Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday Snow

    

Ok...so the weatherman tells us we will get between 2-4 inches of snow here in Warrenton........NOT!!!!! I think that is the only job where you can be wrong 70% of the time and still pick up a paycheck. So this is what we got on Saturday..at least 8 inches. I shoveled 4 inches off my deck at least twice. It was pretty, although if you ask my friend Gretel, she will tell you that she has had quite enough for this year...bring on Spring!
 The birds were out in force Saturday and they all were in a feeding frenzy. I snapped a few photos for you. Enjoy!
My suet blocks became covered up pretty quickly and I had to go outside and clean them off a few times.

                                      
This cute little sparrow sat on the top of this planter hook for quite a while.....probably thinking " I wonder if Jet Blue Airlines is running a Florida special"

                                      
With Cardinals being the state bird of Virginia, I always have lots of them around....isn't that red just brilliant against the white snow?

                                      
This handsome guy sat here all puffed up to help keep him warm...he looks so cold ;-(  My brother e-mailed me after seeing this photo and wanted to know why their feet don't freeze.  He made it his Saturday mission to find out. After some Googleing, he found out that they do not have sweat glands in their feet so no sticking to cold metal...unlike we humans..as in 'The Christmas Story' tongue on the pipe scene. Also, their feet are covered in a scaly surface that is made up of dead cells..hence no feeling. They will however get chilly legs and when you see them on one leg or all pulled into a ball, they are most likely trying to keep warm.
                                   
Look close (click on photo) do you see him? He was very busy chewing on a black walnut he had dug up...too cute.

                                   
I did some wool and cashmere sweater felting. These beauties will make adorable childrens sweaters. I love the colors. The turquoise vest is already beautifully beaded!
                                            
I also did some crocheting with some new yarn I bought from Susie at Juniper Moon Farm. The wool yarn was a wonderful bulky weight and a dream to work with.

                                            
I call this one 'Glacier Rose' and it is such a pretty icy blue..I love it! Thanks Susie. I entered this one in a contest Susie is having on her blog
And finally, I would like to leave you with this wonderful photo I took during our storm. I hope it makes you smile as it did me.

                                  
Is this not the cutest photo? These two birds actually had their heads resting on each other. I couldn't believe it...it looked like they were going to take one of those cell phone pics that teenagers are so fond of. I posted this on my Facebook page and my caption was " Stick with me kid, I know where she keeps the sun flower seeds". Well that was my Saturday..I hope yours was equally as heartwarming.
Until next time..be kind and stay creative.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Moon on Saturday!


Be sure to take a moment this Saturday evening and gaze to the heavens. Weather permitting you will be rewarded with a beautiful full moon. A full moon occurs when the Sun and Moon are located on opposites sides of the earth. When this happens, the face of the Moon is visible from the earth and is completely illuminated by the Sun. In geek talk, the full Moon occurs when the geocentric apparent longitudes of the Sun and the Moon are 180 degrees apart. Geesh....I sound like the scarecrow right after the Great Oz gave him a brain ;-)....It is really just a fancy way of saying the Sun and Moon are at opposite sides of the sky.
I have to admit, I am a complete Moonaholic (is that a word?) Every evening I step outside with my binoculars and look up to the sky. One of these days I am going to invest in a telescope and then maybe I will be able to see that man in the moon I have read so much about...wink..wink. Somehow seeing that bright white orb sitting up in the sky puts all my earthly problems into perspective and I feel better.
So be sure to take in the bright light and until next time...be kind and stay creative.

PS....Still time to enter my Giveaway..see post Jan. 22, 2010
      Good Luck!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Proud Mama

Hello friends. Since this is my blog, I would like to use this post as a little forum to brag a little on my son Sean. Sean is my youngest and works as a videographer for NBC 29 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sean majored in English and film and media in college and was very lucky to land a job in television right after graduation. My son is also a fabulous photographer..of course I am very biased. I thought I would post a few of his photos and hopefully prove that aside from being his mom, that he is really good. Take a look and let me know what you think....now be honest...I can take it.  OK...no, I don't want honesty...just say you love them and make me happy ;-)

This was taken in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. I love photos of gates.
                                       
Another Harpers Ferry photo..the simplicity of a stone wall.

