Spirograph Designs

It all started with something that came through one of my social media feeds today…Inspirograph…). Remember Spiro-Graph y’all? I played with the online app for a few minutes before remembering my very own Spiro-Graph set, in-house, from Turkey no less!

Despite the fact that I didn’t save my Spiro-Graph kit from the 70s, I have some tools on hand to relive the moment. When I was in Turkey 5 years ago I bought a mini-spirograph kit from a street vendor. I dug it out today and made some art with it.

There’s two outer sizes and four cog sizes with 9 holes each…don’t do the math…your head might explode
I used one marker (blue) in different cog holes…1, 2, 3, 4….
Bigger wheel…
Spiro-Graph Experiments

This made me think of Spin-Art, which is now apparently available for party rentals! Seriously?! Of course! I’ll be renting one soon for my next art party!

Thank you ’70’s!


Flowers in Portland, Oregon

I’m  traveling for work this week and because we use Airbnb for accommodations I’ve found myself in such a charming neighborhood that I now have dreams of buying a home here. OK – it’s not a new dream, but I found my new dream neighborhood.

I took a walk this evening in my neighborhood and captured these moments of Portland love. I miss this area so much! (I lived in Eugene, OR for 5 years and Seattle, WA for another 5 years – it’s such a cool  lifestyle these folks are living – jealous!).

I love the garage underneath the front porch on this one!20160427_193150

Frothy goodness
Not sure what this is but I sure love it
Iris Amazing
More amazing rhodie love
Iris Crazy


Rhodie Magic




These beauties growing out of a random wall

Always love visiting this area. How lucky all you inhabitants are…

Everything’s Coming up Roses!

My across-the-street neighbor grows only roses (she has over 200 different kinds, all with little signs stating their names!). I refer to her as The Rose Lady on my dog walks when people ask where I live (“across from the Rose Lady”) which always gets a resounding, “Oh yeah!” Everybody knows The Rose Lady, and we’re lucky enough to see her garden from our bedroom window every day.

She encourages everyone to cut a bouquet whenever they want so I headed over this (warm) afternoon to trim a few blooms and plunge them in water.

I lined them up on the floor for easiest pictures…and now I want to leave them there!
An army of roses!
I love this splatter pattern. These remind me of candy.
These rose petals are orange on the outside and red on the inside. I couldn’t capture the beauty of the whole bouquet.
I enjoyed placing the cute red bouquet in the middle of these pinkies.

P.S. Marge is doing well and headed back to the care facility (from the hospital). Thanks for all your positive thoughts.

Sending Love to Marge

I learned this evening that our beloved Marge broke her pelvis yesterday and she’s in good care while Aaron is stuck at home (without his beloved Marge).


Please take a moment to close your eyes and send healing thoughts to 93-year-old Marge and her life partner Aaron, who awaits her return home.

Excited About What’s Next: Classes and a CAL!

I have WIPs, I have Done Stuff and I’m signed up for more – yippee!

Signed up for More…

Through a friend I made at the Art and Soul Retreat (who doesn’t live locally) I found an artist and teacher who DOES live locally – right here in San Diego!! I’m beyond excited and even though she offers online classes that look awesome, I’ve signed up for three in-person classes to learn some new skills.

Artist and Teacher Jane LaFazio

Jane LaFazio teaches lots of cool skills I can’t wait to learn!! (her website, her blog, her teaching schedule – including online classes you can take from anywhere!!)

I’m signed up for these in-person classes over the next month:

  • Stamp Design & Carving
  • City Block Art Quilt
  • Abstract Collage with Gelli Plates for Mono Printing

These are some art techniques I’ve been wanting to learn more about so I’m delighted and thrilled to have the opportunity to take some all-day classes with an artist. Of course I’ll share pics of my learnings!!

Done Stuff

At my last machine sewing class I made a small zipper bag. I love first attempts because of their history…and yet, so much to learn about elegant machine zipper stitching…it’s kinda wrinkly…

My first zipper bag (complete with trick cover-up stitching on this side)
My first zipper bag (complete with trick cover-up quilting on this side…which is now my favorite side because that feather stitch is cool!)

I’m not sure how I feel about stitching zippers. I need to stitch more to have a valid opinion. I’m slightly afraid of stitching more…and so I must. (P.S. My attempts in class to stitch a button hole sent my sewing machine to the hospital, but good news! It’s fixed and ready to sew another seam…and zipper…and, uhm, gulp, buttonhole? I better check youtube first…)

I want to add that I took my tote bag to the local pet store on tonight’s dog walk (along with my zipper bag, which carried my credit card, DL and phone) and everything fit in my tote bag for the walk home: big bag of dog food, other sausage things we add to his food and my zipper bag). I want to make a million more…tote bags. 🙂

CAL (Crochet-A-Long? never typed that out before)

I’m happy to be part of a Crochet Along offered by Scheepjes.

