Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hello Friends,

I am back in Florida and ready to be back on my blog. Thank you for bearing with me! I have been crocheting more and more hats! I will share some new hats tomorrow. For today, I want to show you some beautiful historical buildings in downtown Buffalo, NY. The first building is the Guaranty Building, now called the Prudential Building. The building was created by Louis Sullivan of Chicago and was finished in 1896. The building is known as one of the finest architectural building in the U.S.A. The building was re-named the Prudential Building soon after it was finished because of funding provided by Prudential Insurance Co. and both names can be seen on the outside of the building.
Another tid-bit of info: When Hilary Clinton was a Senate representative for New York State she housed her Buffalo office in this building.

From the corner of Church Street and Franklin Street, several great architectural buildings can be seen (one of them was the Cathedral from the last post).

The next building is the county courthouse located in Erie County (where Buffalo is located). Althought this building is not noted as an architectural masterpiece, I always think it looks neat from the outside.

The next building is one of the most beautiful buildings in Western New York. The Our Lady of Victory Basicilica. Referred to by many locals as "The Basicilica" this building stands in Lackawana NY and is the home of Father Nelson Baker. Every time I am visiting my "home" in western NY, I stop by the basilica to enjoy the beauty of the fine artistry in and outside of the building.

The Basilica has so much to share with visitors and viewers, that I will dedicate a whole post to share photos of the inside of this magnificant place of worship.

Well, I promise to be back on my blogging path and share all of the crochet goodies I have been working on with you. I hope your summer has been lovely so far (and winter for those of you down under!).

Have a fabulous day!
xoxo Susan

Friday, June 24, 2011

Good Morning Friends,

Thanks for visiting today. Today is the wedding day for my brother Kevin and his bride Mary. Right now it is quite rainy outside, but we are keeping our fingers crossed no rain between the ceremony and reception. Earlier this week the weather was lovely and I stopped to meet my mom for lunch in downtown Buffalo.

We stopped by Saint Paul's Cathedral, one of Buffalo's many historical landmarks.

 This one is an episcopal church, but most of the churches I visited this week were catholic churches and have many more photos to share. Buffalo has a large number of old churches which contain beautiful craftsmanship that is difficult to find in modern buildings Buffalo was a booming city at the turn of the century and held the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. President McKinley was shot during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo and President Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated right in Buffalo.

Well before I go on some more with a Buffalo history lesson, I must get ready for the wedding! The wedding is taking place in Niagara Falls, NY so as long as it is not raining too hard, I will have some Niagara Falls photos to share.

Have a fabulous Friday,
xoxo Susan

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Baby Owl Hats, Bee Hat, Frog Hat Finish and Flowers

Good Morning Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. I have been away for a few days because I shuffled off to Buffalo for my brother's wedding. Summer is in full force in Buffalo, NY and the flowers, green grass and wonderful Buffalo lovelies are all waiting for me to snap photos and share with you. Before I get into some flowers, I finished another blue baby owl hat and made the final touches on the frog hat.

Blue Sleeping Owl Hat

Baby Frog Hat

Crochet Owl Hats

Baby Frog and Baby Bee Hat

The whole crew in the garden
I know, you may be getting sick of seeing my baby hats by now. But I just can't get enough of them. I made another one last night, but I let my mom take it to work this morning before I was able to snap a photo of it.

As soon as my dad drove into the driveway of the house, I saw this beautiful purple flower "ball" in there next door neighbor's garden.

Early sprouts of another purple flower
 Right outside my parents' front window I saw a bee around the hanging flowers.

Stepping stone
 Some other pretty flowers around the street.

Hanging Flowers
One of the things I love the most about visiting Buffalo in the summer is the hanging flower. We have hanging flowers in Florida but they just don't get as full and lush like the ones do here - I suspect this is because the sun is so strong the plants are not able to get as much water as they need (unless you water them all day long). I have many great photos to share this week, I hope you enjoy your tour of Buffalo, NY. It does not really snow there all the time!

xoxo Susan

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baby Crochet Hats: Bee, Owl, Frog!

