31 December 2011

25 December 2011

Mixed Media Post Card Swap To Start The New Year

Friend Judy H. posted about this swap on her blog and I had to have a look at Musings On Reality's swap. I had to add my name to the list as well. I did one other post card swap like this and it was wonderful to get art cards from all over the world to add to my growing collection! Have a look and consider joining in the fun, The more the merrier - or should I say "the art-ier ?!

Wishing You Love, Laughter and A Bit Of Santa-Magic

As this new day dawns 
I wish you all a Season of Love,
Laughter and a bit of 'Santa-Magic'.  
My wish for everyone is that
the New Year will bring you peace and prosperity and a surfeit of creative energy!

"Clouds appear
 and bring to men 
a chance to rest
 from looking at the moon."
  • Basho

24 December 2011

Local Craft Supply Access Can Be A Wonderful Thing! Plus My Home When I Am Not At Home !

Most of you are aware that I live on a rural island. Going to a crafts store is an all day 'adventure' and the cost of the ferry service is making all but essential trips off island too costly. My friend, Janet, had told me that a new store had opened on island and that I needed to go and check it out. Of course, me being the laggard I can be, it took until yesterday to go and have a gander. I was thrilled to see a varied selection of many crafting essentials. From card making and scrapbooking to knitting, quilting, painting and paper crafts, we now have a pace to call home in our small community - and it is a very joyful thing ! Shop owner, Bonnie Turman, is ready and willing to help you find the tools you're looking for and is open to suggestions about what to add. She is already making plans to expand her shop! She stocks products from Fiskars, Ranger, Red Heart, and many other well know craft companies. Finally we have a local place to get our essentials - I breathed a sigh of relief as I left the shop - with a wee package in my hand I should add!  Thanks Bonnie - I hope you are swamped with business!

As I looked around my office yesterday I thought about what a nice space three of us are able to enjoy. In my most humble opinion we have the loveliest office in the County and, if I can't be home, this is a very decent second choice. Note that you can double click on these photos for a larger view (at least I hope you can!)
This is my work area. You can see that the plants really like the light - although the view itself is droll and uninteresting.
This is the view standing at the far end of my desk looking towards the entry door. We hung one of my quilts my my office mate's desk and it added a nice, warm feeling I think. Those of you who look hard at the picture will notice that there is a "license plate" on my bulletin board. It was a gift and it says "I'm A Princess"....

21 December 2011

Happy Solstice To All ! .... and Walnut Inks From Tsukinenko

Wishing You All The Magic Of The Winter Solstice and The Peace of The Season !


Late in November my friend Lauren and I took a girl's day off island and hit some of the art supply places that  we occasionally miss being able to visit as much as we treasure our remote island life. I had been remarkable resolute with my plan to spend money judiciously - at least I had been prior to this visit to Michael's!

I had seen these Walnut Inks from Tsukinenko before and had passed over them thinking that were in, in all actuality, walnut inks - the sort I am familiar with using with dip pens. This time however, I took a look at the box this set came in and decided to give them a try. This was just my first look at the inks on paper and I can see some real play time int he future. They result in beautiful, rich colors in the warm, earthy tones I love. I'll share some play time soon but if you too have passed over these inks in the past you might consider trying a bottle. This set had, in order of the photo below: Terra -cotta, Eucalyptus, Walnut & Java.

11 December 2011

Computing Disaster Day!

My Xmas gift this year is a doozie - a new Apple I Mac. I had been dreaming about having one for so long! It arrived yesterday and, at the behest of DH, I opened it and got the migration assistant going - so I thought! According to the assistant I had about 14 hours to wait - so when I went to bed I envisioned that all would be well when I woke up.

When I woke up there was "blue bar" progress but it now read that it would take 56 house and 19 minutes. I decided that something had to be wrong and so I called tech support. My neck began to ache as the hours online with tech grew longer. After a couple of trouble shooting hours he thought that we/I was on the right track - and decided that he would call be back later to check on things. I made progress on migrating things onto the new computer with the help of a flash drive. Mail worked, Internet worked - I was beginning to be happy.

When the tech called again though we ran some diagnostic and discovered that there was only one hard drive on the machine - there were supposed to be two - one smaller and one very large.

