Monday, August 23, 2010


Looking for interesting blog post titles can always be a daunting challenge.  The birthday part is for my mom.
We had a great time celebrating her birthday this weekend.  Jody and I went to the lake on Saturday afternoon - we decided since we are so close to vacation time that we would just hang around the lake and have a catfish fry and maybe take a boat ride.  That was what my mom requested.  I got some beautiful flowers from the local flower shop and my assistant and I arranged them for my mom.  I went foraging outside the office and found these great fox tail ferns growing in abundance so I clipped off a few and I think they made a dramatic statement in the arrangment.
Here is a closer shot

I can't believe I didn't get a single photo of my DM (sigh) I should have gotten one with her flowers - she loved them or with the special coconut essence cake I got from a local cake designer.  I guess in the world of cakes you are better if you are a "cake designer" instead of a bakery LOL.  No photo of that either.

After we had our delicious fried catfish, my dad's world famous hushpuppies and a few glasses of iced tea - we hit the lake for a long sunset ride.  It was so much fun !

Here's Jody trying to catch some bugs LOL ! and my DD driving the boat.  My mom said "don't you dare take a picture of me"  - her hair was blowing and she had on no makeup - AAACKKK - I should have anyway but she was the birthday girl and I did not want to upset her.

Isn't that the most blissful sunset - the lake was so calm and beautiful and all the egrets were heading for their roost in the cypress tree around from my folks house.  It was getting a little to dusky to get a good photo of them.  Happy Birthday to my dear mom - the "special" BBD gift is on it's way and I'll give that to her this week - maybe I 'll post a photo of her then.

Can you believe I had a knitting finish ! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOT - I bought this yarn in the spring and this was intended for me however I need a special gift for a special GF of mine - she is a knitter too so she will appreciate the effort and hours that went into this.  It is the Mara Shawl -  a free pattern produced and available on the Madeline Tosh website.  This shawl is so easy and I found it to be a very relaxing knit - the yarn is exquisite but the color Port is very dark - almost black with little flecks of dark pink. 
Can't see a thing in that photo except the shape but here is a closer view of the tip and you can see the beautiful ruffled edge.

I loved making this SO much that I have already decided to order more MT yarn and make another one for myself.  When I was on their website today perusing around - I saw another cute pattern I am now coveting and want to make out of their sock weight yarn.  You get so addicted to these hand dyed yarns it's hard not to be day dreaming constantly of casting on your next beautiful project.

Speaking of beautiful projects - I just have to say - Miss Merry Halloween has come out to play after a long hot summer of hiding in the old red cupboard.  She is a little more than 1/2 finished - if I would get to work - she might get to make her debut for the Halloween season this year. 
Isn't she the cutest thing !
This is one of my favorite seasonal pieces - I showed her in a previous post but I've gotten lots of new followers since then and I just thought she should be seen again.  It will give me incentive to keep working on that BORING inky green black backround.  It looks black but it is really a very dark green plaid.  This color plan was done by Diane Stoffel and is predominantly in a 6 cut  but of course the tiny detail is in a 3 & 4 cut.
I don't know why this looks so washed out - the colors are really very vivid on this canvas.  Oh and the design is by Lori Brechlin/Not Forgotten Farm adapated by Spruce Ridge Studios.

Thanks so much for coming around to visit me and for your comments.  Without you - it would not be much fun to do a blog - so please come and visit me again real soon !

Monday, August 16, 2010


I have been meaning for quite some time to post some photos of the GORGEOUS king size quilt our DF Vicki (of Olde Green Cupboard fame) made for my mom.  We picked out the fabric in March before they announced they were closing (which we are still mourning btw).  The fabric is Moda from the BBD line called Old Primrose Inn.  I sure hope I got that right and did not step on anyone's toes like I did last time I said the wrong name for a quilt line or manufacturer or something - I got a nasty gram on that one and I will just apologize right now if I got something wrong.  I'm not a quilter and neither is my mom so we just don't know as much as some of you gals do about fabric lines, designers and so forth - however I'm pretty positive I got this right because I looked on the selvage and got the name AND when we bought it we were specifically looking for Blackbird designed fabric.  Vicki did a fantastic job on this quilt - it is exactly what my mom was hoping for - she wanted a vintage look so Vicki chose Buggy Whip as the pattern.  Some of the gals who used to work for OGC bought one of the fancy long arm quilters and opened their own finishing shop -  Sorry but I don't know the name of it - anyway that is who did the actual quilting on this one. 

