ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lazy Days

Until today, I have not blogged very much in weeks. I have a secret to tell: I have been incredibly lazy the last two weeks! I have been loafing about the house in my flannel pajamas a lot, but I did finish my Christmas shopping, and I did get all my 2011 papers organized and off to my bookkeeper-accountant, who by the way is working out great. Best decision I ever made to deal with the HST headache. Ive also got a few Christmas lunches to go to and will be putting on the Elaine Baker hat in the next few days. I make a mean shortbread.

At the end of November my sister and I escaped for a week to the Florida Keys. I was just too lazy to blog about it. I do think it is time to share some photos as you have received enough verbiage from me today and will probably welcome some visual stimulation and some photos of warmer places. I think part of the reason Ive been feeling so lazy the last two weeks is because I let myself put my feet up in Florida. I got lots of sleep, ate too much, loafed on the beach, and even read two books!! This pace seemed to carry over when I returned. I have been getting worried about the fact that I just havent been able to get started in the studio. I am so out of the habit, that I will have to redevelop the habit. Little by little, it is coming back this week. Because I have a break of a few weeks in my teaching schedule, I am starting to do some research on how to work with sheer silk organza. Ive dyed quite a lot of this stuff and have been waiting to get to work on something.

But back to the Florida trip. I am glad we planned this trip, because just weeks before we left, my sisters canine companion, Savannah, died suddenly from an allergic reaction to a wasp. She was gone in minutes. So I think my sister really needed to get away, and we have been trying to coordinate this since she turned 50 almost three years ago.

We flew to Miami, then rented a car to drive out to Islamorada. Since it was low season, we got a great deal on the lovely condos we stayed in.
I booked these because they are right on the water, so if we had a day we didnt feel like going anywhere, we could just hang out at our condo.
This view to the side of the pool relaxed me immediately.

We did make a trip to Key West one day. While there we visited some interesting sites like the Ernest Hemingway Home, the Audubon House & Tropicsl Gardens, the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Gardens and an unusual restaurant called Blue Heaven.

Of course the gardens provided lots of foliage for inspiration.

The Hemingway House was particulary interesting.
Hemingway loved cats, had many in his lifetime, including some that were polydactyl (had extra toes). Many of the 50 or so cats that live at the Hemingway House today are descended from the original cats and carry the polydactyl gene. What I also thought was fun is that visitors to the house are not allowed on the furniture, but the cats are! Check out the mitts on the first two cats!

I made a few other friends too at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Gardens .

Obviously food laws are more relaxed in Key West because these chickens are all around you when you eat at Blue Heaven. In fact Key West is full of chickens, descended from the fighting chickens that were brought there from Cuba. You will even sometimes find them roosting in trees.

I am developing a real obsession for stools, benches and chairs. I photographed this at Blue Heaven as well.

This is Bucko, who lives at the Village Gourmet restaurant in Islamorada. Like in Europe, people in the Keys seem more relaxed about having animals in restaurants.
I think Bucko looks an awful lot like my sisters dearly departed dog Savannah. This is a picture of them taken last fall.
OK, thats three blog posts in one night. I must be getting my groove back! The other thing Ive been doing the past two weeks is reading cookbooks. Over the years, I have completely forgotten how to cook because of my busy schedule and being away from home so much. I have decided I need a new hobby so I dont become too one-track minded. Cooking will be it. The goal is to eat better too.

I apologize that there isnt a single apostrophe in the above post. It has disappeared from my keyboard. This is often caused by a cat walking across my keyboard.


  1. Good for you-taking a mini-break and basking in the joy of same. It's something that's to be recommended for sure.

    I wonder where your apostrophe went. I have weird things like that happen with technology but we don't have a cat. Perhaps we should get one and I can use it as a plausible excuse to cover up user error.

  2. I loved reading about your laziness on your Florida trip. With the teaching pace you go at, I think you deserve to take it easy sometime. And enjoy being with your sister! Those times are to be treasured.
    Martha Ginn


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