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

Friday, July 22, 2016

a Sailor's Valentine

Hello! "Hot enough for ya?" It's 97 in the city, only 80 here, but there's a crazy gale wind blowing from the south today. Hot wind, about 40 mph sustained! At 4 o'clock Mo and I tried to go out to sew on the deck. The wind captured my Watermelon-block pieces and hurled them off into the air. Mo gave chase, I hobbled after and together we rescued the prepped pieces. But didn't last long, just too windy.

The other day when I showed you all the tiny shells found on my early summer beach, Mel and I talked about making sailors' valentines with the shells. Briefly these were a supposed craft made by whaling ship sailors to bring home to their sweethearts as gifts. Truth is, they were an island craft and sold in places like Barbados. Tacky souvenirs were just as popular in 1840 as in 2016! This way the men could drink their rum and sleep off-shift and still have something to show for their time at sea. Now this shell art is very prized and costly, both antique examples and new versions.

For awhile I made some Sailors' Valentines. This is the only one I still have.

I loved making the Valentines but at that time the hexagonal/ octagonal boxes were not available to buy [and my dad totally refused to make me some!] and I had no outlet like etsy to sell them. Instead most were given as gifts or simply discarded and I stopped making them.

The box is decoupaged and distressed,

...the inside holds two Valentines. I used a faux scrimshaw carving and an old faded sepia photo, added tiny shells.

I especially love the little rosettes, a motif often seen in the old Valentines.

This is the companion box, a small Shaker-style oval box, also distressed and decoupaged. It contains only memories.

Just a peek, my Whalies! For P2. They too got frazzled by the wind earlier....

Have great weekend!



gone to the beach....

PS Look who is visiting! This is the Twins, so I am hopeful the other friendly but much tinier visitor is my Kitty, their mom. They are all part of our local neuter and return program. The neighbors finally realized that the small colony of feral cats cuts down on rats, raccoons, possums, etc. The cats are good neighbors.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Thunder Moon ~ July

Hi! Tonight and last's full moon, for July, is called the Thunder Moon.

Tradition was, July is the month with the most thunder storms [though actually here June is the more stormy month.] This name supposedly derives fro Native American tradition. The other name for July's full moon is the Hay Moon, an ancient English farming name, when once upon a time farmers used the full moon's light to add hours to their days of harvesting hay. Not something most of us think about---hay? I do recall the giant harvester trucks working later into the night under their bright lights to harvest---something?--back when I was a little girl in Illinois. Probably corn or soybeans, no moon needed.

Later last night, spooky!
[the small bright white dots are planes or ships.]

No, Thunder Moon is far more suitable to my life and times here at the beach. The other day the air felt so heavy and stormy, I was sure there's be a big storm by afternoon. The Weather Bug said ZERO chance of rain. Hmmm. Around 4 PM the clouds hurtled in from New Jersey, leaving the lifeguards to scramble frantically to clear the beaches.

In fact two people were struck by lightning at the beach in Point Pleasant NJ, which is far by road, but just over the water expanse as the gulls fly. Maybe 20 miles away? [see in the left corner where it says Long Branch, that's by Point Pleasant NJ. My beach is under all the yellow lightning Z's. Not far!

This is from my cell phone, another stormy evening. I know It's silly but I get such a kick out of the animated weather pictures displayed in real time on my iPhone. The lightning is even different each time, how cool is that. I also am very fond of the snow screen in the winter,lol.

Here is Mo patiently waiting for the rain to stop. Time for his walk!

I hope you can go out tonight and see the Thunder Moon and big planets in our summer sky. Little things, simple pleasures. Enjoy.



gone to the beach....

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Porch Quiltalong [P2]: Basket Block

Hi! We are now showing our Summer Porch aka P2 blocks on the third Monday of each month. Lori's blog will show everyone's work so far. here

I made sure I was focused and got this block done in time. It's the most detailed and intricate block on the quilt I think,  except maybe for the Bicycle Wheels.

pattern photo

I loved making this block, so fun and cheerful. It was harder than it may appear, needing layering and planning to make it all work.

It's really large! 22 1/2". That's big pieces that must lie smoothly.

I'm feeling a tiny bit better but still am home all day [cannot really walk, can't drive, can't cook much], so I've been doing my hand sewing each afternoon with Mo. Some days we have to sit indoors which I don't much like, but he needs the AC. I snuck ahead on P2 and began the Sailboat and Whales block. Ooops, cheating.

By the time we're done we'll either be really good at Moon and Star points or we'll refuse to ever sew the motifs again.[Like I don't hand sew proliferating leaves anymore.].

pattern photo

  I made a mistake though, I placed the boat too high. It should rest on the blue water when done. Either the blue and whales will have to be an inch wider or I'll add at the top.

The next block, for July-August is a perfect choice! Watermelons! I just happened decide to prewash the bright pinks for the watermelon middles and I am glad I did! I soaked four choices in cold clear water and one or more ran a LOT. Must put in a rush order of Retayne.

pattern photo

And I finished the Children block on When the Wild Geese Fly. So cute.

But this project has only one more applique block then it needs a bunch of machine sewing which is still too painful for my hips and back, so I think I will begin my Ohio Sampler project. Ohio Patterns, Anita Shackelford

I can't quite decide how to re-size the substitute blocks from the Sue Cummings book[Chicken, Doggies, Shoe, Heart in Hands etc] ....

Image result for Miami Sampler Quilt

...so I will begin slowly, with the Pomegranate and the Cotton Bole. I plan to do the multicolored version's applique first, then the piecing of both the multi and the blue versions together, then I'll go back and do the blue applique blocks. Hahaha. This could, of course, take many years....

Having my quilting, and my blog and friends here---and dear Mo, has meant so much to me during this summer of illness! When one wakes up each morning facing a day of relentless pain, it is so encouraging to have a fun project to plan, and friends to share it with. Thank you all!



gone to the beach...

PS The Watermelon dress was a success! Even Mo got a pressie, a new halter, escape proof? We hope.

Littlest surf shop t-shirt ever! Pink!

The red tankers, right on schedules, Sunday night.