For my birthday we visited the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL just 30 minutes south of our home. An IMPRESSIVE Banyon Tree greets visitors! In 1925, Harvey Firestone gave a 4 foot Banyon Tree to Edison in their search to find a domestic source of rubber. The milky sap can be used to create rubber. Now this tree covers an acre and is the largest of it's kind in the continental US.
This is Thomas Alva Edison's (1847-1931) lab where he experimented with 1700 plants for latex to make rubber. His friend, Henry Ford also own a winter home on the property. They winter here with their families for over 60 years!
Edison had only 3 months of formal schooling, because he was too "restless." His Mother, a teacher, taught him at home. Edison was 80% deaf in both ears, probably from a childhood illness. Nevertheless, he was a prolific inventor, named the 20th Century "MAN OF THE MILLENNIUM" by LIFE Magazine. He is the ONLY person to be granted a patent every year for 65 consecutive years! He was awarded a total of 1,093 US Patents.
I was extremely impressed by the giant collection of tropical plants from all over the world. Here I am in front of a huge Staghorn Fern, just one of three hanging from this Virginia Live Oak! And I love all the ferns growing on the branches at the top right corner of this picture. A very interesting day!
I just had to share my lovely orchid! I purchased this as a tiny bare-root orchid May 2013 at the International Orchid Festival near Homestead, FL. This it the FIRST bloom and I'm thrilled with the colors! It's a stunner!
Here is a little peek at my stamping office in our new home! I was THRILLED with built-in oak shelves across one end of my room. These shelves are 12" DEEP. I stacked one row of stamp cases in front of the other AND elevated the back row with lumber so I could read the labels!!! I'M LOVIN' IT!!! That trick DOUBLED my storage!
The lumber I used was 2-1/2" wide and works PERFECT!!
I displayed some of my antique quilts and buttons on the top of the cabinets. To give the room depth, I stained the interior of the cabinets dark and painted the outside 3 coats of white to match the rest of the trim in the room. The walls are very close to Stampin' Up!'s SOFT SKY color. I'll have more views of my office in the future! Keep popping in OR SUBSCRIBE (on the right) and never miss a post or Weekly Deal!
Kelly Ann Ferb, eight days old! Giving birth to my first child changed my life - I wanted the whole world to be a safer place for her! She was a SPIRITED child and brought us lots of ADVENTURES. We love you and wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
My good friend, Kathi Hendee and her hubby, Scott, recently visited us from Rockton, IL! We had two fun days exploring the barrier islands near us! Here we are for lunch on the beach (Kathi is on the right) at South Beach Bar & Grille near Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island. The weather was PERFECT!!
The second day, the four of us took the Tropic Star Ferry from Bokeelia, Pine Island to Cabbage Key for lunch.
The Brown Pelicans & White Pelicans were waiting for us to depart. White Pelicans migrate north to Minnesota and Canada to breed in the summer. These birds are actually STANDING on a sand bar.
Here we are arriving at Cabbage Key for lunch. This island has NO cars and NO bridges. Come by boat or by a very LONGGGGGG swim!! It was CHARMING! On the ferry back, we saw Bottlenose Dolphins - ALWAYS exciting!! One Dolphin rode the ferry's wake only six feet from me. I could look in it's eye!! It all happens too fast to get a picture.
Back at the dock, Brown Pelicans were waiting for the fishermen to come in and sell their daily catch!
Back in our neighborhood on Alligator Creek, our visitors saw an Alligator sunning itself. Alligators are cold-blooded and don't move well in cool weather. We estimated this one at six feet. Alligators are a very old species - on earth at the same time as dinosaurs!
We had a such a wonderful two days with our friends!! Thanks for visiting Kathi & Scott!!
Here are my downline who attended 2014 Stampin' Up! Leadership in Houston, Tx; Audra Moncur from Roscoe, IL; Me - Nancy Ferb from Punta Gorda, FL; Michelle Miller from Rockford, IL; Barb Faulkner from South Beloit, IL.
Also attending, Linda Niemeyer from Rochelle, IL - sorry we couldn't find you for the picture, Linda!!
