Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas at the Stanley's...

A few photos of the Holidays at our house. This manger scene has been in my family for many years. The figures were all hand carved in Italy and my father gave it to my mother before I was born. I loved to set it up when I was little and now my son, Justin does the same. He added the little Christmas tree in there. This year it is on our mantle, but it usually has its own place on a table.
Here is our funky Christmas tree....Justin and I decorated it one cold evening. It looks a little bit better now....I put a few more garlands and ornaments on after the photo.
A fun little Santa rug made by Marny Cardin.
I love this piece of painted folk art. It is hanging above the manger scene in the living room.
An odd collection of Santas and other friends. I didn't mean to start collecting Santas...it just sort of happened while the boys were little.
A sweet little gift box from Betsey....with an owl ornament inside....now a treasure.
I made stockings for the boys when they were little but I never had my own...so this was on sale at Pottery Barn and I had to have it..for me! Wonder if Santa will fill it????
Tomorrow we will head down to Dennis' family gathering in Los Angeles....expecting a huge crowd..like over a hundred! His mother is 85 and looks forward to seeing everyone and still buys us all a present! We drive through the Holiday Lights put up by the City in Griffith Park, have dinner, visit and open presents and head back home so we can wake up in our own house for Christmas.
Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday time with family and friends and stay cozy and warm! I'm off to the kitchen to bake my second batch of Christmas cookies.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Solstice Housewarming at Kate and Greg's.

Sunday, the Winter Solstice was the perfect day to celebrate with friends at Kate and Greg's newly remodeled home. Her husband, Greg made these fun driftwood trees and after dark lit them up with tea lights. There was a wine tasting contest, hot soups to sample, candied pecans, cheeses and crackers, cookies and bread made by Kate. When Kate lived in Bozeman, Montana she had her own bakery so you can imagine what good things come out of the oven! One summer we rented a cabin on the Madison River and visited Yellowstone and got to see Kate's bakery, 'On the Rise". She drove down to our cabin with a bag full of fresh bakery goods the next day...heaven! We visited while the boys fished and explored....fond memories!

Greg's tree in daylight on their new deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands.
I love checking out the treasures in my friend's homes. This is a music box that has belonged to Greg since he was a child.
Longtime friends, Chris and Welmoet looking festive...we've been friends for over 30 years.
Here's Kate *in her new kitchen* holding Greg's Christmas stocking made by his grandmother many years ago. I love the button Christmas tree. The stocking was originally red velveteen!
And a vintage book from Kate's childhood.....
What a fun party and so good to see my old pals! And Kate and Greg's home...a joy to behold!

A busy week....

With my craft shows over for 2009 and boys out of school, I have a little more time to spend with friends. It seems like every other day I am off for a fun Holiday visit and it feels good!
My rug hooker and embroidery artist friend, Marny Cardin invited Barbara and I up for a delicious lunch, rug tour, and visit to the local art center where they were having an art quilt and wood working show and of course, the fun store called "Hands"in San Luis Obispo was a must stop. Above is one of Marny's tiny French knot miniature "rugs" that she sells in galleries and on her website. She has a show coming up in New York City in February for you East Coasters. Her beautiful intricate work is even more delightful in person!
One of the custom made tiles in Marny's kitchen...
Marny has quite a rug collection! Above is one of Heather Ritchie's mermaids.
This Scottie and the parakeets below are by Gene Shepherd, a close friend of Marny. The birds are his second rug.
More rugs from Marny's collection....

And I got in a visit to my friend, Pia, who learned to knit in Switzerland as a child...she gifted me these amazing socks! They are so soft and cozy and I love the colors! We both have 2 boys and always laugh and talk crafts and drink tea. She has started painting and I got to see some of her latest work...lovely!! They make the best wind chimes (Picotte windchimes) and I'm pestering Dennis to get an order in for our Hardware store.
And this is a lino cut that I made 17 years ago for our Christmas card. I could never get it to print properly but saved it with all our Christmas stuff and get it out and look at it every year. That would be Jason's first Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Art Girls-Birthdays, books, and ornaments....

At the Art Clinic, Syd helped us create a fabric and bonded paper book with painted and stamped pages. Every book was so different and colorful. We stitched the pages into the book with a sewing machine. Still needs more work, but here we are so far.
Inside of book....
I've been listening to Yo-yo Ma as I drive around doing errands and picking up Justin from school. Lots of different artists and types of music...I think it would be good background music for a Holiday party.
And I LOVE this ATC from Penny!!! Must be the gnomes and mushrooms! and glitter! I missed the meeting and Penny saved it for me! Thanks, Penny!
At our Tuesday artgirls gathering we each brought ornaments to share. Here are some of mine ready to go on the tree.
Here are the girls working on their pages and books in the Art Clinic. We had wonderful salads made by Colleen and the best caramel crunch brownies made by Patti...(I need that recipe!)
Birthdays celebrated included Colleen, Maren, and Patti who said "no presents!" but got some anyway. The day flew by....we had so much fun painting and visiting and nibbling on holiday treats.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rug hookers Christmas gift exchange at Penny's

Here's the little painted and stuffed linen garland I made for Pepa.
The Holiday season wouldn't be complete without our rug hooking group gift exchange at the wonderful home of Penny and Wayne McCall. Every where you look there are little Christmas scenes and villages and collections to amaze and delight.
Almost good enough to eat...it looks like a big layered cake with frosting!
These sculptures of the stages of life always fascinate me...this visit they are decked out for the Holidays!

Penny has collections inherited from her mother that grace the living room wall.

I am trying to put together a calendar for our group and several of the ladies brought rugs for me to photograph...above is Syd's "Puce" rug....3 years in the making!
And Anne's rug for her sister is almost complete...we all loved her colors....
Carol brought her dog and cat rug...so lifelike! That's Freckles and kitty....
and Carol's rug from Deanne's workshop in Nova Scotia...more great colors and textures.
For our gift exchange we had to make hand made gifts. Katie made this amazing sea urchin snowman snowglobe!!!! I didn't get photos of everything but there were art quilts, necklaces,
garlands, felt rugs, table runners and more.
Here's Fran opening her rug hooked pillow with her initial made by Pepa.
And Fran made this wonderful needle felted rug for Jean.
Barbara made this felted table runner for me! I love the birds...she collaged six of them ...all different...we hope to teach this felt collage in the near future.
Penny's cat, Matisse, spent most of the evening in my basket. We had a wonderful assortment of delicious main dishes and desserts for our potluck dinner. Anne made her special chocolate cake and we each had a bag of her cookies to take home for later.

Here's Pepa wearing her garland...it made a good necklace!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A little house in the woods

Thought I'd make a little house out of the old Log Cabin quilt scraps that I had laying around.
Front door on top and back door, bottom photo.

And just for fun some embroidered hearts that usually hang in my kitchen.