Sunday, December 15

Can You Spell U.N.P.R.E.P.A.R.E.D?

I just finished these letters for The Littles to hang with their stockings or on their doors. They are sweet little things at 5 inches tall. I wish I'd finished them earlier, maybe added some to my Etsy shop.

It's just ten days before Christmas, and it's one of those seasons for me. The tree is up, the lights are strung, but there's not a single ornament on it. I may resort to handing out these at the door. That poor tree is lucky I'm giving it water.

So, I'm giving you all fair warning. There is no wreath on the door, no garland on the stairs. Not a single bough on the mantle. . .

But, there is joy in our hearts, hope for the coming year, love and laughter in our home.

And resolve, that next year, we will be better prepared.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 1

I Had to Have a Table . . .

I feel very fortunate to have been included in Riverbank Antiques' Antiquing After Dark last month.

I had never done a show like this before.

In fact, I'd never done any show.

So, I was pretty busy getting inventory together.

I had to have something on my table to sell.

I had to have a table.

I met so many new people.

Ate some cookies and drank some cider.

Listened to music that put me into a Christmas state of mind.

Oohed and awed over all the pretty things.

Sold some books.

And came home with a table!

That is currently covered with wearable books I brought back from the show. If you are interested in books of any size, please take a look at my Etsy shop!

I've got to clear that table and get back to work!

Saturday, October 26

"There's No Rush"

Mark Twain said, "Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well."

Ten months ago, a dear friend asked if I would make a book for her.

"One of the big ones," she said. "There's no rush."

Music to my procrastinating ears. No rush she said, and rush I didn't . . . until the day before I was to deliver it.

I had the covers finished months ago, the pages torn and dyed. It was simply the putting it all together. Finishing it.

And I wasn't dreading it. I like making these big behemoths. I like the feel of them in my hands.

Nevertheless, I was binding and gluing right up until the moment I hopped in the car. Blowing on the glue as I raced to meet her. Well, not exactly, but almost.

It's the season when all my There's No Rushes are coming due, but I'll think about it tomorrow.

While I was thinking about it, I made a few more books for my shop.

Monday, October 14

Cute as a Button

This tiny book measures only 1 1/4" by 7/8" and has a Victorian brass button on its cover.

It's headed to Florida tomorrow, but I have a handful of covers that I'll be binding into books and necklaces this week.

I used the smallest little leaves to eco-dye the pages that cuddle the signatures inside of it. 

There's something so precious about working this small. It makes me want to talk in a squeaky little baby voice, and that's really not very cute at all.

Tuesday, October 8

A Full Life

I have a lot on my work table these days.

Books in various stages of completion.

Destined for shops and galleries.

My Etsy shop. (Eventually)

And stockings.

These covers and the two above are less than an inch tall and will be made into necklaces.

I soldered the largest batch I've ever processed last week. Happily.

In that batch was this business card holder for my son, who asked me to make one for his desk.

I enjoyed experimenting with other ways to use the solder and resin.

I've been working on several crochet projects too. One is an afghan that will stay right here, on our couch, over my shoulders.

And, I've been enjoying the fall and everything it offers. 

Loving each and every blessing of my full life, and wishing you all the same.

Saturday, September 14

A Tree Grows . . .

There is a weed tree that pops up all over my yard and quickly grows above the things I've cultivated there. Ailanthus Altissima or tree of heaven, as it is commonly called, is native to central China and Taiwan, and like another Asian import, is known, in part, for its foul odor. 

It was introduced to the United States in the late 1700s as a beautiful garden specimen, but its vigorous suckering and foul smell quickly wore thin with gardeners. It also served as a central metaphor and subject for Betty Smith's book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn because of its hardiness.

I am able to overlook the tree's overzealousness, because it yields the most wonderful prints from the dye pot. 

"Let it be," I'll yell out to my HB as he eyes one of many, trimmer in hand. "I'll get it later."

Cuttings from my healthy tree of  heaven grove are pressed between the pages of phone books in my studio for winter printing, but I may have to thin them to ensure that these other lovely mark-makers aren't overcome.

The dogwoods offer up another favorite leaf of mine.

And the ninebark bush. 

And roses.

And I can't forget the oaks.

Happy dye season!