Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Christmas may be over officially for 2016, but it will come around again.  And now that the recipients (except for Kate C.–don’t read this post Kate!) have received and opened their gifts, I can share.   I’d love for you all to know about Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories, edited by Karey Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, the cousins who were half of the four (along with their mothers) who founded quilter’s Mecca, the International Quilt Festival.   This petite square book (my iPhone 6plus is a tiny bit taller) is a holiday gem of antique quilts and Christmas memories — and to my utter astonishment, including yours truly!

Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories, Ed. Karey P. Bresenhan and Nancy O’B. Puentes, available from the Texas Quilt Museum

As a contributor, we received a complimentary copy at Quilt Festival this year.  I **devoured** the book on my flight home–literally read it cover to cover between Houston and Boston.  Well known folks from the quilt community and members of Karey and Nancy’s families shared special Christmas Memories with an antique quilt on the left page.   I was astonished that I know of or actually know most of the quilty folks in the book, and I just cherish that they shared their memories.  I knew I would order many copies to give before I got off the flight!  I gave copies to my sons hoping that they will eventually read the book and maybe find traditions they would like to start for their families and lives.

Here’s the start of my memory, about collecting ornaments from around the world, first as gifts for my parents, then as an annual tradition. What’s this year’s ornament going to be?

As I read through the book, I was more and more astounded that I was selected to have my memory included given who else is in the book.   As I read, I felt closer to those I know for their quilt pursuits, loved the glimpse into their every day lives and memories.   Here’s the stories and the contributors:

The Christmas Memories table of contents

and the contributors to the book

This book is small but delightful beyond all proportion to its size.  It is beautifully printed, fits nicely in your hands, and I’m so happy to have it, and still a bit gobsmacked to be in it!  You can order it from the Texas Quilt Museum website, here.

And what was this year’s ornament?  Well, one of the reasons our tree is groaning with stuff is that we added FOUR this year.  In my defense, the two blown glass ones were gifts for the boys to be taken to their own places when they are settled.   I am actually looking forward to sharing the bounty with them and not having quite so much to put on (and take off and put away) each year, but love sharing the story that goes with every ornament on the tree.

After Eli was accepted to F&M, we went on a college visit and took the long way home via Vermont and the requisite trip to Ben & Jerry’s factory (the original one) and tour. Of course I had to add an ornament–I navigate the world by ice cream stores!

To commemorate Eli’s first year in college, a Franklin & Marshall ornament. Thanks to Eli for adding it to the tree.

When Eli and I visited England 2 years ago, we went to St. Tiggywinkle’s hedgehog (and now other wildlife too) rescue, about an hour west of London. This one is for him.

When we lived on San Juan Island when the boys were little, a great horned owl would perch in the fir tree beside our driveway, silhouetted against the night sky. Joshua remembers the owl and we were talking about it not long ago, so this one is for him.

And here’s the groaning tree….honestly, I just LOVE IT!   And this year was beyond delightful because all three of the kids, Joshua & Ashley and Eli, helped trim the tree!

The tree on Christmas Eve after Santa arrived.  It was a particularly bountiful year!

 

 

Lonni Rossi Embroidery design!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

So besides photography, what have I been up to these past six months and more?  Well, a lot of teaching, a lot of work, and not a lot of free time.  And oh yeah, being exhausted from the thyroid stuff (which is FINALLY improving…we may finally have the right RX…will see in a month).  So I have neglected the blog plain and simple.   I’ll try to fix that!  Today just a brief tease:

Lonnie Rossi embroidery design available from Janome, included on the Janome 15000.

Lonnie Rossi embroidery design available from Janome, included on the Janome 15000.  The red and green will be part of what I plan to do with this block.  Sorry the photo is a little blurry–I’ll fix that by the time I get the project done! 

Can you believe that I, the “never do anyone else’s designs” person and “embroidery really isn’t me”, have enjoyed learning about embroidery on the phenomenal Janome 15000 that I currently have on loan (thank you again Janome-America).  Most of the included designs are, well, why “embroidery is not me.”  But Lonni’s designs ROCK!   The one above was done in a totally different colorway–soft greens, some peach.   Well, not me.   Has opened up a world of possibilities, including perhaps some of MY designs finally getting refined and submitted for consideration by Janome!  [Taylor, I promise, I really have stuff for you! I just need to make it good enough to send in!]

As part of the Janome Artist-Teacher loan program, I make stuff that Janome can blog about or use in their booths to show what can be done with their machines.  I thought the flowers looked like poinsettia as well as chrysanthemums, so I changed up the thread colors to reds, green and gold (not metallic).

