Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekend Wanderings!

This was a great weekend for getting out, even though it is getting cold. But not too cold to go for long drives and find new places to shop.

We headed into Connecticut to check out a new quilt store. We have driven by this town a lot and never knew that it was there. Sometimes it pays to do searches of areas you want to visit for shops that are in the area.

The store is called Colchester Mill Fabrics. I wasn't sure how nice it would be and if it was local mill fabrics but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a full service quilt shop, with 3 large rooms of fabrics, supplies and crafting items. They carry a lot of Moda fabrics and even wools, so it is a great store to stop in, if you are in the area.

The staff was friendly and helpful, if you had a question or needed to know where something was, they had the answer. So much nicer than the big stores, where they have no idea what is in stock. The only negative for me was, not that many prim patterns. They had a few but none that I wanted, which I guess is a good thing, lol.

Another thing they have is an assortment of gifts and decorative items. I found this cute snowman garland and had to have it. The hearts are rusty, but the flash washed the prim out.

Once you are done shopping, you can drive to the next town up, and visit the Shops at Marlborough Barn where there is a wonderful antique barn and a few other small shops and businesses. I was surprised at how big it was inside, room after room of antiques and primitive goodies and gift items. The prices were also reasonable, so another shop we can visit, since our favorite one is closing.

On Sunday, I just wanted to have fun and I wanted to have fun with Nick. Luckily my son stopped by and Nick stayed here, so we could just go and not pick him up. We took him to Mystic Aquarium which is also in Connecticut, not sure whey we just don't move there, lol.

We wanted to see the new Dinosaur exhibit, which was really fun and the boys loved it, both of them.

I loved what I saw in this photo, I think the whale is smiling at me;)

I took a quick shot of the penguins and noticed something picking out, behind the rock, when I looked at it closely. We all had a fun time, and since we got a Grandparents pass, we can come back anytime and bring Alex with us.

Today was an easy day, we went to our favorite antique barn, which is closing this year. They are trying to find a new place, so hoping they can and continue to host dealers and prim artists, since we usually find great things there. Today nothing interested me, but always fun to look.

Since we had time and the tide was going out, we hit the beach for an hour. Bean got to play and I found some nice pieces of glass, for my collection. It was cold and getting cloudy, so we didn't wait for the tide to go all the way out, I am sure there was a lot more glass, waiting to be found.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a week ahead, full of creating. The kids decided to have dinner at their house, so I said fine, leaves me more time to work on my quilts and get my Christmas items ready.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday Finishes!

This week I finally finished my Christmas painting, a free design found at Artist's Club. They offer downloadable patterns and lots of free ones. Of course I couldn't follow the directions for shading and changed up the colors a bit, so not perfect, but a fun piece.

I also made a pillow from Kathy Schmitz's, One Stitch Club. I was hoping for a holiday design, but this one is still beautiful and will make a nice gift. I added some lavender, with the stuffing.

I also made pillows out of the stitcheries I made last year and a few new snowflake pillows, all filled with a mix of stuffing and balsam. I got 3 bags of balsam, so I will be making a lot of smaller pillows with fun prints. I liked the red snowflakes, perfect to add the snowflake buttons to. The Annie and snowman are free patterns from Free Christmas Coloring pages.

 We still have color on some trees, but a lot of trees are dropping their leaves. Bean is quite  happy with the mess, his favorite activity in the fall. Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Weekend Wanderings!

Even with the rain, we had a wonderful weekend to get out. We headed into Connecticut just as the rain was ending, so we were able to enjoy a nice ride and visit a few places. I wanted to stop at Mystic Village which has a quilt shop, but it was no longer there. But we were still able to enjoy a walk through town and get a few goodies at the Christmas shop.

One place in Mystic that I love to visit is the Elm Grove Cemetary. I was hoping to see more foliage, but most of the trees had turned. It is still beautiful to drive through though, it is a garden cemetery on the Mystic river, a peaceful place to walk through.

What a beautiful setting for a family plot.

Since we were in the area, we took a drive to Ender's Island, where there is a Catholic retreat center. It was so windy, it was hard to enjoy the views and take photos. I love the buildings on the island, all made of stone, like the church.

There were still flowers in the gardens and views from Block Island to Fisher's Island in New york. In the distance I could see Latimer Reef Lighthouse.

The great thing about being out later is, we were a half hour from sunset so we headed to Napatree Point. What I didn't think about was, the wind. Coming over the dunes, I was hit with blasts of sand and close to the water, the ocean spray, so it was hard to stay still or get good shots. I was able to get a decent one and you can see the waves coming in. It was so beautiful, but hard to enjoy with the sand getting all over my camera.

Sunday was a beautiful day and much warmer, so I decided to hit the beach, while the tide was out. There weren't too many people in the morning, so I found a lot of nice treasures laying on the rocks.

And with the time change, it was still early enough to go for a ride. I needed more apples so we headed to the orchards to buy them from the store.

Along the way I spied this steeple and stopped for a look. The banks of the river were over flowing, so it was hard to get a shot, since we had to stand in the tree line.

