My Favorite Books

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A little of this and that...and sewing!

This is what Kalee and I saw on our walk yesterday or the day before!  Can't remember now!  Go figure!!
We did get a well needed rain on this morning and the birds were lovin the results! 

The azaela plant looked a little droopy after the rain in this picture but she looks much better today. 

Yesterday I mainly beaded most of the afternoon trying to wrap up one of my projects...well, at least the beading part of the project!  Can't post pics until the end of March but I will post a sneak peak sometime this week.
Last night I did some doodling on a design that Jill, from The Quilt Rat, shared with everyone!  Jill is SO talented...I love seeing what she's up to next and her doodling is amazing!!  
She provided this image so I played around with it last night while watching NCIS....

Then I decided to get out my colored pencils and started to color in some areas.

I took this next picture with my phone so the colors don't look that great in the picutre.  Wish I would have drawn on watercolor paper so I could wet the piece to achieve some nice color.  I still might!  I can always iron the paper to flatten it again!

The colors are actually red/orange/purple!  And the greens are lime/leaf/dark green.  Hard to tell.

I must have been nudgey last night because when I finished this piece, I picked up my patchwork embroidery piece and did some french knots on it!
Just didn't feel like dragging out my bead tray and beads to continue beading...sometimes you just need a break!  Love having multiple projects to work on!

Now to some magic!  If you haven't seen this email/video going around, check it out!  Bob and I both love magic and this 'trick' by Chris Angel is amazing! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spoonflower fabric

My grand daughter, Amber, took this picture on her Ipad several weeks ago and emailed it to me.  I thought the picture was pretty interesting so I uploaded to the Spoonflower web site to have printed on fabric.

I didn't want a large piece printed so I chose a fat quarter filled with the image.  This way I thought we could make some snap bags or who knows what! 

This is just a section of the fat quarter which is printed on cotton poplin.  The colors are more blue than the original but I'm still happy with it.  I did send a piece of it to Amber and I think she'll be happy to see her picture on fabric too! 

My hairdresser commented on my coffee cuff I use for carry out coffee, so I decided yesterday to make her one of them.  I had this fabric left over from making a snap bag for Cindy  so I got out my handy dandy circle attachment and got started!

I had to fill in around the square, stitched areas since I decided to make two of them. 

You can see in pictures below, they are similar but different! 

I get the old roots dyed on Friday so I'll let Lauren pick which one she wants and give the other one to the other hairdresser at Plant Cosmo!

Lauren is a really nice young lady...very cute...and does a great job on my hair.

Today has been a laundry and beading day.  It was raining early this a.m. but stopped just before noon.  Bob took off for golf after all!  Go figure!  It's muggy out but Kalee and I did our 1 mile walk anyway.  She's now crashed on the bed in the sewing room as I bead!  Poor dog...what she doesn't know is we are going for another 1 miler after dinner!  She needs the exercise!  OK, so maybe I need the exercise but misery loves company so.......

Monday, February 25, 2013

Last Tuesday I had my Florida lady friends over for a lunch and plain old get-together!  I made 9 of these glass beaded rings for each lady to take home with them (as well as to know which glass was theirs!).  There were only 8 of us (but I didn't count) so I wanted to make sure who ever got to pick last at least had two to pick from!
Kalee was our greeter!

And my theme was black and white.   Note Kalee's little black tie!  It matches the binding on my table runner I made a week ago!

Of course wine, lemonade, iced tea and margaritas were on the menu for drinks!  For appetizers, I had:
Stuffed jalapenos 
cheese cubes
broiled water chestnuts wrapped in bacon w/bbq sauce

The main course was:

Shrimp Salad in horseradish sauce
Chicken Salad
Fruit Salad w/brown sugar sauce
Blueberry Tea Bread
Croissants (in case they wanted to make chicken salad sandwich!)
Key Lime Cake 

I was so busy eating and talking I didn't get any pictures of the ladies!  They were all so sweet and brought me hostess gifts!!  The picture above is a planter Jan brought me all from her garden!  
The caddy gift set w/cards/etc. was from Patricia; Carol made me the cool scarf, Verna gave me the embroidered clutch, Marilyn gave me some beads and my Q buddy, Susan, gave me needle threaders!!  Do these ladies know me or what!

It was a fun afternoon and I plan on doing it again next year!  The house isn't big enough for me to cook for the hubby's and have everyone sit down to, next year it will be just the women again! 

