HAPPY 2008

Monday, December 31, 2007


To anyone & everyone who reads this blog....

Wishing You A Very Happy & Prosperous 2008

Happy New Year!!!


This is my first embellished little paper maché cottage with a tiny boxwood wreath of course he he so it is Boxwood Cottage!
I like to thank Ms. Sandy Gordon of the Art Tea Life blog for the little glitter tree, Ms Natalea Kandefer of Kandleland for the gorgeous little blue bird, Ms. Heather of Speckeled Egg for the white glitter dove and the green velvet leaf, Ms. Holly of Hollydoodle for the white snowy glitter on the roof and Ms Nicole of Small Treasures for the beautiful silver and blue flower steems, as well as Ms. Shelly of the Pink Barn for the little wooden spool and last but not least Ms. Charlotte Lyons of House Wren Studio for the inspiration. I'm so thankful that I got to know all of you artsy, crafty and creative ladies out there through flickr and our blogs and for all the wonderful swaps we did. What a fantastic community we all are! You make me happy! Thank you!

Happy New Year 2008 to all of you!

Hugs Carol xox


Sunday, December 30, 2007


A couple of friends have asked for my oatmeal brown bread recipe - so here goes: BTW today breadmaking is just not in the cards so i have had to rely on stock photo - will take a picture of my next oatmeal bread effort and replace it, I promise. Meanwhile - thanks to http:/

Directions: put one cup of quick oats(not instant, just quick) in a large bowl with about one eighth to a quarter cup of butter - oil simply will not do it - and some salt if you use it. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour over the oats and stir.
Meanwhile turn the oven to 350 or so and then add about a quarter cup or more to taste of dark molasses to the oat mixture. Allow to cool a little, while putting a teaspoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of powdered ginger in about a half cup of warm water - sprinkle an envelope of yeast over top and wait for it to become foamy, stir down and add to the cooled oatmeal mixture.
Then add by halfcup increments bread flour stirring until the mixture gets hard to beat - put about a cup of flour on your board and flour the top of the mixture you turnout onto the board - flour your hands too and keep working in and kneading, punch down with knuckles away from you, fold the dough add more flour, turn it around and on and on, until it feels very elastic and stiffer. Oil a bowl, put the dough in and turn it to cover with oil - set it on your stove top, and cover it with a clean dry teatowel. When it has doubled in size, punch it down and either make two freeform loaves out of it on a baking sheet or put in greased pans and again cover and let double
Place in oven at 350 to 375 and bake until browned and when you knock on the loaf it sounds somewhat hollow. Pull apart, butter and devour!
TO GO WITH: Homemade pea soup - put half a package of either green or yellow split peas in about 7 or 8 cups of cold water after having sorted through for impurities. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and add seasonings including pepper, garlic, onions and savory. Chop carrots or dice, add either a ham bone and leftover ham or a slice or two of toupie ham and a teaspoon of bacon fat. Optional - diced potato and/or dumplings. This soup is far better the second day,warmed over.



Several comments have been left by nice bloggers interested in having a tutorial in how to construct this quilt and I would love to do a tutorial for you all if there is enough interest - so if you would get any others that you know to make a comment requesting this I will go ahead and set one up - comments can also be left on my other blog on my quilt studio site:
Originally this quilt was made as a custom order for a young couple expecting their first child. At the same time I made a second one which was raffled off at the small independent school my grandchildren attended. Fun to make, and definitely not rocket science; in the tutorial there will be lots of room for your own creativity to shine!


Saturday, December 29, 2007


Hey Pals,
Where to start. We've had so many things going on this week, some good, and some bad. First we'll tell you about Christmas Eve day. It was not a good day. Our bedroom in the basement was getting drenched with water. Yep, the carpet was soaked, then water was coming out of the cedar wood on the walls, then it was coming out of the cedar on the ceiling. We couldn't figure out where the water was coming from either. But guessed it had to be something from the small bathroom upstairs. Snickers & I thought maybe it was those pesky mousies that keep invading our house, hehehehe. Mama had Papa call cousin Dave over to help out cause he is really smart about plumbing & things. Next they had to tear off the wood on the ceiling & walls in areas cause the cedar is tongue & groove. You just can't take one piece out, you need to start from an edge & remove many pieces & of course some of the pieces got broken. Needless to say the bedroom is quite a mess right now. Then they found wet drywall so they had to start cutting out the drywall in a few areas. Bingo! Water spraying out all over from a hot water copper pipe. Geez, there wasn't even supposed to be any plumbing lines on that side of the house. So handy cousin Dave cut the pipes & put some new pieces on & soldered them back together. Mission accomplished! Then the next bad news was that Mama would have to pay her deductible for insurance to pay for things, forget that! Too expensive. So they'll just have to fix things up the best they can by themselves. They won't be able to replace the carpet either.
Here are a few pictures, the pipe photos are after they were repaired.

