Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beauty In All Its Glory

There a quite a few paintings I have felt faint from looking at, but there is only one where I have felt that I fell into a whirlpool and was lost. Last year Los Angeles Museum of Art had a show of Klimpt paintings. This was right after the suit with Austria was settled and the family once again gained custody of the painting. I went to see the show with my darling niece and my son. We were able to go on a day when it was for members only. I prefer that because there are fewer people to come between you and the artwork.
We walked in and there it was. The glory of the work was overwhelming. I don't know if I breathed or not. The impact was glorious. This is my favorite work of art. I lose myself in the mystery and passion that Klimpt showed for this woman. The work is so sensual that it pulsates. It is glorious!
Now imagine my delight and surprise when I received this Christmas card!!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Talk About Fun!

I have not had this kind of fun since I was 9 years old. Truly, I had forgotten how much fun it was to make doll clothes. This is like taking time out of life. It is like sinking into a hot tub with a good book. I had so much fun.
Since I am always at a loss what to do for my sweet granddaughter, I rely on her mother. On Saturday my daughter-in-law told me that Lucy had been asking her to make doll clothes for her precious baby doll. My daughter-in-law is Always extremely busy, between work and home life, she had no spare time to do this. I gladly accepted the request.
When my sister and I were tweenies ( eight years and ten years), there was a very popular doll called a Vogue Doll. It was not a storybook doll and it wasn't a baby doll. It was some where in between. It came with a dress and that's it. We decided that we would make more clothes. We would go up to Sprouse-Ritz (a five and dime store) and ask the lady to cut four inches of this fabric and four inches of another fabric. When I think of the patience that woman had with two young girls, I am grateful and try to pass that patience on. I learned so much about sewing from making doll clothes and gradually moved on to clothes for me. So, I forgot the fun and freedom of making these small bits of cloth into little dresses.
Lucy will now have a few changes and night wear for her favorite doll. And I had fun doing it, which is the absolute bonus of it all.
I wish you all the fun I had with the doll clothes in your labors to give the best.
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2009

Feliz Navidad

My sister and I always liked frogs. Our dear Nana told us stories about Annabelle and the Golden Ball and a frog plays a major part of it. We liked how spoiled Annabelle was and how smart the frog was. "Nana, tell us about Annabelle again". How we loved that story.
Then we moved to "across the bay" and there was a creek near our house. We would walk up to the creek with our next door neighbor children. We would all have glass jars to catch polliwogs. When we came home from the creek, we would make a habitat for the polliwogs and over the weeks would watch them turn into little tiny frogs.
Frogs were our friends. They were not frightening.
So, one Christmas after another, my sister made frogs the theme of her Christmas cards. Oh, how it enjoyed the anticipation of seeing what she would do next.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Would Like One Too!

If I try real hard to be good, do you think Santa Claus will give me a pony?
I rememeber asking that of my mother but it wasn't a pony. It was a cat or kitten. I was to young to realize that my parents were not cat people. I had to wait until I was older to have my very own kitten. But that is what I really wanted when I was little.
What did you want when you were little?

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Winter Grosgrain Purse

Over the weekend, my computer decided to have a thorough house cleaning. They do have a mind of their own and they are pricey to keep happy. On Saturday afternoon, my computer crashed. I was trying to post the photos of this purse and whamo!!!!!!!
I spent two hours on the telephone trying to handle this problem. The fellow then had to quit for the day (or early morning as he was in the Philippines). We made arrangements for him to call me yesterday morning at 7:30 AM. Then there was another two hours on the telephone while the new installation took place. Then after our call ended, I spent the rest of the day installing the programs that make life workable on the computer.
What is the worst is that I lost so many of my blogs that I like to visit. I am now going to other people's blogs and stealing. Oh, woe is me, a petty thief and right before Christmas.
I was not able to download my photos of my new purse until this morning. and here it is. I call it "Winter Grosgrain". The pocket on the inside reflects the pattern on the outside. There is a medallion of a Chinese phoenix carved in sage green Jade.
I am much relieved to back in the everyday world of workaday Monday.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chair Stealers

Here I was, coffee cup in one hand and book in the other, walking into the living room to read. I walk over to my favorite chair and two little "people" blink up at me. Could I really throw them out and sit down or should I find another chair?
Sorry to tell all, but I gently lifted them out and sat down.
It is not the most comfortable chair for them, is it?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's a Willie Dixon Christmas

