my next workshop : Sweet Paul Makerie

My next workshop is open for registration. I’m teaching  Stitched Botanicals this coming April (11- 12th) at the Sweet Paul Makerie. You can get all  the  details about the weekend, classes (the teacher line up is spectacular – so many people I admire) and registration right here.

stitched botanicals

I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been a huge Sweet Paul fan from afar forever  - I worked with him earlier this year and was incredibly impressed and the Makerie retreats always look so beautiful. The spring retreat is taking place at the Antropologie / Terrain head quarters in Philadephia.  Hope to see you there and if you’ve got questions just email me.

stitched botaniclas

on November 13, 2014 1

birds made from my pattern

I’ve collected a few images of birds made from my pattern to share- people have made wonderful, imaginative birds and taken fabulous photos:
becky's bird

 from Becky – “the stand off”

christina's bird

from Christina – Daisy Chain Creations

amanda

from Amanda – Hanging by a Thread – A snow scene!

irene_b

In Dots – by Irene (love the tags)

karen

from Karen- these are so sweet- checkout the satchel on the bird in the center

abby's bird

and a thoughtful little bird in the garden by  Abby Glassenberg!

on November 12, 2014 4

armature

I’m working on a large project, a collaboration that I can’t show you until January or there abouts – the photo below is of some of the many, many muslin drafts I make on the way to a new design.

muslins

This is the first time I’ve made something jointed and pose-able  (which these will be) and I came across something new to me and you might find it useful in your own projects: coolant hose.

armature

Also known as The Best Stuff In The World if you’re making something pose-able or just need a flexible and reliable armature.  It’s made by a company in Taiwan called Jeton. According to their website they specialize in:  adjustable coolant hose, doll armature and doll eyes.  It’s quite a niche.  I purchased it through CR’s Crafts - I got the 3/16th inch coolant hose and the 8th inch doll armature ( it’s just like the hose but no hole. This stuff is easy to work with and holds its shape well. I purchased my joint hardware from C R’s Crafts as well – they have a huge selection right here.  If you buy cotter pin joints I recommend you get the tool – it makes bending the pins much easier.  The joint hardware is new to me too – and it’s giving me all sorts of ideas…. I  love new supplies.

I’m also working on several new patterns and the next is just about ready to go- I’m photographing the steps and beauty shots now - here’s a peek at the new and improved merry wobbler.

merry wobbler

wobbler nest

If you’d like an email when new patterns are released you can sign up here.

 

on November 5, 2014 2

making things

For weeks and weeks I’ve been occupied with lots of the things necessary to keep a making things business afloat  and there hasn’t been much time for making things.  I’ve worked on web stuff, book keeping stuff, teaching stuff, designed some things and did some press stuff (some fun things coming in the spring) among other things. All good and important things but I miss my time, my hours and hours in my place making things. This week I finally got back to it and made this dastardly fellow out of one of my favorite ever Sri Threads treasures – a thick striped gray wool flannel- just enough for one bad tempered owl. gray_owl_2   Also made from Sri Textiles – a curious spider, her legs are hammered iron wire – I use a little anvil. spider coming Skittering away with her bustle in the air. spider going   sri specimens And new mushroom specimens – more of the signed and numbered edition. All these things and more will be in the shop in about a week- you can sign up for the mailing list if you’d like a notification. And I made a dress! My first ever – it’s a jumper / apron / pinafore / sort of affair. The older I get the more I dress like Holly Hobby and I’m OK with that – it’s contemporary Holly Hobby. It’s got pockets and french seams and I’m very proud of it -it was challenging and satisfying and I want to sew lots more clothes. I got the pattern here – there aren’t a lot of instructions  but I was able to figure it out and I found a tutorial on french seams here. apron dress

on October 2, 2014 10

home

I’m in a year of experimenting and shifting and being a beginner. One of my main life skills is being a good beginner – moving  forward without a lot of attachment to outcome – being willing to act in uncertainty. From the perspective of feeling confident and comfortable The Squam Retreat is a terrible idea for me. The days are intense and challenge me in so many ways: I’m used to, and enjoy, being by myself. The idea of sharing a cabin with strangers for 4 days seems impossible. Teaching – speaking to a group – managing precious time for other people, all seem like giant mountains to climb. It was all so worth it – and then some. I had wonderful cabin mates and that was a big part of the experience – left to my own devices I would have missed that. Elizabeth Duvivier plans every detail of this experience thoughtfully, insightfully and expertly. I loved teaching- again. It got my wheels turning in new ways.  I loved getting glimpses of other peoples imaginations and processes. I think there is a moment in learning a new skill or technique when doors open in your imagination – possibilities emerge and you experience an elusive kind of flow and focus.  It’s inspiring and motivating to watch that unfold.

I came home exhausted and charged up at the same time. Four days out of my routine was valuable in so many ways.  I did things I was afraid of, learned more about my own rhythms, got a million new ideas and made friends. Real Friends. The experience left me with a New Year’s day kind of feeling – a map of things I need to pay more attention to, ways in which I should be challenging myself more often, ways I need to grow and ideas that I have been consistently resistant to that I don’t just need to consider but should be marching towards.  I did as much learning as I did teaching – from students and the class experience and from spending time with women who run creative businesses and run them beautifully.

little house

It was my second time at Squam  and the second time I was so engaged in the moment and the experience I forgot to record it. I’m so grateful to Andi Schrader for taking the wonderful photos below.  She also made this little house  - I love it and it is a perfect token of the experience.

