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Archive for October, 2007

A Wacky Wednesday

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Thank you to every one who checked in and made such lovely comments about my dandelions. I so appreciate hearing from you.

Happy Halloween. Warning!!!! Cute grandchildren photos are coming. Mia as Pippy Longstockings and Milo as a Ghost of Halloween Past (he wanted to wear his costume from 2 years ago!)

I love the hair. I wanted to borrow the spray hair paint!!

Mia designed this Jack-o-cat and her Mom carved it.

You can see more silly Halloween photos on my Flickr.

We do not get any trick or treaters on our street, but a few streets away there is lots of action — steaming cauldrons with witches, screaming ghouls, bats and pumpkins galore. This is a neighborhood that loves Halloween.

Yesterday, I received a belated birthday present from my good friend, Judy, in Georgia. We have so much in common that it is sort of spooky. We are not sure how we found each other, but I think she stumbled on Lisa’s blog and bought one of the Mod birds which she was making and selling at the time. Back then, my girls had links to my blog so a lot of people who read their blogs would come and visit me. I must have embarrassed them at some point because they stopped linking to me!! So, anyway, I think Judy found me that way. We are hoping to take a class together this summer up at Coupeville Art Center. I hope it works out. Judy’s sense of humor is just as wacky as mine – maybe even more so.

This is what she made for me this year. It has an aluminum base which is cut out and covered with fabric embellishments. We have our dogs with us. We are wearing our silly hats and our endless/end this war tee shirts. I love that she has given me the body that I aspire to have. So I will treasure this. Thank you, Judy!!

She also gave me one of her gorgeous cards made from her silk sorbet fabric.

Speaking of svelte bodies, today was weigh-in day. I was down, but then, I was up two weeks ago. I am really stuck at this weight, but I definitely am losing inches so I am not going to stress. I am doing up to 70 minutes of aerobic walking a day.

The Ubiquitous Dandelion

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered — the definition of ubiquitous and so it seemed the appropriate name for my dandelion piece for the Twelve X Twelve challenge. (Link in the sidebar.)

Here are a couple of close-ups that are clickable for a larger view.

Here is the process I went through to achieve the final design.

I started with this photo of a dandelion gone to seed that I took on our trip to Woodinville, WA.

In Photoshop, I created the following design by using a filter to create a line design which I reversed to make the white parts black.

I knew that one side of this was too mushy to make a good thermofax screen so I cut it in half and mirrored the two parts to make a better design.

I created screens of this in 3 different sizes.

My original intent was to try to discharge to white on a black fabric. A chlorine discharge did not give the white color I wanted. I tested some thiox, but I did not have time to steam it and know that it would work before my trip to San Francisco.

I then turned to this overdyed piece of cotton that I had in my stash.

On a test piece, using Soft Scrub, I got this wonderful image – in bright yellow.

Discharging is not an exact science so I didn’t know what I would get when I used a larger piece of fabric.

I almost forgot to photograph this before I started stitching. The photo was taken on the floor of the car as we were driving so the quality is not the best!

As you can see, the fabric discharged in many different ways. But I was so excited to have the white areas where I could do the fluffy dandelions. I was fortunate to have purchased some hand-dyed Perle cotton in variegated yellows and greens. I also used an off -white Perle cotton. After I had hand-embroidered the dandelions, I was not sure what to do with the background. Machine stitching seemed as if it would spoil the integrity of the hand work I had done. I tried some linear background stitching – but that did not work. Then, I decided the wonky all-over stitching worked best. I am very happy with the result.

Be sure to go check out the Twelve X Twelve blog to see all of the varied and wonderful dandelions.

I Heart Orygun!

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

These signs abound in the countryside of Oregon, promoting a yes vote on proposition 49, which will keep developers from running rampant in the rural areas of this state.

As we drove home today and I began to see the signs, it made me realize how much I love my adopted home state. The northern California landscape was so bleak compared to what awaited us in Oregon. I managed to get some drive-by photos. They are all clickable or you can see them all at my Flickr site. Having grown up in upstate New York, I have always missed the colors of fall when I lived in California and North Carolina.

Back to our trip to San Francisco — on Friday morning, we went to the SFMOMA, to see the current exhibits. I enjoyed seeing the assemblages and collages of Joseph Cornell. We were also blown away by the life size photos of Jeff Walls of Vancouver, Canada.

Friday night we had dinner with the SF core family — Mark and Jayme and Lisa. We went to a new restaurant in Mark’s neighborhood with a very eclectic and unusual menu. One of the desserts was chocolate cake with a blue cheese filling. Since I didn’t get back to Lisa’s shop for another photo, I stole this one from her so that you can see the interior. They have been doing great sales since they opened, so we are all very happy. Thank you all, from Lisa, for the best wishes. We are really proud of her. In the midst of all this, she is still working 20 hours a week at her old job (which she is leaving at the end of December) and producing work for a show in Venice, CA, opening next week. What a girl!

