Friday, June 30, 2006

WIP Friday

Posted in the hope that this will motivate me to actually finish these - so that I will have new piles to share next Friday. (And if not next Friday, perhaps the Friday after that? No wait - we will be on holiday. So make that the the first Friday in August... Ahhhh procrastination... )


skirt for the big bug


surprise for the nieces. (Does this give it away? I don't think that they will figure it out...)

(These are taken on the little low table in our living room. I have been working wherever I can find space - and wherever the fan seems to be blowing the breeze over me best! I think I need to get working on a space of my own - some lovely ones showing up - like this, and this, and this... Hmmmm, D, can reworking the office be next on "THE LIST"?)

Where do you create?

Thanks Fiona for the inspiration. More WIP here...

And for all you fellow Canadians out there - Have a wonderful holiday tomorrow!! Wish I was there... Soon.... soon....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

hot days and nights


the days seem to be speeding by. the heat has everyone sleeping poorly. difficulty falling asleep. (the upside of getting the kids to bed a little later is that we have been enjoying some magnificent sunsets. worth it. at least once in a while.)leading to late starts in the morning. nothing seems to be getting done. but strangely i don't seem to mind too much. i have convinced myself that i am in summer mode. lazy is ok.

thankfully we have only a couple of weeks before we head off on holiday. in the meantime, we have a (large-ish) family get-together to host this saturday. all of d's family plus a few will be in attendance bringing the guest list to 21. i believe it is to stay hot (temps in the 100s)so the pool will be full i am sure. i also have 11 gifts to finish up. (i am making surprises for all of my nieces that will be in attendance, plus my 2. no hints. sorry girls! just hope they get done in time...) the 4th of july to figure out. (i vote for the beach!) and a couple of bday parties to attend.

we missed this last night. sounds like the perfect hot summer night movie. the hard work of a new friend.

companerasflyer[1] (2)

i so wanted to go. but life got in the way. as it does. i hope it was a great success!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

turtle love


these sweet beanbags were waiting when we returned home yesterday. (we are loving everything turtle these days!) they are from my dearest friend - first met in jr. high band class (she played the french horn, and i played the flute...)

as always, her sensitivity to the world around us was addressed in her creation - completely recycled materials and filled with lentils. (we have the most beautiful quilt made by her hand - each square from thrifted velvet clothing.) there was a lovely book to go along with them too. thanks c! i know they were for the little bug but the big bug has already claimed one as hers. ahhh, big sister, little sister (you know how it is!!).

Monday, June 26, 2006

for the love

of a good friend...


i met sam almost 10 years ago. when we came to la la land on getty graduate internships. there was an instant connection. and we have remained close, though neither of us remained on "the hill", and we now live on opposite ends of the city.

so when she dropped me an email to tell me a favorite fabric shop near her was going out of business and this saturday was their final day of course i said i'd be there. d agreed to hang with the girls (by luck animal planet made its only west coast stop just blocks from our house so they headed over there.) and i headed down the coast - half an hour later and 30 degrees cooler we headed for bfast at a fave diner (felt so odd - but good! - without the girls) then off to the fabric store. only to find it didn't open until noon. no worries. we were two women sans kiddies. salvation army? check. fave local thriftstore? check. then back to the fabric store.

so you would think that now i would share with you here all the amazing goodies i came home with. alas, there wasn't anything that caught my eye... happens that way sometimes for me. i have become rather selective. i pick a lot up but don't take that much home. and no remorse this time either - so all good!

but i didn't go home empty handed.


sam has started a bluecoat etsy shop and i was lucky enough to be her first customer! yay!! i picked out this - the sweetest lavender sachet for the girls room and one of her fun fabric buttons.

she also has an awesome (such an l.a. word but it just fits perfectly here) vintage fabric and trim trove that she sells through her ebay shop. and she let me peruse her cupboard to see if there was anything i liked. and of course there was. so i came home with this...


and when i later expressed concern that holly hobbie had a new great grand daughter and what was wrong with the original...?? she insisted that i take this too.


as i drove back up the 405, heading home, listening to twang (yes i have a secret crush on cowboy nick. hard to explain but i do...) i made plans for summer pjs and sundresses for the girls... and smiled at a morning well spent! thanks sam!! let's see each other again soon.

and thanks everyone for the sewing machine guidance. all so welcome!! i will let you know what i come up with. and karen l - is that you??

Friday, June 23, 2006

in the market

for a new sewing machine. mine has finally met its limitations. though hardly as cool as these vintage models. my featherweight was a gift on my 16th birthday and has treated me well for almost - gack! - 20 years... gotten me through a bfa degree that was heavy on quilting, seemingly endless alterations to thrift store finds during grad school, gifts for friends, pjs and bits and bobs for my kids and crafting escapes for me. i'll be holding on to it for when my girls are ready...

so i am curious, and need some advice... what machine are you sewing with?


have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Corners of Our Home 19

it is true


every small child loves a sandbox

we spend a lot. a lot. of time in our backyard. i am not a big fan of using the air conditioner (sorry, d, i realize it is 100 degrees but i just don't like the a/c. plus with the kids going in and out and in and out... you know...) and our yard is our place to escape when the temps rise. if we aren't in the pool - which isn't very shaded (yet) so is used mostly at the end of the day - we are on the patio - painting or doing chalk drawings or playing hopscotch - or we are on the lawn - throwing the ball or playing croquet or putting on a stage show on our make-shift stage - or now, we are in our newly built (thanks again hon!) redwood sandbox under the almost shade of the tree we planted four summers ago. we put some new windchimes in the tree and wait for the breeze to ring them, and to cool us, as we dig for hidden treasure in the sand...

more corners here

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

mixed bag

all of a sudden i seem to have a lot to say. maybe it was my relative silence during colorweek.

first off - a big big thank you to our postal carrier. with two birthdays this month, and some great swapping, you have been wonderful!!

as for the deliveries...


tucker arrived over the weekend. i was so excited i was shaking when i took this (hence not too good) photo. thank you so much alicia! i love him. he is so beautifully made. each little stitch an inspiration to me. (i need to be this patient.) alicia and i both missed the backtack 3 cut-off so when she suggested a bt3 redux where we would follow the same rules and time-line i was happy to take on the challenge. (i am still taking on the challenge... sorry alicia!) she was sweet enough to add some goodies for the girls. which i haven't been able to get away from them long enough to take a decent photo. (alicia's shots are great and can be seen here...) and some yummy chocolate and licorice (a big fave in our house). thanks so much.


then my dear friend jennie (who shared her cupcake with me before she left l.a. but still hasn't started her own blog!) found some goodies while in her new/old home of oberlin. oh i do miss you. the thrifting seems better there than here though so perhaps we will come to you...! i wore the apron while cooking father's day breakfast and was transported to my childhood and making doughnuts from scratch with our mennonite neighbor. (she always had an apron on...) i didn't make doughnuts unfortunately... d had to settle for pancakes. and the little dress is actually a bag to hang on the line for clothespegs. the detail is amazing. now to get d to put up a clothes line! and the hankies too, so sweet! thanks hon.

oh and molly and family received our kids' cd swap package! so glad it arrived safely - if not timely!!

as for the birthdays...i couldn't leave today without wishing my love, my cowboy, my shadowy man a happy birthday. we love you. happy 43rd!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

post-weekend recoup

i meant to post yesterday. to write of dads' lost. and found. of how much i miss mine. of how great it is to see how my girls look at theirs. and to wish my mom a happy birthday. and to tell her the house next door is still for sale...!

but i didn't. we had d's mom and older brother and his wife over for a bbq. and five of my nine nieces. and it was hot. 100 degrees. so we stayed in the pool. and talked. and laughed. and dumped each other off the inflatable raft. then d's older sister and her husband showed up with ice cream and sprinkles (oooh sprinkles!) and when they all finally cleared out i fell onto the bed with our little bugs and slept...


i love my nieces. ranging in ages from 3 to 21. i love watching the older ones. how they interact in seemingly secret ways. how they play at being camera shy while they glow, somewhat unknowingly, with the self-confidence of youth. how they carefully attend to the little ones. i love watching the younger ones. how they are completely at ease with each other, having known each other all their lives. how they clown for the camera, completely at ease with who they are. how they carefully watch the older ones and try to mimic their antics.

god. i think of these young women and wonder where life will take them. it is so hard growing up as a girl today. (this book has been recommended to me but i am almost afraid to read it. anyone out there that has? any other good books to recommend on the subject?) what joys will come their way? they are talented and beautiful and young and the world is theirs. what trials and tribulations will they face? is there any way that i can protect them? even just a little? i can't really. they will live. do their own (wonderful) thing. fail. succeed. and grow. how blessed i am to be able to watch it all...

i hope everyone had as wonderful a fathers' day as we did. love to all those daddy-o's out there...

Friday, June 16, 2006


for color week
more here

summer's fruit and one from a set of three thrifted pyrex bowls. both remind me of my gramma... and summer in her garden in rural Manitoba.

thanks again to steph and mav for hosting colorweek. i have enjoyed the pace of it all. slowing down and looking a little more carefully. and to see all that others have noticed as well. and thanks to all who stopped by here and commented. i always so enjoy hearing from you.

have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

for color week
more here

ahhhh.... now this is southern california...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


for color week
more here

i found this one kind of tough. to me, los angeles is so much about light...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006



for color week
more here

coffee with cream. chocolate cupcake. good conversation. i miss you jennie!

Monday, June 12, 2006


for color week
more here

we spent a very beautiful, very relaxing day yesterday with a dear friend and her family, down by the beach. we talked, laughed, dreamed, schemed, drank coffee, gathered shells, and breathed slowly...


and thanks for all of your birthday wishes for little k. she had a marvelous day! and seems to love being 2!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I am 2

You are my sunshine. Happy birthday little bug.

Friday, June 09, 2006

ain't she sweet, eh or an aero through my heart...

pulling into the driveway yesterday i noticed a parcel on the front step. expecting it to be for the little bug (whose bday is tomorrow) i quickly pushed it aside hoping the kids wouldn't see it. a parcel immediately incites a riot at our place - they are so much like me. it is soooo hard to not want to unwrap everything immediately. seems crazy to have to wait until your actual birthday!!

well, on closer inspection i noticed the parcel was for me. ooooh! i wasn't' expecting anything, was i? melissa had said something but it shouldn't be a box this big - should it???

a few months back when i first "met" melissa we quickly realized we were both 'ex-pats' from Western Canada. she was due for a trip home so asked if she could bring me anything back. i thought long and hard about all i miss most. universal health care, 15 weeks maternity benefits followed by 35 weeks parental benefits, the CBC ,Old Dutch ketchup-flavored potato chips, oh and "good good whole wheat" Shreddies (mmmmmm). these all seemed too large and difficult to post. so i settled on an Aero bar.

sooo. this box was much to big for just an Aero bar. well, it wasn't just an Aero bar. sweet melissa had added some extra special goodies!



beautiful bits of fabric and trim for me and tins of stickers and a book (quickly a fave by one of our favorite Canadian authors...) for the bugs.

oh - and wait - of course the Aero bar needed chocolate company!


i so miss canada. though am happy - for the most part - where we are - it works right now. (but i can't wait to drive up the coast next month to our annual holiday on galiano island. i think it is my favorite place on earth...) these treats bring back so many childhood memories...

melissa you really are too sweet. and yes, you did send two Aero bars. alas, one was unavailable for the photo shoot! thank you so very much!

and thanks for reading this long post. feeling quite verbose this friday. perhaps due to all the troubles i had posting anything yesterday. (oh blogger, will i be looking to typepad too??) have a great weekend everyone!

looking forward to participating in another color week (or colour week!). thanks mav and steph for reviving this!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Corners of Our Home 18


The wall of our bedroom. With original wallpaper (circa 1955) - found under more recent wallpaper (circa 1976) and an assortment of paintings by D done while living in Long Beach (circa 1989).

Once the bathroom is finished. This room will follow. Not sure what we will do with this wall. The paper is in bad shape and cannot be salvaged. Not sure I would want to anyway - though visitors often oooh and ahhh over it. Perhaps because they don't have to sleep with it every night! We may wallpaper again. Something like this perhaps? Definitely out of our price range... Or this in cream? Doubt I can talk D into it... Solar powered wallpaper?? I think D would prefer something more natural. I know that he has mentioned kirei board... A-ha! This in shower on grasscloth is it!... Maybe. Will let you know what happens...

More corners here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

while the sun shines...

Looking for more crafts to do outside with the girls, I picked up some cyanotype paper to make sunprint pictures.


The big bug really enjoyed it. She tried lots of different objects and I enjoyed watching her discover what worked well and what didn't. I think that they are quite lovely. Maybe we will try it on fabric next...

Monday, June 05, 2006

vive la getty!

(sorry d)

a 19th century day in Paris was the theme for yesterday's Getty Family Festival - which delivered - as they always do.


ballerinas, aerial artists, ragtime and "hot club"-style musicians (many in period costume) filled our day. (why do i so love the accordion? oh it just makes me swoon...)

it was centered around their current exhibition - Degas at the Getty - which includes their beautiful pastels Waiting and Miss Lala at the Fernando Circus and their recent acquisition The Milliners.

we are frequent visitors to the getty. we are connected to the place. david and i met on its tram when we were both working there during the opening year. there are some things i'm not crazy about

but the garden is not one of them. i love it. i love Robert Irwin. and his garden plays beautifully off the Richard Meier architecture of the center.

and the "family room" is always on the stops list for the girls...


(each section is based on a work in the collection - here their great Ensor painting Christ's Entry Into Brussels, David's Hockney's photocollage Pearblossom Highway, and Martin Puryear's That Profile.)

it was a great day. and kept us away from another hot one in the valley. of course it was into the pool as soon as we returned home...

if you live nearby and haven't taken in one of their family festivals - i highly recommend it. (next one is august 5th)

Saturday, June 03, 2006



Friday, June 02, 2006


we attended a fiftieth birthday party for our neighborhood school last night. the school we have chosen for the big bug to begin kindergarten at in the fall. i was overwhelmed by the sense of community there. sitting, surrounded by my neighbors. watching my girls run and laugh and play with their neighbors. it made me feel so good about our tough decision. i know it won't meet all of my expectations - but i really do feel that we are in the right place. and that feels so good.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Corners of Our Home 17

For the birds...

This is a reissue of a late 1950's design. The original California potter (whose name escapes me right now) was hired to make these for a wonderful little mid-century modern shop in Silverlake called TEN10. The design is so great. I failed to get it in this shot, but the piece of earthenware punched out for the door is reused on the cord as a decorative element. It is handthrown, and unglazed, and I love its rough surface and organic quality. The shop-owner tried to convince me that they look best hung in clusters - but I am happy with my one. As for the birds - they seem to like it - darting in and out - but never nest in it. Instead, they nest (and have every year without fail, since we moved into the house) in the corner behind it. So we put seed in the house now and use it as a feeder that the squirrels can't reach...

a little digging - I believe that it was designed by Stan Bitters in the late 50s for the Hans Sumpf Co. of Madera, CA (now closed)...

More corners here.