Warm, humid day again...overcast but warm...of course, as long as it's not raining or snowing, Bob will be golfing!  But isn't that why we are here in Florida during the winter!  I'm off to bead!  Kalee and I already made a trip to the post office and dog park so it's time for her nap!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Catching up!

This is most likely the cleanest my 'sewing area' will be here in Florida!  It's usually filled with my 'stuff' which could be beads, threads, get the point! 

Anyway, a few weeks ago I posted on the lovely cards I received from Cindy over at Stitches in Time.  I thought it only fitting I send Cindy something so I looked through my small fabric stash and found a cool black commercial fabric to use as my background for a small snap bag.  I also brought with me pieces of fused fabrics so I had fun looking for fabrics to fuse on top of the black!  You can see in this picture where I cut some circles within squares, then fused and started to buttonhole stitch around each.
Next I did some free motion quilting and, as you can see on the right side, I sliced a piece off which has two squares on it.
You can also see, on the right, where I stitched a hem to insert the metal tape ruler.  And the finished snap bag below!
Cindy did receive it so that's why I'm posting now.  It's not that big but large enough to hold gift cards or credit cards.  Enjoy, Cindy!

I'm going to work on making some coffee cup holders today and then do some beading on my Carnival piece.  Temps have been in the mid to high 80's but it is overcast today.  Doesn't make much difference to me since I just stay in the air conditioning!!  Spoiled...yes...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Going backwards!

This past week has been BUSY to say the least!  So, I'm starting with what's fresh in my mind on what all I've been doing!  I left this past Wed. a.m. to head south to visit with my sister....the pic above is from my drive home - I said I was going backwards!

But I do have something I made to show!  My sister wanted her bracelet in black and gold so I  had finished the beading with the exception of the clasp.  I ended up adding two more rows so it fit comfortable on MaryAnn's wrist.  This is the finished bracelet.  It really looked good on her and she even wore it to dinner that night with her black and gold outfit!
After lunch, we headed out to a strawberry farm, but I'm posting those pics later on Kalee's blog!

You can see the bracelet on MaryAnn!  Yep,Nancy, MaryAnn and I were having our cocktails before another fantastic dinner of lobster and chicken kabobs!  MaryAnn is a wonderful cook!  No, I didn't take pics of the meal!  I'm usually too busy eating.

Thursday morning we headed off to the dog park to let the dogs all play!  They have two parks side by for large dogs and one for small dogs.  Remy is afraid of the big dogs so he plays in the small dog park with Sherry and Kalee!  And boy do they run and play!  Remy is in the background and this is my sister 'fetching' his ball.

After the dog park we headed off to Anna Marie Island, about an hour from my sister's house.   What a cool place...right on the Gulf of Mexico and busy as all get out!  I didn't think it was spring break yet but I have heard some schools up north had a break this week so guess that's why there were so many families and tourists around.  Good for the economy!

Our first stop was to the Sandbar Restaurant, which is right on the beach!  What a great place!!!  We had about a 20 min. wait which wasn't bad so we headed up to the bar (no, I didn't get a margarita!  But I did later!) and also walked about the clothes/tourist shop on the premises. 

When they seated us, we were in the most perfect spot!  Our table was at the corner section on the deck, which looked out on to the beach arrea.  In this picture you can just about see where our table was located.  It's the smallest umbrella waaayyyy in the back left!  Just perfect!!!! 

And this is what we saw from our table!  And NO speedo's!  Wahoo!  That's always a sight you do not want to see!!  Could ruin your appetite!

This picture above was our appetizer MaryAnn ordered, which was called beach fries and they were unbelievable!!  Fried potatoes with bacon bites, melted cheese and green onions - sour cream too!  OMG!  So good...I never took a picture of my spinach salad but it too was delicious and the dressing was so good...yes, I do love my food!!!

And here are the 3 happy ladies!  My sister is gorgeous for being 68!  She doesn't look it at all!  In fact, while we were waiting for a table, a hostess asked if my sister was a runner...we said no and she commented that MaryAnn had great legs...which she does! 

Back to food!  Thursday night, after our adventure day to Anna Marie Island, the neighbors were having us over for traditional India cuisine!  This is Norma and Steve and they did an outstanding job cooking for us.  The meal was a lentil chick peas dish  made with Bombay Biryani Masala and a shrimp curry dish! 

