Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Stockings...

these are the stockings I made for my boys about 10 years ago out of cotton velveteen and felt. They look like they could use a little more embellishing, but that will have to wait for another year. Some of their traditional treats are maple sugar Santas, chocolate gold coins (from See's) which I will eat if they don't, and those little boxes of Japanese rice treats. And those chocolate oranges that come in a box...I then add as many weird little toys and items for personal grooming that I can fit in the stocking. Even my almost 17 year old looks forward to this family tradition.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Afternoon Walk on the Beach

After all the Christmas morning festivities were over and the boys were happily playing with their gifts and Dennis enjoying his football games...I took the time off for a meditative beach walk. Beautiful skies, friendly folks strolling, kayakers and scuba divers all enjoying the balmy weather and low tide greeted me. This is my favorite walking place for the last few years. Easy to park and I can take a good brisk walk while breathing in the fresh salt air. I usually go out to the end of the Goleta pier first, look at the Channel Islands and for any dolphins or seals, then start back and either go to the right towards UCSB or to the left and down the coast to a tar covered point that has little nooks and crannies that I like to leave little shells and rocks in and see if they are still there on my next visit. Sometimes there are hand made structures of driftwood, creative little hide outs that rarely survive the high tides of winter.
So I had a good hour long walk and along with the beautiful sky I found some other interesting items...like the strange melon below....I thought it was a watermelon at first but the stem looks different, so I don't know what it is but I liked the pattern on the skin. And just as I was heading up to my car I spotted this pile of sand...I thought it was a sand castle but on closer observation it was a Sand-snowman! He even had a carrot nose! So that is what we do in Santa Barbara when we don't have snow for Christmas. After my soul restoring walk I headed home to make dinner and join the boys for an after dinner movie. And like my friend, Syd,sheepfloozy.blogspot.com, over there on "Art Nest", my husband gifted me with a new computer, my first laptop and I love it!

And it seems that the seagulls and pelicans also enjoy the pier, if you notice the railing behind me!

Here is the pumpkin pie that Justin and I made this morning for dinner tonight.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas to All!

Wishing you all a very lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Thanks for all your visits and all the inspiration you share with your sites as well. This sweet nativity set was hand carved in Italy and my father purchased it more than 60 years ago. I used to love setting it up when I was growing up and now my son, Justin does the same. I inherited it years ago as both of my parents have passed on. It brings back all of my Holiday memories when I get to see and touch this wonderful little creation.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Winter Solstice!

I bought this wonderful folk art Chrsitmas Angel piece from Annie, one of the rug hookers. For years she had an antique business and collected many wonderful treasures. Every time she moves she sells some of her collections. I felt so lucky to take this one home last year.

A little house blessing ornament for Gail that I am working on. Someone gave me the green burlap and it seems to work fine.
Here is Justin trying to guess what is in the package. The boys get to open 1 gift on Christmas Eve.

Our Holiday Party for Rug Hookers...

We had our monthly rug hooking meeting and annual gift exchange at Penny's "house of wonders"... Penny and her husband, Wayne, are both photographers and multi-talented artists and have put together a home-gallery that you can spend hours just enjoying all their collections. I have been there many times and I still find little treasures that I've missed somehow..or maybe Penny has rearranged things since my last visit. Anyway, we got the business part out of the way and had hot mulled cider and proceeded to open our gifts. Many hand made delights with a few store bought ornaments and trinkets. I was totally amazed to be given a hand hooked pillow by my friend, Pepa!! She created the most wonderful Mermaid complete with a real mirror and comb! She knows that I love mermaids...I have a mermaid bathroom and when I was growing up I played mermaids in the Pacific Ocean when I wasn't riding the waves with my trusty surf mat.Pepa is busy with her first grandchild so I especially appreciate her hooking this for me. Not only that but she put a Peruvian mermaid ornament on top!
I posted a bunch of photos of Penny's home for your enjoyment....and I actually have more! After our gift exchange we had Anne's delicious chocolate cake. She also made us a little cookie treat bag. The cookies were stamped and frosted with the image of Mary...the virgin of Guadelupe, so cool. I'd show them, but I already ate them, sorry.
Other presents included handmade aprons, a felted snail (large!), jewelry, art books, pez dispensers, a beautiful felted scarf and more! What a wonderful group of women to share with.
We discussed our plans for next year and what to do with our dues..($20.yr.) and disappeared into the frosty night happy and smiling and loved.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Association of Creative Females Holiday Party

There will be more to come on our Holiday get together. First photo ..a little winter village at Penny's incredible home, all decorated for Chrsitmas....below one of her sparkly ornaments.

Here's a little cupcake that I hooked for Penny. There is a little loop on the top for hanging as an ornament.

Monday, December 18, 2006

New owl perched in Christmas tree...

