Friday, January 30, 2015

Exploring

A couple of days ago I took a drive over to Franklin, NC to check out a couple of quilts shops.  You always want to know where the good ones are.  I visited A Stitch in Time where I bought a new book by Kim Brackett and a couple spools of thread. 
I've been browsing through the book and I'm finding several patterns that simply call to me.  I have a tendency to only make bed sized quilts.  I guess its a throwback to the fact that Mama only made utilitarian quilts for our beds.  I'd really like to make smaller lap quilts and throws, even some wall hangings.  I've got the perfect place for a hanging quilt rack and I'd really like some things to put there.  If you're a quilter, take a look at this book.  I think you'll like it. 

I also went to Deb's Cats and Quilts and I LOVE that store!  I'll definitely be visiting there again.  I found a batch of fabrics that just called to me and insisted on coming home with me. 
from Deb's Cats and Quilts
Black fabrics don't normally appeal to me but there's two of them in this bunch.  The one on the end has tiny, muted red flowers in it.  The other one has brighter colors. 

I've also been taking classes in a program called OASIS this winter.  It's a community outreach program through a local church and its huge.  There must be 200 or more folks in and out of the building on class day.   I'm taking beginning basket weaving which I absolutely love.  I've finished one basket and am well on the way to finishing another one.  Here's the first, called a napkin basket, but I'm using it to collect half square triangles down here in the QK (that's quilting kingdom).
napkin basket 

This basket still needs to be stained but that's a project for another day.  I'll wait until the market basket is finished and do both of them at one time.   

I'll definitely be signing up for more basket classes.  I am amazed at how much fun they are. 

I am also in a painting class/workshop.  Mostly we just gather and work on whatever we want.  We have a couple of "instructors" who are available to answer questions and help out, but mostly we're on our own.  I'm definitely not talented when it comes to painting but I've done one little piece that I'm okay with.  I think its going to my Birdlady friend, since the loves the picture that this is adapted from. 

I took the picture of the thrush on our trip to Texas in April of 2012 and she put it on the front of our trip photo book.  Looks like we'll be trekking to Texas again this year.  Yippee!!!!!  This will be four or five years in a row.  

My fireplace in the KQ has been so nice this winter.  I turn it on in the morning and get the place warmed up and then its usually off until the evening when the space cools down. 

Y'all take care. 





Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Although I haven't shared much lately, I've been sewing a bit.  I pulled an unfinished project off the shelf and, after some procrastination, finally got my head wrapped around the method again and finished a quilt top.  I took a workshop with the designer of this pattern back in 2009 and its been sitting patiently since then. 
Bella Luna by Lisa Moore
Back in the summer I picked up a jelly roll from a local quilt shop to have something to work on while still in the RV and during our house hunt.  Never did start on it until we actually got into the house, but its now finished and I really like it. 
Floral Bouquet
It's always a joy when a project meets your expectations upon completion. 

Both of these are just tops at the moment but will be turned into real quilts.

I also completed my first wool applique project which is a small candle/table mat.  I learned a bunch on this project and it'll stand me in good stead on future projects.  

Hubby and I took a ride yesterday.  It was a gorgeous day and would have been a shame to stay home.  We explored some areas we had not been to before and stopped in Clayton, GA for lunch.  We happened upon a local and asked for suggestions as to where to have lunch.  After a minute's thought, she pointed across the street to the Universal Joint, a restaurant located in an old filling station/garage.  A great  place and the history of it was very apparent.  It is a very popular place too, as both the inside and the large outside patio were filled by the time we left.  We'd never been over there before and it is a really neat little town.  I can see that it would be a fun day trip with the girls.  There's a lake nearby called Rabun Lake but I've not been there yet, either.

We then headed on up to Franklin, NC and then back home via a different route along US 64.  Even with the trees being bare, it was a beautiful drive.  Can't wait to do it again once the foliage is back. 

Y'all take care. 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Feathered Friends

Happy New Year, dear friends. 

I've been watching all kinds of little birds busily fluttering around the feeders this morning.  I think they are stocking up ahead of the bitter cold that is expected to hit us tonight and the next couple of days.    This is my first experience with dark eyed juncos and pine siskins at my feeders.  White breasted nuthatches, too. 

 Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show you but believe me when I say that its a joy to watch them.   I'm sticking some in here trying to give you something warm to imagine during this winter. 
Cedar Waxwings 
I'm supposed to go birding at Lake Chatuge on Saturday morning but we'll see.  There IS a limit as to when I'll venture out in cold weather.  We're having wonderfully sunny weather, so that helps tremendously during the day.  Temps drop like a rock at night, though. 


On top of Diamondhead

Y'all take care.  



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends

I want to wish all of you a  Happy Thanksgiving.  May your day be filled with good food, good friends, loving family and warm memories.  

Y'all take care.  


Monday, November 10, 2014

My Private Kingdom

I've finally gotten my studio set up and gotten the necessary furniture to make it both comfortable and efficient.  Maybe one of these days I'll have a larger cutting station, but this is just fine for now.  Besides, I've used this for years now and somehow I've managed. 
Its a long, narrow room but I love it down here.  There's still some changing to do.  I'd like to remove a large bar that is here, taking up space as far as I'm concerned and of absolutely no use to me.  

