I started this dark bird months ago and he ended up becoming more complex than I originally intended.

dark bird

His underside is stitched and stitched. I like to have this kind of project, this kind of compulsive, repetitive stitching to pick up sometimes. I like to have busy hands when something is percolating in my mind or when I’m searching for an idea or part of and idea.


On the subject of inspiration: I listened to a great episode of “After The Jump” yesterday – Grace Bonney talks to wall paper designer Katie Deedy about her creative practices, where she finds inspiration and how she develops ideas. I love hearing about other peoples creative process and I could relate to everything Katie said. The work of being inspired is a constant and consuming process for me. I enjoy all of it – even when it’s difficult – the thrill of the chase I guess. I’m so curious what might be next, what surprises and odd intersections might reveal themselves.  I do some of my best thinking in the tedious or deeply repetitive work of hand stitching or paper mache and I’m sure that’s part of my attraction to those mediums.

handmade owl

I’m also nearly finished with a big gray owl – I’m photographing all the newly finished creatures today and I’ll add them to my shop ( temporarily on Etsy) tomorrow (7/31).

And progress – this is a sneak peek of the little boat pattern instructions that is part of the paper mache pattern collection (it’s nearly done!).

paper mache boat



  1. Can’t wait to see how dark bird turns out. Love your birds. I have your latest pattern. Can’t wait to start it.
    Have a great week.

  2. sallie a kane

    I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE BOAT PATTERNS!!! Seriously, I have been working on a big, 2 masted ship for AWHILE, and I’m kind of stuck, discouraged about the masts and how to anchor them to the bottom…I’m always so inspired by your tenaciousness Ann! Thanks for the sneak peak, I love it!

  3. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the bird pattern Diane.

    Hi Sallie – there are a couple simple techniques in the ship pattern to stabilize the masts – Im glad you’re excited about it!.

  4. Hello Ann. I looove the work you do and have made a couple of boats from your free pattern and am looking forward to the new one too. In April my husband and I, accompanied by two of our adult daughters, took a month long trip around America. We loved every single area we visited…but I was a bit mad at myself when on our return I found that you are in Brooklyn. Please tell me you don’t have an open studio…it would have been awesome to see you in action!
    The birds are wonderful…I love them both…

  5. Hi Anne

    I always love looking at your work table, seriously want to pick things up and touch them, those stitches on the birds underside look like they’d feel lovely.
    Another heart sigh are your paintboxes, the colours are always such a lovely soft matt colour, is this the paint you mention on the pod cast from a few weeks ago?
    And a huge huge,thank you, because I brought one of your bird patterns a couple of weeks back and it’s just written and explained out so brilliantly, (I’ve cut out my pieces but haven’t started sewing yet as I’ve become addicted to sewing tiny blocks for a quilt) ….can’t wait to see the ship pattern.

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