Sunday Chat – MINIs, Garden and Photography

Once again this week, I have several things to chat about. Spring is warming up and it puts us in the mood to get outside, change things around inside, and do a little digging in the dirt. Warmer weather also means our car clubs are getting out on our mountain roads for some driving. The MINI club was first up this month with a drive. The red one on the left is ours.

The day started out partly cloudy but warm. Of course, we put the top down, then started out going north from our meeting spot to a road called the Rattler, also known as NC209. We were driving sweep on this day, meaning we were the last car in line and kept the leader informed when we had all made a turn or got through a traffic light.

Pastoral scenes are abundant in our part of the world. Old barns, lazy cows and greening fields of crops lined the roads in the valleys.

Green fields and more cows on the right, heading up to the mountain part of the run.

This sign lets you know that curvy roads are ahead.

Higher elevations are behind the valley in greening up. Some of the rock formations are so interesting. The road turned tightly around the point.

So many old barns, this one almost falling down.

We stopped for lunch at the Trust Cafe and General Store in the middle of nowhere. It is on the corner of Hwy 209 and Hwy 63. The food was pretty good, and there was a pretty creek nearby along with a tiny stone chapel you could visit.

After lunch, it was back on Hwy 63 to lead us into Asheville. The horse here was not impressed with our MINI parade. All along the route, white dogwoods were blooming.

We passed by another old barn, and a sign to say curves ahead.

One more climb up in elevation, with beautiful views of the mountains through the trees not yet fully leafed out.

Back home, it seems that spring may have finally arrived, however, we may have yet one one more freeze tomorrow night. So, I postponed my transplanting until this coming week. The Farmers’ Almanac says good days are Monday through Wednesday, so maybe Wednesday I can get this done. In the back, just below the rhododendron bushes, a crop of May Apples are in bloom. These are native plants found mainly on the forest floor in partial or total shade. They have two large leaves, and will produce only one flower.

Here they are close up, two of the plants have flowers. The plant is named May Apple because the flowers will produce a small gold fruit the size of a small lemon. The fruit is edible, but the rest of the plant is poisonous. I’ve never seen the fruit, as by the time it makes it, the other plants will have grown up to cover them up. Then they go dormant before summer until next year. I’m going to try to remember to look again in early May when it might be possible to spot one.

In the front flowerbed, the white irises are blooming. I just adore white flowers. The irises are such a pure white, with delicate yellow anthers on the falls.

Beautiful, aren’t they? There are three open blooms now, and six more to come.

Photography, especially of nature, has long been a favorite pastime for me. This past week, a thought occurred to me and I ran with it for a couple of afternoons. I inherited several beautifully framed photographs of wild animals from my mother. She purchased them from a gallery. These are on the walls of our home in various spots, mainly in our bedroom and upper loft. As I was gathering more items to donate, I pulled out a framed poem that was on my office wall for many years. I was going to just donate it, when I looked up to see one of those photos and thought ‘why not use the frame to display some of my own photography?’ I went to the office computer, printed out a hummingbird photo on glossy photo paper and replaced the poem in the frame. This took longer than it sounds, as I spent hours looking through the thousands of photographs in the computer to select a few for consideration. Once I decided on this one, it only took a few minutes to finish the framing.

I put it on top of a bookshelf on a stand. Oh, I like this!

I found more frames in closets and on the walls, pulled out the things inside and replaced them with my own photos. This bluebird I love, and had planned to enter into the photography competition this coming fall, but the print comes out a bit too grainy to enter. It is clear enough under glass to hang on the wall in the guest room.

I hit the thrift shop for framed art that I could replace, and found this pretty frame. It was a hideous color though, so I spray painted it a deep brown. Then I cut a small mat from my vast array of cardstock on the stamping bench and hung it in the guest bath. The picture has some reflections off the glass. But this is one of my all time favorite photos, a clear closeup of a butterfly on a flower.

I put this little chickadee under the little lamp in the guest room.

In the kitchen, I removed the doors to the cabinet over the refrigerator some years ago to use as a cookbook shelf. Now that much of that collection has been donated, the space can be used to display other things. I added a photo of a giant yellow mushroom that I took a few years ago at the arboretum. The color and subject matter works well in the kitchen.

I put more nature shots on the library shelves, and printed out some of our car shots for My Sweet Babboo’s office bookcase. I plan to hit the thrift shop again to see if I can find a few more frames. With literally thousands of photographs to choose from, I could frame quite a few more for the house. I’m eyeing some rather inexpensive framed art I have had for years that could be reworked, painting the frames and inserting my own photographs. I like to change the decor for the seasons, but this is the first time I’ve used my own photography to change over. Mostly I’ve done this with my small quilts on the little frame, larger quilts on the beds, and hanging quilts in our bedroom, basement, and den wall.

Do you have any outings planned for the warming weather (or cooling weather for my southern hemisphere readers)? Do you change your decor with the seasons? Do you use your own photography, needlework, or quilts for wall art? Anything fun planned for this week?


