Monday, November 30, 2009

The End Of The Giveaway

The giveaway has ended and it's time to get my favorite mini-pitcher out for the drawing. This little pitcher is really the creamer in a set of ceramic ware consisting of sugar bowl, napkin holder, large serving platter and salt and pepper shakers. I've never used the creamer as it held over a cup of cream and, let's face it, just how much cream does one put in a cup of coffee or tea ? But I loved the pattern and the shape of the pieces, guess it was an impulse buy !
On to the draw and the process thereof...
Entry slips are filled out and folded into neat little triangles, so each slip is equal and has the same amount of surface area and corners.

A list is prepared placing each entrant into the numerical position in which their comment was made. My mini pitcher will be used as a receptacle for the drawing slips, mainly because it is not too big but not so small that I can't get my hand into it, two very important criteria.
Above . . . All entrants are now in place awaiting the fickle hand of fate.
And the "fickle hand of fate" reaches in and extracts the First Draw . . .

Ta Da . . . and the winner is number 4 . . . Bridget !!!

Once again the fickle hand of fate reaches and snags yet another slip . . .

And 2nd draw goes to number 8 . . . Cindy !!!
CONGRATULATIONS !!! Bridget you have won your choice of earrings. Cindy you have won a pair of my handcrafted earrings but until I hear from Bridget I can't say which pair will be yours...will let you know as soon as I hear.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Maybe I'm a prude but there are just some things I am not all that at ease with and last night I came in contact with one. Usually when I visit my blog and notice there's a new follower it is a moment of jubilation and at first this was the case, that is until I saw the avatar of my new follower. It was obviously a pornographic blogger, and I have a sinking suspicion that it is a child pornography site as the genitalia photographed in their avatar was that of a child...that and the fact that their blog was called "BabyBoySex". At first I thought perhaps I was over reacting and decided to check out the facts, however upon clicking their blog link a pop-up warning appeared cautioning me that the site was X Rated, contained material that some might find offensive and gave me 2 options; to either continue or to cancel. Being the prude that I am I chose to cancel out, feeling that the pop-up warning was proof enough of the nature of this new follower.

Why he or she chose to follow my blog baffled me, there is nothing on or about my blog that would be of interest to this individual, other than the jollies they might get of posting their distasteful avatar onto a family orientated blog site. This left me with the dilemma of how to rid my blog of this piece of vulgarity, fortunately Google Blogspot enables one to block an offensive follower, and though doing so left me back at my original followers head count it was well worth it. I guess the immaturity of some people never fails to amaze me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Thanksgiving is a time to reflect upon all the things we are thankful for, the blessings that we so often overlook. As families come together to share in the traditional turkey dinner (or whatever traditional dinner we might have adopted) we may consider ourselves blessed with the abundance of food on our table, the roof over our heads or all the material items that we are fortunate enough to possess. However these are not nearly as important as those who are around us, the wealth of love that we have in our family and friends, those dear faces that no amount of money can replace. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for each and everyone of them.

A HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL...may you have a great many blessings to count.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Don't Forget to Enter my November Giveaway !

Just a reminder that the week is flying by and my Giveaway will be over on November 29th. To enter my giveaway and have a chance to win a pair of handcrafted 2 things are required :

  1. You must be a follower of my blog

  2. Leave a comment at November Giveaway post. Be sure to give me a way that I can reach you should you be the lucky winner.

Remember there are 2 prizes and therefore 2 winners. The first draw will have their pick between the 2 pair of earrings and the 2nd draw will receive the pair that remains.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

And The Bands Played On

Photo above...Strike up the Band ! Southeast High School Marching Band.

It's Sunday and I'm tired. All of Saturday was spent standing as I had volunteered to meet and greet people at my Creative Arts Association's "Holiday Art Show". Granted it was a small show with less than 20 artists and crafters participating but the show had definitely been turned into an event with the participation of the local Lakewood Ranch Garden Club and several bands from our area's Southeast High School. Our ever lovely Jeanne Walker somehow managed to charm Southeast High into allowing their amazing bands to preform at our show and also to provide a fund raiser for the bands themselves. Yes I did say "Bands", Southeast started out by serenading our event with their unbelievable orchestra, then followed with their amazing Jazz Band and wrapped up with their awesome Marching Band. What a performance, I can not begin to tell you how totally awesome these young adults are. In addition to this extravaganza, our fantastic Diva of Charm, Jeanne, also finagled Starbuck's Coffee to act as one of our illustrious sponsors and provide complimentary coffee to all that attended.
Photo below...early morning set up of the Garden Club.

Photo above...Our Creative
Arts information booth with complimentary Starbuck's Coffee.
Photo Below...Setting up the Masseuse area...yes there were even free massages provided by a local message parlor.

