Friday, January 30, 2009

Old Fashion Embroidery



Old Fashion Embroidery



gold embroidery scissors and a threaded needle




It's a skill I learned from my Grandmother when I was nine years old.

On an old pillowcase she drew a flower design and taught me the basic stitches - outline, satin, cross, chain, and the hardest for me - the french knot.

She put together a small round tin that was big enough to hold the beautifully colored threads, the needles, the metal hoop, and my most cherished tool of all - the gold colored embroidery scissors that were shaped like a bird.

I still have the scissors, but they are in a bigger case now. I still have the skills, but not as much time to use them.

When I purchased a new sewing machine, shortly before my children were born, it came with an embroidery tool built in it.

My clothing and crafts soon had these beautifully designed custom embroidery patterns on them - all created in the blink of an eye with this machine.

Today, there are websites, like, Threadsmith.com, where you can design your pattern online, and they will send you the clothing with your design beautifully embroidered on it.

Yep, embroidery has come a long way over the years. I am still glad to have this skill though. The joy that a handcrafted gift brings is unmeasurable.










Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ABC Wednesday - B is for Bird Prints



B is for Bird Prints.............



foot prints of a bird in the wet snow



I saw these prints coming up our driveway and I just had to capture them.

We had received a layer of wet snow which was just perfect for these bird's foot prints.

I was pretty lucky to get them - if you look in the upper left corner, you can see the edge of the tire track. We just missed running over this set as we had all the others.

You can't tell from the image, but they are a really good sized impression.

It was a Black Crow that had waddled his way up the driveway.

He and his buddies were up in the tree squawking at me as I took these photos.

I don't know what they were doing in the driveway though, the bird feeders and all the seeds are way out in the backyard, way too far for him to walk to.

Must have been something that caught his attention, and I am awfully glad it did!



This is the fourth round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.










Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Selling Photos Online



Selling Photos Online



a wood fence post along a path to the ocean




This April will be two years that I have had my photo website set up on the internet.

It is something that has worked well for me, and I am glad I did it when I did, as now it has some age to it. I almost had decided to wait until we were sure it was the "right time" - but sometimes when you wait for that it never gets here.

When I first started out, I had no idea about websites, and the whole idea of trying to put one together was really intimidating. And I didn't have the resources to hire a web designer.

Since I have been selling on the internet for over 10 years, I was quite aware of the security that I would have to deal with, and once again, I knew nothing about setting it up correctly.

I decided to go with an established photo web host that offered secure shopping cart software for customers who would be purchasing my images.

All I had to do was upload my images and learn some css coding so I could design my website to my liking.

My host handles the secure payments, which makes it a breeze for my customers.

And I don't have the headaches of trying to keep it safe for them to do so.

I get to enjoy taking the photos!








Sunday, January 25, 2009

White Daisies for Green Thumb Sunday


White Daisies for Green Thumb Sunday


a bunch of white daisies with yellow centers




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I found these beauties last October.

Now, October isn't the time of year that they are usually growing in the field by my house, so I was quite surprised to find them blooming so beautifully this time of the year.

We had taken a trip to the ocean, and they were growing in a garden of one of the homes along the beach.

Perhaps it's the salt air they like, or maybe it helps to preserve them. Or perhaps they are a cultivated variety.

The wild daisies around my home are long gone by September.

It was a nice treat to find them, and such a full patch of them too - all looking bright and fresh.












Friday, January 23, 2009

An Uplifting Sight



An Uplifting Sight



long stem red roses and white baby breath flowers




The snow banks are piled high - the dark brown starting to settle into them along the outer edges.

The cars drive by on this overcast day, splashing more of the salt and sand mixture on the banks.

As ugly as they are, we are glad to have them there as it saves us from getting that muck splashed on us as we walked along.

Winter is wearing hard this year - another extreme cold snap on the way has us dreaming of spring's warm sun and summer's gentle evenings.

And then our walk takes us by the florist shop on the corner.

The owner is quite in tuned to this dreary season and her shop has a way of taking you away from all the gray and cold of these long days.

Now, I know that it is her advertising display of Valentine's Gifts for the upcoming holiday, but I see it as my own personal oasis.

It isn't just the beautiful roses or the sunny faced daises and mums that draw the eyes to the window.

There are heart shapes of every size - some in satin, some with gold trimming, and others with big, bright bows decorating boxes that are filled with delicious chocolates.