This Christmas card was given to me by my sister. This cat looks just like my Willie Dixon, who was 17 years old in June.
He is a darling and very, very dear. I got him from a pet store and two days later he became very ill. I thought he had died and did not have the courage to take him to the vet and hear the cruel fact that he left so soon. So, my son took him and the vet said, after giving him and injection said "Well, give him this paste. Offer it every hour and give him good water as well and maybe he will live". Little Willie lost all of his hair and looked very funny. But slowly he started to regain his health. Because of his hairless condition, I would put him in my smock. I would open the front of it and hike it up to form a pouch and I would carry him like that for an hour or more. He would stay warm and feel the love. It took him a long time to recover from his early problems and he is still very allergic to fleas but for the most part, he is fine.
Oh Sweet Willie, you have my heart.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Please Meet Shaw

I found a new friend for Frida. Frida doesn't know if she really, really wants this. Frida is a very friendly dog and adored Simon. And she has been lonely without a dog friend.
I went on line and looked for a friend. I found this fellow a few miles from me. I made an appointment to see him and then when I saw him, I realized that he really needed a home.
They told me that they found him on the streets. From the look of him, he had been on the street a long time. He is thin and needs weight. He must have been on the street during the summer months because the flies have eaten off the top of his ears. It is not pretty and because of that, I felt that he might have a hard time finding a home. Other than his ears, he is absolutely handsome. He has a potential of about 100 pounds but he is not that now. He is bigger than Frida but very thin. He will be fun to feed. He is not trained, so I will have to work on that as well.
So far, he is a love and Frida, I sure, will love him.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Card

Since we are now officially in the Christmas season, I will break out in Julie Andrew's elegant rendition of "These Are a Few of Favorite Things".
This is my "all time" favorite Christmas card. My Mother was a very good artist. She could pick up a brush and just wow the socks off a person, especially me.

One Christmas, my father and I prepared these pieces of wood for about 15 special people. My Mother painted them. Then I sprayed them with clear varnish and assembled them. It was definitely a group project but it still remains that my father and I were only the working elves.

Because I was there, I got to choose what I consider the best and this is it. I think that all babies need to be a little plumb, just like my baby was. And this one personified what I think babies should be and I loved it. I do not put it away after Christmas but enjoy it all year long. This was painted by my Mother about 35 years ago and it still remains lovely in my eyes.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Give Thanks

My project for the Thanksgiving Day weekend was to finish this purse. Well, I fell short. This is not completed but almost.......
I still have to put in the blue Velvet and blue Satin lining and put the decoration on the flap. I have this lovely white and black Jade carving that really is very special. But I wanted to show that I have been working. Working and listening to books on tape.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Clearing House

My garden is giving me the last promise of 2009. The last flowers are losing petals. I will miss the colors and happiness but I know that it will come again. Isn't that wonderful that we always have next Spring?

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Photo!!!!

This is a new photo of my latest purse. I need to take lessons is photography. I can't seem to find the right light in my house.
Care to tell me how you do it?
The fabric of this purse is so nice and touchable that I wanted another photo to show the loveliness of it. This is a definite improvement.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lighthearted Tuesday-Late-10% Penalty

The days have gotten away with me. Too many other things intrude on my consciousness.

But this is a funny card and hopefully the wit will redeem me.

I hope that Thanksgiving will inspire us all to forgive and think higher thoughts. I will be working for that also.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Attempt at Jaunty

This is my attempt at frivolous and fun. The long wallet fits very easily inside, as well as the cell phone and there is the pocket for keys and lipstick. It did not take to much time, once I had all the parts together. The outside is a very new design and it is cotton and rayon. The inside is dark brown Chamois. I do like the feel of leather.
I think that I when make this design again, I will make it a bit larger. I don't do jaunty that well and I prefer to have a lot more room.
P.S. The little black spots on the left side of the top photo is Mr Chester, the sweet darling!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vestige of my Youth

Somehow throwing my iron in the refuse bin does not seem like the proper thing to do to an old friend. I purchase this iron the first week of moving to Los Angeles. I went to the May Co. and bought it. I had brought my sewing machine but a seamstress needs an iron! That year was 1967. When I say it like that, it makes life zoom by. But this iron has been a trusted friend for 42 years. My goodness! But it always worked. The steam always came out and I never had even a thought of getting a new one. "When it ain't broke, don't fix it" is sort of my motto.
Well, yesterday, my trusty iron said that it couldn't go any further down the road. And I had to get on my horse and look for another. I was surprise to see how large the irons have gotten. I don't know if that makes them better or not but I will find out.
New is not always better!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Light Hearted Tuesday

