Monday, October 29, 2012

Autumn in Asheville

Last Friday we headed west to Asheville, North Carolina.  Charlie's sister and her family live there, and we traveled for the induction of our nephew, Andy, as an Eagle Scout. 

The weather was quite pretty the first two days.  Lee's neighborhood goes all out for Halloween decorations.  Lee had her lamppost all lit up.

They have recently done some remodeling.  We got to go with them to pick up their new custom-made stained glass window.  It is perfect in the triangular space in their new entrance.  It features mountains and sky, and a family emblem.
Here are all the McBrayers and Logans after Andy's Eagle ceremony.
My own personal Eagle Scout husband again participated in the ceremony.  It was fun to all be together for a happy occasion.
We left Sunday afternoon soon after the reception was over.  As everyone in the world knows by now, there is a perfect storm brewing along the east coast, with Hurricane Sandy crashing up the shoreline.  It was pouring down rain and cold by the time we left Asheville.
The weather actually cleared a little once we got out of the mountains, but it is windy, cold, and rainy today.  It looks like most of the leaves will be blown off the trees before they even reach their full color.
This is a good day to stay in and do some sewing therapy.  A package was waiting in the mailbox with some oceany background fabric I ordered for my future grand-daughter's baby quilt.

I am trying to come up with some kind of ocean scene with mermaids.  So far I have some sketches of fish and other sea creatures, but no real idea how I am going to put this together.  It's much easier when you have a pattern or even an idea.

Hope everyone stays safe over the next few days, especially those near the path of the storm.  Our mountains have snow today, but the worst of the storm seems heading for our neighbors to the north.  Good luck everyone.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm So Organized, It's Scary!

Don't know if I have shown any photos of my third floor studio areas since all the painting and organizing.  There are two finished attic rooms, each with two closets, that I have taken over for my sewing, fabric, and painting.  Most of the time they are not exactly places to show off, featuring lots of works in progress- on the tables, floors, spilling out the door and down the steps. 

No more!

This wall has a tiny door to more storage space under the eaves.  I have my boxes of half yard or more fabric, and some other fabric-related containers here.  That's my cool Sony Ipod dock on top.

On the wall next to that one is my Janome sewing table, pegboards of notions, more containers, and the ironing board to the left.
I re-organized the plastic drawers next to the sewing table, and even made labels from some of my painted papers.
The first closet has more plastic drawers with my fabric scraps sorted by color, miscellaneous other supplies, and my bolts of batting that used to be stored on the rod under my Gammill.  Since my Gammill is on loan to another quilter until we move, I had to find a place for the batting.
Let's move to the other room, which mostly contains paints, papers, and supplies for journaling and mixed media.  I think when last seen, this large work table was covered with projects and my "stuff."  Not now...and the walls are painted a soft beige called "String of Pearls."
See that painting of hollyhocks?  I did not want to put a nail in my freshly-painted walls, so I used those Command strips to hang the framed picture on the wall.  A few days later it fell down, breaking the frame, and tearing the paint off the walls where the adhesive ripped it.  Not what they are cracked up to be!
I have a triple dresser on the next wall.  I have some quirky labels identifying the contents of the drawers.  Mysterious contents such as "Collage Fodder."
The painting on that wall is still hanging, but I see it needs straightening!  That old wooden chair used to be in my husband's grandparents' kitchen.  We used a set of those for our kitchen chairs when we were first married...and for the next thirteen years!  I think it is soon destined to be a potted plant container.
I have had this wooden bookcase in this room for years.  It usually had so many books and supplies in it, on it, and around it, that you could not even stand in front of it.  Now it is cleared out and neatly organized, with room for more.  I donated a lot of my books to the public library, the Capital Quilters Guild silent auction, and Goodwill.
I still like to peek in this closet and see my colorful bins of art supplies.
Now, do I want to start using some of this stuff and risk making a mess again?  LOL- I have hardly done anything since the summer.  I do have a few more pages in my Moleskine journal done, so I will have to take some pictures soon.
I continue to be captivated by the afternoon light this time of year.  Now that the leaves are changing here in the Raleigh area, it is almost too beautiful in the golden afternoon.

My gardens are still hanging on, and I hope the flowers will last a few more weeks.  Here are some flowers near our garden pond in front.

And the knock-out roses are still pretty.  They were a great investment, and very little care compared to regular tea roses which must be sprayed constantly for black mold here in the south.



Monday, October 22, 2012

Beautiful Autumn Weekend

We finally got our house listed and the For Sale sign out front on Friday.

About one minute after that, we left for the North Carolina mountains and some autumn color.  There was a lot of traffic heading that way.  Well worth the trip.
Some leaves are down from the trees already, but there was still a lot of autumn splendor.  On Saturday, Charlie and I went to town.  First stop was the park on top of Mount Jefferson.  Wow.
I love when you can see the cloud shadows on the hills.
Here is one with Mr. Buzzard flying by.
Then we drove back down and stopped at Welch's Produce Store.  Look what welcomed visitors there.

He is made of hay bales, squash, and flexible pipe.  His buddy was guarding over the entrance to the fruit & vegetable stands.

I am a sucker for farmer's markets and fall displays.
We drove back to Laurel Springs along the parkway...the Blue Ridge Parkway, that is.
We also did a lot of riding around on my sister and brother-in-law's property and through the Christmas tree farms.  On Sunday, the sky could not have been any bluer and the sun was shining brightly.
It makes my soul happy to see the sun shining through the trees.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seeking Fabulosity

It has been months in coming, but we are just about ready to put our house on the market.  The POD is almost full, the rooms are painted, the closets and cabinets are cleared out, the windowsills are caulked.  Finally I began to look at decorating the rooms to make them very cozy, comfy, and inviting.  I don't really enjoy spackling walls, but I do like to make the rooms look pretty!

