Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fun day at Ruban Rouge...again!

I met Becky and Ginni at Roadies for breakfast (thanks Becky) and had the best Roadies Eggs Benedict with corn beef hash. Then it was on to Ruban Rouge to crop the day away. I actually got 4 more layouts done with only a few things to add to each to be finished. Hopefully I can get to those later today. Dee stopped by to say hello and pick up a donation for her crop that Becky had for her. I can't make any plans for June until we know when Kristen's due date is. We had lunch at Gino's right up the street and they have the best Italian! Yum! Not so sure on Becky's Blueberry beer

This one I did finish and just have to laugh at the title since we are hardly "bad girls". (Ok...I did use to smoke out behind the gym in high Becky is doing one too and I can't wait to see hers.

Lots on the agenda this week. We have Linda and Chuck coming into town for a visit and have some day trips planned and some fun things in store. We love their company and this is their first visit to our new home here. I wish the weather were warmer so we could float in the pool but, despite the solar heat, it is still a bit too brisk!

Hope everyone has a great start to their week!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ahhhh bliss

My reveal went up today at and the papers were perfect for the layouts I had in mind. Our team mate, Deb Hater, designed this kit and it is awesome! I had been wanting some papers that would help me high light the twins first sonograms and this worked beyond belief. Thank you Deb.

One of the papers in the blog had four punch out paper blocks in various shapes. I used two of them to create the twins sonogram layout, "Watch Them Grow" and for this layout, I used the paper that was left when the punch out shapes were removed. It made the perfect frames for the pictures of the Gobsmacked Goddesses on our adventure this past fall. I used Smooch on the flowers to give them definition and a bit of frost!

Jo and Bill and the kids just left a bit ago. It was so sad to see my friend walk out the door knowing that tomorrow we won't be planning mischief and road trips and outings and that she won't be going to lunch with me and the women here who have taken her so to heart. Hurry back, Jo, Hurry back! and safe journey home to you and Bill. I miss you already and you aren't even gone. I hate goodbyes...this is like when Clare left...awful!

Anyway, tomorrow brings new adventures and new promises and new opportunities starting with yoga at 10:30am. So, as one of my favorite writers said, "to sleep perchance to dream"...good night all and may your dreams be the sweetest.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Miss Vickie's kind of day

Jo, Sandy and I joined Marcia this morning for coffee, tea, good muchies and great conversation. Jo has been so impressed by the friendliness and warm acceptance by this group of women who are a combination of Book Club ladies, crafty pals and my AWOL buds, Glo and Sandy. Marcia lives in the same subdivision that E and I came very close to buying into before we found this home...deja vous all over again.

With great reluctance, Jo and I took our leave and headed back down towards Dunedin to visit Rainbow's End which is a fabric (quilting) store. And I found all these amazing ribbons and trims, some of which I'll be using on my Valentine bags. (and yes, Becky the yellow-y green one is yours!). I finally found a source for the hand dyed French ribbons I would buy in Ft. Myers and about 2.5 hours I have been in love with these and Rainbow's End carries them in all widths. And Janet, the cupcake ribbon is for you!

I dropped Jo off after we hit a consignment shop and headed home. E's first words were...let's head out to Miss Vickies'; it's a Miss Vickie's kind of day...and it is.
The sun is out, I've had the top down on Hot Mama, the temps are up and some Buffet music was on the jukebox. We meet some friends and shared some wings, swapped laughes and told old 'war' stories. Our favorite waitress there, Blair, was her usual chipper self and said the live music starts up early next week...yeah!

Hope everyone has a Miss Vickie's kind of day!

A Table for Six, please

My friend, Sandy, and my friend, Glo are two of the most amazing hostesses. The first time I was asked to lunch at Sandy's her table was set with an interesting center piece, pretty napkins, sparkling glass and pretty plates. The food was fresh and delightful and just enough. She kept the conversation lively and fun. When I was invited to Glo's she had covered her large coffee table with a beach throw, had sprinkled shells about and had candles glowing in assorted glass holders. The finger food added to the beach picnic ambiance and was so delightful. These women and others at whose homes I have had the pleasure to be invited are true hostesses. They take joy in the art of entertaining and make a women's luncheon an event to be remembered.

