A Stitch in Time*

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Bit of Heritage

Work has been busy, and my classroom is just about ready! Phew. I brought a huge stack of stuff to work on at home, but for now I wanted to come here and share some photos with you.

I've slowly been trying to collect little pieces that reflect my Norwegian ancestry. My husband is also half Norwegian. I wanted to share some photos of pieces that were given to us or purchased by me the past few years.

While reading various blogs, I was thrilled to come upon some photos of rosemaling in Ele's beautiful blog:http://abitofpinkheaven.blogspot.com/ Rosemaling is a type of tole painting that originated in Norway.

Here's a napkin holder that's rosemaled. I bought it last year at an antique store in West Central Minnesota.

Here are two plates that I bought last summer. The red one was purchased brand new in a Norwegian store in Minnesota, and I bought the tan one at an antique store.

The needlework that originated in Norway is Hardanger embroidery. It's done on 22 count fabric, and I personally haven't ever tried it. I guess that's on my 'to do' list! Here's a Hardanger cross that a dear friend gave me. She's in her eighties, and she just learned how to do Hardanger a few years ago.

Another Norwegian type of item that I like are little dishes with Hardanger designs pressed onto them. In this craft, the person who makes them presses finished Hardanger pieces into clay and forms a Hardanger type design. A relative of mine collects them and uses them in her bedroom and guest rooms as little catch-alls for jewelry and other small items. Here's a dish my aunt gave me last summer:

Here's a view of several of our Norway pieces together. They're all sitting on top of a beautiful Hardanger piece that my late mother had someone stitch for me. My mother-in-law always appreciated my love of needlework! The photo also shows some pretty salt and pepper shakers that have blue rosemaling designs handpainted on them. You can also see a rosemaled plate that I bought over twenty years ago, as well as another small ceramic dish with Hardanger pressed onto it.

Finally, here's a view of all the Norway items arranged in our family room corner. It looks like I need to put a plant there, too, to warm it up a bit. I also wanted to crosstitch a Norwegian bellpull, but that's also in my 'to do' list.

Do you collect any items that reflect your heritage? I'm not much of a collector at all, but finding these Norwegian items has been fun.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Heading Back to Work, etc.

Shake, Eddie, Shake!

Thanks for your kind comments on my previous entry all about our trip to Kauai. I appreciate it a lot! This was our first trip ever to Hawaii, and we're both closing in on fifty. Our vacations have always been spent visiting family or driving locally for a few hours, so this was quite a big change for us. We saw many families while in Hawaii, but that's not something we were ever able to do while our children were living at home. My husband gets to travel a lot with his job, but I don't go along on those jaunts. Why am I telling you all this? I'm explaining my complete enthusiasm for our trip from which we just returned.

On to life in the real world! Above is a picture of Eddie doing a 'trick'with our daughter. She's the official trainer and handler of our 80 pound wonder. We took some photos of our canine companion per a request from a greyhound rescue organization. It's for their website since he won first prize back in June as "Trickiest Greyhound" at the retired racers' reunion picnic. Truly, greyhounds aren't known for their trickiness, so keep that in mind.

Happy Blog Anniversary to me! I have had this blog for just over a year now, and I do admit I haven't said much here. I try to keep it light and fluffy, as you may have noticed. In one year I have just under 40 posts, and I think that perhaps 1/3 of them are from this summer. (I'm too lazy to look back and figure it out, and who cares anyway?)I know that a lot of people must like reading blogs, and I know that I do. If you read this one once in awhile, thanks so much!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An Island to Remember

Sunset at Spouting Horn, Kauai

We returned from our trip to Hawaii. It was so beautiful on the island where we visited, simply gorgeous. In fact, it seems amazing that such places truly exist. I would love to return to Kauai again someday and explore far more than we were able to do in just about a week. Next time we'll stay a few more days, at least.

I like to relax a lot while visiting somewhere, so that precludes a maddening schedule of too many activities. I really don't like to stay too busy at all on vacation. We've never traveled much at all, so I chose to stay at a place that was very beautiful since we'd waited so long to travel. Like I said, I don't like adventure too much so I wanted the surroundings to be really pretty where we stayed. We got that, and more. It was delightful!

The flight there was long, I won't mince words on that one. As we flew towards the islands we knew that there was a threat of a hurricane, so needless to say I was very concerned about that possibility. Fortunately the hurricane downgraded but while we were there we did experience a lot of clouds and wind the first two days. We didn't see the sun shine at all until we'd been there a few days, but it was still beautiful.