I finally have room to store all my stash provided, of course, that I don't keep buying! 
All the fabric in this green cabinet was stashed in a chest in a guest bedroom before I moved. 
I spend a lot of time down here sewing, watching TV, reading or on the computer.   It's my domain. 
And here's the view from my ironing board.  A whole bunch of the leaves have already fallen now but the colors this year have been just magnificent.  There's lots of birds outside, too. 
With this cool fall weather, I'm really enjoying have a fireplace down here.

I am working on a quilt top and the blocks are sewn together awaiting the setting triangles. 

Y'all take care. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Growing Up Fast but Hanging On

I don't know about the rest of you, but it is very hard for me to accept the fact that I'm now part of the "older" folks.  Many years ago, a friend and I were talking and we agreed that with the problems going on, it was time for the grown ups to step up and make some decisions.  Then, I reminded him that in our mid 30's, we were supposed to be grownups!  He and I both agreed that we could be in trouble. 

I was reminded of that recently when my 92 year old Aunt Mildred passed away.  She was the last of my mother's siblings.  
Aunt Mildred and Aunt Dean
I lost Aunt Dean, the other lady in this picture, back in April.  There are no more aunts and uncles for me on either side of the family.   What I've discovered is that you always feel like one of the kids if there's a parent or an aunt or uncle around.  They are the "grown ups".    All the cousins were together for Aunt Mildred's  memorial and we're all feeling a bit adrift.  And we're realizing that not only are we now the grown ups, we're fast approaching or already are some of the "old folks".  

I stayed with my brother while I was down in Florida.  He's been the caretaker of a farm (other than his own, of course) for years but I'd never been over to it.  This trip I told him I wanted a tour.  Before heading to the farm, we had to go check on a few things.  We had to go by our family's old farm to check the traps for feral hogs.  Nothing there.  Then we headed off to check on some of my brother's cows that were pastured a number of miles away.   Got there and luckily the cows were close to the fence.  One of the cows had been limping and he wanted to check her hoof again.  He discovered that she had undoubtedly stepped on something and gotten cut.  He'll have to move her back to the house so he can doctor on her and keep an eye on her.   

Then, he decided he wanted to go see a man about a check.  The guy bought some hay from my brother and he had called wanting to exchange cash for the check.  Fine with brother but he could never catch him at home.  Didn't find him home this trip either because he was with his daughter who was competing in a rodeo about 70 miles away.  Oh well, I got a tour of places I hadn't seen in many years, including the grist mill where we always got our corn meal ground.  I have that ticking sack that was used only for the corn kernels and then the ground meal.   Oh my, the smell of freshly ground, warm corn meal!  

After riding over what felt like half the county, we finally went over to the farm so I could see where he spends an inordinate amount of time and energy.   As we drove around, he showed me all the projects he's working on, including the new fences he has put in this year and the watering system so that all the pastures have well water.  He's got part of the pasture land plowed up and ready for rye and clover to be planted. 

And, I had to see some of his cows that were in those pastures. 

After visiting the bovines, we headed off through the woods to the old pond.  (Yes, there is a new pond also.)   I thought we'd gone most everywhere but he assured me that there were other places to go but they required the Purple Onion (the old battered 4 wheel drive Tracker) or the 4x4 buggy.  Since we were on the "good" truck, he wouldn't take it those places!
We stopped and he checked the fish feeder.  The second he touched it, the water was suddenly splashing with fish wanting food.    There's a small floating dock there for fishing or just hanging out.  Brother says he'll just sit there sometimes, taking it all in for a while. 




I headed back north on Sunday.   Somehow, these weeks just keep flying by. 

Y'all take care. 



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall in the Air

The skies, they are a changin'.  It truly feels like fall is fast approaching here in the hills.  We woke to 50 degrees this morning and it was glorious.  We're being blessed with dry, sunny days with temps in the mid 70's.  I am just so tickled about this wonderful weather. 

Hubby and I took a ride up to Brasstown Bald the other day.  It had been years since we were last there.  There's been some "improvements" made such as a general store, bigger restrooms and more parking areas.   

The Bald is the highest point in Georgia and from up there you can see four states from the 360 degree view.  Supposedly, in the fall and winter when the weather has cleared out the haze, you can actually see the skyline of Atlanta over 80 something miles away.  


Also depending on which direction you look, you can see a couple of small towns and Lake Chatuge and Lake Nottley.   It sure is pretty up there and I figure we'll make the trek back up there in about to a month to take in the colors from that perspective. 

I'm excited to see what the colors look like from our house, since we are surrounded by trees on all sides and we have long range views of mountains in two directions.  

The trees have been home to lots of little birds these days.  Every morning brings a new batch of migrants of some sort.  Some of them I can identify and some I can't.  Where's my Birdlady friend when I need her?  These little guys just don't stay still long enough for me to get a good look, note important markings and then dig out the bird books to identify them!!!   

Any time you have windows you are likely to have bird strikes.  A week or so ago I was sitting here and heard this "whump".  At first, I thought it was upstairs but realized it was too loud.  Went over to the other side of the fireplace and looked out that door and there on the deck was this little guy, totally stunned from his smack into the glass door. 
He sat there at least 10 minutes before he was able to fly away. 

Every day we are treated to hummers jostling for their feeding territory at one of the seven feeders outside.  They are constantly buzzing around out there.  We're enjoying them immensely, knowing that it won't be too long before they're gone for the winter. 

I'll do my best to be back much more regularly.  I do enjoy reading everyone else's blogs, so I guess I need to return the courtesy by posting something for you guys to read, huh? 

Y'all take care.