Friday, May 24, 2024

Friday - almost finished!


I worked on my wall hanging this week, something I started over 15 years ago. I can't believe how much time has gone by since I started some projects. I was planning on giving this one to a charity auction for our local shelter, so now I will keep it for now. 

I still have to put some detail on two leaves and I am thinking of putting a saying, Dog days of summer. I have quilted it and done the edge, but I can still work stitches without going through the back, since it is so thick. The bee and grasshopper are designs I got from Wee Folk Art. If you go to her appliqué designs, on page 11, you will see the grasshopper and the story behind it. I was the reader who asked for one.

I will take another photo when I finish the rest. I cannot remember where I got the dog from, the flowers are from books I have and the butterflies were probably from clip art.

This week we missed watching the Viking ship, as it left port from Mystic, so we headed to a beach, further down and were able to watch it as it was making its way to Newport. It will wait there until it is picked up by a cargo ship, to go to Norway. It was far away, so the photo is a bit off.

On the way to the beach, we stopped at the falls. Will all the rain, they are funning faster than usual.

Another day we went for a walk at a nearby park. The falls were heavy there, as well.

During our walk, I was lucky enough to spot another Ovenbird. I use Merlin bird sounds, which is a free app. It tells me what birds are in the area and when I say Ovenbird, I kept looking towards the sound, until I found him.

Today we took a ride around the beach areas, but most were too crowded to bother going to. We decided to stop at Black point, a nice walk along the cliffs and lots of birds. Of course they were all hiding on me, but I enjoyed the walk and the cool breezes coming off the bay.

At home, I have enjoyed all the birds and so far, just sparrows with young, who are quite annoying and noisy. I did spot the House wren making a nest in the old bird house. I also got two blueberry bushes and so far they are doing well with the replanting. I also noticed strawberries on the bushes that Ivy gave me a few years ago, so I am cleaning out the area to give them more room to spread and a fence to keep the critters out.

I hope you all had a nice week and not in the paths of the horrible storms. This weekend is birthdays for everyone, but taking it easy this year. 

Friday, May 17, 2024

Final Finish!


This week I finished my wall hanging. I had a few touches I wanted to add, one being the stars I forgot. I also added some buttons to the flowers. Then I finished with an outer stitching on the edge. I also started a punch needle piece, that I started years ago. I had it in a hoop and left it on and crushed some of the floss areas, so I took those out and doing a bit at a time. Another project I found, is an old quilt I made a long time ago, so I just need to add a backing and do some quilting, to finish it. 

I also found another punch needle piece, the exact same one I just did with the sheep. Well, now I have two and the first one is one I like better. It is narrower and better contrast, so that I will keep to make a key rack with and the other will be fixed and sold.

Last week I was able to get a few good hikes in. One place we went was a pond walk. It goes in and out of woods, along the pond, into a farm field and back around the pond. With all the wind storms and flooding, there is also a lot of downfall.

We were sitting on the deck, overlooking the pond and I spotted this guy. A Great Blue Heron, too busy to notice me as he was fishing. 

And a few birds that I spotted; a Hairy Woodpecker, a Black Capped Chickadee and when I got home, I spotted our first Hummingbird.

Our next hike was two new areas. The first was an old road that went along fields and I did notice after, there are lots of trails on the other side, so something to explore another day. Down the road, we found another trail but no parking spots. Luckily I have a trail finder and found another parking spot, on the opposite side. 

It was a beautiful place to walk, lots of birds that I couldn't catch and it opens to a field, where you can do more birding. Another place to come back to and explore more of the trails.

On the way in, I spotted this bird and grabbed a shot, before it flew away. I had to do a lot of editing to get it to show up better, but a first for me, an Ovenbird. 

I hope you all had a good week and not too much flooding this week. Lots of areas here got flooded, so we won't be able to hike in a lot of areas, that are swampy. I also got my garden started and need to do some shopping for more plants, so hoping to get that done this week, while we have nice weather.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Friday Finish!


