Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time to Fly!

Shortly after I put it up, this hanging planter full of purple flowers caught the eye of a pair of expectant parents - house finches. Nest building began in earnest shortly thereafter (see the piece of grass sticking out of the plant?), and Mama Finch laid five tiny speckled eggs.

Just by looking at the plant, you'd never know the bird's nest is deep inside, near the base of the plant.

Since one of my favorite summer pastimes is doing hand work on the front porch, this activity has been somewhat reduced this year, as Mrs. Finch spooks off the nest quite easily.

The baby birds, now a mass of brown feathers and fluff, are just about to fledge. The nearby window leads to my sewing room and the vocalizations from peeping babies and twittering parents are really very pleasant.

But I do miss my sewing spot. One of these days, very soon, maybe I can take up my hand work again on the porch. We'll see. . .

Happy first flight!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Chunkies

Two new Chunky quilt kits just joined the 'Chunky' family. As usual, kits are available at Calico Gals in Syracuse.

The 'chunkies' are a super simple quilt kit series featuring big bold blocks, super easy construction, and an extra-wide binding.

Chunky Bloomers 3, featuring "Peony Tales" fabric by Betty Wang for South Sea Imports.
Chunky Moxie, featuring "Moxie" fabric by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics.

Have a 'chunky' kind of day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lavender Fields

Last evening I attended a business networking event at Lockwood Farm in Skaneateles, New York. The weather was cool and overcast, but fortunately, no rain.

Lockwood Farms is a 120 acre flower and fiber farm that overlooks scenic Skaneateles Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Karen Lockwood, our hostess, says she has lost count of the number of sheep in her herd, raised for their fleece. Here's Karen with a two-week old lamb, which was as cute as can be!

Karen's passion is the lavender. She grows sixteen varieties of lavender plants for fragrance and culinary uses. The plants need to be hearty varieties to survive the harsh central New York winters in the Finger Lakes.

The intensity of the dark purple lavender hue is nearly overwelming in the flower patches that are approaching full bloom just in time for the Lavender Festival, scheduled for July 10th and 11th at the farm. The farm is open to the public on weekends in the summer and even features a small shop with all sorts of lavender products.

We were also treated to a fabulous spread of traditional fresh Lebanese cuisine made especially for the event by Julie Sageer (on the left in the photo below). Each dish incorporated lavender flavors and Lebanese culinary tradition.

A feast for the eyes and for the tummy!

Consider a summer drive to the farm.