Monday, December 31, 2012

On the seventh day...

Dear Readers...thank you so much for your visits this year...I hope you will ease peacefully and kindly from 2012 into 2013.  The peaceable lion,
Gilly, Molly (the dove), and I send you greetings of hope and love.

Here is Gilly licking the platter of 2012 clean...

Tomorrow, in just a few moments, she will officially be ONE year old! And I'll go play Auld Lang Syne on my fiddle to the sleeping neighborhood.  A secret gift.

xoxo, S.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

On the 4th and 5th day

Life intervened.  My close-work light was fixed.  Thank you Martin.

I made gluten-free blueberry muffins and took Gilly to the gentle-dog park and tried to take a picture of her very fast darting hither and yon, but she is too fast for the camera!  After the other dogs left, we took an off-leash walk around the park and she managed well!!

I re-did the wreath:
Better, yes?

Went to two movies, Hyde Park on the Hudson, and the Master. This is a good time of year for movie-going.

And here's the progress on the peaceable lion:

Only seven more days of Christmas left. 

That's all the news for now.  I wish I could send you each a blueberry muffin, because they turned out better than I'd imagined possible.  Let me know if you'd like the recipe.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On the third day...

The furnace was fixed!  Now it just needs a major cleaning. Sigh.

I added some sprigs to the wreath...little twigs found at the dog park etc.  I think tomorrow I'll have to rearrange things a bit and add some cloth...and the ivy. I love the star shape of the hubcap but it's too metallic and humblejumble now.

Here's Gilly on the other side of the window:

And here is more progress on the peaceable lion:

That's all for today.  Time for a sleep. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On the second day...

I like to take advantage of the fact that there are twelve days of Christmas. The pre-holiday part of sending off packages and worrying in general wears me out completely, but on the second day of Christmas, I added some very prickly holly to the wreath:

contemplated something silly:  (Gilly at the farm eating the catnip toy she (we) brought for Raffa, the cat):

took another picture of Gilly at the window where the Christmas tree is now:

and worked on the peaceable lion:

Yesterday it poured and poured; driving was no fun.  The furnace decided to not work.  All that was annoying, but putting the holly in the wreath made me feel what a good symbol it is for representing irritating (or worse) circumstances, and since luckily I have a space heater to create a coziness, it really isn't much of an annoyance after all, especially remembering, and sending love to, those who are really having troubles right now.  Anyway, that's all for today. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

for Peace

Hello everyone.  It's Christmas Eve.  Tomorrow Gilly and I go for a visit to the farm in the Great Central Valley.  We'll see the donkeys, the horses, the dogs and the cats (and the dear people!)  I'm taking presents for the cats because they are disrupted when Gilly is there.  Tonight I made special gluten free crackers and an apricot cream jello to take to the farm.

My son and his family are in Ohio so I haven't been too immersed in upbringing would have me be more into decorating for the holidays, but this year I've been trying to use what I have and I was despairing about a wreath for the front door, when suddenly it occurred to me that I have several hubcaps lying about:
It seems a little stark, as do the times, but I'll add to it little by little.  There's a volunteer holly tree out front under the persimmon and I think a little holly and maybe some ivy would be nice.

This next is something I have very mixed feelings about, so perhaps I shouldn't even post it, but it seems like I'm going to anyway.  There's a "Christmas fantasy" up by the merry-go-round in the park to the east.  One year there were real reindeer and I loved seeing them.  This year a friend and I visited the event, hoping to see the reindeer and this is what we saw.  A fake reindeer.  A pony with antlers.  People paid $5. for 4 minutes posing with the "reindeer".

I've not been playing much music for a very long time, but last night something shifted inside and my fiddle and I went to a party; a friend showed up with a guitar and we played carols from a 1940's hymnbook for a terrific sing-a-long.  I miss the feelings I used to have about Christmas, so I've been trying to re-invent them and downloaded some Lessons and Carols from the internet.  I don't want to go to church, but I do love the music.

Gilly's lessons are going so well.  She had her first romp off-leash in the dog park.  Here she is looking around at me from her post at the front window.

And lastly, here's the beginning of some work for a "peaceable kingdom" piece.

