Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I recently spent a little time in the magical town of Port Costa, CA, and I wanted to share.  The wonderful artist Wendy Addison has an open house at her studio there a few weekends during the holidays, and this is the only time it's possible to buy from her directly. You wind around the top of a mountain overlooking the water, thinking this can't possibly be where I'm supposed to be going.  Then amazingly you see the street you're looking for, drive along it a bit, and suddenly the street ends at the water and you're in a ghost town.  Old abandoned looking hotels, post office, etc, under huge trees. There's an old courtyard with a wonderful old sign over it, and a crumbling fountain inside.  This is where Wendy's studio is, and it's absolutely magical.  The tiny area at the front of her studio is absolutely stuffed with magical beautiful things - she calls it her Theatre of Dreams, and it really is. It seems to put a spell over me, and suddenly price is no object until I'm back in the car thinking "I spent HOW much?"  But I've never regretted a purchase, and friends who have gotten something of hers as a gift from me are always wowed...

And this year, for the first time, the abandoned hotel across the street was partially opened as a coffee shop, only open on weekends. I don't think I've ever been in a more charming, magical little cafe.  It's partly the setting in the charming old hotel, where they bake their 2 kinds of cakes they make in a wonderful antique oven, and it was enhanced by it being Christmas time and decorated so lovely.  I had the most amazing sweet cornbread/cake with cranberries that I can't even describe, and the best hot chocolate I've ever had. I didn't want to leave....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Craft Fun

I had some fun over the weekend making this for a friend of mine for Christmas. The box is a cigar box without the lid, and I had picked up the old snowman ornament and tree recently, and suddenly last week I just saw them all put together. I covered the sides and top of the box with old yellowed ledger paper, and the inside I covered with pages from an old hymnal, and the inside back is a picture I loved that I'd saved of a snowy scene with Victorian ice skaters.  The stamps I used are all from a set of very vintage looking Christmas ones from Tim Holtz. I embossed the ornament stamps on the sides, and collaged the 2 little Christmas scenes. I added the beads and some glitz and the feet, and it was done!  You know when you start a project not particularly confident of how it's going to turn out, and then as you go along you start really liking it and by the end you love it?  I LOVE when that happens, as it did with this project. Now I want to make more of them so I'll be on the lookout for more vintage little Christmas things to put inside them.