My Favorite Books

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Portable project

I've been working on dismantling  the sewing 'room' these past few days and have everything ready to load in the car...for the most part.  99% of my supplies are packed up and ready to put in the car but I'll still have to put away the 6 foot table, dust and make sure all of the Miller's 'artifacts' are put back in their place!

 I've also put the hexes back together on the hex board that Kalee bumped so the rows were now in order once again.  Yesterday,  I placed each row on its pin and the rows are now ready to be sewn!

 This will be a good project to work  on for the drive home...after all, we're on the road for 2 1/2 days!  I can sew or read or just look at the surroundings!

We'll be home in two weeks!  Seems like we just got here but on the other hand, I feel like I haven't seen the kids in ages!!!

We'll certainly miss our social life....

Monday, April 20, 2015

Antique Mall

Saturday, Susan and I headed to the grand opening at the new Ocala Antique Mall about a mile from the house!

 What a fun place!   Very well laid out, bright and clean!   And of course we ended up having lunch at MiMi's after...yum...we had Quiche Florentine with side salad and a blackberry muffin, which was awesome!
I had visited the mall with Nancy a few weeks ago but because they were having their grand opening I thought it would be a fun morning to go back....and it was.  So many cool antiques and yes, I did purchase something!  S&H, AP and Top Value stamps!  And there were a few books, waiting for stamps!, in the package as well!

 Remember those!  I know I'll be able to use them in collage work or even on fabric!  Plus, it's fun just to look at them!  I remember my mom saving these stamps, and, as kids, we would paste them in the books for her!  I'd show a picture of what I purchase ($4!) but I've already packed them away!  I took this picture of the Top Value stamps from Google!

Check out the dog and pony show they had at the mall!

 SOOOOO cute...although, it was quite hot and I felt bad for the little dog.  But I was happy when they both ended up going inside the Antique mall where there was air conditioning!!  Their trainer was allowing kids to feed the little dog treats.  Really cute!!!

As always, Susan and I had a nice time together and ended up after lunch browsing at Barnes & Noble to look and buy some books.  Susan found a cool bird coloring page book for me and I picked up a cheap book for the drive home (Silken Prey by John Sandford).

Jan and Larry ended up coming over to the mall so when Bob got home from golf we ended up going out to dinner!  Yes, that's right...another night out...tomorrow we're headed to the Freezer with Howard and Karah.  They invited as a few weeks ago so Bob was thrilled...the Freezer is his favorite place!   But I did cook dinner tonight...OK, maybe it was left overs...but I still had to reheat the food!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Only one food picture!

Thursday we had another good dinner at Blanca's here in the community...I have to admit it is one of my favorite places to eat and they make a good margarita!  So what else is new!  Well, Susan, who usually wears some great socks met her match last night!  Jan arrived to dinner with socks matching her blouse!

Doesn't she have the best smile!!!  And her socks did match her blouse!  How cute is that!

We only have two more Thursday's with the 'gang' and we will miss them all this summer!   As will we miss our other friends here in Ocala Palms!  We are so fortunate to have such great folks to hang with!!  We've made some great memories, shared great food and had more laughs together than some folks have in a lifetime........

Because I have to show a food pic...this was some of our dinner tonight (yes, I do cook!)....we've had corn 3 times already and each one was as good as the last!!!  So sweet....reminds me of summer in Michigan!

And 'Grace' is back in her spot in Larry's rose garden!!!  Doesn't she look nice!  I think she needs a black and white zentangle collar on!  Just thought of that!  I think I might do that before I leave!!!  She just needs to be dressed up!!!  But I'll check with Jan and Larry first!

Saturday, Susan and I are headed to the Grand Opening of the Ocala Antique Mall across the way from us.   It's probably one of the nicest indoor antique malls around.  Very organized, good lighting and lots of cool 'stuff'!  Afterwards, we're headed to lunch, then Bob and I are going out to dinner Saturday night!

 Monday it's dinner out and then again on Wednesday!  And yes, I've started back on my 7 minute exercise routine along with planking!  Speaking of which, there is a great 7 Minute app that has an alarm to remind me to exercise, keeps track of my exercising and even has other exercises you can do.  I should have know "they have an app for that"!  Jan was the one who put me on to this one.  I've always used a picture of the exercises (and my kitchen timer!) but the app is great!!!  Have to  keep in shape you know....OK, I only have to do all this add'l exercise because of all the eating out!  I admit it!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Winding down time!

Yep...we're winding down our wonderful time here in Florida!  Tonight we had another fun evening with Karah and Howard at our Wednesday hangout!

YUM...and we even have leftovers...just what I need...more food in the freezer...we're eating out again tomorrow and Monday...that's all I know about so far!  Bob just comes home and tells me when or where we're eating!  Fine with me!

