Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Eve 2005

I haven’t posted in a few days because I’ve been busy playing with my new toys! Here is a photo of Christmas Eve 2005, my birthday! DH surprised me with a laptop (so I can work in the screenhouse in the summer – YAY!), a keyboard controller and new digital music software. For Christmas, I got sewing books and supplies, beads, a very cool rolling bead storage unit, an Ott Lite with magnifier and other assorted goodies… I am really looking forward to having lots of fun in 2006!

Christmas Eve 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005

Stash Sunday (12/25/05)

Some purple stuff for Stash Sunday…

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah!

Hope Your Holidays are Yummy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bedroom Christmas Tree

Here is the little pre-decorated tree I use in the bedroom. I made this for my mom a few years before she died. The “Santa” figure looks just like my grandfather, Chauncey. I got him in Michael’s for $5.00 (!).

Bedroom Tree on Dresser

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Stash Sunday (12/18/05)

Here is just a little Christmassy glitter for this week's theme. The thread on the bigger spools is Madeira Glamour. The smaller spools are Sulky metallics. Three buttons are antique glass with gold accents, one is a twinkle with a red mirror back , the other is a vintage red rhinestone button.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Waiting for the Barn...

The weather has cleared enough to add the gravel. The ground is still a bit soggy but the barn is due any day now so this preparation work had to be done. The firewood still sits, as you can see, unstacked - probably won’t get to it until after the holidays.

Storage Barn Progress Shot 12/16/05

Monday, December 12, 2005

Meet Gavril

I just finished another Santa! Woohoo! Gavril, whose name is Slavic for “believer in God,” is wearing a coat made from a tea-stained vintage chenille bedspread in pale seafoam trimmed with three mismatched mother of pearl buttons. His pajama pants are made from a beautiful piece of vintage drapery fabric, one of several gorgeous remnants given to me by my friend, jewelry designer Linda Bertino of Charming Trinkets. Gavril is holding a bag made from a vintage doily tied with an old piece of cotton twill seam tape (right out of my mom’s old sewing box).


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Stash Sunday (12/11/05)

Well, this week’s theme for Stash Sunday is supposed to be about extravagant purchases. I am pretty much of a bargain hunter so there isn’t too much around here that wasn’t half off the red tag special. I have made some button purchases on EBAY, however, that were a little over the top for me. Here are three large celluloid buttons (from the Thirties, I think) that I just had to have…

Celluloid Buttons (1 3/4")

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Graycee Update

Graycee spends most of her time in the studio with me (she’s my little “helper”) but she is being gradually integrated into the rest of the house. While Huckleberry (who has some territorial issues) is not exactly bubbly over her, he has not gone completely ballistic as we had feared – just the odd hiss or two and then he pretty much ignores her. Here she is in front of the Christmas tree. I am very tempted to color in those lips with a red felt pen…


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Stash Sunday (12/04/05)

What in the world possessed me to purchase 1/3 yard of this???

Cat Faces on Cotton

Friday, December 02, 2005

Storage Barn Progress

The railroad ties are placed as guides to help determine level ground. We will be adding gravel to even everything out. The barn will be relatively small, only 10x16. But that should be plenty of room for the tractor and other garden-related things: fertilizer, rakes, shovels, etc.

Storage Barn Progress Shot 12/02/05

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Clotilde Fall Clearance!

I just checked out the Clotilde web site in my side-bar. They are having their fall clearance sale until December 31st. Lots of great bargains, especially on books. I added these to my Christmas list: SHADOW APPLIQUE, SOFT ANIMALS, A to Z and MOTIFS FOR CRAZY QUILTING.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lemuel Going and Storage Barn Coming...

Lemuel is on his way to his new home today. He was sold on EBAY on Sunday night. He'll be joining his brother, Leonard, and the Santa holding the Hitty doll - all purchased by the same wonderful customer. I am trying to finish a patriotic Santa but his top hat is still in the design process - so I'm not sure how far I'll get with him before Christmas.

We are also working on getting the ground prepared for a storage barn that will be delivered in a few weeks. DH bought himself a garden tractor in the spring and needed a place to store it and all of its accessories. Here is where we are so far - the area is cleared of brush and sand is being spread. We need to start stacking the firewood that was just delivered, too. Too many chores!

Storage Barn Progress Shot

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Stash Sunday (11/27/05)

This week’s theme was to post something from our stash for which we are thankful. I am grateful to have my mom’s old sewing box (rescued from my sister’s garage). It is full of old seam tape, rickrack, elastic and wonderful memories of my mom’s creativity. This little package of labels was in there, too (they say “Specially Handmade by Marjorie”). I remember when she ordered these from a magazine ad and how excited she was when they arrived. That had to be over forty years ago…

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

DH and I have been vegetarians since our late twenties – that’s a lot of tofu, believe me. Tomorrow, we will celebrate the day with Stouffer’s Vegetable Lasagna (it’s tradition!) and a salad – and we will watch one of our all-time favorite movies, “Bernard and the Genie.” I can’t wait…

Another Santa is Going Home…

Father Christmas and Hitty were sold to a very lovely person on EBAY. Father Christmas was the only new doll I added to my Just Clauses web site this season. I had another one “brewing” but just didn’t get to it – the prim Santas took much more time than I thought they would.

