I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nature Walk - Dunes and Marshes


Hi! What a beautiful day it is today! The sky is pristine blue but it's windy and there's just a hint of autumn mist lying low in the hollows. Big waves! Perhaps the oddly balmy air and high surf are from  Hurricane Gonzalo even though that storm is thousands of miles away.

The air is filled with flocks of little black birds, perhaps blackbirds and starlings. For some reason they keep flying east, which is, uh, wrong, as that would eventually send them north.
One day this week all the neighborhood shrubbery was busy with yellow rumped warblers as they too head south. They're just little nervous brown birds, but distinctive because they have the single bright chartreuse spot on their backs above their tails.

The oystercatchers are still here. The peeps---piping plovers and sanderlings have disappeared, though I expect the sanderlings will reappear.
This is the roosting area of a plover flock. They dig tiny hollows as if to mark their nests for next spring:

(The large footprints are maybe OCs'.)
 No egrets in the marshes. Though they have acquired a new fancy sign!

But one night, as Mo and I took a late walk, I looked up and saw a V of big white birds, bright against the black sky. Swans or snow geese. They often migrate at night. I love seeing them on their silent journey.
Other sightings...a hawk over the marsh.

And these funny crows who come to the beach each fall.

The dunes are lush. They roll on forever, it seems. I only walk the margins now. The dunes are still fragile and rebuilding.



Now that the bird fencing is gone, I can discover intersting treasure, like this driftwood. (My beach doesn't get much driftwood, so I notice it.)
Goldenrod and beach roses are still in full bloom.


I find tiny weird dune mushrooms that appear in the sand after a rain.



By the boardwalk, little footprints, maybe a seaside sparrow, looking for dunes grass seeds. Or  perhaps a toad? The spadefoot toads roost under the boardwalk.

We had the oddest toads sighting one evening a few weeks ago. Teeny tiny toads! Everywhere! Lots of them, no bigger than your little fingernail. 3/8"?
At first I thought they were spiders. It seems local toads evolve from tadpoles to this tiny version, though I've never seen them before. And so strange that they'd hatch and---metamorphose?---in the fall instead of the spring.
Mo was fascinated, then scared, as he chased one and it leaped high in his face.
Can you find the toad?

He's in the right angle, top, of the seawall, above the black pebble.

The marsh is still quite green. Just a hint of amber in the faraway phragmite heads by the saltpond.


In the higher margins the tangled weeds form a medieval tapestry as the days and season go by.


Enjoy your weekend! I hope you can get out for your own nature walk. Go slow and look closely? Here at the beach we're expecting a beach day! I'll bring my Flag blocks and my tattered sandchair down to water's edge for one last time.

this week's recipe: http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/entrees/beef/bacon-beef-butternut-squash-2/  [sub ground turkey if you like?]
And it was delicious, but I forgot to take pix. Enjoy!

me! me! Yum, yum!


gone to the beach...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Tulips

Hi! Yes, enough about me, let's move on. First things first: today Mo has a bow!

A Halloween bow.

The groomer came today, only two hours late, but anyway. Mo is all mani-pedi'ed and fluffy and sweet.

He loves the groomer because she gives him special usually-forbidden rawhide strips.  And the fancy bow. Oh my. It has tiny Halloween charms even. Much nicer than a cloth scarf, though I have in mind to collect the ones Mo gets and make him a quilt, like this: Tim Latimer's Teddy Quilt

And the second thing [slow lane but awesome---to me]:
My grocery store has tulips for sale. Not bulbs, cut tulips---in October?!



I dithered for maybe 10 minutes. I finally chose Autumn colors, flame orange-red and deep purple-plum.     

I got out my little ceramic jackolantern. I've had him since college, I think. I like him! No fuss, no mess.

Mo thought the tulips were delish!




See him lurking there, top left? In the faux Nantucket basket tray he has commandeered? He is waiting til I turn my back so that he can eat more.

Just in case tulips are poison, up on a high shelf they go...



gone to the beach.........



Wedding Ring? Or Pickle Dish?

[Wedding Ring, right?]

Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

where I live- The Beach

Hi everyone! I have been invited to join the Around the World Blog Hop, by Lori of Humble Quilts. I was thrilled because Lori is, well, sort of my hero in the world of quilting-blogland. Lori's blog has had a huge influence on me---Lori's quiltalongs made quilting fun for me again. I know you'll enjoy her blog. http://humblequilts.blogspot.com/
Doll quilts from Lori's quiltalongs:

So anyway, I'm supposed to answer questions!  Hmmm...I think if you're a regular reader here, this may be stuff you already know, but here goes.
What am I working on?

