October 30, 2008

If Every Day Were Like This

Haha, it usually is! There's nothing like spending 12+ hours in the studio. I started with wool roving, felted it on my felting machine, then added stitchery.

With this one, I spun some roving between my fingers as if to make yarn, sewed it onto a circle of felt, then felted it on the machine. The "yarn" blends to make a background for running stitches in perl cotton. It's finished with beads.

More stitch-play -- what a fun day!

October 29, 2008

More and Different

New tiny stitchworks for purse hooks! Photographing white is not easy for me, but there are tiny seed beads on the silk flower. I thought I made too many in this combination of a white silk flower on turquoise silk brocade, but when I looked at remaining inventory, they were all gone! I'll be making plenty more. I also found a new metallic thread that worked well for the herringbone embroidery stitch, Access Commodities's Accentuate thread. With care, it does not shred. Of course, I bought it at Needle Nook of La Jolla, my favorite thread shop.

October 28, 2008

In Production

This is the stitching I did this weekend. With many more to make I should probably work faster, but why when I'm having fun!

Have I shared finished purse hooks with you? For as much as we girls spend on our handbags, we should keep them off the unsanitary floors of restaurants. Here's one in action. They fold up nicely to carry in your bag and will support up to 30 lbs. (Why is anyone carrying a 30 lbs. bag?)

This beautiful cat stood guard (sleeping) outside a wine tasting shop in Los Olivos. I wanted to touch its lovely fur coat.

This sculpture by Phillip Glashoff also resides in Los Olivos, in the garden of the Judith Hale Gallery. It looks so happy -- I suspect it doesn't know it is chained.

October 27, 2008

Getting To Know You

Kasey is my maternal second cousin -- our grandfathers were brothers. The last time we saw each other she was a 2nd grader. Now she is working on her master's degree in kinesiology at Cal Poly and working as a physical therapy aide. We've been in touch in recent years due to genealogy work I've done for our family. Kasey is delightful, independent, thoughtful, beautiful, responsible and has a good head on her shoulders. She seems clear about what she does/doesn't know -- wish I was that smart at her age! We had a wonderful day getting reacquainted and learning about each other - the time flew. I'm sure we'll see each other again. (Mom, Jac & Jo, don't you think she has Reuben's eyes?!)

We had lunch at the touristy Embarcadero, but heavy fog obliterated Morro Rock and most of the scenery. Afterwards, Kasey and I headed towards the noise to find these fat sea lions hanging out.

One particularly hefty animal jumped out of the water to find a resting spot, but it landed on top of the others causing them all to bark with great annoyance.

October 25, 2008

Just Goes to Show

I should be out sightseeing, but indoor surroundings are just as delightful: I'm surrounded by needle and thread, beads, embroidery floss, ribbon and silk. I also have my laptop with access to email, online music subcription, instant messaging and blogs to keep up with. This is the first time I've been out of San Diego County since April when we were in France and Italy, but I might as well be in the sewing room at home. Lest you think this a waste of time, creative projects are still what I love best. Besides many trips to this area, Tien and I lived in Morro Bay for a month prior to moving to San Diego. I feel no need to revisit. Tien is playing golf with his family and I will be having lunch with second-cousin Kasey. Tiny art work for purse hooks are the order of the day and I'm having a blast with my stitching. Stay tuned for photos. My only inconvenience is a lack of facilities to download digital photos.

October 23, 2008

Out and About

I will be away from the studio for a few days, enjoying the coastline of San Luis Obispo County. We are expecting good weather and I'll have pretty pictures to share! No doubt I will have stitchery with me. Can't leave home without it.

October 22, 2008

Rise and Shine

I've never been good at mornings, but somehow managed to awaken at 7:30a to sew this top for my niece Natalie. It's the upper half of her mermaid costume. Initially, Natty didn't think mermaids had seaweed in their hair (stringy-thing on the left), but was willing to reconsider since mermaids live in the sea. One thing is certain: sewing stretch fabrics is not my forte. I guess I'd get better at it if I did it more often.

These are intended for purse hooks. They'll be embellished with embroidery, beads, ribbon and silk. I just LOVE using my felting machine!

