Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Happy Holidays

The tree is up and we even have some wrapped packages underneath. We are working on getting our out of town gifts wrapped and shipped so we can sit back, listen to Christmas music, watch smultzie holiday tear-jerker movies, and just relax.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

That feeling of Christmas

I love the holidays. Part of the fun is decorating the tree. When I pull out the ornaments, it is like visiting with old friends whom I have not seen in a long time. I have so many favorites as Gene and I have been collecting ornaments since the days we were dating. This is one of my favorites. The glass and the gold and the lights around Santa are so lovely.
What is your favorite ornament?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Finished the front porch for the holidays

Today I found the perfect rug for the front porch and it was on sale! I love the mix of greens, pink and reds.
Our friends, Kim and Jerry gave me the North Pole sign when we visited them last Dec. in Titusville. I was coveting their sign and my dearly beloved would not let me buy one. My dearest dear friend gave me hers and bought and even cuter on for herself! Win win!

The reindeer is one of the last of a series. A man my step papa knew made him 2 of these every year...I have the snowman, the Santa and this cutie who lights up. I love my front porch as it is filled with memories.

Jack in repose

The minute I got out the camera, Just Jack put his manly self down one the new rug, arranged his parts to best show off his royal self and reclined until long after he heard the click of the digi cam. What a ham!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Captiva Christmas

The Friday after Thanksgiving we head to Captiva for what has become our family's traditional kick start to the holidays. 'Tween Waters Resort has a lighting of the lights and caroling event each year. My sister and several of her friends joined Gene, Chris and Kristen and I for the fun.

Somehow, going out to Captiva just puts us all in the right spirit. We arrived early, had drinks by the pool and walked along the bay side. This picture is what we saw on our walk. The caroling began with each section of the resort lit at strategic times. Then came the fireworks (see post below). This is such a good time!

The Fireworks

The evening ended with carols and the amazing fireworks display. We have found the perfect spot from which to view the display and head to our place when Manheim Steamroller music starts to play.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Cao Yong's paintings of Venice

We have temporarily located this painting over our small table in the hall to our bedroom. It needs better lighting and to be hung higher but in the midst of holiday decorating, this will have to wait. Yong does such rich colors and paints in such wonderful details. There are amazing expressons on the faces of the people, the water ripples are so vividly portrayed that I am waiting for the sound of them slapping against the boats and the quays. I love this artist.

Cao Yong and Venice

We picked up our new painting late last week and they are even more lovely than I remember them being. They evoke such wonderful memories of our trip this summer to Italy in celebration of Gene and I being married ten years.

The trip was such a wonder and we had so much fun especially since our good buddies, Steve and Dee Dee joined us there from St. Louis.

These paintings by Yong evoke the same old beyond time and lovely beyone measure atmosphere I found in Venice.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I met Patricia Neal today

What a red letter day for me and I thought I was just getting a hair color and trim! As I was leaving the salon, in walked a stately older woman who looked very familiar to me. She walked with a cane and another woman walked by her side.
My stylist turned to me and said, "Isn't Patricia Neal still lovely?". Patricia Neal! Amazing!

I told Ingrid, my stylist, that Miss Neal had always been one of my favorite "classic" actresses and that I love her in my favorite movie, "In Harm's Way" with John Wayne. Ingrid urged me to say hello but I did not want to intrude.

As I was paying, she and Miss Neal waved me back to her chair and she was so gracious. The voice is still the same, despite her 89 years and several strokes. It is firm, low and still sultry. She was and still is a lovely woman of dignity and courage having had her first stroke when she was in her 30s.

I met her son as well. She stays with him here during the winters and has her hair combed out at my salon. She took my hand in hers and thanked me so much for remembering her. WOW!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Holiday Center Piece

I love nothing more than creating spots around the house that glow and glimmer. These ruby and gold candle holders were so inexpensive from Old Tyme Pottery as to be rediculous. The plate, on the other hand, even on sale, was a tad more. Pier One had these 20% off and we winced a bit when we bought the plate but then realized we could also use it after the holidays as it is a perfect piece for serving wine in our Merano wine set. We figure that cuts the cost in half, right? lol

We need to get the house all decked out soon. Kristen and Christopher will not be spending Christmas with us this year. They are heading back to St. Louis for the first time in over two years. I guess it is his folks turn to have the kids for the holidays. We'll be celebrating Christmas with the kids the Sat. after Turkey Day and will head to Tween Waters Resort for the caroling and lighting of the resort as we always do that Friday. That always gets us in the holiday spirit.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This one is for Anne

This is my lunch from last week when I played tourist on Captiva Island. I explored the island a bit and then ate at the Green Flash. I have been boycotting the restaurant because it was built on the site of my favorite haunt when my folks lived on Sanibel way back in the late 70s/early 80s.
Timmy's Nook was a local's hangout...checkered table vinyl table cloths on old picnic tables, no a/c, and a handwritten menu on a black board. The fish was fresh caught, the fries hot and greasy, and you could look between the slats on the floor to see the bay gently lapping . The Green Flash bought the land, used Timmy's Nook as landfill and built this large, modern restaurant in its place. This is only my second visit to the Flash since Timmy's Nook was torn down in the mid 90s. The food was good, the service friendly and the view was dynamite. I still miss Timmy's was home!

