a bag for Nantucket

DSCN8888DSCN8879DSCN8880DSCN8881DSCN8882DSCN8883The Aeroplane Bag by Sew Sweetness, modifications and mishaps by me.  I truly love this bag. I broke a needle near the end and scatologic mutterings may have been heard, but none of that dampens my enthusiasm for this nearly finished project.  Using an assortment of linen and regular cottons by Cotton and Steel took my bag over the top, and while there are a few things that I might change, I am ridiculously happy.DSCN8884This happy crab helped babysit the pup while I sewed.  Tula is getting accustomed to the long hours I like to spend in my sewing studio.  It’s hard to believe that she’s been here for over a month and that I will have to leave her in the capable hands of a puggie mom for a week.  She’s going camping over Labor Day weekend with Stella and Stanley (pug and boston terrier) and I will miss her.  Lately she has begun snuggling into my arms and purring like a kitten before sleep.  Her eyes which were the deepest navy when she arrived, have turned to chocolate and she has an ancient expression – wisdom beyond her age.  So smart, this breed.  Unnervingly so.

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august is leaving

The days of August are racing by.  I can hear apples dropping in the backyard and the sound of cicadas rising early in the day.  Cricket song deep in the afternoon signals the end of summer for me, and social media confirms that friends are heading out to the shore for last weekend beach renewal.  DSCN8870Thoughts of the Grey Lady have sustained me this past year.  The knowledge that I will return to Nantucket in September with my sister is a dream coming true.  Getting the animal care in place is tricky this year, but I will persevere!  I wish that I could bring Tula with me, but she is going north to spend the week with a puggie relative where she will be happy.DSCN8858What a mug! She likes her puppy chews and I have to wash her whiskers when she finishes.  She’s a clown with a set of mighty incisors!  She is changing every day now – growing bolder, more vocal and sometimes sweeter.  DSCN8866DSCN8862DSCN8877DSCN8878The projects that need completion are piling up!  I’d love to be able to post one finished item!  Instead, a baby quilt for young friends who are expecting.DSCN8864  I have been thinking about what it means to have an academic year position.  Every spring my excitement mounts as I anticipate the 10 week break.  After the first few weeks of bliss, I find myself struggling to stay in the moment.  I feel miser-like with my time, doling it out gingerly, protecting it like a hoard.  I have to remind myself to breathe, to enjoy, to go with the flow.  Today I will make a short list of the things and places that I have wanted to explore this summer and then get started!  First up – apple cider.  I don’t know how to make it, but I’ve always wanted to.  We have old trees that have not been sprayed in years and though the apples are small, it seems to me that they would make a wonderful cider.  Any and all suggestions on how to proceed are welcomed!

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hand quilting

New quilting discovery: standing up to hand quilt works remarkably well!   It serves two purposes … the first being the wonderful satisfaction and serenity that comes with creating small stitches, and the second – your new puppy can chew on your ankles  her toys for amusement instead of you!  Everyone wins.DSCN8837The Red Barn quilt is almost completed.  It’s entirely hand quilted and embellished and I really love it a lot.  There is a special spot waiting  in the upper hallway where it will shine.DSCN8847DSCN8848DSCN8846DSCN8843Hand quilting is my original love.

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My son went on a road trip with his best friend. He needed time and space to clear his mind.  He took my camera along.  Oscar loves to travel.IMG_0224We had plenty to keep us occupied back here – there is nothing like a puppy to remind one of what needs to be done, and what can wait.IMG_0263So these photos come to you from my iPhone.  Quality – not so great.IMG_0244I have a lot of fabric projects that require my attention …IMG_0222We love pink for baby cousins …

IMG_0294I am scrambling to finish our Friends Helping Friends Quilt …

IMG_0293Oh, and I have little project of my own which I might complete and post tomorrow.

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DSCN8821DSCN8811DSCN88163.8 ounces of greased lighting – meet Tula, our new puppy.  She is part Gremlin, part Puck, part She-Devil, 100 percent Pug!!!  So small that the local hawks have circled on our outings (truly frightening) and so lion hearted that the cats have made themselves scarce.  Harley took an immediate dislike to her which has made our first few days, well, interesting.  If you’ve never lived with a Pug (that would be me) you have to make adjustments.  Where are all of these noises coming from?  (Tula could record a soundtrack for a horror movie!)  She is very sweet and very smart.  And life has just taken  a curious twist.

Here in the northeast we are caught up in a mad drought.  Everything is suffering.  My katsoris tree has already begun to turn and drop its leaves.DSCN8818 Excuse while I go outdoors and do my best rain dance.

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DSCN8797DSCN8796What can turn a household upside down?

