Friday, February 11, 2011


I'm taking an on-line embroidery class ---hoping to figure out how to make lampshades out of my epoxied prints.  Thread in cloth is easier than thong in epoxy eh?
But I've discovered I like embroidery in it's own right. I'm making dimensional flowers, as well as the flying variety we call butterflies. 


Here's my piece I call La Printemps  (the dratted French insist spring is male... I don't buy it, so mine is La Printemps instead of Le Printemps which is 'correct'.

It flows from my host plants and butterfly series because the butterfly is a Mourning Cloak.  The tree is our magnolia.  Mourning Cloaks winter over as adults here in Minnesota and come out of hibernation about the time the magnolia blooms,  I cheated a bit and included the forsythia who blooms a bit earlier.  Here's some detail:

More beads and's hard to be done with one of these!

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Stuff!

At the last Open Studio, one of the gals suggested making placemats in the fashion of my question books.  I thought it was a great idea because it will prompt interesting dinner conversation.  I decided that they must be washable, so the top is vinyl.  And the bottom is felt to protect the table.  They are in lots of colors, some with original prints and others have my digitals.  Here are three sets:
Oh yeah, most of them have feathers or other surprises in the collages.

I'm hoping to have coordinating coaster sets as well.

The weeds outside were calling as the showy fall leaves blew away because they have such glorious and interesting seed formations.  I found myself collecting seeds, and then the fronds, and pretty soon they became a Pass It On Gardener's Gift.

It has some of the 14 plants in the arrangement.  All the weeds have been sprayed with hairspray so that they don't fly around!  in the drawer are 14 envelopes with pictures of the plant in summer, a short note about the plant's habit and personality, and the seeds collected from my garden this fall.  In the top compartment is a small book with pages to write your impressions and ideas about the plant with small envelopes to collect seeds.  I think of the book as a Pass It On idea, as you can give the book to someone else with the seeds from your garden next year.  Of course there are plant stakes with the height and growth requirements. 
I've made three Toys for those with Desks.  They're cubes that spin around showing you 4 small books on one side and a drawer on the other.  The books have jumping frogs in one, quotations in another, questions in the third, and Jacob's Ladders in the last.  The drawer either has shiny things or blanks to make more frogs after people wander off with them (they do!).  Here's one.
I believe in fun...and work needs to be fun!
Today I'm working in leather making wristlets that light-up and folios with my epoxied prints on them.  I'm not sure I'll let any of them go because I think they're gorgeous as well as fun.  I'll post them later in the week.

And because my feet were cold this weekend and my back hurts today, I made up a whole mess of rice bags. So if you come to the Open Studio, stock up!  There are lots of shapes and sizes. 
Hope to see you this weekend between 10AM and 4PM.  Whatever is left I'll put up on my website at http//

Enjoy this glorious season.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Accessibility Ramps

We built a ramp at our house and one at my Grandmother-In-Law's house.  In a weekend. This is a great program because they will come and take the modules away and reassemble them at someone else's house when you're done with the ramp.

We made it a family project. Everyone learned to use power drills and a circular saw.  Our decking crew was 12 and 14 and they did a spectacular job.  The way Allen and I split the work was that he hung each section and I got them built.  Hanging means leveling and some big carriage bolt screws.  Earthwork.  I ran the saws and the drills making each module.  Our crew was done early and we then rearranged the existing concrete by using a sledge hammer to break it up  and then make a mosaic 'landing pad' at the bottom.  It beats the cost of garbage to reuse concrete.  And the young men love using sledge hammers!  A wheelbarrow is a godsend, as they all want to carry heavy concrete pieces and that's not a good idea.  My mother-in-law is delighted to have a wheelbarrow left over from  the project.

We have a ramp because it's easier for so many of our friends to come visit. Those who use walkers, canes, or are just not completely sure on their feet, are grateful.  I would have loved a ramp during the days I was spraining my ankle regularly.

And idea. Use it if it makes sense for you. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Here's my friend Cass who was with me the whole way. And a rare moment when we weren't swamped with people.  I was thrilled to win the People's Choice Award.  Thanks to all who ventured to see me.  It made a huge difference to see my friends and family amid the other art lovers.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay is my favorite poet.  I accidentally stumbled across a copyright free image of her on the web....and couldn't help giving her a crown of flowers.  Isn't she lovely.  Click this link to read Renascence:

Or there's always First Fig:
"My candle burns at both ends,
it will not last the night. 
But ah, my foes, and oh. my friends,
it gives off such a lovely light."

And Second Fig
"Safe upon the solid rock
the ugly houses stand.
Come and see my shining palace
built upon the sand."

Portrait by a Neighbor
"Before she has her floor swept
or her dishes done,
any day you'll find her
sunning in the sun.

It's long after midnight.
Her key is in the lock.
You won't see her chimney smoke
before 10 o'clock.

She digs in her garden
with a shovel and a spoon.
She weeds her lazy lettuce
by the light of the moon.

She walks up her walk
like a woman in a dream.
She forgets she borrowed butter
and pays you back in cream.

Her lawn looks like a meadow,
and if she mows the place,
She leaves the clover standing
and the Queen Anne's Lace!"

That's who I want to be when I grow up!  Enjoy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Cooper's Hawks have fledged.  The babies are two girls:  the size of crows.  That's why Mom, who usually feeds on song birds, has been taking squirrels and rabbits from our yards to raise these glorious hunters.  On Thursday Mom abandoned them! Amid four yards, all with bird feeders.  If you can't get lucky there, hmmm.  

And before you think your bloomers are beautiful think about taking your first flight from a 50' tree!

Here's what Mom is modeling:

Bon appeitite.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's time for Rose Conserve.  I captured the first rose petals today.  If you haven't tried it, do. It is absolutely amazing.  A great gift for those really difficult guys...even the biker guys.  It tastes like rose honey.  Can't describe it adequately. 

The recipe is the rose petals in your yard and an equal amount of sugar. Put in an air tight container and turn every six weeks if you think of it. Forget it?  No problem.  It is done right around the holidays. I'll put up my rose wafer recipe then...very fancy. Only for your best women friends and curious 10 year olds.

And if you are not growing fragrant, winter-hardy-in-Minnesota roses, try these folks.  Ours don't need fussing and bloom 6 or more times a year..once after Thanksgiving. And they are so fragrant!