Monday, January 30, 2017

Weekend Wanderings!

We had a nice weekend, though a bit cool for long walks. One thing I love to do is shop at the antique  thrifts and Saturday was a good day for the barn and a visit to Chepatchet which has several antique stores and a primitive store.

With all that shopping, I didn't get much, but I treated myself to an angel valentine doll. This one hangs on the wall, but I put her on the table for the photo. She looks good, either way so once I get more decorating and cleaning done, I may give her a space of her own. For now we are keeping the main wall free of decorations so maybe, just maybe my husband will clean it up and get it repainted so I can put up my easter decorations.

I also found a plain wooden boat for a dollar, I will sand all the varnish off and remake it into something for my beach room, maybe add some fabric sails.

When we were in town, I saw a step falls but it was impossible to get a photo from the right angle, too much brush and slopes. I did see a small falls on the other side and I loved how the water at the top was smooth as glass but whorling so that the shadows looked like an art painting.

On Sunday we got a late start and headed to Woodstock Ct, for some more shopping and to visit Putnam for some photos. We always try and take a different route to find new sights and on this trip we stopped at a mill. It looks like this one is still operational.

In Putnam we found a parking lot across from the falls, so we took a walk over and I enjoyed watching the falls. With the snow and then rain, they were running, full force. It was too cold for me, to take a walk along the river, so we went back across the street to check out an antique store.

Well, it was not a store, it was an antique mall, four floors of booths and in areas, whole rooms with glass cabinets, filled with goodies. It was so overwhelming, I don't think I saw half of the things, lol. And so big, we spent hours just walking and looking. I saw a lot of nice things, but prices that seemed to be inflated compared to what I have bought. It is well worth a visit if you are in the Putnam area, they do have a lot and there are other stores in the area, as well as small shops and restaurants.

Since we spent so long in the store, I decided that I wasn't up to going up to Woodstock and doing more shoppng. But, I did realize that we were were about an hour away from sunset and if we headed back down to the ocean, we could just make it, lol, yes, we drove an hour back down and went to Barn Island, since it was the straightest point from where we were.

It was a beautiful place to enjoy the sunset, but no place to stand, so we had to go out on the marshy point and walk carefully along the thick tufts to stay out of the muck. The sunset is always the most stunning when it falls below the horizon and a beautiful way to end the day. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, filled with your own adventures.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Finish!

This week I decided to make a new project to keep me busy while I rested. I have been taking double doses of D3 and I would say that it works much better than any other medicine. My symptoms are bearable and it is boosting up my immune system so I am fighting off the bug, so hopefully I will be able to get out and enjoy another weekend.

While I rested I made a new punch needle, the design is by Lori of Notforgotten Farm and was offered as a freebie to the Facebook groups.

I love the saying and it is a fun design to do, though mine came out a bit wonky. I also think I need to replace my needles, I have been using them for years and I think it is showing in my work.

I also received a box of patterns from a friend, so I am working on another punched piece of an easter design. Our weather has been weird, sunny, then raining, then cold, then hot and yesterday an ominous cloud came rolling over and the next thing I knew it was hailing. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

I took a quick photo to try out my new lens. Yes, I took back the last one and got a new one, lol. This one is 24mm-70mm and better than the one that came with the camera, but not the best one. The best also has a higher price and weight, so this one is just right for me.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend Wanderings!

We were blessed with beautiful weather this weekend, so I took full advantage and got in some outdoor time. On Saturday we went to Groton and headed to the point to enjoy the views of the Long Island sound and watch the ferries come in and out.

It was foggy over the ocean and the ships were hidden until they got closer. The smaller ferry coming in from Block Island, passing by the haunted light house.

In contrast to the fog, the river side was sunny and blue. The main ferry, heading to Long Island, as it passes the house on the rocks.

We headed to Bluff point for a hike and encountered more fog, with sun on the inland side.

Once we got the the point, we enjoyed some time on the beach. The fog was lifting, so we got to enjoy the  beautiful views.

We took the full hike, which is 4 miles and a few stops so Bean could enjoy the beach areas.

Sunday was another beautiful day and so warm, I had to take off my coat. We went to the Barn Island  Reserve and got to enjoy the full walk. The walk goes along the salt water marshes and through the woods. You can see the path to the left and the wooded areas, then it continues on around that entire area, off in the distance.

The trail ends at the old farm homestead, stonewalls and cellar holes can be found in the wooded areas. We ended at the entrance to the farm, where we turned around and got to enjoy going through the areas again.