I'm home from a wonderful Stampin' Up! Leadership Conference! One night was Manager's Reception and Stampin' Up! rented the entire Houston Aquarium for us!! Had to show you this cute t-shirt we got plus the new HELLO, SAILOR Stamp Set!
We went on a train ride THROUGH a "Shark Tunnel" which was so interesting to see many sharks swimming all around us! This was just ONE of many AWESOME events for Leaders!! Thanks Stampin' Up!, I enjoyed every minute!!
OH MY GOSH..I had soooo much fun creating a sweet 5X5" Photo Book with My Digital Studio for our great-niece for Christmas!! It's simple, but I think Eme will love seeing herself in a book. She is two years old.
Eme's Mom has been wonderful to email us many fun pictures of Eme's first two years. I kept the book simple: same background, same matting, no journalling. It was finished in a flash!
I hope this one-of-a-kind gift will be a special keeper!! You can try My Digital Studio FREE for 30 days!
Have you noticed my posts have gotten interrupted lately? Lots is going on at our house and I'm having trouble focusing on creating. Today we getting a new Lennox Air Conditioner! I can't live in Florida without A/C!! So OUT with the old, in with the NEW, RELIABLE, high-efficiency A/C! CHA-CHING!$!$!$!$
As you may remember, we bought our neighbor's villa so we could get a pool for the HOT summers. This will be my new stamping room...eventually. I'm thrilled with this built in shelving unit!!! But not so thrilled with the finish, so I'm making it my own. I'll have "before and after" pictures when all is completed. I hardly know it's Christmas, because I've been totally immersed in flooring, paint colors, and new furniture!
I have long enjoyed gardening! I've been learning about Orchids for a year now and own 9. This is my pride and joy!! Wish this were SMELL-A-VISION because this orchid smells like lilacs!
My plant has SEVEN flower stalks, two of which are just opening!! The secret: weekly liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
Caladiums, also known as Elephant Ears, do very well here in Florida, also! They are sooo colorful!
This is also a Caladium, called AFRICAN MASK. It's dominant veining is striking! I try to do most of my gardening INSIDE of the screens. It's rather buggy here, near the Creek. Bugs love me. What are your favorite plants?
This is the cover of our youngest daughter's 8.5X11" Wedding Photo Book that I created with MY DIGITAL STUDIO. Their wedding colors were Black & White with a touch of Razzleberry.
This is a sample page showing how I dialed down the impact of the Razzleberry to make a very pale page color. I also changed the photo from Rectangular to Oval with a mat. I'm NOT "techie!" So if I can do these wonderful photo books, so can you! Click HERE for a FREE 30-day Trial of MY DIGITAL STUDIO!
I re-made my bulky, stained, 41 year old Wedding Album into a slim, sleek 8X8" Photo Book using Stampin' Up!'s MY DIGITAL STUDIO!! It contains exactly the same photos, but LOOK at the difference!
This is the cover of my personal Wedding Photo Book.
This is a sample page showing our ceremony. The page is white with a very soft Medallion as a layer behind all photos. The longest part of creating this book was scanning the photos. Did you know you can get a FREE 30-day trial of Stampin' Up!'s MY DIGITAL STUDIO? Click HERE and give it a try!
Dean and I headed out for a couple days of exploring Florida! We crossed the Everglades on the OLD Rt. 41, called Tamiami Trail connecting Tampa on the West coast to Miami on the East. Destination: the Florida Keys - 1700 islands! We visited my brother and sister-in-law, Jeff & Nancy. They are owners of Marathon Bio-Diesel. They turn used cooking oils from restaurants into eco-friendly diesel fuel. Next we headed to Key West.
We stayed in the charming Westwinds Inn near Duval Street in Key West. Lots of vegetation made it's property quiet and secluded for an evening swim in the warm pool.
A short walk took us to the FAMOUS, "crazy" Duval Street. This is Sloppy Joe's Bar, famous as a Ernest Hemingway haunt! This is the off season which means HOT & HUMID, fewer tourists & lower prices.
