumpkin Pie

YUM!  We all ate well and then settled in to watch the Red Sox game.  Sadly they lost but they evened up the series last night.

the beach

the beach

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  Bright sunshine, clear skies perfect temperatures.  Gracie and I decided that it was the perfect day for a walk on the beach.  There were a lot of other furpals on the beach.  Sometimes the beach is the best place in the world to be.  I can’t ever imagine living too very far from the ocean.  It has such a restoring effect on me, I always feel better after breathing in the wonderful sea air.

wet sand

wet sand

There were several surfers in the water, lots of people sitting and reading books, just a wonderful day to be outside.  We spent a good amount of time looking for heartstones.  They are beach stones that are shaped like hearts.

Heartstones

Heartstones

I have several heartstones that have been given to me by people that I love.  When I find them I keep them if they fit in my hand, they are smooth and cool and make me think about the ocean. I also give them to people that I love so that it reminds them of good times at the beach.

I hope that you had a wonderful October weekend filled with love and family and good memories.

Be Kind…

Faith

Creatively Distracted……

unfinished projects

unfinished projects

 

The weather is beautiful today – the next few days we have 80 degrees predicted and then rain.  So I would rather be outside walking on the beach than working.  But alas I need to work to continue with my creative habits.  As I have mentioned before I purchased a spinning wheel.  Oh the fun I am having!! I have worked with 4 different rovings since I brought my machine home.  It is really amazing to see the difference in the yarns that I am spinning.  I do see some improvement.

I plied 2 strands of spun yarn to have a thicker yarn.  The fiber that I was spinning had lots of variations in the color.  I am really please with the results of the yarn – the variation in color reminds me of the ocean.

while still in the process of being spun

while still in the process of being spun

This is the yarn after I spun the 2 strands together.  Pretty cool don’t you think.  I think this will be knitted into a Christmas present for someone who will remain nameless.

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the last of my fiber to be spun until the end of next week

 –  the last of my fiber to be spun until the end of next week

So I will finish up this fiber that you see above and then I will dive into my quilting.  I am going to promise myself that I will work on my quilting at least 2 hours every night.  The way that I am talking it sounds like a punishment – it of course is not – I love to quilt and to make quilts but I am like a kid with an attention deficit problem – I keep flitting from project to project.  Lots of fun flitting!!!

So my spinning is part of my distraction – the nice weather is part of my distraction – the desire to cook (because of the cooler weather) is part of the distraction.  But as you can see by the photo at the top of the page there are quilts to be finished.  1 is a baby quilt, 2 are Christmas quilts that I have been working on for years, one is a mystery that needs to be marked for quilting and then quilted.  Plus I have many other projects on my shelves waiting for my attention.  I also have not mentioned the unfinished sweaters that are in the bags by my couch.  Far too much to do and far too little time for it.  There needs to be more time in the day, if only I didn’t need to sleep I would be getting much more done.

Remember to let your creativity shine – it is fun and rewarding.

Be Kind…

Faith

Fun weekend & Mabel visits Maine part 2…

Jacoby Ellsbury hitting a triple

Jacoby Ellsbury hitting a triple

What a wonderful weekend I just had.  Friday night we went to Boston to see the Red Sox.  We met our daughter in Boston, sat at the bar at Jerry Remy’s, had a couple of cold beers and some nachos and just talked.  It was wonderful to have some time to just visit and be silly.  Our daughters boyfriend met us later for dinner and then we went to the game.

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We had fabulous seats and had a really nice evening.  Got back to Maine at about midnight.  Phew long, but great day.  Sadly the Sox lost.

On Saturday our son and his girlfriend came to visit.  Of course they brought their 5 month old, 70 lb. English Mastiff named Mabel.

Mabel is a very large, very sweet dog.  She has her crazy times as do all puppies but then she gives you a big sloppy English Mastiff kiss and all is right with the world.

Mabel

Mabel

 

The weather was absolutely beautiful.  The temps are perfect, no humidity.  We had some wonderful meals together, the kids and Mabel went to the beach for a walk.

A man and his dog.

A man and his dog.

We have determined that Mabel does not like the water.  We tried to get her into the pool but she wanted no part of that.  When we brought her to the beach she skittered away from the waves.  Some dogs like the water and some just don’t.  Mabel is a don’t.

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Mabel thinks that she is a lap dog.  Which is fine now but someday she may weigh in at 150 lbs.

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Mabel loves the yard and the freedom to check out the flowers and the bees.

