Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas travels Part 3.

We traveled from Kingsville to S. Padre Island staying at Isla Blanca, a county Park, on the very tip of the island.  It is a favorite place for snow birds, mostly from Illinois. They were very friendly.  We walked the perimeter of the park and the south side of the Island.  It was just as windy as we remembered  from 30 years ago.  Otherwise it is now built up with resort hotels. 

I managed to have a very merry Christmas between our special wines with dinner and after dinner drinks as well as partying with the neighbors.  Need I add my recall is vague on the evening part. 

From here we moved west to Mission, the valley.  The weather was wet and cold.  We managed to find grapefruit, pineapple and oranges from a roadside vendor. SO juicy.

We stayed at a lovely park the Bentsen Palm Village, well managed and cared for.  They even had labels on all the plants.  It is next to an international birding center.  Chris borrowed a bicycle and went there.  (I was recovering from my excesses of the day before).  He saw this green jay, apparently this is one of the few locations it can be found.  

 He knew what it was because of the excellent write up at the viewing stand.  He also said there appears to be a statue of a monkey across the border in Mexico waving. 

The weather forecast for the next few days was for rain and cold so we headed home.  It is only 260 miles away so we can visit at a warmer time.  Super break, we had so much fun.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas travel Day 3 to 5

We left Port Aransas and headed south to Kingsville and an RV park called Sea Wind that is a County Park, well managed very friendly and run by a woman who was very helpful.  The tour of the King ranch never happened as the tour was full and we were not very impressed by the museum so we went over to the Kenedy Museum in Sarita.  It was closed although there were no signs to indicate this until you arrived there.  And it was windy. wow!!  So we walked around the camp and called it a day.  This is me sitting under the afghan Lynn Kelly made for me.  It has little cat buttons  sewn to it.  On the shelf behind me is the lighted bottle arrangement Carolyn made us for Christmas.  Those are fabric post cards on the wall from a swap, the theme was music.

Our Christmas travels Day1-3

First stop  Port Aransas via way the Aransas Pass ferry.  I am scared of heights bridges and being on the edge and being in an RV on a ferry is scary.  (note beading supplies on the dash) That guy is directing us forward,  right on the very front with a view onto the water.

Chris just loved  my stiff look ahead , convinced my eyes were shut.

This is the marina in front of the only open restaurant.  It was sunny and warm

Texas beaches are considered roadways so you can drive on many beaches.  This beach goes for about 20 miles all the way to Mustang Island State Park. We found this RV parked on the beach during our morning walk.  It was hand painted.  Walking on the beaches is just fabulous.  This is all part of Padre Island

Friday, December 11, 2009


This should really be called another mad moment from Monica.  My DIL finally contacted us and said the green dress was a little short.   So I was all set to use the recent cottons by Kaffee Fasset for some little dresses when a cold front came through Kerrville; making cotton dresses seemed redundant. There was no winter fabric available so my psyche grabbed on to the season.  Searching my stash I found vintage black velvet and ribbon striped organza from Malaysia.  Thus began the velvet dress project with a pattern I drafted and the discovery that no-one writes about lining dresses that have gathered skirts  and a velvet bodice with a zipper.  
I decided to add the lining to the front and backs and the skirt and then to sew them all together.  This was a bad decision.  Suddenly I was confronted with joining the shoulders.  Lots of bad words, undoing and skillful moves with the sewing machine eventually resulted in back and front joined.  The skirt and lining  was to be treated as one piece when I realized the black zipper tape would show through the organza in the skirt.  Hours of working trying this and that, more hand basting and sewing than ever dreamed of. The zipper was hand picked and guess what the teeth showed every where. By then it was day 3 and I was not undoing the whole dress so the final version has an organza ribbon lightly attached to the dress over the lower zipper. So that is the dress saga.  So I expect this one to be too long.  Sort of Orphan Annie look or "Lets Play Princess" dress.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Posted by PicasaSue and her brother Tom.  This is the first time I have used Picasa to add photos.  Sue prepared a great feast as always and even gave us leftovers to take home.  So the feast goes on.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Menieres Disease

