Monday, November 21, 2011


While the rest of the world is looking at autumn colors, I am saturated in springtime right now.  This is my first rosebush, EVER.  I am beside myself excited and just had to share.    Happy Monday!!!  

Okay, technically we inherited a tea rose plant.  It is still propped up in the tiny container it came in and the roots have stuck into the ground and the container is split open.  I try to baby it, and it does produce a few tiny roses and when it does, I'm right out there taking pics like a proud mama.  I might lose it if we try to fix it, so I'm enjoying anything it produces.   

Thursday, November 10, 2011


First of all, thank you all so very much for the love, prayers and understanding you extended to me last week.  I appreciate it more than you know.  

I currently have projects going on in just about every solid surface of this place.  Here's the progress on the art quilt.  Sure am enjoying any chance to pick it up.

Not intending to rub it in, but I am still not used to the weather here.  Back in Indiana we would seriously be buried in leaves right now.  Instead we have flowers just starting to bloom.  I take my camera and coffee out in the morning hoping to get a photo of the hummingbirds.  This morning there were two all up in my space, but they are clearly camera shy and I'm too slow.  Some day.  In the process, look at these colors!!!  I could get real used to this.


I seriously don't even know what any of these are.  Well, except for this fruit.  At first I thought it was a lime tree but recently found a little tag that says it's a Valencia orange.  Who knew?  All I can say is I love all this COLOR

Friday, November 4, 2011


Back in September I attended an event.  There were some strong opinions regarding not sharing personal things on your blog.  While I certainly appreciate the points that were made, I've pondered this for over a month now.  Anyway, a year ago I made a tough decision to share a very difficult personal thing in my life.  I knew it was a touchy thing to do, but I have always been open and heck, it's my blog.  I continue to receive emails weekly from moms thanking me and sharing their own secret pain.  Secret, because we are only supposed to talk about the rainbows, never the rain, even with the closest people in their lives?  I tried that earlier today, only blogging about the outward pretty things of life.  Then I felt like crap.  I lost my son a year ago to a horrible drug overdose and I just can't sweep it under the rug, no matter how beautiful the rug might be.  I had so many incredible friends who walked beside us through this tragedy and I am missing all of them so much right now.  They let me laugh AND cry.  What an amazing gift.  Love you all extra much today.


Okay, here's a little progress on the art collage.  I used a mixture of Botanika scraps and pieces from the painted muslin I played with.  I decided to add a little to the painted fabric.  I used bubble wrap, the cardboard sleeve from my Starbucks and a cap from lip gloss and a pen to make circles.  It's quite fun and I quickly found myself looking at everything with heightened potential.


corrugated stripes

styrofoam container
Oh.  Can't wait to experiment with this diamond pattern.   

I wanted to let you know about a Botanika apron giveaway here.  Made by the lovely D-Lux 57 company.  Go enter, quick.  Then have a great weekend.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I just returned last evening from an art experience that has me bursting at the seams.  I shared a bit in my last post.  The next day I took three classes that went from 9 to 8.  Hated the first class of the morning.  I go into every situation looking for what I can glean;  This time it was, "What Not To Do EVER Again".  The class description was deceiving; the instructor was late, unprepared, boring and a tad self-absorbed.  My creations promptly decorated the trash.  

Thank goodness, the next class more than made up for it.  Unlike the previous two classes, Ken Muenzenmayer had us all work on the same project.  We all had a great time learning and creating.  Being able to tell what it is I'm supposed to be painting is still definately my comfort zone.  Keep in mind that the paintings are only half done, but I am very pleased with what I started and can't wait to complete this sky painting. 

That evening I took a drawing class.  Then Saturday morning I took another class from Ken.  This time the subject was a waterscape.  I just loved the way each piece took on it's own personality.  Again, many of us left with enough info and technique to complete later. 

Don't you just love these?  Not even going to point out mine, but when it's finished I'll post. 

So, this was supposed to be my last workshop of the weekend.  Tim drove to Pasadena on Saturday to meet me and we planned to see a little of Pasadena together.  When I showed Tim all I had worked on (minus the "trash art"), so I asked if he'd like to take a Curious Cows workshop with Ken the next day.  Okay, Tim has never painted in his life, but being a good sport he said "Sure".  I just have to show you Tim's painting!  He was so stinkin proud of himself and we were so excited for him. 

