Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Not much happening here in the house above Heck Creek to write about.  To date January has been very cold and mostly cloudy.  (So much for those predictions I saw last fall for a warmer than average winter.)  The warmest place in the house is in the front room by the wood stove.  I just want to sit there and doze.

Ralph has been organizing the shop area.  It really hasn't been usable since we've moved in.  I would like to carve out a spot to do some glass work.  I unpacked a few bits from before the move and hung them in the windows to add a little color to the gray days.

above the kitchen sink

in the bedroom window

And I continue to make blocks for my winter sampler quilt.

paper-pieced teapot and cups

appliqued mittens

If I ever get this quilt finished I may not do applique again--I  find it tedious and I'm never quite satisfied with the results.  Three appliqued dilly birds and another mitten to go.

Friday, December 29, 2017

New Zealand Part 2

More photos...

Penguins at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life aquarium.

Rhiannon and Robyn at Kelly Tarlton's.

 Robyn and Rhiannon under a massive fig tree in the Auckland Domain.

Ralph with delphiniums in a Winter Garden greenhouse in the Auckland Domain.

The beach at Piha.

 Black sand eroded from volcanic rock--very hot in the sun!

 See the bit of red in the center of the photo?  That's Rhiannon.

The New Zealand Maritime Museum has everything from Maori canoes to the America's Cup sailboats.

The giant dandelion sculpture in the Sculptureum outdoor sculpture garden.  Umbrellas were provided for sun shade.

Rhiannon and Robyn with a giant green rabbit.

We took a ferry from Auckland to the volcanic island Rangitoto.  Then we boarded a tractor pulled tram for a tour of the island.

Robyn and Tim in a lava flow.

The Auckland skyline from Rangitoto island.

Pohutakawa, the New Zealand "Christmas tree".  Merry Christmas Kiwis. 

New Zealand Part 1

A small selection of photos from our recent trip to New Zealand...

 Robyn and Tim must live on the steepest street in Auckland.

The Auckland Botanical Garden was full of sculptures and flowers--quite a change from the winter cold we left in North Carolina.

 A New Zealand wood pigeon in the botanical garden.

The Auckland Art Museum.

Blown glass spheres and an arch of glass rods in the sculpture garden at Lava Glass.

Robyn, Pop and Tim admiring the small blown glass flowers at Lava Glass.

 Large blown glass flowers at Lava Glass.

Rhiannon and Robyn at Huka Honey.

At Lake Taupo, we went on a sailboat excursion.  Rhiannon photographed Robyn and Tim on the prow of the boat.

Lake Taupo and shoreline from the boat.

Maori rock carvings on Lake Taupo.

A black swan.

A tree fern overhead at Sanctuary Mountain in Maungatautari.

A tree fern crozier.

 Robyn and Rhiannon at Maungatautari.

The Kakas very obligingly allowed us to photograph them in the clearing at Maungatautari.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dark, Dreary, Snowy Sunday

It's been snowing all morning.  The temperature is right around freezing and the ground is warm, so there will be no accumulation.

It's the kind of dark, dreary day when I feel sleepy all day and nothing gets done. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Beautiful Fall Day

Looking East

After two and a quarter inches of rain yesterday, today was a bright, breezy, beautiful day.  Too bad I had to stay inside most of it working on getting health insurance to supplement Medicare.

Looking south
Overall, this year is not going to be one of the best for color.   The sourwoods and maples are showing a bit of red.  And the beeches near the well house are a bright yellow.  The poplars have already dropped most of their leaves.  Still a lot of green though.

Looking west
We may get the first frost this week.  It's a little late this year.  All the tender plants came inside last week and most of the garden has been put to bed, so we're ready.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ball Jar

There's an old home place down by Heck Creek on our land.  Nothing is left of the house except a pile of rocks where the chimney used to be and some trash piles.  Ralph found this mason jar near the remains of the root cellar.  The rim is broken but it doesn't show if I screw on this old lid I had.  It's a beautiful color in the late afternoon sun.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Stash Bee

This year I have been participating in the Stash Bee.  The bee is run online with ten members of the hive making a quilt block from their stash as requested by the 11th member, the "queen".  Here are my blocks for January through October.  I'm the queen in November.

In January the hive "momma", Tracy, was the queen.  She asked the bee to make bear paw blocks.  

 February's queen, Paula, requested this heart block in a bright color.

In March we made our favorite star block in coral and aqua for queen Lee.  Of course, I made a paper pieced star plus two starlets.

For April's block, queen LisaJ designed a block based on the Carigan Saliere flag.  LisaJ wanted a red, white and blue or navy blocks.

May's block as requested by queen Susan was called Celtic family ties.

In June, queen Rose asked for the block scrap bin geese in aqua with gray.

July's queen Meredith asked for help making a quilt for her son and soon to be daughter-in-law.  She requested a strip and flip block in orange and blue, the couple's favorite colors.

In August Michelle asked for log cabins in blue and orange.  She was going to mix and match them into bento box blocks.

An original block designed by queen Pam was our task for September.  She left the color choices up to each  of us.

In October queen Lisa requested a great granny block in red, white and blue for a quilt she is making for a military couple.  I didn't notice until after I had sewn my block--I made a stars and stripes block. 

And November is my month to be queen!