Thursday, January 29, 2009

Well it has been a rainy day today in Florida. With the frost we had last week the grass turned brown from it but I bet with this good rain (about 1/2") it will quickly turn green again unless we get another frost over the weekend. It is a possibility. I bought 4 large pots of beautiful pink geraniums to fill my 2 pots out front and before I could plant them they advised possible frost so they have been living in and out of my garage. this morning I planted them and before I could water the rain started so that was lucky. Rain water is always so much better for plants then tap water.

I still haven't done any needlework. I am in a reading mode right now and still trying to get by whatever it is that has been hanging on. I will go back to the Dr. next week if I still don't feel right. I did bake a banana cake today and iced it and will have a piece after I finish this with my coffee. I usually have a cup after supper - decaf only.

I mentioned about putting some of my past needlework on here until I get moving again. I am the grandmother of 5 boys and only 1 grandaughter. The boys are from 5 to 15 and the GD is 13. I made her christening gown and smocked all her birthday and christmas dresses when she was younger plus always made a christmas dress to match for whatever American doll I bought for her that year. I don't have pictures of them all on here but do have some. I will start with her Christening dress but don't have a pic of the bonnet. Don't know why I didn't take a sperate one of that. Must do that. I still have the set at my house, dress, slip and bonnet and have it wrapped in the special white tissue and preservation box. I remember taking the fabric up to our cottage and sitting for hours doing row after row of pintucks. No wonder I have a bad upper back now. One of my friends blames by back problem on what she calls my sweat shop sewing room.

I also made a smocked romper and boys bonnet for the boys in each family. My daughter has the 3 boys and my son the 2 boys and 1 girl. Each of the boys wore the romper for their christenings.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I I received my Dancing Needle for punchneedle that takes the larger 7 and 13mm needle. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but will in the next couple of days and then show the results. They are a little pricey - was roughly $40.00 US so hope it works.
I am posting some pics today of our almost complete sunroom which is mainly of interest to family and friends but open to all to look of course. I should add that the big screen tv (47") is for Harv to watch all his sports. He loves the extra room he has out there as opposed to the smallness of his den. For those who do not know my husband is in a wheelchair.
Hopefully back with something new in a day or two. While I am not too active in my sewing right now I may start posting some of my older projects from the smocking - heirloom sewing days. Better then no pics at all until I get myself back in gear.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I took pictures and posted of the block I was making for Dee's quilt a couple of weeks ago. Well something had to be changed. When I tried printing out the picture on silk I could not get the saying readable. It kept blurring and it was because of the saying "There's Happines in Remembrance" that I was using it. SO I was stuck with what to put in the middle until I took out some tatting I had been working on a while ago and found one of the many hearts I had done.

The white heart fit perfectly in the middle and I thought a heart would be appropriate to the block. The next decision was to leave it white or dye it. I decided for the same reason just to leave it white. Somehow that seemed more appropriate. I have taken a picture of it and will post it here then off it will go to Kate on Monday. One thing that doesn't show up well in the picture is at the end of the name Dee I drew the beads out and put a pretty Swarofsky crystal at the end in case you wonder what the blob is. It actually looks pretty when you see it. Hope it fits in with the rest of the blocks. There have been some very pretty ones posted. It is amazing how hard I find it to work on blocks for other people. That is one reason I do not enjoy RR's. Well thats it for today. We are going out for dinner with 2 other couples tonight and going to one of their houses for cocktails first so see you hopefully tomorrow or Sunday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The ladies on our end of our curved street started going out to lunch once a month about 2 years ago and it is fun. Even though we are on the same street we don't necessarily see each other from month to month. Each gal takes a month when they are here (half of us are snowbirds and the other full timers) and arranges for the place and takes care of the details. It was my turn this month and we went to an Italian restaurant that I chose. There were only 10 of us as some were away or sick, etc. Sometimes there will be 14 of us other times a smaller group. My husband went to lunch with one of the husbands so guess who is not making dinner tonight? We both had large lunches and Harv has poker tonight at the club so will just have a light snack. I like those kinds of nights. I like to cook but do get tired of trying to think what to have all the time. My husband is easy to please so that helps.

