Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wild Horses!

Ned and I did something fun today.... we took a trail ride. One of the local companies had a discounted deal and we grabbed it. It was a lot of fun but I am pretty sure I will be sore tomorrow.  I was a 90 minute ride in the Ft. McDowell Indian reservation. The vistas were breathtaking and it was just plain fun. We saw a bunch of wild horses who did not seem to be frightened of us and 2 gorgeous bald eagles. I did not get a photo of them unfortunately. They are huge!! I am a sucker for horses since I used to own one. I don't usually ride Western so I had to readjust my brain at the beginning. I turned up in my gear and checked off experienced on the waver sheet and I got a wonderful horse. There were only 4 of us on the ride and I was the tail end... loved it. I got to go at my own pace and my horse was very responsive. I forgot how much I miss riding but I am not sure my hips or my back could take a steady diet. Too bad. Riding was one of the most enjoyable interludes in my life.
 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pussycat, pussycat where have you been?

.... I have been to London to see the Queen!..
Well, not quite as I didn't see the Queen this time, but I had a blast in London. I went for a doll convention and to meet up with some wonderful people. The weather was actually quite pleasant for London in October. Only one day of rain and a couple of evenings. Otherwise the sky was its usual combination of sunny and overcast but the temperature was in the mid 50's. No complaints.  Did some touristy stuff I hadn't done in years mostly because some of my friends had never been before.
Portobello road was our first stop one day. It is lined with Antique shops, and anything else one could think of. Nothing was cheap. I love street food so we stopped for some very freshly made Felafel. It was the best I have ever had. I also picked up some cheese, bread, and figs.

 I loved the funky brushes in this place but didn't go in to check them out.
Next stop was the Tower of London.. hadn't been in ages.

We joined up with a tour and learned some interesting tidbits I either never knew or had forgotten.
The ravens keeping guard
The exhibit of the Crown Jewels was to die for. They redid everything this year for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and they certainly did it up right. Drool city..  no photos were allowed.
We went to Covent Gardens... my it has changed since I was there last. It has definitely been updated. We had fun strolling through all the stalls selling everything you can imagine. I picked up some hand made soaps. They look almost too good to use but they will be a gift. Then we did what we did best! Hit a wine bar.

We stayed in the wonderful Hoxton Hotel which is in Shoreditch. The lobby was perfect for our get togethers and drinking and carousing! The food from the grill was some of the best ever and the servers were very friendly and helpful. It was also nice that they provided free wifi. It was also very close to two tube stations which made it quite easy to get around.

The main reason for the trip were the dolls. I have already redressed one of them since that is what I like best. Here she is playing a viola that I found in one of the antique shops.
I haven't unboxed the other girls yet.

I also went to the Victoria and Albert museum to see two fashion exhibits. One was called Hollywood which is as the name implies.... the fashions and how they came about for the silver screen. I loved being able to see these costumes up close. All the workmanship that went into them is astounding. The other exhibit was Ballgowns. Eh... I was not nearly as impressed. No photos in either of these was allowed. They do have a permanent fashion exhibit and I did take some photos... enjoy. I believe you can buy both books on Amazon.. the Hollywood one is well worth it.

We also found our way to some lovely fabric shops.. I couldn't resist a few samples of fabric and trims.

Alas, the week went by very quickly and it was time to come home. Travel this time went very smoothly, but it took me 4 days to get over the jet lag. I am not as young as I used to be and traveling is becoming a pain in the butt.... but still well worth the effort.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is it just me???

Perhaps if the insurance companies hired intelligent people they would need less personnel and costs would be held in check.

It seems like every year the company my husband works for changes insurance providers. This year was no different. Not only did the primary change, but the pharmacy changed as well. I know my name is not easy to spell, but this is September and they have been in place since February. It took 3 tries to get the primary to get it right but they finally did a few months ago. I went to renew a Rx yesterday and noticed they were still using Sherry instead of Sherryl. Normally this would not bother me but with all the hoopla over security I thought it should be right. Heaven forbid there should be an emergency and they couldn't find me in the system! So I sent them a note with the correction (yet again). I had spoken to a body a few months ago and they promised to correct it.... obviously it slipped their minds. I got an email back that I had to contact the benefits person at hubbies company to make this correction as it had to go through the primary insurance company. I wrote back that it WAS correct on the primary AND that I had been battling this out with them for months now and the screw up was at their end, not the primary. I also decided to write the benefits person and send her the email they sent me.... I figured I needed all the help I could get by now.  Fast forward to this morning...remember.. this is about my first name being misspelled.


