San Francisco and other news

I’m doing all those other things in my life since returning from SF. Laundry, rearranging random piles, studio cleaning, correspondence, reading books, listening to podcasts, gardening a tiny bit between too much rain… but mostly I’ve been on the computer, listing dolls into my shop on Etsy. What a job! I am getting close to finishing: I still have the kitties and foxes but everything else is done. I am taking a doll making (finishing?) break until the end of August- now, let me see if I can stick to that!

Here is my SF booth-

This is what set-up looks like, with my husband helper ♥

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And all set up-

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I tried to upload my video but my blogging software didn’t like it. You can see it on Instagram here.

Thank you everyone who came by and said hi- it was the best!

We did other things in California too. We went to Santa Cruz and stayed a few days with my SIL. We went to the Monterey Aquarium which is incredibly beautiful but very crowded which can make me jumpy.

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An exhibit about tentacled beasts- very cool!

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8-18-sf - 3We ate deep-fried artichoke hearts from a food truck in Castroville, the “Artichoke Center of the World”! (Their PR not mine!) We watched surfers falling down. We enjoyed cool dry air. We saw some REALLY BIG trees. There is no way I know how to capture the size in a photo.

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So many things on my to-do list that are calling my name. One thing is that I have to send my computer to the shop soon and it’ll be away for a week or so. That might effect who knows what but fair warning. Hope everyone is having a good summer!

 

Balloon Man

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This toile is designed to look old and kind of faded (I believe?) and I love how it makes my fellow look older and as if he has already lived an interesting life.

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Here is a close-up of his hair-

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Excellent hot air balloon-

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Yesterday we had snow and sleet, plus Patriots’ Day activities which included a road race, a reenactment of one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War, and a parade through town. Brrr. It is very strange to be working with the sound of muskets in the background! Today is Patriots’ Day and it is pouring down rain for the Boston Marathon. We have been in our house for 30 years now and this is the first Patriots’ Day that I can remember where there aren’t any daffodils blooming in front of my house yet. I saw a chart that showed we are 15 to 20 days late for Spring this year.

August Fish

I have been busy working on some other projects, namely making more room in my scraps drawer… I mean, making a quilt. But, I will be back to the dolls in a minute or so, starting with some August fish.

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I am happy to admit that the garden has been a big distraction this year. We’ve had perfect weather, rain and sun. So I will leave a few photos here-

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LA Flowers

I love going to a new place with a completely different ecosystem. At home, I am used to walking around and knowing most of the plants. When I go somewhere with a completely different climate, it is all an awesome mystery. I can’t get over the wonder of it all!

First, some flowers from my beach walk in Ventura.

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I know these ones- California Poppies.

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After leaving snowy Boston, all the flowers were bliss.

We left Ventura and drove to the Joshua Tree National Park. I’m so glad we went. The high desert is a beautiful place when winter rains have caused so many flowers to bloom. I hope I can visit again, maybe in another season.

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These are just a few of the many, many flowers we saw blooming there.

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Lots of plants growing out of rock crevices-

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Then LA. This particular flower was at the Getty Center-

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And these were at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. That was my favorite (non-fabric store) place we visited in LA.

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On our last day, we spent the afternoon walking around Venice Beach and the canals there. Oh my, this house is so beautiful-

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And the garden with all the colors of green- it took my breath away.

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That’s all the tropical flowers- don’t want to overwhelm the blog! We are getting some spring here in Boston so I will have lots of my own flowers to enjoy soon.

 

and some more Mimi news

I haven’t been spending much time here because I haven’t finished anything! That is very frustrating but I figured I’d check in anyway. I have been busy and distracted. This is where I am with the girls-

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There are maybe 5 more that are stuffed and put together but no faces or hair yet. And then a bunch more, sewed but not assembled. All the girls are currently patiently waiting because I am working on ornament prototypes for West Elm Holiday 2016 (yes already!). Hopefully I will be back to the girls soon.

So, speaking of ornaments, my 2015 line for West Elm is now available. These final designs ended up pretty far from my original designs but that’s the way it works with licensing. There is a racoon couple and a fox couple. It is always a fascinating process.

The other things that have kept me busy or have proved to be distracting? We got a new car to replace our 1997 Honda Civic, probably about time. We are now a Prius family. I went down to New York for Columbus Day weekend and saw Ronnie Burkett’s amazing puppets. Also went to some museums. I think my next post will be things I took photos of at the Met. Work is being done on the house, some of which is to repair damage from last winter. Hopefully it will all be done before winter comes again! It is tough to concentrate on my work with the noise and interruptions. And, the chiropractor. Yeah, my back is messed up again. So, probably too much information. On the inspiring side of life, we’ve been watching the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which are great fun and fantastic costumes. I’ve listened to all the audio versions of the books and the shows are obviously not the same but lots of fun anyway. (well, yes, I think the books are better- am I a snob?!)

