Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Surprising Sarasota

The unveiling of the challenge quilts, portraying Sarasota Florida, was on Monday night. For some reason I don't have a picture of the first one, although I could swear I took one. Oh well.


If you didn't know, Sarasota is the home of the Ringling Circus and coincidentally it was just announced a couple days ago that Ringling Circus is calling it quits in May after 146 years.

This is a copy of the gigantic sculpture at the marina in Sarasota of the sailor and nurse after the war ended.  If you look at it from either side, you can see another guy and gal.

Have no idea what this represents.  The unveiling is blind.

Yes, and Sarasota has sunsets and water.


I happen to know that this does represent Sarasota, knowing the artist.  If you don't know, Florida is the largest cattle population in the United States.  The purple cow has a history in Sarasota.

I am guessing that this is pictures of various happenings around Sarasota.

This is mine.

This represents a war memorial.

This one has me a bit baffled.  Flowers, greenery, windows and sky?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mama Mia Pizza Pie

G and I were like dumb and dumber with our first experience with the pizza oven. I got everything all set like I normally do


I got the stuff for the toppings ready as usually I do when we do the pizza in the regular oven.

We each roll out dough on a floured surface.  Here is G doing just that.

I rolled out my dough while G was adding toppings to his pizza.

Moving it onto the mega big peel disrupted the once lovely pizza pie.

We neglected to flour or put corn meal on the very large peel that came with the oven.  So we messily lifted up the pizza and together got corn meal under it.  And into the oven it went.  The temp was around 800ยบ.  The pizza needs to be in the oven for three minutes.  The instructions (barely any; just times and temps for various crust sizes), called for rotating the pizza three or four times during this three minute time frame.  It's pretty comical when you see G with heat proof gloves that were way to large for him and almost up to his elbows, trying to turn his pizza.


The peel that came with the oven was very large and I remembered that I too had a pizza peel, wooden, that was more my size.  My pizza here is meatless, which is what I prefer.


You can tell the temperature just by aiming this laser gun at the oven floor.  Didn't know that existed.


There is my pizza, baking away for it's three minutes.


And here it is finished.  It tasted very good.  We need to get some different supplies and a book more knowledgable than we are.  We made a complete mess of both the kitchen in and out of the house.  Baby steps!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Shopping Is A Pleasure

Have you ever had a shopping experience where every thing on your list and other things that should have been on your list were easily found? That is what happened yesterday. I just hit it right. I went to Home Goods, Kirkland, Joann's, Pier One, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Stein Mart. My trunk was completely full. It reminded me of the old days when my sister and I would stop shopping only when the trunk was full! I probably shouldn't have admitted that. Oh well, now it's out there!

This photo is crazy and not very informative but I ordered catering napkins from Pottery Barn for the powder room to have here just like I do at the lake.  Unfortunately, they come with a big honking label on them that I have to remove and then sew up the seam that I had to rip out.  The labels are all removed, with the help of my friend Joyce, and now they are just waiting for the sewing machine.

One of the things I bought that filled up the trunk was more towels, 4 bath, 4 hand and 4 wash.  I only have four in the guest bath and in a month I will have four sharing that bath so I thought it would be nice if they got their own towel!  I always wash new towels many times to get all the lint out of them.  This is the lint (the hat is there to show you how big the pile is!) from five wash and drys.  I made the mistake of washing non like colors together for this process and looks wise, I pretty much ruined the towels.  I don't make that mistake anymore!

Today we are trying out the pizza oven for the first time.  I am pretty excited.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cruise Prep

A bunch of my friends are going on a cruise at the end of the month. We are calling it a Mahjong cruise but it's really not. It is just that our Mahjong group is all going. You can go with or without husbands and we opted for going stag. I don't care at all what I pack to wear but I really need to get my head around my projects to do when I have down time.


The first kit I have assembled is to knit a Liberty Wool variegated  yarn sweater.  All possible accompaniments are going too.

Next up is a hexagon kit.  I love to make these little hexes using hexes of plastic cut from a Lean Cuisine bowl.  This kit is also ready for the sea.