I think this looks marvelous in "MY" guestroom on this antique iron bed but I don't think mom is going to part with it - wonder if I begged a little harder LOL.

I had a close up of the quilting pattern but it just did not show up in the photo so I won't waste the space.

Another really neat quilted item I have in my possession is this awesome carrier made by friend Susan - also a former OGC associate and who also now has a long arm quilter and cottage industry finishing quilts for people in need.  Isn't this a beauty.
Sadly - I do not remember the designer or the fabric maker.  I also got my mom one of these but she quickly moved it from my house to her house and I have not seen it since LOL - smart cookie !  because her's is just gorgeous also !  Here is a close up of the beautiful quilting pattern Susan used on my carrier.

Just so you know I am still hooking some - here is a shot of the border I have been focusing on.  I am excited about the backround wool used in the border - it has been in my stash for about 10 years - it was the very first "project" that I had dyed for me and I just never did the rug.  I actually gave away the canvas to a friend not long ago but I did not want to part with the wool since DF Judy Colley - master of the dye pot did for me.  I am so thrilled that it worked so well in this rug since I had the unfortunate dilemma of not having enough of the center motif backround to finish the rug and this tea dyed interior backround can not be duplicated - I think I told you of that saga when I showed you shots of this Antique Blue Basket rug a few months ago.
Look at this awesome place I found in Auburn AL when I was there on business last week.  The Market serves freshly made crepes, soups, and other healthy options.  they also have the most awesome market attached to the little cafe - last time I was there I brought home dried organic beans of several types that were unfamilar to me - has anyone heard of Christmas beans?  they are huge like brown limas only a deep speckled maroon color and we cooked them yesterday with some ham hocks and rice - WHOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO - were they ever good - I'm showing my "southern" now but then ya'll already knew I was a GRITS (girl raised in the south) didn't you .

One last thing in this post - HALLELUIAH - I finished the BBD Happy Birthday for my mom.  It is not perfect - there are several boo boos and one glaring issue that I will just admit - even though I counted and counted - I did not center my mom's name correctly.  AAAACCKKKK - since it was over one and I worked on it for hours and hours - I decided I was NOT going to pull it out.  She will love it all the same I hope.  I am going to have it finished into a cube with an excessive amount of ribbons. 
That's the fastest I have ever stitched anything in my life - only about 3 weeks - for me that is astounding plus I did work on the Hem Stitch class piece and have done a little knitting and the Clearwater weekend was a wash for getting any stitching done.  So I am mighty proud I got this done in time to get it finished like I wanted.  Look at how great the Old Primrose Inn fabric goes with this piece. 
So I can't wait to see this finished up and I will do a post when I get it back.

Next update - I hope to have some knitting projects to show.  I've been working on a gift for a friend but Mom's took priority.

So until we meet again - I wish you happy times with your needles.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Did you know there are hills in Florida.  Mt Dora is situatied west of Orlando in what is to be considered the "hills of central Florida"  - it is beautiful country and Mt Dora is a charming quaint little town with cute shops and restaurants lining the streets.  On Saturday morning I picked up a sampler guild buddy of mine - Linda at a Starbucks near her home and off we went.  I opted to take the scenic route down thru the Ocala National Forest - I have been that way many times before and prefer to stay off the interstate highways whenever possible.

Our class was in  Mt Dora at A Stitchers Dream - I had never been to this shop and until recently did not know it even existed.  There was another shop in Mt Dora with a similar name that did close several years ago.  Owner Karen greeted my traveling companion Linda and I  at the door on Saturday morning - (why didn't I take a single photo of the shop?)  I was excited with the prospects of learning something new and spending the day with DF Carol who lives in central florida.  Much besides - it's been a LONG time since I was in a stitching shop devoted to counted thread work and not just a needlepoint shop.

The class was by Indigo Rose and called Six Hem Stitch Sampler.  Both Carol and Linda had all their pre-stitching finished but I felt I did pretty good with what pre-stitching I got accomplished.  I think they were able to cut all 6 of their hem stitch sections and I only managed to get 2 done but that's OK because I learned a lot and I definitely needed moral support when it came time to cutting those linen threads - WHOA - that was scary.

