Friday, July 31, 2009

Double Delight

Double Delight has to be one of the loveliest rose varieties there is...certainly the loveliest in my neighborhood. Although my Double Delight bush in the back yard is floundering a bit, my neighbor's, on the island separating our two yards, is doing really well, especially since I have taken it upon myself to care for the lovely bush (which means pruning it properly for better blooms :).

Here is my reward (sniff deeply!):

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Art in a Cookie Box

My Wednesday night dinner guests surprised me with a box of Paulette macarons!

The beautiful and perfectly proportioned little box holds perfectly arranged and colorful little cookie treasures!

Yes I have started eating them...can't let them get stale! And yes, I do declare them délicieux!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Be My Guest, Sleep with the Quilts!

Not too far from the realm of artistic accomplishment is the readying of my guest room. The guest room normally serves as a quilt storage room, so finding places for the many quilts which usually grace this bed is quite the afternoon endeavor.

But I am pleased with the result, and need to capture it since is hardly ever looks like this:

On the bed is Cottonwood Pass, an adorable traditional quilt I made about 15 years ago. It's one of the only large quilts I have ever hand-quilted...I could do this back when quilting was still a hobby.

On the foot of the bed is Hawaiian Dimensions, made with a package of Hawaiian shirt leftovers picked up at Hilo Hattie's, made in 2000.

On the wall is one of my many Dancing Diagonals quilts, this one featuring geishas and made in 2002.

In the back corner, the sewing table is piled with about a dozen or so smaller quilts, all from my patterns - Love Letters on top, Diamond Delight below, and quite a few more underneath.

On the dresser is a Margherite table runner.

And speaking of guests, I get to be the guest at a Maggiano's dinner sometime soon! Submitting this very silly picture which clearly shows me at Maggiano's (note the lemon crescent cookies...a Maggiano's exclusive!)...

earned me a prize in their July giveaway!

Add that to the nickle and penny I found on the way home from the car dealership this morning, and I would say it was a good day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking Foray

I bought the full Adobe Creative Suite years ago for my quilt pattern business, but never really learned how to use Photoshop. So it is still on my wish list to learn how to better use this powerful tool.

I am not sure how I stumbled across Jessica Sprague and her Scrapbook Alchemy site...surely through some online means, perhaps twitter, perhaps blog hop, perhaps from just plain old 'surfin the web'. But since she offers a couple of free classes in using Photoshop for digital scrapbooking, I couldn't resist giving it a try.

For anyone interested, I highly recommend checking out her site.

Here's what I was able to do in just a couple of simple 15-minute lessons:
First Layout Anniversary Party

All the credit goes to Jessica for the page layout, but I did learn more about layers, photo placement, and text editing and placement. I'll be back for more!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And Rapidly to "R"...Yet Another Artist Card!

I won't say I am on a roll, 'cause that might be bad mojo, but just a day after the "Q" artist card comes the "R" artist card! "R" for "Roi".

The base for the regal queen is a plush mohair velvet fabric (an upholstery sample rescued from the discards of John Carlos at 218 Connecticut).
The paper queen, an image from a vintage deck of playing cards, is sewn in place with large stitches, reminiscent of those 'learn to sew' cards I had as a kid.
The clockface "R" is also sewn in place. Gold gimp trim adorns the side, and French lace, highlighted with gold acrylic paint, trims the bottom.
A metal crown with pink glass crystals, a gold colored fleur-de-lis, and a red crystal on the clockface complete the front.

On the back is another vintage playing card image, on yellow cardstock, all highlighted with gold sparkle acrylic paint. I discovered that my fingers do the best job of highlighting with sparkle paint...even better than drybrushing!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quickly to Q...Next Artist Card

Unlike the way too long pause between "O" and "P", the "Q" in my French artist card alphabet series has come about quite quickly :-)

It helps that while we were at our beach vacation earlier this month, one day the french word of the day was "coquillage", and I thought, "what a lovely word"!

OK, so it does not start with the letter "Q"...this is when I pull out my artistic license and use the lovely word anyway, since it has a "q" in it, and all the signs were there!

In fact, speaking of license, I decided to use instead the somewhat shorter word, "coquille", since that will fit much easier in the space of an ACEO!