Bottom line. I have wasted an entire day off fiddling with this beauty only to find that it has to be returned. Maybe I will have a new computer by Xmas - maybe not. It really is a drag - but there are silver linings too. I found a problem with the hard drive of my Mac Book Pro (which could have caused serious problems in the future had we not discovered it). It is now repaired and, by opening my Xmas gift early I gave myself a chance to still have the new one in time for the holiday.  If I had waited to open this until Xmas I would  have spent a very frustrating holiday indeed. So - although it was an irritating day filled with wasted effort in the long run it probably worked out for the best.

One thing I tell you though is that this 27" screen is absolutely stunning. You can have four full sized windows operating at the same time. I had wanted get the smaller screen but the options I wanted were only available on this new monster screen. It's brilliant and beautiful - and I think I will like it very well !

I'm ready for a nap now !

09 December 2011


I've been admiring the winter look on the land this week. The colors, though muted for the season seem so sensuous and rich - a deep gold played against the evergreen or bare white branches against the skyline.

As I was driving home one afternoon this week I noticed the way the sky looked framed by the gentle bare branches of the winter woods. I had to stop and take a picture. It was such a beautiful sight.

Happy weekend to all and to all a good night !

07 December 2011

Machine Embroidered Flowers, Woodlands & Landacapes: The Art of Alison Holt

 * * * * *
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844483457
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches

This is a cross post from my book blog - I had to share it here to because I love this book so much!

For anyone who loves the work of Annamieke Mein or Jane Hall you're in for a treat with this latest book from Alison Holt.  Lush and beautiful are words that just don't quite describe this book that is part eye-candy and part super well done instruction.
This is a book that is really about the art of 'seeing' and translating what you see into poetry made with thread. The instructional part of the book is very well written, with excellent photographs that illustrate the process very well. Search Press has always, in my opinion, spotted good books and publishes them to their full, beautiful, potential.

I am, indeed, quite excited about this book and I know that it will be a "keeper" for. me. I think that it will have wide appeal since many of the techniques can be translated into hand embroidery if desired. Artists, quilters, embroiderers, textile and fiber artists alike will find something to tickle their imagination in the pages of this beautiful book. I can do nothing but highly recommend this gorgeous publication!
I could go on describing this book - but I do believe that a picture is worth a thousand words and, hopefully, these photos, will tempt you to add this to your own 'keeper" library!

04 December 2011

Knitting Addictions & Flat Santas

A friend gently chided me that I had not posted anything since Thanksgiving. How could all of that tie possibly have streamed ahead while I was not noticing?! I have been thinking about blogging though - gathering ideas for topics that I could write about without having something to show that I have produced - since sometimes I just can't keep up when projects take longer than expected or are in the process of being done yet nothing is completed. I have a LOT of book reviews to catch up with as well as some product reviews of some new toys that I've tried. Soon - very soon.

At any rate - these are what I've been up to and I am seriously addicted. This pattern is called the Holden Shawlette and it free pattern from a gifted designer named Mindy Wilkes -  she offers on Ravelry.
Made using Shaeffer heather yarns in the 'Indira Gandhi' colorway. It results in a slightly larger shawl.
These are the first two shawlettes that I made as gifts and I am now working on numbers 3 and 4! I've looked at lots of patterns both free and to purchase and this is really the nicest I've found. Perfect, I think, for a beginner lace pattern. Directions are both written and charted - and they are easy to follow and well done.
This shawlette is made with the recommended Malabrigo Sock yarn in 'Stone Chat' colorway. I have become seriously addicted to this yarn. It is luxurious, super soft, very 'drapeable' and offers the most lovely colors imaginable. It is, alas, a bit hard to find at the moment for some reason. Knitting Temptations has some available.  Their packaging is unique and pretty and their customer service is second to none

The Arts In The Cards group that I belong too had a voluntary swap for December. Some members really needed a break but some of us decided to Santa up for a "Flat Santa" challenge. I had no idea what that meant until I was told of the popular children's book called Flat Stanley. My Flat Santa is on the left and he is about 8" tall Friend Karen Musgrave made the middle Santa which is totally adorable and Janice Paine Dawes made the articulated limb-ed Flat Santa on the right.