We had Jo and Bill over for dinner last night and I wanted to take a page from these
two women to set the table with something more than just plates and silverware. E's cooking is memorable enough for most people but I wanted to create something special for all of us as we had also invited the friends who are staying with Bill and Jo. I was not so much trying to impress these people (Jo and I have known each other far too long for that) but rather make the table a canvas for E's creations. I wanted them to feel important to me through my efforts. Thank heavens for the Camellia bush that not only survived the frost but has been serving up palm sized blossoms for the past few days. I floated three of them in an assortment of glass bowls between lit candles.

While I am no where in the league with Sandy and Glo, I am pretty happy with how the table looked and everyone seemed to have a good time!

Jo and I are off to brunch with Sandy at Marsha's this morning. And I hear the hot tub calling to me later today. Hope your day is a delight!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To Dye for...

Today was play day here. I went to yoga and, as often happens, I cam back inspired to do something creative, something different than what I usually do. I'd been reading the newest Somerset Life magazine and was entranced by all the lovely colors in the articles. The sun is out here and I wanted Spring. Since I am also trying to make some Valentine presents (very non traditional ones for the most part) for some friends, I decided to combine my creative urge, my desire for some color and the need to get the presents made soon.

The little bags came from the craft store and the dyes are a combination of color washes, combinations of inks and mists. I've been collecting the various tags for a while and most can be purchased at a business supply store. And I have tons of the tulle as well.

I made a huge mess in the kitchen much to E's dismay but found that Fantastic Heavy Duty cleaner and a little soft scrub Comet not only got the 'Easter egg dye' as E called it out of the porcelain sink but off my hands, arms and face as well. Yes! I threw myself into this

I'm not sure if I like the yellow-y green bag but love how the tulle dyed and the tags and the rest of the bags.

The next step is to download the images I want and print them onto canvas paper or iron on muslin and then paint them for the bags and to make the flowers for the bags out of the tulle. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for looking and hope your Tuesday is a good one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Finding Comfort

We've had a long haul this past year with health issues for all of us, Rob's car accident and the injuries, E's heart problems and the long battle getting rid of the cancer on his head, his balance problems, the kids with the baby issue which has been successfully resolved and my fight to lose weight to lower my soaring blood pressure. We have dealt with these and have found comfort from each other and from our friends. And I love that word, comfort.

With the economy in the pits, the wars and now the destruction in Haiti, it is often hard to find comfort in our daily lives. I have started a quest this year to do my 365 book a bit differently. I will pick one word a month (Jan.'s word is Exhilaration)and take photographs during that month that, to me, portray that word. I have chosen the word "COMFORT" for Feb.

We had a couple of horrible frosts here in Paradise at the start of this month causing lots of destruction for the citrus farmers and our garden is only a smidgen of what the cold brought yet, out of the dead or dead looking plants, yesterday I found our camellia bush breaking out in a glorious array in the midst of several brown and saggy plants and our roses in wanton disregard of the sad fate of many of our other plants.

Out of this, I take comfort.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunshine on Sunday (or at least I hope)

I spent yesterday in the company of some lovely and terribly funny ladies: the Friday Night Crop Crew from Ruban Rouge. We missed you Lisa and Diane. The crop was held to raise funds for Kimberly House: a child and mother support home in Clearwater and the organizers did a wonderful job (way to go Beryl).

Aren't these felt goody bags just darling.

I actually got some scrapping done too. I completed one layout and did a couple more that would have been finished but I needed my computer for some lettering and journaling.

And here we are with our non-winning raffle tickets and the prizes were worth a bit of a moan and groan when our numbers (any of them) were not called. The winners got some great things all donated by various companies and stores in the area.

I have yoga later this morning but not much else on the agenda for today besides unpacking from yesterday's fun crop. The last weather report I heard called for nice weather so I may just grab a book and read on the lanai.

I hope whatever your plans for the day, you enjoy them!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baby Goodies and Dinner at Mykanos

Kristen and I went baby shopping yesterday. She wanted to register at Baby Depot and I wanted to visit Home Goods and since they are are close to one another, off we went. While she was finalizing her registration, I roamed through the baby clothes and found these absolutely must have cute outfits for the boys. I love the fact that there are three pieces including onesies, long pants and cute little jackets. I found a darling little surfer guy outfit but one had the wrong size. I think that while the boys are little, the kids will dress the twins alike but probably not when they get older. So Nana Jules is on the search for two of everything right now.