October 21, 2008

Who Needs Sleep?

I thought more rest would be necessary after the show weekend, but I woke up at 5a thinking about a new piece of art. Construction ideas kept me awake for an hour. Once I knew what to do, sleep returned.

Apparently the show was quite large. Nancy and I didn't stray too far from our 10x10 space, so we have no idea what was at the other end, or in any other part of the winery grounds. We sure go to a lot of craft shows, but we don't see much except our neighbors work. Check out Nancy's blog for pictures of our rearranged booth on Sunday.

Ooh, I'm *sew* excited about participating in Beate Knappe's International Ornament Swap! We are given the option to make 5, 10 or 15 ornaments, with the intention to get back as many as we provide. I want to make 15!

So many things I want to do, yippee! plus three more shows to prepare for in 2008. I need a bigger life.

October 20, 2008

Weekend Report

Phew, a two-day show under a tent is pretty different from a one-day indoor show! Even with our nation's current economy, I'll admit I kept my fingers crossed to sell a lot and am fairly satisfied with this weekend's take. A given though was the fun I knew I'd have with Nancy in our booth. I can't imagine doing this successfully with anyone else. We are a compatible team, supportive of each other and great companions. Her quilts generated a lot of interest with her excellent use of color. We were in a center aisle with both sides open to traffic. Many people brought their dogs and we were surprised by the number of daschunds, SEVEN; more than any other breed.

This is a view of Nancy's work. The image was photo'd on Saturday when it was terribly hot and bright under the mid-day sun. The glass case containing purse hooks is on the table. The hooks absorbed so much heat that they burned my hand when showing them to potential customers!

The northern side had some shade. My appliqued yo-yo quilt got a few oohs and ahhs, but not enough to find a new home.

October 18, 2008

We're at Bernardo Winery

Look for us under the green kimono silk flag in Space 21, Zinfandel Parking Lot.
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte MAP
San Diego, California 92128

October 17, 2008

Join Us This Weekend

1940s Chinoiserie pillows with feather and down fill: The single pillow is about 14x14 and the two matching pillows are 20x20.

Ladies' medium sweatshirt with hand-stitched edge and machine appliqued embellishments.

October 16, 2008


This is the word the National Headache Organization uses for migraine headache sufferers. As a child I got terrible stomach aches -- my new neurologist called them abdominal migraines -- who'duh thunk it?! They were the precurser to the headaches I have had for nearly 30 years. I know precisely when a headache will hit - for me it's the fluctuation in estrogen levels. I have been taking prescription pain pills, but it is challenging to knock out a headache which has already begun. The new doc has a different approach and has prescribed preventative meds to take before the expected headache. Wish me luck. Sewing is impossible when I'm flat on my back.

Purse hooks for the show are done! I'm happy with this display. What I'm not happy with is imperfection (next image), but one of my teachers said, "Well, of course, it's handmade." I'm my harshest critic.

In 1994 before a trip to China I went to a SOMA workroom to have a custom down-filled pillow made. The air was filled with floating feathers. The seamstresses wore masks. I left with a new pillow and minute feathers up my nose.

The memory of that nose irritation made me wary of altering a square feather pillow insert to a rectangle, but I was careful and everything went smoothly. These pillows were sewn from the last of gorgeous 1940s curtains.

October 15, 2008

Display Tray

This is a shadow box from Michael's. It will serve as a display case for small items at this weekend's show. My sister Janine suggested it -- thank goodness for her idea! Professional display trays cost five times more, and I think they are heavier. After snapping this image, I changed the base fabric to faux deerskin (aka vinyl) for a richer appearance.

October 14, 2008

Silk Name Badge Holders

Do I hear you shrieking "silk?!" Of course I used silk. What other scraps would be littering my studio? I should be working on other things, but I've put off this little project for too long. The ones given to us by show producers have large pins which leave tiny holes in my clothing. To make these I used kimono scraps, stabilizer from the guts of an obi, Wonder Under, clear plastic for pockets, small safety pins and my sewing machine. One for Nancy and one for me.

Purse hook hardware arrived from my new supplier. I have some work to do. Can't wait to share!

