Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It Doesn't Get Better Than This!

Just a 55 minute drive from our home is the most amazing place - Headlands State Park in Mentor, Ohio. It doesn't cost anything to go there (except gas money) and as you can see it is perfectly beautiful.
Swimming in Lake Erie gives me a little more scope than the backyard pool. If I had known I was being photographed I would have smiled!

Such a lovely day! After swimming we took a walk along the beach.

My sweet Larry likes the water almost as much as I do. But not quite :>} Since we both had the same day off, we couldn't think of a better way to spend it.

On the way home we stopped to visit my mom and took her for a walk to admire the sunflowers. They're looking good.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Busy weekend

I've had a great weekend, but I never had the camera with me when Kodak moments presented themselves. This morning Larry and I took a lovely long walk and came upon six deer. They didn't seem to mind us, and we enjoyed watching them. Four adults and two smaller ones with their baby spots. We also came upon a cheerful cardinal at the very top of an evergreen tree, singing for all he was worth. Nice! And if that wasn't enough, we came across a stand of Canadian geese. That is not at all unusual around here, but they looked very picturesque where we happened to see them.

Larry's parents came for lunch to celebrate their 64th anniversary. We had a delightful meal and pleasant visit, but once again forgot to get out the camera.

This evening we went to an outdoor concert to see Frankie Starr's Blues Band. He was outstanding, and on the way there, what did we see, but more deer. Two little ones this time, and one of them leapt high in the air over and over again. I had never seen a deer do that before.

We saw several people we knew at the concert, and one of them came over and said she hardly recognized me out of my natural habitat. Funny - she thinks of my natural habitat as the doctors' office where I work. I think of my natural habitat at home with my family and my sewing machine, or out walking with Larry. It made me think of the way others perceive us. To a lot of people I'm just the lady at the doctors' office who schedules their appointments or inquires about their health insurance benefits. I'm really someone who can't wait to get outside to play!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Two fun projects

One of Larry's guitar students has become a good friend, and she has a birthday coming up. Even at her young age she has realized that one guitar just isn't enough, so I made this for her.
This one is for my brother. He has shared this expression with us several times, with tongue only partly in cheek. An extreme example of this philosophy is: several years ago the neighbor's dog was barking and barking, so I walked over to see if everything was okay. It was an elderly widower and he needed help. A lot of help. One thing led to another, and we wound up delivering dinner to him every day for three years. We also ran his errands and walked his dog. We're a little more cautious about offering assistance since then.

In His Glory

We just love Rose of Sharon. They come up in the most unlikely places and require absolutely no help from us. While we're busy with all the things we do, God just goes on quietly with His handiwork.
This is the first year we've had a hibiscus. Last night when I watered it was all closed up, and behold! Sometime between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. two gorgeous blossoms unfolded from a tight little bud. It would be fun to see it happen.

"To every thing there is a season." Eccl. 3:1

The mailbox revisited. If I were any good at links I would show you the tulips of spring back in an April post.

At first I didn't really like those bobbley looking alum - it's our first year for them, too. I've come to like them even though they smell like onions.

This coleus is from a cutting Larry took last summer. He kept it going all winter, and planted it in the spring. When it was in full glory last summer Daniel was just relearning how to walk with his new hip hardware, courtesy of the orthopedic surgeon. That story is in an earlier post as well, ( A Story Retold) and we are ever so thankful he can walk again. We are having a much better summer this year!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Only 293 laps to a mile!

When I'm not sewing, (or working or cleaning or cooking or visiting) I'm swimming! I would venture to say that most people with an 18' pool do not use it for lap swimming, but I find it very relaxing, and it's great exercise. All those turns are as good as sit ups for the waistline.
Our backyard is quite small, and in the winter it seems like a waste to fill so much of it with something we can't use, but oh! the joy of swimming in the summer makes it all worthwhile.
This is our twelfth summer with our pool, and we have learned ever so much about pool maintenance. The main thing is that plain old grocery store bleach works just as well as chlorine and costs a whole lot less.
I did go to the post office today with Suzanne's and Nathan's wall hangings, since I didn't have their addresses on Tuesday when I went. It's quite thrilling to send something across the ocean!
Have a great weekend, and come join me for a swim.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Heading for the Post Office

I finished Daisy's wall hanging and I am ready to go to the Post Office. But . . . I am missing two things! I need an an address for my skywatching friend Suzanne, and one for my nephew Nathan, who just moved.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Giveaway!

