Monthly Archives: September 2011

Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is a bacon laced chocolate cake I made for my daughter’s birthday yesterday.  Notice the three candles…they were to designate “thirty something” her husband said. Here’s the recipe:

Bacon-Laced Chocolate Cake

Cake

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups boiling water

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 vanilla beans

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 eggs

Chocolate Frosting

5 slices bacon

1 Tbl. Bacon drippings

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1/2 cup Ghiaradelli dark cocoa

1 tsp.vanilla

lb. confectioners’ sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter and flour three 8” round cake pans OR two 9” round cake pans.  Set aside.

  Place cocoa powder in large bowl; gradually add boiling water, whisking until thoroughly combined. I think makes the chocolate taste smoother and the cake moister.

2.  In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla beans, and pure vanilla on medium-high until well combined.  Beat in eggs, one by one, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides often.   (I could not locate vanilla beans in the store here but I think it would be YUM to have had them.  Definitely use them if you can find them.)

 Add sifted dry ingredients in fourths, alternating with cocoa liquid.

  Stir slowly to prevent splatter.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Beat about 3 minutes on low or just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans, filling pans about 2/3 full.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until center is just barely set.  Be careful not to over-bake. Cake should slightly resist pressure of your finger.

Let cake rest 10 minutes; remove from pans.  Cool completely on wire racks.  This is a DARK chocolate cake!  That means it’s good for you, right?

Now, here’s the story about the frosting:  The recipe here is NOT the recipe I made for this birthday cake.  I followed the frosting recipe (which was an expensive recipe calling for 12 oz. of 36% cacao chocolate and a pint of whipping cream) and it never thickened though I did everything it said.)  Here is the recipe I will use next time.   If you want to try the original frosting recipe, buy Sept., 2011 Better Homes and Gardens.  That’s where I found this recipe.

FROSTING

    Cook the five slices of bacon until crisply.  Drain on plate with paper towels.  Once cool, crumble bacon and set aside.

Melt 1/4 c. margarine or butter.  Add 1-2 Tbl. Bacon drippings.  Add 1/2 cup dark cocoa, 6 Tbl. Milk or buttermilk and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Add 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar.  Add more milk if necessary to make frosting spreadable.

Remove 1/2 cup frosting and add 1/2 of the crumbled bacon.  Spread this 1/2 cup frosting on top of first layer of cake.

Place the second layer on top and frost with remaining frosting.

Top with remaining bacon.

Serve.

 

There are a few more steps than usual to a chocolate cake, but I think the first step difference is what makes this chocolate cake superior to any other chocolate cake.  I hope you enjoy the cake and find a reason to make it soon.

Sara's Birthday Gift

I gave Sara the Fall table topper/wallhanging for a gift.  She was surprised!  I had made some travel pouches for her as well. I don’t know where the photos went!  Sorry, but they were cute!    One held a $15 gift certificate to iTunes from her Dad which she always loves.  Lastly, and one of the reasons, besides the pouches, that I didn’t quilt this week was the gift her son, Jack, and I planned for her.

Several weeks ago when Jack went with us to Muster Field Farm (see earlier posts), we saw some needle-felted necklaces and decided then and there that this was something we could work on together to make for his mom’s birthday.   We needle-felted about 30 balls that night and then I chose 9 of them that were of equal size to use for the necklace.  At first, I strung all 30 on elastic thread but after giving Jack a choice between the full necklace of balls or a combination of balls and metal, I end up making this:

Yes, I did the metal work.  I’m still a novice in that area but I think it came out pretty well for a first time.

Here’s a close up of the balls Jack made:

Oops, my stocking-clad toes were not supposed to be in this photo!  Sorry.

Sara even had a blouse on that went very nicely with her new necklace! Can you notice she also has earrings to match???

 

It was a fun evening and now I need to run off and do some catching up on my Civil War blocks.  The electricity went off this afternoon for the entire afternoon so I’m definitely behind.

Ta-ta!

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s a Birthday Kind of Day

Happy Thursday!

I’ve been really busy this week…and birthdays are a good reason to be busy.  Today is my darling daughter’s birthday, and a co-worker’s birthday.  It’s also Jerry Lee Lewis’ birthday, I’m told.  I can’t really share what I’ve been doing in the quilting department right now but I’ll share that with you tomorrow—-after the birthday girl’s party this evening.  She’s a follower of my blog (how sweet she is!  Thanks, gal.) so I can’t share now.

