I'm in amaryllis love at the moment. I purchased this beauty of a bulb yesterday at our neighborhood nursery. The color, appearing on the card, seemed to be a pretty pinkish coral.
These two babies above are bulbs I raised from a mother bulb. I've had these stored in the garage for a month or so. I really, really want these to pop and have my fingers crossed that they will. I just potted them yesterday, and the bulbs are not nearly as large as the first one I posted, but hoping for a bloom. Of course I check it every hour to see if there's any new evidence of a sprout. These should turn out to be a bright ruby red.
Below are my little Christmas clutches all done and ready for wrapping and gifting. I'm a little "hooked out" at present... but am sort of jazzed to start a very simple rug that's planning itself in my head. I just need some color inspiration to get started.
Extremely cold and a little snowy here today. Got the fire going and trying to brace ourselves to head out to a movie. Hope you're staying snug and warm!
I ran into an old and very dear, dear friend this morning while out walking. We shared current family updates and this and that. We then started to talk about our passions and creative pursuits (he's a master carpenter and teaches those skills at one of our local colleges). I told him about my rug hooking and current desire to draw and use pastels. He told me about how he's finally following a dream of his which is to play the electric guitar. We discovered that we're both at "that certain age" where the old bucket list comes into play. He told me that he just wants to know he can play the electric guitar well enough to feel good about it.... to have accomplished a goal that's always been on the back burner while it's still realistic to do so. I told him it's the same with my drawing. I don't have any aspirations to become good enough to show, sell, or gift... just to feel good about it. Drawing is so much fun, and it gives me such a sense of accomplishment, more than anything else I've done in some time. I guess my blog is where I feel comfortable enough to put things I do out there for you guys to see and share a little about where I'm at right now. So, that being said, here's my latest pastel!
This pastel has been great fun, but also a challenge for me. The piece is somewhat large, about 12"x12". I love owls, as we have several that grace our treetops regularly. I think this may be my Christmas card this year.
Below is my latest pencil drawing of our little Iris....
Another challenge, but I learned a lot about shading and light. Also the use of my various pencils.
Of course I'm still hooking, and once again (oh dear, I just love making these) knitting socks...
I adore this sweet little turquoise stripe..... didn't think I'd be knitting more socks, but I couldn't resist these colors! Have a wonderful weekend!
Hope your Thanksgiving holiday was fabulous! We did have a wonderful time, and am missing family members who had to hit the highways yesterday to return home. I didn't create much (except meals) over the past few days, so thought I'd share with you my newest Christmas clutch I finished a week or so ago.
Also, you might notice that the clutch is sitting on the doll-sized granny square quilt that I finally crocheted together.
Now, I really must take a moment to show you my current pottery obsession, work by Julie Whitemore.
I purchased this darling fox cup and tiny cottage bowl from her a few weeks ago. I just adore her work! I need more pottery like a hole in the head, but artist made pottery is one of my most favorite things, and Julie's is absolutely charming! It's almost impossible to nab a piece on her Etsy store without a prior order. I ordered the foxy cup, and was lucky enough to catch the little bowl before some other lucky fan popped in ahead of me. Here's another closeup of the tiny bowl....
Isn't it just the sweetest little thing? Check out her blog, and you'll be transported into a Beatrix Potter wonderland of pottery.
I'm currently working on a pastel of the most beautiful owl. I haven't touched it for over a week... so I really must get back at it, and today is mostly reserved for drawing and errands, plus work at the library children's store this afternoon into evening. Thought a bit (but only a bit) about getting out some Christmas... but enjoying my home picked up and uncluttered from Thanksgiving. Also, haven't been out blog visiting in awhile, but will drop by soon. Hope your week is wonderfully productive and stress free....
I've been hooking, crocheting, knitting, and a little bit of this and that for the past few days. I'm in one of my nesting/inspirational modes. That's when I look around the house with a critical eye to see what needs some changing, rearranging, and just plain "put it out of sight now!"
I'm completely inspired by Scandinavian art and in particular, the world of Gudrun Sjoden's line of fabrics, clothes, and homey stuff. I took a peek around and decided to add a little folky arty color and pattern wherever I could. After a trip to the fabric store I came home with these two vibrant and bold prints......
