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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This and that!

My friend, Susan, had a little medical scare the other day...she's doing ok (so far!) and so I made her this little card today. Her computer died so I know she won't see the card online before I get it delivered to her house.
And then...long story....but my grand daughter took her first sewing class at JoAnn's a few weeks ago. They made a pillow case and she sent it to me for Valentines! I finally received it (that's the long story on the route it took from Michigan!) last week so I wanted to thank her again!! And it's signed so grandma will always remember when and who made this beautiful pillow case!!! Thank you, Sweet Pea!!! I love the pillow case and will keep it forever!!!!!

I'm making progress on my loom beaded bracelet.
And check out the Valentine card I receive from my friend, Karen, back in Michigan! I love ginkgo leaves so this is very special. Thanks, Karen!!
Today I'm just playing with bead embroidery, looking at some designs and next I'll do some more stitching on my Georgia piece. I have some ideas for quilting the piece but won't start anything until I have all the areas stitched around the leading.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tioga Winter Art Festival

Today Carol and I took off for our annual Tioga art festival. This is usually one of the highlights of my winter here in Florida. I love this art fair but...due to weather not being the best today (drizzle and overcast) there were hardly any visitors out and even the vendors seem to have gone home!
BUT...there were a few vendors that I haven't seen before and that I was totally impressed by!
The first is stained glass mosaics by Bonnie Morse! Check out this picture of a horse she just finished...but better than that check out her web site and the horse that appears on her home page!! Her mosaics have lighting behind them that makes her pieces come alive!!! Go to her 'contact' page and drag your mouse over the bear!! You'll be totally amazed!
I almost didn't want to put the picture up I took because of my photography inabilities! My picture doesn't do Bonnie's work justice!
In addition to being a most talented artist, Bonnie is also one of the nicest artists I've met! What a delightful lady! All this in one bundle!
So after seeing Bonnie's horse, I kept telling Carol, "I love that horse...I want that horse!" Carol dragged me to some other tents and the next talent we found was Susan Torgerson James! Susan creates silk scarves that were to die for!! Now I've done silk painting w/resist before and the process isn't as easy as it appears in the finished product. Susan's scarves were just a beautiful array of colors! Each silk scarf more beautiful than the last!

Susan doesn't have a web page (yet!) but you can contact her via email ( She does custom apparel as well and if you're in the Gainesville area, give her a shout!
Another vendor that we have seen each year is Small House Pottery. Carol purchased one of their cobbler bowls last year and this year she bought a beautiful deep dish pie pan. Their glazes are so unique as are their pieces. They'll actually be in South Haven Michigan in Sept. driving all the way from their home base in Texas!
So basically those were the only vendors that really impressed me this year. We did have a pleasant afternoon but not the usual walking about as normal. We decided next year we'll watch the weather better and then decide what day to go.
All in all it was a busy weekend...Susan and I did go to a quilt show in Belleview on Saturday and I'll post some of those pictures one of these days along with other pics I've been forgetting to post! Off to do some beading!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Frog time!

No I didn't have too many margarita's last night! What you see is what we saw and I was lucky enough to get a picture of! This is a new form of frog jumping!
Actually, this is what I saw when letting Kalee out last night. When we rented the other house in Ocala Palms several years ago, we'd always see and hear lots of frogs around the end of February. This is the first year we've seen them at Larry's in the 3 years we've been here.

Actually, one of these little fellows joined us in the bedroom the other night! We were laying in bed and Bob said "something is wet"...turned out it was a little frog that jumped on his arm! So after a little "hide and go seek" with a frog, we finally found the little guy and 'encouraged' him to go spend the night in the lanai! The next morning he was let out to join his frog mates! Thank goodness Kalee hasn't seen these little guys yet...actually, she has but it's been on the street and they don't look as good as our house guests!
It's very breezy here today, slightly humid and temps suppose to get in the 80's but it's suppose to cool down (in the 70's! That's a cool down!) so all is well. I have to upload some many pics and I'm way behind but just too busy "for pin curls" as they used to say! Anyone heard of that saying before? Maybe my great aunt just made it up...anyway, this gal better get in the shower and get her day started!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

National Margarita Day? & beading!

So who knew! There's really such a thing as National Margarita Day! As it turned out we did go to our favorite Margarita 'fountain' last night with Carol and Tony. We just didn't know we were celebrating anything! We had lots of laughs and good food and drinks, as usual.
But because I didn't know February 22nd was National Margarita Day, we are all going out again tonight! Jan and Larry are over and our foursome has turned into a night on the town with several other couples. So it looks like it will be another margarita night! Fine with me!

I started another cuff on the loom in black and white AND I'm using 6lb Fireline and Silamide thread. I can already feel this is going to turn out more flexible than my last cuff. So I'm thinking it could be because of the 8lb fireline used in the warp??