No pics today because I was slow getting going then out most of the afternoon. I do want to post one of my son's 2 boys Scout and Ranger. They are beautiful Collie dogs. He does actually have 2 real sons named Nick and Tommy. There is a story that goes with the 2 of them. Mike had 1 collie named Barkeley and he was getting on in age. Someone told him that the best time to get another one was when they older dog was still there as he would train the younger pup. So at 6 weeks home comes Scout. Well Barkely perked up and surprised them and lived another 2 years or so. Well by that time Scout was so attached to him that when Barkeley finally passed away Scout went into a depression and was constantly whining and looking for him. They felt sorry for Scout and home came collie #3 - Ranger.

So now Scout is happy to have a friend around. They are beautiful dogs and they keep them well groomed. I am showing a picture I took of them at Christmas in Mike's kitchen. So now you have seen all the dogs in this family so no more dog pics.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I did not get any pics of outside today as we had to go out but I am going to post a couple of wall hangings I have made that I did not finish in the conventional way. Both of these were made from an antique fan quilt that was in poor shape. I took the blocks apart and used 4 blocks put together to make a circle. I left any original embroidery that was on each square. I made my hanging with 4 squares and made one for my daughter with 2 squares. Once the squares were sewn together I appliqued them to a solid black fabric then to even them out I went around each square with a black narrow trim. I did silk ribbon embroidery in the middle of mine in such a way that it could be turned in any direction and would look the same. In my daughters I did silk ribbon embroidery around the top, bottom and 2 top corners. We made frames from 1x2 pieces of lumber joined at the corners with small angle irons for stability. I then stretched the fabric over the frame and stapled it to the wood on the back. Mine is hanging in our Florida home and my daughter has hers in her Chicago home. I am posting these 2 pics in response to MaryAnne from question concerning ways to finish a wallhanging. It is just one way but is simple to do.
Looking at these pictures taken years ago I need to re-take and have better pics. Until looking at them now I didn't realize the daughter's pic isn't even the whole hanging. The right corner is cut off in the pic but at last it gives an idea of it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sorry to be so long with no posting but I was under the weather. Went to the Dr. last Monday and the meds are just starting to kick in. Have done a little bit on Dee's block but not enough to photograph. The print I was going to put on it will not be going there. I printed it out about 6 different times and different ways and could not get the writing readable. I was working with a very small print about 2 x 3 because they are small blocks and that is probably the problem. Now I have to go to plan B and think of something else to fill the middle. I am thinking a pretty tatted piece maybe.

I finally went out today and took pictures of the orchids and plants I put in the terrarium and will include them. I think I might have lost my lovely fern. I mentioned at the time that I had to be careful and make sure it was watered well and then completely forgot it with being sick. When I went out yesterday it looked pretty sad. I took it outside and let the water run through it but I am not sure if I can save enough to look good or will have to scrap it. Serves me right for neglecting it. The orchids and small plants were okay. I did just put an artificial ivy in the bottom rack that I had around the house and think I will just stay with that. Can forget to water it.

We went shopping today to Target and I found a couple of rugs for outside that looked okay with our existing cushions so was happy with that. I also bought a bakers rack for out there but decided it is too small for the wall space. It will have to go back and we will have to hit a couple of furniture stores or go online. Probably easier now that I have a better idea of size and decided I liked the black. Everything else out there is white so it is a bit of a contrast.

Hopefully will see you tomorrow with pics from outside.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I will try and post again the pics of Dee's quilt square I am working on. I deleted the first pics and re took them. I think they will post right way up now. Even though they showed right way up on the screen when Harv went back into the camera they were sideways. For those of you who don't know about Dee she is Dee from the Netherlands who came to the CQ conference in Omaha for quite a few years. I first met her in 2005 and sat next to her in a class for a day. The next year I missed but then I went in 2007 and this time Dee was there with her hndsome husband. She was always a lot of fun and participated in all the crazy doings that make the conference so much fun.

Well last year Dee advised that her cancer had returned and it was only a matter of time. Nothing more could be done for her. She said she wanted to come to Omaha in July but her doctor at that time said no. Well she was determined and she came again with her husband for support. I did not make the conference in 08 but was so glad that Dee was able to. What courage it took for someone so ill to come that far. She was amazing. Well sad to tell you but Dee passed away at the end of the summer and will be missed by all who met her.

