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Friday, January 31, 2014

Reveal Time!

Finally, I can show the piece I completed for the online challenge, Art Quilts Around the World - Art Nouveau!   And yes, I pretty much copied what I had posted on the AQAW blog today!  No sense in reinventing the wheel!  I'd just say the same thing!!  Do take a look on the AQAW blog and see some great pieces!!!
For my quilt, I traced a design onto Tyvek fabric, then painted the piece using the colors of paint I had with me in Florida!  Fortunately, I had a piece of painted background also with me that just seemed perfect.
I spray basted the painted Tyvek onto the background then free motion quilted the entire piece.  After quilting, the fun really began!  This is where you take an iron or soldering iron to your piece and burn away the painted areas!   I like to use a soldering iron for the edges of the Tyvek fabric but didn't bring mine with me so had to rely on the iron.

I love painting and burning Tyvek, as you can see by a blog post I did in 2011.  Hope everyone enjoyed this challenge and are getting ready for the next one!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So what have i been up to??

 What does this look like!!'s time for another arm knitting session!
This time it was with my friend, Peggy!  We had a fun afternoon last week.  Peggy does crochet and makes some really nice items...but this was her first attempt at arm knitting!  I think it turned out great!!

 And yes, it's easier to arm knit while you drink a glass of wine!!  Who knew!  I did!!
So that was one day...the next day, Wed., I headed to the Villages with another friend, Marcia to do some shopping and have lunch.  Think I mentioned that on my last post....then dinner with Jan and Larry on Thursday, Friday off to library and run other errands...Saturday, Susan and I headed south to an art/textile/sewing exhibition.  I did pick up some threads and a really cool little ruler that you use to align your needle for those perfect 1/4 inch seams...haven't tried it yet but I will.
Let's see...Sunday, I think I stayed home!  Woo hoo!
Monday, Carol and I took off to do some tooting around...mall, Bed, Bath, get the picture...of course, we also stopped for lunch at Crispers..which was quite good...just had a salad but very tasty.
Today, was a stay home day as well...and I did get some more work finished on my Valentine fiber cards.

I have almost 30 cards to make this year!!  This is almost like a Christmas card list!  But I enjoy sending them out to family and I've been trying to work on them at night watching TV.  I can get the hearts either beaded or embroidery stitched on two at night (in about 3 hours)...but I still have stab stitching the background, add the address label then use decorative stitching on the edges...I have a long way to go but I''ll get them finished in time!   That is if I can stay to home!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

One of these days I'll stay home!

On Wednesday, Marcia and I head off to the Villages for some shopping and food (of course!).  We had a really nice day even with the wind...actually, it felt quite warm..perhaps, spending $$'s made us warm!  Or it could have been the drinks at lunch..either way, it was a fun day of shopping, laughing and eating!

Today, I headed off to the library and Staples then home to wait for Bob and Larry to get finished with golf.  Off we went to Harry's for dinner!!
Yum!  And what a great dinner we had!!  We always enjoy food at Harry's, and the 2-4-1 drinks help, plus today I had a coupon for a free dessert, which we picked Banana's Foster...our favorite at Harry's...just a nice evening with friends, Larry and Jan!!!
So now, we settle in for a night of watching more episodes of Breaking Bad!  What a series...quite intense but so true to life in many ways!  We are only on series 3, episode 4 or 5!  I think it's 4 or 5 years old!    A ways to go yet but quite a series to watch on Netflix!  At times, hard to watch but....
Still cold a.m.'s here in Florida but it does warm up during the day.  In fact, today it was up to 60!  Yesterday, Bob did get rained out but it sure beats the minus degree's kids are having back in Michigan!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Girls Night Out!

Another funny card I have to watch the entire video to capture her talent!  Thanks, Jan F.!

Monday, January 20, 2014

My last BD celebration!

Well, I hope it's not my last, last BD celebration but at least for this year it is or was!

 Today, seven wonderful ladies took me out for lunch to Latinos Y Mas to celebrate my birthday!  How nice was that!!  And they even had me order a margarita!  Which, by the way, was very good!  Not made with the usual lemon/lime mix but a sweet, fruity mix.  Delicious!!!
I even had a candle to blow out in a Flan, along with singing from the wait staff!!  Very tasty!
Very nicely decorated too!!!
And more cards!!!  Not sure you can see the BD bag that has dogs on it...very cute and inside was a box of Milk Bones.  I had mentioned I didn't want any gifts and if they were so inclined, for them to buy items for me to take to the dog shelter instead.   Thanks, Jan F.!   I'll be headed over to the shelter later this week!!
Oh, the card on the far left  is a hoot!  I'll create a video on it and post tomorrow!  So funny...from Jan F. too!
And yes, that's a Starbucks gift card you see in the front of the cloud card, which is adorable.  Verna isn't very good at listening but then she must 'listen' somewhat because she knows how much I love my Starbucks coffee!  Thanks, Verna.
Of course, I do like me a glass of wine if I'm not having a margarita so the 'wine' card on the right is from Patricia, who will occasionally sip a glass of the grape!   Thanks, Patricia!

