Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Lavender Fields...

One of the perks of living in Southern California is the fact that every type of atmosphere is within driving distance. The beach to the west, the desert to the east, and the mountains to the north-east. And a little bit of country in between. You can find desert flowers in the Springtime, warm ocean waves in the Summer, and snow in the mountains during Winter. I love that. Anyway, my mom and I took a drive out to Valley Center, which is a little bit of old-style country time in San Diego County. We attended the Lavender Festival. Just a small event, but it's fun to explore new sites. Posted by Hello

Rancho Guajome Quilt Show

My mom and I attended a quilt show last weekend at the historic Rancho Guajome (pronounced Waa-home-A). This is an original adobe hacienda with a central courtyard, that was occupied in the late 19th century here in San Diego County. I am a native San Diegan, yet I had only previously been to a smaller rancho in Old Town. This place was amazing. You can see how they have quilts displayed throughout the exterior, and there were other items within each room also. I wish I could capture the energy of the place--it was magical. Posted by Hello

Rancho interior

We walked through the large adobe house, and quilts were displayed in each period-decorated room. It was a step back into time. Amazing and beautiful. There were antique quilts and embroidered items, but also newly created items, including recreations of antiques and tribute quilts to historic events. We attended a lecture about the women of the ranch, and learned some local history. Every weekend after Thanksgiving, the rancho has activities for children to learn crafts of days gone by: making corn husk dolls, learning how to make dripped wax candles, etc. There are buggy rides and other events. I'm charmed by it all. Posted by Hello

Lovely quilt pattern

I really like this quilt pattern--I'll have to get more information and make one. I just have too much fabric anymore, between lovely ladies giving me stuff, all my thrift store finds, and years of unfinished it's time to use up some of that stash and make a few meaningful quilts. Posted by Hello

Aprons Quilt

I'm not sure what the quilt pattern name is here, but I thought it kind-of fit with the Tie One On theme, as one could say these are aprons over dresses! Cute! Posted by Hello

$5 Quilt

This color scheme isn't normally my style, but I couldn't walk away from a handmade quilt with a $5 price tag! I found this at an estate sale. Estate sales fascinate me and creep me out at the same time. It's so bizarre to walk through someone's home, sort through boxes of clothing and items that were once cherished. Walk through rooms in which a family once lived, laughed, loved. It's unsettling. The border and backing print of this quilt is a garden theme fabric--actually quite cute. It's lovingly machine stitched, then tied. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 27, 2005

Apron designs

I'm dying to know what the next challenge will be for Tie One On. I'm hoping for a geometric theme, because I've got a great idea for that. I want to sew something exquisite--something that can actually be passed down. Something to be proud of. What other themes might be fun? Fruit. Animals. I want to attempt applique for those. Women of Yesteryear might be fun--like a look at the retro home ec thing. I'm fascinated by that lately. What else? Maybe a tribute apron to someone in one's family or to a celebrity (like the apron featured on the Tie One On site right now). An artistic vision apron. A guy's apron. An apron made from an unusual material (remember the corn husks and the chair webbing from Project Runway?) Trying a technique that is new to you (embroidery, cross-stitch, huck weaving, etc). Gosh, the possibilities are endless. The anticipation is killing me! It's not as if I don't have a gazillion other projects to work on in the meantime....

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Random Ramblings...

I was scheduled to work this morning (I work retail in addition to my pet-sitting), but when I arrived I found out that there was no one to close the vault due to a sick I offered to leave and come back in five hours to do the later shift. On the way home, I decided to drop by Mitsuwa, a Japanese marketplace in Kearny Mesa that I just found out about by reading Amy's blog. Funny how life works--Amy lives in Arizona and commented about her recent vacation in San Diego. I had no idea that a Japanese bookstore was in my own backyard until she mentioned finding craft books there. Go figure. Anyway, thank God I cruised by the shop today, of all days. The bookstore lost their lease, and today was their last day! The shelves were bare in places, but most items were 50% off! I told myself, "your car payment is due...just go in to look". Yeah, right. I managed to find five books. Even at the discounted price, it was still ouch, but how could I pass them by?! Oh my God, there are so many amazing and inspirational items. I'm not sure if they are all Japanese craft books (one says Korean patchwork), but as they are all written in what appear to be Japanese characters, I can't say for sure either way. All I know is that my creative juices are stirred and brewing. I'll post some pics later when I can go by my friend Tracie's house and borrow her scanner. The good news is that the new business moving in is another Japanese bookstore. The prices won't be like they were today, but they will be one third of what ebay charges, so that's something to look forward to. Speaking of working, I am on the road to reinventing myself. The retail gig is slowly tearing apart my soul bit by bit every day. I am hoping to do some more freelance writing, as I love to write as much as I love art, so I'm hoping to place myself into a more appropriate setting. I'm not afraid of change, even after having had this retail position for 21 years--it's more of not knowing where to turn or what is out there. All I know is I need to be inspired and appreciated and I need to work for a company that I can believe in. Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Mosaic'ed Tile

