Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Hobby Lobby got some new stamps.  There was a set of about 10 cling stamps of old perfume bottles.  I loved them, so I used my 40% off coupon and got them for $6. 

I couldn't wait to try them.  I know that I will find more uses for them down the road, but right now I made these cute tags.  I think you are supposed to stamp the name labels on to the bottles, but I didn't.  Instead I cut them out and tied them with a crochet thread around the bottles.

Monday, May 28, 2012


If UR, like I hope UR, then UR "OK". 
I saw this post card at Tillie's Attic the day I went to ask about having some of my work sold there.  It was postmarked in 1918, almost a century old.  It was written to a mother from her daughter, talking about her busy day and that she really ought to read or study instead of writing letters.  I like the whole "if ur like I hope ur then ur 'ok'".  It's inspirational, something I need to remember when I have a bad day, to be OK.

I also got these two old photographs.  I am not sure what I am going to do with them yet, but I've seen some good ideas in SEW Somerset that I am sure will inspire me to make something very lovely. 

Artichoke and asparagus

Last Saturday I went to pick up my fruit and veggie basket that I ordered from Bountiful Baskets.  It's been some time since I've done this, mainly because the deadline for ordering changed from Wednesday to Tuesday and for a long time I kept missing it.

So this week's basket had three lovely artichokes.  I couldn't help but see their perfectly round shape resemble that of a woman's breast.  You didn't know I had a wild side huh?  I am kidding, but I probably wouldn't have thought to compare the artichoke to a breast, unless I read about the sexy side of asparagus in 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle'.
The writer was talking about asparagus, how/when it's the best time/place to plant it and some characteristics of it:
"Underneath lies an octopus-shaped affair of chubby roots (called a crown) that stores enough starch through the winter to arrange the phallic send-up when winter starts to break.  The effect is rather sexy, if you're the type to see it that way.  Europeans of the Renaissance swore by it as an aphrodisiac, and the church banned it from nunneries."

I've never cooked an artichoke before, does anyone know of something easy and tastey to make with it?

Saturday, May 26, 2012


A few weeks ago a pillow that was in our washing machine caused the washer to get off balance during the spin cycle.  You know what happens then, your washer migrates about a foot or two from its original position and it's no big deal, you push it back when it's done washing.  Well something else must have happened to our washer, because ever since that I have a draining problem.  And the handy-woman that I am, I did my usual checks: I watched the machine go trough a cycle to figure out when and where the water leaks.  This way I found out that nothing is wrong with the hose that goes from the machine into the drain pipe.  It drains just fine if I had it drain in a bucket.  But once it goes in the drain pipe, it starts shooting water out of it.
So it's the drain pipe that's causing all these problems.  I got a pitcher of water and poured it down and it's going down just fine, it's only when the amount of water is much larger (like when it's coming out of the machine) that's not draining.  I called our handy man and he suggested I put some drain chemicals down the pipe.  This didn't fix the problem.  I called back and he suggested that I snake the pipe.  And I can't get the snake to go pass the elbow of the drain pipe.  I called the handy man back, he suggested that I call a plumber. 
Well I can't quite afford a plumber at the moment and twice this week I've been at the laundromat by our house.  I wash the laundry there, and I take it home to dry it.  It's an experience, I even made friends with the owner who is from Jordan.

And today I was taking pictures of other people's laundry in the driers.  I really liked watching this green fluorescent garment flying in the dryer.

Friday, May 25, 2012

An old wedding dress

I finally made it to the City of Gilbert Museum.  Over a month ago I saw they had a quilting exhibit, and although I am not a quilter (yet), this was something I wanted to see.  There were many interesting quilts, mostly modern, with fancy fabrics and appliques.  The quilt that made the biggest impression on me was one that was still a work in progress, stretched on a loom.  An older lady who spotted me admiring the quilt told me that it's called 'Old fashioned grandma's garden'.  I didn't take a picture of it, but the photo below I found on Google is the closest thing to what I saw.

In one of the rooms there were old fashioned wedding dresses.  There is something very romantic about old wedding dresses.  The idea that most of these were made by a relative, or passed on to the bride from her mother, grandmother and so on, brings a wonderful feeling of love, romance, butterflies in your stomach.  It makes me want to have a wedding again.  A small wedding, and me wearing one of these vintage dresses.  Here is the one I loved the most.

And the runner up was this one:

I saw some vintage sewing patterns, but I have some of these myself.  I actually found a bunch at the thrift store by my house for .25 a piece and got a few.  What is with me?  Was I born at the wrong time?  I sometime feel that.  I can make a connection with people in their 50s, 60s, 70s etc. in no time.  But I find myself clueless and uncomfortable around most people of my own age.

Here is something that I think I'd like to try to colaborate with my husband, a photo quilt.

I think I would actually like a small quilt like this, something that you put on your walls.  So maybe one day, when I find a break from work and from being a mum.  For now, I will only dive into projects that take no longer than a day or two to complete.  Otherwise I risk that it never gets finished..

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday night Blues

Most of my days are routine:
  • get up
  • eat breakfast
  • feed the kids
  • dress the kids
  • water my garden
  • play with the kids, maybe go to the park
  • make lunch
  • get ready for work
  • go to work
  • work
  • go home, maybe relax if the kids are asleep
  • go to bed
Of course there are beautiful moments that come spontaneously in the daily routine, but here is a little something that is so unimportant, but as a busy mom it's almost the highlight of my week that I know for sure I can look forward to and it will happen without anything interfering with it:
I look forward for the 20 minute drive back from work on Sunday nights when I can listen to NPR (KJZZ 91.5) Sunday night Blues and no one or nothing will interrupt it.  This is the time when red lights are welcome.  I drive the speed limit, no rush.  I roll the windows down, no A/C.  Just the warm Arizona air, me and the Sunday night Blues.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Love Is

During my college years I worked at the college library and at the end of the week when they would discard the newspapers from that week, I'd get them before they were gone and cut out the Love Is cartoons.
I was looking through some boxes recently and found a stack of them. I am not sure what to do with them, but I am not ready to part with them. 

It's not right to keep them in a box.  It's not right to seal their fate in the recycle bin.  I thought about making a mixed media piece with them.  I thought about starting a journal and using them in it.  Actually that sounded like the best place for them, but I haven't been able to find what I need inside me to start a journal.  It's like I am afraid to ruin a perfectly blank piece of paper.

For now they are back in the box.  And the ones in this post are not it, these I found by searching on Google.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


My visit in Omaha last month didn't go without some much needed visit with two wonderful women I am proud to call my girlfriends, Ann and Inge.  Ann used to be my boss when I worked at the Fort Library, and Inge was one of my co-workers.  I am so glad to have had a chance to see both of them during my last two visits.  We were able to catch up on our lives, laughs and other matters of the heart.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Look Ma no feed

A couple of months ago my friend Maggie showed me how to free motion stitch.  At first the experience can be a little scary.  For those of you who do not sew, here is a little explanation of what free motion stitching is.  A sewing machine has something called 'feed dog'.  This is what moves the fabric for you, allowing you to focus on keeping direction (usually a straight line, or slight curves).  When you drop the feed dog down, then nothing moves the fabric, unless you do.  This allows you to move in every-which direction you choose, you can write, you can doodle, you can do anything you want, but you have to keep on moving.  The hard part is to remember to move and keep control, but the results can be beautiful pieces of art.

Here is a visual tutorial if you'd like to see the process (this is not mine by the way).
I am still in the learning stages, braving up to practice, to not be too hard on myself, and to remind myself that being an artist is making mistakes and keeping the ones that work.   For now I have just been scribbling words.  I made bunch of little patches of different words, then used them as an applique to decorate cute little bags that came from the legs of a few pairs of jeans destined for Goodwill.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The cowboy on stilts

The thing I like about big cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago is that you get to see all kinds of characters just walking down the street.  Phoenix has somewhat of that but not nearly as much.  And Chandler where we are at the only interesting street characters you may see are the people holding signs for a local business.  Occasionally dressed in say 'Uncle Sam' costume advertising a local Tax/CPA business.
It's not every day that you see a cowboy on stilts.  But there he was, a mere mile from my house advertising the local SwapMart.  He was dancing and shaking his booty, and had the biggest smile on his face.  I felt so lucky when the light turned red and I  had to stop and get a better look at him.  I rolled the window down and realized that he had a boom box blasting music and he was singing.  I scrambled to get my video camera on the phone and felt so disappointed when the light turned green and I had to move.  I only got a picture of him, no video.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Planting cookies in the garden

I finally found time to replant the vegetables and herbs we bought for my garden.  David nailed the 2x4 together to make a box, we put in dirt and my garden is ready to grow.  I've attempted gardening in the past, it has not worked for me mainly because the desert is not forgiving about my forgetfulness.  One day of not watering your garden and your crops are dead.  I've been reading 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' by Barbara Kingsolver and it has really inspired me to make it work this time.
So this morning after breakfast Maggie and I went in the back yard and started planting.  We have zuccini, cucumber, two types of tomatoes (one is cherry tomatoes, mmm), watermelon, parsley, mint and basil. 
Maggie told me to make sure I plant cookies too.  I asked her what kind, and she said yummy cookies.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Crossing over the rainbow bridge


I heard from Terri today, she said she put Cody down this morning.  My throat started closing, remembering that yesterday was exactly a year since my dog Mulder died.  Both Cody and Mulder were Australian Shepherds.

I was a senior in high school, living with Terri and Paul as an exchange student in Omaha, Nebraska when Terri got Cody.  I remember the very moment I first met him.  It was winter, and Terri came to pick me up after school.  On the car seat was a cute fluffy little puppy, this was Cody Boy Blue. He was a sweet and smart guy.  A well behaved dog.  We took him to obedience classes somewhere on a farm nearby Omaha. Terri taught him to do all kinds of tricks after that.  He was my pal, especially when I'd come home from school before everyone else was back from work.

I will miss Cody very much, but my missing him can't compare to how much they will miss him.  Cody was 16 years old (in human years).


Cody is the reason why I got Mulder, my Australian Shepherd.  It was Cody's mild nature that made me fall in love with the breed and since I never had a dog of my own David got Mulder for me when I graduated from college in 2002.  A month later Mulder made the trip across the country with us moving to Arizona.  He was a puppy then and fit perfectly in the space between the driver and passenger seat as well as in my lap.  Mulder was my baby, since I didn't have kids for a long time.  We eventually got him a friend, our dog Worf who is still with us.  We'd take the two of them to dog parks, camping trips, hiking.
(Mulder's the one in the back, the black&white dog)

The times and memories I have of Mulder can't really fit in this blog, they are so numerous, happy, funny and sad.  And I am tearing up now, so I need to wrap it up.  Mulder died on May 3, 2011 of unknown reason.  We found him dead on the side of our house in the back yard.  He appeared asleep, except he wasn't.   I cremated him and I keep his ashes in my craft room.  He is still a good conversationalist who never judges me.