Tuesday, February 24, 2015


During last week I had so many wonderful kids hanging out with me.  One of them was a tremendous organizer, who couldn't begin sewing until she had put some order to my various pins, scattered in different bowls and assorted pin cushions. She found satisfaction in sorting by color and type. Order, pattern and details… she has an eye for the macro world. Her focus inspired me to think about perspective. And to reach for my new macro "toy" for my iPhone from photojo*.
It's a little lens attached to an elastic band that slips over any phone camera lens. Super simple and portable. And fun!
Trying to zoom in on the details of this feather with just my phone gave me this blurred mess:
With my new lens- there was this:
And even a soft dreamy close up:
 The quality doesn't compare to my Canon… but it's pretty impressive for a "rubber band". It's been fascinating looking up close and personal at the details around me, so I've been wearing it on my wrist for just those moments. It's fun and user-friendly for kids too, as you can imagine.

*I'm not affiliated with photojojo- just like sharing when I enjoy something!

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Monday, February 16, 2015


February break is in full swing. This year has felt like one long winter vacation with all of our snow days. My kids and I aren't complaining- we love cozy days and any excuse to hang out together. There's a ton of baking, music making, and crafting going on… I just don't have the ability to chronicle it the way I used to (thank goodness for Instagram).  Being a single mother has impacted blogging regularly, but it hasn't altered my priorities around time with my children. In fact, I believe it's only strengthened my desire to give them everything I've got. This love flows out to their friends too… which must be why we always have a full house! And why I might find myself ironing yards and yards of rainbow chevron fabric for a curtain making project.
Yesterday while snowed in, again, we stayed in pajamas to sew and knit… for hours. Listening to music and talking while handcrafting inspire a deep connecting that I want my daughter and her friends to experience.  I'm not opposed to technology for this next generation, but I'm determined to expose them to the kind of communication that doesn't involve hashtags. There is an art to sharing time together- and I believe it is our job to teach our children how to "operate without screens", as well as with them.
Connecting with a community online will most likely be part of their future, as it is ours right now while you read this. Showing these sweet girls what quiet REAL TIME TOGETHER feels like is essential. 

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

barn stitching

We are buried in snow these days… so I'm using my iPhone to capture the beauty and remind me of what an enchanted world I live in.
Slipping away to my mother's cozy barn always feels a bit dreamy. Yesterday I spent the morning quietly stitching a handmade coin purse (made from a red woolen blanket) for a February birthday girl. 
The rest of my day was non-stop action, but those hours of meditative silence among the trees carried me through. I hadn't forgotten how therapeutic hand sewing was, but I did wonder why I haven't done more of it this winter. 
So I'm dreaming of more slow stitching through the snowy days that lie ahead…

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Monday, February 9, 2015

more snow...

vintage card from the sweet collection at Pastimes.
 Happy Valentine's Week! We have had yet another storm… and another snow day. 
Perfect time to make some more little heart cards. I also foresee lots of knitting happening. My girl has caught the yarn bug in a huge way!
Hope you're week gets off to cozy start too...

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

happily free

My friend Karen just finished her collage a day challenge with all of the proceeds going to her Regional Food Pantry. You can read how she came up with this wonderful idea here. It's simple and inspiring. I loved peeking in on all of the collages as they rolled in. Each one was totally unique. And this one, above… well, it had my name on it. Or rather the idea behind this year's favorite word (release). So I snapped it up and have been searching for a place to display it.

Hmmmm….  I think right here above the southern window in my studio with some other bird friends… yep, that's the spot.

And now I'm certain that this month's Bliss Art Day must be all about collage. And I'm tempted to move the date up to today!

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Monday, February 2, 2015

snow day!

This morning I looked out of my bedroom and saw this telling view. Snow day! No school!
We weren't going anywhere!
And the snow didn't stop… 
So we did what all smart winter folks do… 
And we celebrated the beginning of this new month in cozy style!
 Happy February!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

release banner

 I thought I'd share this yesterday… but it was just too dark as the snow began to fall. So I let go… Ha!

Hope all of you east coasters are cozy and warm today. We were only hit by a normal winter storm out here… nothing epic. Only a pretty, fluffy and very white morning to wake up to. And some shoveling, of course! But I have strong arms.

