Monday, September 28, 2009

One of a Kind Babies

I usually make about ten of these sets a year. I counted them last night and I have fifteen. My I've been busy. The stitches are single and double crochet worked in various patterns.
The sets are one of a kind. They include a blanket, panties, booties, a dress (or sun suit, sweater, romper or gown) and a hat (or headband), a bottle and an accessory such as a rattle, diaper bag, pillow or purse (working on some polymer clay pumpkins for Halloween).
The below lavender and white set has a separate white ruffle slip (shown on left) that adds a bit more flounce. These are the only sandals and wide brim hat I have in the sets.
Below is a beautiful popcorn stitch bunting set that is my favorite. It just turned out so perfect and was a joy to make.
The below bag has dividers in it, just like a real diaper bag.
I hand sculpted the cake, flowers and leaves from air dry polymer clay.
A polymer clay book that I may or may not paint a "cover" on.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bangles, Pins & Pendants, Oh My.

Worked on some odds and ends again. Finished the below pendant and am happy with the cut-outs, texturing and layering.
I was inspired by the Bakelite I saw in California and wanted to try my hand at sculpting a faux piece. Will give it a quick polish on the buffing wheel and glue the pinback on.
A pretty agate-like faux stone. I think it will be beautiful after it is polished and strung.
I wanted an organic "coral-like" wreath for the upcoming holidays. This is a good base. Will add some crystals, fresh water pearls and a pinback.
I have been wanting to make some big bulky bangles and finally have them out of my system. Used up the leftovers from the cane I used for the buttons.
Below is the largest of the lot and my favorite.
What I like the best about making jewelry from polymer clay is that you can customize it to accessorize anything.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Halloween Tablescape

Yeah, I know the photos are a bit dark. I hate that. I go to other tablescaping sites and their photography is perfect.  Ugh.

See the "artificial" dust on the base of the candelabra?   That cost extra.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tablescapes and a Basil Cocktail

These tablescapes are from Vanderbilt & Conmpany in St. Helena, Ca. What a store! If you love tablescaping, this is one store not to be missed. The above tablecloth was one of my favorites. Could be dressed up or down. Just a true classic.
French and Italian linens, pottery, Telavera, dinnerware and accessories from all over the world.
Just a color feast for the eyes.
The layering of colors and textures was exquisite.
My all time favorite photos of dinnerware layering and table dressing (for inspiration) is Horchow catalog and online and Neiman Marcus online.
I was so inspired by these scapes, as soon as I got home, I started on my tablescape for Halloween.
Vanderbilt's was such a joy to wander through and they were so nice. OK, finished with tablescaping and on to one creative drink recipe from the trip. After a very inspiring, relaxing day, had dinner at Press and ordered a Basil Beauty (highly recommended by a waitress at The Marketplace). In one word, "mmmmmmmmmmm". So smooth and refreshing. I grow basil in my kitchen AeroGarden and use it daily. So the thought of experiencing this yummy cocktail was too good to pass up.
As Embury Cocktails put it, "...the fresca appeal of the basil and lime and the and tangy, complex 209 Gin with its dynamic bergamont and cardamon notes made the Beauty the perfect means of rejuvenating a grape-weary spirit, and just in time to enjoy the late afternoon sun over the hills."
BASIL BEAUTY (from Embury Cocktails) 5-7 fresh basil leaves
1 medium lime
1/2 oz of simple syrup (recipe below)
3 oz of No.209 Gin
Place the basil leaves in a mixing glass with a little lime juice and muddle 5-7 times. Add ice, 3 oz of No.209 Gin, simple syrup and the remaining lime juice to the mixing glass. Shake all the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass and top with one fresh basil leaf. Simple Syrup
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil; simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. The syrup can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 1 month. Go, enjoy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Relaxing in the Treetops

The infinity pool and hot tub overlooked the mountains and vineyards. Can't get any better than this (have I said that enough?). Heaven, absolute heaven. I do love the colors and textures in rocks, sticks and leaves. The below photo will be the base for a simple necklace of river rocks and fall leaves.
Below was a green lush vineyard and not far from there was .......
the below vineyard. So interesting how extremely opposite they were.
Beautiful white billowy clouds nestled in the base of the mountains where rusted wire fencing surrounded a beautiful red and white barn.
A mural painted on the side of a downtown building. So cool.
Below was another mural on a building down a side street. The colors were intense.
The below two murals were in downtown Napa.
The colors were a bit faded, but nonetheless beautiful.
Another weird, crooked bridge photo that will end up as a graphic in an abstract painting at some point.
And finally, a streetcar named......
It was a leisurely lunch by the water in San Fransisco before heading to the airport. Just loved the yellow ochre with the white and black set against the baby blue sky and water. Tomorrow I will post a couple of tablescapes and recipes from the trip.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lunch at Don Giovani's

A few more pictures from the Napa Valley area. Stopped at Don Giovani's for lunch. What great whimsical sculptures! The below sculpture was a unique sculpture/fountain. As the water poured into his mouth from the bottle, his mouth rotated from the force of the water, spilling water everywhere; creating a beautiful sound.
Lunch was phenomenal. I had never tasted a huckleberry. Didn't even know they existed. But if you ever get a chance to taste huckleberry ice cream, don't pass it up.
I had to take a picture of the parking lot only because there was a vineyard next to it. How often do you get to see that? The restaurant also grew their own tomatoes, herbs and corn right next to the vine covered outside patio. Wow, was it beautiful.
The below photo turned out too dark to see the purple wisteria blossoms. There were only a few left, but their fragrance still filled the air.
It was great to share time, see and experience new things, appreciate and be grateful for the blessings I have. What a great trip!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Renewed and Inspired

I named this retreat "OMG" because I was constantly saying "Oh my God." Everywhere I looked, it took my breath away. Serene, majestic, unbelievable and the smell of flowers and lavender everywhere were fantastic.
Went to a small french bakery for breakfast one morning and this quaint ice cream bike was parked out in front.
I have never been in Europe, but I think you could stand in Tuscany and say it reminds you of Napa Valley.
Just unbelievably beautiful.
A sweet little bike with a wicker basket was parked in front of some red doors leading to an apartment located over some store fronts.

There were two cement lions on the stairway leading to this courtyard outside the Italian restaurant I had dinner at.
The entrance to the courtyard. Pots of rosemary and thyme interspersed between the lush ivy gracing the red brick garden walls.
Dusk. The sun getting ready to settle in for the night. Watched two deer grazing not ten feet away. I did not have enough good light and could not get a picture of them. They were magnificent (honest).
Just more beautiful scenery. I am so inspired to paint, I can hardly contain myself. My weekend schedule is filled, so first thing Monday, I am hoping to start. Talk about feeling renewed, re-energized and inspired. I even kept a journal which I have never done. I didn't want to forget a moment. I did take tons of pictures, but these are a nice sampling I hope you have enjoyed.