Thursday, January 31, 2013

Garage Sale @ Altered by the Sea Studio!

Don't we all love 'em?! This time though instead of going and finding delightful scores, we'll be hosting our own right here in Morro Bay.  We've been downsizing the last month or so and after putting a lot on eBay and Craig's List we still have a bunch of great stuff!

We'll be open for business this Saturday February 2nd starting at 8:00 am with all kinds of household items, art supplies (!!!), books and small furniture.

If you're anywhere in the San Luis Obispo area (email for directions) drop by.  We'd love to chat and see you go home with a fantastic score!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cambria's Art & Wine Festival

This past weekend was the annual Art & Wine Festival - a three day extravaganza that involves merchants, wineries, artists and most of the town.

Wing  12x12"
One always popular  feature is a silent art auction. 
I had two pieces entered this year.

Egg  8x10"

 Since the event draws from all over the state and beyond,
 it's a great chance to have a new audience see one's art.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Life on the Coast

View through the Cayucos Pier on our weekend walk.

Friday, January 25, 2013

From the Bookshelf

A fascinating book!  Massive amounts of info and vintage photos.  A history of the trunk with pictures from the mid 1800's, through the beginnings of Vuitton and beyond. Schematic drawings of several models, pages of old travel labels and hardware.  Even includes price guides and what to look for when buying, Fun to peruse for anyone with an interest in the golden age of travel, steampunk and all things vintage. Out of print - look for a copy at your local library or if you're feeling flush there are a few pricey copies used on Amazon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wonder Web Wednesday

 There are so many truly lovely websites out there, I thought on Wednesdays we visit a different one that I've found and enjoyed. Let's start off with Rieke Studios, home to Gail and her husband Zachariah.

. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, their studios wander throughout their living space and utilize several rooms. Collage, assemblage, journals and photographs are all part of their portfolio.

 Extensive collections of ephemera and natural items fill dozens and dozens of flat files, suitcases and boxes - art pieces themselves.

The site features many different works of art, along with shots of the studios, biographies, and a workshop schedule.  Come and visit and lose yourself for a happy hour surrounded by the beautiful creations of Rieke Studios.

All photos courtesy

Monday, January 21, 2013

Museum Monday - Boston MFA

collection banner

A great museum in a beautiful city - Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

From their wesiteThe original MFA opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876, the nation's centennial. Built in Copley Square, the MFA was then home to 5,600 works of art. Over the next several years, the collection and number of visitors grew exponentially, and in 1909 the Museum moved to its current home on Huntington Avenue.
Today the MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. We welcome more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs.
November 2010 marks the opening of The New MFA. Designed by the world-renowned Foster and Partners architects, The New MFA comprises a new wing for Art of the Americas; renovated art of Europe galleries; improved conservation and education facilities;The Linde Family Wing devoted entirely to contemporary art; and a new, larger public space—the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard.

Boston Common at Twilight
Boston Commons at Twilight - Childe Hassam

My favourite piece on display at the MFA, above,

and here in the journal I kept on our Boston trip,
 along with the museum entrance badge.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Suitcase Saturday - Travel Score

This time the trip was toScotland in 2004 with daughter Bronwyn and Margot. One of the delights was roaming the Royal Mile through Edinburgh's Old Town and visiting all the shops that sold lovely woolens.

My favourite score was the scarf in the above picture, taken at Sterling Castle the day after I bought it.
It was cashmere, deliciously soft and warm.  Unfortunately a few years later I left it behind on another trip - and have deeply missed it ever since.

But still with me are these yummy green sox 
and gloves, also cashmere,

and this hearty heather blue pullover. It's so warm that there are actually few days I can wear it here on the Central Coast, but it went down a treat while in Scotland!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

CHA - w/ Tim Holtz

 There were hundreds of companies and thousands of wonderful products at CHA's Winter Trade Show last weekend, but I spent most of my time visiting the Ranger and Ideology booths - soaking up information and techniques from the inimitable Tim Holtz.

Though I don't do a lot of what he does art-wise, I love many of his products - Distress Ink has been a mainstay in my art arsenal since 2005. Above - examples using this year's new Distress Paints.