When  was diagnosed with Menieres Disease back in the late 70"s.  There was no information anywhere.  Now there is plenty on-line.  Regretablly, they are just as far from finding a way to prevent or arrest it and it appears to be a cluster of  symptoms.  From what I read on the web people remain in a superstitious round of searches for a "cure".  I found relief from vertigo by taking SERC a drug you have to have compounded in the USA, if you do not have the sense to go to Canada Pharmacy.  Now I found a young ENT guy in my little Texas town who specializes in the dizzies.  He knows all about Menieres.  He also put me on 16mg a twice a day of SERC as it has a short life in the body.  I had me on 24mg once a day.  Well lets face it back in the mid 90's when I research friend put me onto the Bandolier sight no US ENT admitted to knowing about SERC.  Since I have had the disease for over 30 years it has now entered a final stage where the tinnitus will not go away.  I just completed a chart of my Herpes outbreaks as I am convinced that is the source of  my disease.  And online I did notice no mentioned if they had chickenpox as a child.  I had a terrible case at age 3 and i am convinced this little pox is the source of my menieres.   Every time i have a herpes outbreak the tinnitus gets worse.  I have had at least one herpes outbreak a month since May.  This return of herpes all started with my second Breast Cancer in 2006.  In fact after each fill in the reconstruction phase of my mastectomy, I had a herpes outbreak.  But somehow when your fighting BC everything else takes a back seat.  So why this post well i want to document the whole shebang.  Dr. B is trying to control the symptoms of Menieres, a first for me.  Over the past 30 years I had one 10 year free run and then Meniere's  returned.  my hearing has fluctuated as have the pressure, fullness, brain fog.  AT least SERC enabled me to live without fear of vertigo and paying homage to the porcelain god.   Now I move on and will begin to look at hearing aid.  At least ear buds help me to enjoy TV and drown out the roaring.

Hearing aid and devises are somewhere in the dark ages of electronics.  I bought a Pocket Talker in 2006.  next to iPhone, ipods and even my T-mobile cell it is clunky and the headphones belong in a museum but the clever designer used a connector that is different to all the new headphones so I'm stuck.  It actually works better on the phone than as a listening device.   So that's todays grip.  Today I can hear the TV without the hook ups but cannot trust what I hear!.  OH yes all those great HDTVs with digital everything have terrible speakers.   Chris fixed up the headphones through all the audio equipment and was so impressed with the sound quality he made it so we both have headphones and hand signal to each other.

Friday, November 13, 2009

RAW necklace my design

I tried uploading this to the Yahoo Group Beadchat and it would not work so i placed it here.  This is from an I phone photo.   

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A dress for a little girl.

Upper left is the dress a fine corduroy from a Simplicity pattern.  Their instructions were pathetic and they never once said press open seams.  My skills were like me rusty and I had to look up how to insert a zipper.  Finally one of those old Singer  books had the easy way  but not before I had sewed and trimmed the pink facing.  As someone on Pattern Review (PR) put it "next time my way"  and cover the edges with the facing.  The armholes were faced with bias tape.  I think next time turn under.  The hem facing was my idea.

So tomorrow it is off to England and if it fits I will happily make more with some cute embellishments.


On the Quiltart list recently discussion centered round a magnificent quilt Golliville, a winner for workmanship at PQIF.  Between outrage over racism and the fact the quilts original design came from a pattern the list has managed to bring out the proper purse lipped puritans and policeman in all of these folks.  Few bothered to trace the origins of Gollies and the rules of the show.  I too may be flogged by the PC so I will say that the wonderful workmanship belongs to Ruth DuBord and is in memory of the friend who bought her the kit that she adapted to her design.
Gollies were popularized originally in England in late Victorian times when the Roberson Jam owner returned from a trip to the southern states with a cloth doll that he obtained from a freed slave woman.  Apparently they made the dolls for their children.  He went on to put them on the labels for his jams were they resided until recent times when they were deemed racist. English mothers created their version of the doll from the mid 1800s on. Commercial dolls soon hit the market. Francis Upton then Enid Blyton popularized Gollies and their adventures in books.  When i was a child everyone had one.  mine protected me and played with me.  Sadly he died when he fell in the wash tub.  So i started buying them and now have 4 and a wall plaques from Robertsons.   My friend Hazel's son had a beauty made by an elderly nursing home resident 30 years ago.  He did not want to sell it to me!

