Friday, May 22, 2015

The View From my Adirondack

I have always loved Adirondack chairs, to me they just say beach. I decided that our place in Ft. Myers needed one, we are not on the beach, but close enough, we are on a pond, near the beach!  After a little research online, I found that the local Ace Hardware offered a smaller version, that looked like it would be perfect! Some assembly required.....

 I decided to stain it to match the other furniture, BEFORE I put it together.

 And it fit perfectly in the corner, right in front of one of our picture windows...
I decided to go back and purchase the ottoman, assembly on that was much easier!

The view from the Adirondack...... Ahhhhh....

 We love to watch the pond, and have named some of the resident birds.  

Our neighbor had finished the area at the back of his condo with these awesome shell shaped stepping stones....of course I loved it and wanted to continue it to our property. 

 So our neighbor shared their stones with us and we put this together! How nice is that and how good does this look? Awesome, huh?!

This last trip, I was sitting in my Adirondack and noticed one of the smaller gators sunning himself under that middle palm tree...
 As I was watching him, I noticed something off to our left in the pond, just behind our took MANY photos, to finally catch it, it would come up for only a second, then quickly disappear...

 What in the world is THAT??!?
It really freaked me out, I labeled him a pond creature and sent a pic to our daughter Jess, a veterinarian....she seemed as freaked out as I was!! She mentioned at work, and one of her coworkers who is familiar with Florida, says it is a Bottle Nose Turtle (or Florida Softshell Turtle)! I looked it up, and sure enough that was it! Jess also warned us that they can be quite aggressive!
*Picture from Google
*Picture from Google
Okay, so we will continue to view the pond from the Adirondack, inside....where it is safe!!  :) (and VERY comfortable!)
Lily even likes it, she uses the ottoman as a ladder!!

What does the view from YOUR Adirondack look like??


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Seeing Spring Flowers and Thinking about Shells!

Sanibel Community Center offers a class every Monday from 10 am-12 pm.  I have told myself for years, that I was going to check this out!  Finally I listened to myself and went to the class on our last visit 'Home!' What fun it was! The side of the Community Center has this awesome mural complete with palm tree umbrellas, the beach, and of course, shells.

 I 'read up' on the class, and found that they welcome donations, so I came with a box of shells to donate. I was welcomed by a several very friendly ladies who were very excited about the shells, and the instructor, who offered me a tour of the center and all of their projects.... 


 keep in mind these are all made from shells, and so beautiful!  These crafts are made by volunteers for sale at the shell show once a year, all proceeds go back into the community center for supplies.

These ladies meet every Monday, from 10 am until 3 pm and just create! Some of them have been doing it for more than 20 years!
 This pic was taken early, in a very short time, this table was full of ladies....all so friendly, and excited to explain what they were doing...they make animals, arrangements, even jewelry!

Everyone was so friendly and very willing to show what they were doing, I can certainly see myself as part of this group when I finally get the chance to really retire! I could do this for hours!  They have all the supplies you would want, organized and labeled...

 Even keep already made flowers for future use...

 There was a table set aside for the class, with everything you need.  You can make flowers, or animals. 

I have attempted to make flowers, but had lots of difficulty making them look right....I learned so much! I learned that all shells have a direction, and each flower should be made of shells going the same direction, and of course size.  This makes for a much more uniform flower.
Here is my first attempt at a coquina flower....rough but it will take practice once you learn the technique...
Then we made kitten paw flowers....

My favorite was the dosinia flowers we made next...The very center is made from crushed shells that have been mixed with paint!

One of the ladies had come up with an idea and was making many of these awesome cats, The head is a pair of dosinias, with coquina for ears, connected to a paper fig body, and of course, kittens paws for feet, a pipe cleaner was used for the tail! How awesome is this??

 The dosinia flower I made in class I gave to our neighbor who is currently recovering in the hospital from Surgery.  I found this shadow box at my favorite store and it was a perfect fit!
It says " Who needs snowflakes when you have Seashells"

Ok, note to self (and hubby) when you see those dosinias on the beach, pick them up! It gives you a whole new perspective on what you see on the beach!  I couldn't wait to try this at home....
So I made my Mom a dosinia flower for Mother's Day!

I learned so much, and got so excited about all of I promised I will be back, I think I found my next career!  Now when I look at flowers, I immediately try to figure out how to recreate it in seashells! I have a long way to go to make the BEAUTIFUL flowers that these ladies do...practice, practice, practice!

Notice how similar this magnolia is to the dosinia?.....hmmmm maybe a cone inverted in the center? What do you think?

The class is at Sanibel Community Center (next to Island Cow) EVERY Monday (except during shell show week) from 10 am to noon, it is free, you only pay $2 per stem, if you take them with you, to cover supplies. What a great idea, all proceeds go back into the community center! Take them some shells or vases you are getting rid of.  Go check it out, you will not be disappointed!