Father Christmas &Hitty

Monday, November 21, 2005


I finished my latest Santa, Lemuel, yesterday. His name means "devoted to God" in Hebrew. He is dressed in a gorgeous vintage drapery fabric given to me by my friend (and neighbor), Linda. I made him a tabard from a tea-stained vintage lace doily. A very old piece of bronzy gold seam tape ties front to back. His hat is trimmed with a vintage scrap of lace, a twinkle button and tassel. I added two antique black glass and gold (they may actually be real jet) buttons to his sleeves. He is holding a darling little prayer book (copyright 1936) with beautiful illustrations called The Little Keys to Heaven.

Today, I need to really get down to some serious work on two brochures (in a rush, of course) from a major account. I hate it when work interferes with my play time...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Stash Sunday (11/20/05)

This week someone suggested that we post something funny from our stashes or abandoned projects that we were gung ho on at one time. Years ago, I made a chicken doll from Miriam Gourley’s charming book, WHIMSICAL ANIMALS. I added long eyelashes in turkey (turkey?!) work. I was so delighted with it, I must have decided to go into the poultry business!!! What in the world was I thinking??? Here are three – and I know there are more around somewhere! I even made little dresses for them…sheesh…

No One Here But Us Chickens...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Forest Wolf Spider

The temperatures remain mild (currently 70 degrees) – but more seasonably cold weather is predicted for tonight. Here is a large furry spider photographed on the front step the other day. I believe this is a forest wolf spider (Lyosa gulosa). The female carries her babies on her back until they can fend for themselves.

Forest Wolf Spider

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sailing Right Along...

Zale was auctioned on EBAY Sunday night.

And I just listed my latest Santa from my Just Clauses site. I finished him last night and got him photographed this afternoon. He is holding my interpretation of a cloth Hitty doll (June archives). She can be removed from his arms for dollhouse visits. Here she is in her holiday dress...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Stash Sunday (11/13/05)

This was the latest addition to my stash (a piece of kona cotton that I painted to use as a base for a monoprinting technique) -

until I shopped at Michael’s on Saturday and bought this piece of (coordinating?) fabric for $1.00!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Fallen Leaves

The temperature has been unseasonably warm but the ground is littered with dead leaves – my favorite subjects for drawing…

Nature Journal Sketch: Dead Oak Leaves

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My "Dockside Santa" is Going Home...

"Dockside Santa" sold on EBAY tonight. Here is a close-up view of his face which was needle sculpted on muslin, painted, antiqued and varnished.

"Dockside Santa" (Close-up)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Stash Sunday (11/06/05)

It's Stash Sunday time again! Here is my favorite piece of old lace. I believe this is point de Venise needle lace. All outlining of motifs and connecting brides are made entirely of buttonhole stitches. I bought this piece around twenty years ago at an antique show for just a few dollars with the intention of framing it. It has some rust marks and a broken bride but I still love it.

Old Lace

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Warm Day, Cool Bug...

It was just another gorgeous, sunny autumn day. The rest of the week will be the same - lots of sunshine with above average temperatures...

We found this little guy in the foundation plantings this afternoon - haven't been able to identify him. He is about two inches long.

Unidentified Bug

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Good-bye Leonard...

Leonard was sold at auction Sunday night and shipped off to his new home yesterday. Selling on EBAY has been a very pleasant experience and I'm meeting some awfully nice people. I am still working on two more Santas to add to my Shanty Claus site. Can you believe it is already November 1st? My Christmas trees go up Thanksgiving Day, that's the 24th…


Monday, October 31, 2005

Monkshood Flowers

The monkshood flowers are in bloom - and well worth the wait!

Monkshood Flowers

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Stash Sunday (10/30/05)

Here is a piece of fabric I have had for years. I bought 1/2 yard just for inspiration because I liked the design and the strange color combination.

Tribal Print

Friday, October 28, 2005


I’m sitting here at my desk with a new cat on my lap. Some neighborhood children brought her to DH and said she just started hanging around their house a couple of weeks ago and, because she fights with their cats, their parents were going to take her to the pound. So, naturally, old “easy-touch” DH took her and said he’d try to figure something out. DH has never met a cat he didn’t love. And she is just about the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen. She has long gray fur and her tail is like a plume - and she is extremely lovable. With her large body, long hair, huge feet and sweet temperament, we are guessing she must be at least part Maine Coon. We’ve named her Graycee.

She is in quarantine downstairs in my studio until we get the results of her blood tests – and until we get Huckleberry used to the idea of yet another cat…

Just look at those sugar lips.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Freezer Paper Print

Here is a little sample of a freezer paper print on prepainted fabric. I made a template from one of my sketchbook drawings of a sensitive fern.

Freezer Paper Print

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Stash Sunday

In keeping with the Halloween theme, here is some orange lace that I inherited from my mom’s old stash. I used a little bit to trim the sleeves of my rabbit doll, Louise (April Archives). Still have lots left…

Orange Lace

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Uriah is Going Home...