Sherry from Createology suggested I might do some research on the FireMoutain web site. Sherry thought she remembers seeing some tips/hints on the use of different types of thread and use of Fireline. Thanks, Sherry! I'm going to check that out.
My pics are out of order...I was going to show the cuff I finished but here's the binding I added on my FMQ'ing challenge piece. It was actually one of the fat quarters that Beth gave me (from the art quilt group in Summerfield). I usually put on a contrast color binding but decided I just wanted to keep this piece 'quiet'! It's small enough to use back home in one of the rooms to set something on!
So here's my cuff finished and the ring I made to go with it. The colors are prettier in person. Very rich with the different shades of gold.
Well, I best get moving...I did do some cleaning and two loads of laundry so far...but I'm much prefer to be that's what I'm doing next. Later I'll take Kalee on her 'long' walk then shower and get ready to celebrate Margarita Day, one day late! Life's tough but someone has to do it! And if you didn't know about Margarita Day yesterday, go have one (or two) today! Birthday's can be late so why not celebrating a holiday late!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ocala in the news!

Yes, Ocala is in the news a lot lately...not only for one of the Bachelorettes (she was/is from Ocala) on the Bachelor TV show but...
Cyndi over at Beading Arts posted on requesting bead shop owners or bead shop clients to let her know about local bead shops! Well, you know how much I just love The Bead Strand here in Ocala so of course I sent her information. Cyndi posted on our wonderful bead shop on her blog today! Check it out here! I think it's so great that Cyndi is promoting our local shops! It's funny, because I don't shop online for beads! Go figure! I shop for most everything else and I would if The Bead Strand had online shopping (which they may in the future!).
We do need to support our local bead shops (and other local businesses) so that's why I spend the $$'s here in Ocala! I knew there was a reason I was spending so much money during the winter!
I'm really looking forward to seeing other local shops that Cyndi posts on. You might also be interested so make sure you join Cyndi's blog(s)! and follow her so you don't miss anything. She always has lots of tutorials and tips to share as well as free ebooks and those you can purchase! I have several of her ebooks and reference them. Thanks, Cyndi!! Can't wait for the next bead shop post!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vist with my sister!

I'm hoping this will become my 'annual' visit with my sister in Florida each year! Sure beats one of us driving 6-8 hours from Michigan to Pennsylvania! My sister and her partner only live 114 miles from Ocala so it's an easy trip...especially while listening to a book on my Ipod! Kalee slept the entire way, which was a good thing! She and her 'cousins' played the entire time we were visiting!
My sister, MaryAnn, made dinner for 10 of us and the dinner was wonderful!!! We had "pork" (NOT! actually chicken, which is another story); fingerling potatoes, asparagus, the best salad ever, grilled shrimp and rum cake for dessert (made by a wonderful neighbor). The company and food were SO good and we had more laughs than I can remember! although, usually my time with Mary Ann and Nancy end up in laughs so last night was another one of those nights!
The lanai was all set with the table setting and there were two heaters so everyone would be comfortable at night! They were perfect! This is Nancy's mom...she and Kalee became good friends.

We started off with appetizers, one being bruschetta which was made by a neighbor! And Christmas sausage, roasted pepper dip/crackers and I'm sure more that I don't remember! I have to apologize because I won't/don't remember every one's names so I'm not putting any ones names down on this post!!

Here we are out on the lanai having dinner. You should have seen the sunset in person! It was beautiful!

I arrived around noon on Monday and Kalee got to meet her cousins! This is Sherry introducing herself! The dogs were a hoot! You can see more doggie pics on Kalee's blog here.

And this was my little girl when we got home. She's still taking it easy and sleeping more than she's walking around! Maybe we need to get another puppy to keep her busy! Hmmmm now that's an idea!
Thank you MaryAnn and Nancy again for a WONDERFUL 24 hour visit!!! I had the best time and look forward to our next visit.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

More progress!

Before I get into some of my projects I've been working on...check out the Valentine post card my friend, Carol T made me. Carol has been working in pencil/watercolors/drawing and becoming more than proficient in this medium! She's has taken and continues to take online classes and sure is having fun at it! I can see where it's less mess/fuss than quilting or dyeing/painting fabric! Thanks, Carol!