Some glimpses of the botanical class through Andi’s lense:

botanical inspiration

andi's toadstools

suzan's mushroom

squam_toadstools

(more photos after the break)

Continue Reading →

on September 16, 2014 5

headed for squam

I’m headed to the Squam Art Retreat tomorrow to teach my botanical sewing class – I can’t wait to get started. I’m bringing a ridiculous amount of stuff with me – it’s like I’m moving. I’ll also be at the art fair with some of my botanical experiments and I’ll have the prototypes for the ship pattern with me too  if you’d like to see or have a question, or just come say hi – the fair is always fabulous.

botanical experiment

And some new Fortuny pieces – I just sent this group off to Venice.

rats

Francesco and Alessandro

piero

Piero

lorenzo

And Lorenzo.

on September 10, 2014 3

the other side and sri threads

It has happened – my blog has moved – I am on the other side.  I think having everything in one place is a much better and so much simpler solution and I made lots of other improvements that were overdue  like secure on-site  credit card payments in the shop, an overall better shop experience and backend-wise everything is a lot more user friendly for me.  I moved over labor day weekend. Sarah Bailey of Spun Monkey handled everything for me and I would be lost without her – if you use wordpress you need her – can’t say enough good things about working with Sarah.

For the first post at my new blog address one of my favorite subjects: beautiful textiles from  Sri Threads.  A box arrive a little bit ago  (they are always unannounced and unexpected)  filled with inspiring treasures gathered by Stephen Szczepanek .  I love unpacking the boxes – I make coffee, and put on music, (Johnny Cash for this box) I go very, very slowly and linger over each intriguing thing – thinking of what I might make.

sri_textiles_1

sri textiles

I’m not sure what the piece above is – a  cuff I think – I love the shape and the metal closure tabs.

sri flannels

The flannel pieces above are wonderful – the textures and the colors are so striking. There are also some wonderfully textured cream and ivory pieces of heavy cotton – perfect for the pale owl and white rat I’ve been wanting to make. All this color is perfect for toadstools too.

sri mushroom

I’m making some little toadstools to take to Squam next week. We’ll be making toadstools in my botanical class and I’ll have some for sale at the Art Fair on Saturday ( at very special fair prices). I’m also bringing paper mache ships – if you’ve been thinking about trying the pattern and you’re in the neighborhhod come by and say hi and check them out.

on September 4, 2014 5

mushroom hunting

I’ve been taking some time to wander around and pay extra attention to moss and mushrooms and other botanicals in preparation for my class at Squam this year (just a couple weeks away!).  On my last excursion I spotted all sorts of mushrooms – most of which I’ve never seen before.

red mushroom

yellow mushroom

This yellow one with a spotted cap was the biggest- the size of my hand and intensely yellow.

black_mushrooms

These little yellow and black ( and kind of creepy)  guys are tiny – less than an inch high.

mushroom

 

mini_terrerium

I also made a little terrarium with a tiny fishbowl I found at a yard sale.

I’m looking forward to the class and the time in the forest and it also winds up a period of extreme busyness for me – I’m working on the botanical class, 2 new patterns, a special project for holiday 2015 and another for holiday 2014 among other things – all wrapping up in the next couple weeks. The last night of the Squam retreat (9/13) there’s an Art Fair - if New Hampshire is not too far for you I hope you’ll come say hi.

on August 20, 2014 3

new pattern : paper mache ships

At last! I hope you make ships!  And thanks so much for the encouragement and good wishes along the way – it helps. This is a huge pattern- 57 pages of photos and  instructions, 3 templates – a Large Ship, a Small Ship, a Little Boat, a resource list and more. Make the three projects and then expand on that – you’ll learn how I make graceful shapes from cereal boxes and all sorts of other top secret techniques – you’ll make beautiful ships and get all sorts of ideas. You can find the pattern here or if you prefer on Etsy.

paper mache ship pattern

If you make ship I’d love to see, you can post here or send me a photo : ann at ann wood handmade dot com

paper mache ship sm_ship small_ship

There are also  a couple little (very little)  companion videos  including :

How To Put The Wind in Your Sails

on August 15, 2014 10

ship building in the adirondacks

Over the weekend I took the entire ship building /pattern making operation way upstate into the Adirondack park. Major progress was made and there where some setbacks too. If I had known how long this would take or how hard it would be I’m not sure I would have started, but I’m glad I did.

adirondack work shop

ship work

I’ve still got a handful of photos to take, a bunch to edit and lots of pages to layout but I hope the hardest part is done. I’ve been testing as I go along so I’m confident the instruction is solid and there’s a lot of it. Hopefully the patterns make it out into the world by the end of the week. This has been such an epic effort and learning experience and I’ll be very, very, happy when it is officially done and released and I’ll also be very excited to start the next pattern.

paper_mache_ship_8_10

paper mache ship

PS – If you’d like an email when the pattern is released you can sign up here.

on August 12, 2014 12
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