Little Stories – Holiday Happenings

California Redwoods National Park - photo by Soma Acharya



Hi Everyone!!  A very fond welcome to all my new and old visitors.  I have had quite an eventful winter break.  On two occasions, my husband and I first drove down to Southern California and then also to the north.  Apart from being outside and travelling, I have also been busy in my little atelier with sorting out projects, planning, painting, book binding, etc.   I LOVE to bake, so I have been playing with recipes too.  I have one to share with you today along with my other holiday happenings!



Katsushika Hokusai Fuji woodblock print - photo by Soma Acharya



This year I swapped out my snowshoes and outdoor boots with my city boots.  I was all set to go to the Eastern Sierra to play in the snow.  Then I found out at the last minute that Bowers Museum in Anaheim is hosting an exhibit of an extensive collection of  Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints from the British Museum.  As a block printer myself, I could not pass up the chance to see these original prints up close.  Needless to say, it was an incredible visit and it happened to be on my birthday weekend.



Japanese ink Kakimori and Shikori Miruai - photo by Soma Acharya



Afterwards we visited a few book shops and stationary stores there.   I got several incredibly beautiful Japanese inks for my birthday from my husband.  I love the simple joy of playing with these inks and writing Japanese with a brush.   I am excited about using these inks for both writing with fountain pens and for drawing.



Juki Sewing Machine - photo by Soma Acharya



I recently got a new sewing machine.  To familiarize myself with the new machine, I started making something that is nothing fancy but very special – blankets for my kitties who love to sleep on them.   I “quilt” them with wavy lines.




Bobcat quilt pattern - by Soma Acharya

 I made this bobcat pattern for a school mascot as a custom order


I used to design paper piecing quilt patterns.  For non quilters, it is a type of pattern that enables me to create almost any picture with fabric, like this bobcat.   The challenge in writing these patterns is that every sewing line (seam) has to be a straight line.  The curves are all made of straight lines.  I start with drawing the picture and then start drawing lines where the seams will go.  Figuring out the way each piece connects to another is like creating a puzzle.

You can see my currently available patterns in my shop.   I took a break from designing patterns, but I am excited to say that during this break I started working on a new one.  I will share as soon as it is ready.



Compass Mariner's Star quilt pattern - by Soma Acharya



During the holidays, Rebecca Magee shared photos with me of this beautiful quilt she made.



Compass Mariner's Star quilt pattern - by Soma Acharya



She used my Compass Needle pattern for the stars in the middle.  Isn’t the quilt gorgeous?!! 




Truman Fruitcake recipe - photo by Soma Acharya



Due to severe food allergies, I can’t have store-bought fruit cakes and I am not really very fond of alcohol-steeped desert.  I recently happened on a recipe from the President Truman household that was posted by the National Park Service.  I made a few modifications to fit our taste and we really love it.

I am sharing both the original and my modified version with my notes.  I posted the recipe on this page all on its own so you can bookmark it directly.   I hope you like it.



California Redwoods National Park - photo by Soma Acharya



I usually make a “official” end to my winter break with a visit to the majestic Redwood forests along the California coast.   It is a very contemplative time for me.  I took this photo from the car one morning.   Not the best photo technically, but I love the atmosphere.



Redwood cone ink drawing - by Soma Acharya

Purchase handmade journals


At home, I finished a long-awaited drawing of the redwood cones collected from my own backyard in my nature journal which I made.


These are just a few things from my winter break.  I have so much more to share with you, from both my atelier and my  travels.  Thank you so much for continuing to visit me.   It is great to see familiar as well as new “faces” here.

Until next time,


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.

58 thoughts on “Little Stories – Holiday Happenings

  • Rain March 30, 2024 at 04:08

    Hi Soma! I love your Bobcat, beautiful. Oh the sewing machine! I need to pull mine out, I just have nowhere to put it…I haven’t sewn in ages! I love the photo of the foggy road!

  • Sallie (FullTime-Life) March 25, 2024 at 15:56

    You are so talented — I really like the bobcat though can’t even begin to understand how you do those patterns. I do understand the fruitcake recipe (on its own page) and besides sounding amazing it made me smile to remember the time we visited the Harry and Bess Truman home in Independence MO. … the redwood photo evoked beautiful memories too — the misty photo is perfect for that amazing area.

  • Michelle Nature Notes March 25, 2024 at 14:49

    I love the bobcat and that you have cats. I cant copy a photo for my Nature Notes blog so it won’t be included in the photo collage…Michelle

  • Amy Johnson March 24, 2024 at 13:05

    Those quilts are incredible and I love the photo of the road.

  • Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs March 24, 2024 at 05:24

    Oh, it made me so happy to see you pop up in MMBC! I hope all is well with you Soma.
    It’s lovely to see your beautiful creations again. I also love the forest capture, very atmospheric! x

  • Anne Sweet March 24, 2024 at 05:19

    Is there no end to your talents. I remember buying my daughter some Japanese ink and paintbrushes when she was younger. She’s all into digital painting now and I rarely get to see her work. She also sews, but I’ve never really caught the bug for sewing, I think because I hated it so much at school, it actually made me feel quite physically sick. Isn’t that strange. It’s lovely to see some of your work again, it’s been a while since I popped by.

  • Ruth March 23, 2024 at 14:54

    How wonderful to see the woodblock exhibition on your birthday. What a treat!

  • RachelSwirl March 23, 2024 at 14:04

    I remember seeing those Redwood forests as a child – they are magnificent! Thanks for linking up and for sharing your snaps with #MySundaySnapshot

  • jeanie March 23, 2024 at 06:49

    I would love that Hokusai exhibit. Fabulous. And I love your inks. So many wonderful colors in this post but I think your black and white drawings in the last post most win my heart! Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Sarah March 23, 2024 at 00:11

    It sounds like you had a busy and fun winter break and have been as creative as ever!

  • Debbie March 21, 2024 at 10:33

    as i read through your entry, i wondered if there is anything you are not good at??!! i adore the foggy picture, i LOVE the mood of fog in general and this image really highlights it!! all journals are special, they hold our deepest, private thought…one that is handmade would be especially beautiful. i don’t usually enjoy fruitcake but yours looks amazing…i am not surprised that you are a baker!! the redwood cones are so pretty, highlighting so many intricate details!!

  • Kirstin March 21, 2024 at 07:42

    Wow…looks like you got a lot accomplished. That bobcat is cool. Love your drawing of the cones too.

  • Angie March 20, 2024 at 21:07

    Soma – thanks for visiting my blog! We have both been “away” from blogging for a bit, and I think it’s a good thing, overall. I find that I am actually looking forward to writing a post these days, whereas in the past it had become a chore! I loved your pine cone drawings, and the bobcat design is truly spectacular!!!

  • Anne M Robinson March 20, 2024 at 16:14

    You have been very busy. I love the photos and your quilting. Oh my goodness, you are very talented. Thanks for sharing with us. enjoy the rest of your week.

  • Anne Marie Robinson March 20, 2024 at 16:12

    The cake looks yummy. I liked seeing your photos and hearing about your travels and interests. That Bobcat is beautiful and I am always in awe of quilters. Thank you for sharing. Anne

  • Alison Hall March 20, 2024 at 11:31

    A wonderful post Soma! The exhibition sounds great and I love the bobcat. Cake looks yummy too.
    Hope you’re having a good week.

  • Sandee @ CP March 20, 2024 at 06:23

    What lovely shots and I wanted to romp in the snow this winter, but it never happened. Oh well. You’ve sure had some fun.

    Fruitcake. My mother made really good fruitcake. Very moist and delicious. I’ve not thought about that in decades.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday and rest of the week. ♥

  • Peabea March 19, 2024 at 23:47

    Looks like you’ve been busy. Always fun to get a new sewing machine. I’ve had newest one for about 11 years so now have itch to get a new one that embroiders, but am talking myself out because I don’t sew as much anymore. The blankets sound amazing. I should try for my pupper. As always, love your artwork.

  • Julie March 19, 2024 at 23:05

    I don’t live too far from Anaheim. I would love to stop by to visit the Bowers Musuem.

  • d. March 19, 2024 at 15:01

    Welcome back to the blogosphere, Soma. :)

    You’ve been busy!
    Love the bobcat!
    (and the foggy Redwood Empire :))

  • Jill March 19, 2024 at 14:55

    You are such a talented lady. Your post brought back several memoires for me. Sewing.. My husband thought I was attached to the sewing machine. I sewed all the time. Never made a quilt though. It was clothing for me, my daughter, shirts for my hubby.(Now my poor sewing machine is just sitting and gathering dust. I love a long way form California…but I will never forgot the one visit we had there many years ago. Beautiful place. I am very allergic to tomatoes . I used to be able to eat them like candy. But no more.

  • Yvonne March 19, 2024 at 13:20

    Nice to see you out and about when spring is trying to make an appearance. I saw the majestic redwood forest when I was in my twenties, and it is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Love the foggy photo. I enjoy discovering your new projects that are so full of talent.

