Category Archives: Photography

Early Morning Walking in Central Florida

Sometimes known as Paradise on Earth…

We spent the night at Loew’s Portofino Bay hotel in Orlando, and these are pictures I took on my daily 30-minute walk after sunrise, except for the first one, which was the night before. The lighting is distinctly different! Also, we’ve been having a few days of seriously needed rain.

As we discussed in a prior post, traveling makes you also notice and appreciate more about your own home and surroundings. As I took my 30-minute walk this morning back at home in North Central Florida, I passed by this beautiful etched glass door on a professional office building I walk by every day, but I never really noticed it before!

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etched glass doors

Pick Your Passion, 2nd Year in a Row: Quilting, Woodworking, Football, and Bluegrass!

Last year about this time, I blogged about the local Quilting and Bluegrass Festival, here. This year it was very similar, but more so!

Similarities: the Festival was held on a day when our college town had a football game. The Festival showcases 100+ gorgeous quilted works of art. One of the bands that played last year came back:  Patchwork. The vendors and store owners in the center had cool crafty eye candy to ponder and peruse, and the quilts were truly marvelous to behold!

Skip was busy helping out with an Eagle Scout project, which consisted of building some chairs for a community group home (he loves it when the younger generation wants to do woodworking),

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Eagle Scout woodworking project

so I sashayed up to the local shopping center to see some quilts.

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I entered three raffles, hope I win them!

Several of these pics include an information sheet pinned to the quilt, so you can zoom up and see the details, thereby crediting those who produced these amazing articles.

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Celestial Soda Pop
Gator Life jenny skip
Gator Life by Lucy Goddard-Teel
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cool crafts in the corridors
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gorgeous smaller quilts
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The Hubby Quilt

 

I learned there are several quilt guilds in the area, holding meetings at various times, day or night. So there ought to be one that fits the schedule of just about any quilter or  wannabe-quilter in town.

 

 

Overshot jennyskip
This one features Overshot squares made with fabrics woven by the quilt maker
raffle Jennyskip
This quilt is to be raffled off in May…
australian dreams jennyskip
“Australian Dreams” by Charlotte Mason
hand quilted Lockward jennyskip
“The Bear Went Over the Mountain” HAND-QUILTED by Doris Lockward

 

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Skinny MInnie table runner

I bought this cute mini-table runner from one of the vendors. It’s a great little project to place on a side table in the house during football season. Speaking of which, gotta go watch the game…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On October 31

Skip, who is somewhat tone deaf, was trying to tell me about the famous Halloween Song that they always sang when he was a youngster.

“You know, the song “On October 31?” he said.

” No, I’ve never heard of it.” I said.

“You know, this one…” and he started singing it. It went like this.

“Oh, yes, that one. I didn’t know it actually had words.” I said.  “It’s from the Peer Gynt Suite by Grieg, right?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

Same famous melody, two totally different contexts!

“Music Time” at Meade Heights Elementary School in Ft. Meade, Maryland in the mid-60’s, was sitting in the same seats in our classroom and listening to LP’s played on a portable record player. There were no visuals. Perhaps, as first or second or third graders, the teacher would have us draw what we felt when we heard the music. But I was never introduced to those lyrics that were well-known to Skip. Wonder if it was a regional thing?

Thinking, on the last day of October, how quickly this month evaporated, and that soon it will be gone altogether.

Other October things:

Walkathon jennyskip
Making Strides Breast Cancer Awareness Walkathon

Lately, October has been the month of Breast Cancer Awareness, and every year we have more friends and relatives to whom we dedicate our service and consideration. Here’s hoping for a cure!

As for crafting, it’s been a few weeks of machine embroidery  on dish towels and future table runners. Designs from Embroidery Library.

Grill Sergeant dish towel jennyskip
Grill Sergeant Dish Towel
embroidered awesome dish towel jennyskip
Flippin’ awesome dish towel
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dish towels out of Kokka fabric

Kokka is a Japanese fabric company. Every once in a while I’ll go to a sewing expo somewhere and find a vendor who has Kokka fabrics–usually in 1/2-yard packages that cost about as much as a yard of other fabrics, but they are so darn cool!

Kokka dish towels jennyskip
I think these are from Kokka too.
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Dish towels, green theme
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future table runner on Realtree camo fabric

The red and green dish towels were machine embroidered on packaged sewn dish towels from JoAnn Fabric. They are sturdy cotton with a loop on one corner for hanging. The beige dish towels were also pre-made, but I forgot where they came from. The others were sewn from fabric. The table runner is a Realtree cotton duck cloth fabric remnant from JoAnn’s.

