Monday, November 30, 2009


Yesterday we had beautiful weather so we took a ride to Oil City PA to our very favorite antique warehouse. We go our own separate ways and can easily spend 3 hours just wandering around and selecting special things. On our way there we did stop at our favorite coffee house, "Spilling The Beans" for a quick bite. Seriously, I really think we need to put Roy on decaf.......
Today I finished shoulder bag number three. It has a handmade fabric panel on the front that I had made several years ago and I guess it was just waiting for the right project!
Editor's correction: I have been told that the previous post has some incorrect facts! Apparently, it was not the students who were taking the day off school to go shoot deer. It was the school bus drivers! Back then (many years ago) all the drivers were male and so many were calling in for the first day of hunting that it was made a school holiday the next year. So, now you know the real story from someone who would most certainly know the truth. Additionally, the male teachers were not unhappy with the holiday decision!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Tomorrow morning is the start of deer hunting season. Actually, I think there are several deer hunting seasons, depending on whether the deer has antlers or not, or is male or female, or is young or older. I think. I really don't know for sure. What I DO know, however, is that in the past, so many students were skipping school to go hunting that the Department of Education just gave up and declared the first day of hunting season to be a school holiday. So, now the woods are full of children with guns? Seriously? Is this a GOOD idea? I am hopeful that there is an age limit but I'm afraid to ask. I AM staying in the house tomorrow. Rant over.....

Friday, November 27, 2009


I used two more unmatched upholstery samples to make this fun bag. On the front fabric I placed ribbons and trims and snips of fun shiny fabrics and then overlayed it all with a pale gray piece of organza. Then I quilted it all to keep the small pieces in place. Finally, I attached some beads for fun. The interior is lined with a red twill fabric which also includes two large pockets and a pen sleeve. I used a magnetic closure on this bag also. On instructions from my biggest fan, I will be making more bags and putting them up for sale at the boutique that is carrying my other pieces of wearable art.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am totally excited about the beginnings of two pieces of collage work. I have combined some oil pastel pieces I did in 2005 with some painted fabric pieces. These are just the first laying on of images and textures. As you may know, seldom do my end results ever come close to looking like the first effort. It will be interesting to see how these end up! Stay tuned.....

Monday, November 23, 2009


I selected some of the upholstery samples I have to make the front and back of the bag, and then located some colorful ribbons to attach. I used two different fabric pieces. I arranged the ribbons and then stitched them down, In some of the open spaces and on top of some of the larger ribbons, I added some colorful embroidery for added dimension.
I lined it with a piece of brightly colored flower print cotton left over from the Fassett quilt and added a cell phone pocket and two sleeves for pens inside. I added a magnetic closure and a strap. I am really going to enjoy carrying this!
POSTSCRIPT: And yet, it continues..........through below freezing temperatures and limited sunshine. The vine and leaves are brown and curled......and yet........

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The colors of fall are gone, replaced by softer shades of blue and gray and tan. Finally we can see the sky through the trees. The wind is more gentle here than in New Mexico, and the tops of these very tall trees sway ever so slowly, back and forth. Watching them dance is mesmerizing. As we look through Our Woods, we can see much farther and deeper and there are small patches of green that will stay with us, even occasionally being covered with snow. I think those green touches are just perfect in their accents. Of particular note is the beautiful green moss that grows on the trees. It is soft to the touch and has a fresh smell. You can see some here at the bottom of the larger tree to the right. Far into the woods we can now see the majestic hemlock trees. I wish some of them were closer to the house.
One of our woodpeckers had a near death experience this morning when he slammed into the kitchen door. Feathers went everywhere! He sat quietly on the porch for about an hour and then flew away. We have had several "head bangers" hit that door but this was the most severe. Poor little guy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Now stop rolling your eyes and gagging! I have found the "real" fruitcake recipe and have been using it for years. It does NOT have any of those hard little colored chunks of whatever that stuff is. It has real fruits; dried figs and dates and currents and raisins and even more of all that is good. And, in case that does not get your attention, it has a LOT of rum in it. After I cut up all the fruits, I put them in this large glass jar and pour 3 cups of dark rum all over it. They stay in here for a few weeks, being stirred occasionally until all the rum is absorbed. Then the mixture is ready to be incorporated into a batter and baked. If you are interested in a wonderful fruitcake, let me know and I will post the recipe. I think the original recipe came from the New York Times Cookbook years ago and I have made some refinements to it. Here you can see the beginnings of the "Jamaica Spiced Black Fruitcake".

