Friday, December 30, 2011

As the old year winds down

I am thinking about and planning some projects for 2012
I saw lots of embroidered tops on a recent trip down to West Palm Beach,
especially at Anthropologie
so I dug out some of my vintage patterns and collected floss and fabric
I plan to make up several kits in the next few days for embroidering and sewing.
I will also be listing a bunch of my vintage patterns on etsy so stay tuned!
DH gave me a wonderful magazine for Christmas called Jane Austen Knits - I love it!
And here I am casting on the Theme scarf out of some Cherry Tree Hill yarn from my stash
the color is called Spring Frost and it is so beautiful!
I also started working on a quilt for DH's birthday this spring
The pattern is from the February 2009 issue of American Patchwork & quilting
which I picked up at the Used Book Store
I think he will like it (well, I hope so anyway).
He likes to have a small quilt down at the bottom of the bed
just in case his feet get cold!
Thanks for reading
and hope you have a fun weekend!
We are just staying home for New Year's Eve
but I am going to a painting party on New Year's Day
and we are attending a big birthday party on Jan 2-
should be fun!!
that's all for 2011 -
see you next year

Monday, December 26, 2011

A holiday painting for my Captain

 I painted this for my DH for Christmas - it is based on a photograph that he took on Christmas night 1997 when we were anchored in Boot Key Harbor at Marathon. He went out in the dinghy and took photos of Kalahari, our sailboat, backlit by the sunset.

I have been working on skies so this one reminded me of early morning in the Keys and I worked on the strip of land from my fond memories
Hope you are having a wonderful Boxing Day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

May your holidays be shiny brite!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice!

"Night goes with silent steps
round house and cottage
o'er earth that sun forgot
dark shadows linger.
Then on our thresholds stand
white clad, in candlelight
Santa Lucia"
-an old Swedish chant

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday spirit all thru the house

1. a wreath that I made last year from Gecko Galz ephemera.
2. a variegated poinsettia on my table.
3.Buckingham Palace shortbread (I had to test a piece!)
4.I think this tag (Tim Holz inspired) is day 10 - I admit I didn't really like his for the last 2 days.
Hope your holidays are filled to the brim with joy and love!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Days 8 & 9

Day 8 of Tim Holtz's tags - a Steampunk tag
Notice the movie ticket stub for Sherlock Holmes and the date 12/25/2009
Amazing the things I save in my ephemera box!
Day 9
Free hand cut the candlestick, and the word "peace" is assembled from the remains of my favorite Pink Paislee alphas.
Off to work at the bookstore
Have a great day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December days 5, 6, and 7

Here are my newest tags inspired by Tim Holtz, but if you are following his blog,
you can see that mine ended up very differently
His day 5 was a red background with stamped white letters
I used a plaid paper
(I just finished reading Diana Gabaldon's new book
The Scottish Prisoner
and I suspect that I was influenced in my color and pattern choices by the thought of Jamie
I added some black Prima lace, some red tulle, and a Russian enamel brooch
His day 6 was a funky technique using some stuff I have never seen so I dug in my scraps box
and came up with a scrap of a painting that I had done in watercolor and gold leaf
It made me think of the wonderful dark chocolates that my DH gave me for my birthday
(I had saved some of the wrappers)
and I just accented it with a peacock feather and some charms along with the title
Finally day 7
Tim die cut holly leaves but I painted them and cut them out
I used a scrap of Stampington paper and a torn Prima butterfly (missing some parts!)
some little pearls (don't know whose)
I am really enjoying making these little tags
I will admit that I have moved away from scrapping pretty much
but it is so much fun to play with paper
flowers, ribbons, inks, and paints
I am ready to create some more tags but lest you think I haven't been painting
just a quick little sketch in my sketchbook of a Venetian door
from a photo I saw in a book
I am super excited to be enrolled in a painting class starting in January
about painting Venetian landscapes in watercolor
Maybe my OLW for 2012 should be Italy -
I could paint Italian scenes, learn to speak Italian (I have some cd's), 
watch movies filmed in Italy (the Tourist, Under the Tuscan Sun, etc.)
eat Italian food (my son gave me a Venetian cookbook for my birthday),
it's a thought anyway
What are your plans for next year, and do you have any favorite movies or books set in Italy?
thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December tags 3 & 4

More tags inspired by Tim Holtz
I stamped the tag with several different word and/or letter stamps in different colors
then added a little pine cone decoration that I used to wear on my suit collar lapel
The brass button came from my grandfather's fire chief's uniform
I loved Tim's snowman but I don't have a die cutter so I free cut the snowman from felt and used some old Pink Paislee alphas for the 25 and for his arms - a ribbon scarf, some tulle, and a few buttons to add some "snowball" accents