Hello Ms. ....,

Thank you for contacting Express Scripts. We will be happy to assist you
with your inquiry in regards to your last name.

Per your email I have requested our pharmacy update your profile to 
correct your first name. Please allow 3-5 business days for our pharmacy
to receive and work on this request. If you do not see an update to your
first name by the fifth business day please contact us via phone for 
additional assistance. We sincerely apologize for any confusion or 
inconvenience this may have caused you.
 
 
Unbelievable. .... I haven't bothered to respond. There is nothing nice I can say.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to normal... or as normal as I get!

This past week has been spent getting replacement cards for those things that were stolen.  I believe that I am now done with everything and can put this whole thing behind me.

This was one of the reasons I went to NJ:
He is already a lady killer. You would not believe how well he flirts.

He dances too!
video


Saturday, August 18, 2012

New York's finest.....NOT

I have been in NJ for the past several days visiting my daughter and grandson (and fab SIL). I also had the chance to meet up with some dolly friends who were in from London and Ohio and one I hadn't met before who lived in NY..We made plans to go to Carmine's for lunch ( I thought this would be a good place to take visitors), and then 3 of us went up to the Met to see the Schiaparelli/Prada show. The show was great. We got on the M4 bus(at 81st street)to go back downtown. I went to put my Metro card back in my wallet, which I had put in the center zippered compartment, and found it missing. I knew someone had bumped up against me..the bus was crowded but I thought I was safe since I secured my wallet. We got off the bus at 60th street...we hadn't gotten very far. I called my credit card company first to report the cards stolen. On the corner of 59th street and 5th ave was a police van. Silly us. We actually thought cops were there to help. He explained he was part of the terrorist division and I had to call 911 for help! He couldn't do anything for me. So I called and told the dispatcher where I was. She took my name and cell phone number and said someone would be there shortly. About 45 minutes went by and no cops...my phone rings and the dispatcher asks again where I was. We saw a police car across the street and we tried to wave them down but they just kept going. Dispatcher said they would be there soon. At least another half hour went by and still no one. I called back this time and the same dispatcher asked again where I was. At least another 20 minutes went by and I gave gave up. We took the next bus as I needed to catch a train back to NJ , one of the ladies had theatre tickets and the third one needed to get back home. They loaned me money to buy a train ticket back. My daughter had given me her commuter ticket to get in and of course it was in my wallet along with my drivers license and various other charge cards. I was in pretty good humor considering. At least I wasn't mugged. At the window of NJ transit, the clerk asked me if I had a good day. I said not exactly, I just had my wallet stolen. He suggested I go talk to the customer relations agent and perhaps they could do something about replacing my daughters commuter ticket. I did. I explained what happened and how long I waited for the police. In order for them to do anything I had to file a police report. I told him I tried. He asked me to wait...he knew where there was a cop. He returned a few minutes later and told me to go upstairs and outside. The cop couldn't leave his post but he could call someone to come. I followed his directions and even saw the police van but alas no policeman. I walked up the block but still didn't see anyone. I was about to just give up when I spotted 2 cops across the street so I approached them and asked if they could help me. I shouldn't have wasted my time. They told me since this happened uptown and I was now downtown, I would have to go to the precinct to report it and file a claim... The precinct was a good 5 blocks away. I asked how long I would have to wait since there were only 2 more trains running that I could take back. They shrugged their shoulders. I thanked them very nicely for their help and went to catch my train. Don't you just love New York city police?

On the train ride back I was talking to hubby but lost connection. The man sitting next to me said that he couldn't help overhear my conversation and asked if I needed some money. A perfect stranger offered me help but NYPD couldn't be bothered to do diddly squat.

Whoever took my wallet did not make out too well. He got about $70 in cash and was probably very surprised to find that my credit cards were cancelled less than 15 minutes after his taking it. Yes, it is a pain in the ass but in the scheme of things it is just a bump in the road and I will not let this ruin my trip.

There are some very good people out there. Thank you for your help and support.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Not so wordless Wednesday- Warning... contains risque photos!

