Making a Basket

I went to my basket class the other day, and I remembered to take my camera. So here are a few pics of the basket making process.   Our teacher, Angie, cuts the bamboo stakes (the uprights) to the right size ahead of time for us, as well as providing instruction.

This basket has feet!   Isn’t it cute??

If you were wondering why there are quilts on the walls in the background, it is because Angie works for my niece who owns a quilt shop.

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Renaissance Fair

This past weekend we went to the Renaissance Fair in Tampa.  We had a good time and enjoyed looking at all the people in costume – both the vendors and others.  We saw a caber toss, a story teller, a juggler and more.  The highlight for us was the Pipe and Drum performance.

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Everglades Adventure

We spent a few days in the Everglades this week.  We hadn’t been there before and were really excited about our trip.  We booked a little cabin in Everglades City for three nights, booked a kitty-sitter for the boys, packed our bags and our trikes, and headed out on a four hour trip down I-75.

Everglades City is a tiny little town that thrives on tourists.  Thursday morning we took an airboat ride through the mangroves.  Our guide knew just where to find the pelicans and raccoons.  It was really fun when he cranked it up and spun the boat around the corners of the creek, spraying water and slipping the boat sideways!  Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

After that, we took a swamp buggy tour through the woods.  Here you can see the woods, our tour guide explaining things, and a deer.  Yes, there is a deer in that last picture.

Next on our schedule was a small animal sanctuary and ‘gator show.

And then, it rained.  And it poured.  The wind blew.  It rained some more.  And it poured some more.  It poured a lot more!  It started around 2:30 and it rained the rest of the day. And the evening.  and most of the night.

Friday dawned clear, cool and windy.  Very windy.  We had planned on biking the paved loop road at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park.  But with a 25 mph wind to fight, we decided to take the tram ride around the loop instead.  Our guide pointed out lots of wildlife, and gave us time to climb the tower at the far end of the loop.

This morning we loaded up the trikes, said goodbye to the pelicans and headed home.

While we were disappointed that we couldn’t bike the loop, we did have really good trip.  The kitty-boys are happy to have us home, and we are glad to be back.  

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Cats WITHOUT captions!! The internet may explode, but here they are, Bud and Topper.   Click on the pix to see them larger.

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Just Putzing Along

So, what have I been up to lately?  Nothing much.  Just putzing along.

Several months ago I bought a set of 16 Audubon prints “suitable for framing” at Barnes & Noble.  They are copies of some of his plates from the mid 1800s.  They aren’t nearly as large as the original Double Elephant Folio prints which were 39.5 inches tall by 28.5 inches wide, but still very nice.  Of course, the problem with prints suitable for framing is that you have to supply the frames.  And buying 16 frames can add up real quick – and the matting adds to the cost.  So they have been sitting in their box waiting patiently for me to come up with a plan.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted some frames at Michael’s — buy one, get one free!  They didn’t have 16 all the same size, so I got 3 different sizes.  Instead of matting, I bought a couple of rolls of gift wrap – one silver and one gold.  I put the gift wrap behind the prints and mounted them in the frames.  Then I hung them — 4 in the guest bedroom, 2 in the hall and 10 in our bedroom.  They are on the wall opposite the bed so I can gaze upon them when I wake up in the morning.

Here they are:

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The only regret I have about framing them is that it has hidden the wonderful descriptions written by Audubon that were printed on the backs of the pictures.

For example, here is what he has to say about the Trumpeter Swan:

To form a perfect conception of the beauty and elegance of these Swans, you must observe them when they are not aware of your proximity, and as they glide over the waters of some secluded inland pond.  On such occasions, the neck, which at other times is held stiffly upright, moves in graceful curves, now bent forward, now inclined backwards over the body.  Now with an extended scooping movement the head becomes immersed for a moment, and with a sudden effort a flood of water is thrown over the back and wings, when it is seen rolling off in sparkling globules, like so many large pearls.  The bird then shakes it wings, beats the water, and as if giddy with delight shoots away, gliding over and beneath the surface of the liquid element with surprising agility and grace.  Imagine, Reader, that a flock of fifty Swans are thus sporting before you, as they have more than once been in my sight, and you will feel, as I have felt, more happy and void of care than I can describe.  

To read the complete entry on the trumpeter swans by JJ Audubon, you can visit the Darlington Digital Library’s copy of his Ornithological biography, or An account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America.

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