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Showing posts from April, 2010

Shop Update!

I just finished updating the inventory in my shop. This is the last of the "pre-made" (ie: items I made for the craft fair) creatures I have on hand. Some are going other places and aren't being listed on Etsy. I'm in the process of making foxes, owls, Matryoshka dolls, lions, and polar bears - but life is still a bit hectic and I'm not sure when they'll all get finished. I'm also working on a Wiener dog that is possibly my most favorite creation yet.
Here is a picture of a Narwhal that I've been working on for over a month. Since he's made with fine mo' roving, he's harder to needle felt. The softer the fibers, the more difficult it is to get them to felt. His tusk took a long time, but it's actually sort of spirally like a real Narwhal tusk. He's pretty dang cute.

Wednesday Treasury 3 - Autumn Hues

I loved making this treasury. These are some of the most peaceful colors and some of my favorite Etsy finds! Hope you find a new treasure!

Top Row (l to r):
Lion Paper and Wire Sculpture
Vintage Swirled Amber Glass
Ginger Cat

Middle Row (l to r):
Miniature Pride of Lions
Creamsicle Purse with Vintage Fabric
Vintage Enamel Leaf Pin

Bottom Row (l to r):
Octopus Art Print
Porcupine Art Print
Spring Deer - Brown

Etsy Front Page

One of my Treasuries made it to the front page of Etsy on Tuesday. Here's a screen shot! I love making treasuries. There are so many amazing artists on Etsy.

Because it's snowing...

"Fox in Winter" Woodcut Print by Vermont artist Sabra Field. This day is so beautiful.

Snow and Flowers

Looking out the window right now, I'm struck with a medley of holiday songs and find myself humming "Winter Wonderland." After weeks of unseasonably warm, dry weather - it's snowing. It's not just sprinkly snowing, it's snowing like it means it. The trees are white. The leaves are covered, and while it's beautiful, I'm fretting for all of the new growth. The daffodils look frosted with sugar...it's beautiful. And worrisome.

There's a cluster of trees outside of my work that have dangling fruit. Maybe little cherries? Or berries? Anyway, there's a flock of Cedar Waxwings eating berries in the snow. They're some of the most amazingly beautiful birds. The shocks of color on their tails and wing tips are breathtaking. Seeing them huddled together on a snowy branch is almost too much beauty to bear. I would have taken a picture, but I didn't want to disturb them.

Last night I visited New Village Farm in Shelburne, Vermont. My brother-in-l…

Mare's Tails and Mackeral Sky

My husband's family and I had a lovely picnic on Sunday - and the sky was so beautiful I just had to snap a shot of the mare's tails clouds.

I just did a moderate update to my shop. There's a lot more where that came from!!!

I hope you had a magical weekend!

Works in Progress

This is a new concept for me - I've never done traditional dolls, but I love Matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls) and thought I'd try to make a set out of wool. Of course, these dolls won't actually nest. Beside the doll is an example of how bad a sketch artist I am. It's atrocious! The leaf is my favorite part because it looks like I added it, but in fact, it was created by felting the green down all around it, giving it an applique affect. Neat, huh? This doll stands about 5 inches and so far has taken about three hours of work! Phew! I'm hoping to finish this one up this weekend and start work on the smaller ones. We'll see how that goes!




Birds on a Wire

Yesterday afternoon I arrived home to a very special package in the mailbox. Michelle Palmer, who is one of my favorite artists and people on the planet sent me three (!) original drawings on cloth. I'm so overwhelmed by her kindness and the beauty of these pieces that I'm speechless. Please go read her blog and see all of her amazing work. My favorite detail is below: a beautiful pigeon.

And to Michelle, who I know reads my little blog, thank you, thank you, thank you. This is an immense kindness and I had myself a good little cry about it because it meant so much to me. I hope that you love the giraffe as much as I love my drawings. I'm going to have them professionally framed!

