Friday, June 24, 2016

Mother Nature

I golfed my best game ever yesterday while enjoying 9 hole golf. I normally have a hovering score of 70ish but yesterday I got a 56 on the back nine of the course which is way harder than the front nine. I think you even get some points taken off your score for being placed in the back vs the front. Yeah!! And yet, I still didn't get a par.


We now have a bit of a beach.  And I mean a bit.  Not even enough for the grand gals to get all their stuff on the beach without water intruding, but it's a start.  By Labor day we will have all that crap on the sand after shlepping it down the stairs of the sea wall.

We had tornado warnings and up to 80 mph winds off the lake on Wednesday night.  There was lots of lightening off the lake.  Our front garden tree split and the massive limb ended up on our neighbors roof.  It seems like there was no damage which is a good thing.  The tree guy has already come and gone and carted away the two massive limbs.  All is well on the Fitzsimmon's homestead.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sam's Gerber Daisy Photo

I have tackled the beginning of the quilting on the dreaded flower.  I ran out of pins and therefore have to do this in thirds.  Once I got going I realized that I can't do the petals and the background at the same sitting.

Here is the stage after four hours that I finished the quilting on the petals.

I think you can see the quilting here.  It is the straight line of quilting that my hands can manage.

A large problem showed up after this part was done.  All the work on the petals; paint and thread play did some damage on the black background.  There is a lot of excess fabric that I can't just quilt on and make the volume go away.  Another conundrum that has arisen during the making of the photo quilt.  This will take a lot of brain power and definitely some wine to figure out what to do.  My thoughts are to do some hand work in the black to take over the excess or else cut out the flower and transpose it onto a new quilted background.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


What is with the internet? I have waited an hour in the past to have photos pop up to put on the blog (hence skipping the whole blogging procedure on many an occasion!) and how? It almost pops up before I finish choosing my photos! I just can't figure it out. Not that I am complaining!

I spoke too soon when I said that my sis's quilt top was complete before.  Now I can re-say that now Mike's quilt top is complete.  I forgot all about the centers of the flowers.  I showed her how to cut the freezer paper center  out and then iron it onto the fabric, cut the fabric out 1/4" around the pattern and then do a running stitch around on the 1/4", pull and tie off and then just appliqué it down.


Her centers came out perfectly.

Mike wanted to learn to do foundation piecing (printed pattern on muslin) and so she used the left over fabric from her flower quilt top and finished off an example of the 4" block.  She did a grand job and she did it on a sewing machine.  Most every one I know does it by hand.  Leave it to her to make it faster and better!

My last accomplishment was to quilt and bind these two baby quilts.  The finishing hand work to secure the binding isn't done yet but it will be soon!  I think Mike may be ahead of me!

Monday, June 20, 2016

More Of Kelly

I managed to find some people who managed to get a couple good pictures of Kelly and her family.


Here are the two families.  The siblings were all in the wedding.  The groom is a twin and
has another set of twins that are his younger brothers.  Interesting

Here we have bride Kelly with her mom Regina and dad Bruce.  What a wonderful celebration!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Teen Angel

Here is Kelly, my teen angel, walking down the aisle to meet up with her husband at their
wedding.  Her dad is walking her down the aisle.

That's it for the wedding pictures.  It was a very large church and we were in the cheap seats
so anything from the ceremony itself was impossible to photograph, let along see or hear.

I did manage to get a few things pics from the reception.

The centerpieces were really cool.  It was a wine bottle in the center with small test tubes wired around it to act as individual vases.


Each napkin had a sprig of lavender jazzed up with a bow.

The salad was the best I have ever had at a wedding.  It was amazing.  Dinner was great but I got sidetracked eating and didn't take a picture.

Instead of cake, Kelly chose a pie bar for her dessert.  There were several different kinds, a couple of which were apple, and pecan.  I couldn't care less about dessert so I took a pass.


And lastly, my teen angel dancing with her dad.  What a beautiful bride.  I just realized that I
don't have a picture of her husband.  What's with that?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Girls

Bella was a little under the weather  yesterday and did a lot of lying around.

Not to be outdone, Chai has decided to not feel good today.  She is currently out in the
front garden eating anything green.


My sister Mike started this quilt top two weeks ago and finished the border last night.  It's a Debbie Mumm kit I got for her a couple years ago.  It turned out really well.

