Tuesday, December 31, 2019


From our home to yours a very Happy New Year.

You betcha!

1.  To continue going to the gym to try to loose weight.
(so far no pds lost but I have rearranged the fat a bit by an inch and a half)
2.  To try to post more often here on the blog and finishing the art students from 2017-2018
3.  To also begin and finish the students from 208-2019.
4.  To finish up at least 10 projects or more,
and try really hard not to start anymore,
even though I have 2 new ones I want to start tonight before 2020.
5.  To begin watercoloring again.
6.  To try not to spend so much time on Pinterest.
7.  To Finish all my online classes (there are about 7 or so).
8.  To try to take at least two trips.  
My daughter is taking me to Waco Texas
for Xmas and my birthday.
(on my bucket list, I want to see Chip and Joanna Gaines Silo Store,
and to stay in a bed and breakfast on a working farm)
(on her bucket list too)

I can already see this list is gonna be a mighty big challenge.
I better start immediately!
So to the gym I go.....

Sunday, December 22, 2019


 Here's wishing all my family, friends, art students and blog followers
Truly Magical Holiday Season.

 Our dear neighbor's cabin this Xmas during right after the big snow.
He went all out this year for his family who came to visit.

Thank you for spending the year with me here,
and for all your heartfelt comments and e-mails.
For the friendships we've made via our blog-sites,
and the inspiration you all have been to me thru your art and stories.
I feel so very blessed to have all of you in my life.
Wishing everyone the best this Holiday Season and always.

Thursday, December 19, 2019


Recently I posted about the record snowfall we had at the cabin.
Well I finally got up to see it myself.
As I walked the mountain with the dog it looked like no home was spared damage.
Every yard had several trees down.
Some in yards, some on roofs, some on cars.
And worst cases,
100+ year old trees that completely came uprooted and fell to the ground.  
I saw at least 3 of those.
They were big thick ones like you see in the background in the photo above on the left.
It was devastating.
Above is a piece of the tree limb that broke and fell across our jeep.
Jim had to saw it off in parts because it was too heavy to pull off the jeep.
So now he's in the process of sawing it into firewood.
But what a mess!

This is a huge tree that spans over my tiny little studio.
In the photo below is a close up of  where the limb broke.
Luckily it didn't crash onto the studio but instead into part of the yard two photos down.

You can see how close it was to the edge of the studio building.

And right behind that tree was another.
You can see where it cracked at the top
and that the front most tree is holding up the branch from hitting the roof of studio.
Don't know yet how we are going to retrieve that limb.

And another tree that has broken in half behind the main cabin.

But the one I'm most sad about was my son's Japanese Maple 
that I've been nursing along for years until he is in his first home to plant it.
Look at how the limb split off from the main stalk.
My husband said maybe I can tape it together and it might fuse itself back eventually.
I'm going to research it and give it my best try.

But we are so blessed that we didn't have more serious damage like others did.

Monday, December 16, 2019


so I'm only a year tardy posting last Xmas' favorite pictures.
It's just how I roll these days.  
I thought I'd better take care of it soon as we are already into this next season's Xmas.
 Here we go.

We've got kitty Lily under my ex's tree on Xmas day while we opened presents above.

And my son Zach who brought about 5 different specialty beers to quiz us on at Xmas Eve
at my little home/studio. 
He is seen here reading off the correct answers.
My daughter Dani got the most correct guesses
(of course she did, she's a bar tender after all).

And here they are,
the glamorous couple of Danielle and Tristin,
  just starting their dog family.
This was when Granger was only about 4-5 months old.
I couldn't decide which pix I liked better so I posted both.

And my ex,
with his pup Bogie who is now getting to be an old man,
Bogie that is
He's got to be about 12 years old at least.
Inars rescued him off a golf course,
thus Bogie  :).
This was when Grandger still liked Bogie,
see how he's giving him a kiss?
Now they just tolerate each other.
We are pretty sure Boogie is a Rat Terrier mix.

And I loved this shot I took of Inars.  
I think I will have it enlarged and give one to each of our children for this Xmas.
We had a frightening year with Inars' health this last April.
During my son's wedding in Hawaii he wasn't feeling right
 and when he got back to the mainland
his doctor had him go in for Open Heart Surgery. 
He had a double bypass.
So we are all so very thankful that he is completely at 100% again.  
It took 6 long grueling months of recovery and physical therapy
but he's feeling energized and oh so lucky.

And of course there are rarely any pictures of me cuz I'm usually the one doing the photographs,
so I couldn't find one from Xmas Day or Eve,
but I love this one in my classroom of senior Jimena Alvarez and I.
She was an outstanding crafts student last year.

Have I mentioned lately how much I miss my classroom,
and how utterly thrashed and disorganized it's become since I retired?

How supplies are being wasted and damaged and not brought back to the classroom.
And just how filthy the classroom has become.

This all just hurts my heart so badly.

