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Saturday, June 28, 2014

First week of SUMMER, visiting a zoo and more...



Sunday, the first full day of summer, we drove to Tulsa to walk through their zoo. It was not a boiling hot summer day, cool breezes abounded .......and things at the zoo were very well kept, clean and green. Benches in the shade too!
I loved the flamingos and other tropical birds...especially the "Red and Yellow Barbet" from east Africa.
So colorful...this is the male, he has a black stripe on his throat. Below, this female shows the wonderful dappled polka dot black and white, so dramatic with the bright red and yellow!
We found a friendly zoo employee to take our photo....(what, we're not whippersnappers anymore???? Oh well!)
My favorite exhibit is the Central American rainforest....the tour starts where you walk with a view of the underwater world and tree roots....here the water level is just above my shoulder.
Watch out for the powerful anaconda.....huge and submerged with only his nostrils above water! Climbing higher you see exotic tree frogs and tropical birds.
There was also a jaguar in this zoo jungle!
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One good day this week, I was able to get my hands on the Spring 2014 Patagonia catalog....our son is a rock climber who was camping the year before with a photographer.....long story short.....Andrew is on page 26. The photo credit say he is planning his climbing route in the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho.
How cool is that? I think I posted this before...but not from my own catalog...teehee! [ I had requested it several times from their webpage and even corporate office....I guess it was intercepted by postal workers along the way!.... I knew summer was here and the catalog would be out of date soon....so I pulled into our lovely locally owned PackRat outdoor store and sure enough they had the catalog and even extra copies to give me! what nice, good looking young men they were to make my day! Whoo-hoo!]
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I went to several quilting events this week and took along my big stitch hand quilting project.....the "Liberty Road" summer quilt. It was a big hit! I am using a sashiko needle and # 12 perle cotton for the stitching!
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A friend had surgery this week and is home recuperating. I wanted to make them a special blueberry dessert.
I decided on this layered blueberry "pie" from an Alaska baking webpage.
Preheat oven to 350.
Start with 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of flour (gluten free). Blend well. Add 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Press into one 9x13 or two 8" pans. Bake 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and COOL!

Meanwhile have 1 8 oz. package of. Neufch√Ętel cheese in a bowl at room temperature. Blend in 1 cup powdered sugar then 1 8 oz tub of Cool Whip or whipped cream which you whip.
Eventually, spread over the COOL baked crusts.
Place in fridge while you make the blueberry layer.
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and 4 T. Cornstarch.
Add 1 cup water then stirring constantly over low heat, dissolve sugar and cornstarch. Keep stirring until mixture thickens. Add 2 T. Dry Raspberry jello powder. Turn off heat. Immediately add 1quart of fresh or frozen blueberries.


COOL THIS completely. [one hour in the fridge!]
When cool, spread over the cream cheese/ coolwhip layer.
Finally top with more whipped white stuff.....and then a few blueberries or chopped walnuts on the very top!

ta-da!
Delicious....like eating a blueberry cloud.....
That's enough for this first week of summer!
OOOps...one more thing...
Two little sundresses or nightgowns for the twinkies in Georgia!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solstice evening, here comes summer!

Spending a quiet evening at home... Working on blocks for my summer quilt!

This has been fun! It keeps growing! Can't decide if I should make one for sale on ETSY or not!

I have plans to make some tote bags and smaller bags in ticking and "French General" type fabrics...reds, creams, tans stripes and florals along with bits of lace, antique buttons, etc.

More later if those are created!!!!

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I love this photo taken this evening in Roswell, GA. Celebrating the longest day of the year, my daughter, Laura (blonde) and her hubby along with my granddughter, Lilia....who is 15 next month! Love that they are spending good times together!

 

 

 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

All it took was a look at this photo....

 

Emailed to me by my friend Gayle....to make me obsess on making this quilt for summer!

"Liberty Road" it is called....and you can get the pattern at Connecting Threads quilt shop (on line) or from Etsy.

The Google images of other quilt tops from this pattern are not plentiful...but there is this one...

So Gayle and I are both working on these flag quilts, hunting and sharing fabrics. Some from local shops some from the Internet And even some from our stashes!

I'll post some blocks once they are underway!

At the moment, I have finished the Sunday Morning quilt top...putting backing together now....

And I am deep into making blocks for this "Sweet Memories" quilt. I am making it much larger, big enough for a twin bed....it uses polka dot background fabrics and soft florals....love it!

These blocks get trimmed down to 8" squares...I need about 80!

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These are perfect June days! Great to be alive days.....hard to stay inside days! We are going to the Tulsa zoo tomorrow for Father's Day ......hope this beautiful weather holds!