October 13, 2008


This is an edgestone for use in a garden. I bought four at $1.19 each. They will be zip-tied to legs of the 10'x10' canopy and serve as weights (15 lbs. each). I don't want Santa Ana winds giving flight to my tent like Mary Poppins's brolly.

The canvas covers I sewed are useful for two reasons: (1) so I don't scratch myself on the rough cement edges and (2) so that a potential customer's legs don't get torn up coming into my booth. I know, it's either a great idea or I'm over-thinking...

The purse hook hardware did not arrive on Saturday as hoped. What a disappointment. The original source had one problem after another. I'm glad to have found an alternate supplier who can make good on her promises.

By now, if you are on my email list, you have received the Bernardo Winery Fall Arts & Crafts Show notice. Ooh, I'm excited -- it's my first 2-day event for a new crowd in a venue I haven't done before. With our present economy, it will be interesting to see what sales will be like. Pricing lavender pillows was difficult. The cost of supplies continues upward, along with transportation charges; of course I want to keep prices low. What's a retailer to do?!

October 11, 2008

Last Big Push

Happy Birthday, Tien! Every golfer should get a free round on his/her birthday. I hope you are enjoying yourself.

Non-golfer Me has filled one more batch of pillows with lavender. My table is covered with handstitching to do.

Purse hooks update: The late order is supposed to arrive today. The seller went to a lot of effort to get product to me. I hope to see the carton before day's end. The new order will come on Monday.

Everything is falling into place. I even found two more vintage barkcloth pillows to sell. Now, if only I were able to quit waking up in the middle of the night to problem-solve.

October 10, 2008

I Think/Know I Can!

Yippee!! Sewing is finished! It looks like five pillows without stuffing, but only because you don't see multiples in the same colors. I have done enough pillow sewing for all remaining 2008 shows. Phew, what a relief to get them done.

At the Summer Talmadge Show, shoppers were unfamiliar with purse hooks. This tiny briefcase held business cards and will now be my display. Purse hooks hold up to 30 lbs. Not sure why any of us girls would need to carry 30 lbs. in our handbags...

October 9, 2008

Fret No More

Hardware for purse hooks are on their way to me!! These purse hooks are the centerpiece of my inventory for this upcoming sale. I can't believe my good fortune: I found an alternate supplier who promised to have blanks in my hot little hands by Tuesday so I can attach stitch work. The company is a minority/woman-owned business, and this Asian sistah is someone whose energy is so positive that I intend to place future orders. Although I contacted her on a toll-free number, the OMG-moment was when we discovered we are both in San Diego and less than 5 miles from door-to-door! How cool is that?

I'm done sewing gold pillows. I managed to squeeze in lavender fabrics too. One more batch to sew (rose pink) and I'll be stuffing them with dried lavender.

Masami sent a package, this time with dashi-flavored soy sauce, WOW! The care package included packets of bonito flakes (fish flakes). She instructed us to pour the soy sauce on tofu, then sprinkle with bonito, and steam. Ooh, it was yummy! See the snacks? They didn't last very long (oink-oink). Masami is a doll to send us wonderful goodies.

October 8, 2008

Such Beautiful Fabrics

These fabrics are such a pleasure to work with. The colors are rich and deeply saturated. I want to keep them all for myself. Wait'll you see the next batch -- lovely stuff.

Now about the delayed hardware for purse hooks... I've got my sister's Sig Other checking his source for me too. At the very worst, I will not be able to sell them until a later show, but Scott's help is very much appreciated.

October 7, 2008

Cutting It Close

I'm becoming extremely concerned. The hardware for purse hooks have not arrived and my show is 12 days away. I paid for them a month ago. My supplier was out of stock but promised to send the next week. Eight days passed quietly. Three weeks after placing my order the supplier offered a refund so I could buy them somewhere else, or wait a bit more because her overseas source was sending them from China. The shipment arrived, but my order was not included -- grr! When my supplier and I last spoke, another shipment was leaving China with my order. Maybe I'll get them by this weekend, yikes. Good thing the stitch work is complete. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

My favorites are the brown/black zen garden, the silver and gold embroidery and the wool flowers.

I love purple and blue. Not sure which I like best in this group.

Next I'll work on browns and rusts.