Meet Gumbo

This is the Katrina puppy that my daughter, Kristen and her husband, Christopher are fostering. He is about 5 months old and full of energy. His "big brother", Cyrus the Wonderdog and he race through the house careening off walls and furniture and then both just collapse.
They have had several lookers to adopt Gumbo but no takers and will keep him if no one has offered to adopt him by January. He is such a sweetie, too.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sandcastles in Paradise

I have been having far too much fun for one human to handle. Last Thursday I folded tee shirts at the Ft. Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce and then headed down to the Holiday Inn and the Outrigger resorts where the Masters' Contest was underway. It was a perfect day with soft breezes and Gulf aromas everywhere. Here is just one shot of one of the sand Masters at his craft.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Playing Tourist

Yesterday I decided to play tourist in my own town. I drove over the cause way to Sanibel and shopped my way down Periwinkle to Captiva where I had lunch at the Green Flash.
I even had a gentleman admirer while I ate, which was so flattering! lol

I visited an antique store and found a vintage Florida car window decal for my project tonight at our Altered Artists meeting. We are doing cigar purses and want to do mine in Old Florida motif.

I'll post some pics of the view from the Green Flash later today...I really do live in Paradise.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Trolls from under the Bridge

It has been eons since the mb had a troll and now it looks like we have either one or two. I am hoping she/them are not active members on the mb just out to stir up trouble. The writing was that of junior high schoolers (I should know, I taught middle school for 3 of the very longest years of my life) and the cruel humor is so typical of young girls this age. So, I am hoping it was just one/two bored youngster who found our mb by mistake and decided to stir up some trouble. The topic to do this, unfortunately, would take more research skills than most junior high schoolers posses so I do have my doubts.

Hopefully, this too shall pass.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

It is the weekend in Paradise

Despite having had big problems sleeping last night, I am very excited about the weekend. This is a big switch for me. Having been retired for the past five years, weekends have lost their thrill. We seem perpetually on weekend time.

Today, for some reason, that old 'Yeah; it's the weekend" thrill is back. I can't wait to see what e will cook up for breakfast and what else we will do today for fun.

I am scrapping at a girl friend's house tomorrow and maybe that is some of it. She works during the week and so perhaps I have caught the weekend excitement from her. I haven't scrapped with anyone else in eons so this too adds to the fun. Now all I have to do is figure out how to restrain myself and not take everything I own with me to her

Happy weekend fellow bloggers!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Who's that knocking at my door?

Today I had e drop me off at the stamp art store for demo day. It had been months and months since I had gone last or done something like this just for me. He continued on to the track and hopefully many winning races.

Everything the owner demo'ed today seemed to be knocking on my door, both literally and figuatively. She showed some wonderful door stamps and great quotes like (paraphrase here) 'Sometimes we lose our way to our dream so we find another' and 'Every entrance has an exit" and the one I bought, "There are doorways I haven't opened..."

She also showed some old products and stamps and asked us to look at them in a new way. Now I understand this is a great sales tool but on my walk home (a mere 2.5 miles and I stopped for I gave the whole morning more thought.

As much as I have enjoyed teaching at conventions, especially getting to meet and work with such wonderful women, I think it is time to close this door. I am pretty sure what I want to do is take a sabatical and figure out, what if anything I want to do next.

I am a far better teacher than I am a designer and there are many more teachers better than I am but that is what I love about what I have been doing...the teaching. So, I'll keep the teaching but what is the question.

I have a retreat in January and the most exciting thing about that is the ability to limit the number of students in my classes. I want to either stick with what I call 'boutique" teaching or teaching teaching to teachers.

I need some time to play. I want to take classes not always give them. I want to open myself up for new ideas, new techniques presented by someone besides me.

My husband, St. Gene of Paradise, has been his usual patient self and has allowed me to rant and rave and sigh and flail about. Guess he had more faith in me than I did because last night he said, "Why don't you just relax. If people forget who you are, so be it. (Did I mention I like that some people actually recognize my name). If you need to teach, teach or don't teach. You are retired."

So, about the one door closing and another opening quote I told my pal, Kellee about the other day on the mb...maybe I should take my own advise.

And as for door #1, #2, or #3...I pick not to pick least for a while.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Santa, define good.

One tag down and four to go...

Hard at work in Paradise Ho Ho Ho

This is one of my craft fair projects. I only have 3 more door hangers, 4 mini albums and some photo ornaments left to do....only! And the fair is the 11th. and 12th. of November!

"Tis the Season"

This is one of the photo frames I am making for an upcoming craft fair. The frame is edged in ribbed red ribbon. I have no clue what to charge for something like this.