Monday, December 27, 2010

Down But Climbing My Way Out

About two weeks ago, I took a desperate friend to The Emergency Room. I ended up spending about 12 hours there. It was not by my choice! Three days later, I started going down the winding road of infectious illness. I didn't get my self to the doctor until last week. This lovely lady walked into the room and the first thing she did was put a mask on. She is one smart cookie. I should have worn one the whole time I was tied hand and foot in the Emergency Room. After she diagnosed my problem (Pneumonia), I asked when I would feel better. The unfortunate answer was two weeks. The only light heart part of my exchange with the doctor happened after she asked me what I had done to myself. I told her about being in the Emergency Room and she said....."No good deed goes unpunished". I thought it an appropriate comment as well as funny. The only funny thing for about five days.
This card is from my Great Niece and you can see Lovely Penelope and Devoted, Handsome Chester trying to keep me warm. I just love the crosses in my eyes and the thermometer in my mouth.
I am coming out of it.. Thank God!

p.s. I don't have an update on my stubborn friend, who refused treatment.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Two Down,One More to Go

These are for my little girls. These two are competitive and I must do the same for each one, other wise hard feelings occur. But each is such a dear that I never have a problem making something special for them. The next stocking is for my grandson and his is going to be harder. He is crazy about Legos but his father wants his son's stocking to transcend time and he will still use it when he becomes an adult. My sister had a stocking made for my son when he was two. And every year he uses it. He wants the same for his son. So, I am still working out the design of it. But I still have a few more days.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Getting Started....Finally

This is the start of my Christmas stocking offering to my granddaughter. It isn't finished but it only needs more decoration. This is the fabric that I found on one of my dog walks. And my Granddaughter also likes a lot of glitz. So, I need to go out and get more bling. There is a lot of silk and cording and both sides of the boot are different. It is fun to just follow one's nose. It measures 16" long and 14" wide. This is big enough to put in anything that takes Santa Claus' fancy!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Air is Free Up Here!!!

Last weekend I went to visit my darling niece, who lives in the Oakland area. We had tickets to the show of Post Impressionist that is currently at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Most of these artist were new for me, and because of that it was a total joy. This charming cat was painted by Paul Bonnard. The focus of the show was the Nabis Group of painters. It was so moving that quite a few times I felt the air leave me. These painting were new and I had not seen them in any book. The shapes and colors were new and fresh. I saw a Van Gogh that I had seen in books but the replicas were nothing, I say again, nothing like the original. One of the most moving paintings was by Maurice Denis . If you can go see this show, go. I do know that it is traveling and hopefully in your direction.
But this fantastic experience of art began the day before. In a very mundane setting, I found the free air. My niece had found a new person that cuts hair beautifully and I was to have my hair cut. We were sitting there and my darling niece made me laugh (she has a wonderful sense of timing and humor). We both started laughing so hard, the owner of the shop brought us a box of Kleenex. It is very cathartic to laugh till your sides hurt.
The rest of my time was just as joyful. Friends came over for dinner, we walked by the bay on sparkling, rain washed beach, my great niece sang in Gaelic for me as many times as I asked it of her.
It was perfect time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My New "PassWord" Binder

This is my very small binder that I use for my password holder. It is about four years old or I should say since I bought it. I think that it is far older than that because the plastic has begun to tear. I put duck tape on the binder but it sure made it look ugly. And I don't like to look at things that I can do something about.

And this is what I did. I covered it with a sample fabric and the decorations are excess in my Sewing Box. I did put a magnetic snap on it because with the duct tape drew it open slightly.

