Monday, September 8, 2014

Photos from Nova Scotia

Come by Chance Antiques near Chester
Inside Come By Chance
Lots of rugs, new and old
Fisheries Museum in Lunenberg
Hubbards Farmers Market 
Lobster Poutine
St. Johns Farmers Market

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Fruits of Our Labor Day

Sixty-two quarts of plum tomatoes canned!  We spent the holiday coring and peeling and cooking hundreds of tomatoes with our friends the Osinski's.  Fifteen-year-old Susanna was planning on doing about a dozen jars by herself, although her mother really want 40 quarts to get the family through the winter.  So Pete and I said let's just do it -- add a few jars in for us and we'll help.  So while Isabel, Susanna and I cored and peeled, Mike and Pete headed to Agway for more jars and to the farm stand for more tomatoes. Mercator headed to the grocery store for more lemon juice. We had them all canned in a few hours, using all six burners on the stove plus a propane burner outside.  When we finished we sat down to a lunch of fresh caught bluefish, then all jumped into the bay for a swim.  It's amazing how satisfying it is to see sixty-two jars of tomatoes sitting on the counter.

I realized last night that summer is, for all intents and purposes, over.  The sun was nearly down by 7:30, and the garden is overgrown and shriveled.  This summer has been great.  We took advantage of the dry and not-too-hot weather.  We swam almost every day, had a terrific vacation, fun times with neighbors, a wonderful Fourth of July with our wonderful daughter and close friends.  I taught a class and took a class.  I even found a parking place at the Post Office every single time I went, although the village has been full of tourists.  No regrets this year.  I took advantage of every day.

Now it is time for the show season to start.  First up:  The Hallockville Fall Festival and Peconic Ruggers Rug Show.  This is such a fun day!  Be sure to join us.  Barb and I will have a booth in the Naugles barn, where the rug show will be.

The 34th Annual Hallockville Fall Festival & Craft Show

September 13 & 14, 2014 10am-5pm each day!

The Fall Festival is Hallockville's largest fundraiser of the year! Join us for the annual tradition-the North Fork's only true old-fashioned country fair for all ages!
Admission is $8 adults, $5 children ages 5-12 ( 4 & under free) 2 adults & 2 kids $20. Parking is available on-site.  **For the safety of all animals on display, please leave your dogs at home. Dogs are not permitted in the Festival grounds.**

Admission includes:
- access to over 50 artisan craft and folk art vendors- jewelry, baskets, clothing, artwork, soaps, candles, something for all ages & Miss Ella's Shop which offers a variety of local gifts and souvenirs which benefit the museum, plus quilting fabric
- handmade rug show in the Naugles Barn by the Peconic Rug Hookers Guild
- folk art demonstrations including decoy carving, wood carving, basketweaving, rug hooking, quilting, and more
- hayrides, tractor pull and antique farm machinery display from LIAPA
- historic house tours including the 1765 Hallock Homestead & Barn,  1931 Cichanowicz Farmhouse
- special exhibit spaces including the 1876 Combs Decoy Carving Shop,  the "Defense of the Eagle" War of 1812, and model trains from the Railroad Museum of LI
- children's activity area and fun games like the popular Egg Toss
- animal and livestock displays including cows, horses, donkeys from the East End Livestock and Horseman's Association
- live music from the Eastbound Freight Bluegrass Band and a traditional dance performance from the Blue Spruce Cloggers
Additional amenities that are available for purchase include:
- children's mini train ride and pony rides
- food vendors including Maple Tree BBQ, Island Empanada, Ice Cream Truck, Rosie's Country Kettle Corn, and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
Thank you for supporting our not-for-profit mission by attending the Fall Festival!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rug Hooking Heaven: Nova Scotia

Pete and I just returned from a wonderful week in Nova Scotia, where rug making is a national sport.  Hooked rugs are everywhere -- in gift shops and studios, museums and humble houses by the side of the road.

We made several stops, of course, starting with London-Wul Fiber Arts in Moncton, New Brunswick.  This is Heidi Wulfraat's shop -- she hosts a free online bulletin board called Rug Hooking Daily.  We traveled down a rural road to a lovely wooden building with bins and shelves full of colorful fiber and walls decorated with Heidi's work.  Students were learning to nuno felt in the back room, and a quilter was stocking up on the cheerful cottons Heidi carries.  I was fascinated by Heidi's stained glass-like pieces hooked with hand-dyed nylon.  I bought a few skeins to try my hand at it.  (I will leave the nylon to Heidi in the future; I found it difficult to hook, even with my harpoon-like Ritchie hook.)  I also found some incredibly soft pale green yarn with which I will make baby booties for my niece's and nephew's new babies.

Our next stop was Deanne Fitzpatrick's shop in Amherst, Nova Scotia.  This is a happy place, full of color.  There's a sandwich board out front that proclaims "We can teach you to hook in 5 minutes!"  I love that Deanne makes the craft accessible to everyone.  Inside the door is a salad bar of wool -- bowls full of small bits and pieces for sale so you don't have to buy a whole yard of anything.  Her famously textured rugs hang on the walls.

Pete picked out one of Deanne's signature house mats for us to take home.  I think it will hang in our kitchen over the French doors to the back yard.

