botanical experiments and 11 years of blogging

white rotary

A blog anniversary snuck past in February – 11 years.  When I did remember I thought maybe I didn’t really have anything to say about it.  But the comments about the machine on last week’s post changed my mind.  I remembered what a part of everything the machine has been.  I remembered the serendipity,  the sweetness and steadiness of it’s presence in my life and work.

It has been with me for all of it.  My mother’s machine.  I have sewn on it my entire life.  So I want to mark this anniversary with an entirely true and slightly spooky story about it.  It happened in the very beginning of this blog – 11 years ago:

In December of 2006 I had just begun my solo enterprise – I had lots of orders and deadlines and on the eve of one of those very important deadlines I was still sewing furiously very late at night. With a long way still to go the machine suddenly stopped and a chunk of metal rocketed past my face. I found it across the room – an essential part of the machine – no sewing without it – and it was broken. I tried to fix it but nothing worked. I have a drawer full of bits and pieces that I saved from my Father’s workshop – bits of metal and rubber, knobs, washers, gears, springs etc. I thought maybe I could cobble some temporary solution together from those. Another hour of frustration and no luck at all. Exhausted, defeated and ready to give up I pushed the drawer closed and it stuck halfway, I pushed again and it stuck again, I pulled and it stuck. I gave a great big angry pull and the drawer flew out and what had caused it to stick also flew out and landed  – right   in    my    lap.  To my amazement and disbelief it was a replacement for the broken sewing machine part – the exact part – identical but for the color. Not similar, not “good enough” the EXACT PART in perfect condition. I snapped it in and it worked beautifully, that night and all the nights and days that have followed.

The End.

botanical experiment

And – a little bit of what I’m working on today. New botanical experiments.  I think the one above will be a pink cloaked bishop lily and below a seedpod experiment – playing with the idea of honeycomb texture. I’ve got plans for more and I’ll show you next week.  I’m also planning on a shop update next week  (postponed for a bit) with botanicals and some creatures. You can sign up here to be notified by email when new items are available.

stitched seedpod experiment


  1. What a neat story, Ann! By the way, I recently re-watched Junebug (one of my very favorite films), but this time I had the disc and could also enjoy the extras. It was so nice to see that the artwork featured in it was painted by you! ‘I know her’ I thought… if only because I read your newsletter and admire your dimensional creations. 🙂

  2. Linda Ramke

    I’ll have to watch Junebug again.
    Hoping there will be botanical patterns at some point.

  3. Barbara K

    I’ve noticed your vintage sewing machine; it’s beautiful and very stately looking. I adore old machines and sew on them as often as possible.

    I’m working on my third sailboat (your pattern) , I’m addicted to them The patterns is a dream to work with!

  4. Love your creations, this machine and this story, & how connections with your mom, dad and the universe worked to take of things for you.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing,,,your story,, and your wonderful creations. Congratulations on your 11th blogiversary!!

  6. Bernice rubin

    Happy 11th.
    Have you seen the Georgia O’keefe show at the Brooklyn Museum? It’s a knockout!! You have to see the clothes she made for herself. I like them better than her paintings.
    Hope all is well.

  7. A lovely story; an enchanted sewing machine. My Grandmother’s Singer Featherweight came to me, and it is the best machine for straight stitching. That is all it does, but it does it beautifully.



    • BarbaraK

      I, too, love my Featherweight! With the attachments, it will zig zag, ruffle, embroider and much much more! The attachments have been so much fun to collect and learn to use.

  8. Love, love, love your work. So awe inspiring! Shabby, charming perfection. You should be so proud.

  9. Love your work and love your machine. I have a Singer 201K, rescued from a thrift shop and i had it serviced,and missing parts found and purchased. Your story makes me think of all the times things don’t feel right when working on something – then you go back to it and not only does it go well, but it feels like you’re being guided and produce and even better version and in addition have further ideas. I always look skywards and say ‘thank you’re, even though I’m not a religious person.

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