Here is a couple of shots of my sampler:
 The linen is Silvery Moon and the border is Waterlilies - a very deep purple and the alphabet is Waterlilies Rainforest.  there is some over one blocks done in two colors of AVAS and the pulled work and hem stitches are in Perle Cotton - a silvery gray which matches the linen perfectly.
I had such a relaxed enjoyable day at this class.  Karen's shop is on the outskirts of town in a strip mall.  We wanted to go to a neat restaurant in downtown Mt Dora.  Even though it had been raining and was threatening more rain - we jumped in my car and went to the Garden Gate Tearoom.

Please come and join us at this wonderful respite

Oh my - that must be it - look at those gorgeous bougainvilleas on the garden wall.

Take a peek inside their beautiful courtyard - where if it was not a sweltering 90+ degrees - it would be very pleasant to sit and take tea.
Linda and Carol are waiting to go in

What a beautiful place awaited us

Isn't it dreamy with all the antique dresses and pale lighting - so ethereal and delicate.

The food was outstanding and the ambiance was perfect in my opinion.  I think my companions enjoyed their lunch as much as I did.  I had their signature dish "Southern Chicken Pie" which was actually unlike anything I had ever had before.  I thought it would be similar to a quiche but it was more like a chicken pot pie but drier and not as creamy and packed full of delicious chicken. 

I just can't say how much I enjoyed this outing - it was just so good to take a class and spend time with good friends.  I will definitely be visiting this shop for more classes in the future.

I enjoy hearing from each and every one of my blog readers.  I have some new followers - so welcome to each of you - I hope I can continue to interest you in my adventures.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Two posts in one week - WOW - that must be a record for me.

I promised to show you the yarn shop I visited while in the Clearwater area this past weekend.  It is called Uncommon Threads and was a very nice shop.  Sadly I did not have time to peruse every bin as Jody was patiently sitting in the car in the blazing 100 degree temps - I did of course leave the a/c on for him but still - it was a quick trip.  They do promote spinning in this shop so there was yummy fibers and wheels there as well.
There was a class going on behind the cash register area so I could not get any closer to the spinning fibers.

Here is another shot near the front of the shop

I can shop quick when under pressure.  I had already gotten the scoop from Cari on what they carry and since this is her LYS - she made it easier for me to focus quickly.  I spotted a beautiful hand dyed 100% silk yarn by Claudia Handpaint.  I did not know this company did silk - I have seen their sock yarn locally but that was it.  This was a little more than I wanted to pay but it was 1100 yards and there is that Eiffel Tower shawl I have been toying with starting.  OOH LA LA  - perfect I think.  The color is called Woodland Moss - it looks quite brown in the photo but is actually a "typical Mel color" a goldish greenish moss color and while I perused the bins around the store - I could not get this skein off my mind.
Then at the last minute - I spotted on the very botton bin some Malabrigo Lace - funny thing about malabrigo - you either love it or hate it - I don't hate it but I m not that enamoured with the worsted weight.  I have a lovely skein of their sock yarn that I have never tried however I really do like the lace weight.  I did the Ruffled Fichu in malabrigo lace and I recently started the Featherweight Cardi in MalaB lace.  So I was able to snag 3 skeins of Little Lovely - which is shades of pink - all the way from petal pink to almost lipstick red.
Not sure why this photo is so orangey because it is truly lovely shades of pink.
I took a photo of the front of the shop but the glare was too bad to post.  So quick trip but nice shop - if you are ever in the area of Palm Harbor - go check them out and maybe if you're lucky you'll see our blog friend Cari there.

One last shot before I go - I have been really putting the needle to the linen on the newest BBD AoTH piece Happy Birthday.  My DM's  birthday is this month and when this came out a couple of weeks ago - I thought ...... do I dare ........ can I ........ will I .......... I sure am going to try stitch this for her birthday.  I hope she will think it's a special gift - she knows how little I actually finish - not that I am not constantly doing something - knitting - hooking - stitching but I work on so many different things - I don't get that many actual finishes. 
If I had known this dang thing had all those lazy daisys in it - I probably would have skipped trying to get it done for her and just left it for my big AoTH sampler however I imagine they will be cute and I hope they will go fast.

