Thursday, March 24, 2011

Darn It!

Have you ever heard of dragonflies referred to as "darning needles"?

Growing up I remember being told that's what they were.  And they had the power to sew up your mouth if you were caught saying a bad word, or even if you were talking too much.  Good thing I made up a batch of these the other day. 

Because I may have wanted to say bad words when I caught a glimpse of our lilac bush right outside the window. 

And how can I envision Spring with this addition to our flower boxes?

So for now I busy myself with some needlework of my own.  A remnant of burlap that I stenciled the words "Frenchman's Bay Tea Co." for an idea I had for a pillow.

My progress so far.  And I'll be using my recently found ship fabric for the back of the pillow.

This is Frenchman's Bay, taken right here in Sorrento yesterday.  The "Tea Co." part is fictional, as far as I know.

Anyway, the cookies are slowly dwindling, right along with the snow. 

We continue to have daily snow showers, but thankfully the ground has warmed up enough to make the snow disappear fairly quickly.  And for now, no more bad words needed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Favorite Shades of Aqua

Yesterday the water was a beautiful shade of aqua during our walk.

It's so nice to know the Winter is slowly releasing it's icy grip. 

Can you believe it was a balmy 61 degrees here, and our inland areas broke a record at 68 degrees. 

Here's a Cooper's Hawk I tried to get a clear shot of the other day through my window.  It's a little out of focus but he was in between branches the entire time and this was the best I could do. 

Here's a bundle of miniature roses I picked up on our last trip to the grocery store. 

I bought them right after I found this trio of vintage aqua bottles at a thrift store. 

We're already enjoying our taste of Spring, both inside and outside. 

Good thing because next up is Mud season, of which I will spare you any pictures from. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sewing By The Sea

I borrowed the title of this post from a nearby fabric shop that I recently became fascinated with after  I  came across an article written about this shop.  The article explains that it is run by the wives of some local fishermen.  In all the times we have driven by this shop I have never once stopped in, until this past Monday.  Turns out it is closed on Mondays.  But until I can make it there, I have built it up in my mind of what I may find inside.  Whenever I come across unusual sea-inspired fabric I'm like a kid in a candy store. 

I  have this romantic image of old steamer trunks filled with exotic fabrics carried by ancient seafaring vessels.  And of course there would be containers of exotic teas inside too.  I just love how these two fabrics look together, but I have yet to decide what to make with them.  Any ideas for me?   Keep in mind my skills are basic though.   

Several years ago I found a single linen napkin with an embroidered blue lobster that I kept even though it was badly stained thinking I would eventually think of something to do with it.  The other day I happened to  remember my blue lobster and decided it would go nicely on my new white hoodie.

After tacking it down with a few hand stitches to hold it in place, I headed to my sewing machine.  The fanciest stitch I ever do is a zigzag and I found out it needed several passes around to cover up my hand stitches.   It's not perfect, but I like it and most people would not ever get a look of it this close up anyway.  But here it is. 

Since I was on a roll, I remembered another fabric I had in my stash that I thought would make a nice strap cover for my camera.  Mind you, I have never made a camera strap cover before, but after looking at a few samples on-line I realized they were much narrower than than 5 inch width that would show all the pattern repeats of my fabric.  Below is the width I originally wanted, but it was way too wide for my camera. 

I ended up making it with a 2" width with the pattern wrapping around the strap.  Here it is on my camera.  I like it and it probably won't show all the grime from the elements that I constantly seem to drag my camera through everyday. 

But before I go I wanted to show you what a difference just one day of rain made here recently.  This is a scene from our harbor just before it began to rain the other day. 

The next day during our walk we saw all this ice!  The ice was from the more shallow coves and the rain caused it to break up and flow out of the coves. 

We didn't see any evidence of it left today, but I'm sure it was a challenge for the fisherman to get out to their boats when it first showed up!  Or, even for trunks of exotic fabric to make it safely into our harbor.  Sure glad it's gone!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Winter Hungries

We love to visit Bar Harbor off season, but it's slim pickings in the eating department there this time of year until around May 15, which is the typical start of the tourist season.  It was a bit blustery on the town pier where I spotted a few gulls wandering around.  I can only imagine that they were out looking for a few scraps to eat too. 

We continued on to this pretty scene in Somesville.  While it's still a lovely spot in the winter, I missed the cheerful sight of flower boxes filled with cascading blooms and I imagined how nice it would be to just head over to Jordan Pond House for maybe a popover or perhaps a scone or two. 

I asked Henri if he was hungry for a scone.  He was.  So we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items that I could use to whip up some goodies for us to eat at our own little diner booth back at home.

First up, was a simple recipe for coffeehouse scones that I found here

And they were melt in your mouth good covered in some store-bought lemon curd. 

Then yesterday with St. Patrick's Day looming, I decided to try my hand at some Irish Soda Bread.  Here's the ultra easy recipe I used.   Except I added 1/2 cup of currants, 2 teaspoons of sugar and baked it for about 15 minutes longer. 

And finally, today I made up my own little super easy recipe for a quick tuna au gratin that I baked up in some scallop shells. Just flake up 2 small cans of tuna with some mayo, 1/2 stalk of minced celery, some minced red bell pepper, and a little lemon juice.  Add mixture to shell and sprinkle with some crushed Ritz crackers, paprika and some shredded Cabot's Seriously Sharp white cheddar cheese.

Bake for 25 min. at 350 degrees and serve with some jumbo shrimp.   And to make it easy on yourself, serve them with a side of store-bought shrimp cocktail sauce. 

You don't even have to do the dishes, although you might want to so you can make this again sometime.    

 The leftover stalk of celery goes to the green bird inside.   

And good heavens, don't forget to fill the feeders for all the outside feathered friends too! 

If you can manage it, I highly recommend dining aside a pretty bowl of candle lit sea glass.

Then sit back and enjoy, because surely May 15 will be here before you know it!