Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Tiny Christmas Village

I've always dreamed of owning one of those adorable Christmas villages all sparkling and smothered in snow. I did not want the fancy porcelain ones, I wanted to make it my own, but
the building of one seemed a little daunting.
When I found this great web site about Glitter houses (a.k.a Putz Houses) :
That also provided a few plans, I was inspired to try my hand at building one.
Well it went okay, not perfect but not awful either, so I did a few more, using Mr Paul D. Race's plan of the basic cottage. Eventually I modified the basic cottage to give it a somewhat pointier, taller roof (reminds me of Europe) then I saw that I needed a church, so I designed one (it's pretty easy really, the basic shape is a box with a slanted roof) I wanted something a little more "cathedrally" but I chickened out at the last minute and stuck to basics, probably a good idea ; )

The pink house was my very first and I made a mistake : I put the back of the house in the front yard when I glued the house to the base, so I slapped a door over the "light hole" and called it a day, it turned out alright, what do you think?
Below are my 2 modified cottages. The light aqua one has a wee problem with the roof, I used a card stock, apparently too thin and it buckled after painting it. Maybe after Christmas I'll give it a new roof

Anyhoo, This is a lot of fun (very messy too) so I also built three Halloween houses, two following the "Big Indoor Trains" plans, and one of my own design, they turned out quite brilliant (bow, bow, ever so humbly :) I'll post them when we are out of the Christmas season, I dont want to detract from the mood.

Addendum : I just finished the Big Indoor Trains' "Little charmer" and I love it; gotta take a picture. Thank you Mr Race and Mr Lamey for the great tutorials. I think I'm going to keep doing this.



Il y a longtemps que je reve d'un petit village de Noel, mais je n'avais pas envie d'en acheter un(car ceux qui me plaisent vraiment coutent tres cher) Alors quand j'ai decouvert ce super site:

qui donne des plans pour des petites maisons, j'ai decide de faire un essai de construction... Ca n'a pas trop mal marche. J'ai construit six maisons et une eglise, j'ai bien fait quelques erreurs, mais c'est comme ca qu'on apprend.

Ca m'a tellement plu que j'ai aussi commence a faire un village d'Halloween qui est d'un esprit completement different, je vous les montrerai apres Noel (Je ne veux pas gacher l'humeur de fetes :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What I am thankful for

I am thankful for my family, and the Lord that watches over us .
I am thankful for our grand children
I am thankful for this great country that welcomed me, today so fearfully threatened. It shall overcome. God Bless America, and its people!
I am thankful for my home, the beautiful state of Georgia, the superb sunshine we enjoy here.
I am thankful for my ability to create and have so much fun with it.
Last but not least I am thankful for ...chocolate double fudge brownies.
Have a great joyful, filled with gratitude day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Little Fashion, Today

Today I was enjoying in the splendor of Alabama Chanin designs. Not only are they gorgeously feminine but they're also wearable; things you wouldn't mind throwing on to do your grocery shopping, or romping in the park with the children (or grand children:-)
They also have the whole "ecology/social consciousness thing" down pat. Part of their mission statement says:
"We dedicate ourselves to producing quality products that become a part of daily life in this generation and beyond. From farmer to fiber to artisan to home, our products are “grown-to-sewn” in USA."

And I love the needle work.

Timeless beauty from the trail to the city. Yumm, me likes.
Aujourd'hui je voudrais vous presenter la mode d'Alabama Chanin:
Leurs vetements ne sont pas seulement tres beaux, ils sont aussi facilement protables. Ils peuvent aller du supermarche, aux rues de la ville, au terrain de foot sans problemes.
J'aime aussi le fait que les tissus sont faits de fibres locales, les couleurs sont de teintures naturelles, et la fabrication achevee par des couturieres du coin.
Et puis l'ouvrage fait main est incroyable.

Tout plein de Bisous

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Bandolier Bag : Saying Good Bye

This is called a "BANDOLIER BAG" it is an American Native ceremonial clothing item that indians wore around their neck being worn up front and hanging about waist high. I have owned this particular one for about 30 years, it dates probably to the start of the 20th century, and it is magnificent, entirely beaded, yes, all the colored parts that you see are tiny beads, thousands of them.
I have kept it in a closet for all that time, although I loved it, I never really felt that it was mine. So one day I began to do some research and determined that it was of Ojibwe origin, in the Iowa/Minnesota area. So I contacted a Native American museum. they concured that it was probably from the Ojibwe/MilleLacs nation, and after some correspondance, they agreed to give it a new home.
So I have parted with this beautiful artifact. The museum curator told me that they had a lady who could do the repairs needed to really make it shine. I am a little sad that it is gone, but also pleased that it will be displayed in a style more suited (than my closet) to its majestic origin.

