Tuesday, May 28, 2013


cute right?  this tiny little guy showed up in our yard the other day.  he seemed very unsure and lost.  i've felt that way myself a few times, so i really felt sorry for him. 

as cute as he is, we didn't try to pick him up or anything.  we called our local nature center and they said it was best to leave him alone.  if his mom was out there, she would likely come back to find him in the evening.  and if not, hopefully he was old enough to figure some things out on his own.  i'm not planning on adopting him or anything, but he needs a name, so i call him toby.

his climbing technique was a bit rough.  we weren't sure he was going to make it.  my son got out his net just in case.  

his climbing skills improved as he went along and he managed to get very high up on a nice wide branch.  we went inside, hoping that he would find his way.  we did see him again the next evening, alone.  he seemed to be moving faster and climbing better.  i sent him a message to steer clear of the backyard.  our backyard is a forest, home to hawks and owls and foxes.  i don't want him to end up being dinner.  the whole circle of life thing which i really hate to think about.

we didn't see him at all yesterday and my kids, as well as myself, are all hoping he found his mommy or found a safe place to hang out.  and i hope he grows fast!

Friday, May 24, 2013

the first and the last...

so, today is my daughters last day of high school and it feels like.........already?
  i chose this buttercup picture, because it reminded me of her - a sunny, happy sort of flower.  that girl is always smiling and when people describe her they actually use the word "sunny".  also, if you notice the flower in the front seems to be pulling away from the rest of the bunch.  as she will be soon. 

this is her on her first day of school.  we have a little video clip where she is talking about how excited she is and how she was scared that she might fall asleep on the bus and miss her stop.  i no longer have a VCR to play it and i mean to have it converted to digital.  but really, that memory is deeply etched in my brain.  she's fallen asleep on the bus many times since then, as teenagers do that.  it doesn't worry her much anymore.

she's grown into such a beautiful young woman, blue hair and all.  i'm so very proud of her for all her hard work and accomplishments.  and most especially proud that she has grown into the sort of person i like to be around.

in august, she will be headed off to college.  just a few hours from home, but still...
  i think i may have to leave that post for another day.  graduation first.  the closing of one chapter and the opening of another.  so many possiblities...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

the secret keeper...

a perfect, beautiful little carved box...

into which a sweet little book fits perfectly...

a little book just right for keeping secrets...

and a funny little quote for you...

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
-George Orwell, 1984-

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

tea and lace...

i finally finished the tea-dyed lace book.  i've been working on it on and off for a few months.   it is fat with gorgeous, beautiful lace and tea-dyed goodness.

i actually got the idea for it on a cold, rainy day in february, whilst drinking a cup of hot tea in my studio.  my eyes landed on a pile of lace that i was sorting on my table  and right then, inspiration took hold.  ideas are funny like that sometimes.

all of the paper and most of the lace was tea-dyed over several afternoons and then dried on my kitchen floor.  my curious little corgi wanted to investigate in case there might be some sort of food involved, but i kept shooing him out.  i didn't want any dog hair mixed in there.  he was quite confused.

 i truly enjoy making these books.  i like to take my time with them, going back over each page many times adding details until i have it just how i want it.

when i am working on a big project like this i sometimes dream about it in my sleep.  i should keep some paper and a pencil by my bed to keep any good ideas from slipping away by morning.

i like pockets.  this one is one of the teabags that i used for dyeing.  i sewed it on to the page and tucked in a very old envelope with a nice stamp and beautiful handwriting.

lots of vintage mother of pearl buttons.  and pearls, of course.  i chose a strand with darker pearls to go with my tea theme.  and bits of silk, burlap and lace, lace, lace.

 lots of stitching on the pages.  a crochet flower with some golden color.  it fit in nicely.

vintage book pages - whole pages and interesting snippets of pages. 

there are a few fabric pages and a few pages of gorgeous handmade papers from my collection.  i am loving handmade paper lately.  i've always wanted to try making it myself, but for now i find it at our local art store and from various etsy people.

