Sunday, May 23, 2010


I feel like I've been fluttering lately, and doing it with far less skill than these magnificent moths.  I need a break for a while so I'm going to take the next several days off and hermit a bit. 

Before I go though, I'll tell you about these beauties.  The boys found the three of these hanging on the side of our barn this morning and called me out to see them.  They are breathtaking.  Huge! and breathtaking.  I believe that the two darker ones are Cecropia Moths and the tan one is a Polyphemus Moth.

I'm not sure why there were all hanging around together.  I'm sure the barn light drew them in but then maybe they decided to sit and chat.

Look at their beautiful furry, chubby bodies.

and those antennae!

and those markings!

I'm in love.

I've had a moth project in the works for months now, and seeing these beauties is making me want to bring it out and finish it.

Take care, everyone.  I'll see you in a few days.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend Wander

The weather doesn't seem to know what it's going to do today.  The sky is a solid dove grey, but as of yet, it hasn't rained.  I thought I'd sneak out for a few minutes this morning while the kids were eating their oatmeal, and before the busy-ness began.  Our house seems to be a constant rumble of running feet and fighting siblings these days so I take any chance I can get at a few minutes of quiet.  These moments are few and far between so I relish them.

I noticed that a piece of birch bark had blown off my pile in the back yard and when I retrieved it, I saw that some little wasp had begun building a corsage on my bark.  It appears that there are even some little eggs in that flower-shaped nest. 

 I wasn't sure if these guys were still viable so I put the piece of bark out in the woods to give them a fair chance at survival.

It seems my hens have been pecking at my hens and chicks, but they're still going strong.  They're putting out a lot of babies, and I'm happy to have them spread.  You'll notice a glimpse of lace in the background of what I'm calling a "Margie hack".  More on that another time.

The last of the juneberry flowers is dying off and with luck we'll get a few berries this year.  Sadly it has positioned itself right next to an oak that has died and will have to be removed.  If it falls it will certainly hit the house.  We've lost a number of oaks in the last few years and have an increasing collection of stumps in our yard.  Even when dead, oak stumps are ridiculously difficult to remove.  We don't usually fight it, and either plant around them or in them, if the center is hollow, but it pains me to see them die.   

A little wild strawberry plant popped up in my flower bed again right after I weeded.  They're pretty, but they have the whole woods (and yard) to grow in and I'm trying to keep them out of my flower bed.  They, and the creeping charlie, seem to keep the bees happy though while they wait for the rest of the woods to flower.

Well, thanks for coming along on my little wander.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Any wandery plans yourselves?


Friday, May 21, 2010

Crafting For Ourselves

I wanted to share with you a few of the fabulous pieces being shared in the "crafting for ourselves" flickr group. Check them out, and if you would like to join us, please do! You can join the group here.  I even had a chance to contribute a few things myself this week, which feels really good.

Happy Friday, all!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Interview With Elisa From PeskyCatDesigns

It's hard to say when I first noticed Elisa from PeskyCatDesigns' work, but I'm pretty sure it was her semi-circle purses that first drew me in.  I thought her use of line, texture, and natural elements was really interesting.  After a chat on twitter, I discovered that this talented purse designer was also a talented painter, and all-around interesting person.  Read on...

Tell me about you:
My name is Elisa and I'm a New York City-based artist and designer.

What do you make?

I create one-of-a-kind and limited edition bags, purses and wristlets. All my bags are made from patterns I design and draft myself and are created by hand from start to finish in my studio. My fabrics are purchased in small quantities to keep my work fresh and unique.

Is there a particular theme in your work?

The natural world is a theme in my work. My applique designs are inspired by plant and animal life. In my shop you will find bags adorned with seahorses, birds, leafed branches, flowers and more.

Where do you find inspiration?

A trip to the beach might inspire me to create a seahorse applique or work with fabric in the colors of sea blue or sand. The warm sun makes me think of linen and cotton while a winter day will inspire wool and corduroy creations.

What do you love about what you do?

It's wonderful to make an income from it. I love the entire creative process from selecting fabric to drafting my ideas and constructing them.

Tell me about a favorite piece that you've made:

I am always creating new things and my favorite pieces are constantly changing. At the moment I love the shape of my latest bag design, The Jewel Cut Purse. It was inspired by the shape of gem stones.

What do you do when you're not creating?

I love long walks, hiking and trips to the beach.

A favorite quote, a good recipe, a funny story?

When I first starting sewing on a regular basis my kitty Anni was very fascinated by the movement of thread on my sewing machine. Often she would be so bothersome I could not work. That's how the name of my shop evolved. These days she is completely bored of the machine since it's become such a routine. Now squirrels climbing trees and other outdoor events she can view from the windowsill are much more interesting!

I also paint. You can view my works on paper at

untitled 34" x 36"

I don't have much time paint these days since I have my Etsy shop and also work part time at an outside job 3 days a week.

How can people find you?

I hope you'll stop in and check out Elisa's amazing work.  Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Button Monday

Still making more time to play, this time with red buttons. 

Someday soon I hope to do some crafting with some of these buttons, it's been a while.  Life is busy and full so in the meantime, I play.

Have a lovely Monday, all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Feet!