Now we have to let everything dry out before fixing & putting things back together. Might be a while.
Update on our mousie hunt, we've caught 17 of those nasty mousies now. Papa had the jar of peanut butter sitting downstairs & they even chewed a bunch of the lid off to get inside of the jar. Mama is driving herself nuts with vacuuming cause she can't even stand the thought of mousie doodoo on things.

On Christmas Eve night we each got our prezzie from Mama & Papa. Snickers & I each got a stuffed wild Turkey! They really look like the real wild turkey too. Of course the squeaker in mine doesn't work already, but I haven't put any holes in the stuffie.

On Christmas Day, Papa finally got a doe deer. He still has another deer tag to fill yet. We also watched Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. Mama & Papa have to watch this movie every Christmas. They laugh their heads off during the whole movie. We especially like the part where Snots (the Rottweiler dog) chases the squirrel around the whole house wrecking everything in their way, hehehehee.

Now for an update on Koi T-Man's adventure, hehehehe. Remember that we are raising some of our baby koi in the sunroom pond through winter?? Well Mama was cleaning the filters & changing their water yesterday & little Koi T-Man decided he wanted to take a trip. So while Mama was in the bathroom, he proceeded to jump out of the pond & hopped around the sunroom floor. He was almost to the dining room table when Mama found him. Boy did she scold him. He's lucky she found him so fast. Otherwise he would have started to dry out on his scales & skin.

Now for some good news, we have some new blogging pals from South Africa. Square Face the Wire Fox Terrier & Muis his older sissy the Airedale. And guess what?? Square Face has the same birfday as Snickers does, except he's much younger. And some even better news, they are getting a new wirey sissy very soon. You can see photos of the wee tiny pup on their blog.
This is Square Face or known as Boeta:

This is Muis:
So please go visit them & say ahrooooooo!!!

Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Ancient Bronze Treasure


Here is the finished piece that I originally posted on 15th December 07.... I'm sooooo pleased with it!... am reluctant to sell it!!! :-)

My Etsy Beadweavers Red Challenge Necklace


Here is my first entry for the Etsy Beadweavers Red Challenge.... I had a lot of fun making it, because it forced me to combine colours that I may not have otherwise used together.... and I do love red!.... although had a hard time finding red beads in my stash..... but that made it all the more fun, because the challenge fuelled my creativity....

I'm really pleased with the result, especially as it is only my second-ever bead-embroidered piece.... I LOVE it! .... and hope you'll love it too and vote for me :-) (see below)
Bead embroidered and spiral-stitched, made of Czech seed beads, Japanese triangles, Swarovsky crystals, Japanese bugles, embellished with fringes of seed beads and Swarovsky crystals. The centrepiece measures 2 ½” x 2 ¾”, with an additional 3” of fringe, and hags from a 19” long spiral-stitched rope embellished with dark red Swarovsky crystals, complemented by a square-stitched toggle. The back of the centrepiece is lined with real suede.

Please visit from the 7th January and view all the wonderful entries at the EBW’s blog and vote for your favourite piece from a selection of very talented bead weavers.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Just a note to say to all of you as we ring out the old 2007 and ring in the new 2008, how very special you have made this year for me! I will never cease to be completely Amazed and entirely Delighted by all of the Incredible artwork being created! I am absolutely and utterly inspired by you! I look forward to new adventures in creating, blogging and sharing together in the New Year to come! Cheers!

Updated picts.


Avia came round today, and took photos of some of my new work....

Here is an updated and finished photo of Judy's necklace.

I LOVE it! but best of all... she loves it!!!!! :-)

It may have taken a few attempts to get there.... but have already started my second piece and in my mind have already started my third (which I'm going to make for myself) :-)

Very pleased with the result!!!

Got a bit of work to get the photos uploaded, hopefully in a couple of days all will be revealed... :-)

till then...


