Thursday, February 28, 2013

shop update today

I'll be putting a few new pieces in my shop today at 2:00 central time.

There will be a few stone necklaces and a few stones available.  I'll begin listing them later this morning but they won't go "live" until 2:00pm.

There is another stone on my table that isn't pictured here that may get listed later this evening, if I finish it up.

If you're interested, my shop is HERE

Thanks so much everyone!  I hope you have a sunny day. (the clouds have found us here and I'm wishing for sunshine)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

wordless Wednesday

It occurs to me that the stone I'm stitching on has taken the impression of the hugulkultur in my backyard and the hoar frost that graced us yesterday.

Monday, February 25, 2013

exhaltation of the barnacle

This odd little stone turned up on my worktable yesterday.  The first black stone I've done and the first with a barnacle.

 I drilled holes in the barnacle so I could sew it to the stone, and tucked a pearly bead from an old necklace inside it.  It gives a little rattle when you move it around.  I put a little collar of wool around the barnacle so it's just peeking out.

The stitches started to remind me of a butterfly wing and I thought that this was a very fancy barnacle, indeed.  Finished,it almost reminds me of an octopus head with an all-seeing eye.

This, and another stone or two, and a stone necklace or two will be in my next shop update on Thursday evening.  I'll post the exact time here on my blog, and announce it on facebook and twitter as well.

Have an excellent start to the week, everyone.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

a red cabbage over-dye

 The little grocery store down the road from me had a sale on red cabbage last week.  Naturally, I picked some up to do a little dyeing.

Back in December I had dyed a couple of lengths of muslin using onion skins.  One I gave away for Christmas, but I kept the one on the right.  It seemed a prime candidate for some over-dyeing. I chopped my red cabbage and simmered it in the crockpot (I have a designated one just for dyeing - yay for garage sale finds!) until the leaves lost most of their color.  I then strained the leaves and tossed them in the compost and added my pre-mordanted wool and cotton to the dye bath along with a splash of ammonia.  And yes, it stinks.  A lot.  But the ammonia helps the color set.

My new onion and cabbage scarf is a pretty mix of olive and pale robin's egg blue.  Red cabbage dye often shifts towards grey on wool but I've found it less so on cotton.  I have some cotton duck I dyed last year that has still retained the look of chambray denim.  The thing with natural dyes is that even when they age and shift in color, they're still lovely.

Now I just need to roll the hem and I'm ready to wear some new color around my neck.

What have you made for yourself lately?

Friday, February 22, 2013

stepping stones

 I've finished a piece.
It's a significant piece for me in a couple of ways.  Most obviously because it's a wall piece, the first stone wall piece I've done.

 I've named it 'stepping stones' as both a nod to its design and to what it represents to me.

 All of the wool and thread I used is stuff I've dyed by hand from natural materials, much of it gathered from my woods.  There's tansy, strawberry leaf, bedstraw root, mushrooms, yarrow, wormwood, dock, cedar, St. John's Wort, onion skins, red cabbage, and more.  Those colors represent countless walks in the woods, countless moments of experimentation.

The wood is a piece of poplar, also from my woods, that I planed and shaped.  I gave it its grey color by applying the same iron mordant - a combination of vinegar and steel wool- I use for dyeing and a layer of strong black tea.  No stains or polyurethanes.  I left the holes and trails of the burrowing insects that once inhabited it.

 As I worked, I thought about these stitches I do, and how they represent my love of the small and oft-overlooked bits of nature.  I thought about how to make things that are meaningful and beautiful that are at the same time respectful of the very thing I love.

 Rather than gluing, I sewed the stones to the wood.  I rather like how it looks from the back.

I was nervous finishing this piece.  I was afraid that I would disappoint myself once it was all put together but now that it's done, and even though there are things I will do differently on the next piece, I'm happy with it.  It feels like the right next step.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

'Stepping Stones'
wood and wool
8" x 17"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

pretty folded books

 I had to share these pretty folded books that my pal Heather is making.
I love that she's a librarian by day and a book-folder by night.  She's come up with this design, a bowl-shaped heart that can actually hold things like flowers (or wedding rings?).  Isn't that the sweetest thing?

She makes other designs as well, and sells her patterns and tutorials in her shop.  I love the set of letters she offers.  I think it would be great fun to spell the kids' names out in books and display them.

She's offering a free small heart template on her blog, so stop by and take a look won't you?

Heather's BLOG
Heather's SHOP
Happy Thursday, all.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Yesterday my boys needed something to do that didn't involve the computer or video games.  My answer is usually "clean your room" or "go outside and play".  Not surprisingly, they took me up on the "go outside and play" part.

What did surprise me is that the two older boys went out to the woods and built this shelter all by themselves.  They even started a little cooking fire (with permission) and were building a spit to roast a rabbit on, that they planned to snare.

