Thursday, October 25, 2012

cozy mushroom day

We're getting our first real snowfall today.  Wet, sloppy snow is covering the ground and I figured it would be fun to see how my little wool mushroom is faring in the weather.

My helper and I headed out to the trail to see what we could see.

While not covered in snow, it did look a little shivery with droplets of water all over it.

And what is this?  Something has been tugging at it!  The veil and part of the cap have been pulled out.  Tufts of wool displaced.  What's more, a spot in the green "moss" has been displaced too and it looks as if something has burrowed underneath it into the cavity of the tree.

It makes me happy to think of some little wood mouse cozy in the wool beneath the mushroom.  I'll keep an eye on it to see if there are any other signs of life in the coming months.

Today I will be cozy in my own wool-walled home.  The fire is going, soup is in the pot, and the chores have already been done and I'm looking forward to needling some more mushrooms.

I hope you have a cozy day too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

tea and yoga

Wednesday mornings are yoga mornings.  A friend of mine comes over and teaches me yoga and I repay her with wildcrafted tea, the occasional baked good, and felting lessons.  It's a great trade.  The kitchen table gets pushed out of the way and we work through poses and flow and relaxation while the antics of an energetic 3-year old and a curious kitten pepper our practice with distraction.

Today's trade is a felting lesson so the wall is hung with color.  The tea is yet to be decided.  Dandelion root?  Pineapple weed?  Raspberry leaf?

This kind of exchange makes me wish I could trade more often.  I think it would add a nice dimension to my life.

What do you think?  Do you trade in your daily life?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a 'just because' winner

I'm back from my long weekend trip.  I made a trip "home" to see family and friends and it was wonderful.  Too short, as always, but wonderful.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the giveaway I held while I was gone.  I was really moved by so many of your entries.  You are truly a caring bunch of people and I was thrilled that you embraced the idea of giving a little something to someone else.

I wish I had a book to send to all of you.  Since I only have one, the winner was chosen by the luck of the draw this morning.  I'm pleased to announce that Doreen from Vermont Harvest Folk Art won the book to be sent to her niece.

Congrats, Doreen!  And thank you, everyone, for joining in.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

a just because giveaway

Thank you to everyone who stopped by or helped spread the word about my shop update on Tuesday.  All of my new work has gone to good homes and you'll see the shop is now empty.  I'm headed out for a few days to spend time with family and friends, and do some exploring.

While I'm gone I thought we could have a little giveaway.  Lark Books kindly provided me a second copy of 'Heart-Felt Holidays', to which I contributed a couple of projects, including that little heart brooch with the mushrooms on the cover.

Let's give a little surprise "just because" gift to someone you know.  Leave a comment below telling me who you would like to send this book to and why.  

I'll wrap up the book all pretty like a present.

If you win, I'll contact you for their full name and address and send the book to them with a note letting them know you were thinking of them.

I'll ship worldwide.  I'll draw a winning name on Tuesday, October 23rd.

Thanks so much, everyone!  Have a wonderful weekend.  See you soon.

This giveaway is now closed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

shop update today Oct. 16 2012

There will be some new pieces for sale in my shop today at noon central time (my time is the same as Chicago on this world clock).
These stitched stones will be there, the mushroom terrariums I recently posted about, and the most recent landscape brooch.

There are a few new sets of acorns in the shop too that are ready for purchase now.

If you'd like to have a look or share with your friends who might be interested, I'd be so grateful.

Thank you, all!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

new wool mushroom terrariums

The other day I shared a few in-process pics of a new mushroom terrarium I've been working on.  I can finally call it completed and wanted to share its story.

Mothers aren't supposed to pick favorites, but...(and don't tell the other mushrooms I've made) this one could possibly be my new favorite.

Every bit of fiber and thread in this piece has been dyed using plants, roots, and nuts that I gathered from the woods.  By hand.  Me and my dye pot.  There are black walnuts, goldenrod, tansy, lobster mushrooms, wormwood, and more.  Tans, pale greens, yellows, pinks... That patch of moss is a grey-green given to me by an unusual mushroom called Peridoxylon petersii, and I've yet to find another.

There are blades of grass, and tiny flowers, and a caterpillar.

Even some sporophytes are hiding in there.

 I made the wood base from a piece of Osage Orange, a wood hard enough to make my saw spit blue smoke when I cut it, that came from my hometown in Illinois.  I left a bit of the bark on the piece as well as checks (small cracks) and imperfections because they made the piece feel even more natural to me.
From the bottom of the base to the top of the glass, the piece measures about 8 1/2" tall.
I'm sort of taken with it.

 I've also managed to finish up a couple of teeny scenes too.

These little cuties are also hand-dyed, but not exclusively with natural dyes.  They are heavy metal-free, though, and crafted with love.

The wood bases on these are made from Alder, a wood that has a beautiful smooth grain.  I've left some character in the wood on these too. 

 I'll be having a little shop update on Tuesday the 16th at noon, central time, if you'd like to stop by and give one of these guys a good home.

Friday, October 12, 2012

a story in progress

If you follow me on facebook you might have already seen these photos.  They're of a new terrarium scene I've been working on.

I was remarking that my favorite part was the playing.  When I get the basic scene done I can start adding details.  They aren't planned beforehand, they kind of present themselves as I look at the scene.

I'll add a leaf or two here, a pebble or two there...

...maybe a couple of flowers and a caterpillar, and before long there's a whole story in front of me.

This piece is almost done and I can't wait to share it with you (with better pictures, I promise) in its final state.

More to come soon...

Monday, October 08, 2012

a blue skies brooch

A new felted scene, hot off the needles.

Incorporating some new wool colors I dyed earlier this week and as always reflecting a peaceful, natural scene.

This is in my shop and will be available for purchase later this week, along with some other pieces that I'm working on.  More details to come.

I hope this Monday finds you in a peaceful place.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

naturally dyed acorns

A special batch of acorns, one of a kind, made of wool that I've dyed using roots, plants, and bark that I've gathered from my woods.  A labor of love, natural dyeing is.  I love that they come from the earth and are in return gentle on her, and I love the subtlety of the colors and how they blend together so effortlessly.

I had a daydream the other day about a clothing store that carried only undyed clothing.  In jars and baskets around the store were natural materials - leaves, bark, clay, roots... all for the purpose of dyeing the clothes to the customers' wishes.  Maybe such places do exist, I don't know.  They do in a very small degree in the homes of natural-dyers around the world to be sure, but on a large scale, I'm not sure.  Would be fun to explore, wouldn't it?

This set of acorns is in my shop, and there will be other colorful additions later this week.

Have a good day, everyone.

Monday, October 01, 2012

an abundance of green tomatoes

With the early frosts we've had, my tomato plants got hit hard, leaving me with an abundance of unripened tomatoes.  As in, a full garden wagon and two 5-gallon buckets full of unripened tomatoes.   

While I would have loved for all of these heirloom beauties to have ripened and blessed me with tomato sauce, juice, and salsa, I wasn't about to let the green ones go to waste.

After much chopping and mixing and cooking and canning, I managed to put several quarts of green-tomato goodies in the pantry this weekend.

I pickled the cherry tomatoes, made pie filling from the mortgage lifters, relish from the genovese, and jam from whatever was left over.  I still have a good 20 pounds to use up, as well as a shelf-full of some that look like they might turn red for me.

Though I hated to spend such a gorgeous weekend inside chopping tomatoes, I am happy to have this bounty tucked away for colder days.

How was your weekend?  Hope your week gets off to a good start.


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