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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Margarita & Mexican Food

Before I get into posting about another wonderful evening with friends, I want to introduce you to BB (not sure that's how his name is spelled, but it's how it sounds!).
BB is owned by Verna and Ron and he's the sweetest dog (BB, not Ron! ok, Ron is sweet but not as sweet as BB!). Mandy would really like him just because he's very quiet and older than she is! Again, BB not Ron!
We have had so many wonderful meals prepared by friends this winter and last night was another one of those great meals! We've been treated to spectacular food from corned beef & cabbage to crab legs and shrimp! Last night Verna & Ron invited 16 of us over for Mexican night!

I didn't get a picture of Verna and Ron last night..this picture is from the St. Patrick's Day feast ,yep, another great food night Maryilyn and John hosted.
Now for pictures from last night. Verna is at the stove and Jan is to her left supervising or else she was sneaking bites of food!
Verna made a great cheese dip and Pico de gallo with chips that I wanted to steal and take home! Yes, Ron, that's why my purse was so heavy! Of course we had Margarita's too!!
It's hard to appreciate the view from Verna and Ron's Lani with my picture. I think if you click and enlarge the picture you'll get a better perspective of the pool area and golf course. Ron and Verna have an infinity pool with a waterfall that looks out onto the golf course. Talk about relaxing! A good thing Bob and I were filling our face with food or we both would or could have taken a nap!
Yep, we're still eating (before dinner!)...hi ladies!! See Susan I didn't take your picture! Wasn't I good! Susan doesn't like her picture taken and neither do I.
So here is Verna's beautiful feast being laid out! We had skirt steak, shredded chicken, beans (made fresh! not canned), taco's (hard and soft shell), cheese enchiladas, a fabulous rice dish and of course all the fixings for whatever you want!
Verna giving us the tour of the table!
Delicious..just delicious!
Of course I already had my plate when I took this picture!
I expected nothing less of Verna! Everyone had fried ice cream and...
home made Mexican tea cakes!
So thank you Verna for all your hard work and for the best Mexican meal Bob and I have EVERY had! Thanks to Ron for being a great host and butler! You do good work!

For my friends and family who want to read my blog, you can sign up here to receive an email update when I do post. I do try to post about five days a week...sometime more...sometimes less. At least this way you'll just be notified and not miss pictures of all the food I take!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Beading and Squawking!

The umbrella part for my April BJP is finished. The white you see around the edge is the Friendly Felt that I beaded on. I'll use this edge to stitch down with beads to outline the umbrella. First, I have to make the handle and bead it, then I can sew down the umbrella.
Here's the squawk part of my post! This is Gracie sitting outside this a.m. on the front porch. She's been a doll up until the past few days and now is back to her squawking. NO, not squawking..let's be honest. Screaming! Geezzz You can't image how her screams can get on your nerves. I had to put her in the bathroom yesterday afternoon while SKPEing my friend because I knew I wouldn't be able to hear her (Carol, not Gracie!).

Here is one of two pots of geraniums on the front porch. They are really in full bloom with lots of buds coming up.
This is one of the azalea bushes on the side of the garage door. Azalea bushes are all over here in the community. Different shades of pink, purples and even a beautiful orange color. Spring is here!
The flowers are so pretty and I can't count the number of pictures of azalea's I've taken over the past few years in Florida! Not sure why I keep taking them as I don't ever do anything with the pictures.
Oh, this was a little visitor working his way outside from the Lani. I'm sure he'll be dinner for one of the many birds around but I didn't have the heart to kill him. Maybe he'll get lucky and live a few more days!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

