About Me

My photo
Los Olivos, California, United States
You can reach me at fool4fabric (at) gmail (dot) com

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Here he is, folks...swimming with Maggie!


Maggie came up for the weekend last week and took Teddy for his first swim...

He was eager to get in the pool...she held him the whole time, as he's too little to be able to get out by himself...

And he gave her a kiss for thanks!

The last 3 weeks have been busy with "Baby Teddy"...how reminiscent of the days when
you put the baby down for a nap...

then agonize over whether to take a nap yourself, or go to the studio to recover more outdoor cushions...(I recovered the cushions...)

We temporarily fenced in the patio off our bedroom so we have a place for us to sit, and a big playpen for Teddy! He's learned and loves to retrieve, which is great for exercising the little guy...

(That's a rope thingy that is almost as big as he is!)

Micmac is slowly warming to the dog, occasionally playing chase; meanwhile he is enjoying the almost daily Amazon delivery.

There's been very little dressmaking going on, although I am half way through one item,
waiting on interfacing and interlining. 

I did do a little cooking; this is one of my favorite recipes using fresh figs...Chicken with Roasted Figs

and of course the tomatoes and corn are at their peak, so we've had this a lot
lately...Corn and Tomato Salad.

I have a painful arch from plantar fasciitis, so I'm not walking these days...no boot this time,
thank goodness, but I need to get back to walking before I "grow" out of my Paris wardrobe.

We are way too close to the "Rey" fire, burning in the back country...our skies often have a strange yellow-brown hue, especially in the late afternoon. So scary...

Hopefully, my next post will be a little less Teddy, a little more fun in the studio...


Sunday, July 31, 2016


Sounds like a retro rock group, doesn't it?

The "Teddy" part is, of course, our new English Cocker Spaniel puppy...we picked him up from the breeders last week in Grass Valley. He's 9 ½ weeks in this photo, and full of beans! He eats, sleeps,plays and nips...those little puppy teeth are sharp, and Dave and I have the wounds to prove it.

Isn't he a handsome boy? His coloration is "Blue Roan with Tan" and his face
portends a real character...

The "turtlenecks" part is due to trying a new pattern, Rise and Fall Turtlenecks by
Papercut Patterns. I found a black and claret striped knit on Etsy that went perfectly with my Paris wardrobe, but I wanted to try out the pattern before I cut into it.

 The first try was in a rayon/lycra knit from EmmaOneSock. This view has a dropped shoulder and is somewhat loose. I used the higher neck from the other view.

The body on number two is a little more fitted, the neck is the same. This is also a rayon/lycra knit, also from Emma One Sock.

And here is the third one in that black and claret stripe...

Interesting to note is how different the collar is in each top...I wanted the high neck of number 1, but the different fabrics (all rayon/lycra) translated differently, 2 and 3 being more droopy.

Being a parent to a new puppy has curtailed my studio time a little...but I've done some listening...Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool and the sequel Everybody's Fool.,,very good, I do love his writing. Also now listening to The House at the Edge of Night, set in an island off Sicily during WW2. Also enjoyable. I read No Man's Nightingale by Ruth Rendell...love her Inspector Wexford novels, and gave up in the middle of Ethan Canin's A Doubter's Almanac, mainly because I didn't care for the major character and didn't want to spend any more of my time on him!  I read the latest Daniel Silva book, The Black Widow...I am hooked on his
 Gabriel Allon books!

Taking advantage of our plethora of French Plums, I made my favorite Plum Crumble

I make it exactly according to the recipe, except I double the fruit. I halved and pitted 200 French plums to freeze so we can enjoy this several times more. It's that good! Don't eliminate the candied ginger as it really adds to the flavor.

A few more puppy pics because, well, just because!

 The chairs and ottoman I reupholstered...

This dog finds the most comfortable places to sleep...

Come on over to Visible Monday and say Hello!

Sunday, July 10, 2016


*Pretty Piece, Possibly Paris?

What fun I had, sewing this silk duster! The pattern is the Fillmore, by Sewing Workshop, and the gorgeous fabrics (plain silk taffeta and matching pleated silk taffeta)
are from Marcy Tilton.

I was inspired by Martha, of Now Sewing, who made this in a lovely red Brussels Washer Linen. I'm a sucker for a cross-woven fabric in red and black...witness my recent raincoat

and my red jeans from my Portugal wardrobe

These are three that come immediately to mind...suffice it to say a cross woven red/black fabric gets my immediate attention!

This pattern has very interesting seaming and was perfect for two coordinating fabrics.