  • Lillian March 19, 2024 at 12:37

    Amazing handmade journal

  • // Heidrun March 19, 2024 at 10:00

    Glad, that I found your blogsite. Here are many interesting things. Artwork! I love the picture of the cat.

  • image-in-ing weekly photo linky March 19, 2024 at 07:27

    Wow – you have so many talents!
    Great post. Thanks for sharing at

  • R.M. Carlson March 18, 2024 at 21:12

    What a lovely post! Really enjoyed it!

  • veronica lee March 18, 2024 at 19:10

    How delightful to see a new post from you, Soma!
    Sounds like a wonderful winter break.
    Love the quilt. It’s so beautiful.

    Hugs and blessings

  • Carol March 18, 2024 at 13:25

    The quilt is quite beautiful.
    Blue is my favorite color.

  • Kim Carberry March 18, 2024 at 11:43

    Welcome back, It sounds like a nice winter break, you have been busy. What a wonderful birthday weekend you had.

  • Lisa | Handmade in Israel March 18, 2024 at 00:15

    It certainly seems like you have had a busy winter break! I am glad you got to see the exhibition. Enjoy your fancy inks!

  • Lydia C. Lee March 17, 2024 at 18:33

    I love the mist in the forest photo!! I tried to get similar but I was driving so the places I could pull over didn’t have the right lay out. Beautiful tho. Just stunning. #AnythingGoes

  • Susan March 17, 2024 at 18:11

    So happy to see a new post from you. It sounds like a lovely winter break. Very nice Bobcat quilt, and Rebecca’s quilt is beautiful. I love the photo of the redwood trees in the fog and the intricate drawings of the cones. Do your kitties go with you on your long trips?

  • Connie Griffin March 17, 2024 at 07:52

    It sounds like you had a wonderful winter break. I so love your cat quilt pattern that is amazing, I think it is a bit above my quilting level but sure is a wonderful work of art!

  • Andrea Jacqueline Priebe March 17, 2024 at 06:35

    Your art is so unique … so you. I love it all both your art work, the wood block print of Katsushika Hokusai and the beautiful quilt by Rebecca Magee.
    My favorite would, of course, be the Bobcat … I am an animal lover and this version is striking. You are so talented. And I know your kitties are loving their blankets. All kitties love blankets including my kitty who is in 7th Heaven if she has a blanket to lie on or a box to lie in. I am not a fan of fruit cake, but yours looks delicious. The thick fog among the Trees is a beautiful shot. I am not sure why it isn’t technically correct, it looks great to me. All in all a beautiful post, Soma …

    Andrea @ From the Sol

  • Louise (Fundy Blue) March 16, 2024 at 17:06

    Hi, Soma! I’m visiting you for the first time from Rain’s TADD. You are so creative, such beautiful art in different mediums! The quilted bobcat is spectacular. You gave me a start when you mentioned the Bowers Museum. I hadn’t thought of it in many years. A lifetime ago I used to live at W Chapman and Fallingleaf Circle east of S Harbor Blvd. You catapaulted me back in time. I hope you have a great week!

  • Green Comotion March 16, 2024 at 10:57

    I loved looking at all your artwork. Really beautiful.
    I have a personal interest in fountain pens and inks.
    I use some Mont Blanc, Pilot, Waterman and Lamy inks for my scribbling.
    So, I found that part of your post very stimulating.
    Thank you for sharing your joy with all of us.
    Be well!

  • A ShutterBug Explores March 16, 2024 at 08:47

    Wow! ~ You have been busy with wonderful creative activities including cooking ~ My favorite is the Cat ~ awesome and done so well llke everything you do ~ thanks

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • Lavender Dreams March 16, 2024 at 07:43

    I’m always so pleased to see a new post from you. You inspire me with your nature art and beautiful journals!

  • Eileen March 16, 2024 at 02:16

    Hello Soma,
    It is great to see you back! I loved visiting the Redwood Forest, the trees are gorgeous.
    The Bobcat pattern is wonderful, well done.
    I love the quilt too. I am sure your kitties will love their blankets.
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.

  • Natalie March 15, 2024 at 19:13

    Sounds like you had a creative and productive winter break. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

  • Carola Bartz March 15, 2024 at 11:18

    Hi Soma, it is so lovely to see you back! You have been busy over the winter and this post is so full of beautiful things. The woodblock prints exhibition looks fascinating and I can easily understand that you enjoyed this one. The bobcat quilt is incredible! And blankets for your kitties – they sure love them. My backyard resident loves when I put a blanket over him when it’s chilly and he completely buries himself in it. But my true favorit is your beautiful photo of the road in the Redwoods, you captured the misty atmosphere perfectly.

