Happenstance

 

 

One of the recent weekends was full of wonderful moments of happenstance.  The weekend started with visiting an exhibition called Monet: The Early Years at one of the museums in San Francisco.   Earlier in the month, I had mentioned it to my husband.  Knowing how much I adore the Impressionist painters, he got us tickets for the event.  A couple of weeks ago we were there on Saturday morning, bright and early, although not quite bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

 

Monet

Towing of a Boat at Honfleur by Claude Monet

 

 

A Cart on the Snowy Road at Honfleur by Claude Monet

 

 

Green Wave by Claude Monet

 

 

A Hut at Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet

 

We explored his early work through approximately sixty paintings.  Exquisite play of colours, light and shadow, brush strokes and dynamics are an integral part of every painting.  Although he lived in abject poverty, Monet was so passionate about this work that he continued on with his personal style of painting.

 

 

 

 

Water Lilies by Claude Monet

 

The museum also has two small paintings by Van Gogh.  As I walked into the Gallery that had the Van Gogh pieces on display,  there was this painting by Monet right across from where I was standing.  As we walked around the room, we found a few more paintings by Monet and Renoir.  A lovely surprise find before leaving the museum.

 

 

Pattern on Craftsy and Etsy

 

My violin bow had been at the luthier to be rehaired.  They are about an hour away from our house, and also an hour away from San Francisco.  The bow was ready so we decided to stop by to pick it up on our way back.  We found a small coffee shop where we recharged before heading home via a beautiful road.  Inspired by the all the artwork of the morning and atmosphere of the violin shop, I have a new musical pattern brewing.

 

White Rose | Whims And Fancies

 

On the way back, the conversation digressed toward the gardens of Versailles.   We haven’t been to France yet, but we have seen a couple of beautiful stately home gardens in England.  It was therefore not hard to imagine the scale and beauty of the gardens of Versailles.  Our home is not a very large one, but I do like to take inspiration from large enterprises and scale them down to suit my need.  The thought of doing the same with our garden stayed with me.

Next day, when my husband went to the shop, I went along to browse the plants area.  I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but then I spotted this white rose.  All resolve melted away and I came home with 29 plants!

 

 

 

Can’t say no to irises.  I got these and my friend Mary sent me some more.  I am a lucky girl.

 

 

Also, a few foxgloves.

 

 

The following Friday, after work, I sat down with the garden measurements to create a layout for the plants.   Influenced by the larger gardens of the stately homes, I am designing a garden with a few different focal points.  Our garden may not be huge, but it is certainly big enough for that.  I created a circular focal point with the white rose in the centre.  It is a working plan, so it will continue to grow as I get inspired by the greatness of others.

I am going to take a break for the next couple of weeks.  Hopefully a few more moments of happenstance will find me.

-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Through My Lens, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Seasons, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

My Little Atelier

Sewing Room

This Saturday it will be a whole year since we moved to our new place in Napa.  Before that we lived in a loft apartment where my workplace was divided into two rooms.  I did my office work and design work at the computer in the loft and my artsy work at the corner of the big living room where I had a second desk and a cabinet.  When we were looking into buying a house, my husband insisted that I have a room that I can call my own.  I thought it would be nice to celebrate that occasion with a tour of my “Little Atelier”, which is what he calls this room.

I painted the room a cool blue-gray colour that was inspired by my favourite season – Winter.  This is my sewing desk.  The sewing supplies are stored in a lovely fabric basket sent by Cheryl.  She also sent me the cathedral window pincushion that is resting against the fabric basket.  My most favourite wall hanging – “My Best Enemy” – is on the main wall and my little acrylic painted crest is on the wall to the left of the window.  I saved a small branch while trimming a tree in our backyard last weekend, the crest is hanging from that now.

I love the night sky and that takes centre stage in this area.  There’s a HUGE Map Of The Universe poster on the wall.  On the desk there’s a Lego space shuttle and a Mars hug-a-planet ball.  Keeping with the theme, a little bit of Doctor Who also sneaked into this area of the room.   A blueprint of the sonic screwdriver of the tenth Doctor is on the wall and a Tardis clock sits on my desk.

Sewing Room

A wider view of that corner

The sewing desk is actually an old dining table.  I love the large size of it.  I have some computer hardware programming items under that desk as well.   My violin and a mandolin are behind that desk, right by the floor lamp.

I have a large kitty bed on my computer desk for my beloved orange kitty who joins me every morning within ten minutes of my walking into the room.

Sewing Room

This is the “Shelf Around The Corner”, very much like the Shop Around The Corner.   It is more of a shelf of whimsical curios than anything else.  A lot of the things on this shelf were gifts, while some of them I collected during our travels.  Along with my computer programming and cosmology books,  I also keep a few of my favourite story books here, some of which are signed.  A new addition to this corner is the “Will Work For Books” magnet on the lamp.  My first-ever job was at a bookstore, so recently my husband got the magnet for me as a nod to that.

Aside from a variety of Florentine and other types of stationary papers, there are a multitude of other things on that shelf:  A couple of Venusian glass pens,  a little replica of a standing stone from Orkney, bejeweled spiders, a tiny little violin, some tiny chemistry flasks and beakers, just to name a few.  Tintin and Captain Haddock have been my best friends since I was a child, so I had to keep a Tintin pencil sharpener there too.  I have to work hard not to clutter this shelf up too much!!

Sewing Room

Right beside the shelf is my guitar and its amp.  I catalog my books, so new books always end up in that Fair Isle star fabric basket before they go on the shelf.  The serger, a few more books, rocks, mineral collections, etc. are stored in the closet.  The drawers at the bottom are perfect for storing my knitting supplies.  My pretty Doctor Who stitch markers and the Tardis wallet made by Caroline are also in one of those drawers.  The ironing table hangs behind the door.  My husband changed out the drawer pulls and the closet handles for nicer ones after I finished painting the room.

Sewing Room

These are the cabinets on the other side of the door.  Between the two cabinets are a few Lego sets, painting canvases and my other violin.  The cabinet on the left is my fabric cabinet, that’s all the fabric I own.  It is organised by projects and type of fabric.  There’s only one exception –  Amanda sent me a huge stash of novelty fabric from her own stash.  They are so much fun to look at that I left them at the top of one of the stacks.  This way I can see them and smile every time I open the cabinet.

The other shelf with the half doors is right by the sewing desk.  Inside the closed doors you will find yarn and sewing supplies.  I sometimes have Charlie joining me here, that cushion is for him to sleep on.  On the wall are two of my watercolour paintings – Northsea coast and a stone bridge on the isle of Mull.

Sewing Room

I love the painting supplies on this shelf.  When I walk into this room every morning, they are lit up by the soft morning light.   I love to play with large Lego sets and I usually sort the pieces before I start building.  That’s what’s stored on the second shelf along with a Lego biplane and the yellow pincushion from Kris.  The two boxes on the top shelf contain a few more quilting supplies.  On that shelf I also have a few prints acquired during our travels.  I need to frame those.  Hanging from the knobs is a little house sent to me by my dear friend Sil from Brasil.

It is not a large room, but many things happen here  – work, play, music, photography, painting, drawing, and sewing.  This room has to fit it all, and it is very much organised with that in mind.  With that said, I also made room for the little things that make me happy.

Happy Crafting!
-Soma

Homemade Kitty Bed

Finished Kitty Bed made at home

Finished bed with Tuffleberry Treestone on it!

I started working on making this bed for my kitties in July and finally finished it last week with the help of my husband.

A cat bed in the making

Staining the wood on the dining table.

It was my very first wood project and I learned a lot from it –

  • I am going to buy an electric sander before my next project.  Sanding wood by hand is good workout, but the body aches all over the next day.
  • I also learned that varnishing requires very little amount on the brush, almost like dry brushing.  Otherwise you will have blobs of varnish stuck to the bottom of the wood.  So I had to sand those down again before applying the next coat.
  • Wood glue is good to keep trims in place, but we ended up using screws to secure them because they kept coming off, probably because of the varnish.
  • I also spray painted the brackets that we used to attach the legs to the bed.

Charlie on the homemade kitty bed

Charlie jumped on the bed within a couple of minutes of making the bed. Success!!

It was a really fun project and I might actually make another one for them.  If anyone is interested in the the details, please let me know.

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Don’t forget the upcoming Halloween Paper Pieced Blog Hop!

Paper Pieced Blog Hop Halloween 2012

A Kitty Bed

I have quite a few patterns in the making.  In the meantime I am also working on my very first wood-working project. Got plywood, trims and legs from Home Depot.  Sanded them down, applied 3 coats of stain and 2 coats of gloss varnish on them.  Next step is to glue the trims on.

A cat bed in the making