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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Golden Spirit" In The Garden

A few years ago, I helped the Shoes with planting their front yard.  The Shoe's cleared the space, installed the irrigation, planted a couple of trees, and had a brick path installed using some cool bricks from San Jose.

It was fun to start with a clean slate.  The yard faces west so it gets full afternoon sun.  It was not only important to choose sun loving plants but they also needed to be drought tolerant too.   You can see my faves are yellow, green and purple with splashes of bronze spattered about.   I love the combination of lavender, blood stonecrop, crape myrtle, Jerusalem sage and echiveria succulents. The garden is in its primo state right now.

     Shoe's Front Yard

Most stunning is the Golden Spirit Smoke Bush though.....every garden should have one.  It is quite spectacular all year round...puffs of "smoke" (the flower) will bloom later in the spring and then the bright yellow leaves will turn orange red in the fall.
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Bottom photos:  Left is a close up of Jerusalem Sage and Right is Verbena (I think)
The garden has been mulched which will not only help with retaining moisture but also cut down on weeds.

A lot of punch is happening in this small front garden...and it makes me smile every time I visit.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Creative Aunt Marcine

The internet has made it possible to connect with some incredible and creative people through  blogs, and Facebook.  Instagram and Pinterest has made it possible to share the results of those crafty, artistic and talented people through their photos. It is wonderful  that it has become "hip" and  "cool" to be crafty, to  sew, to cook, to create, to knit/crochet, to upcycle, to garden, to share ideas on raising children, to farm, and to photograph.  Believe it or not, being crafty hasn't always been so "in".




I have an aunt who has been creating, sewing, crocheting, cooking, serving others her entire life....eight full decades. .... let me introduce you to  (drum roll please)...
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my AUNT MARCINE.
I can imagine her as a little girl planted at her mother's feet and learning all she could to soak in all the instructions her mother could deliver.  You would most likely find her hands  filled with a project...sometimes sewing, other times embroidering, and then it could be something she is crocheting.  Here she is on a picnic with my parents as young married embroidering what looks to be a tablecloth:


Marcine Embroidering
Love the little box by her side holding her sewing supplies.
She sewed all her clothes, even her coats.  She even sewed her own wedding dress.  Oh, doesn't she look so radiant! My uncle is looking pretty dapper himself.

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She sewed clothes for her nine children (including underwear for her boys) and my uncle.
Aren't those handmade pjs adorable?
Aunt Marcine holding Scott with Grandma Price kids in front: Nancy, Terry, Bonnie, Janet and Ruth
One year for Christmas, she sent my three sisters and I little clowns to put our PJ's inside.
My sister still has hers...I only wish I had mine.
Christmas in Palo Altos
When I was in college, my sister and I went to her house and she showed us how to bottle strawberry jam. And on one of my recent visits to her house, I walked in the door and found her in the kitchen finishing up bottling some peaches....she made it look so easy.  I wonder how many bottles she has filled (and "canned") over the years...I suspect it is many thousands.
She crocheted this wonderful blanket for me, using her leftover yarns from previous projects.  You see, she does not let anything go to waste.  I love to wrap up in this treasure while watching TV.


Several years ago she made fabric bags to cook potatoes in the microwave oven for each of us in my family.

Family at Christmas 2009
And then couple of years ago for Christmas, she crocheted a eight beautiful doilies, one for each of my siblings.
Love the color of this beautiful  vase
 which was given to me from a dear friend who
 was downsizing from her large home.

If you come to her house for a meal, she will serve you her infamous "love buns".  Oh...they just melt in your mouth, especially when slathered with melted butter and homemade jam.
The best buns on the planet.  

love buns and Terry's jam
This past Christmas, she made each of my sisters, brother and I a table runner. Each one  was made from a different fabric.  I put my runner underneath the Lazy Susan in the middle of my island.





Button detail
She is continues to serve and create things for her bazillion children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and friends .  Check out this pile of sweet Valentines she had on her sewing table recently:
Some of Marcines Valentine Creations
I think they were headed into the hands of some 10 and ll year old girls in her church.


I don't know of a more giving or talented woman....her hands have been in constant motion her entire life.  My hat is off to you dear Aunt Marcine.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Little Birthday Present For A Four Year Old

I made this little pink overnight bag for a little girl's fourth birthday.

FOUR +  PINK = HAPPINESS.
It feels so good when I am able to create something with a pattern, fabric, trim and a zipper that I already have.
No trip to the store needed here.  
There are six pockets on the outside to place her toothbrush, toothpaste and brush and comb, all pink of course.  Pink "Hello Kitty" pj's go inside.



Now all she has to do is hop in the car and head up the mountain so she can spend the night at her Omi's house.



Sometimes I wish I could to be a little girl again....just for a day.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Grandbaby No. 3 Has Arrived

Nothing is sweeter than gazing at that precious face.

Nothing Sweeter Than A  Newborn Babe


And touching that soft skin.


Only a few hours old
And capturing a mother adoring her new baby.

Holding His Little Brother For The First time


And cherishing the sight of a big "brudder" holding his baby "brudder" for the first time.

Life is sweet.  Especially new life.

I love being a "GranZ"

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Green Day



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Do you celebrate St. Patrick's day?

The closest I am to being Irish is the fact that my mother's name is "Patricia".  When I was young, I "celebrated" by making sure I wore green to school so I wouldn't get pinched.  After I got married I adopted this fun holiday by gathering family together and eating.  That is what St. Patrick's Day is all about.  Eating and drinking.

Tonight we had family over for a traditional dinner of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and bread. This is the easiest dinner on the planet for all you have to do is throw the corned beef and veggies in the crock pot in the morning and let it cook all day.  I must say it was yummy.
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Crock pots rock.

 For dessert, we had green mint ice cream topped with with some chocolate mint cookies.
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Cookies on a vintage three tiered tray.
I pulled out my green and splattered them throughout.

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My windowsill above the sink

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A collection of green glass

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Some green on the island
Family + Food = Loveliness

I'll leave you with this....


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Making of a Baby Quilt

It is finished.  A quilt for my little grandson who is due any day now.

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I love making baby quilts.  .
I've made quilts for each of my children, my grandchildren, my nieces and some friends.

Let me share the process I went through with this quilt:

I started by going  through my stash and pulling out what grabbed me.  It took awhile...I pulled, put back, pulled, put back.  I even used fabric from my "scrap drawer".  You never know when those smaller scraps can come in handy.
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Next to decide which design to make?  Do I make strips?  Nine patch?  Log cabin?

So many choices.
Keep It Simple kept running through my head .

For this quilt I decided to use (A) as my inspiration fabric. I wanted to cut strips of this fabric to use as a border.

Next, (B)  I  threw the fabrics together on the floor while choosing what I will use for the field squares.  Needed to visualize what it would look like

Since I decided to make triangles in the main field,  I cut strips of fabric 5 3/4 in wide (C) and then
 cut those strips into 5 3/4 in squares (D).

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Now, let me show you how I made those triangles.

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After piecing the triangle squares together, sewing the border, grabbing some natural cotton batting. and  choosing the backing, I came up with this:

 
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And then I hand quilted away....

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I can't wait  to wrap up my new little grandbabe in this sweet quilt.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kissed By the Rain

Love waking up in the morning after a night of rain. My garden loves it too.
Japanese Flowering Cherry in full bloom in my front yard

Newly planted urn on my front porch

Purple freesias that smell divine

And white freesia in a potted lemon bush

My absolute favorite freesia.
Nothing beats the climate here in California.  Nothing.