Friday, October 9, 2020

PUMPKIN LOVE - part one

I love the changing of the seasons from summer to fall,
it's my absolute favorite time of year.
And I notice it as soon as I don't feel that intense summer sun's blistering heat on my shoulders
while I'm watering up at the cabin.
For me it's such a big sigh of relief.
And this year was no exception,
we had some major heat waves here in the California Southland 
along with all the crazy fires. 

This year my son Zach and his gorgeous bride are in their new home in the valley.
They gutted their grass in the backyard and planted a veggie garden.
Because we had amended the soil with lots of goodies like chicken and steer manure,
the plants took on a life of their own as you can plainly see all around them.
It was like veggies on steroids.
Ha ha
And the kids have a fairly large size yard
 because that's how they used to space houses in the 1950's and 60's
in the San Fernando Valley.
The pumpkin vines grew from one side all the way to the other side of the backyard.  
I had pix to share but 2 weeks ago I lost my phone and all my pictures and contacts.
So sadly I'm starting over again.
And no,
I didn't know I could save them to my cloud.
I just automatically thought they were up there.
I still have so much to learn.

But the great news is I don't need to go out and buy pumpkins this year.  
My son is my pumpkin patch.
Their largest one is in the photo above with them and it's still growing.
I'm thinking the County Fair.
This next one above is my personal favorite.
It puts a big smile on everyone's face.
The kids let my daughter Dani and myself take home as many as we wanted.

I'm placing them around my front door here at my husband's home 
amongst all my Cacti, Succulents and Xmas Lilies,
and then around my Home Studio door below.

But my favorite place is among my daughter Dani's eclectic mix of pumpkins from Trader Joes.
The really bright orange ones were grown by the kids.
And of course I love the pix even more because of the two best grand pups in the world!

Friday, September 25, 2020


Dearest Blogger Friends,
It's been so long since I posted that the whole format of Blogger has changed 
so that I'm trying to adjust to the new look as I write to you.  
This is a great stretch for my brain.  

Thank goodness I'm not teaching anymore,
not quite sure how all the public school art teachers are coping with lack of supplies and money,
plus just learning all the new technology.
I know me and I would have been FREAKING OUT!

I guess I've been in kind of a funk for the past few months,
trying to pull myself away from social media.
These are such upsetting and frustrating times plus I'm starting to feel very manipulated by the media.
So I find myself backing away from it and retreating into other venues:
reading, gardening, movies, knitting and working out.
Soothing activities.
Also still trying to loose weight but that's a whole other story,
an unsuccessful story.
But hey,
I'm got some great biceps going on.  
Ha ha

So anyways,
I'm super thankful for Liz Ackert (blogger friend I'm Going to Texas) 
and her checking up on me and my lack of presence here on the web.
Her reaching out feels so good amidst these crazy times.
Thank you Liz.

Now onto her quilt above.
I just revisited her post about this piece.
I'm so saddened to hear about her eye struggles.
She is awaiting Cataract Surgery in one eye,
and has floaters in her other "good eye".

Losing my sight has been my # 2 fear right after my #1,
So Liz,
 my prayers are with you.

Since she is having troubles seeing to stitch,
she has found that she has enough sight to finish off her Remember 2016 quilt.
She sent me this photo above because she included us,
my art students and I,
represented as artisun,
in her piece.
When I saw that it made my heart so happy,
so thrilled in fact that I had to go back on the whirled wide web and find her post about it.

Thank you Liz for helping me find my way back to my blogging buddies.

Sunday, July 5, 2020


After several weeks of deliberation about whether to gift this piece to my husband
who expressed his love of it,
or to give it to my son and his wife as a very tardy wedding gift,
my son won out.
Getting it to them was another matter
and barely fit in my car,
 but only with the top down.
It is at least 4 ft by 4 1/2 feet.
So needless to say it was a long, slow and careful journey as the wind whipped it to and fro 
against my seat back as I made that long trek to his home in the valley.
But I'm so glad I gave it to them for they ohhed and ahhed over it, 
and have already decided to hang it on a prominent wall in their front room.
Plus it was a wonderful surprise for them both
and completely unexpected.
My heart is happy.

I have since finished another smaller one which I really like as well, 
and am going to show my newly formed knit group how to wet block with it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Our raccoon family up at the cabin have been into mischief lately
as the babies are growing and turning into challenging teenagers.

