Monday, July 30, 2012

Movie Mondays

A recap of this weeks screenings.  Proof in writing that I watch too many movies.

Agatha Christie's Marple: a great British production, though I only like the episodes with Julia Mckenzie as Ms. Marple.  I want her to be my gran!

Gun Fever: A low budget western...this one was hard to watch and I'll leave it at that

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie: If you've seen any Tim and Eric, I don't have to say much about what to expect with this one

The Borrowers: late 90s film based on the book.. the book that I LOVED as a girl!  John Goodman is in it and though it's geared towards kids, it's pretty watchable

Ken Burn's Thomas Hart Benton: if I'm being honest, I was never a big fan of Benton's art, but this doc was pretty good (of course it was, it's Ken Burns).  Made me realized how much I like Grant Wood though (think American Gothic).

The Devil's Mistress (or The Devil's Whore, depending on which side of the pond you are on): This was an average period drama about the English civil war.  It was pretty good in parts,  and kind of contrived in others. 

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas: Dolly Parton, Burt Reynolds.  This is the first viewing of this one for me... I enjoyed it.  Especially the Governor's singing number, it was the best!

Deadliest Catch:  This show is addicting, and I do love to see a hardworking man!

Immortals:  Based on a Greek myth, lots of green screen but... also Henry Cavill, so it balances out!  Great visually but a plot like a maze, of course I was stitching while watching so that didn't help

Wild in the Streets: I didn't really like this one too much.. the characters were clownish and annoying.  Think 1960s, 'don't trust anyone over 30', drug culture flick.  It did have Shelley Winters, and a crazy young Richard Pryor though..

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The poppy flower apron

The Poppy Flower Apron
Approx 2' by 3'

&Stitches Header

One of my fav embroidery blogs is &Stitches.  I love their modern and playful approach to needle arts.  I visit often, and was very excited when I dropped in today and saw my embroidered letter 'C' has been used in their new header!

You can read about what I did with the letter 'C' here. 

The header looks great and I am very honored to be included!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Earth toned squares mini quilt

I put together this quilt on a whim in about two days.  I ran across this fabric in my stash and thought the little squares would stand nicely on their own. 

Hand embroidered running stitches, linen binding

Finished piece is about 18" square

Frida Girl

Frida Girl


Wandered into our lives one night,
hungry and underfed
Took up residence in our barn
brought me dead mice in appreciation
for the food and affection

We decided to bring her
into our home
She had attracted the attention
Of rabbit hunters who told us
They shoot strays on sight

She is sweet and grateful
She wakes me up in the morning
And purrs while napping
She hates to be scolded
And always wants to be loved.

Works in Progress

I've got a few projects currently in the works .  Too many things half finished can get stressful, but in general I like to have:

-crochet project for when I am riding the couch
-embroidery project for when i am riding the couch and don't feel like crocheting
-small sewing project when I want to see results fast and be up and moving
-large sewing project (we've got to have big goals!)
-most recently, a Stitch project for my second blog

This is going to be a embroidered frame bag, and will be featured on my second blog.

I have been stitching along with Blair Peter this summer on an granny square afghan sampler.  It's been a lot of fun working on a new block each week.

This past spring my eagle-eyed husband spotted these feed sack prints triangles at a craft fair.  They were in a little baggy marked $1!  Someone spent some time cutting these triangles out, wonder why they let go of them? 

I am getting ready to use them on a Stitch project, so check back on that blog for updates!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sunrise; Gecko; Miniquilt; Movies

Summer sunrise, Las Vegas

I've been cleaning this morning-- and it's way overdue.  Been home from my vacation for a week and haven't done much but the dishes. 

With a full and heavy trash bag in hand I flung open the garage door, heading for the trash can.  Now...

I don't like bugs.. and I spend a lot of time unconsciously scanning my surroundings for anything that moves.  I'm pretty good at spotting a bug-- I can see an earwig crawling up the wall at 50 feet-- and I'm really nearsighted.  So when I saw a little movement at my feet as I flung open the garage door, I stopped cold.

This little guy was blending in with the floor so well that it took me a moment to see him.

Mediterranean house gecko

I was pleased to find only a little lizard; since I was a girl I have loved reptiles. 

After some maneuvering and coaxing I managed to catch the little guy-- and he was little!  No more than an inch and a half long, including tail! 

Yes, he's in a candle.  There's always one handy around the house, and the lids make an escape proof catcher.

I let the little guy go in my back yard, and after some Internet research, I found that I had a little house gecko-- cute!!  And they eat bugs, so I hope he sticks around.

House Gecko; his big ole eyes are so cute!

On a whim I started a mini quilt yesterday, and it has come together pretty quick.  I have the top pieced and have also done a little hand embroidery embellishment.  I plan to baste and straight line quilt it tomorrow. 

The little squares are all from a single piece of fabric I've had for years.  It's an eclectic print, and I love how the designs are so small (each block is about an inch and a half).  I cut the fabric apart and then gave each little square a little room to breath. 

This mini will get a more thorough post after I have quilted it. 