Mike is gonna babysit Bella today while G and I are in the city at my teen angel 's wedding.  It's a beautiful day!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh Deer

I had many distractions in my day yesterday so I didn't accomplish much. First off, I thought it was Friday and that just screwed with my head. I was doing all the wrong things. Then I had a new gal come in to do odd stuff (she is saving money for her college tuition), because I don't like to do certain jobs especially if I can pay someone else to do them.

Then the doorbell rang and it was a guy I have talked to all week who is putting a landscape fountain next door. I walk the dog a lot and he and his crew are on my route. He said that there was a baby deer in the next door yard and it can barely walk and looks like he has some of the birthing sack on him. I told him I would make some calls. I called the city and they told me to call the DNR (Department of Natural Resources, rather than the Do Not Resuscitate). I called DNR and because I was not the property owner that wouldn't even talk to me. By this time the baby went to the next yard. I got ahold of the homeowner and told her to call the DNR. In the mean time the worker guy and I saw an adult deer with two tiny babies in beach grass a couple yards down the beach. We think she was giving birth right there.

Stephanie called DNR and they told her to not touch the deer and that the mother would come back. It was all very cute and hectic at the same time.

Unfortunately that would have been the time to have a nap but it was not to happen. I spent my off time cutting out


background white fabric with mostly 2" squares and


tons and tons of colored fabric 2" squares.

I am ready to walk the dog and see what's going on with the baby fawn.  I am a bit of a nosy nellie.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Backing It Up

Having almost completed 5 queen sized scrap quilts (still working on the binding), I found myself out of backing for such a large piece. So I went to my new go to store for 108" backings, Marshall Dry Goods, and decided on three different colors with pattern and ordered 9 yards of each. That works out to be the backing for nine more scrap quilts.

After I ordered, I realized that I didn't ask for them to be in three yard pieces.  It is much easier to have them do the cutting for that yardage.  I called, but of course, the order had been shipped.  Funny tho', I didn't get a notice of that and it was six more days before the order was delivered.  Oh well.


So here they are, 9 yards of violet, turquoise and leaf green.  I put them on my rolling table and cut them into three equal parts.  It's not a very difficult job at all but I just hate working with large pieces of fabric.

They are now in their space in the cupboard of fabric.  I can check that off my current list!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


G passed me the parade magazine from Sunday's paper to show me this

 recipe.  He knows I am a sucker for anything that has visible eggs in it.  It is a Israeli/New Orleans
dish that is all the rage.  I looked at the ingredients and first up, after oil was okra.  Not going there so I decided to replace it with steamed green beans.  Fava beans are a hassle to free from their shell so I chose to shell edamame instead.


The prep was a bit labor intensive but maybe I felt that because I was in the middle of a very
good book.  Anyway, except for tomato sauce and spices, this is the components.


The end result looked like this.  G said, why doesn't it look like the magazine picture.  I just glared at him and tried to impart a little magazine employee job description.  I explained to him that someone, who it is their job to do, played with the food for several hours to get the very best angle and placement of the food, based on dark to light, color on color etc.  It went right over his head.

The one thing in comparing the real deal and the photo is that they must have purposefully broke a yolk so that the deep yellow would be exposed and look more desirable, when the directions say to cook the whites but leave the yolks intact and runny.  Also the photo from the magazine has some dark additions, such as purple potatoes  the isn't in the main recipe although there are substitutions listed on the side bar.

We liked it but there are things that are needing change.  The tomato sauce should be cooked  way down as it had no depth of flavor even with mixing with lots of vegetables leaving it a tad on the wet side.  The next time I make it, and I will, I will eliminate at least two vegetables.  There can be too much of a good thing.  Gordon suggested trying sausage instead of shrimp.  I mentioned that it might turn a bit greasy but I will humor the old man and try it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Changing It Up

I am in the throes of picking out new leather for the common room.  That involves a very large
(over 100")  couch and four recliners; two for each area.  I am completely restricted by color of
leather, and the confines of the recliner 'LOOK'.  I am not a fan of the overstuffed, catheter carrying, ejectable, and arms as big as my butt chair I mostly see.  It's not an easy thing to track down.  I think I have found what I have been looking at American Leather.  More investigation will go on today.

I also have my outside kitchen at the new Florida house (new for us) on my mind.  Right now it is just a counter housing a grill that has seen better days and a bar sink.  There is no out of lanai venting, save a couple of windows that can open or close.

