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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Seaglass: We brought It Home. Now What?

Hi! Fall cleaning here...or at least thinking about it. What to do with all our year's finds of seaglass?

I had an interesting email conversation with my friend Hunter, who was gifted with a treasure trove of rare Maui seaglass. She wants to make something with the finds...but what? Maybe: twisted wire pendants? A suncatcher or mobile? She is a talented crafter so I know she can make something wonderful.

But then I admitted the Truth. We do nothing with our seaglass.

Truly....though crafting with seaglass is fun---a big part of the pleasure is just finding,  owning and displaying it.

I have huge jars of seaglass, including my mom's collection, and my childhood Lake Erie jar---

and we [me and the kids] each have ''new finds'' platters or bowls which just sit out and are admired.
Currently special finds are going on the ship model ledge:

or in bowls....

I always say when I die, Please throw my seaglass back into the ocean! Yet I kept my mom's---beautifully weathered pieces from the Elizabeth Islands, off Cape Cod.
Below, our rare blue and white china finds with a chrome dock cleat behind.

The cache grows and grows. Perhaps some dust settles in or on....
below, a permanent collection, from Costa Rica, in a 19th century grey transferware bowl.

These liquor bottle bases are from the golf course beach, found by my son.

Hurricane Sandy seaglass bottles...yes, almost a year has passed now.

Every fall we sort and declutter, store the glass shards into their jars.

The best/ worst/ is my window ledges that contain favorite finds and my lavender glass collection.
These were all beach finds except the deepest purple one that came from my dad's collection.

The point is one need not MAKE something with the glass, whatever the quality, to treasure and enjoy it.

Above, beach pebbles---we call these bellybutton stones. Even though they have the line all around, and no bellybutton! I don't where the expression originated. These are very prized, usually found on the beach on Cape Cod.
Below, my Zen garden rock stack. There are three more pebbles that go on top but my kids keep knocking them off, darn it.
gone to the beach..... 


Hunter's blog and seaglass post: click here 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Poor Mr Sunshine Quilt

click photos to enlarge

pattern photo/ original quilt

Poor Mr. Sunshine: He is killing me with tedium. Too bad. Funny how you look at a design and think Oh how cool, how awesome. But THEN. The reality is in the details. Minuscule stars, the large ones here are less than 1".
 Valium sized dots....look at this! 45 dots to sew on, in this segment in pix!

I shudder for my future, almost gave up.
But....I am sewing slowly on the Tree of Life block. Plotting ways to get those leaves and all those greens just right.

mine, so far
 I figured if I left this block til last, when all the more fun blocks are done, I'd never finish the quilt top. And I may not. Eensy weensy twigs and branches, dozens of boring green ovoid leaves. I think I counted 70 leaves, some as amall as a 1/4"

Minute black stars that I decided I must have because the design doesn't ''pop'' without them.

Subbed  the black fabric motif instead...will I regret this someday? How close must you follow  a design and still do credit to its original beauty and artistry? How many shortcuts will make it just not worth your time.

I've promised myself I can do the four moon/ sun/ planet blocks next, as my reward. Big and simple.

I've been driven to consider knitting a sweater instead. "Oshima" by Brooklyn Tweed's Jarod Flood, here    

Though again, how a designer can take such a simple design and make it complex to the point of rocket science is beyond me! What the heck is a...tubular?? cast on? [yes, yes, YouTube here I come.] There was entire page just about the cast-on.
And if we double the yarn as directed, will 12 skeins be enough? I never have knitted a sweater with just 6 skeins of yarn, have you?
Or note this market bag scroll to bottom of yarn page : utterly incomprehensible to me. Too bad because it is neat and I bought the hank of linen thread to make it.

All these modern designs also requite the purchase of many multiple sizes and lengths of circular needles, six sets? eight? at about 16.00 each. The sweater requires 10 different sets of needles, if I counted right.  Not good.

Now I am back mulling over the wonderful sweater, hoping brioche stitch is my my knitting pattern book---and I am making a pair of simple open mittens here with my yarn from the NYC Greenmarket. [so far so good, thank goodness I had the right needles!]
Okay---what shall I not whine about? America Hurrah quilt is back and I am appliqueing the year and my initials to add to its folkiness.  I could have enlarged and downloaded the characters of a simple font, but I wanted the letters to be a bit prim so I drew them myself.

I finished handquilting the two doll quilts from Lori  at Humble Quilts winter 2013 quiltalongs. They are each about 16. 5 " square.


Loved this backing, kitties, birds...

...and enjoyed seeing again and up close, the tiny fragments of 1800s fabrics from my antique calico collection. (mixed with modern and vintage repros too.)


I even have had a few days of sewing down at the beach! Yay. Me and my little friend, and a warm but howling gale today! 



gone to the beach....


photos from patterns of original Celestial Dreams quilt are used with permission.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sunflower Days

Hi, everyone! We are having lovely ''hint of fall'' crisp days this week, here at the beach. I often think that September is the best month of summer...and yes it is still summer, as my exuberant crop of sunflowers can attest.

On my rather small deck I have three large pots or planters of flowers. Two are mostly annuals, this year: cascading petunias. [pretty but the dead heads of the blooms make a mess when tracked indoors...]. And one pot is  a lily garden, begun because my son loves daylilies.

Huge success, in early July. The problem is once they bloom, they are done.

Originally we thought we'd just push the pot aside in August, but this year I planted a packet of mixed ''wildflower'' seeds. Because for a buck or two..well, who knew? [top row, right]

And what a wonderful show those seeds are giving us in September! Dwarf sunflowers, maybe 3 feet tall at the most.

A subtle assortment of size and variety. These are pretty big, 6-8"? across.

Probably more suited to a planter than the fun giants we always also try to grow. Some are tiny, like daisies..

[None of the giants grew this year. I think  the squirrel ate the seeds.]
I also have a few pink cosmos from the seed packet, but nothing else grew.

A sunflower and daisies bouquet this week....

...and some dried sunflower heads, for autumn decor next month.

Next month because unlike most bloggers, who seem to be madly into FALL, I can't imagine autumn til, oh---Halloween? The leaves don't turn here til November. Due to coastal waters' warmth, all season changes come late, which suits me fine, as I am famously late.

On the other hand....I dug out the crock pot! And made a Beef bourguignon here, sort of.  * with my freezer full of unused summer BBQ steaks. Boy, that was sad, all those big bucks, 3" thick NY strips steaks...but better to use than to toss.
(*I had no cognac, who has cognac, anyway...not my pantry!)
And tonight the Harvest Moon is rising, visible tomorrow, Thursday too---go look!



gone to the beach to see Mr. Moon.


click photos to enlarge....