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Most beautiful veggie I've ever met!

Thanksgiving in Cleveland. Wonderful food, family and relaxation. For the first time in years I didn't get out of bed till 10 AM, how decadent! We got some shopping in, walks with Pooki (Nina's new buddy), saw a few movies and even visited the local farmer's market.

This is what we found there...


Romanesco Cauliflower

and this is Nina with Pooki. We hear she misses Nina quite a bit!



Creatures of a third kind

This is the cover of the Winter 2010 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry.
Back here they had my needlepoint jewelry.


and here you will find these creatures...


These rings are a bit wacky but really fun and there are endless varieties you can make.


We will be adding a How-To on our website for this project as well as the needlepoint cuffs (from here).

and in other news... almost done with the second version of Cirque du Fleur. I decided to go ahead with the new canvas colors. If you join us for the cyberworkshop, you will be able to make your own decision knowing that the new color canvases may be a bit more challenging.

I'll be back with more soon!


A different life.


A week ago, on Thursday, we left for a long weekend to Lancaster county and Gettysburg.

The weather was magnificent. We rented a big, lovely farmhouse and had so much fun. Mostly we relaxed and moved at a different pace.

Nina was introduced to the Amish, for the first time. The first morning she peeked out her bedroom window and saw a horse and buggy trotting at quite a clip, so much faster and lighter than the horses we have right near our house, the ones that pull the carriages in the city for the tourists. Those horses always seem a bit tired and sad. The ones in Lancaster seemed young and proud.

We explained a bit about the Amish, (I'm embarrassed to say that most of our knowledge came from the movie "Witness"). Nina fell in love with the life we described.

"But Nina, there is no electricity in the homes, no computer, no television"
"That's OK, I love to read"
"Great, but you would have go to sleep very early, at sunset"
"Because, you need to get up with the sun and tend to the animals on the farm"
"But you don't like getting up early."
"But I LOVE animals"
"You won't be able to travel to far away beautiful places"
"That's OK, it's beautiful here!"

WOW, I thought, we have raised our little girl to have really good values! She has her priorities straight.

"Well Nina, why don't we arrange for a visit to an Amish farm so you can see what they do?"
"OK, but can we first drive to the doll outlet to buy some American Girl doll clothes?"

My child is normal.



She is still on the stretcher bars, but I couldn't keep her to myself.


cirque du fleur_2

The first stitched version of a new design is always a mess. This one in particular because I didn't compromise on design and kept ripping and ripping, until I got it just the way I wanted. I am so very happy with Madame.

I hope to get this Cyberworkshop to you within the month. Clear off your needlepoint calendars because this one is sure to be a real treat!

I am now working on a second colorway. I am using one of the new Zweigart overdye 18 count canvases. The colors are magnificent. I'm not a big colored canvas designer. I mostly use brown, however, who could resist?


The unfortunate news is that I may have to resist. After speaking with the manufacturers, it turns out that the first step in the process of hand dying canvas is to take out the sizing so that the color will adhere. There is no way to bring the stiffness back to the canvas once it's been dyed. The result is that the canvas pulls, it's very flimsy and most of all, the holes expand with every stitch that's a bit more intricate.

What's a girl to do? Let me know what you think. Should I continue using the canvas for this and other designs, (says she, after ordering yards of various colors...)?




Stuff is good!

Being materialistic is not a nice way to be, I agree. But having stuff is getting a bad rap. I love stuff, not only for the beauty of the stuff but mostly for the memories. I have stuff I've collected over the years, through all the different times of my life, from all the fascinating places I've visited. Some of the stuff is really insignificant in terms of the value or aesthetics. Usually that's the stuff that means the most to me, otherwise why would I keep it?

I love stuff and I'm proud of it!


This little Pinocchio was purchased on our first trip to Italy with Nina. He's only a two inches tall but is quite charming.

Nina has four small shelves of stuff, most of which we collected before she came home to us. It made the months of waiting for her easier to cope with. I hope they become meaningful to her as she matures.


These Kosta Boda glass animals are part of her "stuff" shelves. We bought them for her the week we found out that she was waiting for us to bring her home.


Kosta Boda glassware has always been a favorite of mine.


These masks captured my heart years ago.


When Shiri went off to college at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor became a fun place for us to visit. This piece is from one of the many lovely galleries in this university town.


This enamel work was done by a lovely lady on a Kibbutz in Israel. For years we would go back to her studio to buy gifts for our friends.


Reid collects boxes, small treasure boxes. He puts coins in the boxes, each box with the coins of the country the particular box has come from.


For Hannukah I bring out my Menorah collection as well as my small ceramic dreidels.


These "finjans" are used to make strong Turkish coffee, the kind that you cook over a fire. After you pour the coffee into small cups, you wait until all the coffee grains sink to the bottom of the cup. It's usually a very sweet cup of coffee, black and syrupy. If you dare, when you're done drinking, turn the cup upside down onto a saucer and let the coffee grains slide down the sides of the cup. Turn your cup over again and find your future in the pattern of the coffee grains...


and when I want tea, these little kettles have been collecting on my shelves since I first came to the United States.


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