Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 12/19/17

Time to gather at the Altered Book Lover blog for the last Tea Party before Christmas.  

I broke out the Holiday Blend from our favorite coffee shop.  I haven't decorated because we will be at the river for Christmas. There are lots of windows decorated in the shops along my usual morning walk though.

I liked the plate for Santa's cookies.

This paper star was impressive.  Taking photo's through glass can have interesting results.  In this case it caught the reflections of the street and buildings behind me.  Happy accident.


There are roses still blooming in December here.

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Creative Do-overs

Do you like to try new things?  I do.  I enjoy the creative process and the chance to explore a new technique.  Sometimes it requires a do-over though.

My latest adventure was rust dying.  I read Elizabeth's tutorial but I was at the river when I had a chance to try it and didn't have my computer so I'm sure I forgot some important parts.

A scrap of muslin with the one and only really rusty spot achieved in this adventure.

A scrap of an old white cotton t-shirt.  I actually like the mottled effect on this piece.

Another muslin scrap.  Not quite as orange as the photo but it does have that one dark dot.

I wrapped the rusty pieces with the fabric and tied everything with twine.  I used a water/vinegar mix.  My pieces were submerged in the liquid.  Maybe that was too much.  I only had three days there so I didn't leave the pieces wrapped and let them dry.  Maybe I should have.  

I'm going back to read the instructions again.  Any additional hints would be appreciated and I will try again at some point.  Can I use the same rusty pieces again?  I left them outside to weather.

These fabric pieces will be used for something but my goal is to have more rust "shapes" show up.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 12/12/17

There is so much going on this time of year.  It is time to take a break, fix your favorite drink and join us for tea with Elizabeth.

Are you wondering if I switched coffee?  Just a temporary drink I guarantee.  Someone went to Hawaii and brought us back a pound of coffee from a coffee estate there.  Nice, smooth, mild.  That doesn't even sound like me and coffee.  Still, a thoughtful gift.

The Meal Ticket

This time of year if you have to go out shopping or, heaven forbid to the post office, then you need a treat.  Mine was a late breakfast at a local favorite called The Meal Ticket.  It is owned by a charming couple, he cooks she waits tables.  

Our tangerines are very abundant this year.  I keep hoping they will be ripe by Christmas.  Did you ever receive an orange in the toe of your Christmas stocking?  I didn't.  However, we lived in Oregon and as a small child I remember getting a box of oranges carefully and individually wrapped in tissue from an uncle who lived in "sunny California".  Now I have orange trees myself.  Life is funny.

Hope you have a great day and if you are busy remember to take time for a cup of tea.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Distressed.  Both me and the clothes.

This past week included a shopping trip with the 15 yo GGD to buy her Christmas present.  It is evident that I don't go shopping much.  I was really shocked.  We were in a nice shopping area, chain stores but not big box stores.  The stores were a mess!  Not a mess from shoppers but a mess in the way they were set up.  Crowded aisles,  piles upon piles of whatever, "Sale" signs everywhere.  And then there was this.

Found at Macy's

For nearly $100 you can buy a cashmere sweater complete with moth holes.  You don't have to wait for your own moths to munch, the work is done.

Fortunately this isn't the GGD's style.  I told her if she were wearing it I'd be running around behind her saying "Oh, let me mend that for you honey".

I'm done shopping.  I couldn't be happier if I never had to go into those stores again.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 12/5/27

Good morning everyone.  If you visit Elizabeth who hosts Tea Tuesday you will know how excited I am to be able to post this photo.  

Those who know her know that Elizabeth collects rocking horses.  I recently received this rocker from a friend who is moving.  The horse is all metal with just the kind of chippy paint that makes it perfect.  I'm drinking some green tea in a green cup and enjoying the new addition to our guest bedroom.  I will think of my friend who gave it to me and my friend Elizabeth every time I see it.

 I'm setting this up to post later as I will once again be at the river with no computer by the time Tuesday rolls around.  I will try to catch up with everyone in a day or so.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Second on the Second - 12/2/17

For this 2nd time around I dipped way back into my blog files to 2009.  I was recently sorting through some of the many old photos I still have and recalling the ones I had used creatively over the years.  Please join us at Altered Book Lover to see what things are appearing for the second time around.


Friends Card

Dipping into the box of mystery people once again.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

This photo has a definite sepia tint, mainly from aging I think. I wanted to stay in that color range with the card.

The ribbon is from the wrapping on my birthday present from  Vallen. I scanned this picture so the ribbon is flat, in real life it flutters a bit of course. I used bits and pieces from my ever growing stash of found papers and paraphernalia for the rest of the card.

Have you written to a friend lately?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 11/28/17

When Peets comes out with their yearly Holiday Blend of coffee beans I know it is time to kick off the season.   That beautiful red bag may be all the decoration I need.

We are busy making plans to host Christmas Dinner for the family at the River House.  There will be at least 13 of us, maybe a couple more.  What are your plans for the holidays?

The house is well designed for a large group, there is easy flow from room to room.  The front porch is generous in size as well.  We have pretty mild weather compared to a lot of the country so it us usable year round.  It is protected should it rain but if it is windy it will chase everyone in.  

