Listen to the road

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Artful Adventures

Yesterday my friend, Verni, and I opened our new teaching studio, Artful Adventures,
in Plantiques in Hilton Village.

Old friends and new friends came by and we made fabric flowers in a one day workshop.
We're still tweeking the details but it's coming together! It was great for me to spend
a Saturday again in Hilton Village.

Now, unlike then, I can relax and listen to the people I talk with. Not having to have one ear
on the general situation...I'm not the 'boss' anymore-yeay!

We have lots of supplies for mixed media, antiques (bread boards-so cool for a centerpiece),
and our jewelry. Verni makes wonderful purses

I'm replenishing my stock of vintage photos, buttons and dollar bead bags. Lots of raw
materials for mixed media collage, etc! It's well worth a visit. I've linked it in the sidebar.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Food gathering

The leaves are turning and falling down. The deer are coming into the garden and yard for
what's left of the garden cleanup and for some new turnip greens.
Pretty soon hunting season will open. I know hunting has a place in the country but I can't
understand the draw. My dad says the last time he went hunting he just lay down his gun as
the deer looked him in the eye before it ran off. It seems that right before the season opens
deer are friendly and not so shy. By the new year they're acting skittish and a little crazy to
get away from people. Can't blame them.

I know our local hunt club donates venison to the food bank. My husband's family hunts
and uses or donates all the meat they kill. Still, I get a spooky feeling of wanting to run
when I hear the gunshots out in the woods.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flowers and etching

Happy to be on the other side of summer. Mom gave up her car so I'm taking her out more. It's good
to be with her at dr appts. She's now using a cane for more stability. Lots of changes.

Our small, rural post office is kept clean and nice by Sandy. Flowers are her love and she fills
the rooms with them. Once she sensed I was having a rough patch and brought in a special pot of
purple silk flowers for me. I'm there almost every morning so she starts my day in a kind way.
She asked if I'd make her a brooch when she found out I'm making jewelry again and here's what
I came up with.
Not sure who to credit the newsprint petals with. I've seen them in several Belle Armoire Jewelry
articles. I fired the copper into fimo center then resin'd the words on as well as the stamp. Sewn onto
a fabric flower I made.

Also, on days I can stay home, I've been fooling around with etching copper and brass. A workshop
with my friend, Vernie , got me interested in this way of 'drawing' on metal. I've used Rio Grande's
Etching Mordant (stock #118-108 for copper, brass, aluminum) with good results. It only seems to
stay strong with one etching session. (I had to pay a hazardous shipping fee to get it via UPS).I like using it as I can etch brass and copper at the same time.
The second photo is one of the second batch I etched. Left them in for 4 hours and still didn't
completely do the job. It was raining that day even though the batches were covered and I may have
contributed to the results. You use a sharpie or perm. stamp pad ink for the resist. I'll probably
etch this again in a fresh solution by going over design with a sharpie again. This worked on another faint result.

At Verni's we used PCB Etchant Solution from Radio Shack (can't be mailed) Store (stock # 276-1535). Be sure to take the stock # to Radio Shack as the young man who helped me couldn't
find it at first. It's about 10 bucks for a 16 oz bottle.

From what I hear, only brass can be etched with this PCB stuff but the results were far
superior to my other try. Maybe because we had the expert with us.

This is a nasty process so think it out before you try it. Mainly, know where to safely dispose of the
worn out solution (harmful to the earth), wear rubber gloves, have eye protection and plenty
of baking soda to stop the etching process.

Just got a BIG box from Rio Grande so will be off the radar and not answering the phone today.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tree frog haiku

The other night I noticed a tiny, green tree frog on the window as I closed up the house. In the
morning I saw he'd left a poem.
 Beautiful calligraphy. Wonder what it means.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Little and big stuff

 I took a solitary break this week and played with metal, wire and my collection of little stories. I just
sit down and 'go away' for hours. Like reading a good book, the stories carry me somewhere else.
 Then get out some beads and play some more.
 This amazing rock with a hole was sent by my friends in Wales...and became my new talisman,
reminding me how much I want to visit them.

 Playing around with brass banding stock.

 And pendants.

 My evening sewing project. Gotta have something to hand sew at night, like a dog with a bone,
I guess.

 August 18 was our anniversary so we visited antiques/thrift stores in Williamsburg. Came home
on the ferry to the above view.

 Fifteen years, snap, went by in a flash. Still having fun.

My two sweet boys checking out a baby bird I found last week after a wind storm. Both
on tiptoes. Life is busy but very, very good.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Savor the Arts 2012


If you're near Newport News, VA, Sept 15 please
come to this event. You can learn more here at my friend, Verni's blog.

Beautiful work, chocolate, wine, life is good.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Around here...

 Staying inside out of the 100 plus degree heat.
I've been playing with metal, color, scratches and patina.
I'm loving the scritchy surfaces possible with layers and layers of color and darkness.
 I'm not so patiently waiting for some commercial patinas to arrive while I'm
noodling around with some online, home made patinas. My workroom has grown
stacks and piles of stuff in progress. Tiny paintings.

