Monday, September 30, 2013

The rest of the trip

Since I returned from my mini vacation in N MN, I've been on the go every minute and it doesn't look as though it's going to end any time soon.  I thought I'd finish up with some pix from the trip and show what I've done in the quilting room since I returned home.

I stopped at a new favorite quilt shop in Grand Rapids MN on my way home and picked up these coordinating fabrics to make up into place mats, and maybe a runner as well, to use during the holidays.  Even though I make lots of placemats, I don't have any that I can use at this time of the year, so now I will.

On the way to the resort, I stopped at an old favorite quilt shop in Floodwood, MN. This place is overflowing with precuts and every time I stop there, I'm tortured by all the choices. I'd like to just make my home in there and start using all those beautiful charm squares, jelly rolls, and layer cakes. At least, I don't think I'd gain weight with these kind of baked goods. ;-)  This time, I bought 4 of the charm square packs of Warmth by Moda, and I got some coordinating fabrics to make a red-white-blue quilt which I've been wanting for some time.

While I was at the cabin, I worked on this little table runner that I'm making as a fundraiser for the Guild. We were given 1/2 yard of fabric that the guild had purchased (I chose the red) and had to make up a small item that we'll have for sale at the mini quilt tour in which my guild is participating in November.  I pieced it and quilted it and when I returned home, I made the binding and sewed on a few sparkly snowflake buttons that I had on hand.

I tried making a two sided binding on this runner and I'm very pleased at how easy it was and how well it turned out.  I'll be using this technique more in the future, I'm sure.

I also began working on a Halloween table quilt/wall hanging while I was in the cabin.  I think this will go into my Etsy store and if it doesn't sell, I'll keep it for myself.  I'm thinking of making a pieced border using the leftover fabrics from the hourglass blocks and then finish it up with another border of the black polkadots.

I really like this fabric--cute and not too scary. And I like the combination of colors as well.

And lastly, I finished up my first pair of hand knitted socks. I've been wanting to try making socks for several years, and I enjoyed making them so much that I think I have a new addiction!  I have enough yarn left over to make a third sock, I think, so I'll have a spare when I need it and I can also use it with some other sock I've yet to make. I heard that the new trend these days is to wear unmatched socks. I can do that too!

I've been wearing them a bit so they're a little stretched out. They are sooo warm and comfortable, I'll be wearing them all winter, I'm sure.   Now, where in the world did I put the second skein of sock yarn that I bought last spring so I can begin on a blue pair.

 That's it for today.  I have a large number of tomatoes and bell peppers that need my attention as well as gardening chores that are calling me.  And with luck I'll be able to do a bit of sewing as well.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My morning walk

I've been going for a morning walk every day that I've been here at the resort. This is something that I like to do regularly but when I'm at home, there are always too many reasons to put it off so I relish the time I have when I'm on vacation to do these things.  I took my camera along this morning and here are some things that I saw:

The last of the summer's wildflowers 

An apple tree filled with tiny apples that will be appreciated by the birds this winter.

This is the cutest little garden shed at one of the lake homes I passed on my walk.
 Love the red flowers in the window boxes.

And, of course, the ever beautiful lake.  Wish I had a canoe or kayak with me.

Yesterday was a beautiful as today's starting out to be and I spent some time sitting on a bench in the sun reading my book.  After I settled myself in and got quiet, the wildlife made itself known.  Most of the rustling was from this little fella. Is it Chip or Dale, or maybe Alvin?  I think he lives under my cabin.

I also was visited by this big guy, a pileated woodpecker.  They're about the size of a crow so about 8 to 10 inches long, I suppose.  These are supposed to be very shy and reclusive so I think I was lucky to not only hear him--they're pretty noisy!--but to see him as well.  This is a pic I copied off the internet as I couldn't get a good shot of him from where I was sitting.

This is another pic from the internet. This is a flicker, another member of the woodpecker family, and they are everywhere around here!  

Northern Flicker Photo

I had to take a shot of the resort weather station.  This just about covers all the weather you could expect, I guess.  I'm glad the rock isn't bouncing--that would be bad! Today, the rock is dry and in the shade so I guess it's going to be sunny with no rain, right?

Tomorrow I head for home with a stop in Superior WI to meet up with a couple of friends.  Then, back to the real world, although I admit, I'm ready to be back with my home and family.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm at the lake

I drove to Bemidji, MN today for my 5 day getaway in the woods and this is the cute little cabin that was waiting for me at the end of the journey.  

