Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hello December

Sorry. I've been missing form Blogland for so long.  I'm fine, just needed to take a break from blogging for a while since my life seemed to be speeding up so much faster and I needed to find ways to slow it down.  What have I found, it's all in the attitude so I plan to continue blogging regularly again.

I have a few small finishes and will share those with you all soon.   So to my followers, my apologies again for being MIA and it's so nice to come back.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

OMG for May

Yep!!  Time to declare that St. Patrick's Day Patchabilities will be my May OMG project for May!
I'm linking up with Heidi over at Red Letter Quilts with this goal setting page.

This is at it's current stage......

Can you tell that last night I was productive...  Finally.  (Now here another song comes to mind  8- /  )
Got the interfacing on, rainbow motif drawn then started stitching the embroidery starting with the red stripe of the rainbow going from the pot towards the hat.
Should get this monkey off my back this month.  At Last!   (another song inserted in my brain now-funny how pertinent they all seem!)  Uh  Ohh, those acronyms spell out FAL  [aka: finish along] synchronicity again.  LOL

If you want some company finishing or challenging yourself to finish up some of your PIGs, UFOs or PHDs, then head over to Heidi's blog  by the 7th to link up with other like minded creators.  The link closes shortly so be quick about it!

This happens to also be #17 on my Q2-2016 list - hitching my gains up on that accountability scale too - a huge self indulgent plus for me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Daffodil Run Done!

Note to self:  I used a 28 count soft sage Monaco  I had in stock and stitched
2 strands with the called for DMC threads:  839, 961, 3051, 3053, 3350,
3853, 3854 and any backstitching done was with only 1 strand.
(Since I'll be selling some of my used charts on ebay - I thought to note the colors used here.)
CCS from Just Nan's design "Daffodil Run" is fully stitched and framed.  Yee HAW!

This was listed as Number 3 on my Q-2 2016  list and now it's one more completion I've reached.
Am I on a roll or what!  Sorry, didn't mean to get so excited but it does fill me with JOY!

Note to self.......While framing this I found out it was easier to "echo" stitch 8 threads beyond the stitched design to center it squarely so it would sit squarely in the frame.  The design was asymmetrical and it continuously seemed to be off until I did that step and then it worked like a charm!

This little floral frame is one that PGD#1 and I selected when we were doing my errands.


Doing my Spring Happy Dance that this is setting on a table in the living room when my own Daffodils start to Bloom.  
Okay, now I'm bragging just a tad. Sorry, but no, not really, I am just too happy not to!  Another one bites the dust!

Seems like my normal is that I am forever mentally listing all that needs my attention and I'm running helter-skelter like from one bit to the next while trying to keep all my plates spinning.  (Remember that guy on the Ed Sullivan show.)  Yep, that's me trying to keep the plates spinning and going along smoothly before they all fall and smash!  No wonder I'm breathless.

Kitchen door Forsythia wreath 2015- Notice the hanging birdhouse?
It's one  that the youngest grandson,
Brody painted during one of our crafting sessions last year.
The other bird houses sit on the front window sill.
Front door forsythia wreath made last year

Yes SPRING, we're ready.

PS: My sister in law is doing better.  She's now upgraded and moved to a regular room.  She's lost so much weight and vitality but know that her treatment is the right plan.  Thanks for your well wishes and prayers,   they are appreciated.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Music themed community quilt top finished

Got this cut out and sewn while away at a quilt retreat in April.  Even the binding is all set for whomever picks it up to do the next stages at the Wings Fall Quilters Guild in Glens Falls.

My commitment to this is done.  This was number 1 on my -2 2016 list.

One down, many more to go......

The pattern was one that called for 3- 1 yard pieces of fabric.
Choosing the swirly darker music themed fabric as the focal point and my plan of making it into those bar blocks to further endorse the music theme worked out perfectly.  

Now if I were finishing this puppy, I'd even use those bits of leftover gold I'm including in this package to do a piped trim before the darker printed binding that's all set to finish it off.  But that is now somebody else's monkey and somebody else's circus.  lol

It came to my attention that I wasn't naming and doing the OMG projects and linking them up correctly. That a project needs to be stated, shared and linked in at the beginning of the month and then by the end of the month, it needs to be totally and completely finished.  I only listed what I hoped to get done... be it make a quilt top or the next larger step within whichever projects.  Am so glad that they let me know as nicely as they did.  How embarrassing that it seemed like I was cheating,  I wasn't and it wasn't my intention,  but truly it's my Bad for not following the rules!
So this won't be getting shared with the April OMG even though in my book it's another success for my YTD tally as my part is totally done!

OMG Tally for me is 3 out of 4 YTD.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Red Thread- AMEN!

I love it and it's gorgeous!

