Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you Happy Holidays from New Hampshire. Oh my... how my puppy has grown. That's Flynn on the left. Where has my puppy gone? Time flies in people and dog years so make the most of it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Surprise Visitor

Look who showed up on my doorstep yesterday. It is the handywork of my good friend Carol who makes the most beautiful holiday arrangements. I usually give the containers back for her to reuse the next year but I think this little doe is staying with me!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Walpole Artisan Tour

Just finished the 7th Annual Artisan Tour here in Walpole, New Hampshire. There was a nice steady stream of folks all through the weekend, some new and some returning. I was delighted to have one of my angel dolls featured on this year's brochure. Now that this event is over, I can focus on making things for gifts, decorating the house for the holidays and baking! Ahhh... big sigh.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mrs. Claus II (too)

I am definitely on a Mrs. Claus phase because I've made another one...Santa can have his pick. She is a little more grandmotherly looking than my previous missus. I made her from papier-mache and cloth. Her skirt is a wonderful vintage holiday print salvedged from a ruined tablecloth. Her shawl is an embroidered eyelet dresser scarf. She has an angora cummerbund accented with a vintage fabric button that I embroidered (although not very well...need to work on my embroidery skills).
Here she sits in front of my holly bush..lots of berries this year compared to last.

A detail of her handmade tag.

Did you know that Santa is very forgetful so Mrs. Claus keeps the key to the workshop handy.

Her fuzzy angora leg warmers because it gets cold up there in the North Pole!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A bit of Holiday...early

I have made a fair amount of Santa dolls in my day but just was not in the mood for the old guy this year. My daughter suggested Mrs. Claus and I thought it was about time Mrs. Claus got her share of the spotlight...all that waiting up for her husband and all.She was lots of fun to make. I found a great vintage holiday hanky which I cut in half for her apron so I still have half left. She sports a beautiful vintage mother of pearl belt buckle which I have been saving for something special.

Of course a little whimsy... bells on her toes. She jingles softly.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little Autumn Friends

It's the time of year for owls..some of my favorite creatures. These are made from linen, cotton, wool and leather and lace. I had these old crocheted shade pulls and found they made perfect owl eyes!
Poor Mrs. Golly... the first Mr. Golly was sold and went off to a new home so I made a new husband and Mrs. Golly happily accepted the replacement. He was a little taller and slightly better looking. But alas, Mr. Golly II went off with a satisfied customer. So, Mrs. Golly sits alone in the gallery wondering what happened to her men. Those pumpkin men really cannot be depended upon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Halloween Mischief

There's something about creating something in a box that elevates it and makes it special. I love these little theatres. I have a small collection of old cigar boxes that I have been wanting to use and this great old flocked wallpaper that was perfect for this project.The head was made from paper clay and body was fashioned from old t-shirts.

I used some of my 100+ year old letters to line the inside and decorate the outside of the theatre.

Now this little fellow is called Mr. Golly. He is made from wool pom poms and wool felt and fabric. He is kind of funny looking but somehow endearing don't you think?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Robot Riot

More workshop fun here at my home. The robots were rioting and nuts and bolts were flying as three dollmakers and one graphic designer learned some new skills in metal working taught by our patient instructor Janette Schuster. This lovely lady was created by Janette from lamp parts and a vintage nut tin.
More inspiration from our teacher. Mr. Candy Man

It's amazing what you can do with a tin can and some other found objects.

But I will tell you that it is not as easy as you might think. We all found out that working with unusual found objects, slippery and sharp metal parts and tiny little screws and washers takes practice and patience!

Much fun was had by all.

Here are some of our robots... still unfinished but bursting with personality!

Carol's Robot

Pat's Robot

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Little Field Trip

I am so lucky to live in a beautiful part of New England. As if New Hampshire didn't have enough scenic spots to explore, it is just a quick trip over the Connecticut River to gorgeous Vermont. I had a little field trip with my thrift shop buddies and we stopped in on Norwich, VT. This general store in Norwich was astounding! This is a true icon because it is a genuine country general store, not a contrived general store put there for tourists. A vanishing breed. You could spend hours perusing its contents. The worn narrow wooden floors are wavy like the ocean from years of use. I was just amazed by the variety of inventory...literally anything and everything you could need. Who needs Wal-mart?! The community board on the front of the store was a work of art in itself. Notice the dog tie-out down in that. I so wish we had a store such as this in our town. Every town should have one.
Of course we hit the thrift stores and I found some nice sewing notions. I especially love the needle book from an Esso gas station give-away.

I found this tied tray which was not old but I loved the color and design and I love anything with a pedestal.

This is the lovely flower display in the center of Norwich.

My friends enjoying dessert in the little park. Isn't the little doll house play area darling?

This was the cutest and most colorful shop called ZuZu's. It was a clever mix of new and vintage goods.

Now... for a bit of a change. I have been busy working on my icons from last week's workshop. Here is a little house portrait that I made for my neighbors who are moving away. I thought this would be a nice way for them to remember their home in Walpole.

And here are my finished icons from the workshop.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Glimpses of Autumn

Sometimes just the simplest little things make a big difference. I have big bunches of tansy growing all over the back yard and it is too stinky to bring inside but it is so beautiful so I decidedto gather up a big bunch and tie with a pretty linen band
and enjoy their beauty outside

My favorite time of year is coming...actually it is here!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Little Saints and Sinners

I had the good fortune to host and participate in a wonderful workshop this past weekend taught by Janette Schuster who is a "found object" artist. I have been fascinated by her work, her use of unusual elements combined with personal photos and her skill with manipulating metal. We had a lovely small group who came to spend a rainy Saturday at my home. A perfect day to make art!

An example of one of Janette's icons
Some of the raw materials for the making of icons. We were able to incorporate photos of meaningful people in our lives and elevate them to icon status.
My sunroom all set up for the day.

Janette's tools of the trade and my box of goodies. I have been saving such things as metal dog tags, keys, game pieces, cookie tins and lots of other flotsam for years (way before I met Janette) and never knew I would have a use for them. I just knew they had some purpose.

Janette demonstrating for Victoria. We learned how to transfer images to wood.

One of Victoria's wood transfers. I love the glorious distressed look of it.

Dan's work

These were done by Emily

And these are mine...not yet completed. It was very good for me to work outside of my element and comfort zone. These materials are not soft like my usual textiles. They bite back! I definitely need practice on technique using some of the tools.

What a fun day and the time flew by! I am finishing these up this week and will post the finished works. Janette will be holding another workshop here on September 26th called Robot Riot. Better start saving my tin cans!