Today I finished up the last fiber card I needed to make for mailing before we head home on the 2nd.
This is the card I made for Mac's BD last week.  We had a fun evening celebrating his 83rd BD!  The group picture in the middle is from Jan and Mac's trip to Australia.  They just got back about a week ago after a 3 week visit with their grand babies.   I thought Mac would enjoy seeing the picture!

And this is the back of his card, which shows his BD cake from last year's celebration!

And these are more fiber cards I made today.  I need to mail out two of them within the week and the others will be mailed in May after I finish edging them!

I wanted to make bright happy BD cards so I think these will do!

  Now my machine can be put to rest for a month!  The first week we get home is way too busy, so no sewing for me, although I do have a project due the end of May for the online group!  Yikes!   I also have a major project which entails quite a bit of  'writing' and documenting, so that will consume my time until we leave and then after we get home.  I have a target date of June 5th.  I'll talk more about this project later in June.

  Hard to believe we'll be leaving in 2 1/2 weeks!!  Fortunately, we have the packing 'thing' down pat...or should I say "I" have the packing 'thing' down!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Play day with Peggy and alcohol!

Last year I showed Peggy how to arm knit (you can see that post here)...well, Peggy thought it only fair to show me a new technique this year!  And believe it or not, no wine or alcohol was involved...other than rubbing alcohol, which we didn't drink!  Instead, we painted papers using alcohol inks as well as a spray or two or three or four! of regular alcohol!   The fumes finally got to us after about two hours!
Peggy paints with acrylics and watercolor and took a class this year learning lots of new techniques to paint and play with (the instructors name escapes me but I'll remember or I'll ask Peggy!).
Here are some of the pieces Peggy completed and framed!  Aren't they beautiful!

Peggy uses a paper called "yupo"??  I think that's how it is spelled..I was using photo and palette papers to play with.  Peggy frames her work or uses pieces of her artwork in cards she makes and sells.

 So here are some of  Peggy's work from today!

Doesn't this remind you of a field of flowers!

This is a landscape Peggy did!

The video (below this pic) is Peggy creating this piece!  It turned out great!!  As did all of hers...

Of course most of mine are darker and more of a southwest palette!  OK, the truth is I'm bad at blending colors and usually get mud but I'm quite happy with the results!  I will use these somewhere in my art work!!  They really look better in person!  Yea, you've heard that before haven't you!

 It was just a fun afternoon!!!  I love playing with new just never know when you might use it again.  I can see cutting these up and using fiber cards or maybe even fabric!  You just never know...'stuff' isn't safe in my house!  Thank you, Peggy!!!!   And I didn't even miss the wine!

Also, check out what comes to visit at Peggy's quite often!  Peggy said the hawk grabs her/his food and heads to their roof to eat dinner!  They hear him quite often pecking away!  Gotta love Florida!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The bird has landed!

This girl has always been at the house in Florida!  But the past few years I thought she was looking rather you can see in the next picture!

She's hidden in between the rose bush!    I think I'm going to name her 'Grace' in memory of our Gracie!!  I hope Larry and Jan like the new 'Grace'!!  It's hard to see but she does have some 'highlights'!  A girl has to you know...we love our highlights!!

Before picture!  Can you find her???

I have been doing some sewing too!  OK, not that much...but trying to finish some fiber cards for birthday's in April and May!  The month of May is really, really busy for me so I need to get some things finished ahead of schedule!
I had a small strip of hand dyed fabric I did several, several years ago.  I didn't want to cover the fabric with applique or 'stuff' so I just did some free motion feathers and edged with variegated thread.  Two down and four more to go!

On Friday, we  picked up Gracie's remains.  Jan, Marcia and I went to Ocala for lunch and picked her up on the way home.  And, yes, we had a great lunch downtown and did some walking...of course, a stop at Your Heart's Desire was a necessity, as well as a piece of cake and cookie for some of us!!

I  was lucky the vet saved the band Grace had on her foot.  Wild caught birds had to be banded when brought into the country  (around the early 1990s, they stopped importing wild caught birds-now they hide them in their underwear!  Don't ask!).

Grace was wild caught but for some reason I never looked closely at her band.  Now that I have the band, I found a web site on 'bird legbands' and started some research!  So far I found that Grace was imported to Florida!   I guess it was only fitting that she passed away here in Florida too.......

Sunday, April 12, 2015


You know we artsy folks like to have lots of space to lay out our projects!  Back home I have a large sewing table and two cabinets with counter space.  Here in Florida I have a large table that Larry and Jan allow me to set up in the 'sewing' room.  But, of course, I have so many projects ongoing they take up any space left from my sewing machine and, what to do!  Use the bed as a counter space!  My sewing room here is a bedroom.

Only problem, that's also where Kalee lays while I work.  When it's time for her dinner though, she gets quite 'active', hence...look at what happened to my hex background today!!!
Yep...Kalee threw herself around the bed and was jiving trying to get my attention.  Well, she did get my attention!  So it's back to one of the pictures I took of my piece to help put the hexes back in order!

