STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hallowe'en in the 'Hood...

~ Harry Behn

Tonight is the night
When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches
Across the sky,
When elf and sprite
Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.

Tonight is the night
When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves
When ghoul and ghost
And goblin host
Dance round their queen.
It's Hallowe'en.

Do you decorate for Hallowe'en? Do you go for the scary?  The creepy? Or just for fun?  We have some awesome "decor" in our neighbourhood this year so I thought I'd share a few pics with you....
First of all I couldn't resist this "elegant" look - okay maybe it's not really Hallowe'en decor- just autumn decor - but this morning as I passed by Government House, the residence of our Lieutenant Governor, the sun was so lovely on those vines, and with the pumpkins on the steps- well I just couldn't help myself!

And you're right- this isn't really my neighbourhood, but it's close by - less than a 2 minute drive from my house, so I'm including it.

If you are scared of spiders, you might want to steer clear of this house- judging  by the size of that web, I can just imagine the size of the spider who must be lurking nearby....

Maybe this is him- he was down the street a bit- no doubt he's out looking for tasty little child-sized morsels to eat... watch for him if you're in the area.... after all he does have eight legs so he can probably run just as fast as you can....

Just down the street from us, our neighbour Greg (who obviously loves Hallowe'en and plans from one year to the next), went all out this year and created a pirate ship on his front lawn. I will have to go down later this evening to see it in action- the ship is supposed to rock gently from side to side as if it is at sea, there are guns on the side of the ship that will light up as if firing, cannons near the house that I think will "fire" or at least smoke, a treasure chest that opens (powered by a rotisserie motor), the sabres held by the "skeleton crew" will raise and
lower...... ummm, just wondering WHO is having more fun here.. the kids or the guy who spends weeks putting this all together???  And on top of this "display" on the front lawn, there is the graveyard up against the house which the kids must walk by to get to the front door. If they dare, they can enter the house and see the Pirate's Banquet all set up in the dining room, complete with bats circling over the dining table...
I stopped and had a chat with Greg a few days ago as he was working on set-up. I laughed and said he must spend all year dreaming up what to do next - he has had some pretty impressive "decor" over the years.. and he replied that last year, some kid said to him they thought it was time he stepped it up a notch, as he had used several "items" several years in a row... Imagine!! I sure hope that kid comes back this year to see what he
has in store for his visitors tonight. And no doubt he will get many trick-or-treaters as he is on the front page of today's newspaper and the caption mentions his "pirate-themed haunted tour". I'm not expecting many at my door. We are pretty dull, in comparison....
Happy Hallowe'en!!!

Trick or Treat!

"There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch." ~Robert Brault

Another Frosty Morning

Another frosty morning! This time I did jump in the car and head downtown, but alas there was no fog this morning on the river. (There was an awesome fog yesterday but I found out too late...) There was a heavy ground frost though so I hope you will enjoy a few more "frosty photos"...
My local readers can picture this- I was at the southside end of the walking bridge (old train bridge) taking photos of the bushes there and of the frosty grass and fallen leaves. An observer would think I was crouched down, ready to jump out and scare someone, but honestly- I was totally engrossed in my photography (down on my knees in the frosty grass, sort of "behind" the bushes). Let's just say I "startled" a few ladies who were out for their morning walk when I stood up.... Sorry ladies! I'm sure they thought this was an early Hallowe'en prank... Bwwwhahahahahaha........... Come back later for some Hallowe'en "decor"...


With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost crisp'd, break from the trees
And  fall. 

Adelaide Crapsey, November Night

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Frosty Morn....

Overnight temps are dipping and this morning there was a significant frost. I should have jumped in the car and headed out in search of frosty photos, but I didn't venture further than my own yard. Lazy, I know...  Here's what I found....


“But frost, like the crystallized dreams of autumn, began to coat the clearing with its sugar glaze.”
~ Victoria Logue, Redemption

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ollie Approved...

On Sunday afternoon, Ca-R-Ma (Cat Rescue Maritimes) held their first walk-a-thon to raise awareness and funds for the work they do in our community. Their mission is to bring feral cat populations into balance through trap-neuter-release programs. Hundreds of cat silhouettes were cut from foam-core and colored by local students, then they were mounted on stakes and displayed at Wilmot Park. I was a little late in getting down to the park but I did walk the length of the display to enjoy the artwork of our talented local youth. Of course being a cat-lover I felt this was a worthwhile project - it really drives the point home to see 450+ "cats" in one area and realize this is the number that have been neutered so far this year. Wow! You realize that it is a significant number! And of course there are many more which need to be done...
I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the artwork. (I don't know about you but looking at children's artwork always makes me smile...) Most of the cats were colored by elementary students, but some were done by art classes at one of our High Schools. Impressive!

Ca-R-Ma is doing great work in our city.. Ollie approves!

Colorful Calico Kitty...
Patchwork Kitty?
This lucky kitty had a lovely red coat
Unicorn Kitty?
Kitty with attitude!
Kitty with Big Dreams
Wanna-be Tiger Kitty
Picasso Kitty?
Sunset Kitty...

