From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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Early April in the Garden

It is getting warmer now, and the garden seems to be coming to life again. All around the flowers are not as prolific this year due to a late freeze that did some damage to the buds. Still, the light pink azalea is producing blooms and the bumble bees are having a great time.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

As was the case last year, the white shows the most damage in the discoloration of the blooms. But I still love the white flowers.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Covering the tulips helped, and the pink ones are in full flower.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Dawn on a quiet morning, sunlight makes an interesting pattern on the ground from the leafless trees. This time of day is so peaceful.  Crisp mountain air, hot coffee, breathe.  Soon the trees will leaf out, and the mountain views to the east will be obscured until fall.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The azaleas in the circle are sparse, but the ones that are blooming are pretty. Several others haven’t started yet, and the dogwood is still dormant.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A view down the drive from our home, more azaleas are coming out. It doesn’t seem like we will see the profusion of blooms all down the side of the meadow this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We have new visitors to the meadows and the back yard. This Eastern Towhee was scratching for food.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

His mate was nearby. She seemed to be more interested in bits of twigs and grass, and I am hoping that means she is building her nest nearby.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It seemed like this female cardinal might also have a nest in mind.  I hope so.  Her mate was in the rhododendron but I couldn’t get a good picture of him.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We had a visit from a Northern Flicker as well.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another dawn, and a foggy morning over the valley. Looking out over the hushed silence of the morning, there was time to appreciate the beauty of our world.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Goldfinches wearing their brighter color jostled for position on the feeder.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hostas are coming up strong, and soon will completely cover the bare ground around the tree.  My one little red tulip gallantly blooms all by itself.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The redbud is blooming, hosting a number of bees and butterflies.  I am hoping that the new growth coming from the bottom will fill in the bare spots.  DH has pruned it a bit severely to get the branches off the driveway.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Closer to the small blooms, the pink color is intense, and lots of buds have yet to open.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another new visitor, I am not sure who this is. I don’t think it is Bert or Ernie as he acts differently. He puffs a lot and gobbles loudly, happy for a handout of whole grain bread. But he has been in a scuffle or two as his bedraggled tail attests.  But, how would I know?  He might just be acting differently because it is spring.  In any case, he is fun to watch.  And he seems to like the bread treat.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is surely spring when the robins appear.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Small violas cover the mountainside behind the house, and sporadically in front.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The white and purple one I planted in the garden came back this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the small clearing behind the garage, ajugas are blooming profusely, covering a large section. The pollinators like them too.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I’ve taken so many more pictures, but this is enough for now. I love sitting on the veranda and enjoying the quiet solitude of our place, the mountain views ever changing, nature ever evolving.  We still have a week to go before the last frost date, but I think it is safe now to do some gardening.  The forecast is for temps in the 70s all week, with lows in the 40s.  Time to begin hardening off the seedings in the basement.  Some are still alive, but some died for no good reason that I can tell.  Oh well, will see what happens when I get them replanted.

What’s going on in your garden?

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Autumn Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Last Saturday was our car club’s costume drive, and we had an absolute blast. Our club met up in Asheville, lots of us in funny costumes.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 3

We had a great turnout of cars and members.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 6

Driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway was just surreal, the colors were so vibrant.

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I kept snapping off photos as we drove along.

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So gorgeous, I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

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We went through several tunnels.

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More beauty on the other side.  Vibrant reds and golds, bronze and rust.

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It was a grey day all day, not much sunshine so it was hard to get the colors on the wide mountain shot from the overlook where we stopped briefly.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 68

We stopped for lunch at the Little Switzerland Inn’s Chalet Restaurant. Good food and incredible view out the back.

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Gorgeous red leaves on the maples here.

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Here we are in a group photo. I’m third from the right in the blonde wig, holding my little dragon.

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More stunning color on the drive home.

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I took over 140 pictures, I promise I won’t show you all of them, LOL!!

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Well, maybe just one more!

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 143

I love autumn!  We’ll get back to quilting next.


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Fun at the Mountain Regional State Fair 2015

The Mountain Regional State Fair is in its last weekend, and it was a blast to both enter competitions and attend the fair.  This year I went twice, and yes I had to get a corn dog both times.   I enjoy so much about this annual event, the heritage crafts, the fun food (no I didn’t get a fried oreo, but I did think about it, LOL!), seeing all the winners in the giant pumpkin contest, and of course the wonderful quilts!

State Fair 2015 -35

I don’t ride these crazy things, but I do enjoy the chair lift that takes you over the whole fairgrounds.  That is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

State Fair 2015 -40

This year we got to the fair early on a grey day, just in time to see the rabbit competition.