I love this colorway
I love this colorway

This pattern is inspired by a blogger who I happened to find as inspiration in early 2015, and I’m happy to commemorate her contributions in this CAL. The colors are blueish-green and yummy and I can’t wait to get started.

Found on a Dog Walk

We found this tiny creation on the sidewalk y’all (thumb included for size reference).

We found this tiny creation on the sidewalk y'all (thumb included for reference).

At first glance it might look like it’s made from a paperclip (that’s what I thought), but it has a silver tag that suggests soldering, so now I’m intrigued…and inspired to write a haiku (lucky you!)…


It was on the ground
Silver treble and bass clef
Left for me and you?

WIPs (Works In Progress)

OK – enough poetry posturing. It was fun while it lasted and I’m going to save that little silver creation for one of my future art works. (I think it might get sewn onto my “City Block Art Quilt”!)

In the meantime, I’m off to work on my newest needle lace pattern…

I tried variegated thread and a larger pattern on the brown leaf with mixed results. Now working the surf pattern with metallic and silk threads…digging it so far… pics to come…(sorry for poor lighting)

Let me know if you have any cool zipper bag patterns I can try and/or if you sign up for the CAL.

Rule #1 in Learning a Craft: Learn How to Fix Mistakes

I took dance classes for about 20 years…

Same year: Recital included the Pink Panther theme song and "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Don't miss the orange shag carpet and my feather headdress!
This year’s recital included the Pink Panther theme song (acrobatics) and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (tap). Don’t miss the orange shag carpet and my feather headdress!

One of the things I learned early on is the value of learning how to fix mistakes (in dance this involves keeping your face in the right configuration – usually a huge smile unless it’s modern dance – and moving around dramatically until you catch up. It works every single time…even in real life sometimes…).

Fixing Sewing Mistakes

Today I prepared for my last sewing machine lesson (which is tomorrow), and to get the most out of my time (still have to finish up those pj’s) I prepared some things ahead of time for another project: a small zip-up bag made from the remnants of the tote bags. I want to learn about my machine’s zipper foot and button-sewing attachment before the day is over (I’m just going to sew two random pieces of material to button together – not digging the pillow cover with buttons she’s offering – it’s cute, we just have too many pillows already).

The teacher suggested that I just cut out my pieces and bring them to class, but I decided to work ahead on the instructions as much as I could. So this brought me to quilting two pieces of material together with batting in between. Only I forgot to add the 2nd piece of material to the back of the first one (basically “quilted” the batting to one layer of material…not exactly “quilting”), and I got a line of stitch in on the second piece before I remembered. Ah well, forging ahead…

When I was done I had one piece quilted properly (the lining material with the batting makes it looks a little puffy), and one piece that was stitched “like” it was quilted – but it was completely flat (missing the attached lining piece). I thought about just using it as is and letting the seam stitches hold things together, but one of the linings would have been wriggling around inside the bag if I did that so I got creative. I tried a decorative stitch on my new machine!!!

top piece is quilted to original design; bottom piece has been amended with feather stitch on top of the original vertical lines to fuse the lining piece to the batting

I am MOST IMPRESSED with myself for getting all those feather stitches directly on top of that already stitched line (of course I HAD to use a lighter color thread for “creative purposes” – which shows everything). Looks like I did it on purpose now (though I probably won’t make this decision again as a design choice – pain in the butt to line those stitch lines up).

Once again I have learned a new and important skill: how to undo or fix sewing machine mistakes (P.S. the seam ripper was involved on this one because I also sewed 3/4 of a row of feather stitch with no thread in the lower bobbin – doh!).

Can we also take a moment of silence to enjoy my nearly perfect 45 degree angles on those lines (heck, maybe they’re perfect! They look perfect to me!!). I used another new sewing tool to do that (it’s just a huge flat ruler with a bunch of angles and stuff printed on it) but there was almost math involved, as well as a dull piece of sewer’s chalk from my 7th grade home ec class, and I had to sit down and think about it for a second.

Flower Time!

