Thursday, April 2, 2020

Sign of the Times

You may have surmised that I have been in Florida. We (my sister and my good friend, Claire) went down to my Florida home in mid January and planned to stay until April 22. We were having a grand old time going to the beach, the pool, shopping, eating out and visiting friends, etc. The weather was glorious and I walked for at least an hour every morning. My son came for visit, followed by a good friend and then my niece. And then the s**t hit the fan. The virus! Bit by bit things closed down....the restaurants, the beaches, the pools, the stores. And then it started to get hot, 90's in the afternoon. So other than our morning walks we were mostly inside in the AC. We had done a few projects and they were finished. I do not have a studio there and there was nothing to do other than read and watch TV. I wanted to go home where I knew I would have so many things to do. I also was afraid that we would get stuck down there indefinitely.

We were able to change our flight to March 31 with no charge from Jet Blue. I had shipped my car down and I had to coordinate the car pick-up with the flight. We had flights cancelled three times and I was so afraid that we would have to drive home, a three day ordeal with stops for hotels, meals and restrooms. Jet Blue did come through and we had a 7:30 PM flight home.

The airport was empty and the plane left 1/2 hour early. There were only 22 people on the plane and everyone had on masks and gloves.

I had a message on my phone at home asking me to make masks for the local Hospice. These are not the easy-peasy ones that abound on YouTube, but ones meant to fit over N95 masks, so that they can be washed and make the N95s last longer. They are a little fiddly but not that bad and I plan to make a lot. You have to make binding and do some darts, but we sewers are used to that.

The pattern calls for an 8 inch by 44 inch fabric to make one mask, with a pocket inside for an added filter, if wanted. I heard that batiks are better because of the denser weave. I went thru my stash, which is large, and although I didn't think I had enough of that size, I had more than I thought.  I made my first two today.

I liked using coordinating fabrics for the masks and the ties and will do some more that way.

I am so glad that I can do a little bit to help in this horrible situation. I do not plan to go out of the house for the next month, other than a morning walk and maybe another grocery store run in a couple of weeks. I should be able to do a lot of sewing.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday. Go see what other artists are doing in this trying time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


One more project while stuck inside. We bought cheap canvas shoes at Walmart awhile ago, when you could still shop, with this project in mind. We used some ideas from a Zentangle book and some from our heads. I have always doodled in the margins of notebooks so this was natural progression. We had such a good time doing them and are trying to come up with another way to use them, maybe canvas tote bags.

 The first pair is mine, showing the sides and backs. I tried not  to repeat a pattern.

The next two are Claire's and Ruthie's'  You can see that we each had our own style.

 I feel sorry for people who are not creative. There is only so much reading and watching TV that you can do without going bonkers. So what are you doing to beat the boredom?

I will be linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Saturday, March 21, 2020


After watching yesterday's so called press conference I was more than upset. It was full of misinformation, exaggerations, downright lies, and attacks on the press for asking very legitimate questions.

My fiber group is making a collage a month with a different prompt for each month. The word for March is BLOOM. I took advantage of the opportunity to make another piece of political art. It was cathartic to get some of my ire down on paper. 

The small words were printed from my computer using the Jokerman font, very appropriate with its prickly letters. I used flowers cut from a catalog for my "garden".

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday. Go see what other artists are doing to make this dreadful time less trying. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Finished Jackets

While I was busy stitching on my jacket every evening for the last 6 weeks, Claire and Ruthie were also working on theirs. We are all finished and wore them to a concert the other night.

Ruthie and Claire had not done embroidery in years, other than the 15 Million Stitches Project, and I thought they did  great job. Click on the picture for a bigger view, then click again for even more detail.

We also had a collage day one afternoon with a stack of magazines and catalogs, cutting, tearing and pasting onto 8" x 12" canvas boards. The theme for this month was Clouds.

Mine--She Always Has Her Head in the Clouds

Claire---Dancing in the Clouds

Ruthie---Stormy Weather

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Stitching and Something Blue

Still stitching on my jacket. I was going to do a seed stitch all over the background in a variegated yellow/orange thread, but after doing a small section, I didn't like the way it looked, so I took it all out. I did two stars on the yoke and one of them used a new-to-me stitch. I'm going to do a little more on the yoke and then onto the front.

My new stitch is the second one in and it's called the Magic Chain. You use two different colored threads in one needle and was a little tricky to get started but then found it was pretty easy.

My third ornament is five inches diameter instead of six like my former two and uses this panel of Paula's that is all in blues, whites and silver

These are all different views of the same ball. I only used various shades of blue sequins and colored head pins and a lot of pearls. What you can't tell from the photo is how sparkly it is. I do like the look of it and think I will do another one of this size and coloring. I have plenty of that fabric left.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Stitching, beading and a birthday.

I didn't get a whole lot done this week. My son was here for five days and we packed a lot in. It was also my birthday, which turned out to be a fabulous weather day, after some very cool days. I think it was the only birthday ever when I went to the beach. Then out later for dinner at a favorite restaurant that serves, along with fabulous food, my favorite Espresso Martini.

Almost finished with the stitching on the back. I want to do a seed stitch all over the background in a variegated yellow/orange thread

I only did a little beading on my second ball. I ordered some more colored and pearl headed pin, which will arrive today from Amazon.

 Picking him up at the airport. Fortunately Kurt was too old to be embarrassed by this greeting.

Katie's parents were staying with friends nearby and we all went out to lunch one afternoon.