Thinking About Earth Day

Sleeping in the Forest
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver
As of late I've been inspired more than ever to be out in the natural world. I have spent a long time trying to make changes in my life so that I'd feel better about myself as a person and stop feeling so uncomfortable with my lifestyle. I work at a job where I stare at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. I consume too much. I don't…

Little Duffers Out in the World

My husband just left me a voicemail saying one of my needle felted Tree Guardians is front and center in a photograph in our local indie newspaper. Seven Days did an article on The Green Life - an Eco-centric home store in Burlington that carries a few of my creatures. It's a great article, a great store, and fantastic to see my art out in the world. Click to read the article!




Pretty neato. Hooray!

Fresh Blue - A Treasury

And because I couldn't decide between the two, here's another treasury of my Etsy favorites. From now on, this will be a weekly Wednesday thing.

Top Row (l to r):1. Sail Away Button Mix2. Narwhal and Seal Play Set3. Sand Dollar Felt Hair AccessoryMiddle Row (l to r):1. Vintage Cloth Journal Book Cover2. Daffodil Petite Pillow3. Bright Cobalt Blue Porcelain Sea UrchinBottom Row (l to r):1. Tundra Swans2. Little Whale from Reclaimed Wood3. A Lonely Graceful Swan

Kaleidoscope - A Treasury

A gathering of my favorite things from Etsy!
Top Row (l to r):
1. Vintage Tiger Tile Coaster
2. Shoal
3. Vintage Patchwork Cat

Middle Row (l to r):
1. Cat in Meadow Embroidery Hoop
2. Big Yellow Leather Clutch
3. Flowers and Birds Art Print

Bottom Row (l to r):
1. Another One
2. Kiwi Birds
3. Vintage Rainbow Colored Pencils

Decisions

So last night, after a particularly difficult discussion about what life looks like right now and the ways in which I could be supporting myself and be a support to my families, I decided that doing a craft fair may be too much for me at the moment. I don't want to continue pushing like I've been doing to build up an inventory. I've been neglecting a lot of important interactions to focus on my needle felting and it doesn't feel like right now is a good time. I talked with my husband and I'm going to back out of the craft fair for this year. I'm a little sad about it, but in a way I feel relieved to be able to focus on helping my family heal and spending some time soothing my own soul after a harrowing year.

The good thing is, I have quite a bit of Plumpies to list over the coming weeks in my Etsy shop. Some of them are new and wonderful and I'm excited to just take it day by day, piece by piece, and one step at a time.

This is good. It feels like the world h…

Oceans and Time

My husband and I spent a couple of hours watching slide shows of pictures on our TV this weekend. I haven't been toting the camera around with me over the last year or so. It seems I completely stopped caring about documenting life. Last year was a pretty hard year and taking pictures was on the backburner. Today, I dug around in my old photobucket account and found these ocean pictures. They were taken on New Year's day in 2006 at Moonstone Beach in Rhode Island. It was a cold, dreary ocean day, but the shots are lovely and ethereal. I can't help but feel a little sad at the passing of time. Documenting this life is so important.

On Beauty

This day is an advertisement for beauty. The air is gently cool, the sun is shining, and the woods beyond my workplace is filled with birdsong. I stood a few moments ago in the doorway, toes outside, heels inside, and took a few good, deep breaths. I want desperately to be outside.

When I was 11, my Aunt Betsy gave me a set of 120 Berol Prismacolor colored pencils. I remember staying up until 2 in the morning drawing birds and using the white pencil to blend all of the colors in the feathers. I remember my breath catching in my throat as the picture came together and the drawing began to resemble an actual bird. As an artist, I live for the thrill that I get when I have succeeded in capturing the essence of an animal or bird or tree. Translating nature onto the page or into sculpture is a difficult task. The natural world is full of subtlety - even in its grandest state. I have an actual physical sensation of joy when I've captured the gesture or nuance of an animal just right. I s…

Little Stinkers!

I have to resist the urge to rub my hands together and cackle "THEY WILL BE MINE - OOH HA HA HA HA," but I have reserved a post-craft-fair present for myself in one of my favorite Etsy shops - Song and Branch Studio (http://www.songandbranch.etsy.com/).