I really did have such a fun time at lunch and can't thank each of the lovely ladies enough....I keep saying it...I am so lucky!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Celebrating but creating too!

Well, yes, the celebrations do continue!  The flowers are from MJ, Ron, Kayla and Ian!  Our kids in Indiana!  Aren't they beautiful!  And they still look as good as they did on my BD.

Now, before I show some more food pictures...this is my current project (can't post the Art Nouveau finished quilt until January 31st!)....I'm working on my fiber Valentine cards.  Lots of hand embroidery this year.  I just wanted to do something different so I'm combining QAYG for the background and embroidery as well as possibly beads on a few cards.  I actually timed myself on finishing just the hand stitching on one card and it took two hours for one card...I need over 20+ cards.  That doesn't include the piecing for the background or finishing edges and addressing.  Sooooooo.....Now I just hope my hands hold up...lots of aches and pains this year...what's up with that!!!  But I digress....

Some of these are finished while others are waiting for their 'final' stitching.  I'm just having fun creating each one!

For this heart, I'm embroidering the Portuguese Border stitch Kelly Fletcher showed in a tutorial on her blog Materialistic.  I only have the left side started, and if you're familiar with the stitch,  you have to go back and finish up the right side of each stitch.  Really fun to do and great TV work!  Thanks for the tips and tutorial, Kelly!!!  I love her blog and if you're wanting to be inspired with embroidery work, settle down with a glass of wine (or margarita!) and look at some of her past posts!!

Now onto more food/friends/fun!  Last night 14 of us celebrated our friend, Harvey's BD.  We had a wonderful dinner at BoneFish...just a delicious meal!!  Then we all headed back to Harvey and Susan's home for carrot cake baked by our fabulous, Verna!  She makes the best cakes and they all look like something from a bake shop!
Just a fun evening!  Tomorrow all the ladies are taking me to lunch!  Guess where!  A Mexican restaurant!!  I'm sure I'll have pics to post tomorrow!  Next up I have to show two cards I rec'd for my BD that are a hoot!!!  This first card was from my buddy, Mary, back in Michigan...

Too funny!!!

Next up is from Marilyn, who hosts all the wonderful New Year's parties as well as other gatherings!

You gotta love Maxine!
hope you enjoyed this little bit of humor...sure made my day!!  Now off to get machine stitching finished so I'll have lots of hand work!  Two big football games on today...good opportunity to finish some hand stitching.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

I had one of the best BD's yesterday!!!
It started out with Bob giving me a beautiful card!  Then off for a nice walk with Kalee...a beautiful morning...then I did some sewing on my fiber cards then off to Carrabba's for dinner with three other couples!  We had a wonderful dinner then back to the house for us to enjoy a cake from Betty Cakes!  It's an Almond Joy cake and it was wonderful!  I actually ordered it while I was at my sisters and picked up on my way home Wed.  If you live in the Ocala area, I'm sure you know of Betty Cakes and if you don't, you should!

This cake was amazing!  But there was also a lot of it!  I gave Carol, Jan and Peggy each some to take home and Bob and I still have enough for another piece tonight!  I usually make a special cake that Bob only gets once a year but decided, while at my sisters, I was craving an almond joy cake from Betty Cakes!
For about the last five or six years, we've been going to Carrabba's for my BD dinner (except I saw one year we ended up at Stumpknocker's!  that was in 2008!  Hmmmmm).  It's so nice to have friends to share special days with you.  Bob and I are very lucky to have such great friends here in Florida!
And....speaking of friends, look at what Jan gave me for my BD!

The shawl is BEAUTIFUL!  and of course in my colors!!!  and look at the brooch she gave me too!!

I don't want folks to give me gifts but I'm not going to give these back to Jan!!!  Thank you my friend...I'll think of you every time I wear them!!!

And back in Michigan before we left town, I had lunch with my friend, Mary.  She gave me a BD gift but told me I couldn't open it until my birthday.  I was good and fact, I forgot where I put the gift bag and had to search for it in the closet!  But look at what she gave me!