Nice color in this photo

I love the liberties Sean took with this one. Her name is Daisy and she is afraid of the vacuum. Sean added the evil eyes..too cute.

Daisy has the prettiest eyes

I love the look on her face..as if she is shocked by the bare legs of the two american women.

Great mid-air photo.
                                                    
Sean took his girlfriend of 8 years, Crystal, on a hot air balloon ride as a gift. He got some wonderful photos while drifting over the Blue Ridge Mtns.

This photo was taken towards the end of my sister Mary's long battle with cancer. My sister Joanne, brother Bobby and husband Bill had gone for a little break and found a park bench in Newport, Rhode Island. I can imagine the thoughts that were going through their heads as they sat gazing at the calm bay. I'm sure Mary was weighing heavy on their minds.



For me, this is Seans most poignant photo. It is a picture of her refrigerator with all the photos, business cards and cute magnets that we all have. The thing that makes hers different is that if you look closely you will see a radiation appointment card, a business card from the apartments where she spent the last days of her life, photos of the daughter and grandkids she left behind and yes...a funny magnet that I gave to her and that she made me promise to put on my fridge.( where it resides today). To me this photo speaks volumes about my sisters final journey home. I cherish this photo..thank you Sean.

                                           
I'll close with a beautiful photo representing the ultimate rebirth...a lovely butterfly. Nice job Sean!
Thanks to all of you for indulging in this proud moms little show and tell. Until next time, be kind and stay creative.
PS....don't forget to enter my tote bag Giveaway..see my Jan.22 post

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hello Monday!



Hello friends, this is turning out to be just a lovely day...............NOT!!!! Went to bed last night with the wind beginning to pick up and rain predicted. Well for once those over payed weather forecasters seem to be spot on. My hubby and I didn't sleep a wink what with all the windy howling going on outside. Lot's of things going 'bump' in the night. I woke up to that stubborn wind still howling, but with no rain. The temp is now a balmy 63 degrees and it is only 7:40 am! Very weird.
I looked out the back door to find a large piece of siding lying there...that's just great! Got the flashlight, as it was still dark at the time, and checked for additional damage. Well you knew there would be...after all this is Monday! Lo and behold..two more more siding pieces flapping like the legs of an Argentine Tango dancing team. To make things worse, they happen to be waaaaaaay up towards the highest part of our house. We'll be needing that 50 ft ladder.  Hubby is by now fully dressed in a business suit and tie..it's dark and ..oh yeah, I forgot to mention the big water spots in the sitting room ceiling. I ran around covering my african violets so the lovely words my hubby was spewing did not wilt them. I never knew he was so into the dark side of the English language and we have been married just shy of 35 years.  Live and learn ;-)
 So until he can manage to possibly get home before dark, I will just have to listen to the wind and cross my fingers that the Tango dancers take a break and calm down.
 Ok..now that all my complaining is done, let's put all this in prospective. Yes I now have a roof leak, but at least I have a roof over my head to leak. Yes my hubby has to come home early to fix the leak, but at least he has a great job to come home from. I will still sit down tonight to a hot meal and curl up in a cozy bed after. My family is well and I am loved. So I guess I am just going to count my many blessings and go watch the tango dancers. Argentine Tango is my absolute favorite dance you know ;-)
 Until next time, be kind (and grateful) and stay creative.
PS...Happy Monday!!! Don't forget to enter my Giveaway (click here)
PPS...What's Michael Buble have to do with my post..... absolutely nothing. He is just divine to look at and listen to and it is MY blog after all. he..he....

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Giveaway Time!!!


Hello friends, I have been wanting to do another giveaway, but have just not gotten around to setting it all up. I also couldn't decide what I wanted the prize to be. After consulting with some dear friends (thanks Kelly Ann), I decided on one of my lovely East Hampton Market Totes.  Here she is!

