My Favorite Books

Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Birthday to me! - Part 1

Because my BD outing was so busy I have to put this in two parts!  Today is my actual BD but it started off with a celebration this past Saturday!  Today, Bob and I are just taking off and hitting some of the local stores then off to Harry's for late lunch/early dinner!  
This is part 1!  
Saturday, 10 of us gal pals attended the Cirque Italia Water Circus held here in Ocala!
My bud Jan, bought me this at the circus!  I felt like a little kid...I was so excited!
 What a fun time we all had!  I tried to take a selfie of us waiting to get in!  
Marilyn's hand is showing and part of my face!  Rest of ladies: Peggy, Sally, Patricia, Verna, Susan,
 Jan F., Jan M., and Barb, 

The circus was great!  Here are pics as well as two video's of some of the performances!







And check out the video's!  Part 2 will be posted on Tuesday!  Off to celebrate with hubby!


 And





Friday, January 13, 2017

A recap of the week!

I posted earlier this week about our printing day with my Florida buds (you can that post here).  So Tuesday I decided I might as well do some printing and create another deconstructed screen! with the leftover dyes.    I was having way too much fun!





This was the screen I made on Monday with my buds.




I got four decent prints from the screen.  And I really like how it turned out.



I still had some dark areas left on it so I spread some cranberry thickened dyes through the screen to see what I would get.

I got 3 more prints from that one screen, which is pretty good.

I don't think these will hold up that dark but I'm likeing what I got so far.  I made another screen but  I don't have a picture of it.  I hope to print with it on Sunday.

It was the perfect day for curing all the prints I made so each were wrapped in plastic and set out in the Florida sun for curing!







Wednesday, Bob and I decided to go to one of our favorite Italian restaurants, after my root dyeing!  We have been looking forward to eating at Carmine's since we left last year!  And we weren't disappointed!  Yum!!!

Thursday we ended up at Cody's with the gang and surprisingly we had another great meal!  Our server, Kay, did a wonderful job making sure all 14 of us were happy!  Jan and I both had the salmon, which is/was delicious!  Bob had ribs and Larry had pulled pork...actually, both the guys ended up having a four course meal, bringing home dessert for $22!  Not sure what the rest of the 10 had but I don't think there were any complaints!  And 2-4-1 drinks!

Today, I'm preparing for a gal pal time on Saturday.  10 of us are head off to the Cirque Italia being held here in Ocala (7 miles from the house!).  It looks like it will be a great time or at least a different kind of circus!  Check out their web site here.    After the circus, we're returning to the house for appetizers and cake (baked by Verna!) as well as a little wine or lemonade! This is all to celebrate my upcoming 70th birthday!  Can't believe I even typed that! 70th!!  WOW!   It should be a good time so I don't expect to post until Sunday!  Until then, enjoy the weekend!  I sure will be!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Deconstructed Screen Printing Day!

Three of us had a fun time today...well, I did!!  We prepared some screens for deconstructed screen printing.  It was cool this a.m. but the sun was out by lunch and we did get a few silk screens to dry!
The process is pretty simple...you spread thickened dye onto a silk screen which you have laid on top of different items for texture (e.g. bubble wrap, crinkled paper, stencils, etc.).

You can see some stencils which Beth used as texture for her screen.







Getting ready to prepare a screen.














Nancy spreading thicken dyes on her screen.












This gives you a better perspective and you can see the texture showing on the screen.  The screen has to be totally dry before we can transfer the design onto fabric.







My screen 






Screens drying in the Florida sun!








This was one of Nancy's screens and it really has lots of texture in it.  She did two and both are really cool.



This is Beth's screen.  Beth was able print with this screen but I didn't get a picture.  Her fabric turned out really cool!!!  I'll have her send me pics and share with you later this week.
And now it was time to transfer the print to fabric!




I'm adding thickened print paste to the top of my dried silk screen.  Next I scrapped the print paste from top to bottom several times to release the dye.  Fabric pre-treated with soda ash is under the screen (that's the white you see next to the screen).  It is pinned to a printing surface made of foam board, batting and heavy plastic.




Now I've lifted up the screen and reapplying more print paste releasing the dye on another area of the fabric.









I liked the print but decided to add some yellow dye to transfer.  



I'm quite happy with this piece!

Beth made a screen using a nylon stocking!!  Results to follow later this week!

