July 31, 2010

I started another blog...


I started another blog...actually two.
I have been doing more printing lately and this blog and another are connected.
I will probably still post things here also but for right now and working on building up the blog over there.
It has been cool here, in the 50's...and we have been wearing jackets to the beach.  But we haven't had to use an air conditioner...more like wool blankets at night. lol.
Hope you all are staying cool and having a wonderful summer.

July 5, 2010

Lynn Stopped By Today!!!

I feel very blessed with a visit from Lynn at Getting My Feet Wet.
Lynn and I have been blogging friends for almost a year.  When we had an earthquake in January she emailed me to make sure we were ok.  She is thoughtful and extremely creative.

Well today she came by for a visit.  She brought her husband Fred.  We had a good time having show and tell.  She gave me a couple pillow cases that she had embroidered on her trip.  I  wanted to get them on here before she gets home.

They are so beautiful.  They are the nicest pillow cases I have ever owned. 
Thank you, Lynn.

June 12, 2010

Handcarved ATC and Gardening in June

Here are some pictures of my garden now. 
 The fennel and kale have taken off nicely.  There is an onion in the foreground and in the very back are calendula flowers that Catherine planted.

These are our broccoli plants that I bought at the farmers market in Arcata.
I havested some radishes, garlic and chives out of the garden.  I used them in some potato salad that we are going to have on a picnic in the redwoods later today.
I have been doing some hand carved linoleum stamps.  The face on the left is my attempt at carving Abby Sutherland's face.  I think she is a hero and example to all teenagers.  She is a hero because she dreamed and worked hard to make her dreams come true. Her dream didn't come out of some experts idea of what a teenager had the right to dream about.  She was prepared and didn't take unnecessary risk.  When it was time to throw in the towel she did.  I totally admire her and her parents.  Here boat was well equipped and it had five water tight chambers. She also had a crew monitoring her and keep up with her.  I am glad that we live in a place where we are allowed to dream big and the freedom to pursue our dreams, provided we have the money and means to do so.
    I haven't finished carving her face yet. The picture is from the point of view that she is looking in the sun.. 
    Last night I decided to cut my Japanese carving tools down.  I should have done it before now, but I didn't want to ruin them. They were to precious, more so than I guess my hand was trying to manipulate it to cut at a 30 degree angle. You can see in the picture how the man is carving with them. Also if you go to the link it has an article about how to use them and the other hand to control the cut. Well I cut off a half an inch and they are still too long, so I am going to sand them down till they are right.  I will say they are much better now than they were and I really started enjoying carving a lot more than I have in the past.
   The board that all the tools and stamp are sitting on is called a bench hook  I am going to modify that so that the cut out at the top is closer to the center.  You can wedge your linoleum block in the cut out and then you are free to use your hands to guide the blade.  Right now because I am doing ATC size blocks the bench hook makes the carving too far away to carve with out hurting my back.
    I am thinking about doing the SKETCHBOOK PROJECT. I was considering the theme Face In The Crowd. It would be a book of my lino-cut faces. When I thought about seriously doing this I thought I have to cut my tools down...and it wasn't such a big deal anymore.
    I wonder if anyone visiting my blog has joined or thought of joining this?  If so what is your theme and will you be blogging about it?

May 26, 2010

March - Vision Calendar

March flag is about giving up coffee.  
I had a very strong coffee habit. No, rather it had me.
The coffee made it where I did not sleep well at night and then I felt tired the next day,
till I had another cup of coffee.
If I stopped drinking coffee I would get a headache.
  It was also causing me problems with my teeth and gums.  

But I loved coffee.
DH and I had a date that involved going out for coffee on Saturday mornings.  
I just thought I would show you my coffee pot collection.  
Coffee was as much about making it and steaming the milk as drinking it.
March was also the month that I got my hexagon quilt 'Moonflower' basted and ready for quilting.  
 I was exploring personal symbols as well and so I included the symbol of the cicada. 
I like the way I did the letter P and am going to go back and heavily fill in a satin stitch around the letters I and M of my other two flags.

May 18, 2010


This is February's flag on my Vision Calendar. 
The theme is tea.  I actually started to have more tea parties in December and January because of this lovely
tea cozy that Ancient Cloth sent me.
Well I had to be honest with myself and admit that drinking caffeinated tea was not good for me.
I love Earlgrey.  We have had a love affair for a long time, to the detriment of the family and my head.
You see I get head aches when I don''t have the same dose of caffeine as the day before.
I start trying to manage my caffeine like a drug junkie.
It just doesn't work for me.  I need more to get me "going" harder the next day.  After a few weeks of this kind of yo yo managing I finally admit that I can't keep doing this...usually after I have also over ate (I don't know what they connection is but it is a kind of self medicating) then crash...with a migraine and nausea.
I decided in February to give up all caffeinated teas.
Migraine headaches are not the only thing that I have suffered from Earl Grey.  I have also received gut wrenching gall bladder attacks.
I have been a pain slut too long for Earl Grey and I am not going to let him take advantage of me anymore.

To be honest this was one of the easier improvements that I have made.
Success breeds success...as you will see in my next Calendar Flag.

I wanted to keep the ritual of tea celebrations...but without the bad side affect.
There is a sprig of mint in the design on my flag, which reminds me there are alternatives...choices.
I grow two  different kinds, spearmint and chocolate peppermint.
  I also have a chia tea mix that I love to brew.

