Thursday, December 26, 2013

Crayon Ornaments

Thanks to my friend Vicky, I found a fun arts and crafts project.
You put bits of crayons into clear glass ornaments and melt the pieces and swirl them around.

Monday, December 16, 2013

More Christmas Decorations

Like I said, this year I got into it more than usual.
Here's my front hall -
The sweater and happy Santa were presents from Mona and Bill.

The quilt cabinet was made in New Braunfels - he has some beautiful cases.

Coincidentally, the red and green quilt in the case came from a vintage store in New Braunfels.  I made some repairs and it's very useable

My kitchen table has a holiday runner, Santa plate, a compote of wood fruit and pine cones, and a green depression glass sugar and creamer.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

More Christmas Decorations

Some of my friends report being apathetic about Christmas this year.  For unknown reasons, I've been happy this December and have been decorating up a storm.  Not as much as some of my friends, granted, but quite a bit for me.
I did a three hour painting party/class last week and did this fun Andy WahrHoliday Tree in acrylics.  It was fun to do and fun to look at.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming!  The tree is up.  The wreath and stockings are hung.

The nativity set from Spain is in full view, 
by the TV.

The quilt that I won in a raffle many years ago is on the living room wall.  It is beautifully hand-quilted.

Pictures of my daughter with Santa and my grandson with Santa are displayed, along with a Scrabble greeting.

And on the coffee table,  eight handmade snowmen ornaments await the quilting bee
Christmas party.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rug in Brown and Red

My Great-Niece Elizabeth saw the other rug that I was knitting and liked it.  So I offered to make her one.  Two months later, I'm almost done.  Her sister will be staying with me at Thanksgiving, so I plan to finish it up and send it back to north Texas then.
Here I am at Bee meeting, showing it off:

We meet once a month, and Show and Tell is usually the best part of our meetings.   Some of us have know each other for 25 years or so.  (Actually, Bonnie and I met 40 years ago.)

So good to have long-lasting friendships!

And here, I'm working on the border. It goes a lot faster than the center. Then to sew it on.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yellow Flowers

Summer is over.  I guess this is Autumn.  The heat hasn't been turned on yet, but I've only run the AC a few times lately.  There's been blessed rain.

I love yellow flowers.  My bouquet at my first wedding was of yellow roses and they remain my favorite.  I also like sunflowers, coreopsis, and all kinds of multi-petalled   wildflowers.

These pictures were taken in my neighborhood in October.

Then I painted a couple of pictures in my art class.
Love those yellow flowers.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Photography Class

Last Saturday, I took a class with a local nature photographer, Steven Schwartzman.  I follow his blog: he has a beautiful picture every day.  I've learned quite a bit about native Texas plants and insects through his pictures and descriptions.  It's a great resource.

I signed up some time ago for a UT class held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Unfortunately, it was held three days after my eye surgery (the cataract in my left eye was removed).  So my vision was not at its best.

Nonetheless, I learned a little more about the 35mm camera I bought last year and thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Here's my best picture from Saturday.  Too bad I don't know what the plant is.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pears with Pitcher

My latest oil painting is of a pitcher with pears on a table top.

The teacher's painting was darker; it had more of an old-world vibe.  But I prefer a lighter look.

I'm scheduled for cataract surgery in a couple of weeks.  I'm wondering how this will change how I see paintings and colors.  I know that in dim light purples look like brown  Good grief!  I hope this pitcher isn't purple!

Update:  The cut pear looked like an apple and it had a certain Escher-like quality, so I made some changes.  I also added a branch of pear leaves to fill in the table space.  I still have issues with the "pearness" of the cut fruit.  There may be more changes...... 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jigsaw Puzzle

Sometimes when it's too hot to move, I do a jigsaw puzzle at my kitchen table.  This is one that Alice gave me; it was in her pile of things destined for her next garage sale.

It has several "shaped" pieces.  I worked on those first, then the edges.  The hardest part was the last 50 or so - all solid red (maybe a LITTLE variation), with two "outies" and tow "innies".
It's a good exercise in color awareness, if nothing else.

It's now apart and waiting to go back to Alice's stack of stuff.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Knitted Rug

At Emilie's Quilt House, there is a rug in the Dutch Doll room that looks like an old fashioned rug but is, in fact, knitted from fabric strips.  The owner, Kay, recently finished her move from Austin and is now faced with organizing all of  her "stuff", including many family things.  The pattern for this rug was unearthed - scrawled on hotel stationary from Saratoga Florida.  Dated July 26 (my birthday).

