Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hyde Park Craft Fair

I was thrilled when Kristen asked if I'd like to go with her and the boys to Hyde Park (a beautiful area of Tampa) for a craft fair. She packed plenty of diapers, wipes, bottles, formula etc. and off we went.

She and Chris picked out a car seats that fit into their stroller (thanks Jo Anne and GAK (great auntie Kim) so walking with the kids was pretty easy despite the crowds...and there were a slew of people out an about at the craft fair yesterday. The weather was a delight and there were lots and lots of booths. Most people who see a stroller this big coming, are courteous and helpful about us navigating.

I found a fantastic jewelry artist who works in brass and I bought a beautiful pair of her earrings to match to my necklace that E bought me on Mykanos. She does custom work so I am sending her a picture of my necklace to see what designs she comes up with...could be my birthday present in the works for next June. And she is so reasonable (Silvia Engel out of Lakewood Ranch, Florida)

We took the boys for a stroll through Pottery Barn Kids and I bought them two little interactive books. Both of the kids read to the boys almost nightly and have done so since even before the twins were born. And, the staff at PBK is so nice and friendly and the baby changing area is clean!

We parked a few blocks from the craft fair and got a chance to roam through some of the side streets. Most of the homes in Hyde Park are Craftsman Style, many original from when the movement was so popular in the U.S. There are huge ones and then these on a little pedestrian street, Hyde Park Bungalow. When this small development was built the homes averages 4,700$. I can only imagine what they are selling for now. The whole Hyde Park area is tree lined with bikers, walkers and families everywhere.

For lunch, the boys dinned in a hotel parking lot...when they are hungry they want food NOW. So, while Kristen nursed Colvin in the front, I fed Landon in the back and then it was our turn.

Because the day was so beautiful, we wanted to eat somewhere outside. We ended up at a cute place just a block or so off the causeway called Pete and Shorty's. Pam and I had a beer here her last visit when a tire blew on our van after picking her up at the airport...welcome to Fl. Pam! lol We went to Pete and Shorty's while E had the tire replaced next door.

We propped the boys car seats up on the table and let the H'ween decorations entertain them while we ate. Kristen has to avoid soy so went with a burger w/o the bun and I had a pork tenderloin sandwich. Having spent much of my impressionable youth in Iowa, I am pretty pickie about port tenderloins. I could seldom find one to live up to my expectations even in Missouri during my many years living in that state. This one was pretty good...but not enough pickles! lol

Happy H'ween to one and all! The kids and the boys are coming Trick or Treating later today and I'll post pics of them all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm so cute...

It's Scary...the boys's shirts read and it is oh too true! I mean really now...can you resist those chubby little cheeks or those bright big blue eyes or is it just this besmitten Nana who thinks those are the perfect Halloween shirts for my little guys?

We had a good day with the twins yesterday but again too short of naps (for them and Hope the boys were not crabby for their mama last night. We will get this figured out yet. Seems all the boys want to do is play when we are over on Fridays. I promise we won't have any fun til you two wake up so let's talk quality nap time, huh? lol

E and I are biking into town at first light and then Little Mama and I are taking the boys to a craft fair in a historical part of Tampa. There is a shop there that carries my Holiday candles, Noel, and, as I used them all up last year, that is one stop on my list. This looks like a juried craft fair so there will be lots of lovely booths.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Friday!

We're off to spend the day with the grand babies so you know what to expect in the way of pictures either later today or tomorrow.

Kristen and I have plans tomorrow to take the boys to a craft show in a lovely part of Tampa, Hyde Park. This area is filled with fun restaurants, some shopping areas and lovely lovely craftsman cottages and homes. And, of course, I'll have my camera!

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ACOT, POSH, SIMPLY Scrappin' and GINGERSNAPS...make me happy!

I am a lucky lady in that I get to design for four great places. And right now, my cup runneth over with so many pretties with which to play. So grateful!

I design for the amazing A Cherry on Top online store. The message board is lively, the women so friendly and the gallery hops with ideas and beautiful work. One of my "jobs" at ACOT is to open and manage the cyber TIKI BAR every Friday. We have cyber bar tenders who are yummy, lovely tropical cyber drinks complete with paper umbrellas and just a fun time. This coming Friday is the First Annual Halloween Party at the TIKI BAR, complete with three contests: costume, drink, and jack o lantern and prizes for each. Come on over and play!

