Thursday, March 25, 2010


What can I say - Sebring was total bliss - the weather was cool and refreshing. My mom and I and DF Susan traveled down together on Sunday.  The bad weather was nipping at our heels the whole time.  We stopped for a lovely lunch at a favorite spot in Winter Park and OH WOW did we ever get caught in a torrential downpour.  Once we got back on the road the rain was quite heavy - needless to say I was very glad to arrive at our destination safely.  We checked in and got settled but did not leave the hotel for the next 3 days and you will see why we did not see any need to leave the property.

Come Monday morning - the clouds and rain were all gone away and here was the gorgeous site that greeted us.

The Inn on the Lakes is a privately owned family property.  We sprung for a small upcharge and opted for  lakefront rooms. We opened up the windows and they stayed open for the entire duration of our stay there.  Sleeping with open windows was total bliss.

 Their landscaping is just magnificent - it is truly something to behold.  Take in the sites and enjoy!

This rug camp had 3 national teachers - Mom and I and DF Susan were all in the same class.  We've had Vivily Powers (Colorama) before.  My rug is rather small 24" x 24" and is designed by Bea Brock - a texas artisan - I had given the canvas to mom as a gift several years ago but she never warmed up to it so she suggested I take it and see what I could do with it - here is my progress as of the end of the workshop.

Mom started a darling 18" x 18" canvas by Not Forgotten Farm - we just adore Lori's designs and this one is just so dang cute.

here is DF Susan's progress on her little pastoral scene - she is an awesome hooker.

here are a few of our classmates rugs - sorry I can't show them all and no these egrets were not worked in class - these were ongoing projects.  Same with the rug called Alphapets - many hours have already gone into these rugs.

There was an exhibit held - it was small as the camp was small.  I only snapped a couple of photos and regret to say I did not get a good enough photo of my mom's santa rug and there was a big glare on Susan's Houses rug I showed on the blog last month.  WHAAAAAA - however - here is a few snaps from the exhibit.  enjoy! 

Hope you are all having a good time with your projects.  Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comments.  Without them - the blogs would not be as much fun to read.  Happy Springtime Stitching!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I was planning to do a Happy St Patrick's Day post but here is what I see out of the french doors in my office.

Naked trees, gray, drizzly, gloomy, nothing green about today.

I was very honored to receive my first blogger award from Margaret - one of my stitching idols. Thanks Margaret !
I am supposed to nominate 7 other blogs but as I have seen several others do I am going to decline with that part because there are SOOOO many talented people out there whose blogs I love and I'm sure dozens more that I have  yet to discover so kudos to all my friends in blog land.

I'm not even sure I can come up with 7 interesting things but I'll try.

1.  I'm an only child and I have no children myself - never minded being an only child except now that my parents are aging (aren't we all) I am a little sad to think that one day I might be very alone.

2.  I exhibited purebred dogs for 25 years (Afghan Hounds) - I owned and bred a number of champions and traveled all over the US to shows.  No I don't have any dogs - my last old champion died about 8 years ago and honestly - if I never pick up a brush again as long as I live - it won't hurt my feelings.

3.  Jody and I have known each other almost all our lives - he is almost 5 years younger than I and he was and still is good friends with my only cousin (my mom's sister's only son) We aren't close but he and Jody keep in touch.  He grew up in the neighborhood and we have been together for 30 years. 

4. I lived in the same house for 50 years - it was a tiny cottage my grandparents built after the depression when they moved to Jacksonville - needless to say it was very traumatic for me to consider and execute a move 20 miles away however we love our home and I'm glad we made the move.

5.  When I was much younger I dated a member of a prominent southern rock band from jacksonville and even went to concerts with them.  I was back stage lots of times and it is just as bizzare and seedy a lifestyle as you could imagine.  Lots of drugs, sex and rock and roll (please god don't let my mom read this!)  Lots of times I would tell her I was going to a dog show and I would go and park my van at a friends house and then get on a plane or meet the tour bus.  My boyfriend bought me lots of extravagant gifts and it was fun for a while but the first time I got slapped and knocked around by a jealous groupie I was ready to give up the rock and roll life style. Another scary thing that happened was that different members of the same band were fighting and feuding and someone crashed a chair thru the windows of the hotel room we were staying in and glass shattered all over the place - needless to say that was the final straw - the last concert I went to with him. I saw the guy in the rock band not long ago at a local concert  and he is even fatter and older looking than I - geez - I wish I just had remembered how he looked in 1979 on the album cover.

