Welcome to the Quilt Show- Part One

If you live in the Rockingham County, Va area, you really need to visit this quilt show today in Harrisonburg..

Quilts in the Valley XIII is put on by the Shenandoah Valley Quilters' Guild- open today from 12-5.

I have only been to shows in N. Va and Williamsburg, in huge venues. By comparison, this is small, but no less mighty! Alot of hard work went into setting up this biennial show of 155 gorgeous quilts!  The talent in the valley is amazing!!!!

I was greeted by one of the co-chairs, Guild President Sally Jones,(seen below) got the lowdown on the show and the guild, and of course, picked up an application to join their group!

The first room, as you enter Turner Ashby  High School, is filled with vendors, the silent auction, and the raffle quilt !

                                                    How amazingly wonder-full is this???? 

 You can buy a chance to win Sunrise Over the Blue Ridge  (I got so into everything else, and taking pictures, I FORGOT to buy a chance!) Proceeds from the raffle are shared with Skyline Literacy. Who wouldn't want to take a chance to own this beauty and help the literacy program too ?????

So, here's a tour - but, please, if you are in the area today- go see these quilts in person!!! Photos do not do them justice!!! The guild also sells a $5 DVD of all the quilts in this weekend's show, which will give you a better look than my blog will!

See the quilts, visit the vendors (and try not to buy anything- it's impossible!!!), watch the demos, bid on the silent auction items, and see the pillow puddle (I have NO idea what a pillow puddle is!)

Funny Looking Star- vintage orphan star bought at auction and put on new backround

Under the Sea

Gold Beaded Heron

closeup of beadwork

Lanterns- machine pieced/hand quilted


Flying Cubes (with bead work)

Whirly 30's and Pineapples

One of my favorites- because of the color and the embroidery - and it's theme is baskets!

My Beautiful Baskets

                                                 This one is for Gene- it's wonky!!!!

Daddy's Wonky Log Cabin- made for her dad to hang in the log cabin he built

Pennies and Heart- wool penny rug - a first time entry for this quilter

Christmas Applique

Mountain Pond - paper pieced with hand appliqued cattails

I love 30's fabric and this style- I hope to learn how to do it one day! Here are 2 examples:
Grandmom's Flower Garden- 1st time entry, 1st time English paper piecing

Old Dresden Plate-the top was a vintage antique shop find, with new borders added and machine quilted by the quilter


                                   There were so many more, which I will save for another post. If I counted correctly, there were 155 entries in 12 categories. All visitors get a program, and a checklist to vote for their favorite in each  category. That was VERY hard, believe me!!!

I loved the  little quilted "warning" notices  hanging everywhere - so cute and funny- reminding everyone not to touch the quilts- that was the job of the ladies with the white gloves!!! I will put those in the next post- they deserve a post of their own!!

I hope you enjoyed the show - if you can't get there today, in person - drop back here tomorrow, for another tour!!!

Tea on Tuesday

Before it hits my Etsy shop or eBay, I will have a teeny cup o'  floral tea in this pretty little demitasse from the late 1940's. It's American Limoges, in the Norway Blue pattern. Older style Limoges was hand painted - these are decals- still cute, from Sebring, Ohio.

                                                Plain on the outside, pretty flowers inside

'Tis summer, the rains are plentiful, the flowers are bright and sometimes fragrant......

gerbera daisy

wild thistle

cheery yellow

coreopsis- birdseed volunteer

"Tea does our fancy aid,
Repress those vapours which the head invade,
And keeps that palace of the soul serene."

Edmund Waller
"Of Tea"

Please join us every Tuesday for tea and more. Drop by Patty and Kim for inspiration and a list of other tea lovers!


A Little Feedback.......

After several years of writing blogs, I am continually trying to expand my readership..........any advice?

I link each post to Networked Blogs, twitter, Facebook, Google,Linkedin and where ever else I can think of. I email friends who have asked to be alerted of new posts ( I don't browbeat for readership!!LOL)

 I visit and comment on other people's blogs. All very time consuming (and very enjoyable)- and all this is beyond just writing each blog post and putting up all the photos. Sometimes the networking takes up more time than the actual blog post!!!

