Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peace now

I see 2011 coming.  I see it through the forest of days between now and then and I wish everyone peace and comfort as we all wander through that forest.  Tomorrow I embark on a trek to see loved ones...Agnes will have a visit at the farm while I travel. We (not including Agnes, who had doggy treats) indulged in the annual glory of:

And this is one of the Christmas projects I've been working on.  I'm thinking of it as a trivet.  Several more need to be accomplished on the trek.
Happy holidays to all!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Birds and bees and trees

The most wonderful videos have been appearing at Jude's, and I couldn't resist trying out the holiday trees as little bookmarks for menfolk...here are the beginnings:

Over the weekend, I took a needle-felting class with Kate Weese and made a 3-D bee:

and then a little flat bee, just to see if that would work for a plan that's cooking:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Onward

There has been a bit of blueness here, but it is moving on. Here's Alex with his lap-robe.  I think he liked it.  That's Agnes' tail in the foreground.

After Thanksgiving I sat on the couch for 3 days and made bee earrings...

worked on some patches for Liam's quilt (the velvet in the background is from Diane Cransac,

inspired by Jude's methods, started a penguin for Liam's quilt:
and wrapped some gifts.  Last weekend I went to a pottery sale and watched a friend wrap pots in newspaper upon which her husband had been practicing calligraphy.  A lightbulb went off in my head and I thought rather than buying more paper, I would wrap gifts with newpaper embellished with seasonal poems, like this:

I know that the calligraphy has a way to go, but still....!
That's all for now...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Last night at 10 I finished the farm cloth and very soon we'll be off to deliver it.  Meanwhile here's the persimmon pudding recipe for Elizabeth.  This was given to me by my auntie nearly 40 years ago...the book,( Cooking for Company, by the editors of the Farm Journal, 1968) is falling apart and the pages, particularly this one, are all stained and crumbly, but the recipe seems to get better and better.  It's called Hoosier Persimmon Pudding (Hoosier=Indiana)

2 cups osterized persimmon pulp,  3 eggs,  1 and 3/4  cup milk.  Mix together.

Sift together 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 and 1/2 cup sugar and 1teaspoon CORIANDER.

Pour persimmon misture into dry mixture.  ADD 3 TABLESPOONS MELTED BUTTER.  Stir briefly.

Pour into greased pan and bake in 325 degree oven about one hour.  Serve warm or cold with or without whipped cream.  Makes 12 servings.

Don't forget the butter or the coriander.  I have done that several times, so I put them in caps.



Lastly here is one last bit of this beautiful color.  I can't bear to sweep up the leaves yet.  I'm so grateful to all of you who make blogland such an inviting place.  Happy Thanksgiving, however you celebrate it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yesterday's rainbow, squirrel and International Bird Fest

There was a short rainbow at the dog park yesterday:


I made some persimmon pudding for book club:

 Finished the Cheeky Squirrel cloth:

Here is an experiment.  It's my dove Molly responding to a recording of a Wattle Bird, that Kaite has on her blog!
video

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Heat Wave

It's been warm, verging on Hot, here.  It does not feel like November.  But with the new light, waking up early comes more readily.  Yesterday I awoke feeling I was being watched.  There was a shape on the studio roof:


The passage of time revealed that the owner of the shape was...Buddy!

Buddy is a special visitor because, believe it or not, he once saved Edgar's life.  That is a story for another time.  Edgar doesn't feel especially grateful and spends a lot of time in his dish, especially during the heat wave:





So, while all this has been going on, I've been stitching away on the farm cloth...now it has a backing and just needs a little more quilting.  Here is the bottom left corner:
It needs to be done by Thanksgiving...so far, so good...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Snowing down south

That was the code phrase for telling someone their slip was showing...back in junior high when we wore slips and petticoats and they weren't supposed to show.  Well, here is Mt. Tamalpais kind of "snowing down south"!

I've been busy on the farm cloth but it's not ready to make an appearance, so instead...Here's the progress on the naughty squirrel cloth:

  The naughty squirrel and family, along with the raccoons and other critters, are presently working on the persimmons, but so am I!...This is the pulp, after it's been osterized and made the gurgle, plop sound:


And here's the jam. Easy to make...4 cups pulp plus 4 cups sugar, simmer (not boil) for 20 minutes.  It's excellent with yogurt and millions of other things.