State Fair 2015 - rabbit judging 3

Did you know that the judging for these cute guys is more stringent than the average dog show?

State Fair 2015 - rabbit judging

They were cute lined up in their bins waiting for their turn.  I could have done a whole post just on these little guys.

State Fair 2015 - rabbits in bins

More waiting patiently for their competition, happily munching on hay.

State Fair 2015 - rabbits

We watched the llama competition too, the kids have to take them through an obstacle course.

State Fair 2015 - llama judging 2

No chickens this year, due to the state trying to limit the exposure to the bird flu.  We did see the little pigmy goats, adorable!

State Fair 2015 - 13 pigmy goats

The clogging competition was that day too, but I didn’t get any pictures.  I think I was just so captivated by the kids and how well they danced.  We went over to the competitions building to see the quilts after that.  I was thrilled to see a second place ribbon on my Sudoku quilt made of sewing fabrics. I already showed you the third place on my applique Spotted Hen, also in this picture.

State Fair 2015 - Sukoku

I have a new purse pattern that I’ll be publishing soon.  It won a ribbon too!  It has a beaded embellishment that is from the upholstery department in the home dec department of the local fabric store.

State Fair 2015 - Carole purse

I also received a second place on my Autumn Table Linens Set of table runner, 4 place mats, 4 napkins and 2 potholders, in the quilted crafts division. It was a real thrill to also receive the Judge’s Choice ribbon!

State Fair 2015 - Quilted linens Judges Choice

The real surprise was a first place ribbon in the amateur photography competition, in the category of Fair pictures from last year.  I had taken a photo of some of the vegetable competition with the quilts hanging overhead.

State Fair 2015 -Photo First

The quilts hanging from the ceiling were all spectacular. The winners were well deserved, beautifully pieced and quilted masterpieces.  A couple of my friends won in two categories, and I am thrilled for them.  The black modern quilt ended up oriented this way, and I liked it.  It was hard to get a good picture with the lighting.

State Fair 2015 - Quilt black 1

Back outside, we had to get some food. Chicken and waffle! My first time, and I liked it!

State Fair 2015 -Chicken and Waffles

We took the food to a table down the row and around a corner to hear Leon Jacobs, Jr. do his one man band. Always a treat to hear him play oldies and tell jokes. It is a fun show I like to see, if I can get there at the right time. He only plays a few times a day.

State Fair 2015 - Jacobs

After that, we hit the Heritage crafting area, where I bought some pottery (on both trips, LOL), and we got to watch the blacksmith in action making a metal leaf key ring.

State Fair 2015 - 27 Blacksmith

I took so many pictures! And we did so much more on those two visits than I can put into one post, things to see and do, the little newborn calves at the Mooternity ward, more competitions, beautiful woodworking and a chain saw artist. The floral competition was spectacular as we got there just after all those beautiful blooms were delivered for judging. So many gorgeous roses, orchids and more.

State Fair 2015 - Flowers

I’ll pick up all my entries on Monday, then on Wednesday take three quilts to Asheville for their quilt show coming up the first weekend in October.  Then I am done with shows until next year!  Three shows in less than 30 days is a lot of running around.  Plus it is another weekend of the Friends of the Library book sale, with box-of-books day next Friday.  I hope to get some time to sew in October!

Do you enter competitions in your local fair?  Do you go to the fair?


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Grow Your Blog Event 2015

Hi, I’m so glad you stopped by!  Thank you for coming to see what my blog offers.  In a word, much!  But first, I want to thank Vicki at 2 Bags Full for hosting this blog hop party.  And I want to thank my regular readers for all their support over the past year.  I plan for this next year to bring as much fun and variety as the first year.  Click on the Grow Your Blog Button below to see all the blogs participating in this year’s event.

grow your blog 2015

I have been blogging for one year now, (it is my blogiversary tomorrow!), and I do enjoy sharing the many projects I do.   I think a blog should be a source of inspiration and learning for the reader, so I concentrate on content.  There are lots of tutorials here – just look in the upper right corner above the banner picture for categories of tutorials you can see.  I enjoy quilting, crafting, sewing, designing, cooking, reading, gardening, beading, wool work, stamping, photography and playing with my glue gun.  I go hiking in the warmer months in these beautiful North Carolina mountains, and share my best pictures with you.  Here’s a sample of what I have blogged over the past year –

I have quilted and sewn for many years, and each new project brings fresh excitement.  This past year, one of my quilts was accepted into the American Quilter’s Society show in Charlotte.  It was my first quilt accepted into a juried show!

