Friday, March 30, 2012


I have loved Ball and Mason Jars and accumulated a few over the years.  Recently I can't help but notice the resurgence and various uses.  I was using some of my favorites to store my paint brushes, beach glass, etc., but decided to give them additional exposure.  This is the first of two paintings.  As usual I'm not quite sure if I'm "done done", but enough done to show you.  

I have some jars that I absolutely LOVE.  I have no idea where I acquired these but it's just hitting me how special they are.  Here is a closeup of one Mason jar that is from 1858.  154 years old!  It used to kind of annoy me because the bottom of the jar is thick and rounded so it wobbles and stands crooked.  Now I so relate to that jar as I too am old and wobbly and stand crooked and I'm not nearly that old.  Here's a closeup in case there is any doubt. 


I know this is a late post, but wanted to get this in before I have to put my art supplies away and get cleaning before Jenn and the kids get here on Monday for Spring Break.  I am so excited, I'm vibrating.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


A few months ago I was showing you a little art quilt I was working on, but then I never shared the finished piece.  That's because it landed in the latest April/May issue of Quilting Arts.  I just opened my copy and I can't wait to dive into some of these projects.  I named mine Permission to Play for good reason.  I share in detail on how to use things sitting around the house to dye, stamp and embellish your own creation.  This one little project personally sparked the desire to continue to play and experiment and I have since been playing hard.  Never too late, they say.  Here's my palette for today:

This Quilting Arts issue is so full of ideas for painting, printing, dyeing, rubbing and stenciling on fabric.  Giving me goose bumps; gotta go dive   

Friday, March 23, 2012


That's a question I ask myself as I paint or embellish any creation.  How do I know when enough is enough.  Is my enough enough?

This is where I left this painted patchwork for now.   I guess I'll stare at it a bit more, then move on.

I also played with two similar pieces again.  I must say, I can't find a good place to take photos.  The camera rounds the canvases distorting the image and I can't get the colors right. I've cropped the photos down, but was unsuccessful in playing with color correcting and shadows.  Operator troubles, I'm sure. 

The green version has a dark shadow on the lower right side, but you get the idea.  Both of the seascapes were done completely with a palette knife and layer upon layer of acrylics.

More ideas are floating around and I'm happy for that.  It's a good feeling.

I am hoping to visit the flower fields in close by Carlsbad very soon.  Right now I here there are acres of ranunculus in various stages of bloom.  Can you imagine?  Me neither; I'm hyperventilating.  Might just be my new favorite flower...sorry tulips, poppies and zinnias.  I clearly have a wandering eye.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I have been painting and just thought I'd stop long enough to take a couple quick photos for you.  First I'll show, then tell.


Because I'm experimenting I created two similar paintings.  I don't know if thats odd, but I guess I don't care because I am painting for me.  Guess I'm getting a bit self-centered these days.  I have spent many years creating for others so this is very freeing and healing.  Tim is so happy that he doesn't seem to notice the house is turned upside down and we are eating at the coffee table.  I think of Jonathan a lot while painting.  I have a feeling that's what happens for so many others.  Being truly creative is like a healing salve, lifting the spirit; cleansing the soul.  

Tim and I just celebrated 30 years of wedded bliss.  No really.  I am still very much in love with Tim; my Jesus in blue jeans.   I thought I'd have more time to entertain you with photos from the old wedding album, but alas, too many boxes remain piled high in the storage units.  Just imagine me with a wreath of flowers on my head and Tim sporting a mustache, oh, and quite a bit more hair and you are good to go.  xoxo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Finally, the March tutorial is ready.  I have a few more upcoming projects to go with these napkins, so there is a method to my madness.  For some reason blogger decides to rearrange my format, spacing and margins once it's posted.  Try as I may, I am so over it.  Hopefully you are not as OCD as the author.


