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.
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.
You may recall some months ago I was in a frenzy getting ready for a magazine shoot here. I am very, very pleased and excited to be included in Brutus Magazine’s New York Makers feature. Brutus is a Japanese culture magazine – it is always exquisite. It was shot by Yoko Takahashi and written by David G. Imber and Mika Yoshida – who made this happen for me – I’m truly grateful.
Seeing my Mother’s sewing machine in the feature made me think about what a long and interesting life it has had and how much she would have loved that. If you had known my Mother you would understand exactly where all those little birds came from. She collected fabric for me – before I knew I wanted it – and I saved many of her dresses and scrap bags and still sew from them ( she had excellent taste). In honor of Mother’s day I put together a little collection of some of things I have made over the last nine years or so from my Mother’s dresses.
I spent last weekend in Philadelphia teaching at the sweet Paul Makerie. I came home equally spent and inspired. The whole Makerie experience was fabulous – fascinating people, spectacular class line up (I would have loved to take all of them) and it had Sweet Paul all over it – every detail thoughtful and exquisite.
I taught Stitched Botanicals – seed pod forms in textiles. Teaching is new to me and I feel my feet under me more each time. I had wonderful, generous, open students – willing and enthusiastic about trying stuff – I was blown away with what people made.
Getting out of my cozy bubble once in a while is so good for me, this was, among other things, a gathering of like minded women, there was such a feeling of belonging and I learned a ton. I came home with a bunch of new ideas and feeling like my world got bigger.
I’ve been a huge fan of Sweet Paul since he began way back in olden times (I make this mushroom dill sauce almost every week). Before the magazine there was a blog and then a digital magazine and now the gorgeous quarterly print magazine.
It’s exceptional – the kind of thing you save. Paul came to visit last October and I’m featured in the current edition. I couldn’t be more excited – there is an interview and pictures of my place and work. It was shot by Colin Cooke whom I loved. I’m terribly awkward about having my picture taken and he taught me a fabulous technique I call “laughing to the side” – check it out in the feature or see it employed on my about page.
Every year Victoria Magazine chooses a small group of women entrepreneurs to acknowledge in it’s January/February issue. I always look forward to it and I was surprised and flattered when they asked to include me this year. That’s me – top row, second from the left!
You can find the magazine on news stands and bookstores etc. and it’s also available in digital form here.
I truly appreciate the encouragement and acknowlgement. I can hardly believe it was almost 9 years ago that I sort of accidentally began this. It has changed and evolved over the years in ways I could not have predicted. I think this year in particular is going to be very interesting – I’ve got all sorts of plans: I’m excited about the weekly creativity posts I started this week. I’m also launching a mini email newletter this week (the first goes out this Thursday). I’ve got new patterns in the works and personal projects I’m moving forward this year. And just so you know – I still make lots and lots of birds – this is the first large group of the new year – headed for BHLDN.
One more post for 2014, and on one of my favorite subjects – the magical occurence of an unexpected package at my door. A surprise from Sri Threads.
I love every bit of it and I have a sort of ceremonious way of opening these packages – I go slow- each thing revealing itself, my wheels start to turn and the generosity and thoughtfulness wash over me. It’s such a beautiful gift. I’m planning some new botanical experiments inspired by this sheer saffron net- and already made a few new toadstools – the last of the year. I see owls and songbirds too.
I hope 2014 was good to you and wish you the best in the brand new year.
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.
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.
I’m not sure what the piece above is – a cuff I think – I love the shape and the metal closure tabs.
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.
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.
Update: the little mushroom pattern is now available in the shop.
Occasionally, and always unexpectedly, a package magically appears in my vestibule from Sri Threads. They always inexplicably contain exactly what I need at that moment and things I couldn’t even dream of – all thoughtfully collected by the brilliant eye of Stephen Szczepanek. When a package appears I make tea and put on music and spend way more time than necessary unpacking and examining – it is such an incredible gift. The textiles are remarkable in color and texture and history – bits of eccentric mending and exquisite wear and patina that bring qualities to whatever I make that just pass through me – that is such a particular sensation – an ideal.
I think the magical and thoughtful way they come to me brings a certain spirit to the objects as well -they spring from a wonderful set of circumstances I did not and could not invent – happenstance is magic.