As we came back to the area, that shows the view, I spotted a heron feeding in the marsh. I found a pathway to the edge and was able to get a few shots.

Here he is showing off his beautiful wings.

And this is what he looks like, when he is not  hiding his face. Someday I hope to catch one in flight, they are so beautiful but very shy.

I hope you enjoyed going with me,  on my walk. Today is a rest day, I always over do it and wear myself out, but well worth it. A nice surprise came in the mail today, from my friend Laurie. She sent me a beautiful tin adorned with a beautiful punch needle, perfect for storing my supplies. In the back you can see the felted backing she sent, I love it and imagining a beautiful felted scene to make for my beach room. There is also a tiny hat that I can use on one of my characters, a proddy flower, a scrap pile made into a rose shape that has a ball of yarn in the middle and I forgot to add the other gifts, a hand made button bracelet, handmade soap and some teas to enjoy while I create. I feel spoiled but it was a nice pick me up on a down day.

I also took this photo with my new 55mm lens, and I am not happy with the results, time to take it back, they are going to hate me, lol. I want the one I had, but a better one, so I will just wait and save up for a quality lens with anti shake, I realize I need that with my nerve damage, if i want to get clear shots. 

I hope you are all working on fun, new projects. I have my quilt to finish and working on a punched piece for a lap project.

Friday, January 20, 2017

After Christmas Chaos!

This week has been slow and unproductive, but I am finally getting back into the swing of things. I spent most of the week thinking about what to do and then decided it was time to finish my quilt top. I finally finished the last row. What I did was, quilt the front with the batting and no backing, next I added extra batting and will attach the back by adding tacking to the rows.

I thought it would be a good experiment to quilt without the back to make it easier and add the back, later. Not sure if that was a great idea, took me forever to hand quilt and still have to attach the back. I think the next one will be machine quilted and the future hand quilting will be done the right way;)

I got out my snap frame and realized I have no backing that fits, so I need to sew a few pieces together, then I can work on it this weekend. The quilt top was made by my friend Kelly, she sent me a couple to practice my quilting on.

I really make a mess at Christmas, making gifts and fun things for myself and I get messier and messier and now my room is total chaos. It is so bad, I hate going in, where do I start, lol. So, I got some new boxes and a lot of the unfinished things and excess will get put away for now and the extra boxes that are cluttering up the room will get cleared out and removed. I have plenty of fabric and patterns on the shelves, so I will work on using my stash and doing the patterns I have been putting off, the rest can wait. My tables are becoming storage units, so those will be cleared and things put where I can find them and maybe some wall bins to put in my scraps of wool. I like having the scraps nearby so I can use a piece when I want something for a small piece. I will also sell anything I have lost interest in, time to do the ones I want and not worry about having to make it all. Maybe use some of the material to make curtains, should be on my to do list. I used my wide angle, so the room looks wonky.

I also wanted to make a rug for my beach room, but I also know I have a long list of things I want to make and a rug would take up a lot of that time. I found a small blue jean rug in the store and got it since it was cheap and wanted to see how it looked in the room, I loved it. So, I searched on the web for the same brand and of course I couldn't find it. I inspected each type of jean rug until I found one that was closest to it and I love the new rug. It is darker than the other, I did like the lighter shades and it is larger than I wanted. I was looking for a 4' x 6' and this is 5' x 7', but it fits perfectly.

Now I feel like the room is a room and I will start working on cleaning out the junk that was in there and a blue jean quilt and matching pillows for the couch. Someday I will replace that with something I can use for guests, as well. Of course I need to make things for the walls and I have some quilts I have been wanting to make, folk art styles with ocean themes, so that will be my winter projects and the room will be ready for summer. It is a lot cooler down there, so it will be a nice retreat in the summer.

Not the best photo, the wide angle tends to fish eye on the lowest setting, but I wanted to get more of the room in. It makes the room look small and narrow. There is also a large closet in the back, needs to be cleaned out and I will have storage for my excess that I can hide away.

Tomorrow is going to be a nice day so we will be off on a hike. I am loving the weekend weather, love being able to get out and explore. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and find your own adventure.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekend Wanderings!

This weekend was nice, but cold. I still wanted to get out and as long as the sun is out, it is always a nice day for a ride. Saturday we went to Narragansett and Galilee. It is nice since we can stop in some stores on the way, then ride around the scenic route to enjoy views of the coastline.

Stopping in Galilee is always nice, we can sit and enjoy the views from the car. I did get out for some shots of the seagulls. A few were enjoying the day on the dock so I was able to get a nice close up of them.

