Sunday, April 30, 2006

Friday Field Trip

Sand dunes at Wilder Ranch State Park. Friday brought a day out with the 5th graders of my son's class. What a fun day. Perfect weather for it too, foggy, not too hot, so I of course got a nice sunburn (aka fogburn). I think this picture of the dunes and the saltmarsh would make a great inspiration for a landscape quilt.

After we walk for a mile and a half, we get down to a small beach where there is this great cave. The entire class disappeared into the depths of this cave. I ventured in far enough to get this picture from the mouth of the cave looking out.

Found two dead starfish washed up on the cliff wall. One was still kinda pinkish, but they were goners unfortunately.

Lovely color of seaweed, looks good enough to eat doesn't it? How about that texture too, doesn't it remind you of a cat's tongue?

Foxgloves in the garden of the ranch house. I need to grow some of these!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

999 Days to Go!

Hooray, we're under a 1,000 days to go!!!
See the Bush Countdown Clock in the left sidebar.
A lot can happen in 999 days of course, but still, it feels better to be on the other side of 1,000.
What could happen in 999 days? What are my 3 biggest worries?

1. We could attack Iran.
possibly with nukes.

2. We could get another Supreme Court Justice.
or two, or three, it is possible.

3. We could continue to have a Republican controlled Senate and House even after the 2006 elections.
Really? Are Americans that far gone?

4. We could invade Canada and takeover their health care system for our own.

Backyard Tour

Now that the rain has stopped (for the moment), let's take a Backyard Tour!!!
First up, the azaleas have bloomed for the first time ever, very exciting.

Borage clumps are springing up and we're mowing around them. Borage brings happiness in the language of flowers. Plus the flowers taste good, and the bees love them too.

Wow, the closeup function actually worked on my camera, amazing. Here is our fig tree budding out. My BIL will love this as he digs figs. har har.

BIG crop of forgetmenots this year, I'm seeing them all over the place. Is it possible they could crowd out the *(&^!$% Scotch Broom??? Never will happen, that Scotch Broom is unstoppable.

Of course, a backyard tour isn't complete without a picture of Zelda the Wonder Dog who monitors ALL activity in her domain. Who is also very happy about the tall, succulent grass to munch on.

Last but certainly not least, the lilacs! Oh do these ever smell yummy. I cut them back last year, and have triple the blooms this year, hooray! These bushes are just humming with bees, I love that busy buzzzy sound.
Thanks for touring the backyard with me...

Fabric Swap Results

I love participating in fabric swaps, seeing what everyone else can find in their hometown shops is fun. The Quilt Mavs did a purple and yellow swap and look at this great variety. I was finally putting it away in the purple and yellow bins.

Yellows from the Mavs

And Purple from the Mavs. Love this combo. How about that range of purples...

More Eye Spying

More eye spy on the way to a friend...
I'm taking these pictures so that I hopefully don't send too many doubles. In this batch, fortune cookies, cake, cherries, bettyboop as lady liberty, monster, whale, turtle, a sewing cat, laughing mouse, airplanes, stars, eyes, dots, toast!, and melon.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Women Write Books, huh?!

I got this meme from DebR who got it from Deb Roby who got it from Liz who got it from Badger who got it from The Phantom Scribbler who got it from Slow but Steady who got it from Mon . Aha, Mon started it off with inspiration from several other lists plus some bestsellers. That is fun to figure out where a meme came from, try it next time you get one, leads to interesting blogs you'd never find.

This is an interesting take on what "important" books have you read, ie, are you just a trash reader or what?!
With the twist that they are All Women authors.
The e-z directions are:
Bold the ones you've read
Italicize the ones you might like to read
Put question marks - ?? - by any titles and/or authors you've never heard of
Put an asterisk - * - if you've read a different title by the same author.
And I add: Leave normal, books you know about but don't want to read.

