My Favorite Books

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yea, we're here!

Well, we made it to Florida on Thursday around 1:30. We left Michigan with snow and some rain/sleet mixture but all in all it was a pretty easy trip. No traffic hangups.
Our little one looked like she was ready to get settled in, doesn't she! Actually, Kalee handled the trip really well for her first time! She slept the entire time in the car until we would take her out for breaks. She was confused about where we were but in the end she is now settled in like the Florida house is her old house! I'll be updating her blog with pics later...some are quite cute!
This is what the back of our car looked like on Tuesday when we left home.
And just to show some Christmas gifts! This is a wreath Nick made. Isn't it special..he said it took 300 sandwich bags! It's hard to show up on our white doors but best picture I could take in a hurry. Thanks, Nick!
Our wonderful neighbors Lori and Randy got us these Christmas ornaments! Long story on the spelling of Kalee's name...blame it on my room mate! That's ok...he still doesn't know what color my eyes are!

So weather is perfect here in Ocala...yesterday it was 72 last I looked at temp and this a.m. Kalee and I already took our walk, ran in the back yard, came in and she had to have another mini bath (even with dog boots on she got wet and dirty from dew and lawn!). Today I'm going to get my sewing room set up so I can start on Monday back to art work!! I'm having withdrawal for sure! Our dance cards are already filling up with dinners and parties but that's our Florida life! Now I know what I just want to stay home when we get back to Michigan! We are on the go constantly in Florida! Vacation is tough isn't it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Wonderful Christmas!

What a great Christmas Eve with our family! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Most likely my last blog post until we hit Florida next week! Today Bob's daughter and hubby will be here, tomorrow we pack up the car and we head out on Tues. Actually, I'm looking forward to resting these old bones for a few days. Until then enjoy the holiday season!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas One and All!

Happy holidays to all my blogger and Internet friends. We've had a great year learning from each other and being inspired by each other. I always say I don't need to leave home to learn or get excited about art work. All I have to do is log on!

No, it's not Bob and I - YET! But who could be us one day except I think Bob would be driving the golf cart and pulling me behind him! We did have a light dusting of snow last night so it does look a bit like Christmas. But at least the roads aren't bad for folks traveling.
Table is set, food is ready and I'm not so patiently waiting for the kids to arrive. Kalee and dad are taking a small nap so it's pretty quiet right now.
I'm also getting antsy to start working on my art projects! Seems like forever that I had a needle in my hands! Knitting is a good project to have on hand so guess I'll work on that for awhile. Again, Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yes, another recipe!

I spent the day preparing for Christmas Eve with my kids and packing up some items for our trip.
I also made this Black and White Bark candy which is a recipe from Tommy F. on Tommy Cooks blog. Tommy's recipes are usually very easy to make and this one is as well. Plus, it's very good! I saved a few pieces for Bob and I and we've already eaten them.
I honestly can't believe the wonderful weather we've had lately! No real snow to speak of and temps up until today were in the 40's. Today it was only in the low 20's but Kalee and I did go for a walk. She wore her boot and coat (I'll post pics on her blog shortly. She loves the cold weather. Fortunately, the Ocala weather in the winter isn't in the 80's very often. Which is fine with me as well. The weather there always reminds me of spring weather or early summer with temps in the 70's. Always a breeze and never humid in the winter. Perfect for this snow bird.
Well, I might have to steal a piece of candy from my container for tomorrow! Hope no one misses another piece or two!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What a tree!

check out this 'tree'! This is what my brother-in-law (Uncle Dale as he is referred to by my kids!) used as their Christmas tree this year! Dale's wife, Darlene, thought this large branch would make a perfect tree and she was right! Look at the next picture!
Now this is a true "waste not, want not"! How perfect is this tree! I think it's so clever and just beautiful in its own right!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Work from the past

Honestly, I was busy quilting up until last Friday, when I finished a Christmas quilt. No, this isn't a picture of it! I can't post a picture until after we get to Florida. So that's another post! Now it's no more art work until after the 1st of the year when we get settled in Florida.