And the tomatoes sliced warm from the garden with fresh basil and buttered
sourdough toast.  Oh yes. Love my tomatoes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New yard sightings...

Curious bird...distinctive beak...hope he found some shade.

And wait,

there's that elusive Curious Bearded Garden Hopper!

My dear husband.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Got together with two great friends to make paper flowers. Why is it I can't find my glue gun until
I've bought another one? Yeay for JoAnn's coupons. We all reverted to 3rd grade mode and experimented. Still working on them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tin bezels

These are way too fun to make! It's a little bit of a learning curve but once I'd made a few I had
the time of my life! For the tutorial link go here;

Her tutes are clear and she shares the ins and outs of design as well as technique. Also, take the
time to read her Art Theft Manifesto. Intriguing young artist!

Another artist I'm following is here;

I love to watch how others put together ideas. A discovered tribe of jewelers using a wabi-sabi,
heavily patina'd, story-full perspective and I'm on fire with their new ways of working. Talk about an
old dog, new tricks... Thanks!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Garden spirit with dimples or Mickey Mouse?

Hello, look what showed up in the potato bin this morning. Garden spirit? Potato with
personality? Housecleaning procrastination/right brain escape?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hunting and hunted

I've heard hawks crying out to each other the past few days. They most likely have young ones
to feed.

 Also, have been going out into the yard when my 10 lb mini dachshund needs to take
care of business. This morning the hawk (not the one in the photo but it looked like that) swooped
down into the open space just as Opie ran into the open. I was able to deflect it but
am now a bit unnerved!

She's been flying over the house the past few hours calling her distinctive cry. The intense heat here probably has the small animals hiding out in cool holes so she must
be very hungry. Will be keeping a close eye out for her.

So that's why I haven't seen many birds in the yard lately!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Learning to fly

This time of the summer the baby birds have grown enough to learn to fly. The adults watch over
them as the new flyers learn to use their wings.

I imagine it takes guts to jump away from the safe but confining nest and trust that they can fly
(even though I'm sure birds don't philosophize about the experience). Mother Nature teaches
quiet lessons and if we look in our lives we can see them repeated.

My artist friend has lately been looking for a way to remain an artist while making a bit of money.
This week she found her niche and it's wonderful watching her fly! It inspires me and makes me
happy as I know how wonderful it is to find creative success. You go girl!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How I feel about our birch trees, said better by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
     but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."
"When I Am Among the Trees" by Mary Oliver, from Thirst. © Beacon Press, 2006.

Our birch trees out front have been dancing and playing, responding to the windy rain and
sunny day. They're wonderful teachers!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Father's Day was quiet but very nice. Had my dad and step mom for lunch.

Also had the grand boy for the morning. His parents came later on.
Got out the go-kart but didn't turn it on.
Life is a wheel, a circle and family in this wheel are precious.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ready for stiching

This is appliqued and ready to add stitching. I want to get back to the simple, boro type
of  pulling the layers together. Right now it's like stickers on paper or something. Can you
tell I'm procrastinating cleaning house?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Meet Opie

He's my sidekick, cheering squad, partner in exploring and best buddy. Can you see the intelligence
in those eyes? The mischief? He reminds me to get outside and see what's up. Ten pounds of
fun on very short legs.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meet my Muse

Meet Hattie Mae, my sewing room muse. My dear friend, Deb, came over to sew/paint/make stuff
and my new gentle muse was born. She has a bird nest on her head with an egg incubating-my
reminder to listen for new stories...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thank you, Garden!

It's always exciting to eat the first garden veggies, usually radishes. I think this will be
large enough for two salads, don't you?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nags Head Story

This story is coming to an end, I think. The words floated by and stuck!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nags Head, North Carolina

It rained yesterday. Day after I planted my herbs, good timing. Good day to sew, draw and think. I worked more on the Nags Head cloth stories. We camped there since I was a child-open to magic. Maybe this is why it's easy to open up my imagination there. I walk that beach at night beside the rolling Atlantic and feel the island's history move into the present. I've walked past a buffalo on that beach-really. The night and tall dunes block out most of the car and light noise. Then I walk into an old story continuing under time, water and sky. There are 'home' places for me on this lovely earth and this is one of them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


We've been outside more. The grand boy came to visit the lambs but was much more interested in the tractor.

I splurged on some wool fabric and made a felted purse. Not sure if I enjoy the
machine sewing enough to do many more of these.

Also, I've been posting some extra craft/sewing supplies in my Etsy shop, Beadfarm.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dinner time

The light changes so many times during the day now. And the light before sunset and
dinner is special.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sewing lately

Just about every day this week I spent sewing. Having time to make story cloths is
the best gift I've given myself in many years. These are quiet stories around our yard lately.
Here's the cherry tree going from pink eye cloud blossom stage to covering the earth with blossom confetti.

Sheep running to dinner in the evening.

The two redbud trees leaning together for a chat.

Flowers with the late sunset behind.

And this is the current state of the Nags Head story cloth. I've seen a buffalo
walking on the beach there so a buffalo may show up on this before it's done.

I appreciate your comments and any feedback on these! I get so inspired with what
you all are doing.