Now, I can look at my little book and be pleased with it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Small Bags

Right now, I have been working on small offerings for Christmas. These are for cosmetics or whatever one finds important to carry in a purse. These measures about 6" x 7". I trimmed them with my precious "Gold" woven trim. I hand sewed the trim on the bags. They each have the small magnetic snaps that I ordered on Etsy.
There are days that hand sewing is very soothing and I allow my self to think. I believe that I will be making more.
Each bag is lined with a different fabric.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Petit Point and Corduroy

I do have a lot of enjoyment from making purses. But since I always make a challenge for myself, they sometimes take longer than I expect. This one did. As I go along the path of constructing a purse, I find that I don't have all the supplies that I think I need. This time, I found that I did not have the small magnetic snaps that I wanted (and needed) to use for the petit point pockets (there is one on each side of the purse). So I had to order them. While I waited, I made the Gypsy purse. And then, I needed to make a Halloween cloak.
Then I couldn't find the chartreuse zipper for the opening and I had to dye that. Of course, since I enjoy all these interruptions, it fits in with the master plan. Well, it is now altogether and I am happy with the outcome. This is the last of the petit point fabric that I stumbled upon.
I have lined inside with chartreuse Satin and there is a small petit point pocket, as well as two Satin pockets. The straps are braided fabric cording.
It measure 14" across and 11" high.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sparkle Plenty

When I was a child, the Sunday comics held immense fascination for me. One of my favorites was Lil' Abner and his flock of characters. I was way to young to enjoy the off brand humor that Al Capp had but as the years progressed, I remembered situations from the strip and found it very funny.
I must have been about 8 when Lil' Abner and Daisy Mae finally married. They had a baby that they named Sparkle Plenty. The name and the likeness were soon commercialized into a doll. Oh, how I wanted that doll. She was pretty and had lots of wavy blond hair. I coveted that doll. But, alas, I did not get that doll for Christmas.

All is corrected, I now have my very own Sparkle Plenty. She is sassy and beautiful , just like the real Sparkle Plenty. The difference is that this Sparkle Plenty lives with me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To Clear One's Palette

In order to clear my mind, I wanted to make something small but attractive and useful. This is a make-up bag. I liked the selvage and the colors that show, so I included it into the bag. A while back I ordered so zipper pulls from Etsy. This one came from Israel but I don't believe that they were made there. They are brass and smooth. They feel old and well treasured. The fabric is rather unique. It is a Cotton and synthetic combo. The hand of the fabric is quite soft and smooth. But what is so special is the weaving of the fabric. One side has only a manila and black stripe and the other side had a thread of red in it to make a tattersall pattern.
It measures 7 x 7. Not big but not small.
I thought that making this that I would be happy to get back to the one that had been put on hold a while back.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gypsy Purse

This is my Gypsy Bag. I have always thought that I either channeled Gypsy blood or I was really part Gypsy. It must be that I only channel because I can "fix" my relatives and their blood lines.
When I wear a necklace, I have to restrain my self to wear only two at a time. I have been known to wear up to five. And the rings at one point were on quite a few fingers.
As I was waiting for parts for the purse that I have already posted about, I thought I needed to fill my imagination with another project.
While I was walking a saw a poster and the colors charged me to make a colorful purse. Two blocks later, I found a small pile of fabric (the purple lavender confection). I think that I live where people have a business making clothes. It seemed like a challenge to my previous idea of Gypsy thoughts. I picked up the pile of fabric and almost ran home. And that is what started my journey into Gypsy purse adventure.

The strap is what I imagine would be if I were really wanted to color up my life. I purchased the cording and I had the gold toned chain. I wove the cords and chain and sewed it all together.
I attached all the gaudy cord and embroidered ribbons I had in my stock. There is also Turquoise beads as well.
This is the back of the purse and you can see a few pieces of Turquoise. I also included the hoops that I bought at the Alameda Flea Market.

I have always totally enjoyed making purses and I don't claim very many as mine. With this purse, I want to announce that I now have a store. I hope that you will take a look at this project of mine. Please look at my store.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Here's Harry Potter !

I just received the Halloween photos. I am very pleased to see my darlings in their choice of costumes. Lucy is Michael Jackson as seen in the Zombie version of "Thriller". She has skinny pants and penny loafers, just like Michael Jackson's video.

Since I did not want to make the complicated jacket that Michael Jackson wore, Grandma went on line and found the perfect jacket.

