Thursday, May 21, 2015

the color of bliss

 I am not usually drawn to working with a lot of colors. Although my palette has consisted of white and neutral for so long, there has always been a place for blue. In dabbling with indigo dye, I've discovered how touching, rinsing, hanging, winding, folding, stitching with blue is extremely soothing. There is a sense of serenity and bliss while working each day with the color of the sky and water in my hands. Yes. The color of sky and water in my hands. I wonder if that feeling can be felt through this screen, because I want to offer it everyone… not keep it for myself.
 I will be bringing these blue bliss bowls to the Squam Art Fair, but will be making more for my shop this summer. I can't stop making them. I love the striping- the color blocking surprises that happen along the way. It makes each one feel like magic… as if they have a spirit of their own, and I am just guiding the rope through the machine. Isn't that so cool?!
 Look at how captivating the interiors are! I know I sound a bit crazy in love with my own making. I kind of am! And how can that not be a wonderful thing?!
 Below is a bowl containing the rope that I double dyed this week for a richer blue. It's subtly different, and I love both shades equally. Luckily, I made sure to double dye hundreds and hundreds of feet in this shade, just in case it was a good one..
  And while I was at it, I wound and folded, twisted and rubber banded all of my white linen to throw into my dye vat. I've got plans!
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Monday, May 18, 2015

weekend blues

What a beautiful weekend it was! The only blues were in my dye bucket. Indigo is one of the oldest dyes used in history for textiles and printing. It was high time I gave it a try. I used a very simple method as a test to see if it was something worth pursuing. Oh yes! This kit from Dharma Trading Co. was so accessible and fun… as a bonus the dye vat lasts for a while.  So- I got more rope! 
 The relationship indigo has with oxygen was the most fascinating part… the dye bath is actually green.
 It's only after it the rope/fabric tastes the air that it begins transforming to blue. It gets oxidized!
 Watch what happened with this cotton fabric over 10 minutes… so cool!
 Rope was my main ingredient. Cotton clothesline for spiral sewing of beautiful, blue bowls and baskets for summer. One dip gave me a very dark rich shade….
  But upon rinsing- it transformed to something softer and deliciously peaceful. And after drying… it has taken on its own shade of sky blue that can be seen in my instagram shots over in the right side column.
 Something so silly and satisfying about draping the clothesline over my clothesline to dry!
 Can't wait to share my upcoming indigo adventures with some double dipping for darker shades and, of course, the meeting with my sewing machine!

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday- bacon and blossoms

 I didn't look at my sewing machine this entire weekend! I had hungry boys to feed, flowers to plant, and creeks to swim in. And now… I will sew!

But before I "spiral" away… you must know how excited my crew is about finally trying bacon and egg "muffins". We've been all wanting to make them for ages, so Mother's Day seemed a great excuse. Anything with bacon is a winner in my book! They were the rage on Pinterest a while back, but I didn't follow any specific recipe yesterday… just made it up in my typical winging it way. Here's what we did for a dozen "muffins":
  1. Preheated the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisked 10 eggs with salt, pepper, chopped fresh chives, a handful of grated cheddar and a spoonful of parmesan.
  3. Brushed each cup of a muffing tin with olive oil.
  4. Lay a piece of uncooked bacon around the walls of each cup.
  5. Poured the egg mixture into the center of each cup.
  6. Baked for 15-20 minutes until the bacon was crispy and eggs were fluffy.
  7. Devoured!
These will be on repeat for sure. Especially nice on a Sundays since the leftovers would make an easy Monday breakfast. If there are leftovers!

So happy Monday, my friends!  I'll leave you with some pretty pics of my bleeding hearts that are peaking right now. They're truly one of the most poetic and beautiful flowers ever. Can't believe I've never pressed and saved them before. 

