Monday, December 27, 2010

Off to No. California..

 We are heading off to No. California for a little vacation. On my last trip to the Bay area I took a quick visit to Valencia St. where some of my favorite shops are located. I love LAKU! All handmade goodies...from baby slippers to flower brooches to cashmere hats. Full of inspiration and unique fabric creations.

 Ribbed wool flowers on a sort of chandelier in the window.

 Down the street I had to go into this fun store called Casa Bonampak. I bought several paper garlands to decorate the house with. Super nice and helpful saleswomen took good care of me.

 While waiting for the stores to open I found this great co-op bakery. I had a ginger shortbread cookie and a Mexican hot chocolate and did a little people watching.

 This store was closed but had an interesting window. Must visit on my next trip up.

 These are some photos from my last visit to "Just Folk" in Summerland, Ca. This metal robot guy is new to the store and I loved how they hung the heart garland I made for them around his neck.

 Vintage quilts...

 Sweet little wood carving...

 Another wonderful quilt...

 A postage stamp quilt...really amazing in person...

 An intricate wooden of many on display....

 Love these dolls!

Another carved house. Hope you enjoyed your visit. All good wishes for a Happy New Year.

Peace and good will to all.....back in 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Greetings.....

 Somehow I managed to get all my sewing things cleared off the table and decorate a bit for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The embroidered table cloth is a thrift store find as is the sampler below. Not exactly sure what is says but I still love all the wonderful cross stitching.

 My latest owl. The rain let up long enough for a few outdoor photos. And here is the newest gnome all finished up.

 Tried out a different house shape for this little hooked and stuffed piece. Need to add a fun hanger of some sort on top now.

 The Art Clinic had a fun Holiday get together complete with fresh local tamales and lots of decorated cookies and treats. Great to see everyone before Christmas and plan our next classes.

 Maren brought her latest art quilt for a bit of show and tell. She plans on doing some machine quilting as the next step. We all loved her colors and fabric choices.

 Sukey was busy working on her beautiful cards, printed on her new Artisan Epson printer..she also made the cutest little owl ornaments for everyone.

 One more Holiday Party at Kate and Greg's wonderful home overlooking the Channel Islands. Greg's newest driftwood tree was decorated with colorful candles that gave off a soft glow as the evening shadows darkened the rainy sky.

 Kate always takes good care of us. She made her delicious soup for us all and baked up the best Christmas cookies ever! Plus mini chocolate eclairs and frosted cupcakes. Greg set up his wine bar and taste test for all to enjoy. A warm and cozy evening on a cool and rainy night.

 Gingerbread cookies with designs on each one from a wooden cookie press...

Best wishes for a peaceful Christmas with those you love....and thanks for your visits...I so enjoy all my blogger friends! Tomorrow I will be cooking for my boys, taking a Christmas hike to a waterfall and enjoying the time with family.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice!

 It's a rainy day but the birdies are still going to celebrate the Winter Solstice! If the rain lets up later today I plan on taking a low tide beach walk to celebrate followed by some hot chocolate. Boys are home now and getting lots of sleep, so that's good. I still am working on some special orders and hoping to get some cookies made and things wrapped.

 Love this image from "Castle in the Air".....
 My wish for this year....
 Another serious looking gnome that I finished hooking last night. Holding a baby rabbit he found in the forest. Next step is to sew up the backing and stuff.

We got our tree up and decorated this week. Some of my favorite the ones made by my friends...I seem to have lots of birds, mushrooms, hearts, angels and cats....hmmm, sound familiar?
With all good wishes for a Happy Solstice and Christmas and whatever you celebrate!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Creative Females Party at Penny's, the rug hookers gather....