Thank you so much, dear readers, for visiting my blog, and I do wish you Peace...and may that peace radiate outwards into the places where it is so desperately wanted.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My life as a happy factory

Hello everyone...I've been busy continuing to make brooches for a sale on Saturday.  Here are a few examples:

That one is Prairie Star.  The next is Fish Bowl, an interpretation of a design on a wonderful Japanese bowl being displayed up the street:

When I go back east, I'm always amazed by the cardinals:

Above is Standing Cardinal, followed by Flying Cardinal:
They're all about 2.5 inches in diameter and have flannel backing under a pin.  I've been very much enjoying the making...

And now for the real birds...the Cedar Waxwings that come along to finish off the persimmons...they have a tiny bit of red on the wings but weren't keen on me photographing it:

And here's Gilly, age 11 months.  She's been doing very well in her training classes, and now we're having to work on her skills around the house.  When she has complete freedom, little puddles appear, so restrictions come into being.  It's hard to enforce, because I identify too dearly with her desire to wander out of sight.  But I reached my limit and she is cheerful about the new plan. We work together on it and it does seem to be getting better.

Lastly, in case you are as fond of donkeys as I am, here is a link to part of Ramsey's story.  He is a baby donkey in New York State who has had life threatening hoof problems, which are gradually getting better...

That's all for now...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Hello everyone!  I'm home from my latest cross country Amtrak trek to and from my family back east.  I slipped in between Sandy and the nor'easter that dropped a little snow. All in all we fared well...I arrived after the power family was fortunate. There was SO much damage. Many many trees down. So much suffering and loss.

I'm going to try posting from my iPad...this is the fireplace we all gathered around the night before I left:

Here is the crack of dawn the day I left New Jersey:

And here is the crack of dawn the day I returned to California...sorry about the reflections, but  a very intense rainbow developed during breakfast as we sped through Nevada and the enthusiasts rushed to catch it while it lasted.

Here is one of my favorite scenes in the Delta before we arrive in the Bay Area:

And finally, here is a Thanksgiving star to thank you all for being there and for reading my blog.  Have a safe tomorrow.  xoxo, s.

p.s. Posting from the ipad didn't work so well,  it seemed to get overwhelmed after the third photo, so I finish up on regular computer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

After the absence

Hello everyone.  So many things have needed fixing and it seems to go on and on but cautiously I want to say I'm back! Trying to get used to new equipment, like resizing pictures without my nifty resizer gadget that won't work with this system, but here goes anyway...just a few highlights.

I've decided to make 20 small brooches for the holidays...maybe a sale...the style is slowly evolving.  Maybe I'll put some in the shop, which I'm not sure is working so well.  Don't know what to do about it yet. 

The raccoons are now very delighted with the ripening persimmons out front...when they gallop across the roof in the middle of the night they sound like elephants...Gilly wakes up and starts barking but I daren't let her out because at just 10 pounds she's too Small for that sort of encounter.  In honor of the situation, I made this little embroidery on felt brooch:

Here's another one that I'm calling Moon Biscuit:

There was the most spectacular arrangement of 2 spiderwebs in my backyard...the way they overlapped made a sort of tunnel effect...

Every September, there's a Stroll on the big street traffic, just lots and lots of people, parades, food and craft booths etc.  I loved this horse by the fire truck:

And here's Gilly getting ready to sing "Take another little piece of my heart".

So I hope these pictures come out ok on your screen...let me know if there are problems.  I've been trying to keep up with my dear bloggy friends, but just not making many comments.  That's all for now!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

More moons!

Hello everyone!  Happy blue moon.

The family visit (why are these posts so infrequent?) included a trip to the Monterey Aquarium and the Jellies Exhibits. I wish this photo could show their pulsing grace as they move through the water, living their unusual lives.

Last year I lost all my sunflowers to a mysterious backyard beast.  A week ago, as Gilly and I were strolling down the street I saw the culprit crossing the street with one of my neighbors' sunflowers in its mouth.  We galloped home for the camera...and caught this:
I do not detect any remorse or embarrassment.

Here are a couple of new felted pieces...the first is of a persimmon flower...they are very odd, woody structures:

And this one is called Relatively has some 3-D effects that the photo doesn't fully show:

For my grandson's quilt, I've begun embroidering my memories of the significant houses in my life...this one was my Great Aunt Katy's house by the sea-shore.  I've been opting for the right feeling rather than accuracy of detail.  I'm using fabric lightly dyed in my indigo vat.

