My Favorite Books

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Book Review Time

First up, I want to wish everyone a Happy New safe out there if you're one to celebrate outside of the house!  Bob and I are usually asleep by 11:30 or midnight...funny, because during the normal week days, he has the TV on until 12:30 a.m. or 1 a.m.! 

I bought myself a Christmas present!  But I'm blaming it on Lynn Krawczyk!  Most folks know Lynn and have seen her on QATV or read her blog, etc..  I've enjoyed following her blog and on FaceBook for several years.  A few weeks ago she posted on receiving Jane Dunnewold's new book 'Best of Both Worlds - Enhanced Botanical Printing'. 

I've dabbled in printing with leaves/flowers/etc. but in reading Lynn's post as well as going to Jane's web site I  decided to order the book!  So glad I far I've looked at ALL the pictures/eye candy three times!!  My normal routine is to look at the pictures first, then go back and read the book!  I'm hoping three is the charm for me and I can start to read! 

This is the table on contents.....

See what I mean about looking at pics!  I'm just showing one page!!!  Jane's instructions look very clear...this is my fourth book of Jane's (I have: Complex Cloth, Improvisational Screen Printing and Paper & Metal Leaf Lamination).  So glad I added this to my collection!!  Now to wish for spring...but maybe I'll need that time to read the book and gather the supplies. 

Hilary's online class starts back up on January 6th and our 2nd year won't be starting until March or April time frame....have to keep busy this winter, right! 

For my next book review, I'm borrowing a snippet/review of two books from Linda's blog (Flourishing Palms) .  I just finished reading the first book...yes, I actually read this one.  I listen to most books but always have a book on my night stand to read while Bob watches the news (for the tenth time!  HA).  This isn't a book that I would normally select to read and even with Linda's low score (2.8/5.0) I requested it from the library and I enjoyed it!!  Like Linda, I don't believe in magic nor do I read books about aliens, space travel, even medieval stories.  If you're on the fence, request the can always return it...but give it a chance!

I've included Linda's other recommendation from that same post.  I've requested this one to listen to on my Ipod but it's not available yet.  And when you have a free minute, check out Linda's blog as well!  She does fantastic fiber work and I was lucky to see one of her quilts at a show when their guild had a show at the Villages in Florida!  Here is Linda's post:

I've completed three audiobooks since my last blog post.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman is a story about three children whose parents have forbidden them to do many things, including wear black or use an Ouija board. From experience, their mother knows the power of magic - how it can hurt and kill people, even those she loves. She wants to prevent their involvement in magic, however, the kids being to discover their undeniable, innate abilities. During a visit to their aunt's home, they learn what they're capable of. I thought this was a strange story, but perhaps my impression is such because, to me, stories about magic aren't believable. Well, other than the old TV show "Bewitched." :-)

Linda's score: 2.8/5.0

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is a sad look into the conditions of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942. When Lale, a Slovakian Jew, is delivered by cattle car to the camp, he discovers what he must do to remain alive, while trying to help other prisoners. Becoming the camp tattooist - carving permanent numbers into the skin of new camp arrivals - puts him in a highly visible position, but one where he can collect information and ask for more. He meets Gita, the woman of his dreams when he tattoos a number on her arm, and together they vow to survive and make a life for themselves after the war.

Linda's score: 4.1/5.0

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Looking back....

I was looking for a project on my blog and happened upon this post from March of 2011!  I am going to miss the "Florida 12"!!  But I have my blog and memories to look at this winter!!!  Thanks for the  memories!

Friday, March 20, 2011

The gangs all here!

Yep, here they from last night's dinner at Blanca's, the restaurant here in Ocala Palms...great food too!
Yes, that's my hubby smiling!

Jan and Larry

John and Marilyn

Patrick and Patricia

Harv and Susan

Ron and Verna

Jan and Mac - who are currently in Australia!!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Travel time or cleanup time?

Normally, on this date, 12/27, Bob and I have the car loaded and are taking off to Florida with the girls for four months.  But this year, Bob is off to meet some buds at noon and I'm headed to the our local meat market and grocery store!  Times sure have changed!  I actually miss packing the car and thinking about driving for 2 1/2 days!  Sniff..sniff...

