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Friday, June 20, 2014

Just a reminder...

              that Life is a Beach! A little perspective on this last day of Not Summer 2014!
(Shown here: Reid State Park, Popham Beach ,and Crescent Beach, all within easy driving distance of home)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Store For Rent

Small towns change. Once upon a time there was a general store just before the Bath/Phippsburg line, but it hasn't been operative since before I got here. The property was purchased last year and major renovations have taken place. It's nice to see the old become new in such a lovely way.


It sits across the road from Old Mill Bay, where a bald eagle can frequently be seen perching on a high branch overlooking the water at low tide, and on the beginning of the road that takes one to Winnegance Bay
Today was an open house, showing off the inside which is perfect for a general store or coffee shop.
Formerly warped floors have new flooring and the smell of new wood was very pleasant.
The decor is as yet minimal and eclectic, just waiting for whoever rents it to make it their own.
There's a separate upstairs apartment as well, with a small second story deck at the back of the store.
Progress this way is GOOD. Can't wait to see who sets up shop here!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Short Visit

          Driving home from the post office, the road goes right by the turnoff to Popham  Beach, and today I could not resist the pull of my favorite place in all the world.
          I made a deal with myself that I would not stay too long......
                                                                Vegetation,
                                                         Patterns in the sand
                                                                     Clouds,
     I kept to my deal, walking just to the water's edge to get my feet wet and no more before I headed home.
                                        NOTE TO SELF: Get to the beach more!

Beyond Bitty



Sometimes I like the patterns I create enough to do them over and over again. When I first designed Bitty Baskets for www.mainlycrochet.com , I had a specific use in mind, a favor cup of sorts at an Easter table. Because the design is quick and easy, it's possible to make quite a few of them in a short period of time.

My oldest daughter turns 42 today. She is one of the hardest working women I know, and she has just started working a new job at a flower farm in Vermont. She said something about nightly foot rubs being necessary to get the feet feeling OK after a hard day in the fields, so I thought I would send her some splurge foot items for her birthday.

A trip to the Body Shop in Freeport found a bunch of really nifty foot products, but I still needed an adequate container for them. So, I thought beyond bitty......

Instead of one strand of Super Saver as was used in the original pattern, I chose 3 colors from my stash that I liked together and that coordinated with the products (With Love Bluebell and Iris; Super Saver Turqua).Using a P hook, holding all three strands together, I worked the pattern and got this:
 I decided against doing the handle, wanting more of an open shape. It was not huge, but big enough to hold the items it needed to....
Then, of course, it needed wrapping. The same yarns from the basket were made into chains- ch 100!- and knotted at both ends, for ties.
My Activities Director kept a close eye on the process throughout, but finally the  gift was wrapped and ready to bring to the mail.
           July 6 is known as D-Day by most people, but for 42 years, it has been Q-Day for me.
                                                   Happy Birthday, Quayl!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dance of the Butterflies


Getting a piece of what is really a piece of crochet art ready for publication is a lengthy process. First, the designer creates the piece- no small feat, that!-with all the... what thread? what color? what colors together? does this stitch and join work? questions. I'm not going to pretend that I understand Kathryn White's process, but I do know that she is an incredible designer and although I have had the opportunity to produce many of her pieces, her skill and art never fails to amaze me.
       The colors in Butterfly Dance speak to me. I have always loved purple and green together.
When Don was here last, he took flat shots of the doily. We always do flat shots in the hope that there will be little distraction when a stitcher goes to do the project, and that stitches will be clearly visible as reference.
                                         And then there are close ups of the individual parts.....
It was left to me to do the styled shots. The title shot used azaleas from the front yard, and a faux butterfly prop I found at Jo-ann's. It's always a challenge to style doilies, important to enhance the doily,and to not over accessorize it.
I did one on the living room floor, just to have a different wood backing than the table in the title shot. That butterfly was persistent!
The backyard provided the prop for the final shot, purple honeysuckle, with which I surrounded the piece in numerous ways,
and that finally led to a shot which mostly showed just the leaves in the photo, but is still a reminder that much of Kathryn's inspiration comes from the Great Outdoors.
The final pattern is all of 46 pages. Susanna set it up so that both right and left handers can see where the joins are, and there are directions for both a padded cord method and alternatively, a  faux ring method as well. It is not for a beginner, or even a faint-hearted expert, but it is truly an extraordinary work of art in crochet, one that I am both grateful and proud to have produced for www.mainlycrochet.com !

Monday, June 2, 2014

Just Sayin.......

                                                  This came in the mail today.....
                                                 My personal assistant keeping it real!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Inside and Outside the Box

Sue Solakian is a great designer, and I have been fortunate to be able to use many of her designs on the www.mainlycrochet.com website. This particular design fits all my criteria for Greatness.
It's done in an inexpensive, accessible yarn- Red Heart Super Saver, in a color that is neutral, but not boring- #320 Cornmeal. It is done in squares, making it portable. While it is listed as Experienced, a really aggressive Newbie could in fact make it. There might be a few moments of deep breathing and a sailor's term or two, but it's one of those patterns that allows you to learn more with it. Don Patty's most excellent photos allow one to really see what is happening with the squares.
Now, sometimes a designer has spent so much time inside the box, that she needs to get OUTSIDE it.
Sue sent me two great color alternatives to the solid Cornmeal, one Christmas-y, done in Christmas colors
and the other, almost Camouflage-y

done with variegateds # 0944 Cherry Cola and # 629 Green Tones, with squares positioned differently than the original, proving that a Great design isn't just what it looks like, but how you see it too!