And here, as I realize I've digressed from the original subject of this posting, is the last redbud leaf on friend Pat's tree:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

This is my third year of celebrating the Day of the Dead.  This year's innovation is  a slightly elevated altar.  There is some candy in case some ghosts and goblins come to the door. Perhaps I'll also have to gobble some of it up myself.  Happy Halloween, dear readers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Water over the dam

We've been having rain!  The lake is spilling over...

I've been thinking about my carbon footprint, which I can't photograph, so, after splashing in some puddles, I took this:

The persimmons are orange-ing up:

Here is the first to ripen. Yum!
Madam Spider, perhaps disguising herself as a persimmon?  She used to be yellowish.

Lately I've been working on the farmcloth, hoping to finish soon.  Here are some details...the edges are nearly all done, then I have to back it with flannel.  At first the denim was trying my patience, but now I take each stitch slowly and individually; not surprisingly, we're getting along better!





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Watusi

Well, last weekend we had another big adventure.  First, Agnes had her portrait made by our photographer friend and former student Dorothy:


Then, we went out to the farm to celebrate yet ANOTHER birthday, this time Farmer Kat's:

Here is her  stitched card (sorry, the colors aren't very accurate) with lots of special indigo fabric from Glennis and with some fabric weaving as learned from Jude and a picture of the donkeys as printed by the Pixeladies:

And THEN, we all went for a ride to see The Watusi!  He is a special breed of bull, which originated in Africa, who is presently living in a field with the Texas Longhorns.  I hope I am not stretching my credibility too far, but we saw this amazing beast with all of our eyes...no photoshopping!

And here, in case this brings back dancing memories, is the Watusi song:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Moving through reality.

Here is Agnes deciding to go home with me rather than with the group of less shaggy dogs who are more or less in her size range.   Since this picture was taken some of her hair was shaved off to help with a skin problem.  She asked me not to include a picture of that.

This is a small cloth I started when it looked like my beautiful sunflower was not going to last very long, due to the sly, cheeky squirrel.  (I was right.)  But it's been fun working on this...the base is made of silk batting with a layer of gauze on top.  I've been incorporating ideas from Jude's workshops. There's a long way to go still.

This is the sunflower now.  Sigh.  That's Molly the dove in the background.

It's a long story, but before my return to sewing, I spent many years creating images on the computer. They turned into a series that revolved around a horse character, O.P. (Opie)  I used to sell them at Farmers' Markets, but not lately.  SO!  I'm going to try putting some of them in the Mostly Threads Shop. Perhaps the Nurse Series will also become cards.  We'll see how it goes, but here's a picture of the first one, in its cellophane package; it's in the shop.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Mystery of the Sneaky Harvester

Yesterday, I went out to the farm in the Valley and passed a field of pumpkins, waiting to be picked:

Today, I was working a little on this:

and this:

When suddenly I looked up at the apple tree, and saw THIS lying on a branch:

Then, looking over at my beautiful sunflower, my first EVER, I saw this:

Someone has been harvesting my sunflower!  Maybe it was that cheeky squirrel who quarrels with Agnes. Or maybe it was the crow who hides out in the liquidamber tree singing strangely percussive chants.

Whatever it is, I thought I better quick put up a couple of photos of my sunflower whilst it is still partially around.  Here it is as a very very young sunflower blossom:

And here is what is thankfully still there:
Happy October dear readers.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chair restoration and a Cowgirl

Last year I found this wonderful chair at a yard sale.  $5!  I love to sit in it out back to sew or draw or read, but the paint has been steadily chipping off, so I decided to fix it up a little with some plain old string and Elmer's glue, then some paint to hold the whole thing together.  My neighbor, Emily, helped me take it to the do-it-yourself car wash and we power-sprayed it to strip it even further, and now I'm in the process of painting it.  The primer coat on the bottom is half-way done in the middle photo.  Work was called off due to the heat wave we've had, but SOON the dear old chair will be looking lovely.  That's a re-working of a square for Liam's quilt in the seat.

Lastly, here is a piece I made last year that might be in a local show.  It's called "Cowgirl's got a Bunion", and it's somewhat autobiographical.