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She also likes to sunbath.  Overall I think that Mabel likes visiting Maine.  Every time I see her she has grown a lot.  I have to say that I love this dog.  I love her goofy antics when she is chasing a ball and sliding all over the floor.  I love when she pounces on an ice cube and sends it flying across the floor.  She is a puppy disguised in a very large dog body.  Mabel is fun!

 

 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend also.  I hope it was spent with people you love, that always makes the weekend better.

Be Kind…

Faith

Giving back…

my geraniums are finally blooming

my geraniums are finally blooming

 

I live in a wonderful coastal community in southern Maine.  Every summer our Community Club has a Seaside Fair.  We have local craft vendors, lobster rolls etc for lunch, a bake sale and a silent auction.  The money raised goes the the Community Club to help fund scholarships, and other community activities.  

In the winter when the summer people are gone we have movie nights, bean suppers, pot luck dinners and lots of wonderful gatherings to keep us connected during the long winters that we have in Maine.  It is a wonderful group of sharing people.

I believe in giving back.  I love to bake and I love to sew, so the logical conclusion would be that I would bake something for a bake sale and sew something for the auction table. 

As you are all aware it has been very hot lately – I don’t have central air conditioning.  UGH – my house is hot, but I needed to bake a pie last night.  I figured since I was baking 1 pie for the bake sale I may as well make one for us as well.  Nothing is much tastier than a homemade mixed berry pie  with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  YUM!

Two Mixed Berry Pies

Two Mixed Berry Pies

I also made a cute little bag for the auction.  People always ask me how long it takes to make something like this.  It took me about 2 1/2 hours last night.  I am really happy with the way it turned out.  I love to work in bright colors and this just seemed very summery to me.

cute summer bag

cute summer bag

I hope that you are enduring the heat and I also hope that it breaks soon.  It is very unhealthy for many and for others it just makes us cranky.  I sadly fall into the cranky category.

Enjoy the weekend,

Be Kind…

Faith

so much fun….

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My goodness it has been way too long since I have written anything.  Spring/Summer is a very busy time of year.  Gardens to plant, pools to open, beaches to walk on, Fourth of July parties to plan for.

Every year we have a family reunion on the 4th of July.  All of our kids and grand kids come to the house for the 4th of July week – or weekend depending upon when in the week the holiday falls.  This year the fourth was on a Thursday.  By Wednesday evening everyone who was going to make it was here.  Let the parties begin….

We eat, drink and be merry for the weekend and it is a wonderful family memory making time.  I was up early on the fourth.  These are some pictures of my backyard at about 5:45 the morning of the fourth.

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We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful setting.

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I love the American Flag and I fly it proudly and thank those who have sacrificed for our freedoms.

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We had some fireworks in the yard.  The neighbors enjoy them also.  We have had so much rain this year that thankfully we didn’t need to worry about any fire dangers.

I love that we make wonderful memories with our family every summer.  We laugh, play games, and tease each other.  Love and fun are the main themes of the weekend.  Walks on the beach, swims in the pool, and lots and lots of great food.  We are all back to our normal (or not so normal) lives now and basking in the memories of a fabulous weekend together.

Next post will be back to quilting – I have been working on a lot of wonderful things but some of them have been gifts so they have to be kept under wraps.

Be thankful and Be Kind…

 

Faith

Spring in Maine…

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts

It is hot here!  Crazy, last weekend we were all wearing sweatshirts and long pants.  Yesterday it hit 87 degrees, today and tomorrow more of the same.

One of my favorite things to do every morning is to walk around my backyard and look at the flowers that are blooming.  They are blooming in spite of the cooler weather.  My husband spread 16 yards of very dark mulch in our yard this year.  A lot of hard work, but it makes the yard look so pretty and the flowers just seem to pop with the dark mulch as a background.

Columbine

Columbine

It is always fun to see what pops up out of the ground.  We moved and transplanted a lot of flowers last fall and to be honest I sort of forgot what I put where.  No, I did not mark anything.  That is just not my thing, I would much rather be surprised in the Spring.

Who doesn't love a Red Rose?

Who doesn’t love a Red Rose?

I also added some new perennials this year.  We had pulled up a lot of old ground cover and needed to replace it with a garden.  It is slow going because some plants made it through the winter and others didn’t.  I am never sure what will survive and what didn’t.

This lovely little flower made it through the winter – can’t remember the name. IMG_0673

I always plant this adorable little poppies – they remind me of the crepe paper we used to decorate our classrooms with for holidays.

Poppies

Poppies

I will be planting my veggies now that the ground is warm.  Tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, eggplant, cukes, zucchini and lots of herbs.  Yum!!!  I also have a lot of annuals to plant in pots to beautify my yard. Love lots of flowers and color.

Enjoy your weekend – stay cool.

Be Kind…

Faith