Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marilyn's Quilt

I think I told you about this consignment quilt I've been working on. It is for a woman who lost her husband about 10 years ago (to death, not madness). I've used his shirts for this quilt. She wanted something "swirly" so I hope this will fit the bill. I just need to finish up the binding and complete four pillow covers. 
We've been having days of rain here in Maine so the girls have been a bit stir crazy lately. Then, yesterday I worked all day, so they were ready to GO when I got home. I love this first picture - all four front legs are off the ground.
Miss Lucy is still a speed freak, even in her dotage. She's running so fast, her ears are blowing back. 
 Unlike, slowpoke Sophie, having a little salad here before her entree.
A few of my favorite things this morning (other than quilting and the girls):
-Listening to Pavorotti singing the aria, None Shall Sleep, by Puccini
-Using the rose soap my mom gave me; smells so good
-A second cup of rain forest nut coffee-yum
-Email from two of my bestest friends, Glo and Lu
-The wind ruffling the lake as the fog burns off
My affirmation today says, I am at home in the universe.  Indeed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My friend Sue came over for a sewing day and lunch. We both needed to get some bindings on and it is nice to have a diversion, this so not being my favorite quilting activity.
smiling or gritting her teeth? you be the judge-ha
I spotted this little family paddling past
And, let me tell you, it was AGONY cutting in to my first batik from Bali! Oh, I didn't want to do it. Just four strips for binding but I'm telling you, it hurt! I hope I don't have this much trouble with every one of the 171 meters (!) I brought home. Zoiks! Sue even said, Don't Do It! Big help she is.
So awesome to look at the pattern and know how it was done.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

So, remember how I told you what a great kid my nephew is? Well, check this out. Will (age 13) decided he wanted to sew a vest for himself and, except for a little help from Auntie with the shoulders and the buttons, ta da!
 Kind of a perfect day today because I spent the morning sewing with Will, then took my mower in to be sharpened and the man said, well before you spend the money, why don't you go home and tighten this screw and loosen this one, and see how it goes. So I took it home and found a giant screwdriver and did as he advised and it worked! It's the little things, you know?
So, I spent the afternoon outside, got the lawn mowed and the beds cleaned up. Moved the woodpile and threw down some grass seed. My shady perennials are all coming in nicely as you can see.
 Chris is working on my new dock - so excited about that.
 Life is beautiful, n'est pas?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My sister and her husband and my beloved newphew, Will, are visiting me from Massachusetts. I met them at the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder where the alewives are running. Such an amazing sight always. (Track star Will is on crutches with a fractured tibia.)
climbing up the fish ladder
Happy gulls dining on sushi
 I used my new Fiore sesame oil and honey-ginger balsamic to make a fabulous (if I do say so myself) chicken and veggie stir-fry for dinner. It's nice to cook for more than just me for a change.
I gave Will his udeng brought back from Bali - he looks the part, doesn't he? (well, except for the braces) He is such a great kid.
And, not to bore you but I have to show you my newest oil cloth - came in the mail yesterday. Can't wait to get busy with it. oooooh, loving the color.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I had so much fun with my friend, Sue, yesterday. We went to Rockland for some errands, had lunch at Rustica - fabu as always - and then went for a tasting at Fiore, right on the harbor. First time going there after meaning to for a year or more.
recognize the Bali bag?
 First of all, the shop is beautiful and clean. The containers on this wall are all balsamic vinegars. (The olive oils are on the opposite wall. And, oh the olive oils . . . )We tasted a 12-year old balsamic, an 18-year old (my fave), and a 35-year old! That one was a little overpowering, I thought. We got quite an education and tasted 4 or 5. This is not your grocery store bought balsamic- you will not believe the difference. Sue bought an 18-year old and a vanilla balsamic and we both bought a fig balsamic, which I will use on my salad from now on. It paired beautifully with the medium flavored olive oil from Portugal that we both bought. I also bought some sesame oil which, when paired with the honey ginger balsamic was to die for - think stir fry or thai food. yum!

35-year old balsamic - cost a bloody fortune
The ladies working in the shop were so knowledgable and obviously enjoyed sharing their knowledge. Did you know that extra virgin olive oil contains the antioxidants beta-carotene and Vit E as well as phenolic compounds? And that the EVOO you buy in the grocery store is usually only 3% EVOO! And, is way past the normal life expectancy, which on average is 12 months? In contrast, the stuff we were tasting was pure and fresh, no more than 3 months old. And, what a difference in taste! Not to mention so much better for you. Also, we found out that when the balsamic in the grocery store says it's from Modena, it is NOT. Who knew?? Anyhoo, you have got to go - you won't be sorry.
 We stopped at Beth's farmstand on the way home while the rain held off, but only briefly. Look at that sky.
 The girls got new beds today. Coordinated to Mummy's quilt, of course, and as I write this morning, the usual doggie heads aren't in my lap or nudging my elbow, but in the bedroom in their new beds. Everybody likes something new now and then, right?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So, this is what I stared at for an hour-and-a-half yesterday while I waited for Dr. Zaidi to come in and give me a wicked huge shot in the elbow. After a year of acupuncture, chiropractic and massage, I finally said uncle and took the needle. Ouch!