We were greeted with leis at the airport, and also at the hotel where we were staying. That was a real fun thrill to me, as it's something I've seen in movies for years.

Here's what we saw when we walked into our hotel lobby. The Lobby at the Grand Hyatt, Kauai

View from our lanai off our "Mountain View" room. It was surprisingly private and shaded by trees, and there were walls on the side so you couldn't see any 'neighbors':
View from our LanaiView from our RoomGoing Home ~ Vacation is Over.

The room was large for a hotel room, and the bathroom was great. It even had a glass container with cotton balls, Q-tips, double vanity, and oodles of wonderful bath products each day. The bed was plush and cozy. We slept each night with the slider door open so we could hear the tradewinds and the ocean waves.

The resort was gorgeous, and I'd definitely go there again. Every morning we ate a huge buffet breakfast at a beautiful terrace that overlooked a pond with swans and koi fish, with a waterfall off to the side and the ocean in front of us to enjoy. This picture was taken on our first morning, and that was one of those cloudy, windy days I mentioned earlier. Here's a view from our table, enjoyed while we heard soft, live guitar music:
Our First Breakfast on Kauai

In the evening we had drinks almost each evening at an outdoor terraced bar that was located beyond the great big doorway shown in the top photo. Here's what we saw:
Looking left it was: View from Seaview Terrace, Grand Hyatt Kauai

We walked around the hotel grounds the next morning, and I really love how this photo turned out.
Grand Hyatt, Kauai

The photo above is a view from below where we were sitting the night before. Isn't that lovely?

I think this is where they hold some luaus and wedding receptions. The ocean is behind it, and it's too cloudy to enjoy here:

Grand Hyatt Grounds

I took this one on that same cloudy day, and it shows where we did a lot of swimming. The lagoon was sandy on the bottom, and full of saltwater. We also swam a lot in the upper pools that had a channel with a soft currents, but we didn't get a picture of that. It also had waterfalls with little secret caves for hiding.

Saltwater Lagoon at the Grand Hyatt, Kauai

A lovely hammock on which to relax, taken on a different day:
Hammock at the Resort

Here are a few of the sights we saw on our drives around Kauai. I wish that photos conveyed the depth of colors and textures one sees, but they just don't quite cut it.

Ke'e Beach, on the north shore:
Ke'e Beach, Kauai

Lawai Beach, taken on our Allerton garden tour:
Lawai Beach

Tree used in Jurassic Park where dinosaur eggs were found:
Jurassic Park Tree at Allerton Garden, Kauai

Moloa'a Beach:
Moloa'a Beach, Kauai

Hanalei Valley Overlook, with taro fields:
Hanalei Bay Overlook ~ Taro Fields

We drove up to see Hanalei Bay the first day we were there, as for years I'd wanted to see the mountain (Bali Hai, but there's a real Hawaiian name for it, too) used in "South Pacific". That was the cloudy day though, but here's an idea of that one. We did return there again, but I didn't take a picture. Shame on me!

The last full day we were there we drove up to Waimea Canyon and beyond to the various overlooks that show the Pacific and the valleys around the Na'poli cliffs. This was stunning to me, to say the very least. If I ever have to picture a beautiful place in my mind, this will be it:

Nu U o poli lookout, Kauai

Nu u o poli Lookout, Kauai

Here's one of Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific:
Waimea Canyon

We went to the luau at the Hyatt and had a great time! The food was delicious, and the drinks flowed like water.

Luau action: Tahitian Style Dancing at the Luau Hula Dancers at the LuauDancer at the Luau, Dance of Samoa

Here's a photo showing a bit of the Kauai sky at sunset, taken from that same spot on the Seaview Terrace Lounge at the hotel. Sigh.Kauai Sky at Sunset
If you want to see some more photos of Kauai, just click on any of these photos and you'll go to the Flickr page that has that collection. I could go on and on here, but I realize that's not practical nor interesting, really.

Vacations are wonderful, but it's always great to come home. I am a homebody at heart, that's for sure.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Midway in August

We're almost halfway through August. Where does time go?

I won't be posting for awhile as we won't be online. I wanted to share a picture I took last week of our crape myrtle's bloom.

