Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great American Suffragettes

I have a new follower - actually a have a couple of new followers in the last week and I truly mean it when I say, I love you all and are SO delighted you find me interesting enough to spend some time with me. I think you are ALL amazing, and thank you all for choosing to spend a couple minutes of your day with me!

Anyway, this new individual creates (among other things) wonderful American Suffragette figures which I think are so different and so special that I wanted to share them with you. Her name is Lenae May and she is a mixed media fiber artist. You have to see some of her fabulous works of art. I just love everything she does! Stop by her blog for a treat!

I love mixed media and have dabbled in it myself. A couple of you faithful friends out there are also very talented mixed media artists and I know your art was what initially attracted me to your blog. There is just something so expressive about mixed media art!

Don't ya just love these whimsical suffragettes? Thank you Lenae May for stopping by my blog and for sharing your talent with us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Old Friends, New Friends and Julia!

I had such a nice weekend as my title implies. I mentioned in my last blog my friend Lori came down from NY state for the bead show and it was so great to spend time with her, and to make a new friend, Kelley Wenzel. Any friend of Lori's has got to be great, and Kelley sure is. She is so easy to talk to and to get to know, and she has the same passion about making her beautiful lampwork beads as Lori does about jewelry. Both are amazingly talented.

Friday we met for dinner, headed back to their hotel and then spent some time chatting over dessert, and sharing a glass of wine. Kelley made an amazing cake and brought it with her (I'm waiting for her to blog the recipe). What could be better - good company, wine and a Mississippi Mud Cake!

Here's Lori and me -

and Kelley and me -

They had a spectacular day at the big bead show which I did not attend, but we decided to meet Saturday night for a movie and see Julie and Julia - I loved it - a wonderful story, inspiring and heart-warming, and very funny too. Meryl Streep can do anything - wow she is amazing! She really nailed this role and captured Julia Child so well. I highly recommend the movie - you won't be disappointed.

Thanks for a nice weekend Lori and Kelley!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Happy Friday everyone!
I'm anxious for this day to begin. I have interview #4 this afternoon. Gosh I hope I make it through this one and then I hope they make a decision. This has been dragging on however the good news is they are still interested!
More good news - yesterday I received a call from another financial institution I applied to and they want me to interview on Tuesday - when it rains it pours. I certainly happily accepted the interview. I really like the company I've been continuing to interview with but I'm not going to put all my eggs in one basket and assume an offer will be made. Like the saying goes, it ain't over till the fat lady sings, and I don't hear any singing, so I'm still actively pursuing all opportunities.
Last night I saw a third "perfect fit" opportunity too and applied to it. All of a sudden it seems like things are opening up. I sure hope so. I know there are lots of people in the same situation I'm in, or worse (who have been unemployed longer). I sure hope I'm right and all of our searches will soon have positive results.

My friend, Lori Eurto is coming to Philly from upstate NY. She is a talented jewelry designer on Etsy, Lorelei1141, and attending a big bead show in this area. Also, her friend Kelley of Kelleysbeads is meeting Lori here and I know they are excited about some serious bead shopping. I'm excited cause I get to see Lori tonight, and meet Kelley - we are having dinner together. The bead show is at the convention center in King of Prussia, PA, which is only a couple of miles away from me.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vacation #2 to Italy (Florence and Tuscany)

I'm still feeling nostalgic and missing traveling, especially missing Italy! It was 2 years ago that we took this trip. I hope you don't mind me sharing my 2nd Italian adventure with you. As I mentioned, we had such a good time that my sister immediately started talking Italy again and she and her husband booked a villa in Tuscany and invited all of us back again! When opportunity knocks..........
Speaking of opportunity, we had luck with us with our flight over - we ended up flying over in business class rather than coach. My brother-in-law does a lot of flying on a particular airline and on the date of our departure over to Pisa, the plane was not completely sold out and only a few seats in business class were occupied. The attendant approached my brother-in-law and stated that they would like to move his family into business class - he said there were others traveling with him, the airline said no problem and we all got moved into business class!!! That was like being spoiled like you would not believe - what a pleasure!

Upon arrival into Pisa we headed over to the leaning tower which was an incredible sight, and then drove over to Florence first. We spent the first 3 nights in Florence and then went out to the Tuscan countryside.
Oh Florence - what a dreamy little city. I just adored everything about it.