We had soup and salad special at Chili's and the black bean soup was spicy and tasty! and then it was on to Home Goods and Old Navy. We did find some sweet zoo themed towels for the bath that Chris is redoing which will double for company and the boys. It is currently done in ducks with lots of yellow so the zoo towels will be perfect for a change of pace. The boys room is being redone in a zoo/jungle theme so even better yet.

Jo and Bill took us out to Mykanos last night and it was, as always, simply amazing. OPA! Jo and I split our dinners: Greek meatballs, tender and just enough spice, and Greek Shrimp (sauteed in lemon butter and Greek spices). The guys had lamb shank and lamb something else. We were too busy mopping up the lemon butter sauce with the freshly baked bread to even notice but they assured us it was good.
We all have the lemon chicken soup and the sides of the amazing Greek potatoes. Can you say, heaven?

I am off to the fund raiser crop for Kimberly House here in Clearwater today with the Friday Night Crop Crew (or most of us)and can't wait. I'm packed and ready to go. I just need to do map quest for the directions, load the car and away I'll go.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

road Trip to Hilarity

Jo and I headed out at about 9:30 this morning, destination Anna Maria Island via Sarasota! and we made it over the bridge without a single mishap and I did my usual by paying for the car behind me. It is such fun. Sometimes the car catches up to me and the driver waves and smiles and sometimes the car drives by with such a puzzled expression on the driver's face it makes me smile.

We made one pit stop and then met Janet at an lss that was 'going out of business' but you couldn't tell it by the prices. I did manage to find some really cute TWINS papers and some baby boy stuff that was not blatant baby paper if you know what I mean.

We ate at our favorite place on Anna Maria, The Sand Bar. Unfortunately, it was far too windy to sit outside although we gave it a valiant shot. I'm sure in a day or two our hair will resume its natural about Windy City! lol

We went back to Janet's Beach House and opened the gifts Clare sent us. OMG...we laughed til we cried and Jo recorded it all. The pictures here only tell a smidgen of the story...

Clare sent Janet and I both a wonderful children's book all about New Zealand Beach Houses and I can't wait to read it to the twins. I know Janet will want to share it with Cynthia for sure. She also send us the cutest wine carry bags which we are modeling here showing their versatility!

I am so glad that my oldest best friend and one of my dearest best friends found so much in common and that they enjoyed each others' company as much as I do theirs. Maybe what 'they' say is true about mutual attractions of kindred spirits.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Check it Out...

This is the Feb. kit for KNK designed by our very own Deb (check out her blog is on the side bar)and didn't she do a wonderful job. Can't wait to get my hands on all these papers and embellishments and play play play!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A toast to Tuesday!

Our weather here has been improving day by day. It is almost 50 here right now and the sun has not even begun to peek through the dark sky. I have Weight Watchers this morning but am not expecting any great loss. Temptation has been winning lately over will power. I'll be happy if the weight gain is 2lbs or under. I am surprised though that all my clothes are fitting better despite the amazing foods E has been cooking lately for our friends and us. I think the extra yoga classes are really helping.

While I have the unlimited yoga classes pass at the Goddess Temple Studio, I'm going to try to do 3 a week at the studio and one a week with Gretchen at the church. When I start buying the 4 class pass, I'll probably do one at each place and a couple of practices with the dvd I bought. I am seeing such an improvement in my flexibility and balance! E and I want to get back to our morning biking too now that the weather is getting better.

I have a yoga practice this morning and will leave WW a bit early. Yesterday I cleaned off my desktop entirely (actually putting things where they belong for a change) and redid my odds and ends drawer. I couldn't even get it closed, I had some many things stuffed in there. Thanks for being my inspiration, Gail! Today, it is the ribbons...eeek. And some more work on the fabric covered album. I am loving this and want to take my time with it. The fabric roses are harder than I thought so I need to practice a bit more with the pattern.

Hope your Tuesday is toast-able!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lovely weekend and great week to come

When E and I taught, we looked forward to these 3 days weekends and would often make elaborate plans to do something special if we were staying home or plan a long weekend to the Lake of the Ozarks. Now, even though we are retired and everyday is the weekend, we still try to plan something to make this time special. This was one of the first times we have not. Instead, we allowed the weekend to lead us and it was lovely.