Fwd: You have received photos from Adobe Photoshop Elements
My first 3D mosaic I made in a class in Laguna Beach (I'll have to find the instructor's info and post that later).
There are probably 15 different plate designs here.
The class and instructor pooled resources, and I think the end result is the better for it.
The blue glass lady is from a soap dish I broke and couldn't bear to part with.
The artist in me figures all this stuff can someday be of use (and it usually is. The minute I "de-clutter", I always seem to want and need stuff back).
There is an I-Ching coin, a chopstick, river rocks, stones and shells, halved marbles...
The grout is a terra-cotta color.

I learned so much from this class.
I have taken the info and built on it, and now I do curved surfaces--usually flower pots. Posted by Hello

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Mosaic'ed candle tray

This is a tray I made for my friend Michelle, who collects Coca-Cola themed items. I mosaiced a long metal tray with plate pieces, mini Coke bottles, and bottlecaps (all purchased via eBay). I embellished with blue, red, and green glass mini marbles, and a silver polar bear in sunglasses charm. The grout is purple. I hope she likes it. I went to IKEA and got some blue votive candles that fit perfectly atop the bottle caps. She'll probably see it here before it surprises her in the mail. Oh well.
Posted by Hello


Fido's gift

Yay, got the book. Now I just have to learn to knit...
I really like the idea of harvesting fur from a hairbrush. No cruelty involved. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

What a magical place!

I wish I could say I lived here, but it's just a cute house I happened to notice in my neighborhood. They're busy re-landscaping. Dig the rhino! Posted by Hello

Jan's Flower Pot, front view

Sorry for the photo quality, but it's all I've got. I hope you can at least get an idea here. This is an African-themed flower pot I mosaic-ed for my friend Janice. The animal print tiles are broken plates that I bought on ebay, and the focal point is layered pieces of slate, a metal animal brooch, miscellaneous small stones, and a cowrie shell bracelet. I'm just stoked I got Bloggerbot working again. It's tough when you've got a piece of crap computer, but at least it's something. I was just house-sitting for a friend, and her new Dell set-up about had me weeping with joy. Who knew I would ever love all this so much! Posted by Hello


Jan's Flower Pot, side view

Top band done in sections of animal prints, separated by river rock. You can see leopard and zebra here, there was also giraffe. The lower band is random tiles. I decided not to tile the mid-back area. Posted by Hello


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Dolly Pattern, 1968

How cute is this? I never much liked dolls as a kid (something about "talking Tina" on a Twilight Zone episode, and my vivid imagination), but soft rag dolls are different. More innocent, maybe? More traditional? I have never made a doll, but I think I'm going to have to make this for Christmas for a little girl I know. This is another fun thrift store find. I think I paid 35 cents. Some people think it's poor taste to discuss price, but I love to share a good deal! I have a friend who adores thrift shopping as much as I do, and we will send one another packages of gifts on a whim...several items from thrift stores with the tags still attached just to, as I said, share the deal we found! The irony is that it costs a fortune to mail the packages, so it somewhat defeats the purpose, but it's just so fun to buy stuff for people sometimes (especially when they appreciate it). This pattern reminds me of a doll I had when I was a kid in the 60's. Her name was "Shrinking Violet". She had yellow yarn hair, a lavender-colored dress, and when you would pull her string, she would say, "I'm afraid of noisy boys", or, "I've got butterflies in my tummy". I've seen her on ebay go for over $300! Vintage toys are very collectible now. I saved her for a long time, but she was stored in a shed outside of my parents' house, where rats got into the cardboard boxes and chewed my beloved memories to bits. I have a photo of myself with the doll that I sent out as a homemade Christmas card several years ago. I'll see if I can find that and post it here.