I just finished tags for days 5, 6, and 7
you will have to come back tomorrow to see them
I am using Tim's basic layouts and some elements 
my tags are taking paths of their own
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, December 2, 2011

December days 1 & 2

Day 1 (yesterday) of Tim Holtz's 12 tags for Christmas.
I went with his basic idea but used what I had in the studio
I have been doing a bit of sketching faces
Art is practice, patience, perseverance, and play!
Day 2 (today)

I drew the deer and cut it out freehand
I dyed the ribbon and burlap with coffee

Last week was a special family time with good company and delicious food.
This week has been a whirlwind of activity - painting, crafting, designing a new quilt, attending a Christmas luncheon, shopping, and working.
Sorry I haven't been around the web much lately but I have lots to show you in the next few weeks.
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November - right now

Right now............................
lots of activity going on in my studio - some things being finished, some things being started, and some other things in the midst
Above is a lap quilt I made for DH - the traditional Ocean Waves pattern just a bit updated on the edges - to remind him of our years living on the sea. The fabrics are a mixture of new and old - some Androsia from the Bahamas, some Japanese yukata fabric, and who knows what else

I am going through the design stage of a new quilt - thinking, sketching, playing with fabrics - we'll see what happens.......
I finished this knitted lace scarf for the Jane Thornley Branches & Dunes knitalong - it is knitted from Dune, Berrocco linen jeans, Artyarns regal silk, and some cream yarn (not sure of the brand) that I hand dyed with coffee and with glimmer mist. As you can see, the scarf coordinates with the knitted short sleeve cardigan that I knitted last year out of Berrocco linen jeans yarn

Just ready to cast on a new shawlette from a pattern called To Eyre - it is designed from the shawls in the Jane Eyre movie that I just recently saw on DVD. I fell in love with the shawls when I saw them and of course, was able to find a wonderful pattern on Ravelry.  

My white poinsettia is turning white on the top leaves just in time for the holidays and one of my Christmas cacti is covered in buds.  And can you believe it, one of my azalea plants is blooming right now - too strange - normally they don't bloom until February.

Getting ready for Thanksgiving - turkey and all that!!!!

Thanks for looking and have a great week,

Friday, November 11, 2011

{this moment}

Sorry that I have not been a very good blogger lately but sometimes life gets in the way. LOL!
Since last time, the temps have cooled off a lot here and we are enjoying the lovely November weather. October was a bit of an anomaly as it rained and rained and rained - not normal at all - last month we had the 2nd most rainfall in a month since they have been recording weather stats - and the all time top month for rainfall was September 2004 in which we had direct hits from 2 hurricanes. (We are saying thank you thank you for no big ones this year.)
I have been knitting, reading, baking bread, making soups, and painting. The photo above is of my easel/work table this morning and here is a close up of the poinsettia - just a little holiday spirit!
Hope your week is going well and thanks so much for stopping by.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Samhain!


I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o'-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.
- Carl Sandberg

Monday, October 24, 2011

Revisiting Orchids

I created a mixed media piece two years ago (and fortunately sold it) of Cattleya orchids and a wood backdrop. The wood was done with collage and acrylic paints, the flowers and background in watercolor, and the roots were composed of hand-dyed ribbons and fibers.  I decided to recreate the piece, this time totally in watercolor. I applied the watercolor paint onto the wood area straight from the tube and moved it around with a palette knife. the rest of the painting is normal watercolor painted with brushes.

thanks for looking,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October - right now

Just one more week in October but it's going to be a big one!!!!!! I am so loving this time of year with the house open
doing lots of baking - carrot cake for my birthday and banana walnut bread so yummy with cream cheese or goat cheese (just this minute I can smell our normal everyday bread baking - oooh yum - I love warm bread with butter or in the French way, with some dark chocolate melted on it!)
My lanai has lots of plants - Christmas cactus and poinsettia - getting ready for blooming and holiday gift giving
I am truly enjoying the wonderful new cookbooks that my son sent me for my birthday - I have been wanting more cookbooks by Tessa Kiros for so long - I love the artful photos and the delicious recipes
Doing lots of art and craft - see top photo - revisiting and finishing a quilt that I started when we lived in Jacksonville a long time ago (probably in the early 1990s). I called it Lavendar's Blue (like the song) - I pulled it out of the storage bin and fell in love all over with the soft palette.
Got sidetracked this past week knitting slippers - I had planned to knit slippers for DH for Christmas so I whipped up one last Sunday - it looked small so I showed it to him and had him try it on - way too small - I recalculated the stitch count and got his two slippers knitted on Mon and Tues - then on Wed I knitted a second one to match the small one so now we both have slippers - and just in time for our first "cold front" down in the 50s at night. Now I am back knitting my Branches and Dunes lace scarf.
I will be taking a watercolor class for the next two days in which we paint with gold leaf - sounds cool!
Hope your fall is going well and thanks for stopping by,