This is the view from our hotel

and pictures in Florence -

Katie and I beside a cool sporty Alpha Romeo

Tuscany was lovely - everything you would imagine it to be however we liked Umbria better. Umbria was just as beautiful but much less crowded.
These next 2 pictures are in Sienna -

Scenes from Tuscany-

Thank goodness for memories and photographs.
If you have never been, I would highly recommend Italy. It is a wonderful and beautiful country. The people are friendly, the scenery spectacular and the food out of this world!

By the way, my profile picture was taken in Tuscany!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our Trip to Itay (Rome and Umbria)

Ciao! Buon Giorno! I'm feeling very nostalgic - 3 years ago today we left for Italy for the first time. We had such a great time that we went again the following year too. Just my daughter Katie and I went and both times we traveled with family and friends (14 of us in total). I knew at the time circumstances may never allow us to go again (or at least for a long time) so we took full advantage of the opportunity, and the generosity of my brother-in-law renting a villa for all of us.

The first year we spent 3 nights in a hotel in Rome and then went on to a villa in Torgiano in Umbria. I took a ton of pictures and I'll share a couple with you - this posting is about our Rome/Umbria trip.

In Rome we saw the Colosseum, The Vatican, The Pantheon, The Trevi Fountain, The Forum, The Spanish Steps and more. It was all so incredible but I thought the ruins of The Forum was the most impressive.
The food, the culture, the architecture, the landscape, the language - everything was so lovely and magical.

Just as we arrived at The Vatican a storm rolled in - I was able to capture this photo before the rain came down.
This is the dome inside St. Peter's

My favorite picture from the ruins of The Forum

After leaving Rome and moving out to Umbria one of the first places we went to was Assisi.

Almost everyday we went to a different "hill town" and here are some pictures just showcasing views of the beautiful Italian architecture and landscape in Umbria.

It was so relaxing and everyone was free to do whatever they wanted. If they wanted to stay home by the pool they could or if the wanted to venture out to explore the neighboring towns - there was always a group doing one or the other.
The villa was lovely and, making it a total taste-of-Italy experience my sister and brother-in-law ordered 4 dinners to be cooked for us during our week long stay - it was such an incredible part of the trip. Talk about spoiled - did I feel spoiled!
This is our "dining room" at the villa where our prepared dinners were served. They were course after course of incredible food and drink.

I loved taking walks from the villa - there were vineyards, olive trees, fruit trees and all sorts of vegetables growing all around -

My sister and her family have continued with their European summer trips and right now they are on a Mediterranean cruise and my brother-in-law texted me to say they missed us in Rome (upon their arrival for the cruise).
I can't help feeling nostalgic but I have my pictures and my memories to cherish forever!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Garden Update

It is very hot this week - we are officially in a heat wave with consecutive days in the 90's and, of course, that familiar humidity! Trying to get out earlier and earlier for my walks cause otherwise it is just too dang hot!

When I came back from walking I grabbed my camera to take some updated pics of our garden which I thought I'd share with you.

I just love Phlox - in my opinion it is one of the best flowering plants in a garden and never seems to disappoint. They grow well in both the full sun and shade and continue to fill up our garden beautifully year after year. They attract so many butterflies and honey bees.

Speaking of butterflies, here is our Butterfly Bush, with one of our many birdhouses in the background. We had a family of house wrens in the upper "apartment" this season.

Last year George brought home these cool birds for our garden that one of his customers no longer wanted. There were 3 of them. I'm not sure what they are, herons maybe, but they look so great and I'm happy to have them.

Look at this lone little Morning Glory which has wrapped itself around the stalk of an old Hosta bloom. Guess that's why George does not like Morning Glories and says they are too invasive.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Friday!

It's Friday again. Gosh, these weeks are flying by. I can't believe August is half over already!
I finished my stitching Wednesday night and framed it yesterday. I was able to work on it last week while I was working at the shop. Actually I stitched most of it at the shop. Like a lot of my recent stitchings, it is a melting pot of different patterns and motifs. I like the saying, IN VIRTUOUS WAYS I SPEND MY DAYS, and will probably use that saying again. The alphabet is pretty standard and except for the big bird (taken from a Sheepish Designs pattern) the other birds and flowers were kind of half made up, half taken from patterns.

I've seen some nice give-aways over the last couple of days. I mentioned one in my last post, and today I have another one to mention from the sweet and talented Silke Powers. Check out her incredible give-away painting at her blog, metamorphosis. She is giving away a lovely painting to honor her blogging friends and her birthday - Happy Birthday Silke!

Last but not least, today I'm having a 3rd interview. Things are looking good my friends!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are able to enjoy these last couple of weeks of the summer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swimming Along

The lazy days of August - perfect for fishing! I hooked this piece 2 years ago and thought why not share it and offer it in my Etsy shop rather than keeping it hidden away in a box. This was one of my first pieces experimenting with other materials such as ribbons and bright yarns on the tail fin, rather than just wool.

I have never fished or have a love of fishing but for some reason I love to hook fish. I've probably hooked at least a half dozen of them, hooking both primitive and bright colored fish. They are a fun subject matter. I decided to add air bubbles to this rather than hooking a wave effect which I tend to do with my fish.

This fish looks happy to me, like he is just enjoying his swim. I'm beginning to feel that way too - interview #3 is scheduled for Friday. I know it is a good, positive sign!

And, last but not least, check out this sweet give-away by Laurie Lausen on her blog, woolyredrug-prairiesedgeprimitives.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Little Progress

Sunday afternoon Brian and I got down to business. He brought home his queen size bed so we needed to get his twin bed out of his room, clean and rearrange it to fit the queen. What a messy job. He is a pack-rat and never throws stuff away - the boxes of his old junk we have in the attic - gets me annoyed just thinking about it so lets not go there.
When we took his bed apart there were enough empty boxes, old school things, etc. under his bed to fill 2 trash bags (not to mention the dust)! There was stuff under there from when he was maybe 12-14 years old! Anyway, we got the room totally cleaned and rearranged the furniture so the bed would fit - kind of crowded but it works!
We put the twin mattress out with the trash but I'm saving the headboard/frame and the matching night stand to sell at my yard sale I plan to have this fall.
The living room looks a little better since at least the queen size bed is out, but still half of his belongings are in there......hopefully we'll get that done this weekend and get to normal.

Brian started his first day of work yesterday and I'm so happy he seemed to like it. He came home with some "official" clothing and keys to facilities. He did say he was thinking that this is what life is going to be like for the next 50 years! Welcome to the real world - LOL!!!

It is very hot and humid here. Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer so far at 95 degrees (with the heat index of 105 degrees). Anyone who has ever been to Philly in the summer knows the humidity is terrible. Oh well, it is what it is. Besides my walk which I need to take while it is still early and relatively cool, I guess I'll be inside today. I better go take that walk..........

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Crowded House!

Does it look rather crowded? My son just moved back from Cincinnati last night. We just dumped everything in the living room and I have a feeling it is going to look like that for a while. He was living in Cincinnati after graduating in May and was unable to find a job out there - I feel bad cause he really wanted to stay there. Thankfully, as far as jobs are concerned, he did get a job at Villanova University (about 10 minutes away from us) running their intramural sports program. The job starts tomorrow!

The downside is, the pay is low and it is a 9-month position, however I can't help but think getting his foot in the door at someplace like Villanova will lead to connections and perhaps something permanent. Since the pay is so low I don't think he'll be able to get an apartment with friends like he is hoping to do. He is certainly not happy about having to move back with his parents. We will have to see what happens, but for the moment he is with us and we are jammed in. Thank goodness he left/or sold his futon, desk and mini refrigerator, cause where the heck would they fit????

I worked last week in the local shop so my friend could take the week off. It was really dull and slow but it was a diversion and I did get to work on some stitching while the shop was customer-free. I felt bad for her to have to pay me (she was losing money) to be there when two days there were no sales, and one day I only sold candle, but thankfully I did sell a floor lamp and a few other things yesterday.

I did not work Thursday when I had my 2nd interview. I'm hoping to get positive news for the next steps tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm getting anxious but I'm feeling good.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Garden Flowers

So many of the great blogs I follow have such lovely pictures. I thought I would share pictures I've taken over the last week of flowers in my garden.

We have a lot of Hummingbirds in our yard and they love these flowers. They hang over an arbor on the edge of the patio and the flowers hang about 12 inches from where I sit - I'm amazed that they come to the flowers even when I'm sitting there - they don't seem to have any fear. One of these days maybe I can capture one on film.