Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 2009

I'm not one for big New Year's Eve parties - in fact, ever since I completed my last chemo session on December 31, 1999 - I have preferred sitting around with friends and sharing a good bottle (or two) of cava and enjoying some fine food. This year, friends are gathering at our house for roasted chicken, french fries, arugula salad and truffled macaroni and cheese - my favorite side dish of all time. Here's the recipe for white truffle mac and cheese I found on-line at - it's really dreamy - especially since Sofia and I decided we should add an additional 1/4 cup of truffle oil! Lucy's bringing the flourless chocolate cake and Ryan is making hoop-la's - here's to ten year's!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lumiere de Noel

It's Christmas Eve and I just received another beautiful box of fabrics from Moda - our Holiday 2010 line - Lumiere de Noel. Filled with lots of red and white (big surprise), tea stain and a dash of green - this is one of my favorite fabric lines so far (I know - I said that last time too!) With this group - I am finally beginning to feel as if the old French reds look as if they are right off of an old boutis quilt. Actually this large floral print is right off of an old quilt we bought in France this summer at the flea market in Toulouse from Antonia. An old textile dealer, Antonia speaks French and Spanish - but no English - so all of our bargaining is done in a flurry using all of the languages and plenty of charades. One summer, we traveled a couple of hours south of Toulouse to have lunch with Antonia in her home. She proceeded to fill us with her cassoulet and plenty of home made wine - so that when we finally went downstairs to her cellar to dig through her collection of textiles - we cleaned her out...every last scrap we could find!
Although this line won't be available till summer - I am already starting to design some beautiful holiday patchwork stockings and quilts. I guess the inspiration funk has passed for now - and I can get back to work in the new year!
Happy Holidays to all and thank you - again and again - for reading, supporting and encouraging me to continue doing what I love to do. Merci!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Sometimes - I am totally uninspired - empty, negative, nada. It feels strange, uninvited and foreign - I don't like it. It creeps up on me out of nowhere and sometimes sticks around for a long time - even longer than the time before. When this happens, I think of a couple of people that I have known (and a few that I haven't) and I wonder if they ever feel this way. I'm not sure - but I am hoping that every once in a while Johnny Cash had those days when he couldn't produce anything - couldn't write, sing or even communicate his message. How does one find the inspiration to be creative when it just doesn't come naturally? And what is an acceptable amount of time before we should worry about our lack of inspiration - does it always come back? Anyway - not the sort of thing we should be worrying about in the middle of the holiday season - but sometimes the funk comes out of nowhere and I know if I just put a little Johnny will be alright. The circle won't be broken.....

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Spending a Week in France

Someone called the shop the other day and asked me what it's like spending a week in France at Chateau Dumas. Inspiring, energizing and relaxing were the first words that came to mind. Inspiration surrounds you in France - the history is deep and rich; energy abounds when you spend a week with a dozen creative women, and finally, relaxation comes easy in the elegant Chateau Dumas when you are sipping a local wine on the terrace at sunset.
Last summer was our first Chateau Getaway - everything was new and a learning experience for all. This summer, we're heading back for more adventures and comraderie. We'll be exploring medieval villages like Cordes sur Ciel, collecting old treasures at the brocante in Caussade, tasting fois gras at the farmer's market in St. Antonin, and dying our old white linen beauties in the woad bath at the chateau. We still have a handful of spots left and would love to have you join us and a chateau-full of creative women who come to craft, relax and soak up the culture of the rural French life. If you are interested, please e-mail me, we would like to have the trip fully booked by the beginning of the year so we can start our travel plans. Au revoir!