Thursday, December 27, 2007


A friend on the(much milder)West Coast of Canada just emailed me and hoped that I was snug as a bug as we have a severe weather warning out. It has already been snowing for a couple of hours and I emailed him back that as well as being snug as a bug, I was also smug as a bug - having 1)gone down off the mountain to bank and buy groceries before it started, 2)proceeded to bring in a gigantic pile of wood for the stove from my outdoor pile instead of lazily bring it in from the enclosed back porch/woodshed, 3)spent the afternoon quilting, eaten supper, had a nice little nap and 4)I am prepared to quilt all evening.
We talked about looking back over the year and looking forward to the New Year's clean slate. I feel good that I have managed to cut down my waiting list for my customer's finished commissions and am finally in a position to set aside time for my own creative muse and for some serious stash busting. Talk about visions of sugarplums - what a bunch of quilt ideas I have jostling around to get accomplished.
I've only made one or two designs of my own this year so it will be a great joy to do more now.
For a long time now I have wanted to try translating a Joe Norris painting into fiber art. His paintings are so reflective of the hard, brilliant Northern Atlantic light seen in Nova Scotia; and his designs frequently include a decorated frame evocative of applique quilt borders - with all the great balis and marbles it should be a joy to try one.
I also want to do either a small or a larger quilt using the traditional 19th century red, green and acid yellow prints - perhaps this small Birds of a Feather hanging for a friend who needs a "no-occasion" gift right now. Anyway, lots of ideas!!! Lots of fun!! And best of all can use up a tiny fraction of my stash.
I'm planning to make the best of this enforced stay at home time.

Lifeways Part One

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


More Light Festival images, no relation to text.

Inspired by Allen L's protestations (please see Those Dangerous White Suburbs comments), I invite readers to contribute what cultural anthropologists call Lifeways, a custom, practice, or art, behaviorisms (an approach to psychology that measures observable behavior) particular to their neighborhood. Allen notes wilding dogs cast adrift by indifferent owners, and "mid-streetin'", traffic blocking conversations between motorists.

Lifeways in the center city are evolving, owing in part to technology and unyielding demographic change. The cell phone, for example, has replaced the "ghetto bell", that practice of horn honking to summon passengers.

Ever noisy street vendors have been reinvented, peddling tamales, pork rinds, buttered corn, and even plant food for roses. Fruit sellers encamp at high traffic intersections, hawking oranges by the bag, cut flowers, and salted peanuts.

The Free Gaff or House Party has been replaced by the Fiesta, frequently an indoor-outdoor affair, accompanied by effect lighting, and often preceded by a daytime kiddie bash with requisite Cartoon Network themed jumper.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007



Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Judy's B-day Neckalce


I haven't written for a while.... been busy making Judy's birthday present.... the inspiration, suggested by Judy, was a peacock... here is my interpretation of it.... after two previous scrapped attempts.... I now like it!.... I hope Judy likes it too!!! :-)

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007


Four photographs of the 12th annual Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Light Festival.

This year the festival, laid over a one-mile segment of Crystal Springs Drive, switched to LED (light emitting diodes) lighting.
While the route is open to all forms of transportation, walking only nights were scheduled this year between November 21 - 25.

More images on Boxing Day. The festival runs through December 30th, from 5 to 10 p.m.
Merry Christmas!

S. Tilden Norton


It was my privilege to serve as a porch docent (and shepherd) during the recent West Adams Heritage Association Holiday Tour. I was stationed at 1656 W. 25th Street, an early work (1905) of accomplished architect S. Tilden Norton, about whom I generated part of the following spiel:

Samuel Tilden Norton, or S. Tilden Norton as he was known (possibly to distinguish himself from former New York governor Samuel Tilden and Olympic wrestler Samuel Norton Gerson), was born in Los Angeles on January 21, 1877, the son of Isaac and Bertha Norton. Isaac Norton, advantageously, was the founder of a building and loan firm. Bertha Norton-Greenbaum is thought to be the first Jewish child born in L.A., in 1851. A graduate of Los Angeles High School in 1895, S. Tilden Norton began his professional training at 18, apprenticing in New York City, and for local architect Edward Neissen.

In 1902, Mr. Norton founded his own architectural practice, later teaming on some of his biggest assignments with partner Frederick H. Wallis (or F.H. Wallis).

S. Tilden Norton was a prominent Jewish citizen, serving as president of the Board of Trustees of Congregation B'Nai B'Rith, the first president of the Jewish Men's Professional Club of Los Angeles, director of the Federation of Jewish Welfare Organizations, president of the Jewish Consumptive Relief, and the Nathan Straus Palestine Society. Subsequently, many of his most prominent works were ecclesiastical : the B'Nai B'rith Lodge (9th & Union, 1923), the Jewish Orphans Home of Southern California (1924), Sinai Temple (407 S. New Hampshire, 1924), Young Men's Hebrew Association (Soto St. and Michigan Ave, 1925), Israel Temple (Franklin and Argyle, 1927), and a clubhouse for the Council of Jewish Women (1928). He was also one of three architects attributed with the iconic Wilshire Boulevard Temple, completed in 1929 at Hobart & Wilshire, and for whom he served as president in the 1950's.