Hello Friends,

Thank you for stopping by. The last few weeks I have been having problems posting comments to some of your blogs. So if you do not hear from me on your blog, I do visit and try to comment but Google keeps asking me to log in over and over again and does not post my comments. Some blogspot blogs it recognizes me and other ones do not and continually asks me to log in.

I've been busy making more baby animal/critter hats. They are just so cute. My nickname is Sue Bee, so I am always drawn to bumble bees - so naturally I made a bee hat.

After I finished the bee, I thought a nice little frog would be cute.

I am thinking a lady bug will be the the next one. I have to finish my blue owl too.

Before the frog was finished

Frog, Bee, and Owl Baby Hats
  After I posed my first pink owl on my facebook page, I had several people making requests asking to purchase one. I may have to make a round of these for all of my friends and family who want them. J is very impressed with my hat making skills. At first he would give the normal "that looks nice" as I was making the pink hat, but when he came home from work and saw the finished product, he was extremely impressed.

Well, that is what I have been up to - in addition to teaching one summer class. I am trying to enjoy some time off but I just keep feeling like I am a kid pretending to be sick from school if I go more than 4 hours without doing work.
Have a fabulous day!
xoxo Susan

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pink Owl Hat Complete

Hello Lovelies,

I finished the pink owl hat! I am very happy with the first "prototype" of this hat. I think it is so adorable I can't wait to see if on a little kid. We are finally getting some rain, although not enough to help the plants, but just enough to keep the neighborhood kids inside. This means I wasn't able to snap a photo of this hat on any kiddos.

Front of the Owl Hat

Back of the hat

I was trying to simulate a little head

Over a little garden angel

As usual, I used Vanna's Choice (Lion's Brand) yarn. The pink, yellow, and green are from Vanna Baby, and the white, black, and orange are the regular Vanna's choice. I want to try a few more animal hats but I think I am going to make a blue owl (so I have a girl and a boy one) for a boy.
I wish you a great start you another week :)
xoxo Susan

Cutest Baby Hats Ever?

Good Afternoon Friends, 

Do you remember when I first started my blog back in January and I made my little new born hats and a special one specifically for baby McKenna? Well McKenna's mommy told me she will be getting her 4 month old photos taken very soon and it got me thinking about her need for a cute hat for her photoshoot. I set out in making the cutest hat for McKenna to wear in her photos. So I searched around and saw plenty of cute caps for kids.

Some were monkeys like this one, others were flowery, which as you know I am always a fan of flowers. But, I really loved the owl hats the best. Since I am not very good at following patterns, I decided to give it a shot and try to create my own owl hat for McKenna.

The hat is not complete yet, I still have to add little ears, connect the eyes and beak and add strings to the ear flaps. What do you think? I was going to wait until after I finished it to share but I was afraid the day would end before I got to it later. I have some little kids on my street who I hope to try it on and take some photos. I was able to pop it on a couple heads yesterday before to make sure the size was sufficient and check for ear flap placement.

I hope you are having a fabulous weekend,
xoxo Susan

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Edison & Ford Estates Part II

Good Morning Friends,

I am going to continue the tour of the Edison & Ford Estates because it was too beautiful to keep to myself! When Thomas Edison and his wife Mina first came down to Fort Myers, it was on their Honeymoon. The Edisons wanted to plant royal palm trees along the street now called McGregor Blvd. The Edison's told the City of Fort Myers they would pay for the trees to be planted and would care for them for a certain amount of years if the city would take over and maintain them after. The city agreed and there are still palms lining the street today. Most of the original palms have had to be replaced because palm trees do not live for hundreds of years like some other trees, and some hurricanes have come through since they were originally planted by the Edisons.

