Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Laundry Miracle

My favorite snuggly jacket had a big mystery spot - right in the front! B's new jacket had grease on the arm and my ivory table cloth had numerous spots after a family birthday dinner. I didn't think anything I had in my laundry arsenal would be up to the job.

I'm not usually an impulse buyer, but at the checkout counter at A. C. Moore there was a small bottle with the label "Grandma's Secret Spot Remover." I asked the cashier what she knew about it, and while she hadn't used it, she said other people reported good results. Being a skeptic, I hesitated to spend $4.00 from my "craft money." Then I balanced $4.00 against the cost of 1. A new jacket for me 2. A new jacket for B 3. a new tablecloth.

Yes, I bought "Grandma's Secret Spot Remover!" And I'm glad I did! See my jacket? No spot! I dabbed the remover on all the spots and worked it in, waited 5-10 minutes, washed the spots by hand then put the garments in the machine. All the spots came out!

Here it is. It's only 2 ounces - but are they powerful!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall Foliage in Connecticut

We hadn't returned to New England during the fall since we left Maine twenty-one years ago. So we were eager to experience a New England fall. What an experience it is! We toured the North East Corner of Connecticut. So many apple orchard/farm stands. In one mile there were three!!
This lovely tree was in a rest area off I-81 in Pennsylvania. Notice the red barn in the background. It was a cloudy, misty day.

These apples were at Rogers Orchard in Southington, CT. Their cider donuts were to die for! We had cider and donuts and took home the best apple pie I ever ate! We also bought a bag of "Honey Crisp" apples -my new favorite variety. They were crisp, juicy and sweet! What a treat with a tub of caramel dip. Yummy!

I also bought some shell beans. My neighbor in Maine used to give me shell beans from her garden.
This mill pond and buildings were part of a cluster of buildings that were full of shops. There was a mill race where the water was rushing through.
Aren't these decorative gourds - decorative? Don't you love fall in New England!

Coming soon - our stay at the Daniel Rust House, a B&B in Coventry, Connecticut!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Somerset, Virginia Views

B asked me if I wanted to go for a ride. As a surprise he took me to the Somerset Country Store and bought me a barbecue sandwich. The store sits at the intersection of routes 231 and 20 in a very scenic area a few miles away from Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison. I love barbecue - southern genes I think. We took our sandwiches and drove down the road and picnicked and enjoyed the scenery.
We parked beside a country church and enjoyed this view. There was a very friendly cat who was curious about us.

Across the street was this field of soybeans that were turning yellow. You can see the mountains in the background. It was a lovely picnic and a nice surprise!

Check out Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recycling a Pepsi Bottle

Most of us recycle. Where I live in Virginia they pick up trash but they don't pick up recyclables. So we have plastic trash cans where we keep our glass, cans and plastic until we take them to the County Center. We also recycle paper and cardboard.

I am always looking for ways to reuse things instead of recycling. This is the time of year to bring in plants that will, hopefully, thrive indoors this winter. But I don't have enough saucers or trays to put under my pots. Here is my solution for a small pot. Cut the bottom off a large soda bottle.
Here is my pot on the window sill. See the Pepsi bottom under it? This way the water will not leak onto the sill. I'm sure all of you have good ideas to share!

I believe in Recycling! Check in at the Hooked on Houses Party and see what everyone else likes!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Delightful Bedrooms

Do you save old magazines like I do? If you wait long enough to re-read them it is like having a new magazine! And they are just too full of good ideas to throw away! I used to tear out my favorite photos and put them in file folders. Now I keep the magazines intact and put sticky notes on the photos I like.
From "Country Living" March 2007, this is a lovely, bright, inviting bedroom. Notice the interesting ceiling and the column in the corner. I'm not sure that headboard is practical in a fabric, maybe leather or vinyl would be more durable. Leaning against the headboard might soil it after a time, even with a scotchguard treatment.
From "Country Living" April 2007. What a romantic room. When my daughter was young we did her bed like this. She had an old iron bed that we bought at an auction. (That bed is now in her guest room minus the net). The net similar to this we found at Pier 1. She loved it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cloud Beds

This is the Private Cloud rocking bed by Manuel Kloker. You can make it rock by dangling your foot over the side and swinging it. It is hard to imagine how this would feel. Cradles rock from side to side as do hammocks. Both people in a couple would have to love to rock. I love anything that rocks or swings so this bed intriques me! Maybe this Private Cloud Bed would be better if it had a motor to keep it rocking like the baby swings do.

