Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Last week at a glance

It's been super busy at Casa de Albury. Jen and Charlie came for a visit on Monday and Tuesday. I was in Grammy heaven. Charlie is getting so big and so much more attentive. She smiles so much now and even giggles! It just melts my heart when she looks at me. DSC00569 Uncle Nate loves his little niece too...DSC00575 But this is my favorite pic of the week ~ with his hand on her tummy. DSC00576 So protective. Speaking of Uncle Nate ~ His feet are now bigger than mine, as are his hands. I'm also predicting that he'll be taller than me before too long.

We also had an unwanted visitor last week. DSC00562 I'm not a fan of snakes but he was pretty cool looking. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) he probably went to snake heaven later that night. You see we found him half inside and half outside the garage, trapped under the closed door. Can you see how flat he is in the middle? Richard gently guided him outside where I'm sure he became part of the food chain.

Wednesday Julianne and I went with Jen and Charlie to Gainesville. Jen was giving a lecture to another class, which we got to sit in on. It was so amazing to see her in her environment as a teacher. Her program was really very interesting and the students seemed to really get into it, asking lots of great questions. Jen also had a meeting with one of her professors so Julz and I were on Charlie duty. DSC00578

I had never been to the campus so we explored a bit. I love these trees. DSC00579 Something about all the moss draped over the trees reminds me of Florida from so very long ago. I brought the wrong shoes to walk around in so we didn't see as much as I would have liked. Of course, Charlie was an angel the whole time. We ended the day going to lunch with Jen's professor who was super nice. I really enjoyed chatting with her. Lunch was super yummy. Great salad place ~ gorgonzola salad with lots of cheese and avocado.

Between company and guitar lessons (Nate) and everything else going on I did get into the sewing room to make this. DSC00590 It's a clutch with a matching wallet. This will be going into the Etsy shop at some point. I love making and using these clutches.

I've got a big adventure coming up this week so stay tuned.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A shameless plug for my Etsy shop!

I've finally updated my poor neglected Etsy shop. I did 9 Wallets, 5 Busy Books, 4 Travel Pillow Cases, and 2 sets of Coasters.  I do hope you'll go check them out!

I love these wallets.  It's the only thing I use anymore. My kids use them and even Richard requested one and it's now all he will use as well.  It's amazing how much these will hold and for $5.00 they are quite a bargain.

These coasters are super absorbent and machine washable.  I love that I can make them to match any decor or any activity.  I've had customers requests sets for their bunko night or for the holidays. It's a perfect hostess gift. They are $10.00 for a set of 4.  It's one of the bonus things I used to teach if my beginning quilt students finished on time.   I probably have 2 dozen various prints of these in my kitchen drawer.  The kids love to pick out their favorites.

Of course the pillows are my all time favorites.  I keep a couple in the car for the kids.  They are great for sleepovers ~ much easier to carry and pack then full size pillows and I don't know about you but at hotels, I like my head resting on a pillow that is MINE!  Bet you'd be so surprised to find out that mine has pink flamingos all over it!
I really love this retro looking fabric.  I would love a whole nursery based on this fabric! I charge $15.00 for these with the pillow or $10.00 for just the case.  Not bad, right?

Then there are the Busy Books.  While my kids claim to have outgrown them, there is nothing they like more than having paper and colored pencils at a restaurant or when we are traveling in the car.  These have been hugs hits and for $10.00 they include a dozen colored pencils and pad of lined paper.  They make great gifts for childrens birthday parties, especially when I custom make them, knowing just what the child likes.  You could also add some sheets of stickers to make them extra special.

I recently put up a white board in the sewing room.  I listed the size of pieces I need for the most common stuff I make for the shop, this way when I have a piece of fabric I really like, I can see at a glance what size pieces to cut out of it   Next I cut up a bunch of "kits" for those things then next time I have a moment to sew, I can grab a kit and go.  It also helps when I'm making a bit batch of stuff like I did this weekend to cut down on thread changes .

Later this week I'm going to be working on a batch of purses and clutches for both women and girls so stay tuned!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nassau through the eye of the camera.

We ~ Rich, the kids and I ~ took so many cool pics of Nassau that I though I would post a few more here for you. Overall the city is pretty run down but if you look at the smaller details, there is beauty everywhere. Enjoy...
This was at the school that Richard used to attend.  They built a very pretty new building right next to the old rundown building which they left up.  They contrast is very cool.
Again, with the stone pavement broken up all around, this very pretty and unusual mosaic sidewalk sparked our interest.
Flowers and plants overgrown in a church yard surround a pure white statue of early settlers
I love the blue trim of this church especially against the beautiful blue sky.
This building really needed to be condemned but loved how that tree is growing out of the dirt and gravel of the empty lot and attaching itself to the building.
There are lots of entryways like this throughout the city... promises of something better hidden inside?

Hope you enjoyed the view from our eyes... I'd love to see the view through yours sometime...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Check this out...

They are having a give-away over at Abbey Lane Quilts but more importantly they have a fantastically inspiring blog. Just this one post alone makes me want to run to the sewing room and get to work.
I can just see their funky flowers on some of my bags not to mention the wall art.  You really need to get on over there and check it out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A few visitors

We have had a family of armadillos in our neighborhood. They are really cute ~ but driving poor Sadie crazy. DSC00449 Here are three of them ~ although Nate says the other day he saw four together. DSC00446 They are pretty much blind so you can almost walk right up to them. These guys are all juveniles who have made our area home.

Richard also spotted this beautiful bird on top of one of the trees outside. DSC00438 Sorry about the quality of the pic but I didn't want to go outside the screen and have him fly off (which happened about 2 minutes after I took this). It was a particularly large egret. It's amazing to watch them fly.

It's one of the things I love most about our neighborhood is getting to see all these wonderful creatures.

This last creature was NOT in our yard, thank goodness.DSC00484  This spider was HUGE!  Like the size of Richard's hand huge.  We've had these spiders in our yard but thankfully much smaller.  While I'm not a fan of spiders, it was really cool looking.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Egads ~ The Boy is a Teenager!

So last month my little man turned into a teenager. How in the world did that happen. Seems just yesterday he was just a little guy. And now he's so grown up!

He had two parties this year. The first was a pool party with his friends on Saturday.DSC00399 These are the neighborhood kids. The party was from noon till 4:00 but they all ended up staying until closer to 6:00. They did get out of the pool twice. Once for pizza and once for cake DSC00406 I had the shaved ice machine set up and they all really loved that. We have about a dozen flavors of syrups and I think they tried every combination imaginable. Look how handsome that boy is... DSC00381
Jen & Jeremy were with us for the weekend as well and Charlie took her first dip in the pool DSC00389 But mostly she floated with mommy DSC00402

The next day was more of a "family" birthday party. Nani (Patty) came up along with Uncle Matt & Karina DSC00412 Jen, Jeremy & Charlie were still with us too.DSC00413 Rich grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. It was a lot of fun ~ but an exhausting weekend.
It was great to see all the kids in the pool ~ all getting along and having fun and the next day, being surrounded by my family. I am truly blessed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our attempt at Zentangles

So, I've been wanting to try Zentangles for a while now and Jill from Life with Nature Girl, was good enough to give us a bit of a guide ~ two pages of squares filled in with different shapes to fill in spaces on zentangles (which I highly recommend) I no longer had an excuse to put them off.

The kids and I sat down at the dining room table one afternoon. I showed them one of the Zentangle videos along with "The Quilt Rat's" gallery of artwork and we got to work on our own.