We have one big team at ACOT, some do paper and some do digital and we all do a reveal once a month. Mine is scheduled for the end of November and I just got my order in the mail. I can't wait to dig into these goodies and see what I can create. So here is my teaser for my reveal.

In addition, ACOT is having a cyber crop on Nov. 5-7th. with tons of great challenges, fun games and prizes...did I say PRIZES...why yes I did! And I'll be teaching a class on Sunday: A vintage NOEL seasonal banner with those great Maya Road canvas banner pieces! I'll show you how to hand dye the canvas with a combination of Glimmer Mist and Maya Mist and then bling it up all pretty!

Let me tell you about POSH SCRAPS, my favorite scrap book store, in Palm Harbor, Florida. The owner is a talented lady in her own right, her husband a delight and her mom, Mary, is one of my favorite ladies. Posh has a big Christmas event coming up this month. Here are the details so if you live in Florida anywhere, you don't want to miss this!

What: 1st Annual Posh Christmas Workshop
Price: $125 RSVP: 727-784-2928 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              727-784-2928      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              727-784-2928      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              727-784-2928      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 727-784-2928 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 727-784-2928 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
When: Nov 13, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM

You are Cordially invited to join us for our 1st Annual Posh Christmas Workshop on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November from 10am until 8pm. You will be inspired by our amazingly talented Design Team and from your personal kit you will be able to recreate many of the fabulous projects that they have created, just for this event, using the newest holiday paper lines available. Refreshments and snacks will be available to you all day and lunch and dinner will be included. Spaces will be limited to 28 on both days.

and here is a sneak peek of SOME of the goodies! I have one project done and am working on a couple of others and have another floating in my mind.

I also do work for a wonderful challenge blog called Gingersnaps Creations run by two of the most creative and talented ladies, Shar and Ali. If you want to kick start your creative juices, head on over to the blog. I post these projects on my altered blog, A Toast to Altered Art.

And don't forget to check out Simply Scrappin' Boutique...Elizabeth is having a huge warehouse sale this weekend for you Louisiana girls and you can find her booth at most major scrap and stamp events in the state...

Color me one happy scrapper!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Papa and his boys

For a man who came into (step) fatherhood rather late in his life, E has certainly taken to being a grandpapa quickly. He and I babysit the twins on Fridays and, while we leave tired, we do have a wonderful time with the boys. We moved here about three and a half years ago in anticipation of Kristen and Chris starting their family. We loved Ft. Myers and the home we had built there and the friends we had made, but it was time.

We love where we live now. Our small town is not lacking in opportunities for adventures and have made some excellent friends. I love Book Club, Dinner Club, scrapping at Posh and riding our bikes on the Trail whenever we wish. The river is practically in our back yard and the beach about ten minutes away.

And our grandbabies live almost up the street (about 15 min. away). We've given lots of thought about swim lessons, fishing, walks around Spring Bayou and E giving the boys cooking lessons all when they get a bit older.

Meanwhile, E has become a great Papa as these pictures show.

I'm off to crop today with Jackie, Di and hopefully our friend, Katherine. It has been too long since we've all been together for our Wed. gathering. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Many thanks

I have deleted this post as it served its purpose.

Lovely afternoon with a lovely lady

My dear friend, Glo, is on house arrest or should I say she is restricted to quarters once again. First it was her foot operation and the slow recovery, then her fall from the footstool trying to adjust a swag and the resulting shoulder and collar bone injury and then the hives from gardening and on to the most recent surgery on the same foot. Because we are all forbidding her from leaving the confines of her house without being wrapped in layers of bubble wrap for protection, I brought lunch to Glo. What a wonderful time we had getting caught up and what a great attitude this woman has who laughs despite these numerous set backs.

I will be back in action soon on my laptop, Vera, and the cord I left at the crop is winging its way to me. E has graciously given up his morning free cell so I can have coffee with my msn gal pals, Clare, Pam and Janet. And has been so patient about me hogging Harry, our desktop computer.

I found the second set of salt and pepper shakers E wanted and some closet organizers at Beall's Outlet this morning and bought Southern Lady magazine's Christmas issue. When I got home this afternoon, the postman had dropped off my Coastal Living so I am heading to our snake free (I hope) lanai to read...we have a lovely breeze here off the Gulf that makes the humidity bearable and a pleasure to sit out on the lanai. This hot spell is suppose to last through the weekend but I hope it cools in time for Kristen, the twins and my outing on Sat.