 Our annual Christmas party and ornament exchange was held last Monday night. Nobody decorates like Penny when it comes to the Holidays and every year she adds new little things to delight us.  So many wonderful little vignettes to discover everywhere you turn. It makes you happy just to be surrounded by all the glitter and snowy little villages. We missed our Pepa but had fun exchanging news and hugs and being together once again.
 Katie brought her latest hooking to share called "The bluebird of happiness". A gift for her son's new mother in law. The rest of us happily sipped our eggnog and mulled cider and enjoyed the best pot luck dinner ever. Homemade cookies and lemon bars for dessert and we then got to our ornament exchange. Lots of wonderful handmade gifts were opened from felted peas in a pod to a Cambria snowman to a beaded gourd to special banners. Anne made us all her special little bag of take home cookies. Every year she comes up a new recipe for us. This year we received decorated jam filled butter yummy!
We made plans for our next meeting in January and off we went into the cool December night air after our favorite get together of the year at the amazing art filled home of Penny and Wayne.

 Maren and Katie in Penny's colorful kitchen.

 The table with Anne's cookies ....wrapped up to take home and enjoy.

 Katie made this fun Cambria snowman coated with sand for her secret rug hooking pal.

 Syd made a gourd covered in handmade beads. I have one of her painted gourds that I love...a gift from Christmases past.

A few weeks ago I stopped by the Tecolote Bookstore where Penny works and just happened to get to meet the lovely author of "Maisie Dobbs", Jacqueline Winspear. Now one of my favorite authors! She signed my book for me and now I plan to read the whole series. Her songwriter husband was with her and we enjoyed his great sense of humor. The Tecolote Bookstore is the oldest bookstore in Santa Barbara and a great place to visit. Located in Montecito in the upper village, Tecolote means "owl" in Chumash and the cozy store has quite a collection of owls that their customers have given them over the years. Go visit Penny and buy some "real" books!
And.....Yes, I think my bangs do need a trim....!
Off to pick up my son again from college tomorrow for Christmas break, so may be gone for a bit.
Hope you are enjoying the Holiday season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A few new things....

 Just finished up these new heart ornaments. Got a quick photo before sending them off...

Had to make a few more mushrooms from some fabric samples that I picked up at Art From Scrap. I always bring home the fabric with "dots" for future mushroom making. 

 It 's a rainy day here and Henry is sleeping on a hooked rug I made that says "Sweet Dreams" so I couldn't resist taking his picture. It is actually laying on top of the sofa and a quilt. The boys had to move things around to get the Christmas tree in last night. Guess who gets to decorate it now?

Monday, December 13, 2010

A visit to "Porch" and the Farmers Market...

Sunday was a busy day around here. I am sort of posting backwards because I love this photo of the fun little gnomes that were for sale in a wonderful store called "Porch" in Carpinteria.
For many years, five of us met every month for collage exchanges and dinner at each other's homes. Times changed and several of us still met as rug hookers but we missed seeing our original five, so we got together for a fun lunch at Giannfranco's Trattoria in Carpinteria. It was a warm and sunny day so we sat outside on the patio and got caught up on everyone's news. Carol's daughter is a partner in" Porch" so we all went for a visit after our lunch. Lots of fun things including the driftwood trees that Kristi makes. Each tree had different themed ornaments and decorations. I bought a little Christmas cactus and bird card that I loved.

I got up early for the local farmers market and was just setting up as Kate and Anna arrived with a basket of warm scones for everyone. Several kitties traveled home with them and joined their growing families. We had a great turnout and I had fun trading, bartering, and selling my creations. I came home with a new necklace, pomegranates, lemons, Asian pears, and goat cheese. It was fun to meet new neighbors and get re-acquainted with others from across the creek. I made an apple walnut cake and brown butter cookies to share and there was fresh pressed apple juice and decorated Christmas cookies as well. We had beautiful warm weather and I even got in a beach walk after the festivities.

Persimmons decorated the tree and were ready for picking.
My little sellers were the cats and heart ornaments.
Tonight we have our annual Rug Hookers Christmas Party and ornament exchange at Penny's.
It's a potluck for dinner so everyone brings a dish to share. I made a baked artichoke parmesan
dip as an appetizer and someone gets a black kitty ornament!