Fall is in full swing and the weather and fall colors have been great. I love Autumn.

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Puerto Rico Flowers

Being in Puerto Rico was like spending a week in a greenhouse up here in New England- so many flowers! We spent one afternoon at a botanical garden in San Juan where there was an orchid show.

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After we spent some time admiring the specimens in their pots, it was fun to see some in other places is the garden, more of their natural habitat.

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After we left the beach front, we spent several nights in the mountains near the rain forest. The owners of the guest house were avid gardeners and there was some lovely specimens to see!

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Passion flowers, above and below-

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And this is a ginger with a little tree frog, coqui, peeking out.

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I am back to work and will have a few things to show soon. Next weekend I will be down in Philadelphia to attend the Sweet Paul/Makerie- this year I will be enjoying classes instead of teaching. I am very excited!

dog 5- a beret!

6:14:curlydog 6I love this curly fabric (formerly known as natural color boucle sweater). It is so perfectly doggy.

6:14:curlydog 26:14:curlydog 1Add to that, my old fair isle sweater that I was very sad to have to relegate to the recycle pile.

6:14:curlydog 36:14:curlydog 4And a soft cashmere scarf and beret. This doggie is a winner!

6:14:curlydog 5And the garden is pretty amazing these days too!

a terrible week in Boston

Oh man, what a week. After teaching last week-end, I had plans to get things finished up this week. That hasn’t happened.

We are having Spring and here is the proof- my always blooming on Patriots’ Day daffodils.

4:19:springOnce the news of the bombing in Boston was everywhere, I found it almost impossible to pry myself away from the computer. Finally by Tuesday evening I was able to settle down enough to spend some time in the studio. But all week has been about obsessively checking Twitter and all the news streams. Today has been very strange. The town where I live is not “locked down”, but most of the surrounding towns are. The streets, the sidewalks and the sky are all eerily quiet unless a really loud helicopter flies overhead. Public transportation is cancelled so no bus noise on Mass Ave. And so so much crazy news and no real news at all. I tore myself away from the computer at midday and went out to the garden and turned the compost pile- phew! It was a relief to be out in the sun and doing something physical.

So, here is the studio today.

4:19:wipYou know I got about 90% done on 3 lumberjacks (last post) and then I got distracted by the idea of making more of this model of lumberjack. I’d cut out and dyed fabric for 3 more “Big Men” tattooed lumberjacks last fall, but never cut out the rest of their necessary pieces. I did that. And sewed them up and stuffed them. And then thought I’d like to make the thinner guy as a tattooed lumberjack. I’ve got 5 mostly cut out now, 2 sewed, 1 stuffed. And one more thing- I want to cut out some big men lumberjacks, no tattoos. Yes, I have been distracted.

4:19:messPiles and piles of wool, stuffing, pattern pieces, misc. other fabric piled up over every surface. The studio is not exactly in the state that would lead my brain to calm relaxation. Oh well, that really isn’t my way.

In other news, I am going to be off for a little vacation, leaving mid next week and gone for a week. I’ll be deactivating most of my Etsy shop on Tuesday but thankfully I can still sell my patterns because Etsy has just rolled out instant downloads for pdf patterns- Hurray! If I get any of the fellows finished, I’ll post them before I leave. Otherwise it might be quiet around here for a while.

Fingers crossed that everything will be feeling back to normal soon.

I’m back!

Happy Halloween everyone! Maybe you didn’t even notice but my blog was offline since Saturday. My husband tells me it got hacked, but honestly, I’m not sure what that means though I am sure it’s bad. He had to do all kinds of computer voodoo to clean it up so he spent even more time updating things around here. Thanks Honey! How do you like the new look? There are still a few things that need to be fixed and some things I need to figure out but I wanted to get back online as soon as possible.

We survived Hurricane Sandy with minimal damage. We lost some roof shingles and got water in the attic. It is fixed now. The power was out for just long enough that it felt like a fun adventure. We were very lucky. A lot of my neighbors are still without power and I’m sure the adventure is getting very old. And the news from the New York area is both very distressing and I can’t tear myself away from it.

I have managed to pull myself away from the news reports long enough to finish one thing- a professorial fox, dressed for Autumn.

Let me know if you notice any blog problems that I might want to know about. I know the early posts (2004 and 2005) are a mess and will hopefully be back at some point. Thanks!