BJP in progress & talented friends

My BJP for April will be titled 'April showers bring...' which means rain and of course an umbrella! This suggestion came from my friend Carol back in Michigan. I found a pix of an umbrella below to use as my design for a zentangle!
Here's my zentangle using the umbrella picture. I drew this on to what's called Friendly Felt. It's heavier than felt and I wanted to bead onto a background piece and then attached to my quilted background. I haven't done this before so it's a new technique for me.
Here's the progress so far using just orange and yellow size 11 beads. I'll be outlining the umbrella with a bronze seed bead and darker and lighter shades of brown for the handle. I got some really neat crystal drop beads that I'm going to use on the background for rain drops (along with two different size crystal bugle beads.
Now onto some of our talented friends! Peggy and Sammy are the nicest couples here in the community and both are so talented. This is a picture that Peggy painted and it's her first commission piece! This is the sixth hole here on the golf course and one of Peggy's friends asked her to paint the picture as a gift to the woman's husband. I think she did a great job and check out the swans!
Sammy, Peggy's husband, is also a very talented person. Sammy does wood carvings and here are just a few of his pieces.
I love this piece! Sammy actually had to in-lay pieces of wood on the sides to fill in the shape of the duck. Didn't he do a wonderful job!
I think this duck is called a snub nose? Maybe it was bullet? I'm not good at names of plants let alone names of ducks!
This is a piece Sammy is currently working on. He gave us one of his carvings a year or two ago and I just love it. Aren't they a talented couple! One carves and one paints! how cool is that!
Today temp is 79 (so far!). I've finished 3 loads of laundry, bathed and groomed Mandy and weeded and put three bags of mulch down for Larry. His house is so nice and the landscaping so pretty I enjoy trying to keep it up for him! We just love this house and want to treat it like our own. So my busy day has me now finished with a shower and I'm going to bead some more! I deserve a break and maybe a margarita when Bob gets home from golf!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Visit in Clermont with kids

Yesterday we met up with Ron, MJ, Ian and his friend Blake in Clermont for dinner. The years we have met with the kids during their Florida vacation we always have dinner at the same restaurant. We found this restaurant as a fluke the first year we met up with the kids. It used to be called Benchwarmers but now it's just called Lakeside Inn. Guess why! Yep, it's by the lake! And the food is really good and you can eat outside which makes it nice.

I asked Ian and Blake to take some pics of the view from the deck where we were eating. Yes, that is a skier on the water! The temp was in the low 70's but there was quite a breeze.

Ian did a good job taking pictures, with direction from Blake??

Here's Ian and Blake waiting for their burgers! We really had such a nice visit with everyone and of course lots of laughter!

After dinner we decided to get some pictures so we just had to walk out on the pier. Yes, it was windy and everyone kept laughing so it wasn't easy getting pictures. Poor Blake had to endure time with grandpa and grandma! And yes, that's my shadow taking the picture!

Grandpa was hooting it up! Good thing no birds were passing by!
We did miss Kayla this year but she was there in spirit! Kayla's back in Indiana working hard on her college studies. Kayla made the dean's list her first semester and we're quite proud of her. She's a hard worker and has a good foundation for the rest of her life!
Today is cleaning day and beading on my umbrella. I'll post pics of my BJP for April in progress. Temp should get up in the high 70's today so maybe I can get some more sun on my legs to match the sun on my knee caps! And let's hope Blake gets some sun on the rest of his body to match the sun on his nose! Enjoy the rest of your vacation, kids!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

KISS Challenge in progress

OK, before I get into my KISS challenge project....My DIL sent this email today:

Well – we were just notified at 8 this am that Amber’s audition for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory seems to have gone well. Amber is playing the part of Regina (Charlie’s Grandmother). She is VERY excited.

Amber is only 10 and how great that she even wanted to audition! Yikes!! She always sings in the concerts and just enjoys being on stage! How exciting for her (& us!).

So this is my design for the KISS challenge sponsored by Dijanne. The piece measures 20" x 20".

Dijanne's rules are quit simple:

KISS- Keep it Simple Stupid)- make a 50 cm square quilt using only two coloured fabrics ( or white for that matter) and threads ( as many colours as you would like) but using only straight stitch by hand or machine- no fancy stitches- of course straight stitching can be done in any form- and absolutely no embellishing- just fabric and stitch and your imagination!

