My Shop

Monday, July 18, 2011

Knee Surgery With My Mom

So, I know.... You are thinking, yea right; another excuse for not writing.... (I think my high school English teacher, Mrs. Stephens, just got proverbial heartburn over the way I constructed the last sentence.)

Life has taken off which forced me to go out and experience rather than write. Now, routine is settling back in (and by the way that doesn't mean any room for dull moments).... But I am making time to write nonetheless....

I just had a special and precious couple of weeks with my Mom. Now mind you, it took her going through very painful knee surgery, being attached to two machines and then needing to remain horizontal most of the time. Did I mention lots of medication were also involved? Seriously, I hated seeing her go through a rough time (albeit with fantastic results as all of her caregivers report). and yet, on the other hand I loved the fact that I had to be in constant contact with her for two full weeks; both to take care of her and to just be with her and support her.

I can't explain what it's like to have a chance to give back to a parent. I've always had a very heavy feeling of guilt that I could never do anything enough to thank them or make all of their giving up to them. I was raised in a household which stressed manners. I was raised to say thank you and to do it not only verbally, but also documented and sent via snail mail. So, if you believe that those things add a special way of saying, "I'm really appreciative and I realize you took out effort to do something for me" then you have a hard time not being able to ever do "enough" to thank your parents. Despite whatever mistakes they made, we are so very lucky to have all of those moments that we will never forget. These were the times they melted us. I couldn't explain to my Mom how grateful I was and that I really did want her to stop apologizing for taking my time and thanking me for all that I was doing to try and help. Instead, I just kept saying things like, "How many meals have you made for me in my lifetime? This is nothing!" I felt like it wasn't enough, but I also felt so good to have the chance to do it. I have complete and total respect for the children who give back to their parents full time. There is no greater or harder job.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kate and William

I know what you are thinking. Someone else talking about the big Royal wedding. I have to admit. I am very excited. I called my Mom today. I wanted to know if she was going to get up and watch the wedding in the morning. We talked for literally 45 minutes until I finally laughed and said, "I haven't even had a chance to tell you why I called." She laughed back and I think it made her happy that she and her daughter can still have moments (even at a distance) to get lost in conversation and therefore time. Needless to say she asked and I answered: I've been thinking so much about you! The big buzz around here is who's going to wake up to watch the wedding. I've told everyone how I remember you and I getting up to watch Diana and Charles get married. Are you going to get up for the wedding? She tickled me with an afirmative and then added, "And I remember even before that watching the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth with my Mom." I informed her that even though we were far away, we'd be watching together and that I might just call. Technology is sometimes a wonderful thing. Love you Mom!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Contemporary Realism: Magnolia II - Watercolor

Contemporary Realism: Magnolia II - Watercolor: "'Magnolia II' 7' x 8' ~ Watercolor on Paper Click here for painting purchase information."

Art by KMCoriginals, Kathy Clemente: Happy Easter and New art!

These are too cute!

Art by KMCoriginals, Kathy Clemente: Happy Easter and New art!: "My library show is doing well, you can read the article online here . Below is my NFAC art for April. And these rats were wondering a..."

See's Candy

I have to tell all of the non-Californians out there about See's candy. There is NO superior maker of chocolate. I remember my parents getting boxes as gifts from friends around Christmas and those are fantastic, but their Easter goodies are just amazing! They have hollow milk chocolate bunnies that melt in your mouth. The sins just keep stacking with the solid chocolate eggs in pretty foil wrapping and eggs filled with yummy marshmellow filling. If you want to overdose on chocolate, don't waste your time anywhere else. They have catalogs and they ship just about anywhere!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Thanks

I really enjoyed Easter this year. It's such a joyous occasion! For some who've lost love ones, it can be hard if it's the first holiday without that special person. I was fortunate to be able to have dear friends over who are in just this situation. I am extremely hopeful that our experience together brightened their day and they were really able to, at least for a little while, truly celebrate the holiday without feeling sad. That was my goal. We laughed a lot and I made lots of silent prayers. I hope everyone had a very bright and happy day!

May everyone fair well in these storms!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Good Ol' Department Store

I've been thinking about this lately. One of my very favorite places to shop for fabric is this locally owned department store in a small Kentucky town with an old fashioned Main street. I know that I won't get "this years" line of fabric for lord knows how much a yard, but I know I'll get last years at an economical and fair price. I also know the people will dote on me and treat me like family.

