Friday, September 28, 2012

Make a Polka Dot Patch Work Pillow

I was inspired by my Aunt Eleanor's Quilt at the Hornby Island Quilt Show, so I decided to make a pillow in the same feeling. I love how it turned out. If you are interested in making one please click on the image below where you'll find the instructions and a free pattern. 

The inspiration
Close up

If you make this pillow I'd love to see it you can send me a photo at

Click on the image above to see more of the Hornby Island Quilt Show.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cat Quilts and Crafts by LaVera Langeman

Years ago, I wrote a book that was published by Chilton, called Cat Quilts and Crafts. It's a fun book (especially if you love cats). I have 37 cat designs, borders, and symbols.

It's now out of print but it still sells as a used book all over the internet. I thought it would be nice to make it a free downloadable book as a gift to my blog and website followers. If you're interested in Cat Quilts and Crafts click on the image below or the page bar above. Remember, if you only need certain pages you can choose just those when you're going to print.

I would love to see any work you do out of the book. You can email me photos at

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna


Another stop on our virtual world tour 
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna  
Just click on the image below  

Portrait of Emperor Maximilian and His Family  - Bernhard Strigel

       Emperor Maximilian 1 and His Family 1516- 1520 
      Bernhaud Strigel

When your touring look up at the ceilings and scroll through the restaurant it's beautiful. 
If you click on the picture and it doesn't take you the museum put this link in to your address bar.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Uncle’s Pottery Studio

My Uncle’s pottery studio has brought me countless hours of joy. It’s a very old building with planks on the floor the size of an old growth tree. The pottery wheels sit in front of large windows that look out over his farm across to his lovely home.
It  smells like earth and the clay dust covers every inch. Giant barrels of glaze await the bisque fired pots. There are rows of pots drying at every different stage. In the winter the stove makes the studio warm and cozy.

The kiln when firing makes the studio even warmer and adds an excitement of something special to come. The outdoor showroom begins to fill with beautiful pots ready for the summer tourist.

My uncle is Heinz Laffin  and his studio is on Hornby Island if you want to experience it for yourself.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Rabbit tea

When I set the table for a special tea, I like to have a theme. It makes the tea more fun. This tea I chose a rabbit theme.

 I used ornamental cabbages as my center piece. I wrapped each pot in brown paper and tied it with  raffia.

Then I looked around my house to find as many different rabbits as I could. I placed them near the cabbage.

Another fun way to dress up your table is to mix and match your teacups, this adds a festive look.

I also layered two green table cloths one cloth and one crocheted to add some depth.

                               I chose to make a carrot cake which went nicely with the theme.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spring 2013 Fashion Week in New York City Wraps Up

I was a Fashion designer in New York for years, I was considered a mass market designer that means I would translate what was coming out on the runways and Paris boutique’s so they would fit into most people’s life styles.

 Fashion week has wrapped up in New York City. What does that mean to you? Not much right now, unless you can afford these great designer clothes. But in the next two years the fashion you see today on the runways will show up in the stores you shop, tailored down in price and style enough so that they’ll fit your daily life.

 If you want to get a jump on fashion and be able to be “fashion forward” for the next two years, here’s how I think it will translate.

 Lots of Stripes especially large stripes, color blocking mostly black and white with a dash of a primary color.

Prints look like they’ll be photo prints, some animal and some polka dots. Over all not many prints unless we see some on the European runways. I’ll let you know if I see any.

 Colors: Black and white with dashes of primary’s and Fuchsia.

 I agree with Bill Cunningham that shoes will play a big roll in spring, how that will translate will be fun to see; hopefully they won’t cause a lifetime of pain.

On their feet
My favorite show was Marc Jacobs Spring 2013.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Golden Girl a Teapot

 Golden Girl is a new piece I put on Etsy. Her life has been touched by the most precious gift of all the gift of time. Being a teapot she is lucky enough to have spent many hours gracing beautiful tea tables and listening to wonderful conversations. She hopes to find a well used kitchen where she can retire and spend her days smiling down from a shelf at the lovely people within it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Family Cook Book

Family Cook Book


When my boys were leaving for college I decided to make a cook book of all their favorite recipes.

I included family photos and instruction pages, for example when to call the doctor, how to set a table and meat roasting temperatures and times.

Both boys were glad to take it with them to college.

They ended up using them to cook for their friends and my oldest said he would sometimes just take out the cook book and look at the pictures. Now I have requests for the cook book from other family members.
If you'd like to do this project make your draft on photo copy paper and then take it to your local photocopy store and they will print and bind it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just Another Day?

Today was a beautiful summer day. My friend and I were looking at her garden when all of a sudden an ambulance pulled up about two houses down and across the street. Then chaos started with people running in then out and in again to get a stretcher. The dog was barking and someone was crying. We watched for awhile then went inside for a few minutes. When we came back out the ambulance was gone and all was quiet. Soon the postman came walking down the street and headed into the yard to leave the mail. Nothing in his day had changed, nothing in our day had changed, life just continues on as if nothing has happened. It makes you think.

                                                      How are you spending your days?

                                                      Have you called your family lately?

                                                      Are you making the right choices?

                                                      Most of all are you thankful for today?



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Life as a Paper Doll - craft project

Who would I be if I could be anyone in the world? Where would I live if I could live anywhere in the world?

While thinking about these two questions, I was also thinking I need to make a Birthday present for a friend and then the two thoughts merged and this is what I got. 

                                                                  Marie Antoinette
                                                           Louis Vuitton Fall 2012/2013
Photograph your friend and size her image on your computer then print the image on matte photo paper and cut her out.
 Lay her photo image under a piece of tracing paper and draw your own dress design over the image. Then photocopy the tracing paper onto card stock. Now color it in and cut it out making sure you leave tabs to fold over so the outfit stays on.

I packaged them this way.


                            “Life as a Paper Doll” was a great success; judging by all the laughs.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Miss Tulip

Miss Tulip is now living in Sappada, Belluno, Italy. She says it’s a wonderful place up in the mountains near the Austrian boarder.

It is a small town surrounded by rolling fields full of wonderful wild flowers.

The houses are as beautiful as ginger bread houses.

              She loves her new place. Have a happy life Miss Tulip! Thanks for the pictures.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Patty Fairbanks

Patty is the guest artist on my website this month,

I think her Digital Art has such a wonderful modern look; so full of life, with the colors being wonderful and vivid, a true joy to look at.

If you need a smile today take a look.

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