Saturday, September 20, 2008

Full Moon Paddle

For the past few months, a group of us has gone out on the Potomac River on the Saturday closest to the full moon. September's moon is the Harvest Moon, closest to the fall equinox. This time there were 20 of us in 13 boats, sea kayaks, single kayaks, and a few canoes.We set off on the Monocacy River at the Monocacy River Aqueduct (just 3 miles from our house) about 6:30. The Monocacy empties into the Potomac just a few hundreds yards downstream. We paddle out to an island on the Potomac, about a 20 minutes away, unless we dawdle, then 1/2 hour. This is a flat section of the river so many of us take sea kayaks. Last winter 3 of the men built 4 wooden kayaks from kits from Chesapeake Lightcraft. They are spectacular. Wish I had pix of them (next time). Sea kayaks skim over the water like water bugs, they're smooth and sleek and swift. My kayak is a race boat so it is especially fast but also very tippy. The above photo is looking towards the west.

And this one is looking to the east with the full moon rising.

Coming into the inlet to the island.

Someone turned their canoe upside down for a makeshift picnic table and laid out a spread. We all brought something to munch on and of course their was plenty of wine. There was even a 50 gallon drum (washed up on shore from a previous flood) to use for a "bar". Conversation was brisk with talk of politics as we stood or sat (some of the smarter folks thought to bring chairs).

The spread was yummy. We packed up around 10:00, slid into our boats and paddled slowly downstream under the light of the moon. I had brought my headlight but didn't even need it. There was even enough light to load our boats on the vehicles. Can't wait for the Hunter's moon of October! We'll see how long we can go into the winter months.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Summer Daze

As summer winds down (wahhh!), I wanted to post a few pics of what I do on most summer days. Harris Road is a dedicated Rustic Road in Montgomery County. Where I grew up (South Dakota) all of the country roads were gravel, but here in MoCo we have to call a road rustic so it doesn't get paved. Anyway, Harris Road is only about 3 miles long, bordered by fields of soybean, corn and hay, woods, a creek and tiny streams. As you walk along, the views are either of a long canopy of trees, open fields or magnificent views of Sugarloaf Mountain. My friend, Tina and I bike around the mountain or walk our dogs down Harris Road a few times a week.

This is one of our favorite views at all times of the year, although this photo doesn't do it justice. The rolling hillsides change color during the seasons, and we always take a break to oogle over the view.

About the half way point is Little Monocacy Creek. My two goldens swim and swim and Tina's rotweiller just stands ankle deep on the side wishing he were a water dog too.

These are my golden retriever/river otters.

Casey is a bit on the chubby side so wears out easily.

A few more views of the last days of summer........

Chickens love the peaches!

Good bye dog days of summer!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Birthday Coupon

For Judy's 70th birthday, Ann and I gave her a coupon for 10 hours of our labor. Yard work, cleaning, moving furniture, cooking, hauling stuff, transplanting, washing windows, whatever she wanted us to do. The coupon was worth $1000! but not good with any other offer and not redeemable for cash. Ann and I showed up last Monday with our grubby clothes, pruners, clippers, a shovel, wine, food, and lots of energy. The deal was she had to put us up for the night (slumber party!) so we didn't have to cram all the work into one day. We got to work digging up hostas and transplanting them in the front bed. Then hauling split rails to form a fence, moving an air conditioner, mulching, then lots of sitting on the porch drinking wine.

I love this fish and convinced Judy that it needed a better place than leaning against a tree in the woods.

Judy's son is 'storing' his old car behind her cabin.

I call this one, "Seen Better Days."

This very old bird house was lovingly built long ago. It even has copper gutters!

The wee top of it.

It sits on the edge of the woods with a couple other hand made bird houses. Judy said the birds even use them!

Judy made this parcheesi board.

Her father is an accomplished artist and she inherited most of his brushes.

This is pretty fuzzy but it's such a cool metal lobster above her sink.

The following day we woke up to a thunderstorm. She has a metal roof and the rain sounded so soothing, I just wanted to stay in bed, wrapped in my bedding. But there was work to be done! I got to do my favorite thing, a room makeover. We rearranged furniture, and Judy has some great pieces to work with. This is a new addition so she wasn't totally moved into it. It's now comfy cozy with a nice conversation area.

