Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'll spare you the details.

Well I managed to retrieve my son from J&J in Ocala and get back home without incident. THEN, I managed to get sick! Not sure what it was ~ some type of stomach thing. I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say, I lost 5 lbs this week! I am better now.

I had a great time seeing my sewing friends over in Tampa. I made all three of them little zipped bags from the fruit lady fabric. I completely forgot to take pics but I have one more to make and I'll make sure I get a picture of it. I also did more of my scrappy blocks ~ and did lots of shopping. I got these pieces at Scrap & Sew. I was thinking they would work for one of my "pay it forward" peeps ~ DSC07056although through another blog, I see she's already gotten some of this fabric.
The next morning, my hostess with the mostess MC made me an omlet for breakfast. It was what she used to call a "morning after" meal ~ although I assured her that there was no way I was "putting out! ~ breakfast or not!"

After breakfast we hit the quilt shops. Keep Me In Stitches was our first stop. It's funny, we both worked and taught there for years (years ago) and this was the first time we've been in and didn't know a single person in the store. It was kinda nice being anonymous for once. I have no idea what I'll do with this ~ but I had to get it. DSC07053 Isn't that so cool? I also picked up these FQ's and already have a "thank you" project in mind for them DSC07055
Final stop was Rainbow's End which is a "must see" if you are into sewing. It is the largest quilt shop in Florida. If you need it, they have it. Unfortunately their employees are all horrible. They range from uninterested ~ to bothered ~ to down right rude. It's been that way for years and anybody that's ever been there will tell you the same thing. Not sure why that is! Anyway I got this ~ that I've been wanting forever... DSC07052 I should have gotten a few of these charm packs but I was trying to be good. I've seen so many cool projects done with these, I just couldn't resist.

And finally I made another purse for myself. DSC07051 It's from a pattern called "Wallet & Grommet" and it was a lot of fun to make. I changed the handles around a bit and added pockets inside. It's the perfect size too. Well that was my weekend ~

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm back...

I'm back from Tampa and exhausted ~ but it was a great visit. Just had to show you this that one of my "friends" posted on facebook. Too funny.
Jen ~ How come we didn't do this at your wedding???

Will post more after I've napped!

Movie reviews (and a spoiler alert)

I've rented 3 movies lately. Two of them I highly recommend. "Last Chance Harvey" started out a bit awkward. I still see Rainman with Dustin Hoffman in this movie and he is definitely down and out, getting kicked about. I can only take so much of that but he does manage to turn it around and with the help of Emma Thompson not only finds love, but his self respect. It's just an all around feel good movie.

The 2nd movie we watched was a bit of a sleeper. Martian Child was a wonderful movie. John Cusack does a wonderful job at a young widower adopting a "special needs" child who seems to believe he is from Mars. The bond they form and the hurdles they overcome are very real and gives you up for the rest of us "earthlings."

The last movie we watched was TERRIBLE! Don't get me wrong, I really like Nicholas Cage and will usually see a movie just because he is in it. The acting was really good but the movie was one of the most depressing movies EVER! I don't like movies where one of the main characters die.. and here's where the spoiler alert comes in... stop reading now if you don't want to know how the movie ends... I won't take it personally... I promise... okay... here goes.... THEY ALL DIE!!! The world ends! Well the two kids (along with a handful of other kids you never see) are taken in a spaceship to another planet to start over. I guess that's supposed to be the uplifting part ~ but really it's not. Dumping a couple of preteens who's parents have just been obliterated on a planet all by themselves ~ not really a good idea!
Anyway... that's my review. I hope I've been helpful.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Although being summer, I sometimes forget what day of the week it is. Weekends are still most important though, cause that's the days I get to spend with the hubster ~ well normally. I'm actually leaving this afternoon to go over to Tampa. I will meet up with my quilt gals at "Scrap & Sew" for an evening of sewing and chatting. I'm spending the night at MC's and then around 3:00 leaving Tampa for Ocala where I'll meet up with J&J and retrieve my son. He's been having a blast and probably doesn't ever want to come home. He's gone to classes with her in Gainesville, started his own blog, had an interview with one of the professors for his blog, and received an "offer" from the Jaxs Times Union to do something with them next time he is in town. I'm so proud of him but really can't wait to get him back!

Last night Richard, Julz and I went to Fujiyama Japanese Seafood & Steakhouse for dinner. Julianne had gone there last weekend for a birthday party and her talking about it got Richard and I craving it. It's one of the places where the chef cooks your food right at the table all the while tossing knives in the air and setting the cooking surface on fireDSC07036
Richard and I haven't been to one of these type of places since we left Raleigh, NC back in 2002. The food was really good. I had the steak & chicken and Richard had the scallops and shrimp. This way we all got a little of each.
Our chef was very entertaining. He even made a little volcano out of rings of onion (not to be confused with onion rings) DSC07038
Here is is getting ready to flip shrimp pieces into customers mouths DSC07041 and he made it 2 out of 3 times... including the one he threw at Richard.
All in all it was a fun night for us and while Julz is missing her brother, she is loving having us all to herself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Using up scraps

Scraps have been running amok in my sewing room. I swear these little pieces of fabric are multiplying. Maybe I should let them sit and grow into big pieces of fabric before I chop them up and use them ~ but no, I really need to clean them out and use them up. Here's what I came up with... DSC07029
I deal in novelty pieces quite a bit and usually a coordinating piece (especially when making chilren's screen bags) so now I'm taking those leftovers and making these squares. I have no idea what kind of setting I'll use once I have enough to make a quilt from them but it'll come to me. Here's another batch waiting to be made into blocks. DSC07034 I think today I will go through more of my scap bins (yes, I have many) so I can pull and cut out a bunch more. I'm going over to Tampa on Friday to sew with the gals so this will give me a project to work on while we chat.
Just in case you need to know... the main fabric is a 5" square and the sides/tops are from 2" strips.