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dog (and knitting) days

DSCN8772They are back with a steamy fury – the dog days of late July.  Here in the Hudson River Valley we are often ‘treated’ to one brutal week in July and another in August.  We’ve already had our July blast, but it appears that we are in for another.  Harley and I go outdoors early these mornings and enjoy the air until it begins to turn sauna-like.DSCN8773A quick stroll through the gardens reveals that someone has been sampling the tomatoes.DSCN8774The basil wants harvesting … I need to make tubs of pesto to get us through the winter months.  I always run out.DSCN8785The Buddha sits quietly in a maze of blooming thyme.  I wish that the birds would stop pooping on his head.  One suspects that he would not mind – that he would find some feature of goodness in the act.  Nonetheless, I’m going to hose him down this evening!DSCN8765Knitting through the heat of the summer seems a peculiar phenomenon to some – mostly, I suspect, are non-knitters.  For me, there is an inexpressible joy that summer knitting brings.  I am a cold weather person which means that I’ll want to have my winter knits ready to wear when the snow flies.  DSCN8764I finally completed the Anne Hanson ‘Cradle Me’ blanket.  This was a beautiful and daunting knit.  It took several years (on and off) to complete.  My photograph cannot begin to do the pattern and wool justice, so I will retry the image after the piece is washed and blocked.  Whenever I finish a large project I always give myself permission to immediately cast on another.  I’ll bet I’m not alone!DSCN8767Heaven.  Paula Kuchera’s (White Barn Farm) cormo, alpaca and silk blend – grown on her farm in Gardener, NY.  This is the most beautiful yarn that I have worked on in a long time – probably since the Lobster Pot cashmere days.  I marvel at its hand – turning it over and over and knitting the most basic blanket that I can showcases the exquisite nature of the yarn.  I wish that you could touch it.  You CAN order it online. White Barn Farm.comDSCN8757DSCN8758My dear sister sent a hand painted skein from Taos.  It reminds me of the wide open skies of the high desert and will be shaped into socks … one can never have too many socks.

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plume poppy

DSCN8752DSCN8754DSCN8753DSCN8751I consider the bees whenever I choose a plant for the border.  The plume poppy remains a huge favorite, judging by the hundreds of bees that come daily once bloom is on.  I’m pretty sure that my neighbor dislikes this perennial as it tends to be invasive.  He pulls the many young plants out of his side of the fence and hey, I’m ok with that.  I have more than enough for my bees on this side.

The plume poppy may be considered weed like, but I admire its statuesque appearance, its generous blooms and how good it is for my bees.  Don’t plant it unless you have a large area that needs covering!  It will not disappoint.

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a new way of seeing

It’s good to be home.  I was happy to climb the stairs to my sewing studio and even happier to find that I had a new prospective -one that I may have gained in New Mexico.  Suddenly I found myself no longer interested in some of my smaller, fussy-cut projects.  I wanted bigger – I wanted clean spaces – I wanted simple.DSCN8734DSCN8737DSCN8739I went walking through the local JoAnn fabric store.  I saw a cotton (the yellow print on the lower left of this piece) and it “spoke” to me.  I cannot tell you how rare an occurrence this is.  Since we lost our wonderful quilt shop in Woodstock, I have had to rely on several brilliant online shops for fabric.  I’m not complaining.  I just miss walking the aisles of a really great fabric shop and selecting my goods by touch, by sight, by heart! Anyway, the yellow print came home and out came Anna Graham’s fantastic book, “Handmade Style” and before long I had a small quilt that pleased me very very much.  DSCN8740Since I was on a winning streak, I decided to make some of Anna’s wide mouthed bags.  SO MUCH FUN!DSCN8741This photo ‘shoot’ took me out to the gardens which have largely beenDSCN8744 ignored due to extreme heat.  The pergola is covered with grapes and wisteria.DSCN8749DSCN8747DSCN8750The Day Lily border is magnificent.  Mid July is something to see in my New York garden!

I have been working on this year’s quilt for the Friends Helping Friends event.  I was asked to create something along the lines of a ‘golf theme’.  Oh boy.  What came to mind were greens … and nine holes …DSCN8756DSCN8755

Can I just say that GREEN is my least favorite color?  I really had to dig to find any assortment in my stash worthy of a nine patch.  Truthfully, I had to get online and order!  It’s good to stretch, to get out of one’s safe zone.  It seems as though that is the theme for the summer of 2015.



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wedding, part 3

DSCN8701My nephew is as wonderful as he is handsome.  We are so thrilled that he has found his love, Joanna.DSCN8720She’s a beautiful person, inside and out.  The icing on the cake is that she is a doctor!  Somehow I feel better knowing this.  (My nephew is on ski rescue patrol and training a dog for avalanche rescue; he is also the young man that I wrote about last year when he was working as a ‘Hot Shot’ fire fighter))  Need I say more?DSCN8706That’s Indie, one of Matt’s rescue dogs … everyone was welcomed to join in this ceremony!DSCN8711 The newlyweds left for a two week bike ride across Iowa while my sister, BIL and mom stayed on in Taos to care for the dogs and new puppy.  Our time in Taos was short, but oh so sweet!  I feel so grateful to have been able to join in this happiness.

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