The readership stats are not where I would like them to be, nor are the comments. I love my followers and am very thankful the number has risen to to where it is. Thank you all for following me - and I am trying to follow you all back, and visit as often as I can.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!!! Writing and putting it out there, is all about getting our thoughts out there, and the feedback, whether it be in the numbers graph, or actual comments. We writers are a needy bunch, and "need" to know we are loved (or  READ!!!) LOL

I strive to be, at the very least, somewhat entertaining; from time to time educational and/or mildly amusing; and maybe, even sometimes, reach the heights of enlightening some days!!!LOL

                                                    So, whaddya think....??????????

Just Another Day................

Busy day today- met with friends in the morning to rummage thru the old mill (see earlier post about this adventure).

 I forgot to bring a snack, and after an hour or so, was about near collapse, when the owner of the mill came to the rescue with a bottle of butter pecan Ensure!! YUM!!! Note to self - don't leave home without food!!!

One the way home, I had to stop for a last visit with a pet client, whose owners are returning today. Hugs and sloppy dog kisses all around.

Then, with my Ford Escape filled to the brim with rusty bits and treasures from the mill, I headed home.
Next stop was to grab a quick bite, feed my horses, and run to a friend's to socialize some lambs.

Yup, that's what I said!!!  The friend's daughter is raising the lambs for 4H, and they are out of town. Their housesitter can't handle the lambs, so, in order for them to not be totally wild when the owners return, they need daily attention and human bonding of sorts. I play with them M-F and their former owner takes over on the weekend!

I was almost home, and happened to see some birds dive bombing something in the center of the 2 lane road. As I approached, I realized it was a crow - and saw it was still alive.

I pulled over, ran out, and picked up the crow, and put it in the bushes off the side of the road, thinking nature would take its course. As I drove away, and looked in my rear view mirror, I saw the birds were still dive bombing him.
Soooo, I rushed home, got a crate, went back, picked up the crow- who, by this time, had a few more of his wits about him, and was feebly cawing at me. He was not in a position to offer any  real resistance. I put him in the crate, which was a bit too small- crap!  I drove down the road, holding the lid gently closed, so as not to crush Mr. Crow's tail!

I called the vet to see if I could get some help for him or have him euthanized, if his injuries were too serious. The one bad thing about living in the boonies is that the appropriate animal services are usually a great distance away.

I took the crow home, went over to the pole barn, and opened the crate. His wings were fine, as were his neck and legs, no blood anywhere - he appeared to be stunned by a head injury. He walked away from me, and promptly did a somersault, landing on his back, looking very perplexed.

 He righted himself, and staggered over to the round bales, giving me the evil eye- as crows do so well!! LOL

I decided to leave him for a bit -all this activity was stressing him out alot. The pole barn was a safe haven- no cats, dogs, or dive bombing birds.

 Some birds who accidentally fly into windows and don't do serious damage to themselves, just need a bit of time to come around. This crow may have swooped too low, trying to avoid his attacking mob, and been nicked by a passing car. In any event, if he was not better in a few hours, I was planning to take him to the Va Wildlife Center.

Checked again when I came back from lambie play time, crow still there. Another hour passed, I went out to check on the horses, and the crow was gone!!!! YAY!  I searched behind the bales, and in the tall grass surrounding the barn, but he was nowhere to be found.

Had I left him in the road, the crow would have surely been run over by an oncoming car or pecked to death by the angry mob!! I know most people would just drive by, but I just couldn't.

He was a gorgeous bird - surprisingly light for his size, with glistening blue black feathers. Since we live not far down the road from where he was found, I have no doubt the crow is winging his way back to his own territory.

Tea on Tuesday- Flower Power!