 I only have 3 rows sewn together and have a total of 21 to do.  Actually, Kalee only messed up the bottom part so it's not that bad....yep, my glass is always "half full"...dontcha know!

I did get in some sewing today by making a few birthday fiber cards.  There sure are a lot of BD's in April and May!!
I just had to finish edging the card on the left. The fabric was a hand dyed I did a few years ago!  I like the colors so thought it just needed some machine quilting then edged each with variegated thread.   I didn't want to cut it up or cover with any 'stuff'.

So now it's time to watch the Tiger's play baseball!!  We taped the game so we could watch the Master's, which was good also!  Tiger's are ahead 6-1 so far (3rd inning).  Woohoo!

Friday, April 10, 2015

More Food!

Well, of course this post involves food!!!  Wednesday night we had a very entertaining night with Carolyn and Bob, golf buddy to Bob and neighbors behind us!  What a fun evening...we learned even more about this interesting couple and the food (we ate at Carmine's!) was great as usual.   Bob & Bob both had fettuccini with blackened chicken and I had Vegetable Primavera...yum!  And we have leftovers in the freezer....Carolyn had Chicken Marsala and it looked delicious!   I may order that next time!

Last night the 'gang' ate at Chili's and we had a fun night.  I had their Mexican bowl which was good but Bob ordered a trio Mexican dish which he wasn't that fond of!  But all in all it was another fun night!

This afternoon, Jan, Marcia and I are headed to downtown Ocala for lunch and just to walk around the square and perhaps pop in and out of stores!  The downtown area is quaint but there are some interesting shops.

Then the four of us are headed to Blanca's for dinner then the 'gang' is headed over to Jan and Mac's for cake and ice cream...we're celebrating Mac's BD!  I'll post more on that tomorrow.

Oh, Kalee and I did our mile walk this a.m.  It was quite warm but I needed to walk!!!  Have to burn off all these calories!!!  We do plan on staying home for dinner on Saturday and Sunday!  I have a freezer full of leftovers from restaurants that I need to start clearing out!  Go figure!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hex Horse #2

I'm on my way with the 2nd Hex Horse piece!  I believe I have 99% of the hexes made.  These are 3/4" hexes, using paper templates.   I need the background to be at least 18-20" x 22-24" so that's why I think I have 99% of the pieces made..I may need a few more!  Who knows!
I wanted to start sewing the hexes together because I don't think my placement on the batting board would stay in place for the trip home!  So yesterday I figured out the best way to stitch the hexes together in rows.
I turned the piece and decided to start at the bottom, and, using a large pin, placed each hex in order. When I got to the 'top' hex, I marked which row it was so I can keep track of them!

Now it's a portable project, which I love!  I can take my box outside or work on while watching TV at night!  Although, I do find it a little dark to stitch...speaking of which....

When I sewed my first hex project (you can see that finished piece here), I always saw the hex pieces sewn together this way.  Right sides together and then slip stitch.  Easy, right.

This method does work but at times you can see the stitching on the front...not bad...and because I  stitch in the seams to quilt it, it's fine.  BUT....

I happened to find and start following The Scrapy Appleyard web site and saw her tutorial on sewing hexes.  Now, she does use plastic hex templates, which I don't like (I do have some I purchased but never have got the hang of using them...too hard to take out...slip in my hands, yada, yada!) but her tip on sewing the hex pieces together works great!

You hold the pieces side by side and stitch, using whip stitch.

You can barely see any stitching on the front!  I love this method.  If you're into sewing hexes, try this method.  It did seem awkward at first but you'll get the hang quickly.

So that's my current hand project.  I was going to start on the blue/orange patchwork piece but think I'll just keep working on this instead.  We only have 26 more days here (my grand daughter counted the days while we Face Timed today!) so I'll start to pack up some of my supplies...those 26 days will fly by!  But I'll still keep busy!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Time to get busy!??!

Maybe "busy" isn't the right word because I'm always busy!  But it is time for me to start getting busy on more art!!  Enough of this eating and socializing...well, maybe I can still do those and do my art!!

I'm almost there with finishing up hexes to create the background on my 2nd horse piece!  I need to make the background hexes at least 18" x 22".  
I would like to have the hexes pieced before we head home as I'm not sure how well my placement will actually stay in place with traveling!  I do have some rearranging to do but basically it will look similar to this...with dark on bottom and lighter on top.  Go figure!

We had a great day yesterday sharing Easter dinner with LaPlante's as host and hostess...joined with the sock lady, Susan & her hubby Harvey.

Susan brought some outstanding rolls from Panera Bread!  They were called Sprouted Whole Grain rolls and everyone gobbled (oh, wait...that's a Thanksgiving term!) them up!

