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Where have I been? What have I been doing!

 

I find it very hard to believe that I haven’t written a blog post in over a year.  So much has happened in my life since that last time I posted.  I am happy to say that it has been a fun filled and exciting.

Last March our daughter Elizabeth and her boyfriend Garrett got engaged.  We could not be happier!  They are two amazing individuals and we wish them a life time of happiness.

A huge surprise to us was that fact that in order to find a venue in Maine for a summer/fall wedding you need to start looking almost 18 months in advance!  So that being said – let the games begin.  The wedding planning is well underway and we are looking forward to an amazing event in August.  Elizabeth and I have had a lot of fun discussing how to make this wedding a special day for everyone involved.

In July we celebrated birthdays – a lot of birthdays but 2 very special milestones were hit.  I am reluctant to say that I turned 60 and my son Charles turned 30.  15 days apart.  Those are some big numbers for both of us and because of that an amazing party was thrown in our honor by Chuck.

 

Charles and I were very happy that so many of the people we care the most about were able to come and join us for our “BIG” celebration.

We had friends and family from all over and it was a really special day for both of us.

 

 

The party was amazing – and since I make quilts I made a quilt for Charles for his birthday.  I had started it a while ago with the idea of giving it to Charles and then I made it a point to get it done this past summer for his birthday.

Charles’ 30th birthday quilt

 

 

 

Once the celebrations were over and life settled down a bit I made a couple more quilts.

 

Cathy’s quilt

One was a group project for a friend who is battling cancer.  The blocks in this quilt were sent to me from all over the country and Canada to send some love and comfort to a lovely lady.  I really enjoyed working on it and I know that the person who received it felt the love that was stitched into this quilt

 

 

 

The next project was a wedding quilt for a young man and his new wife.  They got married in September at a beautiful Inn in Vermont.  It was a perfect day for a wedding and we had a fabulous time.  This is a picture prior to quilting.

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Phil and Devon’s quilt

 

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Here is a picture of the newly married couple.  I love making quilts for people knowing that it will be something that they have for along time.

The summer came to an end and fall arrived.  I am never sorry to have the heat of the summer leave – I do love the change of seasons and Autumn is one of my favorite times of year.  This past fall was lovely here in Maine.

I will be back tomorrow with another update on what is going on in my life.  It has not been an uneventful time lately – lots of changes.

Be Kind….

Faith

Out and about…

 

view from Monhegan Island

view from Monhegan Island

At the end of September Chuck and I went for a short stay along the mid-coast of Maine.  We love it so much here that we hate to leave.  We started our visit at the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor.  It is a very special place with beautiful plants, trees and views.  We love to go to the gardens, Spring, Summer and Fall – it is always beautiful.

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love pumpkins!

love pumpkins!

We walked the trails and took notes on what we might want to add to our gardens — it is nice to go at all different times of the growing season to see what is blooming.  I like to have gardens that have blooms from late May until the first frost.  I also like to see different types of plants that I may not have seen in bloom – it makes it easier to decide what to plant and where.

The next day we took the ferry out to Mohegan Island.  The name of the Ferry was the Elizabeth Ann which was perfect because that is our daughters name.

Ferry to Monhegan Island

Ferry to Monhegan Island

It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was a wonderful trip out to the island – the sun was shining, the seas were calm and the air was just the right temperature.

Chuck on the ferry

Chuck on the ferry

 

view from the ferry

view from the ferry

view from the lighthouse on Monhegan Island

view from the lighthouse on Monhegan Island

We wandered around the island – took a short hike and ended up at the Mohegan Brewing Company.  We had a very cold beer and sat outside in the sun visiting with some of the other patrons.  As is turns out 2 of the people we were talking to were from the same area in NY as we were.  We discussed how small a world it is and the coincidence of meeting people who lived and worked right around the corner from us in NY, while having a beer 12 miles off the mainland on a small island in Maine.

Mohegan Island has 75 year round residents – they seem to be an independent brunch who like to live life with out the frills of the mainland.  I am not sure that I could live so removed from the rest of civilization but I would sort of like to try.  If not for an extended period of time, at least for a short stay.  I could sort of imagine spending my days making quilts, spinning yarn, reading great books and cooking wonderful hearty meals.  I might add this adventure to my bucket list.  Hmmm thinking….

