Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Pumpkin Time!!!

So excited that the holiday season is upon us!!!  I love Thanksgiving, but you can't get to that wonderful, fantastic, touching time without skipping through Halloween.  AND who could do Halloween without the perfect decoration and food item:  Pumpkins?  Not I :-)  I can only share one photo until the rest of the family finishes their part in the pumpkin deal, but I am really enjoying this one:

I'm in the middle of a stitch along from Helga Mandl Designs on some navy 14ct aida.  When I complete it (yes, there's more) I plan to . . . oh, you'll just have to wait until I finish. 
NO, we are not going to be pumpkins for Halloween.  This year;-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Execution at 4!!!

There is going to be an execution!  It WILL happen at 4pm today!  If you want to save this culprit:

you had better get here before 4!

With a busy schedule, I am only going to post my evidence.  I realize my responsibility in this disaster, but TODAY???  She had to hold me accountable TODAY???  And all while I was buying HER dog food.  UGH!!!

Exhibit #1

Exhibit #2

Exhibit #3

Exhibit #4

Thankfully, I have opportunity for a do over, but the dog . . . no thank you!  She's been tried and convicted!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

I've had a fabulous week full of all the things I love to do.  Monday:
My sweet young friend wanted me to teach her to sew.  Being extremely ambitious, she wanted to start with pj's, but I thought I'd learn about her by starting smaller.  She's such a quick understudy that we'll start on the pattern for those pjs next week.  Yeah!!!

Isn't this the ugliest looking dish?  If you look real close, you can tell that the sauce is purple.  Personally, I've decided that the uglier the dish, the better it tastes.  These were some amazing pork chops!  Make your own using this recipe.  I did use grape jam instead of plum.  Do they really even make plum???
And to go with:
I've discovered the joy of balsalmic vinegar and have been shelacking my veggies for the last several days as a delightful treat.  I can't believe I like this almost better than butter.  Almost.  I used the recipe from the Proud Italian Cook but added several veggies instead of just the onions (which we are thoroughly enjoying).


FINALLY!  Summer is half over and I can enjoy my family full time!!!  Lalalala Celebrate good times! Lalala

Also, we discovered that our cornerpost bird, now known to be a House Finch, has returned to her nest and deposited another clutch:

I've wanted to create something special for my friend that recently had a baby and decided to go with
"A Star is Born" theme:
Less than 5 minutes after I took this shot, the star gracefully laid itself down the side.  Please someone tell me how to create filigree chocolate art in this HEAT!

I also received a surprise invitation to the Butterfly House.  Can you say STUNNING!  I cannot even begin to capture on film the beauty we were able to see as the butterflies fluttered around and the caterpillars munched.  My little people didn't even want to leave, though they did appreciate the air conditioning when we finally went inside.  Do you know how hard it is to catch a butterfly NOT flapping its wings?  Impossible!  Look really close to see the butterfly's tongue:


We must now rest! and it's not even Sunday yet:-)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Italian day

If this is what it takes to be Italian, I'd love to add that to my heritage.  I tried this: 

from the Proud Italian Cook and thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  Before you go comparing pictures, understand that I love to improvise.  With no strawberries in the house, blueberries was a realistic replacement.  Also substituted were:  almonds chopped into little pieces instead of almond flour and almond extract in place of amaretto (only use 1/4 of the amount the recipe calls for or it will be WAY too almondy). 

It was so very scrumptious, I hated to eat more than one.  Only the scrumptious foods have calories:-)   I truly would have felt guilty eating them all by myself, so I called a girlfriend (Hey Missy) and shared.  (Thank you for saving an extra slathering on my hips!)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Independence Day

Yesterday we celebrated our country's independence as a free nation.  As truly patriotic people, I loved cooking up ribs, tater salad, baked beans, etc.  My boyz even spent some time decorating the house with some red, white, and blue and we ate off the red and blue plates.  If I'd been thinking, we'd even have sung the patriotic songs that I so love.

My youngest was especially exhuberant and chose to exert his independence in an unexpectedly age-appropriate way:

I can't believe I'm going to have to cut the rest of his hair to match this landing strip in the center of his head.  Not only did we take his scissors and explain to him that bald isn't THAT beautiful, but we had to take them a second time as he snuck away to finish the job.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twilight Night

Last night we (some of my boys and a girlfriend) went to THE movie (Twilight: Eclipse).  May I pray that we don't have to go to that particular theatre again, but the movie definitely met my expectations.  A sweet woman invited me to her Viewing Party to watch Twilight and New Moon before the midnight showing of Eclipse.  I went ahead and made some movie bags and a few necklaces to show my fan-ness and appreciation for her efforts.  This is one of the bags and one of the necklaces:

 Up close front:

Yes, my dear friend, it's hanging on the post awaiting your return so we can go see the show again:-)

Up close back:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jewelry, Baking, and News all in one post yea, I did that

During a surprise visit from my lovely sister, she chose this design from Step-by-Step Wire & Jewelry's Apr-May 2010 issue:

Okay, so the design was about half this size and had a small 8mm bead inside instead of the gold bell inserted here, but it seems that large is indeed fashionable, and since it wasn't terribly heavy, these knots worked.
We also created a flyaway necklace from a design my sister always carries with her:



I mentioned it was a surprise visit, but it was no surprise that we went over to the beach to look for tarballs (I had seen some last week and haven't reported them to you yet):

Isn't this terrible?  An ugly tarball on the sugar white beaches we call our playground:

Psych!  We ARE calling these tarball cookies though because side by side they really look similar (like chocolate pudding).