But I did make the Harry Potter "cloak". I even sacrificed some amazing Plum Taffeta to the project. I was constantly on line checking to make sure that it was just like Harry Potter. I thought that I would collect payment last weekend but I will get my just rewards of kisses and hugs this weekend.
The make-up was provided by their father, who has as much fun with Halloween as the children.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What a Great Niece

I received this wonderful drawing from my Great Niece Annie, who is the daughter of my darling niece. Annie is very creative. My house seems decorated by "Art by Annie". I have a clay cup that is totally perfect for my cutting table. I have a wonderful cat drawing, inspired by the many cats that I have had in my life. I have this amazing figure out of clay that was inspired by Project Runway. Annie uses her life to inspire her art.
It is always fun to see what she does but sometimes it brings tears.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mr Willie Has Left

Mr Willie has left me. I remain with a broken heart. He was always loving, always forgiving and always willing to comfort me when I was down. He was the sweetest cat that I have ever been connected to. He was an enduring companion and never complained. He was more than a shop cat, he surpassed all levels of cathood. I cannot explain his unique personality, except to say he was the dearest of dear cats.
Willie Dixon Sieler June 17, 1992 - October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My New Purse

This is my new purse. You are looking at the different parts which will soon be a purse. My Darling Niece asked me, when I told her about my new project, "Where are you at with the purse?" That made me stop and try to analyze how I make a purse.
1. I go into the tapioca pudding of my imagination. I find some thread, I follow it ans see where it takes me.
2. If nothing occurs in my imagination (tapioca=imagination), I will pull fabric out and various handles, decorations and see if I go anywhere with that.
3. If I can't get any answer, I wait.
4. This time I waited and a few days after I finished my grandson's Halloween outfit*, my eye fell on these leftover pieces of tapestry that were lying on my cutting table. I had my fun with the large piece and thought that I was done. But the thrifty part of me said not to throw anything away. So, there on my cutting table the pieces lay, wait to trip me up.
5. When I saw the pieces of tapestry, everything came together and I starting hauling bits and pieces out and it all came out to a "whole".
6. Now, I began and how I began in a back a forth procedure. I accomplished the end before I picked up a scissors. I do the end first and then do the structure. A purse needs a structure, otherwise it is only a loose bag.
I, in my next post, will detail my building of a "purse".

* Mr Hollis, my sweet grandson, changed his mind for Halloween. I was almost done with Anakin Skywalker and I received an emergency phone call. "Hollis now wants to be Harry Potter". So, off I go to Joann's and bought the fabric for H.Potter's cloak. I made it a real as the photos on Utube. And he love it. My son was here the day I finished it and took it before I remembered I hadn't photographed it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Wee People May Be Next

I live in Los Angeles. I have heard, as well as Have read that this is a almost a desert. But things are changing or this is just a damp time for us. I found this in the garden yesterday. I call it "Fungus Giganticus". It is the largest mushroom that I have ever seen. Of course, I have read of larger but this is the biggest that I have seen. this lovely example of fungus measure 6 3/8" across.
I was in my studio and happened to look out the window. I thought that a plastic bag had flown over the fence. I looked again and decided that it needed a closer examination. I went out there and the dogs and I discussed this phenomena. They found it hard to believe as well.
I don't know what the official name is but it does remind me of a lost falsie. I have not dug it up because I am still entranced with it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Grandma Duties

Do you see that tantalizing light on the right? That is inspiration calling to me. I was reading Blue Sky Dream and Maryann was writing of how life gets in the way of pursuing her artistic dreams. It seems that I am duplicating her path in life. I put aside my other pursuits again to make my grandchildren's Halloween outfits. Last year I got volunteered so late in the month, so this year I asked early. I always put an effort out when it is possible. This year my Lucy wants to be Michael Jackson in the Zombie Thriller. I chose not to make that outfit. It requires a very complex jacket that I did not want to make just for one night. And Amazon had a very nice offering that was well within budget. Hollis decided that he wanted to be Anakin Skywalker. Now I walked into his derision by saying "Oh, you mean Darth Vader". First of all, I am not a follower of the Sky War sagas, so I was in the dark about the ins and the outs. Hollis is still five and he put his little fists on his hips and tell me "No, Anakin Skywalker". Silly me. Thankfully there is such a thing as the Internet. After looking around the different sites, Hollis and I came to an agreement of what he wants his outfit to look like and now that is what I am working on. The shirt is almost done and the next is the vest. My son assures me that they both will remember far into the future that I made their Halloween outfits.
P.S. I had to recover the small ironing board that I use. Actually, doing that helped me to recover my sanity as well.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Completion of a Promise

