Saturday, December 27, 2008

Persimmons and gourds

The top shot was taken yesterday from the vantage point of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco--we went to see the latest da Vinci and Berlin Museum shows. You still have time to catch them, as they'll be there for another week or two. Today, I started a new painting (last shot), a centerpiece of persimmons and gourds that was on my table for Thanksgiving. The other pics show my daughter's paintings, done for her still-life class (temporarily perched in my bookcases) and her sketchbooks with recent pen and ink drawings.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New watercolor: Reflections of San Diego

I took a photo of reflections in the water lily pond on San Diego's Balboa Park this summer--this painting is the result. It is about 16" x 20" and took several painting sessions to complete. I can think of better ways to tackle the reflections on the water, but the finished painting does a fairly good imitation of how the flowers and wooden railings looked when mirrored in the pond.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Quilts at Yerba Buena Nursery

These quilts were all on display in the building where we had the marvelous Yerba Buena Christmas Tea. I don't know who made the quilts but they are lovely. This nursery specializes in native plants and is deep down in a wooded ravine off Skyline Boulevard in Woodside, CA.

Kathie's fabulous cake

I have a bunch of photos to share from this weekend, which was very busy. But the first one is the cake my friend Kathie made last night. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and ALSO praline frosting on top of that. decadent can it get?

The second cake is from the Yerba Buena Christmas Tea, which I attended on Saturday with a group of wonderful women. It is actually not cake, it is solid chocolate fudge! This came after a lunch of chicken, potatoes, salad and wonderful spiced tea. The Yerba Buena Nursery holds a few of these teas around the holidays. They also do less lavish teas during the summer. Check their web site for details.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

see the squid

My daughter's friend just designed and made this cute crocheted squid, using yarn I gave her. She still has to buy some eyes to sew onto it. I think it is so cute! Her sketch is next to it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I got a 20-lb turkey for $7 at Safeway (it's in the oven now). Last night, I made this lovely pumpkin spice castle cake in my new bundt pan -- we will eat it for dessert today. We're also having stuffing, salad, and yams. That should put us all into a coma for awhile.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fall Wreath painting is finished

Here you go--I finished the Fall Wreath painting yesterday.

I'm also considering selling prints or jpegs of my paintings for $5 each. If you see one you like, contact me about it. I just ordered Christmas cards from Snapfish using a Nutcracker painting I did last year. If you'd like to do the same, I can email you a jpeg and then you can order the cards yourself. The understanding is that I retain copyright and you will use the jpegs only for your personal cards, not to make cards to sell. Here are four Christmas paintings I did last year that you might want to use.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I started a new painting today

It isn't quite finished, so here's the photo that I used for inspiration. As soon as the painting is done, I'll post it too, so you can compare it to the photo. The weather is very dry and hot today, this really affects watercolors -- the paint was drying almost as fast as I painted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Win a gorgeous silk quilt!

The San Francisco Quilters Guild is selling opportunity tickets on this lovely silk quilt. You can check out their web site to buy tickets: $1 each or 6 for $5.

It is called "Gypsy Shimmer" and is 8 feet square. Designed by Sue Fox and made by many members of the quilt. The proceeds will support the various activities of our guild, including approximately 500 quilts that we make and give to hospitals and other charities every year.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Japanese Cats are finally quilted!

This weekend, I finally quilted the Japanese Cats quilt that I started over a year ago (or was it two?) Anyway, it's done and I'm very happy with it. I used Mountain Mist fusible batting which worked very well--I didn't have to do any basting. The cat pattern, designed by Susan Hill, is available here. It shows the cats on a white background, but I think they look cuter on the dark Japanese woven fabric. I keep trying to use up my collection of Japanese fabrics, but the pile grows faster than I can make quilts.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Alternative Press Expo in SF

This year, my daughter Jemma and her friend Katie shared a booth at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. Katie is on the left, waving, Jemma is in the middle of the picture, wearing a black and white shirt. Her brother Isaac is on the right side of the picture, giving a thumb's up. Jemma created a comic, "Unicorn Life Cycle" just for APE, it is very funny. Katie was selling two of her comics, "The Queen's Knight" and "The Lives of Seamonkeys" which are also very funny.

I bought three books by Enrico Casarosa: "Sketch Crawling, watercolors and comics of varying degrees of silliness" "Fragments" and "The Venice Chronicles". He told me to check the web site to find out when sketch crawls are being organized around the world--sounds like fun! Looks like I just missed one in October in SF, but they are planning another one for January.

By following a link on Enrico's site, I discovered that one of my favorite writer/illustrators, Danny Gregory, has two new books for sale at, "Bad to the bone" and "Me Time." Check them out!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm selling stuff on ebay!

To clear out some space and also make some cash, I am selling stuff on ebay. The "zine" in this photo is one that my daughter made two years ago and I paid to get 50 copies printed. Now she doesn't want to sell them alongside her newer work, so I put 25 copies on ebay. I also am selling some Rowan knitting magazines and three "vintage" Hawaiian shirts. I bought them at various times when I lived in LA, they are the real authentic rayon shirts and very soft. My user name on ebay is msalume, check out my auctions and bid on something while you're at it :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New paintings!

