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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bye bye Florida!

Well, we are headed home today!  Our first stop in Tenn. for the night, then on to Ohio...that gets us home early afternoon on Monday.  This was a hard year saying goodbye to so many of our friends.  I'm usually ready to go home and I am...but my emotions are running high this year just saying good bye to folks.
I guess as we age time does go by quickly (seems like we were just packing up to come down to Florida!) so hopefully, we'll be back before you know it!
My bud, Sally, got me a Dot to Dot book!  Have you seen these!  OK, yes, as a kid I'm sure you have but for adults!    How cool is this!

I already have pencils in my purse so I can play with this on the way home!  Thanks again, Sally!   So until next week....hopefully, it will be an uneventful trip home and I'll be posting soon artwork again!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Winding down...'s time to wind down or is that pack up!  We leave on Saturday to head back home.  But of course our last weeks in Florida are always SO busy!

 Wrist (left) is better but I still can't lift, bend, etc. and now my right wrist is starting to get bad.  I have to admit I'm a little concerned....but I have Dr. appointment when I get home...maybe I'll go back on RA meds...who knows...until's what I've been doing! Not art work, that's for sure!

This was Monday at the Freezer!  Bob's favorite place to eat!

Yesterday, Sally and I took off to do some shopping and of course lunch!  Mainly, Sally was looking for Key Lime pie!  Seems every time she goes out to eat they run out!
Well, not yesterday!

Next up, on Saturday, Marcia and I took off to downtown Ocala to visit some shops, walk around the farmers market at the square, then lunch at Harry's!  Of course, we had to stop at Heart's Desire and get a treat from Betty's Cakes!  No pics...and yes, I ate all the cake...well, half of it the next day, and I did get a slice for Bob too!
Last Thursday we had dinner at Carrabba's with the 'gang'!  Great meal...this Thursday we'll have our last dinner for 2016 at Blanca's......

Yep, we are going to miss our friends and it's hard to say goodbye!  But I will be glad to see my kids and grand kids.  Plus, I'll be heading to IN for Kayla's wedding shower on the  14th and then in June we'll be off to Ohio for the wedding!  WooHoo...aren't we the travelers!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Get with the program, Robbie!

I know this is the longest I have gone without a blog post!  And there's no excuse.  It's not like I've been sitting on my butt doing nothing!
I did some solar fast prints last week which I'm happy with. They are similar to some of the pieces I'm currently working on, but that's ok.  I need additional pieces for another project that needs to be done by fall.

This past week I also played with some oil pastels and Inktense blocks with some art buds.  I only did 3 pieces.

The pieces were originally solar prints  but I forgot to rinse the pieces and left them out in the sun.  Well, what you get is a solid color!

Next time I played,  I stamped them and I was happy with that but....the next layer was calling so I used oil pastels on the blocks and now I am quite happy with the pieces.  I'm trying to get enough leaf blocks printed/created so I can use them for hand work too.

I'm quite happy with these two pieces....I used a Ginko stencil I had and the other leaf was putting the oil pastel on the edge of the cardboard template and rubbing the oil pastel onto the fabric.  

This piece didn't turn out so great.  I was using the Inktense blocks and rubbing over some leaf plates.  Nothing exciting, but I'm sure it will have another layer of 'something' added!

 I have also been busy with everyday stuff, outings with my friends and dinner out!  A lot!!  Bob's only golfing four days a week (he used to golf 6 days a week!) so now he wants to toot around and have a late lunch or early dinner out!  Well, no I don't argue with him!  he he he
I met up with some art buds last week and we surprised Kay with a FaceTime visit with Mary Stori!  Mary has been trying to get to Florida to visit and play but with air flight issues trying to get somewhere "from here" has prevented her from heading south.  It's not easy traveling from her home to the airport let alone to get to where we are. But who knows...maybe someday...and until then..FaceTime works!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Project Management

I guess I should thank my former employer, EDS and/or my mum for giving me the project management skills I have. Thank goodness for that!   I try to be organized and meet my target dates 99% of the time (my followers know about the one target date that I missed!).
Anyway, I made a few fiber cards last month knowing that I'd be busy with tooting around with friends our last month in Florida. I didn't realize at the time I wouldn't be doing any sewing!  

