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

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Out and About ~ May Rushes By

Hi everyone! And welcome to new readers and commenters.

from Penny in SA, a morning cappuccino


The past two days here have been oddly summery, not really warm but that balmy softness of summer has permeated the air. Is it vestiges of Storm Arthur, his outer reaches, bringing us tropical air? This afternoon the wind really picked up, bouncing the tiny green leafed branches of the ugly locust tree. Again it looked like June or July---but when Mo and I went for his dinner walk, I found the wind howling from the east [rare] and very nippy again.

Over the past week I've worn shorts and flip flops and layers including blizzard weight down parka and wind pants over sweatpants, wool socks and boots, and every choice in between. You just never know. And when it's cold but there's a late 830 sunset, I find  my inner clock very confused---feels like 3 PM in November but is 9 PM in May. What's a girl and her doggy to do?

Mo and  of course go for our walks. We are finding bits of spring, like the aforementioned tiny leaves on the trees. I always loved the  traditional legend, that Native Americans knew to plant their corn when the leaves on the trees were the size of a squirrel's ear.

More Van Gogh iris. Now is their big bloom time. The blue is very hardy here.

Below, one of Van Gogh's Iris series, glorious color. I put a link at the end of the post if you wish to see more of his iris paintings.


And in the beach lane one day we got a rare glimpse into someone's slightly open grey wooden gate. Yes, we peeked.

On the back of the door was a  heart shaped planter, wood and tin. Lovely! I have one similar, to try this idea?

Late fancy tulips.

Grape hyacinth, the tiny bells are such a beautiful blue.

Lilacs in bloom, despite the chilly days.

I still do not have the nerve to pick up treasures. I always forget an extra bag. Many round shapes have caught my eye, washers mostly, but also a gold coin and a gold hoop earring.

Meanwhile I stopped working on Baby Pineapples because I was hemming pants for a friend.She is always there for me if I need her, so I am happy to help. But it was hard, my machines are set up for cotton piecing; high tech stretchy sportswear fabric was a challenge. A typical virus annoyance, for her---no tailors open, no drycleaners, to fix her spring pants! We rely on our small businesses far more than we realize, I think.
As I did the sewing I had time to think about the bright mustard and blue Blackbirds quilt.

I tried to recut the long rectangular block with the velvet star, and still couldn't find sections to easily cut or even piece to create the needed 9 x 15" background. The J Crew blouse had cut darts, princess seams and was a size 0. Discouraging.

Then I had a eureka moment.
I was making When the Wild Geese Fly, in bright mustard yellow instead of cheddar.

But no! Wrong wrong wrong.

The idea of this quilt is a Winter quilt...an early sunset on a grey day when everything is dark--brown fields, black branches,  indigo shadows and grayness; that odd white sun [I was set on the wrong track by the idea of ''the sun must be yellow'']---with, who knows, maybe a hint of palest barely there pink? Long wavy skeins of geese and winter ducks silhouetted in the last cold breaths of the sun.The blackbirds who do not migrate  [crows, starlings?] that feed at sunset on the frozen marshes.

That is what I want this quilt to convey.

I put the blue velvet stars away for now. They will become something, someday. I am so glad I caught my wrong path in time and rethought this project.

Another project for a friend, my grocery shopper. We both love batiks. Prices tho are sky high, two  30" pillow zippers cost 25.oo, wow. And batiks are running around 12.oo a yard.

Mo wore his earflap hat tonight for his walk in the 35 mph cold wind.  But no coat.

I hope your week is good!



gone to the beach.....

beach pictures today from Penny's daughter Nicky in South Africa; isn't this beach amazing! Umhlanga beach, South Africa.

Note the ships lined up on the horizon, just like mine, a world away.


and from Kelley in Southern California. This was the Pink Super Moon a few weeks ago,with the stately blue heron standing in the moon's reflected path. .

***more on Van Gogh's many iris paintings, over 100! The lesser known paintings are quite fabulous and beautiful, worth a look: HERE
What we call a ''clear'' storm, high winds, sunny skies, huge waves:

"High Surf Advisory issued May 19 at 9:08PM EDT until May 20 
at 6:00 PM EDT 
* WHAT...Large breaking waves of 6 to 8 feet in the surf zone.
* IMPACTS...Dangerous swimming and surfing conditions andlocalized beach erosion.
A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in theadvisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.
..............................................................I hope the nesting birds are okay!


  1. Mo looks so cute in that hat! Love the beach photos, somehow it doesn't seem like there is a bad beach photo, they are all so beautiful in their natural state. The blooming iris and lilacs are light years ahead of here. I spotted a few tiny clusters of lilac buds the other day, about the size of my thumbnail. And we're afraid our iris have been frozen out this year, looking quite sad. As is one of the peonies. High of about 75 today was very encouraging, though cold northeast wind again.

  2. My Iris are still tightly budded--they won't come out in these cold winds here...Not balmy here at all....it appears sunny and lovely through our windows though and that is enough for me right now after all that grayness we have endured...
    Mo is sporting his little cap beautifully!!
    Such a cute picture of him;)))
    --Le petit bonhomme...
    Sorry your lovely velvet stars had to be sidelined....
    ~ ~ ~ waving and waiting for my irises to bloom Julierose

  3. I love your words about what you want your Winter quilt to convey - it reads almost like a poem. Always enjoy your nature photos - and Mo.

  4. Those irises! You feel as though you've just dived into one of van Gogh's paintings. I can never have enough iris pics. Even though the colours are so intense, their subtle variation is glorious.
    Your beautiful batik combination is going to be a very exciting quilt to anticipate.
    I enjoy the legend with its timeless lesson from Nature. So logical and practical. Penny

  5. Iris are for sure in my top five favorite flowers. Lovely to see the tulips, and lilacs, too. Nice to see the beach lane.

    Ugh, can't imagine having to have so many different clothing choices for ONE WEEK, lol. It was balmy here yesterday evening. A treat for us and much appreciated.

    As a short person myself, I appreciate that you are hemming pants for your friend �� I bought a pair of 'capris' last week that are full on pant length on me.

    Beautiful beach pics from SA. In my full moon pic, we were excited to see our friend, the heron, willing to be in the photo.

    Gah, Memorial Day weekend already. Hope you can see friends, from afar, and lift a glass. Enjoy, Lizzy.


  6. Such irises!! I love Mo in his hat. It has gotten cooler here but at least we have sun. Finally I have flowers!Kit

  7. Love Mo's hat!!

    Sounds like your weather is a lot like what we've been getting. Warming, verging on hot, then a sudden dip back to freezing overnight for a couple days, then warming again but RAIN, RAIN, RAIN! Our seasons are matching up more than normal, too, with the cooler weather we've had so far.

    Love the peek through the gate! And the 'guest' pictures.

    I missed this post somehow - blogger doesn't seem to be sending me notices very much anymore.

    Take care!

  8. Love the flowers. Thank you for sharing!


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