Island where the Wyeth family lived

Island where the Wyeth family lived

afternoon view from dock in Monhegan

afternoon view from dock in Monhegan

On the way home from the island Chuck and I sat right beneath the pilot house.  The view was so peaceful and beautiful – we saw a whale cut in front of the boat and move off to the port side.  I had never seen a whale before and have always wanted to go on a whale watch.  Imagine my joy when I saw that amazing animal right in front of me.  It was a great day and a wonderful mini adventure.

Since I have gotten home I have been working on quilts.  I sent two quilts off to a wonderful organization that provides quilts to kids in hospitals and abusive situations.  The groups name is Quilts for Kids.  www.quiltsforkids.org   – if you are interested in the group check out the website and if you can’t make a quilt you can always send a donation.  Several other quilts that are gifts have been made and there are several more in the works.

Enjoy the wonderful weather that we are having.

Be Kind…

Faith

 

 

JULY…

 

Fortunes Rock Beach

Fortunes Rock Beach

July is a very, very, very busy month in our family!  6 birthdays, the fourth of July and tons of stuff to do outside.  We have had company, we have been company and we had some staycations.

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One night we got take out and went to the beach.  Grabbed a couple of bottles of beer and enjoyed a lobster roll just like the tourists do.

Chuck enjoying his lobster roll

Chuck enjoying his lobster roll

I went to the Maine Quilt Show which is always wonderful!  The quilts are amazing, the people are fun, the vendors are interesting and the friends I go with are the best!  Here are a couple of my favorites…

Made by Eleanor Dickens

Made by Eleanor Dickens

 

love the colors and points

love the colors and points

Gotta Love those Hexies!

Gotta Love those Hexies!

We celebrated birthdays – went to one of our favorite restaurants Street & Co. in Portland and as always had a fabulous meal and lots of laughs…

Nadine turned 50

Nadine turned 50!

 

Faith had a birthday

Faith had a birthday!

Chuck and Charles had a birthday!

Chuck and Charles had a birthday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and we celebrated frequently and with great joy!

We went to dinner at the Ramp in Cape Porpoise for yet another birthday dinner.  I certainly can’t be expected to cook on my birthday.  It was a beautiful evening and I had the seafood stew which has never disappointed!  It was wonderful!

Cape Porpoise, Maine

Cape Porpoise, Maine

 

Cape Porpoise, Maine view from the dock.

Cape Porpoise, Maine view from the dock.

So in review July has been a very busy but wonderful month.  August is here and it will be a bit calmer but no less wonderful.  The end of the summer is looming and although I love the cooler weather I am not ready to think about the end of summer just yet.  I want a few more days relaxing in my beautiful yard.

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Enjoy the sunshine…

Be Kind..

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

Oh my what a month February has been….

the view from my front door

the view from my front door

I can’t ever remember a month where we had back to back to back storms.  It would storm on Saturday and Sunday and then storm again on Tuesday or Wednesday.  We would just get dug out from one storm in time for the next one to hit.  It has been epic!  I have heard various reports on the total amount of snow that has fallen – anywhere from 70″ to 90″!  That is a lot of snow.

During all of this we have also been breaking records for cold temps.  BRRR!!!  let’s just say it has really been winter here in the Northeast and especially along the coast.  I am not complaining I live in Maine not down south where they freak over a dusting.

Gracie and Stella in the snow covered yard

Gracie and Stella in the snow covered yard

While all of this has been happening we brought home a new baby.  The four legged kind.  Miss Stella has joined our family.  Stella is a chocolate lab who is a little spitfire.  Stella has us all jumping at her command, she is just so darn cute.

Stella - one of her rare quiet moments!

Stella – one of her rare quiet moments!

Love that face!

Love that face!

Gracie is not at all sure that she is happy about the newest family member but she is definitely telling Stella to stay our of her space.  They are sharing toys and people but as with all sisters they do get on each others nerves!

Gracie telling Stella the rules

Gracie telling Stella the rules

During all of this fun in the snow we have been doing some puppy training.  Stella knows to go to the door and ring the bells when she has to go outside, she comes when she is called – even when I don’t have a treat in my hand and she sleeps through the night.  She does not want to accept that Gracie is the boss yet but she will learn.

