Category: Uncategorized

caption contest – vote for a winner

Update:  comments are closed, votes are being counted , winners announced later today.


Thanks  to all of you – a panel of expert judges has, with difficulty, narrowed the field to twelve and a winner will be chosen by your vote. Also,  as a thanks for your time, imagination  and enthusiasm 2 prizes will be awarded – one bundled up bird for the caption contest  winner and another bird will be awarded to a name chosen at random from the voters. Please vote by number (and only once) in the comments section of this post  and I’ll announce both winners by the end of the day Friday.

caption contest

1. patty

“Now watch me friends, as I restores this lad to ‘is full strength with Dr. Bulfinch’s Magic Potion!”

2. gayle ortiz
They all agreed that, although it wasn’t the Ark, it had potential!

3. Lindsey
I heard that she will awake at love’s first kiss.

4. Jennifer Cheek-Payan

“Honest guys, he just fell”

5. Linda Richter
Okay, everyone! Take a minute and say your goodbyes. I’ll be sending you back to clean up your workspace and then get in your box. We will miss you around here! Make it work!

6. Kristin
“Attention flyers, we would like to remind everyone that there is absolutely no perching in the loading and unloading zones.”

7. Lauren
“Now witness, dear friends, as David Blainebird prepares to package himself alive for 6-10 business days! Don’t try this at home!”

8. Cari
Darlene had told only her best friend, Eliza, but by the time her mail-order groom was set to arrive, the whole town had heard about it.

9. Brian GadgetSponge
If only Henry had seen that it was a glass window…

10. Shelby Medina
Listen up birds! Look what they’ve done to Simon! We gotta blow this coop!

11. Polly Anna
Maybe we should rethink this destination wedding thing.

12. Janet Wilson
“Coming soon to a theater near you: Two Weddings, a Flashmob and a Funeral.”


I’m working with linings. I pulled everything out and started thinking about them a couple days ago. I love linings – they are full of surprises. I’ll post progress over the next several days here and on facebook as I’m able – I’m taking all this and a bunch of other work on the road for a few days.


Thank you all so much for your thoughtful questions and generous comments. And here are your answers:


why owls? do they hold a special meaning for you?

The owls evolved out of the birds. When I was working out the bird pattern I tried to make one from wool that was much to heavy and the shape got wonky.  It turned into a little owl. That made me think of a lot of other heavy wools and tweeds I had and how owly they were and I started making larger owls. For a long time I just made the same owl over and over again – ian – the first full size owl made in 2006 I think ( named for ian mcshane whom I love).


I am a huge fan of your work. And I would love to know if you take custom orders. For instance, I have my great-grandmother’s wedding dress, and I’m wondering if this would be something you could transform into an owl or other creature/creation.
Thanks so much!

Hi Shirley – Right now I’m not able to take custom orders.  It just isn’t possible time – wise at the moment but I hope I can soon. I’d love to see your great grandmother’s dress.

Thank you so much for this opportunity! Your work is so inspiring and I am always amazed by the materials you use. How do you source them, do you have any headhunters for such fabrics?

Hey Ann, you are truly an inspiration to me, thank you. I have a question about your finds- WHERE ON EARTH DO YOU FIND SOME OF THESE PIECES?! They are absolutely breath taking. Could you by any chance give specifics on any of the stores (online, shops, etc.) where you hunt?

I’d like to know how you source your vintage materials, and could you explain your thought process? Thank you for doing this! (:

I find things all over and sometimes they find me. Looking for  things is a huge part of the fun for me. I go to lots of flea markets locally and sometimes antique clothing shows. I have a couple dealers I work with and ebay is a great source  too – I check daily. And people give me things – my friend Stephen Szczepanek sends me incredible packages.

Thought process : that’s a big question but part of the answer is : I love fabric. I always have. Even during periods of my life when I didn’t sew I collected it. And before that my mother collected it for me. I still  have a stash of fabric she saved or collected for me – picked up at flea markets etc. Things  full of memories and possibilities.

i have a couple questions:
1) you have a beautiful studio in new york city. i found the city to be so expensive! is this the sole source of income for you? (your work is amazing) if not, what do you do for a living?

This is my only source of income and it is hard. If I didn’t enjoy making these things  so  much it would be impossible. It would be  much more reasonable  to do this somewhere other than NY city and that may happen someday.

the drape next to your bed looks like it has been a work in progress over time, did you find scrap lace and hand sew them all together at once or did you just keep adding until you were satisfied (if you are satisfied yet!)? how long did it take to complete this? absolutely beautiful, ann.
thank you for taking the time to answer all of our questions!