I'm not a quilter or crafter who has  piles of unfinished work. I'm big on [even self-imposed] deadlines and getting things done. But I am SLOW. I have two work categories: collecting/ planning and in-work. Since I often use antique quilt blocks or tops and antique fabrics, I can ''collect'' on a project for years.
This is Cheddar Baskets Strippy:

vintage blocks

I haven't found the right cheddar ground fabric yet. I want it to be towards the goldenrod spectrum not pumpkin-y.

This is a late 19th century top [1875-1900?] I am working on. It is very long and narrow, needs the blocks rearranged and the borders reset so they aren't ruffles. It may be hard to unsew, as it is very strongly hand pieced with backstitching. But I love the assorted prints so I'll see.
''Chimney Sweep"?
I am smitten by the pink tiny polkadot sashing! Adorable!

This is an eBay find. All it needs is a custom quilter or hand quilter to finish. I will carefully launder it only after it is quilted and bound.(With a Red Wing yelloware bowl from my collection):

antique ''Sunflowers'' top
I call this long term project Mr. Sunshine (Celestial Dreams from Glorious Quilts, photo by permission).
Pattern Photo: Celestial Dreams

It has what for me is intricate and difficult appliqué, so it's a challenge.

And this is my main focus right now, keeping up with Lori's quiltalong, Jan Patek's Quilts of the American Revolution.  aka Flags.

I always have to find my motivation: this quilt is in memory of my dad who loved Americana and who made wooden Stars and Stripes to hang on Cape Cod cottages. I treasure the two I now own.
I also have turned this into a bit of a friendship quilt. Some of the blocks are being made or finished by friends. They'll initial and date their blocks which will make Flags an extra special keepsake for me.
How does my work differ from others?

I'm sure this is absolutely NOT unique, but I often use antique or vintage fabrics. I'm a thrifter and beachcomber who constantly hunts for treasure which I incorporate into my etsy shop items.
vintage dressed dolly:
Beachcombed wooden keg lid, recycled as a wooden sign:
Found bottles with shell stoppers:

Reclaimed quilts scrap sewing needfuls/ emeries:

So in my etsy shop you might find a Santa wearing a quilt remnant cloak, or an angel wearing an antique christening gown with driftwood wings and a beach fence wire halo. Or even beach-found fabric mixed into a quilt.
below, dolls wearing H Sandy-found fabric and bells....

in private collection

I make heart sachets and dream pillows, always filled with Cape Cod lavender, as designed by my mom when I was a little girl. My mom couldn't sew so we used vintage hankies. Now I search the fleas and thrift shops for tattered white linens and antique fabrics to rescue and reuse.

found object lockets/ jewelry: 
not available

Why do I write/create what I do?
Creative projects add focus and energy to my life---and it's fun!
During the years I was a fashion designer in NYC I had little time for anything creative outside work, and that creativity always had dollar signs tied to it, figuratively speaking. (Heidi Klum is right: one day you're in, the next...well.) And you're only as good as your newest best seller. It's a difficult, soul-sucking career, even though I loved it.
When I moved to the beach for a simpler life I rediscovered my love of nature and crafting. And so I ''make stuff'', mostly just for me or to share via etsy. I can't imagine life without a book to read, a quilt to sew, a hat to knit---kids and a puppy to love, a tasty dinner in the oven. That's me

How does my writing/creating process work?
I love to write! Sometimes I write stories, like the Christmas story at the top of my main page. I plan my blog stories around my photography; I take photos very day with two less than wonderful cameras. And love the shooting and editing. My words come to me as I walk on my beach or when I am driving. Prob'ly I talk too much so I edit-edit-edit.
My far-out dream is to illustrate and publish my stories as children's books.

Now to pass on our Around the World bloggy torch I have three wonderful bloggers to introduce to you. Two of them are from far far away, and the first---Kit, in Montana, seems pretty far away to this east coast girl.
A Montana Life: Kit's blog is about joy. And life. It always makes me smile.

 T's Daily Treasures Tammy is an American who lives in the Middle East. She shares her world and her thoughts; she is a talented crocheter and artist.
Dorothy'sThreads of Life--Dorothy is all the way off in Australia! She makes the most stunning quilts, her work is superb and inspiring.
Enjoy your visits! Say Hi for me:


gone to the beach....