Saturday, April 25, 2009

And the winner is... ME

I have been officially crowned "The Queen" of the Death by Quilting Challenge. You can read about it here on the official site. It came down to the last two and I managed to take the final "shot" and won. It was a fun challenge and I can't wait for the next one.
The coolest part is the package that the amazingly talented Pat Sloan sent me. The coolest book, autographed by her. I'm not sure how many of you know this about me but I LOVE books autographed by their authors and have quite a few in my collection.
I also got some beautiful pieces of her newest line of fabrics, Arabella. They are beautiful! She also sent me an adorable "Tinkerbell" pez dispenser. Does she know me or what?
My absolute favorite thing she sent, though was a quilt block made by the master herself. It even has an appliqued crown that says "Queen of Death by Quilting" and also signed by Pat. It also had a little crown charm attached. Not sure how I will finish this up but it will definitely have a place of honor in my sewing room.
Thanks so much to Pat and all the other agents who participated. It's been wonderful and I am one happy camper!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day ~ Here's Kenny Loggins singing "Conviction of the Heart" from Live at the Redwoods.
Let's all do something to help ~ not just today, but every day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Breaking news....

Nothing like waking up in time to see the caption "Fire at local school" and realize the pictures they are showing are of your school! Apparently the fire was confined to only one classroom but there were about a dozen more that now have water damage. Despite the fire, classes will go on today. They worked thru the night to clean up the water damaged classrooms. I'm thinking the "bulk" of the action happened between 4:30 and 8:40 pm when we were at Nate's baseball game and then dinner,cause the school is so close that I can hear the PA system when I'm outside and I never heard anything. Richard says he saw police lights when he was on his way home from the game but thought they were at the park next to the school. The official story is here. The non firemen in the picture are our principal, asst principal and school secretary.
I have to say, this brings back some funky memories for me. When I was in the 9th grade (which waaay back then was Jr. High) my school had 3 fires. Only difference was that they were purposely set and it did close down the school each time. Got so that we'd watch the TV in the morning before getting ready for school to see if it was still standing! Oh, and as it turns out I knew two of the fire starters. They never did find out who the third was.

I'll be going by the school after my dental appointment to pick up some pastry samples that a rep sent to me in hopes of getting us to use their company for our fundraisers next year. And I hope this doesn't cancel movie night tonight. We are showing "Tale of Desperaux." I got to sneak preview the movie and really didn't like it ~ but it's always a fun time at the school after hours.

Update: The fire dept apparently got the call at 8:20 pm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quite a storm

Today we had one of the strangest storms I've ever seen ~ actually most of Florida did although Rockledge (where I live) got the strongest wind gusts coming it at 64 mph. Dude, that's nothing to sneeze at! Anyway... I was sitting at the computer with the TV on next to me and had been hearing about storms all over the place and only half listening until I actually heard them say "Rockledge." This is very unusual since all our news comes out of Orlando which is about an hour away. We are not usually a blip on their radar. Kennedy Space Center which is about half an hour north of us, especially since the shuttle is out on the pad and sometimes even Melbourne which is the "big" city next to us but NEVER Rockledge. Seems the storm was coming right at us. I looked out the window and sure enough ~ it was BLACK outside and the storm came in fast. The wind was blowing, the rain was coming down in buckets. Now, what the heck is that noise in the front of the house. Sounded like someone was throwing rocks at the window ~ Well sort of ~ it was hailing DSC06137
Next thing I hear is reports of a tornado and to get into your "safe place" now! I got in the laundry room which has no windows but I could still see the TV. Stuff was blowing everywhere DSC06139 but fortunately no tornado here. Once it calmed down (which it did all of a sudden) I went outside and shot this video. That is the preserve behind our house. Oh, and here's Sadie the brave watch dog during the storm DSC06152
Alls well that ends well though. The day ended with this sunset... DSC06162
And just so you know... that is a "true" picture ~ no special lenses or settings or anything. It really was that orange.
This one was taken with a flash but it washed a lot of the color out DSC06154
Pretty cool, huh?
Wishing you beautiful sunsets without the crazy storms!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter past

