Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Last night I put together this necklace with the PMC beads I made in Catherine Witherell's workshop at Artfest 2010. I made the little bird house charm over a year ago at the Art Clinic in one of Carol Kemp's classes inspired by a piece of Catherine's that appeared in Belle Armoire (I think). Anyway it has taken me this long to get in my jewelry making mood. And now I want to make a whole bunch more. I don't really have the right set up for it, but I did get the dining room table cleared off so that might work. I just might have been inspired by a visit by my friend, Angela Moll who came over on Monday for lunch, tea and a fun chat.

Angela is now making incredible jewelry! I asked her to bring something and she wore one of her creations. She says she has moved on from fiber art and is setting stones in silver and keeping her garden going with lots of edibles and flowers.
Her blog is :

Angela is a tea connoisseur and I asked her to bring some of her favorite tea. She brought this incredible Peony tea made in China. We brewed it in this glass so we could see the unfolding as it brewed....I'd never seen anything like it! And it tasted good too!

We visited and ate lunch outside on our deck. I made deviled eggs and a salad from our little garden of green leaf lettuce. I added a little of the Italian parsley on top of the eggs.
Angela is always fun to talk to and has so many good ideas. The little grey wool cat I made for her to give to a friend will now have a new home.

What a great thrift store find! I just could not resist this wool sweater I found in Ventura after work on Saturday! And it was half $1.50! Now to figure out how to use it. I also found a wonderful children's book by Elsa Beskow, one of my favorite artists and authors.

I need to write up and send an article in to Somerset Sew...and see myself doing everything but write that article! I'd much rather MAKE stuff than write about it..but it is so nice to have your stuff in a magazine that I'd better get to work right now!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Funny cat!

Henry the cat seemed to be in a funny mood today and luckily I had my camera with me. He got in the little child's chair in the garden and posed for me. Before that he rolled around on the old oak table under the trees. Hope he brings a smile to your face!

The little felt birdies are multiplying! I got more cut out and started working on them between customers at our store yesterday.
Friday I got in a visit to my friend, Sally and her new goat kids. She made us a delicious salad for lunch with her homemade goat cheese and I had fresh goat milk as well. So good. Sally, a friend for almost 40 years is a knitter, weaver and Waldorf teacher as well as the goat milker, cheese maker and mom to 2 beautiful kids. We walked around her farm admiring all the flowers in bloom and the old olive trees and oaks . She is only minutes from the beach so we got in a beach walk at Rincon cove. It seems like summer is the only time we get to visit so we are planning a beach day soon.
This giant oak tree is one of the largest and oldest living oaks in California and is located on Sally's farm. I always have to go visit this tree when I am is so amazing....the limbs are so massive- they are larger than most tree trunks! Age estimates range from 500 to 1000 years old.
Beautiful blooming Jacaranda's in the of my favorite colors~
Thursday found me at the Art Clinic in Solvang. Here, Colleen embroiders in the background with one of Sukey's new paintings in front.
Here is Sukey working on another of her wonderful paintings. Syd showed up later and we all got to visit and catch up on all our latest news. Hoping for a beach day on Tuesday with all the art girls.
If there are waves we will be boogie boarding!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bird pin and Sunday hike

I've been wanting to make some felt bird pins for some time now and last night I finally did it!
I embroidered this little guy on some hand made felt. The wing is another piece of felt that I found and stitched in place. I perched the pin atop one of Syd's much used pin cushions. My goal is to make about 2 dozen for the Queen of Arts show in November.

A closer view-larger than life.
For our Father's Day hike we chose to stay closer to home and went up the mountains to the trail to Knapp's Castle. It's a pleasant hike to the ruins of a mountain top retreat built at the turn of the last century. It was destroyed by a wildfire in the late 1920's and never re-built. The view is dramatic-you can see Lake Cachuma and into the wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest.

All that remains of the home are the rock fireplaces, foundations and walls, but it is a fun place to visit and explore. There is quite a bit of graffiti and campfire remains left from night time visitors. We were amazed to be the only ones exploring on a weekend Sunday.

The walk in is filled with the glorious colors of the local wildflowers in full bloom. Around each corner a new species appears with nature's color combinations to delight the eye.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Back to rug hooking again...I made this little owlet while watching the LA Lakers win the championship. I like watching basketball, I guess because I played in high school and can still make baskets, much to the surprise of my boys.
Wishing all the father's out there a Happy Father's Day! I made Dennis and the boys a nice country breakfast and we got Dennis a new phone, a shirt, socks and See's candy. I am hoping we can get down to the beach for a walk and putter around in the garden later on. Tonight I hope to get to work on another little owlet to keep the first one company.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Little birds

Inspired by Janet Bolton's lovely work I put together some little fabric collages out of linens and cottons from my baskets. I had fun stitching these little birds the other evening.
This one is still in the beginning stages...needs lots more work...
and these are two blank slates ready for something....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Calistoga vacation

We took a quick vacation up to Calistoga, one of our favorite destinations in No. California.
I managed to get in a little shopping and couldn't resist this pillow.