Her father's paintings hang on most of the walls and it was fun coordinating furniture and other pieces to go with them.

Judy is an artist herself and carved this figure when her boys were young.

Didn't do anything to this arrangement as it was perfect. It's in her kitchen. She uses antique chests for storage.

After taming some wild cables to the TV and computer, pulling out a window frame (Judy did most of the swinging of the maul), a bit of painting, and some final tweaking of the living room, and eating an amazing veggie tart that Judy made for us, it was time to say good bye. That's Judy on the left. Can you believe she's 70?!!!!! She is totally awesome. She bought this cabin way out in the country a little over a year ago and along with her son, does a lot of the work on it. It was basically a hunting cabin, very primitive. It's now a lovely home, worthy of an artist.

On the way home, we pass this falley downey barn. See how close it is to the road?! I love the look of it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Haven't Done a Thing!

Someone asked me the other day what I'd been doing this summer and I told them that I've traveled a bunch and it doesn't seem like I've gotten much done. So I gathered up most of what I was working on or completed, and now I don't feel so bad. I'm a lucky girl as I can craft most any day of the week. I sometimes have to get an order out or get ready for an upcoming show (dye, dye, dye, skein, dye), but usually I have a choice of making jewelry, spinning, felting, beading, knitting, fusing, or painting.

more autumn colored jewelry

"Fairy Batts", hand carded fibers that include wool, mohair, angelina glitz, bits of yarn, cotton, and anything else that might be close at hand.

I have some new, luscious kid mohair in and have dyed it in all my colorways. This is a new color arrangement, "Summer Fun", bright fuscia and orange.

and now that fall is approaching (Come on!), I'm dying more autumn colors.

I ordered scads of swirly cotton and I'm making washcloths out of all the awesome colors. I also fired up the kiln last week when it wasn't so blasted hot and made some fall-colored brooches and a dish.

Love these colors!

I haven't been doing that much felting, except for lots and lots of felt balls that I use in jewelry or on purses.

Annie (Kiparoo Farm) and I hosted a one-day retreat in late June, "ChicKnit". We showed crocheted and felt embellishments on felt purses. I had fun coming up with ideas. This purse will be a kit for the fall tour.

Slubby Nubby yarn in Briar Patch with a needle felted flower.

Wet felted purse with a cuff of a sweater I didn't finish, made into a flower.

knitted (my Waltz yarn) and felted purse with commercial wool felt embellishments that I hand dyed.

This little green purse was made from a sleeve from a wool jacket that my friend gave me. The flower is from a Noni pattern.

I finished this Slubby Nubby blanket before it got too beastly hot. It takes 4 skeins of Slubby and one skein of my Ballet nylon yarn as fringe.

I got one sock done out of my Waltz yarn. It's an alpaca, wool blend and is oh so soft. I'm only doing one sock these days as the foot-a-quin I got is like a size 10 and it stretches out the yarn so much I could never wear it anyway.

I got a lot of this organic cotton yarn (Swing) in this beautiful creamy color so needed to make something with it. I found this cute baby sweater pattern free on-line and am loving it!

Finished the little vest out of my favorite book this summer, "Mini Knits". I used Waltz yarn again.

and finished the hiking/hunting socks for this fall. They're knit with my Bee Bop superwash yarn in the colorway, "Woodsey". These will also be available as a kit for the autumn tour.

I've wanted to do something besides socks out of my "Sock Hop" yarn and thought a lace shawl would be just the thing. But I don't do lace, so I had to search and search for an extremely easy 'lace' pattern. This is pretty easy but I haven't gotten very far. This yarn and pattern went on all my vacations this summer and this is as far as I've gotten. Nope, don't like lace knitting.

This color is "Sweet Grass".

I do like the way this shrug turned out though. It looks blue in this photo, but it's really very deep, rich purple, knit out of Loopy mohair. another FREE pattern, yeah!

Being inspired by my travels this summer, I came up with a couple new colorways. This one reminds me of the Maine coastline. It's named, "Going Coastal".

Blues, teals with a hint of white.

and this one is "Out West", a blend of light umber, sky blue and grassy lime green.

I brought up a bin of broken pottery to Cumberland and Seal and I made mosaic mirrors. I have about 25 more pounds of pottery to use up, unless I break more, oops!