I am showing up for  late afternoon tea today.....this morning, I put my Lady Grey tea with Beekman 1802 creamed lemon honey in a "new" thrifted mug, only to pick it up from the counter, and have the handle part company with the mug! Hot tea, a dollar's worth of honey (it's good and worth every penny!) and the mug hit the floor!

In this before photo, it almost looks like you can spot a section where this handle might have been mended- but I looked it over, felt the handle, and had not see anything.What might appear  to be  a repaired seam in the photo was just glue from the masking tape price tag.  Where it came apart was not where you would have thought looking at the pic. Who knows- now handle-less, the mug may end up as a pencil holder, or broken up for a mosaic, or just dumped in the trash.

After having a restless night's sleep, and having early morning tea on the floor, instead of in my stomach, the day was off to a very rocky start.............

Anyway, since flowers are in bloom, (June is bustin' out all o-o-o-over.....all over the meadows and the hills....!) I thought I would share a few of my teacups that portray some of my favorite flowers- pansies,  violets, and thistle.

I was hoping to have a challenge photo that might be used for some artsy  endeavor, like was beautifully done in last week's Tea on Tuesday post.
I'm not sure any of these are worthy of any form of artistic rendering - but feel free to use one, if the mood strikes you !!!


                                                    ..........blooming teacups...........

                                    ( below may be a chocolate pot, but works for tea also)
                            Orphan pieces come together to celebrate the violet

I will leave you with a definition of "afternoon tea"  from:

 Everyman's Encyclopaedia of Etiquette
What to Do
What to Say
What to Write What to Wear
A Book of Manners for Everyday Use
          by Emily Holt, 1920

"The afternoon tea, or ceremonious "at home", has for some years enjoyed a popularity that shows no sign of waning. Indeed, it has almost done away with the once almost universal evening reception. Such teas are given throughout the winter season to introduce young ladies to society, to honor special guests, to give a young married couple an opportunity to meet their friends, and to enable a hostess in a single afternoon successfully to entertain the whole list of her visiting acquaintances. They are the least expensive and the least exacting functions in the list of social diversions and, considering the many good purposes they serve, the most useful and satisfactory."

I am off to enjoy my afternoon tea...........................

Tea on Tuesday- Up to the Challenge !!!!

This morning's tea is in a mug (sorry), not suitable for a photo session!!! Not unlike myself this early in the morning.....!!!

                      But, look at the honey in my tea!!!

I ordered this from the lovely folks at Beekman 1802 , Josh and Brent, and Maria who runs their shop, from upstate Sharon Springs, NY. I placed the order on this past Friday afternoon - it went out in the mail the SAME DAY!! I had it in my mailbox in rural VA on the following Monday morning!!

How is that for service in today's world??? Personal (they call and/or email to answer any questions!), and fast !!!! And, Josh put together my order(according to the back of the little enclosed card)- good job!!! I know how particular Brent can be!!! And being that particular, with attention to detail, is what makes their business  a success- not to mention the quality of their products!!! Thank you, Josh, Brent and Maria!!!!!! (I also ordered something else, but will save that for another day's post!)

It took 648 Beekman bees 1 year to make this 9 oz. jar of honey- hard workers!

A couple of blog posts ago, I put forth a challenge- to create an artsy rendition of a photo of mine.
The idea was the brainchild, of sorts, of Tracey Fletcher King, a watercolorist from across the pond.
She mentioned the photo might make a beautiful painting, and I ran with the idea, and posed a small "challenge" of sorts- giving anyone who wanted to, permission to use this  photo and their imagination to come up with their own interpretation.

I am ashamed to say, I did NOT get around to sketching my own photo !!! And, sadly, there were not many up to the challenge- this time around!!! But, you and I, and maybe even Tracey again, will have another chance next Tuesday!

But, Tracey was definitely up to this challenge- and she did a WONDER-FULL job!!!!