The American Kennel Club Trial that I participated in has been over for six weeks. I really didn't think that it would take this long to complete the winner of the raffle's purse. But it is surprising how much "Life" can intrude. First I needed the photos for the winner. Then we consulted about her desire to include her new "first" grandchild. Of course, I said "Yes". Then my printer said that I needed more black ink. That seemed reasonable since there is so much black in the photos. I ordered more. Then when the ink arrived, it wouldn't work. I called H-P and they graciously helped me with the problem. (Did you know that the ink jets get dirty?). Then a lot of normal life got in the way. Now it is finished. It is larger and has more pockets. The lining has photos sewn on as well.
This is the sample that she saw. I hope that she likes what I did. It will go out Monday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Exercise in Accuracy

I am going to baby shower tomorrow. I have not been to a baby shower since the baby shower for my grandson Hollis, which was about seven years ago. I was fully immersed in my work and couldn't put my time to making something to commemorate his arrival. So, when this shower came along, I have asked myself repeatedly why I am going to this effort. For my ego defense, I must say that I really enjoy making quilts for babies. It seems to be like an insurance policy for the future of civilization, a testament of my confidence that "we" will survive.
I did haul out all the saved scraps of my life. As you can see I am very attracted to red. I enjoyed making this and it went fast enough (about 3 days). I find that I take a long time to make anything, but I limited the complexity allowed me to speed sew.
The baby will be named Chloe, may she live long and happy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Homage to Klee

I have always enjoyed Paul Klee. I puzzle about the shapes and I enjoy what I consider whimsy. This purse evolved by itself and perhaps that is what happened to Klee. At least that is what I like to think.
The red fabric is a very, very soft fleece. It was a remnant that I purchased about four years ago. I purchased it because of the color and the softness. The shapes are silk. The blue and chartreuse are Chinese and the red is Indian.
The gems are Biwako Pearls, Lapis Lazuli, and American Turquoise. How I love gems. The colors are so pure and so satisfying to touch.
What is curious about this purse is that the whole thing flowed, even the gold tone chain. I don't know if I like to work hard on a design or have it flow. It is always enjoyable.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gratuitous Cat Photo

Ain't he the best?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Work

The fabric for this bag was a remnant. I had three large pieces, two of equal size. I like the idea of piecing the two pieces put together, so that is what I did. I sewed two lengths of grosgrain ribbon together and also used the same grosgrain ribbon to bind the edges. By doing using to grosgrain in this manner, I created a design element that was a basis for the purse. I also had this piece of leather left over and I incorporated it into the purse.

All of the parts added up to this whole. I had challenges to get to the completion of this purse and I would have to think on the next step. I would rip and tear and baste but it finally came out like I imagined it.
The trinkets on the side are what I interpret as charms. When I worked for my Uncle, he had a Macumba charm. I found it endlessly fascinating. It was a large ring that was on a chain. On the ring were many different charms; legs, hearts, hands, houses, money, all the items that represent the good life. This charm was not to have been taken out of Brazil. It was considered a national treasure. Even though the charms on the side of this purse are meaningless, I like how the make noise and add interest to the whole. The purse measure 14" w x 11" h and 3" w.
p.s. the teeth are not real!

