Super Scrap Quilts / Super Teacher/ Orange Blocks & Blooms

We had a 50% chance of getting some rain on Thursday evening. Thunder could be heard off in the distance but the rain avoided my area.

It’s been pretty dry here lately but after a brief morning shower a week or so ago, I did get a shot of a rainbow over my neighbor’s house.

Originally a double, the double was fading fast, but I thought what was left of the single one  would be nice for the Rainbow Scrap Quilts post :)


I just joined this challenge the last week of August, and I’d made a few dark scrap orange peel blocks that week.

  • I finished another one this week, and there’s one more in the works but I have not finished appliqueing it yet.
  • Because I generally have one or two applique projects going on, I thought that I might start something else for these monthly colors as well, so that I don’t get bogged down with just orange peel applique.
  • I chose a pattern from an old book, Encyclopedia of Classic Quilt Patterns. It’s a quilt called “In the Bleak Midwinter” done with all dark colors. I thought that it would work nicely with a variety of colors as well, so I’ve made one dark block, and since September’s color is orange, a few orange ones.
  • Here and there I have been making Granny Square blocks, and I thought that it might be fun to do one in oranges…using up some scraps from a recently made baby quilt.

HST peels and granny collage

Since September’s color is orange I took a few shots around my yard of what is going on in the spectrum of orange. First of all…this sunflower. It appears to be orange at first glance,  but closeup it’s a myriad of shades:

Orange sunflower for sewing post

And a collage of a few other oranges… ( dahlia, trumpet vine, monarch, nasturtium, tomatoes, sunflower )

orange floral collage


The lovely hostess of this party is not only a quilter but a RockStar Teacher! :)  See the news story HERE.

A teaserMELBOURNE, Fla. —The top public school in all of Florida, according to a survey by Newsweek, is in Melbourne. West Shore Junior/Senior High School has taken the No. 1 spot.

In Angela Feldbush’s 9th grade science class at West Shore…”

For more rainbow scrap challenge projects visit  So Scrappy on Saturdays.

You might also enjoy :    Thunderstorms instead of Snow, Women’s Guilt, General Randomness  or   Early Morning Entertainment ( Bluejays )

Aphrodite the Alchemical Goddess : Archetypes in our Daily Lives

Continuing on with this series on the Greek goddesses, referencing and quoting from Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book “Goddesses in EveryWoman“,  Aphrodite is given a category all of her own because while she had some characteristics in common with both the virgin and vulnerable goddesses, Jean did not view her as belonging to either group.

” This archetype may be expressed through physical intercourse or through a creative process. What she seeks differs from what the virgin goddesses seek, but she is like them in being able to focus on what is personally meaningful to her; others cannot divert her away from her goal. And that what she values is solely subjective and cannot be measured in terms of achievement or recognition, Aphrodite is ( paradoxically ) most similar to anonymous, introverted Hestia…who on the surface is the goddess most unlike Aphrodite.”

  • The virgin goddesses are associated with focused consciousness.
  • The vulnerable goddesses are associated with receptive, diffuse consciousness.
  • Aphrodite is both focused AND receptive.

Jean Shinoda Bolen has an example…”Such a woman takes in people in the same way that a wine connoisseur attends to and notices the characteristics of an interesting new wine.  To appreciate the metaphor fully, imagine a wine buff enjoying the pleasure of getting acquainted with an unknown wine. She ( or he ) holds the goblet up ot the light to note the color and clarity of the wine. she inhales the bouquet, and takes a lingering sip to capture the character and smoothness of the wine; she even savors the aftertaste.



But it would be a mistake to assume that the “loving attention” and interest she pays the wine means that the particular wine is special, valued, or even enjoyed.”

k104410_m Aphrodite statue british museum


This is the mistake people ofen make when they respond to a person of Aphrodite consciousness. They “bask in the glow of her focus, they feel attractive and interesting “… “this can be seductive and misleading.”

On a more positive note, this same consciousness can occur during a conversation with another…”Spontaneous in form, yet it’s substance can be deep and moving.”

“Aphrodite the Archetype governs women’s enjoyment of love and beauty, sexuality and sensuality. Aphrodite can be as demanding as Hera and Demeter ( the other two strong instinctual archetypes) . Aphrodite impells women to fulfill both creative and procreative functions.”