Well Loved Quilt Repair class is scheduled for Monday, May 22 at 3 pm Eastern Daylight Time. This class pulls together my tips and tricks, and organizes the program according to the types of repairs needed.  Everything from small holes, and dog chewed corners up to major damage is covered, with advice on starting your own repair business.  Class time runs about 75-90 minutes, class fee $35 invoiced from Paypal to the email address you provide. Note: for those without Paypal accounts, you can check out as a guest using a credit card, or Venmo. If this still doesn’t work, I do accept personal checks by mail. Please email me if you need this option. Fill out the form if you’d like to be on the list for this class. Invoices will be sent the week of May 8, with payment due by May 15. Click HERE to add your name to the list.

25 thoughts on “Sunday Chat – MINIs, Garden and Photography

  1. lynn bourgeois

    I love your idea of using your personal photography to enhance your home. It not only adds beauty, but refreshes our memories of times and events that feel good for us.

  2. Mary

    I really enjoy your car club trips. Lovely country you drive through and I’m in love with the beautiful old barns.
    Your white Iris is simply gorgeous.
    Great idea to reuse old frames with your own lovely photographs. Gives the frames a new lease of life. :))

  3. I only change decor for the winter holidays I just never get around to it other times of the year and really don’t have anything to change it to as I have tried to have less and less stored in the closet or wherever because of lack of space. That is a good idea to frame the photo’s you have a lot of good ones for sure.

  4. Diann@ Little Penguin Quilts

    Looks like it was a lovely car club drive! You’ve got some great photos to display, too. We have lots of Mike’s photographs framed and hanging around our house – they’re lovely reminders of places we’ve enjoyed seeing through the years. Cute Spring display!

  5. Love that picture of the Chickadee! I love to watch them on the sunflowers.

    I put different quilts out for different seasons e.g. Christmas, Snow Season, Valentine’s Day, March Madness and Irish theme for spring, summer and autumn. I need to work on summer and spring themed quilts as I don’t have enough for the spaces allotted to the seasonal quilts.

  6. Judy Andrew

    Dear Carole, for some odd reason I did not get any pictures w/this post! It makes me sad when I don’t get to see the drives through the mountains you take & your wildlife photos. On another more positive note, I visited my nursery again yesterday & picked up two cutting celery plants. Carole, these taste just like celery w/out all the strings & cleaning of celery! These are very popular around here as I have had a hard time getting my hands on them. Also if you dry the seeds you can make your own celery salt. Do give this plant a try if you haven’t already! Other than that , this is my last week to get stuff moved out of apartment & am so looking forward to it, as I am beat! We had a freeze here too last night, so I scrambled to cover my plants 😬. Have a nice Sunday!

  7. What beautiful areas you have in which to take your mini tours! I love that scenery and I know it has to be such fun doing it with people you enjoy!

    I love that you are celebrating your own very beautiful nature photography by incorporating it into your home. The idea of changing out the frames and hunting up new ones in the thrift stores is a terrific idea. And some of the shots here are just glorious, especially the birds and butterflies with blooms!

    I DO use some of my art at home, mostly my photography and some of my watercolors. But I have so much art collected from other artists I love and not enough walls to do as much as I’d like! While I might change up some of the decor (rotating the art, mostly, and bringing out the bunnies or Santas or nests!) there will never be enough space!

  8. Barbara Winkler

    I’m leaving So Calif on Thurs to go to ID. My great granddaughter is having her first birthday party where she will get the carpenter star quilt with family photos. The next day will be my SC Granddaughters baby shower (also in ID) for her upcoming twins. They will get the blue and or red falling triangle quilts I made for them. And, I can visit the local QOV group to share ideas!!

  9. I want their recipe for meatloaf! (Trust Cafe) The scenery and photography is amazing, photos at 60 MPH! The photos look great in their new frames, nice vingnettes. Simple sewing today – machine embroidered name tags on 12 sleeping bags and 12 more for their bags for Girl Scout Troop. Thanks for the Sunday Lift!

  10. Joan

    I love your idea of using your own photographs in existing frames! Brilliant! I have two old time photos of long ago relatives that I want to display. I have been searching at Hobby Lobby for frames, but will try my local thrift stores. Thanks for the tip!

  11. Seeing your car clubs pics reminds me of the lovely rides we enjoyed in our motorcycle club. We too rode “tail gunner”; what you call sweep. No more riding for us, since DH’s fall. I miss it. I decorate with quilts and needlework with each new season. I don’t take good photos normally. 🙂

  12. Candace Spaulding

    I have enjoyed your blog tremendously!
    This last year has been a new beginning for my husband and I as we moved to our forever home in the woods of North Carolina. We bought a Mini Cooper and i finally have an awesome space for my quilt room. In all of this you have been a refreshing constant through a great deal of change. I turned 70 this year and I love to hear how others are continuing to pursue their passions while dealing with their ever changing bodies! Thanks for the minis, quilting , birds and gardening! Candace S.

  13. Sharon F

    I’m not a talented photographer like you are, but by taking lots and lots of pictures I get a few good ones. I like photographing flowers, particular wildflowers. I’ve used some of the better ones to make note cards, just uploaded them to a popular printing company to turn into note cards. I also made my husband a calendar that way.
    I had a wonderful weekend trip hiking with friends and now I’m ready to rest and get back to some sewing.

  14. Alexandria

    The white irises are beautiful. Old, falling-down barns are so interesting to look at and wonder about their history. Adding your photographs to the home decorating is perfect, I think I’ll give it a try.

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