We strolled the Sunset Boardwalk and watched a CRAZY French sidewalk performer and his Cat Act. He had about 8 adopted stray cats he had trained to perform tricks like jumping thru this flaming hoop. Impressive!!!
The next day we toured the famous Ernest Hemingway House and Museum built in 1849-51. Hemingway, a Nobel Prize-winning author, purchased the house in 1931 for $8,000 in back taxes from the city of Key West. One VERY unique feature of Hemingway's Home is the 9' tall basement!!
Basements are unheard of in Florida b/c of low elevation and a high water table. The builder
of this home found a location 16' above sea level and built a very
substantial home of limestone excavated from it's own basement! Charming
home and gardens!!
This is the room in which Hemingway wrote. See his old typewriter on the table? He generally arose at 5:30 am to write all morning , then fished all afternoon. Hemingway loved cats. A sea Captain gave him a white, six-toed cat,
named Snowball. Extra toed cats are "polydactyl." They were thought to be "good luck." There are 40+
cats on the property, all descendants of his original six-toed Snowball!
Here is a cat on the fishing display. Though this cat does not have 6 toes, he carries the genetics for polydactylism.
Here is Hemmingway's bed with a real napping kitty. It was a cat-lover's paradise for me!
Here is a tabby in the courtyard. Most cats were friendly and tolerant of a pet. Those that weren't had their hiding places away from the tourists.
I went into the bookstore/gift shop and there was a napping cat on the bottom shelf!
This silky black cat had had enough pets for a while so she escaped to the roof! All cats are well cared for and receive veterinary care.
The Key West Lighthouse is across the street. It's said that the Lighthouse "guided" Hemingway home after long nights at Sloppy Joe's Bar!! I highly recommend the 30 minute guided tour and stroll of the gounds.
We headed home. Had a nice lunch at Sunset Bar & Grill over looking Seven Mile Bridge at Longboat Key. LOVE the uniqueness and beauty of the Keys! I'd NEVER want to be there during a hurricane, though!!! Thanks for stopping by to share my travels!
2,243,045 handcrafted cards have been deployed to our Troop by Operation Write Home since 2007! Thanks a million to all the gals that STAMPED 353 cards for TROOPS on Saturday and increased that number! You were a very productive bunch! I'm sorry my memory failed me remembering the number of cards we made last year. (I had it nowhere in my file or blog - darn.)
Extra thanks goes to Helen Rivera, our "military Mom", who is paying the postage to mail our 2 boxes of cards to OPERATION WRITE HOME!! Donating all supplies, this was my service project for the year and we'll do it again next year, God willing! Information on Operation Write Home click HERE.
My North Star Stampers demonstrator group that were able to attend Stampin' Up!'s 25th Anniversary Convention: Standing - Audra Moncur, Judy Trigg, Shari Ball, Mary Elliott, Anita Marsh, Rachel Marsh, Barb Faulkner, Susan Elston. Lower - Michelle Miller, Linda Niemeyer, Pennie Johnson, Nancy Ferb.
My hubby and I headed out for a day trip 60 mile north to Orchid-Mania near Myakka City, FL. It was my first visit and I was impressed!! 50,000 Orchids!!
Florida's warmth and humidity are perfect for orchids. After keeping 2 alive and showing new growth, I was ready to buy more. I really wanted them all because they are so exotic!! Thanks Angie for suggesting this trip - it was FUN!! If you live in Florida check them out at:
I left my craft desk and headed out with our friends in the Punta Gorda Boat Club for a paddle on the Braden River, launching from the Linger Lodge Campgrounds in Bradenton, FL (WEST coast) The weather was a pleasant 72 degrees!
The little sandy spot on the left bank is a PERFECT Alligator sunning location. I personally do not like to see an alligator while I'm in my tiny, little vinyl kayak! However, they are wild animal and disappear quickly when they see humans.
We saw LOTS of turtles, some bigger than dinner plates. I also saw a huge flock of Robins feasting on berries, getting fueled to fly north.