Norton is further credited with several surviving downtown landmarks including the 1927 Financial Center Building (with F.H. Wallis) at 704 S. Spring St. (which housed his own office), the William Fox Building (now the Fox Jewelry Mart, 608 S. Hill St., 1929), and the opulent Los Angeles Theatre (1930 co-credit with S. Charles Lee). The Los Angeles Theatre enjoys continuing life as a prime venue during the Last Remaining Seats program. Other enduring highlights include The Greek Theatre (1913) and the Shane Building (Hollywood & Cherokee, 1930 now "Hollywood Center").

S. Tilden Norton and his family lived for many years in Fremont Place where he was known to design at least one home. He died in 1959 at 82 years of age.

Harvard Heights henchmen Danny Miller and Bob Myers contributed to this piece.

Winter in L.A.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


With the threat of drought perhaps abated, or at least momentarily muffled, I enjoyed the winter radience today as I seldom realize, strolling about central West Adams, calling on clients, neighbors.

I thought of those English painters obsessed with atmospherics, mist, haze, and crystal clarity, repulsed by prettified landscapes, Constable and Turner.

Here's one example of William Turner at his shimmering, tranquil best, light and color as more than mere pictorial elements. Mood matters.






Hey Pals,
We wanted to say an extra special THANKS! to everyone for the wonderful Christmas cards you've been sending to us. So far we have received 93 cards & Mama & Papa have only gotten 6, hehehehe! Here is an updated photo of our cards displayed in the air:
We hope all of the cards we have sent out to other countries have arrived. If not, they should be there soon.

Have your Mama's been super busy baking stuff lately?? Our Mama has been today at least. She started baking early this morning. So I Butchy decided to play with some of my Christmas stuffies.
First I got them all out onto the floor:
Let's see, this green & white bone is from Snowball...
The tan gingerbread man is from Gussie...
Oooooh, the red reindeer is from sweet little Asta in NY...
I think I'll play with the red reindeer......
Later on today we could smell something baking & it wasn't sweets. Hmmmph, we wonder what it is. Looks kinda weird, like weird colored potato chips.......see???
Oh our dawgness, Mama made us homemade dried sweet potatoes!!! Yummy, yummy!!!
And they actually taste delish! Almost as good as the Sams Yams that you can buy at the stores. Here is how you make them in case anyone wants to beg their Mama to make some for them:
Wash & slice up fresh sweet potatoes/yams. You can even cut them into french fries if you wish. Place potatoes onto baking sheets. Place in 200 degree oven for 2-3 hours. You must prop the oven door open about 1-2 inches with a wooden spoon. Bake until desired crunchiness. If you like them softer, take out at 2 hours.

These are the goodies that Mama was baking today. The pie is an actual photo but for the cheesecake & log roll, those are the recipe photos. Mama can't cut up or remove the items from the pans until ready to serve tomorrow.
This is pecan pie:
This is Mama's famous Oreo Cookie Cheesecake:
This is a chocolate cake/peppermint log roll:
It's really delectable. The pink filling is a homemade whipped cream with crushed peppermint candies in it & there is also chocolate frosting on the outside of the cake roll. If anyone is interested in the recipes, just let us know & we'll email them to you.
We hope everyone is having fun getting ready for their Christmas festivities for the next 2 days. Time to help Mama wrap some prezzies, tee hee! (we hope there are some for us!!)
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers
PS Anyone want some snow for Christmas??? we got a ton of it last night & need to get rid of it. We can even color it yellow for you, wahahahahaha!

WISHING YOU PEACE AND GOODWILL - (and lots of quilting time!)


Pieceful wishes for a happy and safe holiday season - best wishes from a non-consumer this year and every year and hopes that your creative juices flow into your quilts this coming New Year!!
Personally, I am giving gift certificates from this year - an organization that enables you and I to loan to people wishing to develope their businesses in third world countries through local ngo's specializing in microfinance.
I have been reading many blogs lately and am inspired by them to bust stash and use it in "my time" quilts every weekend, leaving the week days to my commissioned work - it's time now to do something for my own creative urges rather channeling them all into commissioned quilts. You will be hearing from me and seeing these quilts that are bubbling to the surface - I look forward to communicating with you all and taking my example from your creativity!
Janet in beautiful coastal Nova Scotia

We've Been Busy

Friday, December 21, 2007


Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

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