This is a pin cushion from Linda Kemshall!  Mary and I both are followers of Linda and Laura's work.  I saw where Linda had painted birds and Laura had printed them onto fabric so she could make pin cushions.  I even thought of purchasing one but figured I'd wait until after Christmas!!  I was so excited when I opened the box!!!  So thank you too, Mary!!!!

What special gifts from everyone!!!  From my sister (chocolate gift box!) to Jan to Mary!  You each know me so well!  And thank you all for the wonderful cards I received!!!!  Some are a hoot, which I just might have to share on my blog!!!  And others are just special because they are from my friends!!  I guess having a birthday isn't all that bad after all!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What a great time!!!

What a great time I had visiting with my sister the past 3 days!!!  I'm so lucky that she lives less than two hours from us in Florida!   We had such a good time...just laughing, reminiscing and of course, eating and drinking!
But before we started laughing too hard, I wanted to show my sister how to 'arm knit' a scarf...well, we ended up laughing a lot!   I did post on FaceBook a picture of my sister with both her wrists tied in yarn!  It was a hoot and we had quite a laugh!

We decided that we had laughed enough so we slipped the stitches onto a hanger loop so we could go to dinner!
Off, we headed to a local Mexican restaurant for a wonderful dinner!  And of course, because it's Florida, Happy Hour!  My sister and Nani, Nancy's mom (Nancy was back in Penna. working!)  had wine and I had.....just guess....come on....just guess!  YEA!  Ya win!  I had Margarita's and they were delicious!

Tuesday we started off by MaryAnn finishing her scarf and even wore it when we did some errands
It really turned out great!  Doesn't my sister look beautiful!

We ran errands and did some sight seeing Tuesday then came home to prepare dinner.  And walk dogs!!  My sister has two dogs and of course we had to work off our food and drinks!

Last night while waiting for a friend to join in dinner, I took some pictures of the sunset!

The colors were beautiful and reflected on the pond behind their house.

Of course, you can never capture the beauty of sunsets with the average camera but these are pretty true to what the sky and water looked like.    After oohing over the sunset, we sat down to a fantastic meal my sister prepared...roasted broccoli, chopped salad and Parmesan coated Tiliapa with roasted red pepper and onions.  AND for dessert we had fresh picked strawberries we picked up from the market.  They are so sweet you don't even need sugar on them!!  My sister even gave me a large bowl of them to bring home.  YUM...

I arrived home around 1 this afternoon and look what was in my car!!!  This was from my sister...she's such a sneak!!!  Lots of chocolate, a new mug and a picture of her!  I love the picture..first of all, she looks beautiful in the picture and, second, I don't have any current photo of her!!!    I tried taking a pic of the picture for my blog but I can't get it turned properly!  Geezzz  Back to that problem again!!  
So thank you again, Mary Ann!!!  It was so great spending time with you!!!!  I miss you already!!!!  And Kalee misses all the dog walks!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Where did the week go!!!

I guess with eating and drinking out so much my week has flown by!  I've been trying to not show so many Margarita pictures this SIL already thinks I drink way too many!  He's only kidding me (I think!)....anyway, we did get to our favorite Mexican restaurant this week for our 99 cent margarita!!   And we were joined by another two of our favorite folks (we have so many favorites!!), Karah and Howard!
We had a great time with them and the food was great as were the margarita's!  YUM....the next day, Bob was golfing about an hour away, so he missed out on a dinner at the restaurant here in the community.  There were five couples & me!  And yes, (Jeff!) I had my margarita!  Dinner and the company were great and we had a really nice time.  Yesterday, when Bob and his buddies finished golfing they called the wives to join them at the clubhouse/restaurant so we ended up having drinks and dinner!  Three days of eating out!!  I'm making meatloaf tonight!  Need some home cooking...although, the food here is great!!  Haven't had a bad meal yet!  
Now, beside eating, I have been doing some sewing!  And here's the proof!  I started making a QAYG sqare to use as background for my fiber cards.
And I turned the 21" square into these!
I ended up making another square using the reds I have so I'm up to 12 cards which I'll do some hand stitching on.  But then I asked my Q buddy, Susan, if she had any scrap strips I could take off her hands....and she gave me a large zip lock bag full of them!
So I turned those strips into this background!
Of course, it's very traditional looking but I'm going to try something different with this piece, again using it for my fiber post cards......

Today, I'm going to work on my Art Nouvea piece for the online challenge.  It's due the end of the month, so I'd like to finish it up by tomorrow...or at least have all the quilting done and ready for facing. 

