Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pink Moon...and Phlox

Because today was so busy I didn't get my daily walk in until after the sun set. That made me sad because I like to see all the spring flowers making their appearance. Nevertheless, a "good stretch of the legs" is always a good thing. My family joined me but we took my personal route, which is rare. I'm glad we did, or we would have missed a big surprise! When we turned around a corner we saw not only our house but the Pink Moon rising quite near it. It was huge and bright and...pink!

We ran into the house to grab my camera. I had few hopes of great pictures, but nothing ventured nothing gained. We walked back up to the street corner and I used my daughter's head to set my camera upon to steady it in the dark.

So...which one of these is not a lamp?


Peaking between our house and the neighbor's...


Zooming in...


We walked a bit further down the street to take these shots. Here it is rising over a house in the distance...


Ooops...but pretty neat double take!


Hmmm, wonder if I can zoom in?


Wow! Wonder if I can zoom in more?


Wow! My Canon Power Shot did this!


Although the pictures aren't grand, I can't complain, especially since my camera is merely a point and shoot!

The sky around the moon actually did look pink. That didn't show up in the pictures. Actually, the moon should not look pink. The Pink Moon got its name from the from the Native Americans who recorded time by seasons and the moon. They gave each moon a name. The Pink Moon appears each April. Instead of referring to the color of the moon, it "heralds the appearance of moss pink, or ground phlox-one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon." (The Old Farmer's Almanac) Well grass is certainly greening up here in Northern Virginia. Of all the names, I definitely like Pink Moon the best. The colonists picked up on these names from the Native Americans.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tornadoes Galore in Northern Virginia

Yesterday Northern Virginia was beset with numerous tornadoes. Thankfully they weren't any stronger than F0. They came as a complete surprise to me.

I've lived in the depths of Tornado Alley so I'm familiar with signs. However I thought we were merely having an ordinary thunderstorm. In fact, I was enjoying watching the storm from the basement picture window (the basement walks out into the backyard) while I was folding laundry.

Suddenly I saw two parts of our copper roof from the living room blow into the backyard while I saw a giant trampoline slam into our fence. We get a lot of winds around here which come in all forms, sometimes straightline and other times rotational, so there was nothing definitive in the winds at this point. Neither was the sky gravely dark or eerie.

Shortly after that I heard hail. Thankfully it was only the size of peas. With hail often comes tornadoes...so that was my first alert.

I went upstairs to my computer to look at the radar on my laptop. I accessed the radar on weather underground where I saw a hook echo. That was my second alert.

By now the worst of the storm had passed, so I went outside to collect the roof parts and survey the damage.


It was still windy, causing these parts to flap and make a lot of noise.



I found the two roof parts and put them under the deck.


I was a bit damp when I returned inside. Then I spent some time checking Capital Weather Gang on my laptop for any reports. About then is when I saw an e-mail come in from the local junior college with an alert that we were under a Tornado Warning. That was my third alert...and a definitive one at that.

I found out there were sightings and winds all over Northern Virginia. A few more waves of storms came through but they were much gentler. That evening our roof was fixed.

After dinner I went for a walk and saw this tree damage. It is across the street from us and I found out the trampoline belongs up on that hill. I'm guessing that the trampoline hit this branch, then veered off up the street then between two houses, before finally blowing towards my backyard and slamming into my fence. 


Here are two interesting videos I've found so far. If I find more interesting stuff I'll add it to the bottom as I find them.

Here is one video from Capital Weather Gang (via Ryan Lyk) of a funnel cloud over Washington DC...

And another from the National Park Service on the National Mall taken from the Jefferson  Memorial...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

From Grapevines to Sayings


So when my husband fixed the water stains and repainted the ceiling, I decided to do a badly needed deep cleaning of the top of the kitchen cabinets. That took forever...and hence another reason for my not sewing. In all that cleaning, I ended up throwing out all the grapevine greenery. Now everything looked so bare, that my husband wanted me to find a way to decorate the void.

I wanted something easy to clean. I'm not firmly settled on things, but I did find these cute sayings at Hobby Lobby, my favorite store. However they went here and there and are not suitable to going over the stove. However they were so positive I wanted to incorporate them elsewhere in the house, to build on the French Country them I am working on in the kitchen.



The heart I already had, but it fits. And I love it.



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Organizing our Music...with many thanks to Hobby Lobby, Chip, and Joanna

October 4, 2016

As I said last autumn, instead of sewing, I was busy organizing. Here is (finally) some of that proof.