My co-worker, Jim, turned 76 today.  I hope when I’m 76 that I have as much energy as that man does!   Happy Birthday to Jim.

Jim turned 76 today.

We gave him a little surprise birthday luncheon today.  Vermont Smokehouse brats, Barbara’s fabulous chicken salad, 6-bean salad also by Barbara, Jim’s partner, and a “pumped up” dessert.  Whenever we have a group lunch I usually bring the group some brownies.  Now I must tell you immediately that I do not make these brownies “from scratch” as they say.   I have never found a recipe that is a good as what turns out from the box of Hannaford store brand brownies.  I do make cakes from scratch, bread from scratch, biscuits from scratch, cookies and even candy but not brownies.   If you have a fabulous chewy brownie recipe, feel free to share it with me.  I’ll try it and let you know if I think it’s as good as the box mix I use.

Now I did say “pumped up” dessert, remember?    Instead of just the usual brownies, the other workers and I decided we should do a bit more than brownies for Jim and since I was already busy making a birthday cake for my daughter for her birthday dinner, I suggested we have brownie sundaes.   I made Hot Fudge Sauce, yes, from scratch.   Along with vanilla ice cream, these made a great birthday treat for Jim.  I’m not sure Barbara will allow him to eat anything more today, but he did enjoy his brats and brownie sundae.

I thought you might like to try to hot fudge sauce.  It’s “easy-peasy”, I promise.   My son, Jonathan, made this himself to give as Christmas gifts to family members when he was just 8 years old.  You can do this!!

Hot Fudge Sauce

1 cup cocoa or 2 squares chocolate

¾ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 Tbl. cornstarch

½ cup white corn syrup

½ cup milk

2 Tbl. butter

2 tsp. vanilla, brandy or sherry

Mix dry ingredients.  Add corn syrup and milk.  Mix thoroughly.

Cook 15 minutes over hot water.  Stir until thick.  Add butter.  Cool. 

Add flavorings. 

I use Ghirardelli dark cocoa in my sauce, but you can certainly use Hershey’s or any other type.  I also used vanilla but feel free to substitute one of the other flavorings.   This recipe makes one pint.  I store any leftovers in a Mason jar, covered, in the refrigerator.  As you might imagine, it doesn’t usually last too long!

That’s it for today but tomorrow I’ll let you know what I’ve been busy doing this week and also give you another recipe and I’m sure you don’t like chocolate, but it will be another chocolate recipe….due to whose birthday it is!

See you here tomorrow!

“Sculpture Vision”

Today I’m going to show you some of the things I saw yesterday at “Sculpture Vision” at Saint-Gaudens Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.  There’s no quilting here today, my dear readers.  I was too busy looking at other artists’ work.  I hope you enjoy these photos.

First a little background, just a little I promise.   Augustus Saint-Gaudens was an Irish-born American sculptor ( 1848-1907).  After a very prolific career as a sculptor, he retired to the family home in Cornish, New Hampshire.   He had previously founded the “Cornish Colony”, a creative gathering of artists, writers, sculptors and architects, who came to Cornish to create and be together.

Robert Gould Shaw Memorial

Saint-Gaudens is well-known for many important sculptures.  To name a few for your information, he created the “Robert Gould Shaw Memorial”, which stands in Boston Commons, Massachusetts.  It memorializes Shaw and the Afro-American 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry from the Civil War.  There is a copy of this memorial at the historic site in Cornish.  It’s magnificent!!   and very large.  He also did the “Standing Lincoln” which can be seen in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois and another of the same at Westminster Abbey.   A bust he created of Abraham Lincoln can be seen at the Cornish site.  It’s so detailed and, though a small bust, just wonderful.  He also designed a double eagle $20 coin and was honored by the US Postal Service on a postage stamp.

I got some of my information on Saint-Gaudens from Wikipedia so if you want more information, I recommend starting there.

“Sculpture Vision” was a celebration of creative talent.  Held on the grounds at Saint-Gaudens Historic Site as part of Free Day in the National Parks and Historic Sites, it had activities for both adults and children.  Two of the main venues at the celebration was the casting of a bronze sculpture, cast by Glen Campbell and sculpted by the Artist in Residence at Saint Gaudens, Deborah Chory.  Here are some photos of the process I watched.