Yesterday, I had plans to do nothing!  But I can't sit still for long so.....this was my afternoon.  Getting out all the boxes so I can put away the Christmas decorations. 

This is usually my task to do Christmas Day night after Bob's daughter and hubby leave from our get together.   It is kinda nice to know it's all put away, swept and ready for the next holiday or get together!

Look at our family room now!!!

Bob's stores his large radio controlled airplane on the pool table!  It's too big to sit anywhere else.  He does have two other planes that are hung in his workroom area.

All Christmas decorations are gone and put in the storage area under the stairs!  There's lot of 'stuff' in here...the area goes back under the stairs quite a ways but then I have lots of Christmas decorations (as well as Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving!). 

Honestly, I feel like I just put up the decorations...when it was just a few weeks before Thanksgiving.  But, I am glad it's all over now and I can start to look at cleaning up my sewing room and wet/dye room(s).  Time to get organized!  I usually do my spring cleaning when I get back from Florida but now that I'll be here in the winter, guess I will start spring cleaning now!

Fortunately, our weather has been more spring like than winter.  It was 51 degrees yesterday!  51!!!  But I have to admit I am still going to miss Florida...the friends, the weather, the fun!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We're all busy before Santa arrives but I wanted to send a wish from our house to your house(s).....

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday with family and friends.  And wishing the year 2020 will be the best for us all!

I'm not sure if I posted this before or not....this is my 90 yr old cousin who told me at her party that she was going to ride her horse when she got moved in with her daughter!  Well, she did and has ridden several times since this picture was taken!  There's still hope for all of us! 

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Portuguese Knitting

Back in 2017, I posted on my blog about learning Portuguese knitting and how much I love it!  Well, as my readers know, I've been working on making a pinafore for our great grand baby, Rilynn, for Christmas.  Well, due to time constraints (PA visit, company, and any other excuse I can think of!), I'm not going to make least I don't think so.  I have to get the kids, who live out of town, their presents wrapped and mailed by Tuesday at the latest. 

Also, I don't know how to pick up stitches using the Portuguese knitting method!  AND I can't even remember how I would pick up stitches the 'old' way!  I don't even remember how to hold my yarn the old way!  So funny!!!

I can do all the other stitches (e.g. binding off (which is so cool using Portuguese knitting), YO's, etc.) but not picking up stitches.  I have Andrea Wong's book and have looked at her classes I have on Blueprint but I couldn't find anywhere to show how to 'pick up stitches' using Portuguese knitting. 

So I emailed Andrea via the discussion tab on her video (on Blueprint).  Andrea is so good at replying to any question you have and she did reply to me!!!  In fact, she's going to create a YouTube video on how to use Portuguese knitting to pick up stitches!  How cool is that! 

So here my little pinafore sits...waiting for me to pick up stitches around the neckline & arm holes, sew the seams and buttons on, block and then I'll be done!  Maybe Rilynn will get this for her BD in July! 

It's not like Rilynn knows it's Christmas and she's getting or not getting gifts...thank goodness for that!  I'm a bad great grandma...

How cute is little Rilynn and her mom, my bonus grand daughter! 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Introducing the Aussome Study Group

I belong to a small art group who meet once a month called the Aussome Study Group.  We don't necessarily do any projects monthly but focus on our show and tell of what we have done in the past month.  Of course, it's a good way to share how we created or learned a new technique.   It's also a good way to keep us each active in our respective genre, knowing we need to bring something to show!  Because the YAHOO group site/photo albums, where we had our group, are being dismantled, we decided to start our own blog.  FaceBook isn't an option as not everyone is on FB nor do they want to be.

Below is our post from the December meeting and you can see some of what these ladies do or have done this past month!  As you'll see, we are a diverse group and have lots of interests!  If you'd like to receive emails when our group posts, sign up on the blog page ('follow by email' option upper right side).

