Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rapping up 2009

It was a good year, a great year, a year like no other
A year to be proud, proud to be a mother
Cause I got a family like no other

We traveled to Paris, not one time but two
We even went to Bruges

Italy was fine, divine, lots of pasta and wine

Then there's Moe, Larry & Curly
Curly's the boy cat that's girly
Three little kittens that didn't lose mittens
But stole our hearts, in our lives they're a part

Let's move, I don't like it here, it's time to move on
Silver Creek here we come

How many art cards can one mama make
I've got the whole alphabet to cover, Jake

Speakin' of Jake, there's the Twilight reads
Gotta love a vampire story, but I'm on the Jacob team

Found a new thing in scrappin'
then there's rappin'

Never done it before
But there's always room for more

More flowers, more gnomes, more Eiffel Towers
More strange creatures with super powers

Settin' glass and ceramic and china in rows
Mosaics, I'm doing it, tesserae in droves

Where's the quilts
They're still hangin'
But they're hanging' small
Happy New Year to All!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

French by my Side

Sometime during the Christmas season, my French Word-A-Day book arrived, this one the Summer 2009 Stories, by Kristin Espinasse. The book, which of course I had forgotten I had ordered, sat under the Christmas tree for a while, still wrapped in plastic. It was a gift to myself, so not inappropriate to be under the tree and wrapped.

But the tree came down early this year, to prepare for the final cleanup prior to selling this Stern residence. And so the book got shifted.

Shifting is what I've done a lot of these past few months. Shift stuff from the master bedroom to the spare bedroom, from the spare bedroom to Jay's house, from the dining room to the garage, etc. Shifting can occur in multiple stages before an item finally comes to rest in a packing box in the garage.

Well, my French Word-A-Day book is in stage 2 or 3 of shifting, sitting right beside my desk, something that shall remained unpacked until the last box from the studio is packed, so that I may continue to enjoy it.

Kristin's wonderfully personal and light-hearting writing has made me a lifelong fan. I feel I know this lovely woman, her children Max and Jackie with their constant attemps to correct their mother's French, their dog Braise and her big amourous adventure of the summer, the puppies, and the ups and downs of brave little Smokey, and of course husband and winemaker Jean-Marc.
You can learn a little French as you support this wonderful blog, buy the book, and enjoy it as I am!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bright Starts

I was just a tad earlier on the road today, and this was my reward:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Floral Confusion

A few days of frost, followed by a few days of rain, has apparently quite confused the poor little daffies in my back yard.
While I am totally ready for spring, I think we still need to get through January!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


And in between the packing, cleaning, reading, watching and listening, I have managed to do my last bit of quilting for the year. I am in the final stages of a Circles quilt, which needs a better name...hmmm. Flight of the Cranes just jumped into my head...
All I have left to do is complete the hand-sewing of the hanging sleeves, press, apply a label, and deliver it to its buyer.

And hopefully get a much better picture once it is hanging in its intended spot, in a beautiful staircase of a beautiful home, where it will be appreciated every day.

The accomplishment of the weekend was finding this perfect binding fabric at The Granary, a batik with a mix of green and purples, with brownish circles that blends perfectly with the border fabric, providing a slight contrast which should sit nicely against the dark cream wall.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Ever thoughtful, another gift from Megan, that is giving me hours and hours of listening pleasure, plus memories of watching Once on the plane...where were we going? It was 2007, so it must have been Paris and the South of France.

Friday, December 25, 2009


What I'm watching...and never tire of Harry Potter movies, although I worry a bit about the emotional wrenching to occur in the last movies.
This being a 'lean Christmas', this was the only thing I asked for, and got...thank you Bubbie!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


What I'm reading (not great literature, but I'm a sucker for a vampire story :-)...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Gift Tags

There is not much time for crafting this year, as we are embroiled in the attempted purchase of a new home, with all the ensuring paperwork, cleaning, packing, etc.

This also meant there was little time for Christmas shopping, although most everyone agreed it would not be a bad idea to take it easy with gifts.

Wrapping isn't normally my thing. I admire beautifully wrapped packages, but just can't bring myself to do it, especially knowing I will see my wrapping efforts crumpled up and thrown into the garbage or recycle bin.

But, despite the potential for these to end us as recycle, I decided to put some creative effort into gift tags. After all, I have stamps, and I have a new lot of Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads (yeah, I finally won an auction for one of these lots!).

This one is a Penny Black stamp, Ranger Fired Brick Distress Ink, with Vintage Photo ink on the edges, and Xmas Red Stickles

A Hero Arts stamp in Vintage Photo Ink, with Worn Lipstick ink on the edges, and some Copper Stickles.

This tag started with the name of a paper line which I saved for a long time, mounted on vellum then on a tag inked with Ranger Peeled Paint.

A simple Inkadinkado stamp on a tag inked with Antique Linen Distress Ink, the name in Vintage Photo ink.

Here's the Penny Black stamp again on red cardstock with Stickle highlights.

