About lulu

I am a fiber artist with special emphasis on weaving, but I love working with threads and cloth in a variety of mediums. New ideas, new ways of connecting threads are the spice of life.

Behind the Scenes

IMG_6991 (1)Thanks to a family connection, the hubby and I were behind the scenes at the Kenny Chesney concert in Bangor, Maine.

IMG_7019Talk about activity! Several dozen folks scurry around getting everything perfect for the performance.

IMG_7009 (1)Instruments stand ready

while band members warm up for what will be an energetic performance.

Outside the arena, crowds gather

IMG_6983and vendors offering food, drink and souvenirs are plentiful.

IMG_6982I really liked this traveling pizza oven!

IMG_7004 (1)Behind the scenes, there was plenty for us to eat, too.

IMG_7021As time draws close for the concert to begin, the crowd noise picks up in anticipation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally, the curtain goes up and there he is, Kenny Chesney!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor two hours, this man is the ultimate performer,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnever still,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAlifting the crowd to fever pitch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I tell you folks get their money’s worth from his show, believe it!

IMG_7008Then, it’s all over and those same crews that set up begin tearing down and loading  equipment into semis.

IMG_7003There must have been 15-20 of them filled with all the necessary paraphernalia.

IMG_7006All done, musicians and staff fill buses that will drive through the night to the next  concert destination in New Brunswick where it’s all to do over.  After being behind the scenes and seeing what goes into preparing for a concert, I have a whole new appreciation not only for the entertainer but for all the folks who work so hard to make it happen.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Tried and True

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s strawberry time in Maine, and nothing beats those sweet, juicy berries right from the vine.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI even have some growing in a hanging basket on the porch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are so many things to do with strawberries, but the first thing that comes to my mind is a tried and true dessert that has been a favorite since my high school boyfriend’s mother taught me how to make it.  It is easy to prepare, and I can’t tell you a time when someone hasn’t asked for the recipe.

Favorite Strawberry Dessert

15-18 unsalted crackers, finely ground 

3 egg whites

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla

1/2 c. pecans, finely chopped

sliced strawberries, as many as you want 

whipped cream

In a food processor or blender, grind the crackers. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add the vanilla and sugar a bit at a time and continue beating.  Fold in the crackers and pecans, mixing well.  Spoon into a lightly buttered 9″ pie plate and bake at 350 until lightly browned.  Let it cool thoroughly before serving.

Slice the strawberries and add sugar to taste.  Mix well and set aside.  I also like to add a couple of tablespoons of amaretto to the berries for a special taste.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen ready to serve, you can mound strawberries on the crust and top with whipped cream or put the berries and cream on individual slices.  I usually prefer the latter as it makes the crust a little easier to slice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere you have it, a dessert that will generate moans around the table.  It’s a super alternative to another tried and true favorite, strawberry shortcake.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Peony Love

peoniesYou cannot imagine how excited I get over the peonies that fill my garden with their vibrant blooms for a few short weeks this time of year.  These are not a sight to be seen in the warmer climes of Houston.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith so many blooms, how is it possible to resist cutting and bringing them inside to add beauty to any room?  You can bet that some will always find their way to the dining room table to become the focal point of a tablescape.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy oft used bottles are perfect containers and are so easy to configure in attractive arrangement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith these beauties on the table, the rest is easy. Dishes and flatware that I found last year on sale at Target are understated additions.  Napkins pick up the colors in the antique cloth that is used as a runner and the turned back corners add a little flair.  Simple to say the least!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the peony blossoms dropped some of its petals and rather than throw them away, I scattered them on the table.  I wonder if the folks who ate here thought I’d been negligent in not cleaning them up!

IMG_6839Preparing a table is my favorite part of readying for any meal, and, as this one shows, it doesn’t have to be elaborate to be appealing.  When nature provides such abundant beauty as inspiration for creativity, the hard work is already done.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Thursday

A Peaceful Escape

For the last few days, it seems all we have done is work, me in the yard where there’s always something to do and the hubby replacing and painting rotten boards on the porch.  Enough is enough, so I suggested we take a break and head out on the boat for an overnight stay.  There was no resistance to that idea!