Since I had my "chunk box" of scraps with me on my last visit to Emilie's, I decided to try out the pattern.  It's fun, but hard on the hands.

The pattern didn't give a needle size to work with, but the largest Kay had were 14s and they seem to work well.  

Love the note in the instructions that say "no orange"!  I, of course, ignored that part.

Here's the start, done at Emilies.

Here's a little farther along, durnng Show and Tell at our monthly Bee meeting.

Here's the finished rug:  It's nice nd soft and squishy to stand on.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Purple flowering sage

My former neighbor just sent me a picture of the purple sage bushes (cenizo?) that I planted around the utility meters about ten years ago.  I bought one gallon plants, I think from the nursery in New Braunfels.  The Texas Native Plant database   ( )  says that they grow to eight feet tall, but Jacki says that these are about 15 feet high and the prettiest in the neighborhood. 

It was so kind of her to send me pictures.  Maybe I can get down that way and see them while they're still in bloom.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunflowers in the back yard

A bit of serendipity from my birdfeeders - I have several clumps of sunflowers growing in my back yard.  They are very tall, higher than the eaves of the house and garage.

The neighborhood kitty likes to hide at their base

Hummingbirds and bees have been seen flitting about in them.. 

It's a bit more difficult to go out into the yard because of where they came up, but I guess you have to "suffer for your art".   ha

This picture was taken in May, before the clump filled out.  Now there are many more stalks and a profusion of blooms.  I've trimmed a few so that I can get the the main part of the yard.

Next year, I definitely need to plant some of these behind my fence, in what I call my "back forty (feet)".

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Part-time Kitty

My neighbor Jennifer has four cats.  They roam the neighborhood, which is ok with me.  One likes to spend some time on my porch.

Sometimes he/she hides at the base of the sunflower patch, watching the bird feeder

Doesn't seem to want to be petted.

Doesn't need to be fed, watered, or taken to the vet.

Definitely my kind of cat!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Quilt for Aaliyah

This is Aaliyah.  She is the great niece of my niece, Anna, who is so delighted to become a great aunt.
I enjoy being an aunt, too  So I found a quilt top in the closet and finished it up for her.  This is an oldfashioned sampler quilt..

Photo: 󾬗Aaliyah Dee Najar, PRECIOUS BABY GIRL..... Tia Anna 󾬔's her SO MUCH!! 󾬐󾠣

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

Sunflowers from the 10 foot tall volunteer bushes in the back yard.
Basket from Carmen - to be given away if I decide not to keep it.
Flag table mat from Rita (reversible; the other side has a birthday greeting)
Bottles from who-knows-where.

Happy Fourth of July.

A fun centerpiece makes me smile.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Graduation quilt

My nephew's oldest daughter, Brionna, graduated from high school this month.  She had gone to 13 different schools!  That's got to be hard.  But she kept at it.  Her intent is to join the Air Force, but I'm hoping she'll try college first.   She wants to go into law enforcement, like her dad.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Can't make just one

Here's another Potato Chip Bag.  This time I used two upholstery samples, given to me by my painting teacher, Elaine.
Instead of batting, I used embroidery stabilizer - I figured the bag would never be washed.
The construction happened during my trip to The Retreat House in Rockport.  The flap needed a little weight, so I used one of the buttons from the jar on the mantle.
Note to self:  bring more buttons to replenish the jar on your next trip.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Carrot Blooms

The parsley grew so big in my garden this year that I didn't notice a couple of carrots still in the ground. After I pulled and composted the remaining parsley, I found these carrots underneath.  Awesome!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Alfie with an orange aura

I'm having lots of fun trying to capture Alfie's true spirit.

Today's painting shows something of his orange aura.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clear curb

Sometimes it takes so little to make me happy.

My neighbor's daughter moved out and her CUV is no longer blocking my curb.  Since my other neighbor also parks on the street, my visitors had to parallel park (if there was even room).

I try hard to remember that I'm in more of an urban environment instead of suburban, but it's hard sometimes.

And of course, last Monday someone parked a Suburban right in front of my house and it hasn't moved in three days.  Is this a test?