I am also not someone that loves fiddling with computerized stuff on a machine.  I have to say, this machine has made it SO EASY.   Another thing that has helped immensely if an App from Jim and Diane Stutsman, available for iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), that teaches you everything but everything about the 15000.  I’ll review that in my next post.  It costs only $59.95 US, and all I can say is that if you have this machine, you will NOT regret spending that $60.  Totally worth it.

Anyway, when the winter Janome project is made with this design, of course I’ll share here.  The pattern will be available for free (here or on Janome or both…I’ll let you know), along with exact thread colors, yardage, etc.   Stay tuned!

Gosh it feels good to be back in touch (and have a functioning brain and body…now, to do something about the pudge and lack of fitness….)!

Re-Entry!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

As usual, re-entry to home life after Houston is a whirlwind, as you might gather by the absence of posts here!  Joshua’s birthday is always just a few days after my return, so usually the suitcases aren’t emptied and put away before I’m shopping for birthday dinner and so on.  Life was complicated by the snowstorm which cancelled my flight from Boston, causing me to drive home in the snow in the dark in a rental car.   At least they cancelled flights early, so I got home not much later than I would have had I waited in  Boston for my connecting flight.  In the next few posts I’ll share International Quilt Market and Festival, but first, a little bit of home.  Since US Thanksgiving is in two days, and since there is nothing I am more thankful for than my family and home, let’s start here.

Getting up the driveway the night before I took this picture was entertaining.  Our plow guy had to use his backhoe there was so much snow, and IT got stuck due to soft / not frozen earth and deep, wet snow.  I left my car at the bottom of the drive and walked the last quarter mile uphill to the house.  But it sure is glorious when the sun comes out!

Getting up the driveway the night before I took this picture was entertaining. Our plow guy had to use his backhoe there was so much snow, and IT got stuck due to soft / not frozen earth and deep, wet snow. I left my car at the bottom of the drive and walked the last quarter mile uphill to the house. But it sure is glorious when the sun comes out!

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Aren’t those colors fantastic?

Guess we should have taken the settee and rockers in a bit earlier.  They are now stashed in the garage!

The snowy front porch.

The snowy front porch.

Then, pumpkin pie.  The shopping list for Joshua’s birthday always begins with fixings for his birthday pie, which is what he has wanted since he was about 10.  We’ve kept the “year” / age candles as the boys grew, and keep re-using them.  Joshua is now starting his third decade—how can he be 21????????

Thanks to Eli for getting the shot--mama delivers the pie.  Yes, Joshua shared LOL, but we did send them home with the nearly half-a-pie leftovers, which I expect were gone by breakfast the following morning.

Thanks to Eli for getting the shot–mama delivers the pie. Yes, Joshua shared LOL, but we did send them home with the nearly half-a-pie leftovers, which I expect were gone by breakfast the following morning.  Notice he’s wearing the sweater Eli and I bought him in England?

Then I was sneak-attack with the camera.  None of them were thrilled, but what the heck.  I’m Mama, and I want pictures!

Ashley, Joshua being our goofball, and Paul on the sofa.

Ashley, Joshua being our goofball, and Paul on the sofa.

Eli, muttering because he knows I'm taking a picture, but I love this one!

Eli, muttering because he knows I’m taking a picture, but I love this one!

And the next day, three fourths of the feline contingent:

L to R:  Tyger, Hannah Chan and Zeus.

L to R: Tyger, Hannah Chan and Zeus.

I’ll have a new post tomorrow starting with International Quilt Market.

 

Misc: Fabric and fusing, snow, wrestling, food, RAM!

Friday, February 21st, 2014
Let's start with some beauty:  sunrise yesterday en route to the All-State (Maine) New England Qualifier tournament at Nokomis High School in Newport, Maine.

Let’s start with some beauty: sunrise yesterday en route to the All-State (Maine) New England Qualifier tournament at Nokomis High School in Newport, Maine. LOOK at those colors on the snow, the farm on the crest at the right, the maples silhouetted (and likely soon to sprout sap buckets)…. sigh..swoon…

It’s been an action packed few days:  it is now 9:34 a.m. Friday.  Since this time Wednesday morning…..

I received two memory cards (RAM, not hard drive) for my 2010 MacBook Pro and successfully installed them!   WOW what an improvement now that I’m at the max. for this machine, 8 GB!   Why did I wait so long?