Other than that, I nested on a foggy rainy day in Maine. I made a big pot of jambalaya using chicken sausage, lots of red pepper and cumin.  I used a pinch of saffron as well. (Did you know you can buy saffron in Bali for mere pennies? Another reason to return. - Well, actually that would be rupiah, not pennies.) Anyhoo, it simmered all afternoon and filled the house with a lovely spicy smell. Turned out great and will be even better today.

I also made up this little summery oilcloth bag, seen here next to Miss Elna. How cute is that? It maybe should have handles but I put shoulder straps on. I'll put the lining in today.
Finally, I wanted to share a picture of the view from my cottage this morning. I love how the sky is reflected in the Lake. Chris and his dad came over last evening and took out my smashed up dock so I should have a new one in a few days. V. excited about that.

ADDENDUM: And here is sunset and it's reflection. I promise I do not take this beauty I get to see every day for granted.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


So, I spent the morning working on a prototype for a new wallet and I think I've got it. Sort of a grab and go or you can put it in your handbag. Even has a little velcroed compartment. I went out to lunch at my fave pub, King Eider - Represent! - and got a positive response. Todd said he would like one but in a man color (boring!) and said he'd like a place in it for his passport. I'll see what I can do, Todd . . .
King Todd of Eider
working up a pattern
finished product - whaddya think?

 Started spring cleaning my studio this afternoon, unpacking stuff from Florida and Bali. Jeez what a mess and I'm still not done. I hung out all of my new oilcloth pieces to let the folds fall out. Yummy colors hanging in the woods.
zoiks! what a mess
I bought these four little dresses in Denpesar, Bali. Could not resist as I have four great nieces. Have no idea if they will fit as the girls are all different sizes and shapes and the dresses are the same but took the chance anyway. Sweet

I miss Bali. sigh It is always nice to be in an alternate reality and not think about anything but what is going on in the moment. . .  Like sewing!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Little offerings everywhere

Everywhere you go in Bali, you come across little offerings to the gods. They are called canang sari and are offered three times a day. It is basically a ritual of giving back what has been given to you by the gods. So, it is not unusual to see some bacon and egg among the flowers in the morning. On the bus, the offering on the dashboard had crackers in it most days along with the flowers and grass. They are in front of the shops, the restaurants, outside every home, in each individual temple, on the vendor's carts, on fenceposts, gates, statues, in cars, at the beach, in the driveway, little offerings of gratitude everywhere. The little baskets are usually made of palm fronds or banana leaves, stuff like that, and when you go to the beach, you see hundreds of them washed up. Recycled, as it were.

The offering is a giving back and gratitude for the richness of life. When I was in the bank one morning, a woman came in with a tray filled with the little offerings, some holy water and incense and put one in front of each teller's station. Oh, and by the way, I just have to say that the women are the ones who do this. If it were up to the men, well I'm sure we all know this tradition would have been lost a long time ago . . . just saying.
Harmony and balance seem to be in the forefront of the Bali way of life. Even their homes are arranged purposefully, the kitchen in the south, the temple in the northeast, adult bedrooms in the north, younger people in the west, etc. Suppi was  continuously telling us about the spirits in all objects and elements of life. Good spirits reside in the mountains, monsters in the sea. Even in cooking, I notice the sweet, sour, salty and bitter complementing each other.

Some scenes from the bus

a warung - basically food on the go. most Balinese eat 2 meals out and these places are everywhere
typical temple in a family compound - you can tell by the black roof
Hard to see but these are Absolut vodka bottles filled with gasoline are little impromptu gas stations. They are everywhere. Good thing their houses aren't made of wood.
These are fighting cocks. You see these cages everywhere. Sometimes the chickens are dyed colors like these are. It is disgusting and should be illegal but apparently is done everywhere. Naturally, it is the men who participate - not the women.
Suppi gave us the full drama-filled stories and the meanings behind the whos and whats and whys of the characters in these sculptures but this post is already way too long, right?

Getting the meeting house in Ubud ready for a meeting with the prince

So, the trip home was a grueling 30+ hours and I won't bore you with the details. (and yes, it was totally worth it) Suffice to say, hurray for drugs! Yay! We were delayed in Bali because we had to wait for the King of Indonesia's plane to take off and we were delayed in Hong Kong because the pilot hit his head or some such. I breezed thru Customs at JFK and no way in the world I would have made my connection through to Portland if a young man by the name of Edgar Reyes had not taken my cart and started running through the airport with me in hot pursuit. Shout out, Edgar!! I got to the gate as the door was closing and they let me on. Home to Maine and here is what it looks like at my house.

The End

My affirmation for Thursday was "I travel safely wherever I go. I always meet loving, helpful people on my journey."  :)