Sunday, April 19, 2015


I have had this silk arrangement for almost 20 years. I find the color calming and the flowers engaging. Right now it is living on my coffee table and will probably stay until it is time for the holidays (which will be here before we know it ). This year has been difficult. Moving is stressful and at our ages even more so I think. Now almost a year from the purchase date and 4 months of residency, I am calming down. I think we found the last of the missing items (my pepper mill!) this afternoon.

Daffodils in the market are cheerful and comforting. I miss the spring flowers from New England.

Needlepoint is my current obsession and I am determined to finish this Paris street scene by Sally Corey. Trying to work 2-3 hours a day. I am about half way now.

I walk in the morning. We do our errands and chores and then the Lazy Boy recliner calls my name. I cannot bear the news so cooking shows are usually my choice for company while I stitch. I don't pay attention to the majority of the food but occasionally a recipe or two catches my fancy. Our favorite lunch (this month!) is a slice of a baguette spread with goat cheese and topped with tomato and a poached egg. Wonderful and healthy. This came from Bobby Flay.

I reduce the amount of goat cheese and use the whole grain baguette from Trader Joe's.

I also been experimenting with a Spiralizer. Zucchini pasta will be on the menu this week. 

My other find for a quick dessert is from the cooking show Sweet Julia. Frozen cherries are topped with a white chocolate sauce "enhanced" with some cherry brandy. Very elegant and a small portion is ample.

So, soon we will head back north. I feel like I just got here. I will be glad to see my family and friends. 
 I am so glad that this sense of contentment has reappeared in my life. I have missed the feeling.  

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, April 6, 2015

How Time Flies.....

I just don't know where these last few months have gone. We moved in on New Year's Eve and just now are "things" finally coming together. I have a pill organizer which I fill weekly - seems like I am filling it every day! Soon we will make arrangements to go back up north and I am not ready because I want to play in the new house. We will go back to see family but will most likely come back mid-August as there are still some things to be done. Hopefully family will visit here this winter!

The wrapping station is a new addition in the studio. The design wall above is featuring a Kaffe Fassett Quilt named Mediterranean Hexagons in Reds from his book Quilts in Morocco
The cutting table was neatened for this photo and the ironing board has been lowered for easier ironing from my sewing chair. Sew, swivel, press and arrange!

Quilting, knitting and needlepoint books fill the book case and the doll house family keep an eye on progress. My chair is comfortable for knitting or needlepoint or reading directions and the TV is across the room if I need company.

In the office step ladder book cases hold some of my pottery collection. This arrangement is comprised of Vietri, Fenton, and McCoy. The desk holds all the endless paperwork that we both need. Today's wireless technology gets me away from sitting at a desk but Jack likes doing his work there.

We have not entertained as much as usual but we did host Easter dinner and I set the table with dishes  that I have gathered and family treasures. I shopped the house to complete the table!

I have had a fish poacher for many, many years. I used it Sunday for the first time. I used two burners on the gas stove (a new adventure for me) and the salmon was wonderful. I made a poaching liquid of  limes, ginger, peppercorns, honey, and loose green tea and water. We will be making this again. We served the salmon with marinated potato salad and asparagus topped with chopped hard-boiled eggs. And because we are trying not to "overdo", Jack made a fruit cup. He is now in charge of fruit cup making.

So today, while I wait for a painter to paint the ceiling in the garage where the new ladder has been installed, I shall work on my Paris Street Scene needlepoint by Sally Corey. I am waiting for some fiber for my bird pillow so the Paris project has come the front of the line. Jack is making his spaghetti sauce and life is good!

Hope you have a good week!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The cousins.....then and now

There we were in all our glory with our Gram Lane. We were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. I am on the right holding my cousin Mary Lane. I was 14 and that was a lot of years ago! That was the last time we were all together until February 5th. Although ever the years I had seen some of the cousins, two were missing. One of them made contact with my cousin Martha and plans were made. I wanted them here since I don't go too far and certainly Siesta Key is a nice place to visit.

In the above picture we wore baby blue dresses and white sweaters - never a good look for me or my sister Jean. We had pencils with 45th Wedding Anniversary printed on them. My cousin Sue-Ellen had some made for the cousins' reunion.

Minimum orders allowed us each to have about 50! 

I had hoped to be in my new house much sooner than New Year's Eve. I wanted to make something for them but actually only was able to get into my studio a few days before they arrived. Thank goodness for good friends - talented good friends. Donna from Brynwood Needleworks to the rescue.

Mug mats for all. Gift bags assembled.

And then the food! Again time was running short and energy was in short supply. 10 movers pallets and 2 storage units emptied and arranged. So, I had it catered. Alpine Steak House in Sarasota did the job and the food was wonderful! The menu was a cross between sophistication and comfort.

And so we visited and became reacquainted. We laughed and cried and reminisced. It was a lovely time.
50 some odd years later, the cousins!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Getting Settled

Do you see that chaise in the corner? I actually sat down in it for a few moments the other day. I am looking forward to some quiet time there. Maybe it will be next week?

The TV is in place for football and movies. I am not much of a TV watcher but it is a good excuse to knit or do needlepoint. I have found some projects and will find more when I tackle the upstairs studio. Cords for all the sewing machines are in box yet to be unpacked. I am anxious to cut out a quilt and use new design wall.

We finally cooked and actually ate at the dining room table. It has been chilly here so I will cook a pot roast for Sunday dinner. Notice that the fish tank is in place and looking good.

The studio looks a little better than this picture. Hopefully by tomorrow night it will be almost done.

Publix had English cottage roses. Now I have them!

The mailman brought me a bit of Florida sunshine this past week. My friend Donna of Brynwood Needleworks is most talented.

The basket on the floor is my temporary office! Lots of paperwork with a new house and we all know how I feel about paperwork!

So, that's just a peek of what's going on here.

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in the Casa.....

We are having a Floridaloha Christmas this year. We are waiting to move into the almost finished new house and were fortunate enough to find this dear little cottage that celebrates old Florida.

Decorating has been minimal as most is packed away for next year. We brought this little tree and decorated it with a vintage Santa that we found on Etsy. We have searched and searched to find the one that Jack remembers from his childhood and this is as close as we could come. We shall keep trying.

I shall be on the lookout for this fine fellow which has graced the table here. The furniture in the cottage is Frankl  or Frankl-like. Very comfortable and fitting for the cottage. You can read about the furniture and designer here. eBay has some fine examples.

The owner is a noted ukulele player and will give a lesson if you wish. The cottage is decorated with much love and care.

I am a long time lover of bark cloth. 

Actual bark cloth or fabric with the same feel furnish the cabin. And for a bit of whimsy the sheets feature hula dancers.

So the month here has flown. Next week at this time we shall be getting ready to spend the night in our long-awaited new home. It has been quite the journey but we are almost home.


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