Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We never know what kind of weather we will have when we visit the lake. Today was a lake day. The tempurature was perfect for watersports and snuggling up with a book under a shadetree. It was also a great day for building a sand castle for snail "princesses".
There are still a lot of early fishing cabins along the shoreline. I hate to see these give way to the bigger homes that are slowly taking their place.
One of my favorite places on the lake is Pelican Point, a long sandbar that separates the larger part of the lake from the smaller portion. I can definately see myself in that hammock on a long summer day.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
There are many things I love about Minnesota. Pine groves and birch trees are abundant in the wetlands and northern lake shores. Central and southern Minnesota have vast expanses of grasslands and oak savannas and oak groves. Minnesota has crops ranging from corn, wheat, oats and sunflowers. We are about two weeks early to see the sunflowers in bloom... sigh.
When I drive through the western grasslands I get a feeling of being just at the edge of massive sea shore. I keep expecting to crest the hill and see the shoreline in the distance. As a boy my great grandfather Shoemaker traveled with his family across Minnesota to settle in South Dakota in the late 1800's. He told his daughter that the grasses were so high he had to stand on top of the buckboard to guide the horse team. I can only imagine what it was like.
Traveling through the northern part of the state there are lakes everywhere. Some are crowded with summer cottages but many are not. It is the best of both worlds.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I shot this photo of a loon just off the dock near our cabin.
The wind was calm this morning. Little Pelican Lake was as smooth as glass. I love the reflections on the water. Another beautiful day dawns.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I had to make a second trip to Patsy's recently. I mentioned earlier that our area had heavy rains in June that flooded many of the towns surrounding our farm. I received a call a few days ago that two of the quilters in our guild had substantial flooding in their homes. Wilda lost all of her fabric along with craft supplies and 50 years worth of Christmas decorations to flood waters. I have no idea how much more was lost. Sharon was luckier but we are still waiting to hear if her fabric can be salvaged. Her fabric and sewing machines did not get wet however she was out of her house for a month before she was able to return. I packed a basket for Sharon and Wilda and dropped them off at Patsy's Homestead Cabin Retreat so they could be added to the other donations at the next meeting.
In the last year our area has suffered so much loss due to flooding. It makes one so much more cognisant of all that is good in one's life. I am very grateful for the people in my life and my good fortune. I count my blessings every day.
I thought you might enjoy some of the creative ways Patsy brightens up her retreat. You never know what you will find on the clothes line when you arrive. Her thrift store finds turn into imaginative planters and can be found through out the retreat used in other creative ways. It's always fun to see what she will come up with next.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I live in an old farmhouse. The age is unknown but local county records show a building at this location as far back as 1876. The house had no closets until the late 1990's when the last homeowner added an addition of two large rooms and two measly closets. We have added a walk-in closet and many other storage ideas over the last few years. I use lots of storage boxes for my projects. My girlfriends have even started to give me boxes as birthday gifts. Another gift was the beautiful metal pail. I use it as the trash can next to my sewing machine. I love those gals.
My other favorite buy is this group of shelving units. They were sold as modular units with a choice of doors or drawer inserts. They do a great job of hiding my clutter. Ikea marketed these as entertainment units. I think they totally missed the mark and should have sold these as storage units. I'm sad to say these were discontinued a month after I purchased them. I spent yesterday moving all of my inventory and shipping supplies to one location. I hope this will stop me from walking circles around the house trying to find what I'm looking for now. Wish me luck. Ever since I hit 40 I can't remember what I did 5 minutes ago. I hear it gets worse at 50. Yikes!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
When Marcia was unable to teach a class at our local quilt guild, the Friendship Quilters, I was asked to take her place. I really had a lot of fun teaching this class and went on to teach at the other guild I belong to in Hillpoint, WI the Piecemakers Quilt Guild. Thank you Marcia for giving me the push to teach. I really enjoy it. I've since gone on to teach hand embroidery and hand applique classes and really feel confident in my skills.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I start the dye process with unbleached muslin. The use of unbleached muslin is a conscious choice. I have not used bleach in my household for the last 20 years because of the impact chlorine has on our environment. The muslin is a good quality product with a 78 x 76 thread count. This fabric works well for needle turn applique and hand quilting.
This time I combined Golden Yellow Dye and Hot Pink in various dilutions. The darker fabrics have 4 times more dye in the solution than the pastel fabrics. I usually let the dye sit for 24 hours although it is not neccesary to wait that long. It is always hard for me to wait to see the finished product.
I ironed 33 yards of fabric last night and boy can I feel it. Does anyone have a favorite lightweight iron? Mine works wonders but weighs a ton.