Monday, November 13, 2017

Santa's Workshop Now Open

When the blustery days arrive, it's time to begin the Christmas preparations.

For me, that is just another way of saying "shut the doors and make presents in secret!"
Piles of detritus cover every surface. 
Knitting peeks out of my larger-than-usual handbag, to be pulled out and worked on at odd moments wherever I am.
Recipes for marmalade and fresh citrus wait on the kitchen counter.

Because for me, if it isn't homemade, it's not a "real" gift I'm putting under the tree.
I don't spend money for ready made presents often... I shop for ingredients and spend love.

This week it's felted headbands for the little girls on my list.
Want to try some? It's so easy!

I used two dies from Spellbinders Paper Arts but you can easily snip your flowers freehand with an ordinary scissors.

I begin with a rectangle 9"X4", folded in half lengthwise to 9"X2" and stitched around the edges.

Cut little flowers from felt. My friend Debi Adams designed this die called Oopsy Daisy and  this one called Hydrangea Florets for Spellbinders Paper Arts. You will want bright colors. I just used plain ordinary cheap felt but if you can find real wool felt in lovely shades, go for it! It feels fabulous.

Cut plenty of flowers and play with layers until you're happy. Stitch them on with pretty embroidery floss. You can experiment with little dainty stitches if you like. I have lots of ideas for you on my Pinterest board for felt. Add beads and sequins (little girls love bling!)

When you're finished, add a piece of elastic to secure on both ends. Your length can vary but I usually like something around 8-9" depending on the child's head size.

And that's it~ another gift (or three or four!) to tuck under your tree.
Don't you just love having your own Santa's Workshop? 
So much nicer than shopping!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

My Little Cottage Featured in Where Women Create Magazine

This month my studio is featured in Where Women Create Magazine, Winter 2017 - 2018.
It's especially meaningful since Jo Packham, the magazine's owner, was editor for my first book on paper cutting!

 Here's a peek at my studio on a day when it was all tidy at once! A rare occasion for 
this hard working little cottage in the garden.

Nobody succeeds on their own. I am so grateful for my friend Debi Ward Kennedy, (click for link) a gifted visual designer and merchandiser. In July 2016, Debi and I gutted my tiny cottage and did a major refresh on a thin little shoestring of a budget. She's a genius; if you ever need help with store or studio design, Debi knows how to make your space work harder while it looks so much better!    

The magazine featured some of my work... and I think all their readers could see what a passion I have for scissors and paper (and almost any other art material that happens to be on hand!)

Below I was able to explain my key to artistic growth, my philosophy that practice is all important.

The back walls are sometimes a smorgasbord of my recent art, with the old platen press in the center of the room.

When asked what is my tip for other artists, I candidly shared the joy and pleasure to be gained from being in community with other creative people. Thank you to Joan, to Barb, to Scarlet and Pearl, Bailey and Kate, to all the women who inspire me and live in my own neighborhood.

If you don't have a creative community, start by just finding one friend and bake muffins, stitch up a little something, sketch your own pets together... or dream up your own adventures.

So here we are again, counting our blessings, and among my favorite reasons for gratitude is YOU.
Thank you for following along on my creative journey.

You can find Where Women Create Magazine on news stands everywhere magazines are sold and in stores like JoAnn Fabric and Crafts as well as online at Stampington & Company.