“Work  that does not involve an Aphrodite woman emotionally holds no interest for her. She likes variety and intensity: repetitious tasks such as housework, clerical, or laboratory work bore her.



Only when she can be totally engrossed creatively does she do well. Thus, she is likely to be found in art, music, writing, dance or drama, or with people who are special to her; for example, as a teacher, therapist, editor. As a consequence, she either hates her work and is probably doing a mediocre job, or loves it and thinks nothing of putting in extra time and effort. She almost always prefers a job that she finds interesting to a better-paying one with less appeal. She may achieve success as a result of doing what fascinates her but, unlike Athena or Artemis, she does not set out to achieve.”

CREATIVITY CONTRAST : What I found interesting is that I do not identify with Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and Crafts very much in regards to crafting.  Jean’s description which I quoted on my post about Athena was this :

“To make a tapestry or a weaving, a woman must design and plan what she will do and then, row by row, methodically create it. This approach is an expression fo the Athena archetype, which emphasizes foresight, planning, mastery of a craft, and patience”

I quilt. Many quilters approach quilting exactly like the above description. And if you crochet, or paint, or redo furniture, or create DIY masterpieces from junkin’ finds, or scrapbook, or whatever you may do, the above description may fit your personality and style as well. But I generally just start something and am not sure where it’s going in the end. Nor do I just want to work on one thing…I like to have a few projects going on. It was interesting to find that that is part of the Aphrodite conciousness. There is so much more to this archetype than *just* the beautiful sexy goddess of love that we picture in our minds when we first hear her name :) 

This is just a short synopsis of a few points on the chapters regarding this alchemical goddess.  This little series only briefly touches on the incredible depth and detail of the actual book. Your local library may have it or you can find either a new or used copy on Amazon if you are interested.

1st / Basis in this series :  Which Goddess; Archetypes in our Daily Lives

2nd : Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth

3rd:  Three Vulnerable Goddesses 

4th : Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt

5th : Athena, Goddess of Wisdom & Crafts

to be continued…

The Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt: Beautiful History

I follow Dawn’s blog, “Collector with a Needle“. She had an invitation out.  She and Doreen, of Aunt Reen’s Place, were going to host a Sew-Along. They’ll be reproducing the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt. The quilt intriqued me but I have too many irons in the fire and most of the blocks looked far above my skill level. I decided that I’d follow the Sew-Along but not participate.

I kept thinking about the quilt. I love to garden and I love flowers…

I love reproduction quilts & quilt history…

You know where this is going, don’t you :)

Well, along with a dedicated blog for the quilt, they have a Facebook page that I’d liked, and after seeing it in my newsfeed for two days, I went back to the blog and ordered the pattern. It’s only 19.95 and it benefits the Virginia Quilt Museum.

You can order paper patterns to be shipped, and pay shipping charges, or print a PDF out at home.  You can use the printout and make 9 inch blocks, or enlarge to make 16 or 20 inch blocks.

The Sew Along Starts in October and they are getting the word out now.

The blog for the Sew Along is HERE.  I have copied the quilt photo from their site. If you look at the rainbows and that tree with the circles in the center…there are historical reasons for those blocks. Isn’t it beautiful?

botanical album quilt

I imagine that there will be quite a few like me there…to learn from the experts. Dawn & Doreen promise plenty of tips and tricks along the way, and this is also a quilt study in regards to the history of the quilt. It should be very interesting so head on over to read more about it :)

If you are on Facebook check out their FB page as well …just type in The Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt.

And yes many of these blocks are above my skill level but I’ll learn, adapt, and enjoy the process.  It’s going to be gardening on fabric :)

You might also enjoy : Tuesday Treasures : Finches & Food

September UFO for A Lovely Year of Finishes

Sew Bittersweet Designs  has a monthly party called “A Lovely Year of Finishes”.  People link up at the beginning of the month with a project that they intend to ( or at least hope to ) finish by the end of that month.

Since I am almost done handquilting Crosses & Losses I am joining in for September.  If I finish it, I can link back up at month’s end and be eligible for prizes, as well as enjoy being part of a happy ‘we finished it’ group :)

Here’s a shot of it dragging the laundry line down, and some of the quilting on the back, as well as a few recent photos of quilting in progress.