Waste not, want not....transfer print on newspaper!
It really was a fun day and I'm looking forward to receiving pictures from the ladies so I can share with my readers.  I plan on printing with the screen I made today and hope to make another one tomorrow.  Sun will be out so the screen should dry quickly!



Friday, January 6, 2017

A week already!

I can't believe we've been here a week already!  Seems like we have been here for months....guess that is because we are so comfortable here at the Miller's home and, of course, being around such wonderful friends.  And the girls have settled into their routine of guarding the door!!

I've talked often about my Q Bud, Susan, and her wonderful work.  Check out this  blog post and quilt Susan did using her own reverse applique technique!  Her workmanship is perfection and she has won many awards for her work!!!   Well, deserved!

Earlier this week Susan and I met at her house for a quick show and tell.  Obviously, I didn't have much to show!  I had my challenge piece from our fiber group, another small embroidered piece and of course my fiber Valentine cards, minus Susan's!  HA

Of course, Susan had some cool pieces...no, I didn't take pics!  She made a small piece for a gift, finished her apple core patchwork quilt, which is wonderful!  It is all hand pieced and she quilted it using some crochet 10 wt yarn!  The thread really made the design pop!!!  And she's working on a modern quilt (large leaves) from a design from a Modern Quilt calendar.  It's going to be great!  

So gift time for me from Susan was a a yard of my Pellon/Peltex 71F.  Susan knows I use this product in my fiber cards so it will be put to good use for use!  And, I also received a Bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press!








I have read about this product on other folks blog but never think to buy it!  Well, now I don't have to!  I am really anxious to try this product but I need a project to use it!  








I gave Susan a dual pointer and seam ripper which is encased in a hand carved stone.  No, I forgot to take a picture of it but it is cool and works!  The man who designed and made the tool doesn't have a web site but look what I found on FaceBook!!!  It shows Susan's seam ripper/pointer in the back (the purple one!).  

The gentleman's name is Denny Rueter/DLR Woodworks!  You can see photo's of his work.  Wonderful workmanship...just like Susan!!!

I do need to start working on the 'believe' online challenge.   But first I need an idea and a machine!  Mine is at the 'spa' and not sure when it will be ready to make the trip home.  Guess I better get designing!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

If it's Wednesday, it must be margarita time!

No, I don't have any pictures of our 99 cent margaritas from dinner tonight!  My SIL, Jeff, suggested I not post all the margaritas we/I drink during the winter!  We did have a nice dinner (& margaritas) with our friends, Sally, Dan, Karah and Howard!  So nice to be back having social time with great friends!  And good 99 cent margaritas!

Next week I'm meeting up with some buds to show them some deconstructed screen printing.  This technique is basically mixing fiber reactive dyes with a thickener (print paste) and spreading the dye on a silk screen.  To obtain texture, you'll place items like lace, paper, stencils, anything! on the bottom so when the dye seeps through the screen and dries, it retains the texture.  

Monday we'll be preparing the screens but it can take up to 24-48 hours for a screen to dry (unless you are in Florida and the temp is perfect!), so I wanted to have a screen made up so I can at least show them how to print after their screens dry.

 This is the screen I made today.   I know this may not look like much to most...but, on the bottom of the screen,  there is a coffee cardboard holder, small pieces of bubble wrap and scrunched cling wrap pieces.

Once the dye is dried on the screen, you remove the texture pieces, lay your screen on soda ashed soaked fabric, spoon some thickener (print paste) in the top/well area of your screen and using a scraper, spread the thickener to release the dye/pattern onto your fabric.  What fun!!

It was perfect weather Wednesday so my screen dried quickly.  Now I can't wait to print with it.  You can get between 6-8 prints...sometimes more...sometimes less...depending on dye/print paste/etc.  I do enjoy this technique so much.  Here are some results from my last screen printing in 2008!





You can see the imprint from the cardboard coffee holder in some of these.






















I honestly don't remember what I used for these pieces...but I do see some of the small bubble wrap!


Haven't a clue on these!!   I'll post more pictures...step by step next week.