We went to an arts and craft show one day, had lunch out and then supper at our house with Bill and Jo with the kids dropping by. I took two yoga classes, of which was a private lesson (YEAH!), cropped with the Ruban Rouge Friday Night Crop Crew and made plans for some non scrap day trips with the gals, got Dinner Club a bit more organized and met the wife of one of the couples whom I had not met...this is going to be such fun! I bought my first ever skinny jeans on a shopping trip with myself and a bunch of inspiration in the form of Somerset magazines and looked at some more cruises for Jo and Bill, E and me and possibly the Millers as that would be a great group!!!

So, enjoy your third weekend day this week if you don't have to work and I think E and I will be doing a bit more of letting the weekend lead us since this one went so well.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sunshine, blue skies and good times...who could ask for more?

Yesterday was such a fun packed one! Jo and I were picking up her grandson and his girlfriend who are visiting for the weekend and, on our way, stopped at Jack Willies' Tiki Hut for some wonderful Bloody Mary's and shrimp poo' boys (some of the best I've had this side of N'Owlens! The tide was just coming in so we didn't have much of a view of the little rivlet that comes up from Tampa Bay but there were a few wading birds.

We picked up the kits at the airport and then headed to our house so E could
meet them. After they headed home, he said the day was too beautiful to sit inside but the pool too cool to swim in so we headed out to Miss Vickies where the boats were out, the motorcycle riders taking advantage of the balmy weather and the food. E ordered garlic butter wings cooked with shredded Parmesan die for.

And then it was off to Ruban Rouge for the Friday night crop: so good to see everyone and I even got two layouts done amongst the socializing. It is off to yoga with Becky this morning and then the Art Fair here in Tarpon Springs, hoping Bill and Jo can join us while the kids head off to Busch Gardens.

Have a great day all!

Friday, January 15, 2010


and a happy Friday to all. It's been a busy couple of days and we've even been having more typical Florida weather. It is suppose to be 74, sunny and balmy today. YEAH! Off to take a walk in just a bit.

Yoga yesterday kicked my butt! The new studio in town is very nice and Eve is a great instructor. I'll continue my Wed.s with Gretchen and try to do 2 practices a week with Eve. It is a different style of yoga and an hour and a half, not just an hour. I could use the extra push and I sure got it yesterday! No pain, no gain, right?

Jo and I are meeting for brunch today at ten. Probably head over to Tuela's on the Trail as we can sit outside this morning and people watch. Love that place. Then we are off to the airport (I'm showing her a shortcut) to pick up her and Bill's grandson and his girlfriend who are visiting through Monday. Hope they get some nice days as it is suppose to be cloudy and cool tomorrow and maybe Sunday. There is always Busch Gardens.

Around 5, I'll head up to Ruban Rouge for a crop with the Crew. I have missed these wonderful women and the fellowship they offer Friday after Friday. I have kitted up about 6 or 7 layouts to work on. Let's see how much I actually get done. Can't wait to chat with Lisa, the owner, as I have missed her too!

My scale says 156lbs which means a bunch of weight gone! I missed my WW weigh in this week due to a dr. apt. but I set my scale to match the one in the dr. office so I'm going to believe what I see and just be happy. That means 6 lbs to goal then to maintain that goal weight within 2 lbs. for 6 wks. I CAN do this!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh my ...those East Coast Girls!

Jo and I were invited to Glo's house for an afternoon soiree with the gals from the East Coast who are finally back in town for the season. And what a warm welcome Glo and all the others gave Jo and she has already been invited to another of the functions (and I get to come too)! lol

Gloria had such a lovely assortment of goodies for us and sent E home a care package along with the other 'men folk'. He has fallen in love with the chocolate covered strawberries and the salmon with the asparagus in the middle of the rolled yummy! And the eggs...oh Gerry...yum.

And Glo had us draw paper plates with numbers and starting with #4 (lucky Sandy) we each got to select a lovely plate on a candle stick (how creative and so much fun) that she made. I'm thinking appetizer plate, cupcakes, or as Glo suggested, soaps in my bath. Thanks hon.