Last, and my favorite - the background was stamped with the excess ink from the other tags, over-inked with Antique Linen, edged with Vintage Photo and Worn Lipstick, then a Stampabilities Amore stamp in Fired Brick, an Invoke Arts dressform, a Stampin' Up fleur-de-lis, Cavallini postal mark, and snowflakes in the corner. The snowflake stamp is the first stamp I ever bought, for 50 cents at a garage sale.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Monday, December 21, 2009

More Hawaiian Color

The brilliant colors that dominate the Hawaiian landscape, even in the "dead of winter", will hopefully stay fresh in my mind for weeks to come, brightening any of the gray days of winter.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Beach is a Place...

I was quite the Who fan in my day, wore out my vinyl copy of Quadrophenia. And although I am not quite sure what this means, I always identified with the line...

"The beach is a place where a man can feel he's the only soul in the world that's real."

I can spend hours at a place like this...oh wait, that's what I did...all week, every day. I feel relaxed, refreshed, and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
Thank you, beach, thank you, beach creator!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Changing Winds

Yesterday afternoon the winds changed, and the trades began to blow from the north. This created considerably more surf and waves on our wonderful Eldorado Beach.
I assumed this meant there would be no sea glass hunting, but I was wrong!
It simply changed from finding glass at the water's edge, to finding glass on the beach!

I don't often find clear sea glass because it is too hard to see in the waves. But I found lots of clear sitting on the beach, along with a few greens, the usual amount of brown, and a couple of turquoise gems, including the one in the center at almost an inch long!

What am I going to do with all this sea glass?
Well, first of all, I need to find all the glass in the garden and the house. I shall not intentionally leave it behind.
Then I think it all needs to find it's way into a mosaic creation!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Smitten with Color

I am just smitten with the giant hibiscus flowers. For some reason, they seem much larger and more colorful than I've previously noticed. Perhaps because I am so in need of color recharging, having left in the midst of a particularly gray spell back home.

Gawking at the blue sky and fauna are an important part of any trip to Hawaii, but how wonderful to also find a beautiful sign, and one bearing my Hawaiian name! I love the crisp lines, the contrast, the shadows cast by the lights, and of course the playful font.

With all this wonderful inspiration piling up, I am missing my artwork!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Growth of the Booty Pile

There is a lot more to it than it might appear, accumulating such a large pile of booty. First of all, this represents hours of "work". It is not simply a matter of bend down and pick up the piece of glass.
First of all, one must observe the tidal action, although there is not a lot of tidal variation in Hawaii. Then, one has to observe the wave patterns, and find the sections of the shore where some transverse wave action is creating a deposit of materials. Carefully note the drop off, and start hunting!

Snagging a piece of glass, barehanded, without the aid of any nets or scoops or tools, requires keen eyesight, quick reflexes, all while keeping an eye on the waves and never, never turning your back on the ocean.

What does this have to do with quilt art? Observation, keen insight, always on the lookout for inspiration, finding it in the littlest things, from broken glass tumbled by the see, money lying on the ground, and free beer in the cabana refrigerator :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Winter Color...Hawaiian Style

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the still-dark kitchen of the condo this morning was the lovely sweet aroma wafting into the open jalousie windows.
Once the sun was further up and I walked out to greet the day, there to greet me was a set of large and glorious hibiscus, with blooms the size of lunch plates.

The thing about pure color, or pure beauty, is that it never gets old. For this is not my first trip to this tropical paradise, nor second, but actually approaching closer to a year spent on the various islands. How many pictures have I taken, how many plumeria blossoms plucked off the ground, their sweet fragrance inhaled deeply with closed eyes, a sensual memory to be tucked away and recalled in the gray and rain of the rest of the winter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Color Infusion

It's hard for me to get through the winter...I don't like the cold, I don't like the dark. I like it warm and bright and I like my world filled with color.

What a treat it is to escape the grayness of winter and infuse my daily life with a little color!

This beautiful poinsettia tree...yes, tree! is visible from where I sit, just inside the lanai, with the screen open, a gentle breeze swaying the palms, the golden glow of sunset reflecting off the walls. The color is actually redder than it appears, since I took the picture this morning and the morning sunlight washed it out a bit.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Here today...Gone to Maui

We so need this...funny thing is, if it hadn't been scheduled and paid for a long time ago, we'd probably be tempted to not go anywhere, to stay and worry, to wrack our brains over things over which we have no control, to wait for answers so we can figure out the next steps.

Funny how we work, and how sometimes the best things are decided for us, for somehow, looking out on this, the problems just don't seem so complicated, the consequences not quite so dire, the outlook...a little brighter.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

ABC Book - P, Q & R

Saturday, December 12, 2009

ABC Book - N & O

It is rather appropriate that the "N" for "Noel" is being featured today, somewhat in the holiday season.

And the "O" for "oiseau", just before we are about to fly away like birds for some warm-weather holiday relaxation.