Friday, August 31, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hungarian Point, Encroaching Upright Gobelin and Old Florentine

For years, I have been stitching these gorgeous samplers; each one unique as the color of the yarns are varied. Inspiration for my work is the book, Book of Needlepoint by Elaine Slater. Originally published in 1973, this book presents easy to understand text, drawings and photos that assist. I have seen it offered on ebay recently.
I finish the projects as either pillows or framed pictures for the wall.
No painted canvas is necessary. Blank canvas which is blocked off with a pencil, needle,scissors, a selection of five colors for the persian yarns and another choice for the background is all that is needed.
Makes a fabulous and well-appreciated gift for special friends and family members.

Friday, August 24, 2007

latest tunes

Turn Down Day Cyrkle
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard Paul Simon
I Can’t Get You Off of my Mind Bob Dylan
Days Like This Van Morrison
Blue Money Van Morrison
Delta Lady Joe Cocker
Roundabout (acoustical version) Yes
The Henney Buggy Band Sufjan Stevens
Black Horse and a Cherry Tree KT Tunstall
Cry Me a River Joe Cocker
Everything Michael Buble
Tusk Fleetwood Mac
Suddenly I See KT Tunstall

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Painted canvas, persian yarn and belt buckles

In the past few years, needlepoint has been a renewed interest for me. Here are two belts I stitched for the Colonel.

The bottom belt depicts scenes from The Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland, where he has played a number of times.

After completing all stitching on the canvas, I send them off to be finished as belts, making fabulous personally-appointed gifts for special people in my life. Palm trees and hammocks between with a little boy reading a book was made for the dau, beer bottle labels for the son.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

all decked out

Lately, photos of and commentary on my diminutive, yet functional deck have appeared on the teaorwine blog. Paradise Found: Gardening in Unlikely Places, by Rebecca Cole supplies insight for those designing this sort of outdoor space. My deck would be sophomoric in contrast to those outdoor spaces created by Ms. Cole. Even so, I enjoy strolling through the pages of this book from time to time.

Fabulous, full-color photos shot by Helen Norman of garden and architectural ornaments, roof-top terraces, outdoor furnishings, watering cans, container plantings, pots made of clay, concrete, galvanized metal filled with lush perennials, shrubs and vines, pergolas, porches, lighting, decks, fences, birdbaths, stone walls, steps and stairways are evidence of Ms. Cole’s ventures, more often than not in Manhattan.

Beneficial lists offer valuable information to practicing gardeners. These include preparing containers, a formula for arranging the most pleasing number of plants placed in groups, pointers for designing plantings in containers, laying a stone walkway, how to ready plants and containers for frosty temperatures (She suggests using bubble wrap around the containers as an insulator!).

I am partial to the way RC juxtaposes aged flea market finds (aka antiques, in some circles) and plant life to create harmonious surroundings. A glass of iced tea or wine, and a heap of reading material and I may well be comfortable and content at any of her locations!

It would be worth checking this book out while the temperatures remain warm outside.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Summertime on the deck (part three)

Amaryllis bulbs growing long strappy leaves before taking a nap in the basement for most of the winter. In the spring, I place them in a sunny location and begin watering again for a new set of blooms.

Rosemary and cast-iron fleur-de-lis.

"Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language. "

~Henry James~

Summertime on the deck (part two)

Ivy topiary and Boston fern which come back every year to look gorgeous.

Notice the rosemary in a clay pot . I love to run my hands over this to release the fabulous aroma! Assorted herbs (oregano, flat-leafed and curly-leafed parsley, thyme and basil) thrive in an old wash tub.

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Summertime on the deck (part one)

I so enjoy time out on my small yet cozy deck this time of year. Reading magazines, books, newspapers, sipping iced tea with lemon and Splenda, or a glass of wine...ahhh! This is my Schwinn Collegiate bicycle that I ride in the evenings after the temperatures cool. Yes, my helmet is in the basket.

I buy up old porcelain enameled bowls and plates to place my outdoor plants on.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

save a little while shopping online...

Those of you who shop online lots, will appreciate services provided at Electronic coupons for many online retailers appear here for anyone to use. Search for the store of your choice, e.g. JCrew, Ballard Designs, Kate Spade and many more. Percentage of success rates and comments by previous customers can be viewed. No need to register or provide any personal information in order to use these services. I tried this for the first time today and it worked!

The bag lady

Just what I need...another tote. I could not resist this vivid laminate shopping bag from Trader Joe's. Super for heading to the farmer's market or the grocery...maybe even the beach. Holds six gallons!

Front and back reveal different foodie designs with a tropical touch. The front features a rooster riding in an old car accompanied by a salt shaker and pepper grinder. Back has a large clipper ship sailing across blue seas. An affordable luxury at $1.99.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Jemima, Peter, Hunca Munca, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Mr. Jeremy Fisher

What’s not to enjoy of the latest biopic of the late author of children’s books… Beatrix Potter. RenĂ©e Zellweger, though slight and cute in a sort of Katie Couric way, plays the ersatz Miss Potter. Beatrix, herself was actually larger and dowdy in appearance, partially in response to her fussy and pretentious mother who never approved of her daughter’s choices. A pity! Those miniature books which fit perfectly into the hands of wee ones are a delight to read to young people. This is an account of her loves and years as she grew up feeling alone in Victorian England (London and the Lake District).

A bit of whimsy occurs when many of Beatrix’s characters come alive in animation, shaking tail feathers, winking and smiling for all to see!

Several years back I visited a traveling exhibit of Miss Potter’s drawings, photographs of animals and natural history, as well as her old wooden garden clogs which she wore exclusively. This was a cinematic interpretation of that display for me.

Worth a view and an add to Netflix for sure.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Nature Girl

Mr. Hiaasen, who consistently titles his adult fiction works with two words only, plots stories around that which he finds irritating, bothersome, unjust, despicable, insane, outrageous, criminal, and unreasonable in the state of Florida. Nature Girl points at the telemarketing industry, treatment of the Seminole Indians over the years, tourism in the Everglades, as well as
self-induced drug and alcohol abuse. The son of a Broward County judge, CH long ago became fed-up by all that has led to the flogging of his native state; he currently writes an editorial column for the Miami Herald. A gifted raconteur and cheerleader for the environment, Mr. Hiaasen sticks a satirical knife in and turns it at all that provokes and peeves him. In the end, the bad guy always gets exactly what he deserves.

Honey Santana, Louis Piejack and Boyd Shreave are the latest of his loony and bizarre characters. Just how can he imagine these twisted and surreal persons and write continuously, novel after novel, about their escapades? Reflect on this. Not long ago, and in the wee hours of the night, a middle-aged, coked-up drifter passes out at the perimeter of a swampy wetland in Central Florida (sans apparel). Occupants in nearby homes were awakened by insistent and fearsome screaming. It seems the “nekkid ole boy” came to and found himself being dragged out to deeper waters in the choppers of one incredibly hefty gator. True story. The paramedics, firemen and policemen who rescued him accounted events of the previous night on the morning show circuit the next day. I watched and listened to them. Inspiration for yet another way out character in an imminent Carl Hiaasen novel methinks.

Easy to read, if you dare, his books require that you possess an open sense of humor to be understand. Chuckle and giggle you will.

Next in the pile of books to read…. Divining Women by Kaye Gibbons.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Something I might say...

Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation
not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths.
~John Egerton~