When we lived in Texas, we had a great storage unit for all of our CDs that was built into the niche of our house. Of course we had to leave that behind, which left us with nowhere to store our music. I bought these turquoise boxes which has been a help. But we wanted to put our Christmas tree here. And those boxes were a pain to move around and stack and restack all the time.


Meanwhile I've been keeping an eye out for something more practical. Nevertheless, they were a great help for the last several years at a cheap price. But after 8 years they were starting to wear out.


One day while I was at Hobby Lobby, I saw the solution! The price was great. The price was even better with one of their 40% off coupons. Each drawer perfectly holds several CD's. (I checked at the store).

Alas, my husband did not agree. After explaining all the positive features (practical and aesthetic) I  told him Joanna Gaines, of Fixer Upper, would love it. And Chip would let her buy it. Then my husband agreed!

A few days after bringing it home, I opened the boxes and sorted through all the music, organizing them into various genres. One of these days I'll get some chalk to label the drawers, so that is on the to-do list.

After a bit more shopping I found a lamp at At Home. That store is fun because it reminds me of Garden Ridge Pottery from back home in Texas, which was a shopping mecca. The Garden Ridge Store covered acres! Turns out, the new name of Garden Ridge is...At Home! I love shopping there!

The mirror was purchased at Hobby Lobby back when we were in Texas. I brought it down from the bedroom where I thought it would look better in the entry way. It also helps the small entryway to feel larger.

The doily is from Italy and gifted to me from my sister-in-law. It is one of my favorite presents from her. (I'll have to showcase close-ups of this and the other doily from Italy in a later post). I bought a frame for this family photo that my son took.The roses I've had for years...purchased long ago from Hobby Lobby.


My daughter claimed the boxes for her various bits and bobs.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Washington DC, Pentagon, and Jinny Beyer Quilt Row

Last summer I participated in the national Row by Row by collecting free patterns from various quilt shops in Virginia. (I won!) However I saved the Jinny Beyer row for a Christmas present for my husband, since he works in Washington DC. I bought the kit, available here. Her batiks were too gorgeous to pass up!


An intricate design requires intricate instructions which do not fail. Jinny Beyer's directions have always proved successful for me. I labeled all the itty bitty parts meticulously!


Ta da! Actually I only managed to complete the top in time for Christmas. Last weekend I finished the rest of the row, adding batting and backing which I bound.







It should look great in my husband's office with his Pentagon picture.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Me Made May 2017


I've been extremely busy, but it's that time of year again...making the pledge for Me Made May 2017 which is hosted by SoZo! She has such a great idea about showcasing our sewing skills. So often we talk about what we make, but we don't talk about what we wear (that we have actually made). I've been sewing since the 5th grade. It all began as a project to complete a Girl Scout Badge. Then it became a craft of necessity because sewing can be less expensive and better quality because we can fine tune the fit to ourselves. Off the rack clothes never fit me nor my daughter. Now that I've learned out to drape, I'm starting to explore creating my own style or amending the ones I do find on the rack, if it does happen to fit and if I'm crunched for time...like I am these days.

Despite my stash of patterns and a closet full of fabric, I've had little time to sew. Since last Me Made May I've sewn only a few pieces of clothing, mostly for my daughter. The only one I recall from the top of  my head for myself was the linen skirt (shown above) which is actually a refashion of a very simple, long skirt I got at TJMaxx. I love wearing it! There are photos of me wearing it at the Historic Occoquan, at the Prince William County Fair, and Colonial Williamsburg!

Nevertheless I hope to squeeze in a bit of sewing this month, but first up is a quilt for my niece whom I will meet for the first time in Texas next month! However the clothing sewing must begin because all the old clothes are completely worn out.  

Anyway, one thing I've learned from participating in Me Made May is that I have more sewn items in my closet than I've given myself credit for. It also motivates me to conquer a few of those projects I've been meaning to get to.

As far as setting my obligatory pledge for Me Made May, that is tricky. The rule for May in Northern Virginia seems to be chilly, so I rarely have much to wear, since I have few winter items that I've sewn. However I am going to Texas this May with my kids, so the weather will take a quick switch from wintry days to summery days!

Based on past years, realistically, I think I will be able to pledge thusly...

'I, Laurie at Teacups in the Garden, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear one sewn garment each day for the duration of May 2017.'

Throughout May I will upload photos of my ensembles to this post. Meanwhile you can see other years that I've participated: