Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quilt store shopping and buyers remorse

Well, I managed to do some shopping for the backing on this wonderful quilt. First I did try the Internet like Gayle suggested but I couldn't find something that hit me right and I needed at least 11 yards. It turns out that needing that much material leads to the biggest problem. That is almost a whole bolt of fabric so you must find something you like AND they must have a lot of it. That doesn't happen too often at a quilt store. I went to the shop in Farwell when I was down that way. I was kind of talked into this first fabric. It looked better in the store and it was really the only piece that they had that had enough fabric for my backing. SO I bought 12 yards and immediately that night I began to feel 'buyers remorse'. When I got home I didn't even look at it with the quilt for a couple of days. I was kind of stuck on the fact that it was going into a blue painted room and so I went with this one because it was blue. Friday I took it to a friends house and we looked at it. We both agreed that it was just to 'weak' of a batik to go with the 'strong' colors in the quilt. SO, I stopped at another shop on my way home.
This is the fabric that I picked up at the other shop. It is a much stronger print and has many good colors in it. It goes well with the quilt.

Here it the fabric that I am going to use for the backing.

This is the 12 yards of fabric that I will need to use up on something but I am thinking that maybe I could make some quilts with this as the fabric and add other colors. Maybe I will make 3 quilts, one with blue, one with pink and one with purple. I think they would make good matching quilts. I think that twin size quilts would be a good idea. If I can't find a home for them I will give them to a charity for some kind of auction or to Eva's church for their spring auction. I will show them to you when I get them made.

Here is is set of fabrics that I did pick up and I like them. I am going to make a quilt for my brother, Leo. He said that he would like a blue quilt. I am pleased with the selection here.

This is a close up of the first 3 fabrics. I am a little unsure of the third one from the left but I am going with it since it will only show up in little pieces.

Here are the last 4 fabrics. I love the 3rd one from the left most of all.

This is the pattern that I am going to use. It is called Regular Many Trips Around The World. I have done this pattern twice before. The first time I made it for Eva and it is on her guest bed downstairs. I did hers in autumn reds. I think this will look good for Leo.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

sharing Mrs. Clever

I couldn't resist sharing this picture with the rest of you. I know that some of you already received this picture of Brookelynn from Eva via e-mail but thought it was worth putting on the blog. This is hard at work Brookelynn. I wonder if Matt always requires her to do his ironing before he leaves for work? I wonder where she learned about ironing because many people don't even own an iron these days? I wonder if she takes in laundry to help pay for room and board? I wonder if she is willing to come up north and do my ironing? I especially like how she hasn't let herself go, she still wears her fancy shoes while doing her ironing. I hope this picture made you smile too. Thank you Diana Clarady for sharing it with us. It sure made me smile.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday in Northern Michigan

I went over to my friend's house this afternoon to teach her how to make my bowls. It is a fun project to teach anyone in an afternoon. She fed me lunch and we had a chance to catch up while we were working. Later in the afternoon the weather began to pick up. There seems to be a storm brewing outside our windows. The wind is blowing and the snow is falling. It is a good night to stay home. Bud is still recovering from a cold and we are going to eat leftover pizza from our freezer. Staying home in this weather is always a good idea. I hope you are warm and safe with someone you love at your home.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Books I have enjoyed

Well, yesterday I talked about the stack of books that I have ready to read but thought I would share with you some of the books I have enjoyed. Maybe it will inspire some of you to add them to your list of books to read. I mostly read current fiction so many of these books will look familiar to you if you frequent the bookstores like me. Here goes:

1. I read the book "The Help" while on vacation. It was a very interesting book written about the maids of the south before the Civil Rights movement. I strongly recommend it.

2.Anything by Billie Letts but my favorite is "Where the Heart Is" it made me laugh.

3.Anything by Margaret Atwood. Her books really make me think. My favorite is "The Handmaids Tale" but I just finished reading "The Year of the Flood" which had an interesting environmental theme.

4.Anything by Richard Russo. My favorite is "Nobody's Fool" but I just finished a very good one called "That Old Cape Magic".

5.Anything by Pat Conroy. I just finished reading "South of Broad". Sometimes his books are a little dark but I like his style of writing.

6.Anything by Chris Bohjalian. The last one I read was "Skeletons at the Feast". I really loved "Midwives" which was one of his earlier books but this one might be a close second. Again, his books are a little dark, especially "Skeletons at the Feast" but I LOVE his style.

7.I fell in love with Ken Follett when reading "Pillers of the Earth". It is an epic tale much like James Mitchner's books. He usually doesn't write this kind of book but it is one of my all time favorite historical fiction books. He did a follow-up book called "World Without End" which I liked too. These books are VERY long so they are good books to take on a vacation although I can really get into this type of book and forget that I am on vacation.

8.I stumbled on a new author a couple of years ago. Kate Furnivall wrote two books that I have really enjoyed: "The Red Scarf" and "The Russian Concubine".