Tim's Curious Cows with Ken Muenzenmayer

Seriously, people, Tim is not a painter, ever!  In fact, he's color blind.  He couldn't tell the purple from the blue.  So, as you can imagine, Ken's method of teaching produces miracles, don't you think?  Go check out Ken's website and workshop schedule.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I took a ton of work with me, even lugged a sewing machine, but got nada done.  The weather was ideal so I walked to and fro instead of cabbing it.  Needless to say, busy week ahead.  That's a good thing, since it is one year ago that our son Jonathan passed away.  Staying very busy.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Painting with Bob Burridge
Yesterday I painted from 9 to 4 straight through.  No food; no potty breaks and I didn't even notice.  There was no stopping me from taking full advantage of the time I had.  You know from my last post that I am wanting to loosen up and have more fun with painting.  Bob Burridge is just the painter and instructor to help with that.    
The first thing to go is small brushes.  So I spent all day with only two large brushes,  (even though I did briefly use a smaller brush that the gal next to me smuggled in. Shhh.  Baby steps, okay?)   We started out doing one painting per minute based on one word (and big brushes), then rapidly moved  along until we finally had three beginning pieces.   Here's mine:

I kept thinking I have never had this much fun not knowing what the heck I was doing.  Today I have three different workshops until 8 pm so I've already had a talk with myself to please remember to eat and do other necessary things.  Wish me luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Oh, how I LOVE contemporary art, collages and abstract paintings, yet am intimidated to try it myself.  Abstract intimidates me.  My brain rejects turning my art upside down to discover it looks better that way.  But on the other hand, I am absolutely drawn in to the look of fresh abandon and wonder what it might be like to paint outside the lines.  Well, the time has come to give it a try and by golly, I think I've come up with a plan to push me along. 

First and foremost:  Make quick decisions.  Don't hold high mass, over-analyze or second guess choices.  Allow no more than 10 minutes to choose the following: 1. Color scheme  2. Composition  3. Materials  4. Size

I timed myself.  I knew I wanted to incorporate a couple fabrics from my Botanika collection and the fabric I hand painted recently.  I looked up and saw this piece I made awhile back for Quilting Arts.  So, my main colors are going to be aqua and orange; got my materials and am thinking small.  Here's my inspiration:

To spark my inspiration I'm heading to Pasadena for a few days of fabulous art classes at the Learning and Art Expo.   

On another note, I confess I don't decorate for Halloween. There. The truth is out. No excuses.  However, the spiders are making up for my slacker ways.  The tiniest of spiders make the most decorations, don't they?

 My grandson used to call these "Spider rugs", so we still do.  Spider rugs remind me of Fall, but that is the only indication that Fall is in my new yard.  Maybe this has something to do with it. 

Looks like Pink is my new November color.  I like it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


First of all, thanks so much for the kind wishes for a speedy recovery.  Tim stocked me up with loads of mashed potatoes, my absolute favorite food.  He even found some Mash n Cheese mashed potatoes that were to die for...I almost overdosed.   But I wasn't healing and finally called the dentist.  He had me come in immediately and did awful things, folks.  Just awful, I say.   But I have to admit that today is much better, so I'm finally on the mend I hope.  However, I just lost a week that I need to get back right away.  Any ideas?

For me, getting a creative bug is a restless, unsettled feeling; like an itch I can't reach. It's an affliction I've had as long as I can remember. I pace. I stare. I dream.  When I finally know what I want to do, it turns into an obsession.  I'm getting the bug about giving this new place of ours some personality.  A couple weekends ago Tim and I were running errands and stopped at a furniture consignment store.  Walking down the isles I spot this old french chair.  It has stains on the fabric, but I want to redo it anyway.  So for less than $150, I consider it a steal.  Goosebumps.

As we were rounding the last isle, the entire wall was filled with SOLD items, all packed and stacked as tight as possible.  I spotted THE SOFA (sounds of a harp) stacked up on a pile.  My very tiny glimmer of hope was that I didn't see the usual SOLD sign that was attached to everything else.  The first person I talked to said it was sold.  Final.  Then I wanted to know how much it sold for.  I talked to a second person and followed her to the counter.  I somehow sensed a tiny hole in this SOLD, FINAL story when the manager got involved.  When I was younger I believed no meant no.  I have since learned that there are several layers between "No"  and  "Where would you like us to place this Mrs. Prass?".   This was one of those miraculous occasions.  Mr. Manager says to give him a few minutes and next thing I know I'm the proud owner of this french sofa.  My gut feeling is maybe this beauty was going to his house.  Just a guess.  $399 and a few hours later I was answering to,  "Where would you like us to place this Mrs. Prass?"  The fabric is in good condition and it was just meant to be in my livingroom, don't you agree? 

