Archives

My Best from 2013 ~

I found myself watching intently my digital photo frame in the Family Room this morning.  Almost all of the photos on it are mine, and I was noticing that I really do have a few exceptional photos from last year when I was very enthusiastic with my camera.  I thought I’d post a few of my own favorites.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

While these are all not necessarily fantastic photography, some are my favorites simply because of the content, or they’re favorite places or events from last year.  Some are very meaningful, perhaps only to me.  Some are my first endeavor at macro and super macro.  But these are my favorites.  Hope you enjoy!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon!  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

Advertisements

New Craft in Town ~

 

Current Spring quilt project barely in the works

Current Spring quilt project barely in the works

 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an avid quilter.  Sometimes, though, I just don’t feel like working with fabric, yet I want to keep busy doing something “crafty”.  Recently I explored the possibility of taking up latch hook, as I dabbled in it when I was in high school, and really enjoyed it.  But, after exploring the world wide web, I found some links to plastic canvas projects… another crafty hobby that I enjoyed in the mid 80’s.

After stumbling upon a pattern for a Bible cover online, I knew this was how I was going to be spending some of my time this weekend.  I had long-wanted a new Bible cover, but couldn’t find a decent pattern to make one from fabric as I had wanted.  But when I found this plastic canvas pattern, I immediately got an “itch” to go to the nearest craft store and shop.

Back side of new plastic canvas Bible cover in progress

Back side of new plastic canvas Bible cover in progress

I spent most of Saturday afternoon working on this new project.  You can see the picture of what’s supposed to be the final result on the pattern near the glasses.  Mine isn’t going to be lavender, though, I fell in love with the “pink camo” yarn, and I will duplicate the cross on mine as seen.

But I won’t pretend to know even anything about what I’m doing.  I cut the canvas as directed… sorta.  I needed it bigger, since my Bible is bigger than theirs, apparently.  And I didn’t really like their pattern, so I just kinda made my own, taking some tips from one of the websites or Youtube videos I saw online.  I might have it done Tuesday or Wednesday, if I remain diligent about working on it.

The Spring quilt?  I bought border and backing fabric for it today at Spring Lake Fabrics.  I’ll be working on that tomorrow after church.  I’ll keep you updated on how each project comes along.

Meantime, why don’t you try a new craft or hobby?  It’s a brief trip out of the winter doldrums. 

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  BTW, Happy New Year!

TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Sew What?

I have not blogged in almost two months, a record for me.  I also haven’t taken any “serious” photographs in at least that long.  For awhile I thought I’d lost “it”, that inspiration that has been sending me out all over several counties to find interesting things to photograph and share.  While I’ve since discovered I still  have “it”, I’ve realized that “it” isn’t on my top list of priorities anymore.  And there just isn’t THAT MUCH around where I live that’s interesting to photograph, or that hasn’t already been done over and over by someone else in the area.  How many times can you take a shot of a waterfall, or water, or a lake or a pond?  And while there are many seasonal things going on locally to photograph, I think I did them all last year.  And I haven’t even gotten to the part where my camera has been taking some pretty awful shots for the past few months.  And, no, it’s not the photographer!

So, putting the camera on the shelf for awhile, I’ve gone back to my sewing room as my creativity outlet for awhile.  Quilting gives me more long-lasting satisfaction anyways, so I’m happy to be back after a month’s absence.  I was working on my “Pure Decadence” quilt, and actually have it all sandwiched and ready to start quilting it, but Christmas interrupted my intentions.  I needed our immense diningroom table that I had been using to sandwich the quilt for Christmas present wrapping.  So the quilt got put on a back burner until after the holidays.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For awhile I was making fabric Christmas gift bags, sew easy!  I found a pattern online and I just loved it.  Not only can you make them for Christmas, but also any other occasion you can imagine for which you might need a gift bag.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And I remembered I had a small quilt project started!  It was one where I had found this beautiful fabric while looking for something else, and I decided I really wanted to work with it to make something special.  At the time, I didn’t know what that “special” thing was going to be, as I was completely uninspired.  But having been working on this simple little Nine-Patch quilt top for a month or so now, I have finally decided who is going to get it and that it is going to be a Spring 2014 surprise for someone special.

Spring Surprise 2014

Spring Surprise 2014

 

Meantime, I have been cuddling up with my pink quilt very often lately, especially while watching t.v. in the family room.  I’ve been thinking that, although I create a lot of “theme” quilts etc., I’ve never really made a “seasonal” quilt.  And I want to make something “Christmassy” for winter cuddling during the holidays.  There has been a particular Christmas quilt in my “Keepsake Quilting” catalog that I have been wishing for for about 2-3 years now.  I’ve never purchased a “kit” before, but I really, really want to give this a try.  So, I may splurge and get this for myself after Christmas.