If you get tired of rocking you can use the Flexible Feet that come with each bed. Another option is the nightstand which has a peg to prop the rocker on. You can set the bed at any tilt - with the head above or below level.
"This Cloud Bed is inspired by Ming Dynasty-era Chinese alcove beds, and the idea of the bed as a "room within a room." Here the form is updated, and the mobility provided by the casters lends itself to flexible, open-plan contemporary living spaces." <>

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stick Insect

Do you see it there on the post? Look carefully.

I was sweeping the boardwalk that leads from our parking area to the deck. As I walked by this post I wondered how a twig could be clinging vertically. So I looked more closely and saw this insect called a Walking Stick. National Geographic's web site was very informative. These insects can range from 1/2 inch to 13 inches. This one was about 6 inches. When I went out a few minutes later he was gone.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Magazine Craft Room versus Reality

Creating and Crafting is what I enjoy. Join the Hooked on Houses Friday blog party to see what everyone else likes!

I'm starting with a lovely photo of a craft room from Country Living, March 07. Looks too good to be true, doesn't it?

Do you think anyone who actually creates in a craft room has it looking this picture perfect?
I have shown you pictures of my craft room (cleaned up). My supplies are there and I do sometimes work there but the picture below is the REALITY.

My rocking recliner in the living room (next to hubby B's chair) is where I like to sit and sew! I can watch the news or be with B while he watches ball games. One cat sits on the back of my recliner, another at my feet and one in the chair beside me. The gas log stove is a few feet away, a glass wall is in front of me and the kitchen is only steps away so B can bring me snacks and coffee! My mother always had so much around her favorite chair we called it her nest. So now, following tradition, I have a nest!

This is my sewing "basket." Pin cushion, lace, ribbons, buttons and thread are close at hand.
This is the tray I hold in my lap to be my work surface. Scissors, beads, wire, an antique ice pick and more are there.
This is what I have to show on my latest project. On the right are the gift bags I showed you last week when I told you where I was working. On the left are the brooches I'm sewing.
This is a close up of my brooches. Each one is made of fabric, buttons, lace and other odds and ends. The materials are vintage, recycled and new.

It's time for snack. Here comes B with a bowl of strawberry shortcake and a cup of coffee for me! Do you get such great service when you create?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Looking Closely

I like to look closely at things. It can be very surprising. There is so much more of this world to see if you get really close!
Yes, this is a tree stump. See the colors, texture and pattern. Amazing, isn't it? This is in the woods on the other side of our back lane.
This is a really close up of a portion of the stump. Isn't it lovely? See the sunlight on the top? Great colors! I wish I could do a painting that looks like this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sewing and Creating

I love to sew and don't even mind doing mending. Mostly I like to come up with ideas and create my own projects. Ideas can come from anywhere. The more I create, the more ideas I have! In fact, I have so many projects going they have spilled over from my craft room and are moving into the living room. My favorite chair is a rocking recliner - the perfect place to sit and sew. I can look out the large windows into the tree tops. All around my chairs are stacks of fabric and boxes filled with lace, beads, ribbons and netting. There is always a yellow cat at my feet and one on the top of the back of my chair where I can lean my head against him. Listening to that purr is very soothing!

My son and daughter-in-law came for a visit and brought me a magazine about jewelry making. Since I have been sewing brooches and making paper beads, that set me off on a whole line of ideas about making beads. I hope to experiment with polymer clay.

These are small gift bags. Perfect for presenting a piece of jewelry, money or a gift card. Each one is lined. This patchwork bag has a casing for a ribbon drawstring that is operated by a wooden bead. The stars are buttons. Size is 3 inches by 4.
Since I like to sew by hand, the patchwork is hand stitched and quilted. These are 3 x 3 inches.
These bags are made in one piece, turned and then half is tucked in to become the lining. A casing is sewn in the top. The leaves on the bag on the left are buttons. The gold leaves on the top of the bag on the right I purchased in the jewelry section at Michael's.

I'm Hooked on Sewing! Visit the Hooked on Houses Blog party to see what others are hooked on!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

To San Diego And Back!

I'm back and it was an absolutely WONDERFUL trip! I'm back in time for the Hooked on Houses Blog Party. I'm hooked on San Diego, perfect weather, beautiful flowers and fantastic trees!