I also bought these two books. Love the birds in Jeffery Fisher's book and am enjoying reading Roger Deakin's book "Wildwood".

This fun mosaic bowl is in the Calistoga Roastery and is reminding me that I want to do some mosaic work this summer. I want to find a simple cement bird bath to cover with broken tile and plates and cups and give the local birds a place to splash in on the hot summer days.

A few photos of Saturday in Calistoga.....

baskets for sale at the Farmers Market....

local musicians under the redwoods....

bright pottery...

fresh flowers...and there were lots of berries and local produce and baked goods as well.

A small creek runs through town...a good place to cool your toes.
We got to visit with friends, Susan and John and have a great meal at "Checkers", one of our favorite places. The boys took a hike up to Table Top mountain and got sunburned but had a good time while I browsed the bookstores. We are happy to be back home and glad our garden survived and the cats seem happy to have us back.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Farmers Market

Every Saturday I try and visit the Farmers Market for the best fresh produce and beautiful flowers. We will be traveling up to one of our favorite places in Northern California for a few days so I thought I'd leave you with these images. Hoping to get to see my friends, Susan and John while we are up in Calistoga and try out some new restaurants.
On my way to the Farmers Market I always pass by this wonderful structure designed by local architect Jeff Shelton. His buildings are always so creative and fun and add a great touch to the beauty of our city. His brother does the iron work which adds another special touch to each building. I love how he incorporates tile and special garden areas for each unit. There is even a special water fountain for visiting doggies.

I'm ready for the Farmers Market! Got on my baggy Blue fish and shopping bag to fill up with fresh produce! Have a great week. I'm taking some embroidery projects to work on and the new Quilting Arts magazine to read. Back Sunday!

Ode to Spring

Here is the felt top of the piece that I made for Art From Scrap. One of the requirements for the show is that you have to use a piece from a box of assorted items that were colored green. I chose the green chenille stem and incorporated it into the top piece of the mobile.
This is the finished piece, complete with birds and bugs! They have a silent auction for all the pieces as a fundraiser for Art From Scrap and then a fun reception at the end complete with visits from the mayor and photo ops with Bob DeBris. Lots of community involvement and always a fun event. When I dropped my piece off I got to see some of the other entries-lots of really fun stuff....can't wait to see the whole show.

These are the little fabric bugs that I made to hang inside the flowers.

And one more squirrel finished up...

And a plump wool kittie for my friend, Angela Moll to give as a gift.
Since school has been out I've had more opportunities to get in my beach walks.
Can't resist filling my pockets with fun rocks like this one. Since January I've managed to get in a 2 mile walk almost every day. I alternate my mountain walks with beach walks when I am downtown. There is something about the salt air and the ocean that always fills my spirit and makes me glad to be alive!

Friday, June 04, 2010

What I'm working on....

Here is my piece for Art from Scrap that I am working on. It's actually almost done but I just thought of one more thing I want to do. The birds below have now been attached to the leafy ring and they hang down about 4 inches. I think I may call it "Ode to Spring" or something like that. Behind my piece is a painting that I have been working on....every month or so I decide to "fix" something that bothers me and then I may not work on it for months or even a year!

I just had to make more of the vintage pin cushions! I like the variety of colors when they are all mixed up together. I may try on put a few buttons on the dark at each corner around the center square and see if I like it. Thanks for your's great to have fresh eyes when you are working on a project.

It's always nice to have a good friend who works at a bookstore! My art pal Penny gave me this book by Kaari Meng and I thought I'd share it with least a couple of pages! The photography is beautiful and if you like vintage buttons and trims you may need this book. There is a craft section in the back with some fun projects using all the wonderful notions depicted.

And one more that I wanted to share....I don't know the title of this book because it is written in Japanese but it has the most wonderful button jewelry and so I had to buy it when we were in Seattle at the Kinokuniya Bookstore downtown. ISBN4-579-11063-3 if you want to try and track it down.
I love buttons and keep thinking I will get it together and make some fun button jewelry...maybe before next Christmas! Looking at the pictures in these two books may get me started...

Dolls I made using recycled fabric. The doll bodies came from a kilim purse I found at the thrift store and deconstructed and the faces came from fabric samples from Art from Scrap. Doll hair is fringe from felted scarves and blankets.
Not sure if these are sisters or a mother and 2 daughters....