This year we have two raccoon families.
One mother with 2 babies who seems to be managing them pretty well,
doing a lot of tree climbing and begging at our screen door at night.
Mommy #1 showing one of the little ones how to climb our tree outside kitchen window

And then a second mom with 4 underfoot.
Her young ones are at an age where they aren't wanting to listen and follow her anymore
and I feel for her.
No matter how much she scolds them they are constantly disobeying her,
and she is forever rounding them up and trying to corral them
with not much luck.
Second mom scolding her babies to come down out of tree

They've been tipping over pots, 
moving my well placed border logs to look for grub to eat,
digging in planters, 
and eating the Blue Jay's eggs and knocking down their nests.
I know,
all typical things raccoons do I have learned.
So every morning I have new surprises in the yard to deal with.
She finally gets them down so she can come down herself

The nest (top pix) belongs to my favorite Blue Jay family.
 The mother returns each year to make her nest under our front porch eaves
on a wooden platform that the owner before us nailed into place just for her. 
But the teenage raccoons found it before the eggs hatched,
made a delicious dinner of them and knocked down the nest for me to find on the ground. 
Needless to say I was very sad for the Jays.
Mommy #1 at our screen door at about 11:00 p.m.
not afraid of me

I don't know about all of you but I have loved bird's and their nests forever.
And this one is a beauty filled and woven with so many ingredients from our mountain community.
Look closely and you will see dried up thins of mud, 
dried wildflowers (I believe they are Fever Fews),
a piece of plastic string,
bites of cloth strips I put out every year for them along with dryer lint,
pieces of paper and lots of different sized twigs.
It is such a masterpiece of ingenuity.
I've got it displayed on our porch railing for Jim's grands to see.
Still waiting patiently for some grands of my own 
ha ha!

Sunday, June 28, 2020


is one of my favorite go to Fiber Artists
 who specializes in several Japanese Textile traditions. 
I recently learned that Glennis grew up in Japan 
and tries to return at least once a year;
many times leading a tour group to her favorite haunts,
a trip that is definitely on my bucket list.
Two weeks ago I ordered several of her lovely moons that she creates.
If you visit her blogsite you will she makes video tutorials 
so you can learn from her and see her process.
And she is a patient, inspirational teacher.
She calls them Moonmate tutorials.
I love the moons she picked for me on all types of different fabrics above!

She also has Shibori and Sashiko dyed and stitched pieces to purchase
and other amazing textiles.
In one of her tutorials I watched her working on this banner and feel in love.
I am currently decorating a room in my son's new/old home because I send the night when I drive up. 
He and his wife Nicole recently purchased a single family home in the San Fernando Valley
(in the same neighborhood that actor Brian Cranston grew up in)
and because of the long trek there thru the bumper to bumper Los Angeles Fwy system 
it's not worth it to drive up and back on the same day.
So the kids gave me my own room.
How about that!!!!!!
So my plan has been to decorate it in a bit of a Japanese style 
with lots of  Shibori textiles, handmade ceramics, 
and handmade wood pieces.
The color scheme is complimentary blues and rusty oranges.
And this banner by Glennis is my most recent purchase for the room.
One of my favorite parts of the banner are the 3 small wool squares that are dyed and beaded.
And her stitching flows so beautifully about piece in a very organic yet controlled  way,
which is right up my alley.
And check out her sweet little moons along the bottom.
In her tutorial when stitching this piece you can see how she uses her thimble.
It's a special one for Sashiko and is worn on the inside of the hand.
You've got to check it out.

Friday, June 26, 2020


with a super soft self-stripping baby yarn that fades/ombre's in and out.
Knit up a sweet little baby blanket with it,
just so I'd have a project for the car going to and from cabin.
Blocked and ready for the next baby.
Saving it for a friend of my son's,
Ria and her husband.
She went to Kindergarten thru High School with him,
and is now my daughter and my Dental Assistant.
Small world.

We adore you Ria!

Thursday, June 25, 2020


A Mother's Day Gift that bloomed 2 weeks ago after planting it up at the cabin.

Is the name of this new rose on the market
that reminded me of a lovely tye-dye work
with an ombre' quality.

My two pups and I on Mother's Day
at Roger's Gardens in Corona Del Mar ...
masks or no masks?
Both actually.

No mask as we walked across this hidden gem of a beach to the Newport Jetty
so we could watch the boats go in and out of the channel.
Glorious Day with my babies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


During Covid,
  I posted about an Online Workshop I'm taking with Textile/Dye Artist 
I've really enjoyed the daily exercises
 and if you are still interested know that the class is still open and going on.
One of my favorite projects was making this pincushion that India calls a Biscornu.
We were encouraged to use an endless variety of fabrics.
I chose to take apart a favorite family quilt of ours that had worn out years ago 
from so much laundering.
I did a few small repairs on some of the holes 
and used a special dyed embroidery floss from Fiber Artist Deb Lacativa
to sew the front and back pieces together with.
Sadly it didn't photograph well and isn't very noticeable.
Sorry Deb!
I'm pretty sure this antique button was a gift from another Textile Artist 
and the button on the backside was a small ceramic mouse that I've had for years,
waiting for the perfect spot to use it.
My son's beautiful wife Nicole is being taught to quilt and use a sewing machine 
by her dear mother Mary.
When I was there last I didn't notice a pincushion so I gifted her this one recently.
By the way,
those of you who have been keeping in touch about Nicole's mother and her cancer treatments,
she is currently in remission,
her 4th one.
Mary is my hero!!