To honor her Kate Hollifield requested volunteers to make blocks that she in turn would make into a quilt and auction it at Omaha this year. For you gals that know both Kate and Mona from MN are 2 wonderful gals. Every year Kate puts out requests and blocks come in from all over the world which she and Mona divide up between them and then turn them into beautiful wallhangings that are raffled off. Half of the funds go to breast cancer research and the other half goes to the CQ organization for scholarships for gals to come to Omaha who otherwise would not be able to afford it. As we all know the making of a block is nothing compared to the work of putting them together and turning them into a quilt. They do a fabulous job. I have made 2 blocks every year since I have been involved with CQ and will continue to do so as long as I can.

I deleted the bare block so the first block here does have some beading on it that I did last night. the second pic shows the silkie I am using. The saying on it reads "There's gladness in remembrance" and I thought that would be fitting. God bless Dee.

ps - To see the blocks that have already come in for Dee's quilt go to Kate's site: The first link is Dee's quilt. If you want to see past conference blocks and quilts hit "conference" which is at the top next to Tab1. It will show all the links.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Well apparently the pics did not post. I reviewed them first on the screen and they were there so I will try again.
I am showing the flower pics that I took last summer of a new (to me) flower called a fan flower. I bought a basket and then started seeing them planted in the ground. Our Health Centre where I take water aerobics in the summer did a large planting of them. They are very pretty and do resemble a fan in their shape. I have only seen them in purple but they may come in other colors.

The reason I posted these pics is that last night I did a nice long email and put on 2 pics of the block I am making for Dee's auction quilt (which I will explain later). Both pictures flipped sideways and yet on the desktop they were okay. Being new at this I went to blogger and printed out some instructions to delete pics and when I thought I was deleting the first pic I found I had deleted the whole post. There must be an answer to why the pics flipped and what I did wrong. I posted these flowers from last summer to see if the pics would flip but they did not. Does anyone have an answer or has had this problem? Help!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No pics to night. Tried to get some cleaning done around here the last 2 days while Harv was out at tax class. My hubby is a tax volunteer for AARP and the IRS and does taxes 2 days a week starting Feb. until April 15th for seniors and low income residents. It is at our local library here. Every year they have 3 days of classes but as an old hand at it, he and our neighbour both are usually finished half way thru and pass the exams. He also answers questions for the IRS on the computer. He enjoys it and it helps to keep the mind active. Our neighbour who does it with Harv celebrates his 87th. birthday today. He plays tennis every week day morning and walks a total of 4 miles to our front entrance and back most days. He is just

I did start knitting a pair of crazy quilt mitts before we left for Christmas and only finished one. They are 2 needle mitts and then are sewn up. I really prefer the 4 needle variety but had no 4 needles with me and with about 100 pairs at home didn't want to buy more. I haven't done any knitting in a while so it felt good. Will take pics when I get them finished. I will send them to my daughter who could use them up in IL.

It appears to be such bad weather all over our country and in Canada. Just read about the white Christmas they had in the Vancouver area this year. A first I think. The Pacific Northwest really got zonked and now all the flooding is starting. Our world is changing.

Keep warm and safe.



Monday, January 5, 2009

I was off to the flea market yesterday and did end up buying real plants for the toy. I bought 2 white orchids @ $2.00 each and 1 African Violet for $3.00 plus 2 other variegated green houseplants that I can't spell for 2.00 each. I wasn't sure how much more to buy as to how full it would be. I put them in and found I need something to go behind the long stalks of the orchids. The other 3 grouped in front look good so now I am looking for a small fern. I also bought a very large Maidenhair fern to hang in a bird cage stand that I used to hang a boston fern in. I promised my hubby I would not buy another boston fern as they are very dirty plants. Always dropping stuff all over. when I saw the maidenhair fern I knew that would do the trick. I do know though that you can never let it get dried out or you lose them very quickly so will have to be careful. It was only 7.00. I must say that here in central Florida we are in the midst of the largest fern and orchid greenhouses in the state and that is why they are so cheap. I will take pics when I get them finished and show you. We are on the lookout for a rug for out there to fill part of the floor.
I did take some pics of a great buy I made at the flea market before Christmas and an interesting one to me at that. There was a box with a lot of beautiful black beaded pieces and a piece of black lace beaded with metal beads. There were also 4 hanks of the same metal beads. I had never seen these before and feel they are very old. There were also 3 hanks of pink and very light pink cut glass beads. Has anyone worked with these metal beads? I would be interested to hear if you have. I think I paid 12.00 for all of this. There were also quite a few dangles and loose beads, sequins, etc. in the box. I should stay away from the flea markets but the thrill of the hunt gets to me and off I go.