Today I will!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

clothesline cuffs

I'm a total minimalist when it comes to jewelry. So simple rope cuffs are very appealing to me. I'm in the process of figuring out new ways to work with clothesline and these are my first attempts at something beyond spirals. Each is as light as air and so soft. They also have a super hero quality to them… a little wonder woman goes natural fiber-ish, don't you think?
One uses a knot closure, the other is just a tiny strip of elastic sewn between where the sides meet.
Quick and Fun! Now back to baskets and bowls!
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

may making

Oh May! What a beautiful month filled with the electric energy of so much coming to life outside. As much as I want to lie under these magnolia blossoms or dance in the fresh green grass… it's my sewing machine that tends to be my dance partner these days. So, I'm throwing open my studio windows and smelling the spring air as I work. There is just so much to do every May as I get ready for the Squam Art Fair (my 8th- or is it 9th?) on the first Saturday of June. It's time to get serious about buckets, pouches and bags. 
On top of that, I can't stop sewing with rope! In fact, not only will I be teaching how locally in a few weeks (note to self- must make samples that I don't give to friends), I am also going to be selling baskets and bowls at a few local venues.
 Busy times for sure, but it's all fabulous! When I think of what is keeping me running around and literally stitching in circles- I have nothing to complain about. It's all joy!

And let me tell you, I do NOT take bliss for granted. Never will again. I savor every bit of it and then channel it into something new...

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

new classes!

There's a new place for crafty/diy folks in my town! Hello Craftstitute! I'm so excited to finally have a local venue for teaching. And I'm jumping in right away with…. I bet you can guess!

Yes, rope baskets. Come spend the evening getting your coil sewing perfected into vessels. Next up will be a wonderful way to usher in the warm weather- summer skirts!


Rope basket details here.
Summer skirt details here.                    

If you are out of town and would like to take a class with me on a weekend… shoot me an email, and I'll bet we can come up with a schedule. This first rope basket class is intentionally on weekday evening so all of us locals can frolic outside during the beginning of sunny weather! Pin It

Monday, April 27, 2015

our art show

Every year I help my daughter's Montessori school set up for their annual art show. There are two wonderful teachers who having been working all year with our children, and this is the first time we get to see what they've been up to. It's always amazing.  This is just an iPhone taste from the installation over the weekend… tonight I will bring my good camera to the show!
Bet you can guess who did the hedgehog scratchboard!
This year there were more textiles and fiber arts then ever. I was in heaven!
These slab clay looms used student dyed and spun wool for the center weaving!
 Lots of needle felting for the little ones…
 How cool is this idea… drop spindles made out of old cds?
 And there will be a student demonstration of how to use the back strap loom tonight. Can't wait! These were made out of pvc pipe and popsicle sticks- clever again!
 And basket making! Did you hear me? Baskets!! Coiled baskets to be exact. Bound Grass traditionals and yarn covered rope ones, too. So good! 
 Below is my daughter's… makes a mama basket maker proud! 
 Hanging all of these indigo dyed shibori samplers had me dreaming… I've avoided it because it felt too trendy lately. But I might have been bitten this weekend.
 Have a creative start to your week!

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Thursday, April 23, 2015


I was so thrilled with the love and enthusiasm that poured out over the web about my new book earlier this week. Thank you!

And now, of course- back to rope! I had to pull myself away from my YELLOW project to stitch up a birthday basket for one of my favorite 10 year olds. I've been contemplating freezer paper stenciling on rope for a few weeks. I first experimented on a sampler ( a spiral disk) and decided that it had potential, but wasn't quite right yet, nor predictable.
 Freezer paper on the flat bottom interior of a basket/bowl was easier than on a curve. All of the wrinkling compelled me to peel it off before I flubbed up a handmade birthday present.  Let me know if you are braver and give freezer paper a try. In the meantime- I opted for tiny dots with a pencil eraser which turned out quite sweetly.
 And that sampler? It can be tossed in your picnic "basket" for your next outdoor gathering. They make AWESOME  frisbees!
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