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”  ~ Ernest Hemingway

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Beauty of October

Although I dislike the thoughts of winter and colder weather coming soon, I do love the autumn. Who is not charmed by the colorful display that Mother Nature dresses up in, in the fall? But fall is fading fast. Many trees are already bare and the color that is left, is predominantly yellows and golds and the burnished bronzes and browns of the oaks.  I've been out a few times "in search of color" in the last few weeks and I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I seem to have missed the peak time, or I just wasn't looking in the right places at the right times or something... Anyway, here are a few more fall color photos, for what they're worth. Not spectacular, but as my friend Wendy O. says "It is what it is"...

Do you have a favourite tree? This is one of mine, a beautiful maple, just down the street from my house. It's on the golf course and I pass it daily. I love watching it through all the seasons, but especially in the fall...

The bees have been heaping the love on my fall asters...

I do love the red sumac. If we get the promised sun this week, I'll be back at the sumac patch to get more photos. Love that red!!

This California Black Walnut tree is on my side lawn and is right outside my studio window. It brightens the room on a sunny day as the yellow leaves really glow in the sunshine.

This is the Burning Bush on the other side of the front lawn - it is totally red now... but I love the red and green combination before it is all turned brilliant red.

A beautiful oak - I enjoy them almost as much as the maples. Almost. Not quite.

There's that red and green combo again..... I think this photo would almost work for a Christmas card - what do you think?


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." ~ L.M.Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The fading garden...

The garden is fading. Right - who am I kidding? The garden is pretty well gone. Dead. Finito. I have already cut down more than half of the perennial beds, but I cannot bring myself to chop down something that is still in bloom. (It feels akin to murder.)  Not that there's much left still blooming. Yesterday, a dull dreary, then rainy, day I went out with my camera to capture a few last images. The color of course is not as vibrant as I would like it to be, but you can't control the weather... much as I'd like to... Here's what you can see in my garden right now....

The Japanese Anemone is blooming profusely...
Here's a slightly closer look...isn't it pretty?
The Japanese Toad Lily is also loaded with blooms.. it reminds me of a tiny orchid
The bees are still all over the fall asters.
Hmmm, we seem to have a "pink" thing going on here...
The Mandavilla has more buds and blooms now than it has had all summer long!
Of course I am bringing it into the garage each night.
Wonder how long I can keep it going?
Why does our summer have to be so short?

I have a busy few days coming up, I'm teaching a class tomorrow, then a Guild event on Saturday and out of town company on Saturday night. Next post? More seasonal color....


"The crickets still sing in October. And lily, she's trying to bloom. Tho she's resting her head on the shoulder of death, she still shines by the light of the moon." ~ Kevin Dalton

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival

This past week was the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst and I was happy to get there for a day. There are different things going on each day so one has to make choices... never easy. I chose to go Friday to take in the Zonta Fibre Bazaar and two quilt shows as well as the other exhibits which were on all week (Fibre Art Walking Tour, hooked rug displays, etc.). I had originally hoped to stay over for Saturday but that didn't work out. And Mother Nature gave us a rainy day on Friday, but I didn't let that slow me down.
My first stop was to the new quilt shop in town, Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium. Yes, I have my priorities straight - shop FIRST!! I have eagerly been watching and listening to my friend Karen talk about this shop and all the exciting preparations to get it open. How exciting to finally walk through the door and meet owner Beth. It's a great little shop and I look forward to returning again when I am passing by.
Next a stop in to Deanne Fitzpatrick's Studio. Deanne is  a well known rug hooker and her shop is always a riot of color and fibre. I resisted all temptation there but it wasn't easy... Then further down the street was the Zonta Bazaar. This is an awesome collection of vendors with "all things fibre" that your little heart could desire. The festival brochure described it as a "dazzling fibre arts shopping extravaganza" and dazzling it was!!! Did I take photos? Sadly, no. (I  really wanted to!)
There were many artists there with original works and often they do not want photos taken so I "didn't go there". You'll just have to believe me regarding its awesomeness. There was lots of yarn, much of it hand-dyed and hand spun, wool fabric for the hookers, cottons for the quilters,  knit goods, tatting, jewellry, a great variety of original fibre art and much more. I treated myself to a wonderful needlefelted mixed media piece by textile artist Alison Murphy of Hampton N.B. Click on the link to see more of her wonderful pieces. I know I'm going to be looking for her work next time I'm in Saint John, at Handworks Gallery on King Street.
There were two Quilt Shows set up in churches side by side - perfect for the rainy weather- you could almost dash between the raindrops from one to the other. The Cumberland Quilters Guild Show was in First Baptist Church, with quilts beautifully displayed over the pews and hung from the balcony. This always proves a challenge for photography though - it's difficult to get a good photo of an individual quilt. So just enjoy the "group" shots... There is something about quilts in a church sanctuary.. so beautiful...

 The second show was in the smaller Christ Church and it was just as beautiful. At this show we were asked to pick our favourite for Viewer's Choice. Arrggghhhh! It is SO difficult to choose just one! I did of course, but there are always at least three more that I would like to vote for as well... I wonder which one won? These quilts were draped over two pews so it was possible to get a slightly better photo of individual quilts. Ya hafta work with what ya've got....

That's a brief look at another wonderful Fibre Fest in Awesome Amherst. This was the sixth annual. I'm already looking forward to number seven. Mark your calendars now- it's always the Tuesday through Saturday following Thanksgiving weekend. Watch these Youtube videos if you need a little more encouragement to attend - they'll have you wanting more fibre in your diet....
I am linking up with Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River. Check it out for even more fibre in your diet today!!


"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." ~ Elder Uchtdorf
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