Alcott, Louisa May - Little Women
Allende, Isabel - The House of Spirits
Angelou, Maya - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
*Atwood, Margaret - Cat's Eye
*Austen, Jane - Emma
??Bambara, Toni Cade - Salt Eaters??
??Barnes, Djuna - Nightwoodde
??Beauvoir, Simone - The Second Sex
*Blume, Judy - Are You There God? It's Me Margaret
Burnett, Frances - The Secret Garden
Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Buck, Pearl S. - The Good Earth
??Byatt, A.S. - Possession
*Cather, Willa - My Antonia
??Chopin, Kate -The Awakening
*Christie, Agatha - Murder on the Orient Express
*Cisneros, Sandra - The House on Mango Street
Clinton, Hillary Rodham - Living History (I have the book in my borrowed, to be read pile!)
??Cooper, Anna Julia - A Voice From the South
??Danticat, Edwidge - Breath, Eyes, Memory
Davis, Angela - Women, Culture, and Politics
??Desai, Anita - Clear Light of Day
Dickinson, Emily - Collected Poems
??Duncan, Lois - I Know What You Did Last Summer (Is this what that movie was based on?)
DuMaurier, Daphne - Rebecca
Eliot, George - Middlemarch
??Emecheta, Buchi - Second Class Citizen
*Erdrich, Louise - Tracks
Esquivel, Laura - Like Water for Chocolate (Gotten it from library several times, haven't gotten to it)
Flagg, Fannie - Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Friedan, Betty - The Feminine Mystique
Frank, Anne - Diary of a Young Girl
??Gilman, Charlotte Perkins - The Yellow Wallpaper
*Gordimer, Nadine - July's People
Grafton, Sue - S is for Silence (I think I got my fill of mysteries reading all of Agatha Christie!)
Hamilton, Edith - Mythology
Highsmith, Patricia - The Talented Mr. Ripley
??hooks, bell - Bone Black
*Hurston, Zora Neale - Dust Tracks on the Road
??Jacobs, Harriet - Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Jackson, Helen Hunt - Ramona
*Jackson, Shirley - The Haunting of Hill House
Jong, Erica - Fear of Flying
Keene, Carolyn - The Nancy Drew Mysteries (any of them)

Kidd, Sue Monk - The Secret Life of Bees
??Kincaid, Jamaica - Lucy
Kingsolver, Barbara - The Poisonwood Bible
??Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior
??Larsen, Nella - Passing
L'Engle, Madeleine - A Wrinkle in Time
Le Guin, Ursula K .- The Left Hand of Darkness
Lee, Harper-To Kill a Mockingbird

*Lessing, Doris - The Golden Notebook
??Lively, Penelope - Moon Tiger
*Lorde, Audre - The Cancer Journals
Martin, Ann M. - The Babysitters Club Series (any of them) - ok why is this on here???
??McCullers, Carson - The Member of the Wedding
*McMillan, Terry - Disappearing Acts
??Markandaya, Kamala - Nectar in a Sieve
??Marshall, Paule - Brown Girl, Brownstones
Mitchell, Margaret - Gone with the Wind (seen the movie!)
Montgomery, Lucy - Anne of Green Gables (seen the movie)
??Morgan, Joan - When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost (love the title though!)
*Morrison, Toni - Song of Solomon (I have this book in my to be read pile)
Murasaki, Lady Shikibu - The Tale of Genji
??Munro, Alice - Lives of Girls and Women
Murdoch, Iris - Severed Head
Naylor, Gloria - Mama Day
Niffenegger, Audrey - The Time Traveller's Wife (one of my fave books ever!)
Oates, Joyce Carol - We Were the Mulvaneys
O'Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
Piercy, Marge - Woman on the Edge of Time(she writes great poetry too)
??Picoult, Jodi - My Sister's Keeper
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Porter, Katharine Anne - Ship of Fools
Proulx, E. Annie - The Shipping News
Rand, Ayn - The Fountainhead
Ray, Rachel - 365: No Repeats (isn't this a cookbook?!)
Rhys, Jean - Wide Sargasso Sea
??Robinson, Marilynne - Housekeeping
??Rocha, Sharon - For Lac
Sebold, Alice - The Lovely Bones
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Smith, Betty - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Smith, Zadie - White Teeth
Spark, Muriel - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (know I've seen the movie)
??Spyri, Johanna - Heidi
??Strout, Elizabeth - Amy and Isabelle
* Steel, Danielle - The House
Tan, Amy - The Joy Luck Club
*Tannen, Deborah - You're Wearing That
??Ulrich, Laurel - A Midwife's Tale
??Urquhart, Jane - Away
*Walker, Alice - The Temple of My Familiar
*Welty, Eudora - One Writer's Beginnings
Wharton, Edith - Age of Innocence
Wilder, Laura Ingalls - Little House in the Big Woods
*Wollstonecraft, Mary - A Vindication of the Rights of Women
Woolf, Virginia - A Room of One's Own