I do have other BD's this month but they will have to settle for regular Hallmark greeting cards!  HA  I  foroet to take a picture of the card I made for Sally.  It was on silk duponi and free motion quilted.

This is the fiber card was made for our friend, Mac.  He's the 1st row/seat on the left.  Mac was an All Star at Michigan and I just happened to have found this picture on the Internet.

This is the back of his card.  I hope he enjoys it and his BD, which was on April 10th!

At least with not doing any hand work, I'm able to revisit my online dog classes, which Gigi, Kalee and I all need!  Hard to sit still but I'm taking advantage of this time to watch the video's and get back to dog lessons!  I am headed out today with Sally to have some lunch and visit a gift shop or two!   At least I can still shop with one hand!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I will be back!

Well, I hope I'll be back!  HA....My wrist/hand have been in a splint wrap for over a week. (And, no, that isn't my hairy arm in this pic!).
I had Bob go with me to Urgent Care 10 days ago..I honestly thought I had cracked a bone.   Anyway, after x-rays and $$'s spent, the diagnosis is just degenerative arthritis/RA!

The constant pain is now only about 50% of the time or if my hand/wrist turn a certain way (like I did last night in bed!!!) or if I try to lift or even wash my right side with my left hand, the pain is intense!  By the time I get out of the tub at night my wrist is killing me again.  So frustrating....I did try to do some hand stitching the other day and if I hold my hand just the right way on the hoop I can do it!

Today, I actually groomed both dogs!  I put a rubber glove over my splint and the pressure didn't feel so great but the dogs got a well needed bath!  It's amazing what all you can do with one hand!

Jan M. gave me some coconut oil pills and Turmeric tabs which I have been faithfully taking!  Then my sister sent me some essential oils, which I have been rubbing on all my joints!  Next up, Jan also recommended Blue-Emu cream, which I bought yesterday and put on a few times a day (like before bathing dogs! and at bedtime for sure).  I can't say what is or isn't working as the pain is still in the wrist and thumb but I am able to move my thumb a heck of a lot more than I could a week ago!  So that's progress!  Right! I think so!  I'll take any little sign of relief!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Working away...but not for long...

I've made pretty good headway on these two pieces....

But I am planning on taking a few days off from hand work.  Left wrist is quite bad, so until next time....Just call me 'gimpy'!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Switching Gears!

You know I get bored working on one project...hence, the fill in with the wine cozies!  So this week I started on some hand embroidery for the Solar Fast prints I did this winter.  This is one of the pieces I'm starting to embroider, you can see the rest of the Solar Fast pieces here.

This is my progress so far. 

 The color of the piece is more like the 1st picture.  I took this one in the dark!  The piece is backed with some batting so I'll have to think about how/where I'm adding borders to the piece.  I want it a tad larger.  Hmmmmm  I might resort to the QAYG method by Marianne.  I love her method and think it will or should! work for what I want to do.  Who knows!

My wrists have been killing me lately so the hand embroidery is a good switch from beading.  I started to wear a brace while I bead or embroider, which is helping.  I've also found it helps just to wear the brace while I'm doing laundry or working around the house.  You just have to remember not to wash your hands while it's on!  UGH...doesn't feel so good as it's drying!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Yep, it's that time again!  This is from my bud, Susan!  

I used to get my kids (the 'big' ones!) baskets up until we started to have grand kids...but now with us in Florida I don't even get the grand kids anything!  Well, I do mail them a card!  Woo hoo!  I'll make up for it when we get home and have our 'grandma' days in the summer!

Amber and Nick are both playing Lacrosse...and Amber made Varsity!  She is so excited and they had their first school game this week.  They didn't win but my son said they played really hard and did a good job.  That's what counts and it's great experience for both of the kids.  I should be able to attend both Amber and Nick's games when we get back as they're scheduled through May!

Hope everyone enjoys their chocolate!  We eat chocolate every day so it's no big deal for us!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wine Glass Koozie Pattern

So today I was a good person and took step by step pics on how to make the wine koozie (I spelled it cozie! on my post!).  You can see I made four more today!

