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what’s in my drawers

You know – the good ones- not the messy ones overstuffed with un-filed receipts and mail and pens that don’t work (I have those too). The drawers with good messes – those are the ones I want to show you –  jumbles of stuff I use everyday mixed with stuff I like to look at, the things that are part of my process and inspiration – things I love and things I’m thinking about.

 paper snowflake drawer

For someone who is quite tight on space I am pretty frivolous with easy access storage – for example I keep my paper snowflakes in a drawer right under my sewing machine. It’s not the most practical use of that prime space but there is the significant spiritual benefit of seeing paper snow flakes cut by a friend everyday to consider. And –  although it is unlikely –  if there ever is some sort of paper snowflake emergency I am ready.

I like looking at peoples stuff – their treasures -what they choose –  what they hold onto. If you feel like showing me what’s in your drawers – please use #whatsinmydrawers on instagram – (I’m @annwood there).

button drawer

paint brush drawer

metal and ceramic drawer

on May 19, 2016 8

edwardian mosquitos

pale grey edwardian mosquitoMosquitos!  Delicate mosquitos, hand stitched from Edwardian garments. I wonder what she would think, the 19th century girl who floated across  lawns in the gown their wings are made from.  They are mischievous ladies who will bite! But they will be so gentle you won’t feel a thing.  There is a special place in my heart for the less sympathetic creatures – the rats and bats and spiders and who is less loved than mosquitos?

“It is your hateful little trump
You pointed fiend,
Which shakes my sudden blood to hatred of you:
It is your small, high, hateful bugle in my ear.”

The Mosquito

I made 6 – I had a truly marvelous time – completely lost in them for days.  They  are all in the shop  (there are some songbirds too).

ann wood : mosquitos

ann wood : mosquitos

russet edwardian mosquito

green edwardian mosquito

on May 12, 2016 5

indigo owl, the may forest and songbirds

indigo owl work

I packed up some sewing (including the Sri Threads indigo owl above) this past weekend and headed into the Adirondacks  - it’s like going back in time – spring is in full lovely swing in Brooklyn but upstate it’s just begun – it was cold and quiet and wet and lovely.  More and more lately I appreciate a vacation from the interwebs and it was my first walk in the big, wild woods since last year. I needed the break  - the air and the quiet badly – my pace has been frantic for weeks – not a very nice thing to do to myself.  I should stop it.  It was perfect- everything there is just waking up – little bits of new green beginning and birds are returning.

the forest in may

You may recall that last year I discovered that Eastern Phoebes collected my little scraps and threads and bits of stuffing for their nest.  I did my little bird friends a solid and left out some extra this time – they liked the wool especially.

phoebe nest

blue grey warbler

sri indigo warbler

blue grey warbler

I brought my songbirds to finish and photograph too ( four are in the shop now – and there will be more next week).  I had planned on having 6 songbirds and two owls finished – I didn’t even come close. I should just always multiply how long I think things are going to take by 3.  Especially for the songbirds – they are done when they have energy, curiosity and tension about them – and that shows up when it shows up.

And a note on swan orders :

The last of the swan orders went out today – so if you’re still waiting for a paper swan – it will turn up in the next few days.

paper swan departures

on May 5, 2016 3

paper swans – new in the cake topper department

paper swan cake topper

Paper swans are in the shop!  (A kit is coming later this spring – i just got a big crate of supplies).  I had such a good time photographing them.  I think I made them mostly because I wanted to photograph them – I have lots of plans for more. I bought the blue velvet box above  20 years ago – my first year in NY and it’s been on my mind lately. I love that peacock blue, the patina and the little silver latch- it looks like it has a marvelous story.  It’s one of those things I love so much just as it is I couldn’t make anything with it. It was perfect for this photo  - the color combination surprised me and I love it.  Lot’s more swan photos below and if you have questions please get in touch.

And P. S. – the cake toppers have their own instagram account now – you can find it here.

paper swan cake toppers

paper swan pair cake topper

paper swan cake topper

spying on swans(spying on swans)

on April 28, 2016 2

songbird work

I  can never remember where I parked my car or what I had for lunch but I have an excellent fabric memory – sort of.  I have clear and very distinct memories of  the fabrics of my childhood – my whole life really.  I think I could draw them all – maybe I’ll try.  And now, even if a tiny scrap has bee tucked away for years, it’s cataloged in my head, just not very specifically…….  I was absolutely positive that the fabulous little blue scrap in the photo below was here somewhere.  Positive.  And positive that that blue songbird had to have it.  Had to.  And it was – that one little piece – in the only place it could be – at the very bottom of the very last box I looked in.

I’ve been working on this group of Sri Threads songbirds for weeks and they are just about ready.  I was hoping for this week but I’m still climbing out of a crappy spring cold and everything is in slow motion. Some of these and a few other things will be in the shop next week sometime  (sign up here to be notified by email if you like).

sri songbird work

hand stitched songbird

slate sri songbird

sri songbird work


on April 28, 2016 7

color as a starting point : beginning with black

black paper mache teacupDid you know mica comes in black?! Well it does – blackish anyway and it’s lovely ( I got some here). I made a paper mache teacup and gave it a fancy, sparkly interior. The teacup reminds me of the black milk glass on my mother’s little shelf of treasures (P. S. – teacups make sweet  Mother’s Day gifts).

dastardly owl

Black is the color on my mind right now. I finished this scoundrel last week – he’s made of several antique bodices and a ancient moth eaten shawl – all in shades of black. I love the subtle variety in tones and the effect that limiting the palette has on my thinking and process. It made me wonder – what if I applied that same constraint to other ideas? I wandered around in my mind for a while and looked through my big note book of ideas – thinking about everything through a black lens. It was shockingly effective. That shift gave me lots of new ideas and curiosities and  fresh eyes on so many that had stalled and gotten back-burnered. It was a great illustration of the massive creative power of constraint.

The simplest thing – the smallest shift can guide you to new paths, new ideas and new places in your mind – shine a light on something that has been just out of reach in the shadows….. I am on a life long mission to shine a light into each and every one of those shadows.

I think it could be interesting to do a series of color studies (maybe teal next). But here I am so I’ll begin with black. Right now I’m in the collecting, hunting, gathering, percolating phase.

black antique garment fragments

black antique notions

For me percolating means – digging through treasures, making collections, experimenting, taking photos and generally messing around. I’m having an energetic and marvelous time. I’ll share what I come up with soon and if you would like to make your own study of black send me a link – I’d love to see.

back swan

on April 21, 2016 7
Made Happy by Pictalo