a little more LA and what comes next

The last thing I want to mention that I love about LA is the food- we do tacos, tacos, and tacos. Also fresh fruit and veg- we had strawberries from a farmers market like I have never tasted in my life!

5-4-LA taco - 1

Do you watch Chef’s Table on Netflix? I love that show! We went to Nancy Silverton’s restaurant for an amazing dinner.

5-4-LA 3 - 1

And lastly, I’ll mention the Getty Villa. I enjoyed the collection although a big part of the museum is currently closed. Loved these weird bird, fish, lady creatures.

5-4-LA getty - 1

What comes next? I am doing the Coolidge Corner Arts Festival, Saturday June 3. I will be working toward that, right up to the last minute I’m sure. Tomorrow, some new finished pieces!

LA 2- it sure isn’t Boston!

I love going to LA. Everything is so different from the everyday world outside my door- the plants, the weather, the fashion, the people on the sidewalk, the food… Then I come home to see my New England home with new eyes.

We stayed at a lovely Airbnb in Silverlake with a back garden which included-

5-4-LA plants - 1

Also a fig tree and there was an avocado in the next yard, plus a large citrus of some sort.

After 2 busy days of teaching, we spent a day in the gardens at The Huntington. What an amazing place. I have never seen anything like the desert garden. I am including my husband in the pic for scale ;-)

5-4-LA 2 - 1

I took a lot of texture photos-

5-4-LA 2 - 1 (1)

And that is now my new phone screen saver. How about this cactus?

5-4-LA 2 - 1 (2)

There was loads more that I could show but that desert garden is what I will go back for next time I am in LA.

The next day we drove up to the Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains. We left town and it was 80 degrees. At the Observatory it was in the 50′s and we were freezing!

5-4-LA 2 - 1 (3)

5-4-LA 2 - 1 (4)

Next, off to Ventura for something completely different. Unfortunately I spent much too much time in the hotel and not enough contemplating this-

5-4-LA 2 - 1 (5)

Yep, I am already planning my trip for next year.

Craftcation 2017

Remember when I went to LA last year for Craftcation and had SO MUCH FUN?! Well, tomorrow is the day that registration opens for the 2017 conference.

View More: http://gatherwest.pass.us/craftcation2015

And I am going to be teaching!!! I will be teaching Tiny World pincushions and also an ornament/souvenir. I am really excited to be going back to LA. Here is the deal- registration opens tomorrow, Thursday Oct. 13 at noon est or 9am pst. The first 50 people get $50 off the cost of registration. And, I have an affiliate link here so if you go through that link, I will get a few $ which will be put toward my plane fare. Look at all the amazing people who will be there!

Here are all the reasons the Craftcation team thinks people would like to come to Ventura-

Craftcation: Business + Makers Conference is an annual four-day event featuring industry professionals leading attendees in hands-on DIY workshops and creative business classes.

Have you ever thought to yourself…

      • I’d love to take a vacation while making things with awesome people.
      • I have a great idea for a business that I want to turn into my full-time job but I don’t know where to start.
      • I have a successful business and I’m ready to take it to the next level but I’m not sure how.
      • I want to make meaningful connections with people in my field but I don’t have the time or opportunity to make it happen.

Craftcation is the place where you can make it happen!

If you’re a maker, blogger or creative business owner then join me for four inspiring days that you’ll never forget. Craftcation has over 80 hands-on workshops and business classes so whether you’re coming to craft, grow your business or a little bit of both, there’s lots of making, meeting and learning in store for you.

Craftcation takes place April 27-30, 2017, in the beach town of Ventura, California, (about an hour north of Los Angeles). Craftcation utilizes Ventura’s historic downtown buildings and businesses as well as the beach for special events like networking meet & greets, cocktail socials, a pop-up shop, opening celebration, yoga, as well as food and art tours.

Registration opens 10.13.16 and the first 50 people to register get $50 off!

This is why I think you should come-

Southern California at the end of winter!

Amazing people and energy!

And, TACOS!

Ask away if you have questions. Again, I had a wonderful time last year and am thrilled to be asked to teach! Hope to see you there!

 

LA Flowers

I love going to a new place with a completely different ecosystem. At home, I am used to walking around and knowing most of the plants. When I go somewhere with a completely different climate, it is all an awesome mystery. I can’t get over the wonder of it all!

First, some flowers from my beach walk in Ventura.

4-25-LAflowers - 1

I know these ones- California Poppies.

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (1)

After leaving snowy Boston, all the flowers were bliss.

We left Ventura and drove to the Joshua Tree National Park. I’m so glad we went. The high desert is a beautiful place when winter rains have caused so many flowers to bloom. I hope I can visit again, maybe in another season.

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (2)

These are just a few of the many, many flowers we saw blooming there.

