Archive for October, 2009

Stitches East 2009

Lucas, Anne, Janice, SuzanneLast week a group of us went to Hartford CT for Stitches East 2009.  For the uninitiated, this is a premier event for fiber people, full of vendors selling yarn and other fibers and all the stuff you need to work with it.  It is a market style show, though they do offer several days of classes, some short workshops and lectures, and a fashion show.

We left early and arrived in plenty of time to find a parking place and buy tickets before the doors opened.  show floorThe booths were full of everything you can imagine.  I got permission to take a few photos of  knitting on the big sock.  Go here for more info on this effort at a world record.  It’s going to be BIG when it’s all done.  The big sock people were giving out cute little froggy buttons in exchange for putting in the allotted stitches.  I did my part.

Since I already have way too many knitting projects in the queue, I came home with very little yarn.  Instead I selected some embellishments:  beads, buttons, silk “ribbons” and a little skein of sumptuous silk something from the Habu folks.

knitting on the big sock

On the way home, we took a little detour to visit Lucas’ animals – sheep, llama, and alpaca.  Lucas put out some hay and they all came running.  It was fun to see them up close and to be able to feel their incredible softness.  Cute, aren’t they?

Lucas' animalsLucas' animals



When we added the screened porch to our home, it was to be able to enjoy the outdoors without the black flies and mosquitoes.  It has worked very well to that purpose, but yesterday and today it was keeping things in.  Here’s the story:  The door parts had separated  and the door was dragging along the deck floor.  It’s been that way most of the summer and we waited until the bugs were gone to take it down for repair.  It’s been in the shop gluing for a few days and yesterday I was surprised to find a small downy woodpecker trapped on the porch.  He was frantic, hopping along the screen and calling out.  I put on leather gloves and got a towel, gently covered him, pried him off the screen, and released him out the open doorway.  No harm done.

blue jay feathersI was surprised again today to find a little chickadee trapped inside.  I tried the same tack but I couldn’t pry him off the screen.  So I used the towel to move him toward the opening until he freed himself.  I thought that was it until I found these 4 beautiful blue jay tail feathers on the porch.  I guess he got trapped, lost his feathers trying to get out through the little holes of the screen, and finally managed to find the doorway.

I’m pleased to say the door is now repaired and hanging once more.  And the birds are safely outside where they are free.

Tentative set

Finally I have 80 log cabin blocks sewn and squared up for my daughter’s and son-in-law’s wedding quilt.  I’m waiting on final approval of this barn raising set before I start sewing them all together.log cabin squares

It’s been awhile…

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this space.  It feels like I’ve been going non-stop and the days have just slipped by.  First, there was the big reorganization at Six Loose Ladies which took the better part of two days and was exhausting.  Then there was the quilt guild meeting and trying to line up a quilter for Ellen and Doug’s log cabin quilt (pictures of the top coming soon), my regular workday, and a trip to Stitches East 2009 in Hartford, CT (also with pix coming soon).  The day after that I started a two day watercolor class and stayed up late to watch a silly baseball game.  No wonder I’m tired.

Since I don’t have the quilt top all together yet and the photos of Stitches East are on someone else’s camera and I’m waiting for them to come my way, I’m posting pictures of my watercolors.  The class was with Robert Sydorowich who has a very loose impressionistic style.  I was hoping to gain more experience with washes and allowing the colors to blend together; I was marginally successful but I think I learned alot.

So here they are for what they’re worth.  I’ve included the original photos for the landscapes – You can see I’ve taken some artistic license.

DSCN1138DSC_33Hawaii beach


Mt Okemo from Town Farm Road




More Fall foliage… with a cruel twist

Fall colorsWe have a stand of trees along the edge of the woods that took my breath away the other day.  Of course, a photo takes away the personal human element we bring to seeing something.  I learned that a long time ago while photographing distant sailboats…  but that’s another post.  Suffice it to say that the camera captures what is there without all the experiences that are behind the human eye.  So when the sun was shining on this stand of trees, to my mind it was spectacular.  The photo is still lovely and captures the essence of what my mind saw.

DSCN1080And then this morning, we woke to snow.  We all know it’s coming, it’s just rather early.  And we know it won’t be sticking around long and is just a foreshadowing of things to come – at least we hope so.  Our little town would be in dire straits were it not for “the mountain”.  We got about 2″ of soggy, wet stuff.

first snow

This poor little garden frog looks frigid.  Guess it’s time to bring him in… or knit him a sweater and an afghan.

snowy garden frog

Most of the snow is melted now, except for some sheltered patches in the woods.  There was even a silly robin in the yard who must not have gotten the memo that winter is on the way.  He had a little suitcase with him though.  Guess he’ll be headed out soon.

Fall foliage tour

Yes, I promise some foliage pictures, but first an update on the magnificent Shaggy Inkcap mushroom of the other day.  Here’s what it looked like yesterday.  It seems the cap is dripping away.  It is still pretty impressive.

Shaggy Inkcap

So now for the colors.  We had some friends visiting from England and wanted to show them around.  The day was mostly sunny and the drive did not disappoint.

The Barker FarmFall colorFall colors on South HillFall colors

We also passed this huge wasp nest…

wasp nest

and this interesting system for stretching the trellis lines for this new vineyard.  It made for interesting kinetic sculpture with the rocks suspended from the cut branches.  I hope the owners have cozy blankets for those new little plants.

Trellis supports

Images from my walk today

It is a perfect Fall day, a little cloudy with a stiff breeze, but cool and crisp and lovely, just right for a walk into town.  Yesterday I had noticed this large mushroom as we were driving by.  Spectacular, isn’t it?  There is a black tarry substance dripping from the bottom edge.  It is at least 12″ tall.  At this site, it looks like it might be a Shaggy Inkcap (Coprinus comatus).  What a great name for a mushroom.  And what a nice site for identification.

giant mushroom

The “”wild” apple trees that line our road are full of fruit these days.  I’m sure when this was the road to the town farm, as it’s name Town Farm Road suggests, these were a major source of food for the locals.

apple trees along Town Farm Road

And of course, the colors are in beautiful array at this time of year.  Here’s but one little colorful snippet.

Fall leaves

And one of the mountain:

Okemo Mountain

When I got home, this interesting rainbow was arched over Ludlow beyond our neighbor’s house.  It was rather flat and settled down in the valley.  Perhaps it was because we were actually above it at our altitude.



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