As I said last week, my word for 2015 is RELEASE. January has surprised me with quite a bit of loosening and unleashing so far. A colorful little banner feels like a celebration of these and all future "releases". Each triangle holds specific ways I'd like to "let go" written on the back. The watercolor illustrations are great reminders… from releasing arrows, to blowing dandelion dreams into the air, to soaring sparrows.

I am letting go of negative patterns, old dreams, toxic energy and making way for the new and fresh.

I am releasing exciting ideas, big dreams, lofty goals, and joy out into the universe.

It all feels quite freeing... 
And so very happy!

The triangles are stitched together on my sewing machine, but punching holes and threading through some ribbon would be an easy alternative. You might like to try one yourself. Either create pictures for your word of the year… or maybe you'd like a release banner too. While I was waiting for the snow to stop falling, I scanned these and made it into a pdf!

 You can find this lovingly illustrated RELEASE BANNER in my shop, where you can download it and print them onto card stock to hang up your own bit of letting go! Yes!

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Friday, January 23, 2015


I never shared my word for this year. It didn't come easily. There was a lot of searching and listening well into the first week of January. I knew it didn't matter when I found it, but I was starting to get frustrated as one word after the other didn't fit. And then I let go. And of course, that was the answer to not only it appearing… but essentially WHAT that word was. RELEASE. Upon claiming it… lots of things instantly fell away or loosened enough to begin what will be a very important year. A year of release in my home, my life, and my work. From new books and projects being released into the world to  letting go of things that have bound me for so long. It's time. I'm ready.

And so my scheduled bliss-art day arrived this morning. I chose to focus on what my word for 2015 represents to me. 
 I made little watercolor illustrations to remind me. They'll be finished up with some string and shared here on Monday when I  hang them as a watercolor banner of release symbolism. The couple of  hours set aside to play with my box of paints was a true gift. Hope you can make a little time to play also!

Happy Weekend!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

stamping stencils

 Playing with stamps and small stencils. We're nearing Valentine's Day and heart shapes inspire me this way… remember this?

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Sunday, January 18, 2015


A little Sunday evening post was in order to tell you about our new happy head wear. It began last week when Maya used a toilet paper tube as her prompt of the day for her Frivolous Project. I couldn't resist! In 10 minutes I had made and photographed this definitely frivolous cat hat. 
So fun, right? Our "serious party animal" seemed to make a lot of people smile on Instagram. So I made a second.
This weekend my daughter and some friends wanted to get in on the action. "Pet crowns" were the initial goal, but they changed gears once we added some metallic paints to the mix. Royal crowns of their very own were whipped up. With a hole punch and elastic thread, these work beautifully for people. What a fantastic party hat- or just what's needed to feel like a queen for the day. Because they're miniature, these have a "cool" factor that makes them a little more sophisticated then a typical paper crown. Important to keep in mind for 10 year olds. Elastic thread is the key to them feeling "barely there" and being able to sit jauntily on the side of your head.

The sky's the limit to the design possibilities. We just used a few supplies and were totally satisfied.

  • Toilet paper tube
  • Scissors
  • Washi tape
  • Hole punch
  • Elastic thread
  • Metallic paint
  • Paint brush
  1. Cut 1/4 of the tube off. Use the rest.
  2. Slice shapes out of the top. Classic crown triangles or fringe have been our only designs so far (we really need to branch out!) Fringe can be wrapped around a pencil to create the curl effect on the top or bottom of the crown.
  3. Decorate with paint and tape or whatever strikes your fancy. Let Dry.
  4. Punch two holes on opposites sides from each other.
  5. Knot elastic thread through one hole. Try crown on pull the thread to the other side to gauge the length you'll need for your own comfort. Cut and tie the thread to other hole.
  6. Slip your crown on… your Majesty!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

the paper playhouse

A light hearted energy has landed in my home this week and with it came a desire to play. Katrina Rodabaugh's new book, The Paper Playhouse (Quarrybooks), arrived just in time!
 It's filled with children's projects using recycled paper, boxes and books. This focus makes me happy for all of the obvious green reasons, but also for utilizing materials that are so easy for kids to find around the house... and for their parents to gratefully hand over to them for experimentation and creativity.
 There are plenty of perfect invitations for parents to collaborate with their younger children around craft, creativity and imaginary play. Lots of the projects can be made independently by an older child. In the back there is an extensive gallery of paper artists and their work for further inspiration. Just a few of the many below. And YES those are my newspaper and sewing pattern flowers! So happy to be included here with such a great group!
Congratulations Katrina! What a lovely book to share our kids!

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