                                                        Here is my original photo:

photo by Pat McNally

Here is that same peony and vintage peony teacup as seen thru the eyes of Tracey!!!
Whimsical and bright- I LOVE it!!! Thank you for the idea, Tracey - and THANK YOU for "playing!!!!!!!Please visit her blog, Tea and Sympathy, to see more of her wonder-full artwork!!!!

  art by Tracey Fletcher King

Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly

I love my lavender garden - I would LOVE to have acres of it, like in Provence, but, alas- not to be!!!!

Since lavender loves sun and good drainage, and not being soaked, my raised rock garden off the front porch is the perfect spot.

I have several different types of lavender- the short stocky ones are perfect for drying, making sachets , and using the blossoms for tea or lavender infused syrup. The tall, lanky English lavender is best for making wands.

The bees and butterflies love the blooming lavender, the praying mantises like attaching their egg cases to the sturdy branches in the fall.

Lavender is blooming  right now - so, let the WEAVING begin!!

For the past few years, after seeing what my art-full friend Patty did with her lavender, I took up the Victorian art of lavender wand making.

After a few false starts, and a couple of not so attractive wands, I am now enjoying it, and making them nonstop.

Before the rain came today, I ran outside and cut 275 lavender stems to make a few more wands.Those were  in addition to the 100 or so  I cut the day before.

I take them before the blooms completely open. I think this helps retain the scent for years and years.
Below is a great tutorial on how to create your own wand. I do it a bit differently, without the wire, and in varying sizes of 13, 17, and 28 stems.

                                                                     Good tutorial

                    One of the many butterflies and bees flitting from blossom to blossom

                                                                    Burl Ives (dating myself!)Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly song

Off to make more "magic" wands........

The Valley Gals Get Down and Dirty!

Our monthly artsy group, The Valley Gals, met in May at Julie's fantastic "manse" on the river.
Hers is a house I have always admired from afar, long before I knew it was her house!!

On the inside, (and maybe that's just me) it has the flavor of Under the Tuscan Sun- tall ceilings with vintage furniture and trappings- to die for ! The outside looks like a newly refurbished old barn or old schoolhouse. Deceptive, since it is a new design.

 Resident kitties getting out of the rain (note the camera shy grey tabby hiding under the wood pile!)

Anyway, enough drooling about Julie's house- we were there to get down and dirty!

We all came prepared, with gardening gloves, potting soil, and plants to share.That's where the dirty comes in!!!LOL

First we had a house tour, then a lovely lunch- Julie and her friend Susan are responsible for the fantastic food and teas at their shop Julieanna, in Broadway, Va. So, we knew it would be good!!

                                                Judy taking a pic of me taking a pic of them!!
                                                    (from left- Bobbi, Judy, Susan, Julie)

                                  The luncheon table overlooking the balcony/deck and river

                                        Lunch is served- from left: Bobbi, Judy, Susan

This delish salad, with dates, strawberries, nuts, egg, drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette, and a wonderful homemade bread, warm and fresh from the oven. I am still waiting for that bread recipe!!!!

Dessert was a melt in your mouth scone, and creamy dessert- not sure what it was, but it was GOOD!

                                      Washed down with either of two homemade iced teas.

Miss Darcy retreated to the comfy couch, when she realized her cute little face was not going to get her any crumbs from the table!!

After pushing ourselves away from the table, we moved out to the deck, overlooking the river, to begin designing our planters.

 I kept glancing out, hoping to get that elusive photo op of an eagle or osprey, but it was too late in the day for any to show up.....sigh.

At our previous meeting, we each had been assigned a group of plants to bring and share, there were plenty to go around, and some leftovers.

I brought several containers to plant in -couldn't narrow it down to just ONE!- an old tea kettle, a rusty little pail, and a tabletop greenhouse that has been sitting vacant on my porch for years.

                         I didn't get a photo of all the finished containers, but here are a few.

All too soon, the day was over, we carted our newly planted treasures out into the drizzle to head on home.

Julie's chickens were chortling away, checking out the activity as we left.

As a follow up to this month's planting theme, in June, we will meet back at Judy's, to try our hand at making hypertufas- stay tuned!!!!