Friday, December 19, 2014

You May Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs.....

Things have slowed down in my Etsy shop now and I am fairly well organized at home so I am beginning to think about new designs.  Today I added this new pincushion.  

The design idea came to me as I was drifting off to sleep one night earlier this week.  My life dictates that I have to get up early and go to bed reasonably early but left to my own devices, I am a night owl.  I have some of my best ideas late in the evening.  Two nights in a row this frog danced around in my brain as I was trying hard to switch off and get to sleep!  I had to give in and draw him and then translate him to felt!


As usual, I spent time drawing before moving on to making a pattern.





I have lots of new ideas in my head and in my sketchbook and am looking forward to developing those as well as the old favorites.






Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On My Worktable This Week, Bears

I've been working on polar bears and brown bears.  Despite many trips to Yosemite and having a cabin in the Sierra Nevada, I still haven't seen a bear in the wild.  I've seen fresh bear scat, clawed tree stumps and bear damaged bins near campsites but no actual bears.  Every time I sit on my window seat in the mountains with a cup of tea, I think how cool it would be to see one amble past!  Our bears are a much darker brown than these brown bears but I didn't think the stitching would show up so well on a darker color.  






You can see this pincushion in my Etsy Shop.  In addition to sewing, I am trying to get organized for Christmas!  There is always so much to do isn't there?  Even though I know it's coming, Christmas always seems to creep up on me!  







Friday, December 12, 2014

A Shopping Day

My daughter had no school today so we went to San Jose to wander round the shops and admire the window displays.  we had a lovely time and found some treasures.  There were lots of sales and it wasn't very busy.  This was our favorite window.  It was in Anthropologie.  Their windows are always gorgeous.  You can see the palm trees and hotel from across the street reflected in the window too!


We spent a long time in Anthropologie, there was a lot on sale and tons of stuff to look at.  My daughter found a beautiful sweater and I found some plates and a needlefelted owl. 


So much eye candy!  All those lovely knobs and handles.


And china, sigh!



These came home with me!




This needlefelted deer and the stripy mugs are from Crate And Barrel which is always a beautiful store to look around.




We also found this laser cut wood village scene in Crate And Barrel.  It is very intricate and I have put it on my mantel which wraps around a corner.




After all this shopping, we retired, hungry and damp from the drizzle, to The Cheesecake Factory.   We shared an appetizer and had some cheesecake which, as always, was totally delicious!







Thursday, December 11, 2014

On My Worktable

The weather forecasters have been warning us for the last few days that the "storm of the decade" was on its way.  We were warned of downed trees and power lines from the strong winds and flash floods from the heavy rain.  So dramatic!  This was the sky this morning, the lull before the storm.  It finally began to rain here late morning but I was really disappointed that it was not more exciting.  We didn't get the promised windy weather, maybe it was worse in other parts of the Bay Area.  Lots of school districts had closed for the day, but here it was an anticlimax!  It was a good day for being at home sewing though.  Sewing and tea, yes, a good day.



I cut out the pieces to make two more penguin and polar bear pincushions and pieces for a brown bear pincushion similar to the polar bear one.  


My husband prepared this log for printing at the weekend and I thought about doing some printing today but the humidity is so high, the ink would take too long to dry.  I'll wait for a better day.  It has beautiful grain, I'm looking forward to seeing how it prints.  Those bits that make a star shape are where the branches were growing.  I didn't realize, until we started cutting up logs, that tree branches start right at the center of the tree.  This is a piece of pine but the branches of a cedar tree have bark on them even inside the tree!  



In preparing the log slice for printing, it gets scorched with a blow torch.  The hole that you can see is where the sap bubbled up and out when it was heated!


We did get enough rain that I had to drain some water from the pool.  I will have to do it again tomorrow.  We are supposed to get about 5 inches of rain from this storm.




Oh, to be a cat!  This is Princess.





Monday, December 8, 2014

December Madness

December is always busy.  This year with my shop, it's been extra busy.  I haven't been doing much sewing since Thanksgiving.  I picked a basket up awkwardly and felt something "pop" in my thumb.  Since then, I've been wearing a brace and trying to rest it.  It's so much better that every now and then I forget and do something that makes it hurt again!


On Friday evening we went to get our Christmas trees.  We always go to a local tree farm not far from our house and pick out three trees, a little one for each of the kids to have in their rooms and one for our living room.  As we arrived the heavens opened and it rained with spectacular ferocity.  We got soaked but at least the trees were fresh!  We picked our trees and I ended up with a smaller one than usual because we were in such a hurry to get back in the car!  On the way home there was lightning and thunder.


On Saturday, my gorgeous girl got her hair cut.  It was long and she'd had enough.  Armed with pictures on Pinterest she talked with our stylist who is the only person who has ever cut her hair.  We've been seeing the same person since my daughter was about 2 years old!  She was able to donate her hair which made her happy.  After the haircut, the lady who does makeup at the salon, did her face for her.  She looked lovely.  I love the haircut.  I really won't miss the clogged shower drain and hair on the bathroom floor!



While we were at the salon, the boys were putting up Christmas lights.  The rain held off and they got them all up.  We have pretty much switched over to LED lights now.  I know they are so much more efficient but they just don't have the same brightness or warmth.  It does look jolly though, those snowflakes in the tree twinkle in random patterns.  



On Sunday, I made gluten free blueberry muffins with cinnamon streusel topping.  They were very good, light and full of blueberry goodness.  



My daughter and I spent most of Sunday working on craft projects and I packaged up some orders.  We listened to Christmas music and worked on a bunch of projects.  


It was foggy as we drove to school this morning and the sun was half hidden behind a cloud.  It was slightly creepy, almost like an eclipse.  We joked that we were about to be plunged into darkness but nobody else seemed to be noticing the weirdness.  


And then, an hour later it was back to normal!


I think my cat has the right idea.  I hope your December has some quiet moments, amidst the madness.  











Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Things I'm Thankful For On This Rainy Wednesday!

It's been raining since the weekend.  It's not really cold so sometimes I can have the back door open and listen to the patter of rain hitting the ground.  We've had almost 5 inches of rain so far with this storm system.  There is a lot of water and mud on the roads making me thankful for my four wheel drive.  It's good weather for sewing and reading blogs!  I am hoping it will dry up a bit for the weekend when we plan to go and choose our Christmas tree and also put up the outside Christmas lights.

Today as I sit here snug and warm, these are things I'm thankful for.....


My cats love to lie and bake in front of the fire!   Sometimes they feel almost too hot to touch but they love it.  


A comforting bowl of hot oatmeal with dried cranberries, pumpkin spice and chopped walnuts,  yum.


The citrus in my garden is ripe.  These are Meyer lemons.  I will be making lemon and ginger marmalade soon, and gluten free lemon drizzle cake.


I don't like getting soggy when I go out to run errands and I don't like driving in it much but I am so thankful for the nearly 5 inches of rain we've had since the weekend.  


My car drives really well on snow and ice, of course we drive mindful of the conditions but it feels solid.  The police and highway patrol in the mountains where we have our cabin all drive cars like mine.   I'm thankful for the 4wheel drive when the roads are muddy and wet as they are just now.  



I'm thankful too, for how busy my Etsy shop has been this Holiday season.  I have sent packages all over the U.S, to Europe and Australia!  Today I am going to brave the weather and go and do some Christmas shopping for my family.  

Stay warm!