Just for fun I thought I'd see if I could find the pattern on the Internet...well, who knew!  Yep, it's there...except it's called 'wine glass Kozzie' if you're interested, here is a tutorial already for you!

It's from Pokey Bolton (yep, the same QA founder!).  Thanks to her for writing all the detail for this one!  The link is here!

I'm giving these to my friend to share with her daughter.  So now I get to pick out some more fabric to keep on making these little beauties!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Squirrel Time!

The little guy is coming along...slowly but surely!  It's so hard to bead at night here for some reason!

 It could be the two dogs that want to sit on my lap or beside me at night!  Hmmmmmmm  Last night was the first night I was able to bead while watching TV!  Kalee did lay beside me and Gigi just laid on the couch...until it was mom time!

Back to the wine cozies I posted about on Monday....I am so hooked on these buggers (and it's all your fault, Sally!).  I think they are the cutest items to make and have! So what did I do yesterday...I had Bob drop me off at the fabric store while we were running errands...why, you ask!  Well, to get some fabric to make more cozies, of course!

Actually, I needed some border fabric for my leaf pieces I want to hand stitch.

I'm only going to use the dark black batik and the bottom fabric for the cozies.  Which, by the way, I'll be doing a step by step post on how to make those.  It's really quite easy but some have inquired.

 The other 3 are for the border fabrics.   So I best get off this computer and get to work, right!

Monday, March 21, 2016

What is it!?

It's a wine cozy!

A friend gave me a little wine cozy her friend made her and she thought I could figure out the pattern from hers.  Sally thought I'd like to make some too!   I forgot to take a picture of hers but they all look the same.

Well, I didn't need another project but I thought I would at least see how the bugger was made so that I could make one when we got home.

Once I turned hers inside out and saw it was easy to do I couldn't wait!  I made one within 20 min. yesterday!  I didn't have a lot of scrap fabric to use but isn't it clever!   Now I want to get some fabric and make lots of these!  Nice house warming or hostess gift!

I started off creating a circle template from an old cereal box (sometimes we revert to our past traditions don't we!).  I had to turn Sally's cozy inside out and I figured out it was only 5 circles!!

  And you only sewed once around!!  So quick and so cute.   This was the back....

And here you go!  all I need is to fill  up the glass with wine!  Which I think I'll do now!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cowgirls for a day!

OK, so maybe we weren't cowgirls but hey we did go "down on the farm" today!  Seven of us headed out Tuesday morning for our horse drawn wagon tour.    We are only 7 miles from the Horse Country Carriage Tours of Ocala, which was so convenient!
You can see by the pictures it was a beautiful day.  Our wagon master was Kimie!  I've read so many good reviews about Kimie and the tour and she didn't disappoint us!

Duke & Doc carried us for an hour around the farms.  

 A little hard to see the ladies...but starting on the left is Peggy, Marilyn, Marcia,  poking her head out  is Eleanor!, Jan, me and Marilyn K.

Our wagon traveled on 464 with cars passing us left and right!  But Duke and Doc remained so calm, as did Kimie...just a very relaxing ride!  And so much information from Kimie!  She provided us with so much history on horses, farms and even a little gossip!  She's quite witty and a charming wagon master!

Check out this tree!!!

I know it looks like a lot of trees...but it was so beautiful!!!

Of course, after the tour, we headed out to lunch and ended up at Ocala National's restaurant, Savannah's.   Here is a better pic of the ladies:
(l to r) Eleanor, me, Marilyn K., Jan, Marilyn L., Marcia and Peggy

 Food, conversation and of course a glass of wine for all but both Marilyn's!  Marilyn (our driver) had a Dirty Martini and our bud Marilyn had a Bloody Mary!  Oh yea, the food was great too!  Jan and I split a Mexi burger and fries (both really good!).  Three ladies each had a different salad that were huge and looked delicious.  Both Marilyn's had grilled turkey and one was a patty melt.