This is really ewwwwwwwwww! and then yum.  I know it's horrible to make light of a bad situation, but I can't help trying to distract myself from the gloom and doom of this devastating accident.

As I watched this helicopter fly by, my son started waving.  He wondered if "they" saw him and I assured him that they did.  "How can you tell?"  Thinking quickly I replied, "Do you see that flashing light?  That's the helicopter pilot's way of waving back.  See, he sees you."  Now every time we see a helicopter, he madly waves and screams, "he sees me, he sees me."  Thank God for quick thinking:-)

Doesn't this man look tired?  and hot?  and very businesslike?  I assure you HE IS!!!

These guys LOOK extremely busy, but I looked inside one of their doors and they were chewing the fat and laughing in the air conditioning.  I listened as a radio newsman (I don't know his name but his station is FM 1260) broadcast "from the scene" and I had to laugh.  Here this guy had been chewing the fat with a cameraman from The Weather Channel, then taking a 30 second break to broadcast, he didn't even skip a beat before he dove back into the conversation with The Weather Channel guy.  If I had to get a paying job, I would definitely consider THAT profession.  Actually,  these news crews received the news that the oil is washing ashore (I haven't seen actual oil yet, as of 9:15pm tonight June 10, but know it's close) and they all want to Get That Story.  Personally, I want the real story too.  I want to know why it been close to 60 days and oil is still spewing into the Gulf.  (Yes, I have read the reports in the news)  I want to know why I read in EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE WRITTEN that BP is paying for the cleanup.  I want to know that the changes in Legislation (and they have already begun writing the new laws) are going to actually address the real issue of responsibility and not the politically beneficial issue.  Yes, I do have questions.  I'm NOT going to BP for the answers though, unlike many others.  They really don't have a clue, so why bother wasting MY time.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I'm so proud of my son!  He has taken the requirements of high school to a new level.  Close to completing his courses, he will walk with his new class THIS year.  Thomas took online courses and summer school so he could graduate this year instead of with his class next year.  We've worked on announcements and here is the result of our collaberative efforts:

The original is better because it contains his full name, but we don't roll that way online.

Well done Thomas!!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Look Closely

Okay, so we haven't felt the oil slick on our beaches . . . yet.  We have spent more time than ever feeling the sand between our toes though.  Such a wonderful feeling! 

We've also opened our eyes and seen the sights and this past week, what sights they were!!!  Do you see that?  Do you see what's in the water?

They are NOT stingrays!  Learned that today:-)  Manta rays in the water.  One of two fisherman on the shore:

I don't know what this guy was fishing for, but he caught one of the manta rays:

See it trying to swim away? 

A truly interesting creature:

The difference between a manta ray and a stingray (among other things I'm sure) is the way they eat.  A manta ray eats with both sides of its mouth, while a stingray's mouth is one opening on its underside.

Thankfully, this one got away!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hurlburt 4th Annual Craft Fair

Yeah!  My friend, Stacey, and I participated in our first craft fair and:  met some very nice artists, sold a few items, were invited to participate in another event and enjoyed our conversations.  Today was perfect; the wind blew, we were in a shady spot, and drinks and food were on the list that we checked twice!  We did not:  get sunburned, sweat to death, starve, or become lunch to too many ants. 

While we've been preparing for the Milton First Friday Fair for June (3 weeks away), this opportunity came up and fulfilling the legal requirements and designing and printing my sign and cards left me with too little time to create as many pieces as I would have liked.  Thankfully, I now have 3 weeks to prepare for the next event and the sign and cards as well as the legal requirements are complete which leaves me with much time to handcraft jewelry. 

Stacey's table was absolutely beautiful and many people stopped by to rate it "top show".  Others wanted to purchase her gypsy doll, which is NOT for sale:-) 

As a world traveler with connections in high places (her husband serves as her purchasing agent while on his excursions), Stacey's bohemian look is perfect.  Her jewelry shows hints of many nations and much skill.

A huge THANK YOU to Kelli for cricketing (yes, I did make that a verb) vinyl letters for my sign.

