We spent the weekend in Lowell enjoying art-related activities. Sonja and I spent our 4th in the studio putting up shelves and reorganizing our new/old space. We didn't manage to get everything put back together yet, but at least the floor-to-ceiling piles of bins are gone and there was walking space for our Open Studios visitors on Saturday.
Saturday night was the opening reception for Sonja and Linda Dunn's show - Start Anywhere - in the Loading Dock gallery. The show looks spectacular and it was nice to visit with so many new and old friends. There are lots of great photos from the reception on the gallery's web site. Check them out and then come visit in person. The show is up through July 27. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday.
We came back up to Maine Sunday morning and have been enjoying wonderful weather so far. (There's a severe thunderstorm watch for the next few hours, though.) This morning we rode another section of the Sebago to the Sea Trail. This time it was a nice paved section that follows an old railroad bed. We started from Shaw Park in Gorham and rode almost to Otter Ponds; stopping at the point where we'd have needed to fill out a permit to go on.
Highlights of the ride were seeing a small hawk flying down the trail ahead of me and crossing the bridge across the Presumpscot River. The hawk flew along for a long way, just about 3 feet above the ground, and then flew up into a tree near the trail. I actually managed to see it in the tree when I rode by. It was only about 10 feet from me. It was pretty exciting; I wobbled a bit but didn't fall off, luckily. I checked my bird book when I got home, but couldn't say for sure what it was - maybe a sharp-shinned hawk. Here are a few pictures I took along the way.
After we got back from our ride I laid out a new Free Lace scarf that will be my sewing project for tomorrow.
No post last week - I spent almost all my time sorting, and hauling, and reorganizing. We are downsizing our studio - as of tomorrow we are down to half the space we've had for the last couple of years--back to what we started with. When we're all finished with the clean-out and arranging, it will be cozy and efficient, but in the meanwhile it's messy and some of the piles reach almost to the ceiling. Pretty scary.
I got nearly everything into the space by the end of last week, but the shelves that will organize all this stuff were being used elsewhere until now. So Friday morning we headed back to the lake for some R&R - well work too, but even work is relaxing here. We'll go back on the 4th for a "studio holiday"--putting up shelves and organizing to be ready for Open Studios and Sonja's show reception on Saturday.
Yesterday we did our first "real" ride on our new bikes. We rode the first leg of the "Sebago to the Sea" trail. We rode the section that starts at the south end of Sebago Lake. Part of it goes along a road, but much of it winds through the woods. It was beautiful, but perhaps rougher riding than we expected. It is a multi-use trail; no ATVs though - thankfully. A few places were more appropriate for hiking than biking - at least my style of biking. I haven't mastered jumping foot-high logs or weaving between large rocks and roots. Those sections were pretty short and the walk was welcome. We managed quite well though and the ride was a confidence-builder. Next time, though, we'll try a paved section.
The trail end on Sebago is lovely. The view is spectacular with the lake and the mountains in the distance. The shore is sandy with intermittent large rocks. It is a nice place for swimming and a picnic.
Today is a work day - I've got a jacket to finish up and some free lace scarves to start, but my view while I'm working is pretty similar to the middle picture above, so it's a joy to be here and I love what I'm doing. What more could I ask for?
I've been playing with my new toys. Yesterday it was my new sewing machine - a Pfaff expression 3.2. I finally got up the gumption to figure out using my machine's capability to stitch letters and save a series of stitches. All the time that I used Sonja's machine, I never got myself to try any of the special features. Now that I have my own, I swore I'd try to make fuller use of things.
I decided to try setting up a signature file. It took me a couple of tries to figure out how to do it correctly and get a look that I liked, but overall it was very quick and easy. It won't replace my hand-stitched signature on everything, but it sure is fun to do.
I managed to save the sequence and even to edit it, but I never did figure out how to go back to just plain stitching without restarting the machine! That convinced me that I need to take the two free classes that Nashua Sew and Vac offers with every machine purchased. Manuals just never tell you enough...
Today I got a very different new toy - a new bicycle. As happens in so many cases, you don't realize how bad your current one is until you try a new one. My husband wanted a new bike because his was giving him a few problems. I thought we ought to wait to make sure we'd really get back into biking. But...before we could really start, we had to go to the bike store because we discovered that my helmet was broken. Of course, while we were there, we thought we'd find out about what was available so we could "plan." Plan, haha! All it took was a short test ride and I knew I didn't want to get back on the old bike. If we were going to get into biking at all, we'd have to have new bikes and we put in our order. We picked them up this morning and went for a ride after lunch. I have to say that it was great and I'm really looking forward to riding more.
While I'm talking about the bike, I have to give a plug to Ernie's Cycle Shop in Westbrook, Maine. It is hard to imaging that we could have had a better experience. Sylvia spent literally hours with us helping us get everything just right, offering suggestions, but never pushing; helping us figure out what was right and the best value for us. She made us feel like we'd been friends for years and her enthusiasm for biking was infectious. If you need anything bike-related and you're anywhere in the area, I'd definitely recommend that you go there.
Ann M. Lee