 

 

 

It has been a great month to stay in and cook and sew – I have been stocking the freezer with all sorts of goodies that make it easier for me to have a hot meal on the table and still get some sewing and quilting done.

I don’t mind the snow but I am not in charge of relocating it after every storm.  Our snow blower decided that it didn’t want to be in charge of snow removal either and after 15 years it died.  We will get a new one next year when there is actually a selection.  Not many snow blowers available in the Northeast these days.

Here is a little peek at some of the sewing that I have been doing lately.

Mirror Mirror Block by Marie Bostwick

Mirror Mirror Block by Marie Bostwick

Grand Illusion by Bonnie Hunter

Grand Illusion by Bonnie Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay warm, Spring is coming – hopefully the snow will melt by May.

Be Kind….

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BLIZZARD of 2015- Juno…

 view from our front door January 27, 2015

view from our front door January 27, 2015

The Blizzard of 2015 may have passed by NYC but it decided to visit the coast of Maine and pull up a chair and sit for awhile.  The picture above was taken at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2015.  At this point the wind had been howling for many hours.  It is very difficult to get a measurement of how much snow we got because it was blowing all over the place.   The estimates are about 24 inches, 2 feet of snow is a lot of freaking snow!!!

there really is a driveway there!

there really is a driveway there!

In some places there was grass showing and in others it was hip deep.  There was no point going outside to try to clear the snow at this point because there were several more hours of heavy snow predicted and many more hours of heavy winds.

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So when the weather outside is cold, snowy and windy, I bake.  The house is chilly when it is very windy – at least it feels chilly to me, so I turn on the oven and prepare things to bake in it.  Today I made corn muffins with blueberries and oatmeal raisin cookies.

corn muffins with blueberries

corn muffins with blueberries

Oatmeal cookies ready to go into the oven.

Oatmeal cookies ready to go into the oven.

I had a wonderful dinner planned but needed to warm up the house first.  I made Braised Beef short ribs and mashed potatoes for dinner- the plan was to make something that could be cooked completely on the stove just in case the power went out.  I have a gas cook top so when the power goes out I can still cook.  The generator doesn’t power the oven so the baking has to be done early but I can cook on my gas stove.  Thankfully we did not lose power in spite of Juno’s best efforts.

The view from inside our garage and 2:00.

The view from inside our garage and 2:00.

Chuck and I decided to go out to clear the snow at about 2:00.  It was still snowing and blowing but if it gets too high you just can’t get through it so it is better to do it in stages.

The wind calmed down over night  – it is amazing how loud it is.  I woke up when it got quiet at some time around 2 AM.

This morning it is still cloudy but the snow and wind have moved on to Nova Scotia.

making a path for Gracie and Stella.

making a path for Gracie and Stella.

Chuck went back out to clear the snow that blew over the walks and driveway last night.  You could hardly tell that any snow had been cleared it had blown over so much.  It is a winter wonderland for sure and there is more predicted to come on Friday and then next Monday.  We love the snow but eventually you run out of places to put it all.

thinking of Spring flowers.  This is the second re-bloom for this orchid.

thinking of Spring flowers. This is the second re-bloom for this orchid.

the snow is covering the fence

the snow is covering the fence

We go to pick up our new puppy Stella tomorrow.  We will be up very early in morning to go and get her.  I will be posting pictures of Stella and Gracie as soon as I can.  Gracie is in for a somewhat rude awaking, she has been queen dog for 6 years and now she will have to share us.  Should be interesting.

Tonight I sew and I will show you the latest work that I am doing on Bonnie Hunters latest Mystery quilt.  I am loving the way it is coming out.  It sparkles!!!

Stay warm and safe… check on your neighbors and enjoy the Season of Winter.

Be Kind….

Faith

 

Grand Illusion step 2….

