Friday, January 20, 2017

After Christmas Chaos!

This week has been slow and unproductive, but I am finally getting back into the swing of things. I spent most of the week thinking about what to do and then decided it was time to finish my quilt top. I finally finished the last row. What I did was, quilt the front with the batting and no backing, next I added extra batting and will attach the back by adding tacking to the rows.

I thought it would be a good experiment to quilt without the back to make it easier and add the back, later. Not sure if that was a great idea, took me forever to hand quilt and still have to attach the back. I think the next one will be machine quilted and the future hand quilting will be done the right way;)

I got out my snap frame and realized I have no backing that fits, so I need to sew a few pieces together, then I can work on it this weekend. The quilt top was made by my friend Kelly, she sent me a couple to practice my quilting on.

I really make a mess at Christmas, making gifts and fun things for myself and I get messier and messier and now my room is total chaos. It is so bad, I hate going in, where do I start, lol. So, I got some new boxes and a lot of the unfinished things and excess will get put away for now and the extra boxes that are cluttering up the room will get cleared out and removed. I have plenty of fabric and patterns on the shelves, so I will work on using my stash and doing the patterns I have been putting off, the rest can wait. My tables are becoming storage units, so those will be cleared and things put where I can find them and maybe some wall bins to put in my scraps of wool. I like having the scraps nearby so I can use a piece when I want something for a small piece. I will also sell anything I have lost interest in, time to do the ones I want and not worry about having to make it all. Maybe use some of the material to make curtains, should be on my to do list. I used my wide angle, so the room looks wonky.

I also wanted to make a rug for my beach room, but I also know I have a long list of things I want to make and a rug would take up a lot of that time. I found a small blue jean rug in the store and got it since it was cheap and wanted to see how it looked in the room, I loved it. So, I searched on the web for the same brand and of course I couldn't find it. I inspected each type of jean rug until I found one that was closest to it and I love the new rug. It is darker than the other, I did like the lighter shades and it is larger than I wanted. I was looking for a 4' x 6' and this is 5' x 7', but it fits perfectly.

Now I feel like the room is a room and I will start working on cleaning out the junk that was in there and a blue jean quilt and matching pillows for the couch. Someday I will replace that with something I can use for guests, as well. Of course I need to make things for the walls and I have some quilts I have been wanting to make, folk art styles with ocean themes, so that will be my winter projects and the room will be ready for summer. It is a lot cooler down there, so it will be a nice retreat in the summer.

Not the best photo, the wide angle tends to fish eye on the lowest setting, but I wanted to get more of the room in. It makes the room look small and narrow. There is also a large closet in the back, needs to be cleaned out and I will have storage for my excess that I can hide away.

Tomorrow is going to be a nice day so we will be off on a hike. I am loving the weekend weather, love being able to get out and explore. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and find your own adventure.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekend Wanderings!

This weekend was nice, but cold. I still wanted to get out and as long as the sun is out, it is always a nice day for a ride. Saturday we went to Narragansett and Galilee. It is nice since we can stop in some stores on the way, then ride around the scenic route to enjoy views of the coastline.

Stopping in Galilee is always nice, we can sit and enjoy the views from the car. I did get out for some shots of the seagulls. A few were enjoying the day on the dock so I was able to get a nice close up of them.

I also caught this one, as it came flying in.

We decided to stop at Black Rock to get some photos and enjoy a short walk. Since I needed my hands to shoot photos, I kept taking my gloves off and it wasn't long before my fingers froze, way too cold but such a beautiful place with it's sculpted rocks.

We ended the day with the kids, who came over for dinner and some fun time with the kids. Here are my three favorite guys. I think Alex is going to be a smart alec like his brother, every time I go to take a photo, he makes a face at me. Very hard to get nice shots of the boys, but at least they are fun ones. Bean was playing roll the rock today, his favorite game.

Sunday I decided to go to Newport. It was sunny and a whole 10 degrees warmer, haha. I knew I didn't want to freeze again, so a ride to a few new places and around Ocean drive would be a nice way to enjoy the views without freezing. We stopped at a beach on the way and spotted this school. I looked it up and it is called St. Georges and for only 38,000 you can send your child there for the year, boarding is 59,000.

We got to our destination, Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge. I can't believe we never went here, it is beautiful. It has a path that goes around the point, with beautiful views of the ocean and the surrounding areas. I would love to come here to paddle, they do have launches in the area.

The trail is on the ocean and in between are acres of fields and brush for the wildlife and birds. We spotted a herd of deer in the field.

It is definitely a place you want to visit, if you are in the area. This time I wore a pair of old gloves, and I cut off the tip of my index finger so I could take photos. It was actually nicer and warmer by the shore, so we really enjoy spending time there and just strolling along the beach points. 