The garden has had plenty of rain lately, so the tomatoes are doing well! Here is the "indigo rose" tomato..

It is a new hybrid variety, I couldn't resist the name! I have never seen tomatoes line up in rows like this!

So shiny too! They will be almost black (indigo?) outside and deep red inside....fun!

Hens and chicks plant from my same friend, Gayle is about to break out of the planter....yikes!

[I like to recycle my broken dishes into garden decor.....sign of a true pack rat? Or just a visual artist?]

The yellow snapdragons are wonderful now! They reseed too!

Back inside, I am working on a painting of my granddaughter, Nina, seeing the ocean for the first time....from a photo her mother took.

Painting is more mentally and emotionally demanding than patchwork.....so I tend to take the easier route for my hobby....more sewing....sigh! Oh well, I'm definitely a fabriholic!

 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

More quilting, garden moments and painting possibilities ...

" I dwell in possibility"......Emily Dickinson

What to do today....work on paintings? I have several canvases "gessoed" and ready....the studio is pleasant, too!

This bouquet I keep working with.....enjoying the process....

I have some quilts in progress too...the one below is another low volume, Sunday Morning (from the book by that name) quilt...should I put it together?

....One thing seems to be emerging....from my possibilities.....I will work on a blogging post! LOL!

...flash back to the last post...I have finished the strawberry pink binding on this quilt...my scrappy, chunky, perle cotton quilted, English floral quilt! love it, it is so light and fluffy, not weighted down with heavy quilting!

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Yesterday, when I got home from work, I sat in my quiet garden corner....doing nothing for a while...just dwelling and resting.

Drinking in the lovely evening ...

[you know iPads have a super resolution camera when they capture wrinkles and pores which don't show up in the mirror! LOL!]

Looking at my little garden patch, I found some strawberries starting to ripen! Wow!

I wonder if some creature will get to them before we decide they are ready to eat?

From this little patch where I scattered leaf lettuce seed in March, we are getting several salads per week now!

Reading is another possibility.....I was reading this book this morning....

I got it for $1.50 at our library used book shop. It was published in 1973. I love books from that era...I was a newly wed bride. Making quilts for my home was something I really hoped to do! This book reminds me of the beginnings of that adventure!

I smile as I read..."Quilting has certain advantages over other forms of needlework. For one thing, it's far less expensive than most. There is no need to go to an expensive shop for supplies and instructions. Once the basics are mastered, the crafter can duplicate any quilted item simply by studying it. The materials can be cut from old clothes,* sheets! and slipcovers that had been intended for no better use than dust rags. At worst, materials can be purchased for the most nominal sums as remnants at fabric outlet shops. The most extravagant piece of equipment is a sewing machine, which most women probably already own.** And even that is not absolutely necessary. After all, our ancestors did some remarkable work without them."

Oh, for those frugal times, not spending $11.00 /yard for designer cotton fabrics resulting in quilt tops alone which cost upwards of $150.00... !

* I did cut up some summer pj's to use in my "low volume" quilt! along with lots of remnants!

**over the years I have had several sewing machines! I think there are 6 down there now....no wonder I feel that I should always be doing/making something, to justify having them! Oh my!

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Back to those canvases now...maybe while listening to an audio book! One way to do 2 things at once!

 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

A garden, a quilt and strawberry pink.....

The flowers along the driveway are really pretty today! We have had a rainy spring!

Knockout style roses and "Stella Dora" day lilies are neighbors to petunias and yarrow.

This thyme has been here many years and is doing well, I would never have imagined that it would develope a woody, branching interior!

A bush full of pink roses is just past peak bloom!

As I walk across the yard, I notice dramatic clouds moving across the sky.....

It seems I have little sunlight remaining next photo, of some pink lilies...the background has become so dark along with the sky!

In the backyard, I photograph my yellow snapdragons and pink strawberry plants. I think some other creatures are eating any strawberries that are developing.....

 

 

Just now, friend comes by, after a trip to northeast Arkansas, bringing us a quart of berries grown there!

Delightful! More flavorful than the big California and Florida berries, these are a real treat!

Here they are, with a quilt for which I am choosing a binding fabric, the strawberry pink fabric, on the chair arm, is my likely choice.

This is a "chunky", "scrappy" quilt with 5 inch pink red aqua and green squares set among Cath Kidson and Laura Ashley fabric scraps. It is quilted with big stitches using perle cotton in a deep pink shade!

Now to make some shortcake to go with the vanilla ice cream and beautiful strawberries!

 

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