I've been hitting the Netflix hard over here this week.  Is it possible to watch too many movies?  Netflix is just too good!  As a lover of bad movies, B movies, old movies, foreign movies, I always find something obscure and/or entertaining.

Just a few recent screenings:
Resevoir Dogs-- for the first in over ten years, it's still good
Thor- surprisingly good, though lots of green screen
Alice's Restaurant- this is the third time, love that movie
Submarine- surprisingly good quirky, indie type
Anna Karenina- (2000 masterpiece version) I've seen other versions.. this was well done (of course, it's PBS) and the story is timeless
Leadbelly- dramatization of his life...once something awful happened to me when listening to a Leadbelly record, wont' go in to it
A league of their own- had this on VHS growing up, watched it a hundred times "batter up.."
The Red Violin- this was hard to watch but so emotionally tense film and one that sticks with you
His Girl Friday- seen this at least three times, a great classic film!  Cary Grant is too good
The Fifth Element- though this one is silly, it's still entertaining!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pescadero Beach

My husband and I took a trip to the ocean, as I hadn't seen it in 10 years or more.  It was an overcast day, but the sun peaked through a little and the temperature was mild.
Inventory: deli sandwiches and donuts; a few beach towels; binoculars; a couple of kites

We found ourselves on hwy 1, which hugs California's pacific coastline and links a string of state beaches.    The views were beautiful and I shouted "oooh!" with my nose pressed against the car window.

We soon reached the small Pescadero state beach... and then immediately left it again to find an ATM, because my husband had absolutely no cash for parking. 

But this gave us the opportunity to visit the small beach town of Pescadero, which was super quaint and looked like it had been used as a film location. 

Maybe a romantic comedy... a sensitive Hugh Grant type moves there to try his hand in the bakery business...

and falls for the beautiful but guarded lepidopterist who's renting a house in town for the summer to find some rare butterfly;

he watches her ride her bicycle down main street a lot and his new group of quirky local friends tell him to go for it because they would be perfect for each other.

We made it back to the beach, which had a disappointing amount of seashells (none) and very large, colorful grains of sand.

And we flew our kites...

Old trusty; handles like a double decker bus

New box kite; handles like a cadillac
(Note the man in red shorts below the kite, he wandered into the shot and settled in for a good tanning, even though it was
completely overcast)

and we admired the moody and impressive power of the pacific ocean.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum

San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum

I figured two weeks was plenty of time to experience everything the bay area had to offer-- where did I go wrong?

...We didn't make it to Chinatown or the museum of modern art-- and though we had some fabulous meals, I didn't get to eat a lobster that had been scampering along the ocean floor that same day..

Maybe I could have fit in more sites with a structured agenda, but we tried to keep things spontaneous.  This probably explains how late one afternoon, after a quick google search of local museums, we found ourselves heading to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles...

Hands on parking garage
Yarn bomb,
outside museum
Quilt block tiles on
sidewalk outside museum

There were probably 20, and I wish I took
photos of all of them!

I was hoping to see lots of vintage quilts, but to be honest, there were only about six vintage quilts on display.  The museum's collection (though large) must be kept in storage- probably to protect the delicate textiles from deterioration.

In front of a nice
sunburst quilt
So, slightly disappointed with the small display of vintage quilts we made our way to the current exhibition, that of the painter and tapestry artist Mark Adams.  It was amazing!!

I had admittedly never heard of this amazing artist, but seeing his tapestries in person was an unexpectedly enjoyable treat.  I was not permitted to take photos of any of the tapestries, but I pulled a few from the net (below).

His tapestries jump off the cloth at you, and from a distance look like paintings.  Some pieces felt mystical or maybe esoteric; others had fabulous graphic pop.  Mark Adams' work deserves more recognition, and getting to see this extensive exhibit in person was great!

Mark Adams
Can you believe this is a tapestry?

Mark Adam

After our museum visit, we stopped in the gift shop, to check out the handmade objects, books, textiles... and we picked up these fabulous Mola embroideries!  We plan on framing and hanging them.  We've owned a Mola owl embroidery for years, it was one of the first pieces of home decor we bought.  The colorful and stylized look of these pieces will fit nicely with our eclectic decor.

Scoring these embroideries was the perfect end to our afternoon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Back from vacation; Las Vegas sky

For the past two weeks, I've been on vacation!  My husband and I have been enjoying the lovely bay area (mostly San Jose area).  We had lots of good food, took in some sites, dipped our toes in the ocean, and admired some beautiful alpine vistas.

It was nice to take a break from the responsibilities of life (like bills) and odd to take a break from my favorite things (like catching up on my fav blogs).

I had a blast, but I guess it had to end.  This week I'll be posting photos of our trip.  And though I only did a little crocheting the past few weeks, I'm ready to get back into craft mode.  I plan on finishing up some projects, and doing some show and tell.

Las Vegas is having a rare spell of wet weather.  I took the following photos this evening at about 8pm. 

I know it doesn't look like it, but these are different parts of the sky at the same time!

It was quite a show!