So while I'm doing a Show + Tell, I also snagged this chest for the entry hall just days before moving out here.  It was a steal and in perfect condition.  Eventually the mirror and lamps will get a makeover or a relocation, but this is a good start.  I so appreciate the storage.  Certainly won't be storing the mittens and scarves here (it will be 98 degrees today, but no humidity).  And the umbrella is just gathering dust for now. 

Now I can't wait to add my own touches, like punchy new pillows all over that schweet sofa.  Goosebumps.

Of course I made you read all this before I announce the Wink Wink Winner. 

Random Generator picked~

I love this new line!! While it's a tough choice, I think the blue or green are calling my name right now.  I hope you're enjoying San Diego, keep up the beautiful work.

So Suzy-Homemaker, just send me an email with your final color choice and where to send Wink Wink. xoxo

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Fall Quilt Market is right around the corner and, believe it or not, I just finally received the remainder of my Botanika Collection. Sigh. Due to a snafu, several of my fabrics sat in Indiana until this last Friday. It's hard to believe that I submitted my artwork for Botanika way back in August of 2010, and after a long separation, am now finally enjoying the full collection together in one studio. As I stare at Garden Border and Wink Wink I am reminded of when the idea for these designs came about. I spent a couple weeks in San Diego (before we knew we'd end up living here). I started painting Garden Border and Mille Fleur from actual flowers from Balboa Gardens and worked on Wink Wink in the hotel room. A way too long process has finally come full circle. So, while my friends are preparing their newest fabrics for market, I am a full step behind. 




So how about you celebrate with me?  Leave a comment about which colorway you like the best and you will be entered to win a yard of your choice.  I'll announce the winner next Monday. 

Now I'm on my way now to get three wisdom teeth pulled.  I tried to convince the dentist that I needed every tooth I have left, but he disagrees.   Wish me a very speedy recovery.  xo

Friday, September 23, 2011


So, I got a wild hair idea, or is it wild hare?  Anyway, I wanted to play around with painting fabric, but didn't have fabric paint.  I thought that when I got acrylic paint on my clothes it was permanent, so why not do it on purpose.  I played folks.   Definitely had to give myself permission.   And had fun.  Okay, so after I painted I took it outside and hung it over a fence to dry.  Problem is I went in, made dinner, cleaned up, yada and totally forgot I left my fabric out.  I went out this morning to find that the sprinklers went off and sprayed it with dirt.  So, had to rinse the fabric in the sink, then into the washer.   The vibrancy is gone, but that doesn't concern me, since I know how easy it will be to add more color when I finally figure out what I'm doing.  

I mentioned in my last post that I didn't take my camera to The Creative Connection.  But Patty did and took some silly shots that just cracks me up. Love my fabric friends.

Let me FINALLY announce the winner of the pillow GIVEAWAY.  I sometimes choose creative ways to find winners.  This time I called my Jennifer (as opposed to someone else's Jennifer) and asked her to pick a number.  She chose 27 for Wyatt's birthday.  That would be Carolann.  Very scientific, right?  Carolann, send me an email with your info, okay?

Have an awesome, colorful, permission to play kind of weekend!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I just returned from a packed few days at The Creative Connection.  I had no idea what to wear, but one thing I knew for sure is I had to have one of the clutches that Simone creates out of my Botanika fabrics.  She whipped this baby up just in time.  LOVE!  Go check out some of the other ones.  Simone rocks Botanika.

Couldn't find my business cards (you know my moving saga), then realized my info would have been all wrong anyway.  Didn't want to lug my large camera and intended to borrow Tim's smaller one, but geez, somehow I forgot that in the middle of the night. So, I'm about to reveal a few really bad photos of some awesome ladies.   

Us sewing gals quickly found each other like moths to flame.

Here is one of the reasons I participated in The Creative Connection.  The particular roundtable I  was involved with was packed, both with experts and women hoping to glean invaluable information.  Several women were able to pitch their ideas and art to the top gift companies and ask questions to some of us licensed designers working with these companies.  What an incredible opportunity, certainly one I would have loved to have had myself many years ago. 

I took a few classes.  Two classes from Traci Bautista.  Funny, because her style is so very different than mine, but I was there to stretch myself.  And boy that stretched me.  I ended up in the same classes and at the same table with Brenda Pinnick a couple times.  We became fast painting buddies, sharing supplies and fabric scraps.  We quickly realized the fabrics we were sharing were our own designs and complimented each others.  What fun!  My hair gets wild when I get creative. 

Brenda Pinnick and me

Me and Traci Bautista
I was quite happy to meet Holly Becker of Decor8, finally.  She has sent some love my way over the years and I've followed her design blog since 2005.  Studied her new book DECORATE from cover to cover on the flights home. 

Me with Holly Becker
 Okay, that's all I can talk about today, but I will be picking a winner of the Pillow Giveaway this week.  If you haven't already, click here and leave a comment for a chance to win this pillow from The Paula Prass Collection for Demdaco:

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Today would have been Jonathan's birthday.  No matter how bad he was doing, I could always count on him resurfacing around his birthday.  I've been dreading September 10 knowing I'd have to face another reality.  Three days ago I actually got an email from Jon Prass.  I sat there and tried not to freak out.  No words, just an attachment which I would not open.  Tim investigated when he got home and some freaks used his email to sell Viagra.  Jon would've chuckled.  Maybe he still did.  But the timing sucked.  It all sucks.  Got on his Facebook page late last eve and saw the messages his friends were leaving him.  I laid awake all night.

One of the friends I met through Facebook and Twitter is the amazing artist, Laura Zarrin.  Right before this past Mother's Day I got a surprise package from her with this artwork she made for me.  It about brought me to my knees. 


Thing is, others thought about me on Mother's Day and along the way sending notes of encouragement or just offering a word or two.  Wow.  That's the kind of amazing friends I have.  And I, on the other hand, have been so lame to not share these blessings with you.  I'm making a promise to do better.  I swear, I take pictures and jot notes down about what I want to tell you all, but then I just feel like the wind gets knocked out of my sails.  I have so much to share and I just need to do it!  Maybe in smaller spurts.  I can do this! 

Jennifer and I hung out on Skype today.  Both on our sofas without makeup and talking for what seemed like a couple hours.  2000 miles apart.  We were barely off the phone when flowers appeared at the door..from my girl.  Aren't they beautiful?  Isn't she beautiful?  Only thing better would have been for us to be together today and tomorrow....we're sure we would've shopped.  

Tomorrow is another day that will forever bond Jennifer and I closer together.  See, Jennifer was on business in downtown NY on 9/11.  It was the worst several hours until she could call to say she was okay and days before she could get back home.  It's was such a sobering time when she got back and the memories come flooding back every year, esp. on this 10 year anniversary.   I'm so thankful for the social media on days like these.

Speaking of social media, we were in that  royal blackout that affected 1.4 million people here a couple days ago.  Our cell phones weren't even working.  No internet, TV, nothing.  It was a stinkin 100 degrees too.  I always like the initial adventure, brought candles and a lantern to an elderly neighbor we met right there on the spot.  She is quite a delightful lady and we might not have met so quickly.  We made a very interesting dinner and ate outside by candlelight.  With all the lights out EVERYWHERE the stars were brilliant.  Then we hopped in the car and drove around, both for the breeze and the radio news.  The news said families were forced to spend the evening together, neighbors grilled out,  sharing food.  We should all have mandatory random blackouts, don't ya think?  Well, unless you're in an elevator or on an amusement park ride....then you're exempt.  Anyway, everything came back on here 12 hrs later (in the middle of the night) which set off the house alarms.  With all the windows and doors open for air that sat us straight up and outta bed before we were awake!

Since I haven't been a good friend I haven't told you that I was asked to participate in The Creative Connection which is, OH MY, like in a few days!  I am on a panel for a Pitch Slam.  When they asked me I was a bit reluctant since I don't really work out.   However, after better understanding I learned I am not required to do the pitch slamming.  Instead, I'm on a roundtable listening to people pitch their designs for the Gift Industry.  That sounds much safer, doesn't it?  I'm truly excited to be a part of this roundtable and rub elbows with my fellow Demdaco buddies.  I do license my artwork  for fabrics and artwork, as well, so I think I have something to bring to the (round) table.  I am so needing to get out and be amongst creative peeps right now while passing along the knowledge I have gained.  So, are any of you attending? 

Last on my list of "I'm going to do better":  We found the pillow for the giveaway that the movers played Scramble with.  I am not announcing the winner, however, until I find the post office.  Love you!


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