My Favorite Books

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friends, Family and Barbie!

Frost on the ground again this a.m. Sun is shining so it seems warmer then it is. We're expecting to have a cold spell again but it's still better than the snow and cold up north. I'm happy! Golfers (including) Bob won't be out until the frost clears...they don't like those tire tracks on their golf course.

Here are some of the Barbie outfits my friend, Carol, made for her grand daughter. Aren't they just the cutest! I"m totally hooked on making these now.

This is my friend Mary's great grand daughter, Carmella! Isn't she cute! She's has a curly worm crawling up her leg that I sent her.

This is a card Carmella made for me. She's only 2 so I think she did a good job.

And here's the dress I made for Amber for her Barbie. Again, these are a surprise for her. She won't get them until her birthday in August. What fun they are to make. I'm on my 2nd dress now!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Perfect child, of course!

Of course I know Amber is perfect! I'm a grandma! Amber received this for her perfect attendance this period. Isn't that great! Congrats, Amber!! Grandma and Grandpa are proud of you!
Bob's off to a golf show in Orlando today. This is just like a Quilter's Festival except for golfers! I'm sure it's not as much fun as festivals we attend but the guys enjoy the day seeing all the new golf 'things'..not sure what they call their 'things'. I'd still prefer fiber and fabric to touch and see at a show. Carol and I are going to go to a farmer's market and some other tooting around town today.
I did finish a fiber post card yesterday (actually two of them) and I'll post those next week. I'm still working on my Beardsley piece for the fiber group I belong to. It's due in two weeks and I should be finished by then. It was only (I know, only!) 49 @ 7 today and will get in the mid to high 50's. Still beats the cold and snow and if the sun shines that's fine with me. Warming trend is on its way again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Latest Endeavor

In addition to my art projects that I'm working on (yep, that is an never ending part of my everyday life), my friend here in Florida, Carol, has been knitting Barbie clothes for her grand daughter. Well, they are the cutest thing! Here's the book she got for the patterns.

Carol gave me some yarn and a pattern to start making some for Amber. I figure it's a good way to use leftover yarn and will make a nice birthday gift for her (not until Aug.). Here's one I started last night. It's an 'evening' dress with ruffles on the bottom edge. Is this the cutest! I'll have to take pics of the outfits Carol has made and post just to show how cutes these outfits are! It's great to do while watching the boob tube at night!
My entry for 'Waiting to be Kissed' was sent in so now we wait and see if it's accepted. I've started another project for the Aussome Fiber group I belong to depicting work of the artist Aubrey Beardsley. I can't post pics of it until after next week as the group meets the 2nd Thursday of each month. I'll send them pics first then post on my blog.
It's overcast this morning and looks like we might get some rain so it's a good day for me to stay home and work on my projects.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

63 Degrees already

Yep, it's not even 8:30 a.m. and 63 out. It's just beautiful...a slight breeze and no humidity which is nice! I'm sure it's not this way in the summer in Florida but for the winter this is perfect weather for Bob and I.
Have to mention two 'grand children' stories today. Amber called last Friday to tell me she got her report card. I asked "what grades did you get?" and she replied "3 C's and 2 D's, grandma". Well, after I picked myself up off the floor I didn't know what to say! I was shocked! So, as grandma's do I told her that's you'll only go up in your grade because you'll just work hard. All of a sudden, I'm on speaker phone, and I can hear my DIL laughing in the background! She said "it's a joke grandma, Amber got 4 A's and 1 B". Amber said "my mom made me do this joke on you". I was shocked as Amber seems to be a good student and Darrin and Kris always make sure she does her homework nightly. Anyway, that was a 'whew' moment for sure!
So last night I was talking to the kids and Darrin told me Nick was almost asleep on the couch. He said at dinner he asked Nick to 'try' some mashed potatoes. Well, Nick told Darrin he would get sick if he ate them. Darrin said, "no you won't, you need to just eat the little bit on your fork". So Nick grudgingly ate the potatoes and tried to wash them down with milk...but you guessed it, 'up' they came! Darrin said Nick went into the bathroom adamantly telling his father that "you made me throw up". I can just picture this whole event and Nick being dramatic about the mashed potatoes. I'm sure this will remain in his memory when he's in his 20's. It was such a funny story and one for my journal. Actually, I have a journal in Michigan for Amber and Nick and I write stories like this in it as well as put tickets or pics of what we do. Both of these stories will have to go in their I hope I'll remember to do that!
Carol and I are off to Panera's later today (free coffee all day - Panera's promotion) and then to Michael's and who knows where else!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

She's ok! And Frogs are done!