I talked them out of the rabbit idea and instead talked them into hot dogs, pointing out that the spit stick would work nicely as a hotdog stick.  Not quite as mountain man-esque, but it worked.  They sat out in the woods, quietly lost in their own imaginations, until their fire died down.

On the other side of the house a "snow cottage" had been built by my younger two (with some help from Dad).  Not to be outdone, they packed sandwiches and ate in their shelter too until the cold took over and forced them all inside for a warm bath.
Though the computer and Wii win more often than I like, I love that I have kids that can entertain themselves this way.

Have a fun start to the week, everyone.

Friday, February 15, 2013

like momma

My big helper has stitched her first (and second, and third) stones.

Just like everything lately, she's done it all by herself, only reluctantly allowing me to help with threading her needle.

Clearly she's a natural.  A grubby-handed natural.
I'm so proud.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


 Happy Valentine's Day, friends. 

Wishing you all at least one exquisite moment in your day.  A fine chocolate, a small poem, a moment in the sun, whatever moves you towards happiness.

And I hope this for all the days that follow too.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

decidedly un-stone-like

Well look at that.  After saying just yesterday that sooner or later I'd do something un-stone-like, here we are.  This un-stone-like activity was a last-minute solution to a call of "mom, tomorrow is dress up like your favorite book character day".  Emphasis on tomorrow.  At 6 o'clock last night.

So I set down the stones and picked up some green and white wool.  The egg whites are felted sweater wool, as is the inside of the ham.  Needling furiously I was almost finished when my boy, looking at me with those sweet eyes, said "you're doing so well mom, but it needs a fork".  

Seriously?  It needs a fork?

  It got a fork.  That is galvanized metal wire that I bent and glued down into the ham.   It left indents which I covered up with more wool.  A piece of felt was slapped on an ice cream bucket lid, food glued down, and we have ourselves a plate worthy of my Sam-I-Am.  I made a little strap underneath so he could hold it comfortably.


Now, back to those stones.

Monday, February 11, 2013

stones, stones, stones

 Unusual little stones popping up on my table.

 Stones as necklaces too.

 Stones for my Art-o-Mat edition.

And this, that I carved this weekend.  It will have stones as well.

And stones arriving from around the world, waiting to be in my hands.

It seems I'm knee-deep in stones here so things will be a little stone-centric on the blog for a bit too.  Right now I'm full of enthusiasm but I know me, and I know I'll need a break sooner or later.  Probably sooner.  Then you'll see something decidedly un-stone-like pop up. 

'Til then... stones.

Have a great Monday all, I hope your week rocks.  (ho ho ho)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

a textural stone necklace

A peek at something you'll be seeing in my shop soon, a stone for wearing.

I made this one for myself to wear when I visited my friend Kit this past weekend.  As an aside, do you know Kit? You should, she's utterly delightful.  Here is her flickr stream. Her adorable little jacabobs sell like lightning in her Etsy shop.   You have to have speedy fingers to get one but once you do, trust me, you'll want more.  Her other work with the skulls and oddness make me indescribably happy.  And do check out her Jabba the hut as a child.  Awesome.

 Anyway, most of the stones you saw yesterday are headed off to my Art-o-Mat edition but a few will be strung up for wearing.

In related news, my 6 year old wants to play the ukulele.  He's subtly suggested I should make more stones so I can buy him one. (oh so subtle)  I'd better get to it.

Have a great day, everyone.

Monday, February 04, 2013

I'm an artist in cellophane!

An artist in cellophane?  You may be saying "I don't really need to know the details of your personal life, Lisa", but it's nothing like that I promise.  I've been accepted as an AIC artist and some of my work is going to be in an Art-o-Mat machine near you!  (well, maybe not near you, but somewhere)

So if you see my little tag in an Art-o-Mat machine, and feel like kerplunking $5, you'll receive one of my small felted stones and support a super cool organization.

I'm in the process of making an edition of 50 and once they're completed they'll be on their way to Art-o-Mat.  I'm not sure in which machine they'll end up, but if/when I know, I'll be sure to post here.

If you want to learn more about Art-o-Mat, check out their website.  And keep your eyes peeled for a machine in your neck of the woods.  Kerplunk!

Friday, February 01, 2013

completed stone - eim in South Dakota

 A new stone completed.  This one sent to me from South Dakota by Amy and her daughter.  Amy's note described her daughter as being beautiful, and a girl who has a huge heart for others, animals, and nature.  I could feel the pride in that note and knew I had to incorporate a heart into her stone in some way.

I took my cue from the tiny sprawling mosses and stitched a grouping in a natural heart shape.


Thank you, Amy and E, for sending the stone to me.  It made me feel proud to work on it.

If you'd like to send a stone to me for my project, please see this post HERE.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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