As things outside were being placed into proper position, the artists inside were busy setting up their tables and displays.

Photo above and below...Jeanne Walker's display of her architectural art pieces.

Photo below...Pastels done by the talented Marie Gruber

photo below...Astounding woodwork by Jim O'Donnell

Photo below...the booth of another talented wood-crafter, Harry Bandish

Photo below...Janet Jarzyna's gorgeous jewelry booth

Photo below...stone sculpture by sculptress Bonnie Elkins

Photo below...And outside things are starting to happen, including the free massages.

Photo below...Southeast High School gets it's bake tent ready while their bands begin to warm up.

Photo below...People start coming , the band is playing and things are starting to swing.

Photo below...unfortunately this shot turned out fuzzy, guess I must have moved.

Photo below...Drums and more drums. Southeast High's drum corp.

All in all, a fantastic day. It felt like I greeted a thousand people, I know I gave directions at least 600 times on how to find the public restrooms !!! Today I am literally whupped, but very happy !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lingering At The Lodge

Photo above...Taken from behind Linger Lodge, looking up the Braden river.

Today was a day to relax and wind down. John had a golf game, the first one in several weeks, which left me on my own and with time to do as I wished, at least for awhile. Not long ago I had my longer hair cut short and have found myself fighting with a few annoying wisps that appeared to have a will of their own, refusing to go into place. It had been my intention to return to the salon and have a slight nip and tuck done to these reluctant strays and since I would be out and about I wanted to drop into my local church and offer a few prayers of thankfulness for all that I've been blessed with. Afterward it would be home again to catch up on laundry and whatever else that screamed out to me, demanding attention.

I had barely returned home, threw a load of wet towels into the wash and was folding up clean laundry, that had overnighted in the drier, when my darling hubby returned from golf. Seemed like a very short game, it wasn't even lunch time yet. Well, as they say; "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry". (from 18th-century poet, Robert Burns ; "The best laid plans o'mice an' men Gang aft a-gley." ... thankfully we no longer talk this way.)

Photo above...The back of Linger Lodge with its screened in, outside dining deck. The inside of this establishment could make a whole blog in itself with all its taxidermy bobcats, armadillos, rattlesnake skins and alligator hides

In the end it all worked out to my advantage as John treated me to lunch at The Linger Lodge camp ground and restaurant. Located on the Braden River, Linger Lodge is a quirky restaurant that has been around since about 1945, it has its history, its followers and a scenic view of the local river.

Photo above...Taken from behind Linger Lodge looking down the Braden River.

NOTE: In my last post, regarding my Blog Giveaway, I failed to mention when it would end and the drawing made. Rest assured that I do not intend to drag the giveaway out until I reach 200 followers, as that might take a very long time. I've had to skip the week of Nov. 26th as that is our thanksgiving and it will be a pretty hectic week for everyone. The deadline to enter will be on November 29th and the drawing will be held on November 30th. I will contact the person who wins the first draw to find out which pair of earrings they would like and then the 2nd pair will go to whoever's name comes up in the second draw.

Monday, November 16, 2009


November is here and has made it half way through its course on the calendar. It is apparent, at least to myself, that the holiday season of 2009 is going to be fast and furious, a flurry of activity and days speeding by faster than supersonic jets.

I recall a promise made in October that I would have another Blog Giveaway and so the time has finally come for that promise to be fulfilled. In this November giveaway I offer up not one but two pairs of my handcrafted earrings. The first draw will win the pair of their choice and the second draw will receive the pair that remains. These are dainty jewels, crafted from Czech firepolished faceted glass beads, and feature petite light weight dangles that can be worn comfortably all day. The earwires are my own handcrafted shepherd hook earrings, I always liked to make my own as it allowed me the freedom to incorporate any bead or combination of beads that I fancied, it also allowed me to finish off the hanging loop however I desired an open spiral, the shape of a heart, star or flower, or simply a standard ring loop.

Though there is a close similarity between these 2 pairs of earrings they are different and unique from one another. One pair boasts gold filled wire, both in the ear hook and in the making of the dangle. It also is embellished with tiny spirals, small round beads of 14 kt. gold fill and Czech firepolished beads in bright shades of Pink Opal and Garnet Red. The other pair swings from sterling silver earwires embellished with small sterling beads and Czech firepolished beads in tourmaline light emerald green. On these dangles I used a ball tipped sterling headpin to stack the firepolished beads with tiny Bali sterling silver Daisy spacers. For some reason this combination of yellow topaz, light emerald and dark emerald Czech FP beads was one of my most popular sellers, back when I sold my jewelry that is, now I create it solely for my own enjoyment and to present as gifts to family and friends.

