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

Sunday, August 29, 2010


August brings us the beautiful big waves locally known as hurricane waves....

the alert on my computer reads:


Since any storm or hurricane is thousands of miles southeast of us, the warning brings excitement,

 the allure of an exceptional beach day.

The shorebreak made for rough conditions...

 but the water was so crisp and perfect...

just another day...

at the beach...



       .......gone to the beach

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Grey Skies Pink Hydrangeas...August

Hi! For those of you who loved my white lavender hearts...I should have a small batch completed by mid-week. I'll show them here first, so keep looking. :-)

Those grey drizzly days we had earlier this week made me have a hankering for autumn!

I walked out on the beach and studied the dunes...nope, the sea grasses are still bright green, the goldenrod has not even budded. The swales are covered with emerald green low-growing weeds or sedge.

The only things hinting of the coming change of season are the clearer skies at night (if no rain) and the hydrangeas turning from brilliant pink and blue and turquoise to soft shades of rose and pink and chartreuse.

My fav is the bright, bright turquoise-blue of early summer...but the soft pink has its charm and its arrival means it is time to cut the flower heads to be dried for fall bouquets and wreaths....

August draws to an end, school begins---and we search for signs of Autumn, despite the fact that meteorologically [astronomically?] there is an entire full month of summer yet to come.

And The Beach remains Sunny and warm through October, sometimes November--due to the warm Atlantic Ocean.

Looking for Fall in August? It's kinda like hoping for spring in February: fun, encouraging? Optimistic even. But unlikely.

Enjoy the days of summer.....



...gone to the beach

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Rain Day

"Life is so short and the chance to be still and serene so fleeting; I was grateful for the rain and the respite.The rain tat-tatted away on the roof..."

                                                    North Cairn

A rare rainy Sunday in August!

Not a gentle pitter patter either, the kind of late summer day  where I can take my cameras, head out to walk and beachcomb, visit my shorebirds in peace. Nope, it was pouring, off and on---and more daunting, there was intermittent lightning and thunder.

A day to stay home...

and sew...

as if it was January...

I worked all day on a new supply of lavender hearts...

I resolutely ignored the binding, almost done! on the quilt I've lugged to the beach all week.

I made blue hearts...

and prim hearts...

white hearts...

MORE white hearts...

and pink...

All filled with Cape Cod lavender, smelling so sweetly of that hot perfect day in July....

They are, to me, tiny keepsakes---

---treasured bits of summer to tuck in with the beach towels or linens,

or in with your new fall woolens?

They will bring back that summer day,

 Again and again...

 If only in your---our--- imaginations.

Sunny days still to come! See you at the beach...



....gone to the beach

*Quote is from: North Cairn’s Nature column. It runs every Sunday. She can be reached at ncairn@capecodonline.com.

***hearts will be available here or on my etsy site this week. Just as soon as I can get some good photos...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Long Hot Summer....

Late August and late summer doldrums, even at The Beach...

You know it's hot and tiresome when the biting flies chase you home from the beach and the family BBQers say it's just too @#*^! HOT to cook!

My farmers market is currently more about gorgeous fruit than my fav veggies and I have a hard time overcoming my prairie girl's upbringing that, yeah, a peach is nice, but a carrot is nicer, LOL. My mom was not a fruit person at all when I was tiny. She considered fruit worthless sugar and taught us to love our homegrown veggies instead. In her mind fruit belonged in jam or pie and both were relegated to very rare treat status, even though she excelled at creating both. Her raspberrry jam was a delight.

So this week at the market I picked up some small mini football-like purple eggplants, some heirloom, very ripe tomatoes, summer yellow sqaush..and the usual fresh basil, onions and garlic.

Tonight when it was too hot to BBQ or even sit on the deck at sunset, I diced all the vegetables and sauteed them in olive oil. Added the herbs and lots of  black pepper, a dash or two of crisp sauvignon blanc..let it all get caramellized but still al dente in my big blue le Creuset pot.

I served it over tiny handmade artisan ravioli from the gourmet grocery, with lots of shaved Assiago Parmesan cheese from the Italian vendor at the market.

Yummy! Not burgers and beer...but tasty.

What are you guys cooking for this late August weekend? Or are you all just back-to-school shopping and eating at Mickey D's?



sanderlings[a type of sandpiper] now returned
from their brief nesting time in the Arctic.
....gone to the beach

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Moving on....It seems my current quilt has, well, issues. That made me a little sad but truth is, by the time I sew them suckers up and get them properly pressed I am bored with them. Usually they go to the quilter and by the time they return I am again excited and interested...but really, no big deal.

Instead, let us forge ahead with the next quilt or quilts. I am planning the design for these lovely redwork blocks...

And this one should be fun and wonderfully autumn-y. I love the random serendipity of collecting orphan blocks and making them into a beautiful whole.

So---I have this very beautiful large star c.1890; some Tall Ships, from the US bicentennial, 1976...

...similarly aged smaller sailboats; a redwork bird, c.1910. a 1940's strip border; a bunch of 19th century, post-Civil War smaller stars and a Gambler's Wheel c. 1870, which will have the small cheddar 12 patch inserted into the central section.

Quite a puzzle, hmmm?

This quilt is "Americana primitive"...red or ivory muslin sashings would be the "normal" choice, but that's no fun! I was thrilled to find the cheddar calico on-line recently, though less thrilled when it arrived and the scale was bigger than expected. These babies aren't sprigs, they are clovers or berries. But after laying it out and getting some distance via my digital camera, I think it works.

What do you think?

I'll keep you posted!

PS Modern offbeat stars...

...perhaps a fun vignette for the reverse?



        ....gone to the beach