Crape Myrtle

Enjoy yourself while I'm gone and I'll see you when I return.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Stitching Time

On the stiching front, here's what I've been working on:
Pillowcase ~ WIP

Here's a picture of both of the pillowcases as I'm working on them at the same time:
Pillowcases ~  WIPs

These are pillowcases that were pre-stamped and bought for me by my mother-in-law about fifteen years ago! They've been sitting in my embroidery stash drawer all this time. One of them is rather yellowed, so I need to find my aunt's recipe for yellowed linens. If you have one, please leave it in the comments for me. My mother-in-law has been gone for 13 years now, so the pillowcases are a kind reminder of her generosity and thoughtfulness. She loved that I enjoyed needlework so much. She herself didn't do needlework, but several of her six sisters did.

I'm using variegated thread that I bought years ago. It's fun to see how the colors change and turn out when you're done with that flower or leaf.

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Our New Visitor on Our Feeder

First, let me begin by showing you a picture of the feeder with the type of bird that is normally on it:
Another Finch on a different feeder

After we placed out sunflower seeds on our new platform feeder that's shown on the previous post, here's what I found on the finch feeder on day:

Band-tailed Pigeon on the Birdfeeder

I was in complete awe to see this large bird feeding on our small feeder. Through various research, this fellow appears to be a band-tailed pigeon. He has returned to feed again, and he brought two pigeon pals with him.

The scrub jay never did use the platform feeder as it was first displayed, so thankfully my husband mounted it to the backyard fence. The peanuts are gone now, so I hope it's the scrub that's eating them!


Monday, August 6, 2007

Backyard Birds

We've been spending a lot of time feeding birds this summer in our backyard. We now have two feeders for the finches, one for hummingbirds, and yesterday we added one for the scrub jay that has been enjoying our peanuts. So far our scrub jay hasn't yet dared to use the new platform feeder, but I hope in time it will! By the way, our twenty-one year old son told my husband and me that he's a bit tired of hearing about our birds. Here's the new feeder, waiting for "Scrubby" to come enjoy its treats:
New feeder for the Scrub Jay

At the risk of also boring you completely, I wanted to share a bird story and some pictures with you. Here's the first picture from yesterday's backyard time:
Cats watching the Finch

If you look carefully, you can see the little finch at the feeder.

Here's a close-up of the finch:Baby Finch

Yesterday as we took these photos we didn't notice the odd growth on his bill, but it's quite apparent in the photo. This poor little bird sat all alone on the feeder, oblivious to the cats and to any impending danger.

Here are the next photos, in order of how they happened. I think they speak for themselves.

Sassy and the Finch

The bird made it just fine, and flew away after happily eating all by itself. Finally, here's what we saw the orange cat's daughter doing:

Cat waiting for another bird

She's the lazier cat of the two of them, and her mom is more of the huntress. Thankfully none of the cats got this sweet little bird.

Oddly enough, I saw the same bird this morning. I was watering outside for quite awhile and during the watering time most of the birds flew away. That is, they all flew away except for the baby finch, who again sat feeding on the feeder oblivious to me and my hose.

I don't know what his difficulty/ailment is, but I sure hope he can survive with his laid back ways. Today he again had crumbs all over his bill as he ate, as we've often seen happen with little children as they enjoy a treat. I got quite close to the little creature and when I was about two feet away from it, the bird flew off to our nearby bottle brush hedge. Phew!

I sure hope I see more of this little bird. This little feathered guy really touches my heart!

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Beautiful Flower

African Violet
My husband took a photo of this african violet that we have in a pot in our kitchen's garden window. I bought the plant back in February, so I'm shocked it's still doing well. Don't you just love the bright color of this flower?
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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What's for Dinner, etc?

I finished a tea towel last night. It's extremely simple, but it was fun to see it get finished. My mom stamped these years ago and passed them on to me to stitch.

Here's a view of the towel I just finished.
Kitty Tea Towel

A close up:
Close up of Kitty

I have previously stitched a few others of these, and although they're cute I'm glad I'm done with them.

On Sunday we spent the day at the beach for a birthday party. The sun was bright, the breeze was cool and fortunately we had a shade structure to help us cope with the sunshine. Seriously, I don't like sitting in the sun as I tend to burn so badly.

Monday I picked up my parents to stay here for the week. We're having a great time, and it's a good break for my mom as far as having help with caring for my dad. On top of my parents being here we had company for dinner last night, and we'll have more here tonight. Monday night we ate barbecued sandwiches made with a rolled rump roast I cooked in the crock pot. Last night it was steak, potatoes, and salad. Oh, and homemade brownies with walnuts and extra added chocolate. Tonight it will be chicken, rice, and asparagus.

It's off now to prepare for the day and all the cooking that's ahead.

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