During our wonderful visit we visited our friends at the farm...the boys went for horse-back rides and fed carrots to the donkeys, who were undone by happiness and took a nap in the sun (after a dust bath).

That's all for now.  May the blue moon bring you beauty, bounty and Balance.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How full is the moon? comes did this happen so fast? June seemed slow and July flew by.  Tomorrow I'll start working on my grandson's quilt again because he and his family are coming to visit soon.  But meanwhile...

My apple tree has been Very Productive.  It's hard to keep far one apple pie and several containers of apple sauce.  Here are apples on the tree:

And here they are on the ground:

This year I've been taking the windfalls to the Community apples for plums and lemons and cucumbers and exchanging kale for collard greens and beans.  I'm trying to make use of the limited space in my yard, and I have a LOT to learn about it all.  Here's a photo of one of the Swap tables...things don't stay on them very only lasts one half hour...people keep arriving with new offerings...I really like meeting my fellow town-dwellers this way.

Also I wanted to show you how the Edgar Memorial Portrait is coming:

And here is his mom, Molly, in real life...she has started to sing again, and participate in games with Gilly.  More on that at another time.

I added some unintelligible grief markings to this one, which has to do with my experiences of wishing things had turned out differently regarding Edgar's lifespan, but finally accepting that it was what it was and I'm so very glad to have known him:

And here is the start of my first portrait of dear rambunctious Gilly, who right now is having a little time-out.  She gets a little crazy at night, ( I think the full moon is making a contribution), but often settles down in the crate.  We're learning together about harmonious living.

This is the news from here...sending you love and wishing all of us the beginning of a good August and the fullness of your heart and times this full Moon.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Hello everyone,

I'm sad to say that my dear little dove Edgar didn't regain his health and died, which is probably a blessing because he was quite miserable.  I was a very awkward nurse for him, but he seemed to appreciate my clumsy efforts to help. He was such a beautiful bird and a glorious's a picture of him as a very young fellow with his mother, Molly...well, perhaps it's his father, Earnest.  I could never tell them apart:
So it's quieter here.

I've started work on my boro jacket, from Jude's Contemporary Boro 2 class.  I'm just copying her plan, because it seems a good one.  I really love handling the fabric strips that I'm placing on the backing, which is Batiste.  I decided that all the cloth of this top layer would be pieces I dyed in my indigo fermentation vat, that I learned about in Glennis' class.  My vat still has problems because there is some rust in it, but the very silvery blue of some of the pieces seems magical.  I'm going to start over with a new stainless steel vat in a while but this one is fine for now.  This is the basic design on me; below is the first strip pinned on.  I LOVE this process...

Finally, Gilly has recently been barking at her night-time reflection in the window...I decided to try to demonstrate how it's just a reflection and carried her outside...she immediately looked at the back of the glass, saw there was no doggy there and then buried her head in my neck as if she was embarrassed to have thought such a thing!

That's all for now...good health to you all and Happy early July...xoxo, S.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This has been...

quite a month!  The washer/dryer (one unit) died.  Because space is very limited here, all sorts of adjustments have to be made for something that will work better.  Slowly the project comes together, needing only some more electricity (Tues.) and then INSTALLATION! I will be very happy to not have to go to the Laudromat.  Then the computer died, but that project is  almost completely fixed.  And then poor Edgar, my beautiful white dove, became very sick.  He might not make it, but in hopes that he will I've started a felt cloth:

Then here's "Nursing the bird with a broken wing" (he doesn't have a broken wing, but he's quite lame and can't walk, let alone fly...)

This one's name is "I wish I hadn't said that":

And lastly,  "Connection with a will-o-the-wisp"

They're all projects I've started...apologies for the crummy photos but improving them is for the future.

This year I've been growing kale and a wonderful North Carolina dear friend Catharine sent me 2 seeds and look! They're growing in something called an Earth Box, a gift from my son and his family last year.

Also some lettuce:

and here is dear Gilly, on her 6 month birthday! (today)  We are both learning so much in Manners Class.  We go over and over the basic concepts...building trust and staying in harmony/love with each other. 

Well, that's sort of a catch up.  Love to you all and best wishes over Independence Day.