Friday, July 31, 2009

Fabric Expedition

My daughter and I went on a fabric expedition last Monday.

ex'ped-di'tion (ek'spi dish'un) n. journey to explore or fight

I assure you, there was no fighting (except, maybe, fighting the urge to buy more!), but exploring the fabric shops sure was fun!

These blues and greens and teals are for a boys' themed quilt I am working on:
These neutrals I just had to have, you know, because I wouldn't want my stash to become anemic or incomplete:
Ditto for these dark browns and blues:

And these? Oh well, these are just for fun:

This weekend we are planning on attending my husband's 25th high school reunion. Should be fun, though I have to find something to wear... I hate shopping for clothes, so I will probably rely on my favorite pair of black dress pants and favorite top.

Can you believe it's the end of the month already? Only 3 or 4 more weeks till the kids go back to school... I have mixed feelings about that... I do enjoy the peace and quiet during the day when I'm alone here in the studio... but I also miss the "buzz" of having them around, you know what I mean??

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Photos of Chincoteague & Story of the Wild Ponies

More photos from our visit to Chincoteague (Virginia) National Refuge. We didn't get any shots of the wild ponies, though we saw them from a distance.

For those who are not aware of the Chincoteague ponies, they became famous with Margeurite Henry's 1947 book, Misty of Chincoteague.
Since 1925, on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July, Pony Penning is held on Chincoteague. The herds on Assateague are rounded up, and on Wednesday of Pony Penning week the ponies swim the channel from Assateague to Chincoteague. The ponies are held in a pen at the carnival grounds on Chincoteague until they swim back on Friday morning. On Thursday, an auction of most of the foals is held with a few kept as future breeding stock.

The proceeds of the auction are used to care for the feral ponies and finance Chincoteague’s fire department. Additional roundups are held in the spring and fall for an examination by a veterinarian, vaccinations, deworming, and hoof trimming. Along with the fall roundup is an informal sale of the foals born after Pony Penning, and the foals sold in July that were too young to be weaned are picked up by their owners.

You can find more information about the Chincoteague wild ponies here and here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Cat's in the Doghouse....

I finished a quilt the other day, and as I usually do with just-completed projects, I laid it out on the floor of my studio. I like to look at it and "live" with it for a while, to see if there are any things I'd like to change, plus it keeps it nice and flat and unwrinkled till I get it to the machine quilter....

I came downstairs the other morning, and the brand new quilt top was in a ball on the floor. Sometimes kitty likes to run through the house, either chasing, or being chased by, imaginary adversaries. Hoping it wasn't too terribly wrinkled, I figured I'd just shake out the quilt and lay it out again. Well, I shook it out, but wrinkles were the least of my problems.... out of the quilt fell a big pile of cat poop... she used my brand new quilt as a litter box!!!!! Oh she was in big trouble.... she spent the rest of the morning locked out on the screened porch..... I tried to wash it by hand, very gently, since it's not quilted yet. Today I am off to the dry cleaners, to see if they can get out the stains, please say a little prayer for me! (You should also keep kitty in your prayers... I am threatening to find her a new home if she doesn't start behaving herself....)

Friday, July 24, 2009

My New Friend Chester

During our vacation, we went to Chincoteague National Refuge and "visited" with some wildlife. This guy is my favorite- I have named him Chester the Chincoteague Squirrel.
"Are you lookin' at me??"

Look, he's smiling!

Now he's laughing- don't you think he really looks like he's laughing? I think it looks like he is saying "Hey!"

We also saw some waterbirds (don't know what kind they are).
Little deer, she still has her spots (I think it's a "she", anyway).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bedroom Makeover