I am planning two other projects but don't have all the supplies as yet.  One of them is the crocheted scrunchies I make out of netting, which just bought a bit ago.  Another knitting project may be added.  I have a couple of weeks to think on it.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Using Up Scraps

I took a picture of this really cool seat.


It is made out of concrete with two slits cut in so that a seat cushion could be attached with velcro.  The store had lots of colors of cushions and together they looked very fun.

I decided to use all the scraps from the Bitter Almond quilt I finished a month or so ago to make a quilt for Bella.  The big quilt is gonna go into the man cave so it's only fair that Bella's quilt matches. I am just doing random blocks and then I am gonna fit them all together.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hanging Around

Yesterday just got away from me. I had the best of intentions and all of a sudden it was seven p.m. Wow. What happens to a whole day?

We did a lot of stuff, being it is one of the few days that G isn't golfing, but nothing that I can hold in my hand. I have nothing to show for it.

Monday, I decided to start to think about hanging a few pictures, etc, on the wall. The main reason for this is that I have cleaning people coming today and I figured if all the art was propped up against the walls, the floors would not be effectively cleaned. So the hanging started, only to be constantly interrupted by second guessing myself. I try not to be matchy matchy but sometimes my subconscious just wants me there.

People are always commenting on the fact that there is hardly anything in the house hanging that I personally did.  So, here goes.  I hung  this in the guest room.

I used the sewing machine needle with a bead

in each corner

It is much cleaner than the normal methods of hanging a quilt


with little or no damage to both the quilt and the walls.

I am gonna go through some of the quilts I have here and possibly hang another one.  We shall see.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Cleaning Up

Well, the mystery of why my cleaning gal would not call me back to let me know why she wasn't showing up (asshole) was just solved. My friend Kathy, who also uses her, found out today that she wasn't sick as she said, but has already moved to Arizona to get away from her boyfriends drug connection that he owes money to and also that her boyfriend is in jail because of her. Wow, I guess she did me a favor, getting out of dodge! Thankfully I interviewed last week and have a new gal starting this week. You just never know. Supposedly she left town with her three kids and left the house, not packing up or anything.

I have been getting quilt entries ready for our Friendship Knot Quilters Guild Show that takes place on the 3rd and 4th of March at Robarts Arena in Sarasota.

That entails filling out duplicate entry forms with duplicate photos to be sent in by next week. I am almost done with that portion of my quilt show activities.

I am putting together a wine basket for the basket auctions at the quilt show.  My bee, River Quilters, is putting together a basket of paper and my cards


should fit in it nicely, along with writing utensils and other 'paper' coordinated things.

I am also contributing my time at the basket auction section itself during the show.  That should be fun.  I will have my sis and my quilters visiting her so they can accompany me to the show and go off on their own when I have to put in my time, which I can't remember how long it is.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Studio Office

I don't think I told you about my new desk.  I was going to bring the one from the other house but along with a bunch of stuff planned, it went to G's brother, who recently bought a house down here, about 20 miles away.  We looked around a lot to find something compatible to the rest of the studio and we were finally led to Office Max/Depot.  They didn't have anything in the store but they did have a catalog and we ordered the one you see here.

It is Kathy Ireland Office by Bush. What they didn't tell us is that it is delivered in three separate boxes!  Not a word about it not coming complete was mentioned to us when we were paying for it!!

It was very very difficult to put together.  Every thing needed to be put together and I mean everything.  It finally got put together and with G, we got it up and together.

My grand girls were very impressed; not with my mastering the desk but

bling handles on the glass and the equally glitzy

drawer pulls.  I was happy to please them!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Outdoor Cooking

We took off this morning and got home a little bit ago. The weather caused a two day golf event to be canceled and so we thought we would take advantage of the time with no plans to go out and find some stuff we need for the house. Except for picking up prescriptions we hit a brick wall and I just came home and ordered everything on line. I should have done that to begin with. Duh.


Here is the photo of the old outside 'kitchen'.  A bar sink and a rusty grill and crappy cabinets.