I am having a summer giveaway, and I have already selected the three winners. You know who you are; Tine, Suzanne, and Daisy! Above is a bit of sky for Suzanne because she posts on Skywatch Friday.
Daisy, yours isn't quite finished yet, but it includes the daisy fabric above.

Tine, I made this sunrise for you, but for some reason the camera turned the photo sideways. If I were smarter I would know how to rotate the photo, but when it arrives you'll see it rightside up.
I have Tine's address, but Suzanne and Daisy, if you will email me your addresses I will get these in the mail. My email address is ladydi1956@hotmail.com.
A big thanks to you all for being such good blogging buddies!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Just chillin'

Good morning! I have been sooo lazy - haven't sewn one thing since my last post. Buy hey - it's summer and the time to chill. My friends at work were having a conversation about their husbands, describing how they just can't relax when they are at home. We don't have that problem at our house - we're good at relaxing!

Larry and I sit outside and read when we have an hour to spare. He's been reading some of Dean Koontz's books, and I've been rereading the Benni Harper series by Earlene Fowler. We get up to pull an occasional weed and give the flowers a drink, and then hop in the pool for a quick swim. (It has to be quick - our pool is small, but we love it).

My work days are long - 10 or 11 hours - but I only work four days a week, which gives me three days off. Between housework and errands and visits to my mom, I am just doing a lot of chillin'.

Friday, July 4, 2008

3 down, 1 to go.

This is another idea I borrowed from Jennifer Chiaverini. (www.elmcreek.net)
On her website under "gallery" she has a picture of a wall hanging similar to this one. Since it is just a photo it does not come with instructions! It took me a while to figure out what to do, but I am so happy with the result. It is for my nephew for his birthday/house warming. See the two little mice??
A pillow for Cally.

The other side of Cally's pillow.

When my vacation began I had four projects on my to-do list. The tutorial pillow was one, the above items are two and three, and guess what's left. The boring one, white pants for work. I still have two days left, so I may get them finished. Or at least started. :>}
A Happy 4th of July to you!

a quick tutorial

I got the instructions for this cylinder style of quick piecing from "A Quilter's Christmas" by Marti Michell. It worked amazingly well, and was so very quick and easy I wanted to share it with you. First you decide how many colors you are going to use, and what size your completed project will be. This is just a 20" square cushion for the couch, with two inch finished squares. I cut my strips 2 1/2 inches wide and one and a quarter yards long. I stitched the five strips together, then cut the piece in half so I would have two sets of strips, which I then sewed together giving me ten strips in a row.
I stitched the ten row piece into a cylinder.

Then I cut the cylinder into strips 2 1/2 inches wide, giving me loops of 10 squares.

Remove the stitches from the first cylinder, giving you a nice, neat row of squares. Leaving the stitching in the next loop, pin it to the strip, staggering the squares so they form the "Sunshine and Shadow" quilt pattern. Once you have the first few squares pinned you can remove the stitching from this loop so you can stitch the entire row.

I I am normally a backstitcher, so this method of chopping off pieces and then sewing them without backstitching took some getting used to. You do need to use a shorter stitch length than you normally would so your squares don't pull apart.

The reason this method works so well is that once you get going it is really really easy to stitch the strip on unside down and end up with your squares in the wrong order. The cylinder keeps your pieces in their proper place. You will be amazed at how stretchy each row of squares is, making it ever so easy to match up all your corners neatly. :>}

I got carried away and finished the pillow without remembering to take anymore photos, but you get the idea!

This is the other side.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Quilt camp fun

What fun we had yesterday! We borrowed Jennifer Chiaverini's idea from her books (www.elmcreek.net for more info) and had our own mini quilt camp at home. Judy and Sara were both making placemats, which of course are miniature quilts. LOL :>} I was making a pillow to match the new quilt on the back of the couch. We had the most delightful time! But you should have seen David's face when he came home for lunch. Usually the house is quiet and he reads the paper and eats his lunch in complete peace. He couldn't even find a place to sit down yesterday! He was good natured about it - he knows it doesn't happen often.