This started out to be a simple card...a shell fabric thread-painted with metallic threads. But then it took on a life of it's own - glitter tulle, sea life charms, beads, crystals...I could hardly stop myself!

"Q" as in "coQuille", Diane Weber, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

And on the back...the base image is from The Graphics Fairy (thank you, Karen!). I added some text via Photoshop, some stamping, and faux scrabble letters...I love the result!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blog Hop? Why Not...

I've been to shop hops, considering joining paper chases, done the bunny hop, so now comes another hop adventure...a Blog Hop.
Of course now that I have joined, the pressure is on to write quickly! Perhaps the best way is listmania style!
  • wife and mom
  • textile artist
  • quilt pattern designer
  • traveler
  • francophile
  • eBay Power Seller
  • casual outdoor hiker/biker
  • word games, puzzles, typography
  • book lover, paper smeller
  • gardener, flower lover
  • Artist Trading Card creator
  • scrapbook newbie
  • junkie (as in, I'll pick up anything shiny on the ground, can't resist a pile of garbage, have difficulty throwing anything away, and therefore own way too much stuff)
  • favorite color - red
  • favorite food - lasagna and bagels (not together)
  • favorite place - Paris
  • favorite artist - Vincent Van Gogh
  • favorite book - can't choose (Secret Garden, David Copperfield, Harry Potter)
  • favorite movie - Amelie
  • favorite TV show - Dark Shadows
  • hobbies - reading, knitting & crocheting, paper stuff (scrapbooks, cards, collage), mosaics, painting
  • where do I find the time? I don't cook, rarely clean, sleep too little, multitask to extremes (currently writing, drinking coffee, working on an artist card, have two books open, have a game of Word Mole going on my blackberry, and am thinking of popping the Italian lessons into the computer, but may have breakfast first), have a great husband!
  • Oh and I live in the San Francisco Bay area, and cannot imagine living anywhere else, unless it is in Paris :-)
Thanks for visiting :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the Garden...Art Inspiration

The black-eyed Susans are glorious right now...

Reminding me of the black-eyed Susan ACEO I did last year...

I think it's time for another!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Enough with the Butterflies!

I knew the "P" would be "papillon" for butterfly.

I know I needed a little jolt to get going.

The color signs were the first of my inspiration.

Then came the huge butterfly in the stream at Carson Pass (how did it get all the way up there??)

Then there was "papillon" on French Word a Day.

As if that was not enough...
The free ColdPlay download features a butterfly:

And now, Paris Daily Photo, about a butterfly release.

I think I shall have a bowl of farfalle for dinner :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Papillon ACEO Completed

I am back to old habits, taking an eternity to finish a tiny piece of art, but the wheels are rusty and not moving quickly.

Still, I would rather take my time and be happy with the result, than rush and be dissatisfied. Actually, I would like to rush and be happy :-) Maybe next time.

For now, here is Papillon completed:

Papillon ACEO, Diane Weber, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

This "P" artist card in my French alphabet series represents a word that is somewhat familiar in English as well as French, papillon.

For the background I chose a sky-blue hand-dyed fabric (after contemplating the lovely orange umbrella against the blue sky). A complementary colored fabric butterfly is fused in place then heavily thread-painted with a variety of rayon and polyester threads, blending the yellow, orange and rust colors. The butterfly is also embellished with orange and gold crystals.

A paper clockface "P" and faux typewriter letters spelling out "fly" complete the front.

On the back is a digital collage of colors, textures, an original photograph of a butterfly taken by me at Carson Pass CA (elevation 9100 feet) this past weekend, supplemented with the words:
le battement d'ailes d'un papillon au Brésil peut-il provoquer une tornade au Texas?
Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set off a Tornado in Texas?

Papillon ACEO Back, Diane Weber, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Papillon ACEO in Progress

The signs were already strong, but then when the French word-a-day was papillon, I knew it was time!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Artistic Signs

First there was the orange umbrella against the blue sky, I lay at the pool at Kirkwood, looking up at the lovely orange umbrella and the gorgeous blue sky, noting once again the wonder of complimentary colors, I made a mental note to use a blue background for an orange butterfly on my next ACEO, the French "P" for "papillon", the one I have been postponing for some odd reason...

then there was this butterfly resting in the sun at the edge of a mountain stream at Carson Pass, where we hiked to Lake Winnemucca and RoundTop Lake...