I have lots more to share, and I will share it all!  But I need to buckle down and get some work done.  I messed up my back the first day home so I haven't worked yet this week!  The fall shows are coming soon!  First up is the Peconic Ruggers Rug Show, which will be held  September 13 & 14, 2014, during the Hallockville Fall Festival -- two great events for the price of one!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

We've had a pretty remarkable summer so far, weather wise.  Pete and I have been swimming almost daily, in the warm water of Peconic Bay.  We are dining on the bounty of Pete's vegetable garden -- zucchini, green beans, beets, onions, Swiss Chard.  The only thing we buy is sweet corn, because we don't have the room to grow it.  Our tomatoes are just coming in, and I cannot wait to have a Caprese salad whenever I want and to make a Tomato Cobbler with our multi-colored cherry tomatoes.  

The whole summer has felt like vacation to me.  When I want to read, I sit down and read.  I've been leaving the dishes in the sink, waiting days to do the laundry.  And I have not been working much, which is sort of a problem, lol.  I should be designing new patterns and making finished goods for my fall shows.  When I read other people's blogs with my morning coffee, I see pumpkins and witches and black cats, snowmen and snowflakes and Christmas trees.  I haven't finished my Fourth of July designs yet.  

I'm teaching a class tomorrow at Farmhouse Quilts in Southold -- a good thing -- it jarred me out of  the staycation mode I've been in.  I designed a new 10 inch square mat called Southold Sunflower.  It's a simple mat, a single sunflower against a brilliant blue sky, so it lends itself to a beginner class.  I have been thinking about embellishing it with beads for added interest, but I will wait until after the class for that. 

So today, I am dyeing wool while watering the garden and packing up the car for tomorrow's class.  When its over, I'll try to get my head out of summer and into fall.  I'm a little wistful about that -- I have already noticed the shortening of days and Labor Day is three weeks away.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Sunday

Lazy Sunday here in Greenport.  Looks like it will storm soon.  We're short on rain this year, so it is welcome.  

I seem to be stuck in vacation mode, even though we haven't gone on vacation yet!  We've been swimming a lot -- nearly every day.  What a joy.  We're lucky to be able to walk a block and dive in.  Pete's garden is starting to produce lots of produce, so we are eating well.  Some nights we just eat what he picks --  zucchini, cooked on the grill, or green beans sautéed in olive oil with a little garlic.  Delicious.

I was inspired to try my hand at homemade ricotta cheese -- recipe courtesy of Julia at Of Petals and Wool.  I even bought raw milk to do it.  It's easy and delicious, although the raw milk cost a small fortune.  Julia has a dairy farm, so she has a lot of raw milk at her disposal!  Thanks for the inspiration, Julia!

I'm going to spend the afternoon reading on the porch, listening to the rain.  Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Learning to Butt Braids with Kris McDermott

My rug hooking guild, the Peconic Ruggers, sponsored a class with rug hooker and braider Kris McDermott.  Kris, along with two of her friends, cowrote Combining Rug Hooking & Braiding: Basics, Borders, & Beyond.

She does amazing things with braids, and is an amazing teacher.  Her visual aids are great, she arrived completely prepared, and is as nice as she can be.  

Kris works with lots of interesting fibers, such as taffeta and banana silk.  Look at that sparkly stuff in the rug pictured above!  It's great to see someone venturing into new territory.

Kris had us bring two 6 inch hooked pieces to class, one round and one square with an unhooked circle in the center.  I hooked some paisley, of course, although I used a 4-cut, instead of my usual 8.  I love the way the circle looks, but  think there's too much going on in the square piece.  I'm going to quiet it down by replacing the three-color braid with a one-color braid so your eye has some place to rest.

These pieces were hooked with my sister Barb's hand dyed wool.  This combination is called Moroccan Mosaic.  (Contact her at if you are interested. Or

It was a fun way to spend two days -- both jam-packed with information -- our hands were never idle, which is just the way I like!  For more photos tootle on over to the Peconic Ruggers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Renegade Rooster/Rest in Peace

Back in May, my sister Barb sleepily shuffled into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, grumbling about the rooster living in my yard.  "Rooster?" I said. "I don't have a rooster."  She answered, "There's a rooster in your yard and he's been crowing since 4:15."  Sure enough, there was a rooster running around the neighborhood.  Neighbors knocked on each other's doors, querying the exhausted occupants about the rooster on the loose.  Although a couple of people keep chickens for eggs, none acknowledged owning the renegade rooster.  

I caught sight of the rooster once in the yard behind ours.  I spied on him through a hole in the fence.  He was on the small side, mostly white with some speckles.  A search on the internet led me to believe he was a Delaware.  When I knocked on the fence he scampered quickly away.  I spent many pre-dawn hours listening to him crow, trying to figure out how to catch him and what I would do to him if I did.  Summer people from Manhattan stopped by to introduce themselves and ask what to do about the rooster who taken up permanent residence in their rented yard.  We suggested they go to Agway and ask some professionals.  They said, New Yorkers to the bone, "What's Agway?"  That made me laugh, even though I was completely sleep-deprived.

No progress was made -- the rooster continued to run around the neighborhood, crowing night and day.   I started going to bed earlier, and using those wakeful early morning hours to get chores done.  This went on for weeks, until one morning, when Pete and I were working in the front yard, and several neighbors migrated over to talk to us, the guy next door drove up in his convertible and declared the rooster dead and gone.  He had seen a pile of feathers by the side of the road and figured a raccoon got him.  While we do have some pretty large raccoons here and may have wanted a chicken dinner, I'm not putting it past the young Manhattanite in the summer rental.  At any rate, the rooster -- and the neighborhood -- now rest in peace.