Monday, November 16, 2009


I would like you to create your very own designer holiday wrapping paper this year! It's easy and fun and inexpensive to do and is also a terrific creative project for your children. I used a piece of brown craft paper and the 3 Styrofoam stamps I had made from the foam pieces the carpet cleaners left under the chair legs. You remember those, right? I chose a cream colored acrylic paint and used my brayer to apply the paint to the stamps. It took me about 15 minutes to complete this piece of paper. The bonus for me is that any scraps left over can be used in journaling or fiber/paper quilts. If you prefer more color just go for it! In fact, I could apply a second layer by stamping different stamps in traditional season colors. So, go forth dear readers! Make your own designer paper. Your gifts will look smashing under the tree and those who receive your gifts will be impressed!


In November 2008 I showed you a photograph of the cover of a fabulous quilt book showcasing fabric designs and quilts by Kaffe Fassett. I was blown away by the colors and patterns and decided then to begin assembling fabrics to try and replicate his use of color. Now, almost a year later and in a very different part of the country, I have finished my homage to Kaffe Fassett. Last month I assembled the 3 main components of the quilt; the top, the backing and the fiberfill for inside. Since I didn't have access to his fabrics, or even a fabric store, I managed to get the closest by using pieces I already had and filling in the palette with selections from the local "superstore"( not know for a large array of fabric choices). I think I accomplished my goal and the colors are much deeper than they appear here, draped over the balcony rail. It looks just wonderful in the guest room and really is warm. Now, I am free to begin a million projects I had put on hold until this was completed. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Today, to celebrate Roy's 62nd birthday, we went to Port Erie to the Maritime Museum. What a wonderful experience it was! We started out with Roy putting his face in a wooden cutout of Commodore Oliver Perry who defeated the British while sailing the US Brig Niagara in Lake Erie during the war of 1812.
We had a personal guided tour of the entire museum and our guide knew mountains of information about this apparently famous battle. In fact, we found out that Perry was the guy who immortalized the words, "We have met the enemy and they are ours". Here you can see a sample of the weapons of choice during that period.
Here our guide is explaining the finer points of the many steps necessary to load and fire a cannon. With a full crew of cannon operators, it took about 1 1/2 minutes to prepare and fire a single cannon.
I thought this particular display was interesting as it showed three dimensional figures representing sailors preparing the cannon for firing during the battle.
These photographs show the very large sails on display inside the museum.
This is the US Brig Niagara being made ready for winter on Lake Erie. The sails have been removed and much of the rigging has been put inside as winter is really hard on the ropes.
Even without the sails it is just beautiful!
This is a photograph sighting down one rail.
I can't begin to tell you the miles and miles of rope it takes to sail this.
After the tour we went in search of a nice place for coffee and cake. We found "Pufferbelly", a wonderful place decorated with vintage pieces of memorabilia related to fire departments and fire fighters. I must say they do know how to do chocolate! It was just a perfect way to celebrate Roy's birthday!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Today was the day I became 65 years old. Many years ago I used to think about being 65, and wondered what it would be like. Well, I NEVER knew it would be this good. I feel fabulous! And it was a fun day. We went to JoAnn's Fabrics and bought Christmas stuff, including some wonderful stockings to hang on our stone chimney. Also, I now have 8 small red cardinals and 8 small white snow birds on clips, to put on the tree. Then, we went to a very special event; the Contractors Appreciation Day at Home Depot. Yeah, it really was a hoot! We had a free lunch (hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, stuffed shells, cookies and cupcakes) and listened to all the vendors pitching their newest and best fake woods and vinyl siding. Did you know you can get vinyl siding in camo colors? Who knew? And, would anyone actually put that on their home? Then we stopped in to visit my Mother and took some photographs as she recalled aspects of the day of my birth. After that we went to our very favorite restaurant for coffee and dessert. What can I say. It was just heavenly! I really did get my chocolate fix! Next week is Roy's birthday. I wonder what we will do to celebrate?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Today is "local elections" and we had the honor of escorting my Mother to her polling place to cast her votes. After that we stopped at a roadside produce place and she bought a basket of apples and two large round green squashes. We ended up with half of the apples so maybe tonight I will make some warm chunky applesauce with cinnamon. It is cold today so that will be good! Behold the patriot....


I have been needing a clock in my studio. You know how time flies when you're having the most fun, and there are other things I need to respond to, like regular living activities; cooking, laundry, etc. So, we went to the Dollar General store and bought this wall clock for $8.00. It has a wonderful clear glass surround that I could see real possibilities in! Enter acrylic paints!! Now, I have a colorful clock! I might still forget to leave the studio though.....
If you are looking for a unique and very affordable holiday gift, you might want to consider painting on a clock. It will be a one of a kind gift for sure! Huh. It might not be finished. It might need some more color, or some bling!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Huh. I am amazed. Some people STILL do not have their outside Christmas lights up! Ahh..but you know me. I am nutty for the best time of the year. I love the decorating, the baking, the gift making and wrapping. It all just gets me so excited so we have already put up some of the exterior decorations. Yeah, I know. It's just too much . Just humor me. That's what Roy does. (tee hee)