Into the UNIQUE "Linger Lodge" for lunch. Founded 1945. This sign is made of SNAKES! This is "old Florida," a term that means off the beaten path and well-woren!
You HAD to have a sense of humor when you read this menu..."where the food bites back!" Click on the picture to view a largre version that you can read easily.
I felt like I was being "watched" while I ate! Taxidermy everywhere!
Boring Boar and Bambi's Butt! This guy didn't leave a "tip!"
I just attended a Shoebox Swap in Cape Coral, FL sponsored by my upline, Denise Waddell (in pink) from California! It was soooo great she could extend her Stampin' Up! Leadership trip for this event!! It was a fun evening of stampin', munchin', gabbin' and sharing! Thanks to Debra who opened her home for the evening!!
Dec. 22, 2012 we were part of the Punta Gorda Isles Lighted Boat Parade - a real THRILL!!
There's my hubby as we prepare to leave with our good friends! The day was chilly by SW Florida standards.
We all got Santa Hats as we headed out with Captain John at the helm of the 35 ' sailboat!
The parade of 50 lighted vessels was lead by the Coastguard and Coastguard Santa!
We were the second vessel - right behind this ANGEL boat.
This sailboat featured a train under a Christmas Tree and leaping dolphins!
This boat had a really tall mast and lovely star design!
The parade route was thru canals. Vacant lots were PACKED with spectators all bundled up!
Residents generally decorate the canal-side of their homes.
This is a catamaran sailboat named PIG PEN, so they carried through the pig theme!
This home had OVER THE TOP blue decorations! WOW!
Frosty on a boat. My simple camera didn't really capture the lights. I wish you could have seen the beauty of all the lights reflecting in the canals, and music, and shouting of GOOD CHEER. It was a WONDERFUL adventure!!! My dear DAD sure would be happy I was in the Lighted Boat Parade! Below is a video by Denise Lindsey. We are the second boat, following the JOY boat at 4:08 minutes on the video. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
We recently took a Christmas HOME TOUR in our city of Punta Gorda. It was the home of our fellow Punta Gorda Boat Club friends. Santa Claus (the homeowner) greeted us in the driveway with a candy treat.
Mrs. Claus gave the tour indoors, featuring SIX themed Christmas Trees.
The tub was full of snowfolks bathing in packing-peanut bubbles!
This tree was uniquely decorated in lovely vintage ladies hankies!
This was everyone's FAV tree...
THE REDNECK TREE!!
The REDNECK TREE was decorated with SPAM cans, MT. DEW, bobbers, sling-shots, beer cans, Cheetos, Rabbit's foot key chain, Tinfoil, dog chain, ETC., ECT!!! Most items were old or vintage. SO creative!!
Not sure when they had time to sleep??????????? They also decorated their backyard, dock and boat! It was a FUN tour. I'm sooo glad "I" don't have to take it all down after the season ends!
My hubby, in the grey t-shirt, and I recently kayaked with our friends in the Punta Gorda, FL Boat Club. Here we are waiting to launch...chatting about low tide and breezy conditions.
This business had LOTS of these STAGHORN FERNS hanging from trees. These fern are epiphytes or air plants. They have antler-like fronds up to 3 feet long!
The tide was out...demonstrated by the sand bar on my right which was in the center of the bay!
Then our FEARLESS leader, Deb, ran aground! She got out of her kayak into ankle deep water and we all had a good laugh!
The low tide wasn't great for kayaking, but the wildlife loved it for feeding!
These are White Ibis, very common in SW Florida. The are wading and also in the trees.
This is the Kayak business's "not so feral" feral kitty named KAYAK KAT. She is spayed and well fed and sleeps wherever she wants! After our picnic lunch we headed for home. A very pleasant day in SW Florida!
Just ONE of many reasons I've been a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for 16 years is the DISCOUNT and PRE-ORDER of NEW "toys!" What is life without your favorite toys??? BBBORING. You can join my demonstrator family by Dec. 16th and get 10 FREE new Ink Pads, a $49.95 value! Contact me now: [email protected] and give yourself a WONDERFUL Christmas gift!!
