• Category Archives Really Cool Stuff!
  • Links to YouTube or other ‘really cool stuff’

  • Palais Ideal

    Once in a while I like to digress from my usual quilting stuff to share really cool discoveries I’ve made; this is one.

    I discovered this place in some travel documentary I saw many years ago and now and again it bubbles up into my consciousness.

    This structure has been designated a National Historical Monument in France. Built by a humble postman starting in 1879, this fantastic ‘palace’ took 33 years to complete in 1912. It was the brainchild of Ferdinand Cheval, a postman who started collecting stones he found on his 18 mile delivery rounds pushing a wheelbarrow to collect and carry home the stones to build his dream castle; a task he pursued by himself with no outside help other than his dreams and own two hands.

    I have seen many photographs of this palace but now with the help of You Tube, you can take a virtual tour of the monument. As you explore the stairways, terraces and hidden alcoves, bear in mind that this was built by one crazy focused genius all by himself. Just goes to show what one can do if they are passionate about their vision. Remember too, that this was built by a man with no architectural training in an era where even do-it-yourself construction manuals would have been hard to come by let alone access to the internet. I wonder if he shared a soul with Walt Disney in a past life.

    If I ever get to go to France this will definitely be on my bucket list – Magnificent!

  • A ‘Treasure Hunt’

    If you are anything like me, you love to find interesting fiber art stuff. My sewing studio is jam packed with not only the standard ‘sewing’ things (fabric, batting, thread…) but also unusual finds – beads, novelty yarns and other exotic materials.

    I want to share a great source with you, many of you ‘locals’ already know about this place but some may not or may have heard of it but not gotten around to checking it out so here’s a nudge. It’s a thrift shop devoted entirely to sewing and related crafts. It was formerly called Knitt’n Kitten but is now operating under a new name – Kraft Kitty.

    The shop is run by my former daughter-in-law and her mom and features – well – just about anything you can imagine. Vintage and unusual fabrics, trims, old patterns, buttons, lace, beads,,, You never know what you will find but you can count on it being something you wouldn’t find anywhere else. I love to embellish some of my art quilts and have found all sorts of treasures there. If you like the rare and unusual, you need to check this out.


  • A Momentary Departure from Quilting

    I am not a huge fan of Anime, most of it is ‘too out there’ but I have to share a recent discovery with you.  I have discovered a series on Netflix streaming video – a current (2014) season of Anime shorts based on the Manga series ‘Mushi-shi’. I have a DVD of the original series that I bought because of this new season I discovered and I

    Mushishi Cover Art
    Mushishi Cover Art

    love it too but the artwork in the newest series is simply exquisite, a term I would find it hard to apply to most Anime.

    Each image is like a Japanese landscape print and the stories are not your average Anime action adventure. A ‘Mushi’ is a spirit, an ethereal creature that lives on the fringe of the natural world that can possess a person and disrupt their life in unusual ways. A ‘Mushi-shi’ is a sort of exorcist/healer who has the knowledge and skill to heal the afflicted person with medicines he carries with him on his travels. In some ways this series is reminiscent of the Zatoichi series about the blind masseur who is also an expert swordsman but where Zatoichi is a (rather violent)  Samurai action series, Mushi-shi is serene and meditative in the presentation of the stories.

    At some point, the DVD of this new season should become available (I hope) but in the meantime, those of you who have Netflix streaming might enjoy watching this most unusual offering in the Anime style.

    You can read a review of this new series on IMDB; they give it an 8.8 (out of a possible 10) rating .