Monday, February 9, 2015


Hello everyone. Well, as mentioned in the previous post, the California Groundhog spent a fair amount of his hibernation praying for rain. And it rained!!! So he has been awarded a Gold Star! He doesn't really understand, hence his puzzled expression. He says,"I was only doing my duty as a citizen." A humble and modest citizen who deserves to be rewarded for spending his time well.

There was much rejoicing over the rain, which appears to have stopped, but we were glad for every drop!

Raindrops appeared elsewhere:

Gilly helped me in the garden...the weeds are weeded so easily when the ground is wet.  Afterwards she rested.  As did I.
That's all for now!  xo, s

Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day!

Hello everyone,

No real excuse for my absence from blogland, except...hibernation.  Being quiet, pondering, stitching...I even took a calligraphy course because I thought it might be fun to embroider a different sort of alphabet, and so, to practice, here is this year's Groundhog Day card (ink):

I've really been enjoying embroidering on pieces of indigo dyed by Glennis:
A study of waves and fish:
 A fish evolving (note hand-knit socks):

The following is perhaps going to become part of a very small book.  MAYBE.

Unfinished but more of the same story:
A real life story about a bird and a fish:

Gilly and I went with members of our training class to an informal agility event at a winery south of here.  It wasn't a competition but rather a chance to practice.  It was quite advanced (no fences to contain the participants, most of whom didn't need fences to remain contained) so we decided to just watch.  Apologies for the picture which is taken from away off where I took Gilly just to test her recall skills.  She is very good about returning when I call her at the dog park, but this was different!  It was a beautiful setting and wonderful to be out of town.  The dogs were amazing to watch, some so skilled at doing exactly what was asked of them, some a little naughty, providing much amusement. The grass is still green from our last good rain (before Christmas) so it doesn't LOOK like a drought, but...

That's all for now, I hope you have been enjoying Groundhog Day, a time of shadow mysteries, midway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.  It goes by other names, Imbolc and St. Brigid's Day...a few hours devoted to taking our bearings, one way or another.   xoxo, s.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Hello everyone!

Well, tomorrow is Christmas, and Gilly and I go off to the farm to see our friends.  We were there on Thanksgiving also...when we go, the cats are excused from participating and spend the time, perhaps reluctantly, in a separate room.  Gilly is very curious about them...this time she jumped up into their sculpture and then as you see below, wanted to ascend to greater heights.  She is wearing her stability outfit, which didn't seem to help calm her down very much, so we've been working on her serenity a lot and have made some progress which will undergo a test tomorrow.

Another event was the coming down of a famous tree on my skyline.  A lovely pine that died.  I won't show you the entire was very methodical and there was a lot of grinding up of took two days.  I think the tree had a good life, and better it be taken down than allowed to fall down, but I miss it.

We've had LOTS of rain!!!  One early morning we went for a walk and decided not to go very far due to the great windiness that assailed us at the corner:

Then the power went out, so I drove down to the coffee shop and embroidered there for a couple of hours...that was rather fun, and I've decided to do that (publicly embroider) more often.

One of my very favorite things was ordering and receiving these wonderful tea towels from Jean:
Look at those patterns!!! I am keeping the one on the left and using the others for Christmas gifts. They are very absorbent and happiness producing.

We had a little solstice/art party here on Sunday...the second annual...quite a lot of work, but quite satisfying...this year it was 4 hours instead of 5...a friend and her daughter made beautiful food so I didn't have to worry about that...(phew!)  Now I'm looking forward to getting back to embroidering etc. etc...I will show you more of that in the next post.  Meanwhile, in closing, here is the very small, rather oddly shaped Christmas tree with its 3-D felt star on top.

I wish for you a kindly holiday season, with the best of everything, relaxation, light, laughter, good company and good food.  Love to each of you and thank you so much for stopping means a great deal to me.  xoxo, s.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello everyone!  We have had some rain!  Here is proof.  A glorious delicious wet soggy puddle!

The persimmons were very large this year, perhaps in response to the drought...the leaves are almost all orange now, falling rapidly...

Here is the stump of a tree limb that was chopped off to make room for the path. It looks so deep but is actually flat.

A moon that's not quite finished:

This next one is part of a new story cloth.  I'll say more about it in another post, because it represents a new train of thought, a metaphysical train of thought, and the words haven't lined up right just yet:

And here is the next phase of this one!