I'm going to quote Norma's email to me on what all was in the shrimp dish:  "I fried the masala in oil with diced onion and carrots. Added more diced garlic and frozen shaved ginger and then cooked all with
cauliflower.  Tasted to make sure it didn't need more Masala. Then green beans, asparagus, green pepper and shrimp."  The meal was so unique and so good!!!  Bob would have loved it as well...I'm so sorry he wasn't there to enjoy as he loves to try different foods. 

After the great meal, I got to sit down to see some of the pictures from a 3 week trip to India that Norma and Steve took last year!  Steve organized the pictures in categories, which was so interesting!  THANK YOU, Norma and Steve for a most enjoyable and educational evening!

It is always bittersweet to see my sister and have to leave her.  But I am so happy she's this close to us in the least I get to see her a few times a year!  

THANK YOU MARYANN AND NANCY!!!  You are both the best hosts ever!!!!!  I always have such a great time around you both and around your neighbors and friends!!! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some fun and facts!

Yesterday, the four of us traveled to Wildwood for lunch at the Cotillion Southern Cafe!  What a unique place and what good food...oh yea, they had great desserts, which Carol and I both enjoyed!  No, I didn't get pics of the food!  I was too busy eating!

The inside is decorated with lots and lots of old, antique items including posters framed on the walls.  You can see some of them in the next picture way at the top!

Now I don't honestly think I have a fascination with bathrooms, other than I like them to be clean when I'm at restaurant....but at times there have been some unusual bathrooms I've posted about.  One was back in 2010 when we ladies took a day trip to Gainesville.  You can see my old post and pics of that bathroom here!  Quite unique...well, to finish my story about bathrooms....check out the bathroom at the Cotillion!

This is the bathroom mirror decorated with silk in black and white....and guess what's hanging on the back of the door!  You can see some  in the mirror but check out the last picture!

Yep..nightgowns!  I wasn't planning on spending the night but just in case I know which one I want to wear!

Anyway, it was a nice afternoon with the ladies...when Carol and I got back we headed out again to take my 1090 sewing machine in for her week at the spa!  It's been a few years since it's been cleaned well so guess it's time.  Right now I'm working on some beading projects.  One for the Art Quilts Around the World blog challenge and another for our Master's exhibit.  I'll post sneak peaks of the Carnival challenge later this weekend.  I'm just getting Dr. Seuss design set up so it will be awhile before I have pictures of that work. 

It's been cool today with temps in the mid to high 50's.  I've just been playing Suzie and doing laundry!  So weather is perfect for me!

Now to some stats!!  I just heard this on the Sunday Morning show and had to share.  For as bad as some news media like to report that our economy is in, it's amazing to think folks are spending this much money on Valentine's Day gifts! These are just some of the stats I copied down!

$18.6 billion was spent on cards & gifts for Valentine's Day!
$1.9 billion on flowers
$1.6 billion on candy
$4.4 billion on jewelry (this is most likely those who make over $250,000 a year!)
$1.5 billion on cards
The average person will spend $130.97 which is up from last year!  And all Bob got was a can of soup!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from Florida!

It's actually just another day for Bob and I...we stopped with the 'gift giving' years ago for holiday's, BD's, etc. but I still like to get him something silly so....this is what hubby got for his Valentine's gift!
Now you have to know my hubby...yes, he loves his dark chocolate but we always seem to have little Dove candies around so what's his next best "thing" he likes but doesn't get!!  Clam Chowder soup!  I won't buy Bob heavy, fatty soups and usually only buy the low sodium, veggie soups to have on hand for those cold days he's not golfing.  So this is his treat!  A can of clam chowder!  He was quite happy this morning! 

We are going to have a cold spell of upper 60's to mid 70's the rest of this that's not a cold day for me!!  It's perfect weather!!  Tomorrow four of we ladies are headed south to a quaint restaurant and on Sunday, Carol and I are headed to the art fair.  One of our annual trips, which I love.  There's always really cool art paintings, sculptures and  mixed media.  I'm looking forward to that day as well.

So off for dog walk and to get my day going! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I finished the binding on my table runner this a.m.!  (the flowers/vase are from Jan!  Thanks, Jan!!) This started off as a piece of batik...

Thought it would be a good time to practice my FMQing...yikes...I haven't been doing any free motion work other than my self portrait so figured I should get back in the swing of things!  Not good!!  I just couldn't get comfortable with my hands or my seating here is different....ok, that's all the excuses I can think of!!  But I'll keep trying!