This weekend I finished a group of 12 little experiments made from Sri treasures – each numbered and signed ( the numbered series will close at 100).
I’ll finish photographing them today and add them to the shop tomorrow 3/4.
Update: if you would like to make your own mushroom specimen you can find the pattern here.
I’m so pleased to be featured in “Little Thing” (China) magazine . It’s a beautiful issue – all about mushrooms!
The article features some of my early things – when I was just beginning and it’s nice to visit those ideas again. You can see the interview here.
And right next door to my interview is another with The Fabulous Mister Finch!
The magazine is beautifully put together – there is even a pop up.
And in keeping with the fungi theme I’ll leave you with a little preview of a Sri Threads mushroom I’m working on.
Stephen Szczepanek of Sri Threads has fabulous timing and he’s also pretty psychic about what I might be needing. His packages are always a surprise and they always seem to turn up at a moment when I’m in need of a boost.
This gorgeous collection of scraps turned up a few days ago and I’ve already begun a mini collection of Sri toadstools, little owls and spiders. Please join the shop mailing list if you would like to be notified when this collection is available.
You can see more of Stephen’s treasures on his blog and the Sri Threads facebook page.
seashell folk, off to celebrate
Thanks to everybody who showed up for the shop update yesterday – I’ll be packing everything up this weekend and getting things on their way right after the holiday. I’m working on things for Tuesday’s owl and ship update ( there will be one more songbird too) – here are some things in progress:
This is the bodice it’s made from- I bought it years ago and have been using bits of it ever since.
A grey owl – fabrics courtesy of Sri Threads.
And a pair of turn of the century wool swim bloomers I’m about to turn into an owl.
I got them for next to nothing – the seat is terribly moth eaten. The fabric is wonderful- weight, shade, fading , texture – everything ideal. Also, in the unlikely category, technically, I’ve just posted a picture of myself on the internet in a bathing suit.
I can hardly believe I’m included in this book – it is magnificent in every way. I think Olivier Dupon has created something very special. In less expert hands this wealth of information might have been overwhelming or the spirit could have been lost but Olivier presents it with simplicity and real elegance – you are never distracted from the central idea: that this is a book about love of craft, process and materials or Olivier’s true affection for the subject.
Find the book: http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/new/fall11/551585.htm
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Artisans/108346249261751
Olivier’s blog: http://dossier37.tumblr.com/
“This book captures the new mood – a return to a preference for the unique and the handmade. Design expert and acclaimed blogger Olivier Dupon has sourced the cream of the contemporary design world from all over Europe, Australia and the United States, profiling 75 artisans who use craft techniques, rather than mass-production methods, to create stylish, whimsical, covetable objects. Hundreds of colour photographs feature a huge variety of crafts, including art, ceramics, furniture, glasswork, jewelry, lighting, metalwork, papercraft, textiles and woodwork. Complete with a directory of products, and Dupon’s personal recommendations for inspiring shops and websites to visit, this is the perfect resource for discovering unique and beautiful objects made by new, talented artisans from all around the world.”
A paper mache teacup pattern to mark the 5 year anniversary of my blog, my experiment. A perfect time to say thank you and give you a present.
There is a template you can download here. And lots and lots of photos and instructions. If you do make teacups I’d love to see and you can use #annwoodpattern on instagram or leave a link to your photo in the comment section below.
What you need:
- Click here to download the template
- paste – I use golden harvest wheat paste ( wall paper paste)
- light cardboard – cereal or frozen pizza box is great and a bit of thicker cardboard for a base
- newspaper – it’s nice to have different colors
- scotch tape ( not the invisible gift wrap stuff- the shiny sticky stuff)
- glue – elmers, glue stick, hot glue – whatever you like
- pencil, scissors, exacto knife, and paint and brushes, glitter, fabric – whatever you’d like for decoration.
Click the photos for larger images.
Cut out the templates for the teacup, handle and bottom and trace them onto your cardboard. I had the best results with a Kashi frozen pizza box. Cut out your pieces and very lightly and gently score the the teacup where the dotted lines are on the template with the BACK of your exacto knife.
Make a very tiny snip – really tiny -just a 16th of an inch or so where the sections meet. Next bring the bottom sections together one at a time and tape together on the outside (the printed side). Then turn it over and taper the bottom inside. Do this for each section – always taping both sides…….