Monday, 31 May 2010


I think that today was the first day it has really felt like summer is on its way.
The weather was warm and the sun was shining......and in the back yard, one of my favorite perennials is blooming.
First of all, the grapes are starting their climb up and over the gazebo, as the lavender begins to fill out its stems of green. ....hmmmmmm, I never did finish cutting the tin that I had planned to decorate the post with. I started that at least 15 years ago and I like how it looks (the cut-tin leaves at the bottom of the post) It was supposed to continue up and around, but, as I recall, the tin was quite difficult to cut with tin snips - my hand was having a rough time of it! So, I gave it up. (that was some tangent I just went off on, hunh?)

Here they are - my favorite summer flower - Penstamen Pseudo-Spectabulous. I do not know if that is spelled correctly, but the color of this flower is truly "spectacular!" It makes me smile to look out and see them dotting the cheerful and bright!
A close cousin of the "Pseudo-Spectabulous" is this scarlet "Shooting Star" penstamen.
The two of them together - that intense hot pink and the rich red - is almost too much! What glorious colors.....I am glad that something so simple can make me so happy......

Two Little Cards

Hi Violets,
Not much to show this week, but here are two little cards I made. The top one is one of my girls and the bottom one is a rubber stamp image I like that I colored in.
It won't be long until many of you will be together again. I wish I could be there to join in with all the fun, sewing, treasure hunting and dining. You all will have a wonderful time. Chloe misses the ribs we had on fourth of July.
This is the last week of school. Yippee to that. Hope everyone is well.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The other day, my friend Becky and her daughter, Sylvie, came by for a visit.
We sat in the back yard and watched Sylvie climb all over the walls and the dogs. She was having the best time and totally delighted us.

Here she is with Mr Jack. He thought she was very cool and she gave him a couple of big hugs.
She realized that if she could get him to "drop" the stick in his mouth, she could throw it and he would bring it back. Her giggles were spectacular! Jack enjoyed it, too.

We, Sylvie and I, chatted over the wall. She is so sweet and fun and silly. I just adore her!

Was in Austin with my mom at the same time as Renegade Craft Fair. Above are the goodies that I found that I just had to have. Tiny magnets, illustrated pins, decorated adhesive tape, some fab jewelry by Foundling and some delightful handmade books and booklets. Love 'em!

When I was at my friend, Penny's place, Los Poblanos on Tuesday, I got to visit the office where they keep the samples of the products made from some of Alexander Girard's artwork. The blocks (above) and the memory game (below) are so beautiful - made by a company called House Industries. They are carved, screened wood and such exquisite quality.

I find Girard's work so incredibly inspired and inspiring. I have felt so ready to create all week long, but haven't had the chance......maybe tomorrow....

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Cool by the pool !

A little something to wear by the pool
in Briançon!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Teacher Appreciation

On Wednesday, my friend, Clare, drove the twelve hours from Austin the Santa Fe with me and it was such a treat! Never has 12 hours gone by so quickly! We talked about so many things and laughed and listened to (and sang with!) disco music from the 70's  ...... AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

Got home, ate dinner, went to bed and Thursday morning hit the ground running at 6 am!
Had to prepare for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at Grayson's school. We, the parents of the Parents' Association, decided to have a Literary Theme - Shakespeare, to be precise. We chose quotations from plays and matched them to each of the teachers and staff. I wrote them out on tracing paper (looked like parchment) and rolled them up. We gave them, along with gift certificates to a locally owned bookstore, and served wonderful food. Below are photos of some of my lettering for this event:

These are the quotations, written on torn tracing paper....

.....names of the teachers and staff......

part of the menu - Shakespearean names for the dishes

some of the food with the labels

And, a picture of me by the beautiful roses that coincidentally matched my apron!

It was a fabulous time and all the recipients were blown away by the presentation AND the food. I think they felt pretty well appreciated and we all loved doing it for them.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Once Upon a Time....

Many years ago, I designed a line of stickers and paper for scrapbooking under the theme of "Once Upon a Time." I went through the folder just the other day and found these wonderful images that I am so proud to have done....I do surprise myself sometimes......

The next Spoonflower challenge is puppets, so I thought that having Knights and Dragons and a "Damsel (princess) in Distress" would be fun. I will need to do the "backs" of the characters, but imagine how great it would be to cut out and stitch up your own army of knights and be able to slay the dragon over and over! (hmmm, sounds gruesome)

Of course, I used my favorite colors for the knights! I want to work on the dragon, though. He is not nearly as classy as the knights, in my opinion.