Becky's Chia Tea Mix
1/2c cinnamon pieces
1/2 c roasted chicory
2T Peppercorns cracked
3 T Fennel
2T whole cloves
1 t ground nutmeg
1/3 c cardamon in green pods.
3T organic orange peels
add 1 t fresh ginger

Bring a 2 cups of water to a boil.
Put 2 T chia tea mix and ginger in the boiling water.
(being careful because it make boil over when you add it...
so I wait for it to cool just a bit or add right before boiling)
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain.
Heat 1 cup of milk.
Add to the chia and sweeten preferably with palm sugar
which you can get at an oriental grocery store.

May 13, 2010

The Lady of Shallots

Isaac finished his cage for the rabbit.
He changes the grass and rearranges the cage to make it interesting for them.
I have created a shallot garden.  

It reminds me of this song when I see it.
  Here are my strawberry plants. 
I decided to keep them in pots to try to minimize the weeds.
My herb garden has mint, oregano, thyme, marjoram and rosemary.
Today I transplanted my cactus plants. 
Two of these have won blue ribbons for Isaac in the Coos Country Fair.
Here is Catherine's wheatgrass. 
We have been talking about going on a raw food diet.
It will probably not be 100 percent raw ...but just some additions to our diet.
Here are my new raised beds that I got a month ago.

Here they are today.  
I have a lot of clean up work still to do...
but I am really proud of all the progress that I have made. 
We have onions, fennel, calendula, radishes, kale and broccoli in the garden so far.

Last year my garden was created from pallots with cardboard boxes to hold the dirt.  The above picture is from last year and is where my shallot garden is now.Right now we have been having some really nice weather so it is time to garden.

I have been working on my hexagon quilt at night...and shortly I will have some other surprises to show you.

May 6, 2010

Handcarved ATC

Seems I have been very quiet on my blog.  Thank you for those of you who have visited and even left comments wondering how I am doing.  I have been busy...as you will see.

This is a print from a linocut of a rooster that I did last week.  I thought it was funny that after I had finished my two ATC for the month...I am trading within a group... I opened my mail from them.  One of the women wrote:  "Faces are okay but they should look different.  Are you doing any women?  Why not?"
Well as you can see I did some different kinds of faces...but neither one was a woman.  Why am I doing male faces?  I like them.  Why don't I do women...they are suppose to be soft and pretty and I don't want to do soft and pretty...hard and coarse from work and worry is what I enjoy capturing in faces.  Also I don't think I have figured out how to do faces well enough...so the more I do the better I think I will get.
     My daughter, Catherine, actually turned me on to doing faces.  She drew faces for a whole year.  Mostly just girls...or anemia ..which to me look unisex.  One day, a couple years ago, Catherine wanted to do a hand carved stamp.  She drew a picture of a face.  I told her that it would never look like a face, it is just to hard to carve and that she should start with something easier.  Like a red head she never let that kind of talk stop her.
Now for an eleven year old I was pretty impressed with these images.  So I thought I would try to do some faces.  I was pretty surprised how well mine turned out...even in the drawing stage because I didn't normally draw faces....so that is how it all began.  Here are a couple of linocut of women that I did a while back.
    The one on the right, her hat is shading part of her face.  I may have to try to do women again...but you can see the old and the young.  Maybe the young is looking into the face herself old....maybe this is why I like to do men I can distance myself from the fact I am aging.
One of the things I like to do is line up all the images that I printed and look at them like a Andy Warhol painting.  I am not a consistent printer.  Isaac is a better printer than I am and he didn't want to help me because I want him to print too many.

May 5, 2010


Here are two of my hexagon flowers. 
I wanted the flowers to have the motion of opening up. 
So I made the center a more solid looking small print, 
then the middle section was a little medium size print 
and the last row around the flower a large print.
The flower on the right is from material that my grandmother
sent me.  
It reminds me of the beautiful flowers in Breckenridge, Colorado where 
Joe and I went on vacation with her and my Aunt Aurie.

The Pink Pig flower, is a scrap from a short pant/ dress that my mother made me.
I think it is kinda funny that I picked out that fabric.
I wonder what I was thinking?
I know that I loved to smile and be funny...and so this fit my personality.

I wanted the quilt to have some pictures on it so that one could make up stories.
I really like this farm flower, with all the farm animals.
At the time that I put the large flowers together
I didn't have that many different scraps of cotton fabric.
Fortunately a friend in Alabama, had been sent a huge 
box of scraps from her mother and she allowed me to pick through
the box and put together my flowers from the scraps in there.
I don't think I would have had all the flowers finished
in nine months if it had not been for her.
Isaac made us this wonderful loaf of Challah bread with rasins last night.
It was soo good.

April 21, 2010

How to make a hexagon quilt

So far I have hand quilted nine flowers and all the hexagons in between.
I thought I would share with you how I made my hexagon quilt.
First my DH drew and cut out my hexagon template for me.
Then I traced the hexagon on recycled printer paper.
I laid the paper on my fabric and basted it to the fabric.
I cut out the hexagon leaving a one forth inch seam allowance all around the hexagon.
I folded over the seam allowance using the paper as my guide and basted the edges down to the paper.

I butt the edges together and whip stitch them.
This is what it looks like on the front side.
I might make a little sewing kit like this one to carry with me in my purse.
This is a great project to carry with you.
I like having my thread wound on a bobbin so that it is convenient to  carry in my tin.

I am hoping that I can finish it by the end of July.
It is a full size quilt with a two foot hang on either side and enough length to cover the pillows.

I will talk more about the pattern in my next post.

April 16, 2010

Easter Rabbits

Here is our rabbit hutch that we got off of free cycle.
This is Catherine's rabbit Athena. 
This is Isaac's rabbit, Ms. Gray
 This is Isaac holding his rabbit.
Here is Isaac and Catherine building a rabbit run so the rabbits can get some exercise.