I am frustrated... I tore a muscle in my calf last week... no I wasn't doing anything but walking into the bridge club. I am suppose to be staying off my feet until it heals... yeah right.. that really works well for me. I have been trying.... probably trying Ned's patience too. He has been a gem and has been graciously taking up the slack. Love you hon. I digress. Ned had to go out of town for a few days on biz and I am pretty much home bound, which opens up all sorts of ways for me to get myself into trouble :-). So I did!
With "Fifty Shades of Grey" selling over 40 MILLION copies, I decided to have a bit of fun. (keep your minds out of the gutter!) Since I don't have any male dolls, the "girls" had to be the stand ins. I hope they had fun. For those of you who know me, you know that my sense of humor is on the wacky side. For those of you who don't know me, well... what can I say? From the time I was in college, many of my friends were gays and lesbians. Nothing has changed. There is no social message or anything deep about this post. I was just having some fun. Hope you will smile along with me.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Neglected

It has been brought to my attention that I have been neglecting my blog. I have. Not because life is boring but because I really haven't been doing anything creative. My muse seems to have taken a hike and I decided rather than fight it, I would just enjoy the other good things in my life. This is one of them! In May, Ned and I went to Hilton head to meet up with my daughter Robin,  Brett, and Will. We spent an awesome week together and hope to make it an annual thing.

I haven't been bored at all. I have been reading, playing a lot of bridge, and playing with my dolls. They really are so much fun.
These are the latest 2 to join the family.

The weather has been beastly hot even for Scottsdale and somehow I just haven't had the motivation to create. That is OK. I am sure my muse will return. There have been some stirrings... I actually pulled out the piece I had been working on several months ago and thinking I might get back to it. One of these days it will happen. In the meantime I am just enjoying life. There are more travel plans in the works and lots of books to be read. We are all well and that is what is important.

Hope everyone enjoys the summer despite all the weird weather all over.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Natural World

I have gotten a chance to review this wonderful addition to my library. I have been perusing this lovely book for about a week and I have to give kudos to Martha Sielman for coming up with another beauty. It was interesting to read many of the profiles of the artists and of course the art work is gorgeous. Some of the artists included in this book are Paula Chung, Betty Busby, Dominie Dash, Barbara McKie, Ruth De Vos, Pamela Allen, Kathy Briggs, and Roxanne Lessa to name just a few. The front of the book says it is an Art Quilt Portfolio. I was actually disappointed that so few actual art quilts really were included. Don't get me wrong, the quilts are all gorgeous but they are not what I expected. I was hoping for more abstract designs and less quilted to death pieces. Maybe it is my definition of art quilts that is the problem. What I mostly see represented here are typical landscape quilts, quilts from digital images, zillion paper pieced quilts, and what I have come to think of as modern quilts. I really didn't see some of the more artistic use of materials and execution that I expected. Perhaps it is my expectations that are out of whack. That said, the book is really beautiful.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some goodies

I decided to work some more on the ugly fabric challenge that I discharged. I cut the fabric in half and overdyed it. I loved the result so I did the same with the other half except I did not add the orange color. I am going to play more with this piece and keep the other. I love those blue greens. I will discharge the orange areas and then over dye again.

This next piece is one that I ice dyed but I was not real happy with the result so I overdyed it. I sort of like it... actually, I like parts of it. I may cut it in half and keep half and sell half. We will see.
 This piece came out well but I am not sure I will keep this one either.
This last piece of ice dye will not be staying.


I did a few scarves.. this one came out lovely. I will probably wind up selling it though as I have more scarves than I will ever use. You can go here to see this and some of my others.





The next 3 photos are sneak views of the projects I am working on.













This next one is one of my favorites. I did shibori on silk charmeuse. I love the way it came out.

And this one is some silk organza I started to paint dye on. I think I will do more to it.
All my goodies are now washed and put away. It is time to get back to more hand stitching.

I am back home..

Got home late Sunday night but had a bit of a scare... my luggage didn't make it. In it were all the lovely fabrics I made and the art quilt I was hand stitching! I was a bit stressed out to say the least. I was finally in a groove to create and was looking forward to getting back to work on Monday. The story does have a happy ending... luggage was located and delivered to me yesterday. I spent the rest of the day unpacking and starting to wash out all the fun stuff I made. More pictures later as I ran out of steam and still have some washouts to do.

I do have some observations though on ice dyeing. The method I used was to toss dye powder over the ice. I am not sure I would do this at home as I don't really have a place (other than outside) that would be safe to toss this stuff around. The results on silk are gorgeous.  The results on cottons not so good. Most of the color seemed to have washed out... these are going to be overdyed. I am wondering if I didn't let them soak long enough in soda ash. I may give one a try outside before I try something else. Anyone have other suggestions?

More later.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More dyeing...


Hubby got two shirts...















This was Monday's Shibori dying and wrapping.... I love this piece!
I did a bunch of ice dyeing...
I think I have a new addiction..




I have been working with some thickened dyes on some other large pieces but I haven't rinsed them out yet. I get so much work done here. Almost time for happy hour. More tomorrow.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Doing some work.. finally

Being down in Florida at Focus on Fiber makes me buckle down and actually do things.. off course I am also having a blast.
I am starting to quilt the Shibori quilt I put together last year.. I had to dye a backing fabric for it.. no pics of that.. sorry.