This is what the river looks like right now.  That is a draw bridge that I'm looking under to take the photo.  The bridge marks the south end of our property.The local rice harvest finished last month and there are lots of birds in the vicinity.  I think they nest under the bridge.

Bring your drink and go with me to Elizabeth's blog to check on others who show up on Tuesday's for Tea.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Neighborhood Walk - 11/27/17

When I go for my morning walk I see quite a few plants still in blossom.  I don't know the names of the plants so if you do please tell me.

This plant seems to flower year round.  It makes a long hedge next to one side of a home.  Very cheerful.

Another plant that blossoms most of the year.  Thick stems and leaves, very sturdy looking.

This on I know.  Figs!  It is a beautiful big old tree.  Branches such as this one hang over the fence and above the sidewalk.  Tempting!

This beautiful lily is new to me.  There were about half a dozen planted along a fence line.  It grows similar to a "Naked Lady" lily but I've never seen this lovely color combo before.

These photo's were taken yesterday.  There will be no walking for me this morning as it is pouring rain.  What is the weather like in your neighborhood this morning?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

I made this little fellow years ago.  He comes out to celebrate with us every year at this time.  I'm thankful for the friends I've made here on the internet over the years.  I hope you have a wonderful day whether you celebrate this U.S. holiday or not.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Leonora Carrington - female artist

Leonora Carrington  (6 April 1917 – 25 May 2011) was an English-born Mexican artist, surrealist painterand novelist. She lived most of her adult life in Mexico City, and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s. Leonora Carrington was also a founding member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico during the 1970s.  (source:  Wikipedia)

Carrington left home at an early age and became the muse/mistress of Max Earnst.

I only recently discovered she was a writer as well as painter.  I'm interested in reading her book.  Unfortunately my library doesn't list it so it might be hard to find.

“Her stories are vivid, funny and surprisingly fresh . . . [combining] satire with surrealist situations to deftly mock the pomposity of organized religion, sexual repression or the endless forms of bureaucratic hypocrisy and ineptitude.” the new york times

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 11/14/17

Tuesday morning and if you are familiar with my blog you know what that means.  It is time to get together with friends over at the Altered Book Lover blog.

Coffee is ready and you can see someone has been drinking it.

Saw this on my morning walk.   I think I need this sign outside my door. 

napkins marked Hallmark - 69 cents for the package

I recently stopped at a thrift store on a whim.  Not looking for (or needing) anything in particular.  I found this package of napkins.  I thought they were unusual and so they are going in my stash of mixed media art supplies.

metal lunch pail - $1.19

I also found this small colorful lunch pail.

One of the little people in my life is sure to like it.  

Spent very little but amused myself.   

Monday, November 13, 2017

November knitting

I had a lot of fun knitting this top for the 4 yo GGDaughter.  The minute I saw the pattern I knew it was something I wanted to make.  I could hardly wait to get my yarn and get going.

The pattern is called Azel Pullover, it is available on Ravelry.  There is also a cute picture of it being worn there.  

I used Malabrego yarn, the colorway is closest to the second picture.  The pattern calls for a Bernat acrylic which is pretty widely available.  

This was a fast knit - as far as knitting goes - and made me smile every day that I worked on it.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 11/7/17

 This Tuesday finds us at the river house.  We had a bit of rain, just enough to knock the dust off things and the leaves off the trees.

Since the time change on the past Sunday my sleep pattern has been a little confused.  However, I am once again able to drink my coffee on the porch while I watch the sunrise.   

Here's a view of the river from our bank taken a few days ago.  The blue sky is temporarily grey at the moment.

I hope you are enjoying your Tuesday.  I will be checking in with Elizabeth and the folks who get together for tea (or drink of choice) every Tuesday.  You are always welcome.

Monday, November 6, 2017

first day of November - poem

Good Morning.  I know it isn't the first day of November but it is the first Monday of the month.  This is the season to settle in at home.  Knit a bit, read a little poetry, make some soup.

by Cindy Gregg

On this first day of November
it is cold as a cave,
the sky the color
of neutral third parties.
I am cutting carrots
for the chicken soup.
Knife against carrot
again and again
sends a plop of pennies
into the pan.
These cents,
when held to the gray light,
hold no noble president,
only stills
of some kaleidoscope
caught being pensive
and beautiful,
in the eye of this beholder,
who did not expect
this moment of marvel
while making an early supper
for the hungry children. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Second on the Second - 11/2/17

I'm a little late to the party this morning.  You know how some days are slow like that don't you?  It isn't too late though to join me at Altered Book Lover to see who else posted today.

I chose this post to bring back while I was looking through some of my old card making ideas.  Do you have any card inspiration for me?


Three Muses Challenge - Odd Couple

This weeks 3 Muses challenge theme is "Odd Couple"

In keeping with the season I made this card.

Copy of an old photo from my box of Mystery People, a few paper scraps from some advertising. You might have to enlarge the photo to notice the cigar in his hand. I love some of the details in these old pictures.