I wanted to offer something everyone could use, whether you knit, paint, sew, needlefelt or just like to shop! This great tote will work for you. She is extra roomy and very practical. This pattern is one of the best I have worked with (Tanya Whelan I believe). My tote is roomy and comfortable to hang on your shoulder. It sits just right against your body and I have used the softest quilt batting as interfacing, which makes it even softer. You can easily fold her up to pack in a suitcase when you travel.
The fabric is a gorgeous peach and pink floral by Heather Bailey.

 Since I love to mix things up, I lined this tote with some of my beautiful designer remnants. The lining is fashioned from a classic French toile, a pretty botanical and a pocket of cool yellow and red toile. This tote is anything but boring! The colorful strap is another great Moda cotton fabric and to keep it soft on your shoulder, I added more quilt batting.

              
You can take this tote to the market, the beach or maybe quilting class. It will become your 'go to' bag of choice.  Be sure to check out the dimensions to see how very large it is.
The East Hampton Tote measures 20 inches wide x 19 inches tall ...not including straps
Machine washable in cold water and hang to dry...a quick press would be nice also ;-)

Ok...here's how you can own this beauty....
I don't believe in making you jump through hoops to enter so I will try and keep it simple...
  1. Must be a follower to enter  ( thanks not hard, right? )
  2. Please leave a comment on this post ( you were going to do that anyway, right? )
  3. Be so kind as to take a peek at my Etsy shop ( who doesn't like to window shop? )

That's it! My Giveaway will be up and running for two weeks, so until February 5th at 9pm EST. I will use that random number picker thing to decide on a winner. This Giveaway is open to all my blog friends, domestic AND international.  Shipping is included! Good luck to all of you and feel free to pass along all this info to your Facebook, Blog and Twitter friends!



  


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dear Gretel..........

Hello friends, I have to warn you in advance that this is going to be a very long post so get a cup of your beverage of choice and maybe a snack..sit back and enjoy. I dedicate this post to my very talented blog friend, Gretel Parker. If you don't know Gretel, I would love to be the one to introduce you to her. Gretel  maintains two blogs, Cotswold Peeps and Middle of Nowhere. Both are wonderful and filled with photos of the serene landscape of the Cotswolds, UK. Her narration is worthy of print. She makes me feel as if I am on the walk with her..except she never shares her hot chocolate ;-(  So as an ode to Gretel, I would like to take you all on a walk around my neck of the woods. Please stay with me until the end...I will reveal a secret.....OK, lets get our boots on!

About 4 minutes from my house is the well kept secret of the Whitney State Forest. It is about 147 forested acres with walking and horse trails. On the way there I spotted smoke coming from one of my neighbors homes. This made me smile as it brought back memories of 10 years ago when I first moved to Virginia. Just like today, I spotted smoke from the same home and immediately ran to call the fire department. Five minutes later all heck broke loose with firetrucks, paramedics and lot's of equipment. Add to all that,  loud sirens and you can get a mental picture of the scene. Turns out my neighbor was just burning brush.....hey I'm a city gal..how was I supposed to know! I was 'persona non grata' for quite a while.
                                                 
As we walk past this fire, try not to pay attention to the man yelling"Hey lady, it's just a brush fire!!!"
                                                  
 To the left of me is a little fence lined country drive with a beautiful old tree. I am told this giant has been struck by lightening multiple times and just refuses to give up...good for him! He looks so elegant hanging over the road.
                                                  
To my right you can make out the observation tower on the North Wales Estate. This is part of Warrenton Hunt country.

                                                  
Well here we are, lets take a look around
                                                  
The walking paths are wide and well cleared with the exception of a few inches of golden leaves. I seem to be the only one exploring today..so quiet.
                                       
All of a sudden a little flurry of aerial acrobatics is taking place over my head. It seems a group of Eastern Bluebirds are telling me to move on. Look close..the 3 center trees..in front of the right one, midway up..do you see him? A lovely bluebird.
                                                
The texture of this tree really got my attention..makes you wonder what going on under that bark. It was like this all the way up..very odd. Reminded me of that Science fiction movie where the guy had an alien being crawling under his skin....creepy!
                                                
Looks like a very cozy home for some little bird or animal. I can almost picture a tiny kitchen and living room with a big easy chair...something out of an Beatrice Potter book. Hey you..stop snickering..it could happen!
                                                
These little cut-out streams are a favorite of mine. In the spring I would love to sit and picnic here with my man. He is shaking his head no as I type ;-)
                                                
At first I thought this was a thick piece of rope,but as I got closer I found it to be a huge vine. Nature is so artistic.