I played with some silk, learned how to dye using acid dyes on silk, am doing some ice dyeing.. can't wait to see how that ones turns out. I made some T-shirts for hubby, and discharged some ugly fabric for a challenge. Here are some pics.. maybe more tomorrow.
Ugly fabric challenge.. the left side shows the original.

  
small piece of silk shibori.


  
Silk Habotai and Silk Chiffon.. I was in a yellow mood.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Paris, continued

Friday afternoon tea... I don't have any interest in the dolls they were highlighting for this tea but someone asked me to go for her and paid for it so I went. These were the dolls for this event:
Ellowyn My Feet Hurt
Evangeline Belle Epoche




The rest of the afternoon was spent making new friends and the waiting for the event we really went for.. the Sybarite cocktail party. It was very dramatic. The entertainment was a fencing exhibition...

Next came what everyone was waiting for.. the special doll. She was worth the wait! She is called Fidele.

Isn't she gorgeous? The rest of the evening was spent down at the bar and at the hotel restaurant. We didn't get to bed till about 1:00 a.m.

Saturday: I was hoping for a nice day but it was ugly out... also this hotel is not in a very nice area and it is not suggested you walk around alone. Major activity for the day was the Luncheon that showcased the special Mattel Barbie doll. The food was as to be expected but the company was good. Here is the special Barbie doll... I plan to put it up on ebay soon. This is a limited edition of 375 worldwide and it is signed.


We made our fun for the rest of the day. We had an impromptu picnic in the lobby with some locals providing food and wine. The groups of people changed but it was always lively.

Sunday is the traditional sales day. There was supposed to be a limited edition (20) special Sybarite doll and salon outfits along with a traditional doll show... more about that in a bit. There was a mad dash for the Sybarite stuff and it was a real zoo... some people are really vicious. I did not get a doll and I was lucky and got the last outfit.
The rest of the room had an assortment of dolls both vintage and new. Seems like the latest craze in dolls are ones that resemble newborns. I hope I am not insulting anyone but I found them weird... in fact they made my skin crawl. They look so realistic that it was hard to know if they were real babies or dolls. They are very popular here.

My trip is drawing to a close and the only thing left is dinner tonight and packing up for my flight home in the morning.


 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Some Paris posts

I have been out of wifi range for a few days so these posts are not quite as timely as I might have wished. Hope you enjoy anyway.

Wednesday morning:
Arrived in Paris at the crack of dawn (literally) to crap weather... cold and dreary... headed to hotel and was lucky I could check in early. I crashed for 2 hours. This was Dania's first view out our window.

I was drooling as I walked by this store!


I decided to head over to Musee D'Orsy for the afternoon. The Paris Metro is so easy. I like that the museum is small and I love the impressionists.

Dania checking out the main hall.

I enjoyed seeing Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Sissley, Van Gogh, etc. Most of the exhibitions forbid photography.
Quay D'Orsay from the museum

 I am glad this was not my first trip to Paris because the weather was certainly a downer. By the time I got out of the museum in the late afternoon, the skies had opened up.

The flowers look so cheerful in the rain.


I had made a date  to meet some of the women from an online group who were also going to the doll show for dinner. After chatting for quite a bit we went out to eat... how we ended up at an Italian restaurant no one quite understood, but the food was decent if not memorable.

We went back to the hotel where 2 of the women were staying and stayed chatting till about midnight. I was brave and took the Metro back to my hotel. It really is perfectly safe.  Bed called to me!

Thursday:
Another cold day but at least the sun was shinning. I was meeting the ladies for lunch at La Dupree which is a wonderful confectionery/lunch spot. They are famous for their desserts and candies. It was a charming, typical French spot. I was getting good at getting around on the Metro! After lunch I window shopped at some of the rather expensive designer stores. I had no plans for dinner so stopped off at a local grocery store and picked up some stuff. I really hate eating out by myself so this was perfect... and an early night was called for.

Friday:
Of course today was much warmer and sunny... it was the first day of the doll show and I was going to be indoors most of the day!!! The adventure of the day was finding the new hotel. I told the doorman from the Marriott that I needed to go to Novotel Est. He did seem to understand as his English was impeccable.... somehow the cab driver heard Gare de L'est... not quite the same. After a driving tour of the city I arrived only to find out that my room which should have been ready, was not. Oh well. I had a tea to go to that afternoon and I had already dressed for it.

to be continued...