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful Easter holiday.
I'll leave you with this photo circa 1959. That's my sister Cathy in peach, my mom in the center, sister Joey on the right and me, I'm the cute little one in the center. This was taken on the boardwalk in Miami Beach behind the Algiers hotel. I spent my entire childhood and then some at this hotel. Sadly it's no longer standing... but that's a blog for another day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunday in Raleigh

Sunday in Raleigh was spent visiting more old friends and old places. This is the house we lived in when we lived there. DSC06047 It's not changed too much. I think we had a lot more grass than there is now ~ but it was a struggle to keep up. Actually I know we did cause I remember mowing it! The other thing that's no longer there is there was a enclosed area around the trees. Lots of azaleas and stepping stones thru the area leading to the bench. It was a nice little place to sit and stay cool under the trees.
What's really new is this CRAZY neighbor. DSC06050 I'm fairly certain he didn't live in the neighborhood when we were there. I think I would have noticed. He's got all these strange sculptures in his yard and the weirdest of all were all the pure white mannequins in the yard. Some whole, some not-so-much DSC06049 Also you might notice in the first picture ~ the man is wearing a skirt. Not a kilt, but a nice little pleaded skirt and no shirt. Goes nicely with the cowboy hat, doncha think? The neighbors must love this dude!
Julianne and Hannah were sure he was gonna come after us when MaryAnn stopped the car in front of his house and I proceeded to snap a few pictures!
Next stop was driving by the YMCA in North Raleigh where I worked for the 10 yrs we lived there.DSC06054 And for you American Idol fans, this is the same YMCA that Clay Aiken worked at! We even drove past where his mom used to live, just so Julianne could say she did. The "Y" has grown in leaps and bounds. I didn't go in cause there's really not many people there I care to see anymore.
Lastly we met our friend Ann (Auntie Ann to the kids) for lunch at Char Hut for yummy burgers. Here's the whole gang... Mary Ann, her daughter Hannah, Me, Ann and Julz DSC06059 Ann was very much a part of our Raleigh family and it was good to be able to catch up with her again.
Sunday night MaryAnn's husband cooked me the most delicious steaks ever. I've been dreaming about it ever since the last time I was there... DSC06066 I made him my Avocado salad to say thanks. I think we were both happy.
Julianne and Hannah got some down time just to visit DSC06065and play with their little dog, Manny DSC06061
Then it was back to the train where Julianne slept really well and I, well, didn't. It was good to be back home though ~ Thanks for coming along with me!

More about Raleigh

The weather for the weekend was beautiful. Cool but not cold and the most beautiful Carolina blue sky.
After dropping our bags off at my host (and BFF) Mary Ann's place we headed out for Carborro which just happens to have one of the coolest quilt shops around, Thimble Pleasures. We spent a fair amount of time but not too much money there. We also stopped at another specialty shop that has some amazing silks among other things. I did pick up a piece of baby corduroy that was 50% off in hopes of maybe making Julianne a skirt. And last but not least a trip to the Bernina store. It was one of my old haunts and good to be back there. Here'ss most of the bounty for those of you who need to see it. DSC06092
After all that shopping I did manage to squeeze in a quick nap and then we were off again to Raleighwood. Raleighwood Cinema Grill runs second run movies but the seating is table and chairs. They have a full menu of dinners, appetizers, desserts and drinks including beer and wine. It's a very comfortable venue and we saw "Confessions of a Shopaholic" which was much better than I expected it to be. Julianne had never been to a Cinema Grill and was highly impressed.
After that we dropped the girls off, put on a bit of makeup and Mary Ann and I met our friend Donna for a couple of drinks. I had a couple of white grape martinis and I have to admit they kinda tasted like grape cool aid on steroids but I was really just enjoying being with my friends who I miss very much. Here's a picture of the three of us 7 yrs ago ~ the day before we moved from Raleigh and Donna's birthday Donna, Barb, and Mary-Ann And now here we are this weekend... DSC06043C
Not sure if it was the lack of previous sleep or the drinks but I slept like a baby that night. Happy and content and glad to have spent time with these great girls.

