what’s on my work table in the adirondacks

It’s a good thing I like to sew. I brought an ambitious amount of work to the Adirondacks with me, partly because it needed to get done and partly because I couldn’t decide what to leave behind – I wanted to do it all. I’ve been getting a ton done on my favorite porch, sewing for happy and peaceful hours and listening to the wind in the pines – it sounds almost too magical and mysterious to be real.

my favorite porch

I love the big old house – it’s falling apart and has just the right amount of charm and creepy. I chose a couple of the things I’m working on and a few more glimpses of the place and it’s haunted corners to share.

fortuny fox


fortuny fox



eccentric mending

And a little personal mending – I just can’t let them go….

on August 26, 2015 6

sketchbook : week 27

Week 27  in my yearlong sketchbook practice  (I’m working in the Adirondack mountains this week so my postings are off schedule). The closest internet spot is about 30 miles away at the homemade icecream store – not so bad right? Having a lovely time – hope you are too.

adirondack mountains

sketchbook : week 27

on August 25, 2015 0

holiday survey results

grandma moses birds

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the mini holiday ornament survey – I’m so glad I asked!

The questions were:

When should holiday patterns be available?

Is there a particular ornament you would like?

And do you prefer kits or downloads?

Regarding timing there were equally strong opinions for early and not too early. A lot of responders do not want to hear the word Christmas until October at the earliest but I was surprised at how many people answered July or June – about 1/3 of responders. That ship has sailed for this year ( I’m shooting for mid September) but I’ll keep it in mind going forward. If you are somebody that likes to start early there are three patterns from last year available – a little boat, a whale and a bird.

The overwhelming majority of responders would love to see woodland creatures and nature/ botanical inspired things. You’re forest people like me! I love it. There will be a woodland creature ornament pattern coming your way soon and for now the little mushroom pattern makes a great ornament. Just add a hanging string and I love using wool scraps for ornament fungi.

mushroom ornament

On the question of kits or downloads – downloads win by a landslide.  But you would like to see some hard to find or specialty materials available as an optional purchase – great idea! I’m on it.  If you’d like an email when new patterns or supplies are available you can join the mailing list here.

I also learned that I have incredibly kind readers. There was email after lovely email with marvelous ideas and insights and in addition to the survey responses personal notes that stunned me with their care and thoughtfulness.  Thank you – I appreciated every word.

on August 19, 2015 1

songbird work and an upcoming stoop sale

I wanted  to show you a little more songbird progress – she has fancy tail feathers. They take ages to sew but I love them. She’s made from beautiful plum Sri textiles.
songbird progress

And I’m having another annual-ish stoop sale! The virtual kind – I’ll put everything on Etsy.  I’ve just started photographing treasures I’m ready to part with. There is still lots more to sort though and decide about – I haven’t even started going through fabric and lace. There will probably be some antique garments too. It’s at least a couple weeks away but I’ll post the date and time as soon as possible and more previews soon. Here are a few things I’ve decided to let go of – they have been lovely for me and now they can be lovely for someone else.

antique mini frames

doll clothespins

I love the doll clothespins – most of them are antique and beautifully made – I hope they make some doll very happy.

on August 19, 2015 4

sketchbook : week 26

Week 26 in my yearlong sketchbook practice.  Fragments, snippets, thoughts, beginnings, experiments – I love having a library of them.  I’m almost ready to bust out of my 4 and 1/2 inch squares and try something bigger.  Bigger and maybe a sturdier substrate too – I love paper – even it’s limits – but it would be interesting to be heavier and deeper – I’m curious about it.   I’m almost ready – making time and space  for it is a little tricky right now – it might be a winter thing.

sketchbook :  week 26

on August 15, 2015 0

my big creative year : perspective

When I need to shift my perspective the best thing for me is to wander outside. So I did this weekend, for a little bit in the Adirondacks. I really didn’t think about things or try to figure anything out but while I was smelling moss and tree sap and collecting treasures my head cleared, a lot of franticness lifted.

shed skin

I’m in my usual spot of too much to do, not enough time etc. etc. etc. and I’ve got to let go of something so I’m going to put My Big Creative Year on vacation for the remainder of August. Or, more clearly, I’m going to put posting about it on vacation – I’ll still be having a big creative year and I hope you will too. The timing feels perfect and it takes some pressure off, gives some much needed breathing room. I’ll still be posting about other stuff – what I’m working on etc. and – hopefully later this week- I’ll tell you what I learned in my holiday survey – it was full of surprises. Thanks if you participated – I learned a ton.

on August 10, 2015 5

sketchbook : week 25

Week 25 in my yearlong sketchbook practice.  

sketchbook : week 25

My daily experiments are making me a better observer of everything around me and my own thoughts and patterns – what I’m attracted to, what I say to myself, where I get stuck. It is making me a more free and less judgmental experimenter and it has made a place for ideas and beginnings of ideas to sneak out. I wander in my imagination and new relationships and intersections appear. Things occur to me that would not unless they had this opportunity and this space. It is such a good thing and it’s making me think more and think differently about making room for things. I’m curious what it would be like to designate a bigger space and more time. I wonder what might show up if  there was the opportunity.

on August 9, 2015 1

sleepy august and a brief survey regarding the holidays

This August feels so thick and slow and sleepy, everything shimmers and that strange cicada sound – it all feels a little otherworldly to me. Even the creatures I’m making are golden and languid. August is also when I work on holiday designs.  I’m planning on some ornament patterns for the shop and I would love your opinion on a couple things. I posted a survey here – it’s super brief – just 3 questions and as a thank you you get a coupon for 30% off patterns.  I had fun with my handmade Christmas last year and you can check out that post if you’d like to get an early start – there are links to patterns and free projects and ideas. Also in the holiday department – I just saw samples of designs I made for Crate and Barrel this year and I can’t wait to show you – I’m so happy with them.

Have a lovely weekend – I’ll leave you with a couple sleepy Fortuny creatures.

sleeping  golden fox

fortuny owl louis

louis - fortuny owlLouis,  he got all dressed up for you in his summer best.

on August 5, 2015 3

my big creative year : the importance of no and what I love about collage

no collage

“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

I say yes when I should say no. I think it’s most often to please or to avoid immediate discomfort, sometimes to avoid taking the time to make a truly thoughtful decision or sometimes for fear of lack. Firm, thoughtful, timely NO and carefully considered YES are things I need to work on.

What I do with my time is defined by what I say yes to – say yes to too much of the wrong stuff and the right stuff – the things I really love doing get squeezed out. Halfway through MY Big Creative Year there is still so much, so many ideas and things I want to experiment with waiting on the back burner for me to be less busy with my busyness.

I came across two great articles about creativity, time and NO I hope you’ll check out:

Creative People Say No
by Kevin Ashton

If You Don’t Prioritize Your Life, Someone Else Will
by Greg McKeown

A note on the collage:

It was a good thing to say yes to. Collage is something I love playing with but hardly ever make time for. Time experimenting with mood and pallet, accepting and rejecting ideas – trying things on – it lends itself to “what if” thinking and can draw me out of my worn in grooves. My reason for starting was because I needed an illustration for this post and I intended to be efficient about it but as soon as I began it became clear the somebody just really wanted to make a collage. I got lost in it, spent too much time and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

no quote
on August 3, 2015 6
Made Happy by Pictalo