Thursday, April 7, 2016

OMG and Wandering Camera

It's been crickets here for the past week in the sewing department, buzzing bees in the packing, unpacking, organizing department as we made the trek north, and then slugs as we lay about on couches, beds or chairs, suffering and trying to recover from a very bad bug that gave us coughs/aches/general lethargy.

Here are a few shots that show what a difference 1000 miles and a few days can make.  All are taken with my iPhone 6, some at the speed of 75 mph down an interstate, so quality and technical finessing were not always possible!
Clockwise from top left:
1. Bougainvillea - a captivating display on both sides of the entrance to this area of North Port, FL
2, 3 and 4. Wisteria (I think) in and around Atlanta, Georgia - jaw-dropping stunning displays

None of those shots capture the grandeur of these displays.

5.  Apple(?) tree in northern Georgia
6 and 7.  Dogwood - Tennessee  These are frothy, wild hits of soft pastel pinks that lean to lavender, and large starlet white blossoms that make my heart ache with their beauty through two states, Tennessee and Kentucky, and a bit in southern Ohio.  Ache because of their beauty, ache because they are in peril from anthracnose fungus.

 8 and 9.  Sunrise - Kentucky
10.  Bella keeping me warm and purring me healing vibes.

Made homemade tomato soup (recipe at end of post) yesterday which also helped with feeling better and warmer.  Anyone in North America knows how the northeast is fuh-REEZING our butts off this week in way below normal temperatures, while the west is enjoying way above average temps.  I rallied enough this morning to take Rocco for a walk through Lakeside Park.
11.  The contrast between the white birch and the brown, rain-dyed willow(?) struck me.  The interesting thing is that the two herons mirror this contrast.  You can easily see the white one, but do you notice the grey one in flight just above her?  That made me smile.
12.  The "magic" 100-year-old stone bridge that I love with a massive cottonwood.  Muddy waters of swollen Mill Creek from all the rain.
13.  Nearly captured the ducks, all six burst into flight (fleeing under the bridge!) but what I was trying to capture was the English feel to the park this morning.
14.  No clue what these delicate blooms are, about 6-8" tall. Love the droplets of rain on them.

OMG for April

I haven't written up my Q2 FAL goals post yet, but I do have one OMG and that is to get the Blue Skies quilt finished.  I plan to make this the first one for sale in my yet-to-be-opened (need to get on that) Etsy store.   I think it will be a good one to load first and get back the feel of quilting on Avril. 
Made with Kona snow and 2.5" strips cut from a 10-yard bundle I got on sale from Craftsy
Linking up with
Red Letter Quilts
Wandering Camera
Weekend Sale!
Craftsy is running another clearance sale on kits and supplies all weekend.  Look for deals discounted at least 40% off, some terrific savings to be had.  There are 1-yard bundles like I bought, 1/2 yard bundles, and fat quarter bundles, any of which would lend themselves to making a quilt like mine.  I do get a commission if you purchase through the links on my blog.  Thanks so much!

Nearly forgot!  Here is the recipe for the delicious and super-easy Tomato Soup.
Thanks Jenny of Romany Quilting in New Zealand, who told me she got it from Alison Holst, aka Saint Holst, a well-known New Zealand TV chef.  Love how her recipe got made here in Canada.  Her Muffy and my Bella, outside of slight size differences, could be sisters!!

3 lbs ripe tomatoes, skinned (I used 1.5 cans of diced no salt added tomatoes, ~1200mL)
2-3 slices brown bread, broken in small pieces
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp each dried basil and dried oregano (could add more if you wish)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
chopped parsley (optional)

Put all ingredients into large soup pot or pan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and cook slowly until soft and mushy.  Adding the bread helps to thicken the soup as it cooks.

Then blitz with a handheld wand.

Serve and enjoy or ladle into containers and freeze.

Jenny says she usually skins the tomatoes one day, chops them up and put them in the fridge overnight so they are ready to use the next day.  Being sick, I was not going out to the store to buy tomatoes and do the skinning prep, so I tried the canned ones, and they worked fine.  Enjoy!

New Bloggers Blog Hop 2016
One last thing!  I was a part of this fabulous group in 2015.  I met so many many terrific bloggers in QBL (Quilting Blog Land), and my blog and yes, not to be over-dramatic, but my life has improved as a result.  If you have a blog that is under 2 years old, then head over and sign up; I promise you will not regret it.  The three wonderful hosts will share a wealth of knowledge and expertise with you.  Gratis.  Click the picture or click here and you will be taken to the sign-up page.  Sign-ups are open through April.


  1. Where do I even begin?
    So sorry about the bug. Sending warm hugs and good vibes your way. Lovely pictures - all of them and Bellla is an adorable gal for keeping you warm. I am so rooting for your Etsy store. Lead the path and show me the way cause I will follow :-) Your soup sounds very comforting. I'd add a dollop of cream on mine, but then I am naughty :-) I made lentil-spinach soup. I will send the recipe in the email, if you ask :-) And do not get me started on Craftsy!!! That is a whole blogpost.

  2. Great photos - I'm always pleasantly surprised by how good a picture I can get just by sticking my phone out the car window, so it's nice to know I'm not the only one doing this.

  3. Hopefully you're on the mend. It is freezing!!!! Think I'll be cuddling in bed with the hot water bottle again tonight. Good luck playing with Avril and finishing your OMG.

  4. The photos are lovely Sandra, even if they were taken as you zoomed by at 75 mph. I just love when the redbuds and dogwood come into bloom.
    Thanks for the yummy tomato soup recipe. I hope you and MacGyver feel a lot better so you can have a belated happy birthday this weekend. Good luck with your OMG!

  5. Those drive-by photos are great! I think that one little flower might be a starflower (I have some in my front garden. Well, I would if the weather would cooperate. They were just starting to bloom when all the miserable wind, rain, sleet and snow took up residence here.) Welcome back to the north, although I have no idea why you'd want to be here right now. Perhaps if you get the Blue Skies quilt quilted it will bring the sun back. I hope you feel better soon. Your tomato soup sounds yummy (you had me at Basil). I had some today, but it was from a box. :(

  6. Oh I love tomato soup. I've been down with a bug for two days now. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day to make soup! At least I hope so.

  7. Just so you know, I love catch up posts. I always feel like I've reconnected, and somehow they show me the reality of a quilter's life away from the studio. Yes, we quilt, but we also have vacations, get sick, and need to eat. Excellent pictures of your transition back to the north, and nearer to me. Hope Avril cooperates when you start back quilting.

  8. I am going to try the tomato soup recipe, need to keep warm from the inside out. Lara mentioned a birthday. Happy Birthday!! What a good quilt to start your etsy store with.

  9. Your wandering camera takes beautiful photos!

  10. I love tomato soup so will have to try this. Glad you are home and hopefully on the mend. Sweet Bella, keeping mommy warm. :D

  11. Great pictures and quilt top! Thanks for spreading the word about the New Quilt Bloggers Hop!

  12. Thanks so much for linking up on Wandering Camera! Beautiful photos of your journey north. Good luck with your OMG. So sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell. Hope soup and Bella's purring heal you soon.


  13. So glad you are home safely! Thanks for sharing some of the sights along the way. Hope your birthday was fantastic.

  14. I hope you're feeling better. I enjoyed seeing all the photos from your trip and your quilt is beautiful :)

  15. What a fun way to document your trip!

  16. Beautiful pics, yummy recipe and yup....get on to that Etsy store!!! <3


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