Ce sac est un BANDOLIER, et etait porte par les indien d'Amerique pour leur evenements importants (enfin je suppose car il est tres lourd) Je l'ai eu dans mon placard pendant presque 30 ans. Je le regardais de temps en temps je n'ai jamais senti qu'il etait a moi. C'est un ouvrage superbe qui date sans doute de la fin du 19eme siecle, entierement couvert de perles minuscules. Un jour je me suis mise a rechercher son origine, et ai decouvert quil etait sans doute de la tribue des Ojibwas. Apres des pour-parles avec un musee des Ojibwas, Ils ont accepter de le reprendre , et meme de le reparer. J'etais un peu triste de le laisser partir, mais je suis contente de savoir qu'il sera mieux apprecie dans un musee que dans mon placard. Bisous

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Best of Fall

This elegant lady reminds me of Fall.

Things that make autumn wonderful :
- Cooler days
- Multicolored leaves
- Cozy sweaters
- New England asters in bloom
- Hot chocolate
- Squash recipes
- Pre-Chrismas sales
- Planning ThankGiving
- Decorating for Halloween
- Fire in the fire place
- Softer, gentler nature
- Misty mornings
- Glorious motorcycle rides

Enjoy the subsiding of the light.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fun with Textiles

I really dislike throwing away my pieces of fabric from old clothes or sewing projects, so, over the years, they have accumulated a bit. Here is one of the boxes where I keep my little treasures (yeah it's another of my painting projects) It is a smallish trunk... okay nothing impressive so far. But the really large trunk (I mean coffin size large) below it is also filled with odds and ends fabrics, like I said : a lot of fabric.
Recently , I started making things with them.

One day I got away from traditional embroidery, and I never looked back. Now it is quilting and embroidery, and layering and layering, all free form. I make small pieces and add them later to larger projects, and so on, til the cows come home. A work in progress.

A humble washer made noble by rust was found on one of my walks and salvaged to be added to an embroidery project . I spritzed it a little it in the hope that it will bleed some rust onto the fabric, for a more organic look.. so far, no luck .

At last I also used my fabric bits to give a new face to this very old evening bag by trying my hand at crazy quilting. It is not quite finished yet, but I really like it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Furry Friends

This is Wilburforce, a.k.a. Wilbur. Three years ago he took refuge in our garage for a rest. He was brutally emaciated, mangy, wounded, but so sweet and friendly, after a perfunctory search for his owners (he did not have a collar) we just adopted him. He is noble and beautiful and it breaks my heart that such a splendid gentleman of a dog should be mistreated. Since then, I have decided that I would never again buy a dog from a breeder or a pet shop, there are too many dogs that need help in shelters.

This is Boots (so called because he is nearly all black but for the white booties on his feet) he is a bit of a brat but so cuddly you cant hold it against him.

Meet Norman, a lab mix, he has beautiful eyes and the most laid back personality; the other two make his life interesting but you can tell he'd be just as happy napping on a fluffy cushion.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Playing Tourists in Washington

Here is my favorite monument, the Jefferson Memorial, unfortunatly the weather wasn't the best, but it is still lovely.

A botanical garden on our way to the museum.

Here is the original Smithonian , know as "The Castle," a very beautiful building. I think it is home to the American History Museum, but I'm not certain, and the inside is really interesting as well Finely carved ivory artifacts.

porcelain, a gift from France, I think it might be Limoge. but what do I know?

And the architecture of the place is pretty stunning as well.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Beauty of form and function, a delicate hand made quilt

Beaute de forme autant que de fonction , un vieux patch fait main.

If you stand very quiet and stare at one spot for a long time you might see some of the Fey People dashing by :-)

and old mill grind stones, mandala like , heft and order in the world.

It is raining today, not not our habitual vapor fine rain, more like the "soak you in two seconds"
rain. Time to be brooding and do small and useful things...and to enjoy this superb cup of tea.


Deux anciennes roues de moulins qui ressemblent a des mandalas : poids et order dans le monde.
Il pleut aujourd'hui, pas la pluie fine habituelle, mais des cordes. Cest un bon jour pour rester a la maison et faire des petites choses utiles... et deguster cette merveilleuse tasse de the.
A + tard

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our Wacky Trip to New York

Faces on the subway. Yes we rode the subway too. We even took a cab.. two actually because there were 7 of us and we got separated and we thought we lost half of our party.
This trip to New York was worthy of the National Lampoon's Vacations "The Griswolds go to New York" It was a great time!

