Monday, June 30, 2014


I just picked up a copy of Kathy Doughty's new book Adding Layers.
I brought it home, sat down in my favorite chair and read it cover to cover.
Then I got up, went straight into my studio, and started gathering scraps.

I had Madness in mind.

Here are a few photos of the blocks that I have made so far.

I can't wait to show you more!
Actually, I can't wait to make more!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Spray Starch Alternative

I have a little something for you.
My new favorite recipe.
It is for spray starch alternative (as in Mary Ellen's Best Press).
It costs just pennies to make, which is WAY better than going all the way into town and paying over $12 for one small bottle.

The secret?
Turns out that vodka is somehow related to potato starch.
Who knew?!

You can print out the recipe here.
And be sure to share it with your friends, cause they want to hang on to their $12 too!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

String Quilting Workshop

Last week I taught a little workshop on string quilting to a wonderful group of quilters here on the central coast.

They brought a wonderful assortment of scraps.

And used them to make the most wonderful assortment of blocks.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Party Time

Last week I hosted a little potluck get together for a few friends.
We ate out in the pergola on an almost perfect night (the mosquitoes did their best to wreak havoc on all).

These hanging flowers are my absolute FAVORITE party decoration. Old jars, flowers from the yard, a bit of chain and.....voila!

 Now if only I could muster up a little "voila" for the post party kitchen....

Friday, June 20, 2014

Simple Summer Mantle

I kept the mantel pretty clean and simple this summer.
3 cloches, 2 carnations, 1 mini greenhouse and 1 bird w/ cage.

I really like it.

I also like goofing around with Photoshop.
Here is what that same mantle might look like if my house were in Ancient Rome.

Or in a honky-tonk.

Or in a modern magazine.

 Or in a bubble.

Or in Atlantis.

Ok, seriously. I have got to get back to work.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Reading

Looking for some good reads this summer?

You may want to consider these books by Patrick Taylor. I have only listened to part of The Wily O'Riley so far, but it reminds me of the James Harroit classics, except  they are tales about an Irish country doctor instead of an English counrty vet. VERY entertaining.

Monday, June 16, 2014


I have opened a little Etsy shop!

Echino Fabrics: Honeycomb with Bees Echino Fabrics: Birds Kokka Fabric: Vintage Telephones

You can check it out here.

Embroidery Scissors: Owl Embroidery Scissors: Silver Fish Premium Embroidery Scissors

And here is the coupon code for 20% off (expires 6/19/14): 06202014.

It's A Hoot: Pincushion Pattern Neelde Minder: Bee Hive Pincushion Kit: Pear

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bad Luck

Friday the 13th and a cock egg all in the same full-moon week.
I guess it is a good thing I am not into that sort of thing or else I would probably be hiding under the covers, rubbing a rabbit's foot and eating Lucky Charms by the handful. Oh, and garlic. I would definitely need some garlic. And maybe a silver bullet.

And in case you don't raise hens and have no idea what a cock egg is (aka witch egg, fairy egg and wind egg)...

It is just a tiny chicken egg.
If I were to crack it open (instead of throwing it over the house to protect myself from evil) you would see a weird "yolk" made of some abhorrent tissue that had found its way into the egg making part of the hen.

Here is some very entertaining information about the history of these little eggs (from

In folk tradition, a cock egg was understood to have been laid by a rooster or cock and not a hen, and was a cause for concern.
Cock eggs according to different folklore traditions bring bad luck or illness if they are brought into the house. That’s because a cock egg is believed to have malefic and magical powers. They are reputed to be of value to sorcerers and magicians for mixing magical potions and casting spells.
The way the story goes is that if a toad, serpent or witch at the behest of Satan incubates a cock egg, the resulting hatchling will be a cockatrice or a basilisk.  A cockatrice or basilisk is an ancient winged monster with a serpent’s body and a rooster’s head that can kill and destroy by its breath and glance.
During the middle ages it was self-evident to most intelligent people that a cock egg was the work of the devil. Animals as well as people could be in league with Satan, and in 1474 a chicken passing for a rooster in Basle, Switzerland was put on trial and condemned to be burned at the stake for “the heinous and unnatural crime of laying an egg”.  American author and educator, E.V. Walter in his essay – Nature On Trial – The Case Of A Rooster That Laid An Egg , writes, “ the execution took place with as great a solemnity as would have be observed in consigning a heretic to the flames, and was witnessed by an immense crowd of townsmen and peasants.”

On second thought, Lucky Charms might be just what I need. A big bowl of magically delicious to ward off death by "breath". Or maybe just because I haven't had any in the last 25 years.