First, our grand daughter, Kayla, had an accident yesterday morning on the way to school. A truck passed her spraying road slush on her windshield which blinded her and she ran into a car that was stopped. But she's OK as is everyone else, which we are so thankful for. Her car is not so lucky! Kayla is a little sore from the air bags and seat belt but again those safety devices saved another person from severe injury. I don't know what that 'white' stuff is on the ground! Must be some type of air pollution!
I'm done with frogs! Hooray!!! Actually, I'm pleased with how they came out and hope they get juried into the Sense of Humor Exhibit....but if not, I still had fun and I'll show it somewhere! Or it will get hung at our local library for kids to look at! Either's the pics of the finished piece! I really have to thank my 'roommate' for all the great advice and inspiration to finish this piece. Thanks, honey! I couldn't have done it without you...well, I could have but we'd be looking at the frogs like we were in an airplane! This is so much better!

Waiting to be Kissed Finished!

Closeup of my frogs

My cat tails & some leaves

This is my label on the back..You might have to click to see larger image to read what it says! My friend, Carol, here in Florida suggested the smaller saying for this frog!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sidewalk Art Sale Today

Today we're going to a Sidewalk Art Sale at the community college. Check out this article on one of the vendors. This couple make lampwork beads like the picture of one below. This particular bead on my blog was made by the Pumpkin Glass Shop of Morton, Il. They come in different shapes but are just beautiful because they are each so unique. I can't remember now what other vendors will be there but it's going to be a perfect day to be outside and spend some of Carol's money!
Speaking of Carol, she outdid herself yesterday with the wonderful brunch she put on! Food was great and we got to try another new recipe called baked pineapple! She said she just 'googled' the recipe so for those who are adventurous give it a try! I'll post pics of our sidewalk art sale tomorrow!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Other Men In My Life

Yes, in addition to Bob there are a 'few' other men in my life. Two of which are here. Darrin and his friend took their 'boys' to the Monster Truck Jam at the Silverdome last weekend. Darrin always loved going to truck pulls as a child and he's certainly instilled that same love in Nick. It's a nice way to build on their 'male bonding' too. You can just tell Nick loved the evening!

We're off to Carol & Tony's house this morning for a brunch. They wanted to thank Peggy and Sammy for taking care of their house while they were in Michigan visiting their kids the month of December. Carol's a good cook so we know we'll eat well. She likes to try new dishes and is a fan of Food Network. Now you know another reason why she's a friend of mine!

It's supposed to get in the mid 70's today. Yesterday was beautiful but hard to believe it was in the 20's in the morning and in the 60's in the afternoon!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Another cool morning (28) but expected to get into the high 60's again. Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day for out outing. Susan and I did our shopping in Trenton and I never wore my coat! We did our fabric shopping first and here's where I contributed to the economy! I bought four different fabrics and 2 needle threaders! The old eyes aren't like they used to be.
After getting exhausted with spending money, we had lunch at the quilt shop's tea room. A really good lunch. I had chicken salad on lettuce and Susan had potato soup w/half a sandwich. We left the quilt store/tea room and walked to some of the other stores in town. Now you have to realize this is a VERY small shopping district. I did find some silk cocoon and silk pods and threads at , of all places, a Cross Stitch store! I've used the silk cocoons and pods before in my art work for butterfly's. They look weird but they are fun to work with and you can do a lot with them.

I hope to use them in my 'nature' journal quilts this year. One of the fiber groups I belong to creates a small journal quilt monthly so that's a good place to try different techniques and our theme this year is 'nature'.
Back to our day out! We had to have some dessert after walking, so Susan and I went back to the tea room! You have to see their display case for desserts. It's filled with so many goodies it was hard to pick. But I had a lemon filled cake which was excellent! Susan was good and only had a chocolate chip cookie. It looked homemade and Susan did say it was good (as she was licking her fingers!). Just a nice ending to a nice day.
Well, Bob and I are off to library (no, not Bob - just me picking up some books!) then to check out a local market that's new in the downtown area. They're supposed to have some fresh veggies and other items for sale. Another day in paradise!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hard to believe

How's this for a record! It was 22 degrees here in Ocala @ 8:00 a.m. and 26 in Goodrich, Michigan! Who would have thought it would be warmer in Michigan then in Florida in January! It's supposed to get up to mid to high 50's today (in Florida!) and the sun is shining!