And some of those boxes are opened - tempting one to reach through the glass for just one taste.

All that chocolate - dark and light with nuts and caramels

One glimpse is all that is needed to brighten the mood of the dreary afternoon.

The flowers, the chocolates, and knowing that one of them will find their way to our home on that special day in February makes one feel warm all over.

Simple pleasures are always the best!








Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ABC Wednesday - A is for Antique Wrench



A is for Antique Wrench.............



an old antique wrench against a red background



It may be a bit harder to use than the modern day wrenches, but with a little oil to grease its rusty hinges, the strong teeth hold tighter than any new wrench on the market today.

Constructed of solid metal, it has accomplished many a tough job throughout its life.

And there are still many jobs left for it to do.

It is sitting on a red toolbox that is filled with modern day tools, and this one stood right out at me when I slid open one of the drawers.

My husband just cannot part with it - no one discards a tool as good as this one just because it is old.

So it continues to reside alongside the shiny new ones, more secure in its future than any other tool in the drawer.



This is the fourth round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.










Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grazing Cows for Green Thumb Sunday


Grazing Cows for Green Thumb Sunday


cows grazing in a green pasture




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Last week I posted about the view that the cows had behind their barn.

These are the cows that live in that barn. I believe there are more further down the hill behind the trees, but these ones were still in view from the road.

They really do have a beautiful pasture with plenty of grass and room to keep them happy.

We have another snow storm headed our way tonight. I like looking at these images to remind me that summer will eventually get here in all it's glory.










Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Four Months of Sleep



Four Months of Sleep



a teddy bear covered up in bed




I heard it on the radio, and had to give it some thought.

They stated that we spend four months of each year asleep in bed.

It seemed like too much to me, but if you get eight hours of sleep each night, then it does work out to the four months.

Four months of doing nothing - not getting anything accomplished.

I know recharging is necessary, and don't get me wrong, I love to sleep, but it seems like such a large amount of wasted time when it's all put together like that.

Glad we spread it out, and also glad we have a comfortable bed to sleep in.

Sometimes there are nights when those hours just fly by, and another day starts before you know it.

And then there are those nights that are spent tossing and turning - those hours just drag.

Forget about the nights that are full of dreams - sometimes so many of them that it feels like you never even went to sleep.

Those are the nights that I wish we had a Memory foam mattress.

We have used the memory foam pillows, and I can just imagine what a treat it must be for the whole body to sleep in such comfort.

Perhaps some day will will try one of those foam toppers that goes over the mattress - it may be just what we need for those restless nights - all four months of them.











ABC Wednesday - Z is for Zinc



Z is for Zinc.............



copper penny coins in a line



This little pile of shiny copper is quite deceiving.

This U.S. coin - the smallest of our denominations - is a penny, and it holds a face value of one cent.

In 1982, the US government changed the composition of this coin which had been made of copper for hundreds of years.

Copper had become a precious metal, and the amount of copper in each penny gave each coin a value of .026 - doubling its value because of its metal weight.

Well, we just couldn't have that - it's not the capitalistic way.

So a new recipe for pennies was born.

They are now made of 97.5% zinc covered with an extra thin 2.5% layer of copper.

These babies are also quite toxic - the amount of zinc in them can be fatal to dogs and we can be poisoned by them if we ingest them.

But of course the amount of metal in them is now worth under .001 of a cent.

And if is anyone is caught trying to sell or export the old, real copper pennies for melt value - there is a $10,000 fine or a vacation in prison.

If you heft one of these guys - they are light as a feather. No solid feeling of a coin in the hand as with the old ones.

Oh well - at least they won't weight heavy in the pocket.



This is the third round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.










Sunday, January 11, 2009

Behind the Barn for Green Thumb Sunday


Behind the Barn for Green Thumb Sunday


the green field and pasture behind the barn




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It was just after a summer shower that we came upon this beautiful green pasture just behind a big old barn in Maine.

You can still see remnants of the gray clouds to the left of the image.

All the cows were in a field further away from the barn, and I couldn't help but think that they really have a gorgeous view, and they don't even realize it.

Next week I will post an image of the cows grazing away and enjoying their beautiful pasture behind the barn.










Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An Old Wicker Seat



An Old Wicker Seat



an antique stenciled chair with a wicker seat




This little seat is an antique piece that my grandmother handed down to my sister.

