Monday, January 31, 2011

Garden Rows


As I started working on my art class project, the grids reminded me of the Pacific Beach Community Gardens where I once had a small plot filled with flowers.

After adding more designs with the sticky back foam, I quilted the larger squares by machine then hand  stitched flowers, vines, leafs and french knots onto my garden rows.

Making stamps from the foam board is a quick and easy way to print your own designs on cloth or paper. I know I will use this method in future projects.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday Journeys

When I retired 1 1/2 years ago, my husband and I decided to try to spend every Thursday, being tourists in our own town.  We take turns chosing our destinations but we both have to agree to the choice.  This week, we attended the San Diego Open Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines.
We boarded a bus filled with golf fans at Qualcomm Stadium and were dropped off near the Glider Port at Torrey Pines. 
We followed the local professionals who played Junior Golf with our daughters many years ago, Phil Mickelson, Pat Perez, Chris Riley and Brian Smock.  We watched Tiger Woods, John Daly, Davis Love and Rocco Mediate along with the crowds of fans lined up along the rope barriers.
Cameras are not allowed during the tournament but I did take one shot as we were leaving.  The day was  perfect and Torrey Pines Golf Course showed off it's beauty in blue skys and ocean views.

Next week, it's my turn to choose our journey.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pinwheel Quilt

My guest room needed a small lap quilt to add some extra warmth on chilly nights.  I chose a pinwheel pattern and luckily, I already had all of the fabrics except for the white background and the lime green backing.  The finished quilt is 66" x 48" and is the perfect size to bundle up in while reading or napping.
I try to always incorporate colors from the front of the quilt onto the back.  I like the way it adds a splash of color to the solid backing fabric.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art Class

Every Monday morning for the next 8 weeks, I will be attending a "Mixed Media with Paper and Cloth" art class taught by Jane LaFazio.  For our first project, we designed stamps using sticky backed foam board. 

With an ink pad, I stamped on rice paper.

                                       Using the same stamp design, I printed on muslin cloth.

Next comes the really fun part - quilting and embellishing.  I will share the finished pieces at a later date.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The View

My husband and I love to take photos of the beautiful sunsets we see from our house.  As the sun goes down we can both be seen out on our deck with our cameras, snapping away.  It becomes a contest as we compare our own favorite photographs.


Friday, January 21, 2011

The Traveling Quilt

Last year, my daughters gave me a "Jelly Roll" of  fabric to make a quilt.  They made me promise that this quilt will be used a lot and not end up tucked away with others.  So, I began taking it on outings and sending them photos of 

Dinner at On the Border

Dining on the deck

Bunco at Karen's

Art class with Jane LaFazio

Visiting with friends

Outdoor concert in Point Loma

Sunset at Windansea Beach

Lunch at Priscilla's

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Circular Quilts

Using a pattern in Quilting Arts Magazine by Laura Wasilowski, I made 2 small 12" circular quilts.  The details are fused on then machine and hand quilted.

This is my rendition of my friend Sammie's house in Holualoa, Hawaii.  She lives on 6 acres of lush, tropical land where she grows organic coffee beans.  Sammie is a award winning outrigger canoe paddler, so on the back I placed the Hawaiian petroglyphic of a paddler. Laura even featured Sammie's quilt on her blog last November 19th (

My second quilt is a little village in the round of houses, gardens and blue skies forever.  On the back, I fused a mosaic of some of my favorite colors. 

These quilts are really fun to make, you feel like a architect choosing housing designs and colors in your own private little town.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"American Modern"

Russel Wright (1904-1976) was an American designer whose idea was to bring modern design to the general public.  His "American Modern" pitcher was introduced in 1939 and is now being reissued by Bauer Pottery.  I purchased mine about 2 years ago and I love the color (seafoam) and the beautiful fluid lines.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Corner

The spare bedroom in our home has many titles:  guestroom, computer room, storage space AND my corner. We purchased the folding table from Costco and I stenciled the top using contact paper.  The shelves are from Ikea and the closet behind my table is filled with Elfa storage bins from The Container Store.  I feel very fortunate to be able to have this area for my crafts and sewing - in the past, I had to move everything back and forth from the dining room table.  When we have overnight guests, I take down the table and store it in the garage.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pins and Needles

Jane LaFazio ( had the cutest pincushion featured on her blog last December.  I promptly ordered a kit from The Daily Pincushion on Etsy.
The kit I chose is called "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" and it arrived with many little pieces of pre-cut wool blend felt, colored thread and even a needle for sewing.
Following the easy instructions, I constructed the top and sides of the pincushion.
141 french knots later, here is the finished product - I'm already thinking of ordering more!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Colors of the Beach

My favorite clothing designer Sigrid Olsen, is now using her talents for painting watercolors: original art, ceramics, greeting cards and other wonderful goodies.  In the past, I ordered some items over the telephone - even getting to speak to Sigrid!!  Now, you can buy her art on line at   
I just received this beautiful bowl (a treat to myself!).  The colors are so vivid and the design reflects the ocean.
My new bowl compliments the small rice bowls I purchased 3 years ago.
I even made a quilt for our bedroom inspired by Sigrid's color palette - teals, lime greens, soft pinks.  The colors of the beach.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Looking For Spring

Each winter morning, I walk through my small garden looking for signs of the warmer days ahead.  I'm so fortunate to live in the wonderful Southern California climate that offers gardening all year long.  Spring is just around the corner and I can see my plants starting to show their future beauty.

I planted primroses last year and somehow they have survived the torrent of recent rain and are starting to bloom again.
The jasmine vine has pink buds covering the pergola outside our kitchen door.
And my two cymbidium orchid plants have 3 spikes each covered with buds.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sun Bathers

Both of our kitties love to lay in the sun. On these cooler, cloudy winter days they always manage to find the one spot of sunshine coming through the window.
Red prefers to lay on his back, paws in the air, while taking a snooze
Poipu dreams of catnip, cat toys and Friskies.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are You Hungry?

My sister is visiting from Texas, so I have been preparing some special foods while she is here.

"The Pastry Queen" by Rebecca Rather is filled with delicious desserts just waiting to be created.  Rebecca is the daughter of newsman Dan Rather and my sister and I have enjoyed a meal in her cafe, "Rather Sweet" in Fredricksburg, Texas.
"Back to Basics" is by the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.  Her cookbooks are wonderful - I can always find something delicious to cook.

Apple-Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones by Rebecca Rather
We had these for breakfast, warm out of the oven. 
Spanakopitas by Ina Garten
Filled with spinach, feta cheese and pine nuts - great with a Greek salad.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting Organized

BEFORE . . .
Just like everybody else in the New Year, I have made some resolutions.  One of which is to get organized. 
AFTER . . .

Can you tell the difference?