Sunday, 27 February 2011

Cutting Paper

Today, I went to my friend Laura's house where our Creative Group met this month.
She had done lots of research and presented us with a challenge - to cut paper!
It was a magnificent day! She had stacks of books and print-outs that made us all squeal with delight. We could hardly wait to pull out the paper and scissors.
Check out these few that I snipped out:

I feel so lucky to be a part of a(nother) group of women who love the same things that I love. We have made a pact to make the time once a month to get together and CREATE! I feel like whatever we have to do to make this happen is well worth it!
Miss you all...wish that we lived closer......
ps. Check out this site for some "snips" you will love:

"violets are blue"

This lovely hand-sewn fabric heart arrived in a package from dear Joanna! The photo will not do it justice.....the welt and bow I think are made from old French ticking and the heart fabric is a delicious pale floral linen. Joanna's "needle & thread writing" is just beautiful. I am very inspired to get practicing my own writing, and to try a welted edge! I feel very blessed with all the love and support from the Pantry Violets at this difficult time in my life. I will treasure the beautiful gifts and wonderful friendships......thank you one and all! LOVE- Oolie

Hi There Sweet Birthday Girl!

5th of March!

Happy Birthday!


Friday, 18 February 2011


Julie Arkell's paper mache course at West Dean was all I hoped it would be and more .... finally, I got to try my hand at papier mache and Im really pleased with the results ....

Show and Tell .......................... Getting ready ............... Little Duck Pull Toy

The method Julie taught us, an abridged version of her own due to drying times, was fast and allowed us to produce quite a lot of work quickly. By the end of the first day we had figures well on the go - built and with a first coat of newspaper. Day two saw us applying what would be our final coat of paper and Day three was finishing up and dressing the creatures before the show and tell! It was both exhausting and exhilarating with not a minute to spare. We worked all the time, stopping for breaks, lunch and dinner only and back to the studio at night, finishing between 10 and 11pm. It was a great group of women, all encouraging each other and completely focused on the production of our creatures!

Day One ...................................... Day Two ................................Day Three

I'd encourage everyone to take this course - its truly amazing how much you can produce in realitively little time. My clothes as you can see are rudimentary - it could be two days longer giving plenty of time to make outfits for the creatures but I will take my time and create their clothes and will post as they are completely finished!

Our Creatures ............. Julie, Danielle and some bemused visitors!
As you can see, there was a massive amount of work produced in barely 3 days and we were all completely captivated by our creatures and the work of fellow students.
love to all ... xxdi

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

pinched tooth pick holder!

Hope this photo comes thru....I am a bit rusty at this......Oolie

tooth pick holder

This little item just caught my eye......I "pinched" it from my Mom's kitchen as we were clearing things out back in Dec. It is a little wooden treasure and I hope my siblings are not following this blog! Oolie

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Heart Day To All!!!!!!

Sending much love to Pantry Violets, one and all, across the globe! A special thank you to Becky for inspiring this vintage paper heart sachet project, my first attempt at threading a needle and being creative since my Mom passed away on Dec. 11, 2010. LOVE to all- Oolie

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Threads of feeling

If any of you are in London for the next couple of weeks, I urge you to visit the Foundling Museum to see the Threads of Feeling exhibition- Di came to stay for the weekend before she went to the Julie Arkell (lucky thing!) course down in West Dean, and dragged me along to it......true to form Di cried all the way round the 'achingly beautiful' tokens of fabrics that had been cut from the abandoned babies' clothes and pinned to a ledger in case the mothers returned to claim their children...really amazing and unbelievably sad.....a great weekend of racing around the cloth shops, Loop and the Camden passage, and finished off on sunday by a frenzy of hand dyeing swatches of blanket that Di's sister had very kindly sourced for me from a local charity shop!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

A lot of the time how you were regarded at Hailsham, how much you were liked and respected, had to do with how good you were at ‘creating’.

Ruth and I often found ourselves remembering these things a few years ago, when I was caring for her down at the recovery centre in Dover.

‘It’s all part of what made Hailsham so special’ she said once. ‘The way we were encouraged to value each other’s work.’

