Sunday, January 20, 2019

Making Changes (Key West, FL)

I'm having a hard time believing it has been almost 2 months since my last post.  Most of the time has been spent on base.  Between taking morning walks, sitting outdoors with the cats, and just enjoying this great weather....well, I don't know where the time has gone.  We have also visited the downtown area a couple of times, but I'll wait until the on posting those photos.  

To catch-up:  we celebrated Christmas in dry camping and moved the next day to full hook-ups.  A great Christmas surprise for us to receive a site on the waterfront.
I was going to post for New Year's, but I was distracted with the views from our front window and the announcement that the base was having a Yard and Crafts sale in January.  I reserved a table and became quite busy with my projects.
Even Dusty loved our new location.  At least once a day, he insisted on walking across the road to the picnic table (with or without us)
Dan and Dusty
where he continued to tell us what a great place this was and can we stay here forever?
I'm quite sure that Max and Hitch were not as impressed with their new location,
but they managed well enough with the openness of our site.  The smaller and tighter our site, the happier these two were about being outdoors.
  I have to admit that the sunsets were wonderful
with plenty of water activity going on right up to the moment the sun sizzled into the sea.
We are often up before sunrise especially when we are dry camping, so we were able to get some morning photos during our walks
sunrise over the marina
The last time we were here, I rarely saw a pelican around the base.
I'm happy to say they are back and just as much fun to watch as before.
We saw this Little Blue Heron several times hunting for lizards in the rocks.  He was very focused on his hunting and ignored the people nearby.  I look for him during my walks now that we have rotated back into dry camping.
 We will probably in dry camp here for about 3 weeks before rotating again since there are over 150 on the waiting list for full hook-ups.  Which is fine with us.  We have a great spot on a corner site with shade in the mornings and evenings.
one more sunrise
Who could ask for more?

On The Cutting Board
Okay, now to talk about the changes that I mentioned in the title.

I have decided to close my Etsy shop this year.  As of December, I am officially a senior citizen and have filed for social security.  Since it is starting in February and the orders have slowed down, I thought this was a good time to close shop.

I am signed up for a Yard and Craft sale next weekend that's being held on base.  I don't expect a whole lot of business, but with some luck, I hope to sale quite a few items.  In preparation for closing down my shop, I have been finishing up the last of my UFOs that I started last year for the shop.  Here are the last 8 Happy Campers:

I have also been cleaning out my storage tubs.  I have been carrying around polyester filling and stuff bear parts (eyes, joints, buttons) for too many years.  
Simply Pitiful Bear Angels
So far, I have made 7 bears and I probably could make another two with what is left.  I'll see how well this group of bears do at the sale before I decide to make the last two.  
 I'm hoping the pitiful look will melt a few hearts and they will find a new home soon.
The wings were suppose to be solid, but this seemed like a good opportunity to use up some scraps with a crazy quilt look.  I also found this to be a great way to practice a more free style embroidering with an English cottage garden theme.
Photos setup for Etsy Shop
 I often started with just a line for the stems.  I spent a lot of time going through my books and just deciding I should try making this flower.
 Half the time, I had no idea how they were going to turn out.
 I enjoyed embroidering the wings so much that I might try this again with a crazy quilt.
I'm in the mood for cleaning.  I have already cleaned out my files and supplies.  I'm definitely looking forward to retiring my handmade shop.  I'll finally have time to finish many of my UFO quilts and cross-stitch projects that I have been packing around for many years.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Looking An Alligator In The Eye (Key West, FL)

Well, not quite in the eye, but close enough to get some good photos using my telephoto lens.  On our way to Key West, we spent two nights at the Midway Campgrounds so we could spend the day exploring the area.  With 26 RV sites, we almost had the place to ourselves except for the one family that decided to park only two sites away from us.  

We visited the Oasis Visitor Center at the Big Cypress. just to view the alligators.  
There were only two close enough for us to see from the walk area.  
This guy was directly under us so I got some good close-ups of his leathery skin.

I'll never complain about dry skin again!
This is the second one.  The water was clear enough for us to see his legs floating in the water.  Perfectly still.....
Okay, back to Key West... We are enjoying our days in the sun by taking walks around the base, sitting outside with our cats, and watching the sunsets.  We have only been downtown a couple of times.  Between different celebrations, crowds, and too hot to walk, we decided we can wait until it is a little cooler.
We have rotated twice from full hook-ups to one night stays in dry camping. 
We have been very lucky with cold fronts cooling off the area just in time for our dry camping making for a perfect night's sleep with open windows. 
Since our arrival, the weather has been above average.  No complaints since I have been monitoring the weather in Sutherlin, OR.  It has been a wee bit chilly there.
We are trying to get our walks in early which is perfect for viewing all the wildlife.
The Ospreys have been busy building their nest.  Soon, we will be able to see little ones begging for food.

This Egret was up early looking for handouts and not having much luck.  
So, that's it for now.  Not a whole lot going on and yet, I go to bed every night feeling like I had a full day enjoying paradise.

On The Cutting Board
I guess I am doing more than just sitting around and watching sunsets. 
I am getting ready for the Yard and Crafts sale.  Hopefully, the MWR will schedule one in mid December.
Small Happy Campers $12 - $12.95
I have 25 new Happy Campers ready for my table in addition to my items listed in my shop.
Medium Happy Campers $14
I'm hoping to sell as many as possible before I need to list them online.
Large Happy Campers $14.95 - $15
While I wait, I decided to make three muslin bear angels with crazy quilted wings and bent halos, so back to sewing!
Happy Quilting!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Bitten by Paradise (Key West, FL)

I'm not feeling very chatty, but it is time to get caught up on our travels.  After my last posting, we spent 3 weeks in Peace River, FL.  We spent most of our time watching the river rise and slowly go back down.
Flooded river with only a couple of inches of sign at the boat ramp showing.
We were in no danger of waking up to find the river at our front door.  Except for a few rainy days, our site stayed very dry.
Same sign after river went back to normal.
About half of the campground was flooded during the first week of our stay.  Walking was a little more interesting.  The flooding attracted all sorts of birds including a Spoonbill and I saw my first Wood Storks.
flooded campground
same road with water receding
Last week, we moved to Key West for our winter stay.  
I'm so happy to be back that I haven't had much desire to go off base to explore.  I mean - just look at that view out our front window.  Who could ask for more?
And my walks in the morning have been delightful.
We did take a drive around town by the third day.  As you can see, Key West is back to its normal lifestyle.
We haven't seen a single chicken on base, but we saw quite a few of roosters, hens, and these three chicks on the south side of the Key.
I think there are more iguanas now on the base then there was the last time we were here. 
For now, I'm happy to just relax and breath in the sea air.
On The Cutting Board
I am working on new Happy Campers for the Yard and Crafts Sale in November.  I cut out a large stack of mug rugs last winter then spent this summer designing and embroidering most of them.
I'm hoping to sell quite a few before I need to list them in Etsy.
Well, it is about time to take our cats outside and enjoy the cooler weather as the sun goes down.  Tomorrow, I will pull out the sewing machine and start assembling the Happy Campers.
Happy Quilting!

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