Deborah Chory happened to be standing next to me while we wanted for the casting to begin.  She turned to me and said, “It’s my sculpture.”  Of course, I had to ask more!  I told her I had to take her picture because she might be famous someday!  She explained she was Artist in Residence and had a studio on the grounds of Saint Gaudens.  She demonstrates for school groups, campers, visitors alike.  She then went on to tell me she can sculpted the piece of wax and was very excited to see it cast in bronze.   The subject is a boy break-dancing and is meant to be set on his shoulders when placed on a table, etc.

In brown protective wear is Glen Campbell (I don’t think he could sing!) preparing his portable furnace.  In the furnace was a crucible holding the melting metals that would soon become Deborah’s bronze sculpture of the break-dancing boy.

In the middle you can see an orange object.  That is the crucible holding the 2000 degree liquid bronze.  Mr. Campbell is preparing it to be poured into the plaster cast holding Deborah’s wax sculpture.

Now he’s pouring the liquid bronze into the cast sculpture.  You can just see the white in that sand-filled metal pail he’s standing over.

Here’s a closer look at the poured bronze.  He let it sit in that sand to cool down a bit and then dunked it repeatedly in water to cool it down.  See the burned grass…   He has set a metal catch-basin there to pour the extra bronze into.  I guess it was still hot!  LOL

This is what the mold of the sculpture looked like after being poured, dunked in water and dumped on the ground to cool a little more.  You can see the bronze at the open end of the mold.  Doesn’t look much like a break dancer yet!

Now you see him hammering the plaster mold to reveal the bronze sculpture.  I bet Ms. Chory was holding her breath while he did that!

This is our first look at the actual sculpture.  To the right you can see his leg and foot sticking out, then moving left his butt and rounded body.

At this point, it’s rather hard to imagine the finished piece but I can you that the fingers and toes were very defined, the hair realistic.  I would love to see the final product.  Perhaps I can get Deborah to send me a photo when she gets the piece back.

Here you can see the sculptor holding her piece for the very first time.  There is still plaster stuck to the body of the sculpture.  It takes special tools and a delicate hand to chip away the remaining plaster.  Mr. Campbell will take it back to his studio in Vermont to finish the piece.  Wow, that was a great demonstration!   (By the way, that’s my son-in-law, Dave, standing in the background.  He’s my technical advisor and a great web designer.

The other major attraction at “Sculpture Vision” was a fire organ.   Antoinette Jacobson was the sculpture of this amazing piece.  Here it is:

Yes, it’s a piece of sculpture.  Ms. Jacobson is the sculptor of this piece, the Fire Organ.  Ms. Jacobson created this piece to be used in an independent film called “Nothing Like Dreaming”, a creation of her film-maker sister, Nora Jacobson.  Antoinette used a blowtorch to create musical sounds by blowing the fire into the vertical tubes.  It’s makes almost eerie sounds that floated over the meadow throughout the afternoon.   It was quite fascinating and I stood there enjoying the sounds for quite a while.  Ms. Jacobson told me she has another fire organ in her yard and doesn’t get to practice on it very much anymore.

Another sculptor whose work was unique and impressive was Randy Adams who creates wonderful wire sculptures.  Here is one of his tree sculpture which was placed hanging from a branch of a real tree.

Other things available for viewing were metal sculptures and wood relief carving.  They were wonderful too!

Children and adults alike could become sculptors at the tents provided by the AVA Gallery from Lebanon, New Hampshire.   There was embossing on tin sheets,  sculpting with clay, and sculpting with found object.  I don’t think I have a future as a sculptor but here’s my found object sculpture.

My grandson, Jack, thoroughly enjoyed making a hand cast.  I heard quite a few women say they’d like to stick their hands in the warm wax too, but the hand casts were for children only.

The children coated their hand with baby oil then dipped the hand repeatedly in warm wax.  Here an assistant is pulling his wax mold off his hand while still warm.  Once off, they put little wires or sticks in each finger to aid the filling of the finger area with plaster of paris and keeping air bubbles out.  Then the Plaster of Paris was poured in and the hand set aside for an hour to dry.  Jack didn’t get the wax cut off his plaster hand but Mom or Dad will do it at home later.