I also caught this one, as it came flying in.

We decided to stop at Black Rock to get some photos and enjoy a short walk. Since I needed my hands to shoot photos, I kept taking my gloves off and it wasn't long before my fingers froze, way too cold but such a beautiful place with it's sculpted rocks.

We ended the day with the kids, who came over for dinner and some fun time with the kids. Here are my three favorite guys. I think Alex is going to be a smart alec like his brother, every time I go to take a photo, he makes a face at me. Very hard to get nice shots of the boys, but at least they are fun ones. Bean was playing roll the rock today, his favorite game.

Sunday I decided to go to Newport. It was sunny and a whole 10 degrees warmer, haha. I knew I didn't want to freeze again, so a ride to a few new places and around Ocean drive would be a nice way to enjoy the views without freezing. We stopped at a beach on the way and spotted this school. I looked it up and it is called St. Georges and for only 38,000 you can send your child there for the year, boarding is 59,000.

We got to our destination, Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge. I can't believe we never went here, it is beautiful. It has a path that goes around the point, with beautiful views of the ocean and the surrounding areas. I would love to come here to paddle, they do have launches in the area.

The trail is on the ocean and in between are acres of fields and brush for the wildlife and birds. We spotted a herd of deer in the field.

It is definitely a place you want to visit, if you are in the area. This time I wore a pair of old gloves, and I cut off the tip of my index finger so I could take photos. It was actually nicer and warmer by the shore, so we really enjoy spending time there and just strolling along the beach points. 

We drove home along Ocean ave, an area famous for their mansions. The problem was, it was getting later and the traffic had picked up in town, the wind had picked up and the temperatures were dropping, so we just drove along the route and enjoyed the views. 

Since it was still early for sunset, we headed home and stopped in Jamestown to catch the last of the sunset. We stopped at Fort Getty for a different perspective and the setting sun was casting beautiful colors across the bay. It was the perfect way to end our day. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed following me along, on mine.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Finish!

This was a slow week, did a lot of nothing and not sure where the time went, but it is friday again. I did manage to make a few new pieces to giveaway. I think these would be fun to give to someone who needs a little pick me up, during a tough time. They are from a free design that can be found at Free Christmas Coloring under angels.

I did one with tea stained muslin and one with a regular cotton.

We had rain and warmer temperatures so all of our snow melted. Bean loves snow but he also loves to play ball and he loves to do tricks. I was practicing with my new lenses and got some action shots, he sure makes a lot of funny faces and poses when he gets excited.

He never misses a chance to catch a ball.

There was a little snow left over, so we used it for snowball catching.

My son sent me a photo of Nick tonight, I guess he was too tired to eat dinner.

To end my night, I tried some shots of the moonrise. I wish I could have gone to the shore and taken it as it rose above the horizon. Hopefully we will have a clear night tomorrow and maybe catch a sunset or the moonrise, or both. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lots of Snow Weekend!

We got quite a bit of snow this weekend, so we couldn't go out for any long drives. I was upset about my lens being sent back so we called back and explained to the company, which was actually a foreign service but at least he connected us with the manager of the store. It would be nice if they actually had a number you could call, but  you get an automated message only and no way to talk to an actual person.

The manager was nice and she said she would call back but after two hours, I got tired of waiting. The snow was starting to fall so we headed to the store before it got worse. At that point I was tired of going in circles, so I stated that I didn't like the fact that I would have to buy another lens and since the standard lens was junk, I would want a better one which was twice the price. It still came back to the statement that they already sent it back to the warehouse. No idea why they just didn't shelf it and sell it again and what happens when it goes to the warehouse, it disappears? Haha.

So, we came to an agreement, I get to keep the wide angle for free, so I came out ahead on that since it cost more than the other. Then she said I could have a discount on a new lens, so how could I resist. I decided to go with a better quality 55mm, so I have something for regular shots and it is also nice for portraits.

Of course I had to try out my new lenses, but even with the sun out, the roads were snow covered and slippery.

The first is with the Zoom. I usually shoot at 200, since the full 300 will come out blurry. I shot this from the porch and Bill and Bean are in the back yard. I was hiding under the umbrella, the boys didn't seem to care that it was near blizzard conditions.

This was a phone shot, Bean would stay out, till he turned into a popsicle.

Since we got a late start Sunday, we headed to the village. The first stop was the wharf. As usual the sun was in the wrong position but I caught this cute little guy, hiding in the pots, to keep warm. They like to eat the bugs and things that are on the seaweed that sticks to the cage.