‘True,’ I said. “But sometimes, when I think about the Exchanges now, a lot of it seems a bit odd. The poetry, for instance. I remember we were allowed to hand in poems, instead of a drawing or a painting. And the strange thing was, we all thought that was fine, we thought that made sense.’

‘Why shouldn’t it? Poetry’s important.’

‘But we’re talking about nine-year-old stuff, funny little lines, all misspelt, in exercise books. We’d spend our precious tokens on an exercise book full of stuff rather than on something really nice for around our beds. If we were so keen on a person’s poetry, why didn’t we just borrow it and copy it down ourselves any old afternoon? But you remember how it was. An Exchange would come along and we’d be standing there torn between Susie K.’s poems and those giraffes Jackie used to make.’

‘Jackie’s giraffes,’ Ruth said with a laugh. ‘They were so beautiful. I used to have one.’

page15 Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Some books just take a while. This one's been siting by my bed since Christmas 2006. I ignored it, but Flu has come to our home and forced me into my bed and the book took its chance, broke out of its pile and got right deep under my skin into my soul. Highly recommeded. Joanna

Monday, 7 February 2011

a wonderful website

Found a really wonderful source of beautiful vintage know the sort of thing that Joanna and I are constantly on the lookout for at Ali Baba's! Its a flicker site of the website Agence Eureka, and there are thousands of images there! I really love the printable cut outs to make cars and other 3D toys.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


a favorite bit of julie arkell stitching... ( i especially love to wear this to work)

and this is what i stitched for my newly trimmed pooch last night...

just an old felted sweater, some yarn, a darning needle, & about 20 min.!

and mister bean is cozy....that's why.

hugs from a california girl in the snowy middle west!

Friday, 4 February 2011


Yep, my nieces got it - the 'Drawing Gene"
It must run in my family because we can all draw, and these two little ones are absolutely no exception. Each morning they would wake up and say, "Aunt Jone, let's sew!" Or, "I need to draw a picture." So, they did.....every, single day!
Yesterday was my last morning with them and these are the drawings they did in about 10 minutes just before they ate their breakfast. I was blown away.

Haiden did this one. It is a mermaid swimming in the ocean and the people are watching her and there are fish and jellyfish swimming, too, and sea anemones and a giant clam on the bottom. And the sun is shining.

Cece did two drawings. The first (above) is of a girl who is very nervous about standing up and giving a speech. She is holding the speech in her right hand and a glass of water in her left hand. There are puddles on the ground because it has rained and she is crying because she is very nervous.
This is a young boy jumping up and trying to touch his toes. I LOVE that she did not have room for his legs, but drew the feet coming back up into the picture so he could touch his toes!
Amazing perspective from a 5 year old.

What a wonderful time I had with them. I can't wait to go back again.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The TWIN's Room

Almost 6 years ago, I painted the walls in my "not-yet-born" twin nieces' room.
Finally took a few photos of part of it on this trip to LA - I actually think I did a pretty good job. The colors are still bright and the images are not so childish that they aren't still appropriate for these kindergarten girls.

There are some glow-in-the-dark planets that are hanging from the ceiling. The "blue" one has fallen apart, but still "glows" at night when the lights are off.

My favorite - the kangaroo! All the dots of the "hopping" trail are different colors and "bounce" all over the walls of the room - super cool!

I think this is my favorite wall - Capuchin monkey and owl and giant panda, along with "M," "N," "O," "P," "Q" and the clock, of course.

This nest had two eggs in it until the day the girls were born - then the little baby birds "hatched" and have been out and about for five and 1/2 years now.....

"S" is not for "snake" but for "slinky s's" hooked end to end from the branch.

There is an animal for each letter of the alphabet, though some of them are hiding in another part of the room so the girls have to look for them to match letter to animal.....the alligator being one that is hiding behind the door....

And the bear sits upon the light switch, holding onto the tree with a little bee buzzing around his ear.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Hi everyone. This is a 'painting using a non art substance' I've just completed for my painting assignment. I spent many happy hours 'pasting' the pieces in with paint and really like the result. Am now going to try a circular one... I do so love jigsaws!!!