The children got to try their hand at sculpting with marble.  Here’s a masterpiece done by the marble sculptor on site.  Sorry I didn’t get the name but isn’t this amazing?  It was about 20″ in diameter and so perfect.

It was a marvelous experience to see such creative results from so many areas of the sculpting world.  I recommend a visit to the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire if you get to this area.

I’ll be back in a few days with who knows what?  Guess you’ll have to come back to find out what’s happening in my fabric world.

Have you seen this new website?

I just came across this new website.  I LOVE the vinyl decals they have for quilters.  They are promising ones for knitters, crocheters in the near future.  They also have a great selection of bag patterns and even quilt patterns.  Check out:  www.fiberflies.com

My fav is the one that says “I (quilted heart) to Quilt).   I think that would look so cute on my truck window…right beside the moose with the Red Sox on!!

I’ve been busy today.  After work, my daughter, son-in-law and grandson took advantage of the Free Day at National Park Sites.  We visited the one closest to us.  I want to share some of the creative arts we saw there.  No quilting but the other arts need their day too.  Tune in tomorrow for my photos of our day at “Sculpture Vision”.

 

“Welcome, Autumn” Table Topper

At 5:30 or so this morning in the northeastern United States, EST, we welcomed Autumn.  At least it came; whether we were still in bed or up waiting for it.  Here’s my tip of the hat to Autumn:

That was the finished front; here’s the finished back:

I decided to try my hand at Word Play, Tonya Ricucci’s techniques for lettering on quilts.  I think it’s a bit too “just right” for Tonya but it was the first attempt.  I like to piece together the backs of quilts with strips left over from the front piecing.  Not always beautiful but a good use of fabric ends.
So, back to the process.   I made the six leaf blocks as I mentioned yesterday, then added strips and color blocks. The strips are 2 3/4″ x 8″ and the squares are 2 3/4″.

I thought I had forgotten to take photos during this part of the process but I did find them.

At this point another leaf square is attached to the one with the strips on each side.

So now I have two sections that look like the one above, and one section that just has the middle strip/block but not on top and bottom. Here are the six leaves joined together with the strips and squares.  The next step is the strips along each remaining side.  The strips and squares are joined together first and then sewn to the main piece.   Matching up the seams is important here.

 

.  Then I added two borders, one 1 1/2″ and one 2 1/2″ allowing for the 1/4″ seam allowance.

This shows a teeny, tiny bit of the batting and backing too—because I forgot to take a shot of the top alone.  I’m still new to the idea of documenting my process when I do something for my readers but I’m trying to remember.   The backing, as I said, was bits and pieces left over from the front, and I attempted to “give my quilt a voice” as Tonya Ricucci, author of Word Play Quilts puts it.  The subtitle of her book is “Easy Techniques from the UnRuly Quilter” and was published by That Patchwork Place 2010.  I like the sentiment there of no rules and I’m going to be working on a little more play in my work.  You can read more about Tonya’s techniques at her blog, www.lazygalquilting.blogspot.com , or buy her book.

I also decided to use up some of the left over strips in the binding.  I’ve done this a number of times and like the interest it adds.  You can look back at my Wounded Soldier post to see another sample of piecing the binding from leftovers.  Here’s what my binding looks like waiting to be used:

Sushi anyone? This looks a bit like sushi, doesn’t it?  I was looking at it thinking that a bowl of these rolled bindings would be very colorful.  I don’t have a bowl full yet, but when I do, I’ll show you!

I’m not sure you can tell what I did for quilting but I “stitched in the ditch” around each leaf, then did a free-motion swirl effect through the center of each leaf print fabric piece and a free-motion leaf in each small block.  The borders were “stitch in the ditch” method as well.  I always attach my binding by machine sewing them on the back, folding them over and hand stitching them down.  My binding was 2 1/2″ strips folded in half.  It’s probably the way you do it too, right?

Here’s Mother Nature’s idea of a Fall leaf, as you can see it above in the lower left corner.  Here’s a closer look.

Maple leaf showing it’s Fall colors.  For any of you not living in the areas where leaves change color, here is a short explanation from the USDA Forest Service on why leaves change color.

A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp but not freezing nights seems to bring about the most spectacular color displays. During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions-lots of sugar and lots of light-spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples, and crimson. Because carotenoids are always present in leaves, the yellow and gold colors remain fairly constant from year to year.