I want it to be more of a kitchen and come out in a 'L' form for some stools and sitting and or just counter space.  We are still talking a pizza oven and a few other things.  My friend Kathy

has this built in wok burner and under it is a drawer

that holds the very large wok itself when not in use.  It sure helps with keeping the kitchen clean but I don't wok enough to justify having one of those.  I am still thinking and looking and hopefully will come up with a picture of what I want by the time it will need to be built.  So far, there's been no work done at the new place.  Contractor scheduling and all that.  Hopefully soon some work will get started.

Monday, June 13, 2016


I decided to get a small, unassuming starter sewing machine for Violet.  Yesterday was the start of firefly frenzy at JoAnn's and I got this adorable machine for thirty bucks off.  And it's pink!  It ended up costing a hundred bucks and it even does button holes!  I figure I don't want to spoil her with a thread cutter and a self threading machine to start with.  She needs to know how to thread, sew and be kind to the machine first before anything substantial will ever come out of her desire to sew.

I remember back when I started sewing.  I actually learned how to sew in seventh grade home economics.  And, odd for me to look back and realize this, but my mother let all of us use her Phaff sewing machine.  It was so uncharacteristic of her.  With so many kids and not a lot of money, she was very leery of letting us use things that we could break and they would be expensive to fix.  Not sewing tho', she was very generous with that.  Hummm.  Why I wonder.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Changing Times

I guess all things change, one way or another.  Some towns certainly do, that's for sure.  It first showed up in New Buffalo, MI, as we started our summer merriment of leaving home in the Chicago suburbs and going to 'the lake'.  New Buffalo was fun, with lots of fun stores, shopping and extra curricular stuff to do.  Not so much any more.  These places seem to transform from quaint to generic over a decade.  Same with Saugatuck and Douglas MI, which is a place we always visit every couple years or so.  We went to both yesterday.  Wow, what a transformation.  My favorite store, Good Goods in Saugatuck has the same stuff I bought in the 80's!  Most of the clothing stores I went to have changed hands and definitely merchandise.  The galleries were almost non existent.  I was very sad,  Douglas was very up and coming and now not so much.  Half the shops are for rent.

G and I mulled this over and decided that the internet must have some bearing on the change of events. The economy is on the rise and people are out there and have a couple bucks so why are these once very fun and artsy towns going to pot?  Would people rather sit in their houses and shop?  I am a bit miffed at the situation.  We decided to visit Grand Haven and Holland and see how they fair as compared to what we know from the past.  Maybe it's the current trend.  Who knows?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Crazy Dogs

Bella was making all sorts of noise to the point that I had to yell at her and figure out what the problem was. Last time she did this she had trapped a snake in our dining room in Florida and wouldn't let it move. This was something all together different.


There was a teenaged girl with a surf board and three dogs right on what would have been our backyard beach if it was there.  The two little dogs stayed on the board for the most part but the slightly larger dog (out of the lens scope) mostly liked to jump off and swim around.

It was pretty cute to watch.  It went on and on and so did Bella.  People are taking advantage of having
water everywhere!  They say it won't last.  Who knows with this crazy weather!

I made G Carbonara Classica last night for dinner.  The difference between my take on it and that of others is that my bacon is substantial.  G loves a bacon piece to shine!!!  It's a good thing because I made enough for several nights.  Did I do that for him or for me?

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Great Tip

Waiting for an avocado to ripen is a pain in the derriere.  But it doesn't have to be. You could pop the inedibly hard fruit in a paper bag and wait days for it to soften up, which I usually do., or you can have it today in as little as 10 minutes.
All you need is an oven, some tin foil, a baking sheet and an unripe avocado.
Set the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the avocado in tin foil, put it on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven.

Wait 10 minutes. It's a miracle.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to buy avocado's early, and bag them only to find them overripe by the time the designated time comes around to use them.  Yeah, you can thank me next time you need guac in a hurry.

I t is supposed to be 90º today.  I can't figure this weather out.  I have a full day of errands which doesn't happen to me very often.  I would say that I need to go to at least ten stops.  G usually does this but he's booked for three days of golf, as shocking as that sounds.  I may just be lazy and catch up on shows and sew on binding.  I will also finish the remains of my job as chairman of 9 hole guest day.
Sunbathing?  No beach.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Hitting The Links

I am up early to do some workout and then go to 9 hole golf that starts when I usually am rolling out of bed. And it is 55º out so that means I need to down a snowsuit. Come on, I am virtually a Florida chick!!! I have on long pants and will have a hoodie on because I checked out the forecast and by the time I get done with ladies lunch, it will barely be 70º. Yikes!