Oh, and one more thing.. while Julianne is loving having us all to herself (Nate has been in Jacksonville with J&J all week) she is really missing him and doesn't want to sleep on the other side of the house without him near so here's where she's been sleeping DSC07035 On the floor, next to our bed. Fortunately on Richard's side cause I'd trip over the child when I get up in the middle of the night. When Richard leaves for work he puts her up on the bed since she'll sleep for another couple of hours. Of course they'll probably be fighting within minutes of him coming home on Saturday ~ but they do love each other.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I love a rainy night (or day)

I've experienced storms in several places around the country but I have to say, there is nothing better than a Florida storm. Yes, some people think I'm nuts but nothing is more soothing to me than a good ol' downpour complete with lightening and thunder. When I can't sleep I have a CD of a thunderstorm and I play it pretty loud. Puts me right to sleep every time!

We had a particularly cool storm on Sunday. Dark clouds, nice breeze, lots of much needed rain. What made it so great was the thunder. It wasn't the loud claps of thunder that make you jump out of your seat. It was just a constant rumble ~ one running right into the other. I sat out on the patio and just really enjoyed it all. I did do a quick video
I did manage to catch a good bolt of lightening on the video and you can hear the constant rumble throughout the whole thing (along with a little commentary by Julianne).
I'm proud to say that none of my kids are afraid of storms ~ but they are respectful and know to take cover when one is coming. DSC07011 You'd never guess this was the middle of the afternoon. Also, the storms here don't last very long ~ maybe an hour and then the sun comes right back out and it's business as usual!
I'd love to hear what you think of storms or what storms are like where you live so please leave a comment... I'd really like to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A few new bags

Julianne had yet another birthday party to go to on Saturday. I was going to make another screen bag but with the pink UF fabric I have been hanging on to since she and her family are huge UF Gator fans. Well, I was told (by little miss priss) that her friend was NOT a girly girl. Does NOT use a purse and does NOT like pink. So it was back to the drawing board for me.
I still have some of the other UF fabrics so I came up with this.. DSC06960
Not only did little miss like it, she demanded one of her own ~ in pink, of course cause she definitely IS a girly girl. DSC06962 This fabric is from M'Liss Rae Hawley's new line, which I love even though you can only get it from Jo-Ann's fabrics.
But not to worry, the pink UF fabric did not go to waste. I made a couple of the little zipped pouches and still have plenty left over. I'm thinking these will find a good home when I see Jen next weekend when I get my son back from her!

I am just so proud!

So this Saturday my daughter Jen (along with her darling hubster Jeremy) ran her first ever 5K race. She had decided quite a few months ago that this was something she really wanted to do ~ and let me tell you.. once that girl decides she is going to do something ~ there is no stopping her. She started training, building up her endurance. Come rain or shine that girl ran every day. When she was here for a visit, I rode my bike along with her. It was hard but she never gave up. Anyway, Saturday was the big day. Richard, Nate and I drove up to Jacksonville to cheer them on. Here they are just before the race DSC06967
And they are off ... DSC06977
And here she is finishing the race ... DSC06990C The time shown is not her "official" time since they started the race about 10 seconds late and by the time she crossed the starting line it was probably 30 seconds in so she may have actually beaten the 34 minute mark. I was so proud of her, I actually got choked up as she crossed the finish line.
A really great "Awww" moment though... Jeremy crossed the finish line about 6 minutes before her (he was a runner in high school) and we cheered as he passed us but then we lost site of him ~ of course I was busy waiting to see Jen coming in and when I did see her I looked for Jeremy cause I wanted to make sure he saw her finish. Well the darling man that he is, after he finished the race he ran back until he found her and actually finished with her! Go ahead, you know you want to say it... AWWWW!!! Isn't he the best?
Anyway... here is some video of her crossing the finish line... and yes, that's my big mouth you hear cheering for her.

And not to leave Jeremy out ~ here he is finishing as well...

And here is the happy couple (not only happily married but happily done with the race. DSC07003
There was a great after party in the park with free beer for the runners. I think both Jen and Jeremy had their fair share. DSC06999
I was so happy to be able to be there for her and to see her accomplish this goal. So what's next, you might ask... well training for an even longer run! That's my girl!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Monday Morning Surprise

I think I probably mentioned before that our house backs up to a 60 acre preserve ~ which I love (except in fire season)... well, this morning I was sitting in Richards home office chatting with him when he lets out a "HOLY CRAP!"
So out I go, with a camera, of course... so here's a current picture of our backyard DSC06950
See anything interesting??? How about a close up?
Sorry about the poor quality but it's a minimal quality camera and the picture was taken through the pool screen but yes, it's a bob cat. Richard actually got a video of it jumping out of the tree. It hung around quite a while ~ long enough for us to having a staring contest. It's probably still back there.
How cool is that?