Yesterday, I completed a small watercolor from a photo I took at SFMOMA of my daughter and her friend (it's the third picture). The other two paintings are acrylics done by my daughter in her painting class at the Academy of Art University in SF. They are studying reflections and also creating a color palette. Aren't they fabulous?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is it Halloween yet?

Before I went to Atlanta, I ordered a kit to make a gingerbread Halloween house and brought it with me so I could make it with my DIL. She had some great ornaments to add to it since the kit decor was a bit sparse, but we didn't have to bake or cut the gingerbread so the kit did save a lot of time and it turned out very cute. I got the Wilton kit from (I searched but don't see it on the site right now, it's probably sold out until next year).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My trip to Comic Con and San Diego

The brochure for Comic Con arrived today, with lots of pictures from this year's show, which I attended with my family. Imagine my surprise to find my picture in it! I am standing in line to get my copy of Lynda Barry's new book, "What it is", signed by her. I'm the shortest one in line, second from the right). If you have not seen this book, run out and get a copy right now, it is a fantastic book about the creative process, totally funny yet totally true, and every page is a work of art. It was my major souvenir of the trip.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Georgia on my mind

I just got back from a week in Atlanta. My son Brett and I, shown here, did lots of sightseeing--the Aquarium, High Museum, etc. For fiber-related things, I was able to spend a day at the Georgia Quilt Show with my DIL, Jennifer. We also visited three knitting shops: Main Street Yarns in a lovely red barn in Watkinsville, Knitting Emporium in an old white house in Kennesaw, and The Whole Nine Yarns, in a new strip mall (no picture). I confined my yarn purchases to just one or two skeins from each shop, so there is plenty of yarn left for you. On the way home, I noticed two art quilts by Jane Burch Cochran in the Dallas airport.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Who made this drawing?

No, this isn't my work--my son Isaac drew it in his school's art class! He usually prefers to make sculptural things, I think he surprised himself with this drawing.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Korean textiles at the Asian Art Museum

Today at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the big show is Chinese Ming Dynasty art. It was okay--some nice embroideries--but there were too many tour guides talking too loudly for my taste. On another floor of the museum, much less crowded, I found this small exhibit of contemporary textile art from Korea. I probably wasn't supposed to take these photos, but no guard was around to say no, and I didn't use the flash (in another gallery, I asked the guard and she said it was okay if I didn't use a flash). So maybe it was okay. This woman's head is made of linen pieces stitched together and reinforced with steel wire. The other piece is also made of fabric, lit from within. The museum is giving away a nice color catalog of the show, check it out if you get a chance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

I took my daughter and her roommate to see the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) on Sunday. We didn't want to pay an extra $5 to see the Frida Kahlo show (you've seen one Frida, you've seen them all) but there were a couple of other exhibits there and we managed to spend a few hours looking around at weird contemporary art from China (the oddest piece was a sculpture of Mao lying down, surrounded by hundreds of small plastic dinasaurs) and photos by Lee Miller. During the 1940's, she went to Europe as a Vogue fashion photographer and also wrote articles with photos about the horrors of the Nazi death camps that were published in Vogue. I could not take pictures of the exhibits, so here is a shot of the SF skyline from a rooftop terrace, complete with large dinosaur sculpture. I liked the way the shadows were cast on my daughter and her friend as they peered through a cut-out in the wall. We also walked through Yerba Buena gardens where a free concert was just winding up, and had a snack at the Metreon. It was a very fun day.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Crafts Report Online

This online craft magazine featured my work this month--I sent them the image and text, so it's not quite an article about me, but hey--whatever works.

Monday, September 01, 2008

My Ravelympics medals

Here you can see the medals and the projects that won me the medals in the Ravelry Ravelympics--the "Nutkin" socks were made for the Sock Put, and the sweater was finished during the "WIP (Works in Progress) Wrestling" event.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

White orchids that turned pink

This painting was inspired by some white orchids I saw in an artist's studio in Philadelphia this spring, but they turned pink as I painted them. I tried a different background but it was too distracting so I overpainted it with blue. This is quite large, painted on 18" x 24" paper.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Everything's coming up roses

My rose bushes went crazy this year, so I picked a few and finished the painting today when my "Saturday Painters" group met at my house. I'm still working out a method of painting white roses--this one looks rather "art deco," a bit stylized but still realistic.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Crazy sock

This is "Frenchman's Creek", a sock kit designed by Lisa Grossman, otherwise known as the Tsock Tsarina. I'm in her sock club this year, and the patterns are very challenging, as you can see. She was inspired by the Daphne Du Maurier novel to come up with this design--the lace cuff symbolizes the lavish dresses worn by the main character, Dona, the design in the foot section is bluebells, and there are also "sea gulls" and ship's ropes in the cuff.

Chihuly show at de Young Museum

As you can see by these pictures, I went to see the Dale Chihuly show at the de Young Museum this weekend. It was crowded but not unbearable, and the lighting is very dramatic. No flash allowed but it wouldn't have helped--the glass needed to be backlit to show off its colors, and that just isn't how great pictures happen. But here are a few shots. The saffron tower is outside the museum where anyone can see it, you don't need to pay admission for that. As a member, I was able to just walk in without standing in a long line and got a "timed admission" ticket to the Chihuly exhibit right away, even though it was a busy Saturday.