After my last posting about this I did get the required buttons and snaps from the Stitching Post in Maryland to finish this as it was designed and that I teased you with a photo about with them strewn on top.  But after getting them on, didn't personally care for them.  Seemed like their addition took away from the classic effect I was aiming for with this. . not. .so. .classical.  .stitch.  So I ended up removing them all before I could bring it to Michaels to get the framing done.  This shot shows the frame/colors tones more realistically.

Thrilled with how it looks framed with those double mats too  and how they were cut.  The burgandy one I had them edge inward and the green cut mitered showing  That little strip of white reveal is a nice little bright spot.
The frame we selected is the same kind we brought to re-frame our Adirondack chair art last year fall.  Glad it was still available as the green mat I used for the last counted cross stitch piece is no longer available and went with this newer color which I really like too.  This chair art hangs over the antique fridge in the dining room and our plan is that the wall that has wainscoting will be holding up the Red Thread piece.

Since both of these prints will be on adjacent walls, it's a great blend of style and color and am thinking it'll look nice and soothing, especially with those off white and soft sage colored walls.

The only thing to do now is to have hubby move the primitive wall sconces and make sure the supporting hanging bracket is strong enough to hold it up.  It is heavy and quite wide as seen in this next shot.  Here she is setting on our queen size bed. It almost reaches both sides!

Benk Creek, The Red Thread Snapperswas stitched on a 32 ct linen with 2/2 threads
Threads Used
DMC:  225, 644, 3371 and  3865
Gentle Art Sampling Thread (GAST):  Antique Rose, Berry Cobbler, Cidermill Brown, Dungarees, Freedom, Gold Leaf, Liberty, Nutmeg, Slate, Summer Meadow, Tarnished Gold and  Weathered Barn
Weeks Dye Works:  Bark, Chestnut, Cocoa, Galvanized, Kudzu, Lancaster Red,  Purple Haze and Seaweed    

So now it's wrapped back up in the brown paper protection and hopefully DH can take care of it soon.
His older sister, Linda who turns 69 on May 3rd has been in the ICU and has been very sick going on three weeks now. Thankfully the doctors have finally figured out the proper diagnosis and the right medicine is being shipped from Vermont as I type this.  Amazing since she was seen at three different hospitals with the first saying wait and see it's a virus, the second recognizing her serious condition then transporting her within 14 hours to another hospital that could care for her, thus the ICU admission there.

I'm so grateful for the health DH and I do have and also that this CCS- The Red Thread is Done!

That makes item number 2 from my Q-2, 2016 project list completely done!
Whoot - hoot!!!

Thanks for stopping by,

PS: Just so you know it's really me- I still have plenty more to catch up on with blogging.
Am trying to come up with a different way of staying more up to date for my posts and yet still be productive.  I'll let you know how it works.   ; )

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Q2 2016 and my OMG for April

Nope!  I was no where close to what I wanted to get done for my  Q-1 list so I'm including those same items to this quarter besides adding a few more that have come onto my horizon.  This finish along FAL has gone global and is a great incentive to get some projects finished besides the focus of OMG (One Monthly Goal) and the monthly numbers being pulled at All people quilt challenge.

The Quick Ripper
this girl loves her gadgets!
Three of those were completed.   Yippee!!!!
I shared only two so far since I never posted about the finished apron, Number 10 on the Q-1 list.

Here are a couple of photos taken while making it.   And you are seeing correctly, I had to use the Quick Ripper not once, but twice while making the pockets would you believe. That really makes quick work of unstitching or reverse sewing as it's sometimes called.  So I ordered one fro my Mom and had one shipped to her too.  In February she went to a quilt retreat with many of her Chatham Quilt Group and The Quick Ripper was the hot trend with every one wanting to know where she got it.   LOL  At the AQS in Daytona, a buddy of hers let me know that if I ever send her another little goodie like that, to multiply what I send by 4 so all of Mom's quilty friends get one too!  Joy is such a Hoot!
After that I settled down and got it finished in a day.  That red fabric shown was used for the lining  the pockets and the entire apron.   It looks great and I wonder why I put such a simple thing off for so long.
More handy gadgets I used for the apron construction was those red polka dot scissors, the purple thang and I finally used that set of curved templates to get a crisp smooth edge after turning the pockets.
I love it when I remember what I have, where it is and actually use them.  

Number 1 of the Hungry Hungry caterpillar pillow completely done.

Number 10 of the Christmas Apron Panel was finished but I never shared a photo of it will be back on Friday to remedy that (DH has an out of state appointment and we're heading over to MQX in Manchester after that for a couple of days.  Editing and adding this photo on 4/30/16.

Number 16 was made into the Valentine's Day wall hanging topper so hopefully this quarter I'll be able to quilt it and get it completely finished.
That is three listed completions realized so far this year with so many more I want need NEED to get truly done this year.