In the upper left you see one of the two old RAM memory cards.  The two new ones are installed, in the center of my laptop.  The Apple Store no longer does upgrades on machines as "old" as my 2014, so I had no choice but to do it myself.  Luckily, there were handy videos online and it was easy peasy!

In the upper left you see one of the two old RAM memory cards. The two new ones are installed, in the center of my laptop. The Apple Store no longer does upgrades on machines as “old” as my 2010 model, so I had no choice but to do it myself. Luckily, there were handy videos online and it was easy peasy! And boy does my laptop switch from one thing to the next faster!

Then I got to go downstairs.  As promised, I’m sharing some of the fabric–since I can’t share the in progress pics until the quilt is done and juried (either in or out).

Here are the pre-fused fabrics for my current quilt.  There will be plenty leftover, but that is the joy of Mistyfuse--it never goes bad.  I can keep and use all the scraps and leftovers.  In fact, many of the fabrics on the table that aren't big rectangles are leftovers from previous projects.  Yep--I'm a Mistyfuser!  I'm gonna have to blog how I use it, maybe even try doing a video....

Here are the pre-fused fabrics for my current quilt. There will be plenty leftover, but that is the joy of Mistyfuse–it never goes bad. I can keep and use all the scraps and leftovers. In fact, many of the fabrics on the table that aren’t big rectangles are leftovers from previous projects. Yep–I’m a Mistyfuser! I’m gonna have to blog how I use it, maybe even try doing a video….

Yesterday was Eli’s final meet/tournament of the wrestling season:  a new one, but a worthy addition to Maine’s line-up.  In the past, the three state champions for each of the 14 weight classes (from 106 to 285), one each from Class A, B and C schools went to New England Regional Championships.   This year, in an effort to have the best of the best, they instituted a New Englands Qualifier tournament the week after States.  The top four finishers in each weight class got to compete.

As usual, I had to take "good luck"  photos of Eli warming up.  Here he has doffed his sweats, put on his headgear and is running into the gym for what became his final match.

As usual, I had to take “good luck” photos of Eli warming up. Here he has doffed his sweats, put on his headgear and is running into the gym for what became his final match.

As my loyal readers (thank you! I am still astonished at that concept!), you know Eli is a GOOD wrestler, hubby/dad Paul is an Asst. Coach, and I’m a loud fan of Eli and the Camden team.  Last weekend, Eli placed third in States, having lost by just two points to the eventual winner of the 145-lb weight class in an early round, thereby ended up in the Consolation bracket where the top spot was number 3 (which he got!).

Earlier in the day, he and buddy Connor Winchenbach (who placed first at 152-lbs at Class B States) take a break between rounds to have some lunch.

Earlier in the day, he and buddy Connor Winchenbach (who placed first at 152-lbs at Class B States) take a break between rounds to have some lunch. In the far mat another of the Camden boys is wrestling (tiny figure in red with white lettering down the spine).

Earlier in the season, the kid from Massabesic tooled all over Eli at a duals (regular season) meet.  Eli was in a better frame of mind this day, but Eli told me the Massabesic kid is **really good** on his feet.  You don't often see Eli in this position, about to get dumped! (Eli is in red, Massabesic -- a Class A school from the southern part of the state -- is in white-green-yellow.

Earlier in the season, the kid from Massabesic tooled all over Eli at a duals (regular season) meet. Eli was in a better frame of mind this day, but Eli told me the Massabesic kid is **really good** on his feet. You don’t often see Eli in this position, about to get dumped! (Eli is in red, Massabesic — a Class A school from the southern part of the state — is in white-green-yellow.

But it wasn’t one-sided:  it was back and forth and tied at 5-5 until halfway through the third period:

After getting brought down, Eli came back and here is in control, trying (but not succeeding) to get the boy onto his shoulders.

After getting brought down, Eli came back and here is in control, trying (but not succeeding) to get the boy onto his shoulders.

PK and Coach G are on the right, watching Connor who is wrestling on the next mat.  Eli and Massabesic wrestler are in the back, with Eli on top and in control.

PK and Coach G are on the right, watching Connor who is wrestling on the next mat. Eli and Massabesic wrestler are in the back, with Eli on top and in control.  Eli is doing a cross-face, which makes it hard for the kid to maneuver.

But in the end, Eli couldn’t hang on to the very strong senior from Massabesic, who got back on to his feet and managed to score two points at the end of the third period to eke out the win.

