Sea House Warming Hut: Guest Books, A Sunset… and A Big Butt

Remember this photo? Barbara W. had sent a marvelous gift box of thoughtful miniature wonder, and I was inspired by the open butterfly book ( by Jennifer Hatt of to make a guest book for the Warming Hut.

The page spread is set in 1.5 point type :)

I logged myself in twice, in blue and black ink.

I call these cheater books, because the pages don’t open or turn, but I did glue the signatures.

I was going for a Moleskine notebook sort of look with black covers. I also made an open sketchbook with pages being ruffled by the wind, as well as a closed volume. There are no more photos of the process, though, as my husband called me outside to view the rather spectacular sunset. Here is a photo of him taking photos of the sky :)

That’s the Pacific Ocean, looking pink as bubblegum :)

Anyway, there are the three books I made. I used a thin silk cord to make the page markers. And doesn’t the Peacock rug look splendid with the poppy-colored furniture?

Instead of making a stand for the guest book, I made this today:

A big cigarette butt. It’s 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) in diameter and about 24 inches (61 cm) long (unstubbed). I am especially happy with the “tobacco” — dried up leaves from my tomato plants, preserved moss, black tea (Yorkshire Gold) and paint, and a lot of glue.

(I volunteer with Pacifica Beach Coalition. This butt will be part of a display to build awareness that cigarette butts are *not* biodegradable. Did you know that cigarette butts discarded in parking lots, along sidewalks and in street gutters miles from the coast inevitably make their way through storm drains, creeks and rivers to the beach and the ocean, where they continue to leach toxic chemicals? Yuck.)

peacock rug complete

modern miniature peacock rug

After completing stitching and staring at it for a while, I trimmed the edges of the silk gauze to about a quarter-inch (6 mm).

modern miniature peacock rug

I washed and gently blotted it mostly dry, then pinned it into square(ish) and left it to dry overnight.

modern miniature peacock rug

The raw edges are turned to the back, corners mitered, and the edge oversewn exactly one row of the 49-count silk gauze with a double strand of Gütermann silk. I pondered the binding color at length, and finally chose the darker gray.

modern miniatures peacock rug

This is what the back looks like, and shows the combination of tent, basketweave and snarled stitches. Mistakes were made. Many were corrected, but some were discovered too late. Kind of like life.

modern miniature peacock rug

I fused featherweight interfacing to the back, to protect and seal the raw edges. Note to self: dust your build floors more often!

modern miniatures peacock rug

And here’s the finished rug, inviting you in to the Sea House Pavilion for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. It’s a great place to watch the storm blow in.

in no particular order

peacocks_120214Peacock rug getting there! Just the remaining green background left to stitch. Then blocking and binding.

(Finished size will be 4.625 x 3.125 inches (11.75 x 7.9 cm), 227 x 153 stitches, Gütermann silk on 49-count silk gauze, from a design by Roger Fry, as charted by Melinda Coss in Bloomsbury Needlepoint From the Tapestries at Charleston Farmhouse.)

Then I’ve been playing around with Kris Compas’s current tutorial for an upholstered parsons chair, using this great cotton stripe from a thrift store shirt. Other than (endless) work on the Peacock rug, I think this is the first miniature building I’ve done since I packed everything up to move in the summer. (The cording is made from three strands of DMC floss, and is more true to scale than using all six strands. In case you noticed.)


Penultimately, here is my first repeating pattern!


The color palette is a combination of hues drawn from photos of the ocean and from the persimmon tree in Soquel. The simplicity is perhaps underwhelming, but this represents hours and hours of work. Onward!

And finally, I did go back to the indie dollar store and buy up all the boxes of Prang KantRolls.


Mostly because this:


it’s that time (again)

Yes. We are moving. Well, actually, packing in preparation for moving.

Yes. We are moving. Well, actually, packing in preparation for moving.

About an hour and a half up the coast, to Pacifica. Very excited for new beginnings, very sad to depart the Soquel hills and the superior Santa Cruz County climate.

Finding a new house (oh, and working) is why I’ve not been doing any building the last few months. But I have been stitching — sometimes late or in the middle of the night — on the Animals rug, and a new, smaller rug project: Peacock.

Peacock, designed by Roger Bell in 1913–14.

Peacock, designed by Roger Bell in 1913–14.

I came across this remarkable book, Bloomsbury Needlepoint From the Tapestries at Charleston Farmhouse by Melinda Coss. It is both great art history and charts of designs by Duncan Grant, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell.

You want this book.

You want this book.

Roger Fry’s original 1914 design was worked on 10-count double mesh canvas, and measured 22 xx 15 inches (55.9 x 38.1 cm).

Roger Fry’s original 1914 design was worked on 10-count double mesh canvas, and measured 22 x 15 inches (55.9 x 38.1 cm).

My version is on 49-count silk gauze with Gütermann silk, 227 x 153 stitches, 4.625 x 3.125 inches (11.75 x 7.9 cm). And although I wish Gütermann had more and better shades of greens and blues (especially), this piece gives me the comfort and focus I need right now. Thank you, tiny needlepoint!