This little guy is a little faded. I have had him on my desk for about five years. I had him clipped to a note holder. I just liked to look at him. A few weeks ago I brought him up to the house to use on "Light Hearted Tuesday" but not until St Patrick's Day. But........
I guess I feel that I need a little luck. And then all the little things started to come together pushing me into today. Last night I dreamt I was watching a lady put St Patrick's Day cards into her shop. I told her how my birthday was on the 17th (June), I was Irish, I was named after my uncle Patrick and how my birth announcements were especially printed with a shamrock. When I woke up and was dressing, I reached for my favorite green shirt and I remembered my dream and then remembered that today is the 17th. How the mind works...... But I still need the "Luck of the Irish", so here is my little man.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Past Life Offering

This is the "Reticule" that I just finished. It feels good to get that out of my system and get back to normal purses. This "Reticule" has three different types of lace. I dyed the lace and now the colors all have a relationship to each other. It is lined with orange Taffeta. Like all "Reticules", it has a pull closer. One side of the "Reticule" I have adorned with Biwako (FreshWater) Pearls and the other side is adorned with Coral. I think that I have kept the feeling of "Reticules". And the funny part about it is that it does not feel new but decades old.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Old Purse

I made this purse about two years ago but was never happy with it. You know how sometimes you work on something and put all of your concentration on it, thinking that this is the path? Well, that is what I had did with this purse. I liked the grey and the counter point of the red underneath. But as a usable purse, it just didn't make me happy.
Just last weekend I understood how I was going to correct it. I put a flex opening in the top. It gathered the top nicely and it all came together. Now, for me it works!
This is grey felt with white felt on the inside and with red trim. The straps are satin that I fringed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rememeber the Red Flags!

This about the size of the worm that invaded my computer yesterday. Not very big but VERY invasive. I received an email from someone that I had "red flags" about, but since I wanted to have good relations with, I went ahead and opened the email.

Guess what? When you get "red flags", they usually are correct. This little worm took over my computer. I completely lost control. I couldn't open the Internet, I couldn't open my word processor, and I couldn't even play a solitaire game.

Fortunately, I have Norton Symantec. I called and for a "certain" amount of money, they remotely cleaned cleaned off all the porn sites that were placed on my computer, took out all the "cookies" and supposedly made it run faster.

I am now up and running and maybe a little wiser!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don't You Feel Like Dancing?

I do enjoy the creativity of the posters from this era. They seem so vivacious and fun.

I received this postcard from a customer that had bought a sound system from me. She is a singing teacher that had over used her voice and needed relief. We were able to help her and she sent this card to me as thanks.

I kept the card because of the sentiment that she expressed but also because of the drawing on this side.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Am I Crazy?

I had admired this Marble topped Walnut dresser many years ago. The friend that owned the dresser was getting rid of it. Naturally I said " Oh, why don't I take it?"
With the fine memory of it confirmed in my mind, I drove my little truck over and picked it up. I didn't realize that it was as heavy as it was, with the marble on top but we were able to secure a neighbor to assist me in the moving. But in moving of it the marble came off the top and slide into the truck onto the packing blanket. That made things possible for me to handle it easily.
I did not have the time to examine it for a few days but when I did, I thought "What, are you crazy?" there a many things wrong with it and I will have to find new moulding or make it. I will have to replace two different mouldings, create another piece and stain it. Yikes. But it is old and the marble still looks good and every drawer has a lock on it. Not that that is important but it does tell the approximate age. So, I will keep going on it and try to think of it as a lovely holiday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Work(s) in Progress

I have two works in progress. What was I thinking? I truly don't know. I just got so excited by the "Ribbon" purse that I started it and then came across a problem with the loose weave of the ribbon that I have to make a few changes. And while I was doing the changes, I decided that I needed a distraction. So I began something that I have wanted to do since I read my first Jane Austen novel at fourteen. I wanted to make a "Reticule". The dictionary definition is a lady's draw string bag. Somehow Jane Austen drew a picture of it for me with words. But I have never made one. This one is three different weaves of lace and the body is going to be taffeta. I dyed the lace and the "drawstring" so that they would all harmonize with each other. I wanted three different shades of orange. There is a lot of hand work to this but that seems natural, considering the era that I am trying to emulate.
The "Reticule" is giving me a lot of pleasure and the "Ribbon" bag is still giving me minor upsets.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Recap