My friend Mary gave me on of her beautiful snow dyed pieces of fabric and I thought it would be perfect for this challenge. I also had a great blue/purple piece that I screened printed a year or so ago that I was going to use but decided against it. KISS, least that's what I have to keep telling myself!

So this was the start of my piece. Because I don't do straight lines well...I thought I should challenge myself to include some in my piece. Hard to see in this pix so you might have to click on it to see better.

Here's some of the lines finished. I'm using different color threads for both hand and machine stitching. I know..some of my lines aren't straight. I must have some type of attention deficit when it comes to sewing mind and hand both wander!

Here's some of the hand stitching I'm doing in the small circles. I'm using perle cotton both commercial and some that I hand dyed a year or two ago.

And here are some of the larger circles I'm hand stitching. There are only a few more larger ones to do then I'll finish adding some more to the smaller circles.

I just love doing the hand work and it's really hard for me to KISS! I mean really hard! This is a good challenge and I'm glad I signed up to do it. I'm sure Dijanne won't think it's simple but for me it sure is!

Friday and Sat. were beautiful days here and I actually got sun burned! But only on my knee caps and upper arms! I was stitching on my piece while sitting outside so you can figure out why only those areas got 'kissed' by the sun! Sure looks funny! Sunday it did rain all day and today it's overcast one minute and sunny the next. A nice breeze out (Bob calls it wind!) but it still should get in the mid to high 60's. Kids arrived in Florida safe and sound and we'll be meeting up with them one day this week. hope the weather holds out for them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Art work is coming soon!

I really am working on my art work and I'll be showing pix on future posts soon..but...say hello to Rosie! Is she a doll or what! Rosie is the greeter when you visit Jan and Larry! OK, visit wasn't the word for last night! Food feast is more like it! Jan and Larry invited John, Marilyn, Bob and I over for a crab leg feast! I don't even think feast is the right word.
Here's Jan working hard preparing Bang Bang Shrimp which we've never had before but will again! Bang Bang Fish is a dish on the menu from Bonefish Grill. Jan found a recipe for it and it was soooooo good!
So here is our hostess. Jan is a beautiful lady, inside and out! And always outdoes herself as a hostess!

Larry is the crab leg chef! These were the best crab legs Bob and I have had in ages!! Larry, besides being a hunk, is also a good cook! A fusser eater but a good cook!
Of course there were drinks...just a few...
And then we ate, and ate, and ate....
and kept eating......
Just a peak at my plate...everything was just delicious.
And fresh strawberry shortcake for dessert!!! I did bring lemon pie soup..that's another story!
The guys chilling after dinner. Bob took a little nap while they were watching basketball. I think this was the latest we've stayed out at night in so long! We didn't get home until after 11:30! Talk about night owls..which we aren't!
We did have such a nice visit with everyone. A huge THANK YOU, Jan and Larry! And thanks, John for driving! Marilyn and I just sat in the back seat groaning about how much we ate!

So, here's my background piece I quilted for my April BJP. Can you guess what it's going to be??? Actually, you need to turn the piece so it's portrait 'wise'. I forgot to do that before I uploaded it. I'm going to try a different approach to my work this month. I'd like to bead my piece then attach to my background. I see where some beaders use felt and I'm not sure what others use. I need to research to see what would work best to bead on.
I keep forgetting to put a pix of my woven pouch I made from our last weaver's meeting! So here it is! I think it's a clever technique and would be perfect for Amber and even Nick to do this summer.
Another beautiful day today. I actually sat outside yesterday afternoon in the sun and read (yep, War & Peace is almost finished!) but I only got sun burn on my knee caps! go figure! I'm now doing the hand stitching on my KISS project, which is due the end of April so I have something to do while I sit out. I almost started a different KISS project because I wasn't happy with some of the machine stitching design I did so I ripped it all out! I'll show before and after pics. Now I'm happy with it and I think the hand stitching will work out well. So off to get my day moving!