  • Writing Sparkle March 15, 2024 at 08:11

    Lots of creative talent is displayed in this post. I love your quilts.

  • Karen March 15, 2024 at 05:54

    great to have you back in the blog world. The fruitcake recipe sounds great will bookmark it

  • tomthebackroadstraveller March 15, 2024 at 05:11

    …I love woodblock print!!!

  • Gillena March 15, 2024 at 04:41

    Nice post throughout. The bobcat is my favourite today.
    Thanks for Linking to Art For Fun Friday


  • The Joyful Quilter March 14, 2024 at 18:43

    Welcome back from Winter break. Sounds like a fabulous birthday while you were away, Soma! Thanks for sharing your friend’s quilt. It’s so pretty! I’m with you regarding the atmosphere of your redwood photo. LOVE the atmosphere you captured!

  • Mary March 14, 2024 at 16:28

    Your Bower’s visit sounds like the perfect way for you to celebrate your birthday! Those paints look like fabulous fun ahead for you too. A new Juki! Those are such great machines. I know you will love it. The paper pieced big cat is incredible. You did a great job achieving those curves. The quilt using your star design is stunning. Well done by both of you! The mystical looking redwood photo is lovely and beautifully captured. Thanks for the recipe link. I’m glad you found one that works for you.

  • Christine March 14, 2024 at 15:22

    Lovely post Soma!

  • Debra She Who Seeks March 14, 2024 at 13:26

    I love Hokusai too! I would have attended that exhibition in a heartbeat!

  • Dixie March 14, 2024 at 13:25

    Welcome back, Soma!
    Lovely misty photos in the redwoods.
    Your bobcat pattern looks so unique and expressive.
    Oh and the inks are fabulous.
    Will definitely check the recipe out. Thank you.

  • Joanne March 14, 2024 at 13:00

    That woodblock exhibit sounds so neat and I am in awe over your paper pieced quilt. It sure looks like you have been quite busy and creative over your break.

  • Kathleen Kingsbury March 14, 2024 at 11:18

    Hi Soma, the bobcat is fabulous!! I was happy to read you are getting back to making paper-pieced patterns again. I look forward to others that you make.

  • Bill March 14, 2024 at 11:06

    So good to see you are back and had a good break. Winter here has mostly been wet with a few cold frosty snaps thrown in. I cannot quilt but I can cook though I don’t thing you would be able to eat the cakes and bread I make.

  • Kathy March 14, 2024 at 10:41

    So good to “see you” in my inbox-You have been busy. The museum visit sounds amazing-I love his work. Enjoyed reading your post
    Happy Spring Kathy

  • John's Island March 14, 2024 at 10:31

    Hi Soma,

    Great to see you back! You may have been quiet on the digital front, but you have sure been busy in the artistic world! Happy to hear about your travels and your visit to the Bowers Museum. Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock print is wonderful! Could you incorporate that on the cover of a journal? Your experiences with the new sewing machine are fascinating. I love the bobcat pattern! Lastly, what a great shot looking down the highway in the Redwood forest on a misty day. You captured the atmosphere perfectly.

    Spring is on the doorstep in Seattle … the cherry trees are starting to bloom and the daffodils are budding out all over. :-) Wishing you and yours the best as we head toward summer. Again, great to see you back!


  • Esmé Slabbert March 14, 2024 at 10:29

    WOW I love the fruitcake, I will have to try your version
    I visited you via Randomosity: 52 Frames. Year 9. Part 1
    My links: 20+21. We will be so happy if you share your blog links with us at SSPS. Link under BLOGGING

  • Margaret Andrews March 14, 2024 at 09:23

    Welcome back. Good to open my e-mail while in Italy visiting our son and family and see your interesting post. I am looking forward to seeing your new paper pieced pattern. Your other ones were fun to make and I know this one will be as well.

  • Linda at Texas Quilt Gal March 14, 2024 at 05:10

    So happy to see an update from you Soma! Your winter sojourn sounds peaceful and fun. I had no idea you wrote quilt patterns. They are beautiful, and I have bookmarked your shop to peruse later! How sweeet to make blankets for your kitties. The bobcat is spectacular! What a wonderful thing to have a lemon tree to use homegrown zest in your recipes – my Mom would have loved your fruit cake recipe!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enter your email to receive new inspirations, product reviews and pro-tips
error: Content is protected !!