On a personal note for friends and family who know that I had breast cancer 9 years ago, I saw my oncologist over Christmas and as usual he asked if I was having any problems, etc. I told him I am still having a lot of problems with my upper back and neck so he sent me to the hospital for a complete body scan just in case. Well I went on Dec. 26th. but he was on vacation last week and I came back to Florida and waited for today when he returned. Well it was good news. Only abnormalities were in my hands and feet and that is just arthritis so all is well. I have been on meds for over 9 years and will continue until Oct. 09 and then I will be finished. Unless, as he laughingly said, they might develop another one and here we go for another 5 years. As long as it is keeping the cancer at bay I cannot complain. My oldest sister had a radical mastectomy 25 years ago and is still here today cancer free so maybe we are winning the battle.



Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sorry about the multiple pics of my newest toy. I had trouble entering the pics and thought I had only put in 2 but up came 4 - probably 2 of the ones I did not think went thru. I spent the day putting away the Christmas stuff and tomorrow I am off to the flea market to see what I can find to put in the "new toy". I am also on the lookout for a bakers rack or old cupboard with open shelves that I can put stuff on. I am going to show you some pics of the new room minus furniture. These were taken before we put stuff back. The room is the actual size it was before but only half was under roof and the other half just screened over so you could not put furniture out there with cushions, etc. that could get wet. With the roof over it seems gigantic and I am trying to fill it. I also have a large landscaping job to do. All the old hedge and bushes were pulled out and carted away. also need qite a bit of sod put down. It never ends.

I am going to show a pic with the lanaii screened in and then the new room.

Will I ever get back to sewing? I have been doing a little needle tatting at night just for something to do. I must get started on the butterfly quilt. One of the problems that I am sure a lot of us have is I have run out of room to hang things. Something has to come down before something else can go up. You know the old story.
That is discouraging me from starting such a large project but it does look like fun.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


We are back from the frozen north and very happy to see sunshine and at least 70 degrees. Sunday trip home was unbelievable. 42 people on standby and I saw at least 2 large families with children who did not get on our plane. With all the bad weather these were people from cancelled flights still trying to get to disney for vacations. Travel is hell in winter or bad weather. They always have to change our seats once we get to the airport as Harv needs the aisle chair. For the first time they separated us - he was in 6D and I was in 14B. I was not a happy camper but was just so happy to get on the plane and get here that I didn't complain. He said the gals looked after him and even gave him 2 glasses of tomato juice. How come I only got 1 tea?

I called the gal that I bought the conservatory from and she delivered it yesterday. It is out there bare but I am very happy with it. I am now trying to figure what I am gong to put in it. It has the glassed in portion on top with doors and then a bottom shelf where other plants can go. My dilemma is live or artificial. As a gardener I hate artificial but as a realist I know in 4 months I will be back home and nothing will survive n there for 6 months until we return. With that in mind I will probably do artificial but use a lot of moss on the shelves to give it a more realistic look. I may pop a real orchid in the middle somewhere to fool people and make me happier. I am posting a couple of pics we just shot. We only started to put the furniture back in a couple of days before we left so the room is still bare looking and very white. I had a lot of white wicker furniture and all the cushions are still in great shape so don't want to change them yet. We are going to buy a rug to fill in the middle and that will help. Must get on the shopping trail. We basically have to leave the room clear for Harv in the wheelchair. We just bought him a 47" flat screen for out there and he has sat and watched the hockey game between Chicago and Detroit from Wrigley Field. That is the baseball field in downtown Chicago and they installed an artificial ice rink in the field for today's game. Unfortunately Chicago lost. Both Harv and I were born and lived in Canada and he was a hockey player at one time so this brought back good old outside memories for both of us. My Canadian readers will know what I am saying.

I will sign off and hopefully now things are back to normal I hope to be posting almost every day and getting back to my sewing routine so I have some of that to show also.