6.  I've been in the car business for 30 years as well.  With a Ford dealership for 21 years and now a family owned management company that owns dealerships in 3 states.  I am a network admin and love my job.

I'm afraid I am not a very interesting person since I can't even come up with #7 - sorry !

I'm really excited to be going to another rug workshop this weekend.  We have been going down to Sebring Fl which is below Orlando in the orange grove region for a number of years now.  It will be a welcome vacation and time to spend with mom at a lovely inn on the lake.

Hope the luck of the Irish is with us all !

Friday, March 12, 2010


Well - I made it thru a difficult week at work but it's FINALLY FRIDAY !  I felt so liberated when I left work -  headed straight for the LYS and knit night with friends.  I thought I was too tired but Jody encouraged me to go and I'm actually glad I did - I finished the back of my Rowan Colorscapes jacket.  The yarn is lovely - the colorways were designed by Kaffe Fassett and it shows - brillant colors - a little out of my comfort zone but unbelievably dramatic.  This would be a fast finish if I just devoted any attention to it but I'm all about what catches my attention at the moment and then poof - I'm off to something else.  So I got the front cast on and I'll try to be a little more attentive to this beauty.

While I'm showing knitting - here is a photo of the yarn I mentioned in my last post - I found the simple capelet pattern and yarn at the yarn shop in St Augustine.  It is easy mindless knitting and enjoyable to watch the color changes - the mohair stranded along with the striping wool gives a lovely halo and it is just the effect I was looking for - so I'm glad that my impulse purchase is turning out so well.  It will always remind me of the bittersweet day I spent in St Augustine and how special my connections are to that place.

Another fun purchase I received in the mail last week is some Spud and Chloe - that is a charming spin off company from Blue Sky Alpaca - one of my fave yarn companies.  They put out this cute pencil bag for accessories and knitting notions with their darling logo on it.  Here are 2 skeins of their "Fine" yarn which is a fingering weight in Clementine and I got a skein of their "sweater" which is a worsted weight cotton/wool blend and also a design by them called Tea Party Cardi - which uses the sweater weight yarn - I wanted to see it in person and swatch it up before I ordered the yarn for the cardi - I don't care for cotton yarn however I love Blue Sky's cotton and this proves to be even nicer with the addition of the wool.

and now to the proof - I do still stitch - I really really do - I just don't get much done - Here is a darling piece I got from the Attic - it is the class piece that the BBD gals did for Jean's retreat in November.  It is an adorable thread pocket with a tiny hornbook charm - on the back you can affix the LHN "schoolgirl lessons" piece which is stitched in one color of Belle Soie.  OK granted - some of my stitching idols (and you all know who you are) could have stitched up this little piece in a week but I just work on it when I feel like it so this is all I have done.  Cute huh?
Last but certainly not least is an updated progress shot of the SL "Hart" sampler I am doing for my folks anniversary.  I have mostly been working (or not working) on the filling in.  There is tons of fill in work on this sampler and now I am somewhat worried that I don't have enough of the maroon silk for the outer border so I am probably going to continue trying to fill the 4 sides to see if it holds out.  Compared to my last WIP photo of this piece I can see progress so I guess I am pleased enough to show you the progress.

So - no rug hooking updates for this post.  I am however looking so forward to another rug workshop down in Sebring Fl - it is held at a family owned inn on Lake Jackson and is a beautiful place - so lovely so picturesque on the lake - the landscaping is gorgeous.  It is something I look forward to doing with my mom every year.  We have a wonderful teacher with whom we've had great sucess in previous years.  Mom is doing a small Not Forgotten Farm design and I am doing a 24" X 24" design by Bea Brock - the same designer as my Angel Sampler -however this piece is more like an oversized quilt block - I'll show you what I end up with after the workshop.  I did not give my teacher much direction about the color plan so it will be a surprise - I love surprises don't you?

I am so moved by the comments so many people made in regards to the passing of my dear cousin.  I had some new commenters to my blog and I appreciate so much your kindness and I hope you will all come back and visit me.  I read and enjoy all of your messages.  No matter what your chosen handwork - be sure and make time to enjoy it and to stop and smell the roses along the way.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Yesterday was a truly sad day for me - I attended the funeral of a very dear cousin of mine.  She lived in several different places on the east coast of Florida but I think she spent her happiest years in St Augustine.  She was 82 and had been ill for the past several years so she had moved to assisted living facility in Ponte Vedra Beach about 6 or so years ago.  She had declined pretty rapidly the past year and suffered several stokes in recent months.  Still the news was a shock . I had kept in close touch with her mostly by phone until she was moved to the nursing center and it was hard to get her on the phone. Sadly I had not spoken with her for several months.