We have been working on redecorating the beach house, one room at a time. This time it was one of the bedrooms' turns for a re-do.... Here is the "before"- a mishmash of furniture and odds and ends. The walls were given a fresh coat of cafe au lait colored paint. We swapped the beds in 2 of the bedrooms- the day bed had already been moved into the first bedroom that we made over- you can see that here. We moved the metal bed from the first bedroom into this room- although we used only the headboard, not the footboard, because I wanted to room to be open and airy. The metal headboard got a coat of dark brown spray paint (Spray paint has become my new best friend when it comes to decorating- I have been spray painting everything- so easy- and then everything matches.)
The bedside tables were my parents' old living room end tables- about 40 years old, the finish was in terrible shape but they are still sturdy, so they got a coat of beige spray paint. I got the quilt at Marshall's, it is a really pretty light Caribbean blue. Also, a couple of pillows with a white and tan seashell print were purchased at Marshall's. The lamps were only $10 each (with shades!) at The Christmas Tree shop. The curtains were also a steal- at Lowe's they were originally $36 a panel- I got them on clearance for $8 each- Ka-ching!!
This is my favorite piece- it was my brother's old dresser, a really dark brown 1970's faux wood laminate nightmare. All we did was paint the drawer fronts light blue to match the quilt, and added new inexpensive silver pulls. That's it- I love the contrast of the bright light blue against the dark brown. Got the lamp at the Christmas Tree Shop for $10 also.
The room is almost complete, just needs some pictures on the walls, and we will be pulling up the old carpeting through out the house and installing wood laminate floors (so I may get a throw rug or 2 for this room).
Can't wait to get to the next room!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Proper Beach Vacation....

Just as Daisy Dog has her agenda for vacation, so do we....

Sometimes we get a little crabby....
After a barbecue at the neighbors', there are 4th of July fireworks on the beach....

We eat things that I normally don't make at home, like friend chicken....

And lots of ice cream (why is it that while on vacation, it doesn't seem wrong to have ice cream every single day....)
There are long walks on the beach to make up for the fried chicken and ice cream....
Sandcastles and sandgardens...And sunset swims...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Dog-Gone Great Vacation!

When you are Daisy Dog and you go on vacation at the beach, there is a particular agenda that must be followed....

First, you swim... Then you shake....Then you dry off on the beach.... (sorry, I really don't see the appeal in this, but hey- it's HER vacation....)Then you nap....
Repeat as necessary...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Odds and Ends

Got back a couple of days ago from a 9 day vacation at the beach- oh it is so hard coming back! I will be posting some photos in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, here is an apron that daughter made. We just made a pattern from an old apron that we had hanging in the kitchen- she chose contemporary fabrics and put a ruffle at the bottom and made a completely modern fashion statement! Older sister "helps" her model it- Look out Vanna White!!!
A new feature that I've added to my website is a "gallery" page, with some artwork that I have done over the past couple of years. I haven't had time to paint much lately, as I have been doing a lot more quilting, and I sure do miss it. If you'd like to go to the gallery page, click here. I'm really hoping to work on a new painting project or two in the near future....

Friday, July 10, 2009


Another quilt in the Winterthur collection. Made in England by professional embroiderers in the 1720s, it is embroidered with gold silk thread on cotton. I am fascinated to think about the time that embroiderers spent on this, working long, long hours, probably often with insufficient lighting. I wonder if their eyes and back and fingers hurt? Certainly difficult work, but beautiful results. And I'm sure those working on this never would have imagined that their work would end up in a museum almost 300 years later....
Below, a whitework quilt made and signed by Abigail Horton VanNostrand in 1809. Remember- always sign your work!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Working Like a Dog....

It is getting a little crazy around here (again)- so much to try to keep up with... sometimes I feel like all I do is work... It is hard when your workspace is at home because the work is just always there... not like working at an office or a store which you can leave behind when you come home. I do like having a flexible schedule, but lately I feel like I really need to set more boundaries for myself, like setting certain work hours which I will adhere to. It is very easy to work until 9:30 or 10:00 at night... the work in the very next room calls to me... I love doing the creative part of my "job", but when it comes to administration, I am much less enthusiastic. Still, I am really glad that I get to make my own hours, even though sometimes I feel like I am working like a dog... I find the term "work like a dog" really humorous- I mean, if you saw the way my dog lives, you would WISH you were a dog (or my dog anyway)- haha! I guess she does do a good job of keeping the terrifying bunny rabbits and horrifying mocking birds under control in the yard- and for that I am so grateful!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Meet Me in the Garden

Photos from our trip to Winterthur Museum and Garden last week. I took the squirrel and ladybug photos, daughter took the rest. I love Winterthur, it is really beautiful and well kept and there is no shortage of photo opportunities! I always leave there inspired!

God's Garden

THE Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.

So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.

And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.

Dorothy Frances Gurney


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