Yesterday I visited our local pumpkin festival which really got me into the mood for fall. Today dawned bright and a little cooler, for Florida anyway, and made me want to begin a project destined to be a Christmas present.
I’ve been taking another break from stitching for past month and a half. My work has me constantly on the computer, so when my CTS/arthritis combo kicks in, giving my hands a rest at night is essential to my being able to type all day long. When grasping a needle becomes impossible, stitching is unfortunately out for awhile.
Taking a break from actual stitching doesn’t mean that I forget about it entirely, though. I sort through my charts and select fabric from my stash for fun designs I have yet to try, or think about all the pretty new charts now available and dream about which ones I’d love to tackle.
Today I think I’m finally ready to start stitching again with something small.
The delicious and authentic Greek food that was served over the course of the four-day event was probably the biggest draw for the thousands of visitors who attended, but there was also plenty of dancing and live music highlighting Greek culture.
I especially enjoyed watching the kids dance in their colorful, elaborate costumes, and all of the parents and grandparents looking on so proudly. And those Loukoumathes! Light and fluffy honey puffs served with syrup and dusted with cinnamon – heavenly!
This past Saturday, I wandered around the 17th Annual Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Festival being held at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. I’m not Scottish (I am perhaps one-fourth Irish, through a grandmother who died 40 years before I was born) and I’d never been to this particular event before, but I thought it might make a fun afternoon out.
I met lots of nice folks, many of whom were researching their heritage, took plenty of pics, and heard some very lively music by Albannach, a Scottish tribal drumming band. I even bought myself a present of a little silver Kells knot design pendant and a ring. I came home with some delicious blueberry scones which I have been having for breakfast ever since, and some Empire Biscuits, which barely lasted out the weekend! So it was a very good day out all in all.
While enjoying the Village of the Arts Artwalk on July 3rd I commented to my companion that some of the artwork at Divine Excess looked similar to folk art pieces I had seen at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC (one of my favorite places in the world, btw). And, sure enough, I found several pieces by one of the featured artists at Divine Excess (Mr. Imagination) on the SAAM site!
I was also highly impressed by several of the other artists displayed at at Divine Excess, including the amusing assemblage figures of Melissa Menzer. You can see some of her delightful artwork here. 🙂
Some photos from yesterday’s ArtWalk in Bradenton, FL. The first shows my friend Vicki Rollo in her beautiful Heart’s Desire shop with encaustic mixed media artist Carolyn Campeau. Vicki is a fabulous jewelry designer whose work incorporates semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, Bali silver and beads from around the world. Her shop also carries a marvlous assortment of women’s fashions and accessories, ceramics, paintings, fused glass, and metalwork from local and national artists.
My friend Sandy and I visited several shops in the Village and I took snaps of some of the various eclectic shops in the Village, including Clay in the Garden’s artist Jo-Ellen Gorris, who sculpts whimsical three-dimensional clay characters (those are her ceramic chess pieces and her very friendly kitties!), and Bits & Pieces quilt shop owner/artist Linda Bronkema. And the colorful animal-adorned bricks were lining the the walkways of the very funky and fun Divine Excess shop.