I made the pattern exactly as printed. I had decided not to pre-wash the silk, but when I had finished the duster, the crispness of the silk didn't work with the volume of the skirt, so I washed it in the washing machine on cold/delicate and hung it to dry. Perfect!

Apparently I was on a Sewing Workshop pattern binge...as I wrote back in May,
I am somewhat obsessed with trying to successfully match this fabric

with an appropriate pattern. Since the only success I've had was a pair of loose pants for my friend Joan many years ago, I went back to that pattern (Sewing Workshop Trio Pants) and sewed it again, just for me!

The fabric and the pattern are a good match...and although this style of pant is not what I usually wear, it's "good enough".

What it DOES do, is allow me to wear some beloved items of jewelry which don't fit in with my usual black, white and red...I have always been very attuned to gray-green stones and have quite a collection of them, from precious moss aquamarines and labradorite, to
coke bottle glass (it's true, the silver and green large beads I found in a market in Mali!)So now I have something to wear them with! Although the pants are not terribly flattering, they ARE very comfortable and I could imagine wearing them on a road trip or plane ride.

I tried another iteration of this pattern in a gray Taslan I had in my stash...


 These will probably be passed on to someone else. I hope I'm over my Taslan

My next sewing project will be home dec in nature...I am recovering these chairs and ottoman.
If these turn out ok, I have SIX more chairs and FOUR more ottomans (ottomen?)but I will probably farm those out to a professional.

In other news, we celebrated Dave's birthday Friday with an excellent dinner out

and received a new picture of our great-granddaughter Amethyst...

Isn't she pretty?

We have been availing ourselves of the glorious summer fruits available from our neighbor and having an occasional VIVID breakfast outside on the deck...

As for the puppies...

MicMac is enjoying his last few weeks of being top dog (er...cat). On Saturday, July 23, we will pick up our new baby in Grass Valley and bring him home. Oh,

I'm heading over to Visible Monday at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style...come take a look!


Sunday, June 26, 2016


The sewing mojo chez Houtz has been strong lately! I made another Paris Piece,
a very textured silver tunic to go with many of my already-sewn jackets.

The pattern is my old friend B5526, with added pockets and a stand-up ruffled collar. Shams from Communing with Fabric chose the fabric for me, a textured synthetic from Fabrix several years ago.

It enhances many of the fabrics in my Paris Wardrobe-to-be, so I made it so that I could use it as a layer, as well as on its own.

Here it is under the Minoru

I'm very pleased with it!  Here is a peek at the new hanging rack I got to put the Paris wardrobe possibilities on...more on this later.

After I finished that, I went to work on my "Franken Pant" pattern, which is 
Marcy Tilton's V8929 plus my custom pattern from Lynda Maynard. I'm trying to get the combined patterns (that's the Franken part) to the point that I can cut them out, serge all the edges and sew them together in a day. The first one was a wadder, the second ok, but meh...and here's the third one in a stretch cotton from someone on Etsy...


It gets better every time! While I was doing all this sewing, I listened to the
final two books of Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes trilogy, Finders Keepers and End of Watch.  They're pretty good...I've not been a Stephen King  fan in the past, but I enjoyed Mr. Mercedes so I decided to follow through on the last two. After those, I started Barkskins, Annie Proulx's new book. It's loooooong and fabulous. I'm about ⅔ finished. All these audio books are available on Audible Books.

Before I bring you up to date on the puppies (I know some of you are mostly interested in them....!) here's a RTW outfit from Sun Kim that I had to have...

I've already worn it several times and I love it!

Our beloved housekeeper gifted me with this awesome charm "bracelet" for my birthday...her sister made it and I'm so touched by it!

It's a spool of thread, a button, a dress form, a measuring tape, a thimble and a pair of scissors with a rose. Love it!

And one more thing...there were quite a few questions after my last post about  my raincoat...here are some answers...

I didn't line it or add inside pockets as I wanted it to be as lightweight as possible.
I did not shorten it.
The top in "the wineglass picture" was the top of this Alembika outfit that I bought in Oregon


The sheer sleeves belong to my "Sleevey Wonder"!

And HERE are the latest pictures of the puppies...(they are English Cocker Spaniels, blue roan, and we're only getting ONE although Dave has been wondering if we should get TWO
NO I said...


I have a very cute video of them tussling with each other, yipping and GROWLING...
I'll try to up load it.

Well, I tried twice and I couldn't get it to work... 

I'm headed over to Patti's Visible Monday...come see us!