Monday, March 29, 2010

Antiquarian Book Fair

A few weekends ago, I went over to St. Petersburg to attend an Antiquarian Book Fair. My Mother-in-Law had been to this annual event many times, but she didn't want to make the trip by herself. So, my husband and I decided to drive her over and make a weekend out of it. We've been to Tampa many times, but never to St. Petersburg. I have been to St. Petersburg Beach, but that's further west. We drove across the state in the rain on that Friday and the weather cleared up just as we hit the Book Fair for the opening night.

The event was held in an older Deco-style building near the downtown area. I loved the Women's room, which was done in black and white tile and small hexagon tiles on the floor. It reminded me of the bathroom in Grand Central Station - from years ago.

The vendor area was fully decorated and it was nice that it wasn't that crowded. We enjoyed looking through the booths of books, maps and some prints.

I loved seeing the children's books and the first booth I stopped in had a copy of  "Strawberry Girl" by Lois Lenski prominently displayed and for sale for several hundred dollars. I remember reading it when I was in grade school. I recalled that I read a lot of Lois Lenski's books, but I particularly remember that one because it inspired me to plant my own strawberry patch when I was 11 or 12. Of course that copy didn't come home with me, but I did get it from the library last week to re-read.
We went back to the Fair on Saturday morning to check out the booths we didn't get to on Friday night. Since my husband's mantra the whole drive over was, "We are not bringing anything home!" My MIL and I had been calibrated and only ended up buying one book each and my husband did agree to buying one book as a Christmas present. We were clearly restrained!!!
The rest of Saturday we spent driving around the downtown area and then visiting a very nice nature preserve that was around a large lake just south of downtown. On Sunday we headed back across the state and stopped in Arcadia for an hour or so. Just off the major route, in the historical area, are two-three blocks of antique shops. My MIL and I were able to get through a number of shops before we were ushered back to the car to resume the trip home. I'll have to try to get back there sometime because there were lots of shops and STUFF to see.
Here is my Classic Elite Yarn Knit Along project. Kind of looks just. . . BLUE. But I think I'd mentioned that I'd post my progress. I've got a few more inches to knit on the body and then I'll start on one of the sleeves. There is double moss stitch around the neck and a front button placket is also done in double moss stitch. It's been a fun project so far.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Winter Visitor

Our Winter resident Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is back and still working on the Turkey Oak, which in years past he's done a number on. Rows and rows of little holes up and down the trunk and branches of this tree in our backyard. A very ambitious fellow, but kind of hard to see - right in the middle of the picture.

I've been a bit ambitious myself in the past few weeks. With the cold snaps we've been having, I decided that I needed to finish stitching down the binding of my latest quilt so I could USE it! My "Big Print Pazazz" was not done in big prints, but in Bali fabrics I liked - 2 yard cut strips going wide to thin one way and thin to wide the other way across. Pretty simple and it helped to get me back into sewing a bit last year. I added in a few of the light thin strips to make the top wider. It has a Bali green backing - one of their 108" wide fabrics. I had it machine quilted with loops and leaves at the Olde Green Cupboard in December. The binding was put on at the end of January and I've have been working on hand stitching it down off and on since then. It's done now, except I do need to make a label for it.
The quilting is hard to see, but it's there and it's lovely.

Otherwise, I've been knitting - working on a Knit Along sweater that the Local Needle is doing. I'm using the Classic Elite yarn that the pattern calls for, Soltice, which is mostly an organic cotton. Love the yarn - nice and soft. The sweater is knit from the top down - something new for me - but the pattern is pretty clear if you pay careful attention! I didn't even notice that the pattern was labeled as "Experienced" until I had most of the yoke done. Good thing that I AM experienced, since I can't exactly breeze on up to the shop to get help or ask questions (the shop is 4+hours away). I'll try to get a picture up of this WIP soon.

With the chilly weather, Cayenne and Little Eddie have been somewhat confined to quarters - driving me crazy! One day I actually had to get in my car and leave to get some peace. They have been rather hesitant to go flying out the back sliding door onto the porch and be faced with the cold of 40 degrees. But usually by the afternoon, with the sun on part of the porch, they've been braving it. I'll leave you with a picture of them in "alert mode". What's out there in OUR backyard? Hopefully no burmese pythons passing through!