This cabin is so little and cute!  It's perfect for me by myself.  If Don had come with, I think there would be trouble!

I knew I was in in Paul Bunyan country when I opened the door and the first thing I saw was this gigantic log rocking chair! It's absolutely huge and takes up about a third of the room's space.  It's so big that I can sit in it with lots of room to spare. (If you ever saw my rear end, you'd appreciate how big the chair is!  :)

I have this little smoking screen porch which overlooks the lake,

and the next picture is what I see from this porch.

It's so beautiful up here in the Northland, this picture doesn't do it justice.  The leaves on the trees are just beginning to change color and those glimpses of red and yellow among the summer green is so pretty. Can you tell that Autumn is my favorite season?

And this is another view of my "back yard."  It was late when I arrived and after I unpacked the car and got some groceries in town, it was too dark to do any exploring. That will wait until tomorrow.

I have all my quilting things with me and they too, will wait until tomorrow. I picked up a copy of "Winter of the World" from my library and I'll be buried in my book for the rest of the evening.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wow! What a summer!

I last posted an entry on this blog back in March, nearly 6 months ago.  No, I haven't been laid up in bed with consumption or the vapors or any other kind of chronic disease. I've been SUPER BUSY! ! ! ! !
Today, I have a chance to sit down a bit and try to figure out how to explain all that's happened without boring everyone to bits (but that may happen anyway. Some things are beyond my control. : 0 )

March flew by with Don and I cleaning the house and getting it ready to go up for sale. And we shoveled and plowed the last of the winter snows.
Snow_shovel : Amazing snow removal - people shovelling snow after snowfall

April was filled with joy as our youngest daughter, Jo, arrived home from her 2 year stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer. And we shoveled and plowed the last of the winter snows.

Snow_shovel : Amazing snow removal - people shovelling snow after snowfall

Late in April, I was began a new part time job with a one hour commute, while continuing with my old job.
In May, I began working a 3rd part time job ( and quit my original part time job ) which was just a "few" hours a week and would only run through August.  And we shoveled and plowed the last of the winter snows.

Snow_shovel : Amazing snow removal - people shovelling snow after snowfall

I don't remember June, July and most of August because I was scrambling to do all this work--which had numerous deadlines to meet--and still try to stay even somewhat sane. Please don't ask my  family if they think I was successful at this or not. At least, it stopped snowing sometime in May and Don was able to plant and tend the veggie garden.  Sometime in August, I did attend a machine quilting show in Milwaukee--Oconomowoc, actually, but that's real close to Milwaukee. :) --and took a couple of terrific classes and am just another wee step toward making an outstanding show quilt. (Yeah, right!)

I finished the summer job ahead of schedule and now I have only one part time job (with the hour commute both ways) and am now winding down to the point where I took the time to go back and read the blogs that I'd ignored for so long and finally today, when I should be canning tomatoes and making applesauce, I am putting together this entry.

As you may know, I "retired" from my job back in 2011 so why the hell did I work 50 hours a week this summer?  Sometimes I think my brains have been replaced by that lint and fuzz that builds up in the sewing machine!

At any rate, I'm currently coordinating a mini quilt show that my guild is doing as part of a fundraiser for the domestic abuse shelter in Menomonie and that's taking a bit of time. We have a team of truly excellent people who are taking on responsibility for many of the areas that need to be worked on so I don't have all the work to do myself.

Anyway, on Thursday, I'm heading for the woods of N. Minnesota for a long weekend at a resort.

Photos of Kohl's Resort, Bemidji
                                                       This photo is courtesy of TripAdvisor

All by myself. Leaving the hubster behind to fend for himself.  Taking my machine and a couple of projects, my Kindle Fire, and my favorite foods to cook up at the cabin.  Meeting up with old college friends whom I treasure.  The plan is to sleep when I want for as long as I want, same for sewing and reading, and do whatever the hell I feel like doing whenever the hell I want to. I love those kinds of vacations!  This is the reward I promised myself as I toiled away all summer, and I'm going to enjoy every minute!

If I can get a few brain cells to engage, I may remember to bring my camera and lap top so I can post some pix of my mini vacay.

Time to get a few quilting projects organized to take along.