Friday, September 26, 2008

Garden CleanUp

Our formal perennial garden has been cleaned and is ready for the long winter nap. Our beds are mulched, and this helps to keep weeds under control. After a hard freeze, we will cut back a few more plants.

Our wonderful gardener, Karen Johnson, trims the bayberry growth. She sculpts all the foliage manually and has an experienced hand and highly-developed skills. Her faithful companion, Boomer, waits at her feet.

A new young cat wandered onto our property this week -- hungry, scared, and abandoned.
After food and water, he settled down for a nap on the deck. Young and gaunt, he features a long tail and is all legs and big feet. Karen took him home to join another young cat she recently acquired, named him "Sunny", and reported that the two cats are already fast friends. Boomer also likes cats, and the three of them will head to Florida for the winter with their owner!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Exhibition at FLCC

The Williams-Insalaco Gallery on the Finger Lakes Community College campus is hosting an exhibition of fabric art from seven members of the Rochester Area Fiber Artists through October 24th.

Here are three of Anne Fischer's pieces, and she is talking with Gallery Directory, Barron Naegel

The first two quilts were done by Joyce Martelli, and the next one is by Anne Fischer.

This is my "Night and Day" quilt in the center.

On the left is my friend, Mary Wilsey, with me in front of my "Receding C's" quilt. Mary was a student in the first classes I taught at FLCC. I hired her as an Instructor when I was the Business Department Chairperson, and now she is the Department Chairperson!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Early Fall

...A double entrance to the maze garden. One path leads to the center and a restful bench seat in peace and quiet. The other choice sends you wandering around in circles and dumps you on the other side. You choose!!

The perennial grass garden reaches its apex this month. Six-foot high colorful varieties reach the seeding stage and wave gently in the breeze. Japanese blood grass peeks through at the lower right.

We have had wonderful weather this month. Bill mows the front horse pasture one more time before bringing out the horses. The grass has grown steadily since April, and the horses have not started on their hay to get them through the winter.

It is tempting to individualize some of the gourds (ala naming rocks on Mars). Their other-worldly nature calls for such effort as we describe them in terms more familiar to us earthlings! Here the speciman on the left looks like the bubbling pots of hot mud in the artist pots pools in Yellowstone Park, while the one on the right must be the remains of a beautiful green, yellow and white candle!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 22, 2008

Early Fall

Arranging the gourd collection is lots of fun. In truth you could just toss them in the air and wherever and however they landed would look just fine!! This group improves our dining room table on the main floor of the house.

Our wonderful late-flowering Autumn clementis covers a garden pergola. Some years we trim this back and other years leave it alone. It doesn't seem to matter as profuse cascades of small white flowers show up each year.

Inspector Suki closely watches any and all human activity in the gardens. She is hoping someone or something would like to go for a run! She will chase or follow depending on her mood.

The Mitsu apple tree is producing many buckets of fruit for horse treats this fall. I don't think we need fear they will run away from home!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gourds & Peppers

If you left click on these pictures of the gourds assembled for display, you will see the amazing variety of color and texture in nature's repertoire. We are intrigued by the "melted candle" look of the beauty sitting on the coaster.

We couldn't resist hanging several gourds with crooked ends from the wall-wash light brackets. These lights send color-correct rays over all of the design walls in the studio.

Another display on Marcia's desk. Again, we urge you to left click to see the amazing detail!

This is not an old picture..... We spent much of the afternoon preparing more of our stuffed peppers for the freezer and winter meals. Yum! Yum!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grape Jelly

After the grapes are picked, cleaned, and cooked, the mixture is put through a colander. This star-embellished old-timer may well have belonged to Marcia's grandfather close to 100 years ago. Still does the job!
The roughly treated juice and some pulp is stored in gallon jugs. This mixture is now ready for further cooking on its way to being a product somewhere between jelly and jam.

The cooking continues with the addition of Sure-Jell, sugar, and a touch of butter to control the foaming. A rolling boil with constant stirring completes the process.

We made several batches tonight, ending up with 12 pint jars for the freezer. We had some worries, as some of the finished jars had different consistancies and solidified at very different rates. But surely that is the fun of home cooking. We don't have a lab to test ingredients, nor huge pots to cook gallons at the same time. We do have years of experience, faith in the process, and a realization of the reality that this is an art rather than a science -- along with the confidence that our future toast will taste just fine adorned with the fruits of our labor!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gathering Gourds

We picked the rest of our ornamental gourds from the garden today. The job took several hours as we are overwhelmed by the huge yield. Last year we got ONE gourd; this year, several hundred!

Our garden cart fills up as we begin the process of sorting the crop. There were very few that were spoiled or attacked for food by resident rabbits, woodchucks, and several types of slimey critters.

Bill is using an old whisk broom to clean off dirt that clings to those gourds that grew in contact with the ground.

Inspector Suki interrupts her afternoon nap to check on the progress. She, like us, was stunned by the size of the harvest. We assembled many baskets to give as gifts to friends. In the frontier aphorism, "Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you." If Gov. Palin wins, we may have to become more familiar with this type of reference. Let's hope not!!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grape Harvest

We had a wonderful crop of grapes this year. Growing conditions were perfect, and we got to picking time at the optimal moment. Marcia holds one picked bunch against a clustered background.

A resident snail enjoyed the perfect weather today. He was feasting on the mature grape leaf, and there are many left for him and his friends. The often-seen swirls on the shell is one of nature's favorite patterns and is featured by many forms of life (including humans) for decorative, mystic, and design purposes!

We filled six 5-gallon pails with Niagara and Concord (purple and green) varieties. The four buckets here were soon joined by two more. We'll cook the grapes and strain them to make juice for grape jelly. Marcia shared some of the bounty with friends who are going to try their hands at grape jelly making. ....A very good year.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 15, 2008

More class pictures

Here is my piece (still in process) with five of my small blocks used in the composition. It needs a little more tweaking, but overall I like it.

Cynthia discusses Janet's work with the class.

This is Janet's beginning small block and her final composition. We all like the orange fabric and the skinny shapes that she repeated.

Barb Sassano was Cynthia's hostess while she stayed in our area. You can see some Barb's composition behind her and some of her great green fabrics.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cynthia Corbin's class ... more pics

Joyce Martelli started with some orange "brush strokes" fabric designed by Nancy Crow in her small blocks and created this vibrant compostion.

Cynthia talks to Pat Pauly about her piece. We love Pat's wonderful patterned fabrics.

Deb Roach created two strong pieces from her small blocks -- great colors.

These two pieces were done by Charmaine Babineau, who did a very nice job of coordinating her fabric pieces with the fabrics in her small blocks.

Priscilla's blocks and piece show her usual wonderful color sense.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cynthia Corbin class - Day 2

Our 2nd class, "Without A Parachute," found us cutting shapes directly from our fabrics and then using those shapes to make small compositions. As we tried out different shapes and designs, we could also try adding more colors and fabrics.

These blocks were done by Linda Bachman, and the addition of the blue fabric made the blocks much richer.

These blocks were made by Charmaine Babineau, and she made great use of the batik fabic with the swirled lines.

In the afternoon, we selected one or some of our small blocks to use as a starting point to make a large composition. This is Pat Berardi's piece.

Caris Burton's composition grew from a block that had only horizontal lines.
Posted by Picasa