\
We are enjoying our winter as usual.  Weather has been wonderful!  We've had 80 degree days but also 60-70 degree days, which are my favorite.  Dogs and I are back walking again, which also feels good.  And of course, we're starting the 'eating out'!  Tonight, we'll be heading to dinner with the 'gang of 14' to have dinner at the new OP Cafe here in the community.  We're looking forward to that!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Annual New Year's Day Party

Yep, it's the LaPlante's annual New Year Day bash!  Bob was playing golf so he missed the entire feast! But we did make a plate for him to take home, along with lots of leftovers!



Everyone brought an  appetizer dish which is so great!  Marilyn and John provided ham, shrimp, Bloody Mary's and Mimosa's!


Of course, we have to have dessert!  Yes, this area was all dessert...fudge, bark candy, apple pie, candy....yum!








Patricia, Verna (back) Marilyn, Susan, Jan and Rene

Jan, me, Sally and Sue
 OK, so my readers know I'm usually the one taking pictures, therefore, I'm not in most pictures of our get-together...so, GO FIGURE, the one picture I pose for and they catch me doing something dumb!  It's a long story and Jan would kill me if I said what I was doing!


The men are waiting for the OK to EAT!

Finally, the line starts!
I  had such a good time and it was so nice to see everyone again!!!  I feel like we never left Ocala last spring!  Bob had a fun time golfing but he sure missed out on a very special day with friends and food!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

We're Here!

We arrived around 1:30 Thursday afternoon to 80 degree weather!  This is what the back of our SUV  looked like (and I even took out dog crates and some other bags! ).

I use the space saver bags for pants, shorts, bedding and towels.  The bags work great on the seat so the dog crates can sit higher and the girls can look out the windows!

Works for me!  And them!














Girls anticipating arrival to our winter home!! We were pulling into the community.  They aren't allowed to be loose in the car while we travel. 



I couldn't resist these next two pictures.  We were going through Tenn. and the sight was beautiful!














Today the weather was more to my  liking...around 68 at one point and sunny!  That's perfect for me!  Only problem, I took the girls for just one walk today and that was at the library in their parking lot!  I had lots of stops to make  and with it being cool out this a.m. the girls got to ride along.  I didn't get home until almost 2 and by the time I finished unpacking my sewing/art supplies; setting up printer; putting away more groceries, making dinner and doing laundry (mainly dog bedding..ha) I honestly didn't feel like walking in the dark! Tomorrow is another day.  Yep, I'll be back to two walks a day!

New Year's Eve Bob and I just may have an early dinner at the new cafe here in the community...we aren't sure but it's a thought.  We sleep through any New Year's celebration!

 Sunday is the annual New Year's get-together at LaPlantes!  They are such great host and hostess and we do look forward to seeing all the gang again.

Hope to be back at making some art soon!  In between, eating, drinking, 'tooting' around!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Another Christmas Gone!

We had such a wonderful Christmas!  It started off on Christmas Eve with our traditional family time with my kids and their families!  
Here's our family picture! 

Bob, me (& Gigi) Nick, Darrin, Amber, Kris, Dawn and Jeff!


My babies!!!  Love Darrin and Dawn so much!


All my kids!!! Darrin, me, Amber holding Gigi and Grandpa and Kalee!

Dawn and Jeff!

Nick, Darrin, Amber and Kris...what a great family!
So much fun opening presents and seeing everyone happy or surprised with their gifts!  The kids are so, so generous....and 'grandma' got some really nice gifts!!!



And a special gift for my SIL, Jeff!   When I saw this T-shirt I had to get it for Jeff.  He's always such a joker and makes us all laugh a lot!

Christmas Day we had a nice dinner and visit having Bob's daughter, Diane and her hubby, Donald over to the house.  Nice to visit with them but bad me!  No pics!  I'll have to make a point next year to get pictures.  After the kids left, I started taking down the Christmas decorations
and I had everything put away and vacuum run by 8:30 p.m.!

Yesterday was spent packing our clothes for Florida!  After 11+ years  heading south each winter, we have this packing down pat!  Car was all loaded very early this afternoon so we're all ready to take off  today around 9ish.  House sitters have the keys so our home is safe and sound!
 
Dogs aren't sure what's going on...well, Gigi isn't sure...Kalee is familiar with the Florida routine!  Last time we had suitcases out we dropped the dogs off for boarding...wonder if that's what Gigi is thinking!  HA
My next post will be from Florida!  So until then, enjoy the remainder of 2016!  I will be resting as a passenger for 2 1/2 days!  Woohoo!