We drove home along Ocean ave, an area famous for their mansions. The problem was, it was getting later and the traffic had picked up in town, the wind had picked up and the temperatures were dropping, so we just drove along the route and enjoyed the views. 

Since it was still early for sunset, we headed home and stopped in Jamestown to catch the last of the sunset. We stopped at Fort Getty for a different perspective and the setting sun was casting beautiful colors across the bay. It was the perfect way to end our day. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed following me along, on mine.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Finish!

This was a slow week, did a lot of nothing and not sure where the time went, but it is friday again. I did manage to make a few new pieces to giveaway. I think these would be fun to give to someone who needs a little pick me up, during a tough time. They are from a free design that can be found at Free Christmas Coloring under angels.

I did one with tea stained muslin and one with a regular cotton.

We had rain and warmer temperatures so all of our snow melted. Bean loves snow but he also loves to play ball and he loves to do tricks. I was practicing with my new lenses and got some action shots, he sure makes a lot of funny faces and poses when he gets excited.

He never misses a chance to catch a ball.

There was a little snow left over, so we used it for snowball catching.

My son sent me a photo of Nick tonight, I guess he was too tired to eat dinner.

To end my night, I tried some shots of the moonrise. I wish I could have gone to the shore and taken it as it rose above the horizon. Hopefully we will have a clear night tomorrow and maybe catch a sunset or the moonrise, or both. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lots of Snow Weekend!

We got quite a bit of snow this weekend, so we couldn't go out for any long drives. I was upset about my lens being sent back so we called back and explained to the company, which was actually a foreign service but at least he connected us with the manager of the store. It would be nice if they actually had a number you could call, but  you get an automated message only and no way to talk to an actual person.

The manager was nice and she said she would call back but after two hours, I got tired of waiting. The snow was starting to fall so we headed to the store before it got worse. At that point I was tired of going in circles, so I stated that I didn't like the fact that I would have to buy another lens and since the standard lens was junk, I would want a better one which was twice the price. It still came back to the statement that they already sent it back to the warehouse. No idea why they just didn't shelf it and sell it again and what happens when it goes to the warehouse, it disappears? Haha.

So, we came to an agreement, I get to keep the wide angle for free, so I came out ahead on that since it cost more than the other. Then she said I could have a discount on a new lens, so how could I resist. I decided to go with a better quality 55mm, so I have something for regular shots and it is also nice for portraits.

Of course I had to try out my new lenses, but even with the sun out, the roads were snow covered and slippery.

The first is with the Zoom. I usually shoot at 200, since the full 300 will come out blurry. I shot this from the porch and Bill and Bean are in the back yard. I was hiding under the umbrella, the boys didn't seem to care that it was near blizzard conditions.

This was a phone shot, Bean would stay out, till he turned into a popsicle.

Since we got a late start Sunday, we headed to the village. The first stop was the wharf. As usual the sun was in the wrong position but I caught this cute little guy, hiding in the pots, to keep warm. They like to eat the bugs and things that are on the seaweed that sticks to the cage.

On the other side, I noticed some sailboats, so had to go check it out. It was cold and windy, I would not want to be in a boat now.

In town is another wharf, where you can sit and enjoy the views. 

I was just about to take a photo of the seagull, sitting on the post, when he decided to fly off.

The last stop was at the town launch. It seems someone forgot to bring their boat in. I love the coves in the winter, but it is so cold, I had to give up and go home, to warm up. I hope you enjoyed seeing our town in the winter.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Finishes and Fotos!

This week was a slow one for me, I think the holidays wore me out and I just need some rest time. I love to do simple projects while I watch tv when I am resting, so I worked up a few stitcheries this week.

The first is from Kathy Schmitz's One stitch at a time club. The sample was done as a pin cushion, but as usual I changed it and added some words for fun. They will be fun to use as bowl fillers for Easter.

The second was a freebie from Kathy, Strawberry pincushions. The only thing I did different was to change the topper, keeping mine simple and more prim. The colors are off, it is darker and done on tea stained muslin, but I had to use my zoom to get photos tonight.

Another thing I did this week was take back my wide angle lens. I decided I would be better off with a zoom, so Bill took it back and ordered the zoom and I got that, this week. The problem is, I went to take photos tonight and realized the wide angle was on the camera, ughs, I took back the wrong lens. I cannot believe they didn't check the box, I could have put junk in there, for all they knew. So now I have to get up there and give them the right lens and hope mine is still there. 

I took a few photos to try it. For some reason, no birds were around when I wanted them to be, lol. But, a woodpecker was busy in my neighbor's tree so I took a few shots. He was a good distance up and the limbs made it hard to focus well, but I think it came out nicely, considering.