I'm headed to my sister's on Monday staying until Wed.  Then it's a BD celebration for me on Thursday and attending a BD celebration for Susan's hubby on Saturday!   It's quite warm here again today but we've sure had lots of rain off and on.  The humidity was so high, which is quite unusual for Ocala in the winter.  We don't normally have high humidity until later in the spring and even then it's not near as bad as back in Michigan in the summer.  But I guess a little rain, humidity and temps in the 60-80's is better than snow, ice and cold!  I'm a lucky gal!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A visit with my Q bud!

I had a really nice time today visiting with my friend Susan, having lunch and making the craft store rounds!  AND I got to see her latest competition quilt she finished and it is AMAZING!!!  I can't show you pics as she'll be entering in shows this year but when she has her first win, I will post it immediately!  

For those who follow my blog, you may remember this quilt Susan made and I posted about in 2012.   

Susan has done well with this quilt....but just wait until her next masterpiece is on display!
Susan has this unqiue reverse applique method that she taught me and I used to create my 'Georgia on my Mind' piece.  I love the method but it is very labor intensive but....with great results!  

And this is another of her creations..Susan designed this quilt for the 2013 Jacob's Ladder themed New Quilts from an Old Favorite annual contest.  Her quilt was published in the AQS book featuring the winners and finalists.  I really like this quilt too.  

Susan is such a perfectionist when it comes to her quilting and she certainly inspires me!  Now if I could get some of her to rub off on me!   She's a delightful person and a giving lady!   Check out the gift she gave me today!

First, I love the Christmas bag!  Check out the 2" x 6" ruler!  I have a one inch ruler I use but isn't this 2" clever!  I've never seen one before!  I know for sure this will come in handy!!  And the Sew Arty is a pin nice of Susan to think of me!  I'm so lucky to call Susan my friend!  And a talented one at that!  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Back to some mono printing!

It's a perfect day to do some painting and since I need some background fabric for an upcoming project, I decided to mono print!  The lanai was the perfect spot to work in today.  Temp is in the upper 60's (68 as I type this) and sun shining with no wind!

So this was my work 'table'...the small table on the left was covered and my plate set up for creating the mono print.

The towel on the floor was covered with plastic then my fabric placed on top.

This is a piece of batik I actually bought here in Florida several years ago.  

And off I went!!  I keep telling folks how I like to document what I'm doing so I remember a technique if I want to do it again.  Well,  I forgot to look back when I created my background fabric for Tommy's challenge.  For some reason, I thought I had to have two pieces of for mixing my paint and one for creating my print.  Fortunately (or not!), I had brought my glass with me to Florida....only thing is I really didn't need either glass!
Duh...I could have mixed the paint on a paper plate or other flat surface....and I forgot (because I didn't go back and look at my own process) I used a plastic scrapbook folder to make my print with.  It's so much easier to use the plastic and push the print onto your fabric rather than a piece of glass!  DUH!  I know I said 'plate' in my post but I meant plastic!

All printed and ready to dry!

Just a few closeups of the mono print design.

The background colors are a mix of tan, green and grey.  I'm hoping my idea of stamping some hearts on it will work out.  I'm not sure what color I'll use for the hearts so they'll be a lot of practice pieces I'm sure.  The main focal point will be a larger heart sewn onto the final background!  Yep, it's fiber Valentine postcard time!!!

I have loin pork chops cooking in sauerkraut and the smell is amazing!  Bob's golfing early today so I know he'll be hungry when he gets home.  But first, we'll take Kalee for her golf cart ride.  She gets SO excited when her dad comes home, as she knows she's going for a ride, regardless of the weather!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Back to art work!

OK, so for a day we won't be eating out with friends so Bob golfed and I worked on my challenge for Art Quilters Around the World.  The theme is Art Nouveau, which I picked!  I made good progress but can't show much!  So this is all you get to see until the end of January!

And I did play with making a horse using foiling for my Ugo piece...This is the background piece I least I think that's what I'll use it just seems to be calling for lots of hand stitching so I'm not sure
if I'll use it or make another background.

My foiled horse!  

And here are some pics from our New Years Day celebration at Marilyn & John's!  They are such great hosts and so nice to be with our friends again!!  Isn't this center piece lovely!  It was made by Jan and really was a great addition to the food table!

This was the food table before all the food was put out!  There was SO much food and each dish was wonderful!!!

It was cold here today...mainly due to the wind, which isn't the best for golfers!  Ask me how I know this!!  Kalee and I did go for a walk but I dressed warm enough so the wind didn't bother me that much!  Of course, Kalee loved it!  Let's hope the warm weather, minus the wind, comes back to Ocala!!  We hear there's another snow storm coming to Michigan on Sunday!!  Just in time for kids to go back to school and to work!  UGH...