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (3)

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (4)

Lots of plants growing out of rock crevices-

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (5)

Then LA. This particular flower was at the Getty Center-

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (6)

And these were at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. That was my favorite (non-fabric store) place we visited in LA.

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (7)

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (8)

On our last day, we spent the afternoon walking around Venice Beach and the canals there. Oh my, this house is so beautiful-

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (9)

And the garden with all the colors of green- it took my breath away.

4-25-LAflowers - 1 (10)

That’s all the tropical flowers- don’t want to overwhelm the blog! We are getting some spring here in Boston so I will have lots of my own flowers to enjoy soon.

 

November news

I really should start a newsletter. It’s on my list for someday when I have time! Here is some news and some fun things I’ve been enjoying.

I will be in Rollinsford, New Hampshire this weekend at the Open Studios for artstream studio. This is their brand new space and I can’t wait to see it! Susan Schwake, artstream’s owner, invited me to come up and enjoy some time in the new space. 11-19-weekend - 1

I will have lots of goodies and hope some of you can make it. It is Saturday and Sunday, 10 to 5, 20 Front St, Rollinsford, NH.

Speaking of Susan, have I mentioned her new book Art Camp: 52 Art Projects for Kids to Explore (Kids Art)!!

11-19-artcamp - 1

Yeah, it’s actually a bit of bragging since I am one of the profiled artists <3 What I love about this book is that it is for kids. Not kids and their parents or teachers. It is projects they can do on their own. I had a book like that when I was a kid- it was called the Make-It Book. Actually, I still have it, totally falling apart but oh how I loved that book.

I have a mini-feature in the Holiday issue of Sweet Paul magazine. I designed 2 ornaments for them and they will put the directions up on their website but I don’t think they are there yet. I will keep you posted. But, in the meantime, here is a link for free access to the online version of the Holiday issue. Enjoy!

Here are some things I’ve been enjoying lately-

I know I mentioned Miss Fisher. Such glorious eye-candy! I have finished Season 1 and 2 but before I started Season 3, I got distracted by The Great British Baking Show (or Bake-Off as it is known everywhere else except the US). So, so good. And I am not normally a reality, contest show kind of watcher.

I’ve just discovered the Dear Sugar podcast. You might not know this about me but I love advice columns. The problems of life in a few paragraphs, get their answers. Or something. Anyway, I read/listened to Cheryl Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar a few years ago and loved her voice, how she thought and talked about hard questions. I am thrilled that I now have a whole years’ worth of episodes to listen to!

Okay, one more photo of some things that will be coming to NH with me. Hope some of you can make it!

11-19-weekend - 1 (1)

Portland (west)!

I had an amazing time!

I saw beautiful dolls at the NIADA conference-

7:24:portland 9

Harriet by Shelley Thornton.

7:24:portland 7

Ima Naroditskaya‘s beautiful doll.

I listened to amazing people give inspiring talks including- Ronnie Burkett  His talk made me desperate to see one of his performances and guess what? He will be in NYC at the end of September! Time for another NYC trip!

Toby Froud-

7:24:portland 6

And Georgina Hayns from Laika Studio who brought some of the puppets for us to examine, up close. So so awe-inspiring! (Are you noticing the puppet theme?)

7:24:portland 5

But that wasn’t the best thing. The best thing is that I internet-know George. She has bought some of my pieces and we’ve corresponded. She invited me to visit Laika and see how a hive of 400 people come together for 2+ years to make a fantastic movie. Honestly, as a one-person show, it was hard to wrap my head around! I saw so many interesting and beautiful things- and now I have to wait more than a year to see how it all comes together!

7:24:portland 8

She took me around to some Portland fabric stores. We went to Bolt Fabric, The Mill End Store and the Pendleton Outlet- where they were having a sale, how lucky am I?! I got some good stuff- for the dolls, for clothing for me, and for random projects. Cottons-

7:24:portland 3

And wools except that purple one is silk-

7:24:portland 2

She asked me to teach while I was there, so on the Sunday, a group of friends came together and made ornaments. Thanks for the Instagram photo Vera! (since I didn’t manage to get any pics.)

7:24:portland 10

Okay, what else? I met up with a friend of a friend and now I have a new friend! I also met up with Diane who I saw last time I was in Portland, so many years ago. Time flies but we stay connected- thank you internet. And I went to the Button Emporium of course. Most of these things came from there (except rick rack from Bolt).

7:24:portland 1

So yes, it was great. I hope it isn’t another 7 years before I get back!

Mister Finch <3

So, I went to New York to go to an opening. I have never done that before but really, Mister Finch was in town and I had to see his work and say hello!

6:7:mrfinch1

It was totally worth it! Go see it if you can. The show is up until the end of July at the Steven Kasher Gallery. And the gallery is right next to the High Line and that’s fun too! Here’s pics. I love how the pieces are displayed and the shadows that the art works cast. Sorry random people that got into my pics- it was really crowded.