............. Fast forward to the city version. I was in a Macy's today and as usual was presented with the same hospitality as folks probably have always received in a Macy's. I have to say this is always a comfort. There, in the traditional department store, are all kinds of services that these so called super stores can't offer. Now, everyone thinks that Macy's is expensive and it can be. If one shops smart, Macy's is a much better deal than anywhere. Today, I received 70% off, then %25 off of that on anything from stylish suits to pretty blouses.

Let's just say with services thrown in, WalMart prices and some of the best designers, you just can't beat the savings of a department store. Whether my visit be to a department store in the country or one in the city, I always get the best quality and deals.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thunder Over Louisville

If you are someone who has never come to Kentucky to explore the wonderful world of the Derby festival, you are missing out. There is certainly something for everyone throughout April. There are art shows, walk/run fundraisers, parties, and best of all; fireworks. I grew up LOVING fireworks and I feel spoiled to live in a place that hosts one of the largest and greatest firework shows in the world. You truly can't believe it until you see it. Though it's a fantastic sight to see on television, it can't possibly translate to the real life experience. It's a must have experience. Here is a picture from this year from

Friday, April 8, 2011

Beautiful 80 degree day today

I was enjoying my Friday again and today was not only a typically wonderful Friday, it was the first day I've worn shorts outside in 2011. That was fun. I dug down in the flower beds in my front yard and trimmed things, pulled weeds and added some small grass bushes that will add beautifully to the rest of the landscape. I tied the puppy up to a lead attached to a tree nearby and she had as much fun as I did. She rolled in the grass, panted like she was really excited, ran around sniffing everything that moved and everything else that didn't. I really enjoyed that. Of course, I've also gotten a lot of sewing done as well and that's been fun too!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Love my Fridays

I work this really strange schedule at my "real job," but the most fantastic part is that I get Fridays off to sew. It's a day where everything is quiet and I can hang out with my dogs and get things done. Sometimes I play movies or documentaries on the NetFlix to keep me company or my newly retired friend will bring her sewing stuff over and we'll talk, sew and just hang out. So here's to Friday and I hope wherever you are that you can relax this weekend, spend quality time with your loved ones and just catch up. Make the clock forbidden and just be on "you" time. It's a healthy and wonderful time especially for those who are on the East Coast with bad weather on what should be a beautiful time of year. Light a fire and make some hot chocolate and talk about summer plans!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Status update....

Now that my house is beautiful again and things are back where they are supposed to be, my spirits are up! While rearranging and reconfiguring my sewing studio, I started getting really excited about all of the future projects stacked up in my head. In fact, I got so excited that when I happened on some good deals, I went a little crazy. It was much fun and has filled me with a new sense of inspiration. I'll have to post some pictures soon, but I've been working on a bunch of little side projects that have been a wonderful distraction. I've gotten away from blogging like I should, but I'm trying to ajust to this new habit. One problem is that when I finally devote some time to sitting down at the computer my mind goes blank. All of the great blogging ideas I have just seem to have disappeared or seem silly.

On a different front (and maybe more interesting that hearing about a fabric allocation road trip), I'm reading my Dad's favorite book. It's called The Wanderer and is by Sterling Hayden. Very interesting so far. Sterling Hayden was an actor in many things, but the most memorable for me was when he played a dirty cop and gets shot by Al Pacino in the original Godfather movie. It's sometimes hard to picture the man behind that character as he was more of a character in real life than the movies could every portray. As I process this read I'll probably make random comments...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring has arrived!

I have beautiful blooms in my yard and the bradford pear has huge white flowers EVERYWHERE! Having my house back together as well as having the weather turn are making this a great spring to enjoy! It couldn't be better. Hope everyone else is enjoying the turn of the seasons.... I have plenty to write about and will check back in very soon!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Recent Wine Dinner

I had a wonderful experience recently that I just have to share. I, along with my friends were able to share an intimate wine dinner experience with one of the most talented wine growers in the history of California's wine history. Gregory Graziano of the famed Graziano Family of Wines ate and drank with my friends and I after the Cincinnati Wine Festival. It was a wonderful time and I can't speak enough of Gregory. He was a wonderful host, an eloquent speaker and just all around fun to listen to. He has a passion for wine unlike any other I've ever met in recent history. If you ever have the chance to hang out with THE winemaker, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Forward Progress!!!

New flooring is going in! Here are some pictures of the progress. We are starting into Day 2! The bathroom that flooded now has a new floor and new toilet. My medallion is here and the foundation is down so I'm able to start visualizing it. Lastly, the deep dark rich hard wood in my studio is also progressing. Here are some pictures. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Peaceful Day

It's gloomy out, but I have been working by a very nice fire. It's cozy in here, but I'm hoping it's one of the last fires of the season as I'm seeing bulbs already peeking out of the ground. Even some of the succulents out front are popping up. Spring is really on its way and that fills me with smiles! Hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful and happy weekend!

I actually made my first official Etsy sale this weekend and couldn't be more tickled! The best part is that it's someone new to me in another state. I was sort of hoping it wouldn't be someone I knew because then I can't assume it's a friend supporting my new endeavor and not a "real" customer. Though I'd love for people I know to support the shop, it's nice to know that a stranger also likes something I made. That's the best compliment in the world. I just hope it's loved as much upon receipt as well!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mariner's Compass/Compass Rose

I know it's been a while, but things are moving right along with replacing all of the damage. Weirdest and yet neatest thing happened yesterday. I was in a flooring store where the prices were right and the selection was great. As I was talking to one of the owners, I realized that there was a tile mosaic sitting on the shelf next to me. It was really interesting and beautiful. I asked about it and was told it was one of only two left in the shop. I turned around to look at the other one to find one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen. (Picture below!)  My Dad could navigate by the stars and was a fantastic yachtsman. I have a love for all things genuinely nautical and this is one of my favorite symbols. It comforts me that I will someday know the path to finding my Dad.

Not only does the mariner's compass remind me of my Dad, it's my favorite quilt block.You will probably see this symbol in my work from time to time. It's a pattern I love and will always return to for comfort.

This particular mosaic piece will be in my front foyer here in a few days and I just can't wait!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Small Town Shop Closing

I came from a big city in a warm place. I've had to adjust to seasons among so many other cultural changes. You have this preconceived notion that coming from a big city to a small town, there couldn't be surprises once a person gets their bearings. The truth is that no statement could be more false. The joy of a smaller place is the exciting wonders you find in the crevices that don't meet the naked eye. These are the secrets of a small town. Point and case:

I've lived in the same smallish town for over a decade now. The beauty of this place is bar-none and the winter isn't near as harsh as Canada. There is a historic downtown which warms my soul. In this particular piece of town there are several antique stores. My younger eyes were more focused on the cafes, bookstores and restaurants than the antique shops. Then, I fell in love with quilting and learned a local secret. There was this wonderful antique store with a fabric shop in the back. Quilt guild members get a discount. This was a new found heaven. When you live in a small town, options for fabric are limited. Then you might get lucky and find a godsend in a woman with great taste in fabric and a love for sewing. Best part is that she not only has great taste in fabric; she has a $3 table!!!!!!

A sad day is approaching this small town. Our very special fabric lady with great taste has decided to retire. She looks very young and spry, so the announcement was a shock to all and I keep asking her where the fountain of youth is to no avail.... Needless to say, my friends and I are very worried about where we will go to get advice, take a break from work in our own personal peaceful place and we will so miss the woman who has filled our minds with creative ideas and our hearts with joy.

Thank you Wilma for everything. We will seek your opinion whenever you allow us, I'm sure!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

That favorite neighborhood joint where everyone knows your name

Do you have that little local place where all the staff knows your face and what you like? It's a wonderful thing, isn't it? For me, it's a little Mexican restaurant. The folks there know I don't speak great Spanish, but they do know I understand my share. When I don't feel like cooking for an event, either because of too many people or I want to be able to socialize instead of playing hostess (or both), I love this place. The quality of the food is consistent, the employees are warm and cheerful and anyone who shows their face there on a semi-regular basis gets treated like royalty. It is a first class meal for the same price as a dinner at most mediocre chain restaurants. Who could possibly ask for more. Well, I have to admit that I do. I ask that it stay open for many many many years to come.

When I was a little girl, my parents had a place like that. It was a Mexican restaurant in San Pedro. We'd go eat there after a busy weekend sailing or working on our boat. Sunday nights would be my Mom's break from the kitchen. The three of us would go to this Mexican restaurant and be treated like royalty. It was a family place. Grandma would work the cash register and I remember hearing her house shoes go "swish swish swish" across the floor as she would walk between our table and the register. The whole family was wonderful and sweet. It's where I met and fell in love with my first enchalada. That was like the kids meal, but unlike any other kids meal I'd ever seen! I miss those Sunday evenings,  but I'm glad to have my own Sunday Mexican place where the food is good and the people make the experience that much better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Pictures of Progress???

Next phase: Water is gone, but so are the floors??? Next to go: Downstairs ceiling.... Did I mention - UGH!

Think you've had a bad day????

So I came home to a huge MESS!!!!!!!!!!!! I've posted a picture for clarification. Below is a picture of the lamp that hangs over my sewing studio table. The upstairs bathroom that sits directly above the sewing studio leaked while I was away at work. Pieces of ceiling are missing and I hear men in the other room with saws and hammers, taking out the rest of what was ruined. My sewing studio has now overflown to the rest of the downstairs. It's been a sad day. A day of trying to save fabric and patterns for current or near future projects. Fortunately most everything else was safely away in the storage areas against the wall, so all was not a loss. Just another eventful day in my life. Never a dull moment as my old 5th grade teacher used to say. Tonight the water suckers clean up the mess, tear out the floors and ceiling where appropriate and tomorrow? Who knows. Hopefully an adjuster and a contractor are in my near future! I'll be ready for anything. Check back for updates... :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Magical Blooms

So I have to share a favorite shop of mine in Redondo Beach, CA. It's a place called Magical Blooms owned by Jenny Barker. She creates the most beautiful arrangements you have ever seen! There is a personal touch to everything she does. Here's a personal story about why this is anything BUT a run of the mill flower shop.

My Dad passed away on New Year's Eve a few years ago. He always made sure Mom had beautiful flowers. There used to be a little stand on Portuguese Bend called Annie's and Dad would always stop each Wednesday for a bouquet.  He always had a huge bunch of roses and other complimentary flowers delivered on Valentine's Day with a smaller arrangement for me. It made each Valentine's Day very special for both Mom and I. After Dad passed, I wanted Mom to always have beautiful flowers so I started sending them each year. I decided she should never go without flowers on Valentine's Day. Jenny personally has taken care of my orders, delivered them and helps me construct the perfect wording on each card. Because this is such an important phone call for me each and every year, I usually take too much of her time, but she's patient and kind. The most wonderful part is that she sends me pictures of the bouquet so that I know exactly what it looked like though I'm far away. Thank you so very much Jenny! You are not only a gift to those we want to receive a special gift, you are a gift to those of us who want to send something very special and unique.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Etsy shop worth a visit! Retro Chalet!

Lots of people are using retro modern looks to give a freshness to an old style. If you are one of those types, this site is for you. I love everything kitchen oriented. Retro Chalet has a whole inventory of wonderfully unique additions to any modern kitchen. Here are some of my favorite picks!

Pink Melmac Cream and Sugar Westinghouse Ovation Melamine

Rare Color-Flyte boxed Branchell Grey Salt N Pepper Shakers By Kaye Lamoyne  melamine

Rare Color-Flyte Branchell Copper Glow boxed melmac shakers by Kaye Lamoyne box worn and torn

RARE Branchell Kaye Lamoyne Signed WHITE TRANSLUCENT Sugar Bowl and Creamer for Royale or Color-Flyte lines St. Louis Missouri

Please also check out the Fastest Growing Team on Etsy, right here!

My favorite article right now on HMET is this one with great tips on making your product pictures look professional. Check it out!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wonderful day for new friends

I found out today that there is a huge support system within the community of Etsy. It's a very friendly place. Not a soul has been anything but kind and helpful. You ask a question, you get an answer. You want to have an event with others and they participate. It's quite refreshing actually. Gives me an inner smile to walk around with. Even got a few new items posted.

Enjoy them and see ya tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New to Etsy

It's funny. I had so much to say while I was setting up this blog. So maybe I'll just ramble along and see what happens. Usually when I'm having to sit down and write anything, it's so different than this. It's not casual at all, so this is a big change. I'm facing one of what to me is a crossroads birthday. I have issues with the 6s, not the 0s or the 9s. When I was 26, I was so sad that I was closer to 30 than 20! Little did I know that the 30s were something to look forward to. The thirties are the best time of life in so many ways. Everyone seems to think that. (I actually ask....) It doesn't matter how tragic events are during one's 30s; they always seem to live whatever comes their way with grace, dignity and wisdom. We begin to truly like ourselves as we reach the age of 30. So, maybe I'm trying to hang onto my 30s with all my might, but I decided just before this "6" birthday that I would try to turn my hobby into a business. I hope you enjoy the trials and tribulations of a very nervous person wondering what folks will think of her pieces. I can tell you one thing. They are created with tender loving care. More to come!

Please come to enjoy this blog and my new Etsy shop!

Here are some photos of the latest items posted.