I'm using these to line a couple of shelves in the dining room wood and glass door hutch. I'm taking out the fussy china and glass stuff that I rarely use, and adding pretty pottery and my Mom's fabulous Ukrainian eggs. Mom was quite well known for her gorgeous eggs here, and also her home in the Kansas City area. Her use of color and design was vibrant and intricate... she sold and displayed in art shows for years. I did a post of some of her eggs a couple of years ago, and will again. The patterns and colors of fabric and folk art eggs breathed new life into the old dark hutch. My next project is to finish crocheting granny squares and get those turned into a throw for the couch. The colors are dreamy! Photo when finished.
I've been hooking my baby clutches, and finished this one.....
This mini clutch has a special home to go to at Christmas.
I'm really having fun with this one still in progress....
This little birdie also has a Christmas home waiting for it. I'll post again when it's finished.
Well, need to get things gathered up and head out to drawing class. I'm working on a pencil portrait of our little Iris (cat, not child, thank goodness). I'm really challenged by this one... more difficult than old Albert. More on that later. Hope you're feeling inspired as well and living your bliss!
I've been trying to hook some for Christmas. If you hook, you may find the dilemma of wanting to hook something for everyone, but not the time to get it all done. Of course.... you may be someone who plans ahead, gets things done and put away, possibly even wrapped. Oh, I so do envy your diligence! The above is one of, maybe..... five, little hooked clutches I'm hoping to gift to friends. This is the front and back of my first completed clutch, and another is just about done with construction. I hooked this one with someone special in mind.... hence the colors, coffee cup, and bluebirds of happiness. I really like making something small like this. Done fairly quick (if I stay with it, and don't get lured by my drawing pad) and not a huge hooking commitment involved.
Today I spent the morning outside emptying flower pots, washing them out, and readying things to be put to bed for the season. I volunteer at our Library Center gift chop, Between Friends, and I found this great book there about a month ago. I thought, "How perfect to help uplift myself from the end of the gardening season blues!"
forcing, etc by Katherine Whiteside..... an autographed copy for only $4.00! We sell gently used books in the gift shop, so I am constantly bringing books home. This one was a real find for me. The photos by Richard Felber are fabulous! It's a "how to" book on forcing just about anything indoors. At the moment I'm trying to force acorns. I have them in a little bowl in my kitchen window with some rocks and water. The book says it takes about a month. I'm almost at three weeks and nothing yet. Has anyone tried this with success? In the book, these really cute little stems have popped up and look darling in the dish with rocks and shells. Today I separated out my amaryllis bulbs, repotted, and stored in the garage for the next couple of months. Katherine says that they're really best to bring in after Christmas.... first of January. So, that's the plan. Anyway, this book is great to just look at, and there's all kinds of things she's forced to bloom besides the standard paperwhites and hyacinths. I particularly like the forced stems and branches. It's a great way to bring some of your garden indoors for the winter.
Hope things are going well in your world, and all survived Halloween in one piece. Off now to finished my second little Christmas Clutch.
I'm just dropping in a few pictures of what I'm working on lately at the doorstep.
The following are a couple of snippets of Christmas presents currently in progress. It's okay to post, because the two recipients aren't likely to check my blog. These are still in the experimental stage, so I'll post finished projects when they're complete.
Last weekend I took my first pastels class. Below you'll find the completed project. It's, what I believe to be, an English robin. It's a rather large piece.... took three hours of class time, then I worked on it for a couple of hours at home. I really, really like working with the pastels... lots of blending and layering. Quite relaxing, actually!
Next month we'll be working on an owl, one of my very favorite birds! We hear them, and when we're lucky, see them roosted in the trees around out house. Hope you're enjoying a beautiful fall day!
Well Hello! Ok.... I am trying to keep everything that's still with me in the garden going. I got this same way last year, where I started to feel a little blue about losing my flowers, blooming trees, shrubs, etc. I love watching all the leaves fall, but feel a wee bit melancholy about winter coming on. I sort of go into a kind of denial about the eventual freeze that will leave everything laying over wilted, soggy, and gone for the year. I continue to water, prune, and deadhead my little ones as though it's still the middle of summer. You may remember a recent post about Ms. Toad.... now known as Pansy because I believe she (?) has moved into my pansies for the winter.... well, she made an appearance the other morning.......