Here is my kitchen table, which received sunlight from three directions.  The glass hurricanes are 40% off the sale price at Coldwater Creek, a great find when I popped in there last weekend.

People who have been to my house would not believe my kitchen counters, all cleared off instead of covered with appliances, houseplants, and junk mail!  Staging the kitchen means removing stuff instead of adding decor.
We also have a small dining room that looks larger after removing a tall chest, a side table, hanging shelves, and my quilt rack.  This is the room where I had to remove all the wallpaper.
Our living room has the same type wall of tall windows as the kitchen. 
There is a screened porch behind the living room windows.  I added some branches with LED lights to the bouquet of silk flowers on the table.  They are currently on sale at Kohl's.
Here is a view of the deck.  I moved some of the rockers from the front porch back here, and moved the old adirondack chairs from the deck up to our mountain cabin.  Okay, Charlie and Dave did the actual moving.
Here is the entrance to the deck.
I have some terra cotta pots filled with mums marching up the steps to the deck.
We have a big front porch surrounded by flower beds and shrubs.  This house is perfect for nature-lovers like me who prefer the outdoors!
Last Christmas, someone sat in this little wicker rocker that belonged to Charlie's mother and broke the cane seat.  I hid the hole with a very realistic cat ornament, but my grand-dog Roo tore the cat to shreds one day while left alone inside.  Now the chair is a plant stand.
If you look on the other side of the front porch, you see the garden pond with fountain.
Of course, the real star of our property is the wooded back yard.  The leaves are just starting to turn.  On a sunny day, our yard is very inviting.
Thanks for going along for the virtual door.  Looking at these photos helps me to see what else I need to do before the realtor comes to take pictures.  Next time I'll show you the upstairs.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Afternoon Light

Don't you love the long shadows and golden streaks of light from late afternoon sun?  That's our dog Kasey watching over her kingdom in our backyard.

Our trees here in Wake Forest, NC, still have a lot of work to do to reach their full autumn splendor.  But they sure light up in the late sunlight.

I have signed up to take two watercolor classes at Art of the Carolinas, both with Tom Jones.  And both deal with painting light.  The first one is Sunrays Filtering Through the Forest, and the other is Painting the Mountain Mist and Clouds.  I am thinking of adding a third class.  It will be great to do some painting again.
Anyway, when I walked back to the edge of our woods, I heard something moving around.  Sure enough, a small deer went scurrying past.  (Too fast for me to get his photo!)
I was reminded of the movie Funny Farm, where Chevy Chase is trying to sell his Vermont farm house, and yells "Cue the deer" when the buyers are in the yard.  They let a deer out of a wire cage to capture their charming environment.  I'm not so sure that would be a plus around here, with deer being so prevalent and eating people's landscaping.  We have not had that problem, probably because everyone has a dog in the backyard and there is so much woodlands for the deer's habitat.  We rarely see the deer near the house.
We are about finished working on this house.  I am hoping the "For Sale" sign goes up soon.  We have company this weekend and our annual pig-picking on Saturday...but not at our house.  I have changed gears and spent the past two days pampering myself with new highlights and haircut, manicure, and the most luxurious pedicure at the salon. 
Ah, that's more like it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Quilting at Hillside Home

Today I had a very fun morning with my friend Jean Houghtby as we presented a talk about quilting at the Hillside Nursing Center right here in Wake Forest, NC.  Jean volunteered to do the presentation on behalf of Capital Quilters Guild of Raleigh, and I tagged along as "Quilt Whisperer,"  helping to hold up the quilts and fold them again.  We had a large group of women filling the dining hall.  Several of them had quilts on their laps!

Most of the quilts belonged to Jean, and were made either by her, or members of her family.  She has inherited a lot of beautiful handmade family quilts.  One of her most popular ones that she shared was the necktie quilt she made for her husband.  The silk ties and satin background give this quilt a very unique look.  It was quilted by Nancy Pease.
It has been cold, rainy, and gloomy here for the past two days, evoking the spirit of January rather than early October.  I think that seeing the colorful quilts brought a bright morning of cheer to the ladies who came to see us do the presentation.  Many of them remembered using feed-sack fabrics to make not only quilts but children's clothing.  One lady was very taken by a beautiful grandmother's flower garden quilt made from hundreds of one-inch hexagons.  She wanted to know how it was made, how the binding was put on, and lots of other details.
Here is another resident who came up to talk after the presentation was over.  She had such a good time that she wants me to send her a copy of this picture with Jean.
I only took two of my own quilts, Something "Girly" and Carolina Woodland Spring.  They were very different from the more traditional quilts that Jean presented, so it gave the ladies a new look at an old American custom.
I will show them here for those that are new to my blog.
Something "Girly"

Carolina Woodland Spring 
We had a nice lunch of asparagus bisque and pear salad at nearby Girasole Restaurant.  Then I came home and started to put my sewing room back together.  Ever since the carpet cleaners were here, everything in the room was piled up on one side.  Even if I had time to quilt, I would not have been able to access my sewing machine.  Now it is almost all sorted out. I even made labels for my plastic drawers, and organized all my rotary cutters, scissors, needles and other notions.  Still have a little left to do up there, and some stuff to carry out.
I have to say that I like having my whole house clean and organized at the same time!