Summer1.jpg

I created several Quilting Tutorials for basic skills…

Squaring8

and a few more fun Quilting Projects.  I have a designer page on Fave Quilts too!

PatrioticTableRunnerFinish2

I created a few sewing projects

Ironmatfinish1

and crafting projects

Jars basket 2

My garden and veranda occupy a lot of my warmer weather attention.

Porch July 2014

I enjoy cooking, baking and creating new recipes.  This is Rustic Egg Bread.

Egg Bread 14

Try my Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup for a cold winter day.

finishedplate

Sometimes I do research on interesting foodie items, like this article on salt.

salt6

And sometimes, I’ll tell you about silly holidays with things you can do to celebrate, like National Donut Day.

Donuts 3

On holidays, I’ll show you my tablescapes, both formal and informal.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 6

Lunch table

In the fall, we go to the local Apple Festival every year, such fun!  We go to other local events too.

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We enjoy hiking and exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, see our view from home on the header.

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I read a lot too, and often post Book Reviews, sometimes with a Movie Review.

13th Glazed Murder garden Food12 QuiltAsYouGo elegance GoneGirlBookClubCookbook_09-06-11 Tim Gunn Th 101 Knifeskills BreadAlone

I have just so many interests, I have to write about all of them.  DH says I have a low threshold for boredom, so I have to have something going on all the time.  The variety of subjects keeps me interested, and allows me to work on more than one project at a time.  Coming soon are articles on sewing and serging, creating more fun projects with buttons and natural materials, and a series of small quilts for tabletop display, along with several new recipes, book reviews, and mountain living articles.  Check out the categories on the sidebar for more articles, projects, book reviews, recipes, and more.  Or click on the home button to see the last several posts.  If you like a variety of subjects, heavy on the quilting, crafting, cooking and reading, you’ll enjoy this blog.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will come again.


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Clouds Over the Mountains

Sometimes it is really amazing how the view from our home changes.  I was sitting on the veranda, just enjoying the cooler air when I noticed how beautiful the clouds were over the mountains across the valley.  The sun was setting, rain had ended a short time before and the light was fantastic.  So, I ran inside to grab the camera and got this shot.

MountainView1

It was only a few minutes later that the clouds changed enough, so I thought I’d take a second picture.

MountainView2

The clouds were moving quickly and the shapes were changing.  I kept taking pictures.

MountainView3

As the sun went down, the color of the clouds became more pink and apricot.  Lovely!  This camera has a hard time with light behind the trees, but I was able to get a hint of the beauty of this evening even though the trees are now just shadows on the camera.  In real life you could still see the green of the trees.

MountainView4

Then this one.  Stunning.

MountainView5

As the sun set, the trees are in total shadow, and the color in the sky continued, turning purple.

MountainView6

The colors are coming out in the trees too.  These maple trees are nearer to the town, and are coming into a brilliant red.

Oct2014color

I’ll have more as the autumn color progresses.  Enjoy the views!

Oct2014color2


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State Fair Ribbons 2014

This has been a very busy time between volunteering for the Friends of the Library book sale and helping with setting up the quilt competition at the State Fair. The Fair opened on Friday and we were able to go that afternoon. It was a great time to go because the crowds were smaller and we could park pretty close.  We enjoy the shows and the competitions.

Fair quilts

I was excited to win a number of ribbons in a lot of competitions. First up, a third place in Throw Size Quilts for my Picnic Challenge quilt.

Picnic quilt third place

Second place went to Purple Summer Bliss in the bed quilts category.

Purple Summer Bliss ribbon second

I entered five craft categories and won a ribbon in all five. My Patriotic Table Runner won a first place.

Patriotic first place

The Sewing Kit was entered with its Portable Ironing Board and the Thread Catcher, Pincushion and Needle Book as a set. It won a first place ribbon.  I wish it had been displayed open with all its little accessories showing because the real workmanship is on the inside, but, oh well.

Sewing set first

Second place ribbons were won by my Spring Basket Wool Applique

SpringBasket-second place

and this Toile Table Runner from the color study.

Toile Second

In the Christmas category, I made a larger Triangle candy dish using the same pattern as the thread catcher and won a second place ribbon.

Christmas triangle dish second

Wow!! What fun is that!! Here are a couple more pics from the fair, first from the hill beside the livestock competition stables.

State Fair 2014 overview

And this one was one side of the agriculture youth competition, with the quilts hanging from the ceiling. Look at the size of those pumpkins!

State Fair 2014 pumpkins, quilts

I entered three photographs into the Adult Photography competition, but they didn’t get any places.  Looking at all the photographs it is hard to see how the judges could even make a decision! There are four of these racks full of photos.