No one is more surprised than me

I'm interrupting my posts about North Carolina to tell you that Julianne and I just came back from the "Hannah Montana" movie. She's been bugging me for months now to take her on opening day. I really was not thrilled about having to go but figured I would "take one for the team."

No one was more surprised than me but... I LOVED IT! It was cute, funny, touching and the music was even really good ~ especially the song she sings to her father. Actually brought a tear to my eye.

I snickered to my smug self cause there were two women there about my age, seeing it without the requisite preteens. I thought "really?" What self respecting women would come see this without having to? Well, I'm here to say that I would have missed a really really sweet movie had Julianne not forced me to take her. It's definitely one we will own and I'm actually hoping she'll get the sound track so I can listen to it too! Go figure!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Traveling to Raleigh

It's been a crazy couple of weeks ~ lots to show and tell you but I'll take it bit by bit ~ going backwards, of course!
So Julianne and I went on a bit of an adventure. We took the train to Raleigh, NC on Friday and got back on Monday morning. Neither of us had ever taken the train so we were both excited.
Friday, as soon as the kids got home from school we headed for Jacksonville to meet up with Jen (aka Sissy) for dinner. DSC06031 We went to a nice little pizza/pasta place. The food was okay but the view was spectacular DSC06032
The coolest thing we saw was a HUGE snapping turtle. You can't tell by this picture but it was easily 4' from head to toe. I didn't know they could get that large. DSC06033 We also saw another 10 or so smaller turtles.

After dinner Jen & Nate (who stayed in Jax with Jen & Jeremy) dropped us off at the train station. Here's Julianne anxiously awaiting the arrival of our train. DSC06035
And finally it arrives ~ right on time DSC06036
It was a rough night on the train. It was fairly comfortable but Julianne fussed and fidgeted the entire night which mean I got NO SLEEP at all. It was also really cold which would have been okay had we brought a blanket instead of just a couple of travel pillows DSC06024DSC06023
But we arrived right on time with my BFF MaryAnn & daughter Hannah waiting for us.
Raleigh is just as beautiful as always and everything was bloomingDSC06038
Stay tuned for part 2 of out trip to Raleigh!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Death by Quilting

Okay so yesterday's post was a bit of a mystery so let me explain. I'm involved with a group of crazy women lead by Pat Sloan who is a way magnificent designer of all things quilted and fabric based including her own line(s) of fabric. I found her through Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs and before I knew it, we were friends on Facebook, then I joined her Yahoo Group, Subscribed to her Blog and now this "Death By Quilting" challenge. Basically there are 14 of us playing and the object of the game is to assassinate your opponent by completing your project and mailing it off to them. You are killed when you receive a completed project from someone else. The last quilter standing wins. We are all doing a table runner made from 3 blocks (we had about 5 or 6 to choose from) and they all must include a piece of Arabella fabric from Pat Sloan's newest collection (mine had 3). So far I am still alive as I don't think my assassin has completed her top yet. It's been fun. I started a bit behind cause I spent the weekend with my BFF in North Carolina ~ but that's another post entirely. Anyway.. Here is my completed table runner DSC06072
with a few close ups DSC06073 DSC06074 And I even pieced the back using the three pieces of Arabella fabric DSC06076
You can follow our progress along on the Death by Quilting Blog
But if not, I'll let you know if I survive.
Oh, and check out Pat's website too for lots of cool stuff including free patterns!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Still here... for now...

I know I haven't been around lately....Busy... out of town.... trying NOT to be assassinated. Will explain tomorrow... for now, here's a clue...