I thought we had the waiter take a picture at my birthday dinner, but no one seems to have it in their phone, so I guess not. Anyway, it was a great day and week.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Stitching and Beading and a Collage

I am moving along on my embroidered jeans jacket. I made one more wonky star (not stitched yet, up on the top left) and the rest are from a set of graduated regular stars that I found in my studio. I have no idea when I bought them but they are so old that they are brittle and I have had a couple of arms snap off. I haven't washed out the blue marker on all of them, but I usually do it as as I go along. This is a sideways view, the left being the top.


I did some beading on my second ornament, but have a lot more beading to go on it. The views are all from the same ball, but so different from each other.

My FiberWorks group has chosen our monthly challenge for the year and we chose to do collages. The word for January was Winter. I started with a 10" square piece of Pelltex and adhered a piece of ice dyed fabric in grays and lavenders. I used ModPodge to add torn pieces of a photo of my yard after a snow storm, some lavender silk Dupioni, some over-dyed printed fabric, some threads, some die-cut trees in a dark gray card stock, and a few Mother of Pearl buttons. What do you think? does this look like a collage to you? There seemed to be great variety shown at the meeting. 

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday. For some reason I cannot leave a comment on anyone's blog, something I really like to do. I don't know why and don't know who to ask. Has anyone else had this problem? 

Friday, January 24, 2020

New Projects

I have two projects in the works, one another embroidered jeans jacket. I really enjoyed working on my last two and this is a good winter project when I am away from my studio and sewing machines.

I don't love this one as much as I did my blues on a white jacket. It's tricky working with these sharp points and I think it looks a little like a cartoon...Shazam! I'm hoping I like it better as it goes along and there is along way to go. I will do stars of different size and shape and hope to do seed stitch in variegated thread on the background. I'm using size 8 perle cotton wit this one, instead of embroidery floss.

Project #2 is from Paula Nadelstern's website, Opulent Ornaments. They are made with fussy cut pieces from her fabulous kaleidoscope fabrics.

I just started on one six inch ball. After the fussy cutting and applying to the ball (Lots of stretching and pinning) then comes the fun part of beading, using sequins, seed beads, fancy sequins and colored head pins. I am only partly through the beading on my first ball. I plan to make several and will display them next Christmas on my living room coffee table in a big open glass bowl.

I'll post my progress on both pieces each week, so please come back and please look at Paula's website. I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Time with my son

If you read my blog you know that my son and only child lives very far away from me in Portland, OR, but he always comes home for a few days at Christmas and we try to make the best of this brief time. He arrived here early Christmas Eve morning and he cooked a fabulous meal for Christmas Eve. He is a real foodie and brought some of the recipe ingredients with him. Christmas day was just spent relaxing, opening presents with him and my sister and having a great dinner that I mostly cooked with help from him.

The day after Christmas he wanted to go to New Haven try one of their famous pizza restaurants. Most of them are very old and claim to be the ones who brought pizza to the northeast. We went to Sally's in Little Italy, right down the street from Pepi's, which now has a branch here in Danbury. The restaurant opened at 11:30 and we got there at 11 and there was already a line. It was chilly day and we were glad to get let in at 11:30. It was a very low key, no frills restaurant with just a few choices of pizza, no salads, no grinders, no wine, just pizza, beer and sodas. It was good, but I'm not in a hurry to drive an hour to get there again.

To me the best part of the day was the Yale University Art Gallery.  I can't believe I had never been there before. It was like being at a smaller version of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It had an incredible collection of just about any artist you could name, African art, antiquities and many more. AND it was not crowded as I know the Met would be AND it is free and open to the public.
There were special exhibits on the fourth floor. One was Ceremonial Dress from Southwest China and one was about 200 years of Indigenous North American Art.

Most of the pieces in the China exhibit were very old. but this modern piece really grabbed my attention. It was woven from metallic thread by Jon Eric Riis using Chinese weaving techniques to get a very painterly effect.

This very large piece was in the native American exhibit. It was woven and embroidered to tell a story. Be sure to click on this one to see a larger view.

The next day we took our annual trip into NYC. We took the train in and left my car at the train station. We walked around and took in the sights of NYC at Christmas, always exciting.

Saks' Fifth Avenue during the Day, so pretty!

The same Sak's Fifth Avenue at night What a difference!

The famous tree at Rockefeller Center with the beautiful angels that line the walkway to the tree. 

I don't remember  seeing these see-thru igloo-like structures other years at the tree. It was cozy place with small tables and chairs inside for people to get out of the weather and maybe have a hot drink.

We always have lunch at a special restaurant that my foodie son had researched. This was on    Columbus Circle and their signature dish is octopus, as shown on their logo. They had a price fixed luncheon, a little pricey but oh, so delicious.

My first course...lobster, pickled eggplant, basil leaves and seeds in a Burrata cheese sauce. Heavenly...I wanted to lick the bowl.

My son's second course, a kind of fancy ravioli with mushrooms and other delicacies in a brown butter sauce...delish!

My second course, Fusilli with braised octopus and bone marrow. The octopus was so tender and there was plenty of if nestled in the pasta. We also had wine, a shared panna cotta and cappuccino.  A truly wonderful meal.

Not a very good picture of my handsome son, but it was the only one we had taken. I still can't get used to him towering over tall me even though it's been that way for years.

Now he's back in Portland but I will see him again this winter because he plans to visit me in my Florida home. So Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope you get to spend it with family and friends.