Elevated cutting board

Baby decided it would be easier to cut out a bag if I did it at an angle ;). I finally got two bags cut out, so I should be able to post those soon. I stopped carting my sewing machine to other people's houses when I house/pet sit, because it was just putting too much wear and tear on it. My sewing machine is a White, from 1942 I think my mom said. It is housed in a wooden cabinet, so it's cumbersome to take here and there. I love the simplicity of that machine though. It only sews forward and backward. That's it. It's perfect for most things, but I really need to purchase a portable so my sewing time isn't cut into so much.

Spring in San Diego

In honor of today, the last day of Spring, I couldn't resist posting another photo of Duke. I love this shot, because it seems to be in some isolated country location...and really it's adjacent to Sea World! Go figure. Delight in all places...


Friday, June 17, 2005


In keeping with the Home on the Range theme, I thought it might be fun to share this photo of me as a kid, all dressed up in my dad's beloved cowboy boots.


Cowboys, wagons, trails...

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Wagon Wheel Apron

Yay, I finished my entry for the Tie One On apron challenge--this month's theme being Home on the Range. One of the reasons I started this web log was to encourage myself to actually finish some projects. Evidently I find the fun in planning, coming up with ideas, buying fabrics and charms and threads and other stuff....then leaving all that behind when a new idea captivates my attention. I guess I have artistic ADD, lol. That being said, I decided to set aside my gazillion projects-in-progress yet again, and answer Amy's apron challenge. I mean, please, how could I pass up a cool challenge like that?! I wanted to use as much of my stash as possible, and just happened to have this fabric remnant with a Western theme. It even says "Open Range". I let the fabric tell me what to do, and based my design on the remnant size. I cut the corners to form a wheel shape, then used a metal ring to signify the inner spoke while at the same time emphasizing the bucking bronco. I used faux leather strips to form the spokes of the wheel (it also looks like a bridle, which is an added bonus). I wanted faux so the apron would be washable. I considered a rope-like trim, but I really like this leather look. I initially found this trim at Beverly's fabric store for $4.99 per yard. I didn't want to spend that much, then ended up finding the same trim at Walmart for $1.53 yard! Man, I will be checking there more often now. For the sash and mock tie front, I used a check with which I had once upon a time made a skirt and top. I think it all worked out rather well. I have come a long way in that I used to be the type who wasn't capable of working without a pattern. This entire thing just evolved out of my head, so I'm pretty proud of finally allowing myself that kind of freedom. As far as designs went on this project, I had so many ideas! I thought of making a faux belt buckle. I thought of scattering Western-themed charms and silver studs about. I thought about making a pocket from Levis. I thought of placing silver collar tips at the ends of the sash, or tying the sash like a bolo tie. I even thought of doing something with a horseshoe shape...but in the end I opted for simplicity. Sometimes I get carried away and I spend too much on extras, when really simplicity is always fine. Actually, it sort-of looks like something straight out of children's 50's cowboys and indians stuff. Not sure if that's good or bad, but overall I am just pleased with the process.

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June gloom

Strange weather. Three earthquakes in California in a week, and a tsunami warning (huh?). It is overcast and gray, and I am looking forward to the approaching summer. I finally finished my apron for Tie one On's challenge, and will post later. I'm having trouble with blogger bot, so I used flickr, and now my last photo is covering up my links's ever a learning process. I'll be working on finishing up Jen's mosaic--the grouting process proved frustrating. Tons of the grout got onto me (I had brown thighs, stained feet, brown grout wedged deep under my fingernails...). I had to buy more grout to touch up spots. Too, most of the trinkets, charms, jewelry, marbles, and rocks fell off during grouting, even though I had researched and supposedly purchased THE perfect glue. Now I know to use that glue after the fact for surface gluing, and use the construction strength for any items that will be grouted around. Grrr.... This clean up process of polishing the tiles and making sure I achieve perfection is the tedious part. I'll post pics when it's complete.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Vintage apron

Isn't this cute? This is one of my mom's aprons from the '50s, and still in such great shape! Tulip pocket and rickrack trim. She has a black check one too...I'll have to look through old photos to find a pic of her in that one.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

"Tina, eat some ham..."