So, I did ok by this list I guess, not great, but I have good intentions. Now, I know this is only 100 books chosen by who?, but it seems to me they've left out a lot of really well known authors, plus most of the scifi writers that I enjoy (there are so few women writers in the scifi arena!)

So I want to know where Sherri Tepper is? And how about Marion Zimmer Bradley, CJ Cherryh, Anne Lammott, Laurell Hamilton, Diana Gabaldon, Andre Norton, Anne Rice, Haven Kimmel, Elizabeth Cunningham, Martha Wells, Alice Hoffman, Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Jan Karon, Patricia McKillip, Alice Borchardt, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ursula Heigi, Sark? And geez if Rachel Ray is on there, why not Julia Child for goodness sakes?!?!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is tomorrow, what are you doing?

Can you take the Energy Fast? It would be hard, especially since it soccer and mowing the lawn day....
Too hippie-ish for you?

Well, how about the day it kinda replaced.....
good ol' dependable Arbor Day?

Here is a list of the different days it celebrated around the US, by state, along with the state tree. Whoops, I missed mine in California, put it on the calendar for next year. And here is the international list.

If you want to procrastinate a month, you could celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th .

How about hosting an Earth Dinner? I've seen these cards at the natural foods store, they're cool. Basically just a way to spur dinner conversation (not usually a problem around our house, but with people you don't know well, perhaps it would be a good way to get to know others). Also, they have a kind of game feeling to them which is always a fun twist at dinner time.

Thanks go to Waverly Fitzgerald at School of the Seasons for some of the above links.

That's one of my quilts from back in 2001, Gaia Asleep.

The Haul

I'm calling this "The Haul", an innocent trip to the sewing machine store, just to see if they had the foot I needed. I ended up buying a replacement Big Foot, mine finally broke after constant use for five years, not bad for plastic! And since I still struggle with accurate 1/4" seam, I got the Little Foot. Even with the 1/4" foot that came with my Janome, so we'll see if this helps me or not.
I have several quilts that are at the binding stage so I needed more Thimble Pads, these are sticky backed circles (basically moleskin, like you use on your feet if you get hiking blisters) that you put on your under finger so that it doesn't get poked by the needle over and over again.
Then they had some sparkly Halo thread, oooh shiny, must buy.....
Two batiky FQ's in kinda weird colors.
And last but not least a brand new to market Clover Japanese knot maker. Go see this website, they've got several patterns of knot templates, cool!

Together off to show again

Here is my quilt, "Together", it just came back from a show and went right back in a box to be sent off for another. The exhibit group I'm part of, California Fiber Artists got a spur-of-the-moment show at Ironstone Winery in Murphys, CA.

Here's a detail of Cat in the Window, how 'bout that crazy beading?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Make or Buy?

How would you make this?
Or would you just buy it?
$89 is the price.
I wants precioussss.....
It says it is woven with cotton "novelty yarn".

Hong Kong Julie

DH brought me this back from Hong Kong.

My name in Chinese Calligraphy, Cheerful Jasmine Leaf.

Two Tulips

Two tulips filled with rain.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Secular Candy Holiday Celebrations

The Easter celebration began well...

And then the guest of honor disappeared.

Rock On!

All these rocks came from the beach in San Simeon.

Heart Rock for the rock of my heart.

Green rocks of all types.