For April's OMG I hereby announce a community quilt to be cut and sewn into a top. The fabrics are black and gold and should work up quickly. (Fingers crossed!)

For my list of  Q-2:

1-Music themed Community Quilt made into a quilt top- April's OMG project.  DONE!

The top is made and will  be getting turned into the community project committee in the Wings Falls Quilt Guild the second Saturday in May.  I worked on this while attending a quilt retreat I go to annually at Dodge Pond in Fine, NY.

2-CCS- Finish the Red Thread - It's all stitched now, just waiting for the heart and star specialty buttons I ordered during The Stitching Post's sale to arrive [Note to self for the GPS directions, they're located in Catonsville, not Baltimore] Only need to attach those buttons and bring it in to be framed which I've already selected and paid for at Michaels. Thank goodness it was at 70% off but ye gads it was costly.  Will share more when it's totally, really and truly done.  (Now, I am hearing a tune for the Wizard of Oz with the Coroner singing about the witch being dead.)  edited this on 4/30/2016 it's DONE!

3-CCS- Daffodil Run designed by Just Nan editing this on 4/30 as it's now stitched and the only things left are to attach the charm fob and then frame it!
Editing on 5/3/16- DONE!

4-CCS- Wee Spring designed by Heart in Hand:
Editing this on 12/1/16 and was able to finish stitching this in November.  Only needs framing and I'm trying to use wwhat I have on hand.

5-CCS- Heart of America designed by Lizzie Kate: 

6-Make Native themed Hockey Seats

7-Make Dog Print Fleece Hockey sets
8-Make Dog Bed with same Dog print fleece for Scout's carrier kennel.

9-Make Boston Red Sox theme -  Hockey Seat fabrics Numbered 6 through 9 are all shown on the right along with the foam in too.

10-Doll quilt made with sea horse themed fabrics pulled.

11-BQ2 quilt assembled into a topper (just the borders left)

12-Braid blocks sewn into into a quilt top shown all together in a jumble with some coordinating fabrics:

 13-Kitchen pot holders made similar or all right then, copied from this one and possibly make an oven scarf too:
14-An Aqua sew together bag cut and sewn with some of these fabrics for myself:
15-Juvenile prints are kitted to make another sew together bag cut out and sewn for PGD#1.
The fabrics are stored downstairs and I will show more after it's made.  
I know there are numerous novelty prints kitted together for this with eye glasses, babushka dolls, and some other very kid friendly themes, all very bright and happy looking.

16-Sofa table runner made into a 9 or 10" by 40" size.  
Made out of this border stripe

or even this patriotic kit with the dimensions changed in order to fit the sofa table.

17-That dang Patchabilities St. Patrick's Day wall hanging 
(I am starting to feel like I'm crowing  and a partridge in a Pear Tree  every time I  include this one!  Go ahead you can hum along.  lol

It's a very old UFO that  needs to get off my back!
editing on 5/3/16 ... finally stitching this now  

18-Wool Table runner as my portable project and since I just loved that Primitive gathering Nesting Time Table Mat when I saw the kit at the AQS show in Daytona.  That one and quite a few others jumped into my shopping bag, but I will share more about that at another time too. 
Not sure I love all the wool with this kit, so I may change a couple of them out for higher soft contrast.

19-Miranda Bag another very old UFO that needs to be finished.
Sorry to say I haven't found this UFO yet so no photo to show.
It's all cut out with creams, pink and peaches with  a soft graphic style fabrics.
I just know it's around here somewhere but where? [typing while scratching my head!]

20-One of the Kim Diehl kits I have in or perhaps a new project that my muse demands to play with....

21- Scalloped table runner that's a topper but I'd love to try some feather quilting and bound it with a scalloped edge.
I started this UFO ions ago using the Moda Charisma fabric line.  Seems to be a recurring theme.....

22-Tater Strip Quilt another very old UFO, needs digging out since this too is packed in the basement and thinking about what stage that one is in.
It's another panel project I've had in since PGS#3 was in his preschool days and he's now in 1st grade. 8 {

23-Tulip Time Table mat from my miniature collection and I'd love to dye/paint the tulip fabric for it.

Or this even this larger project with fabrics painted for the tulips.  

24-Cherry tablecloth finished- Mary Engelbright (sp?) themed quilt top needs to be finished for a tablecloth quilt.  Very kitcheny don't ya think?  I won this topper at a quilt auction for a great price.  Should be perfect for some summer time flair.
Think I'll use some of mom's fabric donation for the backing, (it's that Black patchwork fabric on the right) and use that grunge red I bought in Trenton, FL for the binding.  

25-Rip out and restart the Disappearing Nine Patch which was started in 2015.  Not sure which direction this will go but it's honoring a nudge within me to make something pastel.  Way out of my normal color range I might add! 

