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

Friday, July 31, 2015

Blue Moon to Welcome August

Hi guys! It's the last day of July. Soon the August Blue Moon will be high in the night sky on the eve of the first day of August 2015. I am so determined to make this a beautiful memorable summer.

So far, so good.
My health is cooperating, a big improvement from two summers ago spent in the hospital, or last year with my hand in the brace. I am planning my time better, avoiding extremely hot or sunny mid-days at the beach and enjoying late afternoons instead. I am getting more rest, I am trying to eat well and have succumbed to using some vitamin supplements to round out my intake. Just a few basic vitamins has made a big difference.

Do I have the energy I had before this last illness? Well, no. But I'm doing well and having fun. Mo brings a smile to my face every minute.

early mornings, on the deck

Target is showing Back to School ads on tv and the LL Bean early Fall catalog came the other day---shorts and cashmere hoodies, yum. Just my style. I think I'll get the navy polka dot hoodie, and maybe...um...red? hoodie. Too bad it's 90* out instead of 50. But that's okay. I am planning my fall velvet fruits and a woolie table mat, to work on when I am caught up on Pokeberry. The seasons pass, no matter how much I try to ''seize each day".

I love this photo, even though it's blurry.
Maybe because ii is blurry.
I think it would make a wonderful large painting!
I love the colors and shapes...

I'm off now to walk down the boardwalk in the dark, to see the tiny toads and night birds and to enjoy this high summer night.

blue moon?  where?



gone to the beach....

big babies in their ugly plumage.

ll bean hoodies here

and here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thrift Shopping

Hi! The other day my friend B braved the hot highways and drove down to visit me for a day of thrift shopping. We always have so much fun! We went to the big shop that moved ''far'' away. If we visit a few more times I think I'll be able to find it by myself, on a quiet winter day. We took an easier road---only got lost twice,lol. Pickings were excellent.
Interesting items---
a made in Republic of China copy of a Singer Featherweight sewing machine. It was made of tin and quite garish. Parts were missing too. $34.99. No.

Tie selection for a guy who asked me to look for good ties. LOL the mushroom one on the right was a designer tie, never worn. No.

I also passed up a vintage peanut dispenser, an idea for friend who repurposes oddball machines. But---No.
We found other very good stuff. B always finds clothes, so she was very pleased. 
I found treasures [my total bill was under 20.oo]:

A lidded Nantucket basket. Probably a Chinese repro, so I won't mind lining it to turn it into a sewing box.

It is very nicely made, though. And even still has the leather loop and bone slide that form the latch.

A red Staffordshire plate. I never turn these down, though later I was disappointed that it does have a chip.
Pre 1900. English.

A small candlestick to be the base of a velvet fruit pincushion. [with beach rock]

Fabric in the form of skirts. I loved this olive-gold tweed. It is 60% wool, so it may felt okay?

And this rather adorable cotton skirt.

It doesn't fit me, as it is a size 4, but I bought it for the retro-y fabric. Either for my French fabrics quilt / throw and /or for---what else, lavender pillow sachets.

Cute little earrings. I've been losing earrings often lately, so the price is right. Amethyst for Fall? And the ruby and diamond tiny hearts look like real gold! I haven't gotten them under the giant looking glass to see if they're marked,. You just know I'd never pass up little ruby hearts.

Then I found this neat rough seaglass-like vase or candle holder. It was a gift to my friends who babysat Mo while B and I enjoyed a peaceful dinner on the deck.

We made a quick stop at a roadside flower stand. I need a new pot f blooms for my front door step. Yikes, the prices.

Dinner was so nice. It was a hot still evening but quite dry, so it was comfortable to sit outside. We got home around 6, after checking out a new small shop [closed] for future visits.

I quickly broke out the crisp white wine! Aaah. Cheap but Delicious. You should have seen me trying to insert the corkscrew into what I discovered was a metal screw top. I guess screw tops are good for picnic wines?

I had another wine for us to try too. It was awful, went right down the drain. A Barefoot Vineyards moscato, eeew. Sugar syrup.  [sorry, Barefoot. I love your other wines.]

I set out one of my antipasto platters because we were starved after all that hard work of thrifting.
Rolled salami and mozzarella; brie with pear paste, French mini baguette, and marinated chevre / goat cheese. (Make the day before. Log of chevre, smushed into a lidded container.* I like the kind with herbs on the outside-- fines herbes. Add whole garlic cloves, black pepper and fresh herbs, in this case black basil for my deck pot. Fresh tarragon or sage is lovely too. Pour on good olive oil. Serve room temp with bread or crackers.) *These Weck canning jars are perfect.