Two of My Favorite People

I have carried this in my wallet for a long, long time. Have you ever seen two happier people. The loved to be in each other's company. This is my Mother and my Darling Niece in one of the first times that they went off by them selves to see my grandmother. They all reveled in each other. The happiness is so thick, you could slice it and serve it. That is why I carry it, so I can enjoy and participate in their happiness.
As it is said on television "What's in your wallet?"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Drama Camp

The Los Angeles City Parks and Recreation offer a Drama Camp. Lucy was only able to attend the last week of this very special summer camp. This camp has the children singing, dancing, body movement classes and expressive drama exercises. It is not a well known offering by the Parks & Rec but by next year I am sure that children will be vying for the open places. Even though Lucy was there for just a week, the director fitted her in so that Lucy felt that she really was part of the whole.
The children are singing "Doe a Dear, a Female Dear". All the children were wonderful and expressive. There were many hams in the group. Lucy is the second one in from the left, her friend Isabela is sitting on the far left.
The lady on the right is the drama director. The lady on the left is an intern. She spent all summer volunteering and she has now left for her college back east. The funny fellow in the middle isn't Charlie Chaplin, he only looks like him. He was the comic relief and we enjoyed him and he enjoyed it as well. Later he played Emilio Zapata to very great comic effect.

The ages of the children was from about 5 to 13. The older children worked on writing the skits that the other children perform. This one is about early Los Angeles.
A supervisor worked hard to re-open this amphitheater that had been closed for 40 years. It is situated in a very lovely park right next to Dodger's Stadium. How it was overlooked and unused is very hard to understand.
The day was lovely and warm. Afterward we relaxed and had a picnic on the lawn that is surrounded by the native Oaks. A perfect Los Angeles day and perfect for the end of Summer.
Happy Labor Day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Mop Head

Yesterday I made a mop head for my Swiffer. The refills for the Swiffer work fine but you need to buy more when you run out. That really doesn't make me happy. Now a mop is a much needed tool for a house, if there are any un-rugged (this is a new, just patented word) floors. About two years ago, the woman that had been cleaning the house for me threw out the washable mop head that I had kept. My mother had bought it from Fuller Brush. It was very old but very handy for wood floors. When it got grimy, I could take it off and throw it into the washer. Very handy, indeed. I did not realize that she had thrown it away until she was long gone. I missed that mop. I bought miscellaneous battery powered sweepers but nothing made me that happy.
I did google Dust Mops and this is what I found.
Then last week I decided to make one. I went to the 99 cent Store to see what I could do cheaply.
I found these two car washing mitts at , yes, 99 cents.
At that time, it was not clear but I took them home and began. I really do like fulfilling my ideas well and doing it inexpensively.

I took the elastic off, saving the end for later.
I turned the rough edges under.
I cut the elastic to about 3 inches long.
I sewed it on in the middle of the spaghetti ends with a zig zag stitch.
I then attached a tying cord on the top side.
Now, it was good to go. And what makes it all the more special, it is the micro fiber that picks up everything. I was really surprised at what it picked up, even after using my battery powered sweeper.
Plus the colors are SO cheerful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Roll or Schmoll

I made this a retrospective of four people. My sister, my niece, my great niece and me. I made this for my niece and I wanted this to be very special. The basis for all this was the transfer paper and my favorite photos of people I love.
The basis of the little pocket bag is a very lovely cream Silk that was imported and was embroidered in India. I think that is the most luscious Silk that I have ever seen. The belting is from Tibet and hand woven.
The reason for the photo: my niece has an aviary and she raises Canaries. This perfect photo is of my Great Niece with some baby Canaries. The photo is so special - the framing, the light and most of all the subject.

This transfer is a Siamese Fighting fish that my Great Niece purchased and then made a drawing for me. It is a lovely combination of form and color. I felt that it was important enough to be immortalized on transfer paper. The gold ribbon is metal ribbon that I was lucky enough to procure down at the FIDM store.
These are Garnets that I had included in a necklace that I had made for my sister, my Darling Niece's mother. The Yin-Yang was my Uncle's. And of course my favorite stone, Pearls.
This Silver Quan Yin was also my sister's. I put all these memories together and I hope that it will bring happiness to my Niece.
My Darling Niece will not see this post because she is camping away from phones and the Internet. It will arrive by the time she returns. Oh crafty me!