26-Rip out? or rethink/redo the Hunter's star now hitting UFO status from 2014
perhaps a dresser scarf for PGD#1 bedroom....... Very bright but way too busy. It really needed to  be toned down with a soft white a bright color in every quilt block to sparkle.  

27-Make a quilt for PGS#3 with the Minion panel:
fabrics with the panel all bagged together.  

28-Make another quilt with the Star wars panel for PGS#3 in honor of us reading the book- Stories of the Jedi and Sith aka: Star Wars book being 187 pages in length and he's only 7.   
Way to go little one!  Makes a Meme proud.

While finally editing this on the 30th of April,  several of these are now done and a couple of them have been happily morphed with the grand children's desires!   Will share and post about them them soon.  Promise!

Yippee Skippee!!!!

I also realize a few more wants that I have tentatively on my want to get done list but didn't share yet because they are in a totally different wheel house.

What that? It's to fix a couple of necklaces I purchased while vacationing in Florida.  They both need at least a 1/2" to 1" added to their lengths so they fall correctly on me.

That's all.  A HUGE list with plenty of wiggle room.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

NON BLOGGER BACK from the South!

Yes- I'm back.
But the reason I was away for so long is because DH and I went South for awhile to visit with family and get out of the cold.  It was our first time being away for a whole month which was nice and so enjoyable. Visiting with family on our travels so it was great to reconnect with them besides do some tourist-y items while visiting their areas along our travels.

Our general itinerary was:
Days 1-3:
Travel from home in Northern NY to Severna Park, Maryland to visit with my sister, Donna.   We stayed there a couple of nights checking out her "new to us" home purchase - then traipsed into Baltimore area to see Federal Hill, visit unique shops and boutiques besides grab some food (The Abbey serving their exotic burgers was a nice unusual treat) then shop at an Ikea Store.  {Pure Heaven!} It was nice to rekindle and recharge by moving, especially after being confined to the van while traveling that first day.   My sister looked wonderful and so did her lovely home.   She's the sister that traveled with me to Ireland and London many years ago.  We have hiked the Adirondacks and accomplished many of the 46 high peaks, entered flat water canoe races together besides the numerous escapades throughout the years.
Left her home to continue our southernly route.  We also stopped back at the end of our month long getaway and said our goodbyes until we meet up again and did some more little adventures on the flip side.

Days 4-6:
Left for North Carolina/Georgia for tourist bits to see and to make the trip doable with my back issues.  Stayed at a very cheap accommodations and had a terrific dinner at the Captain's Quarters just down the road.  What a happy coincidence, both of our dinners were sublime!  We'll definitely be trying it out again the next time we travel through that area.

The next day we traveled to Harleyville, NC.  It wasn't too far off our route and besides the Everglades years ago, DH and I had never experienced a "for real" swamp down south.
So with an Audubon endorsement of the Frances Beidler Forest  - aka: Cypress Swamps with knees, we purchased tickets and walked their boardwalk.

Besides the many cypress trees/knees there were Tulepo trees and you could tell which was which by their bases.  Cypress had a base with a many corded-like growth for their root systems and many times with a ring of "knees" surrounding the center trunk and  the Tupelo had more of a bulbous like base as it's formation.

DH and I were both amazed that the smell was so pure and fresh. Nothing like the wetlands and swamps near our home.

On the photo on the left are a few of the knees we saw.

I'll bore you with a few more pictures I was able to capture from our boardwalk adventure.

The interior of a cypress that was
removed after Hurricane forces tumbled many.

There were many others, each grouping unique.  Some with reds being visible while others seemed so graceful with their arching form and strong fluidity like the knees shared on the right.

So impressive to these Northerners who had ever seen anything like it!     8-)

We walked over a mile and enjoyed the sights and sounds.
It was good to see and witness this.

By mid-late morning we were on our way to Charleston, NC to see Fort Sumter.
As it turned out we'd have to wear our winter gear. Since the temps were around 40 degrees and with the Atlantic winds on the sea front, it was really chilly but thank goodness nothing like the temperatures home was experiencing at the same time.  (-19 F with the wind chill factor figured in a whopping -38 F!)

Of course to get to the fort it called for a ferry ride which happened on a breezy, very cold day BUT at least the sun was shining and there weren't any clouds in the sky.

I never realized that's where the civil war started. We both enjoyed the NPS narrations as we toured this historical site.   I always feel humbled when I visit historical landmarks such as these.  How our forefathers made do and complete all they did continue to amaze me.

Just look at all of those bricks, then cannons with the slate floors that have those metal rails embedded in order to swing the canon direction as needed for battles and this was conceived and built over 200 years ago.
Not sure which rail system was in place at the time of the Civil War start so am sharing what's in place today.

