Category: ships

ship work and a dark bird

Spring really fires me up and I’m having a super busy and super productive month. Besides all the air and freshness the extra daylight in the evening makes such a difference.


I find I  work best early in the morning to mid afternoon and then I usually get a significant creative second wind between 5 and 8 PM – how about you? Other people’s creative practices are always interesting to me.
A couple progress photos for you:

dark bird

A  dark, crow-ish sort of bird and and sails for several new ships. I’ve been saving that antique embroidered cuff on the lower right  for 6 years- waiting for just the right ship. I’m finishing the first full sized, multi sailed extravaganza sort of ship that I’ve made in a long time tonight and I’m excited to photograph it  tomorrow – excited enough to get up extra early.

ship work

I’m working on several new ships – it’s been ages  and I especially love to make boats in the spring. The first is made from tattered antique gowns, layers of silk, tulle satin, lace and sheer cotton – stitched and stitched in a meandering way – inspired by the eccentric mending and layers of boro textiles.

tattered silk ship

The 2 below are paper mache. I start with a layer of brown paper,  torn up paper grocery bags  (very old lady of me to save them)  for the first layer over the cardboard armature and then layers of newsprint. I usually let some or all of the newsprint show so I divide  it according to type size and style and I have a box of clipped out words saved (also very old lady of me).

paper mache work

The next is a translucent paper mache ship – a big one – in its beginning stage when it looks like a cocoon. I’ve hung it to dry and  I can start to apply the finish layers in the morning – I love waking up to dry paper mache.

translucent ship


And my rat problem has gotten worse……

shop update

I’m having a little shop update Monday (12/17 – 2pm ny time), you’ve already seen some of the new things- toadstools and little owls – and there are a couple new ships as well. One is paper mache:

paper mache ship

And the other is made from  an antique quilt fragment – pretty grays and lilac.

quilt ship

Both have little owl captains.

There is also a new dark toadstool with a little teal owl perched underneath- both made from turn of the century garments.

owl and toadstool

The new things will be available in the shop on Monday- 12/17  at 2 pm (new york time).

new ships

A couple previews of tomorrows shop update – I’ll post more here if time permits tomorrow morning ( there are 3 new owls too).

quilt ship

The hull is made from an antuique quilt top, the sail is antique ticking and the owl captain is made from a vintage feed sack.

sri ship
And another made from mostly Japanese textiles (courtesy of Sri Threads) – in moody lavender grey tones.

quilt ship in progress

I found this great old quilt top upstate a while ago.

quilt top

Unfortunately a  lot of it is too damaged  to sew but I love the colors and prints and there is enough for a couple  boats and ships.

quilt ship in progress

The pattern for this ship evolved out of my fabric sailboat pattern as I was  revising it a little before teaching the boat making class at Squam. It’s just about complete now and I’ll photograph it later this week.  There is a little gentleman sailor captain.

sailor owl

I ‘m pleased with the shape and I’ve already begun another  ship in a kind  of grayish  hibiscus color that’s been on my mind  lately.


paper mache boats

 paper mache boats

The ship and 2 sailboats above will be in the shop early next week – I’m photographing them and a lot of other things (owls, spiders, birds, ballerinas and maybe another bat) over the weekend. And I might have one more ship  too – I’m working on it now.  If you are on the mailing list I’ll  let you know when they are available.

the gulnare

the gulnare

The  paper mache, birds, sweetheart and small things sections of the shop have been updated. A couple of the new birds will be available to order shortly  after what is available today has sold  so please check back.

And a couple recent favorite new things from the park slope flea market, some amazing vintage fabric, a little chair and a fantastic little anvil. The floral fabric is already a little bird.

chair and anvil

spring jolly