Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tidings of conflict and joy

I don't think I've ever been absent this long.
And I've missed being here.

Yes, the studio is full of scraps and snips, ink and paint splashes.
But I've also been forced into a very stressful conflict in our wonderful neighborhood.
Here my neighbors & I tell the story on our local NBC station:

Christmas is like that sometimes, isn't it? 

A blend of the heart wrenching and the heart warming at once. 
We can struggle to be courageous and at the same time enjoy the scent of baking cookies and fresh evergreen.

My line of beach dies is getting ready for release from Sizzix in just a couple of weeks- woohoo!  I'm so delighted to find they're very versatile... The lights above are part of that line, just ripe and ready for changing into a holiday light strand.

Preview coming very soon, along with sneak peeks at the new "Beautiful Soul" collection coming from Midwest CBK, with a January release in Atlanta's AmericasMart gift show.

Merry Christmas! I hope you have missed me in the midst of your own busy holiday life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Charleston, South Carolina is an old, old city.
It wears its history like a stage set... elements of glory and antebellum sadness side by side.

It even has its own version of the Leaning Tower... but this one (very, very Southern!) is campanile of a historic church.

And the beauty of the iron work...

 Every doorway, courtyard, balcony and window seems to be edged and enclosed with iron...

Even the graves are edged in fanciness (Charleston is Fancy City, in my opinion!)

It's a little like walking into the set for "Gone with the Wind" or something...
visual poetry at every turn.

Charleston is charmed me thoroughly.
What a lovely city to visit...

with dear friends. Truly it was a beautiful retreat (and a treat!) for a group of artists who needed the joyful reminder to slow down and notice the details.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

On the blessing of talented friends...

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to go away to relax with the kindest and most talented friends for a time of pure rest? 

Last week I did just that.
I am still basking in the glow.

 These are artists with a global reputation; their art appears on products you've bought time and time again... and they have hearts of gold, deeply rooted faith and more talent than you could shake a stick at.

If you're curious, you can find more by clicking on these links...
Visit my friends Susan WingetBarb TourtillotteCaroline Simas and me, Sharyn Sowell online.

When it's time for art play with your most admired artist friends and the very thought of being intimidated is tossed right out the window... PURE FUN is just around the corner.
Messy fun.

Let me tell you, Edisto Island, South Carolina is genuine Southern living at its best.
If you go there, be prepared for porch swings and grits, crab cakes, Cheerwine sodas so sweet a single sip almost cracks your teeth!

I felt like Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean set had come to life, there was so much dripping Spanish moss and iron-work...

And Botany Bay is magic, just like the name leads you to think it will be.

I fell for the Low Country food and the people, the gorgeous landscapes and Southern hospitality.

Even eating fried pickles and hot dogs those Southerners wear bow ties and Tiffany scarves. I've never seen anything quite like it!

Watching the art flow was amazing...
praying together gave us a deep connection I will never forget.

Tomorrow I'll share a peek at Charleston, with its famous iron gates and genuine antebellum welcome. They even taught this Yankee to talk Southern!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scissors and paper

I've been in California for meetings at Sizzix and decided to just play on the airplane. 

I took out my tiny scissors and snipped. It made me smile.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin joy

Don't you love rituals? 
Repetition isn't boring to me; it's pleasure.

So it's no surprise that for me, autumn wouldn't be autumn without a visit to Gordon's Skagit Farm, where I sketch to my heart's content during October. And bring home all the goodness of fall on a farm...

Pies and stuffed pumpkins perfume our kitchen; pear tarts and applesauce and pumpkin chili fill our bellies. Walnut ink simmers on the back burner.

And I sketch the entire thing, snip out leaves from paper, begin the Christmas list and letter like a madwoman with that gorgeous walnut ink.

 Gordon's is the perfect place for a crisp fall afternoon...

What are your favorite fall rituals?
Are you, like I, besotted with the wild assortment of pumpkin varieties? 
Do you hunger for squash and apples when the weather turns chill?

If you happen to live in the Northwest and the answer is yes, come to Gordon's, where the bounty will fill your eyes and delight you. I dare you to try it... 

or another local farm where you can feast your eyes on brilliant color and drink local cider, pick a bushel basket of apples and haul home autumn, fresh and delicious.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Every time a new season arrives, I find myself thinking it's the best one ever. 
Ever in my life.

This autumn has taken my breath away.
We pick the last of the year's huckleberries in the woods and sprinkle them on morning's yogurt.

Delicious moments together are as fleeting and rare as the storybook mushrooms we stumbled across on a hike along the woods beside the shore.

Rare gems like the bear finding a last snack before hibernation are the icing on the cake. 
There is nothing like autumn, delicious autumn.

And this is the best one of all.