Aussome Study Group December 2019 Meeting

Our last get together for 2019!!  And we're looking forward to 2020 already!  Well, maybe after Christmas and the New Year, right!  We had a great lunch and conversation at Lucky's Steak House (remember that key word, Lois Ann!  Steak House....
LoisAnn, Carol, Me and Mary (Chris was traveling and not able to attend).

Lois Ann started us off with her 1st place plaque for her biking season!!!  She was also 5th place in the woman's division overall the Michigan Gravel Race Series for 2019!!!  How cool is that!  CONGRATS!!!

When LA wasn't riding/racing, she started back drawing birds getting inspired with the Birds, Butterflies and Blooms exhibit we are participating in the spring of 2020.  These were all done using ink and no pencil drawing first!

LoisAnn also showed several smaller collage/applique pieces she is creating in fabric.  Our girl is working in brighter colors...I think we got used to seeing her pen drawings.  These look like her drawings and are representative of Italy.  Very cool!

And just to brag a bit....Kara (LA's daughter) will finish her PhD next July/August time frame and is looking at two major job opportunities in London or Switzerland!  Kara is currently in Germany and LA and Kendall will be heading there for 3 weeks!  Safe travels and enjoy time with your wonderful daughter! Give her our best!!

Mary was Mrs. Claus today giving us each a bag of goodies!!!  We each got soap squares that smell so good; hand warmers Mary made, and some goodies to eat!!!  Thanks, Mary!!!  I'm eating my little muffin while I'm typing!!!

Mary also brought/showed the '16 things' she  (Carol has same items) has to use in a project for Design Works.  Mary is thinking of making a old lady in a quilt.  Good luck, ladies!!  This is a good challenge!!!

Carol said she had 'nothing'...but she did bring a current QA magazine for us to review.  And she gave Lois Ann a cool book for Kara.  Kara will be using the cover and removing the inside pages for making her own journal.   I think LA will be reading the book tonight as she seemed interested in some of the chapters!  It is a cool looking cover!

Pattern is in the middle

I showed a pinafore I'm knitting for my great grand baby.  The yarn creates the pattern, which we all think is very cool!  Great minds think of everything don't they!  They must be engineers who came up with this!

I finished Dawn's table topper that she dye painted at QSDS several! years ago!  She gave me the fabric this past fall and I thought she should have a quilt or something from the fabric.  She did a great job on the design.

Neocolor II combined with gelatos

I showed some of my project results from Hilary's online class - I haven't done any class for the past 3 weeks! - descriptions are on each pic.  We were doing a lot of screen printing.

Each picture on the left is the screen and the right is the prints on each of these.

Neocolor II and gelatos rubbing on screen

Deconstructed screen prints

Screen on left print on right

Screen on left and print on right

And my beaded woodpecker is coming along...he too has been ignored with the Thanksgiving holiday and company but will be done by February!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

We missed Chris today but she's getting ready to head out to Orlando for the AKC agility competition.  She's been invited for the past several years!  Best of luck, Chris!!  Keep us posted on your results and safe travels!

And to all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Looking forward to 2020 and all our accomplishments!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Present Time and it's not even Christmas yet!

When my buds and I met to see Mary's Chilhuly quilts this week, it was also time to celebrate Mary's Birthday!  No, I forgot to take a picture of the birthday gal but I did take pictures of some of the gifts WE all received that day!   First one was a birthday gift!

First off, I saw on FaceBook a post by Ami Simms on this really cool light for your sewing machine.  Now a lot of you in Michigan, as well as other states, know Ami from her quilting/teaching days.  She's now retired from teaching but still posts on FB.  I saw her comment on the Razon Sewing Light.

 I trust if Ami thought this was a great tool to have that I'd purchase one!  And with Mary's BD approaching I ordered one for her too! 

This was Mary's fact, this is Mary's machine with the light already attached!  I have to admit I haven't been in my sewing room to even put mine on yet!

You can see how bright the light is!  It's reflecting on her acrylic sewing extension.   I hope to get in my room sometime this weekend......

Next up, our bud, Carol (who I've also posted about!), made these beautiful note cards.  Carol gave each of us a group of the cards! 