This week I wanted to work on a new project. This is a design by Cheri Saffiote and perfect to add to my Summer decor. The original design is four blocks with the same design, so I made mine into a smaller wall hanging and added the saying. I realized after I took the photo, I forgot to add the stars. I have mini star buttons that I will add on.

Last weekend was Alex's first communion. He looked so cute, all dressed up.

And a family photo at the altar.

One afternoon we walked at the local preserve. It is a nice walk through the woods and down to the bay.

On Sunday we went to a local park that had a grand opening with giant trolls, made from found materials. 

And a second one, hidden in the wooded area.

Today Bill came home early, so we headed to the bird sanctuary. It is nice to walk along the paths without the weekend crowds. We got to see the Ospreys, hidden in the back area.

A first sighting for me, a Common Yellowthroat.

Lots of Catbirds in all of the areas, so there are always a few who will come out and pose for me.

A few more of the birds and critters that I could get a shot of. Most were busy flying back and forth and always in tree areas, so I couldn't focus in on them. I hope you have a good weekend and can get out and enjoy nature in your area. With the warmer weather, a lot of birds are coming in and you never know what you will find, if you look up.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Friday: Almost finished

 I tried to push my punching so I could finish my piece. It is finished, but a mess. I did use less floss and that tend to be more puffy, so it looks sloppy. Since I am tired and don't want to leave it like that, I will fix up the problem areas and bad contrast on some areas, so it stands out more. The photo makes it look worse, but you can get the idea, this is what happens when you rush.

Last weekend we took the boys fishing. They love to fish, but have no luck. I think it is because they have small lures and no weight to cast out, far enough. Others were catching fish, but they were using live bait, so we will have to get some better gear for them.

The park also has a lot of hiking areas. The boys enjoyed exploring the areas around the pathways. There are a lot of birds there too, but with noisy boys, it is hard to get any shots. 

The next day Bill and I went for a ride into Connecticut. We stopped at a few places and did some hikes, but couldn't catch any birds that day. We enjoyed getting out and Bean got to have fun too. I really want to come here with the RV and spend the day. The problem is, the road has been collapsing so there is no way we can get it there. 

During the week, Bill had to take a day off for an early appointment, so we had the day to get out. We went to a new place that is owned by the college. They have several areas for gardens and fisheries and allow visitors. 

We walked along a path to an area that is full of trees, all types that the students plant and study. It is also a place full of birds. We heard a lot and saw a few that were too quick to shoot, but I was able to catch quite a few,  and the grove is so peaceful, that I enjoyed just walking around, under the trees. 

In some areas they also had bee hives. It was warming up and you could hear them, so we kept our distance. I think I will go back and bring my portable seat and just sit there.

We took the scenic route home and as we were heading out of the Lighthouse road, we saw a few cars and people milling around. This is why, a Snapping turtle was crossing the road. I got out and took a few shots and then a local lady and I walked along his side, till he got back to the pond side. 

And at home, I have seen an influx of new birds and our summer visitors are returning. Today we spotted a huge Woodpecker, so hoping it will come back for a photo. It looked like a Downy, but bigger than a Hairy should be, so not sure what it was. 

I hope you all have a nice weekend and good weather. We have Alex's first communion tomorrow, and possible rain on Sunday. I am looking forward to nicer weather, but not the heat of summer.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Friday: Another unfinished project

 I am still working on my punch needle piece. I tried pushing it, but wore my arm out, so I had to take a break. I have a lot of projects I do want to finish and one of them is, a child sized quilt, I had made years ago. After I did the boat, I realized there is too much empty space.

Since it is for a child, I want to keep it simple, so I am thinking, a large cloud over the boat. Then I can do swirls in the sky and wavy lines at the bottom end. It would be good practice to get used to my new machine without getting too complicated with quilting. 

Taking a photo helps me to think on what would look good, on it. What would you do?

As usual, we spent time at the beach. Lots of birds are coming in and I see more, each time we go. I spotted this pair of ducks and thought they were a pair. But, a fellow birder told me, the green bill is an American Black duck and the other is a Mallard, both females. 

