Spring….

Weeping Cherry

Weeping Cherry

Well Spring has finally arrived here in Biddeford, ME.  It was a long cold winter and at times we wondered if it would ever end.  Thankfully, as usual the season changed and it is beautiful here now.

We have been busy this Spring.  We are in the process of redoing our den/”mancave.”  New carpet has been installed, walls have been painted and furniture has been ordered.  The room is looking good, just waiting for the love seat to be delivered.

Chuck and I have treated ourselves to a dinner out.  Last week we went to the Ramp in Cape Porpoise.  I had a wonderful meal – roasted haddock with spinach raviolis.  If you have the chance to have a meal there you should, it was wonderful – the view is amazing and the food has never disappointed!

Roasted Haddock with Spinach Ravioli

Roasted Haddock with Spinach Ravioli

 

The view from the Ramp

The view from the Ramp

I have been making quilts.  Big surprise there!  I have finished last years Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion Mystery quilt.  It has been sent off to the Long Arm Quilter, it is much to big for me to quilt on my sewing machine.  Pictures of that will follow as soon as I get it back.  Here is sneak peek.

Grand Illusion

Grand Illusion

I have also been working on Red, White and Blue blocks for the Veteran’s quilts that our guild makes.  One of our members delivered 2 of them to wounded veterans in San Antonio, TX last month.  The quilts were given to 2 young woman who were injured in the war – both had lost limbs. So sad for them and so appreciative of their sacrifices and service to our country.

Hunters Star

Hunters Star

 

The other quilt that I have been working on is a gift.  I will show you a picture only because the recipient doesn’t have any idea that I am making them a quilt.

quilt on design wall - time to sew it together

quilt on design wall – time to sew it together

 

So that is some of what has been keeping me busy.  I will leave you with some more pictures of my weeping cherry tree.  It is the first tree to bloom so far this Spring and it makes me very happy!

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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

 

 

 

Grand Illusion Step 1

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Every year Bonnie Hunter does a Mystery Quilt – this year the name of the mystery is Grand Illusion. The link to the mystery is http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/grand-illusion-mystery.html. Bonnie’s inspiration for the colors of this quilt was the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. MI. I have never been there but from Bonnies pictures it is a beautiful place that will bring you back to another century. Maybe that will be added to my bucket list.

I have been plugging away at getting these sections completed and I am enjoying the colors.  I am using a constant for the black and the yellow.  Sometimes if I use to many scraps I find that my quilts look a little bit muddled and I don’t want muddled quilts.

a long line of HST's

a long line of HST’s

Here I am setting up a little ironing station.  When I iron my back is to the TV and that is unacceptable.  I moved my portable ironing pad on my movable set of drawers and all is good.

portable ironing station

portable ironing station

 

I am currently half way through my “broken dishes” blocks – I have a Christmas party to go to tonight so I will not be sewing but I hope to complete them on Friday so that I can start step 2 over the weekend.

work in progress

work in progress

 

Happy Stitching everyone.

 

Be Kind…

Faith

It has been a busy time of year for me…

I have been having a lot of fun and having a lot of great adventures.  In mid-August I went to my parents house for a party.  I met 2 of my sisters and their families there and we had a party.  Our parents were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  Wow! 60 years is a really long time.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

We had a really great party!  We sat around the dining room table and laughed and told our the nieces and nephews funny stories about their parents and grandparents.  My parents have been a wonderful example of love, family and fun for the past 60 years.  We all have wonderful memories of growing up laughing, teasing each other and developing a great sense of humor.  It was a wonderful party!

in late September for our 29th wedding anniversary Chuck and I decided to take a day off and go to the Common Grounds Fair in Unity, ME.  After sitting in traffic for 30 minutes without moving an inch we decided to redirect our fun.  We went to the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor instead.  We had a very nice lunch and then walked around the gardens.  It was a beautiful fall day.

Boothbay Harbor

Boothbay Harbor

Funny Selfie - aren't all selfies funny?

Funny Selfie – aren’t all selfies funny?

After walking around the Gardens we went into town.  We walked around town – had an ice cream cone and then headed home.  I am pretty sure we must have stopped at one or two quilt shops along the way – it is so hard to pass by one.

I have been doing a lot of sewing and quilting and cooking.  I canned some wonderful salsa and some very sour pickles, I made several dinners with home grown peppers.  Aren’t these beautiful!

homegrown peppers

homegrown peppers

We went for a lot of walks near where we live…IMG_0025

Life is good in Maine.  I will show you more pictures of my adventures tomorrow.

Be Kind…

Faith