Karen is an amazing artist and I have a collection of animals from her that's well on its way to becoming a menagerie. I would have more if I could, but I've held back and have to be quite selective about what I buy. She makes amazing bowls, but with four (bad) cats, I have watched almost every piece of porcelain I've purchased get broken at one point or another - and I just can't do that to her work.

When I was a little girl, my father would set out several peanut butter sandwiches on the garbage barrels on the back deck. We'd watch from the windows as a HUGE mama skunk and her babies came up and ate them. They got fat pretty quickly that year and grew up to be playful, plump critters. Mollifying them with …

Eyes, Fingers Crossed

Well. After taking off Thursday and Friday of last week and needle felting the entire four days of my four-day weekend, my eyes are bugging out and my fingers hurt. I don't have a huge amount to show for it and realized that my expectations of having 200 pieces by the craft fair are pretty...um...unrealistic. Needle felting takes an incredible amount of time. I think I spent four hours putting curly manes on 8 lions. That's just the manes! The faces will take another few hours. I'm not complaining, just a little worried that I may not have enough inventory by May 8th to fill a table. Which is okay.

It's all okay.

No, really.

This evening I'm going to focus on getting three creatures made. If I can make a Walrus, a Bunny, and a Giraffe, I'm good.

Currently, I'm most excited about my Giraffes. I made the first one a couple of weeks ago, and I'm sending it to Michelle Palmer (see links), who has a daughter who is just smitten with all things cute. Making the …

Oh Me, Oh My

I watched five movies in a row on Saturday, which was, by the way, one of the most beautiful days of the year so far, and needle felted. I am almost done with the ten lions I started last week. I'm adding the eyes and noses to ten mini koalas today and will start up a batch of rainbow acorns for the craft fair!

My inventory list for the craft fair includes about 200 plumpies and mini plumpies. It's an unreasonable amount of work, but until it starts to feel like a burden, I'm keeping that amount as my target. The good thing about having that many plumpies is that if I don't sell them all, I'll have a good inventory for my Etsy shop in May. I can then start focusing on my more artistic sculptures and ventures into the wool world.

I keep thinking that I should be photo-documenting this process, just for kicks, but I'm so busy I forget to take out the camera. I cleaned my studio yesterday and it looks very pretty, so now is my chance. :)

Keep smiling!

sleepy

I have a video that I watch on repeat of harbor seals at the Boston aquarium. I took it at the end of the day, after they spent hours swimming around and around and smiling and eating fish. They had hauled out onto the warm rocks and were stretching and relaxing. In the video you can hear me saying "he's just sleeeeepy." Today, I'm just sleeeeepy. I'm stretchy and want to cuddle back into my warm blankets. It doesn't help that it's pouring buckets and dreary outside, but I did sleep more this weekend than should be humanly possible and I'm STILL tired.

I decided to put my etsy shop on hold until after the craft fair on May 8th. I'm going to keep the shop open and list custom items that I'm still (STILL) working on, but I won't be listing any new inventory. I had to choose between Etsy and the craft fair, but I can't manage the inventory for both. While I don't need as much for my Etsy shop, each listing does require photographs and…

Etsy Favorites

It'd be an understatement to say I'm obsessed with Etsy. My dream would be to open a store in Burlington called "The Best of Etsy" and stock work from Etsy artists. Of course, people can just go online and buy art directly from the artists, so it'd be a little redundant. The next best thing is having my own showcases with the hope that someone somewhere (Hi Szilvia!) is reading my blog periodically and being exposed to new and great artists. I've decided to start talking about other artists in my favorites list and to post weekly treasuries of my own to share with the world. I'll be working on my first Treasury later today. I'm still waiting for my felting needles...so crafting is a little slow going...

Also, today my coworker gave me a copy of the New Yorker with this image on the cover:



It's by illustrator Kathy Osborn (www.kathyosborn.com) and despite it not being 100% my style, there's something really, really appealing about it. I love bunn…