The signs are telling me, get back to know what to do!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Perfect Complements

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Morning Ephemera

Although the summer afternoons are hot (but it's a dry heat), the mornings are cool and crisp, perfect for the morning "constitutional". This morning was particularly pleasant, with high little puff clouds in the otherwise clear blue sky, lots of twittering birds, the smell of fresh-cut summer grass, and especially fruitful ephemeral findings (try saying that 3 times fast!).

It's funny how a small object can trigger so many memories!

The first find was a piece of pool-blue tile, most likely from the recently repaired swimming pool on Bollinger near the Safeway. How many times we've passed this spot in past years and often found wet and muddy grass and pools of water on the sidewalk, thinking perhaps an ambitious sprinkler was the culprit?

Then last year we saw they were tearing up and likely repairing a leaky swimming pool, which explains a lot!

Alas, reminds me of another swimming pool under repair, at the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island. Boy, the years and trips all meld together so it's hard to recall exactly what year it was...perhaps the year of our 10th anniversary (that would have been January of 2007)?

I remember walking by the main pool (on the morning constitutional) and finding it drained and under repair. They were stripping off and replacing thousands of pool-blue tiles.
Oh how I wanted those tiles!! I still regret not grabbing handfuls of those tiles! After all, they were being replaced.
But someone who shall remain nameless does not believe in taking things without permission. Does he know that I snuck one home anyway? One precious pool-blue tile that sits among the pens and pencils in my travel pencil case.

Still wet from a morning sprinkling (from a sprinkler that is, not a rain shower...we won't see one of those again for months!) was someone else's ticket stub from a showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which the movies insist on shortening to Harry 6.

They could just shorten it to Harry, after all, we all know where we're at in the movie scheme of things.

I've already reported on my own viewing of HP & the HBP...
what I remember fondly is my first intro to Harry Potter.
I was a bit of a late-comer. Although I'd heard talk of the story, it was not until the second book came out in 1998 that I took greater notice. Both the Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets were prominently displayed at the book store in San Francisco airport, the bookstore that I cannot pass without at least a quick browse. I was traveling to Atlanta Georgia, enroute to Marietta (yuck, no good memories of Marietta or the job I had which sent me to Marietta) and wanted something for Megan.
A gentleman passing the table, seeing me flipping through the book, felt compelled to comment "they're really good books, and not just for children. You'll enjoy them too!". I thought about that, but not wanting to carry one or two heavy books, I stopped on the way back and bought Megan her first Harry Potter book. Like Harry, she was on her way to turning 11 years old.
And here we are, 11 years later, still enjoying Harry Potter in one way or another!

And then there is the dime. I do not leave loose change lying on the ground, no matter how beaten up, nicked, bent, or dirty. For that matter, I have a hard time leaving anything on the ground that hints even remotely of being interesting or useful. All found change goes into the electronic counting jar that sits by the door...the jar that says it contains $10.21,

but apparently someone has been pilfering from the jar.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiger Fan

Somehow the last couple of weeks have slid by without much art, much writing, much journaling...I'm not sure why, and so I am not sure what it was that was missing that has potentially now returned, but anyway, I feel like writing again, keeping track of special things, and special things occur every day!

This is by way of catchup, but not at all inappropriate on the first day of the Open Championship, the tournament that we talked about attending in Scotland, but alas we are not there, so perhaps another year...

Meanwhile, by way of catchup, the early part of the warm day of the 4th of July 2009 was spent watching golf. Not on TV like we usually do, but live golf! at Congressional Country Club in Potomac MD, where we stopped on our way to the beach for my first live glimpse of the legendary Tiger Woods!

I was not disappointed!
But I have to admit it is more informative to watch on TV, which we did the next day (via our home Tivo on our laptop thanks to borrowed bandwidth from the condo across the street...gotta love technology!), rooting Tiger on to victory!

Go Tiger!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Being the fan that I am, there was no question I would see the movie on opening day, having bought tickets weeks in advance. If I were a night person and could stay up, I would have gone for a midnight showing, but alas, 4:45 PM is more my speed.

I'm still taking it in, and feel compelled to re-read the book to remember more precisely what was in, what was left out, what was different.

Overall, of course a thumbs up for my favorite wizard. The movie was immensely entertaining, albeit emotionally draining.