September UFO collage for a lovely year of finishes

I just have a small section of hand quilting to finish up.

I’ll probably machine stitch around the seafoam green border and am considering tying the purple edge with yarn. It’s to be a Christmas gift when it is completed.

You can view all of August’s lovely finishes by other quilters HERE. 

The September Goal Party is HERE

You might also enjoy :  Critter Distractions When Quilting : No Wonder I’m Slow  or  Handmade Christmas : Cute Little Snack Mat for Santa ( and kids )  or Eagle Sample Quilt Finish & What I did to my Poor Kid

Sharing at : Freshly Pieced

Ducks & Kids & Second Breakfasts

While my DIL took the girls to Kindergarten Orientation one morning the week before school started,  I took the boys to the playground close by.

If you cross the field, there is a creek below.  We enjoyed the bright morning light shining on the spiderwebs, and they posed for a picture.

brent and javis

This is the creek that hosted all of the Canadian Geese and later on their babies, in the spring and early summer. Back then I would just see one or two ducks but many geese. This reminded me of that time.

My youngest son had posted this picture from his phone on Facebook of the duck’s eggs by the pine tree in his yard. He lives close to the park.

duck eggs nate photo

A few days later, I went down to visit nesting Mama Duck.

Had I not known from him that she was under the large pine tree I’d have never seen her. As it was, I walked around the tree twice before finding her in this cleverly camouflaged nest. Can you see anything?

camo cannot see pic

A little closer now from a different angle :

camo duck

She just stayed there quietly while I took a few pictures. I marveled at her composure. I did not try to get too close, nor try to touch her but surely she was afraid or apprehensive at my presence? Yet she stayed the course, and stayed on her eggs.

mama mallard

As I was snapping photos of her I kept thinking of virtues such as humility, patience, perseverance, and faithfulness.

Humility because while her Mallard duck spouse is garbed in brilliant colors she is plain.

mama duck

Her clothing is plain because of her purpose…which is to be able to fulfill her mission, safely camouflaged in order to do so.

mama duck camo

Looking at her I was reminded of human beings who work behind the scenes selflessly, or anonymous donors, versus the sort of people who get more attention due to their fine feathers.

As to patience, perseverance and faithfulness, there was heavy machinery clanging not too far away, a train going by in the distance, and then this strange human circling the nest taking pictures.

mama closeup

She made me think about how blessed the animal kingdom is, when you consider it. She’s got an inner programming to sit on these eggs and protect them. She’s got an instinct and intuition to rely on that tells her to stay there because I am harmless and mean her no ill will.

Now were she a human, just sitting there on the eggs and praying…God would tell her “it’s ok…this is not a situation that you have to worry about, such as a raccoon coming along. This is just some harmless lady. ”  And then, being human, she’d say ” OH God spoke to me! But wait, no…that was probably just my imagination. And I’d be crazy not to worry…what if? And what if this, and what if that, and oh I just remembered something else to worry about and of COURSE God wouldn’t really answer me…what was I thinking! I must be nuts. I am not some saint that God would really answer.” And pretty soon she’d be shaking and a nervous wreck or fighting within herself between the several voices going on in her all-too-active mind.

( ask me how I know :)

Mama Duck had none of this turmoil. She had the “peace that passeth understanding ”  and I probably learned more in spending 10 minutes with her than in reading 10 books about that.

mama duck peace

mama duck last pic

I need to remember Mama Duck every time I worry about something, give it to God, and then take it right back to worry about again.

I need to remember Mama Duck every time that I consider words such as trust, and peace, and phrases such as staying the course.

Meanwhile, the creek was full of ducks when the boys and I were there, and I like to think that some of them were her babies :)

ducks and sunlight

ducks collage

Back to the world of human beings and growing boys.

boys at park collage

Even though they’d had their breakfast, I was informed, after being at the park for 45 minutes or so, that they were starving.

We came back home and they had a ‘second breakfast’ consisting of sandwiches, which was their request. And amazingly enough, in two hours time, they were hungry for lunch as well !

boys polaroid 2nd breakfast

Personally I think that little kids just see their grandmas and it raises their appetites because everything taste better at Grandma’s house, right? I know that it did when I was little ! :)

You might also enjoy:  Cooking Frugally Around Sales  or  Who Owns This House?

