Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Over the weekend, Grayson had his friend, Bryce over to spend the night.
Years ago, they used to play a game with ships made from plastic cards....cool.
They decided to pull the ships out again and set them up in the living room to choose the ones to play with. I thought that the colors and ships looked soooo cool that I took photos.
Aren't they fantastic? I have no idea how to play the game, but they were up until 1:30 am playing it and having a blast. It seems to be all about strategy and "getting the gold"...

I just love that you can make such beautiful 3-D ships from a flat card......pop out the pieces and put them together and - voila!

....simple pleasures......

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bird Channel

This is the kitchen door.
At night, the door stays open so that the air comes in to cool off the room after the day.
The cats love this door.
We call it the "Bird Channel"....because they can sit right there and watch all the birds and other "goings on" in the comfort of their own home!

Yesterday, I was with my friend Greta, who has just moved back to Santa Fe.
I am so happy that she is back and hope to be able to spend lots of time with her - being creative and talking and (hopefully) writing!
Greta and I both love fantasy and fairytales and we adore Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.
As I was leaving her place yesterday, she picked up something from the shelf by the door and said, "I found this and immediately thought of you"
Here, with one of my tiny houses, is the Magic Mushroom that Greta found and so generously gave to me, for inspiration......

Doesn't it look like it is dancing?

I think it is magnificent and am so happy that she found it and that she felt I needed to have it!!

Thank you, dear Greta, for this very magical gift...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alexander Girard

I have been sitting at the kitchen table today, cutting out images from some wrapping paper designed by Alexander Girard back in the '60s. I have re-arranged some of these images and made some cards out of them.....what do you think?

I really like the subtle gray-blue-charcoal in this one....

...and then, some Christmas cards:
I get a little chill when I see how extraordinary his designs are.
They can be mix-matched over and over and still come out so "right"

I remember visiting the World's Fair in San Antonio, Texas in 1968.
it was Hemisfair and, for me, MAGICAL....
one of my favorite exhibits was a building that housed
an incredible collection by a man with named Girard.
Since San Antonio was only an hour away, my family visited often.
My mom and I loved the Girard Collection so much.

In 1973, I left on a jet plane to fly to Switzerland to live.
I will never forget the plane - a "pickle" green Braniff jet.
I could not have been happier.
-it was a good omen.

Alexander Girard designed the Braniff logo and all that went with it!

When I came to Santa Fe the very first time in 1985,
my friend Nora and I went to
the Museum of International Folk Art.

well, first of all - WHAT A MUSEUM!
But, the wing we fell in love with - was the Girard Wing.
Alexander Girard lived in Santa Fe, NM and donated his collection -
(the one I had seen so many years before at Hemisfair)
to this museum in the very place I had chosen to live as an adult.

When I worked at Doodlet's, a wonderful store in Santa Fe,
I delivered Mrs Girard's purchases to their home one Christmas.
It was definitely a highlight of my life.
They lived with some of the most incredible things that I
have ever seen, displayed in the same way as the museum.
(he had designed that, too, complete with lighting)

took my breath away..

And now, I get to work with people who make sure that
the Girard design
is out there in the world on beautiful products for all to enjoy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


a few words to inspire.....
written on flags attached to sticks....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I delivered 4 boats today........

these are the flags for the tops of the boats...for their voyages

the center boat is called "wishes and dreams"

"extraordinary" and "fascinating"

...and these flags would be cool to have ....for many reasons.......
as reminders to move forward.

Monday, August 16, 2010

insect charms

fronts and backs of some of the insect charms that are now at Curiosa
...thought they needed some little bees on the back...

tomorrow............... BOATS!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lunch at Leslie's

What a nice time....
Around 1 pm, I went to my friend, Leslie's house for lunch.
Haven't seen her in ages!
Long ago, we had a Mom's Group when our kids were little. We met on Wednesdays and went to the zoo and out to lunch, or just sat around one of our houses and watched the kids play.

Since our friend, Marian is here from the Netherlands, Leslie had us over, along with our friend, Lynn. Leslie's beautiful daughter, Scarlet was there, too. She was one of Forrest's best buds when they were tiny kiddos.....
Here is Leslie - beautiful, intelligent and strong
....and photos of her lovely home:

living room

bobcat and raccoon...and ram, above

dining area

Mr Peanut items in the glass dental cabinet....

Oh Becky!
...just HAD to take a photo of this magnificent fellow!!

back yard, where we ate

Portia, who is now at least 30 years old!

Portia's feathers in a glass urn and a jar of wishes (bones)

Leslie has a unusual way of seeing things and I think she has a lot of magic going on around her.
She used to do taxidermy and has several animals around the house.
Her bird, Portia, has been around as long as I have known her and she has another named Pearl, whom I just met today.

We had such a wonderful time talking.
It has been way too long since we were all together.
There were a couple of the "moms" who were not around, so we must do it again soon.

Time flies....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


It has been a busy couple of days around here.....lots of creativity floating in the air..

PROJECT #1: Mini Toadstools
I found some wooden bits at Michael's to make these tiny toadstools with .
I glued them together and viola!
Add some white, red and green paint and a bit of matte Mod Podge.
I am crazy about them!