Today I was looking through some old CD's and found some quilts I made a few years ago that I've almost forgotten about!
The one on the left was for the Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational from 2002. The theme was 'Oriental' and I created my design based on a Chinese Christmas card I received from someone I used to work with, Harry. I always love receiving his Christmas cards and I've saved every one he has sent.
The flowers were fused double pieces of fabric that I colored with oil pastel crayons. I added foiling for the designs inside the triangles and couched some type of threads (can't remember now!) around the circle area. I did some hand quilting...very minor but it turned out pretty good.

So next I found this quilt I made for my DIL's brother when he got married in 2000 for a wedding gift! I did forget about this one until I saw it on the CD. This was a pattern from Beth Farrier who used to teach at Davison Fabrics. Beth has written several books and is great at machine applique work. She's also a hoot to take a class from!

The quilt was made of homespun fabric which was fun to work with! NOT! But it did turn out quite nice.And this next one is another pattern from Beth but I used all 'old' fabrics and scraps I had on hand. In fact, some of the flowers are made of fabric from my daughter's graduation dress (I think it was a dress!) I made in 1984! See only part of my brain isn't functioning!
I made the backing from an old sheet and I was/am hand quilting this one. I don't have more than four or five unfinished pieces/quilts (it's the Catholic guilt thing, you know!) but this is one that is not finished. It is laying on top of the toy box in our downstairs living space. I do see it but then I don't really see it!! So there it remains unfinished...but I guess all quilters have one quilt not finished. Someday...maybe...or maybe someone else will finish it for me so I have something to cover with when I get to the nursing home. Let's hope!
So now it's back to running last minute errands like shopping, post office, etc. Then to start getting items put in the computer room to have ready for the space saver bags. I love those things! All my sewing and art supplies are ready for the car and I'll start packing some of my 'spring/summer' clothes. Heaven knows we can't wear them here in Michigan now! Temps are in the 20's again but that's winter and to be expected. Well, back to seeing what other quilts I've made that I forgot about!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a weekend!

My last overnight 'date night' with the kids this weekend. We had a great time and it was Kalee's first 'sleepover' (you can read about her weekend here on her blog). The kids were great! Auntie and I split the time as Darrin and Kris went up north for a few days to get away. I have to say the kids were just great and I had so much fun! So now our countdown to leaving for the winter!! It's always bittersweet as I love going to Florida but I do hate leaving the kids. Thank goodness for SKYPE!! Makes the time away and missing everyone not quite so bad.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yes, I've been busy!

Yes, I've been busy and some of it has to do with uploading pics to blogger. I'm too lazy to redo/upload again so the pic to the left of the shawl will be explained further down in this post! It's a Berroco free pattern...

So on Wednesday I stayed with the kids and my son for dinner...carry out from one of our favorite Italian restaurants...yum. We had a nice evening together. Kids and I started to play Monopoly before dinner and got some more playing in after. We had 'dad' be the banker but then 7:00 p.m. came and my car was turning into a pumpkin so Darrin put all our bank cards and property in sandwich bags so we can play out the game this weekend. I'm staying overnight with the kids while Darrin and Kris go away for a quick weekend. Auntie has kids tonight and will get them again on Sunday.

I had to post pics of Spike! Is he cute or what! I think he's the neatest pet. Darrin brings him down to feed him at night and to let him walk around some.

He also likes to climb on my son's back! And almost made it down my son's pants!

This was one of my chores this wash Bob's golf hats so he 'shines' on the golf course in Florida!
These are only the ones I washed! Bob must have 20+ hats he takes to Florida with him...along with 8 pairs of shoes (at least!).
In between at night, I've been knitting again. I found some yarn I purchased last year but forgot all about it! Hard to believe, I know! This is a ribbon type yarn and really is quite pretty in person. I've made this pattern's called a Ponshawl and it's quite easy to knit up. The free pattern is by Berroco and this is my 3rd one. The other two I made using Berroco's suede yarn. The first pic in this post is the one I made last year.

This is the purple/green suede one I made about 3 or 4 years ago.

So that's been my week so far! I actually got all my sewing supplies or at least 95% of them packed and ready for the car! We're leaving on the 27th so we try to get our toys packed up first. Clothes don't get pack until the day before we leave! We have this packing down to a science so it's not really traumatic for us anymore! Well, have to pack some more...for the weekend! Kalee's toys, bed and crates will take me longer to load in the car than anything!