Monday, June 22, 2020


of my grandpups.
Miss Tat and Granger during Covid.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020


Yes, I'm still here,
just so distracted these days.
I so hope you are still with me.

I feel I may have posted this piece before,
but I just finally blocked it.
Now it's at Michaels being framed for an ungodly amount.
Next one,
yes there is another in the works,
I will frame myself and not make it so large.

 This was made with hand dyed rovings from several different sources,
plus a few of my own.
Spun and plied mostly up at the cabin over several winters,
I had intended to give to my son and his wife last year for their wedding present.
But that didn't happen  LOL,
instead they needed a new refrigerator and so much more
 that I was delighted to give them to put off finishing this.
 So the other day cleaning out my UFO's,
I ran into it and decided to finally finish it;
trying to make good on one of my New Years Resolutions.
My spinning leaves a lot to be desired,
with many different weights going on in each skein,
thus the lumpy bumpy look of the uneven edges. 
But I really did enjoy this project,
being able to bring all these fractured skeins together
in a pleasing way.
Know that I was inspired by the work of French Textile Artist Murel
of  Clothogancho fame.
Here I am under one of the most gorgeous textiles I've ever seen or touched,
a piece I bought from Muriel a few years ago.
She dyes all her own yarns,
and if you've never checked out her website I recommend a look-see.
What I noticed straight away when I compare these last two photos is that lighting really matters.
Bright lighting above in my cabin studio,
but below is the finished piece drying after I blocked it under softer bedroom light.
The piece in real life is somewhere in between the two photos.
But at least it's flat now.
My husband loves it so much that he wants it for a prominent wall in our home.
We'll see.

Friday, May 1, 2020


These Covid days I find myself spending a lot of time on the internet finding new inspiration, 
new books, new Textile Stores and new artists.
There is just so much out there to delight our senses.
Today's find was a textile store in New South Wales Australia called Calico & Ivy,
and this Color Wash Quilt by one of it's own,
Lyndel is using Liberty's Tana Lawns fabric in her Hexie quilt.
Up to last year I was never interested in attempting this very difficult looking quilt pattern 
thinking it way too fussy,
until I purchased the book Wabi-Sabi Sewing by Karen Lewis.
I loved so many of her ideas in her book and was inspired to try my hand at those tiny little Hexies.
I made at least 50 of them thinking I'll turn them into a pillow cover.
But as I looked at so many of them on Pinterest I decided I wanted to make at least a Lap sized quilt.
I chose fabric I would not have normally picked to try to broaden my horizons,
but I just couldn't decide how to attach them together.
And of course for a lap size I'll need to make several more.
But after seeing Lyndel's from NSW,
I think I might try my hand at a Color Wash look.
I was also really taken with the backside of her quilt below.
She used magazine pages for templates.
It looks like a piece of Art from the 1960's.
If I was her I'd leave those page pieces in and alternate displaying it from both sides.

Monday, April 20, 2020


Creative Quilting and Japanese Textile Shop

Co-owners and designers,
 mother and daughter team Patricia Belyea and Victoria Stone run Okan Arts,
a delicious Quilt Shop in the Seattle,Washington area.
They specialize in importing vintage Japanese textiles and also leading fiber tours to Japan.
They also carry the coolest new machine on the market which gives a handquilted stitch look.
It's called a Sashiko 2 by Baby Lock.
I'm in love!

You might be familiar with Patricia's quilt book East-Meets-West.
I have just added her blog to my list of Artists I Follow.
I'm really enjoying perusing thru her blog and also doing a bit of shopping in the online store.
Patricia also holds a retreat every year to teach her East-Meets-West style
in a fabulous venue in Wisconsin.
I can't quite remember how I found this shop or perhaps it found me.
I do know I have loved Japanese Quilts for many years now,
especially the work of Yoko Saito.
Yoko is a quiltmaker famous for her taupe favored fabrics she uses.
I own two of her books and really enjoy watching her demos on YouTube.
But before I found Yoko I found the work of Contemporary Japanese Quiltmakers
which is super graphic in nature.
When I see it it's like an injection of pure joy and happiness.
Some of it can be quite minimal which I especially enjoy,
while other works are so incredibly complex you can't even imagine the time and skill 
it would take to create something so exceptional.
Check some out if you haven't had a chance to.
A good place is Patricia's blog,
a sampling:

The Tokyo Quilt Festival 2020