Jamestown is always a great place for birding, all types live in the bay and in the coves.

One day we went to Barn Island in Connecticut. It was a bit too windy, but we got a nice walk in and spotted a lot of shore birds. Lots of Great Egrets in the cove.

And we are spotting a lot more Snowy Egrets.

Lots of Greater Yellowlegs, hang out with the egrets and a new nesting platform in the cove.

Yesterday Bill took the day off, since he had extra hours. We went to the bird sanctuary for a walk and enjoyed seeing all of the birds that are coming in. My camera was acting up, so I lost a lot of photos to blur. Luckily, a reset fixed the problem. I hope you all have a good weekend and for those in the paths of the storm, safety from its wrath. 

Friday, April 19, 2024

Working on Friday!

 I have really missed making punch needle pieces, so this week I decided to make one that has been on my to do list. It was gifted to me by my friend who passed last year. She has gifted me a lot of items over the years, as well as other friends, so I have a long to do list.

This is a design by Yvonne Buss and I like how it is longer, so I can make it into a long pillow or maybe mount it and make it into a key rack. This is the backside, and my hands aren't what they used to be, so not as neat, as I would like. I also am doing it in 4 strands, since using different sized punches will change the heights. I may do the background in a lower height so I can use 6 strands, so it will work up faster. It will depend on how it looks.

Last weekend we got out for our usual rides, this time with the boys. We took them on a walk at a park and then to the beach. They always have fun when we can get out and it is not too cold.

I also got lucky and caught the Great Egret, feeding near the road.

And in the parking lot at the beach, a flock of Brandts. A first for this area.

Before we headed home, we stopped at a small park and I was lucky enough to spot an Eastern Kingbird.

On another day we went on another beach loop and I caught several Ospreys nesting. Lots of birds are coming in this week.

And on the way home, we stopped to watch the surfers at Narragansett beach.

Today we stopped at the kids house to drop things off, but Nick had a sore knee from playing at a trampoline park, so after we dropped some goodies off for them, we headed for a ride to shop and around the beaches.

It was beautiful but windy and cold at the beach, so we just stopped for a look.

We got to see another Great egret in the marsh. They are usually too busy hunting for food, to care about us, watching them. Another day of rain tomorrow, so hopefully it will end early. I hope everyone is getting better weather and able to get out to enjoy the areas where you live. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday finish!


It took two days of constant stitching, but I finally finished my quilt. This quilt was made, years ago. I had originally made it too long, so I took a few rows out and added the border to make it more of a lap quilt. I had planned on quilting it last summer, so it would be done for my friend's birthday. Unfortunately she passed last spring, so I gave up on making it for a while, but decided I wanted to finish it now. She will not be able to receive it, but it will be my memory of our friendship over the years.

I used an AI program to add a different background, but it added a thin dark piece to the edge, so that is not really there, just the green border. 

Last weekend we went out for a ride around the beaches, something fun to do when the weather isn't great. We were able to see a few of the locals, while there.

On Sunday we went to the fish hatchery in Connecticut. They have cut down more areas, so there were more paths to walk around. We were lucky to spot the resident eagles in their usual spot on the telephone poles. 

Lots of birds in the area, but it was hard to get close enough without them flying away. Here are a few, I was able to catch and some scenes along the river. There was a new Osprey, nesting on a pole, the eagles were not too happy about it.

During the week we had a nice day, so Bill came home early and we headed to the point in town. Beautiful views of the bay.

And in that photo, in the far background to the right, this is what we came to see.

And this rock was loaded with seals. There were others on smaller rocks and in the water, so we got to enjoy watching them, even though they are far away.

And Bean got to enjoy the walk and playing in the bay. Way too cold, but he has no sense. I hope everyone got to enjoy their week and the eclipse. We had a good view from our porch and I was able to get glasses in time, to watch it. Enjoy your weekend and hopefully Spring will be staying this time.