Friday, October 31, 2008

Holy Cow!

You have to love a kid that goes all out on Halloween as a dancing cow! Sofia came up with this idea and worked it to the hilt - tap dancing her way through the costume parade at school. Let's see if she can keep it up through the night!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Work Related

Digging through some of the antique textile booths at Quilt Market, I came upon a whole stack of quilted patched squares made out of rural work clothes. Old stripes cut right out of the coveralls, mixed with early brown woven plaids - all fit together perfectly to make up these earthy patches.
By 1900 upper- and middle-class women had turned to other types of needlework, and quilts were considered old-fashioned and quaint. Southern quilts from the first two decades of the twentieth century were typically made from fabrics left over from making everyday clothing. Quilt making, handed down through generations became a necessity of life. Using old clothes was an economical way to keep your family warm at night while recycling clothes that could no longer be worn working in the fields. I have a whole new appreciation for the early American rural cloths that were woven and manufactured after the cotton gin was invented.

When I got home. I pulled out some old cards with work-related buttons that I had picked up years ago at Brimfield. Someone had collected all of the buttons off of her families clothing - Levis, Burlington, Granite - all companies that were making the clothes that men and women were wearing while working on the farm - and hand-sewn them onto cards to preserve them. Mostly brass or pewter, but some Bakelite and even wooden buttons survived because someone took the time organize and document her collection. This is something I need to take time to do - sort and organize my collection of notions and fabric so that someone will be able to "read" the history of my accumulation - or.... collection.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Houston by High Noon

The International Quilt Market begins this weekend, and I am off to Houston to start getting my feet wet. I'll be signing copies of Home Sewn at both the Moda Booth - Saturday at 2 and the Brewer's Quilting Booth - Sunday at 1. I'll also be meeting up with some Japanese friends who are master quilters. In fact - some of the Japanese sewers I know are craft stars in Japan. I spent the day today preparing a present for each Japanese friend - because not only is a small token greatly appreciated but the fact that you took the time to package it is a true sign of admiration.
I am hoping to keep my eyes and ears open and learn as much as I can about this new patchwork territory - I never thought in a million years I would be thinking of designing quilts - but it feels like a natural extension for me. I love mixing the old patterns and colors together - and what better way than to use a large piece of fabric as your canvas.  
Two times to Texas within the last month....I'm hoping to go out for Texas barbeque again - I'm packing my cowboy boots - just in case.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Almost Husband

Many people don't know this, but I always thought I was going to marry Bono. That's right, the rock star, Bono. A few people in my family, including JZ, have always thought that if I ever had the opportunity, it would happen. No matter that Bono has been married to the same beautiful woman, Ali, for 20 plus years and that he has four children. Last night, as I was sitting less than 10 feet away from him, listening to him talk at the annual Women's Conference in Long Beach, I think we both realized, maybe independently, that this marriage was probably never going to happen. 
My old room mate from London, Diane, was visiting and e-mailed me around noon inviting me to come down and listen to Bono - as well as Billie Jean King, Gloria Steinem and Bonnie Rait. What a rush. This yearly even is put on by Maria Schriver and her husband, the governor of California. 14,000 women gather to engage in conversations about passion and the power to change ourselves and the world around us. Here's a little bit of what my (almost) husband had to say - he was passionate, convincing and everything I thought he would be. I was so impressed with his belief that each and every one of us can work towards changing the world for the better - or like Bono said, the world is so much more malleable than he ever thought. Amen.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cover Girl

Whenever there is a lot going on...I forget about projects we worked on six months ago that are just now coming out.  Where Women Create - a new quarterly magazine debuts this month and it just so happens....French General's notion room is on the cover.  Woo hoo!  I know I shouldn't complain, but you know how you feel when you see a photo of yourself that isn't showing your best side....that's how I feel when I see this cover...I wish I could rewind.  Where is the do-over button?  When am I ever going to be happy with what it is - not what it could be? 
I think this could be a fun magazine - it's all about women's creative spaces.     

Friday, October 03, 2008

Frugal Scraps

Here's a little look at the ticking collection that arrived from Elizabeth Baer. I was so inspired when I received it that I wrote to Polly Leonard at Selvedge Magazine in London and asked her if we could write an article about this curated collection of old, utilitarian fabric. Not only was Polly interested in the idea - but she wants to put this story into her Frugal edition out this spring - sounds perfect to me!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mushroom Art

I like it. I don't like it. I want it and I don't want it. Was this some sort of cement garden art - and if so, why? You have to admit, the Victorian's figured out a way to make everything look as if it was a piece of art. I want it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Indian Summer

I always think the long, hot summer is over and then somehow it sneaks up on me again. The last few days have felt like triple digits here in Los Angeles - even though it's probably only in the 90's. Every one seems to be a little out of it - no one is prepared for the heat that decides to park it for a few more weeks.
Here's the odd phenomena, the pool is cold as ice. It's a hard one to figure out, but JZ thinks that once the nights turn cooler, around Labor Day, the pool temperature drops. No matter how warm the days are - the pool never gets to that comfortable, "swimmable" level again.
This makes me think of the Polar Bear Club in Old Saybrook, Connecticut - which I heard Katherine Hepburn was once part of - she would dive into the Atlantic every morning for a quick swim.
Which makes me think about Paul Newman - who I l have loved ever since my family watched The Sting - my dad's favorite movie. I heard one of the DJ's on KCRW say he was a great man because he had been married for fifty years.
But this photo makes me think about my mom who was shot in the leg with a bee-be gun one day whiles she was sitting on the pier at the lake in Neenah, Wisconsin. She was shot by a boy who liked her more than she liked him. Like I said, Indian Summer......