9. I also stumbled on another book by finding a list of books in a magazine at the doctor's office. I have only read one book by this author Anita Amirrezvani. I really enjoyed "The Blood of Flowers" and need to check to see if she has written anything else.

10.Another new author I came upon while on vacation was Abraham Verghese. He wrote "Cutting for Stone" and I really enjoyed this book. I don't know if he has written anything else.

11.Finally, I just discovered a new author via Leo Blandford. I read my first Christopher Moore book "Coyote Blue". It was fun reading and a little on the unusual side.

Well, that is my list of books that I have enjoyed. I hope you find a few new friends on this list.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What are you reading??

Now that I am retired I have LOTS of choices of what to do with my time. I am enjoying my craft/quilt projects but I also love to read some every day. This is a stack of books that I have on my "to read" list. I am reading the top one "A December Wedding by Anita Shreve. It is good but not captivating. I will finish it but it doesn't make me want to sit down and read it every day. Like the title of this post, What are you reading??? I am always looking for recommendations and YES you do see a Vogue magazine on the bottom of this stack. For some reason I have taken up reading fashion magazines for fun. They often have interesting articles and the advertisements are interesting to look at. These fashion magazines are fairly inexpensive to have delivered to your home, I am guessing it is because they are so full of advertisements. Anyway, I enjoy reading them too. Let me know what you enjoy reading.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My visit to the farm and a special guest

Well, I visited the farm yesterday and had a little fun. On the way down I realized that the snow that was falling was perfect for making a snowman. I only had my lovely purple gloves with me so I stopped at a gas station a bought a cheap pair of brown gloves (The kind Dad wore). I had a great time making this snowman and dressing it up in different 'outfits. This first outfit is with my purple hat and gloves. You can't see the hat and gloves very well but she looked very stylish. I went for the many views so you could see how great she looked in her surroundings. It was fun.

Then I went back inside and found another outfit. Doesn't he look great with his John Deere hat and hunting vest?

I couldn't pass up a few winter scenes for those of you who weren't with me. This is a picture of the back yard.

Here we have a picture of our friend at the front porch as I left. I left the John Deere hat on him. I figured that it would be fairly safe and we didn't need to worry about it.

It was quite a chore making the snowman. I haven't made one in a long while. The snow packed pretty well so rolling the balls wasn't too much trouble. However, I didn't have any coal for the eyes and and buttons. I found some stones and then I found a burn barrel that Leo had used. I blackened the stones in the leftover ashes. That worked pretty well. I didn't have a carrot for a nose ( I didn't plan this snowman making before I left) However I did take along some fruit salad for my lunch and I found a piece of cantaloupe for the nose. I am good at improvising. I hope the squirrels or birds enjoy this little piece of frozen fruit.
It was a wonderful memory and I hope you enjoy the pictures. I did get a chance to meet one of the new owners. She took off work so that she could come and see the house one more time. She and her husband were just married this past fall. They are really excited about moving into this house. They have lots of plans on how to change things around and make it their home. She said a couple of things that made my heart happy. First of all she said that after their first look at the house she noticed that it had a good hill for sledding. She told her husband that they now had a place to take their future children sledding. That made my heart sing. She also noticed the red pencil sharpener that is attached to the door frame in the hallway going upstairs and commented that they had one like that at her house when she grew up. She said that she grew up in the Coleman area in a large old farmhouse and they are really looking forward to this one. She wasn't 'put off' by the fact that the only heating comes from the register in the living room. She said they had one like that in their house. I think this place is a good fit for them. She is an RN at the Midland hospital and he is a welder for the local union so they have good jobs and lots of good future ahead. I think we are selling this house and land to a couple that will love and take care of it. It is time for a new generation to enjoy this house.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and a few memories of your own.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Down came the Christmas tree

The weather cooperated and Bud was able to get out and take down the Christmas tree. I think this is about the latest we have left it up but it went up late this year because we were gone. Now I am ready for spring to come.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My new quilt

I took this picture so that you could see a close up of the quilt. This is the border that I was working on today. I made small pieces of the colors on the quilt and stitched them together with the black for a nice framing of the quilt.

The last few days I have been trying to catch up on my unfinished projects in my sewing room so that I can start another project. This is a quilt that I have been working on for almost a year. I saw a similar quilt in a craft show that we stopped at in W. Virginia last spring. I didn't have the pattern and they didn't sell it there. I took very detailed pictures and then figured out the pattern on my own. The fabrics are batiks. I was all set to do a red color where the dark color is on the pattern but Sara suggested a black color and I thought that would look much better. I am pleased with the outcome. It is a very large quilt so we will put it on our bed. I haven't made a quilt for our bed so this is a good choice and a chance to change the look in our bedroom. I am going to Coleman tomorrow so I will stop at a quilt shop down there and buy the backing for this quilt. Again I will buy some batik fabric that will go with the other fabrics. I am leaning toward something in a dark blue mix so that it goes with the walls. Now I have 4 quilts to take to my quilter as soon as I finish making the backs for them. THEN I can start a new project.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fresh fruit in the middle of winter