 Here on the left are 2 commercial Gollies.  On the right these two are hand  knitted.  I bought them from  knit shop in Broadstairs, Kent UK  in 1980.  They were really selling the patterns but the price was right so I bought them.  Every year we returned to  i went to this shop and bought gifts from the shop.  By then they were selling tons of knitted dolls etc.  Then in1990 it was gone.  I find these two gollies absolutely fabulous.
Gosh by Golli Google has removed spell check!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Houston International Quilt festival

This year the festival seemed truly international with a forest from Germany, Indigo from China, an exhibition from the Tokyo Show and a delightful Russian exhibit. This was an exhibit from the heart. Life remains hard in Russia. They have limited fun spending money and treasure scraps. (Pity postage is so high I and my sewing buddies could supply the nation). Despite this hardship(?) they create beautiful works of art, full of love, vision and passion. Sadly it was an exhibition where you could not take photos as they sold a DVD from which there was no posting, copyright etc.

You can take photos of the World of Beauty and the juried show as long as you can give the artist credit. That is fine if you write it down and can read your writing or photo it or get it from the catalog that sadly i lost. So my favorites are on my screen saver, so 'Ya'll come By'. The winners are on Quilts Inc. At least they allow photos so you can look and be awed all over again. Incredible works and this year they had a photo show of what inspires quilters. Loved the raccoon and the one with a wine glass at sunset. Houston is such a well laid out exhibition and vendor show, the influence of a woman of taste, Karey Bresenham.

So here are friends Hannah and Peggy towering over me. It was so much fun to go shopping with them. We were thrilled to see the resurgence of Sweat shirt jackets. We all bought fabulous patterns for a bag from Peacock Patterns. Now i can use my 20 years of accumulated silks all, part of a retirement plan to make crazy quilts; a plan abandoned in month 2 of retirement,.

Hannah, Monica and Peggy

This is the line 10 minutes after the show opened on Friday. I think women shopped to jump start the economy with great passion and spirit.
Here are three visitors from Japan. Peggy and i thought they were edgy, super cool or what ever adjective you prefer for young styles. I left the woman in green shirt in as I thought it sort of generational !

I intended to photo the gals at Beyond Beadery. I have seen them once a year for at least 20 years or from when they were skinny cool chicks. They have remained cool if not skinny. Their display is so full of glitz and color I immediately abandon my "list" and get home and go "what was I thinking". That was my big spend. For $100 of beads you come away with a quart Zip Lock bag.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

fabric book

Here is the fabric book Deanie and I created as a gift for the Guild president. The guild was making blocks for her to make into a Texas theme quilt and said "be sure to do your block exactly as we tell you" . So we thought it better we not do a block!!!!

L Monica Rt Deanie That is an embroidered tree below the applique

L Monica Rt Deanie
left Deanie; Rt Monica, below the Front

Inside front L Monica; Rt Deanie the flag is needle felted.


This is the topaz stone removed from a crappy ring setting. Many years ago Chris bought this for me in Hong Kong or somewhere around there. It came with earrings and a bracelet. The only thing i could wear where the earrings as the ring and bracelet where too big. No unable to wear earring I have started the topaz on a new journey. It's not that they are valuable it's just the latest crazy for me; my version of recycling or going green, well in this case brown!

After several starts and stops I downloaded Glenda Payseno's book on cabochons as she had a different method than Eakin or Serrafini/Kummil an all needle weaving technique. Technically the topaz is NOT a cabochon rather a Rivoli but they both need some kind of bezal as there are no holes. And lets face it that since the dawn of beading some ancient woman figured this out. Below is the first band for the bezel, a daisy chain. A great alternative to peyote which really requires cylinder or really really delicas.

Not that it avoids peyote you have to really secure the bezel with a couple of rows. This is the back. Since the back has a point it was hard to fit and i thought the band would be too big.

its not and I was so excited. That I finished it. In fact I have yet to cut all the treads. This is actually the back view.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book Mark Swap

Stargazertome a Yahoo group has some very interesting swaps. Many of the group are doll makers, it is after all moderated by Patti Culea. The bookmark theme was "Art Deco meets Art Nouveau". Here are the bookmarks I received ( i forgot to photo mine).
So from left to right Rhonda Simonis from Australia, Joy Couturas, Milford C; Fran Jenkins, Colorado;and Barbara Roberts, her mermaid has little sand dollar buttons for boobs. My photo does not do them justice they are really gorgeous.
Best swap in along time.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Time waster

Since joining Face book I have come to realize that there are MANY people who waste far more time than i do online. Now i know why they all have growths on their ears, why some women seem glued to the potty in the Ladies room why other sit in their cars like stalkers only busy punching tiny buttons on cellular wonders.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More bead weaving

This is a bracelet I started in a class with Sue Charrette-Hood on spiral peyote. I intended making a necklace but I was bored and so its a bracelet.

My friend Peggy is a terrific seamstress and on her blog today bubbled with enthusiasm for Sandra Betzina's latest patterns. Peggy's blog

I read Sandra's blog and it was the accessories that moved me. Can't you all see me in thigh high boots. I may have to resurrect my platform shoes from the 70s. I wonder if i can find platform Crocs!!!

I love some of that big chunky jewelry they are showing. They must me made of some kind of plastics. I thought the one on the model on Sandra's blog could be made from the cardboard roll in toilet tissue and painted in glossy acrylic. Save those toilet rolls. I think I better return to making a fabric book.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Kay Collection

This is part of my Kay collection it has a special place on my kitchen counter. My friend Kay gives me all kinds of crazy stuff usually functional. Most of them are orange! So I decided these two were the Kay Collection. On the right is Rings. Rings is really a clock but I cannot set those tiny buttons correctly. SO we found his real purpose in life- to hold my rings-when I am cooking and also as a means to prevent me just putting them down and loosing them. On the left is his friend and handy cell phone holder. Of course handy is not for folks whose cell phone has become an appendage it is for those of us who use a cell rarely and prefer to see it in a holder!

This is Pisstoff. He is a mechanical timer. you wind him up and off he goes. Isn't he absolutely fabulous!
Not photographed is Boogie a pen holder in my car.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This is one of the cabochons I made with help from Jamie Cloud Eakins's book. Of course they look nothing like her elegant pieces. this is my favorite. i bought the 6 stones in Bakersfield CA. They really are too thick so I had to use big beads. The crazy agates look like a captured place in another time. Most of the cabochons I have seen are very stiff and formal and I wanted to make something more relaxed and frivolous. So here it is.

This next one was forever in design as it was sort of greys and white with some yellow. After I finished it i called it crazy hair day and felt it belonged as part of a one of my "women".
So her she is as the face of my Warrior Queen ( WQ).
AND to think I actually had the photos come out in the right order. Have to keep saying "and the last shall be first".

Monday, August 31, 2009

My High Anxiety necklace

I always have something to work on when we travel and now wrist is fixed it's back to beading. I only meant to make the rope but decided to try the rest of it just for fun. It became an obsession. It is from June/July Beadwork from a project by girl wonder Scarlett Lanson. At just 18 she has become queen of glitz for her crystal bead weaving designs. I have very little in the way of crystals so I changed it up and used glass drops and other seed beads.

This is the focal bead.
here is the covered clasps and end covers that I had to work out.
here is the whole thing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sue gave me a birthday cake from Clark's. Luscious chocolate. We were going to a wine and food tasting for my birthday so we froze it. By Friday I was craving it so Saturday we defrosted it.

Not a happy pussy. He loves Cool Whip


Nothing going right. necklace not going together, swap bookmarks a disaster. And that DAM Facebook cannot post the photos so I will put them up here.