The amount of moisture in the soil also affects autumn colors. Like the weather, soil moisture varies greatly from year to year. The countless combinations of these two highly variable factors assure that no two autumns can be exactly alike. A late spring, or a severe summer drought, can delay the onset of fall color by a few weeks. A warm period during fall will also lower the intensity of autumn colors. A warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and warm sunny fall days with cool nights should produce the most brilliant autumn colors.

For more information about the changing colors, check out their website: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/pubs/leaves/leaves.shtm

When I was working at the Front Desk at a private campground here in Vermont a few years ago, I would get many calls asking for an exact date the colors would change as the caller wanted to make a reservation to stay at our campground when they came to see the Fall colors.  How tempting it was to answer with a date I just pulled out of thin air, but I wouldn’t do that to a prospective customer.  It sure give me the office help a chance to smile when I related the caller’s request.  It’s September 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox, and there are not many trees that have changed colors.  The swamp maples, those little maples that keep their feet (roots) wet in the swampy lowlands of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have changed to their brilliant red I noticed on our way back from Maine Tuesday.  All the others are spending a little more time in their summer greenery.  It will happen; it always does!    DH and I are lucky, as we travel toward warmer climates in October, we will witness the change of colors from Summer to Fall through quite a few states.  Other states do witness this leaf change, but I must confess I think its brightest and best in my own home state of Maine, and adopted state of Vermont.

I wonder what project I’ll begin next.  I know I have a few projects that must get done soon.  How about you? What are you working on right now?  Have you started thinking about Christmas? The stores are sure trying to make us think Christmas with all their decorations up already.

Fall Tablecloth/Wallhanging in Progress

Hi.  I’ve been working off and on to do a Fall tablecloth.  I’ve just about finished it.  It’s finished size should be about 26×36.  Here’s a look:

This is one leaf square.  The colored pieces are made from templates traced onto the various colored fabrics.  In trying to get a Fall leaf color, one has only to think about the fact that a fall leaf can have so many colors in it.   This tablecloth will have six leaves, each a bit different.  I’m even including a mostly green leaf as there’s always a few of them around.

We’ve had so much rain this month that I don’t know if we will get any beautifully colored leaves this Fall.  My tablecloth might be the only ones I see!    These pieces are just laying there, nothing sewn except the stem which is hand-appliqued.

So now I just have to stitch each template piece together as shown here.

Sorry, a bit blurry!   Then I sewed the sections together in thirds, or columns.

So it’s all pieced together…..and I realized I’ve placed them wrong.  Can you see what’s wrong?   It could probably stay this way, but I know it’s wrong so it won’t stay that way.

So, right there where I’ve taken out the stitching is the error.   The two mostly orange pieces should not be so close together.   No problem; rip it out (otherwise known as “frogging”-ribbet) takes a little time but it can still be fixed at this point.

I managed to get through all six leaves and with an extra day to work on it (I was given the day off since it was raining and there’s not much that could be done today in the rain), I’ll have it ready to reveal tomorrow on Sept. 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox.

By the way, this pattern was in a Quiltmaker magazine back in the early 90’s.   I made a wallhanging with just four leaves in “way back then” and kept the remaining fabrics in case I wanted to do another one for someone.   When I came across the project bag with the magazine still in it, there was a photo of a table runner cut from a different magazine (Keepsake catalog, same era) and I decided to make a tablecloth, rather than the runner.   Our table is quite small and a table runner looks nice, but it is hard to balance plates of food when the plate sits partially on the runner and partially on the table.  It makes my DH crazy, so I’ve been turning table runner patterns into tablecloth patterns by adding extra borders or additional blocks.  This one has six different colored leaves.  I better get sewing if I’m going to finish it up for tomorrow.  I put the blocks together (and forgot to take photos), and then added two borders today.

Off to finish the tablecloth so I can show it to you tomorrow and place it on our table for the first day of Fall.

 

The Pastoral Stole Project – Finished

Well, after a few days away in Maine, we are back and I have the stole for Pastor Paul all altered.   Here’s some of the process I followed to make it more comfortable for him to wear around his neck.


This was the stole before I made any changes.  Pastor Paul had said it was uncomfortable due to bunching up around the back of the neck and shoulders.   My plan was to narrow the neck area without making any changes to the gorgeous landscape design.