Meanwhile on today’s dog walk, one of my favorite flowers:

Amaryllis - These usually show up a bit earlier in the year here...shifting weather patterns
Amaryllis – These usually show up a bit earlier in the year here…shifting weather patterns


Native Garden Tour: So-Cal (2 of 2)

Here’s the rest of the flowers we saw…

I love this especially because it is a lupine, which is closest to the Texas blue bonnet that I’ve found here. Missin’ my blue bonnets…
Fuzzy on the creases – this one cracked me up
Heart-shaped cactus – I didn’t notice until I processed the photos!
Aren’t these amazing?! The color juxtaposition floors me…
This flower just about undid me. So leggy – so other-worldly – with leaves to match…
spiky green leaves
spiky green leaves
Bottle-brush bush in all its finery (not to be used to clean actual dirty dishes). 🙂
Another feathery bloom like the white one above…
Lacey…feathery…fluffy…flowery…loved these!!!
Part of a hanging basket with many more blooms heading up to the front door. They look like Christmas Cactus blooms to me…
Same house – hanging cactus in the background. I love the light/dark contrasts in this pic
I like the rocky backgrounds to these cactus flower shots.
Colors and shadows…IN LOVE!

20160403_115422_z 20160402_122320 20160402_121325_z

Looking forward to planting our new front/back yards with these native plants in mind.



Where Do All the Cigar Boxes Go?

I bought some more boxes, and now I’m wondering where all these amazing cigar boxes are going?! The cigar store owners seem to be very ready to get rid of them…like maybe it’s a problem related to selling cigars!

They're all so different!
They’re all so different!

I happened upon a new store recently and thought to ask about empty boxes. At first he said he sells them for $1.99 each, and that a man comes by every two months or so and buys them all – and he offers them to him for one dollar each at that time. I asked him what the man uses them for, but he hasn’t asked (ah well).

So then he offered me 11 boxes for $10. How can one resist? I mean, they’re so weird and different – every one! Some of them even have a little clasp to close them, like on my diary from a million years ago (e.g. childhood)!

So now I own “A LOT” of cigar boxes – some of which are being used for craft supplies (not labeled yet, so it’s a hunt-and-chase situation…mergh…:\ )

They come in all shapes and sizes (what crafter isn’t “wow’ed” by that alone?!). The one on the left is a trapezoid (I think…whatever, it’s a weird shape!)


It has a magic slide top y'all. Seriously.
It has a magic slide top y’all. Seriously. Are cigar smokers doing magic now and we just didn’t realize it?


This box has a wooden partition in it that has the label glued on
This box has a wooden partition in it that has a label glued on the edge…which says “Hand Made.”

So much wow.

I think I’m officially addicted now to cigar boxes. (According to all the labels, I’m better off addicted to the boxes than the cigars…have to figure out how to remove all those useful labels…P.S. DON’T SMOKE…but check out smoke shops because they probably have some cool boxes sitting around that they want to get rid off).


Cool Cigar Boxes!

My Significant Lovie got his hair cut today, and his haircut place happens to be next to a smoke shop that apparently has been featuring empty cigar boxes at cut-rate prices for some time now. He now knows how important such things might be to me (crafting maniac that I am) and he texted and offered to bring some home. Uhm…yes please, how many will the car hold?!

This is my new stash and I’m awash with the possibilities. Please comment with any ideas you might have for these beauties!

Stack of cigar boxes!
Stack of cigar boxes!
They needed to be in the garden with the baby squash...I'm not sure why.
They needed to be in the garden with the baby squash…I’m not sure why.
Romeo and Juliet y’all!! It’s the same picture inside the lid, with a nail holding the lid down on the box…so official…

I’m heading back tomorrow to purchase the other 75 boxes.

Proud to be a Liebster Award Nominee!!

YOWSA! I have been nominated for a Liebster Award!

I’m really enjoying sharing my crafts here and reading all of your new blogs that I discover every day. You are all so inspirational and creative!! So let’s get to my duties as a new Liebster nominee!

#1: Give Thanks!

Liebster Award: Online recognition from fellow bloggers for fun new blogs.
Liebster Award: Online recognition from fellow bloggers for fun new blogs.

THANK YOU Hooked for the nomination! Please take a moment and check out her amazing blog: go for the delicious eye candy pictures of all things yarny…stay for the inspiration and free patterns! (Plus she has a facebook page – so much family fun and crafty goodness!) Thanks for this opportunity to recognize other cool bloggers like you…and to bare my soul to the internet (we’re all friends here, right? 🙂 )

#2: Spread the Love!

Now I get to nominate five of my favorite bloggers (besides Hooked, of course!). Please click through on these fantastic sites and let them know how much we appreciate their blogs…I start my mornings with their humor, art, travel and life stories.

Leaf and Twig – I appreciate this blogger’s photographic ability to capture both the spirit of her subject and her own experience of viewing it. And the poetry…sublime!

