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Archive for June 2011

Zuri The Giraffe

Jun 29th, 2011 | By | Category: Sewing Circle News

Bigfork Bay Cotton Company is bringing out a new quilt pattern of mine. Look how cute it is. They do such an awesome job.

They had a contest to find a name for my giraffe. I had to choose from over 500 names.

I want to thank everyone for such wonderful names. I really could not decide. And I changed my mind over and over. I hope some of you won’t mind if I use some of those fantastic names for my future creations. I will give you credit of course. My biggest dilemma for choosing a name was this little giraffe’s gender. I made him/her and I still cannot decide if he is a boy or she is a girl.

Here is the name I have chosen. Zuri. Which means beautiful in Swahili. I have a strong love for Africa and its amazing landscape, and spectacular animals. And most of all the beauty in the women and children there and how they persevere over challenges with such grace. Zuri represents all of the loveliness that is Africa for me.

If you are interested in this new pattern contact Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. I don’t have any yet…
Turns out there is another Zuri. Look at this darling baby who was born in Ohio.

Click here for more sewing circle news…



What do I do all day?

Jun 11th, 2011 | By | Category: News

What do I do all day?
Beats me. I do know most days start the same. I wake up. Then I mill around the house and eventually go upstairs to my office. I look at my list of things to do. Actually I have 2 lists. The Big List has the big ongoing projects on it.

Big List

  1. Come up with 24 garden flag illustrations.
  2. Blue Xmas line
  3. Finish the forest line Canoodling for crying out loud you’re almost done!
  4. Make discs and print sample copies of the Iguanas and Ponies for Timeless
  5. Make the doctor appt.
  6. Paint my bedroom, my bathroom.
  7. Lay down the flagstone and get the little plants for in the cracks.

Here is a sneak Peak on my new Forest Line.(Canoodling.)

And then there is the Do This Today Or Else.

After looking at my lists I try to find something on them I am in the mood to do. These lists are currently whats going on around here. I may have removed a few things to protect the innocent.

Do This Today Or Else

  1. Paint: Fox, Owl, Bears, Pine Cones, maybe a woodpecker or something, 2 red sleds, work on fisherman painting.
  2. Walk at least 6 miles or bike or gym.
  3. Lowes – paint samples for bedroom and get a dishwasher and plants and one pot for the lemon tree.
  4. Stupid store and buy some stupid food.
  5. Laundry and clean at least one bathroom, vacuum downstairs.
  6. Make the doctor appt.

So I decide after reading my lists to go take a bath. I have some really cool bath salts with lemon oil in them. The bath idea probably happened after reading about the lemon tree needing a pot. While in the tub I’m thinking about drawing a fox for the forest line and then I get a brainstorm about a hen with a fox around her neck for a shall. “A Fashion Risk”. Har har! I keep a notebook and tracing paper on the side of my bath tub along with a few magazines and this really warped copy of A Midsummers Night Dream which I can never seem to get into even though one of my goals is to read classic junk. Anyway, I write down that awesome “Fashion Risk” idea to do later and then begin to draw some foxes and bears on my tracing paper. Yes, things get wet and warped if you draw in the bathtub but I’m used to it. I don’t want the bears too realistic but not too cartoony either. Next thing you know I’m drawing an alligator instead because I got offtrack and thought a hen with an alligator purse would be funny.

Out of the tub and I’m painting the alligator in the kitchen. I see a pincher bug. Also known as Earwigs because they go in your ear and eat your brains. This one is just sitting on the floor looking up at me like a jerk. Uhg. The bane of my existence! Every year they come around for about a month. And I begin my war with them. It also tends to start a diet because somehow I always find one in a bowl or like earlier this week in my dishwasher and I vow to never eat or drink anything ever again. This is why I’m getting a new dishwasher. If I ever consume one of those I will just die. I flushed this pincher bug down the toilet. Not to kill him but because I hear they like moisture. ha! Back to work. While the alligator is drying I remember I need to start drawing a few bears. I can’t remember if the ears are on top of their heads or more on the sides so I decide I need to look at some real bear pictures. And maybe a fox. I could go upstairs and look on the internet or I could just save myself a little time and go to the zoo. So next thing you know I’m at the zoo.

San Diego has such an amazing zoo. I don’t know why I don’t loiter there more often.

I got to see the Pandas while they were eating.

I love a good camel. More cute things.

Here is the extremely rare R.O.U.S. Also known as rodent of unusual size.

Oh look a reindeer!!! See right on track for my Blue Xmas line I’m designing.

A baby giraffe. Ahhhhh!


And an interesting fact about male lions. Just like some shady alley cat they spray things. Except they can spray you from 7-10 feet away. Here is a shot of one I took from about 40 feet away. Just in case.

Oh and a bad shot of some bear for my “research”. Looks like the ears are kinda set back. Not on top or the sides really.

Here are some Orangutans.

The highlight of my day today was when I met the most amazing girl. And here is Janey.

This zoo employee here who I met told me Janey was raised in a human family before moving to the zoo. She loves to socialize with the humans. She is beautiful and so intelligent.

I sat on the ground right next to this guy and became mesmerized. I was not 2 feet from her. Lovely. He played games with her through the glass. Pretending to put on chapstick.
She would mimic him. I could have sat with her all day and just hated to leave. Apparently she has a webcam and her own myspace page. Odd thing is I didn’t know she was also an artist. I didn’t know this until I just now googled her name to see if I could learn more about her. And the zoo sells her art and I’m 100% positive I will be buying something of hers when I’m done typing this.

Before I go to bed I try to make the list for the next day. My secret trick is to add things I did to it so I feel like I got more accomplished.

Do This Today Or Else

  1. Zoo for research photos…..Check!
  2. Paint A Fashion Risk….. Check!

Tomorrow’s list

  1. Paint: Fox, Owl, Bears, Pinecones, maybe a woodpecker or something, 2 red sleds, work on fisherman painting.
  2. Walk at least 6 miles or bike or gym
  3. Lowes – paint samples for bedroom and get a dishwasher and plants and one pot for the lemon tree
  4. Stupid store and buy some stupid food
  5. Laundry and clean at least on bathroom, vacuum downstairs
  6. Make the doctor appt.


Cheryl Crandall

Jun 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Sewing Circle News

Cheryl Crandall wrote me recently. Read it in full on my Sewing Circle page…



Part 3 Barcelona

Jun 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Cue the choir I went to Europe...

My first stop in Europe was Barcelona, Spain.
I don’t remember Barcelona very much because I was so tired. I also did not get a lot of sightseeing in this city as I planned on spending the majority of my time in France, Italy, and Croatia. Here are a few things that stand out to me now.
The mullet is alive and well in Barcelona. So many guys still wear a mullet. And here is a woman mullet with two kid mullets. I took this picture because of the interesting pets for sale in that cage but I honestly don’t remember what they were now. I’m thinking now they were not that interesting after all.

A really impressive thing I could not get over is the dogs are not on leashes but follow perfectly behind their owner. Even when the owner rides his motor scooter all around the city the dog would just follow calmly behind.
I did not see one insect. No flies, bugs etc.
The streets were very, very clean. I have not seen US city streets kept this clean.
Graffiti. I don’t like it in any country and it is all over Europe. People call it a form of art but I’m never going along with that.
I liked the coffee here better than any other country I went to. The food was spectacular.
Outside of Barcelona the landscaping is very lush. Almost jungle like. It was beautiful.


Here is the view from my room looking down. I loved the location. And I could keep my window open and not worry about bugs because I guess there aren’t any. OH! Small detail to note. When in a hotel in the US and someone says go up to the 4th floor we mean enter the elevator and hit button 4. The door will open and there you are. When in Europe and someone says go up to the 4th floor they actually mean WALK up 5 levels that somehow manage to hold at least 30 flights of stairs. They count the ground level as 0 not 1.

I stayed in the area Barri Gotic which is the old town quarter along La Rambla. Basically, the best part of the city where you can walk to everything. This area is full of awesome shopping, restaurants and unbelievable architecture. The very narrow, winding cobblestone streets were designed like a maze to get tourists lost. Ok, maybe not tourists since this area dates back to Roman times. I think I recall it was to keep the enemy lost while the locals could escape.

You just walk down any winding narrow street and then suddenly you will be in a new square or plaza. I loved the plazas. Music, restaurants, dancing, street shows. Each one is better than the next. So charming.

I would say the biggest surprise I learned about Barcelona, SPAIN was they do not speak Spanish. They speak Catalan. Catalan was not a language I had planned on. Here was my plan. I cannot sleep while flying so I had the brilliant foresight to use my time wisely on the airplane and attempt to learn 3 languages. Well, that is a slight exaggeration. I thought I would learn Spanish on the first plane to New York because I did take some Spanish in high school and still retain an impressive ability to count to 30 and say, “Me llamo Debi”. I figured a quick review in a travel book would cover the basic needed Spanish in about an hour. So this should leave me plenty of hours left over to start on French before I even landed in New York and I’d be ahead. Then I’d finish the complete French language from New York To Spain. Two languages down before I touched the ground of Europe! I could then learn Italian if I studied while on the trains touring around Spain and France. By the time I would get to Italy I would know 4 languages including English. Five if you include Pig Latin. And my emergency back up plan was to use sign language because I do know a tiny bit of that. But sometimes even well thought out plans are not successful. According to my travel journal (which I foolishly fantasized would be extremely interesting by the time my trip was over) this is what really happened on the plane…

Journal Update #1
Probably flying over Oklahoma. Hot guy in front of me.
Language progress going better than expected- Italian numbers mastered…
1,2,3,4,5,8,10

Looks like I jumped right past my plan and thought the most important part of my communication would be counting in Italian. I’m going to blame the hot guy in front of me.

By the time I landed in Spain I had another journal entry I won’t bore you with but it ends with… I can now count to 20, I think!
Arrived in Barcelona, only to find out their voices did not sound Spanish. And that was because they were not speaking Spanish. But the good news was I could count to 20 in Italian.

One famous place I did tour was Sagrada Familia. Construction started on this in 1882 and it still is a work in progress.There is so much history to this place, the construction and why it looks the way it does. Something about combining styles and religions. And nature. Inside there are giant tree like columns. The plan began with Architect Francisco de Paula del Villar and then one year later Antoni Gaudi took it over and spent 40 years on it. And I think he may have had A. D . D. He changed his mind and plan over and over. All I can say is when I looked at it I was overwhelmed. Sometimes it looked like a stalagmite, and sometimes it was glorious.

Overall I found it to be one hot mess. I hope I don’t get hate mail for that statement. But it was way too much for me to look at with no sleep.

This building next door was my favorite.

And this is where I will stop on Barcelona because I lost my camera.