Like last time my rules are very simple:
1. You must actually be a follower of my blog (this is a simple procedure, just click on the follow button and continue through the next 2 click steps of "Follow" and "Done") If you are already on my followers list, then just proceed to step 2.
2. You need to leave a comment on this post and give me some way of contacting you. If you wish this information to remain hidden you can contact me by e-mail through my etsy shop AlmostPrecious Beading and Jewelry Making Supplies.

That's all there is to it, no going to my shop and hearting it and then choosing your favorite item and returning to my blog to post the URL of that item. No visiting other sites or blogs. I've tried to keep this as simple as possible as my aim is to get my blog following up to at least 200 followers before the year is over...I have my fingers crossed and I hope you all will help me reach this dream.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Wanna Be Philosopher

photo above...old passport photo from 20 years ago.

Today, for the first time in ages, I visited my Blogger profile page and was surprised to see that my occupation was listed as a "Wanna-be-Philosopher". Interesting. Wasn't sure how that came about as it was not anything I had intentionally entered. Upon checking further I realized this was deduced from some of the interests that I had listed such as : arts and crafts, reading, gardening, walks in the country, day dreaming. I suppose it all fits into the realm of Philosophy, but then I realized that there wasn't much information about myself in those brief synopsises of disjointed words.

So here's a tiny bit of bio info:
I am an American citizen, but I was born on the beautiful island of Sicily, in the city of Messina. I still have family there, aunts and cousins. My mother too was born there, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. Why she left her family and the island of her birth is hard to say and a secret that she carried with her to her grave. Though I have a father, a biological father as most children do, he abandoned my mother and me when I was just a baby. Mom was Italian through and through, dark hair, brown eyes and named Antonietta Clelia. Father was American from the southern states east of Texarcana, he was tall, brown hair, green eyes and named Olen Webster. He also had a fickle and roaming heart. Upon returning to the USA he met and supposedly fell in love with another woman, abandoning his legal wife and infant daughter in a far off country that was still licking its wounds from world war II. Oh yes I forgot to mention that my father was in the military, a Sargent in the army. He had been stationed at the US embassy in Messina, Sicily, this was where he met and married my mother and where I would subsequently be born.

There are times when I wonder what my life would have been like had my mother stayed in Sicily instead of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA. Perhaps it was all meant to be, fate, destiny, things unchangeable. Mom claimed that she made the voyage with me in tow solely to locate my father and talk some sense into him, but I wonder. Anyway Olen Webster was senseless, refused to see or speak with his foreign wife and remained with his beloved whore. Mom eventually gave him his coveted divorce but she never returned to her native soil or to the family that she left behind, or at least not for a great many years and even then it was only for a short visit.
So there is a part of me that is Sicilian, perhaps that wanna be philosopher and artist within me, and another part of me is American, the pieces seem to fit together like a strange jigsaw puzzle.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Birds On The Bay

As some of you are aware, Wednesday's post was about a trip out to our local Longboat Key and to Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant where I had the pleasure and a rare opportunity to photograph a most willing bird model. The lovely Snowy Egret has definitely left a lasting impression upon me.

However there were other birds and other sights to see in the nearby vicinity and one of those sights includes the charming southern architecture of cracker style homes. For those unfamiliar a Cracker refers to a local Floridian, one who was born in this south Dixie peninsula. The term Cracker dates back to the days when Florida cowboys used long whips to herd cattle. The whips were frequently snapped making a loud noise much like a"crack" that split the air and commanded the attention of any stray. Hence the cowboys were called "Crackers" and now that terminology is used to mean someone born and raised in the state of Florida.

Most of Wednesday had been a gray, overcast day with spurts of showers, but occasionally the sun would break through and make a brief appearance.

Photo above...The view from Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant's small outdoor garden area overlooks the dock and the bay with its scattering of small islands. You may recall yesterday's blog about my Snowy Egret friend who was undecided as to if he wished to sit out here or elsewhere, he finally decided upon dockside dining.

Photo below...another view of this inviting area. Can imagine it would be quite lovely at night bathed in the warm glow of the strands of small lights and Tiki torches.

Photos below...Moore's dock area allows boaters to moor their vessels and come in for a bite of lunch or dinner. Guess it is also very popular with the sea birds, as there were a number of pelicans and gulls loitering around the docks.

Photo below...ahhh, a nice stretch !

Photos below...Rare encounter! A large osprey perched atop a dead native palm tree. He looks a bit disheveled but the wind was blowing pretty good and ruffled his feathers.

My camera memory card also holds photos of some of the islands peacock population but I think those will have to wait for another day. For the most part Wednesday was a marvelous day for being a bird watcher. NOTE: many of my photos can be click on to view in larger mode in my Picasa web-albums, once there you can also click the magnify icon to enlarge the photo further. To return to this blog, just click your Go Back/Return Button on your browser toolbar.

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