She spent most of the day in that spot contemplating whatever toads contemplate about. I checked on her frequently, and eventually she dug back down until I could see only the her eyes peering up.
Besides garden brooding, I've been working on my drawing. You may remember that I started a class this summer, and was happy to report that I had drawn a passable eye. Well.... I've been working on an entire face. You may be able (hopefully) to recognize the subject of this portrait.
Yes, its Albert, or Mr. E=MCsquared..... I actually had a lot of fun with this, and tomorrow am starting a pastels class. We'll be doing an English robin. Finally some color!
I'm still working on bags. This is my latest. I really enjoyed working with neutrals and black. Below is the back view (where I concentrated most of my design).
I guess that's about it here at the doorstep. Thank you for taking time to read this little hodgepodge of stuff going on in my world here at the end of the lane. Looking forward to another lovely weekend, and hope you're able to do the same.
Oh... once again... can't say "thank you" enough for leaving all the lovely comments about the magazine thing. But I will..... THANK YOU!
Dear friends...before I show you the results of my "Haute Handbag" drawing, let me please take a moment to thank all you fabulous blogging buddies who have been so kind to leave such sweet and touching comments to me about my little foray into the world of publishing. As I said in my previous post, this was just a lark.... can I do something like this? Will anyone be interested enough in my bags to include them in an issue? Well, after that hurdle, I thought the best part was getting accepted, then I thought the best part was seeing my bags in print, but....BY FAR.... the best part was hearing from all of you! I mean it! You guys are just the best.... and if I haven't gotten to you yet to thank you for your comment.... please know that I intend to. I can't begin to tell you how moved I was by your kindness and the feeling of joy each time I read a new comment. I'm not used to getting a lot of comments on my blog, so 24 was like Christmas for me!
Also, in my previous post, at the time I posted..... I was not aware that my blogging buddy (and I know she's several of yours) Mary Stanley from Art Spirit was also included in the same issue. Mary does fabulous work in several different mediums, rug hooking being only one part of her vast repertoire of skills. If you haven't yet, please visit her blog. I'm sure you will soon become a regular like me.
And now for the drawing........I was going to put more energy and creativity into this..... but we're on the way out the door to the Sequiota Art Fair. My hubby is waiting patiently for me to finish this post. So I put all the names entered into my little worm basket I use when hooking a project.
Then....I pulled the name myself.... I really hope you don't mind.....I was truly completely fair. And the winner is (drum roll please).....
Miss Maggie from Grandma Yellow Hair! I couldn't be more thrilled! Maggie has become a dear bloggy friend of mine, and has the most wonderful blog. She writes from her heart, and has me either laughing, crying, or both just about every time I check in. Maggie dear, I have your email, so I'll get in touch with you this weekend to get mailing details.
Dear Friends..... I have an article and a selection of my bags in the October edition of "Haute Handbags" published by Somerset Studio.
Last fall I decided, basically on a lark, to read the submitting process and see what was involved. I took it step by step. My husband photographed the bags and I wrote an article. Sent it off, and what do ya know... I heard from them in about two days! They wanted me to send my bags to them to shoot for April's magazine. Did all that, and then was pushed back to this issue. So... here I am page 67! If you get an opportunity, you can check out the article. I found mine at Borders, but "Haute Handbags" is usually also carried by Barnes and Nobles. I haven't gone over the entire issue yet, but if you like unusual and handmade bags, there's lots of fun and creative ones to see. Most of them have "how to make" instructions. Oh..... one more thing..... I bought three copies, but just checked the mail and Somerset sent me another. So, if you would like me to send a copy to you, please leave a comment and I'll draw a winner next week (probably Friday). Here's to a fabulous fall weekend!
New bag is coming along nicely.... I'm done hooking.... now for pockets, lining, strap, and buttons. I found the most perfect button in mom's old button tin. I think it was part of a set she used when she made a coat a long time ago (30-40 years.....?). Again, love working with these neutrals and black. Great look for winter!
Fall seems to be the time for all the warm colors like orange, yellow, brown, etc. I'm kind of tired of all the traditional fall decorations. I guess it's just gotten so over the top in the last several years. I'm liking very simple decorations and lots of jewel toned colors. Purples, pinks, scarlets, bright royal blues, and intense golds.