IMG_6910 (1)Penobscot Bay is chock full of islands, many of which have  little protected harbors and coves which make for a very peaceful escape.

IMG_6859I especially like finding a place where we are all alone and the only sounds are the wind whistling through the trees and water lapping gently against the hull.

IMG_6848Once settled, it is time for a little refreshment

IMG_6849and games of backgammon.  Already, whatever we left behind is forgotten and it’s easy to enjoy nothing more than being.

IMG_6916As day slowly fades away, thoughts turn to dinner.  I have no problem working in the compact galley where there is space for everything.

IMG_6865Since this adventure was very last minute, I brought whatever I could find in the refrigerator.  There were a few slices of salami, mozzarella, a tomato and some salad greens which when combined on a pizza crust made a very tasty dinner.

moonlightBefore calling it a day, I wandered out on the deck to take in the beauty of the night. Surrounded by nothing but darkness, the light on the water couldn’t have been more beautiful.  The sky was filled with twinkling stars, some seeming so close it would be possible to grab a handful of starlight.  Such are the moments that remind me why I love being in Maine.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Metamorphosis Monday

The Scoop

Destination: Castine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of our favorite boat outings is to Castine, Maine, one of the oldest communities in North America.  Since the 1600’s it has been continuously occupied by settlers from France, Holland, England and  colonial America.  It has also been home to several Native American nations, so as you might guess, Castine has a rich and colorful history.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACastine is not a big town.  Most of the shops and eateries are right in the center.

Were it not for the Maine Maritime Academy where young men and women are trained for a life involving the sea, there would be few full time residents.

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In the 1630’s, the French built Fort Pentagoet, which was later destroyed by the Dutch.

IMG_4889Today, an historic inn is all that bears the name.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALocated up the road from the original fort, the inn is on the site of a hall occupied by English troops in the 1800’s.  Are you beginning to get a feel for Castine’s varied history?

Back to the inn, it is a trip back in time which makes it desirable for visitors.

For us, it is an annual destination where we meet boater friends for cocktails on the porch and a delightful dinner.

It is always fun to stroll around Castine to see stunning examples of Federal and Greek-Revival style homes that were built by wealthy pre-Civil War merchant families. For a peek inside one of these beautifully restored old homes, it’s worth taking a look here.   Many of you will recognize the work of one of your favorite fellow bloggers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn any given day, Castine is a wonderful lunch destination, and for us, it takes less time to get there by water than by car. It is a treat to tie up at the public dock and walk a few steps to Dennett’s Wharf for a tasty bite.

While there, you never know what you are going to see happening in or on the water.  Yep, Maine is the way life should be!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Thanks to the Rain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA tablescape can begin in unexpected ways. This one is thanks to three days of  drenching rain which is hard on top heavy blooming plants.  It made me sad to see all of a tall columbine’s beautiful  flowers flattened on the ground.  I staked as many as possible, but most I cut and filled bottles and vases with them. It’s no surprise that some became part of a centerpiece.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was a wonderful surprise to discover how sculptural the flower was.  I don’t know whether that’s normal or whether the shape was in part due to the rain.  No matter,  it’s  lovely!

The  beautifully designed woven textile from Italy became the influence for an Italian themed tablescape.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA collection of large plates with scenes reminiscent of Tuscany served as chargers,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAperfect backdrops for new square black bowls from Ikea. The flatware from TJ Maxx was a great accent color, far more interesting than the silver I first put on the table.

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I couldn’t resist once more using these napkin rings, also from Italy.  Without question, they will show up again and again on one or another table as they are among my favorite things. 

IMG_6786Preparing this table brought back so many memories of time in Italy, a place that, like Maine, has a piece of my heart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll that is missing now are the friends who will join us for a dinner of risotto with Italian sausage and caprese salad. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Inspiration Thursday

Tablescape Thursday