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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Log Cabins and Shipwrecks

I love random quilt blocks....Recently I re-found  this clipping in my mess of paperwork, saved from a whole year ago...

[no copyright infringement intended, etc. From Quilt Sampler, Spring 10]
I thought it would be a fun change of pace after carefully sewing my HQ doll quilt....
I gathered my own palette:

I love the colors Jean Wells used

but I could never use them in my home or sell them...so I went with blues....

But I'm not sure these work. They need narrower strips, more solids (don't have!), more contrast....more---ooomphf?

These are 5", smaller than they look in the pix, so here's w/ my scissors for scale:

I originally planned to widely scatter the blocks on a white ground, with maybe even some very small blocks, 2" & 3"; bright turq machine quilting in a seashore/ seashells pattern for texture.But again...better on dusty aqua?
I also clipped out this ad, thinking this might be a fun use of the blocks, tweaked somehow.....
As the author says, small blocks are a good way to audition fabrics and ideas...I don't think these blocks made the team, do you?

 But it's good to change gears, do something unstructured, I told myself. So instead of cleaning the closet where I store my book collection---I went to the beach!
As for Shipwrecks! Bummer, my camera's USB cord broke and none of the dozen or so in the house fit! :-( So I 'll show you the cute but sad sailboat that washed ashore yesterday---someday.)



"gone to the beach"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Frivolous Fridays

Hi everyone! You know how lots of blogs have "days"--with links? Pink Tuesday, blue Monday? And that's cool, I love them...but here at the beach we solo and have "friv" Fridays (sometimes followed by Sloppy Sundays?)....

Anyway....Yesterday I dragged myself away from the  websites of Pugs of Color and  Funny Farm Pugs (OMG! They are so cuuuute, who knew?), avoided the lure of the beach and drove myself off over the bridge to Trader Joe's to grocery shop.

TJ's has about the worst prepared food you can imagine (eeew, last nite's Pad Thai! Lean Cuisine seems gourmet in comparison) but I wanted to stock up on their delicious cheeses, and nice fresh veggies for the weekend. I always try to choose one, new-to-me, cheese. This week I got French baby swiss...hhhmmm.....(rubbery?).

Threw in a box of [irristably yum!] Sea Salt Brownie Bites with the butter lettuce and radicchio, the artichokes and the Brussel sprouts and trail mix. These little chocolate morsels are perfect for apres beach hike, just one!---with a cup of Stash peach tea.

But what TJs excels in--and, I admit it was my reason for going there: the flowers! Just fabulous wonderful flowers. Cheap! They had rose buds the size of a thimble! Pots of iris and daffodils! Rainbows of tulips. Pink and grey velvety weeping pussy willows. Sweet tender lavender in 5" pots, ready to bloom, only 5.95!

But I finally decided on the hyacinths. They are so sweet, so rare. They smell so springlike. They are so frou frou. They look like ruffled baby dresses...and the colors! Oh my.

Sorry the pix are wonky! I may repost tomorrow when the sun comes out. Today was so dark! But warm, so no complaints from me. Treasure tomorrow on the tideline?

And tonight, grilled cheese on TJ's yummy sunflower seed bread, butter lettuce salad with pear vinaigrette, and homemade soup (yeah, I learned my lesson w/ that Pad Thai!)---a perfect end to a stormy day.

Have a great weekend! Quilty stuff maybe tomorrow?


                 gone to the beach...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Windy with a Dash of Snow

Past few days were windy here at the beach---65 mph and 15 degrees makes for a chilly night's sleep with no electricity!

sand corrugated by the wind

Then we had snow--but a perfect snow, soft downy feather flakes wafting down late at night....the sidewalks and streets clear and dry by morning.

The beach was scoured bare, blown clean and faceless as an airport runway at JKF.

No beachcombings to be found...
The only treasures were---metaphysical?
The silence, the peace, the purity. The briskly oxygenated air filling one's lungs.

The pleasure of "owning" the beach, just me and miles of white sand...

By today, the very gentle waves created patches of what we call "outwash gravel"--though as you can see, it is really small shells.

(Think panning for gold? When the waves lap gently on the shore the small tidbits are uncovered.)....Often the place to find sea glass and lost jewelry, coins, and prized sand dollars.

Again, though, little to find:
A few pennies, a few little shards...

....a fun bit of wood for hanging a seashell mobile, a tacky item I make and force on friends, lol! (not sold on esty! you're safe!).

It's pretty cool, actually...hexagonal wood bits, a big knobby bead, rope....I like it!

And the blue bead? Yes, yes...it is ugly!

But I collect beads on the beach because...well.......

...years ago I made my first beaded bracelets, one for each of my girlfriends, as a welcome summer fun gift. I labelled the bracelets "Sea glass beads" because they were blue and aqua and frosted. And each and every recipient, all of whom have lived at a beach for years, asked me if the beads were truly from the beach. (uh, no. like--- have you ever seen semiprecious beads in the outwash, gang?) The good news is they all still wear the bracelets every summer at the beach! And I now say "sea-glass inspired" and I collect actual beads too....for...someday?

actual beads found on the beach

Oddly I regularly find rosaries and religious medals---but I pass those along to those who may cherish them...and their journey to my shores....

The sky, the sand, the water---all were pink as I walked home at 6 PM. Truly I felt like I was in heaven.....and spring is on its way?



........gone  to the beach

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Warm hearts sounds lovely and cozy as we brace ourselves here at the beach for a "dry storm" (no precip!) of 65 MPH winds. Brrrr.

I learned about knitted felted hearts from my blog friend Peggy....

The little hearts are featured in this fun book of small projects: Gifted , by Mags Kandis. (It's available on Amazon and Borders etc if your library doesn't have it.)

The little hearts knit up fast, my first took less than an hour and I am a slow knitter.

The pattern is fun and soothingly rhythmic ...and the felting process is interesting.
Be sure to use 100% wools that are recommended for felting; yarn that is machine washable, of any fiber, won't felt easily. I washed my heart at least 5 times, just threw it in with the white/ hot wash. Dry in dryer.

So adorable and chubby!

By this time next year I hope to have a whole bowlful...

Then, while looking at internet bookstores I discovered this book by Josie Iselin, called Heart Stones. I have her other books and so I ordered this right away. Her eye for "treasure" is exceptional and her photographs are beautiful.

This is a quote from the editorial blurb on Amazon (perhaps from the book, it doesn't say?):

A heart stone is one of nature's gifts. Heart stones are not rare or precious in the typical sense--a good scour of a beach with any stones at all will usually turn up one or two heart-shaped stones. But heart stones, lifted from their obscurity, with all of their cracks and blemishes, lopsided and imperfect, are simply the best find on any beach.
Beachcombers collect them, keep them as talismans, and give them to friends and lovers.

The bold type highlites are from me. My beach has really no stones or rocks at all, just the occasional white beach pebble, few and far between. (My beach is just acres of empty white sand, really...) But my family's Cape Cod beach has wonderful, if painful, stony edges and there I collected a number of heart stones over the years. We kept them in a basket in the blue bedroom....

And sadly our collection was discarded when my parents' home was sold. Maybe the hearts were tossed out on the bluestone driveway? And over the next few millenia they will wash down Stony Brook Road to Paine's Creek, back to their home beach?  I hope so...

I did bring a few home over the years, cherished talismans of sunny summer beach days, happy days, and sunset walks at the Cape Cod beach.

A blog note: Welcome, new friends! Please remember that I can't respond to comments unless you send me your email in a separate comment or email to me. Some stupid bloggy glitch! Please know how I treasure each response...from everyone!



                  gone to the beach!

sanderlings are returning!