I pulled the last of my spindly petunias Saturday, and planted these gorgeous dark purple pansies for winter. As I was planting, out popped a good sized toad. Poor thing.... I think it was dug in for the winter. It hopped out and patiently waited on the step while I finished planting. I gently picked it up and put it back amongst the pansies, and hopefully, it dug it's way back down in the nice warm soil.
Don't you just love these pink mums?! Once again, I forsook the golds and reds for these pretty posies.
My periwinkle blue asters are just brilliant! These sorts of colors seem kinda old fashioned to me, and that's what I find so appealing. I'm sure that I'll eventually come back to the more traditional fall color scheme. Maybe I'm just having a hard time letting go of summer. I still have lovely blooming pink petunias, and gorgeous blooming fuchsia geraniums. Also, my blue daze is spectacular right now. I imagine the cool night temperatures are doing the magic. The temps. also enticed me to get some home-made tomato soup going in the crock pot for this evening's meal. Well..... it's that time of day.... yoga time! Gotta go and stretch..... Here's to a lovely week ahead....xo
Isn't this gorgeous!! Done by my lovey Lily. It's from a photo of a church in Costa Rica she took and turned into a rug this summer at our Jane Halliwell Green workshop in Maine. The sky is absolutely brilliant, and the blue church with all the shadows makes for such a rich combination of colors. Don't even know where to begin with the flowers other than FABULOUS! Well Done Lily!
I'm currently working in neutrals. This is part of a motif that will become a handbag eventually. Doing this one for a friend, and really love working in these creams and mushroom colors. The black will be background and the plaid will be the lining.
Purple stripe socks are almost done.... weekend spent hooking, knitting, perusing the new edition of "selvedge".... heaven!
Above you will find myself, Sheri, and Tammy at our rug show held Friday night at the Creamery Arts Center in Springfield. The Creamery is a wonderful old building that functioned as a place to pasteurize milk many years ago. It was purchased, restored, and now is an arts center with a lovely gallery, rooms for classes, library, and dance studio. There are several more rugs in the show, but we took this view because the rugs that each of us hooked are in the same order as we are in the picture (does that make any sense at all?). We were so honored to be invited to show our work, which will be hanging during the month of September.
I'm sorry to repeat the same scene, but really wanted to include lovely friends who came out for the show. Kathleen, her aunt and my dear friend Ann (a wonderful artist and art teacher), and Sally (another patron of the arts, and creator of the most delightful lamps made from charming found treasures.... without pictures, I can't describe her work and do it justice).
On the way home from our show, I talked with my husband about showing ones art. I wondered, since we weren't there to actually sell anything, why we bother. Does it seem show-offy, are we boring our friends.... do they feel obligated to come out and see our stuff? As usual, my Jim has the best answers to my questions that mostly come from some inferior place inside of me. Having been an artist his whole life, and having perhaps exhibited his work in hundreds of shows, he said, "No.... you're simply sharing your passion with the people you care about." And that's exactly that! I love to show people rug hooking, and share with them the fun and excitement I get from creating a rug or bag. The rush from coming up with just the "right" combination of colors and the fabulous feel of the linen on wool. Any of you that hook rugs, or work with fiber know exactly what I mean.
So, dear friends.... thanks for letting me indulge in a little show and tell, and know that I so enjoy looking and commenting on your work as well.... blogging has been a HUGE source of inspiration for me over the years, and a wonderful venue to share this crazy and wonderful rug hooking passion of mine.
Finally done with this one! I have enjoyed hooking my doorstep more than anything I've done in a long time. I guess because I was doing something way different from my recent pieces (which basically means not a hand bag). My original plan had been not to have a border.... but after a conversation (well actually two long convos that covered everything from art to politics ) with Tammy, she suggested doubled folded quilt tape. I bought a nice chocolate brown and some very tiny cording. The doubled folded tape is good and wide, so it covers my cut linen on the back. I probably should have take a picture of the back so you can see what I'm talking about. Anyway, Tammy's suggestions worked like a charm, and was easy peasy to do. That's about it at the doorstep today.... but I must comment on the gorgeous weather we are finally having! We slept with the windows nice and wide open last night, and I mean it was like being drugged! I just love sleeping with fresh air blowing in. Air conditioning makes me feel stuffy and close. I tend to toss about. Last night was heaven..... xo