The stole had been made in two pieces as you can see here. My first action was to separate the two pieces and get rid of the pointed joining.  In trying to made the neck area narrower, the trim needed to be removed down far enough to make the sides available so I opened them to just above the start of the landscape design area.

The points gave the back of the stole a lovely look but I decided it would be easier to eliminate them if Pastor Paul wasn’t “married” to the idea of the point.   He said no so I was on my way to just make it narrower as simply as possible.

My first intention was to narrow down both sides gradually from the top edge down to just before the design began.  I made the cuts and pinned it together.  My DH is about the same size at the neck so he became my model.   It didn’t lay flat still—still bunching.  Time to regroup.

I decided I had to simply cut the front edge and not worry about narrowing the back edge any more.   SO, deep breath…..I cut the front or inside edge more drastically and tried it on my “model” again.

It was really necessary to take quite a bit off to make a good curve that would allow the two tails of the stole to lay straight down the front, and the collar area to lie flat.   Without those two goals achieved, the project would have been useless.

I forgot to snap a few photos but here’s a look at the final design.  It hangs beautifully and should be a comfortable fit for Pastor Paul next time he wears the stole.   I hope it means he can wear this beautiful stole more often.

I think it came out just fine and I think Pastor Paul will find it comfortable to wear.  Just love those birch trees!!!

A Bit of my Days in Maine

Ferry Beach, Saco, Maine

We had a nice visit in Maine with our son and his wife of just a year.   Brie, our daughter in law, is such a welcome addition to the family.   Like me, she loves the ocean and enjoys spending time just walking the beaches and looking for special shells and sea glass.  Sea glass, for those of you who live far from the ocean, is pieces of glass that were most likely part of a bottle or jar once.  They were dropped into the ocean and broken up.  The movement of the waves going in and out at high/low tides rolls the broken glass over rocks and shells and gradually smooths out the edges until they are smooth and the sea glass just fits so comfortably in your hand.

Because we are doing a better job at recycling then earlier generations, there are fewer and fewer pieces of sea glass to be found.  They can be red, blue, green, white, brown.  Usually they are quite small.   There’s even a special name for those who hunt for sea glass….seaglunkers …. like spelunkers I guess.   My favored daughter in law even shared with me a location where she is still able to find sea glass in favorable amounts.  We didn’t go there this visit but maybe next time!

Here’s a couple of things I did find on our trip to Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine:

Aren’t these awesome?   The larger gray rock was my first find and I gave it to Brie, my daughter in law.  Love abounds in that new household and love for her is in the hearts of all in our family.    Later, I found the shell which had the heart shape top and then I came upon this lovely white rock.  The gray rock is quite flat, the white rock is very three-dimensional.  I kept the white one.

Here’s another view of them against a black background.

Isn’t it amazing what we can find when we just open our eyes and look?

DH and DB (dear boy, our son) spent Monday working on the Jeep Scrambler.  The wiring needed to be reworked so that kept them busy for most of the day.    I took the truck and went off on an adventure of my own.   My first stop was Marden’s Store in Sanford, Maine.  Marden’s is one of those stores that buys stock from various places that are getting rid of surplus or out-of-stock items.   It’s a place where you can find some fabulous buys if you just have the patience.   Patience to wander this store has always been of short endurance for me but this time I spent all morning wandering there.  I found a J. Jill blouse (original price tag $69.99) for $9.99; a boy’s polar-fleece lined jacket for $5.99, a lovely long-sleeved t-shirt with a delicate flower design for $9.99 and FABRIC!

I don’t have a photo of the fabric yet so I’ll show you that next time.  I’ll warn you that I didn’t buy much.  I have a project in progress and didn’t need anything for that.  I find it hard sometimes (like this time) to just grab fabric unless it really speaks out to me unless I have something particular I’m looking for.  Unbelievable?   Sorry, that’s how I am.

I went to the movies Monday afternoon after my shopping adventure.   I went to see “The Help”.  I had read the book over the winter while in Alabama, and wanted to be sure to see the movie.  I thought the movie was quite accurate to the book and found it moving, funny, sad and totally engrossing.  It was over two hours long and I didn’t even realize I had been sitting there that long.  Go see it if you haven’t.

Next time I’ll show you my fabric finds from Marden’s and also the Fall project I’m working on.

Plenty of rain coming in the next few days here in Vermont, not that we need any more rain, so I should be able to finish by the  first day of Fall., Friday.