Some little birdies and their parents have sent me several e-mails and pix
 because they are appalled how much it's gone downhill in so many ways since I left.

What really saddens me is that I was not allowed to participate in the interview process
like I was promised several times  for many years now.
That I'd be able to pass on my program that took me years and thousands of dollars to build.
There were actually a couple of ex-Whitney art students waiting in the wings for me to retire 
because they wanted to carry on my legacy.
Now it's all gone down the drain.

I haven't been able to share and talk about this with all of you till now.
It just hurt too much.
There is so much more I could say but I think this is enough and you get the idea
of how truly heartbroken I am.

So much for this tangent I went off on.
Back to happier things.

 Wanting to end on a much more positive note 
 here are my husband Jim's grands playing their cigar box guitars Jim made for them.
Notice the "M" on top of Mackenzie's?
They loved them!
Both are growing up so very quickly with J.V. entering his teens.

Much love to all my blog friends this Holiday Season.
Thank you for your constant support and your lovely comments.
Happy Holidays!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2019


Each year my pathetic little pomegranate tree
 which looks like it might expire at any time,
yields to my surprise,
 the most serious poms.
This year it produced six medium sized fruits
 and they all split open in one amazing form after another before I felt the outside skin was ready.
They are not as sweet as the ones I get in the store
but that's ok,
cuz I'm so delighted I was able to keep the little tree going.
After all,
 it was gifted to me by my son many Xmas' ago.
And didn't it photograph beautifully a top my husbands black mustang?
Its reflection is remarkable against the black shiny surface.
Makes my heart so happy to see nature in all it's glory.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Almost 17 inches.
Thanks to our neighbors I have some fun pix to post.

A winter wonderland at out friend Chris' house
and a peek outside his kitchen window.

Our sweet jeep as the snow is beginning to melt.
We can really see the huge branch that fell on it.
Also notice that some little tracks where perhaps a squirrel is jumping from the branch to the roof.
Jim braved the rain yesterday and drove up to survey the damage.
It took him 5 times to get up our little hill and into our driveway
(glad I wasn't there to try that with him).
And the branch was too big and heavy for him to pull off jeep so he had to saw it off in pieces
to be able to even get to the porch to enter cabin.
Thank goodness the jeep was not damaged.
The electric was out for 5 days, 
so he had to throw out most of the food,
and I guess the yard is one big mess.
I'll go up this weekend to survey the yard work I have ahead of me,
and do a bit of stitching
while pup Sophie plays in the snow.

First big snow for this gentle giant.

Saturday, November 30, 2019


Our first big snow of the season.
Our neighbor took this pix as we can't get up there.
Apparently one of our trees fell on our Jeep.
Have no idea what the damage is yet.
Waiting for the plows so we can go up and check it out.
Took 4 hours for our neighbor to shovel enough snow to get out her door 
and to her driveway.
I think this may be the most snow we've ever experienced since we bought our little cabin.
Our pup Sophie is going to love it!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


I've got a revolting development soon,
running out of yarn and only about 1/2 done.
And I don't want to spent anymore money on these expensive handspuns,
and have too many projects going on to spin my own.
What to do?
I'll get back to you with the answers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Our first storm of the season came in late last night,
and it was so sweet to listen to the rain as I slept.
My hubby is up at our cabin and he said it's snowing there and cold.
Hopefully winter is here to stay.

Monday, November 11, 2019


The yoke is almost done as I head into week 2 of the online Cardi workshop.
Love, love, love working on size 17 needles and using extra bulky handspun yarns.
They are yummy!
Plus it goes so very fast.
With this last black/grey/purple yarn I'm working with 
tiny little daises have been handstitched on after it was spun,
and it's so fun to see them pop up here and there. 
I'm an English knitter but in this workshop I'm also trying to learn the European Continental style.
Another global skill which means it''s very difficult and requires much practice.
But hey,
I'm retired and have got the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 2, 2019


So this is the cardigan I'm going to attempt to finish before Xmas
for a gift.
I'm enrolled in a knit-a-long online class that I mentioned the other day out of Ojai, Ca.,
 at a new crafts shop called Cattywampus Crafts.
I never made it up there last Monday because I'd forgotten I had a previous important doctor appt.,
so I'm going to try to make it this coming Monday. 
The owners just got back from a 2 week trip to Japan and brought back many lovely things
both textile related as well as ceramic.
So excited to browse.
Something about some silk kimono bracelets, and hand dyed stitching threads.
Never have enough of either, right?
And yarn, lots and lots of yarn!
Whoo Hoo

Here are a few pix of the yarns I will be using in my cardi.
These are the base or foundation yarns.
Most are handspun by either myself or my spinning mentor Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts.
And 4 of them came from the Amy who runs Knit Collage thru Caddywampus,
the gal who is doing the workshop.
And two of them are silk strips.