Monday, December 12, 2011

ATC's - support a good cause!

I wrote a post on Karen Stiehl Osborn's call for ATC's to support one of the animal rescues she is involved with. I did make some ATC's and sent to Karen and I also purchased the following two ACT's for myself.
The first is by Virginia Spiegel, who most of you are familiar with. If not, do check out the work Virginia has produced.

The 2nd ATC is by Rhonda Baldwin and she does wonderful work! You have to check out her web site. I copied this from Karen's blog...for those who know me, you'll understand why I purchased this ATC after you read her inspiration note below. "Duke was our beloved German Shepherd that we lost in 2008 at the age of 15. He was a wonderful, loving, loyal friend that I still miss every day. Duke helped to raise our two children and became an excellent running companion for my husband. He lived a long, full life with us and never gave up despite seizures and bad hips until finally he just couldn't go on, and we had to let him go. We look forward to the day when we will see him again. It was hard on all of us but especially our female shepherd, Skye, who had never been without him. She mourned his passing almost more than we did, but eventually we brought a new boy to our home, and Zeus came to live with us almost 3 years ago. We simply cannot express how much joy our canine companions bring to our lives."

This card is for our Mandy girl...I just couldn't pass it up. All the sediments in Rhonda's quote certainly made me shed another tear or two. So if you are in the giving mood, PLEASE stop by Karen's blog and purchase one of the ATC's she has for sale. If you can't afford to support, at least read some of the posts on these animals. Folks don't realize the cost involved with rescuing dogs. Some have major health issues, abuse or just general care to get them to the point they can be adopted. As I tell the grand kids all the time, "animals can't get up and get their own drink of water or plate of food. They depend on us!" We have to take care of kudos's to Karen for her work in helping and taking care of these rescued animals!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recipe Time

Well, I was a bit under the weather..started with ANOTHER sore throat Monday and just felt really bad yesterday. Lots of aspirin, orange juice and just rested all day yesterday. Still slight sore throat today but at least I feel like I have some energy! Not having a cold for TWO years has me spoiled! Guess I'm making up for it!

I love making appetizer's and of course Bob and I love to eat so...these are two recipes that I love, love, love. So much so it's what we had for dinner the other day! The first is a corn salsa from Food Network Magazine that is awesome. I made this when my sister came to visit this summer and now I always keep some frozen corn in the freezer just in case!

And this next dish is SO, SO, good! Our friend, Jan, from Florida made this for us a few years ago and shared the recipe. At Bonefish Grill, they have this as one of their appetizers and Jan found the recipe. Again, it's from Food Network! The shrimp is delicious and the sauce is just the best! If you're looking for some appetizers for the holidays, these can't be beat! And you just thought I beaded!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kalee's Cousin

Before I introduce another new member to our extended sure to check out Nancy's Quilting Potpourri blog! Nancy is having a give away of her vintage books. Nancy made these Christmas Gluebooks from an online class and they are adorable! I'm looking forward to meeting Nancy when we get to Florida this winter. She does some very unique work from traditional quilting to art quilting to using vintage pictures in books.
Well, my sister went and did it!! She joined the "I want a puppy club"!! Here is her newest addition...she's a 2 lb Pomeranian puppy called Sherry! Is she cute or what!! Last I skyped my sister, she told me how exhausted she was! We can sure identify with that! Our little one is getting better and better each that, I mean she's not having us play with her 16 hours a day! We're down to 12!

This is Sherry upside down sleeping next to my sister! All fur!!!!
Kalee is doing well after her surgery and I'm actually able to knit at night! Quilting during the day too! I'll hold off doing any beading until we get to Florida! Our snow is all gone now but the ground is so wet...lots of rain off and on the past few days. We can't wait for Florida!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Outline stitiching done

I managed to finish the hand stitching around my leaves last night. I talked about the great suggestion by Jill Buckley (The Quilt Rat) on my post here. I really like the look on the leaves now! THANKS so much, Jill!
I'm anxious to get started stitching my other pieces and then attaching them each to the canvas...although, that won't happen until we get to Florida. Just too much going on with the holidays, making a quilt for Christmas (yes, a quilt!), shopping for gifts and packing. The packing of clothes doesn't take place until the day before we leave. That's pretty easy to do. I do start putting together my paints/supplies I want to take with me in a basket as I think of them. I pack those items in the car the day before as well. We have this packing thing down pat, but you have to look at your 'leaving for Florida' list to make sure you've done everything!