Sharing at : Savvy Southern Style / Common Ground / French Country Cottage

End of August : Applique, Etc.

Early in the week, I worked on this :  at one point, I’d decided to just call this a finish, and quilt it down the line as a wall hanging or display piece.

Spool Star small top finished

But I changed my mind and here and there had made some hexie-things etc. …

This week I added a thin red border all around,  and then  appliqued some of what I’d made so far into a wider one for one side.

Late afternoon lighting on the laundry line….I don’t have a design wall, sorry…

one border on medallion quilt

I have another border piece cut, and three more stars to work with ( not from this week…made over time) to applique, but I’ll hold off until I’ve made some more items…

for the next border

Mid-week, I decided to join Angela’s rainbow scrap challenge. I’ve seen Kathy working on orange peels here and there, but in a recent post she showed her progress, and that inspired me. August’s colors were indigo or dark scraps. I made a few blocks.  Then I kept thinking that if I got bored with them, or wanted to use a color of the month for something else, why not have something else going.

I have two books full of scrappy quilts that I’ve had around here forever. I decided to do this quilt. The book says that “Judy Cantwell collected black prints for  years with the idea of making this quilt someday. ”  I think it would be nice in various hues. I am not a good piecer so it will be interesting to see how badly I can mutilate all of the triangles! :)

In the bleak midwinter from the book

Seriously, I am showing this because I cut out enough for one block on Saturday. On Saturday I decided to get that ready, get another round of orange peels prepped, and at least get started on the next Rose Applique block.

For the Rose Applique, I’d only had a few flowers prepped…I sewed 3 together and got started on the block. While I was at the ironing board fooling around with stems, I prepped some more circles for flowers, hexies for the stars/ spools medallion quilt, and another set of orange peels. There’s leaves and such to do but it’s a start.

Rose applique prep

Speaking of roses, while it’s warming up again, my little rose bush loved the cool front that we had recently as much as I did. Generally she just puts off a flower here or there. Suddenly she was like “YEAH! I LOVE THIS WEATHER! ” :)

yellow roses

For Slow Sunday Stitching I have quite the choice…hand quilt ( almost done with that ) or this or that project shown above, but I think that I’ll concentrate on more Orange Peels while I am so enthused about them. The ones that I made earlier in the week are HERE.

orange peels to work on

There is a 2nd-grader’s football game in the middle of the day on Sunday and a JoAnn fabrics store close by  the game location. I don’t need anything but one or two thread colors. Can I visit that store after the game and only walk in and out with what I need? Hopefully….

Meanwhile when I contemplate going to a grandchild’s football game, it seems as if it was just yesterday that I was sitting on the bleachers watching my sons  play football!

You might also enjoy:  Handmade Christmas : Tube Pillowcases for the Grandchildren  or  Italian Stuffing with Sausage & Parmesan: Delicious!    or  Nothing Says Fall Around Here Like a Wooly Bear Caterpillar

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts / Lavender Cottage Gardening / Cozy Little House  / Freemotion by the River / Savvy Southern Style/ Freshly Pieced / Sew Fresh Quilts / Common Ground / French Country Cottage

Orange Peel Quilt Blocks : RSC15

I have often been tempted to join the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

From the lovely hostess at So Scrappy  ” The idea of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is simple.  Each month I will choose a new color.  You just need to dig out some scraps in that color and make something — anything. ”

Some quilters work on just one ‘rainbow’ project per year and others work on several long term projects. Angela has a Pinterest board of rainbow quilt examples HERE

I decided to start with orange peel quilt blocks.

August’s color direction was Indigo/Dark Blues / Grays / Blacks / Darks in general…I made a few this past week and have one more set to finish up in a different color.  It looks indigo / purple in one light and reddish / purple in another. Oh, well, it will do.