6:7:mrfinch2

6:7:mrfinch3

6:7:mrfinch4

6:7:mrfinch5

6:7:mrfinch6

6:7:mrfinch7

6:7:mrfinch8

6:7:mrfinch9

My new current fantasy, the one where you suddenly have all the money and don’t have to work, would be to go to UK and travel around and visit all the amazing artists I’ve met through the internet but never in person. It is always amazing to finally meet in person. And then, after I’ve done the UK, I’d be off to Australia. Better start saving my money, right?!

Puerto Rico Flowers

Being in Puerto Rico was like spending a week in a greenhouse up here in New England- so many flowers! We spent one afternoon at a botanical garden in San Juan where there was an orchid show.

4:3:flowers 1

4:3:flowers 2

After we spent some time admiring the specimens in their pots, it was fun to see some in other places is the garden, more of their natural habitat.

4:3:flowers 3

After we left the beach front, we spent several nights in the mountains near the rain forest. The owners of the guest house were avid gardeners and there was some lovely specimens to see!

4:3:flowers 4

Passion flowers, above and below-

4:3:flowers 5

And this is a ginger with a little tree frog, coqui, peeking out.

4:3:flowers 6

I am back to work and will have a few things to show soon. Next weekend I will be down in Philadelphia to attend the Sweet Paul/Makerie- this year I will be enjoying classes instead of teaching. I am very excited!

Puerto Rico 1

We had a fantastic time in Puerto Rico! What a relief to get out of the dreary monochromatic winter-scape and see colors. All these photos are taken in old San Juan, a lovely place to spend a day or two at the end of March.

4:2:colors 1

4:2:colors 2

4:2:colors 3

4:2:colors 4

4:2:colors 5

4:2:colors 6I have never been to PR before and really didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t do much pre-planning and let ourselves be open to enjoying the warm weather, beautiful colors, and tropical landscape. I will post more pics soon.

 

Salley’s New Book! Give-away ahead!

I am so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Salley’s new book, Felt Wee Folk! Yes, we are friends, but that is not influencing my opinion that this is an amazing book.

3:6:wee folk 1

I received an e-copy to review but I’m an old-fashioned kind of craft book reader and I was thrilled when I got my hands on the paper edition. There are so many beautiful photos and projects and so much inspiration! I love how she choose to make families of dolls and also dolls for specific occasions like wedding cake toppers and a nativity scene. There are a variety of doll sizes shown although they are all (in my doll-making world) on the tiny size- 1 1/2″ baby to 4 1/2″ grown-ups.

As I paged through the book, what caught my eye was the variety and I think anyone interested in embroidery and or doll-making would find something fun to do. There are instructions for simpler versions that a child could do and the projects ramp up to higher skill levels and detail work. My most favorite ones are the doll house family. I would have loved having them as a child or making them when my kids were small. The wonderful thing is, these are dolls that can actually be played with, not something that has to be appreciated from the shelf.

3:6:wee folk 3

3:6:wee folk 4

Another project that I loved was the Hansel and Gretel dolls for a candy house. You could make an entire Christmas tree covered in all the characters that Salley came up with. And that is only if you stick with her designs because I can see using her book as a jumping off point to make all the characters for your own story or adventure.

There might be confusion that it is just an updated version of her earlier craft book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects since it has almost the same title, but really, it seems all new! I would think of it as an add-on instead. There were some non-doll felt projects in the first book that she left out and that leaves room for a lot more dolls. The photos are all new and there are many lovely fabric scenes that are what I think of when I imagine Salley’s artwork. I love this one-

3:6:wee folk 2

So here is the fun part- there is a book give-away! Anyone can enter- US address wins a hard copy book, International wins an e-book. Post a comment on the blog by midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) Sunday, March 15 and I will use a random number generator to pick the winner. Remember, you must come over to the blog and leave a comment to be entered. I can not count emailed comments.

If you NEED the book immediately, here are some other options- Amazon

 

or Salley’s Etsy shop where you can get all her books, supplies, posters and all sorts of goodies.

I thought this was cool too- A Child’s Dream, where I buy lots of my felt, has put together this basket and also a felt collection, designed for these projects.

And, lastly, if you are anywhere in the Boston area, you can see some of Salley’s original work in the next 2 months- the Lexington Library in March and then the Newton Library in April. Go see it if you can- they are work a trip. If you just want to take a virtual journey, check out the other blogs on the tour- everyone is having a give-away so you can enter them all!

Felt Wee Folk Blog Tour

March 3 – Mary Corbet’s Needle n’ Thread
March 6 – Mimi Kirchner – Doll
March 10- Margaret Bloom – Wee Bloom Here
March 12 – C&T Publishing’s Blog
March 13 - Kimara – Wee Folk Art
March 15 - Phoebe Wahl