Sleepy Kitty Stitches – I love checking in on what this blogger is stitching up (such fine detailed work!) and her DIY instructions are very helpful!

Little Rivers – I enjoy following this blogger’s progress through a cool creative design university class she is documenting. Her photography is stunning and it’s fun to see the creative processes she is experiencing.

The Crafty Mummy – This blogger is SOOOO creative and shares detailed pics and patterns for every step. I instantly want to make 12 of everything I see on her site!

ChiliSarang – I love seeing this blogger’s posts to photography challenges and her travel advice is detailed and so interesting (makes me want to go to those places!).

#3 – Tell Us a Little About Yourself

Here are the questions my nominator asked me to answer…

1.What is your favourite colour? 


2.What was the name of your first pet?

Jason (a miniature Schnauzer)

3.If you could marry any film star who would it be?

Liam Neeson

4.If you could be any animal what would you be and why?

A hummingbird, because I want to be able to fly and I like they way they do that (flying sideways and swooping high/low looks like a lot of fun!)

5.What would your dream job be (doesn’t have to be realistic)?

I would like to design outdoor art installations involving landscaping and plants.

6.If you could name yourself, what name would you give yourself?

Rosalee…no Anna…can I change it every day?

7.What is your favourite pudding?

Bread pudding

8.What is your favourite flower?

(today it’s) Freesia
(bonus: tomorrow it will be Gazania)

9.What hobbies do you have (or did have as a child)?

as a child: Reading, sewing, collecting…stamps, spoons, dolls, pill bugs (aka ‘rolie-polies’) and army worms (eww!!)

10. What is your favourite toast topping?

(Forget what you just read and think about yummy food now…)
I like peanut butter, apple and a drizzle of honey on my toast.

11. If you could meet anyone who had lived ever, who would it be?

Sacajawea – smart as a whip and oh the stories!!


That was fun! Thanks for asking and thanks for listening!

#4 That Wasn’t Enough – Tell Us a Little More About Yourself

Phew! this feels like a lot of thinking about myself…kind of like therapy…

Here are 11 random facts about me:

  1. I have completed over 20 sky dives, and I packed parachutes and manifested loads to pay my way.
  2. I worked a fishing season in Petersburg, Alaska, fresh/frozen side during the day and cannery at night.
  3. I know all the words to “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
  4. I’ve worked at the same company for over 20 years.
  5. I can type 100 words per minute.
  6. I used to work at an answering service.
  7. My first job at age 14 was dog washer.
  8. I wore braces (on my teeth) for 6 years.
  9. When I’m waiting for a plane at the airport I like to listen to music and pretend I’m in my own music video.
  10. When visiting the Redwood forest, my mom and I drove our car into the tree with a tunnel for a photo op – then realized we couldn’t open the doors of the car (reverse, I hop out, forward, I run around: photo op ready!).
  11. I had the following pets as a child (not all at the same time): dog, hamster, duck, goose, rabbit, fish, salamander. (Bonus: I recommend a guinea pig as a starter pet for kids over 6 or 7 years old – manageable and they hardly ever escape and hide behind the refrigerator to scare the bejeebies out of you.)


That was a fun walk down Random Lane for me – hope you had fun too.

#5 – My Questions for My Nominees

Here’s what I’m hoping my nominees will share with us in their “acceptance speech.”

  1. What is your favorite drink on a hot day vs. a cold day?
  2. Where would you say is the most beautiful place you’ve been so far?
  3. What is your favorite spice (or condiment) that you use most often?
  4. What is your favorite pizza topping?
  5. Did you teach yourself the skills you highlight in your blog, or were they handed down and/or taught?
  6. What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?
  7. What is the best book you’ve read recently (you don’t have to be done with it yet)?
  8. Do you enjoy answering surveys? (an easy “yes/no” as a breather…)
  9. Describe what you see outside the nearest window right now (hopefully there isn’t a lot of travel involved in answering this one).
  10. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
  11. What’s your favorite museum?

Another Phew! I went for “interested without being invasive or obtuse…,” hopefully I landed somewhere close to the target drop zone.

#6 Logo Time!

The last requirement is to post a Liebster image, and I chose the ‘Celebratory Chic-ster’ version:


That was pretty fun, and I hope my nominees take a moment to share some version of this beeswax with the rest of us enquiring minds (I think it’s obvious: I’m brazenly looking for my next favorite libation, movie, book, spice/condiment, museum, etc. – share your knowledge!).

Sending extra love to everyone reading this – we all need a hug today and every day.

Now off to today’s crafting!!