That makes Eli one of the top SIX 145-lb. wrestlers in the State—all classes! (there is no wrestle-off for 5/6, but the other one tied at 5/6 is the boy won won Class A States!).  As a SOPHOMORE!   Of the other six, one is a sophomore (he placed third), and four are seniors.  WAY TO GO, ELI! (Yup, bustin’ my buttons proud!)  AND, Eli placed higher than ANY other Class B or C 145-lb wrestler (meaning he did better than the boys who won first and second last Saturday)!  The top three in each weight class from the Qualifier meet will compete in two weeks at New Englands.  And (drum roll) Connor Winchenbach, a senior, qualified to compete, too!  Way to go, Connor!

Then came food!  Connor’s parents and three teammates who traveled with them (the school did not provide a bus!) and the three of us went to Pizza Hut, and boy could you tell only Connor has to make weight.  Those boys ATE!  <beam>

Eating continued with the first waffles in 3 1/2 months.  My recipe, from Joy of Cooking, uses 3 eggs, and I generally think of it as feeding 3 people.  I had 3 waffles (small).  Eli had ALL the rest.    I've missed feeding Eli!

Eating continued this morning with the first waffles in 3 1/2 months. My recipe, from Joy of Cooking, uses 3 eggs, and I generally think of it as feeding 3 people. I had 3 waffles (small). Eli had ALL the rest. <Beam!> I’ve missed feeding Eli!

Hmmm…just noticed my watermark needs the date changed! ….Anyway….

During breakfast guess what it was doing:  yep, snowing.  This is the FIFTH snowstorm/snowfall we’ve had in the past seven DAYS.  I ran out during breakfast to get this photo.  Good thing as the temperatures have just pushed above freezing and it has changed to (yuck) rain.  That means slush and, when the temperature drops tonight, ice.  Yuck.

HUGE snowflakes coming down during breakfast.

HUGE snowflakes coming down during breakfast.

So that’s the past 52 hours.   Today:  work more on that quilt, hopefully work on a drawing lesson/class, and hang out with Eli on the last weekday of Winter Break.  Tomorrow:  to Portland with Eli to buy new running shoes for the upcoming Track and Field season, then to a SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) meeting in Portsmouth, NH on Sunday.  WOOT!  And fabric dyeing with Kathy, hopefully on Tuesday!!!  Double WOOT!

Eli 3rd at State Championships for wrestling, more snow, some quilting

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Well, I can tell I’ve been really busy when I realize how long it has been since I’ve blogged!   Maine’s Wrestling State tournaments were last weekend, and we are Class B. I am thrilled to say that Eli wrestled the best he has ever wrestled and came in Third!  AND–massively huge and loud DRUM ROLL Please!   The CAMDEN HILLS WRESTLING TEAM, well over half of which is Freshman and Sophomores (though Varsity is mostly Soph-Jr-Sr), WON STATES FOR THE THIRD TIME IN A ROW!   (and you betcha I’m shouting!) For such a young team to do so well is just amazing.  As usual, the rest of the state hates Camden, mostly because we keep winning.  Everyone said we couldn’t win last year, but they squeaked through with a 3-point victory.  This year it was a 24 point margin!   And for Eli to do so well as a Sophomore!   WOOT! More below…

Camden Hills Wrestling gets a THREE-Peat, winning Class B Maine State Wrestling Championship!  Well done lady and gentlemen!

Camden Hills Wrestling gets a THREE-Peat, winning Class B Maine State Wrestling Championship! Well done lady and gentlemen!

There has also been snow, more snow, more snow, and more snow coming.

The view heading out with the dog this morning, looking north.

The view heading out with the dog this morning, looking north.

And on the way back up the driveway.  Our house faces north, facing the prevailing winds, so not much left on this side of the roof.  It is hard because of drifts to guess how much snow we've got, but I'm guessing an average of about 18 inches.  At least it is warm--we're up to 30 degrees!

And on the way back up the driveway. Our house faces north, facing the prevailing winds, so not much left on this side of the roof. It is hard because of drifts to guess how much snow we’ve got, but I’m guessing an average of about 18 inches. At least it is warm–we’re up to 30 degrees!

And I’ve been busy quilting, again, something I’m not at liberty to share until after jurying some time this summer.  Sigh.  It just pains me not to show in progress.  Maybe I’ll take a photo of a heap of pre-fused fabric just to be a wicked tease?  Anyway, here’s my week in pictures.

Eli pins a kid from Fryeburg (lovely town on the western border of the State) to get into the Consolation Finals (meaning he would place 3 or 4).

