Lately….

I have been very busy.  I have sewed, canned, cleaned, played, shopped and celebrated a birthday.

This past weekend I canned 10 pints of dill pickles.  I can’t wait to try them but I like to let them sit for a few weeks before I open and taste them.

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I have started a new project – It is yet another Hexie project.  It is English Paper Piecing from the book The New Hexagon by Katja Marek.  Every month a new block is released – it started in January but I didn’t get clued in until recently so I am a little bit behind.  Thankfully it is not a race, but it is something that I want to complete so I will continue to stitch away.

Center of first Hexie - lots more to add.

Center of first Hexie – lots more to add.

This is the fabric that I started with.  Fussy cut to make the first Hexie.

This is the fabric that I started with. Fussy cut to make the first Hexie.

I spent the weekend making myself a new bag.  I am a sucker for bags with lots of pockets and compartments.  I saw a post on Facebook – it was a pattern for sale on Craftsy called The Bionic Gear Bag.  Let me tell you, if you a sucker for a bag with a place for everything this is the bag for you.  It is designed by Sally Thompson – it is wonderful.  There is a tutorial on line to tell you how to put it all together and I made it in a few hours.

The Bionic Gear Bag closed

The Bionic Gear Bag closed

The Bionic Gear bag opened!

The Bionic Gear bag opened!

This bag has a slot or pocket for everything.  Since you are making it yourself you can really customize it to take care of whatever needs you have.  It holds threads, pins, needles, scissors, rotary cutters, thimbles, rulers, snips, purple “thangs”, pin cushions and tons of other stuff you can fit in the bag.  It all zips closed to hold everything in its proper place.  It is wonderful!

We went to the nursery to find a new tree that will be planted at the end of the month.  Of course we brought our puppies with us.  They love riding in the car.

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I saw this sign and loved the message.

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My son gave me a new toy… it is a dehydrator.  I am going to use it to dry some of my herbs.  I have a lot of Sage, parsley, thyme, and chives to dry.  How nice not to have to buy them and not know where they came from.  I will also try some fruits and maybe beef jerky if I am so inclined.  It should be a fun new toy and remarkably it is a gadget that I didn’t already have.

 

new toy!

new toy!

 

 

Soooo…. that is what I have been up to lately.  Next weekend I think that I am going to make some homemade Salsa.  It is always a hit and I used the last jar weeks ago.  I will admit that I was hoarding it – just didn’t want to crack open the last jar.

Enjoy the summer – the weather here has been perfect.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is here…

  I haven’t posted lately because I have been so busy with company. For the past 11 years the family gathers here in Maine to celebrate the Fourth of July and the family birthdays that happen in July … 6 of them.
We spent sometime at the beach having a beach fire. 

  We spent time in the pool
  We ate to much food, danced like no one was watching, teased each other as only family can and made more memories to share in the coming years. 
It is so wonderful to have family and friends gather in such a beautiful area. We look forward to it every year and every year we are not disappointed. 

Have a great weekend…. The kids are on their way back to continue the birthday celebrations. 

Be Kind…

Faith

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