Happy October 31 everyone!

It was a Mushroomy Monday

Now it’s almost dark at the beginning of the morning walk. For a few days it was cooler. Now it’s hothouse-hot again, and the humidity is above 90% every morning. Sigh.

Mushrooms are flourishing in our neighborhood.

mushroom jenny skip
white dish mushroom

Almost every yard I pass by has a few.

mushroom jenny skip
UFO-looking mushroom

Ooooh…fungus! Even though I like the kind of mushrooms you can buy in the store, I wouldn’t have a clue about how to forage fungi that you can eat without keeling over, poisoned to death (see Death Cap article–says people who ate it found it to be especially delicious!)

button mushroom jennyskip
cute as a button

This one looks like some that grew in a ring-shaped formation at my mom’s house. Whenever she saw mushrooms growing in the yard, she would make haste to go kick them down. I didn’t see any fairy rings in the neighborhood as I walked. Apparently only certain varieties grow in the ring formation (see Wikipedia Fairy Ring article.) 

yellow mushroom jenny skip
yellow mushroom
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lacy mushrooms
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puffy blimp of a mushroom
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thick yellow crusty mushroom

One of my memorable scared-half-to-death moments was watching the 1960’s Japanese-dubbed-into-English horror flick “Attack of the Mushroom People.” After a walk in the 97% humidity, scratching No-see-um bites and scuffling through lichen-encrusted twigs that fell onto the lawn, it’s easier to imagine the fate of those poor shipwrecked folks in the movie!

mushroom jennyskip
looks like a human ear mushroom
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mushroom bud

I wanted to go to a gazetteer online and possibly identify these varieties, but after looking, I found so many! Even some of the more seasoned researchers put disclaimers on their sites, because they might misidentify some varieties. So I won’t even attempt to post the correct names of these guys here. I never realized there are hundreds of types of mushrooms. They are beautiful, but also a little creepy, too. Maybe in the future we’ll discover amazing medicinal properties in some of these little gems.

 

Early Morning Walking Before and After Hermine Made Landfall

Didn’t want to let a hurricane keep me from my morning walk, did I?

Yesterday morning as I walked in the neighborhood (Central Florida) it was sort of misty and drizzling–“mizzling” as they call it.

mizzle pre-Hermine
walking in the pre-Hermine mizzle September 1

We did all the usual hurricane preparedness things: (1) stocking up at the grocery store (other shoppers  were buying gallon plastic jugs of water and batteries, my cart was full of BOGO Klondike bars… #thugmormon) (2) making sure we had plenty of pop-top cans of Fancy Feast, the cats’ preferred food, and Super Clump litter, (3) located the car cell phone charger…

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pre-Hermine morning sun

Usually it’s a false alarm in our area, as we are sufficiently inland. But the power went off at two-something AM, and it’s still off at almost noon Friday. Rain bands are still swirling across the state. Right now it’s sunny; two minutes ago rain was pelting our roof like a barrage of bullets.

Hermine fallout
tree debris this morning, September 2

We drove around town charging our cell phones and checking to see which McDonalds’ were open, and saw lots of tree fallout and a fallen tree blocking a side road.

The mirror and glass shelving were supposed to be delivered today to finish the display cabinet, so we don’t know if the glass company will chance it.

display cabinet
display cabinet waiting for its final accoutrements

Hoping everyone is safe and weathering the storm as it makes its way north and east.

 

Creativity on Island Time

The Family Beach Weekend of 2016 has come and gone; the flurry of activity in planning, purchasing, and preparing has now evaporated into the vivid orange, pink and purple Gulf of Mexico sunsets…but we have great memories of our creative pursuits.

Photography: it’s not hard to get a beautiful shot in this place! Everything is incredibly photogenic.

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Captiva sunset

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Creative posturing at the pool     (photo by Gabriel M)

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Tiny hermit crab
Sewing/quilting/knitting: We always try to scout out creative hubs when we travel around, and we happened upon a great little shop on Sanibel Island called Three Crafty Ladies. This unassuming little storefront opened into a treasure trove of art yarns (at very affordable prices!), a wide selection of fabric and notions, specialty patterns, artisan beads and jewelry-making supplies, paints, charcoal, pastels, brushes, lots of art supplies, shells, and all arranged in a very organized and gorgeous display. I picked some things for future projects.