It was so nice being with these ladies today!  Some of us knew each other and some never had met!  But we now know each other and I think we are one lucky group of ladies!

Audition time

I don't bring much fabric with me to Florida anymore...just too much to stuff in the car with all of our other belongings and toys for the four months.  I did a post on the Solar Fast prints I've done while here to create leaves for another upcoming project (you can see that post here).  I plan on doing lots of hand embroidery and/or beading on those leaves but I want to add some borders or patchwork.  So, it's audition time using the fabric I have with me!  Which isn't much.  The stripe fabric I bought when Susan and 2 others took a trip to Trenton quilt shop.    

I'm not sure if these will work or not...just playing around and anxious to have another hand project to work on.  I get bored working just with beads so I like to have a machine or other hand embroidery project to keep me busy!

And while having a show and tell with buds here in Florida, I showed this piece I did using thickened dyes (post here).  As I was showing it, I said "I think I'll use this for the background to put my Blue Squirrel on! "  The fabric just seemed to fit!  Well, I may change my mind but for the time being...this will be Blue Squirrel's new home!

 I think the squirrel will look good on this background!  I'll machine quilt it first then attached the little guy after all the beading is finished.  The picture above shows the true colors better than this pic but you get the idea.

Today (Tuesday) there are seven of us taking a horse drawn carriage tour of a horse farm!  The tour is an hour long then we'll be off for a lunch!  Hope to have some good pics to show later this week!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Blue Squirrel Progress

I am making progress BUT...there's always a "but" isn't there! To make for a shorter post (those who know me know that I could drag out this explanation!)....the beads I am using for outlining and shadowing are #10 seed beads, which are larger than the #11 seed beads I have for the rest of my squirrel!

So what does all this mean!  Hopefully, it doesn't mean I have to start over and I can fudge smaller beads to fill in. fault I didn't check.  I did go to the bead store yesterday to purchase some #10 beads but all they had were Delica's, which are more uniform. And I picked up some #15's as well...heck, if I'm going to mix bead sizes, might as well go all the way!    Who knows...he might end up having more texture than expected!  You never know do you!!  I am removing those beads under his chin and replacing with smaller seed beads!   So I better get busy on this little guy!!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Another night at the Freezer!

I  forget to post earlier this week our Freezer night out!  Monday afternoon we picked up Hamill's and LaPlante's and headed over to the Miller's for a night of shrimp at the Freezer!  This isn't a place to eat for everyone but it is my hubby's favorite, as it is for the rest of the gang!  We had a fun night as usual...which you can see below!

This is the back of Larry's shirt!  A Valentine gift from his beautiful wife to him.  Seemed to fit the night except there were no margarita's involved in this dinner!

Patricia is trying to tell everyone to behave!  They don't really listen!

Bob has a picture of Jan doing what Patrick is doing now...only she was more lady like using only 1 pitcher!

This is a hard group to keep control of!

Bob looks like he just got caught at doing something bad!  Probably was!

And of course, the main reason I like to go!  Blizzard's at Dairy Queen!!!  Yes, I can be bought for chocolate (only dark) and Blizzards!

Another great night of good food and good company...and we also ended up at Harry's with J and L Tuesday!  No eating out on Wed. but back at it on Thursday with the gang!  Now I'm off to do my 7 minute exercise which needs to be 171 minutes at the very least!  Whew!  Retirement in Florida is a lot of work!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

More layering!

First, here is another shibori piece I dyed over the weekend.  I'm happy with to use it in a project!
Well, what else do you do when you have 'ugly' or not so great results from dyeing or printing fabrics!  You redo them somehow!  That's what I did yesterday with some buds here in Florida.  These are all scrap pieces with exception of the blue mono printed.  That is a full yard of fabric I dyed several years ago.

After - stamping


After - mono printing

These next pieces were some of my Solar Fast failures - only because I forgot and left them out in the sun after I removed the transparency!!  Once you rinse them the dye image/print is set...big oops but a great opportunity to 'fix' the failures! All of these were stamped.

This was an old mono print I had done a few years ago so I just stamped with metallic paint. I know I can use all of these pieces somewhere in my upcoming projects!