Well Bonnie Hunter continues to challenge us -http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/grand-illusion-mystery.html

I have been quilting for over 30 years and Bonnie seems to throw us a curve with every new step!  I love it!!!  The fact that I am doing a type of block that I have never done before is wonderful.  I have to slow down and be precise, be sure that I am cutting my strips accurately and be very careful when I am stitching the pieces together.  I have finished step 1 and I have everything cut for step 2.  My blacks are from yardage because I had it and didn’t have a lot of scraps of any blacks – my whites are a couple of white on white fabrics.  Once again I had several pieces of yardage that totaled the needed amount of fabric.  I wanted to use what I had not buy anything new for this quilt.

piles of pieces ready to be sewn

piles of pieces ready to be sewn

I used the second option for cutting and piecing this step.  I stitched several together and although they were close they were a bit small or the triangles were a bit wonky – so – I took them apart and restitched them.  I went a bit slower and used a scant 1/4″ seam and things came together much better.  They measured up just right.

finished blocks  - lots more to do but on my way!

finished blocks – lots more to do but on my way!

I am happy with the end results but I learned a lesson with this one.  Slow down, use the skills you have learned, re-read the instructions that Bonnie has provided and all will turn out much better.

The weather here on the coast of Southern Maine has been miserable – yesterday we started with freezing rain and wind – the day warmed up to about 34 degrees and the rain really started to pour!  It was the sort of day that you are happy to be inside!  Today is rainy and windy.  Just a lousy day!  I would much rather have snow at this time of year but I know that is not a popular opinion.  There is a Pot Roast in the oven, homemade bread just out of the oven and a bottle of wine waiting to be opened.  Perfect for a stormy day.

Stay warm and dry…

Be Kind…

Faith

 

 

 

Acadia…

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

 

 

 

One of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  In mid October Chuck and I and all of our kids went to Acadia.  There were 10 of us in total and we had the most amazing time.  I first have to tell you that whenever we are all together the laughter is abundant!  Everyone of us has a remarkable sense of humor and we especially enjoy teasing each other.  If you have a thin skin we will go “easy” on you but as a rule the ribbing is all in good fun and is never meant to hurt feelings.  We are just a really funny group – sometimes on purpose and sometimes purely by accident.

We had all been checking the weather forecast and the apps on our phones and the forecast was at best dismal.  However, the luck of the Irish was with us and although the sun did not shine brightly on us, the rain held off for the most part and it was perfect weather to be outside walking around an amazing place.

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond

We had lunch at the Jordan Pond house – popovers and tea – soups and sandwiches.  We all walked around the pond and it was so beautiful – breathtaking actually.  Here are a few shots of us all.

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Summit of the Bubbles

Summit of the Bubbles

 

view from the Pond House

view from the Pond House

 

We had dinner at Havana – a lovely restaurant in Bar Harbor.

Dinner at Havana

Dinner at Havana

We walked along the Loop Road….

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One of us went swimming at Sand Beach – the air temp was about 50 degrees and it was very windy.

Sand Beach the morning Charles went for a "dip"

Sand Beach the morning Charles went for a “dip”

We ate amazing Mac and Cheese at The Side Street Café –

Apple Cider Margaritas!

Apple Cider Margaritas!

We drank lots of beer and wine – ate lots of wonderful meals – saw some amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean – and we laughed until our sides ached and we made some wonderful memories.

Our last day there we got up before the sunrise with hopes of seeing the sunrise.  It is the first place on the east coast that you can see the sunrise during the month of October.  I have seen it and it truly is an amazing sight.  However the weather did not cooperate with us.  It was a foggy, windy, drizzly day, but we were there for the sunrise and we can say we did it together.

Cadillac Mountain at sunrise!

Cadillac Mountain at sunrise!

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The thing that amused us the most was that an engaged couple were having their engagement pictures taken in this horrible weather.  They had to have been freezing and very damp by the time they were finished.  I would have nixed the entire project but they were determined and who knows the pictures may have been amazing in the end.

We had a wonderful vacation – for many reasons.  We were in an amazing place but more importantly we were with amazing people!  It is wonderful to be able to spend really special time with really special people.  I fear that with the crazy lives that a lot of us lead that we don’t always make the time to spend special time with the people we love.  It is not always easy and it takes a lot of planning but if you can make it work it is one of the true blessing in life.

I am off to decorate the house, work on a quilt and complete some Christmas presents.  I love having a really good reason to need to be sit in front of my sewing machine.  Enjoy the process and remember why we all make ourselves crazy during this time of year.

Be Kind….

Faith