Monday, September 21, 2015

Glorious nature ...

An early autumn walk this afternoon brought me to never-ending magnificence. Nature's creative endeavors never cease to amaze me. These beautiful, humble plants present an awe inspiring vision. The first appears to be out-of-focus but it's not! Its seed pods are so fuzzy as to indict the cameraman of an unsteady hand but 'tis not so!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Christmas is a round the corner ...

Well, almost. So for my new project I'm making a Christmas table runner. Here is one square nearing completion. It will be three squares long, with a border running around the whole thing. Picked the fabrics out of my stash. So happy I picked up tons of scraps at thrifts and all. Having a wide variety to pick from allows me some artistic freedom.

The fabric at the left will probably be the outer-most border.

Also in the works are a couple of knit scarfs. I've started to think about a larger knitting project again. Maybe a new sweater. We'll see.

I spent the weekend on an impromptu painting project! Had no idea I'd be painting this weekend, but the notion started to congeal Friday and I was at the paint store Saturday morning. Then again Saturday evening because I decided to do the dining area wall as well as the living area wall. Finished the dining area today after 3 coats of paint. I like it very much. Warmer than the off-white-rose-tint that was on the walls when I moved in. Amazing what a little paint will do.

The music room has been off limits since Friday when my piano technician stopped by to treat the piano felts with moth killer. The solution should kill any eggs in the felts and then he will selectively replace some felt. He swung around while I was out running errands and when I returned--forgetting that he was going to pop in--I could not figure out why there was such a strong odor of oil in the kitchen. It wasn't until I went into the music room--where the stench was overwhelming--that I recalled his mission. Strong, strong stuff. I had taken the door to the room off it's hinges when I moved in to create a more open feel, but I quickly went down stairs to fetch it and re-install it so the room could be closed off. The smell is cooling off with every day. I think it may be a week before I can spend any time in there. But it needs be done. Also needing attention is the pump organ: One of the bellows straps tore. The tech says he can fix that for me as well.

I've been harvesting my tomatoes lately and had enough to make a big batch of soup to freeze for this winter. Next year I will need to stake the tomatoes for sure. They became somewhat unruly this year. Still a good crop, but difficult to harvest!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Scrap quilt #4

My word the past 4 weeks have flown! It doesn't feel like more than a few weeks since my last post but I've just noticed that it was written almost a month ago!! My word.

There has been another change since that post: The deck is not being built this fall. It needs to wait until next spring. Bummed, but still: I wasn't expecting to use it much during the winter.

The scrappy quilt top is finished and if finances allow, I'll send it to the long-arm quilters at end of week. Much pleased with it. Now on to a Christmas table runner.

Classes and rehearsals are on the move again. We had our first orchestra rehearsal of the season last Wednesday. Concert will be in November. Only known pieces for the program so far are Beethoven's first and Dvorak's Serenade Op. 44.

Cello choir class will commence Thursday morning. We will have instruction and get to play cello ensemble music together. Looking forward to it!

My private lessons are now seeing me work on Bach's 2nd Suite, as well as continued work on "thumb positions" and scales (as always!).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Changes ...

Oh my, isn't summer flying!? The garden is changing; the flower bed well past it's peak now. The energy burst of summer is waning, the light is changing subtly, almost imperceptibly. My mind is now imagining the upcoming months of slowing down--that's the reality in view. I won't go so far as to imagine frozen crystals yet, but it's clearly on the verge of the horizon. Change.

But let's not get carried away! It was quite warm and humid today and we've still to experience "Indian Summer." Change.

Next month I will be having a deck built around the front and side of the house. Very exciting. Change.

I'm still working on the watercolor quilt, but at the moment that amounts to collecting new fabrics and cutting them 2"x2". I bought some nice dark hues over the weekend. Change.

I've started a new 'scrappy' quilt. Totally random colors and shapes. I'll make a bunch of 'squares' and then sew them together. I'm sewing them on my vintage White Rotary "77". Change.

This is what I have so far:

It will be a time of change for while now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Proof of concept ...

I really like how these yarns are knitting up and I love the hand! Feels so soft and pliable--that was the plan and I'm glad it's proving so!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Smith Millennium Bridge is done ...

My local quilt shop's Row by Row piece is as done as I'm going to get. I could tinker with it for a while, adding more quilting here and there, but I rather like the sparse look and since it's a wall hanging, more quilting isn't crucial. Today I fussy-cut a cow out of a fabric in my stash and added her into the picture. I think she looks rather introspective and I toyed with the idea of putting a halo around her head! :)

I'm pretty pleased with the binding I made using an ombre fabric, allowing a dark edge on bottom, lighter on the top edge and gradients on the sides.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A new toy? And more pretties ...

Nope, it's not a toy; that is 100% certain. It is a very hefty, extremely well-built (weren't they all back then?) vintage White sewing machine!

I said (to myself) I'm not going to be a willy-nilly collector of antique and vintage sewing machines, and I'm not. It may not be so apparent now that I have an antique, a vintage, and a modern machines, but I'm quite adamant that I'll only pick up machines that are special.
This White is one I've had my eye on for well over a year, having seen it in numerous pictures, and this one came along at a very nice price. I'd say there are only 2 or 3 other machines that I would snatch up if I came across them. That's not too bad, is it?
It sews so beautifully and there are a number of very small details that make sewing on it (as well as my late godmother's Singer 66) a dream. For starters: The relationship of the spacing around the feed dogs to the presser foot, in relation to the needle. I can see, very directly and clearly where the needle will first enter the cloth, it's not couched way back where it's hard to see. No quessing required! I love these old work horses.
I've started another scrap quilt on it. I'm still working on the watercolor quilt (on my modern machine) but it's in a go-slow phase.


Pretties and beauties and awe

These Echinacea smell so lovely, as this butterfly will attest:

This "Easter" lily is from 2014. I put it in the ground last year and it came back! I put this year's lily in the ground as well. What a nice reminder is this trumpet's perfume!

Is this not the most beautiful turquoise!? Newly acquired top this afternoon. It comes from Aker, a new sheep farm in Enfield, NH:

The dandelion-dyed skein finished yesterday, also showing the beginning of the Umbilicaria-dyed spinning. Quite apparent these are natural dyes. The soft hues, swoon!:

And this is my plan for the scarf using all these skeins I'm currently spinning up. A series of varying length rectangles knit in intarsia technique: