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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yesterday's art journal pages.
I was inspired to go out and walk for 30 minutes yesterday, just before the temperature fell more than 30 degrees....I came in with lots of energy and went downstairs to clean a bit in my studio....before I knew it, all cleaning and organizing had come to a halt and these pages emerged!

These pages face each other....I call them, "Behind the Veil". These were created using lace, fabric, wrapping paper and images from newspapers and magazines. When I find an image which catches my eye, I clip it and toss it into one of the flat open boxes I use to keep "treasures" in! I had the medieval "princess" and the green vase for some time...then they came together on these pages.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I've been tagged by Gemma to post 5 random things about myself.
Here goes:

1. I have been a rock hound and now have an interest in cairns. These photos are from the Yorkshire dales and Scotland.
2. I had homemade, old-fashioned oatmeal (not the instant "gruely" kind) for breakfast. Yummmm, and it keeps me from being hungry for hours!
3. I need to exercise, walking and yoga are my favorites, but I feel that winter is too chilly to be outside...(I need encouragement here!) Most of my creative activities are very sedentary (as is blogging!!!!)...I need to keep moving!
4. I am trying to eat less overall and especially less "white" foods, milk, bread, and especially sugar. (It is hard to find a commercial marinara sauce which doesn't have sugar, but I'm reading those labels now!)
5. I would love to just escape into a good novel about England or Scotland! One of my favorite was "Keys to the Kingdom" by A.J. Cronin about a young Scottish boy who becomes a priest and goes into the missionary field in China.[ My all-time favorite movie star, Gregory Peck, played this role and was nominated for an Academy award!] Then of course, I could read one of the romantic time-traveling novels about this area....

That's five....but if you are intersted in cairns and "stacks of rocks" which have a sculptural quality check this.

I am supposed to tag 5 and give links to them...but just consider yourself tagged if you would like to do this!!!

A night in Scotland?
....maybe, we did have a Failte (welcome), the presentation of the Haggis, a Selkirk Grace before the meal...(leek soup with a prune, roast beef and vegetables, and gingerbread with lemon curd for dessert.)

No, this is the parish hall of our local Episcopal church and a Burns' Night celebration last night.

This young man, Brian, is the son of my friend Cheryl. He is an electrical engineer and plays the bagpipes! It was because of him and his mom's prodding, that we decided to attend this birthday party for Robert Burns. It was held in the same room where quilts by my friend Tracie and my quilts are hanging!
I love seeing almost 200 people in the space warmed by our artwork!!!!!
Mr. Pear was having a great time too and I thank him for all these photos....he even took videos of the I may get that posted too....

The evening ended with pipers and people singing Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns...several verses!

(Oh yes, I did taste the Haggis...not a bite was sufficient!)

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Grandma's page today!

Here is "our baby boy" at 2 months received today from his mom!
We think he looks humorously debonair here!
Here he has finally found his he can quiet himself! His mom is so happy!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photos taken while sight-seeing in the lovely city by the bay, San Francisco!

Little Italy and then Lombard Street....we hiked up it, and
down it too! We enjoyed a late lunch and tiramisu in a small cafe here!
The late afternoon sun hitting the buildings! (I love the blue shadows and soft buttery yellow structures!)
Having fun with Mary!

Finally crossing the beautiful Golden Gate bridge (looking good at 70!) to find our lodge in Tiburon.

Sunday was a partly couldy day in Tiburon, CA. The surprise 90th birthday party for Mr. Pear's Aunt Hanni was held in a restaurant with a view of Angel Island and the San Francisco skyline. Here we are before the event.....

(note the green tissue package I am holding, it will be in several of these photos!)
At the party, to celebrate her life, were several photos including this one of a lovely young woman on her wedding day!!!!!

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After feasting on delicious Mexican cuisine, enjoying a slide show, and toasts and tributes, we moved the party to a nearby home.
Here is Hanni reacting after opening the green tissue package....I think she really liked the socks which I knitted for her!!! Our son and his lovely bride looked on from another corner of the sofa!
It was truly a fantastic day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Visiting a 70 year-old and a surprise b'day for a 90 year- old!

This bridge (photo from is 70 years old now. Mr. Pear and I will see it for the first time this weekend. We are going to a surprise birthday party for his 90 year-old aunt. The party is in Tiburon, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco.

I am very happy that we will also be seeing my son and his new bride!!!! We haven't seen them since the wedding in August!

My daughter's family is not able to come so far with the new baby...we will miss them.
[I can't really believe that I am leaving on a jet plane in the I'd better get that suitcase down and start packing!!!LOL! I did finish the hand-knit socks for the aunt!]

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A forecast of SNOW!

This charming snowman and snowflake quilt is from some designers who call themselves, "Joined at the Hip". I probably won't make this one....I still haven't finished a "Snowbound" quilt I started in an earlier millenium....LOL!!!!

Here, for your viewing pleasure is a snowflake designed by "moi" can make one too!

My favorite handknitted wool socks were needing help! (I LOVE these socks on cold winter days!)

So yesterday, I looked for something to make new soles for them!
(I had already darned them once, and more holes were appearing.) I wanted ultrasuede....but could only find I went ahead with that! It was easy to cut out 2 soles and whipstitch them on the bottom of the precious socks! Here they are, scanned with the new soles....I am wearing them as I type.
Three years ago, I made the socks, then from the leftover sock yarn, I made these fingerless gloves! I love these too....they hide veins and age spots, and still allow free use of the fingers! (I bet I could even wear them while knitting!)
These are the socks I am knitting on this week! They are for an aunt of Mr. Pear who will be 90 on Sunday!!!! I have a dental appointment and will bring them along for any time in the waiting room. Knitting as fast as I can here....and wishing I had more time to visit and read blogs...

I have been working on my new art journal more pages here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Three current art journal pages related to (in my mind!) diet and health, creature comforts , finding direction, JOY.
I love peppermint tea, and I love peppermint stripes! We have a black cat named Shadow. [ I do all these collages with commercial images from magazines and ads, combined with water color "things" I do and interesting papers or scraps of fabric. I don't like my collages to become too thick and dense...I often tie in some extra the tea bag label here....on the spiral binding.]
This one has the healthy pink grapefruit, the cheerful robin, oriental fabric print, white daffodils, a lotus, a mannequin torso, a gateway and what I really love, A CHAIR!!!!!
the quote says: "Joy is being willing for things to be as they are." ---Charlotte Joko Beck from "Nothing Special".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Following my bliss again.....My creative focus for the New Year will be to make more art quilts!!!

These paper quilts made from recycled magazine pages, acrylic paint and tissue paper collage were so much fun that I plan to continue!
(Quilts now on exhibit at a local church parish hall.)

My Singer 301, vintage model machine is set up in its sewing table with a free motion and a walking foot. We are ready to start doing more collage quilting!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Midweek update:

We were out to get some exercise and enjoy the balmy weather...

This nursery rhyme illustration is a graphic picture of our hike down the back side of Mt. Seqouyah on Sunday (Mr. Pear=Jack).....except I didn't "come tumbling after".

Mr. Pear had a head over heels landing from an attempt to walk across a fallen tree trunk which was blocking the trail. It was scary to see him ...almost slow motion and I was not close enough to break his fall.... Fortunately, after carefully accessing the situation, he was able to walk out of the woods on his own (with me for morale). He has since had an MRI and which showed no serious injury. He is sore and has a stiff neck but is now back at work ( so I can get back to this blog!!)and on Rxs for a few days. I am truly thankful that I have him, in good shape. This shows me how quickly things could change!


Last night was the artist's reception for my friend, Paula Mariedaughter. Over 50 of Paula's quilts are on exhibit at our Art Center of the Ozarks. Paula taught classes and wrote the newsletter for my quilt shop during most of the years we were in business! She is a good friend and a very talented artist.

It was good to see so many quilters from this area attending her opening!
Now to get away from the computer and set up that sewing machine!
In the meantime here is fun quiz for art lovers....
You Are Best Described By...
Farbstudie What Famous Work of Art Are You?
QuadrateBy Wassily Kandinsky

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Calling all dog lovers....

Just kidding.....this is the sweater I just finished knitting and sent to the baby grandson. I was lucky to find such cute buttons!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

We are winding up our Christmas with a party tonight.
This is 12th Night and it falls on a Saturday!
Here is the background of the celebration.....from Wikipedia:
Some believe Twelfth Night (or the following day Epiphany) is when all Christmas decorations should be removed so as not to bring bad luck upon the home. In colonial America, a Christmas wreath was always left up on the front door of each home, and when taken down at the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas, any edible portions would be consumed with the other foods of the feast. The same held true in the 1800s - 1900s with fruits adorning Christmas trees. Fresh fruits were hard to come by, and were therefore considered fine and proper gifts and decorations for the tree, wreaths, and home. Again, the tree would be taken down on Twelfth night, and such fruits, along with nuts and other local produce used, would then be consumed.

To counteract the overly rich foods we have consumed for the holiday, we are serving soup.


1 med. onion, thinly sliced

1 box fresh mushrooms (4 to 5 oz.), thickly sliced

3 tbsp. butter

1/4 c. flour

4 c. chicken broth (Swanson's)

1/2 c. cooked wild rice

1 c. Half & Half cream

1/4 c. dry sherry

Chopped parsley

3 stalks celery, thickly sliced
2 carrots, shredded

Saute mushrooms and onion in butter. Add flour, blend and cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, stir until smooth. Cook 10 minutes. Add wild rice, vegetables, cream and sherry. Heat through. Do NOT boil. Garnish with parsley.
Serves 6 to 8. May be doubled easily.

The other soup is White Chicken Chili
(As cooked by Karen Celia Fox)

16 oz or so of canned white beans

2 large onions, chopped
4 T. olive oil, 4T. butter

1/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 tsp Tabasco
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin (I usually put in more)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (I put in more)
two 4-oz cans whole mild green chilies, drained and chopped
5 boneless, skinless chiken breasts (about 2 pounds)
some extra butter and oil to cook them in1
1/2 c grated Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack!
1/2 c sour cream
1. Heat a large skillet (I like cast-iron) over moderately high heat and put in some butter and oil. Meanwhile coat your chicken with salt and pepper and maybe some chili powder. Throw them in the skillet and resist the urge to turn them over. Leave them for five minutes, or until nicely browned, then flip them. Leave it there until browned and then flip them every few minutes until they are done (which you can tell by poking a knife into the thickest part and seeing if it's white instead of pink).
2. Remove the chicken from the pan. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.
3. While waiting for chicken to cool, cook the onion in the same pan with 2 Tbs of butter until softened.
4. Add flour and maybe a little more butter to the sauted onion . Stir in the onion and gradually add the broth , whisking the whole time. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened. (It will be nicely and obviously thick.) Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beans, chilies, chicken and cheese, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add half and half and heat through. Add sour cream to individual bowls. May be served immediately -- though like all chilis this tastes awesome the next day.
5. Serve with the usual chili garnishes--cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc.

We will have our version of a "king's cake" with a bean baked in it...whoever gets the bean has to have the party next year!

We will exchange or re-gift some White Elephant gifts for a bit of fun! (In many parts of the world, Christmas may be over, but Carnival season begins tonight and lasts until Mardi Gras...when Lent begins!) Party on!!!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Starting the new year with a new "cut and paste" art journal....

I was able to get a memory book in a nice red cover, and have pasted the front torn from a birthday card I received ....I still want to add some gold glitter glue around the edges. I usually like to keep the cover rather simple compared to the pages inside!

My first page has a doorway and Janus (with 2 faces....I am wondering if that means twice a much sinus headache?????) The eye to see into the future (with new glasses I am ordering today) and the eggs to hatch new ideas! MORE.

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