Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little flowers

I couldn't resist taking these two pictures of tiny, tiny flowers (weeds?!) growing in the very dry lawn. The pictures are very nearly actual size. 

The top picture is a lovely star shaped "flower" with very minute little purple flowers nestled in the grass around. Anyone who is really a gardener or botanist can tell that the top (white) flower is actually the dried remnant of a dandelion.  I thought it was very pretty,

And here is a dandelion in flower, familiar to all of us, but very small (same size as it's mate (brother, cousin?) in the top picture. They were within inches of one another.

I have noticed these and other very small flowers in my badly cared for lawn (it's only mowed by a lawn care company) which needs grass planted at whatever the appropriate time is.  It needs to be watered but we are approaching drought conditions and many Cape communities have banned grass watering. Hyannis has not done so yet, I think they are remiss in that area.  Looking out my window or sitting on my little patio beside a lush lawn is a pretty thing to do .... but I'm glad it isn't being watered. 

Monday, July 04, 2016

A young celebrant this July 4th

Little Silas is almost for months old, but you can see he is already patriotic and happily celebrating the red, white and blue, even waving a flag.

His mama is my granddaugher Cori who likes taking photos of the children (he has three older siblings). She also makes baby shoes and sells them on Etsy, his elfin footwear is an example.

When I saw him this afternoon at a family cookout he was still wearing the shorts but not the drapery.  I think he was also more wide awake and happier early in the morning.

Here on Cape Cod we are enjoying perfect holiday weather, a cloudless sky, a nice breeze most of the day. A delicious family cookout and tonight, when (his mama hopes) Silas will be soundly asleep, a fireworks display.

We are by no means alone; it look as if every driveway in town has several extra cars parked in it; I  suspect the population of our little peninsula has double in the last couple of days.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rose everywhere

The season  marches along predictably.  The summer solstice is upon us and the spring flowers are gone. In the past two week roses have burst into bloom all over town. These are along a fence of a home -- one of many, many.  They are fragrant!  Which is somewhat remarkable today. But I literally "smelled the roses" as I stooped to get a nice close photo.  The rhododendruns are still out but beginning to fade.  The kousa dogwoods which are so abundant you'd think they were native to the area (they're Asian) are magnificent tall towers of white blooms.  On the beaches the rosa rugosas are in full bloom, pink, red and white -- they too are fragrant, being wild and natural. Soon the hydrangeas will add blue and purple and fuschia to the mix.  This is a very, very beautiful place!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Blue Log Cabin Quilt

I love log cabin quilts.  I love blue.  I have a big stash of blue scraps -- well, now I have a somewhat smaller stash of blue scraps.  Sometimes I have an impulse to make a specific quilt and just do it. That's what happened here.  It's throw size.  I used up nearly all the lighter blues and did not want to purchase more because I wanted it to be entirely a scrap quilt.  So it's not as large as I might have made. Both color and traditional pattern make me happy

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Laura Wasilowski,

Laura Wasilowski is a well known quilter whose bright compositions are mostly fused, not appliqued.  She was today's speaker at the Bayberry Quilt Guild's final meeting of the season.  Although most of her luggage didn't arrived in Providence, R.I., when she and her husband landed yesterday, and hasn't caught up with them yet, she had her computer with a well arranged slide show and she had her very funny stand-up comic routine. 

Speakers usually tell us about their methods or their quilting history, show us some of their work (which she could have done had it arrived) but most speakers don't have the sense of humor and the prepared material to do a half hour or more of really very funny talking about her self and her quilting -- throwing in quite a few songs about everything from adopting her husband's Polish name to her mythological Chicago School of Fusing.  She is a sponatneous artist, she dies all her own fabric and thread and simply gets an idea and begins cutting up fabric that has been fused.  She keeps the trimmed scraps and incorporates them in future work.

It was a complete surprise to most of us that we would be so entertained and laugh so much -- we loved it. I wish all the speakers had her poise --  it's impossible to wish for her sense of humor because that is a totally personal trait.  And her delivery was perfect.  She will not fade in my memory as so many other speakers   already have.

Monday, May 16, 2016

An experiment in flower making

This is a detail of a small quilt of branches of a spring flowering tree. I had magnolias in mind but they're looking a bit more cherry blossom-y.

The method was :  I layered four pieces of fabric. The top is the green hand dyed background of the design. Underneath is ivory, light pink and deeper pink. I added the branches which are zigzag stitched on.  The I snipped into all three fabrics so I had six sections which I turned back and ironed -- that is tricky because they don't want to be ironed.  Then I filled the empty middle space with a knot of a strip of one, and sometimes two, of the pinks.  The knots seems to be a tightly furled bud with petals opening around it.  I tacked the end of the knoted pieces in back so they would not slip around.

I used a picture from a book of Japanese arts for the placement of twigs and flowers, but I'm not very happy with my choice.  Nevertheless, it's a few limbs.  I will include the full picture of this little quilt, which I have finished with a pillow case style backing and a narrow band of hot pink piping at the edge. I think of this as mainly an experiment.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Waiting for Spring to Spring Forth

No, the hydrangias, as in the new header photo, are not out yet -- the rhododendrons and azeleas aren't either.  Every season here has a different rhythm. It's definitely spring but the forsythia didn't open until near the end of April instead of early on as they usually do.  A chill, sometimes very cold (even snowy) wind slowed their opening. That same kind of chill in the air has had them clinging, now a tired old gold instead of the original gay, sweet yellow, the leaves are timidly trying to emerge.  The rhododendrons hesitate with tightly furled buds, not ready to open at all.  Some azeleas, if they have been planted in reasonably sheltered spots where they get whatever sun the stingy sky has offered have opened but cling in a bewildered, slump-shouldered way.  The daffodils and narcissus have opened and seem to stand around bewildered that time, for them is standing still. 

Meanwhile rain has fallen every day for a week. The pundits say there's a "low pressure system" stuck above Cape Cod.  I  look out my window now at fog; it is soft and a bit romantic but I am terribly tired of it. Spring is late; we had only two days when people thought it had arrived.  I watch people and see many have pulled out their flipflops. How cold their toes look. Here men of all ages seem to think wearing shorts is a delight, they look silly with their bony knees, hair legs above their socks and sneakers or other shoes.  I remember my fashionable earlier days with short skirts and panty hosed legs and being very, very chilly in such weather.  I don't do that any more.  I haven't even pulled out the short sleeved tee shirts -- or the flip flops. Maybe sometime next week ... if the weather changes.  In former years there have been wonderful April days when  I walked on my favorite beach, bare foot, along the tide line enjoying the coolness of the water around my ankles. I have not even been to the beach -- the wind has been forbidding.

But "true" spring will come. The rosa rugosa will bloom, the  plovers and terns will nest, and I will be able to go to the beach, find a quiet spot and do the tai chi easy which involves a period of deeply breathing that air off the water and contemplating the blue of the water and sky and perhaps some fluffy cumulus clouds drifting by, utterly peaceful, with no intent of spilling more rain.