I found a template online. These are appliqued on to individual 5  1/2 inch squares and then sewn together. Eventually I will have some in all colors of the rainbow :)

To see what others are working on, head over to So Scrappy on Saturdays for the link up.

orange peel blocks

You might also enjoy : Slow Stitching : Little Girl’s Tea Party

Sharing at Cozy Little House / Freshly Pieced / French Country Cottage

Around here…randoms

A few randoms…

On Wednesday afternoon, the high temperature here in southwestern Pa., which is usually unbearably hot and muggy at this time of year, was 67 degrees.  It felt like October!

clouds and view

cloud collage

I wonder if this is our summer’s version of the Polar Plunges or Vortexes or whatever that we kept getting hit with over the winter.  I am not complaining, though. It’s quite unusual and also very refreshing.

I am sure that many of you know there are troubles with bees and monarchs. So it is so special to see a monarch. I have one that does a quick fly by a few times during the day. I managed to get a few shots…not the best but they’ll have to do.

monarch collage

One of my son’s childhood friends who lives in Arizona now, has been posting, along with his wife on Facebook about their monarchs. Basically they said that there were myriad caterpillars on their flowers, and next you know, there were cocoons everywhere. They posted some photos of the butterflies emerging, and then on Wednesday he’d managed to shoot a video of one of them being born….it was just amazing.

School is starting here. I have two grandchildren in one school district that started on Monday, and three that start on Thursday.

In our area it used to be that they all started after Labor Day, but I think that they want to build in an earlier start now in case of snow days. Last winter we had so many snow days in our district that the children had to attend school until the middle of June.

I saw the two after THEIR first day at school. One’s a boy and one’s a girl. I got about two sentences out of Brent about his first day in first grade. I listened to Kate for 45 minutes about HER 4th grade day.  Clearly males and females are different :)

Outdoors, while I don’t have the bounty of flowers that I have had in years past due to our strange weather this year, I still have plenty to enjoy and every few days I pick a nice amount of tomatoes and peppers to split between my household and my family down the road. My cucumbers and green beans are done for the year but I have re-planted lettuce and the grapes seem to be coming along nicely.

flowers veg grapes collage

It is now close to the time to close all of the windows and put on warm pajamas.

I can’t believe that I said that in August. But tonight will be the 2nd or 3rd night in the 50’s here.  As far as I can recall over my lifetime, this is a first for this time of year.

hawk sepia

You might also enjoy :  Kids, Critters, & Doreen’s Brilliant Idea  or  Home Tour  or 5 Fast & Easy Frugal Food Dishes

Sharing at: Common Ground / Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style / French Country Cottage

Athena Goddess of Wisdom & Crafts: Archetypes in our Daily Lives

“Athena was the Greek Goddess of Wisdom and Crafts, known to the Romans as Minerva. Like Artemis, Athena was a virgin goddess, dedicated to chastity and celibacy. She was the stately, beautiful warrior goddess, protector of her chosen heroes and of her namesake city, Athens.”

1795206e86a12030277222d77a75e829 Athena with warrior helmet


This ongoing series is based on Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book “Goddesses in EveryWoman” and all quotes are from the book.

“Befitting her role as the goddess who presided over battle strategy in wartime and over domestic arts in peacetime, Athena was often shown with a spear in one hand and a bowl or spindle in the other. ”

Athena was a Father’s daughter…Zeus had swallowed  her mother Metis  ( men do that to women sometimes, don’t they :(  and therefore Athena sprang out of her father’s head as a full-grown woman.

“Besides championing individual heroes and being the olympian positioned closest to Zeus, Athena sided with the patriarchy.”

Athena the Archetype :  “As Goddess of Wisdom, Athena was known for her winning strategies and practical solutions. As an archetype, Athena is the pattern followed by logical women, who are ruled by their heads rather than their hearts.

Athena is a feminine archetype; she shows that thinking well, keeping one’s head in the heat of an emotional situation, and developing good tactics in the midst of conflict, are natural traits for some women.

The concept of Athena as an archetype for logical thinking challenges the Jungian premise that thinking is done for a woman by her masculine animus, which is presumed to be distinct from her feminine ego. When a woman recognizes the keen way her mind works as a feminine quality related to Athena, she can develop a positive image of herself, instead of fearing that she is mannish or inappropriate.

