Thursday, October 25, 2012

Junkyard dogs

Dandy and Bode are always with me.

Whenever I look up I can see at least one of them.

The other is probably tucked under my feet.

Their fur is woven into crochet projects.

They are the first to greet me in the morning.

Mostly to remind me it's breakfast time.

We've traveled thousands of miles together.

Bode sleeps under my bed.

They are my cooking companions, chief floor lickers.

Companions, comforters, consolers, cheerleaders, cuties.

Our high desert retreat features the delightful Red.

His old girl, faithful and friendly.

We spent a lot of time outside together.

Best friends.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Up and Over

What?  Winter?  What's winter?

And so I found myself happily enjoying a fine week at my favorite high desert retreat, cooking, walking the boys on crispy cool mornings, washing and waxing the fleet, hammering some new designs in the woodsy scented shop and generally enjoying the days and loving the star filled nights.

We bought superb pie pumpkins and roasted them for a pumpkin pie.  It was the perfect fall week.

Sunday night we were disappointed to find the stars obscured by clouds which blocked our meteor shower viewing.  I needed to head back over the mountain on Monday morning and woke early to the scent of fresh rain with the newsman showing us the snow covered Donner Pass.

Chain control, shit.

Delaying a couple of days was not possible, had to go anyway.

I have gotten lazy about having a snow kit in my FJ, which was a given in Minnesota by mid October if you're smart.  I had no boots, no gloves, no warm coat, no hat and no chains.  However, unless it's really bad the FJ doesn't have to be chained and is such a tank it barely notices bad weather.

I've spent my life driving in terrible conditions, deep cold, wet snow, driving rain, blowing and drifting snow, you name it I've probably driven though it.  But heading over the pass isn't something I'd do on a whim, mainly because of all the drivers who don't have my experience and thus have no fear, those are the dangerous ones and often you can't avoid them.

Here's the day...

 Cruising south on 395, stunning clouds all around, snow dusting the mountains.

Heading up 80 from Reno, not so bad.

 Getting more serious but still pretty easy.

Hmmmm, waiting in line to get through chain control.  Big truck, big truck, big truck, Mini Cooper, big truck, big truck.

 Discovering that being stopped can give you the most magnificent view ever.  Here it got sort of rough, deep  wet snow, not safe to take pics.

And heading down from the summit, piece of cake.

It was warm enough to be mostly wet with the excitement of one or two poor folk who ended up over the side or in a bank.  I was planning to stop at the highest rest stop to let the boys play in the snow, but a car had spun out and blocked the exit.  I wonder why he thought he could drive through snow that was deeper than his undercarriage?

Make sure you click on the pics to see them BIG.

I had a great time until I got into Colfax and my phone started blaring a severe weather warning, TORNADO!  WTF?

Truth, we had a whole evening of tornado sightings and a small touch down in Yuba City  I got home and spent the evening fairly close to an interior closet, just in case.

Glad to be home.

Friday, October 12, 2012


She's beautiful, artistically talented, fun to hang out with and really good with a .357.

This is what happens when two artists decide to take a break from the studio, from torching, hammering, bending wire and polishing fine metals.

We do lunch and then hang out at the Range.

A couple of years back I was hoping for some great friendships, things have turned out well and are getting better all the time.

Of course, she likes to jump out of airplanes, that I think I will skip.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Little Red Hen

I hauled the big ladder out of the garage and stuffed it in the FJ.

Went up to Nevada City to my old neighborhood and precariously perched myself on the ladder to pick about a half bucket of yellow plums.  Sigh...last year there wasn't anyone living there and I managed to pick three buckets full just from the branches that hung over the street.  This year the house occupant used them, which is good, at least they didn't go to waste.

Then I went to the farm (Starbright Acres Farm) and cruised through their vege stand where I found masses of beautiful basil, green peppers, heirloom tomatoes and some gorgeous eggplant.

This afternoon I roasted two pie pumpkins, boiled the plums to release the juice and made three big batches of pesto.  My kitchen smells heavenly.

I put a couple of big spoonfuls into a baggie and freeze them, they don't retain their color very well but are wonderful tossed into pasta or soups.

The plums are juiced and ready to boil up into jelly tomorrow.  The kitchen is clean and I'm beat.

In between I spent some time in my studio preparing a last minute custom order.

Busy days, productive days, looking forward to the weekend Open Studio Tour again and then a nice week in the high desert with my man.  I'm going to see how much work I can get done there, during the day anyway.

Peaceful dreams.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Biting off a big chunk -

And trying not to choke.

The curtains from the fancy store that starts with a P cost way too much for our budget.  I said I could make them and we spent less than 40 dollars on fabric.

While in Austin my goal was to finish those curtains and after hours and hours of seaming and ruffling I actually did finish, whew!

Here they are, each panel has 15 layers of ruffles in simple white muslin, they look like a crazy dress or a wedding cake maybe.

The room is pale, pale lavender, the sleigh crib is dark wood and their new flooring is dark and rich too.  These will be the only floofy thing in the decor, my baby tends to keep things minimalist.

Love them but will NEVER, NEVER do another set, ha!  I could have made a whole quilt top in the same amount of time.

Hmmmm, maybe I should do one of those next?

For now I'm in cleaning mode for the Open Studios Tour these next two weekends and then I'm madly working to keep up with the Holiday frenzy.  All of December I will be a featured artist at Avanguardia Tasting room in downtown Grass Valley.  On December 8th there will be a Jewelers Trunk show at ASIF.  AND, it looks like I may be able to get my pretty stuff into a gallery in Truckee, which thrills me completely.

Tonight is the Habitat for Humanity Art Auction at the Miner's Foundry in Nevada City, hope to see you there.

Today my Man will be here for a long weekend of fun and frolic, YES!


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Baby Toes

Pretty toes, mine are sort of tortured, hers are prettier. 

I'm loving this feet idea, where they have taken us and the places still to explore.

Talking to my man last night was gratifying, as we dreamed of the places we want to go together.  I love traveling with this man.  For years and years I've taken on the role of tour director, overseeing every detail, planning and worrying and often forgetting the point of it all was to have fun.  Now everything is different, his strength carries us, his careful manner leaves me trusting that all is well,  his curiosity and sense of humor is always turned on, together we accomplish the work and share the fun.  Our only goal is to be together.
Life is so interesting right now.  I'm deeply happy each day, grounded but giddy, satisfied but yearning for more. 

I'm going to be a Grandmother in December.  This event thrills me but makes me apprehensive too, knowing my baby is heading into a life event.  She's going to be so good as a Mother.   Right now the distance between us seems huge.  I want so much to watch her grow and change on a daily basis.

But for now I've been sewing curtains and cooking some extra stuff to fill up her freezer.

And I place my hands on her belly and send the little one greetings and good thoughts until the day comes when she's in our arms.

Hearts break so they can open wider to hold more love. 

Mine is still spilling over.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The County Line

Big ol' margaritas,  beer, ribs, slow cooked peppered turkey, sausage, brisket, potato salad, cole slaw, beans and homemade bread with honey butter.  Then top it off with bread pudding, pecan pie and blackberry cobbler.  (Take most of it home for lunch the next day.)

Have a blast with my little family, laugh, tease and take a bunch of silly pictures.

Life is good.  Tomorrow night I head home to my enchanted cottage, the furry boys and my cute housemate.  On Friday a joyful reunion with my man.

And this weekend and the next I will be in my studio at ASIF (Artists Studios in the Foothills) for the Open Studios Tour.

Come and see me and get your order started for custom pieces for the Holidays.

I will also be teaching classes, resins, basic metalworking, Viking Knit and others.

Life is good.