Hope you are having a great day...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday Funday

With great reluctance, left the crop and the fun Hilltop gals around 12:30pm, had a lovely drive to Teresa's with her. I hardly noticed the dreaded bridge as I was so enjoying her company and catching up with her. Then it was on to the pig roast at our friend, Gaylan's house. I got to meet his lovely wife, Char and bunches of our local pals were there. Everyone brought a side dish and Gaylan had been roasting a wild boar for most of the day. Talk about tender meat and so moist and quite lean btw. Pork, the other white meat, you know! I was half expecting the wild game taste some hunted animal meats have but this was just tasty pure and simple.

Busy week ahead: lunch with my pal Glo tomorrow, cropping with the crew at Posh Wed., some errands on Thurs., Nana and Papa time with the twins on Friday, a craft fair at Hyde Park with Kristen and the twins on Sat. and Happy Trick or Treat on Sunday. The kids are bringing the twins by so Nana can get pictures of them in their costumes: a monkey and a banana and Little Mama and Big Daddy are going as trees...very cute!

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Creep Over Caskets and Costumes

Several of the gals dressed in costumes last night and several of us just wore our best Halloween smiles (well, along with seasonal tops and mostly jeans). I put on my "If the broomstick fits, ride it baby!" and had a blast. Barb and Janet went all out and they were so cute in their matching kitty outfits complete to their shoes. And isn't, Lauri's little pup, Princess Peek a Boo too funny in her costume?

Be still my heart, the caskets were out of sight. One was a tribute to Micheal Jackson complete with lights and music, another a very elaborate cemetery scene and tons of others. Each of us was given one vote and it was so hard to pick just one. Janie's was one of my favorites in a tie with Janet's.

Another late night for this ol' gal but the far too many calories slice of rhubarb pie from Yoder's that I heated up for my breakfast and probably my lunch as well jump started me. Teresa's friend got ill yesterday and I am running her home before I head to the pig roast at our friends so will start packing up in a bit.

It has been a wonderful weekend spent laughing, renewing old friendships and making some new ones.

I'll put my casket offering on my altered blog in a bit. It will make a nice edition to you altered Halloween art.

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

So far so good...

From the time I arrived yesterday around 3 until just a few minutes ago, I have completed 5 layouts (2 are for a challenge at ACOT so I can't reveal them until Nov. 1)and two of the Boo for my friend, Barb and one for me. The one shown below is the one that Lauri did yesterday. Barb has hers and mine is still drying.

The food has been never ending and so good. A few of us are going out to dinner tonight at Yoder's, an Amish restaurant nearby. After supper we will be having the casket judging and the costumes. I am wearing one of my Halloween costumes and my favorite pin, "If the broomstick fits baby, fly it" and I didn't have the heart to take the Tiki god of beer's witches hat so am coming as myself...a happy scrapper!

Will post the pictures of the costumes etc. early tomorrow morning.

My goal for this weekend was to scrap at least one layout for the 5 albums I am trying to either complete or to add to: the boys albums, E's cooking album, our family holiday album, our Savannah trip from last year album and, of course our latest adventure to the Med. This is the restaurant where the four of us had dinner on the boulevard on La Rambla across from our hotel. Tomorrow I have to leave around 1, drop Teresa off at her house and meet E at the pig roast at our friend's in Tarpon Springs. Hoping to get another 2 or even 3 layouts done before we pull out!

Have a great evening!

Hilltop Memories' Creep Over Crop

Lauri and Barb (aka Roomies 1 and 2)kicked off the crop in the time honored Hilltop tradition: bras off and on their heads. You go girls.

I can't begin to tell you how nice it was to see the old gang again. It had been over a years since I had been to a Hilltop Crop for a variety of reasons, most of which seem to be of no importance any longer. I was greeted by such warm hugs and welcome backs that I was truly moved. Missed you all too, ladies.

Unbelievable for me, I stayed up cropping and chatting in the crop room til after midnight when Lauri and I headed back to our little, cute mobile home here in the Fun n Sun Resort in Sarasota. And then Lauri and I and her sweet little pup, Boo, stayed up until 2 am. And I even got 2 layouts and shared my little BOO necklace with a couple of the gals, Val and Lauri and gave Barb mine as a gift for her friendship!

I was up at 7am for my half hour walk. I hadn't intended to walk that long but having an underdeveloped since of direction, it took me that long to walk up to the crop room for breakfast. I had left my car at the crop room last night and didn't want to wake Lauri this morning. Actually the walk felt good.

Here are some pictures of some of the gals: Ginni, the group sweetie pie, Noreen, crown firmly in place, Roomie Barb and dear Janie.