I sold Uriah on EBAY last night. I hadn’t really planned to use EBAY as a venue. But it’s so exciting! I worked on a couple more Santas today and hope to have them finished soon.


And I still haven’t done my lesson on painting on fusible web and I really want to do that. And this week’s lesson is printing with jello – don’t ask! It looks pretty interesting, though, I must say…

Below is a little sample of monoprint painting. This was an alternative sketch from the Fiber Collage class (which is being taught again in January, I think). This is a time-consuming process, but great fun! And I can see where it could be a useful method of printing on future projects. I will finish this piece with embroidery and beads at some point.

Monoprint Painting

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Stash Sunday

Well, I just joined yet another Flickr group! Will the fun never cease? This one is called Stash Sunday. In this group, every Sunday, we are supposed to share photographs of treasures from our stash: fabric, buttons, trims, etc.

Here is a handful of vintage twinkle buttons. I love these and use them on my Santas and other fiber projects.

Vintage Twinkle Buttons

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Trying to Catch Up...

It’s hard to believe it's mid-October, already! I need to get a few more Santas done! Yikes! Where has the time gone?

I’ll be working on dolls and trying to catch up a little on my monoprinting course over the weekend. I’m working on monoprint painting (what fun!) and a project from this week’s lesson, painting on fusible interfacing. No wonder I don’t get much housework done…

Here is another scanned page from one of my drawing books. I’ve been going through the drawings, trying to find images that could maybe be simplified or stylized and used in the future for some of the printing techniques I’m learning.

Nature Journal Sketch

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cats and Clutter

I just joined a new Flickr group for people who are, for lack of a more polite term, domestically challenged. It’s called “Creative Clutter Creatures.” Here is a glimpse of my work desk taken the day before yesterday. Right below is DH’s desk (in a separate room) taken later the same evening.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Jersey Tomatoes

These tomatoes were painted with watercolor washes on regular old sketchbook paper. Each successive wash (if allowed to dry thoroughly) just strengthens the paper. It took me years of trial and error to figure that out – D’oh!

Nature Journal Sketch: Jersey Tomatoes

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Frottage Print

Here's a print I made for Lesson 2 of the monoprinting course.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

More Sun Prints

It's been so warm and sunny the past few days - here are a couple more sun prints just for fun...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Erasmus is Going Home...

Erasmus was auctioned last night on EBAY (through Mission Fish) to benefit HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) to help in their hurricane relief efforts. It was just something he had to do…

EBAY waives their insertion and final fees when you donate 100% of your sale price to your chosen cause. And you just can’t beat that EBAY adrenaline rush – woohoo!

Erasmus with Tag

Friday, September 30, 2005

Common Kingsnake

I was just getting ready to go out in the yard and dye some fabric for the next monoprinting lesson when DH rushed into the house to grab his camera. I followed him outside and watched (a good distance away!) while he photographed this four foot long kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus). They are common in the Pine Barrens but we hadn’t seen one in quite a few years. Although harmless to humans, they are powerful constrictors and prey on lizards, mice and birds. They also eat rattlesnakes and copperheads (they are immune to their venom). This one posed long enough to have his portrait taken (note the tongue) before quickly slithering away into the woods…

Common Kingsnake

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


This is a northern walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata). DH photographed him about 2:00 a.m. the other day. As you can see, he’s missing a leg from his second set, but is able to move along just fine.

Northern Walkingstick

Sun Print on Organza

I wanted to see if sun printing would work on sheer fabric, so I tested it on some old organza I had in my stash. The horizontal lines you see are from where the plastic wrap was not pulled flat against my support surface…

Sun Print on Organza

Friday, September 23, 2005

Sun Print

I’m having way too much fun with my course. Monoprinting opens up a whole new world for me! Here’s a simple sun print of woodbine leaves, a sensitive fern and a section of a bracken fern.

Sun Print

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Class Has Begun...

Today was the first day of the on-line Monoprinting Course. This week’s lesson is about making sun prints with Setacolor Soleil fabric paints. I had bought a set of those last year to try (I had a 40% off coupon for the craft store to use on something!) and just put them aside and never got around to playing with them. Now, I have an excuse to play. Woohoo!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Cloth Tags for Santas

These transfers on tea-dyed muslin will be made into tags for my prim Santas. The tiny lettering held up pretty well, I think. They will be backed with Warm & Natural batting and another layer of fabric. The little quilt “sandwiches” will then be sewn together inside the raw edges with a running stitch in heavyweight cotton thread. The tags will be dated and signed. The dolls are also inconspicuously signed under their clothes.

If you have a minute and need a giggle, here is a little article someone posted on the Santa Bulletin Board on why Santa must be a woman!

Friday, September 16, 2005


Here is a sketch of an artichoke done with a very dry watercolor brush. I have bought fresh artichokes to draw but have no idea how to cook them! I always purchase the little jars of marinated hearts to add to salads…

Sketch: Artichoke