Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Eleven Years of blogging and some letters….

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

According to my calendar, today is my 11th Blogoversary.  Yes, I have more or, most recently, less been blogging for eleven years!   To mark the occasion, I’m sharing a photo from this week’s Photo Challenge (a follow on to the class I did with Ricky Tims last year).  Instead of doing my initials, I chose to do Eli’s since he will be leaving for college (SOB) shortly.  I’ll thrill you all I’m sure with dorm move-in pics, and will do my darnedest not to start crying until after we leave campus.  The photo challenge theme for this week is Found Alphabet.  I actually teach a Quilting Design class which uses this “learning to see” exercise (Info is here, scroll down to Quilting Design).

Since I teach a class where found alphabet is a major component I almost skipped this week; our son heads to college in a couple days.   But I decided to give it a quick go using only the grout lines from our stone fireplace; I also opted to do Eli’s initials:  WEKS.   The W is a mirror image of the center stone (I’ll post the full fireplace in my Flickr album), cropped, and squeezed in from the sides.  The E is flipped horizontally, the S flipped vertically, and the K is a shot taken on the diagonal.   It’s gonna be hard being an empty nester.  Our lives have revolved around Eli’s sports for so long, every week a meet.  This year, none.  I know I will have more than enough to fill the hole, but still.   Spent the morning copying his iPod playlists so I can play them when I am feeling homesick for him.

Since  our son leaves for college soon and I’m busy, I almost skipped this week; . But I decided to give it a quick go using only the grout lines from our stone fireplace; I also opted to do Eli’s initials: WEKS.  The W is a mirror image of the center stone (I’ll post the full fireplace in my Flickr album), cropped, and squeezed in from the sides. The E is flipped horizontally, the S flipped vertically, and the K is a shot taken on the diagonal.

Here is a photo of the fireplace, source of the letters.

IMG_9916

All the letters were “found” in our fireplace. 

It’s gonna be hard being an empty nester. Our lives have revolved around Eli’s sports for so long, every week a meet. This year, none. I know I will have more than enough to fill the hole, but still. Spent the morning copying his iPod playlists so I can play them when I am feeling homesick for him.  Maybe I’ll even spend some of that time blogging…what a concept!

 

Baker’s Heaven: King Arthur Flour

Sunday, May 15th, 2016
Viewing window, the King Arthur Flour bakery. An air vent nearby was exuding the heavenly scent of rising bread.

Viewing window, the King Arthur Flour bakery. An air vent nearby was exuding the heavenly scent of rising bread.

During Eli’s Spring Break, after visiting his college, we decided to visit a Nature center in Vermont on the way home–a rather circuitous but enjoyable route.  And I discovered two places I totally love were on the way:  King Arthur Flour and Ben & Jerry’s!   Today, it’s baking:

Framed and in the hallway at the beautiful facility King Arthur has where they make flour, bread, have a cafe, a store (swoon), and host classes/workshops!

Framed and in the hallway at the beautiful facility King Arthur has where they make flour, bread, have a cafe, a store (swoon), and host classes/workshops!

The view as you drive up:

Turning in to the drive.

Turning in to the drive.

From the parking lot. Busy even on a mid-April weekday! Buildings are gorgeous!

From the parking lot. Busy even on a mid-April weekday! Buildings are gorgeous!

Panorama shot on my iPhone of the bakery

Panorama shot on my iPhone of the bakery

Panorama shot with the bakery at my back, of the cafe, hall to the shop, etc.

Panorama shot with the bakery at my back, of the cafe, hall to the shop, etc.  Jacquie–lunch here in June!

I’m happy that I’m taking a brief foray to Vermont Quilt Festival in late June and will stop and visit my friend Jacquie, and she’s agreed to go on a drive up to Norwich and visit.  She’ll be more amenable to browsing than my guys LOL!

 

 

Visiting Franklin & Marshall–dream studio inspiration

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Well, I took remarkably few photos during this visit, because I figured I’ll have other chances, and this weekend was really for Eli.  As part of his AP Biology class this year, his teacher assigned them a major research paper in Fall for which they had to find a published article by a professor at the college they hoped to attend.  Eli contacted Professor Blair, who did a paper on a biology topic that was a subject that some might find dry but Eli really enjoyed.  She offered to give him a tour if he made it down to the college, so we took her up on the offer.  She took us around the science building before the official “visit day” activities became–really wonderful.

So what do I do…spot furniture and stuff in the science labs that I think would be AWESOME studio furniture and additions!

This drying rack is PERFECT for where I dye my fabrics!   So I'm going to go troll companies that supply stuff to science labs.  I could make something easily using wooden dowels, but I want something that has plastic since it won't absorb the dye.  And the white bits will show if any residual dye  is on them so they can be easily cleaned.  But isn't this perfect?

This drying rack is PERFECT for where I dye my fabrics! So I’m going to go troll companies that supply stuff to science labs. I could make something easily using wooden dowels, but I want something that has plastic since it won’t absorb the dye. And the white bits will show if any residual dye is on them so they can be easily cleaned. But isn’t this perfect?

And lookit this lab table...with the outlets on the end.  Wouldn't you love a STUDIO (as well as kitchen) island with outlets on it?

