Friday, January 22, 2016

Around Here

Our snow is about gone, though there is plenty of it in places where the sun doesn't reach, like the north banks of the Boulder Creek.   The creek has been particularly lovely these past weeks. 

We are watching with interest the approach of the blizzard that will hit our old stomping grounds back east with one to two feet of snow.  It's made us a bit jealous.  We loved big snows in Maryland, feeling all snuggled up in our little country home, warm and cozy by the fireplace while the wind howled outside and the snow fell deeper and deeper.  When I asked Ben why he felt nostalgic about those infrequent "snow-ins" he said "Pancakes!"  Well, we sure did eat well during those storms, with pancakes, homemade bread, cassoulets, lots of good wine....hmm, yum.  

Here's a collage from our last big storm in Maryland, way back in February 2010.  

It's not the same here since we don't have that same sense of isolation when it snows.  Last year we had a foot of snow in November and the street outside our house was abuzz with people walking, skiing, pulling kids in sleds, and even running.  When it snows here there is plenty of activity and no reason at all for us to feel cocooned in the house since we can walk to all kinds of stores and restaurants, as well as drive there if you're brave enough (Ben is; I'm not).   I like all that just fine; it's just different.

Remember this quilt I was working on?  I got finished enough to show to my little art quilt group and then let it rest on the design wall while I thought about how to border it using the brown and brick colored fabrics to the right and bottom of the quilt.   

Yesterday morning I decided it needed to be rotated and enlarged.  Here it is turned; today I'll buy more fabric so I can add another couple of rows on the left side.   These quilts can be so bossy! 

My art quilt group discussed our individual goals for the new year and I decided to work on improving my machine quilting.  I thought about taking some classes available through the local shops, but decided instead to join Leah Day's online year-long  Machine Quilting Block Party through which she teaches free motion quilting using a block of the month structure and online videos and lessons.   Loved the happy colors of this month's "Sunshine Surprise" block and had a lot of fun making it.

When a friend told me she had signed up for a class on how to use her new iPhone 6s I decided to join her.  I've had mine for several months now and am certainly no newcomer to iPhones, but I still learned several new tricks and plan to sign up for a session on iPhone photography.

Did you know that WWI German submarines only carried seven torpedos?  Just one of the many things I learned from Erik Larson's book on the sinking of the Lusitania.  I was slow to get into it but hung in there since it was highly recommended by friends.  I'm glad I did because it turned out to be very interesting and readable.

We had another accident!  This time some unknown person hit my car while I had it parked in front of the house the other night.  They didn't leave a note so I'm stuck with the bill.  It doesn't look like much but that dent is costing $1,000 to repair!  That will teach me to park my car in the garage or driveway where it's safer.

Well, that is too sad a picture to leave you with, so let me end with this one instead; a lovely big blue heron we spotted by the Boulder Creek last week.  Isn't he a beauty?  I was surprised to see it since we associate it with Maryland waterways, not Western mountains.


  1. Mary, your quilt designs and quilting get better and better!

  2. Beautiful photos as always Mary. Leah Day is my go-to person for quilting design inspiration. Hint: Practice, practice, practice! And you can start with paper and pencil to get the design and muscle memory smooth and fluid before going to the machine.


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