This fort was built as a protective fortress for  the Charleston Harbor with the mindset of protection while obtaining our liberty from England
then subsequently used as the initial battle sight for our Civil War so All could obtain their liberty here in the United States.

This is an updated rail system.  
After Fort Sumter, there were a few sights I wanted to see in the Charleston area such as the Rainbow Row, Boone Plantation, Charleston Tea Plantation, but time was short with our late dinner plans in Savannah's Lady and Sons, so we bid adieu to Charleston.  But I will be going back there and make plans to spend several days there next time!

Savannah Georgia is where we spent the next night.  Were both pretty tired so we visited the Lady and Sons restaurant on West Congress Street since our son has always mentioned he's going to marry Paula day some day, LOL .   Even though he's been happily married to Michele for going on 19 years now.  But we wanted to check out P.D.'s  recipes  first hand.  It was so busy and we had nice meals.  DH had a shrimp dish and I opted for the buffet to try a bit of this and that.  The food wasn't drop dead in your mouth spectacular IMHO but a really good meal at a very reasonable price so truly  -  it didn't disappoint.  We were both impressed with the night happenings going on in that neighborhood too so it would be nice to get back there to enjoy that town more too someday.

Days 7-21:
Sent us onward to visit with Mom who lives in the Villages, Florida.

2016 at Arnold Palmer Country Club
She looks so good and is such an inspiration. Where she lives has added a boon to her health and vitality. It's really a great match for her and for The Villages. It was nice to reconnect with her, visit, sew, quilt, shop, drink, eat, sight see and not in that order either.
Since she had prior plans to attend her Quilt Guild's retreat that she and a few of her friends organized and hosted for several days, she allowed DH and I to spent time at her home so we could catch our breath, enjoy the sunshine, pool, Public Squares, golf cart and imagine if we could see ourselves living there full time (a dream of ours).

Upon her return after their retreat, we visited with her for several days before she had to head back out for a few more days to stay in a condo she and some friends reserved for the AQS show at Daytona Beach.   During that time she shared a few of her quilts she has in for all of her children to share, so I could catch a photo of them.

 This hexagon quilt she purchased the fabrics while she visited us in the north a couple of years ago and now it's completely done.
Hand stitched, hand appliqued and hand quilted with the addition of her designing the pillow shams to boot!
She is such an accomplished  and exquisite quilter.

It's beautiful and I love it!

Then, not one but two different Lone Star quilts are completed.

This purple brought up memories of our trip for fabrics while we trouped to Pennsylvania over a decade ago.  Actually it was a bus trip our guild offered to see the Pennsylvania Extravaganza Quilt show.  I think it was about 2001, not sure of the date, this is just a guess-timate.

The colors in this are rich and the shading is perfect, I love it!

The second Lone Star quilt was just as spectacular with a red-green colorway.
It's so beautiful Mom, just like you and I love that one too!

Then she brought out this colorful scrap quilt. Then as the photos show, she started to really have fun .

Yup, that's my Mom!  AWESOME!!!
With all of her scraps shown in this and the vibrancy of her stash being evident, it's perfect.  I love this one as well!

Here she is with her with her hands on her hips sharing the Irish Color wash quilt our little quilting subgroup started at the same time over a decade ago.  Each with our own color choices.  There it is again -  another happy memory of quality time spent together either shopping for our quilt projects, sewing, visiting and now sharing.   It's a gorgeous finish Mom, I love it.

Her colors were a raspberry with shades of periwinkle blue chains.
Mine was the lavender and yellow or off white combo that I shared on a previous post shown here.

Then up next is her hydrangea basket she finished after taking a class at Paul Smith's College with Joan Shay. (Red faced here) This was a class I also took with her but at that time in my life I had prepared for the class, had all my fabrics in, basket fabric sewn into strips, flowers all fused and cut, beads purchased and kitted within it the project tote and then couldn't find it any where!  Uggh- how'd I do that?   It was when DH was diagnosed with his potentially then terminal heart condition (over 12 years ago), then financial struggles with a life altering disability, my own health issues and all in my world seemed to be crashing and crumbling around me.
So even at that time in my life, I took it easy on myself, sincerely apologized to the instructor, Joan Shay, took the class, learned the technique and then recently and thankfully this Spring while cleaning out a closet I stumbled onto a project box.  Opened it and Voila!  there it is....My kitted Hydrangea has finally been found. Now it's in a labeled box, I know where it is and hopefully and realistically I'll be getting to mine at some point, perhaps this year or next.  Of course mine is a different colorway for this project too.

She brought hers to Michael's years ago and had it framed in a clean simple white frame and it's perfect on her bedroom's yellow walls.

