Monday, June 30, 2014

Summertime Giveaway


"Star Gazing" is looking for new surroundings.  She's obviously star stuck and thinks that it would be fun to live with one of my talented blog friends.  

I need a little more room here in my studio and she volunteered .  How about it  - are you interested?

The drawing will be held on Monday, July 7th and she will soon be winging her way to new a home.  P.S. This giveaway is open to everyone, even if you've won before.

Isn't this fun???

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy.  Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun." - Charles R. Swindoll

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Fun Always Begins...

...with a mess or two.

...some painted Osnaburg fabric...

... some thread, some lace, some embellishments -- and a bit of anticipatory joy thrown in.  Is not the beginning of a project the very best time of all?

"To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now." - Samuel Beckett

Monday, June 23, 2014


"Open your mind to what I shall disclose, and hold it fast within you; he who hears, but does not hold what he has heard, learns nothing." - Beatrice - Canto V 40-42

Dante's guide through paradise, 'Beatrice', was my model for this little creation.  Its so nice to have her here in my studio.  She reminds me to think and create with an open mind.  

Sometimes, when I'm struggling, I just have to find the right key or remember the combination numbers.

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

Friday, June 20, 2014

Today I am thankful for...

...the new Flat Rock Park.  This area used to be a golf course.  Open to only a few for the purpose of playing golf.  After the golf course failed, and after much consideration, the Township of Flat Rock decided to buy the land and turn it into a park.

Today we have a beautiful long walking trail.  A small stream wanders along the edges of the park.

There are ponds in the middle where the water lilies are beginning to bloom.  

Thank you to Flat Rock for giving us the gift of this land.  It makes such a lovely wander on a summer morning.

"The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations - each gift of nature posessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony." - Ruth Bernhard

Monday, June 16, 2014


This little figure - based on one of my favorite themes - butterflies - looks at me with a somewhat longing face.  Perhaps she wants to fly away?  Her name comes from the "Urban Dictionary" which tells this fun story:

"Flutterby was the original name of the butterfly until Mr. Jiminy down the road invented a machine in 1912 to fly.  When he named his machine the 'flutterby' anyone who used the name had to give him 2 pennys for copy write laws."

Lots of fun stitching on this dear little thing.  I shall try to keep her away from open windows so that she'll stay here for a little while.

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp, but which if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you." - Nathaniel Hawthorne  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Izannah Walker Dolls

Izannah Frankford Walker lived in the nineteenth century, operating a cottage industry making pressed cloth dolls.  She first patented her dollmaking process in 1873.  Her dolls have the look of primitive folk portraits from the mid 1800's.  Previously, most dolls had cloth bodies with china heads, arms and legs.  They were beautiful but pretty impractical for everyday play.  I can imagine how difficult it would be to give a child a doll and then tell her that it must be kept on the shelf.

There are still original Izannah Walker dolls to be found, but they are becoming rarer and rarer.  These days there are classes taught to make the Izannah Walker dolls and quite a few contemporary doll makers make these dolls as replicas.

I fell in love with this simple face when I saw it and with the story of Izannah Walker herself.  So, I will be paying joyful tribute with a few upcoming dolls using the image of the Izannah Walker face.  My 'pretties' will be nothing like the original but it will be fun to put my own 'spin' on this doll of old.

"Even though you're growing up, you should never stop having fun." - Nina Dobrev

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sixth Month Meditation

During this beautiful time of the year I find myself combining my meditation with my daily walk(s).  This month I think about the five senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste.  When I get to the top of the hill, I stand very still and explore myself and my world through my senses.

Of course the sight part is easy, but looking up into these trees, identifying singular leaves, fully seeing the tree both in parts and as its whole that fills my spirit.

The scents in the woods are transitory.  This past few weeks it has been honeysuckle - filling the air with its beautiful scent. Now the sweet spire is in bloom and to savor its delicate scent I have to pause for a moment. 

I touch a leaf, or cradle a delicate bloom in my hand.

                                                                         Photo by Tom Baugh

I listen carefully to the birds but I also strain to hear all those insects living on and beneath the forest plants.  I know they are there and I know they must be making the teeniest,  tiniest sounds.

Lastly, taste, and this happens when I get home and settle down with a cup of tea, thinking about what lives all around me each and every day.  Savoring the spirits of my senses.

"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason.  There is nothing higher than reason." - Immanuel Kant

Friday, June 6, 2014

Thoughts - Journal - Art

While making houses Anne Marie told me that they were like my personal journals.  I've thought a lot about her words and realize that they were so true.  In fact most of what I make with my hands reflects my thoughts, hopes, view of the world in the same way my journals do.  

Many artists keep journals that become art pieces in and of themselves.  Mine are more mundane as they usually record what I'm working on, how I'm doing it and sometimes how I might feel that particular day without embellishment.  Of course when something 'large in my mind' occurs, both good and bad, it will get recorded but for the most part I'd say they would be pretty boring to anyone else reading them.

I've learned through the keeping of a journal, how often I go back to the same themes and thoughts, over and over again. My art is the same way - each piece might take a different form but the colors are similar, the themes are definitely similar and the thoughts I have while doing them are like favorite television reruns - making me laugh, smile, ponder and sometimes frown as I repeat a theme of birds, butterflies, love, music or home.  Very mundane I know - nothing very deep here, but everything my hands touch reflects a part of me as do the writings in my journals.

Are there some journals you'd just love to peek into?   Do you keep a journal and what form does it take?

"Whether you're keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it's the same thing.  What's important is you're having a relationship with your mind." - Natalie Goldberg

Monday, June 2, 2014

Color Ideas

I must admit that color/tones/hues are somewhat of a challenge to me.  I need help to come up with a color scheme that 'works'.  Recently, on a trip to the home improvement shop, I stopped by the paint section.  I often collect their individual color chips for inspiration, but this time I picked up several of the brochures. 

  The theme was shown on the front of the brochure.  Inside each brochure the rooms were painted using a series of colors/hues/tones that enhanced each other.

I couldn't help but be  'wowed' by the brochure that had yummy chocolate truffles as the cover picture.  Now what could be better than using my favorite treat as the base and seeing what works with it - yum!

"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts." - Marcus Aurelius


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