Ummmm...do we go up the hill or left towards the pines??

Don't you just love the symmetry of these old skeletal white pines and that soft tuft of green on their heads. I decide to follow them down the trail.

                                  
In the past I have cut across the field to the right, however now it is thick with raspberry bushes that seem to be determined to prick me for a blood sample....Ouch! Let's find another trail.

Meandering up the path and as it opens up to a clearing, this fabulous old stone house sits on what I am sure was a lovely homestead at one time. Although very neglected now, one can still see it's great bone structure. I'm sure this home was filled with some wonderful memories of times gone by. Or maybe a regimen of Civil War Soldiers rested here on the way to the Battle of Bull Run or even Gettysburg. OK...again, this is my walk and I get to imagine whatever I want, so stop snickering.

This rotted branch reminded me of an ancient periscope..very interesting. Just when you think mother nature's color pallette only consists of browns, she throws you a curve ball..lovely red berries.
                            
And all of a sudden......there she is! Isn't she magnificent? Yes Gretel, we have manor houses here in Virginia also. Not as old as yours...but she is pretty. This is the beautiful North Wales estate and this home belonged to the car magnate Walter Chrysler. Thanks to some hard working folks, it is now all protected land.
                             
This my friends is the 'little' horse barn. Love their modesty.
                              
Gretel..this shot is for you...I thought it looked very similar to your favorite line of Cotwolds trees. As soon as I saw these, I thought of you. Enjoy this photo Gretel because I had to jump a fence to get this shot. Note to self...55 year old women should not jump fences ;-(

I spent about an hour walking over corn fields that all seemed to be sporting new crew cut hairdos. For about 30 minutes I had a little fawn following me while keeping well hid. I would stop to try to capture her on film, but no luck. I did find a huge oak tree that was shedding the most wonderful and large acorn caps. Perfect for my felted acorns..why didn't I think to wear something with pockets????                                               
It has been around two hours since I entered the forest and I can now reveal my little secret I had mentioned in the beginning of my post. Before I do, I need Gretel (the expert walker) to cover her eyes with her hands. The next few sentences are for everyone else but you Gretel...so close your eyes.
Ok..is she gone.....I can now admit to the rest of you that during most of this walk I was soooo freakin lost! Did not have a clue where I was or how to get back to the main entrance. I should have stayed on the designated paths, but noooo not me, I had to be adventurous. You should have seen me..as a small plane flew over me, I was waving to bring to his attention the fact that I was lost. He must of thought I was waving hello and he did some loop-d-loops to amuse me. This would NEVER happen to Gretel..I felt so ashamed. I got an F in nature walking! How could that be???? I could have sworn I heard the birds laughing at me. Go ahead..laugh little bird, but don't forget, I'm the one with the bag of bird seed.
                                                 
Ok Gretel, you can look now. If any of you guys tattle, you are off my blog list!
After walking about 15 minutes I stumbled..errr..I mean I expertly found this gate. To my delight...err..I mean my precise calcutaions, it was unlocked. Good thing it was not freezing because if it had been, this photo would be of me with my lips stuck to the metal, as I kissed it in gratitude. I followed the path back to the entrance and headed home.
                                          
I have one last photo for you Gretel. These are my lovely Pear trees and whether dressed in their finest green leaves or white flowers or just bare, I think you would agree that they are a work of art.
   Well that's it. Did I put anyone to sleep, I hope not. Thanks for staying with me to the end and if you have the time, do yourself a favor and visit Gretel in the Cotswolds. I have to warn you that she might become a lovely addiction.  Until next time, be kind and stay creative.

PS..to get a closer look, click on my photos!