Saturday, we had the pleasure of attending our great niece, Viola’s, first birthday party. It had a Halloween theme. Viola was dressed as Princess Leah or Princess Violeah, as I called her. That is her beautiful Mom, Jessie.

Here she is with her dad, blowing out the cupcake candle.

The place was filled with young couples and their babies and toddlers, making the grandparents and the great aunt and uncle feel quite old.

My favorite party attendee was their French Bulldog, Lola.

Here are two more of my favorite people, Mark and Jayme!

OK, that is enough family stuff. We drove as far as Vacaville last night so we could get a head start on our drive home. It was nice to drive in to Portland at the end of October and find sunshine. I went out for a half hour walk after we arrived home. We found some soup in the freezer, and it felt good to eat my own food again. Tomorrow, I have to get back to counting WW points. Oh, one great thing that happened at the party, Steve’s brother looked at me and said, “You’ve lost weight, you look great!” Yeah, somebody noticed.

Doing San Francisco

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

The weather was a little cooler today, and Mr C and I enjoyed walking around this fabulous city. First we checked out the new (to us) addition to the San Francisco Center where Nordsrom has been for awhile. Now, there is a swanky Bloomingdales and floors of retail therapy. It is a beautiful refurbishing of an old building with lots of open areas with lovely sitting areas and a food court that is not to be believed.

Next, we walked down to the Ferry Plaza where the San Francisco farmer’s market is held. The building houses several permanent businesses and restaurants.

Here are some of the sights in the Ferry Building (all clickable).

That last photo is of The Cowgirl Creamery cheese shop. I had to satisfy my love of cheese by sniffing the wonderful smells. We had lunch at a nice little Mexican restaurant.

We sat outside where we saw this view of the Bay Bridge.

After trekking back to Union Square, Lisa picked us up (in our car which we are parking for free in her garage and saving a bundle) and we set out to by wine and munchies for the opening party tonight. I got these photos of the shop before the crowds arrived tonight.

This is a mural painted by Amy Ruppel of Portland. They are carrying several of her encaustic paintings.

This is Lisa’s mobile:

I should have gotten more shots of the interior when it was not crowded.

We went back to the hotel and crashed for a while and then went out for Tapas with Mark and Jayme. We had so many tasty dishes. By the time we arrived at Rare Device, things were in full swing. You could barely walk through to the bar, and the two owners were selling up a storm:

The gorgeous tree motif behind them is wallpaper that you can purchase from them.

I got to meet so many of Lisa’s friends and to catch up with those that I have known for quite some time. Most of the friends think that she and I look alike. I think she looks more like her Dad. Perhaps it is our eyes.

The funniest moment of the evening was when Lisa escorted a very intoxicated “neighbor” from the party. He really did not want to go. Every one was sort of wondering who the shabby guy with the gray beard was – crazy uncle, perhaps?

They had a bucket of buttons for those who came. I scored these two— apropos, I think.

Sneak Peeks

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

We are in the balmy San Francisco “Riviera”. We couldn’t believe the 80+ temperatures that greeted us when we arrived. But, I am happy to shed my Portland rain gear, polar fleece and socks. I am still wearing my Keen sandals.

We left yesterday and stayed over in Yreka, CA last night. Here is sneak peek #1, Mt. Shasta, glowing in the morning sun today.

I love driving across the By Bridge. (Hey, Debra, I yelled and waved as we drove by Hercules!)

And then you get that sneak peek at the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gare Bridge in he distance.

After getting settled and doing a little walking around Union Square and a walk through Needless Markup (Neiman Marcus), we headed over to Lisa and Rena’s shop/gallery. Here is a sneak peek at Rare Device. Lisa painted the mural that is above the door. She also made the mobile that you can get a sneak peek of through the door.

This is such a delightful store, just chocked full of eye candy and goodies. Lisa had to slap my hand because I kept messing up the displays as I looked through all the good stuff. Today, a stylist and photographer from Lucky Magazine came and rearranged stuff for a photo shoot. The store will be featured in the January issue.

We all went out to dinner at a fabulous new Italian Restaurant in Lisa’s neighborhood. I am not going to tell you what I had to eat. Suffice it to say that I must do a lot of walking tomorrow.

I survive long drives in the car by doing hand work, when I am not the designated driver. I am doing embroidery work on my 12X12 piece. And here is a sneak peek at that.

Tomorrow, we are helping Lisa by picking up wine and munchies for the opening party, tomorrow night. I am looking forward to meeting all of her friends. I’ll try to get some photos of the festivities.