Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Early voting is going on right now, so I went to the trailer in the Target shopping center at Silverado Ranch and voted. WOW, this one is so important and meant so much to me. I almost gave a little shout of Hurrah! as I exited but didn't want to "wigg" out the little old lady behind me. ( that is for Sarah :-)) Hope all of you will be voting and if you don't plan to vote, please don't tell me, ever, because I cannot imagine what I would have to say about that!

Another tree is completed, this one in the Master Bedroom. It's all done in browns and creams, some vintage dark golds and felt penny ornaments that I taught and made last year in a Gathering class. I am making more felt ornaments for the tree and will post pics when completed.

Next week will be the week all the Christmas stuff hits Target and Pottery Barn. There are some beautiful stitched linens at Target in greys and cream.They "took a ride in my cart" today. If they are an indication of the Christmas Ornaments to come, I'm in trouble. Sue tells me that she has a Pottery Barn Christmas catalog that she picked up at a PB demonstration last weekend and she says it is mercury glass, glitter and gleam all the way. I popped in there today and I see a lot of bright colors being unpacked..purples, greens, turquoise. That will be great if they stick to that palette, no temptation for me, although, I already spotted a terrific mercury glass compote today. sigh.

Another note: so if the economy is doing so poorly, how come all the stores were packed today? PB, Home Goods, Michaels, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning- all crowded and the people were standing in lines at checkout not just roaming about. Why was I there in this poor economy? Returning stuff I didn't use in the last photo shoot. I found a couple of treasures but they were gifts for others. I also found some great glitter things for the Dec craft article for polished. I am going to do some very luscious Victorian cones in red/silver and green/gold for the crimson and clover theme. Hope to have those completed by the weekend.

Last chance to sign up for Finish it Night, (the deadline was the 25th but if you call ASAP...) and ladies I need to know what you are bringing for potluck, so give me a ring OK? I think we have at least one sleepover guest so far. I had better do the tree in that room next so it can be enjoyed that night. As weird as it is, decorating this early, I have been enjoying the twinkle lights every night. I'll really get some use out of them this year.

Everyone enjoy the shortened week, and come on by to play if you are in the neighborhood. The studio is open and busy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall photos

Some of my favorite things this fall

Thursday, October 16, 2008


My dear friend Sue lost her Mom early this morning. Viola passed away with Sue by her side. Viola was an amazing woman with enormous strength of character and a wonderful sense of humor. I will miss her, her stories, her wisdom and all the many hours of crosswords and crocheting and knitting that we shared together. I know doing those crosswords helped her mind stay sharp and clear even at 93. We should all follow her lead and live simple, healthy, hard working lives. Please remember Sue and her family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time. "I love ya old woman"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Today was Boo to You!

Here are some things we did today in Boo to You! While we waited for everyone to arrive, we munched on pita wedges with red bell pepper, and spicy hummus and Greek tzatziki.

Lunch was Beef Stew with dumplings and/or Chicken Verde soup...most everyone enjoyed a bowl of each. Artisan breads and a mixed green salad with cranberries, feta, and spiced pecans rounded out the meal. Fresh carrot muffins with cream cheese icing and fudge brownies were our dessert.

Boo to You! included eight different Halloween projects.

Hope you will join me December 13th for my very special Bliss event.


The next Gathering, "Bliss" will be held Saturday December 13th. There are 10 spots, and they are available on a first come, first registered basis. This is a very special Holiday event, a combination of Holiday party and Gathering classes. The fee is $125.00 and must be paid in full to reserve your spot. Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sneak peek Boo to You!

The table is set for tomorrow's lunch of soups and artisan breads. Kits are finished and waiting to surprise attendees. We'll have cool weather so we can enjoy the breezes coming in through the windows. I am going to curl up with a book and anticipate tomorrow's fun. Tomorrow I will be announcing the date for the very special Bliss Gathering . 10 spots only and class fee will need to be paid in full to secure your spot. Bliss will be very special, and I am already so excited I'm playing Holiday music in my studio for inspiration.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

BOO to You! and misc update

Because of a cancellation there is one spot open for this Saturday's Gathering. First call or email-first registered. If anyone is interested in attending a finishing night in November please let me know by October 25th. Thank you.

Everyone, please hold loving thoughts for my dear friend Viola, our friend Sue's 93 year old Mom. Viola was moved to Hospice this week. Sue has had a rough couple weeks caring for Viola at home after Viola took a downturn and Sue is now by her side at Hospice nearly round the clock. Sue could also use your warm thoughts and prayers, and a full nights sleep. For those of you who do not know already, I was Viola's caregiver four days a week all of the last school year. She is very dear to my heart, and I will always treasure our friendship. 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Found this in my mailbox today

Just walked to the mailbox and this was waiting for me. October's cover of polished features my Skeleton couple and I am thrilled! I guess all three Stoddards are having a good month. I am very grateful to Managing Editor Beth Schwartz and Contributing Photographer Jim Decker who make every shoot so much fun and offer encouragement and valuable advice. 

Portland Pics

Sally Jean's studio: I promised her I would only blog one pic, and it was so difficult to choose, but this sweet light behind the drawn curtains was the winner.

Portland Scenes: Entrance to an apt complex, so lovely my breathing stopped. A quick scene out the bus window, I managed to snap. This is just  a lone wall, everything behind it demolished, waiting for a new high rise.
My dripping cat platform bed and the sleeping alcoves for Kathy and Sarah.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Portland-City of Roses

Portland. I do not know where to begin the saga of  Soldering for Virgins. OK, start at the beginning Z.

SO, I discover that Sally Jean, an incredible jewelry-slash everything-artist) is teaching a Soldering for Virgins class in her studio (wait till you see her studio...sigh, if I could only live there in that room.) in Portland, new home to my son Ben. I sign up promptly and upon sharing the news with gal-pals Kathy and Sarah, they too promptly sign up and the trip is planned.

We flew out this past Monday and spent the next four days creating, eating, shopping and eating, (yes, I meant double eatings because we ate enough to keep six 6 people fed, maybe 8 people....and their relatives). The class was amazing, because of Sally and her husband Brad. Fabulous, kind, funny and so incredibly talented and unique... sigh again. So the studio is too beautiful for words. I can only post one pic, I promised, but I have more at home I can show. I was afraid my soldering ability would be disastrous but I surprised myself, and Sally showed us her first attempts to bolster our confidence, wasn't that sweet? I'm sure with a lot of practice, I can get to be so-so at least! Who cares, it is fun, fun, fun. Too much to tell here, but her studio will be in a November issue of Where Women Create. You must see, trust me.
Spending time with my wonderful son, hearing about his new job, seeing where he lives, meeting some of his friends, well, you can imagine, created tremendous momma pride. No gushing here, but I am so thrilled for him. To top off this already delicious Portland Sundae was a trip to the barackspace, usually known as backspace, a local cafe-gallery, performance art, political gathering space, for the first night of an art show, where my daughter Hannah's Obama art was hanging!  To see, check out backspace.bz. Yep, that painting smack on the front is hers! Momma bird is bursting with pride as her two chicks fledge.  

Our blisters confirm that we shopped hither and thither, and we share memories of train bloopers and buses, streetcars, and one taxi that appeared out of nowhere just when we had lost hope of ever getting to somewhere, or anywhere but where we were... We shopped antiques, found treasures to bring home for nesting and buttons and ribbons so lush that it took an hour to have them cut and bundled into nests of color, too pretty to unwrap.

Dietary concerns were tossed aside, hell, they were flung Frisbee style, and every day brought meals that seemed to rival those of the day before. Our home away from home was the Ace Hotel which has to be experienced, not described, but a few photos may help. Check out Ace Hotel Portland. I loved it, even with bad mirror lighting, a fear elevating elevator, and a mattress that did not encourage sleep. It explains Portland without ever stepping out the front door. "watch your step Sarah".  

It passed in a blur and I had lists of must sees and must dos left unchecked, but alas, that will have to wait until the next Oregon trail. Next time I'm heading for the waterfalls and forests and the sea and maybe I can figure out which way is north and get on the correct airport train the first time, not the third time, and maybe, just maybe, I'll be brave enough to wear a hoodie, not carry an umbrella. To live there would require a major hair chopping, because the wet dog hair-do I wore most of the week, was soooo not attractive, proof was the hair clip holding my bangs off my face that I shamelessly wore home on the plane. 

So many stories, but perhaps not sharing them all keeps the memories sweeter, closer to the heart. 
I will have pictures up tomorrow.
City of roses-Ben's home, so there too my heart, as here with Hannah.