Nate was the first to finish his. He saw something in The Quilt Rat gallery and decided to do his own version.  He is a bit of a minimalist, as in ~ he'll do the absolute least he can get away with.  It doesn't work well in school but I think in this case, less was definitely more.  He shows great potential.  Now if I could only get him away from video games (I'm working on it, trust me).    Most zentangles I've seen were done with black ink but we were lacking in thick and thin black sharpee's so he opted for blue.  My favorite thing about his is the word "ocean" in the fish.  I just wish he had added more to the picture.  I think we'll work on doing this again soon.

Julianne was the next one finished.  She also decided to do a fish although she put lots of work into hers and really took the time to fill it all in.  She added waves on top along with a fish hook and coral on the bottom of the ocean.  Notice the word fish inside her fish.  One of my favorite things about her work is the sand dollars she added and the other thing I really like is the angle of her fish.  She really enjoyed doing this and is looking forward to doing more.  She is like a sponge when it comes to trying new things plus she really like doing stuff with me (which I really appreciate).  She opted for purple ink which also turned out very cool.   My only criticism for her was to make more light and more dark spots so there are very defined areas.

Last but not least is mine.  Please don't look too closely.   I've never considered myself an artist although this really was a lot of fun to do.   I worked with brown ink which gave it a bit of a retro look.  I had no plan in mind  but once I drew the heart (and the subsequent two hearts underneath a plan started to form.  It turned out to be a tribute of sorts to the summer of 69.  It started off with the word love and peace signs up one side of the heart and went from there.  I took about 2 days to do this.  I went back over some areas and filled in where there was a bit too much light.  Looking at it now, it could probably use some more dark areas.   Here's a close up of the one area that I pretty much filled in with words.  It's got everything from the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.  I would definitely do this again and it has so many possibilities like the acrylic clipboard Jill T. did for me or the fabric postcards that Jill B does.  How about a white coffee mug or a decorative glass plate.
It's a project that is fun for kids of all ages and grown up's too!
Give it a try ~ I'd love to see what you come up with.

Friday, July 9, 2010

When Bloggers Meet

DSC00452So earlier this week I was reading the blog "Life with Nature Girl."  She was getting ready to go on a Disney cruise out of Port Canaveral.  Jill is one of those bloggers I consider a friend so when I realized she was going to be less than an hour from me with some time to spare, I jumped at the chance to meet her AND Nature Girl.
Their cruise got in on Tuesday and they had about 6 hours to kill at the airport.  Jill called me when they got on the bus to take them to the airport and Julianne and I drove to Orlando to meet them there.
She is even nicer in person if that's even possible. The adorable Nature Girl is just that ~ adorable and very well behaved.  I even met Jill's husband who really does exist!
I honestly don't remember who found who's blog first or how, but we've been reading and commenting on each others blogs for years now.   It is an easy friendship and we had no loss of things to talk about because we already knew each other so well.
Julz and I hung out at the airport for about 4 hours.  Orlando airport is a great airport with lots to do.  We wandered the airport.  I showed them the sleeping man in the glass box (freaky), we rode up the 3 story escalator(scary), we shopped at the Disney shop and the Sea World shop(fun).  We rode up the glass elevator and looked down at the fountain. 

 We had lunch and just talked and talked.  I probably could have stayed for much longer but we had to get back home.

I had a few days notice that I was going to meet them so I hit the sewing room and made a travel pillow case for Nature Girl,DSC00436 a tea wallet (with a mug) for Jill,DSC00445 and even a wallet for Jill's husband so he wouldn't feel left out.DSC08631
I honestly didn't expect anything from Jill ~ after all she had about an hour's notice we would meet before leaving for her cruise.  That didn't stop her though.  Jill made me this amazing Zentangle clip board.  I turned her on to zentangles a while back with this post and she's been hooked ever since.  Notice she put in a flamingo and palm tree for me.  Does she know me or what?  Even Nature Girl had her hand in this design.
Thank you guys so very much.  I feel so honored and I'm so glad I got to meet a fellow blogger and friend.