Susan and I are off to do some fabric and 'tool' shopping in a little town called Trenton. This is a quaint little town with different shops all within walking distance. And of course, there's a quilt shop located in an old Coca Cola building that also has a restaurant attached we'll be visiting. The quilt shop is huge and they have everything and anything you might need. This picture is just one small area of where they cut the fabric. So off we go!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

International ATC Exchange

OK, for those of you who don't know what the heck an ATC's a fiber card you make in the size of a trading card (2 1/2" x 3 1/2"). Hence, the name Artist Trading Card (ATC). You can make an ATC using fabric, paper, cardboard as your base, then embellish it with beading, yarns, threads..anything you can find or like. Back in December, I sent in three ATC's I made to the International ATC exchange (click on this link to see more about the exchange). I received my three ATC's from the exchange today! Two of the cards I received are by artists in South Carolina, Pam Freck (embroidered ATC on the right) & Joni Feddersen (orange ATC) and Lisa Lloyd (bottom left) who is from Washington State.
ATC's are fun to make and a good way to exchange work with other artists. These were quite popular several years ago with fiber artists and now so are fiber postcards. You just make the fiber post card larger - the same size as a post card you would receive in the mail. You'll be seeing some of my fiber cards after Valentine's Day. I just wanted to share with you my 'gift' for today!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday and what I did on my winter vacation

Or should I say what I'm doing on my winter vacation! Here's my frog piece in progress. I did get all the lily pads sewn down along with the rocks and leaves and the small flower. Still have to finish the frogs, their balloons with saying(s), butterflies (yes, there are butterflies in ponds - at least in my pond!) and do some more shading under the lily pads, add a 3-D flower I made from some upholstery fabric sample pieces my sister sent me years ago, add the cat tails, do binding and I should be finished! I am going shopping for some fabric on Thursday with Susan for the binding. I want to put some funky black and white binding on it but who knows what I'll end up with. I'm pleased with how it's finally coming out! Whew!

This is a frog I painted for the back of my quilt. He'll sit on top of my label and a great suggestion by my friend, Carol, was to have him say "I didn't make the cut!". I think that's perfect since he isn't! Anyway, he'll have a home on the back of the quilt.

Oh, I'm blogging tonight (Tuesday) because it's Senior Discount Day at Bealls ( a local department store) so I have a feeling hubby and I will be 'shopping' on Wed. early! Remember, we're going out to eat at Stumpknockers on Wed. for Carol and Tony's anniversary (35th I believe!). The name doesn't sound that great but the food is awesome! It's a restaurant we go to several times when in Florida. It's sits right on the water..but don't ask me what river it is. I just go for the food...not for the sights!

36 & Sunny!

No, I'm not talking about me (36 & sunny!). It's 36 degrees right now (8:00 a.m.) but sunny! There is a good breeze out there so not sure how the golfers will do today.

We had a fun time last night with dinner out (again!). We were with Susan, her hubby, Harvey and John and Marilyn. It was Harvey's BD on Sunday so this was a day late celebration. John was a very good 'bus' driver showing us sights and areas I haven't seen before! But he did get us home safe and sound after a good meal. We ended up at a restaurant called Carmichael's. This was an established restaurant that was in business for 19 year before closing 3 years ago when the owner retired. Last year, the owner decided to reopen and that's where we ended up. We were trying to find 'Randy's Rib Shack' which is another story! Carmichael's has the best 'pot pie' which I think 3 had last night. They are known for their bread pudding, which Bob had along with John and Marilyn. Harvey had a rich dessert of chocolate pie (Susan snuck a few bites!) and I had carrot cake (lots of frosting!). I did bring half of mine home! OK, so everyone else had a half order - I got a whole order of cake so I could take home!

Today is 'frog' day with lots of sewing. Tomorrow is Carol & Tony's anniversary and we'll be going, guess where! Out to dinner! Susan and I are having a quilting adventure on Thursday to spend some of her money (not mine!). Of course, we'll find someplace to eat on Thursday too! You expel a lot of energy spending money! Guess I better stay home today and cook dinner! I found a recipe for salmon I want to try and depending on how good it is I'll post tomorrow! Bob and I are off for our walk this morning. Just hope we don't get blown away!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday & Fog

Yep, we have fog this a.m. It's 46 degrees but you can barely see the trees on the golf course, that's how foggy it is. But beats the snow. We're enjoying our coffee, reading the newspaper and talking about our day. Which consists of golf and sewing! Go figure!