After looking at the quilting, I thought I'd just cover with some I mixed some of my white paint with textile medium then rolled the paint on top.  Looked ok but still a little bland so I went back over some of the feathers with a deep grey, almost black thread.  

That worked for me...then I added a black/white batik for the binding.  It doesn't look too bad on the table and with my b/w dishes I think it will be a fun addition for when the ladies come to lunch on Tues.
It's quite warm today and we've had the air on since last night.  Good sleeping at least.  I'm going to take Kalee to the post office and maybe for a walk.  We didn't walk yet this a.m. so we need to get moving!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How lucky am I!

Yep...I am one lucky, blessed girl (love referring to myself as a "girl")....I've been on the receiving end of gifts from my blog friends and yesterday I had another gift in the mail!!

Cindy, from Stitches in Time, sent me these beautiful cards she made!!  I love them...only problem, I'll keep them for a very long time before I send them on!  It will take just the right moment or person for me to send them to someone.  But that's ok...they were sent to me special by Cindy and I'll send them on when I feel a special person would appreciate a note from me inside!
See the lace doily butterfly on the bottom of her 'window frame'!   

And check out the lace doily hummingbird!  Just beautiful....THANK YOU AGAIN, CINDY!!!!  You have to stop by Cindy's blog and see some more of her creations.  She's quite talented from scrapbooking/cards, working with felt/wool and embroidery!  Just a very relaxing blog to read!  

I did finish my sister's bracelet, at least the beading part.  I'll attach one end of the clasp but I won't finish it until I meet up with her again, just to make sure it's the size she wants.

Today I'm working on my table's not something I'd show many people, but hopefully with lots of dishes on it you won't notice the stitching!  I'll post pics tomorrow...I should be able to get the binding put on today and do the hand work tonight. 

I think Bob and I have had our fill of butter and garlic!  Last night was dinner at Pavarotti's and the "eating of 3-4 dozen knots" (there were six of us!) put us over the top.  It's a lot of butter and garlic and I'm looking forward to a healthy dinner at home tonight!  I'm making baked salmon and vegetables!  Even Kalee will get her baked tilapia!  Yes, she's a fish eater too...she's not allowed to have beef, chicken or her diet has changed too!  And she's lost 1lb!!!  Wahoo!  At least one in this family is losing weight!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Just some show and tell!

 My friend, Mary,  received this fiber card from her Design Works group back in Michigan!  Isn't it adorable!  Mary said the glasses come on and off from her hand!!  It was made by Nadine Cloutier and I think it's just adorable!!!  How clever!!! I asked Mary if I could share it with my blog friends.  

I haven't been just sitting around...although, I was a little off my game yesterday...just felt pukey...I headed off with Carol to run some errands and have a cup of soup at Panera's.  Came home and started to feel a little better by last night.  Feel great today!  A few days ago I started making my sister her Tila bracelet in black and gold.  It's coming along pretty good so far!  Although one of the Tila beads broke and I had to rip our SEVERAL rows! 
And the background is a table runner I thought I'd stitch up.  I haven't been doing any free motion quilting to speak of, other than my self portrait which was only 11" x 16" and not much FMQ on it to speak of....I can't remember the last piece I actually did free motion on way back in the summer or fall....and it's true..."use it or lose it".  WOW!  Have I ever lost it!  I just couldn't get in the rhythm of quilting.  Oh well...this is a good practice piece and from a 747 no one will notice!

It's going to be pretty busy around her for the next few weeks...I what else is new, right!  We're going to dinner tonight with Carol/Tony and Peg/Sammy at one of our favorite Italian restaurants.  Guess what they have as a speciality!  Knots!  Yum...these are pizza dough with melted garlic butter and salt on them!!  Friday, it's a girls day out to the The Cotillion southern Cafe in Wildwood.  And, Peggy, they now serve wine!!  We aren't driving so....this weekend is the Tiogo Art Fair which Carol and I go to each year.  It's a juried art festival with so many unique art objects. 
Next Tuesday, I'm having the ladies over for a luncheon, which I'm really looking forward to.  I love having folks other for treats or dinner!!  Then on the 20th, I may plan another trip to see my sister depending on her company and how long they are staying!  The 25th is another girls day out to yarn shops, soap shops, whatever!   Whew!  I'm tired already!!
Time sure flies during our winter months...but we enjoy every minute with friends!  So off to do some quilting and perhaps beading.  Good day for doing laundry too!!  Have to get my 'work' out of the way so I can play!