A few handmade links

A dear friend gave me this mug for my birthday. It's handmade by artisans in Cameroon and distributed through PRESCRAFT, a Presbyterian Handicraft Centre, also a fair trade enterprise. I've been enjoying it daily for my tea.

This morning I discovered that one of the little girls in my class, her mother has an etsy shop called Woolflower Boutique. She makes knitted and sewn goods using upcycled fabrics and she has patterns too. I should have realized she is an artist because she and her daughter are always wearing something handmade! This gray scarf and dark teal button scarf are two of my picks and suitable for men and/or women.

Last weekend we toured the Final Fridays events here in downtown Lawrence. We purchased a small piece by local artist Jeromy Morris. (And he is a parent of a preschooler that was in my class last year!) Anyway, check out this series of portraits, they're pretty rad.

For those of you in the north central Massechusetts area, Kristen Kieffer a ceramic artist is having her annual Holiday Studio Sale this weekend, November 5-6. She is a friend of mine from an artist residency we did together in 1997-1998. I remember it was always exciting when she'd unload a kiln. At her Studio Sale she'll have new work available and you'll get a glimpse of her work space.

Have you seen the Pop-up-Shop Melissa will be hosting along with Marichelle on November 12? She has a great line-up of participating artists and designers; it will surely be a classy event. I like how she's bringing the work of online artists into her home, for a "fireside" shopping experience.

Have you seen Stephanie Levy is offering a Creative Courage e-course for winter? It will run January 9 - February 24. She has invited twelve guests for exclusive interviews, sharing "tips and advice on how to move more quickly in the direction of our goals, as these women us tell their personal stories and explain how they are finding and following their creative dreams." I'm excited to be among such great company as one of the guests! Check it out!


My handmade cloud costume

Usually for our preschool costume party I borrow something from one of the other teachers, and for the past several years I've been a scarecrow. Not sure what got into me but this year I decided to be a cloud.
So I found some cotton fabric leftovers stashed away. After washing it I splattered the fabric with watered down acrylic paint. After it dried, I ironed and cut a scalloped edge. The wispy scarf is a remnant of cheese cloth from when I made my own damar varnish for oil painting. The tulle came from who knows where. For the rain drops I painted dark blue paper with silver and blues and then cut them into shape. They also have a few silver sequins for sparkle and a layer of clear contact paper on both sides for durability. Silver cord ties them to the hem of the "skirt". You can't see the rain drop strand in my pony tail and silver ribbons but they're there. The porcelain cloud pin is made by Kylie Johnson.
Since I'm not someone who sews, the fabric is all held together with two safety pins, three velcro tabs, and a little fabric glue. I'm calling it good.

In other news:
My new letterpress Personalized Note Sets are in the Blue Sparrow Press Shop! And there's free shipping on orders of $50 or more on anything in the shop when you enter coupon code OCTBDAY.
Plus Blue Sparrow Press has its own facebook page now. You're invited to go like it. (:

haiku necklace

On a whim last night I began making a beaded necklace. I call it a haiku necklace, because I based the bead patterns on the numbers five and seven, and it has three strands. I rather like how it turned out. When my sister and I were growing up we used to bead like crazy, making bracelets, necklaces and rings from tiny seed beads and clay beads that Mom had. Somewhere I still have a box stashed of these creations but currently can't find it. Making this necklace brought it all back for me.
Technical details: The longest strand is about 21 inches, since I like to wear shorter length necklaces. I used silver plated nylon and size 11/0 glass beads, delica, and straight bugle beads, and closed the strands with crimp beads and a barrel clasp. I'm glad I had all these supplies on hand so I could follow my creative whim. The next thing I want to make requires purchasing some supplies, so I hope I don't let that deter me...

Merry Christmas!

Hi! How are you? I hope you are creating memories and celebrating Christmas with your loved ones. I have been "absent" online because we've been relaxing {what a concept, relaxing} and visiting with family.

I want to invite you over to the amazing artist advent calendar that Stephanie has posted all through December. I'm honored to be part of it today on Christmas Eve, sharing heirloom handmade ornaments, a tradition begun by my grandmother. Thank you Stephanie for arranging such a meaningful collection of posts!

I wish you so much peace and joy this Christmas and will "see" you again soon.

Merry Christmas!

on a homemade weekend

[roasting vegetables tonight | myself in late afternoon blurry sunlight]


It's Sunday evening now and I'm sipping some hot tea, listening to old timey Christmas music, and have vegetables roasting in the oven. Mmmm, the rosemary smells nice.
I decided to relax and be a little domestic this weekend, so I baked banana bread, made applesauce to have with Sunday brunch, cleaned the house and studio and today I began my Christmas shopping at a World Crafts party. World Crafts is a nonprofit organization that partners with artisan groups around the globe who live in poverty and it abides by Fair Trade Federation standards.

Well, I better go tackle the pile of laundry I have stacked up so I'll see you soon, but will you let me know about your weekend?

See you soon,