Friday, January 29, 2016

"Memory Keeper"

Isn't he marvelous???  I first saw him in a post on Daryle Cook's site Woodstown Whimsies last November.  Of course I fell in love with him and wondered at Daryle's incredible talent and imagination.

Recently Daryle has opened a gallery where he is selling some of his 'whimseys'.  The first one that came up was - yes you guessed it - "Memory Keeper"!  Hmm, my birthday was in December but passed quietly -- didn't I deserve a gift - after all this was one of those 'big' birthdays?  
Its difficult to see in these pictures but the center heart is an open area where I can drop memories inside the main box.  

Mr. Memory Keeper is now hanging on a wall in our house - where I can look at him each day.  He reminds me that memories and their love are always with us, he inspires me because of the talent and creativity that it took to put him together.  Best of all -- he makes me smile!

"Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come.  Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future." - Mattie Stepanek 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Waking to Wonder

Recently we awoke to wonder - in the form of snow.  For me its like a gift of silence, and beauty. Of course living in North Carolina we don't get full blown snow storms very often so I can still view them as a gift of sorts.

 Our small pond is in there somewhere.  Where do the frogs go when it there's no dry landing and its 20 degrees outside? 

Our front light casts a yellow glow under its hat of snow.

It was still coming down when I took this and I wondered how high it would get.

There was no sitting on the bench these past days.  Hot tea, a good book, a bit of sewing got me through the storm.

The days are short
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low
The wind is gray.
The radiator 
Purrs all day.

-  John Updike

Friday, January 22, 2016


When I was working on "The Unlikely's" I discovered hemp.  Quite by accident, in the craft section at Walmart.  At the time I had no idea what I would do with it -- but it enticed me.  

So many colors - and shades within colors.  I soon found a use for it when I unraveled strands (they end up wavy) and attached them to the heads of The Unlikely's.  Perfect! 
Later I found that they make perfect loops for hanging dolls.  

Now I am using it again in my latest adventure.  As you can see I've collected just about every color on the shelves and I'm ready for anything.

"An artist's duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to ready for that little artistic epiphany." - Nick Cave

Monday, January 18, 2016

Winter Moppet

"I wanted to show you this snowball.  Isn't it lovely?  Perhaps we could store it in your freezer to take out in the middle of July?" 

"My hands are freezing. Uh-oh its beginning to drip on the floor." 

"Do I smell hot cocoa?  I could use a cup to warm me up.  You don't perchance, happen to have any freshly baked cookies on hand do you?"

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
and since we've no place to go
Let it snow,
Let it snow
Let it snow
Let it snow 

[Note to all my friends -- this year I will be posting a new 'figure' on the first and third Monday's of the month.  Giving myself a bit of a break from having something new each and every Monday. Thanks for stopping by.]

Friday, January 15, 2016

Oh what to do...

...after what you were doing becomes undoable???  Isn't that a question we sometimes have ask ourselves?

In my case the answer is - make a doll.  But what kind of doll am I in the mood for? Definitely something simple, definitely something fun and definitely something small.

Lots of wasted cardboard, lots of drawing and redrawing.  Use of some previously used techniques and materials.  Lots of time, which I had happily given myself at the end of the last year.  Much more to do -- but now I know what I'm doing!

"All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 11, 2016

Over the past month I've been challenged to stretch myself.  After using the pattern from Skunk Hollow for my little rabbit, I decided I needed to make smaller critters and make items that actually have 'form' instead of the simplicity that I have been making for so long.

I had discovered Ann Wood and her delightful small animal patterns.  I set forth using her squirrel pattern, but reforming it as a mouse.  The pattern involved two gussets and much maneuvering of fabric and thread.  Drawing the pattern, pinning, basting and then stitching these very small pieces together became a challenge.  I began with a series of nine, which quickly shrunk to six, then three.  As I started to assemble the last remaining members of this 'family' I realized that I was NOT pleased with them -- too many small errors which loomed large in my eyes.  

I have learned much about myself from this misadventure!  I give myself kudos for trying to make these little 3" mice.  It was a good experience.  However with my aging eyes and not-so-nimble fingers I've learned a valuable lesson.  At this point in my life, being true to myself is far more important than challenging myself. An interesting thing to learn.

 "Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties." - Erich Fromm

Friday, January 8, 2016

Blank Pages

Blank pages awaiting my words and thoughts.  This is what a new year brings.

Previous years' journals set aside -- those days and thoughts are in the past now.

Guiding me through the upcoming year will be these thoughts:

I vow to remember that today is a new day
Full of new beginnings and fresh moments.

Today, I will not cling to events of yesterday nor yesteryear
But stay connected with what today brings.

I will not madly pursue my desires at the expense of others
Nor flee from challenging tasks.

I will remain true to the unfolding process of today
Without losing myself in thoughts of what was or what might be.

I will treat today with awareness and sensitivity.
Even in the most ordinary of tasks.

I will apply myself wholeheartedly to the fullness of today
For I know that today holds the resource for authenticity.

- Christopher Titmuss -

Monday, January 4, 2016

Flying Through The Holidays

Okay, not what you thought huh??  I guess you could call these two part of our family.  Both of them have been sitting in the dining area over the holidays.  "Striped Rabbit" is very well dressed, at least compared to his predecessors. Perhaps that's why he got chosen for the ride.

This metal bird is one of my very, very favorite companions.  A friend and I once asked each other 'if you could only take one thing from your house, what would it be?'  I immediately, without even thinking, said 'my metal bird'.  I know that must seem strange but looking at him calms me and he has attitude.   One needs a little bit of attitude to get by in this world.

I have heard rumors that there are some very jealous rabbits out there.  This one may have to relinquish his seat once in awhile so others might 'fly'!

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.  But without it we go nowhere." - Carl Sagan


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