This Blog

This is a blog to show off my needlework, mainly crazy quilting, beading and crochet. It makes me happy to create these things and even more happy to share the fun with friends. Pictures of my beading projects are at

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Solar Hot Water Photos, Beaded Ornaments

Here are the promised pictures of my solar water heater. The collecting tubes contain water which is heated by the sun and circulated in exchange coils through the water in the 55 gallon tank. There's a small tank in the attic for the water to drain out of the tubes when heat is not needed. That keeps them from freezing at night in the winter. The water is mixed with cold at the outlet to the house to keep the temperature no higher then 130 degrees F. There's a monitor that tells me the temperature at the top of the collectors and the top and bottom of the tank. Cool. It's all working great, although I need to remember to run the dishwasher while the sun is shining. I don't even have the back up heater turned on.

Back to needlework. I've made two beaded flaming chalice ornaments to sell at my church auction in November. The blue one is based on a stained-glass window in our community hall. The other is the most common image used as a symbol of our denomination, Unitarian-Universalism. These are about 3 inches in diameter and are lightly padded. The green back on the yellow one is done in size 15 seed beads. That took a while!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm Back From Maine

I got back from a week and a half in Maine on Thursday. I was visiting my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in Portland, running Grandma Bobbi camp for Lorelei's last week of summer before beginning first grade. She was ready for the leap into it.

We had a good time: went to Cunningham's used books, enjoyed her first soccer practice (she slept in her uniform), made a couple of dips successfully from my Simple Salsas and Dips recipe book, read chapters from The Little House Treasury that she selected from Cunningham's, bought a cross stitch book, thread, and canvass and had a beginner's lesson.

There was worry going on, too. Her other grandmother who lives a block and a half away from them, just learned she has cancer spread through her body, probably ovarian. She began chemotherapy while I was there. Lorelei picked a pattern from her cross stitch book of a kitten and mouse together and the word "peace." I worked it into a card for Grandma Carol from the two of us. Forgot to take a picture. The situation is an extra shock because Carol is an active and vital woman, designed and built with her partner a cabin at their camping property at Stowe near the White Mountain National Forest just last summer. She's a needleworker, too and has taken up weaving in the past few years. She made me this beautiful scarf.

We (Leslie, Bob, Lorelei and I) made a day trip to Stowe to pick blackberries and harvest vegetables from Carol's garden. It was a perfectly beautiful day. The blackberries were delicious. The mosquitos were scarce. We had a nice supper around the fire pit.

On the trip up to Maine on Amtrak, I crocheted on my second sock. Didn't finish, but when Lorelei saw the pattern book, she wanted some, too. So, we went to the yarn shop selected some yarn. I got a good start on a pair for her in powder blue. I sure hope they fit.

I celebrated my birthday on September 5 with solar hot water. The installation was finally finished the day before. Sorry, no pictures today. It works wonderfully. I washed two loads of clothes today under cloudy skies and hardly made a drop in the temperature in the tank. I suppose I should do solar drying, too, but hanging the clothes out is more than I want to do. Besides, they don't need ironing when they come out of the drier.
It's been busy times and now I'd better get busy putting together my embroidery guild chapter newsletter.
P.S. I just got a call from my daughter. Grandma Carol died this morning, only three weeks from the day she learned she had cancer. What a loss! She was a wonderful, caring woman and will be missed by many people.