The drapes and curtains here are a functional thing but I do love the way they look. A couple years ago I started pinning bits of lace and dissected garments to them – as a way of keeping track of little bits – keeping them in front of me for inspiration. It has worked well and grown into something I really love.


Star B.
I wanted to let you know that your work is so inspiring. More of a technical question: It looks like you do so much by hand. Is all of your stitching by hand or do you sometimes use a machine?

I use both hand stitching and a machine – a vintage white – it belonged to my mother and I learned to sew on it. I sew simple seams on the machine and more complicated curvy tiny things by hand. A lot of what I make is very small or has very small details. I also like to sew things inside out  ( on the machine or by hand) and then turn them right side out, stuff them and sculpt the shape from the outside with hand stitching.

Wow thanks x
Have you produced a book and if not might you in the future.

I have not produce a book but I would very much like to in the near future.

Do you do workshops or tutorials.

I’ve been publishing tutorials on my blog for a while and will continue to. I’ll be teaching workshops for the first time in 2012 (  and also possibly something later this year too) and will share details on that soon. Send  an email to info at ann wood handmade with workshop as the subject if you’d like to be updated on that.

Read More



I’ve been intending to post an FAQ page for my shop and blog for years and have made little to no progress in that direction.  So inspired by Jennifer Murphy’s call for questions post I’m asking for your questions. And I’ll answer them. You can ask about inspiration, ideas, blog stuff, shop stuff,  anything you like. You can post your question in the comment section here or on my facebook page.

for the record

regarding the projects I share:

Mostly people are respectful and gracious. Occasionally someone isn’t. Mostly I ignore that. Once in a while I feel the need to say something. I came across my paper mache teacup tutorial published by someone else as her own work. That is unacceptable. I asked her to remove the post. She has not and changed the date of her post to predate mine  – find her original post  here or here (click on the image for a larger view). It is also published on and I have asked them to remove it.

I love making projects to share and will continue to. I love seeing what you make:

I really hate it when someone does something like this. I experimented with the cardboard teacup shape for over a year. I didn’t find something and rework it. It didn’t come out of thin air.


It was a lot of work, a lot of experimenting and template making and taping cardboard together and failing and trying again and again.

I would really much prefer to say nothing about this but there is a level of dishonesty here I won’t tolerate.

ann wood

a humpback whale and a starfish


I made halloween costumes for  a couple of my smaller friends this weekend, a humpback whale and a starfish. It was a sewing marathon,  seat of the pants sort of effort  – fast – no do-overs,  no obsessing ( a little obsessing ),  good spontaneous fun for my typically compulsive  and  too tightly  wound  self.

And the fabulous little fellows who wore them brought them to life in ways I could never  have imagine.



( there is a video of the humpback whale on the move here)



I picked up  a piece of an old fountain glass on dead horse beach earlier this summer ( I have lots of other treasures to show you soon) , it’s edges are  soft and the surface is  frosted – all seaglassed out. I think the shape is interesting, it’s lovely  in general and  makes an ideal toothpick dispenser – I use a ton of tooth picks for various tiny paint and glue situations.

The little tornado we had last week knocked out my internet and I’m using my neighbor’s wifi ( I asked). The signal comes and goes, everything interweb related is taking me forever but  it is a perfect opportunity to sew bats ( which also takes forever)  while I wait for shipping labels and other stuff  to load, it (almost) completely eliminates the frustration.


fort tilden

I spent a pretty ideal day out at Fort Tilden on Sunday. I’ve lived in New York for 15 years but just discovered it has a beautiful, swim-able beach this year. Straight up Flatbush Ave. Twenty minutes from my place (by car); it’s like opening a door that you always thought was a closet and finding a fabulous atrium or something.

tilden1One of last natural dune systems  in the city.

tilden3We built a little shelter – I would like to live in it.

tilden4And I sewed some little birds.

tilden2But mostly swam.


spaceI’m  in the midst of a major getting rid of. I’ve been wanting to make changes here for a while but  couldn’t see new possibilities until I started to clear stuff out. It’s taking much longer than I thought it would -I’m still very much in  the purge  stage – have been for weeks  – it’s kind of wonderful and kind of painful, no regrets though.  I’ll post more as the situation evolves.

And a peek behind the curtain:

peek behind the curtainMore coming soon, also, there will be  new things in the shop next week – please join the mailing list if you would like to be notified when they are available.

*Update:  I’m not going to update the shop until next week, the first week in August, but I’ve just added a couple campers.