this lace doily was too beautiful to cut, so i used the whole thing.  also, you can barely see it, but there's a little round brass locket tied to this page.  for a romantic picture perhaps.  oh, and a silk bookmark with a very pretty teardrop pearl sewn to the end.  love that.

 i try to make the inside of the covers as lovely as the outside, to cover up the stitching.

and that's it.  the end.

if you are interested, you can find it here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

nature girl...

so, sunday was mothers day...i lowered my expectations a lot this year, as i have teens and they don't tend to think much beyond how late they can sleep in.  but don't be sad, hubby made me a nice breakfast.  not in bed though, as i don't like crumbs in my sheets.

it was a relaxing morning and i played some in my studio which always makes me happy.  but around noon, after everyone else got out of bed, i found myself getting a headache.  my daughters baking in the kitchen, blaring an AC/DC mix that i'm not fond of, my sons playing shooting games on the xbox, the dog barking, barking, barking.  hubby took him for a walk, so i hopped in the shower and when i was done, one of the faucets broke off in my hand, leaving the water stuck on, requiring me to located a screwdriver and then use it.  not my thing.  ok.  after that i retreated to the cellar where there were piles of laundry on the floor because i had a craft fair on saturday when i usually do laundry.  but at least it was quiet.  so when hubby came back with the dog, that's where he found me...doing laundry on mothers day.  he took a good look at me.  put your sneakers on, he said, grab a sweatshirt.  to the car.   

first stop DQ.  you need a Blizzard, he said.  yes.  that was true.  that's always true.  next stop the forest.  then down a secluded path and over several Indiana Jones type bridges.   you know, the kind suspended over a river, that sway precariously when you walk across them and have boards that look like they may have been gnawed on by termites.

through the bamboo forest.  so cool and quiet there.  the water was making soft water sounds.  just like those relaxation recordings they make.

deeper into the forest everything was lush and green.  we've had so much rain lately.  the way the sun came through the trees and shone on the ferns.  so lovely.

and  then finally...peace.  i just stopped and listened.  the birds were pronouncing their joy of living in such a beautiful world.  the leaves were swishing ever so lightly.  the water was burbling in the distance.  a calm washed over me and everything was ok.

and when we got home, the cake was baked, the kitchen cleaned and the music turned off.  the boys were in the backyard building something.  the dog was asleep.  i rummaged in the deep recesses of the fridge and found some hidden goat cheese, added some crackers, grabbed a blanket and my new Martha Stewart Living and went out to the deck.  for some more nature time.
all was well.
nature is like that.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

meanwhile, life goes on...

life has been busy, busy, busy lately.  time seems to be flying rapidly.  or has it always?

i had forgotten how full spring is, with school winding down and all that comes with that...science fairs, concerts, prom, exams.  and a rather large event in our lives.  our seventeen year old baby is graduating from high school!  she's chosen her college and the plans are well under way.  there are forms, deposits, orientations, meal plans...it's endless and a bit overwhelming.

but i know.  that's how life works.  it's a good thing.  from the moment she was born, we had hopes for her.  to work hard.  to go to college someday.  to create a life she will love.  and she's doing all of that.  it brings a feeling of joy, but also sadness, that swirls together in a confusing mix.

meanwhile, life goes on.  i signed up to do an art show in May, way back in February when things were dull and quiet.  i'm now questioning whether that was the best idea, with all that is coming to a close at the end of this month.  but then again, i think it's been a good distraction for me.  

  i've been making all sorts of journals.  leather.  ring bound. large.  small.  teeny tiny.  one that fits perfectly in a beautiful little carved box.  and of course one or two stuffed with lace.  i have hardly stopped working at all, even at night.  i've been setting up a little table in the living room and tearing sheet after sheet of paper.  each finished book goes into a large cardboard box until i have time to take pictures of it all.  i stopped today for a moment and snapped just a few.  i need a good sunny day.  maybe tomorrow.

but anyway, i just wanted to say hi.  stop and smell the flowers for a bit.  it's so lovely outside here.  lots of spring rain and flowers and birds and bees and hopeful things.  i hope your spring is as lovely as mine is shaping up to be...