Dinner was my fave salad: butter lettuce with bleu cheese and dried cranberries, basic vinaigrette, a bit sweet [add sugar or Splenda].

And "Pasta with Mushrooms'' recipe here I used brown cremini mushrooms and XL-steak cut Portobella slices, cut into pieces. I subbed a large handful or two of baby Italian arugula for the parsley in the recipe. I'm not fond of large quantities of parsley except in tabbouleh.

Lovey fast pasta dish, delicious!


homemade sugar cookies. Raw sugar on the tops. Thin and crispy, yum.

Vanilla gelato topped with mixed berries--blue and straw---combined with a glug of peach Grand Marnier and tiny chocolate chips.

 I love these square bowls! B found them on her last visit but she didn't buy them because she said they would not be useful!?! Wrong-wrong-wrong. We use them all the time for yogurt and granola breakfasts, and they were perfect for this dessert.

The sun set over the ocean and I sadly had to wave B off on the road home. I wish she lived closer.

A thrifting footnote: My other best friend L was a good sport and went with me to this new thrift shop in town! It's only been open for maybe 6 months? What a mess. My fingers were itching to do some tidying. But maybe it's worth a peek in now and then.

OMG, the mess
Now it's just about the hottest muggy-est day of the year so far. Mo has to stay indoors and I've been keeping him company for awhile.  He 's napping in front of the AC, he won't miss me when I leave, so I'm off to the beach for my swim.

Have a wonderful evening! Be cool.

''mommy left me at the babysitter. alone!''



gone to the beach

last Sunday: beach crowds!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Daylily Days, Daylily Quilt

Hi everyone! Mid-July is daylily time here at the beach. All those barren winter spaces burst into summer's glorious blooms about now.

Funny to think these are native American wildflowers or weeds, but they grew in massive hedges along the ditches on the roads in rural Illinois. Along with perfectly color wheel coordinated blue chicory and lacy white Queen Ann's Lace. How I loved them. I'd beg my dad to stop the car so I could make bouquets. My mom had a ''patina'ed" aka unpolished squatty copper jug that was the designated daylily vase. [ I wish I had that pitcher now!].

Of course the daylilies withered that evening and I'd be crushed.

My brother must have liked flower hunting too, because he recently sent me photos of wildflowers he had found along the roadsides in his home in the southwest US.
Mo likes to travel under the droopy green leaves. He makes a little tunnel.

We inspect everyone's daylilies as we walk.

These are from Oscar the grumpy hound's house.  [Asiatic lilies]

And tiger lilies at another friend's. [Turk's head lilies]

I've mentioned this quilt but I don't think I've ever shown it here.

It was made by my grandmother when my dad was a very little boy. He remembered going with her to buy the white squares with the printed designs of what he thought were daylilies. And he recalled them carefully choosing the two orange cottons and Nile green for the leaves.

I've never seen another quilt in quite this pattern, not even in a more traditional Tulips version. A hint of Art Nouveau in the styling, especially the stems?

Note the tiny whip stitch used to sew the appliques. Both my grandmother and my aunt [her daughter-in-law] made beautiful applique quilts. They used this fine but visible stitch, unlike the hidden tunnel stitch we use today. All their appliques have held up beautifully.

The quilt was on my bed as a little girl. My first exposure to quilts. My bed was antique cherry wood with post finials shaped like tulips too---or daylilies. [no Disney princesses for this girl,lol.]

Repairing the binding was my first venture into quiltmaking. My dad insisted I cover the frayed binding edges but not remove the original. He showed me how to sew the second binding, all by hand, while keeping the deeper green of the old.

The quilt was  hand quilted by "church ladies'' who did quilting to raise funds for their church.

Feather wreaths.

Outline and crosshatching. Maybe 9 stitches per inch or more.

The batting is a white cotton flannel, the back white muslin.
I wonder what I should do with these quilts I have inherited. Will they be discarded like the memories they hold? Quilts are less valued now, they are not chic or cool for young modern home decor. That makes me sad, but times do change. No sense in making things be a burden.
For now I will label them and store them with care. The future is well, just that---the future. At least these quilts will not be Anonymous.

What do you do with family heirlooms? Keep or discard? What will happen to them when you're gone? Do you care?

I'm off to bake sugar cookies! My partner in thrifting is coming to visit, we'll have homemade cookies with our gelato for dessert. Dinner on the deck! Menu next time, maybe.



gone to the beach....