See the crystal cave in there?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hearst Castle

Does this look familiar? The indoor pool looked pretty inviting, it is quite deep

We took a little journey down the coast to visit Hearst Castle. Tired of all the constant rain, we drove down in sunny weather and enjoyed frolicking on the rocky beach. Had a great meal and dessert in Cambria. The next day rain was threatening, but we had our tour booked. Here is how foggy it was up at the castle. We were in a cloud! I was quite take with the tile designs most of which were done by architect Julia Morgan. All the pictures were taken by my son's friend Mary who came along with us, good pics Mary!

That's me, by the lion's rearend. I have to send this picture to my sorority,Phi Mu, as they like to have pics of the alums with lions (our symbol, Sir Fidel), we're known as Les Soeurs Fideles, (The Faithful Sisters).

More Carving

Still having fun with my stack of linoleum blocks, carving random stuff. This design was inspired by a Dover book on old English tile designs, thank you to the local library for having interesting books. The carving is getting easier the more of them I do. Not sure if I'm doing it "right" or not, but it is still fun. And I haven't injured myself to permanently (knock wood and all that).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday - Fool me Twice

It being Tuesday, tis time for Self Portrait Tuesday, where the theme this month is Fool.

Here's me being foolish, pretending to hold up the ruined castle doorway of Tintagel.
The really foolish thing was not containing my hair that day, as it was quite windy and ended up floating into many of my scenic pictures.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Off The Grid

Off the Grid is a small fabric collage quilt that I made this week for one of my Daily Devotions. It is
5.5" x 8.5" This image is a scan of it, which kind of squishes and flattens it, but isn't blurry at all.
This represents me trying to keep in control of my worktable scrap-pile.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Passion of Mary Magdalen

Hey! You can finally pre-order the new
book , The Passion of Mary Magdalen #2 in The Maeve Chronicles or The Magdelene Trilogy on Amazon.

I encountered this first book in the trilogy at my library, and then hunted down a used copy since it had gone out of print. It is a stunning retelling of the Magdalene /Jesus tale, with a fresh feminist, Goddess-centric take on the whole story.
Daughter of the Shining Isles by Elizabeth Cunningham

All of Cunningham's works are worth searching out and devouring in my opinion. I'm still looking for a couple of them...

C is for...

Time for the next entry in the now entitled Wordplay project, personal dictionary making, week by week til we're done.
Up to the letter C.


C is for:
cats - Can't live without one, and only one is lonely, so at least two. There isn't anything nicer than cuddling up with a contented cat. I love their independence, quirkiness, and reluctant loyalty. Here is a list of all the cats I've owned/been owned by: Lady d' Winter, Velvet, Stinky, TC, Calvin, Hobbes, Yertle, Ticonderoga, Lucky, Zippy, Rexie, Pele. The last four are current residents, the rest are RIP. We are looking at getting another cat this spring, hopefully a Maine Coon, as we've always wanted one, I hope she has extra toes.

chocolate - Not just for that time of the month, oh no. All month long, you bet. I choose to believe that it is good for me, in moderation. Especially the good quality dark chocolate from Endangered Species.

clematis - A flower I covet and have tried to grow twice with no luck so far. Wish me luck as I try again this year.

cooking - Well it is one of life's necessities, but it is easy to enjoy the process if you get into the right frame of mind. The sacred act of feeding yourself or your family and friends can be very inspiring with that mindset. I love making up new things to eat with what is left in the fridge, especially when I hear my family's yummy noises.

camping - I love camping. Not getting ready to go camping though, finding all the stuff, dusting it off, getting organized, bleah. But it is worth it! I love being outside, sleeping cozily in a tent (as long as I have a good pad underneath), cooking outside, getting dirty and listening to all the noises of the day. We don't get to go camping enough anymore, and we actually live in a town which has the first state park in California (Big Basin), where people come from all over to camp. Ever since we moved to Boulder Creek, we've gone camping less, back when we lived in the Cupertino 'burbs we needed to ESCAPE! But now, we say to ourselves, hey we live where people come to vacation. Or we've gotten lazier? Who knows. But I do know that I am dying to go camping, maybe next week if it stops raining continuously.

clothes - I used to worry a lot about my clothes. Whether I had the right ones, or enough, or whether they said the right thing. Now it isn't

cards - I collect decks of cards, DH brings them to me from his international travels, I buy strange shaped decks when I see them. I also love postcards and greeting cards and save all of the ones that are ever sent to me.