Arriving at Time Square.

A quieter little side street off Spring street. Spring street was the best part of the visit : Chic and Bohemian .

New York is wild and exciting, so much to see, SO much to do!
(I CANNOT believe I duplicated this photo. Now I have to figure out how to replace it.)
Walls and ladders.

Canal Street where you can buy anything and everything... At a 90% discount . At one point. Tom tried to buy a little $6. scarf from a tiny chinese lady. He offered her $3.oo and she got highly offended and shoed him off, yelling "Go away, no 3 dollar merchandise here." we got quite a giggle a bout this.

The World Trade Center, a "cavity" in the face of the city.

Miss Liberty was in fine shape and enjoying the sunshine (view from th Staten Island Ferry.)

The New York skyline never fails to steal the show : Gorgeous.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Enjoying the Beach

Row of beach houses (ours is a few steps to the right.)
Baby Surfer Dude ; Fox.

Beautiful, and busy, Midway Beach at summer's end .
Children and grand father in the surf

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Last Of Summer

Catching the last of summer bounty.

We are leaving today for the Jersey Shore. The rain is coming down in ropes here in Atlanta and there is a hurricane looming over the East coast, but we are going because we aint chicken.
It is going to be interesting, I can tell .

I don't mind walking on the rain soaked beach, by the moody sea, in fact I love it. The ocean is in its glory on those stormy days, But the boys are going to get restless cooped up in a fisherman cabin. I am stocking up on hot chocolate fixins, clam chowder and PG Tips Tea, And of course , let's not forget the games, Monopoly, Risk, Imaginiff and checkers, that should cover it for a week, I think.

C'est la fin de l'ete, Nous partons pour la plage dans le New Jersey, Il pleut des cordes et un ouragan approche de la cote, mais ca fait rien on part quand meme.
J'aime la mer quand elle boude, les grandes vagues, la brume et le brouillard, marcher, etre mouilles. .. Mais nos garcons vont avoir du mal a rester dans la cabane. J'emporte du chocolat des boites de soupe et du bon the. Et surtout ne pas oublier les jeux de Monopoly, la Conquete du Monde, et les echecs, ca devrais pouvoir les occuper.
A Bientot (dans une semaine)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Last saturday, we hosted a pool party for the our grand sons boy scouts pack .

There was racing, canon ball and belly flop competitions, and assignement of swimming belt loops/patches ; it was a lot of fun.

A lot of splashing and confusion, we are thrilled to say that no one jumped on anyone else, which was a minor miracle, with some 28 boys, and all.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Something Wild

Some time ago, I became fascinated with the african textiles their graphic brilliance and the colors... those colors that resonate, something earthy within the soul, something basic. I made a quilt (about 3 by 5 feet) based on this feeling of spontaneity. Probably the only one of its kind for me, since I usually prefer softer tones, for once I I gave a voice to the wild heart in me ... hidden somewhere.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Of Old Skeleton Keys

I have a thing for keys, the promise of an open door, the hope for a new freedom or an exotic discovery. Old skeleton keys made noble by rust, the substantial weight of the iron and their inorganic scent that makes the teeth tingle a little, I own a few of them. Some are very pretty, and some are highly historic , some of mysterious origin. I can't let them rust away in a drawer,I shall use them in silly and unexpected ways.

J'aime beaucoup les vieilles clefs : La promesse d'une porte ouverte, l'espoir d'une nouvelle liberte, ou d'une decouverte exotique. Vieilles clefs annoblies par la rouille, le poids de l'acier, la legere odeur metallique qui fait envoient des frissons dans nos dents, j'en ai quelques unes. il y en a qui sont tres jolies, d'autres sont historiques, et certaines d' une origine mysterieuse. Je ne peut pas les laisser rouiller dans un tirroir. Je veux essayer de les utiliser.

The above key holds a lot of memories for me. It is the key to the flight deck (aka the cockpit)from the time when I worked as a flight attendant . Sometimes the flight deck was the only place to catch a couple of minutes of (relative) silence. On a twelve hours overseas flight with three hundred restless passengers, it had an almost meditative quality.
Le cle ci-dessus est un souvenir de mes jours comme hotesse de l'air. c'est la cle du cockpit. des fois c'etait la seule place ou l'on pouvait se trouver deux minutes de relatif silence sur un vol d'outre-mer de 12 heures avec 300 passagers fatigues et irritables.