I love having a big bowl of fresh fruit around the house. This bowl of fruit looks so colorful to me. I am thankful that I can have this bounty here any time of year. I remember either my Mom or my Dad telling the story of having an orange at Christmas time. There wasn't the mass transportation of fresh fruit available before refrigeration made it so easy. We take for granted these wonderful blessings that are available to us now. I am thankful for fresh fruit even if it makes my 'carbon footprint' a little big.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine

The sun was shining here this morning. Outside my back door the trees are leaving their long shadows on this new and pristine snow. The icicles are hanging from our eves and I need to feed the birds this sunshiney day.
They are waiting for me and wanting some seeds today. It is a good day to find some food.

I thought I would try to duplicate Sara's sun in the sand by doing mine in the snow.

Enjoy the sunshine where ever you are.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas tree

Yes, we still have our Christmas tree out on our deck. You can't see the lights very well on this shot but I took it off our deck. Just a little of the tree, an icicle and the wonderful bay on the horizon. I was trying for an artistic look, framing in the cold bay. This is part of my daily view.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I just gotta have art

I loved going to the galleries with Sara. I found this bowl in a gallery. I especially like the glaze which looks a bit like snowflakes. I may just have to go back and pick up my old college hobby of working with pottery. I remember loving it a lot and enjoying how each piece turned out. I know that I gave away many of those 'rustic' pieces but I may go and find the other pieces that I still have in the basement in a box. It is such a fun hobby, and an 'earthy' feeling to sit at a potters wheel and make something with the clay. Then the glazes add another dimension to the experience. Doesn't it sound like fun??? This is a necklace that I bought. I am sorry that I didn't turn the picture first but anyway you get the idea. This necklace is made from stones. It is really different and I liked it.
The glassblower that we saw had some items for sale and I bought this for myself. I have this attraction to jewelry too. I always say that I may not remember the plot of a movie that I saw but I can always remember where I bought a piece of jewelry.

Finally, I bought this watercolor of the town of Wellfleet which is the town where Sara and Leo have their home on the Cape. Good memories.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day

On our last evening we went out to dinner to celebrate Valentine's Day. We started with a great dinner and a nice round table discussion of what makes a good marriage.

Doesn't this dessert tray look delicious? This was the final course of our meal. We loved every bite. After the dinner we went to the movies to watch Crazy Heart. It was a good movie which followed the theme of Love but just not easy love. While walking into the movie theater in a small town on the Cape, Bud and I ran into someone we knew. Isn't that a very surprising coincidence??? We met this man on our trip this past fall. He was our representative from the Smithsonian and one of our speakers. That goes to prove that it truly is a small world.

I wanted to take a few pictures of the house on the Cape. It is a great place with a terrific view. We both didn't expect that the house would be this big. It is a very comfortable place to visit with 3 bedrooms and baths, a very open kitchen and dining room, at nice cozy TV room and a separate living room that serves a a quiet room to read. We felt blessed to spend this special time with Sara and Leo. It felt wonderful to relax together and check out the sights. I love having a picture in my mind of their surroundings.

Check out the little red bird on the deck. This is the view of the house from the back yard.

This is the view from the back deck. I was also pleasantly surprised by the surroundings. It is a quiet place that adds to the relaxing feeling. I can see why people love to visit here. The surroundings are calm and relaxing and the hosts are most gracious.

Monday, February 15, 2010


We made it home today about 4:30. The flights were on time and uneventful. I will post some more pictues tomorrow. It was a great little break and a terrific chance to spend a little time with Sara and Leo. We both had a wonderful time.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Provincetown and the birthday boy

OK, Now I did it again. I need to remember that I need to start at the bottom of my pictures and go backwards for choosing my pictures so the story is backwards. Sorry.We bought chocolates from a wonderful shop in Provincetown so that we could celebrate Leo's birthday while we are here. We had terrific choices.

The dinner table has been set for the Birthday dinner. A simple dinner of lobster and Bruschetta. For those of you who haven't tasted bruschetta it is thinly sliced bread that is toasted and topped with some wonderful spreads that we picked up at the Atlantic Spice Company. We chose sun dried tomatoes, a spiced feta cheese spread, and a chopped olive spread. They were all great but the most popular was the sun dried tomatoes.
Sara and Leo did a great job with the lobsters.
Here Sara is toasting the bread. It was fresh when we picked it up at the market.
Sara and Leo are indulging in some raw oysters.Double double, toil and trouble. These lobsters tasted great.

Sara was the brave one to drop the lobsters into the pot.
Provincetown from the pier.
This is a famous little garden in Province town.
We went gallery hopping in Provincetown. We saw wonderful art but bought very little. It was a fun day of looking though.