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Showing posts from May, 2014

May Reading

May 31st 2014

I've been making a conscious effort, lately, to go back and re-read some of the books I already have.  I have a lot of books in my house but I only keep the ones I know I will read more than once.  The books I don't care for so much get donated to the local thrift store.  I consider my books as old friends and new friends.  I am a printed page person.  I cannot read books on a screen, I've tried and it just gives me headache.  I need to hold the physical book but it's about more than just holding the book, it is the smell and feel of the paper.  I enjoy how the book feels in my hands.  Covers feel so different and some have raised fonts or a beautiful dust jacket.  Others have a fabric cover with an embossed design which is begging to be touched.  The paper used for the pages can be so different too.  I like the ones which have a deckle edge that looks like an old book.  This month has been a great mixture of old friends and new!

At the bottom of my pile, a…

On My Worktable

May 30th 2014

I don't really know where this week has gone!  It was the first week of the Summer break for my high schooler so we have been finding a different routine.  She is a late riser so I am sewing in the early mornings when the house is quiet.  It has been cool enough to have all the windows open in the morning so I have been able to sew to the music of birdsong - lovely.  I am working on building stock for the quilt show in September.  

I have been enjoying using my little dish I got at the Japanese store recently.  I have promised my daughter a trip there soon, it is just the kind of shop she would love too.  The bunny pincushions actually have fuchsia side bands and not red as they appear here.  It is such a difficult color to photograph.  

I also like to make jewelry.  I made this necklace to go with a very pale lilac t-shirt that I bought recently.  My daughter enjoys making things too.  She has a very individual and steampunk inspired style.  The picture of all the stuf…

Memorial Day

May 26th 2014

Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S.   It is a public holiday and remembers and honors those families who have sacrificed so much.  As we drove today, almost every American flag was flying at half mast.  What a glorious day it was here, warm, sunny and clear making all the colors vibrant.  We drove to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve which is a State Park just south of Carmel here in California.  This is one of our favorite places to visit and it is majestic at any time of year and in any weather.  Today was a sunny day with no hint of the marine layer that is usually so prevalent in the summer.  The summer is not the best time of year to visit the beach here because there is usually a thick mist that creeps in off the ocean.  It reaches many miles inland.  Inland, it clears up pretty early but at the beach it can hang around all day.  In this first photograph, you can see the marine layer out on the horizon.

There were hundreds of cormorants nesting on "Bird Islan…

A Handful

May 23rd 2014

A handful of garden goodness.

Over-run with mice!

May 22nd 2014

Last week I shared some photos of some mice I was working on.  I've spent the last few days working on more.  They are quite addictive, each with their own quirky personality!

This is where I was at last week.  

This is where I am with them now.  Each mouse takes about 45 minutes to make once I have cut out the felt which I try and do all at the same time, ending up with multiple piles of tiny felt pieces!  Each mouse only stands 3 inches tall so they are pretty fiddly to sew.  

I imagine these little characters being good quiet toys for small children.  They are a nice size to hold and just right for little hands.  I have started to list them in my Etsy shop.
You can see my happy little mice here.....


May 20th 2014

I often walk at our city recharge ponds.  These large ponds are part of our water supply system, they feed our underground aquifer.  I think there are six actual ponds, they are about 20 feet deep and pretty big.  It takes about 20 minutes to walk a loop around the edge of the ponds so it must be close to a mile.  I try and walk two laps if it is not too hot.  There is one pond which is always kept full, the others vary depending on the weather and time of year.  It is a haven for migrating ducks and birds.  In the Winter there are always interesting ducks, sometimes unusual or rare ones.  There are always wading birds, herons and egrets.    The ponds themselves are fenced and the trail is gravel.  It is a great place to walk and well used by local birders and dog walkers.  Today I went because we are having a break from the 100 degree temperatures of last week.  The ponds were completely dry and the grasses bleached from the sun and heat.  Even the reliably full pond was…

On My Worktable

May 17th 2014

I'm working on some small felt mice.  I think these would be ideal "quiet" toys for church or anywhere where small kids are supposed to keep their voices down - never an easy task!  I'm working on several different designs and also have drawings for rabbits and bears.  Because they are so small, they are a challenge to stitch but it's fun to work on something new.

A Japanese Shopping Trip

May 15th 2014

After reading this blog post  on one of my favorite blogs I found that I did indeed have one of the Japanese book stores mentioned about 25 miles from where I live.  I decided it was time for an adventure, after all the house was clean and there was nothing that urgently needed attending to.  It was a horrible drive, the freeway traffic was a nightmare and it was nearly 100 degrees out so the air-conditioning was working hard to keep up.  But when I arrived, I was rewarded with a whole plaza of Japanese shops.  Now, I've been up that stretch of road many times, how did I never notice?????   The shops were blessedly cool, and frankly it was like being abroad which was awesome.  There were unfamiliar smells and sounds and most of the signs were in Japanese.  I loved it all.  I went in a shop that seemed to have a bit of everything, from flip-flops to dishes, from gorgeous wrapping paper to n…