The next quilt out was another scrappy one showcasing her nine patches she was enamored with a couple of years ago with some brown fabrics we shopped together for.  Another nice memory.

My photo doesn't do this one justice or to show her border work.
The border showcases another original design of hers and it's really nicely done, I love it!

The Moon Glow quilt which I love and had given the kit to her for a Christmas gift.  It resides in her guest room.
Notice those black pillows?  She used the same star design on them as the quilt pattern and stitched aqua/purple metallic threads to enhance and complement her quilt.


Here again she did all the stitching by hand, Yep, Every block and every border done by hand and then quilted it by hand as well.  She used silk and I think metallic threads in coordinated colors.

I LOVE this Quilt!!!

A couple of detail shots of the quilting.

These quilts are just a small representation of her work.  Besides raising seven children who have gone forth and multiplied so the offspring count stands at twelve grandchildren and to date 6 great grandchildren (2 more on the way) who all have quilts, the tokens of her love and efforts many times over.  I know I personally own 2 of her quilts and she has made quilts for all of my offspring too.

One of her current focuses is this one:

She was working on this project while at her retreat.
Besides this one she has several large projects going on all at the same time so she can switch to meld with her muse.

  1. I know she is appliqueing a dragonfly wall hanging with over 180 pieces, 
  2. a Dear Jane Quilt and 
  3. another Burgundy, pink & yellow Buggy barn flower quilt.

After the mini show in her bedroom and the living room floor, she and I continued on with our passions of quilting while DH retired to the front porch for his afternoon libations and enjoy his cartharsis - face book, connecting with his buds,  and playing his then favorite pool app on the i phone.

In her sewing studio she has a small paper taped next to the sewing machine so I grabbed a pic of that showing what you can get from a fat quarter and thought it would be handy for my own reference, thanks Mom!

Many other sights were enjoyed at the different squares nightly w/ free entertainment and happy hours offering discounted beverages for the gatherings.  Cars shows, boutiques, numerous restaurants as well as wonderful winter weather with absolutely BLUE skies!

DH's favorite golf cart at a square one night that he wanted a photo of for his buddy John.

Brown wood Square, the Villages, Florida

DH enjoyed this Belgium Beer
at the World of Beers
alcohol content 8.5%

Since my brother, Tom and his wife Eileen were also spending the winter in their Class A in Florida, Eileen and I had fun traveling to Daytona Beach for the day to see the AQS show and to also met up with Mom and her friends.  It was a lovely day.  She drove her jeep and it was nice to see that Jeep owners will wave to each other as they meet up along their travels, who knew?!

Some of the quilts that captured my fancy and respect are following:
Apologies to the quilters as I didn't document the specifics of each one, but you are all gifted and I thank you for sharing your creations.  Perhaps you'll recognize these photo glimpses.

The details on all of these quilts were fantastic.   AQS was a nice show so of course I purchased a few things while there too.

A small fortune was spent so they gave me a cloth bag for my purchases.   Thanks Primitive gatherings!
Many kits are shown here and I can't wait to start one in May!
All the quilts at the show were beautiful.   Eileen and I enjoyed our day immensely.

Mom with her friend Lucille at AQS Daytona, 2016.
Can I say we were like kids in a candy shoppe?  Okay we were!

Then DH and I visited a local museum.  Most of the items seen at The Grand Oaks Carriage Museum are amazing.  It was wonderful to think it all occurred because of another woman's passion for driving the "four in hand" coaches.

There had to be over 60 horses within the exhibits
with a cost of $2000 a piece to create.
No clones here, each one was unique.

Many carriages with their horses and the livery shown are all pics obtained at the Grand Oaks Museum 2016.   If you are in the area it's a nice day trip and wonderful to witness.

Besides visiting with Mom, then my brother Tom and his wife Eileen, some other trip highlights in Florida were the Arnold Palmer Country Club, AQS at Daytona Beach, the quilt shop in Trenton, Nancy Lopez country Club, the Market of Marion, The Grand Oaks Museum and then of course we can't forget  Eaton's Beach, (DH 's new favorite spot!).
We made a couple of trips to Eaton's Beach which were thoroughly enjoyed.  The libations were ordered for the "souvenir  glasses" in mind of course.   A traditional one and then a Mango Margarita, YUM!

Fabric acquired from Mom's stash that she wanted downsizing.
I happily obliged and shopped my way through her wares.

Yikes!  A gain of 27 yards!  But what a bargain!  Thanks Mom!!!!

Then on another day we did a FABLE. LOL
Mom and all of us traveled to Trenton to go out to lunch and fabric shopping.  Again with the intention  to acquire more parts that are needed for the many projects we all were working on.   Success as far as I'm concerned with just a hiccup of one item on my list of finding a soft mint green solid fabric.  Greens are so difficult to match.

I bought several items that were on my list for the UFO's I 'd like to proceed on like a border fabric for two different Block of the Months kitted from my Guild's BOM programs( the pink print and those purples that will complement a Kaffe Fassette themed BOM that I worked on while I stayed there-first time bringing my sewing machine with me), besides a few yards of glittered fabrics in white, cream and silver colors, that black stripe fro a tiddly winks scrap project I've been thinking of, a border print with wildlife for a dresser scarf and 2 additional fabric I couldn't resist.

Yikes another fabric gain of 32 yards!

So with our reservations looming in front of us we had to leave Mom and Florida.  Thanks Mom.  Can't wait to see you this summer.
PS:   I love You.

Days 22-27:
We traveled up through Georgia and had dinner in Chattanooga Tennessee to arrive at our condo in Crossville, TN. Nice traveling and my agenda entailed enjoying our time there with 2 days of down time and 2 days touring in Nashville to see some of the sights.  Unfortunately our reservations there were problematic which thankfully RCI compensated us for.  But because of it, we detoured our arrangements and stayed in another hotel chain outside of Nashville in Mufreesboro.  We did many tourist sights while there  besides enjoying the amenities at the hotel of hot tub, pool and complimentary breakfasts.

First item on our itinerary in Nashville was to visit Andrew Jackson's plantation the Hermitage.    It show cased a nice museum, house tour and walkways all around the plantation including the first log cabin they lived in.  An intriguing plague seen at the museum stating  ........
"I have been oppressed with a violent cough ....and Costiveness?  ...great quantities of phlegm..."  What is that?
Upon returning home I found out it was a different way of saying constipation or stinginess.  I was hoping for a nicer phrase than productive cough but TG constipation is not one problem that I'm bothered with.  Must be all those veggies and fruits I love. I was really curious because I too have a chronic cough going on 16 months now and it's productive which is so gross.  All of my doctors can't figure out why it's there or find a treatment to get rid of it saying only that's it's allergies and my asthma.  But that's a whole different story for another day.

Andrew and Rachel's love story is romantic yet sorrowful.  They both paid a dear price because of their love esp. with the moral codes and morees of the time.

After  her death, he mourned the rest of his life and had a  temple and monument constructed for her grave where he and a couple of their children rest to this day.   It really is an amazing and powerful love story.

Boy, it felt good to move besides thoroughly enjoying the tours. Another benefit of the time spent there was that we met a nice couple (Bill and Diane)  from Indiana.  I am so glad about that because they shared their knowledge about the Opryland Hotel which wasn't on my initial list and said it's a must see while you're in Nashville.

They were right!

A Glass masterpiece sculpture  in one of the reception areas.
It reminded me of the Dale Chihully exhibition Mom and I went to in the summer of 2014 while spending the day in Montreal.

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel was gorgeous and we enjoyed a light refreshment while there (ice tea with sushi at the restaurant shown just behind the water feature below).
DH's health became problematic with his heart failure.  I was grateful that I had all of his Doctors' contact information with me and the amenable Hotel's concierge was ever so helpful in obtaining medicines quickly.
They have 3 atriums all with their own themes and different shops.  This place is huge and valet parkign is a must.  But if you show receipts of your ding a certain restaurants, then valet is free and only a tip is expected.   Time well spent.

Some of the vegetation in the this atrium of the Opryland Hotel  were quite exotic.

At this point, I've run out of storage on my phone for any more photos.
I kept trying to delete some obvious duplications but had to remove 5 pictures in order to take one.

Wouldn't this design concept be a treat for a quilt design?
Whenever I see sights like this my mind thinks quilting.

I know
I'm just a bit cra cra
if you know what I mean.

Wayne and Jane  (DH and I)  at The Grand Ole Opry House, 2016

Next stop was the Grand Ole Opry House
which was nearby.

With our budget and what was the most important to us we didn't tour inside.
Should we ever happen to visit this city again, perhaps we could purchase tickets for a concert and see most of the inside then.

Anytime we travel we do a Hop on Hop off tour of the city.  So much is gained with the tales of what occurred besides getting our bearings of where most of the sights are located and the city's travel modes.
This didn't disappoint either as when we loaded the bus between the Million Year Wall and Nashville's Farmers Marketplace the bus driver asked us where we were from.
DH responded "Upstate NY".
That's when another rider on the bus (there were only 4 other people on it during this dreadful rainy wet day) asked "where in upstate?"
DH looked over and responded, "Same place as you!" as he recognized the retired Correction Lieutenant that he had worked with for many years.  
Oh how we chuckled over that and they reconnected for the next few minutes until the next stop!
Seems like no matter where we travel there is always a human connection to family or friends.
Oh what's that phrase- Six degrees of separation.