On the other side, I noticed some sailboats, so had to go check it out. It was cold and windy, I would not want to be in a boat now.

In town is another wharf, where you can sit and enjoy the views. 

I was just about to take a photo of the seagull, sitting on the post, when he decided to fly off.

The last stop was at the town launch. It seems someone forgot to bring their boat in. I love the coves in the winter, but it is so cold, I had to give up and go home, to warm up. I hope you enjoyed seeing our town in the winter.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Finishes and Fotos!

This week was a slow one for me, I think the holidays wore me out and I just need some rest time. I love to do simple projects while I watch tv when I am resting, so I worked up a few stitcheries this week.

The first is from Kathy Schmitz's One stitch at a time club. The sample was done as a pin cushion, but as usual I changed it and added some words for fun. They will be fun to use as bowl fillers for Easter.

The second was a freebie from Kathy, Strawberry pincushions. The only thing I did different was to change the topper, keeping mine simple and more prim. The colors are off, it is darker and done on tea stained muslin, but I had to use my zoom to get photos tonight.

Another thing I did this week was take back my wide angle lens. I decided I would be better off with a zoom, so Bill took it back and ordered the zoom and I got that, this week. The problem is, I went to take photos tonight and realized the wide angle was on the camera, ughs, I took back the wrong lens. I cannot believe they didn't check the box, I could have put junk in there, for all they knew. So now I have to get up there and give them the right lens and hope mine is still there. 

I took a few photos to try it. For some reason, no birds were around when I wanted them to be, lol. But, a woodpecker was busy in my neighbor's tree so I took a few shots. He was a good distance up and the limbs made it hard to focus well, but I think it came out nicely, considering.

I also tried taking photos of Bean, but he does not stay still. I got one as he was coming back with a stick. I cropped it to close up and I think I got nice definition for a crop of a zoom. Usually if i do this, all I get is a blurry object and Bean was in motion. Hopefully we can get out on Sunday, seems we have a storm coming in tomorrow. We will need to get out and get supplies and things before it hits. I hope you all stay safe from the storms and enjoy your weekend.

Monday, January 2, 2017

How we spent our New Years!

This weekend we stayed close to home and no partying for us, I had enough of that in my younger days;) Saturday we stayed home most of the day, but I got bored and we took a trip to the antique store. I needed some lavender and they carry fresh, by the scoop, so I am all set for making sachets to add to my boxes when I restore things. It is a great way to keep the moths away and the musty smells from my basement.

Sunday was our big day. The day there is a polar bear plunge in almost every town near the ocean. We decided to go to our local plunge and luckily the temps went up to 45 that day, haha. I was surprised to see so many kids at the plunge and a few old timers, but I also noticed a lot of people just ran in and ran out, no dunking. At ours, people pay a fee to participate and bring a jar of peanut butter for the local food pantry, so it is all for a good cause.

Here are a few photos I took, the tide was going out at the town beach, so not only was it further to run in, but further to get back out to a warm towel.

After a rest and warm up at home, we went back out for a walk at Fort Getty, while the sun was out. Bean was very excited when he saw where we ended up, one of his favorite places. We walk down to some inlets, where he can run off leash.

Through the maze of rocks to get to the beach.

Lots of room to run and play, though he didn't seem to understand it was not a good time to go in the water.

On the way back, we stopped at the other side for some views of the inner bay and the Dutch Island lighthouse. When I was little, we took our little boat to the island for picnics and exploring.

After a ride up to the other lighthouse I realized how close we were to sunset. I hated missing out, but I didn't want to sit in the car that long and it was getting colder, so no more walking. Instead, we went to the other side of the island to Fort Wetherill to see what the sunset was like there.

The sun was right at the opening of the channel and casting beautiful glows across the water. I wish I could have gotten a nicer photo, one of those things, you have to be there.

The sun sets fast, but we got up the hill on the other side to catch the last golden colors as it streaked across the sky. I added a saying to the photo, it seemed perfect for this one.

On the way home it was dark and the village was all lit up. This is a set of stores on the dock, my camera decided to light it up for me, so it looks like twilight instead of night. I hope everyone had a wonderful week and ready to get back to creating again. I have two pieces I made and more this week, so there will be some new things on Friday.

If you are a cat lover and looking for a free project, Theodore Cleave is offering free cat designs that you can use in a quilt. She also offers fun buttons that you can add to your pieces, that match her designs.