Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Big Tree

We've had this tall, skinny tree for several years now. We decorate it, Gerry lifts it onto the table, and we stand it in front of our tall windows. This year we used primarily white, gold, and red fake flowers and clear glass ornaments and icicles. Cosmo approves.

When Cosmo isn't admiring the tree, he's watching for birds and chipmunks outside. It's a very tall tree!

Sometimes Cosmo watches Molly, who watches Cosmo.
I made these two little angels for a "pocket angel swap" on the CPS list. I have three more to finish - one for each granddaughter.

Clumpy Snow

It began yesterday afternoon, coming down in gobs.
It looked as though someone were above us, shaking white feathers from an oversized pillow case.
The snowplow guys were really happy. They zoomed up and down the street at least six times in two hours, for what amounted to less than two inches of snow.

Christmas Eve

A beautiful, peaceful evening. I love "snack supper."
I may keep that wreath on the mirror long beyond Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Both our trees are up, gifts have been shipped, and we are just about ready.

Bright blessings.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

December birds

Just before our Thanksgiving visitors arrived, we hung and filled the bird feeder in a new, easier-to-see location off the deck railing. Not only do we get lots of bird visitors, we're going through an extraordinary amount of bird food.
Today, I noticed the usual "food queue" in the bare lilac bush - but I also heard the annoyed "chip-chip" sound of a cranky cardinal. When I looked out the window, there was a nice sized Downy Woodpecker lounging in the feeder. The rest of the line-up was pretty annoyed with him.
Though I never did manage to get a photo of the woodpecker, I did get some of our other customers. Bear in mind these were all taken through the window of the back door, so may not be the best. I love these little colorful darlings. You should be able to click the photos to see them larger if you want.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Working on...

A new doll, five pocket angels, and a few other things that don't show here.
At least four times a week, for the last six years, I've driven past this tree. Just a couple days ago, I noticed the very textural bark.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This is the beauty of autumn. Wish I could convince it to stay a little longer!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dark Morning Sky

We finally had two full days of sunshine! Even though that should make me happy, I was all set to sign on and grumble about today's dark and dreary skies. Got out the camera, took these photos, and realized how lucky I am to have the dark sky as a contrasting background to the brightly colored leaves still on the trees;
how lucky I am to have blooming plants in the yard and on the deck this late in the year;
and yes - how lucky I am to have all those wires out front bringing electricity and the internet right into my lap! It's actually a pretty day, when I think about it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Completed Sidewalk & Front Landscaping

The was finished about 10 days ago, but it took this long to have enough sunshine to take decent photos. It appears that Molly approves. (All photos should be clickable to view larger, if you're interested.) The only part of the project yet to do is some new path lights.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Finished Projects

A few months ago, I received a box of 12 pincushion mannequins, without explanation. The only thing I can figure is they were sent in response to my request for goodies for the Doll Gala LAST year. I handed them out to the gals in Cloth Souls, and we decided to make them into a challenge - to be completed for the October meeting, in some kind of holiday theme, any holiday.

Here's what they looked like before - some pink, some blue:
I made mine into a Christmas angel. The gold wires have crystals at the ends, and are the illusion of a halo. Don't you love those wings? I got them in a fabric packet when we visited Gypsy Pamela last June. The white clothing is all from cutter linens, with a stiffening agent.
Saw this Halloween candleholder at World Market, and turned it into a pincushion. Just a little bit of wool clippings inside the DOD fabric, stuffed into the candleholder. The pins are typical pearl-head florist pins, but have been pushed into the enlarged hole of some dollar store skulls. The hand is actually much more sparkly than the photo shows.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Iowa Retreat Doll

The Iowa Retreat with Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard was wonderful again this year. Our project, a gourd doll, was an incredible learning session, full of new techniques and ideas.

The base of the doll is the gourd we colored. In addition, my doll has a "scrying bowl" made of the very top portion of the gourd. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but Jean is the one that figured the way to achieve what I wanted - actually, she achieved WAY more than what I thought possible.

The resin faces we used were provided; Jean's "Scarlett" mold was used to make the faces. The body, arms, and neck are sewn, gessoed, and decorated. I'm showing both outdoor and light cube photos, because the coloring of the outdoor photo - though more accurate - has distracting things going on in the background! The facial coloring doesn't contrast quite as much as it appears in the light cube photo.

Still working...

I know, I'm too impatient...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Front Sidewalk

When we bought this house six years ago, we were aware that the front sidewalk was "heaved" by the roots of the large maple trees in the front yard. We focused on other repairs and changes first, however, (like a new roof and a gas stove!) but now that we've taken the house off the market, we've decided it's time to do one more thing to make it our own.
One of the huge challenges with a disrupted sidewalk is the shock you get when the snowshovel hits the ridge of concrete. It was time, as you can see in the three "before" photos below:

Like all good home improvement projects, this one suffers from the "mushroom factor." You know how that goes - you start out changing a burned out light bulb, and end up rewiring an entire room. We'd gotten three estimates from Pirc Landscaping - minimal, moderate, and ideal. We started out with the minimal, upgraded our thinking to the moderate (mid project, no less) and are ending up with the ideal, because of the issues uncovered with the grade of the dirt around the house.
Here are some during photos:

I'll be excited to share the afters, if for no other reason than the "scree" is now tamped down in the new pathway, but the dogs are tracking it in through the entire house. Two vacuumings and one washing per day are not enough to clear it out. It's now 9:00 am here, and I can hear the equipment running out front at this very moment. I'm thinking we'll see some pavers before the end of the day!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Ute Vasina Little Folk Results

I've finished "Maude" from the Ute Vasina class I took a couple weeks ago. I pictured a female troll in girly-girl pinks, but Noooooo.... She wanted to farm and tend the grapevines. You will probably notice, however, that some of her lacy pink underwear is peeking out from the back of her pants around the tail.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekend Projects

Actually managed to accomplish quite a bit this weekend! I took a class in Akron, sponsored by the Time for Dolls club, with Ute Vasina. Ute teaches (and makes, obviously) fabulously individual trolls. Here's what I've done so far with mine - her limbs are just pinned on, her hair plopped on her head - but her shoes look GOOD.
For that same group, we're making our holiday table decorations - which was supposed to be a Santa. I started under protest, but got him started. Now that it can be anything Christmas related, I'm not going back. He needs some clothing... and a haircut...
Leaving for Jean & Sherry's Iowa Retreat on Thursday. We do a pincushion exchange there - this is my offering. It's supposed to be Halloween or Fall themed. I figure some Halloween witch got hold of this guy.
And for the Cloth Paper Studio group, we're doing a swap of zipper pulls/pendants made of Wilson Art laminate chips. Here are mine:
And to think - I have more things in the works, plus the class with Sherry & Jean! Can't wait to share when I return.

Monday, September 05, 2011

A Little Bit of Happy

Recently, I've kicked up soap production again, realizing that the cure time is just about perfect for holiday sales. After brilliant analysis, I realized I only had a few sheets of printable handmade paper remaining in the drawer in the soap room.
Off to Creative Papers Online (no affiliation) for an order, but was quite good at resisting all their other goodies that I thought should find a home in the art treehouse. EXCEPT - at check out I was offered a Super Papercraft Grab Bag! and it was affordable and I did it and I'm glad! That photo above is all the stuff I got for $12.99.
AND...yes, I went back and placed another order. I NEED skeleton leaves in copper. I am within inches (ounces?) of "maximum occupancy" in the treehouse.