Tuesday, December 29, 2009



This is another book I've recently purchased, and it's exquisite. The author, Di van Niekerk, took five pictures (first published in 1923) by the artist Cicely Mary Barker and created ribbon embroidery and stumpwork pictures from them.

The pictures are available in the book to be copied, and includes stitch diagrams and complete descriptions of how to do duplicate her work, but the book is useful for creating your own pictures as well. I don't know how I'm going to use this book yet, but as a book lover, I just enjoy looking at it. Well worth being in my "collection."

Below is a sample of one of the full-size illustrations of her rendition of the fairy pictures, designed to be copied and used as a pattern. This one's my favorite.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009


I'm copying an idea from Karen South and showing some recently purchased books.

Judith Baker Montano's latest is her best yet. I recently attended a Victoria Stitchery retreat in Wichita, Kansas. I took a two-day class from Ms. Montano and her supply of books sold out.

One of the new features in this book is a discussion of using a computer to manipulate images that you then can use to create a picture with fabric. I was impressed not only with Judith's willingness to overcome computer-phobia and learn this difficult program, but to pass her knowledge on to us.

I'm accustomed to Judith's needle skills, but was totally "wowed" by the chapter division pages, which are her own personal photographs. She told us that photography is really her "first love," and these photos prove it.

Gorgeous pictures to look at, and useful not only as eye candy, but motivating for using our own photography skills as a beginning point for our work. (She has a chapter on good photography as well.)

I highly recommend this book. Not only is it full of information on moving ahead in fiber art, it's beautifully produced, and like all of her books, designed to lie flat for easy use. No pinning the book down with one hand or your elbow while you try to work. This is a classy book.

Monday, August 10, 2009


My husband fixes things and saves us tons of money, thanks to his carpenter dad's training. Last week, I opened the cupboard below the sink and discovered the pressed-wood flooring in there was completely soaked through, and smelling terrible. Our water filter had a slow leak and had been silently flooding the floor for a long time!

Jay spent 2 days hacking the cabinet floor out, chunk by chunk. The above picture shows him figuring out how to make a replacement floor. I love pictures of him like this (of course, I love HIM!). He is methodical and accurate, and approaches things like the engineer he is. He suggested we leave it open to the concrete sub-flooring, giving us several more inches of height for storage. It looked like a good idea.

This is what it looked like when he got it cleaned out:



Then he painted the floor and put a shelf in (to the left):


Here's the new water filter -- the old one lasted more than 25 years, so we got our money out of it, and this one was purchased several years ago, so it was ready to install. Note we now have an aluminum pie tin underneath it, to monitor for leaks this time.


At my request, he also added a shelf for storage of things used infrequently. We checked the height to make sure our normal LOC quarts would go on there, and it turned out to be the perfect height for paper towels as well.





The last things to go in were the Container Store "buckets" to store all the other stuff we needed down there. Voila!

Fixing mundane household break-downs... seemingly minor .... but such a valuable skill my husband possesses. Our kitchen was in a mess for almost a week as we waited for things under the sink to be completely dry. Washing dishes and preparing meals complicated the days, not to mention coping with the mental clutter that messy kitchens give me, but the sense of accomplishment triumphed.


Oh, did you think I was going to show it with ALL the junk back in there? Mwah ha ha ha ha!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ginger and printer

Last Saturday was Ginger's first birthday. I got her from my sister, who's recently adopted female cat escaped the house and came back pregnant. We know where all of Ginger's siblings are, so it's fun to keep track of them all.

She is true to her name, harassing my two older cats, and "full of ginger" and mischief in the mornings. She has discovered my table where I keep my crazy quilting supplies, and delights in shoving them off to the floor so she can play with them. When corrected, her ears point backward, her tail whips and she looks exactly like a willful child! On the other hand, she always stops when corrected, so I think there's hope for her.

Pardon me, those of you who are not animal lovers. Once you've had children in the house, it's very easy to have a "family" that includes animals. They are so much fun.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Here's the block (15") I started and finished in Anchorage. All the detailed elements of the star were paper pieced, then I stripped off all the paper and sewed the pieces together. This is the most intricate block I've ever done. Alyson chose the colors from a Jinny Beyer quilt , and I applied it to this block. I'm going to choose more colors as I go, and am hoping to make good choices.

We brought this cute little bear home with us. Here he is snugged into my suitcase, and below is his original spot in the room. There were no more for sale, but Kathryn let us buy this one off her wall. We just thought he looked like a little boy clutching his favorite toy to himself.




This is the other side of the little extra room, which made a terrific work area for me. You can see the table in the picture with Jay on the love seat... that was in the middle of the room till I finished the block I was working on.



Here's the little room heater, that the owners bought after we arrived, after which we were quite warm. The doors behind it go directly outdoors to the hot tub, which in the summer would be a big benefit. However, cold air was sweeping in here till Jay put painter's tape up around the door (He even fixes OTHER people's houses!!). It made an amazing difference. He did miss a spot, though. On Sunday morning, when it was about 6 degrees out, there was a little strip of frosted ice on the inside of the middle stripping, where there was still cold air creeping in.

Saturday, January 31, 2009



This is a picture of the room we're staying in, which is actually an upgrade from the one we had requested (Someone was in that room when we arrived). This room has been very nice, because there's a little ante room with a curtain divider, so that Jay can go to bed (and get up at 5 a.m.), and I can continue to work here. The owners added a room heater after we arrived and discovered the heater wasn't working. It looks like an old-fashined stove, complete with face fire and is very comforting.

I've put together the first block, a center medallion, to a BOM quilt I'm making for Alyson and Brad, and made some bead scissor fobs/zipper pulls with Kathryn's help. (Owner of the B & B). She has an enviable work corner in their living room and does very wonderful free-form bead work. I'll include some pictures when I get home, and can get some of my pictures uploaded. Well, that's all for now.... Jay is finished with all his assigned sewing machines and has gone to Willow, Alaska, and a festival there. We'd planned on both of us going, but it snowed 12 inches yesterday; there were 75 auto accidents in Anchorage last night. I didn't want to white-knuckle it for 3 hours today and drive Jay crazy, so I'm here in the warmth and comfort of our room... looking out on the beautiful snow. That's my idea of enjoying a snowfall!