Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Some Mail Art and more.

 I altered this vintage card a few days ago, when we were last expecting snow and made some comment about how this little musician was waiting for it in the mountains. I got lots of comments on Facebook about her lack of proper clothing.

This little saucy kitty was perfect for altering this lake view. 
 My friend Sarah Hand makes delightful creations and I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase this one from her. I love birds, and this one is a real sweetie.
 Here's what I did on my Mother's birthday - put her photo on the table at my knitting class. We lit a candle on a doughnut and wishes her a happy day. And according to my sisters, the birthday gathering was lovely.
 My honey and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday by taking a drive up to Northern Virginia. It was a nice day away from home and look at the sky at sunset. What a treat!

And here's another altered vintage postcard. This is Mount Vernon, which I'd like to visit someday. It's not that far from us. I really like putting these dressed up kitties to use and am sorry that I have only a few of them left. I hope that whoever gets kitty cards really enjoys them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A snow day off - a maker's heaven!

 I rediscoverded my merit badge! I earned it all over again for completing my third 365. I'll have to find a good place to attach this badge!
Or just display it in my studio to remind myself of my own merit! ha ha ha

Our snow didn't amount to much, maybe an inch but it is very cold and so it's VERY icy out in the world. I decided to stay home and make stuff.

My older sister had sent me a vintage tea towel awhile back and asked me to make her one of my pocket purses.

Here's my trusty old sewing machine, with one completed purse ready to send to California.
 Here are the other two purses plus two purses for change made from vintage fabric - love the fruit print. I didn't get a photo of the one I sent to my sister, as I was eager to package it so the mail carrier could pick it up at my door this afternoon.
This is the scene looking down from our bedroom window this morning. Overcast and cold.

Later, the sun came out, though it didn't help much to melt the snow, since the temperature is below freezing.

Here are a couple more of my altered vintage postcards.

It was a perfect day, staying indoors in flannel clothing and warm slippers, in my warm studio, making stuff. Bizoo would wander in and out, sometimes sleeping on the chair with the pillow, or just checking on what I was up to.

A perfect maker's day.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mom is 100 today!

Today is my Mother's 100th birthday. 

Estelle has outlived her husband and all of her sisters.
She always said that she wanted to live to be 100 and she made it.

She was 18 in the photo upper left, and there she is with her parents and sisters. She was the oldest of the girls.

Here's Mom in 2008, she was seeing me off at the Van Nuys bus terminal where I was taking the bus to LAX to catch a flight home.  She's changed a bit from her 18 year old portrait but still smiling!

And here's mom in 2010, knitting scarves. She knit sooo many that we could hardly keep her in yarn. 

She knit, she sewed clothing, she was a voracious reader.

Here's one of my favorite childhood memories - I may have mentioned this before. We walked to the Legler branch of the Chicago library, which was only a little over a mile from our apartment, but to me, as a child it was so far away. To keep my attention on our goal,  my mother would say "we're going to get free books, isn't that wonderful?" And on the way back, with me carrying a couple of books under my arm, more in my sister's carriage, she'd say "Aren't we lucky, we've got free books to read?" Later, I'd walk by myself or with friends, always thinking how lucky I was to be able to have free books to read. And guess what? I'm a voracious reader, something that I've passed along to my own children. Thanks, Mom.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The weather, the cards, the cat, & me.

 What a difference a day makes! Here's what the little lake looked like on Wednesday when I cut through the park after my Spanish class. Gray day, with a few birds heading my way thinking I had something for them. So chilly.

But just warm enough for SNOW. We awoke to find a dusting of snow. It continued to snow light little flakes that melted quickly. I'm glad I got this photo from the bedroom window. So pretty, but I"m glad it didn't pile up and immobilize the city.

I'm happy to be knitting again and have filled my yarn drawer with the best supplies. Since my favorite yarn shop is gone, I've ordered through the internet. This yarn came from England in a pink mailing bag & a net gift bag. Sweet! The source is LoveKnitting.

This week, I've been practicing the zigzag/chevron stitch. Tomorrow, I'll have the maestra check it out in class to see how I'm doing with it.

I'm continuing to make Mail Art. I've just started to number them in order of making them. Simply #1, #2, etc.
 The pressure is off to make one a day, but I'm making 2 some days, 4 another day, zero another day. It's just so fun and, the practice has been established.

Remember: Creativity is a Practice.

I was busy working in the studio when the story stopped suddenly. I turned and saw the culprit! Bizoo!
He ejected the disk - Neil Gaiman reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane. What? He didn't like it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Birds on the lake, postcards, and knitting.

 I took the route through the park the other afternoon. The sky was beautiful, the sun was shining. When I got to fountain lake, there were lots of gulls on it and while I watched they lifted off into the air and circled several times.

There were a handful of us watching, transfixed, in a magic moment. Then, the birds were gone and we all moved again. It was beautiful.

 I stopped into the shop to get food for Bizoo and stopped to see who was looking at me. What a cutie!  I wanted to take him home. I liked his cute "hands" and his awareness of my presence. 

I'm going to a knitting group on Sunday mornings because I want to learn to make fancy stitches, to challenge my brain. I've learned how to knit cables! Yay, I'm happy about that.

Now I'm trying to do a chevron stitch, not having a good time with it. Can't wait for Sunday to get help. I'll show you the results when I get some.
I'm having a lot of fun altering vintage postcards with these vintage children. I'm not doing a 365 project so I'm free to skip days and to make several in one day, which I've done.  Here are two of the 5 I've made so far. I'm calling one "Fiddler in the Lake" and the other "Music to soothe a little bear." 
I'm pondering numbering them, keeping track of who I send to, or not. I don't want to feel like I'm doing a 365. Any thoughts on this for me?

Thursday, January 09, 2014


"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
This quote is attributed to William Penn. Yes, THAT William Penn, the one who founded Pennsylvania.

 When I was a child, my mother would often quote this, in an abbreviated verson. Where she got it, I don't know, but I doubt she knew it was from William Penn. She truly believed it. I would hear her say kind things to people. Little did she know the seeds she was planting in me.

In fact, I didn't even think about it until I was thinking of what to write for this post - as part of Mary England's Kindness day.

Mom will be 100 in 10 days. She doesn't know this, nor would she even know me at this point, but because of her I'm a kinder person. And that would make her happy.

Be kind. It costs nothing. You only pass this way once.

Note: for those of you who believe in reincarnation, you get to be kind many times over, I guess.


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Yahrzeit for my father.

Fourteen years ago today, my father died. I remember him with words he shared with me, which I'll share with you: Choose to be happy.

What a guy!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Fish's Eddy and my Real Wall

 We went to Fish's Eddy when we were last in NYC. Today being a gloomy gray rainy day, color seemed to be needed.

Aren't these tiny bowls adorable? So colorful and cute. Why didn't I buy a bunch of them?

Here's my Real Wall, as opposed to my Facebook Wall.
I replaced the in-coming Mail Art on display in my studio with new work. 16 artists from a bunch of countries are here. Let's see: Greece, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the U.S. 

Here's a herd of cow pitchers from Fish's Eddy. Don't you think it would have been fun for me to have a little herd of them?

Oh, and these cute little pitchers in fun colors. Why didn't I get half a dozen of these?
And the piece de resistance - & I did resist - Rooster egg cups. Love these. I've never used an egg cup in my life. But don't you think I could have used them for something? They're sooo cute.

If you're in NYC, go to Fish's Eddy and buy yourself something cute!