A fabric napkin makes a statement.  What does it say?  “You are worth it; our time together is worth it”.  Since the napkin is the first thing you touch once you sit down, it sets the stage and raises the bar on even the simplest of meals…it has that kind of power.  So just imagine what these numbered napkins will say! 

I chose a solid color 100% linen fabric for a couple reasons: 1) Linen doesn’t have a front or back side, which is a good thing for napkins and 2) Linen is elegant yet casual; formal yet relaxed.

I chose Sealah tape for this NO-SEW project because it is  However, you can use other double sided iron on adhesive, but I suggest sewing the numbers and ribbon onto the napkins.

Note of Interest: 100% linen comes in various widths.  Divide the width of whichever fabric you use your fabric by 16” to get the number of cuts you can fit across and down to estimate total yardage.  So, with 60” wide fabric you can get 6 napkins out of 1 yard of fabric.  If you choose 44” wide fabric you will need 1 ½” yards to make 6 napkins.

Another Note of Interest: I chose Sealah Adhesive Sheets to apply the numbers because it is a transparent double-sided adhesive that is washable and provides industrial strength. You may choose a different iron-on adhesive, but I strongly suggest if you do, also stitch the numbers onto the napkins after applying.

16 x 16 squares of cut fabric for each napkin

6 x 11 ½” 100% cotton fabric for numbers (quilting weight fabric works great)

16” length of ribbon for each napkin (I used 3/8” gingham check)

Sealah Adhesive Sheets 6 x 11 ½” to apply for the numbers

Sealah No Sew tape for ribbon

Cotton thread to match fabric

Sewing machine

X-ACTO knife

Rotary cutter (optional)
Cutting mat
Pencil or fabric marker
Iron and ironing board

Cutting the napkins

1     Lay the napkin fabric out on a flat surface and cut 16” squares using either a rotary cutter and cutting mat or a ruler and scissors.

Add ribbon trim

2     Turn a napkin front side up and using a ruler measure 1 1/2” up from the left bottom of the napkin and make light marks with a pencil or fabric marker 1 1/2” across, which will be the guide for your ribbon placement.  (Diagram 1)

3     A great way to apply the ribbon to the napkin is by using Sealah No Sew tape.  It comes on rolls in a variety of widths. Choose a width slightly narrower than the width of your ribbon.  Begin by applying one edge of the sticky side of the tape to one edge of the napkin at the 1½” mark and apply the tape all the way across.  (Diagram 2)  Cut the tape off at the other end of the napkin.  Press the tape down with your fingernail to make sure it adheres to the fabric.  Peel the top paper off the tape.  (Diagram 3)

4     Cut a 16” long strip of ribbon.   Apply the ribbon directly over the clear adhesive strip.  (Diagram 4)  If you need to, you can reposition the ribbon, then iron the ribbon in place using a pressing cloth.  The heat from the iron is what causes the tape to securely adhere two fabrics together.  You may decide to machine sew the ribbon to the napkin, or possibly sew the ribbon on without even using the tape.  If that is your preference, pin the ribbon securely in place before stitching.

Mitered Corners 
5     Turn the napkin over with the ribbon facing down.  Fold one edge in exactly ¼”.  Press.  Rotate the napkin and press the next three edges in the same way.  You will end up with a single fold hem.  (Diagram 5a)
Now fold one edge of the hem in again over the first ¼” hem.  Press.  Rotate the napkin and press the next three edges in the same way.  When you are finished you will have a ¼” double fold hem; all the raw edges will be encased.  (Diagram 5b) 

6     Open up the corners.  You will see a grid made from the pressed seams.  The diagrams have been outlined to accentuate the grid lines.  Using a ruler, draw a diagonal line, as shown on the diagram.  (Diagram 6a or Diagram 6b).

7     Cut along the diagonal line and fold the corner over, as shown.  (Diagram 7)

8     While keeping the corner tucked in, refold each side hem along the previous fold lines.   Once you fold the hem over twice, the corners will become mitered.   (Diagram 8)

9     Pin and sew a seam close to the folded edge, pivoting at the corners.

Making the Numbers

  10     Select a number font of your choice.  Make sure the numbers are reversed
       (mirror image) and resize to 3" in height.  Plan to fit four numbers inside a
        6" x 11 1/2" which is the size of a Sealah Sheet. 

    11   Print out the reversed numbers on copy paper.  Loosely cut around each     number and tape them onto the white side of the Sealah Sheet at several places to prevent the numbers from shifting.  I actually printed my numbers directly onto the white side of the Sealah Sheet and let the ink dry.  While the Sealah Sheet fed through my printer just fine, if you are unsure just tape the numbers on.

12   To make your life simpler, cut the sheet in half, separating the numbers 1 and 2 from 3 and 4.     Cut a piece of the fabric for the numbers the same size as the Sealah Sheet.   (Diagram 9)

13   Turn the Sealah Sheet over so the orange side is facing up.  Begin peeling the orange backing off the Sealah Sheet and carefully place the fabric over the adhesive.   (Diagram 10)

14   Using a new X-ACTO knife blade and a cutting mat, carefully cut along the edge of each of the numbers.  You will be cutting through a few layers so you will most likely need to go over an area twice to get a clean cut.  Make sure to use a new blade as this minimizes fraying of the fabric.  (Diagram 11)

15   When you are finished cutting out the numbers flip them over.  The added bonus is that you can save the negative cutouts for other projects!  

     To center the number on the napkin, just fold the napkin vertically and lightly press with your fingers; also known as “finger fold”.  Open the napkin; remove the white paper on the back of the number.  Center the number over the fold ½” above the ribbon.  The Sealah tape is pressure sensitive and cures within 24 hours.  If desired you may iron the project to set the adhesive even quicker.  (Diagram 12)

May your guests "digits" dance across these numbers!

Monday, March 5, 2012


 We clearly bought the house with the worst garage door in the neighborhood; maybe even Southern California.  The paint was a cross between Pepto Bismol and Calamine lotion (both bring up very unpleasant memories) with touch-ups done in a purpley mauve.  We didn't want a new metal door on our Spanish style home, but didn't want to pay for what we really liked.  So I studied garage doors until I came up with a desirable design and color.  Our neighbors thought we were crazy as they watched us working on it every weekend for the last month.  "If it were me I'd just buy a new metal garage door", which is what they did and probably had it installed the same day.  We finally just put the finishing touches on the new door over the weekend and I'm a little "house proud" right now.  



When one of Tim's work buddies saw the new doors he simply said, "Nice knockers".

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I clearly have a love affair with lemons.  I ask for double lemon with my water, when I really want triple lemon.  A saucer of lemon is worthy of a larger tip.  I put lemon on just about everything I eat or drink.  I quilt lemons, I paint lemons.  I love the color, the smell, the shape.....I LOVE LEMON!!!

So when I was handed a bag full of lemons from a neighbors tree the other day I could barely speak.  And apparently these weren't the standard run of the mill, but Meyer lemons!  I had to google to find out what I have been missing.  Wikipedia says the Meyer lemon: is a citrus fruit native to China thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange.   The skin is fragrant and thin, coloured a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe. Meyer lemon fruits have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka grocery store lemon varieties.  So I climbed out from under the rock I must have been living under and dusted my newly educated self off.

We are not dessert people but I figured I could make something desserty to take to a gathering.  I pulled out some very old recipes to see what I could make based on ingredients at hand.  My lemon bar recipe was so old it called for OLEO!!!  Seriously.  So back to google I went (google might be a close second to lemon love for me) and I found this:

I am here to tell you EVERYONE loved these.  I didn't have a chance to take a photo before they were devoured, but the photos provided by Kitchen Runway are what convinced me to try this recipe.  Now I need to trade my orange tree for a Meyer lemon tree!  They really are this beautiful yellow orange color.  Can you blame me?


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