Here is Pippi Longstocking*

Here is Astro Boy!*

*Wigs courtesy of Papa Crane

Light Hearted Tuesday

Years ago, when I was taking care of my father, working in the shop and shouldering life's problems, I felt overburdened. I probably was a burden to my sister, being so downhearted. Then one Saturday morning, I had gone to the local farmer's market to by strawberries. Strawberries were a favorite of my father's. I was in the kitchen rinsing and coring the strawberries. And out of the blue a very small Butterfly flew out of the basket. It was a blue Butterfly. It flew around the kitchen. As it flew, it gave me great hope that life would once again become free and happy. it showed me that I needed only to change how I looked at life to have life look better. The story of the Butterfly was so important to me that I could not delay in telling my sister about it. My sister commemorated this event in my life with this wonderful book mark.
Every time I see this bookmark, it reminds me that life is how we perceive it. It can be bad or it can be good. It is only a matter of perception.

The writing on the side of the book mark says "Strawberries give birth to Butterflies" Mother's Day 1994.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I was reading mendofleur and I was getting very inspired to get in and organize, clean and (if necessary) discard in my studio. Then I received that huge, heavy box from my darling niece. Needless to say, I got off track and sat on the floor and played with the fabric. I do have a problem when I see wonderful fabric. I fall into imagining what I can do with this piece and that piece would be wonderful for this purpose. And I got very distracted. My studio is still in a mess because I have to finish my next project. And did I mention that I have a few more on the line?
What is wonderful about these samples is that they are heavy duty fabrics and will take a lot of abuse. So, for making purses they are ideal. What fun!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Last Blush of Summer

I usually see this flower during late July or August. The blossom will last about 36 hours if the weather is perfect. The fragrance gets more intense during the middle hours and goes down hill fast. The fragrance would be the perfect perfume. Oh, how short the tome is to enjoy this lovely. It did not bloom until this week. I had almost missed the delight!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pippie Longstocking - My Version

On Monday morning, I was asked to help with Pippi Longstocking for my granddaughter, Lucy. I was very enthusiastic about this change of costume. It was a "dead cheerleader". She is only 6, going on 7 and "Grandmother" approves of Pippi Longstocking! This little apron took yards and yards of bias seam binding, which I was able to make with my Clover seam binding gadget. Really the most inventive little sewing aid!
I had to put this over three days, as I ran back and forth to the shop. And then about 1:00 Wednesday (today for me). I realized that she needed this for school on Friday. I stopped answering phones and just worked. But it is going out today by UPS. I can now breathe easily. All is well in my world!
Here is a cute Utube of Pippi Longstocking!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween

I just looked at the date on this postcard. It is Oct 30, 1994. This is a testament to my stashing things away. It is from my darling niece and she had purchased it during a visit to Mexico.
I am deep into preparations for Halloween. I had finished my grandson's outfit of "Astro Boy" and then yesterday I heard that my granddaughter changed her mind from "dead cheerleader" to Pippi Longstocking. I have to say that this choice is much more to my liking. Now I have to sew a pinafore/apron in the spirit of what Pippi would wear. And still do my work in the shop. Oh well, life can't get any better when one is needed by the people one loves!
Happy Halloween

Monday, October 26, 2009

Astro Boy Halloween

My son has always loved Halloween. We would spend a long time discussing what he would be on Halloween. He was Batman, a cowboy, the nerd from Ghostbusters (that was my favorite) and many others. He passed on his enjoyment of Halloween to his children. All year my son was telling me that Hollis would be Batman and Jordan was going to make it. Hollis always said he was going to be Robin t0 Jordan's Batman. Somebody wasn't listening. Finally Hollis dug in his heels and said he wanted to be Astro Boy. As life would have it, time became very short to make and Jordan needed to be doing his own work. So doing what all super heroes do, Ta Ta, I stepped in to save the day. I spent all weekend figuring, fetching and sewing. I had to look up Astro Boy in Wikipedia because that is the version that had to made. And all the incumbent problems had to be solved. The main was was the "boots". And I thought the main one was that it was night time and Hollis needed some kind of covering. So, I dyed a "hard to find at a moments notice" white Tee shirt.

