Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Woodland Christmas Tree

Hello everyone! Finally got my tree up, and as you can see, it is heavily inspired by nature. Of course it is!  I found myself gleefully snapping away, wanting to show you every little ornament on the tree; but I managed to check myself and just go with these.  I am so proud to have some of my own handmade ornaments on the tree this year (all the mushroom ornaments!).  I think they look right at home with the little wired on birds, birds nests tucked into the branches, grapevine stars, and folk art churches.  Oh, I love my tree! am I allowed to say that?

I have a theory about Christmas trees.  I think they reflect a person's true personal style.  Or they certainly can anyway.  I have ornaments for 3 or 4 different themed trees - a candy themed tree for the boys (that was last year)  a winter wonderland theme all in white, blues and silver for my husband, a traditional tree with Santa and snowmen and candy canes, etc.  But this one is my favorite!  This is my tree.  I hope to create a few more handmade ornaments for it if I have time, but so far every spare moment has been spent shopping, baking, or decorating!

I wonder if you agree with my little theory.  Take a look at your tree.  What does it say about you?  I'd love to see yours!  Send me some pix, won't you?

Happy Christmas-ing everyone!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Welcome, December

Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is beginning to tiptoe its way into our little woodland cottage.  No tree yet.  I will wait a bit longer for that.  But, a few small touches of holiday cheer here and there are nice.  Never is our little home more cozy and comfortable than at this time of year.

After all the flurry of cooking and preparation for having our family over for the Thanksgiving meal, things have once again settled into a quiet, comfortable rhythm here.   A small break before we get caught up in the Christmas whirlwind.  While everyone else I know went shopping on Friday, we stayed home, sat by the fire, ate leftovers, napped,  and I experimented with paint and stitch.  Can you recognize this bird?  It is suppose to be an English robin!  I need to work on my drawing skills, I think :)  You may remember that I have tried this technique before on this fish.  I really enjoyed making it, so I am exploring the technique again in hopes of maybe creating some woodland themed Christmas ornaments.  We'll see.

How about you?  Do you have any holiday projects in the works?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Folk Art Harvest

Behind the scenes - the world's most loyal assistants!
Hi everyone! I finished up my latest project - a folk art inspired harvest design - which I then decided to make into a pillow.  This was such a fun project!  I was inspired to create this design by the wonderful ethnic/folk embroidery styles of Scandinavia, Hungary, and Poland that I've been studying on the internet.  Most of the images I saw were of brightly colored floral patterns, usually in primary colors.  They're beautiful! But, I wanted to try to create a harvest inspired pattern in a similar style, and this is what I came up with.  I've incorporated pumpkins, corn, sunflowers and grapes with vines, leaves and a couple of whimsical flowers.  I'm not so sure I achieved the folk-art look I was going for, but I'm happy with this first attempt.  Ultimately, I would like to be able to create some modern, folk-inspired clothing embellished with this style of embroidery like the ones I've seen on the fabulous Kate and Rose blog.

This will be my one and only Thanksgiving project this year as Christmas will be here in just a few weeks, and I haven't even started on any Christmas projects! Yikes!  I've got to get cracking on some Christmas stitchery asap!

Thanks for visiting! And thank you so much for all the sweet comments you have left on my recent posts.  You guys are great, and you make blogging FUN!!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Red Shoes

Inspired by the colors of autumn and all of the beautiful folk art embroidery I've been drooling over online, I drew up my own little folk art harvest pattern, which hopefully will turn into something nice.  It is inspired by the wonderful folk patterns of eastern Europe, particularly Hungary and Poland.  I've seen so many beautiful things, and I wanted to create something of my own in an autumnal palette, which I haven't seen a lot.  Most things are done in primary colors, which are very beautiful!  I just thought it might be nice to see this style in a different range of colors and themes.  Now, the question is,  are my stitching skills up to the task? Yipes!

And in keeping with my new obsession for all things folk arty, while shopping for a pair of boots the other day, I saw these!

Needless to say, I did not come home with a pair of boots, but a gorgeous pair of red clogs! They make me so happy when I wear them,  I'm like a little girl with her first pair of red shoes.....come to think of it, this IS my first pair of red shoes!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Visitors to the Wonderland

Common Box Turtle
How could anyone call this beautiful creature "common"?  You can't see it so well in this photo, but his eyes are an astonishing red-orange color.  They make him look as if he's saying, "Don't mess with me, or you're likely to draw back a nub, sister!"  Actually, I think they make good pets, but we don't keep animals that would have to stay in a small cage.  Better to enjoy them enjoying their natural environment.  Now I know who's been nibbling all the mushrooms!!

American anole
So far no birds have claimed this little birdhouse, but it looks like someone else might be considering it! This is the American anole, sometimes called a chameleon, wearing his lovely browns.

American anole
American anole
And here is another one, a little tiny baby one only about 2.5" long (tail and all!!) Isn't she sweet?? She is sporting the brilliant emerald green coloring they are best known for.  I think (I hope) she is one of Ivy's babies.  Here she is hiding amongst the morning glories which grow up the bird feeder.  So cute I had to give you two photos of her :)  I have named her Gloria.

Tiger beetle
If I ever attempt a stumpwork beetle, this will be my subject.  Love that brilliant turquoise green!!

A poor little frozen bumblebee.  I spotted him very early on a very chilly morning.  I don't think he was dead, just very cold.  I hope he was able to warm up and fly home later in the morning.

Lots of fuzzy caterpillars around.

Not a critter, but rather evidence of one - a perfectly round hole right through the center of my creeping sedum.  And I was thinking that it just wasn't happy in our heavy clay soil.  Not too long after this was taken, the dogs got after the mole who is responsible for it and dug up the whole flower bed to get at him.  Oh well.  I needed to transplant some things anyway.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend from Wonderland!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crafting With Nature: Pebble Mosaic

Mother Nature was kind enough to dump a few tons of fresh white sand on the creek banks for us this summer.  Lots of sand and stones to play with, so we decided to have another go at nature art.  This time we made a simple mosaic out of colorful stones.  We had such fun searching for the right size and color for each section of the mushroom, and we were all happy with the final result - so much so that we're thinking of making a permanent one set in quick set concrete.  It would be lovely to have a garden paver to remind me of our special day at the 'beach'.

I hope this inspires you to go out and make a little artwork with nature.  It's so fun, and can be quite a meditative experience.  Why not check out the link above and see what inspires you?  There are lots of leaves and twigs and pinecones and such around this time of year.  What might you make with them?
Please let me know if you do.  We'd love to see what you make :)

Thank you to Jules at Adventures in Thread for inspiring us to make our own nature art.  Hopefully, there will be many more to come!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spooky Stitches

A little stitch witchery for Halloween! My mother gave me this frame a few weeks ago, and I just loved the color and the design.  I knew I wanted to make something for Halloween to go in it, but it would have to be something simple so as not to compete with the frame, but what?  Hmmmm.   Then I saw some cute little embroidered owls over at  JennyPennyPoppy, and I thought "Owl!"  So off I went trolling the web for an owl, and I found a simple line drawing of this spooky owl on a tree branch.

He is stitched mostly in chain stitches with a few fly stitched feathers.  Not sure if you can really tell, but I gave him some gold glass beads for eyes.  In the right light, they really glint and gleam and send a little shiver down your spine!  This photo was taken with it out of the frame, because I wanted you to see the crested chain stitch border which is unfortunately obscured by the frame (because some dummy can't measure right!!!)  I found a terrific video tutorial over at Mary Corbett's  Needle'n Thread, so I thought I would give it a try.  I love it!  It is a fun little stitch to work, and I think it makes a great border. (too bad you can't see it in the frame!!!! but never mind)


Count them.......7!!!!

Some eight-legged stitchers have been making some spooky stitches of their own!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quiet Places

Seeking shelter from the world this week, I find that the quiet places without help me to find the quiet place within.