Christmas quilt kit from "Keepsake Quilting"

Christmas quilt kit from “Keepsake Quilting”

The hardest part will be keeping it for myself.  I always want to keep giving my creations away!  I can think of several special people that would enjoy this quilt as a 2014 Christmas gift!  However, at this time next year, I will be soundly sleeping through several afternoon  t.v. shows in my family room cuddled up with this finished quilt!   Until then, I will continue to work diligently on my “Spring Surprise” quilt and will keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a looksee.  Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

USAF Graduation ~

Every time I see dark clouds in the sky, and then the sun shining brightly through them, like I did this afternoon, whether it be just a small crack or a larger opening in the cloud line, I think of November 27, 1998.  Bear with me as I tell you why.

 Growing up, my two eldest daughters were very close to my parents, especially my father, who was the only father-figure they ever knew in their lives.  He taught them all the essential things:  how to make peanut brittle, homemade applesauce, etc.  Dad and Karalyn seemed to have a particularly strong bond.

 In her Senior year at Auburn High School, Karrie attended Air Force ROTC with the intention of making the Air Force her career when she graduated.  Despite the turbulence at home, she was very involved in her ROTC activities, had good grades and seemed very focused.  Her grandparents and I were very proud.  It was designed so that she would travel to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, right after graduation and attend Basic Training there, as the start to her promising career in the military. 

 Starting in late August, Karrie would attend Basic and graduate just before Thanksgiving, and her grandfather could not have been more proud of her.  Karrie was so looking forward to coming home after graduation to share her graduation with him.  No one could have foreseen how things would progress before she would finally make it home.

 My father passed away on November 18, 1998, while Karrie was in the middle of finishing up basic training and taking exams.  I still remember the anguish in her voice, not only upon hearing the loss of her grandfather, but knowing that she had a choice to make:  either come home for the funeral, or graduate from basic … just a few days before her graduation ceremonies at Lackland.  I think we both knew the answer, but I had to confirm to her that her grandfather would no doubt want her to finish the beginning of her new career.

 Al and I flew out to San Antonio on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1998 to see Karrie graduate… only a very few days after my father had been buried.  It was going to be a “quick overnight trip” for us, just long enough to get out there, do a little on-base sightseeing, spend the night, see the graduation, then leave that same afternoon to come home.  Whirlwind!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The weather was less than stellar on Thanksgiving Day, and the next day, on graduation day, it was cloudy and threatening rain the entire day.  The graduation ceremonies were conducted on a very large field, and guests were seated on bleachers, much like at a football game (I assume).  It was so overcast, and I was so certain it would open up and pour any minute as the ceremonies started with cadets/graduates marching and parading on the field in front of us.  I fought back tears (and still do when I think of it) as I thought of my dad, and how he would’ve liked to be there that day to see this.  I kept trying to focus on the processions and pomp & circumstance going on in front of us on the field.  It was difficult. 

 

Getting towards the middle of the marching ceremonies, as Karrie and her colleagues were marching very close to the bleachers, and were about to do an “eyes right” to the Commanding Officer, suddenly the skies opened up and down poured sunlight!  I stared, astonished, at the parting clouds and the sun shining through a separation that shone right down on just this group of cadets!  Just Karrie’s group!  And I knew.  My father and mother were watching, and God was behind them watching over their shoulders from Heaven, and they were all proud.  Yes, I burst into tears at that moment and I knew they were with us there.

 

I don’t tell this story to many, as I have been scoffed as coincidence.  But that’s okay.  I know.  Al knows.  I hope Karrie knows.

 

Karrie continued to begin her career in the Air Force, and was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska.  However, she met and fell in love, then married a career Air Force Intelligence officer.  She soon left the active Air Force to be a stay-at-home Mom to three of my wonderful grandchildren, and an Air Force wife to a soon-to-be-retired from the Air Force son-in-law of mine.  They still reside in Alaska.

 

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  I hope you find inspiration in my story.  God is everywhere.  You don’t need to look for Him, he’s there… He’s right behind you, He’s got your back.  Believe it.

 

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Fall in Central New York ~

I have been remiss in keeping up regularly with my blog posts, so I thought something for fall would be appropriate, since it’s only a little more than a week to Halloween.

These first three photos are particularly “special” to me, as it depicts a long-standing tradition in the town where I grew up and went to school.  As a first, second and third-grader at Elizabeth Street School in Baldwinsville, NY, every year, a week or maybe two before Halloween, our art teacher and our elementary school teachers would gather us up and we would take a half day and walk “downtown” to paint/decorate the windows of all of the stores in town.  It was only the equivalent of a block or two, but it was a BIG DEAL to all of us youngsters to paint the windows and then see them again and again as we drove through town with our parents etc.  It’s nice to see that tradition still carries on in Baldwinsville.  This past weekend happened to be the “paint the town” weekend.

Window painting on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

Window painting on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

An alien witha pumpkin painted on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

An alien witha pumpkin painted on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

A young painter checks his work on the Seneca Federal Bank in Baldwinsville, NY

Another favorite activity of Al’s and mine is to visit some local apple orchards and pick out pumpkins, get some apples and see the fall sights.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And, with that, we’ve cleaned and put the cover on the pool for the winter, mowed the front,  back and side yards for HOPEFULLY the last time until Spring, and put all of the lawn and deck furniture away in anticipation of snow flying soon.  November is right around the corner, and all attentions for this household are geared towards Thanksgiving and then Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  Hope to see you again soon!  Until then, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt