Tuesday, December 19, 2006


It's not like re-gifting. The gifts inside are new. Because of other hoo-ha going on, I only mailed packages out yesterday. They went to NV, NJ, NH and SC, and covered Christmas and three birthdays, the 24th, 27th and 31st. Today is my birthday, thank goodness I didn't have to mail myself a gift. I think I would have sent me a lump of coal. December hits us hard.

Reboxing is where you have to unpack the boxes that were shipped to your house in order to have the boxes you need to ship stuff out in(out-in, good.) The first people who ship can't take advantage of this. Be it known that those who shipped in those little foam angel farts have recieved their own farts in return. With more static added!

Those who didn't ship in farts but by nesessity received farts, got theirs bagged and contained so there will not be a mess. Little staticky angel farts popping out of the box and clinging to everything but the waste-basket would put some people over the edge. Those people know who they are.

No pictures today, though I have finished up a couple of projects. They are gifts, so I can't put the pictures here in case the recipients take a peek. Like ANYONE acutally reads my blog!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saying goodbye to friends

Above and beyond the holiday rush, we have had some major problems to overcome, and an unusual number of trivial bothersome things. And then we lost Harley, of indeterminate age and unknown causes. The burial service was yesterday.

My friend Denise lost her Davey today. Davey had a working life pulling carriages of tourists on pavement before being retired and sold to Indian Hill Ranch where he was a pet and took small children on their first rides. The pavement took it's toll.

Remember to enjoy the things you have today, because you may not have them tomorrow. Hamsters and horses live for today. People too often live for the past or the future, mysef included.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lights! Camera! Power Tools!

Dave and Joseph put the lights up last weekend. I got a little behind at uploading from the camera.

It took a team effort to get them up so far into the magnolia tree. I wonder what the resident hummingbirds thought abou that!

Mary Shelley has not spent quite as much time in the tree this year as she has in the previous 7 Christmas seasons in her life. It's a good thing too, since Dave is a ball of nerves due to starting a new job today. He can handle it, but he doesn't know that for certain and he is not one to go for uncertainties.

However.....a friend of mine has four cats. Her son rescued and bottle fed them as kittens last summer....... They like the tree. She finally got tired of picking up the mess, so she screwed the tree stand into the floor!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

1st, there was fire. Then, there was Home Depot

The finished fireplace! Just in time the The Season

A season of panic, last minute buying, errands we wouldn't dream of trying to squish in if it were June. A season of mud that soaks the heat out of your feet, and wool socks.

Dave should add wool socks to his Favorite Christmas Memories. You know the kind of socks......Can't wash in the washer or dry in the dryer or they will shrink...... I wash them in the bathroom sink. He doesn't understand why I don't wash them in a bucket, we have so many. It's simple, every time a bring a new bucket home, I find it later with an icky toilet plunger parked in it. I'm not putting my socks in THOSE! So he wakes up mid-morning and wanders into the bathroom and there they are, soaking. There are worse things....

As I reminded my mother at Thanksgiving, it could be worse. She complains that 'they' always leave the toilet seat. I don't remember when she didn't complain about it. I don't think she does either. Since my father has his own bathroom now, I can't see the problem, but old habits die hard and she can't stop complaining. So, I told her, it could be worse. 'They' could just not put it up in the first place and get pee all over the seat. I didn't even get an eye roll for that one.

Joseph and I have started our annual Christmas light charting. We do it each year, and have since grade K. We drive around the neighborhood in December and record which houses have lights up. This year we are counting by street, there are six, and comparing them. Who is winning? Riviera looks good this year.

Our tree went up last night. Joseph got some of the ornaments on. When Dave walked in, he said "I'm sick of this cat-in-the-tree business!" Sure enough, Mary Shelley was in the tree, about half-way up. She loves Christmas!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Lord Love a Duck"

"Lord Love a Duck!"
My mother used to say that when I was little, referring to something ridiculous. It didn't make much sense to me way back then. It doesn't make much sense to me now. I think that's part of what it means.

Anyway, this car was parked at the feedstore on Main Street when I went in. It's not the kind of car you expect to see parked at the feedstore. Amazingly, the first thing I noticed about the car was that it was a Datsun. How long has it been since you really noticed a Datsun? My roomate at Cal Poly had a Datsun B210. Hers was brown. This one may have been that color.....once.

And then.....
I drove Ms. Maultsby's 5th/6th grade class, well 3 of them anyway, on a field trip to Christmas in the Park, a San Jose Tradition. It was pretty interesting, probably better at night with all the lights. They covered the grass with white fuzzy sheet things, nailed down. It's the best they can do for snow in Silicon Valley. They put up Christmas trees which different organizations had sponsored and decorated; businesses, scout troops, schools, FFA, Red Hats chapters, Las Madres, etc.

I didn't take my Camera. Lucky for you!

That is why there isn't a picture of my favorite tree, sponsored and decorated by Ryker Endoscopy. Yep! It was decorated with laminated photographs.

You are SO lucky I didn't take my camera!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas trees

Getting closer to done.

I belong to an online group of artists. Someone posted a few questions about Christmas trees, just for the fun of seeing everyone's answers.

She asked:
How many trees go up in your home?
Are they up already?
Do you do them with primitives?
How long do you keep them up?
Real tree or fake?
Decorate by yourself or as a family?


She answered them first herself.

How many trees go up in your home?
One...sometimes two if I am feeling full of energy! LOL

Are they up already?
Usually yes but the kitten is into EVERYTHING and she is making me really nervous about putting a tree up!

Do you do them with primitives?
YUP! If I am putting the decor up...then I get to pick the style and so the last few years...PRIM ALL THE WAY! LOL

How long do you keep them up?
Till the first weekend of Jan

Real tree or fake?
Fake....Mom is too nervous about a fire to have a real tree. We do put real boughs around our big window and door though with red bows!

Decorate by yourself or as a family?
I put it all up myself as everyone else can't do it anymore. They treat me to supper that day out! LOL

So, of course, I answered them.

How many trees go up in your home?
One, but it goes up many times. Mary Shelley does the happy kitty dance when she sees a tree come in, then she lives in it. That would work out OK, except Hub gets nervous that she is in there and in the ensuing fight over occupancy, it falls over many times. One year he put it up on the coffee table to make it harder to climb. You should have seen the mess when it came down! Another year he wrapped it in bird netting to keep her out. She got in anyway and when he tried to chase her out, she got trapped inside the netting and panicked.

Are they up already?
No. too early.

Do you do them with primitives?
We decorate with anything. Many of our decorations are the happy meal toys that we had so many of but that I wasn't allowed to throw out. I hung them on the tree, then packed them away in the ornament box. They come out every year and have fond memories.

How long do you keep them up?
Until Jan 1

Real tree or fake?
We have a new fake one that we got a 5 finger discount on when hubs company went out of business. (We also go all the office lobby plants.) This one had the lights already installed in the branches.The last time we had a real tree was when we were remodeling and funrniture was everywhere. We got a real one so we could cut the branches off of one side and push it closer to the wall. It's the only way we could fit it in.

Decorate by yourself or as a family?
Usually together. We bicker at the same time. The bickering begins over whether or not it is time to put the tree up, and if we should all decorate it together, and if we should do it all at once or ration it out so the deocrating lasts longer, and
"Who is clumping the ornaments? NO CLUMPING!"
"Put all the breakable ones up high so Mary Shelley can't get them."
"No, put them down low so that when the tree falls over they won't break."
"I thought we weren't allowed to clump them!"
"You can clump only when Dad authorizes it."
"Ok. Dad, can I clump the ugly ones in the back?"
"Yes, but that one's not ugly."
"It is too ugly!"
"No, it's not."
"Is too!"

It only comes once a year.

Visit Cedara's blog
thru the attic door

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Peter at Peete's

Good friends are the best part of life. Peter comes to visit occaisionally, reminding me that another good part of life is living in a developed country.

This picure was taken at Peete's Coffee in San Ramon. It's not a movie set, it's a real place. Really, I was there, I should know.

I practiced my photoshop on it. It's different, but which is better? Did I fix it up or mess it up?

And while I was taking time out for fun, grass grew in the bed of my truck.


Friday, December 01, 2006


Instead of reading a book before bed, Joseph wanted to drew pictures together. This is what we drew.

His is the one that looks real, mine is the one that looks real deranged.

I have been working hard on my website and I think I've made some good changes. I figured out how to shrink the file size of pictures without reducing the pixel size and turning them into specks that load fast. Now I wish I could do something about the fast loading specks at my house. NOT make them bigger, make them load slower!

I fixed new backgrounds that I hope are better. If you have a chance, please check it out and get back to me.

I am considereing advertising on the Gomilpitas.com site. That's got me quaking in my boots. I'm not afraid of failure as long as I know I didn't do my best. But if I give it all I've got and then fail, that would be hard. Very hard.

I want to sew again, but haven't hardly done any of that! It has taken a lot of time to learn photoshop and I still continue to polish that little bitty piece of html that I have.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Burning Desire

After two winters with a plastic covered hole in the family room, we are getting a firplace. Dave is doing it himself. We were not quite in agreement over how the fireplace should be redone, and no progress was made until an agreement was reached. THis time, it took 2 years of someone to cave. In this case, it was me.
The motivation for the capitulation was Joseph's burning desire to get one of those Chimney Sweeping Logs he saw advertised on TV.
The cats are happy too. They didn't like the plastic. On windy evenings, the plastic would "breath" and creep them out. Ferm, cool and calm guy that he is, would just leave until he got used to it. Girl cat, on the other hand, would broadcast her unease and share it with anyone who didn't actually work at not getting sucked into it.
So now we are ready for grout.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mystery Fruit

Our neighbors gave us this fruit at Thanksgiving. There were 3 of these and one persimon. I like persimons, but Dave won't eat them because they don't grow in New Hampshire and he never saw one until he came out here. Joseph won't eat them because Dave won't eat them. I didn't have to share the persimon.

We don't know what these are. I ate one, they are good. Tropical, no question. Very very good, with pale insides and small dark seeds. I ate the seeds too. Mild in the innermost, becoming tart near the outside. We discussed ripness, but if it was too green, it would have caused problems, it didn't.

The obvious thing would be to ask the neighbors, but we don't share a common language.

Of course, not even knowing WHAT fruit they are, Dave (and so Joe) won't eat them. That's good, I don't have to share them either. They can have the chocolate!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I took this picutre a while ago. I had to. This is how turkeys can look in the spring when they start making new turkeys. They dont look like this in the fall, when we make all the construction paper and ceramic ones.

When I first saw turkeys like this in spring, I was so surprised! My school teachers always taught me that they look this way in November! I wonder how many of them acually knew?

These turkeys are right by Calavers Road in Ed Levin Park, part of the Santa Clara Regional Parks. The black fence is around Laguna Cemetery, an historical cememtary where many of the town founders are buried, or at least bought burial plots. Who know if they actually got burried there.

I have never heard any stories of ghost in that part of the park.

photoshop cat

Here is my first photoshopped picture. Photoshop is some pretty powerfull software and takes a while to learn. I have had so many other things goin on that it has been hard to find the time in big enough pieces.

So this is Afternoon Cat, one of my batiks. I framed it, and had enough presence of mind to photgraph it before I added the glass and had to deal with the glare. It wasnt quite square in the photograph, a little skewed in perpective. I learned how to fix that. I had to learn something called "layers" first.

And then there was a thread on it. I took the thread off before I framed it, but it was in the photo, so I had to figure out how to take it off.

And then there was the rug. Because the hanging wire goes on last, after the paper backing, I couldn't hang it to photograph it, I leaned it against the wall so the rug was at the bottom edge. I had to get the rug to look like it was wall, so the picture would look as it will when hanging.

This took a lot of playing around with different pics over the course of weeks, and reading the book and trying stuff out. But I got it.

That could happen only after I aquired the software. By that time, my computer engineer husband was working at home and I never got to use the computer, so I had to aquire my own. When I got it up and running, Jr. loaded his train town into it, within the first 24 hours, and crashed the hard drive. Start again!

I have been trying to frame the batiks on my website to sell as wall art. Being able to get the photos on the site is the longest and most difficult step. If you go there,
you will see that there are a few, but the photos are just plain and show the glare of the glass. Or you could just click on the banner down there.

This one is the best. I am on my way!

click here

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas Ornament Swap

Some of us got together and made ornies to trade. For some people, the time of year between Christmases is a waiting period. Mostly, I'm a little bit of a scrooge, but I jumped in on this one to see if it might be remedied.

This is the ornament I recieved.
It was inspired by Janow, but smells like vanilla and coffee instead of dirty hair and a hole in the ozone layer.
I think it is fantastic even without the Christams tree, so I can enjoy it without haveing to 'go holidays'. Long live Scrooge.

This is the one I gave. I hope it is as well liked as my horse one.

It has two sides, and I have managed to get my computer to show both sides in one picture. I am still struggling with photoshop. The biggest hinderance is the lack of time I have to spend on it.

I have done two craft fairs this month and come out RED again. Way red. Last weekend I didn't sell anything over $5.00. Other vendors told me I need to concentrate more on items that I can sell for a few dollars. I said that's not what I want to do. Wal*Mart and Target can beat me anytime on the price of handcrafted knick knacks because they can buy materials by the truck load and their crafting hands pennies per hour. If I buy the stuff to make it with, I've already paid the retailers any profit.

I think I have to rethink my marketing. But I know that until I can spend more time on it, it won't work.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

stitcthery kits

Michie of MyKai Creations and I have been working together to delelope so kits for people to make their own folk art stitcheries. We have started wit small one that an be coaster of candle mats. These are simple enough to do so that even begginners can make them as christmasn presents for teachers and Aunts.

A great indroduction to folk art for anyone to beging to get a feel for it before moving on to thier own desings, or jjust to have fun if they expect to spend some time waiting for soeont else to do there thing, like finish soccer proactive.

These are two desings we are working on now, hoipefully to be ready for the Holidays and the Selby Lane Boutique in San Jose next weekend.

A great indroduction to folk art for anyone to beging to get a feel for it before moving on to thier own desings, or jjust to have fun if they expect to spend some time waiting for soeont else to do there thing, like finish soccer proactive

The kits will come with ready to stitch coasters, an ample supply of thread, and a kneedle. Instructions, of course, thought they are quilt simple.

They are about the size of a CD. Intentional coffee staining, preferred by many prim artists, is left up to the stitcher. I still have a hard time doing this myself. It's not the technical difficulty, it's the emotional one.

Selby Lane Bouutique:

961 Selby Lane,
San Jose, CA 95127

Thursday Nocewmber 9th 4-8PM (by invitation only)
Friday November 10th 10-7 PM open to the public
Saturday November 12th 10-7 PM open to the public
Sunday November 12th 10-4 PM open to the public

click here

Email me with this address: Cara@doublecatbatik.com
or visit my website by clicking on the Doublecatbatik banner

Monday, November 06, 2006

See it here!

The Neighborhood $230.00

Seven Flowers $230.00

I have two pices on display at The Little Table coffee shop. These are batik, a meduim that uses wax on fabric to resist the dye. They are hand embroidered onto ticking or batiked fabric to make the mat, rather that the traditional mat board. They are custom framed using archival quality glass.

Several other artists are also featured at The Little Table, which has not only coffee, tea and smoothies, but the most fantastic mouth watering lunch speicials around! (and snacks, I love snacks)

Visit thier blog:
there is a link to a map in case you need to find them easily. You can also call and ask about the special for the day (408)263-2268

As you may know, I work in many areas of textile art, including quilting and clothing. I am participating in a Holiday Bouitique this year, with many other artists and crafters. A great place to begin your holiday shopping, or in the case of a smart and lucky few, to finish!

Selby Lane Boutique:

961 Selby Lane,
San Jose, CA 95127

Thursday Nocewmber 9th 4-8PM (by invitation only)
Friday November 10th 10-7 PM open to the public
Saturday November 12th 10-7 PM open to the public
Sunday November 12th 10-4 PM open to the public

click here

You can contact me the easy way by leaving a comment on my blog,
Email me with this address: Cara@doublecatbatik.com
or visit her wqebsite by clicking on the Doublecatbatik banner

Friday, November 03, 2006

Veldt Loops

Here is my latest quilt. It's a child's quilt, I havent measured it yet so I don't know the exact dimensions. I still need to clip the threads too. The back is pieced, so you can tell it is a unique one-of-a-kind blankie for that special little kid.
As soon as I get the threads clipped. I can add it to my web site.

Tomorrow we are planning a trip to the Tech Museum in downtown San Jose. If I can convince Dave, we may even take Light Rail from Great Mall.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jessalynn's Quilt

I made this quilt for Nancy's new grandaughter Jessalynn.

There was a lot of fussycutting, and I even matched the stripes in the sashing. That was harder than I thought it would be, so I got it messed up and had an even harder time figuring it out! I had to line the stripes up with each other and get the star points on the correct star enters at the same time.
The little dinos are aligned so that if it is over the top of you, you look down and see the most dinos closest to you are right side up.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pacific International Quilt Festival

Pacific International Quilt Festival is nearly here! It begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday. It has the biggest vendor fair I have ever seen in my life!

I've had two quilts accepted for entry into the show this year. I have sewn on a sleeve and checked labels, so they are ready for delivery today.