So for our Florida friends and my sister (she lives in Penna. and they had 50 degrees yesterday!), here are some shots of Michigan's weather which started a few days ago! You can see more of our Snow Dog on her blog here! What a hoot! Mandy had to be forced to go outside in the snow! This one you have to force to come back inside!
Yes, it's pretty but give me the Florida sunshine! I'm ready!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Not much going on!

Not getting much done at our house this week! You can check out Kalee's blog here to see what we've been up to!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blogs are a great resouce!

I think blogs are great!! I love reading about what other artists are doing and I so enjoy getting comments and suggestions from other bloggers!

Jill Buckley is a wonderful artist whose blog, The Quilt Rat, I read regularly. Jill's workmanship is outstanding! And I enjoy seeing all the different techniques she tries and projects she completes.
I showed my latest BJP butterfly a few weeks ago and Jill sent me a comment on my butterfly and the painted leaves. Jill then followed up with a picture of a quilt where she outlined areas using a running stitch with quilting thread. I took Jill's suggestion and I love the look I'm getting with outlining my leaves. I did start out using one strand of embroidery thread but I didn't care for that so 'unsewing' occurred one evening! On Sunday, I tried to use some black Perle cotton but it was too dark so I tried some gray #8 Perle cotton and I'm quite happy with how the stitching looks! You can see the top leaves with the stitiching and the bottom with not stitching (except the outline quilting).

So on to another blog resource! Mary Corbet sends out daily updates from her Embroidery blog. Mary is another wonderful artist and her embroidery work is beautiful! Her blog is a wonderful resource for stitches, tips, name it and it's on Mary's blog. It's like having an online access to tons of books!
A few weeks ago Mary showed this little Needle Index book that is being sold by the Valley Quail Chapter in California. I ordered one for myself and another one that I gave a friend for her BD. This little book is so cool!
There are 11 or 12 pages of all different needles which give you the name, type of eye and what embroidery or best use for that needle would be. I think we all have our 'favorite' needle(s) but sometimes I forget which I want to use for what type of work. Now I can place on the batting sheet my needles! Or I can at least identify which needle I'm using! With shipping the cost is $10 but I think well worth it. If interested, you can email the Chapter at
We dropped off Kalee at the Vet's this a.m. for her 'female' surgery! She's also getting a few baby teeth pulled so the 'big dog' teeth can come in! Geezzzz always something isn't it!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A very nice Thanksgiving week!

It was a really nice Thanksgiving week for sure! Weather was beautiful so kids driving up from Indiana at least had decent weather. Although, it's raining today and Ron/family do have to drive home but at least it's not snow!
I was a bit preoccupied with cooking and taking video's of Ben and Kalee so I didn't get any pictures of Ian or Ron and MJ. This is Ian's school picture and boy is he tall! Ian is already 5' 10" and becoming quite the young man! He's a great kid and we always enjoy having the family around.
Below are pics of Kayla and her boyfriend, Nate. They are a really cute couple and nice young folks as well! This was the first time we got to meet Nate and we did enjoy the time with him as well.
Of course Kalee loved everyone! Go figure! I did post some video's on Kalee's blog that are a hoot of her and Ben (the kids dogs).
Today is catchup day of bills, cleaning and eating lots of leftovers, which isn't all that bad! Busy week, as usual, coming up and I hope to get some sewing done.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We certainly have so much to be thankful for daily and I try to thank the Big Guy above on a daily basis. So today we'll all be reminded to be thankful for what we have and even for what we don't have! My daughter is going to her SIL's for dinner today. We usually go to my son's on Thanksgiving but today we're staying home and I'm making a small dinner for Bob and I and our neighbors. Our neighbor had major surgery a week ago so we'll share our meal with her and her hubby. They are really good neighbors and take care of our house when we're gone. I told her it was 'meals on wheels' today! Kids are up from Indiana and they'll be coming over for a full Thanksgiving this weekend so I get to cook two dinners this week! Fine with us as we love leftovers!
So enjoy your Thanksgiving day with family and friends. We will be for sure.