My mom and I went to opening day of the San Diego County Fair. I love the fair. The paintings, designs in wood, cooking contests, photography....I wish I had thought to enter one of my mosaics. Maybe next year. We were checking out all the sewing and crafts in the Home and Hobby section, and there were several knitted items. Geez, all it took was a few celebrities to pick up some knitting needles, and now it's all the rage. Anyway, there was a shawl there that was beautiful and soft looking--like fur. We read the comments, and the maker said it was constructed using "handspun dog fuzz" !!! So it really WAS fur! There was yet another item, a scarf, that was made using "handspun Akita dog hair". I love that! I remember seeing a book at a pet store before, entitled "Knitting with Dog Hair". I don't know how to knit (yet), so I didn't purchase it, but I think it's a fun idea. We were amazed by some of the gems and minerals (nature's glitter), and some of the chicken feathers are truly God's works of art. Additional note, added later: I just ordered that book off ebay. You can buy dog hair yarn there too. Wow. So many hobbies to little time....Posted by Hello


Jardin del Arte

In the Garden section, one of the displays included these fun topiary mariachis. Behind them is a topiary dancer on the stairs, a couple doing the Tango, a patron seated at the bar, a waitress with a beer on her tray, and a bartender pouring a beer. Gosh, who knew landscaping could be so crafty?! I would really like to learn metal sculpture, and make my own garden ornaments.... Posted by Hello


Shabby Chic in the garden

Sweet little chair, completely embellished with succulents! Posted by Hello


Friday, June 10, 2005

Reconstructed Hoodie

Hoodie inspired by Laura's fruity hoodies. This is reconstructed from a man's surf tee. The main body is the tee, then one knit is added for the sleeves and hood, and a second knit for the cuffs and waist band. Next time I make this, I will delete the pockets like Laura does, as they are small anyway, and with a patterned fabric it would just be too busy. The sewing pattern is McCalls 4261. Posted by Hello


Hoodie back

The photo isn't clear, but the tee design shows a wave and it says San Diego. I really liked the aloha knit that I used for the sleeves, and even though it's not the purplish wine color that makes up the shirt, it is still in the same color family, so I think it works. Unfortunately, the design is hidden by the hood, so now I have learned that I need to use designs that are lower on the body. It's all a learning process. Posted by Hello


Fun Thrift Store Find!

How cute is this?! I am not even a mom, much less a Grandma, but I still love this vintage little suitcase that says, "Grandma's Cowboy". Don't you wish objects could talk? What little boy long ago carried this to sleep overs or on travels? What fun clothes, toys, diaries, bubblegum, cap guns... were packed? Is it infused with wonder and joyful moments? It's only 13" x 10" x 4" and it makes the perfect sewing box now! I love finding buried treasure in thrift stores. Posted by Hello

Red Velvet Cake!

I was totally inspired to try a Red Velvet Cake after seeing one on Amy's blog (I can't find the archive anymore. Maybe she can tell me where it is. Her site is awesome for all kinds of stuff). The recipe calls for blueberries and raspberries, but she (actually, her husband made it for her birthday, so I guess I should say 'he') used strawberries, so that gave me the idea to use four berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, all atop cream cheese icing. Just an amazing thing! Baby liked it too! The cake was actually nicer before it took a dive off the seat of my car, but it still looks okay, huh? Posted by Hello


Pretty red slices

Sooo pretty and sooo yummy! Posted by Hello


Thoughts while waiting for my film to develop....

My new passion is cruising web logs--it's getting a glimpse into people's lives. I am struck by the fact that freedom lies in the simplicity of picking up the mail, and happiness within the moments frozen in time like the self portraits on Stephanie's site. I love having found a community, literally, of women with similar interests to mine. Similar passions, struggles, influences. The fact that they are brought to tears by the beauty of quilt designs in a book, or swap and cherish vintage fabrics, and appreciate one another's work. This all adds to and impacts my own life. Finding a whole new group of friends that I wouldn't have been able to meet before this time. And I am thankful.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Daisy Duke

Duke in the daisies at Fiesta Island earlier this year when the rains gave us an abundance of flowers. You'll probably see lots of pics of Duke, since I cart him all over San Diego in search of "photo opportunites". I intend, however, for this site to become an online portfolio of my sewing and craft projects, so stay tuned for soon-to-be-posted pics. I'm working on several bags and an apron challenge, so I'll be posting more pics soon. I also want to show some thrift store finds! So keep checking back. Posted by Hello