castles - Visiting castles is fun, but I always have wondered what it would be like to live in one. Maybe we should rent one during the summer and try it out, that would be a fun adventure. Castle ruins are interesting too, Marc and I climbed around in one in the Black Forest in Germany.

cucumbers carrots celery chives canteloupe chard cherries - So many of my favorite fruits and vegies are starting with C. Chop them all up and enjoy, fresh, raw! I can't wait for Summer fruits!!

cheese - My caloric downfall. I love cheese. I can't remember a cheese I've tried that I didn't care for. The sharper the better, the bluer the better, the runnier/stinkier, yummm.

cheer - Be of good cheer! A positive attitude isn't a requirement, it is a Choice. If you choose to be cheerful, life passes in an easier flow.

crisis-Is the world in a crisis right now? Yes definitely by many measures. But, then, if you look back in history there are probably a whole lot of other times that Gaia has let us know that this is IT. Will she really mean it this time, can we notice when her voice changes? Just like that subtle change in your mother's voice so that you know you are really truly no-kidding in trouble for sure no fooling this time. Are you listening? I am.

computer - Isn't it hard to remember what your life was like before computers? They are such an important part of our lives, intertwined in so many things that we do everyday, speeding up some, slowing down others, and making some things possible (like getting to meet internet friends IRL!). Sharing photos, finding information in seconds, posting instructions on how to make stuff, making art exhibits happen, collaborating on art, reading blogs ...etc... All of it so necessary and fun and absolutely impossible without the computer. My first computer was an Atari (way back when programs came on a cassette tape), with a two color screen, boy was it ever exciting when color screens came out, and then as the memory and speed increased the new programs that were available. Looking out for my next computer, which will hopefully be a laptop so I'm not chained to the desk.

calculate - For an artist I have a pretty mathmatically inclined mind, and calculating, optimizing, organizing and predicting about concrete facts and abstract ideas is one of my strengths. Oh and it does spill over into artmaking: Calculating the Percentages of Earth is one of my favorite quilts that I've made.

clover - One of my favorite early childhood memories is picking clover flowers on our front lawn and threading them into crowns, bracelets and necklaces. And occasionally finding a four-leafed clover and running in to show my mom.

California - My place. Where I was born, where I grew up, and where I live. I feel very blessed and lucky to have had the California experience, what a great place it is to be from, I'm proud of my state and how forward thinking we usually are (just don't mention the Governator please).

chickens - I always wanted to own a chicken, out of all the typical farm animals, they were my favorite. Especially after a trip with son Alex in first grade to the UCSC Farm & Garden where they had a Polish chicken (has a topknot of feathers, very goofy) she which was so friendly and personable. So now we have four hens who are very productive and give us lovely fresh eggs which taste sooooo much better than regular store eggs. They are so fun to watch when we let them out in the backyard, they run around scratching and exploring. Each one has a funny little personality. We've decided as a family that if and when they die, we will bury them as a pet, not eat them (Pshew!). Each one is a different breed and gives us different colors of eggs, brown, light brown, white, and blue. Their names are Galadriel, Spot, Mary and Suzie Q.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Calvin Rules!

Thanks Laume!

Mostly Calvin

You are 80% Calvin and 20% Hobbes
Your inner Calvin often prevails, but, as in the image below, you have a significant Hobbesian component. I'm going to try to stretch the visual metaphor here: you have a good head on your shoulders, but when you don't use it, your crazy body gets you in trouble? Does that work? Odds are you're impulsive and imaginative, but it's possible you've collected just enough wisdom to hold your most anti-social urges in check. Most of the time. It's a precarious balance, like a boy on one foot with a tiger head.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 98% on calvin

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on hobbes
Link: The Calvin Or Hobbes Test written by gwendolynbooks on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

An Oldie

Here's an oldie but goodie that is currently hanging up in my house.
It is called "Cats are NEVER out of time".
The fish and mouse are stuffed, and are moveable.
They also have little x's stitched over their eyes.