PROJECT #2: Woven Paper Sails
I needed something a little different for the sails on my boat.
I thought about painting silk, which may still happen.
But, I think that woven paper has great texture and looks pretty cool.
I tore some sheet music into thin strips and wove it.
Painting the weaving with papier mache paste should make it a bit stronger.....so I will add another layer, or two, of that......and then cut out the sails.

Here's the boat that the sails are for. It is my first one - my guinea pig.
The mast is wire wrapped in papier mache and the flag says, "Adventure"
(see pantryviolets.blogspot.com for the completed "ship")

PROJECT #3: Sara's "S"
This is the little bird that will sit on Sara's "S" when it gets back to the Netherlands.

And here is the "S"...
After seeing my papier mache, my young friend, Sara, wanted to papier mache her initial.
She bought a blank "S" at Hobby Lobby and brought it over to my house.
She picked up the process of papier mache pretty quickly and I think she did a fabulous job!
Her painting on the final product is beautiful....and the bird will look pretty sweet sitting there.
We had a really nice afternoon, Sara, her mom, Marian and me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

XIT Booth #ONE: Preparations

Well, we just got back from XIT Rodeo & Reunion in Dalhart, Texas.
This is an annual event that we try to go to each August.
Long ago, there was a ranch in the Panhandle of Texas that covered 10 counties. The brand for the cattle was XIT, which is NOT "Ten in Texas" as many have thought over the years, but instead a simple brand that a cowboy could easily make with a straight iron, yet not easy to duplicate.
Anyway, for many years (next year is the 75th!) there has been a rodeo and a reunion of the former ranch hands of the ranch. The last ranch hand died several years ago, but the Rodeo still happens, as well as the Reunion.
There are several days of events, but Saturday is the BIG one. It starts in the morning with a parade that goes for at least an hour. Cullen's uncle "calls" it (talks about each float coming up) and we all watch as kids collect candy from the passing floats and one of Cullen's relatives always rides a horse that leads the horse with the "Empty Saddle" for all the ranch hands who have died. Then, we eat lunch at the home of one of the people on the main street - hamburgers and brownies for all! From there, we go take naps, or dip in the pool, or ready ourselves for the BBQ, which is what we did this year.

Every year, there is a theme for our serving booth. We are always Booth #ONE and organized by Cullen's cousin, Mark. About a month ago, we were asked to think about themes for the booth and I came up with Red, White & Blue, thinking it would be easy for everyone. Mark's daughter came up with Crazy Hair, so we combined the two and had "Red, White & Blue and Crazy Hair, Too" ......it was wild! We tend to be very loud and wild anyway, so adding costumes is the cherry on top!

You must understand that this is the Largest Free BBQ in the World and people will stand in line for ages just for a plate of incredible brisket, BBQ sauce, applesauce, pickles, onions and beans (only in Texas!) Serving is a bLAST and even the people waiting in line in the hot sun have a good time......

So, think of the theme and have a few laughs as you scroll through the photos below:
Here are those of us who did a little self-decorating!
(click to enlarge)

Lisa (with her son, Micah behind her)
with her wild pink, green and red crazy hair!

Larissa, the "Crazy Hair Idea" girl - stunning!

Mark, the Muppet! His blue mustache was incredible, esp with the blue feathery hat
(and do you see that little pony tail over his shoulder - ha!)
(makes him look like a rock star!)

My hubby, Cullen, went "subtle" with a little blue

lft to rt: Micah, Jaylyn (sp?) Audrey (?) Lindsay and Seth (twin to Micah)
They looked fantastic and were so enthusiastic!
Guess it helps being 20-something....
(how 'bout those bodies?!)

below are some of the early shots of preparation:
Lisa's squiggles

Micah "mid-conehead"
(ouch! look at that sunburn)

Lindsay working on Larissa's "multi-cone"

Next year is the 75th and we have BIG plans! Think about coming to Dalhart for BBQ and Rodeo the first full weekend of August - 4th, 5th and 6th - 2011. It is a blast!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

beeeeautiful earrings

well, could you have passed these up?
I walked into Curiosa and there they were -
stunning little treasures!
I tried them on and did not want to take them off...
look closely at these exquisite tiny birds...
sitting atop a bowl of cherries

and the backs.......
don't you love when you find something amazing and then you check the back..
and it is just as incredible,
but hidden in the secret hiding place?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I walked into the house at 4:30 pm and saw this spectacular display of rainbows scattered around the room.
The sun comes through the west window that time of day and hits a glass ball that sits on a glass candlestick holder. The ball is made from small pieces of glass glued together. When the light hits the different pieces it is quite a show....... magic.......

And here is the most recent of my papier mache Bird Domes.....
Instead of a bird, there is a small picture of a bird on the heart...with the words "everlasting VISION".......

white robes

white robes - reverse of the red ones and pretty cool looking.
I think that stitching is very therapeutic. I enjoy seeing the design evolve - the intricacies and tiny details emerge.
These Santa robes are taking me in a direction that I did not expect, but am thoroughly enjoying. I have lots of plans for more goodies.....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Santa Robes

I have been working on felt Santas the last few days and here are the robes that I have stitched so far. They aren't so impressive laid out like this, but when they are wrapped up and stuffed, with heads and beards added, they will look pretty good.
They look like fans, or something, all lined up here.

They should be ready to go in the next, or so, and in the shop soon thereafter.
Can't believe I am working on Christmas in this heat.....kinda silly, isn't it?