Tomorrow we're going to the farm to celebrate Thanksgiving, and here, instead of a picture of Gilly to represent the creaturely world, I offer you one of our local wild turkeys, whom I hope will still be foraging happily in the woods all day tomorrow and on and on.

I am very, very grateful to you, dear readers, for dropping by to visit, and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  xo, s.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

post trip post

Hello everyone.  I am home again and glad; it was a very good trip, just a little longer than usual. I thought I'd start with a painting I did years and years ago...every now and then I feel like bringing out the paints again, but not yet.  They are still sitting on the shelf. Waiting...

And just a very few highlights from the trip (I took most of my photos with the ipad, but I haven't learned yet how to post them, so we have to make do with regular camera pix, leaving out fun times in New Jersey altogether, alas):

Going east, color in Colorado:

The painted mountains at Glenwood Springs, Colorado...all the color had faded by the time I came through heading west:

Here is the beach at Truro, on Cape Cod, where we had our 52nd!!! high school reunion:

In the brand new Denver train station there are many wonders...pastry for example.  You will not find these on Amtrak unfortunately, because of cost cutting, but how wonderful it would be if that were to change...

Most of the time I've been quilting on my grandson's quilt, but I also began this story cloth...

this one is a memory of spring:

And here is Gilly, also glad to be home...snoozing of an evening...

That's all for now.  Love and xxx's, ~S.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

this and that

Hello everyone.  Am about to head off on the train again to see my far away family and attend a high school reunion on Cape Cod!  So I'm madly rushing around trying to get ready, and sweating profusely, as we are having a heatwave.  It's fairly normal to have this "indian summer" but I do miss the cool foggy stuff.

Every other year or so, we have a "Dinner in Albany".  The main thorofare is shut down, and tables are set up.  Neighborhoods get together to populate the tables, share food and make memories. This mural appeared just before the dinner:

I love this bike that circulates around town filled with a family and its children...parked for the moment during the dinner...

This is a shot of the dinner atmosphere, as the evening progressed.  Grown-ups and kids all dressed up (you have to imagine the costumes), with the moon smiling down...

I've spent a lot of time on this embroidery of words (by the Buddha) discovered on the internet, maybe facebook...I decided that rather than make an overall plan in the beginning, I would just work on the feelings I had about each word as it came up, hence a rather wonky look, but reminiscent of how life is when it's going off in directions contrary to one's plans.  As you might expect, it was a rather emotional experience, but quite positive in the end.  Lots of things that were seeking better perspective came up to be's not quite done, but close...

When I arrived at the word 'gracefully', this phrase popped into my mind, and so this piece came working on making a print of it...

Voila, the October moon behind the apple tree:

And Gilly, trying out version one of the security wrap that the whisperer suggested to help her when she goes over the top with enthusiasm.  She loves it! It reminds me of an obi and I think I might make one out of some more attractive material than an ace bandage.  But that is for after the trip. 

See you then!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A long time gone

But returned!  It was a happy trip to Ohio, and unfortunately all my photos are on the ipad and until I can figure out how to share them here, we must resort to pix from the camera.   I do think life used to be simpler.  Oh well, there's no going back.  Let's start with the newest update on the weeping guitar cloth (I have added the red fire pig, which was part of a lovely game of nouveau hopscotch that I played with the grandsons.  I am not so good at hopping anymore, but accommodations were made).

 Here are the results of the late summer dyeing with purple carrots, delphiniums and onion skins:

I've been taking Jude's Considering Weave online class, but have not been doing much weaving except for:
(can you see the little patch of woven threads in the center of the donkey's side?  I was experimenting with ways to vary filling the space.)

This is the beginning of a privacy shield that I'm experimenting with to fill holes in the fence.  I let the bamboo dry up because it was requiring too much water, then I had the thought to use it this way.  First I wove the bamboo through the strips of fabric, which was an old pillow that Gilly chewed up, and then I started weaving the fabric into the ends of the bamboo.  Note the iridescent toenails too, a birthday gift from my dear family/friends in beautiful Ohio.  Here is an older version.

When I take the train East, there is usually time to walk around a bit in Chicago and I love the woven looking pattern made by the windows of this building.  This photo is from 2003...

And this is herself, pretending to be asleep.  Once she hears the word "walk" she will instantly arise and smile for the camera, but I have made her wait, so...

I am hoping by Sept. 21, International Peace Day, to have my little shop better organized. So that's all for now.  We're still praying for rain.  xoxo, s.