Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why It's Okay If I Don't

win the fabric giveaway that I am going to tell you about, even though it would be fun. Maybe you will win, I'll post a link in here somewhere, don't worry. Anyway, I have a theory that folks who live where it gets cold sooner and longer do more sewing than those of us who live in more temperate climes. My other justifications for not getting into this room as often as I would like

to make potholders with a personal touch or other little presents...

well those reasons are are complicated and many...they run the gamut too.

For example, every once in a while I feel the urge to actually cook...

and then if I eat of this...well you know that I have to go for a walk and if I am out walking I am likely to want to take photographs and then if I take photos I am likely to want to share them with you on my blog...

And then I know it sounds old-fashioned but I still like to read books...

and the most important book I read isn't even in that picture...

And besides that I like to write

and have I another blog that is a little more serious than this one...

and of course I am silly enough to watch a little of the old tube...

This isn't our television...ours is no where near this big or old...I saw this in one of my favorite second hand shops and had to take its picture.
And there are rooms to keep clean and pretty and
gardens to tend
and we mustn't forget

the cat... she takes a lot of petting.
And while this hasn't been an exhaustive list, I realize you dear reader, may be exhausted so I will just say that I really would enjoy having Jackie send that pretty fabric she is giving away

out my way~Here's where I learned to drive~ Scary, huh?
But then again, maybe you are the one meant to win, so you pop on over to

Jackie's Quilt Blog aka Canton Village Quilt Works
and follow the instructions! One of things that I enjoy there is her frequent links to other interesting blogs and notice how she calls her giveaway...Sharing Good Fortune. She does share a lot. Go on over and see just how much piecing and quilting and sewing a dedicated woman gets done and please come back and visit me again soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bread for Mallard Ducks and Splendid Sunset

Mallard ducks were a part of my childhood menagerie and seeing wild mallards gives me great pleasure.

These ducks live where the river flows into the ocean. I've gone several time to cast actual bread on the water and there is one pair of ducks who rather than wait in the water, as most of this flock does, waddle right up to my feet and stand ready to eat a little more sourdough than seems wise. Maybe they are fly away pets?

Sunset needs no explanation, does it?

Sometimes the sun just slips away...but not this was goodbye until tomorrow in a spectacular display.

walking down to the greenhouse to be closer to the water

I left my flash on for this shot...

I enjoy the photography of so many blogs I just felt like popping up some pretties for those who come back and visit me. I had trouble uploading for a few days. This sunset is October 17th...


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Picture Story of a Day in May

One day in May, a lovely day, in the year 2006,

for Mother's Day, a certain dear person took me on a picnic.

She had provisons all ready...we just had to find that right spot.

The water was inviting

but the beach was not quite what she had in mind.

So we kept on driving on favorite roads...

past outposts of the past

cautious critters ...see the deer hiding?

and curious "birds"

in search of just the right spot

when we stopped

we even took our own photo

Flowers bloomed

The sky was blue, the vultures were noisy

We ate lovely food and I got to open up presents

and play with them right away

I hadn't tried to draw anything in a long time...

but a pencil in my hand made me look a little more closely

... and my funny little drawings help me remember...

~a very shared day with love~

Monday, October 12, 2009

Miniature Postage Stamp Blogger's Quilt Festival & Doll Clothes

 I was feeling left out of Amy's Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival, but when I went back and read the rules, I realized it didn't have to be a big quilt, or one I had made since the Spring Festival where I entered a sampler I had recently finished. So here I am with a very tiny doll quilt I made and sent out into play land. The photo was in a folder of other little things I had sewn back in 2003 - 2005 while recuperating from one of life's big bitey bugs (shall we say). Creativity can be a great distraction and wonderful comfort when limitations exist in other realms, and so it was for me. This is a very tiny quilt, for 8" dolls and is actually pieced from a sample pack. I am sorry I don't remember the source or the maker of the fabrics. I made the little fuzzy blanket too.

This second dolly bedding is made from printed quilt fabric. It is out there in dolly land somewhere now too. To give you some perspective, that doll is 5.5 inches tall.
If you're willing to keep scrolling a little more you can see the clothes I made for old dolls that were in need .
This dress was made with blanket binding. This 1940's 7 inch composition doll came to me with only her hat. She left ready for dancing under the stars.
Below is a little Nancy Ann bisque doll from the 1940's. She was made in the city of my birth, San Francisco. I had some of these dolls when I was a child, so I took her need of clothing to heart and made her an outfit reminiscent of the " One, Two button My Shoe" school girl outfits some of these dolls had.
Matching pantalets or pantloons were all the rage.

The dolly on the left was naked and bald, we've become friends.  She is the only one I still have of those I redressed. The doll in satin taffeta Christmas plaid was redressed for a friend.

Flair gypsy style, this outfit was made in the wee morning hours when I couldn't sleep.  Playing with cloth soothed my concerns and later I napped happily.

I had fun with a tiny crochet hook and cotton thread making the hat and purse too. That's Mary Engelbriet cloth paired up with some white pique.
Another Gypsy woman or country girl dress I made was for this plastic Nancy Ann doll who was made in the 1950's.
Bad or missing hair probably inspired the babushka.

