Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friends Forever....a fabric book

"She unwrapped the brown paper parcel, beautifully tied with pink velvet ribbon and smiled at her friend. "I'm so excited!" she said as she set the paper and ribbon aside.

She pulled layers of peach pink tissue paper and tuling aside until the gift lay on her lap. She gasped and tears filled her eyes. "


This fabric book started as a simple canvas "book" altered by hand to be a special heirloom honoring the beauty of friendship. Details abound..."pockets" for tucking special photos, letters or keepsakes into, pretty vintage and new papers, antique lace, vintage millinery, a vintage ad, rhinestone earring, vintage sheet music, an old key and so much more. The perfect gift for a dear friend. You can write something on every page or you can leave it blank for her to write in.

You will also receive a "tea"-colored fabric pen for writing directly on the fabric, if you desire.

The book is approximately 6x7" and has 10 pages. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please go HERE.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Field

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” ~Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Thinking a lot about this business of "right" vs. "wrong," "good" vs. "bad," etc. It keeps coming up, everywhere from the book my husband and I are reading to discussions my children and I have been having. I have some thoughts about this that are all over the map, and I'm going to spend some time blogging about them.
These thoughts may seem unrelated to one another, or perhaps, like me, you see, hear and feel a kind of "golden thread" running through it all, leading to....I don't know, but it's that field Rumi is describing in the above (very ancient) quote that life happens. Somehow I know that it's there in that field that I'll find the Tree of Life that Adam and Eve felt "driven away from." The "good" and the "bad" sorting system will collapse and it will just To imagine the sort of love and connections we could have without that sorting system governing us is stunning. THAT, to me, would be "heaven."
I'd love any feedback you have. I won't publish Anonymous comments. Cowards comment anonymously. But I WILL publish any comments that are not hateful and are not anonymous. So let's hear what you think!
So let's start with the Rumi quote at the start of this post. Thoughts? Feelings? Even if your answer is, "Darn if I know!" I'd love to get your input.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


My husband and I went away for the last getaway before the schoolyear begins. It was so fun. We stayed in San Luis Obispo, slept in, ate some delicious food, did a little shopping, went running one morning at Avila Beach, walked on Pismo Beach and in general, had a really wonderful time. I grew up going to the coast here in California with my family, and though I do love the mountains, for me there is something uniquely beautiful and peaceful about the coast.
We were so busy having fun we didn't take tons of photos but the ones above were from our last day, most of which we spent in charming little Cambria. We ate in a tiny sandwich shop and then spent HOURS in the most amazing antique store I have ever seen in my life. It was three stories and absolutely FULL of jaw-dropping pieces. I could have spent a lot of money but somehow walked away only $23 poorer! I got a couple things for the fabric book I'm making for a customer and a couple things for myself.

The trip was refreshing but also invigorating. There's something about getting out of the normal routine (and heat of the valley!) that fuels my creativity and fills my brain with new ideas. I came back with several blank pages full of sketches and notes for new products for my store, new clothing designs, as well as home (and garden!) decor. I'll share a few in another post.
Started reading this book...loving it.

I discovered a new favorite clothing boutique in San Luis Obispo, and oh how I wish they would open a store here in the valley!

It's called The French Quarter and is full of the most beautiful clothing, handbags, hats and even shoes. Here's what it looks like on the outside...

I wish I had taken photos of the inside! But I was so busy oohing and aahing over everything I didn't even think of it! James and I both kept pulling things off the rack to show one another that were "so Cheryl" and I just walked around groaning and saying, "Oh my" the whole time!

But there was ONE THING that caught my eye especially. I pulled it off the rack and showed James and we both agreed it was incredible. I took it off the hanger and tried it on and...oh my. I looked at the price tag and gulped. Of course I couldn't get it! It was just a sweater. But oh my...what a sweater! Finally, I sadly put it back, telling myself that someday I would find another like it....

I went to the back to try on the most darling sunhat and ogle over the handbags and when I came back to the front of the store, James was standing there with the sweater in my size and told me that he wanted to get it for me. I argued just a TINY bit, but quickly gave in.

I have NEVER owned a piece of clothing I love more. I wore it that night to dinner over a tshirt with jeans and heels. I wore it the next evening to the beach. I wore it antique shopping today. I LOVE IT.

Are you ready? Here it is...not close up...but isn't it just scrumptious????

Here it is on the website in black. But the taupe I bought it in is so much prettier. This photo of the black one doesn't do it justice....

Here are some other pretty pieces from the website. There were so many more things in the store. The website is pretty limited. If you are anywhere near San Luis Obispo, definitely make a little side-trip and take a look for yourself!

Great pants...

Gorgeous shoes....

A coat I would wear all winter....

Sweet, feminine t-shirt....

So if you're in the area, make sure and take a peek for yourself.

Back home and beginning the first week of the school year with a full to-do list. Emily's birthday is a week from today, James started back to work Monday and the girls go back to school tomorrow, so there's tons to do every day this week. And even though the alarm clock went off waaaaaay too early, the laundry is going, my goals for today are looking pretty steep, I'm filled with an optimism and even excitement about this year.

It's going to be a good one, I can tell already!

Love this:

"If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking." - Buddhist Proverb

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I know it's been a long time since I've talked about it, but I'm the 2010 guest editor of The Porpoise Diving Life. Curious about what the HELL that could possibly be?!? Think it sounds like I'm a closet marine biologist? Uh...unfortunately, no. Still curious? Go HERE to find out.
This month's issue, which is going to be released in the next week or so, is on the topic of "Questions." I'm writing a piece for the issue myself, so I've got this topic on the brain.

Here are some quotes that have me thinking:

-“But we have been taught to see before our eyes have found a way of seeing
for themselves.” (Arthur Symons)

-“If the doors of perception were
cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”(William Blake)

-“Hardly anyone is able to see what is before him, just as it is in
itself. He comes expecting one thing, he finds another thing, he sees through
the veil of his preconception, he criticizes before he has apprehended, he
condemns without allowing his instinct the chance of asserting itself.” (Arthur

-“Our normal expectations about reality are created by a social
consensus. We are taught how to see and understand the world. The trick of
socialization is to convince us that the descriptions we agree upon define the
limits of the real world. What we call reality is only one way of seeing the
world, a way that is supported by social consensus.”
(Carlos Castaneda)

Here's my thoughts today...

Early on in our lives we learn to process our experiences, our feelings, and even our senses. We are taught “right” and “wrong,” “acceptable” and “unacceptable,” “normal and abnormal,” and this skill helps us to process what happens around us as we grow in awareness. Everything we see, hear, think and feel must be qualified: is it this or that? But what if those designations are merely mental constructs and not the irrevocable truths we have learned to call them, whether that be something as complex as a moral designation or as simple as what color an object is? What would happen if we, as much as possible, separated what we see, hear, feel and experience from the “sorting system” we’ve been conditioned to use when processing our experiences?


Altered Art Fabric Books

I'm working on a new one of these, and I realized I don't have these in my fabric store but I have a whole pile of them to sell! So I'm putting the blank books in my etsy shoppe. I love how I can sew vintage wallpaper, tags, scrapbook paper, lace, other fabric and so much more to these
simple canvas pages.

I write directly on the canvas with a fabric pen I also sell. It works beautifully for writing on muslin, as well. My favorite color is the tea-brown color pen. Works perfectly with the colors I usually prefer, but there's lots of different colors available if you ask for them.

I'd love to see photos if you use these books to make your own altered fabric book! The sky's the limit...each one is as unique as the person who makes them. I love that.

If you would like to order one, go HERE.