When mushrooms are on sale I am a happy camper. They are probably my favorite veg. I could eat my mushroom ragu (actually Giada's but I take full credit) on cereal.


 My secret is to simmer it for over an hour vs. her thirty minutes.


Remember when Anne, Linda, and I made this quilt a couple years ago?  Well, it's time for it to leave the nest.  My teen angel, Kelly, is getting married soon and I have decided to part with it and put it in a young household.  I normally give a scrap quilt but Kelly already has one for being one of my favorite young people that is not related to me.  Tommy, it's time to cut the cord.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

I Am So Callous

I have been plagued with a callous on the outside bone just under my toes by wearing a pair of maryjanes that rubbed it sore due to the orthotic and the lift.  I couldn't manage it so I took a pair of runners that I liked the least and cut a hole in them.  Instant relief.  Now I at least will be able to
have time for it to heal.  I will probably get sick of wearing these shoes tho'.

Remember back awhile in the spring when I made a quilt for a newborn based on an invite to his welcome to the world shower?

Here is the little man.  Quite a good replica, wouldn't you say?  Here he is, on a tummy time quilt I made for him.  He is the best baby, bar none, that I have ever met.  

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

What's Going On

Okay, what's with this weather? Yesterday was in the 80's and today, or at least right now it is in the 50's. The weather channel says it may get up to 64º. I went from melting in a summer dress yesterday to a hoodie and yoga pants today.

I am busily working on all the cutsie components for our 9 hole guest day that I am in charge of. Most of it is sitting down in front of the tv work. The theme of the day is 'Here Comes The Bride' so there is a lot of tule involved. It's not until July 14th so I have plenty of time, but the signup sheet needs to be in the ladies locker room today so that's the plan.

I finished long arming five scrap quilts, one of which I royally screwed up so it is now a beach quilt. The long and short of it is besides putting the backing on the machine wrong, I didn't think that black backing fabric would drag so much of the beige Warm and Natural batting up with the needle so that the back looks bad. The sand will never know.


Yesterday was spent sewing binding on the remaining four quilts so now, after the golf preliminary stuff is done, I will be sewing the binding down in my leisure time.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Very Attractive!!

The Quality And Productivity

This is Jean Ann's quilt for her grandson's college graduation that I believe I already
showed on the blog but this a picture of it in my studio before she started to sew on
the hanging sleeve.


The quilting from a gal named Natalia Bonner (she has a blog) was custom and stunning.


Anne used a couple charm packs from Moda's Zen Chic line to make two table runners for a couple
of her offspring.


I tried to explain to her that my middle name is Ann so I felt that I was entitled
to one but Anne was having nothing to do with it.

My sis worked on this Debby Mumm quilt top.  It was very detailed to work on.  Lots and lots
of odd piecing but she plugged away at it; including several dish cloths and lots of dog time as I did not do my part due to the constant use of the long arm. They could have been talking about me for two of the three days and I would not have known!.


This wreath was something that caught Peggy and Jean Ann's eye when we were on a shop hop in Florida this past spring.   They got all the components and made it on Saturday.  It is definitely not my
taste but they turned out crisp and precise and all they need is a big ole' bow.  This is for Peggy's front door for the 4th of July and

Jean Ann is planning on putting it on her side door.


Anne worked on this adorable fish quilt.  So far the pieced fish are coming along
nicely.  There is a joiner piece that goes in between the fish but this is what was on the
design wall.


Peggy worked on this 'Happily Scrappily Irish' pattern by Bonnie Hunter, that she cut out 2" squares out for a couple months before the workshop with Bonnie.  This photo is of four out of the 12 panels needed for her quilt.  She actually got five done here but this is the last photo I took of it.  I have this on my future agenda of things to make.

This is a little kit of parts to make pineapple blocks using muslin foundation from
a stamp I bought more than twenty years ago.  I made it for myself and realized that
it wasn't my type of busy work and gave it to Peggy.  She has sporadically used it
in those twenty years and recently took it up again and made this lovely piece.

This is what it looks like from the back.  Peg says it's not done yet and needs
a couple more rows to complete it but right now it measures 11 1/2", so yeah,
its real intricate work.