We enjoyed a couple more days in Nashville going to museums, restaurants, pubs and even got to visit the Parthenon. and seeing the many museums and recording studios of the many music icons of  quintessential Nashville.

These photos are from my i phone - what can I say, other than it was a  picture perfect day despite the rain that was forecast.
Another destination I've always dreamed of going to is Greece.  That's been on  my wish list since I was 10 years old and read a Mary Stewart novel.  
I realize this is not That Parthenon but I was glad to have roamed within this ones halls.

Then a trip to another historic landmark in the area of Cheekwoods Botanical gardens and museum.   The draw there besides a walking trail in the woods, was a garden full of model trains set up with botanicals and to scale tunnels and bridges.  Only 4 trains were operating that day and the other 3 were at rest.  We enjoy gardening and many times will be inspired with our travels.    
There was a trail through the woods on the property showing bamboo forests, chinese pagoda (gazebo) over a zen garden of stone work, statues and sculptures with a nice, 1-2 mile walk with seating along the way.  

The museum housed collections of period pieces of china and whatnot-s obtained and used by the Cheeks' family from the Maxwell House Coffee empire.  While there an artist, Steve Tobin was being showcased with his metal work and it showed so many layers of detail.   Besides the metal work evident, there was another section of rooms showing many ceramic clay pots or what they termed and phrased as "Bang Pots" as another series of art he worked on.  
DH was  enamored with this so much that he played with clay and firecrackers when he got home to imitate Steve Tobin's art.  
LOL- He enjoyed his bang pot memories fondly I'd say and would say he now has even more appreciation of Tobin's work.

Poncirus trifoliate aka: Flying Dragon  - Orange Rutacaea
who knew? A Wild Orange!!!  But what wicked thorns it holds.
Another quilt design perhaps was what I was thinking?

When checking out of the hotel we traveled South to Lynchburg to see the Jack Daniels Distillery.   Another nice tour with bits seen and stories learned.

Our tour guide was an official taster and they don't "shwalla" as she phrased it.  The smells and sights were wonderful though neither DH or I are fond of whiskey.  
This is just one of his barrel houses and by code they have to be built thousands of yards apart for safely housing that much alcohol.    Five stories high and layers and layers of whiskey barrels  within.  They have 78 barrel houses! but I think I remember her saying they now have 80 barrel houses.  It's known that ole Jack was reported to be quite a ladies' man but had a surly temper.  After kicking a cast iron safe in his office and he suffered from gangrene until his demise.

While leaving Tennessee, we went to a Wolf wildlife sanctuary at Bay Mountain Park and walked around while seeing the falcons, deer and wolves, etc.  Reportedly there were otters and raccoon there too, but we catch sight of those.  We enjoyed a small picnic there to bout before resuming our day's travels!  That night's dinner was in Bristol,  Tn.  We finally found a restaurant for some BBQ that shared some nice southern sides to go along with.  Bye Tennessee, it was nice meeting you!

Day 28
Arrived in Virginia and spent the night in Staunton.  But we ran into bad winter weather while getting there that night. We could only travel 30 mph that evening for about 100 miles because of the snow, ice and lowering temperatures.  It seemed like we were the only car on the road.  Many tractors and trailers but hardly a one passenger cars.   FREAKY!
Luckily we arrived without incident and were able to check off my bucket list of seeing Monticello the next day.
I've admired Thomas Jefferson's tenacious abilities, architectural designs and keen forethought for many years. If I could time travel, I would love to meet this man.  The many details he imaged then completed are truly incredible and I feel honored to have walked where he did.  How incredible it was and I'm glad we did the behind the scenes tour even up inside the rotunda!

Day 29 and 30:
Found us back in Maryland to reconnect and stay with my sister in Severna Park.
Time spent hanging out at her place besides traveling back into Baltimore to visit Fort McHenry, Fells Point, the stained glass art gallery called "How Great Thou Art" showcasing Loring Cornish's work, besides enjoy another nice meal out together that was located on the harbor's waterfront.  Our treat again for her wonderful hospitality.
Oh, I was able to go to another favorite needlework shop of mine and obtain a few necessities for the counted cross stitch projects I have lined up.  The Stitching Post didn't disappoint this time either.
But, Note To Self: while using the GPS to navigate to it-  use 67 Mellor Ave, Catonsville as the city, not Baltimore!   I spent close to a hundred while there but found out they'd be having an anniversary sale in a week and I could call in an order to finish my list and use the sale prices.  Thank you ladies, YTB!!!

Day 31:
Headed back home so all in all, it was a fantastic vacation.
I am so blessed and fortunate to have spent quality time with all those I love.


PS:  This is a heavily detailed and photo saturated post since I use my blog as a personal/public album of sorts.  Highlighting what my family and I have been living-seeing-being- and  yes,  we definitely  are blessed.