Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All skate.....

I'm helping at a kid's carnival tonight and was not sure I wanted to wear a costume. A couple of years ago I got really carried away with the costume and ended up being one of the only adults to dress up. What was I thinking!? I'm an introvert by nature. So there I was in my hat with the flower coming out of the top, my flower pot shoes, my blooming apron, and rhinestone glasses among a room full of normally dressed adults. The kids were dressed up, of course, but I was feeling a little uncomfortable.

So....I really wasn't planning on it this year, but I found this really cute sweater. I will wear the sweater and I found a hat like the one the skating girl has on. It will be fun.

Sometimes a piece of velcro (the hook side) can be really useful in removing sweater pills. Just test it out on a hidden area first.

I forgot to button it for the picture. It has cute little red buttons.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You know you need inspiration when....

...the only thing that gets you out of that nice warm shower is the thought of cold water in your face. spend more time WATCHING things (the television, items on e-bay, fish...

...the dog)...

than DOING things.

...your "work time" (for those who work from home) starts later and later every day.

When I need a reminder that I really do enjoy my work, I like to look at pictures of beautiful slipcovers or pillows or duvet covers that other people have made.

Therefore...I made an inspiration board:

And now that I'm all inspired, I'd better go do some work!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mid Century Musings

I want to be hip. Modern hip. But I have a hard time really warming up to the return of Mid Century Modern. We had those cool modern chairs with the wooden arms when I was growing up. Similar to this one:

And the sofa with the sleek straight lines. Very nice looking and very modern. But all that straight furniture was not so easy to curl up on as a child. Seems like everything was plastic or straight or flat. Lots of plastic in the 50's.

I also remember furniture with plastic covers. We didn't have the plastic covers at our house, but I remember sitting on them at someone else's house with shorts on and the plastic sticking to my legs when I got up.

I was amazed to find these listed in a funky catalog, and then found a Detroit company on line that actually makes custom fitted plastic slipcovers, like the ones I stuck to as a child.

I did make some plastic covers for a very nice lady. They were for her vintage beauty-shop chairs though, not her living room furniture. THAT I will never do. Sorry.

Let THEM eat cake.

That's my new saying. Birthdays are fun and I love to bake and make pretty cakes, but it conflicts with my efforts to avoid foods that contain sugar.
This was a chocolate cake...way too tasty with that coconut sprinkled on the sides: ( daughter #2 helped me make this for daughter #3 who still lives at home)

This Barbie with the cake dress was sent home with daughter #2 who has roommates who can help her consume the cake dress.

The husband was sad to hear that Barbie was not going to be staying with us, so I made this little cake. We got to watch my daughter blow out the candles, and then he and I had a piece of small cake.

Now it's up to him to eat the rest of it. No more cake for me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad

My dad turned 89 yesterday. Unfortunately, his birthday is sandwiched in between two of my daughters' birthdays that are exactly one week apart. (The birthdays, that is.That would be pretty strange if the daughters were only a week apart. They are actually 5 years, minus one week apart.) So I'm usually a little late with my greeting.

I am so thankful that my dad (and mom) are so healthy and enjoying life. My dad still goes out and plows and plants a huge garden each year. A couple of weeks ago he was taking the plastic off of his handmade greenhouse, getting ready for the Colorado winter. Once again he is setting a great example for me...."Keep doing what you love to do."

Growing up, the examples he set spoke loudest to me. He was and is very selective with his words, but by example and well timed exhortation he taught me to be honest, patient, kind and not to make excuses. (I'm not saying I've mastered these qualities, but I try.)

These are some of my favorite pictures from our summer trips to New Mexico where we stayed in a rustic cabin. As I remember, it was in the middle of a cow pasture and we would fetch water from the well (or spring) that served the bovine. I remember lots of chipmunks and lots of fun. Here we are on the porch. My dad is on the top step. I am sitting next to my aunt below him, and the other people are brothers, grandparents, uncle and cousins.

I loved going fishing with my dad when I was a little older than I am here. He taught me how to find a good pool where the fish like to hide.

Thanks, Dad for baiting my hook all those times and letting me tag along.

I'm not sure if I'm laughing or crying here, but I love this picture of us riding a horse. If I was crying, my dad's expression doesn't reflect it. He looks like he is having fun.

Thanks again, Dad, for all you have done for me through the years. I hope you had a special day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ties and tapes

I am working on a slipcover that needs a couple of skinny ties, so I got out my bias tape maker, and thought I would do a demonstration, for anyone who hasn't used one.

They come in different sizes and this one makes bias tape (or a tie) that is 1/4 inch wide. Start by cutting a one inch strip on the bias if you are making bias tape. I didn't cut mine on the bias because I am just making straight ties.

Feed the strip into the wide side, using a pin to pull it out the other side.

Press the now folded strip as it comes through the tool.

You now have a "tape" that is 1/2 inch flat, or 1/4 inch folded.

To make my ties, I just stitch the open side closed near the edge.

I back stitch the end and apply Fray Check to keep it from raveling.

You can order them here or at just about any place that sells sewing notions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Things of fall.