Have you ever wondered where in the world is Stampin' Up!? It's in Riverton, Utah - just outside Salt Lake City. This is a picture of our Home Office and Distribution Center.
Stampin' Up! products are not sold in stores, but may be purchased through a network of independent consultants called Stampin' Up! demonstrators. Currently more than 40,000 demonstrators from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom share their enthusiasm for rubber stamping, scrapbooking, card making, and paper crafting.
Stampin' Up! operates two state-of-the-art facilities: an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Kanab, Utah, and a 300,000-square-foot home office and distribution center in Riverton, Utah.
We've just returned from a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving in Illinois with our families! Kelly, our oldest daughter gave a Bridal Shower for Katie, our youngest daughter. Here we all are - celebrating Katie's pending marriage. It was soo very special to see all our relatives and gab! The Bride-to-be, Katie, is sitting and in cherry red. The hostess, Kelly, is in gray in front of Katie. I'm in the leopard print standing in the back left.
Our daughters...all grown up! Where did the time go? A huge thanks to my brother, Scott and his wife Diane for sharing their lovely log home with us! Family is the BEST!!
Need an ad for your business? Stampin' Up!'s "My Digital Studio 2" product is PERFECT for making creative, colorful flyers, ads, and handouts! Here I have a colorful "postcard" layout featuring all my business basics to catch the eye of new customers. Printing with Stampin' Up!'s professional printer, you get BULK PRICING! I put these up on bulletin boards everywhere I go in my county!
My Digital Studio has a "save as JPEG" option, too. This allows you to print at home. I personally prefer the vivid, accurate colors I get from Stampin' Up!'s service. My home print does not do color well.
Give My Digital Studio 2 a try - FREE for 30 day click HERE!
I've been through volunteer orientation at the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County, FL! WOW am I impressed with this facility! VERY CLEAN!! The center takes in about 5,000 animals each year. Euthanasia "for space" is never considered.
I'll be helping in the Cat Area, cleaning cages, cuddling, and helping with endless laundry. I'll get in plenty of pets, too!
I would guess these young cats are from the same litter so can all be together in the same open room complete with little kitty staircase that leads outdoors.
This is one of the outside kitty areas with sun, shade and drinking water fountain.
A cat on a walkway to the outdoors. Looking forward to working with furry friends, since I don't have any of my own currently. I'm also donating greeting cards featuring cats, and the cards will be sold in the AWL Gift Shop.
Awwww...someone loved their Sugar Booger. Whether you love cats or dogs or both, the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County, FL needs you to volunteer!
I had a FUN stamping weekend in Ft. Lauderdale at the Sheraton Beach Hotel, formerly the YANKEE CLIPPER HOTEL of 1950-60's fame! The hotel is shaped as a ship as you can see in the mural behind me. Lynn, my "Stamping Cousin" had a Stamp Retreat there so I got to meet all her stamping friends! Stampers are always a crazy bunch!
This was the beach view from my hotel room - lots of weekend activities in the sand,water, and air!!
This is the front cover of a hardbound Wedding Memory Album I created for our oldest daughter and her new hubby. I used the amazing Stampin' Up! My Digital Studio! The wedding color was Cherry Cobbler. I love this private moment as the new couple begin their journey together.
My hubby just put up our storm shutters, preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac. A large storm surge is not predicted at this time...good thing since we are only 10.2 feet above sea level. We are more excited than worried!
Shari, my friend and fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator from Mt. Morris, IL came to visit today with her hubby, Mike! It was a great day of catching up!! Here we are in my stamping office in front of the my treasured "going-away-quilt" made by some of my wonderful North Star Stamper demonstrators.
We went to Fisherman's Village for lunch on the harbor. Don't you think Mike has a GREAT catch!!!
Happy Birthday to our daughter Katie!! Here is a picture of Katie when she was 4 with her new kitten Jack. Jack was from the pound and a great playmate, wearing dolly bonnets and riding in dolly strollers! He and Katie were best of friends for 19 years.