This is my offering to my darling Hollis. I sure hopes that he likes it and if he doesn't not to tell me. Little hope in that, I'm sure.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Present Is All We Have

I purchase this remnant about four years ago. It has been left out to make my memory remember (is that an oxymoron?). For some reason, I bought this and I want to know why. It reminds me of something and it won't come to the surface. And it has been four years.
Well, fortunately for me, I have a teacher. Right in this house. He came to show me that what is past is past and what is now is all we have.
The discussion began slowly and with great clarity but it soon became a little frantic.

But in the end, I got the point.
I will now put the fabric away in a drawer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Light Hearted Tuesday

This magnificent card is a Mother's Day card that I received so many years ago that I have forgotten. But I have not forgotten the card. I used to have it in the shop, so I could look at something beautiful, something that would distrait me, lighten my mood, make me happy.
I received this card from my darling niece and her family (Bill and Annie). I hope that you enjoy this card as much as I do.
This is a magazine illustration from 1924 from "Gasette du Bon Ton". The title is "Le Parfum de la Rose".

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall Grosgrain

It came together and surprised me with the ease. I think that this one came together easier because of my repeated practice with the first Grosgrain purse. The beads are Amber. The feel and look of Amber is very Human friendly. It feels warm and also it is easy to work with.

The purse measures12 inches wide and 8 1/2 inches high. It is lined with orange taffeta. It is light and opens wide.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Perfect Pot

Now, if I were to order a pot that would hold all my tools that I need for cutting fabric and would stand up to "Cat Town Races", this would be the perfect pot for me.

And it is mine! It was given to me by one of my favorite people, Annie. She came down this week with her Mother. It was a very fast trip but Annie had to come to see the "Kittens" (we still call them kittens but they are really cats) and she needed to tell Frida that she loved her. Don't you love those reasons for a visit?

Her Mother needed to make a visit to FIDM, one of our favorite stores. She bought some fantastic fabric and has lots of future plans for new clothes. I hope that the next visit that we will have more time to leisurely travel through life.
The pot is perfect. It was "thrown" by Annie. It was also painted by Annie and the weight is perfect, it won't travel off the cutting table when the cats jump up and rattle everything. Don't you just love it?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Work in Progress

After I finished the purse last weekend, I felt empty and bereft of a friend. It always seems like when I finish something that took a lot of work, thinking, and effort, I just feel depleted. And the other thing I have found out is that just resting makes me very nervous.
So I went to my fabric vault (a chest of drawers that I put some of my fabric in) and just took fabric out. I looked at the fabric, ran my hands over the fabric. I was like I was gaining energy from my source!
Well, I did gain energy. I took what I learned in one bag and now I am proceeding to the next one. The completed vision is now plaguing me for its existence in this world.
Here is a close up of my "quickie frame" and what the colors look like:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Light Hearted Tuesday

Since childhood my sister and I made our own Christmas cards. It just seemed like the thing to do. It meant that we really cared about our warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas. I still remember our discussion about it. I would imagine had an adult listened to us that would have thought those young people were a little to full of themselves but we did make them and send them.
The other thing we did was to never show or discuss what we were going to do so that when we showed our completed card to each other, we were able to enjoy the effort.
In later years I stopped doing it because I had no time left in the day but Annie kept up this lovely tradition.
The date I wrote on the back of this card is 1999. It is a special card by the date alone. But it also shows my sister's sense of humor and her involvement with stamping. Also, it shows her lovely hand writing. That is something of which I was always envious.

4 hours later: The mind is a funny thing. It meanders a path and finally comes up with a coherent thought. When I awoke today, I knew it was my sister's Birthday but it was not a conscious choice to put one of her cards up today. But I am awfully glad I did!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nemesis or Mentor

I happened to find a cache of Grosgrain Ribbon. There were a variety of colors and for a long time I looked and studied the beauty of pure color. I finally had an insight. I made a frame and wove the many varied hues. Just doing that gave a great pleasure. But once that happened, the next idea came to me and I thought that what a splendid idea, not knowing that this simple idea was what all simple ideas require: an expert hand to implement this simple idea. For without good hands, it comes to nothing. Well, this is why I call this my Nemesis. What I was to attempt, challenged all my abilities. At all times the ribbons threatened to fall apart and the fact that I had never sewed on leather with such dedication to exactness made me frustrated and exasperated.

This is the third one. I ripped repeatedly and threw leather away. But each time I started over, I learned. So, I really can't complain because knowledge hard earned is knowledge valued.

The inside of the purse is an amazing sky blue Raw Silk. How I have saved this beautiful silk. I squirreled it away for the perfect project and this is what I chose. It is the purse for its intended use: