Tuesday, December 27, 2016

it's time

A return to creativity came in the form of a cake.

I've struggled since my dad's death to find my creative footing. Tasks that should have been performed by muscle memory were impossible. Needle and thread offered no consolation. My muse was silent. My creativity, vanished.

I've been careful not to set a limit on my grief, not to rush myself, trying not to grow impatient with the parts of me missing.

Though I'm still grieving (and always will, I suspect), it was the task of making my daughter's birthday cake that lit a spark inside me. Her birthday is Christmas Eve, and being determined to make her birthday special and separate, I always commit to making a special cake, per her specific demands.

This year it was a stump.

As I sat down with fondant and chocolate bark and nilla wafers I felt...excited. The task was fun and my hands did it easily (not quickly, though. I'm a slow cake-maker). I was creating! It wasn't wool, but it was creativity nonetheless.

So with that spark lit, I'm scheduling a workshop, ordering some wool, and dusting the cobwebs out of my workspace. I'm being careful not to set high expectations for myself, but I'm eager to dip my toe back into creative waters.

For those that are local, please check out my pincushion class being offered at The Crossing Arts Alliance. Time will tell what comes next.

And most importantly, for all of  you who left me a comment (I read every one, even though they aren't posted) about my dad's passing, or sent me an email, or who held me in your thoughts, thank you. It is an amazing thing to feel so much good in the world when you're utterly convinced there isn't any.

I am grateful for you.

xo Lisa

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

stop all the clocks

Leonard Ackerman 1951 - 2016

My father passed away this weekend. My daddy-o, my friend, my hero.
The strong man who made me a strong woman.
Who taught me to throw a ball, and shoot a gun, and let me play with all the power tools in the barn.

He hung the moon for my children. They loved Papa without end, especially my oldest who has been one of his best confidants and partners-in-crime since the moment he was born.

The stories are rolling along with the tears as we celebrate this man and grieve for ourselves.

I'll be back in this space as soon as I'm able.

Be well everyone. Be kind. Be grateful. Be mindful that time is fleeting.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

to-do : play in the woods barefoot

Playing with nature.

It started with me snacking on rosehips in the yard. I gathered a handful and noticed the spotty oak leaves so I picked those up too. Then the piece of birch bark and the puffball mushrooms. I lugged them over to a mossy area and added some purple asters and fern fronds, topped off with a mushroom cap. It's good to play!

Especially barefoot.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

walking the tomte trail

I've been making some wee gnomes, tomtes, for an upcoming market at work.
The weather was so beautiful that I took them out into the woods for a walk today. Given their little legs, they needed frequent rests so I took that opportunity to take their pictures.

We rested for a while under the amanita before packing it in.

This teeny guy cracks me up.
I suspect you'll be seeing more like him around the winter holidays.

Have a glorious weekend, all. 

Sunday, September 04, 2016


A box arrived in the mail this weekend from a very lovely woman on the coast.
She decided to make my day very special by sending me some stones gathered from the sea shore.
There were flat ones, large ones, white ones, and some whose color was only fully realized when wet. There was also this one, sporting a bouquet of barnacles.
My heart swells with happiness.

A few weeks ago this same special friend sent a parcel with crab shells and seashells.
They lend themselves to arranging on the table, and much exploration from the kitties.

I am so grateful.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

stitched stone photo shoot

The grey overcast day that was yesterday moved on out and made room for a sunny one today. It seemed a good day to take the couple of new stones I had finished out for a photo shoot. I think I might enjoy these photo shoots as much as I enjoy stitching the stones themselves, especially when Ma Nature leaves lovely props out for me.

These are in my online shop.
Hope you've had a wonderful weekend, all.

Monday, August 22, 2016

the last of the summer camp outs

We spent a few days this past week camping near Duluth. The weather was kind of iffy, alternating between sun and rain, warm and cool. We got to see the Tall Ships come in and that giant duck everyone was talking about, from the air conditioned comfort and elevated vantage point of the Great Lakes Aquarium, one of our favorite stops.

We visited Jay Cooke State Park and went on the famous swinging bridge, caught crayfish in the shallows, and marveled at the view.

On one particularly cool and sprinkly day we went to Moose Lake in search of agates. After procuring a map of public picking areas, we headed out. Shoes wet with red clay, we climbed the walls of old quarries, and slid down hills of sand, picking at rocks of all kinds. Since agates are in abundance in our very own driveway, I found myself more entranced with the other rocks to be had in this landscape. Of course a few stones came home to be felted, but there are other stones that I chose for their inclusions, colors, weird shapes, and shine.

I think it would be amazing to take a rock-picking trip with someone who knew what all of these rocks are, and how they're formed. Most of that is a mystery to me, one I try to solve with books and Google afterwards.

This will be the last trip before the kids return to school and our weekday trips will come to an end. We've had a full and especially adventurous summer and I'm a little sad to see it go. Even if I'm not feeling the same about the mosquitoes and heat.

I'll tell you though, my favorite season is coming and I can already feel my energy lifting. Maybe you're feeling it too?

Sunday, August 07, 2016

a collar of earth

A completed piece that had been in mind for a while, a collar of earth. Part of a larger project percolating in my brain. I'm feeling very proud of myself for finishing this and I'm  even more motivated to get the whole project rolling.

As modeled by my 11 year old.

More to come.

Friday, August 05, 2016

on my work table

A peek at what's on my kitchen work table this morning.
More pictures to come.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

random thoughts on a thursday

I was recently challenged to work on a stone in the color pink. You might have noticed that I don't work much in pink, but I spent some time thinking about our wild roses that stubbornly grow around the stumps in our back woods, and gave it a try. I was happy with the result and because of that, decided to try the other colors that I've been denying. This week I worked in black, and I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner because I loved the effect. This stone was inspired by my favorite birds, the corvids (crows, ravens, jays) . Next challenge...red.

I gave up working on a to-do list, instead adapting a "to-do tomorrow" list, and that little trick of giving my brain time to think about what needs to be done has been really helpful.

I've rented a classroom at the building where I work for the weekend and am hauling lots of wool and supplies over. I'll be teaching a class on stone-making in the morning on Saturday, sharing wet-felting with friends later that day, and then working on whatever felty thing I might like on Sunday. See, I work at the kitchen table at home so having a whole room with a tile floor, tables, and a sink to myself is an amazing thing.

I watched my 7 year old make a tiny grill out of a bottle cap and aluminum foil last night, stuff it with tissue and light it on fire, and "grill" tiny shavings of carrots and peppers. It makes me proud to see her playing with sharp knives and fire, as weird as that may sound. But I admit it gave me pause when she looked up at me yesterday with a glint in her eye and told me that tomorrow she would make one that's BIGGER.

I should be in the shower by now, getting ready for work. Instead I'm tapping out this post and watching a slug make trails in the condensation on the window glass. Last night I was entranced by the wee frog who was trying to catch mosquitos on the same window. The day before, when I was having a particularly stressed-out moment, I noticed a bee on the sunflower by our door and I stopped to marvel at his pollen-laden legs. Nature is good medicine.

Up and at 'em.
Have a stellar day, all.

Monday, July 25, 2016

upcoming workshops

Sat. July 30, 2016
10:00 - 12:00pm
wet-felted stones

Held at the Franklin Arts Center
1001 Kingwood St. #127, Brainerd MN 56401

Contact Lisa at lilfishstudios@gmail.com to register

Mon. Aug 29, 2016
5:00 - 9:00pm
needle felted pincushion in a cup

bring your own cup or choose a teacup from Lisa's stash

Held at the Franklin Arts Center
1001 Kingwood St. #127, Brainerd MN 56401
Contact Lisa at lilfishstudios@gmail.com to register

Thurs Oct 13, 2016
5:00 - 8:00pm
needle felted otter
$5 discount for those bringing their own needles and mats

Held at the Franklin Arts Center
1001 Kingwood St. #127, Brainerd MN 56401
Contact Lisa at lilfishstudios@gmail.com to register

Mon. Nov 14, 2016
5:00 - 8:00pm
wool fairy workshop
$5 discount for those bringing their own needles and mats

Held at the Franklin Arts Center
1001 Kingwood St. #127, Brainerd MN 56401
Contact Lisa at lilfishstudios@gmail.com to register

Thursday, July 21, 2016


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