When Athena represents only one of several archetypes active in a particular woman–rather than a single dominant pattern–then this archetype can be an ally of other goddesses. ”    ( Jean gives several examples of this…the book is quite extensive and interesting. ) 



Virgin Goddesses : ” Athena differs from Artemis and Hestia in that she is the virgin goddess who seeks the company of men. Rather than separating or withdrawing, she enjoys being in the midst of male action and power. The virgin goddess element helps her to avoid emotional or sexual entanglements with men. She can be companion, colleague, or confidant without developing erotic feelings or emotional intimacy.”

The Strategist : “Athena’s wisom was that of the general deploying forces or of the business magnate outmaneuvering competition. She was the best strategist during the Trojan War.  Her tactics and interventions won victories for the Greeks on the battlefield. The Athena archetype thrives in the business, academic, scientific, military, or political arenas.”

The Craftswoman :  “As Goddess of Crafts, Athena was involved with making things that were both useful and esthetically pleasing. She was most noted for her skills as a weaver, in which hands and mind must work together. To make a tapestry or a weaving, a woman must design and plan what she will do and then, row by row, methodically create it. This approach is an expression fo the Athena archetype, which emphasizes foresight, planning, mastery of a craft, and patience. ”

This is just a short synopsis of a few points on the chapter regarding Athena.  This little series only briefly touches on the incredible depth and detail of the actual book. Your local library may have it or you can find either a new or used copy on Amazon if you are interested.

1st / Basis in this series :  Which Goddess; Archetypes in our Daily Lives

2nd : Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth

3rd:  Three Vulnerable Goddesses 

4th : Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt

to be continued…

Sharing at : Savvy Southern Style / Common Ground / French Country Cottage / Cozy Little House

Indoors & Out & Some Family Fun : Toward August’s End

I don’t change much around in the house. It’s too small to move furniture here and there and while I might change ‘vignettes’ a bit during the winter months, in the summer I generally leave things alone. For instance this has been on top of my piano since June.

on top of piano

Generally around this time of year I add fresh flowers to the room example from last year below:

flowers in vases collage

This year I have so little zinnias…only a few have come into bloom. They have always been my mainstay for in-house bouquets.

Flowers in Vase another view

Nor do I have a myriad of sunflowers this year as in years past.

Just one Sunflower

It just seems that a good bit of the annuals that I rely on didn’t make it this year after planting them.  There are a few, but few enough that I want to enjoy them outside.

The few bouquets that I have picked with what is blooming…hydrangea, russian sage, cosmos, etc. have been picked with the children and then the flowers have gone to their Mommy, my DIL.

It’s been a very changeable summer here in southwestern PA. We had nothing but rain for months and all that I did was mow the grass and pull weeds. Now we’ve had very little rain and our lawns are crisping up.

Despite the lack of rain, we were at a picnic on Saturday,  and while the creek that runs along the edge of the park was quite low, there was at least a wee bit of water left to delight the little girls.

slide collage

Aise in creek


The picnic was in honor of my DIL’s little niece…I’d shown a picture of her wrapped up in the quilt that I’d made, in my weekly sewing post.  Can you believe that the mama had a C-Section, was out of the hospital on the 3rd day, and made an appearance at the picnic that afternoon?  They get you up and walking right away now and kick you out asap!

That little baby at 6.2 lbs was light as a feather when I held her : )

Back at home, I have two hibiscus on the front porch. An orange one, and this lovely one. I took a few photos one morning when it was greeting the sun.


Indoors, my next season for decorating a bit won’t be fall. That’s October in these parts. Rather it will be when the PeeGee Hydrangea, which is now white, will darken to deep shades of pink and rose, and the zinnias that I do have coming up will at least provide me with enough to bring in and arrange with some of my other flowers.

From a prior year…

hydrangea closeup

I bring them in and dry them but come spring I throw them out and do another round the next season. Last year, I trimmed the bush back so much that I wondered if it would do well this year. After all of the rain earlier in the summer, it doubled in size.

How about you ? Has your summer weather been normal and your flowers and vegetable harvests been about the same? Or different.

And of course asking a question like this, I have our Western states in mind, heart and prayers, because theirs have not :(  

May God still the winds and send them rain!  

You might also like : Spring and Shark Mops  or  More Old Photos From the Early 1900’s

Sharing at : Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style / Common Ground / French Country Cottage