The eagles and the titles, "Once Upon a Time" and "Knight In Shining Armor" are pretty cool..

....And the Princesses! Never was much for a princess, myself, but these seem to have all it takes, don't you think? I do like them and can't quite decide which to choose for this particular project....hmmmmmm.......

They will be finger puppets, I think, so that they will all fit in the space required (Fat Quarter)
I will show them off again once they are finished up. I am off to the studio!  xo

Friday, 7 May 2010

Tulips in May

Each year in September I spend too much money on tulip bulbs, so this is my contribution to Pantry Violets for May. Thank you for noticing Oolie and Taylor and Jone that my voice has been rather quiet, but the day job of children has stopped all personal creativity. Have just drunk rather too much beer knowing that this weekend I must embrace large numbers of muddy boys and a party for my soon to be 7 year old. However, my 4 year old fell asleep in my arms today and I must remember that this moments are sparse now and that soon they will be repulsed not only by my skin but the mere sight of me! And then my creativity will be without barriers. The intrigue of British politics however has kept me on my seat and my mind active- maybe we have at last come of age and although the english parties have yet to realise democracy might just be about negotiation and not winner takes all. Loving all your blogs I do look most days and it keeps me sane. Next month we can say "Off to Briancon, hooray".

Thursday, 6 May 2010

from the garden!

Dear Pantry Violets-
All of the " bulbed spring flowers" are bursting out of the ground at is just beautiful here in Colorado with snow capped mountains and flowers everywhere you look!  Pretty soon it will be time to put in the zinnias....I can't wait!  Jone and I had a great chat today and we both agreed:  Johanna (er), you have not "made a noise" in a very long time!!!!!!  We are hoping that all is well in your busy life and would love to hear from you!  I am planning to drive down to Santa Fe in early June to have some creative fun in Jone's studio....aren't I a lucky girl?!  I just purchased my train and airline tickets, and found what I hope is a great little ***hotel near where Jone and Sue and I stayed in Paris last summer.  (on Trip Adviser I read that our old hotel was accused by a client of having bed bugs.....oh dear!!!!!!)  If this one works out, I will happily share it!  I am off to continue creating Mother's Day gifts for our holiday this Sunday.  Our youngest daughter comes home from Boston on Sat. so I will be a very happy Mom on Sunday!  Happy spring to all!  LOVE-  Julie

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

another millinery ht flower broach

Dear Pantry Violets-
I am trying to expand my "color palette" and make a few pins that are not pastels but more "butterscotch/mustard, brown and melon".  It is a challenge to work outside of a comfort zone, even if it is just a change in colors!  I do love working with these amazing vintage flowers....they are very inspiring!  We are in full blown SPRING here in Colorado.....hope everyone else is having a lovely springtime as well!  LOVE-  Julie   

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Another book

Hi Violets,
Here is another book I just finished. After I finish one more book I am switching to stitching. Trying to make a sampler and just started it. I think it will look wicked good once I get to it. Joanna how did your sampler purse come out? I can't recall if you showed it on the blog but I would love to see it. Hope everyone is well and working on some great projects.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Happy May Day

I love May Day!
I used to make little baskets and fill them with flowers and give them to friends.
I haven't done that in years....sigh.....

But, I did make a little bouquet of flowers for my friend, Shawna, and took it to her this afternoon. She was very pleased to get it....
I think the colors of the little blossoms are really nice.

This morning, I was at the neighborhood pool where we had a "work day" to get things ready for opening in a few weeks. It was a chilly day, but several families showed up to help and we all had a fun......and almost all the work was completed.

Last year, I had painted this wall with flowers and the word "SWIM". This year, I was going to just touch it up a bit. There were several young ladies there who saw me painting and asked if they, too, could do a little painting. I thought, why not? So, we mixed lots of colors and shared the brushes with one another and came up with a masterpiece! 
The picture, above, shows a couple of fine Octopi, and several schools of fish.

These are the guys painting the ceiling of the covered eating area - 
what a job!
But, it sure does look nice!

Around 4 pm, I went to Curiosa to deliver a few more goodies, including this little swinging girl.
Another one that I fell in love with.
I am hopeless.

Hope your May Day was a special one.