Monday, December 31, 2012

A Warm and Cozy Send Off for 2012

Are you out there in Time Square this year watching the glowing ball drop?  Are you going to ring in the new year with a million friends at a big party?

If you are, enjoy a bit of the wild rumpus for me too.  I'm here in my warm and tiny home with my warm and tiny kids celebrating in a much more quiet fashion.

It's nice to look back on 2012 and think of all the things that happened.  So many incredible moments.  

As much as I love excitement, my favorite times over the last year have been spent with my family, often at the dinner table.  We often like to ask each other to share the best and worst part of our day.

The worst part of this year was the pace at which it flew by.  I guess I'm starting to sound like an old person here, but it's true that time passes too quickly for my taste.  My little small kids are already not so small.  The 7 yr old is starting to wonder how much longer it will take to become taller than me.  I'm thinking, not that long.

The best part of 2012 for me was the family vacation to Japan.  Sometimes it's not easy for me to find a clear winning part of the year, but this year it was pretty easy to pick.

Here's hoping that your New Year's Eve is cozy and that 2013 brings you peace.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


When we have more than a handful of guests over for dinner, it's handy to have some place cards to let folks know where their spot at the table is.

This year for Christmas, our 7 yr old son cut out snowflakes and I wrote names of the guests on there in my funky writing.  People liked it, and we have fun making them.

Maybe next year we'll up our game and make them in the shape of Star Wars figures.   That would be too cool for skool.

We are still eating left-overs and enjoying playing with our new toys.  My favorite Christmas gift is a new drop spindle that is super light, allowing me to make lace weight yarn.  It was a real surprise to receive it since it's almost impossible to get.  My DH was pretty clever this year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Christmas this year was good and full of family and friends, as it should be.  

Our little one was a bit under the weather, but he has come back full force with enough energy to play with all the toys he got and also with those that came for his brother.  

He was up coughing on Christmas Eve, and was very worried that because his cold was keeping him awake, that Santa would not come to our house.

I assured him that Santa is very VERY fast, and that there was no way our house would be skipped by the jolly old elf.  He of course did come and visit us and the happy smiles and shouts of, "I always wanted that!" were music to our ears.

I'm already starting to think about 2013, and what it will hold for our family.  I hope that it will allow for a bit of creative time for me in between all regular life things.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Calm 2012

Just before Christmas comes, when all the wrapping is done, all the Christmas quilts have their binding already sewn on, and all the food is in the frig just waiting to be put in the oven..... you can capture a glimpse of the Christmas Calm.

In my house....we are not quite there yet.

Some years, our Christmas Calm last for about 30 seconds.  Other years it might be as long as 24 hrs.  

I've got a little (ahem) wrapping still to do, and a teenie bit of shopping still pending.

I'm here hoping that my own Christmas Calm is longer than 30 seconds, and that yours is at least more than a whole day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holidays at Home

Some travel for the holidays, and some stay at home.

As much as we miss the family that doesn't live in town, we opt to stay right here, curled up in our own tiny house. 

I wouldn't say that we are totally prepared for the holiday yet, but we're getting there. 

I know some of you are still wondering if I'll ever finish hand quilting the baby quilt.  I am unfortunately still wondering the same thing. 

Other activities have jumped in the way of my creative time lately, but I won't see the baby girl until after Christmas.  I'm clinging to a small glimmer of hope that I'll have some time next week to put the final touches on it.

If you're busy addressing Christmas cards, like I am, you're not alone in the world.

In 2005 we Americans sent 1.9 billion Christmas cards.  Not sure how many will be sent this year, but let's just say that I'm doing my part.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guess What I've Been Up To Lately

Does the photo give you a clue of what I've been up to for fun lately? 

Some of you may be thinking - is she going to audition for Stomp?  

Perhaps you're wondering if I'm considering becoming a waste management specialist?

Those of you who have played around with ceramics may recognize this as a firing technique called Raku

We basically put a few small clay pieces that we had previously thrown on a wheel, and took them up to 1800 degrees F inside of an hour.

When the ceramics got super hot, our instructor took them out and put them in these trash cans full of newspaper in order to expose them to carbon and darken them in color.  

There was fire, smoke, glowing hot ceramics...when I showed the below video to our 7yr old, he asked if he could come and take the class too.

More photos of the finished pieces later.  Once they cooled off, they looked quite pretty.  Dark, almost black in color, with rainbows all over.  Pretty cool...or maybe I should say pretty hot.

If you live in the California Bay Area, had have an urge to throw some clay around, Higher Fire is the place to be.  Awesome studio, super friendly students, good dirty fun.

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's in the air...don't miss it!

The holiday season is in the air these days, but the spirit is not limited to joy and cheer.  It comes with a little extra traffic, some rushing around on top and I've noticed a few extra tailgaters in my rearview.

Well, time to slow down and enjoy the rest of 2012.  Drive carefully, give people some space out there if you wouldn't mind.  Better to get where you're going than to rush too much.

The little plant in the photo here is an air plant.  All it really wants is some light and a sprinkle of water now and then.  Simple life!  There are many different kinds of these little guys.  I browse for them over at Flora Grubb.  Proof positive that plain air is almost enough to thrive on.

I want to someday make a quilt for my bathroom that will match the purple walls.  When we first moved in, I asked my husband to paint the walls this lavender color.

The movers told him, "Wow, sorry about the bathroom wall color!"

He said, "Not as sorry as I am.  I just painted them that color for my wife last week!"

For those of you who have 'normal' colored bathroom walls, you can probably make a tiny wall quilt in whatever colors you choose.  For me, I'm going to have to eventually get creative.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baby Quilt Label Conumdrum

The sweet dreams I had before Thanksgiving of finishing the baby quilt for my niece didn't exactly play out as planned.

Things got busy, as they usually do, and I only finally finished the quilting part of the project a few days ago.

One thing I always try to do for baby quilts is ink in the baby's name, birthday, weight, and other interesting info about the little bundle of joy.

For this quilt, it is a simple 9-patch, so finding a little place to tuck in the letters was more than a small challenge.

I went back and forth and was thinking of putting a little applique butterfly or a bug on there with the name.  I eventually started flipping through Baltimore Album books and found a traditional geometric looking Victorian paper-cut block.

Elly's Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts is the book I ended up using for the pattern.  There will be plenty of space to write inside of the cutouts.

The fun part will be inking directly on the quilt with permanent ink.  No pressure.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quilt Museum photos

Finally Flickr uploaded all my photos from the current exhibit at the San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum.

It was a bit of a slow process, much slower than usual.  Anyhow, enjoy the slide show, or just click around in the photo stream.

Oh, and if you are looking for something fun to do this holiday season, I just saw the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker production.  It was pretty awesome.  Sitting next to our 4 yr old was priceless.

Ok, and if you don't live here but love dance, check out this this video on the making of new photography book, Dancers Among Us, by Jordan Matter.  It captures dancers in awesome poses and everyday life situations.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Look Who's Turning 35! San Jose Quilt Museum Celebrates in Style

If I threw a rock from south my back yard, I could not quite hit the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, but if I had a really nice paper airplane there would be hope.

They are celebrating their 35th birthday and have a pretty cool collection of quilts up on the walls right now.

Many of the quilts are antiques, some are more modern.  If you like old quilts, this show is for you.  

My favorite part about this show is that because it is made up of pieces from their permanent collection, you can take as many photos as you like.  It's really nice.

I took a few more photos, will post them for you to see.  

If you live in San Jose, California, I'd call this one not to be missed.