The entrance to the Edison home grounds from McGregor Blvd
 There is one palm tree near the main entrance that is believed to be one of the original palm trees. The tree is much taller than the others indicating a longer life.
This is one of the palm trees that may still be an original. Meaning it was one of the ones planted by the Edisons

 Edison invented many different things but his favorite invention of his was the phonograph. Many of his inventions were in the museum on the grounds, but some were inside the house because the family used them while they visited Fort Myers. It was hard to get a good shot of it due to the lack of light in the area of the house (in the photo above).
Indianhead Ginger Plant
And... the plants were just so neat!
Queen's Crape Myrtle

Henry Ford's House
 Henry Ford's house was a completely different floor plan than Edison's and unfortunately Henry Ford did not sell/donate his house to the city of Fort Myers so the no original belongings are in the house. This is one of the best parts of viewing Thomas and Mina Edison's house, everything inside was theirs and used by them when they visited Fort Myers.

Henry Ford sold the house for the same amount he purchased it. All of the pieces found inside of the house are from the time period in which Henry Ford visited the house to help show visitors how it may have looked. The Fords did not go to their winter home very much except to visit the Edisons.

This room was titled the secretary's office

Living Room of Ford's home

Austrailian Pine

Bamboo. Yes, bamboo grows naturally along the Calosahatchee River in Fort Myers. Apparently bamboo can grow up to 12 inches in 1 day!

Edible fruit on this tree. I forgot what they are called.

As Thomas Edison aged, his wife didn't want him to have to walk across the street (McGregor) to the main laboratory. She had this smaller laboratory built for him so he could go to his lab and work each day.
Edison's Little Lab located steps away from his house, for his latest years

We did the Historic Tour when we visited the grounds, but there are a few other types of tours available. I think I may go back and do the Botanical Tour because there were just too many flowers, plants, and trees to see during one day. I hope you enjoyed the rest of the tour. This is a place I could visit again and again.

Have a fabulous Saturday,
xoxo Susan

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Hello Friends,

Over the weekend J and I visited the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL. This was my second time visiting the lovely grounds and J's first time. I love visiting historic homes and seeing how people lived. Thomas Edison had over 1,000 patents!  He is most well known for inventing the light bulb, but he really created the entire system in which we still use for electricity throughout the world. On a side note, his original light bulb will soon be a thing of the past in the United States as the government is regulating the sale of incandescent light bulbs by phasing them out and then banning the sale of them. 

One of the reasons Edison came down to Florida from the Northeast was to find domestic sources of rubber. During the war, rubber was scarce. Edison, Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company), and Harvey Firestone (Firestone tires) were looking for a way to make rubber here in the United States. Edison planted a variety of plants in his quest to find rubber, and the plants are still on the grounds for us to enjoy today.

Thomas Edison purchased the grounds for a winter home in Fort Myers. Thomas Edison was good friends with Henry Ford and persuaded him to purchase the house next door. Edison created many components needed to run cars. They were very close friends and the Ford's visited their winter home primarily to visit the Edisons.
One part of Edison's Winter Home
The original buildings on the property were for Thomas Edison and his wife Mina and Edison's good friend and partner Ezra Gilliland. Edison had plans drawn up for one house, then flipped the architect's plans over and had a second home built with everything in the opposite direction. Later Ezrea sold the home and Edison purchased the home and considered the two buildings to be one home.

After Thomas Edison passed away his wife Mina continued to visit the home. She later sold the estate to the city of Fort Myers for $1. She left all of the furniture and belongings in the home to the city of Fort Myers. The grounds has a museum with artifacts and original inventions from Edison.

Many of the light fixtures are some of the first electrical fixtures ever made. They are still in tact and working.

The antiques throughout the house were lovely too!

On the far left of this photo you can see the end of one of the homes. Just to the right of the tree on the far left is trellis walkway connecting the two homes.

This is one of the homes. There was an open walkway between these two structures connected by the porches.

The Calosahatchee River is in the background.
I have many more great photos to share of the grounds including Henry Ford's winter home. If you are ever in the Fort Myers area, I highly recommend stopping by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Further north in Sarasota is the estate of John Ringling which is even more AMAZING.

Happy Day!
xoxo Susan