I took Max for a walk to the beach yesterday. The path is lined with trees and I picked these cute little acorns. The color is so great. I'm still trying to think of something to do with them.

If there were a fall wedding coming up they would make really nice boutonnieres.

Speaking of fall... that makes me think of sweaters...

I love making things from felted sweaters. I pre-ordered Betz White's book Warm Fuzzies, and can't wait till it gets here.

Last night I made some felted sweater roses from Katheryn Tidwell Bieber's book Felt It! Stitch It! Fabulous!

Fall has always been my favorite season. Out here in California where the seasons don't change dramatically, the subtle changes mean a lot, like the variations in cloud formations, the changing angle of the sunlight, and the crispness in the air.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Open Studios

I went with a girlfriend on Sunday to visit some artists' studios on our local Open Studios Tour. There are almost 300 artists participating, so we only made it to a fraction of them. I guess we should have worn our running shoes and avoided eye contact. As it went, we couldn't seem to stop ourselves from getting into conversations with the artists and watching demonstrations.

We were thrilled by Lisa Hochstein's work table and studio.

She paints and does fiber art.

Were amazed to watch steel being shaped by a HUGE, LOUD steel pounding machine in Kirk McNeill's studio.

And we enjoyed hearing how Betty O'Donnell dies her fabrics and makes her beautiful art quilts.

And a well used pincushion is always a thing of beauty in my eyes.

We had a great time. (We did make it to more than three studios. We saw beautiful pastels, watercolors, etc. and met a woman who makes awesome functional items, such as, purses, belts, rolls for brushes, and more. I encouraged her to sell on line, so that we can all have access to her great work.)

Sunday, October 14, 2007


My daughter of Paper Pony spent a week with us and even though she was working a lot of the time she was here, it was sooo nice to spend some time with her. Check out her beautiful photography at her blog and links to her website.

We made a trip over to Saffron and Genevieve and Raya took some pictures. These are pillows that the owner designed and I stitched together. (Another very talented woman that I have the privilege to work with.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Country comes home.

Even though doing the same thing month after month, year after year can get a little tiring sometimes, it does have its rewards.

Like working with really talented people who have good design sense and beautiful homes. These pictures are from the home of Ann Timm, who I do work for on a regular basis. Usually it is for her interior design clients, but occasionally for her personally.

Her home is featured in the November issue of Country Home. I have been waiting anxiously for this issue of the magazine, because the slipcovers in the top left photo were made by me. I was hoping that you would be able to see more of the slipcovered wing chair on the right, but that's okay. No complaining here.

If you have a chance to look at the magazine, there are more pictures of her charming house.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The tangle in my heart.

I have a heart shaped box that I made about 30 years ago that is filled with a tangle of embroidery thread. It's one of those things I keep for.... emergencies, I guess. Maybe for a time when I have endless hours to sew and create, but can't make it to the store to buy thread. (?)

I enjoyed this post by a very creative woman who amazes me with her continuous flow of beautifully stitched projects. My tangle of threads just sits on a shelf.

My current supply of embroidery thread is nicely separated in two metal film filing boxes that I bought at the St. John's Helpful Shop. I am using some of it to work on my truck quilt.

Which is rolling along rather slowly.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Rock collection.

Did everyone who ever lived have an egg carton rock collection as a kid? I know I did. I have always loved rocks. I remember my mom picking up rocks whenever we were on vacation. We camped in New Mexico almost every summer. (Lots of good rocks in New Mexico.)

While we were in Redding we spent some time walking along the Sacramento River looking for good fishing spots. Well, actually, I was looking at piles and piles of river rocks on the bank. Tom was looking for the fishing spots.

I only brought home what would fit in my pockets. I found one that looks like a landscape painting and one with little white bumps like a toad. Maybe they will end up in my fishpond.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Got my new camera and even though I'm still figuring it out, I had to take some pictures.

These two critters are new to the yard. The rabbit came from a yard sale, and the squirrel came from Morro Bay in August. I'm not sure why this rabbit is doing the "robot".

I'm sure thankful for hearty plants. The morning glory is thriving, even threatening to devour us all, while there are a lot of other plants around here that are hanging onto life by a thread....


I think I need to go thread my sewing machine, and, you something.

Monday, October 1, 2007

A little "creative relief"

I love it when I get to work on something fun. I usually steer clear of jobs involving clothing, etc.(non-slipcover related), but one of my decorator clients is having a wedding at her beautiful Spanish inspired home, with a gorgeous garden, and asked for my help. Who could turn down a chance to contribute to wedding festivities? She will be doing the flower arrangements and needed some "wrappers" to go around the bouques.

These have velcro on the back and one end so that they can adjust to the size of the final arrangements, and then the overlap can just be secured with a pin. The antique rhinestone pin on the bride's didn't photograph so well, but it looks very sweet.
I have been trying to use more of the colleted things I have around here, so I was glad to be able to provide the pin and the buttons.
The bow tie is for the lovable old yellow lab that lives there. I think it's nice that he was invited.

These vintage flowers that I have used to demonstrate, were an e-bay find.

Here's Max modeling the bow tie. He looks like he should be in GDQ (Gentleman Dog's Quarterly).