So here is another FMQ piece I did for the challenge I posted on. I've actually put some binding on this piece (9"x12") but haven't taken that pic yet. I added the circle type feather which was fun to attempt! Some of my feathers look a little funky but it all just takes practice. I haven't been doing much FMQ'ing lately due to beading and baby (Kalee)! Good to have this challenge so I get back in the swing of it.
And for those who follow my blog, you might remember my Georgia on my Mind piece I started for our Master's Exhibit. You can see how it was started or progressed on my old post here.
I had a few minutes (ha!) to kill the other day so I layered the piece and I've started quilting around each of the stained glass pieces (ok, I don't know what else to call them!). I'm still not sure how i want to finish off the quilting on this. I may even do some stab stitching in areas rather than FMQ'ing but who knows.
I do use spray adhesive to sandwich my layers but decided I best put in some safety pins as I haven't a clue when I'll get back to working on the piece. Reason being, I did stop at the bead shop yesterday (The Bead Strand - best bead shop around!) and picked up a clasp to put on my beaded loom bracelet.
Something interesting I found while doing this piece. For my first few pieces, I've used Fireline (6 or 8lb wt) to use for the warp and to sew beads on. The last two pieces I've made on the loom I've used Nymo thread (D)...both of these turned out a lot stiffer than the ones I made using Fireline. Now you'd think the Nymo thread would have a softer feel to I'm going to make another bracelet using this same pattern but use the Fireline. At least I'm thinking that's the only difference I did!
Well, off to bath Kalee so she'll be pretty to meet her cousin!! I'm looking forward to spending time with my sister and her friends! She and Nancy are planning a dinner party for ten people Monday night! Should be fun!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Small world

Yes, it is a small world isn't it. On Tuesday I was invited to do a trunk show at an Art Quilt group in Summerfield. I had such a nice afternoon spending time with another talented group of women. They were very receptive to seeing my art work and I was so happy they shared some of their work with me.
As it turned out, I was talking with one lady about her shibori fabric (pic below). Her name is Kay Sorensen, and as we chatted, we decided we must 'know' each other through our blogs (which was half true). The other half turned out to be our connection was the group quilt, To Market, that we both contributed to!!! Is that funny or what! I'm so glad Kay remembered because I might still not have made the connection. I knew Kay's name from her blog and of course her work. She was also kind enough to post on my trunk show! Thanks, Kay!!! So nice to 'meet' you again!
Kay's shibori fabrics were REALLY nice! She said she had lots more and I'm sure she did! This next piece was from another member...and I apologize as I didn't take notes on who made what!'s a cut-a-way piece that each member did one month.
Another monthly project was using leaves that were preserved with glycerin oil.
Beth, who invited me made the fabric box cover on the top/left. I didn't get a chance to get a better picture of it but it was nicely done. She took a picture and then did watercolor on fabric then a log cabin design around it. Nicely done as were the other pieces you can see.
And this technique was something I hadn't heard of. You take soda ash soaked fabric, then sprinkle dye power mixed with some table salt and sprinkle from a salt shaker! Look at the pattern produced! I have to try this for sure.
The Art group were so nice and I wished I had more time with each of the ladies but it was Valentine's day wasn't it! As it turned out, we ended up going out for dinner with two other couples...spontaneous really. Bob and I don't go out for Valentine's day..just too many people...but fortunately for us, we eat early here in Florida so we missed the 'rush'!
Tomorrow I'll post some of my projects I'm working on and I also have to upload pics from the guild meeting I attended last night. Another small world story!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FMQ Challenge Tutorial with Diane Gaudynski

I posted about a week or so ago on a monthly FMQ challenge that is being offered on SewCalGal's blog. Of course I had to sign up for it!
This month's tutorial was by the wonderful quilter, Diane Gaudynski. I've always love Diane's work so I was pretty excited to study her tutorial and get started making feathers!
This green piece is the first practice piece and I actually quilted it on some silk dupioni that I happened to have in the half dozen pieces of fabric I brought with me! I have no idea why I did bring it to Florida but I really love the look. Diane has an entirely different way to 'draw' your feathers which I like. You're not going over stitches twice like you do with some of the other methods.

Next I had a piece of hand dyed brown fabric so I started feathers on it too.
This is the back of the piece. This fabric is a piece of hand dyed that I used wood chips to acquire a pale beige color. It looks more white in the picture but there are areas that are 'tan' and beige.
And here is the piece all finished with some hand dyed fabric for the binding. The sun was shining so bright the pic is a little glossy! It does look nice on the marble coffee table so I think I'll just leave here for Larry and Jan.
I am really happy with the feathers and the technique Diane showed us. I love feathers but don't really use them often in my pieces but who knows...maybe I might incorporate in one of my art pieces after all!
Yesterday I went to a Deb Web community in Summerfield and did a trunk show for an Art Quilt group! I'll post pics tomorrow when I upload. It was such a nice afternoon meeting so many nice women!! Thanks again, Beth for the invite!
Kalee and I took our walk so it's blog/email time then hopefully to do some beading or more feathers!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines from my friends!

Check out the great Valentine's I got from some of my friends!!!