BTW Jen ~ let's not let the puppers run around back there anymore, kay?

It's the Ginkster's Birthday

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday. We went down to South Florida to take her out to dinner at the Mexican Restaurant that her friend Sue owns. It's called the "Mexican Cantina." It's over on Sunrise just off A1A and you really should go if you are ever in the area. The food was fantastic. Richard and his mom had the Pacifica which was shrimp and scallops and more all wrapped up and covered in cheese.
I had the New York Strip fajita and it was amazing. DSC06944C The portions are huge and the steak was so tender. Best of all, the margarita's are fabulous. They also make their own guacamole which I generally don't like but ate every drop of it. This is Charlotte and Sue last night... DSC06943
I had called Sue in advance to let her know we were coming and she had a cake all ready as a surprise and surprised she was DSC06946
I think she was very happy with all the "loot" we brought her. Richard got her an Ipod shuffle and preloaded it with lots of her favorite music. I made her this little quilted bag DSC06935 to hold the shuffle and the earphones. We also gave her this bookmark that my friend Julie made for her. She makes some of the coolest bookmarks ~ you'll have to check out her Etsy shop and see more of them. She also does custom orders. I've gotten some for the kids and two for myself. They make great little gifts or a perfect something extra when giving a book or book store gift card. I've got a few more in mind that I'd like her to do for me for gifts.

Oh, and we also brought her this really funky monkey. DSC06942 I found it at an antique store the other day when I was shopping with Mary Catherine. It's perfect for my MIL cause she has the craziest monkey table! And last but not least we got her a very cool CD. It's called Spanish Cafe and the music sounds just like that, something you'd expect to hear over a latte in a latin cafe. I knew she'd like this cause not only is she fluent in spanish she spent a great deal of her life living in Venezuela.

Actually that's where Richard was born. How many of you knew that? Rumor has it that he married me only to get his citizenship ~ think after 22 yrs we have the INS fooled?

Who knew...

Who knew paint ball could be hazardous to your health? I certainly didn't. I thought the worst that could happen was you get stains on your clothes. Nate went to a paint ball place with camp and the good news was the paint didn't stain. The bad news was he came back covered in bruises.DSC06900 and ant bites DSC06903
He seriously has these bruises all over his poor little body. I had no idea that the paint balls hit you that hard. He was even wearing long pants. I will have to say though, he had the time of his life and says he'd do it again in a heart beat... if only his over protective mom would let him!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A most delicious summer salad

I made this salad for dinner the other night... DSC06907
It's basically cold shrimp, fresh peaches, raw mushrooms, diced tomatoes over spinach leaves. What gives it a little zing is the bacon and warm sun dried tomato vinaigrette. Basically you cut up the bacon into small pieces and cook it in the microwave for a few minutes. Then you add the sun dried tomato vinaigrette to the bacon and drippings and microwave it for another minute to warm the dressing and pour it over the salad just before serving. I think I used a little too much dressing cause it was unexpectedly sweet and a little goes a long way. Both Nate and Richard really like it. DSC06908 While Julz (who doesn't eat shrimp) opted for cereal for dinner DSC06912 which made her a happy camper and me a bad mommie although she did eat the balance of the tomato that I didn't use on the salad ~ so that's good, right?

Busy Sewing...

I have had a few things brewing in my head that I wanted to get done and I've actually managed to complete some of them.
First off is a bag for Jennifer. DSC06920 She's got a few upcoming presentations and wanted a bag to keep her papers in. She picked the pink out of my stash and we went with a basic black to keep it more professional. I then added a pocket lined with the light pink. The pocket was originally going to go in the back but I decided I liked it better in front (gave the bag more interest) so I "unsewed" the flap and turned it around. It's basically a messenger bag that is tall instead of wide. I love the writing on this print DSC06923 DSC06924
I'll be bringing it up to her next weekend when we go to Jax to watch she and Jeremy run a 5K race (their first!)
I've also been wanting to make myself a new screen bag and when I saw the new line of black/white/lime green fabrics, I knew this would be the one! DSC06925 I went all out with this one and put pockets on the inside DSC06932 I love having a pen pocket cause those suckers always hide in my purses. I also really really love the big chunky button... and not sure if you can tell but I added crystals to the centers of all the flowers. Can you tell I'm having fun with this bag?
I also made a bag for my neighbor, Kitty. DSC06904 I was browsing an embroidery site and saw this "Kitty" and knew I had to do something with it. She's been a great friend since I moved into the neighborhood ~ and introducing me around the school. Here's a look at the inside DSC06905 She was quite surprised and really liked it.

I've got a few more bags that I've made but those will have to wait till their owners receive them ~ stay tuned!

And don't forget to check out my Etsy Shop for the little girl screen bags and more.