While it may change, it may not.  My favorite part is the Dangling D.  Have I mentioned how much I love the aquamarine blue and the chocolate brown together???  Too much of a good thing is . . . well, too much.  Leaving it bright and cheery and the color of a sunny day worth basking in appeals to me today.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Well, not really.  Dove chocolate made an appearance at the fair!!!  Can you believe it?  No way to forget that!  Mars Corp. decided to get into the home shows market in 2007 and is now offering ideas for chocolate creativity right in our own homes.  Can you say awesome???  This is so Bill Engvall-worthy.  Don't know who he is?  You Tube him; he's hilarious.  Anyway, I digress.  I have decided that a chocolate party is in order and will be sending out invites right after I set up an available date with the Dove consultant.  If I didn't think I'd munch up all the profits, I'd probably become a follower.  Groupie status will have to do:-)

I'm having technical difficulty with photographing the necklaces I have for sale right now, but the earrings photo did turn out:

That light box is going to make me sing.  Laaaaaaa!  I just have to find a box large enough to make one.  LOL

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thankfully Incorrect

Most days I'd prefer to be correct.  Today is not one of those days.  The "oil" I encountered a couple of days ago turned out to be left over asphalt from the hurricanes we've had over the last couple of years.  No, I don't ALWAYS have to be right. 

The sandpipers are coming closer and closer (to us) in their efforts to obtain a yummy meal.  Using a telephoto lens, I can't always snap a photo of them as they fly right up to us, but I can enjoy the rush.

It would probably help if youngest son didn't chase them up and down the beach.  They and the seagulls don't stand much of a chance as he's pretty fast and waves his wild arms like as if he's flying too.  He really makes me laugh.  I love THAT boy.

Some friends showed us a starfish caught up in one of the pools surrounded on three sides by sand (is there such a thing as a peninsula of water?).

We could even swim every once in a while if we weren't getting to the beach just before sunset.  Personally, the thought of being shark chum doesn't appeal to me.  You KNOW they're out there.  Remember Jaws?

Speaking of sunset, doesn't it set so pretty here?

I've seen so many sunsets:  the dusty brown-yellow in Texas; the magically tropical colors decorating the sky in Hawaii; the fastest sunset in the West in New Mexico; but I continue to love and be in awe of the decoration we have in the sky every (not rainy) night here in Florida.  And our friends in the background?  They humored us by letting us take a bijilion shots of them to get our lighting right on the camera.  Thank you good people:-)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Wait is Over

After such a wonderful, rejuvenating week of going to the beach each day, we were greeted by more than the usual birds, surf, sand, and shells.  It isn't a welcome greeting, but one that we knew would occur.  After watching the birds play at sunset this evening, the fishermen catch pompano, and the crabs burrow in the sand, my son and I came upon a dark "patch" of water.  We had already noticed that just on the beaches fringe black layers were stained on the sand, but this portion of the water confirmed it.  It wasn't floating on the surface the way I'd been expecting, but seemed to be cemented to the Gulf floor.  Yes, I did indeed pick up a piece of the black "rock" from the water and watched as it soiled my fingers.  Odd, we didn't even notice it when we first arrived.  After a phone call last night about the oil smell in the air, I thought we would smell that too, but we didn't.  In the days to come, I expect we'll see, smell, and even hear much about the oil on the beach and how "     "  (just name anyone) is to blame.  I really don't care who is to blame, I just want it fixed.  Right away.  By anyone who has the know how to do it properly, safely, and in consideration of the LONG TERM EFFECTS.  Today, we went for some bonding time, Mother and Son.  I sure love that boy.  Tomorrow we return to photograph.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Quick Jewelry Post

I must get to bed, but first, I just have to share some of the pendants I've worked on this week.

Should I name my little antique brass turtle pendant, "Swim, baby, swim"?  He's swimming on our local sandy beaches and has been surrounded by czech glass beads as he dangles from an antique brass chain.

This chain was created with a square dowel and if you look closely, you'll see a second dolphin trying to help create a pod.

My First (need I say more?)

One of two earrings created with czech glass beads and antique brass headpins (using sterling silver earring wire) to match my turtle friend at the top.

In hiding is a purple pansy that my husband photographed.  Maybe it will show its head tomorrow.  (Did you catch the pun?)

Beach Watch

As we daily venture out to the beach, I'm enamored with the beauty.  Today, someone got there before we did and left the place covered with the evidence:

 seagull prints

and more proof:

sandpiper prints

One favorite pastime for my little guy is to chase the flying feathered friends and then laugh maniacally.  Today, I was able to enjoy the protected nesting birds undisturbed. 

 black skimmers

Hearing their chirps would really add to the experience, but you'll just have to take my word for it.  Someday we'll have the technology to add sound to a photo without video.  Until then, trust me when I say that I heard the birds WAY before I saw them. 

black skimmers close up as I dared

As we came upon another couple of visitors, I quickly shot this photo without permission.  It's a rule that if you choose to get married and flaunt it on the beach, anyone is allowed to take a peak.

As much as I enjoy seeing visitors at the main beach, this section is special.  What are they doing on Our sacred special spot of sand?  Well, since it is a very special day for them, we'll have to make exception.  Just this once.

But really what you came to see is the water; does it carry the slick oil yet?  Has that danger arrived? 

No, thankfully, we've been graced with another day of relishing the beautiful, soft, sand that meets the emerald green gulf shores and we basked in it for two hours before we remembered we were only going to be gone a minute.  The minutes continue to stretch as we soak in the proof that there is a God and He truly loves us.

We did have to go home and prove it to the starving man children at the house though:-)  Thankfully, they were rescued by my friend and chef extraordinaire who will be repaid with cupcakes for her deprived man children tomorrow.  Thank you Missy!