Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vacation Part 2

When we vacationed in Lancaster, PA, we rented a house.  We knew that by the time we rented enough hotel rooms for all of us - two married couples and a single young woman - then went out to dinner every night, we'd spend more than what the house cost us for the week.  The house turned out to be lovelier than the online photos!  It was what we here in New York call a raised ranch - you walk in the front door and have to go either up or down.  On the upper floor, there was a gorgeous sunroom, dining room, living room, kitchen, laundry room, full bath, and two bedrooms.  The lower floor had two bedrooms, what I would call a family room, and a full bath.  Plenty of room for all of us.  The home was on a somewhat busy road, but set back far enough that we didn't notice the traffic noise.  Across the street was an Amish farm.
 The lovely Ridge Garden vacation home.
After walking up the stairs, the living room was to your right.  We loved the couches and chair, all of which were recliners.  The space was large enough with ample windows so the dark paint on the wall didn't close in the room.
The dining room was between the living room and the sun room. 
The sun room.  More comfortable chairs, beautiful windows, and a door that led out to the deck.  Make sure you click on the picture and enlarge it so you can see the beautiful stencil! 
The stencil was carried over to the wall opposite the window in the previous picture.
This was Sarah's bedroom.

 We had use of the washer and dryer.  In the second picture, the dark doors opened up to reveal narrow shelving.  Not sure what its original purpose was.
 The lovely master bedroom. 
 The downstairs family room.  There was a second large screen TV down here.
 Grace and Anthony's bedroom.  This was directly under the sun room - part of that later addition to the house.
 This kitchen.  I'd never worked in one with an island, but found it handy.  The area at the left of the picture was a built-in desk, complete with computer.  How many times I've wished for a computer in my kitchen at home!

I'll be back with pictures of the gardens surrounding the home.  If you're planning a trip down to Amish country and are interested in this lovely vacation home, visit their website!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fantastic Giveaway

Gretchen has moved her blog from http://www.fashionablymodestpatterns.blogspot.com/ to http://www.happyyoungwife.com/.  To celebrate her move she is offering a $35 gift certificate to CSN Stores.  Hop on over to her new blog to enter!

Wedding Sampler Update

Very slowly, I've put some more stitches into the wedding sampler.  I took the picture with my phone's camera on Friday night.  On Saturday, I filled in another section.  I really am itching to get this finished!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vacation Part 1

We had our first vacation in six long years August 10 - 16.  We traveled down to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about a 6.5 hour drive from home (including rest stops), which is home to the oldest settlement of Amish in the United States.  [You can read more about the Amish and Lancaster county here and here.]  This is one of my favorite places - it's peaceful, beautiful, and quaint, with farms as far as the eye can see.  For the first time, I was the designated driver, so I missed a lot of photo opportunities.  And because we had five people to please, two of whom are dealing with chronic illness which slows us down, we didn't get to do as much as we have in previous visits.  I would love to visit craft and quilt shops all day, but other than Sarah, no one in our family would enjoy that!  I do have picture of one quilt to share with you today.  This one was in the window of the Old Country Store in Intercourse.  Unfortunately, I don't have the name of it, but it sure is pretty!
 The octagonal part in the middle was defined using lovely white braid.  There was also braid incorporated into the scallops at the bottom.  Beautiful!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunflower Pincushion

We're on vacation - more on that in a later post - but before we left, I finish-finished a project from The Sampler Girl's Summer 2010 booklet.  I don't have the booklet with me, but as I recall, it's called Sunflower Pincushion.  I chose to finish it to hang on a door or wall hook.  I searched all my ribbon for a suitable color, but couldn't find anything until I remembered this rustic twine.  I ended up cutting it a bit short, but I'm not taking it apart now.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Gardens

The heat and humidity have departed for now, so on Friday I headed outside to replace the bulbs in three of our four outdoor light fixtures, then did some gardening.  I was shocked as I rounded the corner of the house:  the Black-eyed Susans are taller than I've ever seen, the Candytuft is out-of-control, the Russian Sage is falling over, and there were weeds galore.  I cleaned up a bit, and bemoaned the fact that I've never taken the time to put edging around that garden.  I guess there's still time to do it this season.

 The Black-Eyed Susans after I cut quite a few branches to bring inside.
We used to have two Russian Sage plants here, but dug one up and moved it to the back yard.  Its purpose here is to hide the air conditioning unit.
Our beautiful Rose of Sharon at the front of the houe.  This started as a stick five years ago.  Now we have to severely cut it back every spring!
Sarah discovered this Black-Eyed Susan Vine in a catalog several years ago.  It hasn't started blooming yet, although it looks like it will soon.  The blossoms are minatures of the full-sized plants.
Sarah's garden.  She has many different plants - Sunflowers, Daisies, Bee Balm, Calendula, Cosmos, and other flowers I don't know the names of.

I forgot to check our newest garden, which is a wildflower garden.  We were very late planting it, so I'm not sure what we will get by the end of the growing season, but hopefully many of the plants will come back next spring.

I leave you with these words from Henry Ward Beecher's Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers:  

"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock."