My Favorite Books

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good Bye Florida!

A visitor saying goodbye to us!

Last night was not a good night for either Bob or I. We were both coughing so bad so I went into the spare room (now that my sewing supplies are out of there it's actually a bedroom!). We both continued to cough ALL night...neither of us slept but we didn't feel all that bad today. So after breakfast we packed the car. It's 95% full...just need to get the space saver bags 'sealed' then put in the back for Mandy and the birds. Actually, everything went pretty well today and it was relaxing if that makes sense! Not sure how that can be with cleaning and packing the car but Bob and I are both pretty organized which must make this whole process easier for us.
So my blog will be quiet for a few days until we get settled back in good old Michigan...which we understand has four inches of snow on the ground. Bob had an email from his daughter telling us to stay in Florida (along with our neighbor, our grand daughter and another friend!). I keep telling Bob we should stay another week or two.
So until this weekend sometime...keep us in your thoughts for a safe trip home. Good bye our Florida friends...see you all next year!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our week of C's! Computer Crash(es)!, Colds, Class and Cleaning!

Computer Crash(es)!, Colds, Class and Cleaning! Yep, that's what our world has been this past week! We started out with getting the laptop to the doctor but he wasn't a good patient so back he had to go for a 2nd round of treatments! So finally, all is well with the laptop and we hope to get a few more years or emails out of the little bugger!

On to 'colds'..yep, Bob and I both have our annual Florida colds! Not fun at all. This cold kept Bob at home for two days on the couch just holding his head up. I did start my Zicam (which I swear by!) and I was doing well until I stopped using the Zicam!

But then on to 'class'! My friend Susan and I attended a 3 day seminar with Ricky Tims! For you non quilter folks, Ricky is a phenomenal quilter and musician! I have one of his CD's titled 'Sacred Age' which I just love. You have to visit his web site and listen to his music (you can click and hear about 30 sec. of some of his songs that he wrote on his web site). Anyway, back to the seminar it was FANTASTIC! I've never been to a 3 day lecture type workshop but I learned so many tips and tricks and new methods to add to my tool box! I can't wait to get home and try some of his techniques. Plus, Ricky is a hoot!! He's a wonderful speaker and can tell story after story of his life and family. The first picture is from Thursday evening where Ricky performs his concert which was WONDERFUL! He played piano, trumpet and a native American flute! And in between told stories of his youth and how he started quilting - all due to his grandma! Anyway, the 3 day seminar was attended by over 400 women (Susan and I tried to count the chairs!). But you felt like you were getting individual lessons and this was all done in the most organized run seminar or workshop I've ever attended. I would definitely take a class from him in the future and would LOVE to go to his retreat in Colorado sometime.
In addition to Ricky, Libby Lehman conducted 3 sessions as well. This is one of her latest quilts and it was spectacular!! Each circle was cut out to reveal a lighter fabric underneath. She finished it with a 9mm satin stitch (only some of the high end Bernia's have this large of a satin stitch). It was a stunning and beautiful quilt. A method I will be trying this next year.

This next picture is the quilt that Ricky's father and he made together. His father made the Lone Star pattern in the center then Ricky added the applique feathers and of course his signature quilting which is BEAUTIFUL!! I've seen this quilt in person before and I've always loved it. Also, check out this link to CBS Sunday Morning. They did an interview with Ricky last year and there's some pics from the IQA show in Houston. It's about a 5-7 min. clip but quite interesting for folks who aren't familiar with quilting and those who are! Get that cup of coffee or tea and watch it.
I have lots of other pictures but you can see both Libby and Ricky's work on their web sites. Alex Anderson (Simple Quilts) also had 2 or 3 sessions and she is just as nice as could be!

So now it's Cleaning time! Yep, we're getting ready to head out on Tues. morning to head back home to good old Michigan! Let's hope spring is in the air and we won't have snow upon arrival! We're not ready for any cold, snowy weather that's for sure. I have the back seat of the car already packed up with ALL my sewing and painting supplies; bed area is ready for Mandy and Grace; Mandy had her bath this afternoon (now I need to comb her out! Ugh..that's TV work for tonight!). Tomorrow, we'll pack up our clothes and last minute items and be ready for take off!
It's always sad to leave Florida and our old friends and new friends. Our life is is so different from our life back in Michigan...but I guess that's what makes it so special

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crash! Then Withdrawal!

Well, we've been without our computer for the past few days! Talk about withdrawal! Yep, we are addicted to our computer and the Internet...but it's a good thing. It's a great tool for communicating with family and friends and learning new things...with all my art work packed away I was ready to go out of my mind! But I did have hand work to do which was a good thing. I also got some more laundry finished and items ready to be packed up for the move back home so I guess it wasn't a wasted time.

Back to our lives for the past few days. On Sunday, Bob and I went with our friends Sammy and Peggy to a Antique Car Show and Horse show all in one! The cars were really unique and in pristine shape. Actually, one of the gentleman is from here in the community but is also someone Bob knew from Davison, Michigan. His name is Dick Marr and he has a rare cycle car. You'll have to click on the writeup picture to read about this vehicle. It was really a sight to see. Dick takes this car all over and was in Flint, Michigan in July 2008 at the car show. With the ties back to Walter P. Chrysler, Dick certainly has a lot of history in his family. He was telling us he has blueprints and letters all pertaining to this vehicle. I'd love to see some of that history!
This is Dick with the 1914 Buick/Marr Cycle Car!
I kept waiting for Bonnie and Clyde to step out of one of these vehicles!

Is this classy or what!

There was an animal rescue league that had parrots, tortoise and other wild animals on display. This was a wolf that kept howling. I really felt bad for him..just because he wasn't out in the wild anymore.
This little fox was precious!!! And far enough away from the wolf, thank goodness!
The horse show consisted of two and four horse driving teams. I've seen this event only on TV so it was really interesting to see them navigate the entire wagon and team in person. Each obstacle was measured and there were only inches to clear with the wagon. Quite impressive in horsemanship. I'm not able to upload the video of one of the teams today. I'll try again tomorrow sometime.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Ramblings

Check out this picture Bob took before 7 this a.m. Isn't it neat!! I think back home we are just too busy to take time to see what we see here in Florida. Guess that's what vacations are all about, isn't it! Taking time to see and appreicate things and each other. So yesterday, Bob and his buddies went outside the community to golf. I took off in the morning to run some errands then came back to start packing up the sewing room. Well, I finished the entire room in the afternoon! All my sewing supplies, dyes, paints, books, etc. are all packed up and ready to go in the car, with the exception of my fabrics. I put my fabrics in the box our printer is in to protect it and to be able to take more fabric with me!

Around 3:30, I was totally finished (& I had packed one suitcase of turtle necks, etc.) so I was ready for a Margarita to reward myself. But being alone, I didn't think I should start drinking already! So I called my friend, Carol in Michigan, who I haven't talked to in awhile. As we were talking, she said "now you can do handwork since all your artwork is packed up". Well, last night, with nothing on TV and not in the mood to read, I got thinking that I didn't keep any hand work out. So....I went through my fabrics and found this piece that Dawn made (it's discharged with bleach, then stamped with hand made stamps and metallic paints). I found a backing piece, some batting, basted it and started to do some hand stitching on it last night!
This is one of the hand stamped areas where I started some hand work.

Here is another area where I started stitching. I'll stitch all the colored areas and I'll do the old 'stab' stitch in all the black areas as well. You know the saying about 'idle hands are the devils workshop' or something like that! Guess that's why I have to always be busy!

On another friends back home know that I don't shop for clothes. I usually only go shopping twice a year and each time it's with a friend named, Carol. Carol T. takes me shopping about once a year in Michigan and Carol P., here in Florida, takes me often, which is fun. I just don't usually like to never can find anything and the clothes just aren't for us 'mature' women. Well, tomorrow, Sat. Carol P. and I are heading out at 8 AM to go to a big sale at Christopher & Banks! It's 40% off so we couldn't resist. I think this is a hoot just because I don't shop but here I am getting up at 6 Sat. morning, so I can get a 40% bargain on clothes! Go figure!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Frogs Are Traveling!

Whoopee! I'm really excited that my frogs where juried into the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) A Sense of Humor exhibition! The 'frogs' will travel to Houston this fall, then on to Chicago in the spring of 2010 then to California in summer of 2010! All of the juried quilts will be on exhibit at the IQA's (International Quilt Association) shows as part of SAQA's exhibit. Here is a list of the other lucky folks whose work was also accepted:

Pam RuBert was the juror for "A Sense of Humor," which will premiere at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in October. Curator is Pat Gould.

Artists and Works Selected:
Laurie Brainerd -- The American Dream
Judith Busby -- Thanks, Miracle Grow!
Sheri Cooper -- Joan of Park #1
Jamie Fingal -- Molar Eclipse
Monique Gilbert -- No Milk Today
Terry Ann Hartzell -- Jumbo Shrimp
Terry Ann Hartzell -- Sock Poppin' Kickapoo Kangaroo
Beatrice Hughes -- Ties at the Office
Harumi Iida -- Lost Bee
Ellie Kreneck -- At Home with St Jerome and His Lion in West Texas
Pat Kroth -- Sweet
Larrea -- The Dark Side of Quilts
Carol Larson -- Anti-Aging: Chemical Warfare
Salli McQuaid -- Starry Flight
Susie Monday -- Sun Dog and Sea Harpies
Susie Monday -- Too Much Information
V’Lou Oliveira -- Digger's Dream Date
Robbie Payne -- Waiting to be Kissed
Helen Remick -- Walking the Dog
Kim Ritter -- A Snowball's Chance
Joan Sowada -- Late Bloomer Learning to Surf
Joan Sowada -- Busy Purple
Susan Walen -- Self Portrait: If You're Happy & You Know It
Laura Wasilowski -- Threading the Needle
Deborah Weir -- That's A Moray
Marianne Williamson -- Child's
Kathy York -- Duck and Cover

And speaking of frogs...each year in late February or early March, we hear loud (and I do mean loud!) frog noises each night. One year the back yard was covered with baby frogs! This year the frog noise wasn't as bad but still quite loud. We're still hearing them at night but haven't seen too many of them in the yards. This little guy was on the front glass door about a week ago. He sat on the storm door for the longest time and finally moved his little legs close to his body just after I took this shot. Guess he was in for the night! His body is so translucent looking that it's kinda weird looking! Or down right scary!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How the French celebrate St. Pat's day!

Our Host, Mr. O'Plante!
What another great evening last night at the O'Plante's! Yep, the French certainly know how to celebrate and entertain! This was the centerpiece Marilyn had on the table. I can't remember the name of it now, darn!! Didn't take my stickie's with me!
Marilyn outdid herself with all the hostess favors and the beautiful table setting. Everyone had their own personal 'green' tinted carmel corn bag and Hersey candies.

And the main course!! The corned beef was wonderful! And that's saying a lot from this non beef eater! Of course, my sitting partner, Mr. O'Newman did encourage me to try the corn beef (again and again!). It was great! We had potatoes, carrots, soda bread and cream cheese/jello mold with a shamrock on top! I can't say enough what a wonderful job Marilyn did on this meal!
Here are our Hostess and Host! Thank you both, again!!! What a fun evening!!!
Mrs. Verna O'Newman made a wonderful cheesecake and chocolate covered strawberries which were delicious!! The cheesecake was to die for!!!
And here are the O'Ziel's! This is my QBF (quilting best friend!)

And here's Mr. O'Hamill. He had to sit in the corner as he was misbehaving! No really...Pat's better half was home ill with a very bad sinus infection. Hope you feel better Mrs. Pat!! We missed you but I'll bring margarita's to our get together in 2010!
And here are the O'Miller's along with Susan. Of course Larry was in his usual mischievous mood...telling blonde jokes! That's ok...Jan and I had our own 'blonde' stories to tell!
We had such a great time with all of these folks. We're going to miss spending time with each of them but look forward to next year to meet up with them all again!! And to Marilyn and John, THANK YOU again!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Busy day today as to get roots dyed then back home to make some appetizer's to take to St. Patrick's dinner at John and Marilyn's tonight. There will be five or six couples enjoying the great food that Marilyn makes and and being entertained by each other! We're looking forward to this last get together with this group for 2009. So enjoy the 'green' today as we will!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Discovery Launch

Bob and I decided to go to Steak 'n Shake and pick up a milkshake last night then back to the house to watch Discovery launch. Well, actually we were going to take the golf cart to one of the holes on the golf course which sits up quite high. We heard you can see the launch from that particular spot on the course. So off we head with Mandy in tow to Steak 'n Shake. I stayed in the car with Mandy with over 30 min. while Bob waited to get our shakes. It's now 7:41 p.m. and we figured we would miss seeing the launch. As we turned right onto the highway, we looked up in the sky and what did we see!!! Plumes of gigantic smoke and the booster rockets dropping off from Discovery!!! We caught a red light so we could sit and watch for a few seconds. What a sight!!!! I took a few pictures with my camera phone but they won't mean anything to anyone. As we traveled up the highway, we could still follow the rocket which was awesome. I've never seen anything like this and now I can understand why folks will travel and wait so long to watch the launch in Florida. If you missed any of the launch, go to the NASA website and look at the videos. Something to see!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday and countdown

I forgot to post about a vendor at the Master Garden show yesterday. This young lady has wonderful handmade pottery that looks like wood. Check out her web site at Leaping Lizards Pottery . I just love this piece on her web site and she had one almost identical at the show. I really had to keep my hands in my pocket because I wanted this vase badly. The artist, Jennifer Browning, also has garden lanterns that are just as beautiful. She does ship anywhere!!! So who knows.....

Sunday is suppose to be a day of rest but I'd settle for a night of rest! Bob and I both feel like we're sleep deprived! Remember those days of getting up with babies every 2 or 3 hours..well, that's what it seems we do every night. No wonder we wake up tired in the morning. When you do wake up at night it's SO hard to go back to sleep. I lay awake for at least one to two hours, then sleep, then wake up again to start this cycle all over again. Who says old folks don't need sleep!

Well, our time in Florida is counting down. We have so many folks we want to see 'one more time' before we go home. Our social calendar is getting full but that's OK, we can rest when we get back to Michigan and settle into our old routine again. The next two and a half weeks are going to be very busy. We usually meet with Ron, MJ and kids in Clermont (half way point for both of us) while they are in Orlando for spring break. I also have a 3 day workshop that same week with Ricky Tims, Libby Lehman and Alex Anderson so it's going to be very busy for sure! Not quite sure when I'll do the packing! Maybe when I wake up at night I should just get up and pack! Now there's an idea! Waste not, want not!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday At The Master Garden Show

What a beautiful day for the Master Garden show and such stunning flowers! It's a good thing I don't live here in Florida, because each year I want to buy one of every flower I see at this show! The show is held at the Livestock Pavilion and vendors are set up in tents, which gives you some shade...yes, the sun shines here in Florida and it was 82 today when I got home so I'm sure it was warmer then that earlier in the afternoon. Again a nice pleasant breeze along with the shade of the tents and trees made it a wonderful day to be outdoors.
Just another shot of a vendors area.
Of course the Orchids are my most favorite,in addition to the Amarillo flowers. Check out the size of these! I almost purchased one to take home..and to be honest I was going to go back on the way out but I forgot!! I need stickie notes on my forehead!! vendor suggested I just purchase an Amarillo bulb from WalMart back in Michigan and see how it does. Because you can bring the bulb in during the winter months, she thought it would work just fine. I just might try that this spring.

This was a beauty! And gigantic!
And here is my favorite plants...orchids
This one looked like velvet and was spectacular!

Friday, March 13, 2009

One lost day but gardening the next!

Seems like Friday just flew by or did I lose it! I received this email from my son on Friday. I've mentioned before Gary who Darrin and his family have sent 'care' packages to Iraq for he and his platoon. Gary is back in Michigan now and went to Amber's school. Here's the note from Darrin and the letter Amber wrote to Gary.
"Mum, thought you would enjoy this note from Amber to Mr. Gary…he stopped by her class on Thursday to thank the kids and talk with them about his job in Iraq and also explain how the children of Iraq live and what their school is like. She really enjoyed the time…he had Amber read all the questions from each of the kids and then she walked his Cover (hat) around so the kids could see it up close."

Well, Friday Bob and I left early to go to Cracker Barrel for our favorite breakfast...pecan pancakes, eggs (no egg beaters this time!), potato casserole and crisp bacon! I brought half mine home so I didn't feel quite as bad. We won't say what my better half did! After breakfast, we headed out to do some shopping (remember I said I was with my hubby!) then to Publix for some groceries. When I got home, I started some laundry, vacuumed, mopped the floor then bathed Mandy. Her 'hair' drying takes over 45 min. so I dried her out on the Lani while sitting. Boy, that made it easier for sure! Afterwards, I finished up the quilting on my Musings piece for a SAQA exhibit. Let's hope after all this work it gets juried in. I'm rushing to finish it by the 24th as it has to be in the mail on the 25th! My machine isn't cooperating so I was holding my breath finishing up the quilting on it.

So today, Carol and I are going to the Master Gardener Show in Ocala. We attend this show every year and it's really quite nice. Over 60 or 70 vendors and lots and lots of flowers plus unusual outdoor and indoor decorations. Carol purchased the most unique piece for her front porch one year. I should get a picture and post it. So off I go...places to go, things to do and people to see!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yep, this is my 'baby'! I give Darrin a lot of credit for continuing his workouts and races. He now has his own blog type page for his races. As a family, we're all so used to Darrin racing, we take for grated all he's accomplished. Now I can 'refresh' my memory by going to his web page. Quite interesting! Keep up the great work, son!!! He certainly is setting a good example for the kids as does Kris. Kris and Darrin keep the kids involved in working out and take them to the gym usually on the weekends. Too bad they can't take grandma and get her in better shape!
Yesterday, Carol and I did some shopping after lunch at Panera's and a stop at Michael's. Of course, Bob was jealous he didn't get to go shopping! Only kidding! So today is working some more on my Musings piece. I must stay home and work on it for sure today. We have the Master Garden show this weekend which Carol and I attend yearly.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm a day behind! On Monday, Susan and I had a very enjoyable afternoon purchasing fabric and having lunch, of course! You know we 'girls' have to keep our energy level up. We started the morning off driving to the Whippoorwill Station quilt shop in Belleview, about 30 min. from here. We've been to this shop a few times and it's a cheery, friendly store. Nice and bright inside and lots of fabrics to choose from. I still needed some fabric for the 'graduation' quilt and I did find one of the two I was looking for. Actually, I found some binding fabric as well.
Our next stop was for lunch! Which was right next door...really, you literally walk into the little restaurant through an open doorway from the quilt shop. It's called Presto Espresso and I had a fantastic chicken salad sandwich and an espresso, of course! Susan had the turkey club which she said was very good as well.
My lunch! Chicken breast chunks and dried cherries along with celery, etc. Yum! Can you tell I love food!!

So after we were refreshed we headed back to Ocala and stopped at another quilt shop in Ocala, called Tomorrow's Treasures. This quilt shop is close to home and nice to be able to run to. It too is a nice store and a Bernia dealer. I found the 2nd fabric I needed for the quilt which made me happy. So I'm not mentioning Susan's purchases! Yes, she did purchase some great pieces as well. Susan does hand work and hand applique so she picks up fat quarters and some yardage. She has a beautiful stain glass picture that she's going to make into an applique piece this coming summer and she did find some nice fabrics for that. Her current project consists of 256! two inch squares! 256!! It's stunning and she's in the process of getting ready to hand quilt it. Susan will be entering this quilt in shows so I won't post pictures until after her first win. I held back taking a picture because of that. Maybe I'll sneak just one of the squares so everyone can appreciate the work involved.

So that night after working hard fabric shopping, Bob and I decided @ 6:00 p.m. to go to Cody's for dinner...bad mistake...we ate all the wrong food and had Bloody Mary's which felt like they weighed a ton...then last night, Tuesday, Larry and Jan invited us out to dinner again. But actually, we ate 'better' and had a really good meal. I had a Kicken' Chicken salad with black beans, corn, cheese, grilled chicken and it was quite good. Bob had fish and grilled vegetables. We actually ate better and felt good! OK, so truth be known, Larry treated us to Dairy Queen!!! We haven't had a Blizzard in a year so that was quite a nice treat. We had our 'ice cream' treats and nice conversation then headed home. Larry and Jan are so much fun to be around and we're going to miss them along with so many of our other Ocala friends.

Our weather has been just perfect this past week. It's in the high 70's or low 80's every day..clear sky and just beautiful. So that's all until tomorrow. Today is quilting day on my Musings piece...lots of work left to do and I need to have finished by the 3rd week in March!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fabric Shopping Day

This picture has no special place on my blog today...I just like it!
Susan and I are off to go fabric shopping. I'll post our adventures tomorrow. Beautiful morning today and high of 80's expected today. We've had some beautiful weather this past week and look forward to more. We're 'discussing' staying longer but still haven't made up our mind...not sure the rental house would even be available so lots of ifs!
Darrin had his race this past weekend and here is just part of his email I received this a.m. on results: "between our two teams we grabbed an 8th & 9th Over All (31 total CP’s) out of 85 teams and then 3rd place finish in the Male/Male team division. Our team walked away with a nice pair of SALOMON XT-Wings $120 value, so that’s not a bad thing for a 6hr day in the woods/rain!" When I talked to him on Sat. p.m. he said his bones were still cold!

I'm really proud he takes on this challenge and at the same time he's taking care of his body by the training he does. Too bad it doesn't rub off on his 'mum'!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weavers Guild Meeting

It's taken me quite sometime to upload pics in blogger today. I can't spend more time on computer so just look at the pictures and enjoy! I apologize if I don't have every one's description or name...
Pat made a name tag using card stock and the round one was made with her crayon/milk soaked fabric from last month. .

The pic on the right is a present given to me by Susan! She saved me some of her fabric scraps and gave me a box of pastel crayons her hubby picked up! How nice! You know I love the simple things in life and I was really excited to get this present!!!! Thanks again Susan!!
This is Tilly and is always there to greet us! She's a sweetheart (as as her mom, Caryl, who has hosted our group the past three months)! Thanks, Caryl!

Ladies working on their weaving 101 that Theo showed us today! Thanks, Theo!!
These are Susan's quilts for her guest bedroom. Really her sewing room but it transitions into a guest room beautifully.

Book and woven piece by Alice Griswold.

A beautiful Hawaii applique being worked on.

Would you believe this woven piece is by the Queen of Purple? Yep, when she was 15! It's her first woven piece.

This is a baby blanket that Betty made.

This is Betty's dishtowel for another weavers challenge. They had to make 27 I believe!

This is Betty's 'recipe' for the dishtowel.
A beautiful card made by one of the weaver's stamping friends. Really nice!

I tried to 'steal' this stamp! It's either very similar to the handmade wood stamps (Tjaps) from Indonesia or it actually is one. Really cool!!!

Guess who! Yes, she made the shoe laces and I'd assume the cuffs on her socks!
Caryl is crocheting this baby blanket. It's just the sweetest.
This was a small loom around 5 or 6"

Another loom..hope that's the right terminology!

These are some woven purses from Theo.

And some crayon/milk soaked fabric put to use! Both of these were made by Theo.