Some of the ornaments that are new this year...they do look familiar somehow!
Here is my latest owl...just finished him today and will bring him to Anne who needs him for a Chrsitmas present.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

New squirrel and crow.....

to be delivered tomorrow at our Rug hookers Christmas party at Penny's decorated house. I made these for two of my friends to give as gifts. If I have time I will include a small owl too. We will have a gift exchange, refreshments and fiber art news.
Had an incredibly busy day yesterday! First I went to our plumbing store to do my register shift. I then left at 3pm to go to Ojai to the Fibre Arts Design Studio for an Open House. It was fun and lively and we had lots of cool fiber arts projects on display. I got sign ups for my Fibre Fun Class that I will teach next year. While there I heard about an opening at a local gallery and decided to go take a quick look. It turned out to be the art of a wonderful artist named Inez Storer who lives in No. Calif. in Inverness, a place I used to visit when I lived nearby years ago.
Her paintings were like large post cards with funny messages on them and large stamps...I really LOVED them!!! If you are in the area ...GO SEE Them!!! They are at the Nathan Larramendy Gallery...107 south Signal St. in Ojai. The fun thing was that Inez was there and I got to meet her and chat for a bit. I bought a catalog from a previous show titled: "Threatrical Realism: The Art of Inez Storer"....her new things are a little different...lighter and more glowing colors....If I could, I would buy one of her paintings, but still have boys to put through college and all that.....
After the gallery opening I went to my new friend Patty Smith's house and she showed me her lovely soft pastels that she has been doing. Really nice! And she will be teaching some knitting classes at the Fibre Studio in Jan. We then had to scurry over to the Ironpan Restaurant where I met up with Dennis for our big Dinner party for the Fibre Arts Studio complete with live music, yummy dinner and chocolate mousse for desert.Wo's daughter,Katie and helper Hilda were dressed like elves complete with red and green striped tights. Lisa had on a Santa suit, looking very festive. After visiting with the other teachers and students I received a rose, a Christmas tree pin and nice thank you card from Wo, our gracious hostess. There was dancing, door prizes, and lots of local color. Then we drove home in our separate cars to our frosty house arriving by midnight. Today we rest.

Tiny santa and mushroom ornament....

Of course I don't need any more ornaments, but I couldn't resist this tiny 2" Santa and the forest toadstool ornament. And I also had to have the glass rabbit behind them....and the owl and squirrel to keep him company. I like to pretend that these are for my boys, but really they are for ME!

We finally got our Christmas tree....

on Monday night. The boys had their usual fun chasing each other through the Christmas trees and then scaring each other in the 10' high corn maze. I managed to get lost in there last year and had to be rescued by Dennis, so this time I only ventured in a little way. Just far enough in for Justin to jump out and scare me out of my wits. Still we did find a great tree and had a quick Mexican dinner before going back home to set it up and begin decorating. I am still adding ornaments whenever I get the chance.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Love this Christmas Window...

Had to take a photo of this store window in downtown Santa Barbara. For some reason I love the red and white toadstools...I think they remind me of one of my favorite children's books called "Children of the Forest" by Elsa Beskow...

Special note to Anita in Ia...here is my e-mail address if you want to inquire about special orders: zumiow@earthlink.net

Plus: I just opened up an ETSY.com store so I can sell things online! Nothing in there yet, but I will have a link here soon! Thanks to Gail (runnergirl) I will take Paypal!

Here's my Gnomes in the Imagine Store window...patiently waiting for a new home.

The Fuzzies got a bit more embellished....

I just had to add a few more embellishments to the sweater dollies....they seem pleased, although it is sort of hard to tell with their half-smiles.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fuzzy Sextuplets on their way to England!

Here are the fuzzy felted sweater dollies that I made for a sweet graphic artist named Lily Guild. She is sending them to relatives in England for Christmas so I had to hurry and get them done and delivered by tomorrow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Finished Hearts

The hearts are now all stuffed and ready to deliver on Sunday at the Santa Barbara Museum of ART's holiday party. I couldn't resist and made one extra one...I like to give people a "choice".
A reader asked about the rabbit I hooked a bit ago....I just drew the outline of a rabbit shape on burlap and hooked away. Hopefully sometime in the future I may have rug hooking patterns available for those interested, but not yet.
I am now working on another order on 5 fuzzy felted sweater dollies that will go to England for Christmas...I need to get busy...NOW!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hearts for the Tribal Trust Foundation

At Syd's Queen of Arts show a very sweet woman bought one of my owls and ordered 4 hooked hearts for her co-workers. She gave me her business card with a heart-type logo that she said I could interpret any way I wanted to. So I had fun making these hearts on some nice Scottish linen burlap....the first photo is the hearts after hooking and the second photo is after sewing but before stuffing. Not the best photos but wanted to get some shots before I deliver them to her.
Hope she likes them!

Little stuffed hearts

Monday, December 04, 2006

Embellished and Altered Vehicle...

When you see something like this you just have to share it! This truck is completely covered in figures of one kind or another... On Fridays we have our lunch meeting at a local (Ojai) restaurant. This amazing truck was parked behind the Garden Cottage restaurant and I just had to take some photos.

Back of truck..

My little Sock Girl

Next week at the Fibre ARts Design STudio I will be teaching a Sock Creature class. So I thought I'd bettter make a new sample. Here is who turned up! I need to get a better photo with her standing up because she has on a very cool fringed mini-skirt. This week we will be doing some prodded wool flower pins and Fandango puppets. I am also working at the store to fill in for our regular cashier who is off this week....whew!