Thanks for all the commenters on my last blog post - It was fun hearing your glory days of Rock and Roll stories and to you girls - I would say - when you're driving down the road or cleaning your house - turn up that radio and rock out to your favorite band and sing it loud!

Monday, August 02, 2010


What a fantastic show - I have seen Robert Plant and his various bands (including Led Zeppelin way back in the day) but he never ceases to put on an awesome performance.  I was SOOO excited about the show I wanted to start blogging the minute I returned to the hotel but I knew I would receive the stink eye from Jody for sure !  While is he also a big RP fan - he was not as impressed with the current band as he was with the Strange Sensation - his band before the Allison Krause endeavor.  I saw the Strange Sensation tour in NYC about 5 years ago and it was fantastic too.  Robert has a birthday this month ( yes I know I am too old to be a groupie so I have slide into the "fanatic fan" category) and for 60+ - he is just too hot to be believed - wrinkles, long curly gray/blond hair and all - it is still my dream to meet him and since I am no longer that hot 20 something 100 lb chickie I used to be - just chatting would be a pretty cool thing. 

We were in a small venue in Clearwater Fl.  Here is a shot of how good our seats were - I'm sorry but I don't know how to make the subject larger when I shot the picture on my IPhone (note to self to learn how to do this)

For anyone who doesn't care two hoots about this concert - you might want to bail out now  - I am going to post later about my yarn shop stop and a couple of other things but this post will be all about the trip to Clearwater.

anyway - I thought the concert was very unique - they did play more RP solo songs than I've heard in a number of years.  He opened with Down by the Sea which is off Fate of Nations - a little known song in my opinion but a great one.  He also did I'm in the Mood (for a Melody) which of course I like to pretend is just for moi' !!!!!!!!  It was fantastic to hear it live after probably 15 or so years.  He did Tangerine - a fabulous Zeppelin song and Thank You another favorite of mine along with several other Zep and solo songs.  I noticed he also did 2 songs from the Raising Cane CD he had done with Allison Krause and had a female singer on stage thru the entire performance named Patti Griffin - she had a sultry voice but little stage presentation.  His current band - the Band of Joy is apparently a bunch of guys he played with prior to meeting Jimmy Page and getting started with LedZep - they were all extremely talented and all did songs from the newest CD - I think it's titled Band of Joy - I have to rush out and get it - it was just released last week.  Well - I could go on and on but just suffice to say it was a magical evening in my opinion. 

Thru a little internet research - I found a great little restaurant in Safety Harbor which is on Tampa Bay near our hotel.  The Green Springs Bistro was nestled on a side street in the cutest little cottage.  Brick streets and cute shops made this an interesting area - too bad we didn't have time to explore.

I think I need this mermaid mailbox !   Jody again gave me the stink eye !

Here is a shot of the interior of the restaurant which had  bright colors and an inhouse guitarist who was really really good. It was interesting that the whole restaurant was filled with fellow Robert Plant fans garnering their various concert t-shrts from the past 30+ years.
 The Green Springs is chef owned and had some good reviews listed. We had a fabulous meal - jody had crab stuffed Mahi and I had shrimp and grits.  The wait staff was excellent and it was a super pleasant way to start off a fabulous evening.

On Saturday morning I wanted to find Cari's local yarn shop which is in Palm Harbor.  I had emailed Cari last week and asked about shops to visit in the area.  I did visit Uncommon threads but I forgot to take a photo of my purchases so I'll leave that post for another time.

Instead of heading home on I 75 - we decided to drive up the gulf coast - I had never been in those areas - Tarpon Springs, Homosassa Springs, Crystal River - they were quaint little spots but it was far too hot to stop and get out anywhere so I have no photos of those little towns.  I knew I wanted to stop in Williston which is in horse country (Marion County) for a late lunch on the way home.  The Ivy House is a neat place - it is housed in a historic home built in 1912 I think I read.

It had been about 5 years since I was there but it was just as wonderful as I remember it being.

Beautiful gardens surround the grand old home and inside there are numerous fireplaces and wood floors.  Good food is the reason people flock there from far far away.  I ordered fried shrimp and Jody ordered their specialty crispy oven roasted chicken - both came with fresh veggies, cornbread and a yeast roll.  I was full but not too full to pass up a wonderful house made dessert.  We opted to share a piece of chocolate layer cake - we both thought it was just DEE-VINE!

What a great way to end a lovely weekend !