Plans are already afoot for Ginni's Lake Pan crop in Nov and am booking my spot before it fills completely. More pictures to follow as the casket and costume contest is after supper tonight and I have now finished 3 layouts.

Am missing my Posh Pals...did you all have fun last night cropping? I was thinking of you and Pam, Clare and Janet too...Love to all,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Full moon, good friends and dinner on the river

Yesterday was just one of those "Miss Vickie's on the Anclote River" kind of days. We headed out around 5 and Susie and Justin joined us. The breeze was lovely, the music just what people want to hear at a tiki bar and, of course, the beer was icy cold. I got my usual clam basket and E had a shrimp po' boy. No visit is complete to Miss Vickie's without Cajun boiled peanuts so an order of those too, please!

Many thanks to Justin for replacing our burned out motor on our pool...we have a waterfall again. Dinner at our house soon!

We set the date for our Holiday Open House and now I need to work on the invites. This is a tradition we started when we moved to Ft. Myers and have continued it here in Tarpon Springs. I love mixing our friends and we're doing a twist this year...tba!

I am off and running today to Sun n Fun just a bit north of Sarasota where Linda Jenkins, owner of Hilltop Memories, is hosting her annual Creep Over weekend crop. Creep Over has long been one of my favorite of her crops and it will be so good to be attending once again. I have missed my pals there and it will be good to reconnect with everyone. Will post lots of pictures...Natasha, you will be missed.

Sunday afternoon is a pig roast at some friends' home here in town. I haven't been to one of these since we lived in much fun packed into one weekend!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Little Yellow Bicycle's Savor line

For the past few years, I have taken pictures of the wonderful meals E creates for us and for our friends. About two years ago, I started compiling these dishes, the recipes and pictures of E preparing them and have been slowly but surely making him a Chef album.

I fell in love with these papers and embellishments by Little Yellow Bicycle as did my friend, Janet Miller, who, along with her hubby, Bob, are also excellent cooks. So she and I combined our love for these papers into a reveal today at A Cherry on the Top.

When we visited Sicily, we traveled high up in the mountains across from Mt. Etna to a tiny town perched on the top of one mountain, Castlemore. It was there we met a wonderful restaurateur, Ricardo. It had been a rainy and damp morning and we were in need of a cappuccino to warm up. Ricardo promised us that and so much more..."the best cannolis you will ever have". And he was right. As we waited for our coffee and sweet, he treated us to small glass of the regional wine. Ricardo made us feel right at home. So I did this layout of Ricardo for our trip album.

We are off to sit for the twins today. We switched with the nanny as I will be heading south a bit for Linda Jenkins' Hilltop Memories Creep Over scrap retreat. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More shots of the boys

This first one was taken last Friday and the rest yesterday while I babysat a bit for Landon and of Colvin when he got home from the doctor for a check up. Their albums are getting thick already! lol

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday at Coachman Park

It had been eons since E and I had attended any live concerts so we made a point to set aside Sunday afternoon for the Clearwater Jazz Holiday event in downtown Clearwater. We parked our car at Publix on Island Estates and caught the Jolly Trolley. For a dollar each, we were delivered straight to Coachman Park with no parking hassles. Love the Jolly Trolley!

The first segment that we stayed for on Sunday was the Clearwater Jazz Festival Youth Band. These kids are so talented, it is unreal. You would have thought you were listening to seasoned pros who had been playing jazz for years together instead of kids 13-18. Eric Darius, a local artist now a national pro, played with the kids and did some great solos with his sax. He also has a great voice. and what a dynamite performer.

I love how we could see the Gulf and all the boats from the park.

The second group had lots of people out of their seats and dancing in the grass...Mark Barrios' band, West Tampa Style. Talk about spicy! The Cuban influence was wonderful.

And speaking of the Jolly Trolley, starting in Nov. it will run from Clearwater all the way up to Tarpon Springs with stops at Palm Harbor and Dunedin along the way. E and I don't go to a lot of evening events unless someone else drives as neither of us see well in the dark but now we can go to evening concerts etc. without having to impose on friends all the time as the trolley will run til late! Yeah for the Jolly Trolley!

SHOUT OUT WELCOME to some new readers to my blog: Scottsmoor, Florida, Ypsilanti, Mich., and Raleigh, North Carolina. And a big wave to some of my more frequent visitors from Wesley Chapel and Interlachen, Florida! Thanks to all of your for dropping by!