That's where I seem to have been. September into October has been a rather chaotic time for us with our daughter’s move from New York, and things are just starting to settle down. All of which means that I’ve not spent a lot of time sewing and crafting. But I’ve spent a little time … which is a great help to keep me in balance. This fish is a collage project made by my quilting friend Joanne who joined my guild for a 3-day quilt retreat the week following the two spent on the road with the big move. The fish is a bit collaborative as she invited all of us to add refinement and details to the piece. She left the workroom and we really got into it, cutting small motifs from everyone's fabrics and jazzing up her fish. Joanne and I used to work at a magazine together so I told her we wanted to give her something to edit! She had to travel back to PA, but she’s already reassembling the fish and will share a photo when it’s complete. I got several quilt projects moved along toward completion, but nothing fully done. It felt good to hear the hum of the sewing machines and conversations in the workroom though. I find that very soothing.
One project I did complete at home is a pet bed for the local animal shelter. Our guild makes dog beds and cat hammocks, filling them with fabric and batting scraps. I had placed this one on the floor to fluff and redistribute the filling evenly. Look who had to take it for a test drive! Lily gives it two claws up.
This post seems to be the all-animal, food, and travel edition. With some cooler fall weather, we took a bike ride in Melrose, a lovely community not far from here. There are several galleries, and a new one called Artisans Way had this Blues Brothers display on the lawn. Clever and eye-catching.
And look- the building fell on the witch! Those ruby slippers are mine for the taking. This was an interesting place with lots of lovely jewelry and art pieces. A return visit is on my agenda.
I’m not sure if this looks as appealing as I found it, but lunch was an unusual and very tasty combo of smoked salmon and asparagus in a wrap with black beans and rice at Blue Water Grill in Melrose. Yummy.
Another nearby place I visited recently is Crone’s Cradle Conserve, a sustainable ecological preserve and organic farm. They hold festivals a couple of times a year and feature local produce and foods. I’d been meaning to visit for several years, but was previously put off by the l-o-o-n-g drive down a narrow sandy track to reach them. But the drive was worth it. Tours of the farm and greenhouse were available along with a buffet of foods like goat, wild hog, gator, vegetarian dishes, desserts, and herb iced teas. Visitors bought a ticket for each dish we wanted to try.
I have lived in Florida for awhile, but had yet to try gator meat. So here is my gator kabob. Ummm… tastes like chicken? Actually it does. It’s very mild, though a bit chewy. I left, picking gator from my teeth. Better than the other way around, right? Because they are eco-friendly, the staff served meals on glass plates, with real sliverware, offered beverages in mason jars, and used bandannas for napkins. A pretty presentation, and a very interesting place.
Jake the resident cat kept me company on the adjacent chair while I ate, and never requested any gator.
Here’s another reason I sometimes find it difficult to get things done- my "helpers". Scooter is resting on the fabric, and Lily on the cutting instructions. Both love to maintain a paws-on approach to my projects.
Joanne and I also spent a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park when I picked her up in Orlando, and I was reminded of the Tibetan tradition of prayer flags, and how I need to make some more. They are small and satisfying projects to just get my hands on fabrics and try interesting new techniques.
We were fortunate to get a look at this gorilla crossing the stream on a fallen log. He was quite entertaining. By the time Joanne got her camera ready, he was showing his backside to everyone! She got a great shot- ha! Back to more quilting and journaling soon I hope.