Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Baking

I decided to BAKE this year...
Never actually stood in the kitchen for hours on end so that there would be LOTS of cookies to give to all my friends.
I had a really good time!
...and LOTS and lots of cookies!

My niece gave me the recipe for Rum Balls many years ago and they are soooo good.
Here is the recipe:


3 cups "rolled" (crumbled) Vanilla Wafers
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups finely chopped nuts and/or coconut
1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa or dark cocoa
2 Tbsp light Karo syrup
1/2 cup rum or bourbon

Mix all dry ingredients * Add Karo & rum  
Mix well and roll into small balls * Roll balls in powdered sugar * Devour them!!!

We left a few of each kind of cookie out for Santa and sure enough!
He ate them all up!
He drank the milk, too, and left the peel from his clementine.
We had a wonderful Christmas day
Grayson spent last night with a friend, so it was quiet last night for us, and I got to sleep very late this morning - quite luxurious.
Today was filled with running errands, but now we are sitting here listening to music. Grayson is sound asleep - no surprise!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Recent Creations

Here is a group of the most recent of my little treasures. 
The horse is for my nieces, though the photo was taken before I finished the tail.
The Santa looks so much like a magician in a red that Santa?
The elephant is for a young lady that I have known for a very long time. I hope she likes it.

I am having a good time making rubber stamps! 
I did the little horse the other day, hoping to make some of my Christmas cards...sigh....I got as far as a few "thank you" notes, but I think that the stamp will come in handy another time.

My friend Susan and I worked on these cards for the teachers and staff of Grayson's school - another rubber stamp experiment. I think they turned out so nice...

These crack me up! It is like "mug shots" of Santa!
I made him for a friend of mine that I do not get to see very often. I hope she likes it.
I think that the green robe is nice, especially with the red hat that incorporates the same stitching. I really enjoy seeing how each of the Santas turns out, since I have no plan at all when I start out. .....happy accidents....

Friday, December 18, 2009

little things I love

Above my desk in the studio is this little collection which struck me as very "Christmasy" when I looked at it today. 
I have always loved the little elf person and the Del Monte can with "legs" who was made by my friend Tricia, who has the most wonderful imagination and ability to make me smile!

 And this little shelf is just the right colors, right? 
I added the animals to it a long time ago and they are now part of the permanent exhibit~

My guys left at noon today to drive to Texas to go pheasant hunting. They took Jack, the lab, along with his sister(Hannah) and their mom (Indiana, aka. "Indie")...should be fun for all.
I hope to get a bunch done while they are gone, but I always have great plans...sigh....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

that reminds me.....

Dearest Becky
I was so happy to see this little guy sitting in the middle of the table at Beth's house the other day and just had to post it for YOU!
I thought that it was the perfect thing for you to see 
It reminds me of your sweet little ladies.
I think the only thing missing is a star in his hand to reach out to hang on the tree....

This "lady" was sitting at each place waiting for us to sit down. Beth figured a way to put two cookies (lady and heart) so close that they will bake together - how very special...
And here is the "Santa sill" with some of her favorites hanging out together. 
The one on the far right is one of my designs...
...a couple more goodies:  Santa, an elf, an open hand, heart with a frame and the boot with the tree, which may be my favorite here...
I just love this time of year. The memories that each ornament conjures up.
The "sometimes subtle" red and green...mossy and rich...
traditions and new surprises

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beth's Beautiful Abode

Yesterday, I was at my friend Beth's house and it is always one of my very favorite places at this time of year. Her bedroom, above, is so peaceful and light.....dreamy....all year long.

In the living room, she has a truly beautiful Christmas tree (and a new leather couch and table) and wonderful light. I am inspired by her collections, which I will share in the next post.

On the way home, I just had to stop and take a photo of this sunset - can you believe it!? I feel so lucky to live here in the High Desert of New Mexico....After spending a full day of creating with some of my most fun girlfriends, it was the perfect ending...

(no idea why sometimes BLUE shows up for the text...sigh....oh well...)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


there has been a request for the names of the Xmas cd's in my stereo (since I do NOT have an ipod) So, without further adieu, here they are:

Windham Hill: A Winter Solstice Reunion (1998)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (original soundtrack)
fourplay: Snowbound (1999)
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (complete ballet)
Santa Baby! the Jingle Bell Jamboree (2002)
By Golly Get Jolly! a Merry Mix for Merry Making (2002)
There are a few others, but these are the ones I never tire of.
 The "second tier" is:

Midwinter Night's Dream, from Boys of the Lough (1994)
Wolcum Yule, Celtic and British songs and carols (2003)
A Celtic Christmas, the O'Reilly Consort (1998)

I guess that I do not own the more "traditional" carols, but I turn on the radio for those....
Enjoy the sounds of the holidays...and sing along!

little pixies

Happy Holidays to Everybody...
I just found these little pixies that I made many years ago. I can't believe they still look so fresh.
I am getting the house in order for the holiday and it feels good. I just love the lights and the coziness of all the familiar decorations.... little treasures....
 I hope that we'll be able to get our tree this weekend. We are going for the "live" tree this year and I am very excited. We have been using the "fake" for many years....I need to smell the evergreen again!
Hope things are cheery where you are. We still have snow on the ground and I have been playing my favorite xmas cd's for days now! Ho Ho Ho to all...and Happy Hanukkah xoxo

Saturday, December 5, 2009

red and white

Today was the Winter Faire and I totally forgot to take photos of my little table filled with all my little goodies - darn! Still, I had taken these last night and thought I'd share them with you.

