Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Just a few pictures of paper butterflies creatures, little round boxes, and Christmas cachette containers. More to come!


The temperature has fallen, and the weather forecast says there is a chance of SNOW in Port Costa! I am keeping my fingers crossed. Even a few flakes would make my happiness complete!
I am working in the studio every day to finish up new things for my next two shows.
My first two open houses went really well - nothing is more fun for me than decking out my shop for Christmas, (this year with huge swags of fragrant eucalyptus), stuffing the shelves with new and enticing hand made goods, and standing behind the counter as people shop. The candles are lit, the music is on, and I get to put on my antique French shopkeepers jacket and just enjoy the excitement. I turn on the mechanical shadow dancer and everyone stops in their tracks, to watch the magic!
I decided to add one more weekend to my open house schedule - I will now be open:
Fri. and Sat. Dec 9th and 10,
Fri. and Sat. Dec. 16th and 17th.
Hours are 10 - 4 each day.
A magical day awaits you!
11 Canyon Lake Dr.
Port Costa, Ca. 94569
Please call for directions: 510 - 787-2164.

P.S. And if mechanical shadow dancers are not enough....there is an amazing little coffee shop that just opened up across the street from me, with a wood stove to gather around, and home made baked goods!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Open House

Here in Port Costa, the sidewalks are covered with little yellow leaves from the locust trees that line the streets, and the sound of the black crows echoes through the emptying trees. I know that Christmas is not far when I see and hear the sounds of November. And I am busy doing what makes me happiest of all times of the year - getting everything ready for my
Open Houses! Glue and glitter up to my elbows, and also beeswax, gold paint, paper scraps everywhere, and beautiful things piling up in the workshop, ready to be set out in rows.
Please take some time out of your hectic schedule to drive down that tree lined street and find my shop this season! I promise you a "harlinquinade" of delights!
For a preview - look me up in the November issue of Victoria magazine.

Open House Dates:
Fri, Sat, Sun, Nov. 25, 26, 27
Dec. 2 & 3
Dec 9 & 10
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Return to France / Recherchez a France

I will be returning to France for another magical week at the Chateau Dumas next summer! I have decided on teaching an in - depth 3 part class involving designing, binding, writing and illustrating your own book. I would like to take our group into the sunflower fields, through the hill town of Mont Pezat, and through the market town of Cassaude, each person with pen and paper, to record for themselves the visual feast of France. I will give each student personal attention in basic drawing and writing, and also bookbinding. Kaari will guide us through all the best flea markets, lavender fields and brocantes.
Here is a picture of Monica wearing the crown she made....and also, a picture of what she found at the flea market - an old painting, fabric treasures, books, antique plates, vintage linens, and a wonderful old burnt orange suitcase to bring it all home in.
It will be a return to paradise for all of us!
If anyone is interested in joining us, please go to Kaari's website: , for more information. Merci!

An Earthly Paradise

Here are more luscious pictures from a week in France...No need for captions, really, just lose yourself in each moment and adjust your minds eye to a different world...of color, and light and flavor....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dreaming of France - Les Temps Perdu

It has been too many months since I and busy ness get in the way and there is not always time to find the words to describe my days. But then I will look back from a distance and see the past so clearly, and the meaning of it becomes clear. Proust was the one who said it best - that the true flavor of any experience can only be felt much, much later....the remembrance of "temps perdu."

Last summer I spent a week in France, with my daughter Monica, and friends Marcia Ceppos, Kaari and Molly Meng, and Cathy Mogul. Kaari, that fearless intrepid one, organized a grand excursion for 16 women, involving an eighteenth century chateau, an antique hat factory, flea markets and brocantes, and food and wine that made us all swoon with sheer pleasure. All of this, and a huge studio room for all of us to work together to create beautiful things.
I was invited to teach several classes there, and the women in my class made wonderful hand bound books, printed on a tiny letterpress, and dipped vintage flowers in beeswax and wove them into crowns. Monica taught us to print antique style photographs called cyanotypes,
and we spent a whole day in the meadows dying antique fabrics with and ancient blue dye.
Kaari brought wonderful vintage beads and all went home with a bracelet of french charms.
All these parts, as in all fantastic voyages, added up to so much more than I can explain - six months later I am still wondering at the deeper meaning in my week at the Chateau Dumas.
I brought home with me some renewed sense about what I want and need out of life - some sense of magic - and the energy to find it, in small and large ways, in my everyday life.
I will return to this post tomorrow, to add pictures and write a bit more.