This little fairy is dressed in fabric flowers petals with a felt hat. She was fun to make and now she  lives far away in Iceland.
Well I realize I might have lost some of you quilters by now,
but I am so enjoying looking at every one's quilts that I wanted to offer something too.
It really is an impressive collection that Amy has linked up. It is also a great way to find blogs that give you a glimpse of folks who you might wind up wishing lived next door to you. There are a lot of busy, creative healthy families and stalwart individuals "out there" and it's a real encouragement to see and read about productive happy lives. Thank you visitors for coming here. I hope you'll poke around, check other posts of mine and come back again. I'll be sure to visit you. I know it will take me a long time to get through all the quilts, but peeking at handmade beauty probably has a good benefit just like an apple a day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Photo To Shock my Mother-in-Law*

First I apologize to my most faithful readers, you few, you precious few, I know who you are, ( and I do appreciate you) that I am often not very amusing nor have I posted very often. I see these really lovely blogs out there that have near daily adventures fully documented with brilliant photos and original art and the dear heart of the blogger clearly displayed on veritable sleeves. But that isn't who you are related to...or in the case of my determined friends, friends with. Some blogs just have a near constant flow of recipes, tales of joy, tales of woe, travels, advice, you name it... I say this in admiration, but me, I clam up and besides that, I work.
So it has been a week since I sat down to share a thing but here I am and I'm ready to go beyond vulnerable. I have in fact uploaded a truly shocking photo...only those of you who know me rather well will understand the outrageous nature of what is about to be displayed.
If I knew how to embed music I would ask Mark to do a Tommy Emmanuel drum roll on the face of the new guitar he just built...but you just imagine it, okay? Here it is...Ta Da...
An empty ironing basket. The basket actually has a bottom. I was so touched to see it that I not only took this picture, I popped the photo onto the "paint" program on my computer and wrote on the bottom of the basket.
This basket which is capable of hiding articles of clothing for entire seasons, this basket which is sometimes spilling over, this basket that is eyed by cats as having more cush potential than a king size memory foam mattress is actually empty because I ironed to the very bottom on Saturday morning, the 10th day of the 10th month in the year 2009.
I am sure this portends of something. I was always the student that had to clean my desk before I would sit down and write the essay that was due. So am I going to sew something? I don't mind ironing pieces of cloth for quilts or some small do-able project. Maybe I am going to write something or maybe now I can just feel like I can garden more.
In the garden the goal is to fill the baskets up...of course then they too need to be emptied and then one has to cook...but skip that subject for now. I am not going to get into it, sauces and pestos and, no never mind the soup for now.
But, now that it is October, the tomatoes (spell check had to help me out on pluralizing this word, and yet for such small things people make fun of past POTUSes and VPOTUSes? I should be vulnerable in such a world? ) are finally ripening. Coastal Living!

And we are getting another crop of strawberries too.
Up north, in days of old, so to speak, we had chickens, live chickens; chickens with names and personalities and duties, like eating bugs in our garden. Here I have but two chickens, they were on sale when Long's Drug Store was yielding to the initials company that bought it. They didn't have any hens, just these white roosters, but in the case of ceramic chickens, the roosters lay just as many eggs as the hens. It would be nice to really have chickens, but serious housing would need to be constructed first given the local wild population which includes numerous animals that would make a chicken coop a regular visit...think raccoons, skunks, possums, bob cats and California mountain lions. So for now, these are all the chicks we've got.
No promises now, but if you leave me a little word that you did come by and enjoy the odd post or two, I may be back a little sooner. I'm not ready to do one of those one post for every 365 days a year challenges or anything, but just maybe...well, it isn't that I don't write, you see, it's just that I can't quite pop it all up public like, it may not be fitting.  But now that I have shown you that I straightened out every wrinkle I owned, showed the bottom of the basket, well maybe it will be easier to iron things smoothly in other realms as well...or not.
* The only other times all my ironing has been done is when it was done by the most kind mother of my dear husband who not only loves to do kind things for others, she actually enjoys ironing. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I can always think of so many other things to do instead, unless I need the clothes and then there is probably something else I could wear or it's not that wrinkled, is it?
okay that's it...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

As I Sat Out One Morning...

Flowers and peaches and time to see them...
photographs or word pictures? Both seem to help embrace the quiet times.
One August in early morning I sat and wrote:
I'm sitting in an old arm chair that has broad flat arms where I can prop my notebook. Currently this chair resides outside the cottage door on a stone patio under an eave. If I look straight ahead the stones patio disappears one step at a time into the forest of redwoods, cypress and pine. Just a slight turn of the head and the blue horizon greets me. The very top of the round green house roof and the tips of wild California lilacs, a lone lanky Monterey pine, more limb than needle, all interpose themselves before the blue. And in the waters, the rocks rise up, give me perspective on the tides. The sky is mottled lights, ethers lit with soft hues of morning pink and purple grays. The air is soft and breeze sweet with warmth of yesterday's inland heat.

Behind me, behind the cottage, behind the stone walls and another ring of trees, cars wind north and south on the road. Where do we all go? What do people do all day? 1
This chair in which I sit has had many incarnations. For many years it sat on our covered porch in Sebastopol and was home to Katrina the cat. Prior to its release to outdoors, it lived for a time in my office where I sat and listened to the dynamic lives of my clients. Before that the the old chair had been matched up with its couch and inside the house high on the hill above Blank Road, in a cavernous room with a window that looked down across a field past towering trees to Mount St. Helena where my children were young and happy.

Suddenly the wind has shifted and the garden has filled with smoke. Mark's phone rings and rouses him from slumber. It's a robot call checking on the quality of yesterday's car service. Up now, he goes out to to the drive to retrieve the newspaper. The front page says there is fire east of us, Pinnacle's National Monument near Soledad is threatened and that power is cut for 100's of homes and people are evacuated. The firefighters are already stretched from a fire further south. The cause of the fire is thought to be agricultural fireworks, modern scare crows.
The quiet early morning air of light and fragrance is past. The winds have shifted, smoke has arrived and now encompasses us.
1. What Do People do all Day? ( Richard Scarey children's book.) and for my title, a curtsy to Bob Dylan for his similar song lyric...As I went out one morning...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October snuck up on me, how about you?

Summer's days pass...autumn in the air
Time careening by..."As for man, his days are as grass..."