But I felt as if I needed a bit more pop to my color scheme,
so I added the red/orange at top (Manos de Uruguay),
and the stark black from Amy on far left.

Rolled most of the balls last night and checked my gauge.  
Of course it's off no matter what needle size I used.
15's were too small and 17's too big.
I've not seen size 16's before.
So I will knit tighter with the 17's, 
they felt better with all that chunky handspun.

I'll finish up the winding tonight and hopefully start knitting  before bed.

Friday, November 1, 2019


There are no trick-or treaters in our condo complex 
so if we want to see the little ones dressed up we have to go elsewhere.
This year my daughter and her boyfriend invited us over
and we all hung out and had a blast.
We started off before the Happy Halloweeners arrived by taking the pups out in their costumes.
Granger was a shark and Miss Tatum a little bumble bee.
These two pix were taken last weekend at a party for dogs in their outfits.
Who knew.
ha ha
Sorry they are a bit blurry.

Then last night we had a special appearance by one of my daughter's neighbors
in his fabulous clown costume.
And of course a very special appearance by my ex 
who came creeping around the windows with this mask on.
He scared the be-gee-bies out of us!
Fun had by all!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Oh boy,
retirement is hard work
ha ha!

I'm piling so much on my plate,
 and I'm finding there isn't enough time in the day to do it all.

I'm participating online in more workshops like Knit Stars 4,
and I'm haven't even finished Knit Stars I yet.

I'm forming a knitting group in my condo community
(so far there are 3 of us).

Still working on my gorgeous eco-dyed baby blanket in my online workshop
with Australian artist India Flint,
and the blanket for the couch that I shared in the last post.

And of course the Knit-a-long workshop Cardigan
with the peeps at Cattywampus Crafts.

Oh my!!!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Nine years ago when I moved into my new husbands beautifully appointed home,
he had this striking oil hanging over his couch.
It stills hangs there over a very masculine leather sofa.
To soften the look a bit I felt that I needed to add a knit throw.

So I began this lap throw after taking an improvisational knitting workshop 
with knit star Valentina Devine. 
I first became acquainted with her in the gorgeous coffee table book 
Knitting in America.
Valentia lives in Los Alamos, New Mexico and her background is fascinating. 

I have always knitted! Born in Russia and growing up in Germany, I can remember knitting all sorts of things from doll clothes to small garments for myself. In the early eighties I became a life-time member of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria Virginia. There I exhibited knitted one-of-a-kind garments and wall hangings. For the Folger Theater I knitted costumes for Macbeth. At the same time I started teaching a technique “Creative Knitting” and I continue to the present day. I have also knitted two major costumes for the road show of “CATS”; Deuteronomy and Gus, The Theater Cat. Some of my knitted garments have been chosen for the movie industry. I now enjoy designing for different publications. I have been a contributor to many knitting books and publications. As time went on I have added to the courses I teach. I now teach six different techniques. I show my art-to-wear garments in different boutiques throughout the United States. I cannot imagine not knitting and I hope to continue to inspire many more knitters here and abroad.

In 2011 I was able to get this far
which I posted about in March of that year here on the blog,
but then I lost interest and put it away
 and finally took it out this last week and have started knitting on it again.

I took it up to the cabin this weekend and have almost finished off that bottom row.

Please note!
I have not blocked this yet.
And it's all over the place lumpy bumpy and wavy.
I will tame it eventually when completely done.

I still have so many stash yarns to bust thru so I'm going to lengthen and widen 
and then probably put several borders around it.
At least that's my plan right now.
But knowing me I will get distracted with another project
 and this will wait another 8 years for me to pull it out again.

Speaking of that,
headed out tomorrow morning for a 2 1/2 hour drive up to Ojai
(inland from Santa Barbara but above Ventura)
to a new crafts shop called Cattywampus Crafts for a knit-a-long.
Going to be starting a cute little v-neck cardigan with all handspuns (some mine)
knit on size 17 needles.
Can hardly wait.

Poor little throw.

Monday, October 21, 2019


as I show you a bit of Autumn in the So. Cal. mountains,
as well as two new bears we found at garage sales recently.

Mums that came back from last year,
a minor miracle.

We actually met the man who carved this bear up in Running Springs.

One end of our Lake with the lone red maple,
and right across the street from lake this truly remarkable tree
changing from it's green to yellow to red leaves.
I made my husband stop on the side of the road to capture this it.
Nature is truly remarkable!
An Analogous color scheme my lovely students.
Know I haven't forgotten about posting your artwork.
retirement has really made me slow down and smell the roses,
and made me really appreciate all the beauty that surrounds me.
 Being with all of you Whitney art students was my Happy Place for 39 years,
and now just taking my time and really enjoying all that life still holds for my family and I,
is my new Happy Place.

Seems like I'm only averaging one post per week.
I will try to do better.
Hang in there with me,
and keep your e-mail updates coming in.
I so enjoy hearing form you.