Friends are coming for a pre-holiday dinner on Tuesday. I'm going to attach the card to a box of truffles for a small holiday gift.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos is widely celebrated in the Latin community here.  I made a talisman to recognize the day in my own way.

Over the years I've made a number of these talismans.  In this case I used a tin can lid, pull tabs, scrap paper and some beads. I actually found this string of beads in the gutter - maybe it was originally a bracelet. Anyhow, I knew I wanted to use them in some way.  

Do you ever find interesting things while out walking?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 10/31/17

Happy Tea Tuesday and Happy Halloween for those who celebrate.  

I'm sipping my tea and having a treat this morning.  Very few children trick or treat in our neighborhood.  Sometimes none.  I do buy a small amount of candy - just in case - but it has to be something we adults like.

I don't do much decorating either.  I did hang this "flag" on the front porch.  I made it using a strip of muslin and some fabric markers.

The Fourth Street shopping area always has a fun street event on this day.  We plan to walk down there this afternoon, get a cup of coffee and sit on one of the many benches and people watch.

Lots of shop windows were already decorated the last time I walked there.  I particularly liked this one.

Right now though, I'm going to visit Elizabeth and the rest of the tea gang over at Altered Book Lover.  Won't you join me?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 10/.24/17

We have been at the River House enjoying the perfect fall weather, not too hot and not too cold. October is one of my favorite months in our area.

Some time was spent just sitting on the front porch.  I tried a new to me drink.  Bai.  I had the pomegranate version.  I really liked it and it has all the natural things going for it.  However it is nearly $2 a bottle.  Yes, an individual sized bottle.  I have plenty of water I can drink.

I was able to get some art time in.  The yellow in a little more intense than in appears in the photo.  This is the same color/theme as a lampshade I painted some time ago.  No, they won't be in the same room.

The painting was done on an 8x8 wrapped canvas.  I wanted the edges to spill to the sides.  I had to figure a way to do that.  I sat the canvas up on some empty cans.

That's my report for this Tea time.  Lets go over to Elizabeth's and see what everyone else has been doing.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday morning 10/23/17

I knit quite a bit.  I'm not a beginner but certainly not an expert. 

There are still lots of things I need to learn and one of those things is part of a pattern I'm working on.  A button hole.  A button hole made using a cast on cable for those of you who know stitches.  I googled, I Youtubed, I scratched my head.

It is a good thing the local knitting shop runs "knitting labs".  You just show up, pay a tiny fee and there is an expert knitting teacher there to help.  I'll be at the lab tomorrow.

Where do you go when you need help on a craft?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 10/17/17

Look closely.  Champagne!  Ok, it is a little early in the morning for bubbly but you know we need a drink of some sort on Tea Tuesday 

I use this old "champagne" hatbox to store a stack of vintage doilies and handkerchiefs.

Several craft stores sell plain white totes for decorating.  I bought one thinking I might use some fabric paint on it.  Then I thought of my vintage bits and pieces.

I'm showing you my basic idea here.  The hanky and doilies aren't attached to the tote at this point.  I'm just in the "thinking about it" stage.  Of course there would be other embellishments like buttons and ribbons and so forth.  What do you think?

Or maybe I'll go with my original idea and paint something.

While we think about that lets go visit Elizabeth  and see what the rest of the Tea Tuesday people are talking about today.

Monday, October 16, 2017

"The Address" (book)

The address in the book title refers to the famous Dakota apartment building in upper west side New York, home in the twentieth century to Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Rosemary Clooney  and a host of other celebrities, most famously Yoko Ono and John Lennon who was murdered in front of its gates in 1980. 

The Dakota was commissioned by Edward Clark, founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.  He hired architect Henry Hardenbergh to build the first multi family elegant residence for the wealthy.  It was located far north of the center of New York City at the time. It opened its doors in 1884.  At that time the location was thought by many to be too far out of the town center to be a success.

In the novel, Theodore Camden is the fictional architect hired by Hardenbergh to design the building.  The story is told by both Sara Smythe who was hired from England to be a senior servant at the Dakota and Bailey Camden, a NY designer in the mid 1980's who's relationship to the Camden family is somewhat of a mystery.

Davis provides insightful commentary about both era's but some of the plot line of the novel seemed pretty predictable. For me the descriptions of life in 19th century New York were enough to keep me engaged in reading the novel.

Most of the story actually focuses on New York in the 1880's so if you like history I think you would enjoy it.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday and Fires

I'm sure many of you have heard about the horrible fires in Northern California.  

Thanks to all our first responders.  
Not to make light of it but ...
They are calling this California Fairy Dust

Napa and Sonoma Counties are places we visited so often over the years.  Lake County is where we lost our vacation home and all contents to a wild fire just two years ago.  Friends in all three counties have been evacuated or are awaiting evacuation notices.

On a personal level, it is hard to talk to friends or watch the news because it brings our evacuation experience and loss all back to me.  I felt compelled to write about it here though, I couldn't just ignore it.

There are so many disasters going on in the world today but I'm asking you to hold a tiny place in your heart for these people in our State.