State Fair photos 2

If you haven’t entered a State Fair competition, I encourage you to look into it.  It is so much fun to see your entries displayed for your friends and neighbors to view.  Winning ribbons is fun too!


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A Perfect Picnic

We have picnics quite often here in the lovely mountains where we live. We go to lots of shows and festivals through the summer and autumn, sometimes to show our car, and sometimes just to drive someplace pretty, or hike to a waterfall.   We mostly enjoy just getting outside, seeing beautiful places and enjoying the company of friends old and new.

PicnicQuiltcars

It was a wonderful warm day in the low 80s when we drove out of the mountains and down to South Carolina on Saturday of Memorial Weekend for the Great Scot British Car Show and Gallabrae Scottish Games. We took our 1974 TVR and were placed in the Other British Sports Cars class right next to our British friend Alvan and his DeLorean.

GreatScot1

Isn’t this a lovely place for a British car show and picnic? It is the campus of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

GreatScot2

We visited with friends for a bit, then walked up to the games area and stopped to see the Caber Toss.
GreatScotGamesCaber1

The rules are pretty simple, the points are awarded for getting the end in the tosser’s hands over the other end. The most points are scored when the caber lands at a 12 o’clock position in front of the tosser.
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Really, this is extraordinary, those cabers are 19 and a half feet long and weigh 175 pounds!!

GreatScotGamesCaber2

We stopped by the Clan booths to see if our names showed up anywhere.

GreatScotGamesCaberClans2

Even more booths were around the corner. Nope, we just don’t have any Scottish in either of us.

GreatScotGamesCaberClans1

We then went to see the herding dogs work the sheep. They are just fascinating to watch.

HerdingSheep4

HerdingSheep1

They also herd ducks, to get them to go through the little tunnel and over a little bridge.

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Amazing how these dogs respond to different pitches of whistle by the handler.

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The ax toss was something even spectators could try. We decided just to watch.

GreatScotAxeToss

Celtic music could be heard all over the games area.  This band was fantastic, you just had to tap your toes.

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A bagpiper was tuning up in the shade of the trees to stay cool.

GreatScotGamesCaberBagpiper

After a morning of walking around, it was time for lunch! The picnic quilt was unfurled next to the cars and we prepared to dig in. Here’s me and hubby with our Farmer’s Market Picnic Quilt, a modern asymmetrical design.

PicnicQuiltUs

I brought my vintage picnic basket.

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Here was our menu –

Thinly sliced roast beef on

Artisan sourdough bread with

Horseradish aioli, fresh spinach, and Lettuce from my garden

Homemade cole slaw with shredded cabbage and carrots

and my secret recipe dressing

 Homemade pasta salad with Farfalle pasta, green onions,

bacon bits, cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds

Deviled eggs

Bottled water

Picnicfood

I like to wrap my sandwiches in wax paper like Ina Garten does. My grandmother did this too. Dessert was fresh strawberries, continuing the Farmer’s Market theme.

PinicStrawberries

So, here is the Farmer’s Market picnic quilt. There are paper pieced blocks, traditionally pieced blocks, scrappy pinwheels, baskets of fruit and solid blocks of food prints to fill in the spaces.

PicnicQuiltwithBasket

I had fun making this quilt and was delighted to use up the stash of foodie fabrics I bought several years ago for a challenge I didn’t finish. Laying out on the ground, it caused a bit of a stir, with folks coming by to ask about it.  I actually think I have two new followers on the blog from showing it!  Here are some close-up shots of the individual areas. This pumpkin is a Thimbleberries design.

PicnicQuiltPumpkin

The apples are snowball blocks with the bottom of the stem of the apple sewed into the seam. Then the stems were appliqued down after the quilting was done.

PinicQuiltApples

The carrot is paper pieced. The borders are yellow peppers and lettuce.

PinicQuiltCarrot

The corn is paper pieced too. Finally got to use my corn fabric!

PinicQuiltCron

The pinwheels are scrappy.

PinicQuiltPinwheel

There are three baskets, one with blueberries, one with strawberries and one with cherries.

PinicQuiltStrBasket

Here are the guys enjoying a bit of a rest and conversation about the events of the day, while more spectators looked at the cars.

PicnicGeneAlvan

At the end of the day, the topper to a fun time was our British Car winning second place in our class.

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I hope you enjoyed my picnic as much as I did!!

Update 2017 – the Great Scot Games and British Car Show is an annual event on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend on the Furman University Campus in Greenville, SC.

 

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