We had the pleasure of a visitor at our house late this week so our travels are not quite over. We're exploring nearer our house, but still exploring.
We spent some time in the southern part of MN exploring caves, gathering fossils, and watching a doozy of a thunderstorm.
I spent some time in the prairie breathing it in and soaking up the beautiful marks ma nature has made, and hope to turn that inspiration into stitches. Maybe you can see some when you look through these photos.
The kids did some nature study, and we all learned a lot.
These happy days are salve for my soul and I acknowledge that many among us are not in a place of happiness or peace. Photos of flowers don't solve the world's problems by any stretch of the imagination, but there is something to be said for invoking happiness, even in small amounts, even in one person.
Right now, I am happy.
For those that ordered stones, I will packing them up and sending them early next week. I want to get a photo of them all together before I mail them off. I hope they bring with them a little of that prairie happiness.
I'm heading off on another road trip in a few days with a box full of stones on my lap. I intend to do some stitching while riding along, and will have grab bag stones available when I return. There is a listing in my shop for a few now.
These small stones have been good for me, they keep my fingers nimble, and the grab bag format means I don't have to photograph and list each individual stone, which saves me time. That said, I have a feeling I'll be heading towards some larger pieces soon...my next road trip isn't until this fall and I feel a pull towards the other side of my workshop. Maybe some wood and wool pieces? Mushrooms? Bowls?
I'm making a real effort to get a little balance into my work life/ artwork life, which is affording me a little progress towards my goal of being a (mostly) self-sustaining artist. For those that have access, and similar desires, I highly recommend Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series. Most helpful in many ways. This journey is a long haul, but I'm determined.
The stones from last week's grab bag are boxed up and on their way. My week with my family was filled with love and no doubt, some of that seeped into these stones.
In other news...As I was walking around, looking for a place to photograph these stones, I heard a scrabbling noise on the tree next to me. I looked up to see this tiny guy overseeing my efforts, and it made me smile. And "Judged By Squirrels" is now my new band name.
I have the week off, spending time with family at the lake.
Since the weather has been fluctuating between sun and rain, we've been finding ways to keep ourselves busy when we're not able to fish or kayak.
Yesterday I taught my gram how to wet-felt with the assistance of my youngest.
We've also been playing cards and talking, and just being together.
The rain has also allowed me some time for stitching.
I'll have a handful of small stones done by the end of the week which I'll have in my shop as grab bag stones. For those not familiar, these are small stitched stones that are purchased unseen. You aren't able to pick a certain color or design, but hopefully the right one picks you.
To make it fun for everyone, I ask that only one stone per person is purchased.
If you're interested, head to my shop and have a look.
I don't really mind the Creeping Charlie that surrounds my fish pond. Many shun this interloper but when I approach our patch and hear it humming from the bees that visit, it makes it okay. I'm a fan of diversity, so I don't want my entire yard to be full of it, but I can deal with this much.
We took a camping trip out to the Black Hills of South Dakota last weekend, stopping in some of our favorite spots, old and new. The kids got a kick out of Wall Drug, we all marveled at the changing scenery, and were amazed at the world beneath our feet at Jewel Cave. The highlight of the trip for my wee ones was a stop at a rock shop in Hill City where they got to "pan" for gems and fossils. They shook their screens in the sluice and pulled out some beauties that they traded and bartered for hours and hours. The simple things are the best.
I was talking to my friend Heather today about balance. Specifically when it comes to incorporating art time into our lives. Though I'm surrounded by art in my day job, the opportunities for my own arting time are slim, and the balance feels off. And that's never good. I took advantage of the long drive last weekend to do some needling while my husband drove. I now have a pile of pieces, and some day, perhaps something will come of them. We shall see.
My youngest picked me a bowl of Columbine flowers today to nibble on together because when she saw the "honeysuckle" she said it reminded her of how much she loved me. Normally I encourage the kids to leave the flowers for the bees, but when your baby brings you a bowl of honeysuckle out of love, well, you reckon the bees can have some of that Creeping Charlie for now.
I've been holding on to two finished stones for some time now, anticipating that I would have stitchy time, any day now! and I could get a batch together for a shop update. Well, since that isn't in the plans right now, I've put them both in my shop in hopes that they will find a home that loves them.
This one with the pale purple beads reminds me of lace... that bit of great, great grandma's that is in my dresser drawer, the dried Queen Anne's stalks at the roadside, and the trembling webs of spiders that lace the morning grass.
This stone is also in the shop and it's just joyous. When I look at it, I feel joy. Color, excitement, joy. I hope it evokes the same feeling for someone.
The stones can be found in my shop, and with luck, I can be found in this spot with more frequency soon.
If any of you are still out there, reading...thank you for hanging in there with me.
I was working on an idea for a class the other day. I wanted to make some little figures inspired by the little children that help nature get its start in the spring...root children, blumenkind, bulb babies...
I ended up with simpler features on the final pieces, but not before making a few faces first.
I was fun to watch the features on these little faces change as I needled into them. I've never done faces before, but I can see the appeal.
These little flower pot children have landed in my shop, and a class for beginning needle-felters will be coming soon.
I'm doing a private lesson for a young girl this week who loves otters.
I wanted to make a project that would be simple enough for her that will end up looking somewhat like an otter.
I hope this fits the bill.
I thought he was so cute that I did a little photo shoot with him on his very own beach.
I taught another (not an otter) class last weekend, my first in quite some time. I could tell I had been out of the saddle for too long as the class went far longer than its allotted time frame, something I try to avoid. The students were really wonderful, and most didn't mind the extra time, but clearly I need to get back into the swing. It's something I really enjoy so I hope to do more of it sooooon.
During the otter photoshoot I noticed a pair of giant water bugs mating in the water and learned a lot about water bugs mating practices during the subsequent google search. Fascinating.
Something new, totally off my normal track. Permission to play, the company of arty friends, and a workspace full of fiber art supplies lent itself to experimentation with thickened dyes on cotton, and deconstructed screen printing.
Clearly the "less is more" concept escapes me but I do really like some of these marks and colors. I don't know how I'm going to use these swatches of fabric quite yet, but the process was fun.