Sue Cracks Up 30x30

I batiked the Sunbonnet Sues instead of applique which is more traditional. The sashing is batiked onto the same fabric asw the Sue, so this quilt is pieced from only 9 pieces of fabric.

Key Search 82" x 105"
The little 2 inch squares on this are pieced from scraps that were too small to cut a 2 inch square from, yet too large to just throw away.
I had a good time with the quilting, I didn't feel serious and so I quilted outlines of old skeleton keys, and then quilted around them so they are hidden. When it hung in the Legacies of Love quilt show, just an exhibition of quilts made by guild members and not juried, people had a good time finding them. They are not impossible to find.

I had plans to sell this quilt, but I'm having trouble parting with it because it's so fun to look at.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


My mother decided to knit me a sweater. She had knitted socks before, before I was born. She had knitted slippers for me when I was in Nursury School. (That's what they called pre-school "back in the day") So this sweater was a huge undertaking! But she did it! I couldnt believe it! You would never guess from looking at the sweater that it wasnt made by someone with a lot of experience.

I wore it to the quilt guild meeting last Tuesday and brought it up for Show-n-Tell at the end of the meeting. Everybody I had spoken wiuth that evening was surprised that it was a hand knit sweater! "Look at those cables!" "Show the back!"

I held out my camera and asked "Could somebody take my picture so I can show her I showed it off to everybody?" Everybody cheered. Marta took the pictures.

There is a raffle drawing for everybody who brings something to Show-n-Tell. I won the prize. I knew I would send it to Knitter-Mama, but everyone made sure I was going to do that in case I didnt think of it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lindsay Wildlife Museum

Saturday we went to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. Barbara recomended it when we saw her at Mickey D's on Friday afternoon.
It was fantastic. They had more live animals than I expected. The owls were up high on a shelf without glass or wires between us.

All the animals were native to the area, and all were there because they were unable to be released due to injuries or the results of people tying to tame them.
The bald eagle had electrocuted his wing on a wire, the mountain lion had been declawed, a hawk had imprinted on humans instead of other hawks.
I liked the bats best.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


We bought new Uniture. Actually, just the sofa, loveseat and chair. Should have got two chairs, no loveseat. I said the room is too small, he said it will fit. Well, it fits, but it's more crowded than I like. Then we picked out a new entertainment center, one to match the sofa and fit around that old 61 inch TV. It's NOT a flat screen and it takes up a lot of space! We are still movng stuff around trying to decided on placement.

Then the computer hutch we had was all wrong, so we ordered a new one to match the entertainment center.

I went in search of an occaisional table. No coffee table, they just collect stuff and you have to walk around them. I hate walking around furniture. I found one that was OK, but the wrong finish. I would have had to refinish it. It was easily worth the $250 price tag, but I could see paying that much for one I had to refinish. So I decided to head on over to Cost Plus and see if I could get something wicker or what and paint it. On my way, I saw garage sale signs..............

The table cabinet I bought was definitely in need of refinsishing, it had the 70's heavy varnish and dark stain. $5.00. A good price even for firewood. Then the work started. Oh boy. But I got it to match the new entertainment center and computer hutch.

We are still moving stuff around........

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Pokes, just the pokes, not the hearts.

Nine auctions on ebay, I've never had that many at one time before. Of course, procrastinating on something else helps. This time it's Photoshop. But I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Lei Bear

Ice Box Magnets


More pokes

click here for auction listings

Friday, September 15, 2006


I have been wanting new furniture for the living room for years. The family room sofa is to old and soft, it hurts my back to sit in it and I haven't sat there with my family since Joe was in 1st grade, now he is in 5th grade. Dave has been putting off the expense, but I said it was time.

My friend Denise went with us, we left Dave at home. He shops by price tag alone, and I needed a sofa I could sit on comfortably. It doesn't matter if it has the best price, it is a waste of money to buy it if I can't sit comfortably. For anyone who doesnt know, my back is a major problem. I have had 4 spinal fractures at four different times in my life. I have lumbar fusion between L5 and S, and spondylolesthesis between L4 and L5.

See the sign that says ROCK BOTTOM PRICES? I asked Joe if those were different prices for people with rocky bottoms and did he think I qualified. He just rolled his eyes, like "I can't take you anywhere!" We took the camera shopping with us to take photos of sofas and the price tags, so Dave could see them and not feel too left out. We sat on a lot of sofas. I thought we were lost in IKEA, but Denise said they make you walk around a lot to get out, so youwill see something you can't live without. It didn't work.

It was a fun afternoon.