Yesterday was a busy day. Bob went golfing and I was sewing 'frogs'. My friend Carol called and asked if I wanted to go to Panera's for coffee (one of our 'haunts') so of course I said, yes. Frogs can wait! So off we went to Panera's and Michael's (have to use that 50% coupon that was burning a hole in our pockets!). Here's what I bought with my 50%'er. It's a bead that's about 2" in size. I"m going to use it in my Nature journal for February for the CCC fiber group I belong to. It's actually more 'brown' in color so guess what colorway I'm working on next!
I'm on this 'kick' of working in monochromatic so this month I did a nature journal quilt (8 1/2" x 11") depicting 'water' and I worked in blue. I painted a background piece in blue, then I added a piece of blue chiffon on top; quilted and beaded the piece. Looks like water to me! OK, so I'm trying to get 'deep' into my art but maybe it's not working! I'm still having fun so that's what counts, right! Here's the 'water' piece I made.
Came back home, worked on frogs and another art piece, then hubby called. He and Tony were going to a golf store and Carol and I were going shopping! Isn't it nice when your husband tells you to go shopping! So off we went again to shop! I didn't find anything but we stopped (again) at Panera's for a late lunch/early dinner. The guys ate at Steak 'n Shake so we were all fed for the day! Back to the Pinto's to watch the football game on their wonderful HDTV set! We did go back home to watch the Steelers game which turned out good for the Steelers! I'm sure my sister was jumping up and down (for those who don't know I was born and raised in Pennsylvania). So that's my stressful life right now! Decisions, decisions...what to do next on vacation! We'll see!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Presents for ME!

I'm so lucky! More presents. Darrin and Kris have been checking the past two days on whether I've received their present. They did mail this last Sat. but between the snow storms and I'm sure the old folks who work at the Florida post office, the delay was legitimate! Of course Jack and Nickie had to help (along with Mandy) open my presents.

Mandy was trying to get everyone ready to open my package! Someone has to organize!
Look at all the cards! And yes, Darrin, you made me cry with the one from 'your son'! For those who know our family, we try to get cards that mean a lot - or otherwise known as cards that make the recipient cry! And Darrin's made me cry today! Thanks, Son!
Geez, Jack grabbed that candy bar as quick as he could!

But Nickie did get the other one! Wonder if 'grandma' will get some??

How cool is this! A digital photo album! Bob said that's the perfect gift for someone like 'you' that takes all these pictures! It holds 60 images! Right up my alley for sure.Kids already loaded some pictures on it for me which is so nice! Except seeing the pictures of the kids in the pool makes me cold! Can you tell I'm not a swimmer!
My 2nd Birthday Toy!
Thanks, kids! I'm so lucky to have such a great family! Gee, I'll have to get out my label maker and put my name on my new digital photo album! I've arleady created labels for most of my sewing tools! I'll probably run out of label maker tape before we leave Florida!

Happy Birthday to me!

Yep, yesterday was another year past for me...starting the next year in my life (depending on how you look at BD's!). Now I get to collect social security! Can't beat that! Just another reason working those 30+ years was a good idea!

We had a really nice day. Bob and I took off and went shopping! What can I say, I have a husband who likes to shop! We were going to go out for breakfast but I opted out since we were going out to dinner with friends. Just too much eating out...did I just say that! When is eating out too much! OK, sometimes it is. But we did have a great meal out last night with our friends, Carol, Tony, Peggy and Sammy! Great friends, great food and just a nice evening. Carol had all of us back to their house for cake and ice cream! Now you can't beat that at all!

I did some work on my 'frogs' which you can see below. I'm going to paint some dark shades of blue onto the water background sometime today, then I'll start placing lily pads and greens. Each frog will have a 'saying' in a balloon above their heads. You can see one of the balloons above the orange frog. He's the one 'waiting to be kissed'. Poor frog! But there's always hope, isn't there!

And look what my daughter sent me for my birthday! Check it out! Dawn has told me how much I would use a label maker but my priorities (or is it just my memory - I kept forgetting) kept me from buying one. Well, it's the coolest gadget! I love my label maker! A must have for us folks who go to workshops, classes or just going to a friends house to do some work. We all have the same tools so it's easy to leave your tools behind or get them mixed up with someone. Thanks, Dawn!!!

I just made a label for my rotary cutter and put another one on my scissors...Mandy is next! Or maybe I'll just put one on Bob!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday - frost on the ground!