The table was set perfectly with favors at each setting...candy of course along with chocolate covered pretzels!  YUM!!!

Also attending the dinner were Verna (our resident baker!)  and hubby Ron...he's the fellow who waves in all the pictures I take at outings!   Verna also made a great scalloped potato dish that was SO good!  She found the recipe in the daily newspaper!  Guess I need to start reading the paper and yes, the comics, John!  I just ate one of these carrot cupcakes and it was delicious!

 I didn't get any pics of us because I was too busy shoving food in my mouth!!  But the table and food were wonderful (as usual).  Marilyn made a unique pork dish with a cherry glaze that was outstanding along with, the now famous, carrot casserole, asparagus and a 3 Berry pie which was awesome!  That's why I didn't eat a cupcake last night!  I had pie!!

Three of us decided instead of a selfie we'd do a 'hand selfie'...ok, maybe that wasn't such a good idea either!

All in all it was a delightful day with wonderful friends and food!!!!  What's better than that!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fun evenings!!

First, I have to introduce you to a couple we met this year and who have bought a house here in OP to be snow birds!
This is Sally and Dan and just another fun couple we've been fortunate to meet.  They have both recently retired and hit the ground running this winter in Florida in Ocala!  Sally loves the pool so she's been enjoying the great weather sunning and swimming.  Dan is a golfer...need I say more!  Yes, Dan is  Bob's new "Bomance"!

Last night we had a great dinner with Sally and Dan at Harry's on the Square...and yes, we had our favorite Banana's Foster!!  We laughed a lot and learned some more about each other.  Just a fun, fun evening and, because they'll be heading back north in a week, we're already looking forward to next winter so we can spend more time with them.

As much fun as last night was, I also have to tell you about Monday night at Howard and Karah's!

Howard is another golfer bud of Bob's and we've known them for several years...they live full time here at OP but are also a fun, down to earth couple who we enjoy time with (oh, and they also like the 99cent margarita night with us!).  Although, they order a special beer from Mexico vs the 99 cent margaritas...but I digress again!!!

 Howard and some other folks from OP sing and pick each month at Pickin by the Pool....I've posted several blogs and video's of Howard on my blog.  Well, he invited Dan, Sally, Bob and I over Monday night.  You see Dan also sings and plays guitar so it was a match made in heaven!  OK, maybe not that much of a match but wow!  These two together were great as well as listening to them sing and play individually!  So, for your viewing pleasure, check out these songs by our Fab Twosome!!  What a fun night!!!  And so much talent!!!!

I've put these two on YouTube....geezz...taken me forever to upload the first one to blogger!
Now the solo's!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Bird Has Landed!

Cactus Wren
This piece started out as part of the Art Quilters Around the World  March challenge - theme: In the Garden.   But I decided I could kill two birds at once!  I've posted on the AQAW blog and I'll also be mailing the quilt to Chris, member of our fiber group in Michigan, to include in her booth at the Spring Needlework Seminar at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in May.  I'm going to put four of my other bird/butterfly pieces in the exhibit as well.  Each of our fiber group are going to have some of our art work shown and for sale at the seminar.  This is a great opportunity to show how quilts are pieces of art and can be hung on the wall.  Chris has kindly offered to do all the work for us (packing, hanging, dismantling, etc. - as well as her hubby is helping!).   

This is a closeup of the piece.  I painted the background with Liquitex Inks , quilted the background, then using the Wash Away sheet again, painted the cactus, fused to my background, hand stitched the cactus, beaded the birds legs, attached the bird and added the pickers!  That's all there was to it!!

Back to the original theme - In the Garden.... I figure the desert is also a garden of sorts and I found this cactus wren on one of the free coloring pages on Google.  

I printed the coloring page of the bird onto a Wash-Away Applique sheet.  I like using this product since it's precut to fit in the printer and has fusible on the back, which I iron onto batting/fabric.  You can see that process on my blog here.  

It's always fun to 'paint with beads' and to see a piece actually finish..even with some unsewing!!  Someone suggested I bead a hummingbird...hmmmmmm  Might be a good idea...I do have a few other projects to start before another beaded piece...but you never know.  I do like having several projects started at once!  Type A, you know!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Gracie - RIP

Rest in peace my feathered friend!  I've had Gracie since the early 80's and she has traveled with us to Florida for the past 11 years!  I will miss her!!!!!

Gracie loved her whipped cream or ice cream!!!

And she loved to get her bath outside!

She would play with anything she could get her claws on!

And she loved Mandy!  This is outside while in Florida one year.  Gracie would throw food down to Mandy for her to eat!

And she traveled so well...she would sit in her crate at the hotel and talk up a storm!!

My heart is broken but I'm sure Gracie is playing with Mandy!

 No, it's "not just a bird"...they are our feathered friends......and I will miss her (and her mess!).....