 The service was held at the Episcopal church where she was a member for many years - her DD was married there in one of the most gorgeous weddings I have ever attended.  One of  my grandmothers sisters settled in St Augustine and raised her 4 sons there.  I have many cousins there and have spent many happy days and hours in St Augustine.  It holds a lifetime of dear and special memories for me.

It was raining, nasty, blowing and cold yesterday morning.  St Augustine is about an hour from my house.  My folks were supposed to be meeting me on the way and we would go together.  I was horrified when my mom called and said she was not feeling up to going.  I am SO not good with funerals - I knew I would not be strong with this one especially without my mom to hold me up.  So I decided I would not back out - I would be a big girl and go by myself.  I even stopped at Starbucks on the way to try and perk myself up.

The service was very formal as most Catholic/Episcopal services seem to be to me.  there were not many people there - so sad - Tears rolled down my face thru the entire service.  there was a quiet reception held after the service where my cousin (her daugher) had a video rolling of old family photos - OMG - I just lost it - seeing photos my grandmother and all her sisters - cousins - myself as a child - it was more than I could handle.  I just sobbed like a baby - it was rather embarrassing but I could not contain myself.  After the reception - I decided to walk down to the French Bakery where I spent many happy hours with my great Aunt, cousins and grandmother in years past.  Here is a shot of Charlotte St where the bakery is located.
Here is Cadiz St.  If you look closely you might can see the bayfront.  This is considered "old town" in St Augustine with tiny narrow streets which are still open to vehicles.

I just wandered the familiar streets rather aimlessly - the streets were quite deserted - so it was kinda like stepping back in time.  I walked down Palm Row - which I had always meant to do but never had - this is an awesome brick street with houses from the 1800's still in private residence.  that street is only open to residents and foot traffic.  Isn't it beautiful? - where I am standing is just across the street from the Lightner Museum which used to be a hotel.  It was built by the railroad barron Henry Flager and is across the street from Flagler College.   St Augustine is full of history and ghosts.  I must admit several times I felt like someone was watching me or following me on these deserted historic streets.  I chalked it up to too many episodes of Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures! 

I did visit a very neat place inside the Lightner Musuem - the Linen Room - it is owned by June an English woman.  I have found several treasures there over there years and always try to stop in if I have time.  It is where I bought my antique sewing table and Mom got a little schoolgirl sampler a few years ago.  I was looking for a homespun linen sheet that will become the base of a primitive applique wool bed cover from the new book Primitive Offerings by Maggie Bonanomi.  Luck was with me - I found one for a great price - I had been perusing Ebay and they were all over $100 plus I prefered to see what I was buying in person.

On the hike back to my car - I passed this sign - It attracted my attention because I live on Fatio Lane on what was once Laurel Grove Plantation on the banks of the St Johns River.  I am now curious about this name and will have to do some research to see if Fatio was somehow connected to Laurel Grove Plantation.  I know at one time Harriet Beecher Stowe's son owned Laurel Grove.  Fatio seems to be Spanish and on the museums website - there is more info about Louisa Fatio who owned and ran the boarding house.          here is a link if anyone cares to look around.

After leaving the historic area - I decided to go and peruse the LYS - she moved last summer and I had not seen the new shop.  It was pretty unexciting but I did manage to buy a pattern for a capelet and some lovely mohair yarn and some relatively inexpensive wool to make the cape.  I am such a yarn snob - I am now somewhat regretting buying this yarn as I have infinite stash that I could have pulled from to do this capelet.  Had I just bought the mohair and the pattern - I would have come out still under budget for a day in St Aug - instead I have now blown thru my mad money for the next couple of weeks.  Couple that with market purchases and I YAH YAH - I'm broke again.

Thanks for sticking with me thru my sad story and my journey around one of my favorite places in the area.  You can go and spend a day in St Augustine and feel like you were in Europe for a day.  If you have not been there - do put that on your bucket list.  It is a truly unique and beautiful place.  Until we meet again - thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments - I read each and every one and love to hear from you.