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Tonya's Birthday!

My niece is celebrating her birthday today in Virgina.

Happy Birthday Tonya!!!!!

Tonya was born in South Carolina and then moved to Biloxi, Mississippi for a couple years before my sister and her hubby divorced - at which time she moved to Virginia. Back in with mom and dad. Good Old Mom and Dad!

I was a young teenager and fell in love with this little 2 (or was it 3) year old. I babysat Tonya every afternoon and weekend while my sister worked and it got to where we were together so much, she called me mommy. I always said she was my first baby. And everybody says she's just like me. Poor thing. I say if she's like me, she's a much better version of it.  

Isn't she gorgeous?!? She has a big heart and she's full of fun and mischief and everybody loves her.

It was taking me forever to look for a good, current picture of her in my 24,500 or so pictures so I gave up and copied the one above from her facebook page. 

I love technology. I'm a bit of a dinosaur but this world wide web thing is just awesome and I have to say it again...it feels so good to be connected again after the last three weeks of little or no internet. 

We really haven't done anything exciting lately. I had planned to go to the US Consular Agency here in Barranquilla today but then found out they close at noon every day. 

We need to let them know we're here and just have a few questions to ask about this and that. I really want to find out if there is a group of Americans that meet anywhere in the city. 

A few years ago, we were at a New Year's Eve party in Miami with much of Pedro's family and one of his cousins has an American wife, Doris. She told us that when she lived here, she found a group of American women that provided a much needed link to home. They met on a regular basis and from Doris's point of view it was important that we find something similiar. So far, no luck. 

I've asked around quite a bit but no one knows of any such group(s) so I'll find out at the Consulate if they know of any. I can't wait to go to that part of town and take pictures because it's an area that IF I've been to, I didn't know it. 

Speaking of pictures...

Very often, just before sunset, the sky turns a yellow/pink color that I haven't been able to capture yet. When I saw the light the other day I ran out front and took some shots of and around the house. 

That one is of Jerry acting goofy. You can't see them too good but he has on SANDALS. I've never know him, in our 32+ years together, to wear - or even own sandals. He decided one day last month that he wanted something that was easy to slip on and off and that could get wet. (He's the one that waters the plants). If you really want to see his feet, you can click on the picture and it'll get big. 

This one is of our little garden out front facing our neighbor to the southwest...

I still need to paint those gray pots, but like the walls out back around our lanai, I'm waiting until rainy season is over. 

I swanee, you can be outside in bright beautiful sunshine one minute and within seconds, a huge dark cloud has the whole neighborhood covered. 

If you ever want to see the wind direction you can always tell by the clouds because they move so fast. That's good for us. Breezy weather is our friend. I have seen very few still days. 

Oh, and here's a pix (taken that same yellow/pink evening)of one of the vendor's that goes by the house. 

He sells pig skins in those bags hanging off his cart and I'm not sure what else. I'll have to stop him next time I see him and find out what else he sells and give him a copy of the picture - even if it did turn out blurry. 

He enjoyed waving for the camera but didn't slow down one whit. His contraption is built on a bicycle so he doesn't have to walk but he's going uphill and believe me...it's easier.

Here's another one of Jerry, who has just finished building Sophia a sailboat, which she asked for. And of course, What Sophia Wants...Sophia Gets. (Sing it to the tune of What Lolita Wants...) (Wasn't that the name in the song?!? I googled it but didn't see the results I was looking for)

Anyway, that really cool sailboat lasted for about 3 seconds but they had a good time building it. It was a rare and auspicious occasion for Jerry to visit the playroom.

And...I got a picture of the Whistler in the middle of the night last week. Here he is on his lonely trek through up our street...

And this...is the recycle guy...

Have I told you how great the Colombians are about recycling? They use up everything. Nothing is wasted and I totally love it. I've always lived frugally and respect and admire that they are so conservative with their resources.

OK - just one more thing and I've gotta go. 

Here's a picture of the result I got from another one of the techniques from Beryl Taylor's book, Mixed Media Explorations. 

As instructed, I cut strips of watercolor paper and sewed them together with free motion stitch. I didn't take a  picture of that step so use your imagination. You could use anything for that layer but that's what Beryl called for so that's what I used. 

Then, I wonder undered a piece of sheer fabric (might be chiffon) to the stitched watercolor paper.

Next, I took Jones Tones puff paint and pushed it through a stencil onto the sheer fabric.

After that, I got to play with the heat gun and it's really a blast to watch that paint puff up. I didn't mean to burn / melt the fabric but since it happened in one spot, I burned it in other places as well. You know...Art Happens. 

This is one project I'll definitely do again. I loved it. 

There might be instructions in the book to go over the raised edges with gold paste or wax, which I'll possibly do the next time this piece reaches the surface of the bin it's buried in. Or not.

It's one of the techniques I used a couple years ago on this quilt...

The above piece is called Mending Wall. I used the puff paint in a different way on this one but it was just as much fun. You gotta get some of that stuff. And, me, I've gotta get busy and use mine up.

Next time I add a post I'll show you the technique that I loved the most from Beryl's book. Gotta go play.

Later alligator!

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