Yep, there was frost on the ground this a.m. but it was nice not to have to put Mandy's booties on! Sun is out and it's warming up so it appears it will be a nice day. Yesterday was another shopping day for my friend Carol and I and even for Bob. He took off by himself and did some shopping! Thursday and Friday are 'Senior Day's' at one of the local department stores, so we 'seniors' have to take advantage of the sales! Not much else to report today..had a nice dinner out last night with some friends; dinner out tomorrow and again on Monday (celebrating Susan's husband's BD). Lots of exercising in between dinners out - shopping, of course, the best exercise!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Florida sewing room

So here are some pictures of where I do my work while I'm in Florida. The first is my cutting table. It faces the window so it's nice and bright in my room (I can look outside which I like).
This is my machine set up where I sew! There's that same window on the right (that's a for sale sign in it right now..I keep meaning to move it to another window but haven't done that yet!). This set up actually works very well, except when I'm quilting a large piece...then the fabric falls off the back of my plastic table extension. I could turn the table around and lay the end of the quilt over the bed but that would be too easy! I don't make that many large pieces so this works for me.
And this is the bed that's on the left side of my machine set up. Makes it handy to lay my pieces on and just for general sewing. All in all it's a decent set up for the three months. I can adjust to most 'things' and this does work for me. I do all my fabric painting in the Lani on the table looking outside, so that way I don't make a mess in the house.

Here's a sneak peak at some of what I'm doing with my frog piece..actually, this placement isn't how it might end up but you get the drift. I'm working on making lots of lily pads and other leaves, bias stems and cat tails right now.

Tuesday - rain?

Here's a 'friend' that sits on the tree next to our neighbors house. Pretty cool!

Another overcast day here, which is OK as it beats all the snow and cold in Michigan. Bob's not golfing so we're taking the day and going for a ride and lunch or dinner out! Fine with me! I'm making progress on my frogs but it's a's such a fun quilt to work on but then frustration trying to get the 'depth' to my quilt. One of my struggles for sure! Bob's helping me which is good since he's done painting and knows what to look for. I just need to be able to translate that to fabric! Hopefully, I"ll have some pics to show of the frogs in progress tomorrow. Until then, have a great day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday & quilt pics

It's been overcast for 2 days now! So unusual for Ocala but it's still 54 out and supposed to get up to 60+, although, it's almost 1 p.m. so not sure it will make it. Still beats the snow, so we're happy! Bob's off golfing and I'm still working on my frogs! That's a whole other story!

A few years ago, Dawn purchased some very, old quilt blocks at a flea market. She kept them for several years but after getting into her photography work decided to part with them. Rather then give them to some 'stranger', I put them in my sewing studio for safe keeping! Last spring, before we left Florida, my friend Susan said she had always wanted to take some old quilt blocks and make something from them. Susan had given me a pattern she made of a leaf (which I loved and I did make a quilt from it) so when we returned to Michigan last spring, I sent her the Dawn's quilt blocks! Here's what Susan did with them. You have to click on the pictures to see as much detail as you can. Susan does beautiful hand work and you almost have to see the work in person to appreciate it.

These are some of the blocks Susan had to work with.
Here is the finished quilt she made from the blocks. The circles are reverse appliqued from the blocks as are the smaller circles.
Here's a closeup of one of the circles. Note the hand quilting!

And because Susan felt guilty cutting up some of the blocks, she decided to make another quilt using just the blocks themselves. She didn't hand quilt this one but tied it instead. It's still quite nice! I think they are both great pieces and so wonderful for her to have and appreciate. Glad someone took good 'care' of the blocks and made something from the heart with them!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weaver's Guild Challenge

For my fiber friends (and those who might be curious!), the Florida Weaver's guild met yesterday for our monthly meeting and we had the unveiling of our 'stash bag challenge'. Each participate had the same 'stash' to make something with. It was amazing to see so many different techniques and items made from this stash! We had dolls, boxes, books, totes & toys just to name a few. Two women were not able to make the meeting but they did mail their finished challenge. Here are some of the individual pics of what everyone made. I"m sorry I don't have everyone's name(s)! Click on pics to see closeup of what everyone did.

Here are ladies (minus two) that participated in the challenge!

This is an 'idea' box
This is toy

This is Pandora's box

This was an altered book I made

A doll

A quilted piece (she's going to mount it)

Another doll

A quilt

A tote for sewing items

A kite!

Another doll! Each one so different!

My friend Susan made this box

Another side of Susan's box

I'm so impressed with all the different techniques and ideas! What fun! Can't wait until next year's challenge which may be ATC's (Artist Trading Cards). Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the quilt Susan made using some very old quilt blocks my daughter had. Dawn was going to give the blocks away but I hid them in my sewing room...I just couldn't part with them because they were so old. Well, Susan put them together into a wonderful quilt. She actually ended up making another smaller quilt (tied) because she did cut up some of the blocks and felt guilty.
I'm off to work on my frog piece! The days are dwindling down!