We also stopped on the Thames river, where  you can walk out to the old train tracks. Another nice place to go for a stroll.

Since it was getting late, we decided to do a short hike up Lantern Hill. I wanted to see if I could spot the foliage from the first lookout. Of course the views were limited, so we went to the next height and the next, where we had nice views, but still hidden by the tree lines. So our short hike took us up the hill to the top, which was well worth it. The views are spectacular and you can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

The sun was getting closer to the tree line and I really wanted to watch it set, but not from the top. It is a steep climb, so we went down to a lower level to watch it set. Since my photo  had a lot of black space, I added a saying I found on the web. We were able to get down before it got too dark, and my muscles are killing me today, but it was nice to finally get in a real hike.

I hope you all had a nice weekend and your own adventures.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Finishes!

This week I was able to finish a few things. I am trying to do at least one UFO at a time, along with new pieces. I have so much that I never finished so I am doing the ones for Christmas first, then I can decide on the others.

This is a free design that I have been wanting to do and finally got a chance. I love making pillows that I can put around the house and this one was quick and easy to do. The original design was on a  wool background with snowflake stitchery, but I decided to use snowflake fabric.

The design is by Karel Hamilton and you can find it at her facebook group, Wool Appliqué Love.

I also got some new frosted paint and tried the oven bake method. The two jars in the middle have been baked. It does set the paint and makes it washable, but I think it looks dull and thick. It also emits a paint smell, while baking, so not a good thing to do, unless you can open the windows. The others are done with a mix of decoupage, one I added too much so it looks more spotty, so more paint and less decoupage, just enough to thin the paint and give it a bit of a sheen. The one I use is an antique decoupage, so it keeps the look of old glass.

You can see how the new blue looks, compared to the jade, which looks more green. They are more bright looking, than they are in person.

Another thing I finally finished was my snowman block from last year's BOM, from Buttermilk Basin. I am going to keep mine as is, with a fancy stitching on the lines, and a small border, so I can use it as a hanging on a curtain rod, for the front window.

My son sent a photo of the boys, Nick wanted to be a football player, so that is what they both went as. I think Alex fits the part much better, lol. He is such a character.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We have rain again, so I doubt we will be able to hike up the hills, since everything is wet and slippery. The last of the foliage is coming in fast in our area, so I am hoping we can catch a few more places before it is gone.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Weekend Wanderings!

This weekend we had a day of rain, so I prepped some Christmas pieces, something new and something to finish, so I will have a couple of things to show this Friday. Since we got out for a nice ride on Sunday, I thought I would show you a bit of foliage and the Connecticut sights.

We stopped at the Yantic River to see the falls. I had a feeling that they would be running higher with the rains and we were not disappointed.

Up river, another falls goes past the old mill.

We headed down route 82, and stopped at the  primitive store that I had seen online. It was a wonderful shop, filled with antiques and unique items, as well as prims. I will definitely stop by, more often, when we are in the area. The name is Primitive Crow, and they also hold primitive painting classes, wish I lived closer.

And when you go down the back roads, you find fun things. Love how they used the truck for a yard display, even painting their name on the side.

We made our way to Devil's Hopyard. Connecticut is famous for weird names, they believed that the big indents in the rocks were made by the devil's hoofs. But the name doesn't fit the beauty of the area. The falls were overflowing from the rains and you could just sit there and watch them cascade down the steps.

We walked along the paths and of course had to stop by the covered bridge. Watching all the people come down and head up the path, tempted me to try a hike up to the over look. Tempted but not attempted too well, lol. Getting up the first wet and slippery incline was bad enough, but when we got the a small crossing, the waters were higher and I was in no mood to try and jump over the water or slip on the rocks, so we turned around. I decided to head towards the lower path and avoid slipping down the incline, which was easier and a nicer walk along the river.

Our last destination was Gillette Castle. I really wanted to walk there, but we were running late from the first hike, so we just walked around the main area. The views were spectacular, pops of color dotted the landscape.

All along our drive and the areas, were beautiful displays of foliage, but most of the wooded areas are full of trees that only turn yellow. And of course, any time I saw a beautiful tree, it was in a place I couldn't stop at or go into. It was a beautiful day though and something you just have to do, to enjoy. Connecticut is full of country roads and scenic routes, well worth a visit.

Of course Bean loved going too, he got to go on lots of walks and meet hundreds of people, another reason we didn't have as much time. One guy actually came over and started hugging Bean, lol. He had a Border once and Bean is just so lovable, everyone wants to pet and hug him.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Testing and Finishes!

This week I practiced on some glass jars and tried some new mediums. I previously used spray on, sea glass paint, but that only works if it is nice out and no wind. So, I tried another product by Ceramcoat, frosted glass paint.

I was able to get some at our local Michaels, but it is hard to find different colors in the store, so I ordered more this week from Create for Less. I had a green, called sea grass and was able to find Jade, which is more like a blue.