And here is the gang of East Coast Gals plus two mid Western adoptees, Jo and me! Thanks for a wonderful afternoon ladies and here is to many more!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Top of Tuesday to you all

First for the BIG news: we're having two baby boys and the due date is June 28 (but I am absolutely convinced my grandsons will be born on my birthday...what Nana could ask for a better gift?). We've known for a while now that the babies were twins and were given a tentative due date but yesterday we found out the gender. So, without further ado, I should like to introduce my grandsons, Colvin (Cole) Christopher and Upfordebate Joseph. lol They are 16 wks. 4 days here. Don't they look just like their parents?

And there are the other two layouts I did last Sat. during my crop a thon. Thanks to Laura B for her challenge and for all the gals at KNK and ACOT who cropped along with me, kept me motivated and challenged. Love to all.

Tomorrow is yoga day and then Jo and I are heading over to a friend of mine who is having a little ladies' afternoon get together! Oh, and my blood work came back aok except my bad cholesterol is creeping up up up and no more red meat for quite awhile...and back to my exercise routine. To motivate myself I got some tres chic yoga practice garbs...oooh la la!

Monday, January 11, 2010

What I did on my Sunday Vaction by Jules E

It was a chilly day AGAIN here in Paradise but Jo and I braved the elements and headed to the Art Fair in Dunedin yesterday. To fortify ourselves against the cold, we first went to Sea Sea Riders which has become one of my newest favorite restaurants! The special was a shrimp omelet and twofers on the Mimosas, which were excellent by the way!

We shopped the art fair and then hit all our favorite boutiques...Q's of course and also the sister store, Vixen. I've been wanting to try something other than brown for an eyeshadow and one of the owners gave me great advise on some new picks. Will try these out later today!

I love the quirkiness of Dunedin and this bathtub in a courtyard is just one of the many photo ops.

When we could no longer feel our toes, we headed back to the car and home. Bill and Jo came over later for supper and E was over the top with his salmon and white beans with shitake mushrooms in a merlot reduction. Be still my heart.

My bed is made, my dishes done, a load or two of laundry in the works and I've had my morning coffee with my pals. I am off to scrap and work on a project that could easily take me months to complete. I'll post a preview when I get the idea more in place...I need chalk for this one!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When it is cold outside...

what does any scrapper worth her salt do? Why stay inside and create...and that is just what I did all day yesterday. I showered and put on my warmest sweats, poured a cup of java and settled in to scrap the day away. At KnK club we had an impromptu cyber crop complete with challenges and chatter and I finished four layouts in one day. This is almost a record for me. And, asking the question, "who is scrapping with me today?" at A Cherry on the Top, revealed lots of us had the same game plan in mind. What a fun day!

This one of the US pictures of the twins is my favorite of all the ones I did yesterday. It was Deb's challenge (DT for KnK) to get a jump on the season and create a Valentine card or do a layout about something we loved, that got me hopping on this one.

I'll edit and post the other two in just a bit as they are on Harry, our big computer, and E is playing marathon free cell right now.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Very Revealing...

I had two reveals in one week and you can just bet I was scrapping my little fingers to the bones! lol.

I used the Fancy Pants Designs' Vintage Valentine to do these two layouts for ACOT( a mini album that is on my altered art blog. I am a vintage/shabby chic gal from way back and these papers were right up my alley. Love them love them love them! That reveal went up at ACOT on Jan.6 (I scanned and changed the color in the top photos to the look)! Credit for photos is given below.

My other reveal was for and these papers were the perfect remedy for a gloomy and cold winter here in Paradise and elsewhere. What better to be housebound with these bright and cheerful prints. The whole kit is brimming with fun stuff and pure sunshine for the soul. This reveal went up at KnK on Jan. 4

All the pictures of us and the kids in the blue shirts were done by a local professional photographer, Hector Corominas. I can not say enough good things about Hector's abilities with the camera...these pictures speak loudly in praise of his work. For those in the Tampa, Fl. area and surroundings, you can reach Hector at Tell him Jules sent you.

Off and running tonight with the Friday Night Crop Crew at Ruban Rouge. I've only seen Jackie and Katherine since our last big crop and it was a delight to crop and have lunch with the two of them and to visit briefly with sweet Diane (hope your neck is better and you can be there tonight). I DO need my Jean and Lisa fix too and where or where is Becky? Missing you too! And if anyone finds my one black leather glove at Spring Bayou, please let me know...I am currently borrowing E's and he has much bigger mitts than me! lol