I really meant to do some posts ahead and have them automatically launch but I am not as organized as Struggler! There were too many last minute things to do. I had to leave the house tidy for hubby who was not coming on the trip. There was a detailed list of plants to water that I had to print and put on the refrigerator. And of course there were wardrobe decisions to be made. Then it all had to be squished into a carry on bag. (Who trusts the airlines to get your bag on the right plane when you have to change in Houston?)

Thank goodness my daughter (J) and her husband (T) knew all the rules about packing tiny amounts of liquids and what size plastic bag is required to hold those 3 ounce bottles. The morning of departure had us at the stores looking for plastic bags and trial sizes of toothpaste, etc. for me. The flights were the pits because in my opinion it is cruel to put humans into seats with that little space. You feel that the person in front of you is sitting in your lap!

I LOVED San Diego! Who wouldn't love a place with flowers like this everywhere? I wish bougainvillea would grow in Virginia!

It was so exciting to see my son, Kevin, onstage in three plays at the Lowell Davies Theatre in Balboa Park. J & T and I met some of his fellow actors/students who are earning their Masters Degrees in Fine Arts at the Old Globe/University of San Diego (as is Kevin). All three plays ("Twelfth Night", "Coriolanus" & "Cyrano De Bergerac") were well done and very entertaining. The actors were talented and the costumes were a treat to see. The proud mother says check out Kevin's website.

The weather was perfect with temperatures in the seventies every day and dipping into the sixties at night. And there was always a gentle breeze. We especially enjoyed seeing the different kinds of trees and flowers. Balboa Park was amazing! It is 1,200 acres of gardens, museums, restaurants, and fabulous architecture. We did enjoy one of the art museums and the Photograpy Museum which had a display of Ansel Adams photos. The San Diego Zoo is also in the park but I'll save that for another post.

This is one of the many gardens in Balboa Park and one of the arches leading into the garden. Notice the fantastic tree.
These trees are in the zoo. J, T & I together took nearly 1,000 pictures. Many of them are of trees, flowers and each other taking pictures!
The architecture in Balboa Park is Spanish and there are lots of arches. Do you love arches as much as I do!
This is the same garden as the second picture. The flowers are cosmos and lavender. With such lovely weather there were outdoor weddings in the Park on Sunday so two of the gardens were closed to the public. There seemed to be wedding groups everywhere having pictures taken. What a lovely backdrop!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cut Flowers

I'm hooked on Cut Flowers. Join the Hooked on Fridays party. Another trip to the farm market for sweet corn and the cut flowers in this sun filled corner made me glad I had my camera with me!

After studying the lovely photographs that you all put on your blogs I have decided to add a new camera to my Christmas list. I want my photos to be as luscious as Claudia's of the Dippity Road.
I think my composition is okay but my photos don't have the clarity I want. Am I being a bad girl or what? I just got my new 15 inch Mac laptop, a new Photoshop Elements program and now I want a new camera! Greedy girl!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Farm Market

In our continuing quest to find local grown vegetables in Virginia, my hubby and I visited Millers' Farm stand on the Orange Plank Road, in Locust Grove. The sweet corn was fantastic! Sweetest corn I ever ate! I cook it in the microwave in the husk. Four minutes on high for two ears.

They also sell cut flowers. Beautiful, aren't they?

I bought both colors of tomatoes. Haven't had the yellow one yet. Will it taste the same?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lazy Days in the Hammock

I'm Hooked on days on the porch swinging in my hammock! What better than an iced coffee, a good book and a couple of sleeping cats? The humming bird sips at the feeder then zooms past my head as if to say hello on his way to a nectar feast at the pots of flowers on the porch. I listen to the birds sing and watch the squirrels scamper everywhere, in no danger from the cats.
With the breeze from the ceiling fan keeping me comfortable, I swing, read, and doze. Hubby comes out to see if I need a refill and bring me a snack. Across the street I can see the creek as it empties into the lake.

This is the view of the porch from the living room. With the main living area being above a daylight basement, we look right out into the trees. It is like being in a tree house. It is very quiet here at the lake. Just this afternoon as we headed to Charlottesville we stopped to move a box turtle out of the road. Then we stopped to admire a doe and her two fawns (still with white spots on their backs) who were not very concerned about us watching them! On the way home we saw yet another doe and her fawn.

Sounds idyllic doesn't it? Yet we have decided to sell this house and move onto our next adventure. Anyone in the market for a lake house?

I'm joining the Hooked on Friday's Blog Party. Drop in and join us!