She uses it now as a seat for a teddy bear that is probably older than that chair.

It is an antique that my grandmother gladly let us play with when we visited with our dolls and had tea parties.

We could never sit on it, but the dolls were more than welcome to use it.

After dressing up in some of my Gram's clothes, scarfs, costume jewelry, and shoes, we would all sit down at a small table and partake of tea and cookies.

That tea always had milk in it - my grandmother didn't want us to get burned. It took me years to try tea again, and without the milk it is now one of my favorite beverages.

We never knew who did the stenciling or painting on the chair, or where she got it from, but as far back as I can remember, it was always around.

She never did any work on it, all of the paint and the wicker seat is original - and it has held up pretty well over the years considering it did get used by little girls.

I never thought wicker to be that durable, but after reading up about it, I discovered that if the materials are grown in the right environment, it is quite long lasting and strong.

Of course this isn't the beautiful wickerwork that today's Conservatory Furniture is constructed of, but it must have been grown correctly in its time to have held up this long.

And it is certainly not as comfortable as today's wicker either - no foam cushions to relax in. The smoothly woven rattan of today doesn't snag you either like this chair's seat does.

Still though, we treasure it for its memories and enjoyment that it brought to us from our Gram.










ABC Wednesday - Y is for Yikes!



Y is for Yikes!.............



a broken glass windshield on a car



This spiderweb of broken and shattered glass makes for a great abstract image.

While checking out the salvage cars for the upcoming auction, this windshield really stood out.

Most of the cars either had their glass intact or completely gone depending on the severity of the accident.

There are very few with this kind of damage.

This safety glass has a coating designed into it that helps to keep it intact should it get broke.

It is designed to hold its shape and act as a shield to protect the occupants.

The side window glass is designed to break into non-sharp cubes that is easily brushed off without fear of being cut.

Each step the auto designers take to ensure our safety is a plus for us consumers.



This is the third round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.










Monday, January 5, 2009

Make Mine an Audi



Make Mine an Audi



tail light on an audi awd




I have been luckier than most when it comes to driving different cars - all types, styles, shapes - I have driven many.

I must say though, that when it comes to handling, which I find to be very important, there is nothing like a German engineered automobile.

A tight handling, responsive car, usually in the shape of a sports car offers the best ride and driving experience for me.

It is hard to find this type of handling in a sedan or sport utility vehicle, but from what I have read about the new Audi Q7 SUV, its performance is surprising.

Not to mention it's sleek and elegantly designed body which gives it a racy look.

Surprisingly, the interior has a third row of seats. This car's cousins, the Porche Cayenne and VW Touareg, do not offer this feature.

These seats fold, flip, and slide around into 28 different configurations - sounds like it can accomodate just about anything.

The butter soft leather is luxurious and there are many bells and whistles - enough to please everyone's taste.

The cold weather package even has a heated steering wheel to go with the heated seats - what a treat in my area of the country.

The quattro all-wheel drive that Audi is notorious for is another feature that is a must-have where we live.

Except for the hefty price, this audi q7 sounds like a dream.

But what can one expect from an Audi?









Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blast Off



Blast Off



a model rocket on the launch pad ready for blast off




My last post featured a model rocket blasting off into the sky. It was hard to see that it was a rocket as it was really moving fast, and my shutter speed was not fast enough to catch it.

This image was taken just seconds before it built up speed. It was already lifting off the launch pad as the smoke was billowing around it.

This was the biggest rocket that my son built, and he used a larger engine than he usually used in his smaller rockets.

It took off into the sky - completely out of sight.

We spent quite a bit of time looking for it, and only found part of it - the rest of it had been destroyed at some point in it's journey.

He hasn't built any in quite a while, and I must admit, I miss the launching and blasting off that we used to do.

It was a cool hobby he had, and I am glad he shared it with us.












Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year to All!



Happy New Year to All!



a model rocket blasting off into the sky




"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."


I read this quote by Oprah Winfrey and thought it was quite fitting for this year end.

I want to thank all who have taken the time this past year to visit my blogs. Your comments and visits are most appreciated.

I have discovered many new blogs and gained many new friends during 2008.

I look forward to another year filled with your wonderful posts and thoughts.

Wishing all a Happy New Year filled with all that is good!

Take care, my friends!












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