 And he is a natural at demo-ing his stuff.  He loves what he does and it shows.  Still smiling and personable after 4 straight days of non-stop CHAing. Gracious about people taking pictures and videos and signing autographs.

It was fun to get to watch him in person and to be able to ask questions and talk about art.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Just back from a weekend of the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Trade Show and what a great time we had.  Margot and Destiny went to represent Sassy Feet and I went along for the ride to visit the trade floor with all those great companies showing off their newest creations.
Exhausted, but filled with new ideas and creative thoughts.  Will share more in a couple of days - for now, need some rest!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Life on the Coast

The early evening full moon looks like a soap bubble
blown from the stacks of the old PG&E plant
 here in Morro Bay. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

From the Bookshelf

If you don't know Sibella Court, you're four books behind!  Her latest The Life of a Bower Bird continues a delightful string of beautifully produced, wonderfully photographed decorating books that will knock your socks off.  This one concentrates on using collections to decorate your living spaces.  And what  amazing and varied collections!  Everything from vintage linens to bird skeletons and, as they say, so much more. She has also included lists of her favourite stores in case you need to add to your own collections!  I get lost in her books, I glean massive amounts of inspiration and return to them time after time. Sibella Court - never disappoints!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Steampunk Sheep

This is a project that I did for my older daughter, who loves steampunk and, since she's a weaver and a knitter, loves sheep. It was her Christmas present a year ago and when I finished it I forgot to take pictures before I wrapped it up to mail off.

Well, she was doing some rearranging in her house and remembered that I needed an "after shot", so she sent me one. I adorned it with gears, old alarm clock bells, a Scottish cloak clasp,a number plaque, and rusty wire. No everyone's cup of tea - but the two of us were quite pleased with the outcome!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Life is Just a Bowl of ... Tickets!

My daughter gave me a roll of tickets for Christmas to use in my art.  When I removed the plastic wrapping I absentmindedly began pushing the cardboard ring at the bottom in and out and the circle of tickets began expanding.

I'd seen these ticket bowls before but never realized that it was this easy to do.  I just kept pushing in one direction and pulling the top up evenly and voila! a bowl made out of tickets.  Now I want to get several different colours and make more.  If I'd tried to follow directions for this? - it never would have happened.  Talk about happy accidents!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Suitcase Saturday - Travel Score

After a year of showing you the art supplies and ephemera I keep in all my vintage suitcases I thought it would be fun to show you the myriad wonderful things I've brought home in my suitcases from my many travels here and abroad.

So on Suitcase Saturdays I'll tell a tiny bit about a trip and show a travel "score."  Let's start in Paris!

Le Bon Marche
This trip was late June of 2002 with my daughter Jenny and my best friend Susan.  We got to spend 12 days there - magnifique!  We stayed in a little hotel on the Rue du Bac a few blocks away from Le Bon Marche, one of the original department stores in Paris and  Diners en Ville a lovely  shop featuring kitchen and dining ware.

We made more than one trip to each of these. Pictured  are just three of the stylish items I picked up. There are two of these scallop plates from Diners en Ville, a steal at 75 francs (the shop still had old prices on many things which resulted in a lot of calculations - thank goodness Jenny's a wiz speaking French!)

The glass and vase were both on the clearance table at Bon Marche and to this day are still among my favourite things.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Journal Fun!

 More shots of journal pages done over the recent holidays.

 A mix of vintage ephemera, tags,

 stamps, and wrapping paper.

I love the juxtaposition of the glittery contemporary tags
with the 100 year old ledger entries.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Word of the Year

Several years ago Margot and I quit coming up with New Year's resolutions and instead we each pick a word for the year. Past years have found me working on energy, trust, re-frame, let-it-go, harmony, breathe and listen.  Some years I'm able to practice the word better than others, but I always find myself conscience of the word as I go about my daily life.

This year's word is patience.  Patience with myself, with others, with situations and with things I cannot control or change.  A dear friend, who knows I picked this word for the coming year, sent me this quote from Rumi -
Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be far-sighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

Happy New Year.