Maritime Forest Bald Cypress Trail


George, Phoebe Darling and I hiked the Bald Cypress Trail in First Landing State Park during the quiet wee hours of a recent Saturday morning.


This trail lies inside an old maritime forest full of bald cypress swamps, lagoons, rare plants and wildlife. The Smithsonian Marine Station defines maritime forests as “narrow bands of forest that develop almost exclusively on stabilized back dunes of barrier islands, inland of primary dunes and scrub.” Maritime forests occur along the Atlantic coast of the United States.


The bald cypress (as the trail is also known) is a coniferous tree that sheds its leaves, hence its designation as “bald.”


Last winter was rather harsh for our area. We noticed a lot of downed trees.



The “knees,” which look like smaller cypress trees, protrude from areas where the trees are apt to stand in water and are actually part of the bald cypress’ root system.


Though the exact function is unknown, their purpose may be to collect air for the underwater roots.


Giving them a charming and somewhat spooky appearance, Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) draped the trees throughout the trail. Just in time for Halloween!


While not parasitic, Spanish moss can lower a tree’s growth rate by reducing the amount of light to a tree’s own leaves.


We’ll be coming back to this state park. There is so much to see!

Have a good week! – – Joanne

ALS Association’s Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge



Well. Here is my humble contribution to the ALS Association’s Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge. I chose the friendship star block pattern, using navy and mint Moda and Kaufmann cottons on a Kona white background. 

Donated quilts will be given to an ALS patient, used to raise awareness, or used to raise funds for Lou Gehrig’s Disease/ALS research by being photographed, displayed, auctioned, or raffled.


The guild I belong to hopes to break last year’s contribution of over 65 quilts!als2015-3

Counting my blessings. Have a good week! – – Joanne

Fall Camping


The family got together to camp in Virginia’s Bear Creek Lake State Park over the long weekend.  Lovely fall weather – perfect for hiking, kayaking and taking in all of the flora and fauna. Crisp cool nights. Thank goodness for the heated mattresses in our camper! I’ll let the images do the talking…










Not sure why there was an abandoned building hut in the forest?

Have a good week! – – Joanne



Tin Buttons


A couple of years ago, I opened up a little vintage and collectibles etsy shop, tin buttons. An art education degree and an ISTE Capstone certification (international society for technology in education) has certainly helped with the online business learning curve.   

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Constantly with my head in the proverbial clouds, imagining, creating; I’ve decided put my love of color and sewing to use by including hand-created wares, mainly quilts, on tin buttons. 


Oh, the planning and preparation! I’m trying to figure out facebook and instagram in order to reach a wider audience. LOL.  I’m starting out slow, toe-testing the waters. doll quiltAlways looking for ways to improve; I’d be very honored if you’d visit my shop to view my hand-created wares and let me now your opinion.


Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you on facebook or instagram! Wish me luck!

Have a good week!! — Joanne

Wedding Gift Quilt


Well, that’s it. Party’s over.  For many students in the States, it’s back to school (ummm, we started back two weeks ago). It still feels like summer and it’s a beautiful day to photograph a gift to my friends! This is the first quilt I’ve made that I am giving to someone outside my immediate family. No pressure!  ;) 

quilt_lisa-deck1My dear friends are blending their families when they get married in September. I thought long and hard for the right design, feel and color. I wanted to give them something from my heart.


They live at the oceanfront with their four boys and two dogs. Michael Miller’s Indigo Ikat line reminds me of the water, while not appearing too girly.quilt_lisa-beach1

I envision this new family snuggling together by the fire on winter nights as they watch a little TV wrapped in their family quilt.quilt_lisa-back

I hope they enjoy it for years to come!


Have a good week! – – Joanne

Feathers in the Breeze


I worked on this feather-inspired quilt off and on over the winter and finally finished it this summer. Why did it take so long? After running out of the quilt front background fabric, I found that it had been discontinued and was no longer available. :/ It took a while to find replacement fabric. Lesson learned: make sure to purchase enough fabric!


I admired Ana Maria Horner’s feather quilt, but wanted a scattered look. I used scraps from other projects to piece the feathers and binding and Lotta Jansdotter Nopp in Sky from the Mormor collection for the blue backing.

So far, this has been my favorite quilt project – – minus the long wait ;)

Have a good week! – – Joanne