Eli pins a kid from Fryeburg (lovely town on the western border of the State) to get into the Consolation Finals (meaning he would place 3 or 4).

It seems all of us parents have good-luck things we do.  I wear a C. Hills fleece vest to all his sports events, and I take photos of Eli warming up and getting ready for his next match.  Most are totally worthy of being deleted--I just need to take the photo to have good juju!  But here's one of the kids and coaches on the sidelines (with the Belfast coach on the left).

It seems all of us parents have good-luck things we do. I wear a C. Hills fleece vest to all his sports events, and I take photos of Eli warming up and getting ready for his next match. Most are totally worthy of being deleted–I just need to take the photo to have good juju! But here’s one of the kids and coaches on the sidelines (with the Belfast coach on the left).

Eli wrestled Belfast's (neighboring town) Michael Mcfadden for 3rd/4th.  Eli (and many of the rest of us) are pretty sure that he had Michael pinned, but the ref didn't call it.  Still, Eli won by Major Decision (more than 8 points, I think final score was 15-4).  Michael is a class act--told Eli he was glad his last high school match was against Eli.  I didn't get a chance to shake his hand at the meet so I Facebook messaged him (he and Eli are FB friends), to say congrats and he said the same thing to me.  Let's all wish Michael the best of life!

Eli wrestled Belfast’s (neighboring town) Michael Mcfadden for 3rd/4th. Eli (and many of the rest of us) are pretty sure that he had Michael pinned, but the ref didn’t call it.

The customary shake before the ref raises Eli's hand.  Still, Eli won by Major Decision (more than 8 points, I think final score was 15-4). Michael is a class act--told Eli he was glad his last high school match was against Eli. I didn't get a chance to shake his hand at the meet so I Facebook messaged him (he and Eli are FB friends), to say congrats and he said the same thing to me. Let's all wish Michael the best of life!

The customary shake before the ref raises Eli’s hand for the win. Still, Eli won by Major Decision (more than 8 points, I think final score was 15-4). Michael is a class act–told Eli he was glad his last high school match was against Eli. I didn’t get a chance to shake his hand at the meet so I Facebook messaged him (he and Eli are FB friends), to say congrats and he said the same thing to me. Let’s all wish Michael the best of life!

And on the podium--Eli doesn't often smile this big even when he's done well, so I'm really happy to see him SMILE!

And on the podium–Eli doesn’t often smile this big even when he’s done well, so I’m really happy to see him SMILE!

As for the other part of the week:  Shadows on snow this morning.  I need to do some "Winter" quilts.... I just love the season!  So crisp and bright and beautiful!

As for the other part of the week: Shadows on snow this morning. I need to do some “Winter” quilts…. I just love the season! So crisp and bright and beautiful!

And the giggle moment, Pigwidgeon in snow after morning walkies.   He could still walk it (not too deep, path not shoveled at the time), but definitely belly marks in the snow.

And the giggle moment, Pigwidgeon in snow after morning walkies. He could still walk it (not too deep, path not shoveled at the time), but definitely belly marks in the snow.

 

One of the things I love about winter is seeing critter tracks in the snow.  Of course, these are likely mouse prints on our deck...which means we probably have at least one or a few additional residents.  Hmmm.....

One of the things I love about winter is seeing critter tracks in the snow. Of course, these are likely mouse prints on our deck…which means we probably have at least one or a few additional residents. Hmmm…..

And more tracks on the snow heap in the corner between the kitchen/Eli's bedroom and the master bedroom.  I *think* they may be getting in the vent that is below the water spigot.  Will deal with that in warmer weather!

And more tracks on the snow heap in the corner between the kitchen/Eli’s bedroom and the master bedroom. I *think* they may be getting in the vent that is below the water spigot. Will deal with that in warmer weather!

Tomorrow we head off to All-States Wrestling Championship.  This is a first in Maine.  There are three “Classes” of schools (based mostly on size, though the logic of who is which class and how big the schools are and how a school can be Class A in one sport and Class B in another defies comprehension).  Some years, the top two or three in one class could easily beat the champion in another class.   But in the past the State Champion for each class would go to the New England Championships.  This year there will be a “king of the mountain” wrestle-off of the top four finishers in each weight class in all three classes.  Eli is a  long shot to qualify for New Englands, but it should be a good tournament with the best wrestlers in the state.  And on Friday, Eli finally gets WAFFLES for breakfast!  It’s been a long season without our Sunday treat!