I sold all but one of the Santas. They are pretty charming and were displayed with little snow-covered trees and a couple of red and white mushrooms. Very effective....
Here is a preview of those red and white mushrooms....I do love the colors and the "light" of this holiday. Driving to pick up Grayson tonight made me soooo happy - Christmas lights and decorations everywhere...such a *zing* it gave me! I think I'll get started on the decorating tomorrow.....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I have been stitching on this pillow for my cousin whose birthday was in late September. So many things have happened to distract my work on it, but I took it with me to California to show to her and I worked on it the whole time. I think that it is coming along beautifully...
I adore hand-stitching........makes me think about the friends I made in France last summer. I could just spend hours on end sitting in a room with them, sewing away... we are all going to meet in France again next  summer....... can't wait!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 24th, 2009

Huntington Beach, California
Thanksgiving week

After walking on the beach to go downtown for tea (about 20 minutes), I walked home via Walnut Street. This photo is just one block from our cousins' house...and one block from Pacific Coast Hiway (PCH) - the Ocean! 
The weather was perfect - bluest sky and temperature around 65 degrees fahrenheit - heaven!
Before heading down to the Surf Beach at San Onofre, we made the brine for the turkey. I thought it looked so pretty in the pot with the star anise and ginger floating to the top. Boy, it was great for the turkey, the next day, during the actual eating part...yum....
Off to the beach ......... and my, how my son has grown! Here are our footprints in the sand - mine on the right and his on the left ........sigh.......
What a sunset! Isn't it appropriate to have the palm in front of the setting sun so that it glows?
The little dots in the water are the die-hard surfers, who cannot make themselves leave the water.
...and in the end, Grayson found a stick and stood where the sun had dipped into the ocean.... still some little "spots" on the water.
I love this photo - a lovely end to a perfect day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Elena Bright Shapiro - gone too soon from this earth, but never gone from the hearts of those who knew and loved her dearly.

Crystal chandelier above the dining table at my friend, Brantly's house in Winston-Salem, NC.
There were crystals hanging in every window in the house to catch the light as it filtered through all day long and cast rainbows around the rooms.
Each rainbow was a reminder that dear Elena brought joy to all she knew and the colors made it possible to see the love that filled the rooms throughout the house.
...and the pond in the backyard with the gazebo nearby that is now surrounded by the 21 tulip bulbs planted on her birthday......Biby's idea to add one each year on her birthday. A beautiful tribute.
Love always to Brantly, David, Biby and Sam and everyone else whose lives Elena touched.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

These flowers are sitting on my kitchen table and I am in the Kansas City airport waiting to get on a plane to Raleigh-Durham, NC. I am going to visit my friend, Brantly and her family.....
This Saturday would've been the 21st birthday of her darling Elena, who was killed in a tragic accident September. I know that there will be many tears, but I also know that there will be laughter and stories. Brantly and I have known one another for many years - shared all kinds of adventures. It is unfortunate that this, too, becomes a journey that we are sharing.
It is a choice, but there is life after the loss of someone you love. The smiles and "pure joy" do disappear for a while, but they also DO come back. I do not believe that our dear ones "leave" us. I think they live in our hearts forever and we can "feel" them when we need to.
There is nothing easy about any of it, but I have seen different choices that have very different outcomes. "One Day at a Time" has become a bit of a cliche, but literally, it is exactly what we must do to walk through the difficult challenges in our lives....oh, and the occasional smile...

I love you, Brantly and am looking forward to being with you for these next few days. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Just a few little images from the cards I have been working on. It has been fun, I must say and I am enjoying the results.

I can't wait to see how this little "elf-y angel" turns out! So far, so good, I think....cute!
I am liking this little elf, too. I'd love a pair of pants like hers! ... and those shoes!
Now, this one needs a LOT of help. I may need to start over much of it does NOT work for me, though there are some redeemable parts, certainly. Maybe a little less "outfit"...whew! I think that a waistline might help! And the arch is not what it needs to be... sigh ......
Still, all in all it has been a very productive few days in the studio - yippee!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Nice Day

I have not been feeling very creative the last few days. Haven't felt much like posting anything that I have been doing. I looked at photos of things and was uninspired. So, this post is just my brain doing its Stream of Consciousness blabber....
It has been a long few days - a little bit of an emotional roller-coaster. I have actually been up in the studio most of this week, which means that the rest of my life has been on hold and my neck is rather sore. I seem to have forgotten how to multi-task in my "old age" and it just continues to frustrate me...grrrrr!