I also tried taking photos of Bean, but he does not stay still. I got one as he was coming back with a stick. I cropped it to close up and I think I got nice definition for a crop of a zoom. Usually if i do this, all I get is a blurry object and Bean was in motion. Hopefully we can get out on Sunday, seems we have a storm coming in tomorrow. We will need to get out and get supplies and things before it hits. I hope you all stay safe from the storms and enjoy your weekend.

Monday, January 2, 2017

How we spent our New Years!

This weekend we stayed close to home and no partying for us, I had enough of that in my younger days;) Saturday we stayed home most of the day, but I got bored and we took a trip to the antique store. I needed some lavender and they carry fresh, by the scoop, so I am all set for making sachets to add to my boxes when I restore things. It is a great way to keep the moths away and the musty smells from my basement.

Sunday was our big day. The day there is a polar bear plunge in almost every town near the ocean. We decided to go to our local plunge and luckily the temps went up to 45 that day, haha. I was surprised to see so many kids at the plunge and a few old timers, but I also noticed a lot of people just ran in and ran out, no dunking. At ours, people pay a fee to participate and bring a jar of peanut butter for the local food pantry, so it is all for a good cause.

Here are a few photos I took, the tide was going out at the town beach, so not only was it further to run in, but further to get back out to a warm towel.

After a rest and warm up at home, we went back out for a walk at Fort Getty, while the sun was out. Bean was very excited when he saw where we ended up, one of his favorite places. We walk down to some inlets, where he can run off leash.

Through the maze of rocks to get to the beach.

Lots of room to run and play, though he didn't seem to understand it was not a good time to go in the water.

On the way back, we stopped at the other side for some views of the inner bay and the Dutch Island lighthouse. When I was little, we took our little boat to the island for picnics and exploring.

After a ride up to the other lighthouse I realized how close we were to sunset. I hated missing out, but I didn't want to sit in the car that long and it was getting colder, so no more walking. Instead, we went to the other side of the island to Fort Wetherill to see what the sunset was like there.

The sun was right at the opening of the channel and casting beautiful glows across the water. I wish I could have gotten a nicer photo, one of those things, you have to be there.

The sun sets fast, but we got up the hill on the other side to catch the last golden colors as it streaked across the sky. I added a saying to the photo, it seemed perfect for this one.

On the way home it was dark and the village was all lit up. This is a set of stores on the dock, my camera decided to light it up for me, so it looks like twilight instead of night. I hope everyone had a wonderful week and ready to get back to creating again. I have two pieces I made and more this week, so there will be some new things on Friday.

If you are a cat lover and looking for a free project, Theodore Cleave is offering free cat designs that you can use in a quilt. She also offers fun buttons that you can add to your pieces, that match her designs.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Vacation!

Bill always gets the holiday week off, so we took advantage of the time to get out and do some exploring. It is also a great time to use the coupons and sales to get some needed items like a new coat. I finally found one that is duck cloth, warm inner but not heavy so I can have something to wear when we go on adventures.

We had one day that was considered warm, warm enough that my hands didn't freeze, that is. It was a great day to go for a drive and enjoy the ocean. It seems everyone was out enjoying it, as well. A few were doing some parasailing which looks like fun to me, though I am not sure I have the strength to control the sail.

Lots of surfers, birds and action going on at the beaches, but I realize, I need a zoom to get good shots of those. I did catch this little guy who was running back and forth on the beach.

The treat was, as we were coming home, the sun was going down. We went down a side road and stopped at the pond to watch the sunset. A wonderful way to end a day.

Another day we went to the Watch Hill lighthouse. It was a bit cool and breezy but a perfect place to sit in the car and just enjoy the views. From here you can see the rhode island and the long island sounds.

Today we went to go to a park on the opposite side of Westerly. The river runs through Rhode Island, and empties into the ocean. The park was small but a nice little walk with views of a graveyard across the river.

I found a road from here that took us across, into Connecticut and to Barn Island. We have been here to paddle, and I wanted to just go for the views.

When we got there, I noticed a lot of people parked at the hiking trails. We have never been on the trails, I assumed they were just short walks to look at the estuaries and it was too swampy to walk. Well, I had to go check it out and I was surprised to see nice trails that led through the area with views of the inlets and areas in the woods.

Lots of old growth trees, reformed by the weather and storms.

We even got to see a blue heron, another time I wish I had a zoom. The area is so beautiful and peaceful, definitely coming back to do more hiking when it isn't so cold.

Before we headed home, we went further down so I could get some shots of a church with my wide angle. I plan on using churches in my area to do new pieces, so I took shots and this one was an experiment in art photography, you can see some of the church, lots of character for a new piece.

I hope everyone is having a nice week and rested from the holiday festivities. I did make something new this week, but was so tired when we got home, I didn't get a chance to finish it off. A few more days of goofing off and then it is time to start working on my projects again. I hope it will be a productive year for all of you. May the new year bring good health and blessings to you all.