As of yesterday this is the transformation.  The counter is 12 foot long with room for six counter stools.  It not only has a deluxe grill and hood vent;

it also has a pizza oven.  This should be fun.

The granite top is gorgeous.  The cabinets are beautiful with tons of room.  I am over the moon!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Cause A Stir!

We had our monthly 'Cause A Stir' yesterday and the theme was brunch. Corally was the host and put on a beautiful spread.

Here I am mixing up a frittata made with eggs, scallions, cheddar, cream, and cilantro.  I am first and next is the hostess Corally and Suzanne.


We had a wonderful wedge salad

and here is MaryAlice adding cheddar shredded.


Everyone got a salad and wonderful fruit with a vanilla sauce.

Here is another frittata made with potatoes and basil.  Wow was it ever good.  Homemade clover rolls with sweet butter and jam.  Yum!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Stepping Up

Yesterdays longarm session went off very smoothly. I had three gals deciding the perfect place for it and a charity quilt for a raffle was completely quilted.

Today is Cause A Stir. I always look forward to what is the theme of the get together. I will keep you posted.

This is kinda funny. When we were having the house inspected, the inspector noticed that the stairway going to the attic didn't touch the ground.

They tried to re do the unfolding of the stair to no avail.  Then our realtor came into the garage and explained the we need to put a box under the bottom of the stair to make it fit.  He looked around the garage and said, yeah

here's your box.  Yep, we have a wooden box.  The story goes that the garage ceilings were higher than the hundreds of stairs the developer purchased.  So, instead of returning them, which I assume he couldn't, he had boxes and boxes made.  Who thinks of that?

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Sarasota Surprises!

Wow! I just opened up the blog and saw that I didn't blog yesterday. I guess it just slipped my mind. I am waiting for some friends to come over to use the longarm. It hasn't been used since it was moved and I don't know if it's set up right or not. I am glad I am not alone to try it the first time here. What a chicken shit I am!!!

My girlfriend reminded me yesterday that she hasn't seen the finished "Surprising Sarasota' challenge quilt I submitted in December (actually my friend submitted it; I was up north).

It had to be 24 inches on each side but that was the only restriction.  The fabric I used for the 'S' was some dyed pieces I did at my old house in Boca Grande with my pal Melody Johnson.  I used her technique of 'special editions'.  I gave some of them away as I had so many, and that day (a Cult meeting) was when I decided to enter the challenge and the fabric was foremost on my mind.  I cut the fat quarter up in small pieces and resewed them together.  I knew what I wanted to do but not being a person that can draw, I enlisted  my sil to put the particular things I thought of when thinking of Sarasota in a drawing.

I made a few changes due to space but he helped me considerably for placement.  I wish I could have had the notes across the top like he did but I made the 'S' too big and I was way to far into it to start over.  I had my friend Kathy do the embroidery of the word sarasota.

Here is a closeup on the comedy/tragedy masks.  I painted their faces on.  I did right sides together for all these forms, so they are all sewn and turned and hand sewn on.

The palette also was done the same way.

Ditto the ballet slippers.

The ovals of the notes are done the same way.  The lines of it are just bias tape.  It was fun to do.   I named it 'Sarasota Surprises!'!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Old VS New

The new year came in with a whimper at Casa Fitzsimmons.  We did nothing but read, sew, nap and eat.  Bella was fine with that.  Now our schedule goes back to normal.

I thought I would show you a few of the little changes we are making to the house.

The cannon doorbell was just not my taste.  I get where it came from tho'.  The builder of the house was named Cannon.  Kinda arrogant if you ask me.

I changed it up for a simple bronze bell.  Way better looking.

These light fixtures are just about the ugliest I have ever seen in my life.  I needed to change them  pronto.

These are bronze and match the trim of the new paint job of the house.

This creepy little light fixture couldn't have cost more than $5.  And anyway, it doesn't go well with the other light fixtures.

This smaller version of the large coach lights looks far better next to the door
coming off the garage.  Baby steps!