How about this little girl!!! My friend, Susan, made this card from a picture on a Hallmark Valentine card! Isn't she the cutest and doesn't she look like Kalee!!! I just love this Valentine!

This next one is from my friend, Mary, back in Michigan! Mary does a lot of hand stitching and I love the saying! "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is Silver and the other is Gold"! Mary is so clever and I love this one too!!
And this one is from my friend, Lois Ann, who now lives in Italy!! LoisAnn is a wonderful artist and of course the wine glasses are perfect aren't they!! LA is so talented...check out how she blends her colors and her stitching. Love it!!
These are some watercolor sheets LoisAnn sent me with notes on the back. Aren't they beautiful!!! The feathers are beautifully done and the 'southwest theme' is perfect for me!!!

Thank you each for my wonderful Valentines!!! I'm so fortunate to have such special friends!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Just getting back to normal...well, kinda!

Yes, my life is getting back to somewhat normalcy! At least 75% so! I did get a lot done this past month so I'm happy about that. Now if I could only do some hand work or beading at night watching the boob tube...but I do owe it to Kalee to play and sit with her as well...especially if we go out for dinner. I always feel guilty when we get home so it's play time!
My beaded loom piece is coming along and I love the pattern. I just might have to make another one in the same pattern. Just not sure of the colors I'll want.
And...I happened upon a free motion quilting challenge on SewCalGal's blog. She's having a different machine quilter present tips/technique/tutorials monthly. I just signed up so of course I'm already a month behind...but I did manage to complete the January FMQ using a leaf stitch which was shown by Frances Moore. February is Diane Gaudynski.
This is my little piece...nothing special just playing with using Frances' leaf pattern.
I posted on some BD presents I rec'd in January and one of those was a small beaded piece my friend, Marilyn, gave me. She said she thought I could use the beads. She took this piece from an old purse she had. Well, I couldn't take apart the beads because I thought the design was so nice. So I painted a small canvas board, then attached the piece using the holes that were already on the piece. I think it turned out not too bad and I'm going to give it back to Marilyn as a present. Marilyn and John are always so generous having everyone to their house for dinners. This is a small gift for sure but "waste not, want not"!!
So off to make a lemon pie now...then dog walk...then get ready for another night of eating out!! NO, I am not complaining!! Just lovin' Florida! Temps are suppose to get down to high 20's tonight but back up to 60's then 70's again next week. Cold for the Ocala folks but beautiful weather for this Michigan gal!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wine and Chocolate?

Yes, chocolate and wine do go together! Very well, actually! Last night Peggy, Sharon and I attended Art Night at The Artisinal Dish. The Dish is only 2 miles from the house so no excuse not to go, right! It was a really nice evening having a glass of wine, girl talk and chocolate! Well, Sharon did have carrot cake, which was really good! Peggy and I split The Dish's famous chocolate/chocolate chip cookie. OMG this cookie is the best! It's not too sweet, which you would think with all that chocolate it would be. It went perfectly with our glass of wine.
Anyway, there were several artists there (Celeste Adler, Sally Ann Lyle, Lou Petty, Erin Wismer, Linda Ballentine Brown, and Laura Dellaporta) who are all local, from Ocala area. They displayed acrylic painting, pencil, oil, watercolor, jewelery (one made jewelry from horse hair and they were awesome) and hand dyed/painted silk scarves and place mats. The place mats were painted on canvas material and quite interesting...hmmmmm an idea coming I can just tell!
The Art Night was a nice end to a day with Susan, Verna and Jan to do our quilt shop and lunch 'thing'. We started out at 9:30 a.m. headed to Trenton and the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop and Cafe. This is the nicest quilt shop and the cafe food is fantastic. Trenton is one of the longest 'treks' we take while in Florida (about 50 miles!) from Ocala Palms, so we usually only go once. But it's worth the trip. A very quaint town with antique shops, embroidery/stitching and a stained glass store. A very nice and fun was nice to take "Ethel" out for the afternoon...that's an inside joke! A story I'll tell in another post sometime.
So today, I've taken Kalee for her long walk, a 3.10 mile bike ride, home to do laundry (on my 3rd load!), washed all the floors, took shower and now I'm having lunch (yes, I can multi task!) then I'm off to sewing room and playtime!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More Valentines

I think I'm finished with my Valentine wishes for 2012! I mailed off about 12 today so that puts me over 20 (again). I made these from note cards and fused fabric that I tangled on. Have to do something with all that fused fabric, right! Some don't have fabric and only tangles that I did using a Prismacolor illustrator pen. Really nice! Just like the micro pens but quite smooth and stays firm. It comes in different sizes but that's for another post!
Until then, off for bike ride (already did the Kalee walk and dog park)! Dinner with C & T at Harry's tonight! Have to 'ride off' some calories so I can eat more tonight!