And lookit this lab table…with the outlets on the end. Wouldn’t you love a STUDIO (as well as kitchen) island with outlets on it? With one of these chairs, too….

or…..

Here's the teacher's table.  Good quality.  Attractive.  Nearly indestructible top.  On casters.   Furniture lust!  Stand up, sit down....sigh....

Here’s the teacher’s table. Good quality. Attractive. Nearly indestructible top. On casters. Furniture lust! Stand up, sit down….sigh….

I’ve got a table I love, an old IKEA kitchen table with a drop leaf, for which I made a platform of plywood with casters, so I don’t need the above.  I love the history of my table (has scratches on it from my first beloved cat, Cassie), but this is a mighty fine looking piece.   So hope the ideas might help some of you, dear readers! But I really, Really, REALLY want that drip-dry for containers thingy!

 

Life Happening: a college visit

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

The brilliant news is that our younger son, Eli (the athlete), has been accepted at his first choice:  Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  It has the perfect academics for him (he wants to major in Animal Behavior), is not too big and not too small, in a small city (not rural like here and not a huge, overwhelming city), and…drum roll:  has a Division 1 Wrestling Team!  Yes, Eli will (oh please let him be less injury prone in college!) wrestle in college.  His teammates are *very* impressive, the coach is wonderful, and we are thrilled that he already has a group of like minded souls to be his first “college family.”  So we went to the “Closer Look” day the Friday before Maine’s Spring Break weekend in mid April.  Here are some pics from the way down:

About an hour a half from home, Paul said "Oh oh."  He realized he was still wearing his house slippers.  And had no other shoes.  So we made a quick detour to Freeport to buy something for him to wear as we were too far from home to turn around. LL Bean had this totally awesome clockwork thingie...LOVED it.  Could see a fab steampunk-ish art quilt inspired by this.

About an hour a half from home, Paul said “Oh oh.” He realized he was still wearing his house slippers. And had no other shoes. So we made a quick detour to Freeport to buy something for him to wear as we were too far from home to turn around. LL Bean had this totally awesome clockwork thingie…LOVED it. Could see a fab steampunk-ish art quilt inspired by this.

We got back on the road, I got caught up on a mountain of magazines (mostly art and quilt related to keep up on inspiration and industry news), Paul drove, and I took occasional photos.  It is a 9 1/2 hour drive, and we needed to be in Lancaster, PA by about 7 pm, so we had to make good time.

This is in NY, I think, but I love the look up to the just-about-to-bud-out trees.  I also really like the ghost silhouette of Paul in the reflection on the window.

This is in NY, I think, but I love the look up to the just-about-to-bud-out trees. I also really like the ghost silhouette of Paul in the reflection on the window.

The landscape changes when you get into western NJ and then into the farm fields of Pennsylvania.

The landscape changes when you get into western NJ and then into the farm fields of Pennsylvania.

more fields and hills in

more fields and hills in Pennsylvania

Finally, nearly there!  Next post I’ll share some inspiration I found at F&M.

ten hours after leaving home, with only VERY brief pitstops, we are at Lancaster, PA!

ten hours after leaving home, with only VERY brief pitstops, we are at Lancaster, PA!

Painting…the house

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

So I have been hideously absent from blogging.  Basically, lots of life happening.  One of the things I’ve been doing is painting the house.  In particular, I needed to get two walls done when the temperatures were at or above 40 degrees, but the perennial beds were still low enough that I could get the ladder in without damaging the plants.  Luckily, we haven’t had a super rainy spring or I’d be out of luck.

The house is brown.  Dark brown.  That may be fine on some houses in the right setting, but on a ranch house in the middle of a big open space it looks like a dark  hulk.  So we decided on a medium-light gray with white trim when we built the garage.  Now it is time to do the house, which has "solid stain" on it (the dark brown).  The stain holds up a LOT better than paint, but along the bottom was peeling, so it was time.  In this image, I'm testing various mixes to see what best matches the siding on the garage (resting on the ground).  The answer was none of these!

The house is brown. Dark brown. That may be fine on some houses in the right setting, but on a ranch house in the middle of a big open space it looks like a dark hulk. So we decided on a medium-light gray with white trim when we built the garage. Now it is time to do the house, which has “solid stain” on it (the dark brown). The stain holds up a LOT better than paint, but along the bottom was peeling, so it was time. In this image, I’m testing various mixes to see what best matches the siding on the garage (resting on the ground). The answer was none of these!

Luckily, I had purchased only sample amounts.  Finally, we got a match that is as good as you can get.  Here it is in progress:

These two walls and the trim are now almost done (one more coat of white on the wood just under the roof shingles).  Then I'll take a break to work on a new piece!

These two walls and the trim are now almost done (one more coat of white on the wood just under the roof shingles). Then I’ll take a break to work on a new piece!

Temperatures have dropped again, with mornings in the 30s (just above freezing), so I am working inside a couple days.  Once it warms up, I’ll be distracted outside finishing this area and the porch (on the right in the photo above).  Then I’ll get back to the house once the quilt is done and submitted by the deadline.  Phew!  I’m tired!