One bright spot - Julie and her husband, Mark, were in town last night and this morning and it was wonderful to see her! We had dinner last night at our kitchen table (!) and breakfast this morning at the Teahouse. From there, they left to drive to Tucson, AZ and I went to the Farmer's Market and walked through this tiny shop, "ONE of ONE" that I truly enjoy. I always find great inspiration there. 
Today, I struck up a conversation with one of the owners (Melissa) and by the end of it she had lent me the most beautiful books about an artist named Charley Harper - WONDERFUL! They are her personal copies and she was so generous to lend them. I will try to get some decent photos and post them in the morning, but try to Google him - his artwork is fantastic. When I got home feeling sooo good, I went to the mailbox and there was the book, "Ring-a-Ling" that I had ordered two weeks ago! Happy Day!
My horoscope yesterday said that I needed to get rid of old ideas and do something NEW! I think I might just be ready to do that! FINALLY! Tomorrow I will finish up the Christmas cards that I am working on, get them out the door and come Monday, be ready to start on something completely different and FRESH! I can hardly wait.
Now, I am off to bed to (hopefully) sleep very soundly and awake tomorrow to a beautiful blue sky filled with sunshine. It is time to "FALL BACK", so I will set my clock an hour back and get an extra hour's sleep in the morning.....sigh....Good Night.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

small elves

I started working on some little "Santa Elves" and thought I'd share them.
I think that they are headed in the right direction, but not quite "there" yet.
I hope that the image in my head is actually possible...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

little mushrooms

I've been working on some little felt ornaments the last couple of days.
Here are some mushrooms in process....
..maybe I'll finish 'em up this evening.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Aren't these beautiful? They are from our garden. 
We had a mild freeze last night, but things seem to be ok.
It did snow, but supposed to be in the upper 50's again tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.
We have been spoiled with Indian Summer here...glorious SUN!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have to say that there are certain pieces of music that make my hear sing. On the way home earlier, I heard Bach's Piano Concerto #1 on the radio and I had to stay in the car once I got home to hear the WHOLE thing.....sigh....... It is one of those pieces that make me happy to be alive.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

wire bird domes

Last spring, I was determined to learn how to solder. Ha! What a challenge. I sorta got the hang of it, but I know that there is a better way to learn than "trial & error"...It would be nice to take a class, or at least get some help from someone who really knows what they are doing...
Anyway, one of my early experiments resulted in these little "Bird Domes" (they are NOT cages) I am still enchanted by them, even though they are not as refined as they might be. I need to get back to the soldering iron and brush up on my skills again. I would love to make LOTS of these and sell them somewhere....

Monday, October 19, 2009

making fAiRiEs

Here is what I have been up to....making fAiRiE dolls!
 I have been trying to create the perfect pattern that will be easy to cut out and stitch up. I keep drawing and cutting and drawing again...sigh....cutting again and IS a process...
.....but they are pretty cute, don't you think? .....sigh 
...and here is my little old Singer Featherweight machine. The year after my hubby and I were married, my mother-in-law and I found it at a warehouse in El Paso, Texas. It was $60. I could not afford it, so my "MiL" pitched in $30. I made many little pairs of pants and jackets and overalls for my boys when they were little. It stitches forward and backward - that's IT! My mom gave me a buttonhole attachment for it one Christmas, but I never have tried it.
It is in great shape and continues to purr along when I need to sew something up. This photo does NOT do it justice. It is so much prettier in person xo

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Before and After

Here is Grayson on Saturday. We watched him play in a soccer game in the morning and he was totally preoccupied with his HAIR. He came home and took a shower and then, I took this photo as proof of the amount of hair "before" the haircut........
...and HERE is the "after" 
................. what a handsome young man, don't you think?
Hard to believe he is so grown up.....sigh.........time flies...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


"Alice and the Caterpillar" are on their way to California...
I designed and stitched the base at my mom's over the weekend. I think it completes Alice something to stand on.......
The text embroidered on the base is about Alice's comment that "three inches is such a wretched height to be" and the Caterpillar tells her that "It is a very good height indeed," since he is exactly three inches tall.
Alice tries to talk to get his attention......
Here's an idea of the detail in the hookah and all those legs! The yellow eyes were a last minute addition...
I love looking "under the mushroom".....tiny blossoms nestled there between the words....

Friday, October 9, 2009

"The top will make you grow taller..."

He is covering his eyes! Maybe he is embarrassed.....hmmm...........

The hookah was a bit of a challenge, but I think it turned out well....

I am so happy with Alice and the Caterpillar. I like the light in my mom's kitchen window.....
"The top will make you grow taller and the stalk will make you grow shorter.."