It's late in the day, but I wanted to post about the wee moccasins I made this morning.  I've been wanting to make myself a pair of moccasins for a couple of years now, and it was one of the first projects I thought of when I started the "crafting for ourselves" group.  I'm really excited that I made the time to make them. 

I thought I'd try out my moccasin-making skills first by making a pair for my daughter just in case I completely messed them up.  After one bad start with a too-narrow heel, I changed my pattern and ended up with these. 

I had been looking for a pattern online for moccasins but never found one that was exactly what I wanted so I ended up modifying slightly, a traditional Native American pucker-top moccasin. 

The bottom piece is made of full grain leather in cream, and the upper is made of sueded leather in rust.  Both pieces came from thrift store scores.  I used hemp to stitch them up, because that's what I had on hand, but for mine, I will likely use a leather lacing or artificial sinew or something.  I'm still not sure about that.  My other three kids and my husband have all asked for a pair so I'll have a little time to practice before I finally get to mine.  Good thing I have so many thrifted leather coats, huh?

We spent the day at a family gathering and these little moccasins were put to the test.  They're really dirty now, but the stitching evened out as she wore them and they look like real shoes.  She ran and played in them ALL day and amazingly they stayed on her foot ALL day (which is truly a feat for kids' shoes), and they didn't chafe or pinch.

Momma didn't fare as well in her heels and is wishing she had a pair of comfy mocs on her feet today.

Happy (what's rest of) Saturday! 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crafting For Ourselves

I wanted to share with you a few of the fabulous pieces being shared in the "crafting for ourselves" flickr group.  Check them out, and if you would like to join us, please do!  You can join the group here.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Snow Day In May

We got snow last night.  Just a little bit, but still....snow!  There wasn't much, and it's already melted, but it was a reminder of the constancy of change.  It was also a reminder that Mother Nature can be sassy (though that's not what I was calling her yesterday...) 

I'll be taking a bit of a break this weekend away from the computer and doing a few things around the house, for us, for me.

I've recently started a new Flickr group called "crafting for ourselves" and would love it if you'd check it out and join.  I find that so often we crafty folk are so busy creating for our shop or others that we don't craft for ourselves as often as we should.  The group is for showing off the creative touches you've added to your own life and I'm sure it will help give us a nudge in that direction.  I'll be showing off some of the creations from the group here, from time to time.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

An Interview With Dana From Wynzia

I first "met" Dana from Wynzia a few years ago when we drew each other's name in a Valentine's Day swap.  The parcel I received from her was so sweet and included so many little endearing touches, like a tiny linen sachet stamped "lil fish", and a flower brooch made of recycled fabric, and it was a special treat to discover.  That's kind of how I think of Dana herself; each time I talk to her I feel like I'm getting a glimpse at someone who truly is a treat to discover.  I have a feeling you'll feel the same...

Tell me about you:

Hi. My name is Dana, and I live with my husband and two daughters in a little town just outside of St. Paul, MN. It was so hard for this city gal to move here a few years back, but we found a quirky old house to make our own, and I’ve found so very many kindred spirits amongst the artists, environmentalists, gardeners, readers, and overall good folks who call this place home. It’s a good place to be.

What do you make?

I make accessories for the person and the home. A friend described my work as “whimsical, handmade necessories,” and the phrase has stuck. I have always been creating something since I was a little person and inspired by the creative people in my family and immediate world. When I became a mom of a daughter, I started making hair accessories for her and her friends. And then the moms. And then the teenage sitters. And now brides and their parties. It is such fun making pretty things for others.

Is there a particular theme in your work?

There is a bit of yin yang in my work. Flowers in vibrant colors play a prominent role in what I’m currently making. However I’m also strongly drawn to natural fibers, muted colors, and simple forms; an aged piece of linen can take my breath away.

Where do you find inspiration?

It’s probably trite to say “everywhere.” so I’ll try to expound a bit. I adore walking the grounds of my humble home and seeing new things growing in my garden. Or seeing the outrageously colorful clothing ensembles put together by my daughters. Or finding a lovely piece of cloth with great texture...I can’t walk past fabric without touching it.

What do you love about what you do?

I love creating something pretty out of something old and forgotten. I love feeling the connection with something that was previously loved. I love imagining the stories that could be told by an old piece of fabric. I love getting to know my clients and knowing that they appreciate my work. I love hearing my daughter gasp at something I’ve made and say, “Oh, that is so pretty.”

Tell me about a favorite piece that you’ve made:

I recently created a lovely big flower brooch in vibrant red. I did a photo shoot with a beautiful friend, and when we pinned it onto her black-and-whte striped t-shirt, the result was absolutely lovely and funky. It’s my favorite accessory at the moment.

What do you do when you’re not creating?

I am trying to raise my daughters to be amazing people, so that takes quite a bit of time and energy. I pay attention to local and world issues, and try to do my part to make a difference in my world. I can often be found in the garden, in the dance studio, or in a friend’s living room for book club. Laughing is one of my favorite things to do...if you crack me up, I just might be a friend for life.

A favorite quote, a good recipe, a funny story?

Oh, the list is long of my favorite quotes. I rather enjoy this lighthearted one from author Agatha Christie: “It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”

How can people find you?

I’m sprinkled throughout the internet:

Etsy shop:






Is there anything else you would like people to know about you that I haven’t asked?

Hmm...I’m an INFP, a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Nepal, and a fan of the blue sky at dawn.


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