In the photo, the ones on the left and right were done with the glass paint, mixed with antique decoupage. The ones in the middle are done with just the glass paint. It is hard to see in the photo, but I found that the straight paint works best, with decoupage, the glass chipped off when I was working on it. You can also bake them, after you let the paint set and that makes them washable, so I will have to try that next.

Here are the results of the paint and the colors.

I also tried another product from Golden, called glass gel bead. It makes a nice sparkle on the glass, which looks pretty with a candle or lights in the room. I have been using flicker lights for now, later I will try a candle, outside, to make sure it doesn't cause fumes or explode, lol.

I loved the thicker blue shade and thought it was the perfect background for painting on. I used a design from one of my books for the ship and the lighthouse came from a free pattern at Artist's Club.  My sister is already trying to buy them from me, but she also is having a light weight flute made by a tribe member in her area, so I will make her a box of goodies in exchange.

I also wanted to try some simple ornaments. I was able to find the wood pieces at Michaels, I like the white tag the best, it is a nice size to work with and already painted. The angel on blue was another experiment with the glass bead gel. It shines when you move it around, so I think that will be nice to add to ornaments with the tree lights, shining on them.

I used a new glue too, tacky clear gel. It is not as thick as the regular tacky, so it took some patience to place things and keep them from moving, and on the brick, it does show where I moved the arm. I am also wondering how the glass gel will look on items like the white pottery dress, another thing to try.

We went out for some rides this weekend, but the foliage was being elusive. It seemed some areas had nice spots of color, while others were still green. Tomorrow is going to be stormy, so hopefully their will still be some foliage left on Sunday.

This is in Rhode Island, outside the village of Westerly.

In Connecticut, we saw some foliage at Goodwin Forest.

And we ended the day with a visit to Mansfield Hollow, with a view from the top of the dam.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, filled with your own adventures and experiments.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Finish and Finds!

This week I enjoyed some rest time and worked on some little pillows. The pattern is by Cheri Payne and in her older Christmas book and also available as a download on Quilts By Cheri, on Facebook.

It was a fun project to do and worked up quickly. I did one in a simple prim style and the other with some brighter bells and buttons. I did add a bit of walnut stain to tone down the lighter colors.

We also got a chance to shop last weekend. We took a ride to the upper area of Connecticut to see if we could find any foliage. No real foliage but some great shops to stop at. One is a Christmas shop, they have lots of different items, along with antiques. I got some grubby candles and I found this wonderful bottle. It is an old, Cod liver oil, bottle, with a fishermen carrying a cod. Perfect for my beach room. There was no price on it, so the lady sold it to me for 4.50, great deal.

I decided to stop at a local shop, that I haven't been to in awhile and found a new black cat door stop, for my collection. I am always on the lookout and only ones that I like and for good prices, so it won't be a big collection, but fun to look for and I still have one more step to fill.

I am still working on glass ideas and an angel ornament. The weather has been cool and windy, not good weather for outdoor spraying, so I may have to buy a cheap tent to use outside, to do work like that.

We did get some beach time in and we didn't find a lot of glass, since it was later in the day. Sometimes I find something that seems different but doesn't look like glass. This is what I found and I decided to keep it and check it at home.

And this is what it looks like, when you concentrate the light under it. The light makes it more yellow, but it is a green piece of glass. You would never know when you see something like this on the beach, so always worth carrying a light with you. The thicker, dark pieces don't always show the light through them, unless it is concentrated.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We are going to try and find some foliage this weekend. We will head into Connecticut, or maybe Massachusetts, but I am happy if we just get out and get some hiking in. I think I need to do more activity that doesn't include constant bending.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Finish and Finds!

This week seems to have gone by too quick. I had lots of things I wanted to do, while Bill had the week off, but most of the week, I was happy to have a few hours out and rest at home. I really wish we could have gone to New Hampshire to see the foliage, but we were able to enjoy some nice days at the beach and our foliage is still coming, so a few more weekends to enjoy the colors.

I was able to do another stitchery. My niece loved the bee pillow, but I know she is not into prim, so I made one with more color and crackle fabric. The design and crackle fabric is from Kathy Schmitz. I prefer to stitch without something in the way, and I think my stitches look better on this one.

And of course we got lots of beach time in and lots of hunting for sea treasures. On Saturday we found some nice pieces at the ocean.

On Monday we hit my favorite beach without the crowds and found some nice pieces, along with some pottery pieces.

Tuesday was an unusually warm day, so back to the ocean. We got lots of smalls, which will be fun to use in Christmas ornaments, that I have some ideas for.

Wednesday it was back to my favorite beach and we hit it, at the right time. We found a lot of nice pieces and even with a few people on the beach, I found ones they missed. I think I have enough to do a few projects.

We also went shopping and I got some new glass paints and sprays to try. I did a few and some didn't work right and some I like, so I will do a post with a review on the different mediums I have used and what works best, with some how to's.

Here is a photo of my first tries. The light green was a mess, so I washed that off and did a nicer job on the second try. The others are spray on sea glass paint. Never spray on a windy day, it came out too thick, so I will retry on a nicer day.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!