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some fab fat quarters from Three Crafty Ladies

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San Clemente bag pattern designed by Stephanie Prescott of A Quilter’s Dream copyright 2008

Traffic Jam Jennyskip
“Late Night Traffic Jam” Row by Row Experience from Three Crafty Ladies
This little kit is a cute reminder of sea turtle nesting at the beaches this time of year.  A Row by Row Experience is something like a Shop Hop, where you can visit quilting shops in a circuit and get each shop’s kit, then assemble all of the kits into a quilt made up of each row. Or you can just make a wall hanging or table-top quilt from the single kit.

Three Crafty Ladies has many cute little designer kits, featuring beach and Florida wildlife motifs, all fabulous!

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signature fabric plate from Three Crafty Ladies
This little cotton sateen fabric plate, also from Row by Row Experience, can be incorporated into a quilting project or sewn onto the back of it.

Art: Creativity abounds in these beach towns (Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers). Everywhere we looked, we saw paintings, sculptures, all sorts of arts and crafts. The ceiling fan paddles were painted with tropical fish, and murals and wall art decorated the whole interior at Rosies’ Cafe. Every restroom had a whimsical seaside theme. Displays of shells and wildlife showed up in lobbies and hallways.

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painting of Blue Heaven in our hotel living room
Creative Cuisine: Even the humblest of eating places had great, creative food selections!

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Shrimp and grits from Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill at Captiva
We had our family dinner at the Doc Ford’s in Sanibel. Both had gourmet offerings, and the one at Captiva even had a book signing event going on, with the prolific author (and restaurant owner) who created the character Doc Ford, Randy Wayne White.

Improv: was a surprising highlight of the weekend — surprising because they pulled together a show on the last night without any planning prior to the trip! All the kids and grown-ups enjoyed this fun and hilarious stand-up show with plenty of audience input.

Improv Show jennyskip.com
Improv Show
Family members who came from far and wide have gone back to their homes.  Some are already starting the fall school semester or will start next week, while others have the whole month of August left of summer. We had a great, creative family beach weekend!

Homemade Holiday

Just a little quickie post to recognize some Christmas gifts that were given to us, that were crafty and/or homemade.

We don’t want to seem unappreciative of the not-homemade gifts that were given to us, but we are especially excited that some of our family members made things to give us, or gave us things that were crafts made by someone. Crafting is rather a new thing for us. We’ve always liked crafting in our spare time, but now we have more spare time. We can try to do crafts we never had time to do before.

candy cane ornament
Candy cane ornament on the tree from granddaughter “A”

This candy cane ornament was a hand-made gift from our granddaughter. It looks like plaster of Paris (?) or a ceramic or clay shape, painted, with a hole drilled in the top and a silver ribbon added for hanging from the tree. Lovely handiwork!

crafty watch
This is a watch from grandson “C” that he bought at his school’s Christmas craft fair

I was blown away that grandson “C” chose this crafty watch for Me! at his school’s Christmas craft fair. It’s got a red (his favorite color) leather band with beads and a burnished metal butterfly charm that matches the watch, with a snap closure. Love it!

Christmas Cornhole craftsbyjennyskip
grandsons playing a game of Christmas cornhole on the lawn

Kids and grandkids played cornhole at our family Christmas party, using the set we made in a previous blog post:

http://craftsbyjennyskip.com/thanksgiving-food-fun-and-games/

see also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qJZQr3H7Xg

(And please subscribe to our blog and You-tube channel! Thank you!)

crocheted doily
crocheted doily from daughter-in-law Olga

We were in awe at the crochet skills that went into this gift from our daughter-in-law! The intricate, perfect, and beautiful stitches make this an heirloom piece. I’ve always been fascinated by the serene symmetry of vintage crocheted doilies. The intense blue color of this one (in real life, it looks a lot more blue than in this pic) makes it modern as well as classic.

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Food gifts for Christmas

Here we are “creating” with one of our Christmas food gifts, apple cinnamon pancake mix. This couple sent us a breakfast food package and a treat basket from the oldest Candy Shoppe in America, Ye Olde Pepper Company.

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Grandpa (AKA Santa) with some grandkids and their snowmen

Santa and some of the recipients of our Snow People project (see the post at: http://craftsbyjennyskip.com/snow-people-revisited/

Other crafty gifts we’ve gotten include artful photos, homemade sugared pecans, musical recordings, and gift cards at creative venues. It certainly is gratifying to see our posterity using their talents to create beautiful and useful things. And with this latest gift, we are reminded that…

happily ever after
Hope everyone had a happy Christmas!