Carol taught herself to make them and is now working with her Friends of the Library group to make them  for selling.  How cool is that!  The cards are stenciled onto book pages then once dry covered with a watercolor type dye/paint, dried and glued to card fronts.  They really are beautiful....almost too pretty to use!!!  Thank you, Carol!!!

And another present from our bud, Lois Ann (another friend who I also have blogged about) gave us each a bag of Ghirardelli candy and just by luck I received my favorite!!!!!  Dark chocolate/salted caramel!  I love these!!!!!  And it was just the luck of the draw!!!  Each bag was different!  It's funny because LA usually gives us chocolate covered cherries, which I love and only get at Christmas from her!  But thanks, Lois Ann!!!!  I love Ghirardelli dark chocolate candy.


Before I forget, when the kids were leaving on Sunday, MaryJo gave me this towel!  Is this cute or what!!!  I love it!!!!

It's beginning to feel like Christmas around here!!!!! 

Friday, December 6, 2019

A friends exhibit!

I have posted before on my friend, Mary.  She has made some wonderful art pieces over the years.  One of my favorites is her series on representing Chihuly in quilts.  Click here to see the post I did on Mary exhibiting in Lapeer, Michigan back in 2010!

This past week, Mary was invited to display her quilts at the Grafted Root Eatery in Grand Blanc.  My other buds and I (LoisAnn, & Carol) met up with Mary to see her quilts on display.  Aren't these wonderful!!!!

Mary captures both nature and Chihuly in this piece.

Now these really look like Chihuly's glass!

This is one of my favorites...although, it is really hard to pick just one!

If I remember correctly, Mary and some of her relatives drove out west years ago to see some of Chihuly's work in person.  Mary took a lot of pictures and was so impressed with his work. 

I think the display was hung very well to show off Mary's work.

Of course we had to stay for lunch at the Eatery!!!   There were so many  sandwich choices  we had to have a glass of wine to help us decide which we wanted! 

 Congrats, Mary!  So great folks in the area will get to see your wonderful work!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Just a walk in the park!

Kids came up on Thanksgiving afternoon and we started in on our three days of eating!  Turkey dinner turned out good and everyone seemed to like it.  Next we had dessert of pumpkin pie and lemon pie!  So we were stuffed....Friday with Bob's birthday celebration we had one whole family tray of lasagna and one family tray of mostaccioli; bread sticks with garlic cream cheese and three different pizza's!  Of course, we had to have dessert again - 3 birthday cakes! 

By Saturday, I was feeling kinda full and almost tired of eating...MaryJo walked 3 miles on our treadmill in the a.m. and I just did a short walk with the girls.  I had mentioned that we now have a county park in Goodrich (Atlas County Park) and how I've been wanting to walk there.  So, we took a 'walk in the park' Saturday afternoon!!!


We left our marijuana at home!  HA  I just thought that was an interesting sign!  The alcohol I could mind just doesn't ever think about marijuana!  I am old I guess!

I didn't see this map before we entered...just too excited to get started on our walk!

At one point, we weren't sure which way to go so we just kept following trails...I did have my Endomondo app on, which showed us where we left and where we were heading!!!  Whew!  MaryJo has a better sense of direction than I do..ha

The trail is a two track road and wasn't bad at all.  Lots of leaves covering the ground.

Several swamp/water areas...
Actually, it wasn't all that cold with the exception of one spot where the wind was blowing.  Otherwise, it was a great walk!  It took us 53 minutes to walk 2.41 miles (11:56 min miles, which Ian said was pretty good!).  And we burned 267 calories, which worked out perfect for us to have a Moscow Mule (for MaryJo) and a glass of wine for me!

  I'm really anxious now to walk there in the spring/summer/fall!!!  I've seen posts on the butterflies and wild flowers, so I'm sure it will be a great place to walk!  

Of course the guys were at the house watching their Michigan/Ohio State game!  By this picture, I'm sure you can tell who Bob and Ron were rooting for!!!  And you can guess who Ian was hoping to win...and who did win!!!!

My football hero's!

I love this picture of Ron, MaryJo and Ian!!!  They are such a wonderful family.  I'm lucky to have them as my 'bonus' kids!!!