Snowy Owl and the Smithsonian Craft Show

I’m back at home and my to-do list is long! I have to catch up posting all the dolls I finished before the show. The last owl was a snowy owl. And, btw, all the owls found new homes!

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The Smithsonian Craft Show was amazing! It was such an honor to be part of this event. Here is a photo looking down on my booth from the 2nd floor.

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And here is a front view from the first day of the show.

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By Sunday, my booth was looking a lot different. I am learning that the tattooed people are not big sellers at the fine craft shows but everything else was popular. I was filling the spaces with whatever I could. I am going to have to get busy to fill my inventory and shop again. I am lucky to have that “problem”!

Checking in, LA report

I got back from LA a week ago but things have been a bit crazy. There was a bad storm in Boston while we were gone and it damaged our roof. We got back just in time to deal with another storm (Wed. and Thurs) and all the water issues. Plastic and buckets in the attic, moving years of attic accumulation to keep things safe, and trying to find someone to repair the roof before the blizzard today. Yep, I’ve been distracted. But we did find someone to do a temporary fix (new roof ahead), and today was a blizzard-y snow day and the attic seems dry so I can relax. Here is a picture heavy post of quilts that caught my eye at QuiltCon.

I have the names of some of the artists but not all. I don’t know how I messed up with that and I’m very sorry. If I find out the artist, I can add the names.

3-12-LA quilts - 1detail- I found the details in the piecing fascinating.

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below- Wholecloth, 4 by Heidi Parks. As someone who can’t stand to throw any little piece of thread away, this appealed to me!

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below- detail of Pivoted Plaid by Cassandra Beaver

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Get Woke by Chawne Kimber

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Counter Weave by Scott Murkin

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Ms Conceived by Miriam Coffey

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This is the back of

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this one!

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And some details-

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There were a lot of amazing quilts; so many it was overwhelming! There were many quilts with political messages and an area that had some of the AIDS quilts. I found those quilts very moving because of the birth dates- so many of the deaths were of people I could have known, gone to school with, been friends with. It brought me back to that time. I am glad I made the effort to go to the show even though quilting isn’t my main interest. I saw people I knew, so many fiber friends, and it is always fun to wander through the vendors and see all the cool toys I mean tools! Next, I will show pics from the Swaddled Baby class.

Red hair and pears

Here she is, the last of the bunch.

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She has amazing mohair hair. I’m not sure when I acquired the mohair but it was a long time ago. It was in a bag full of possible doll hair fibers, up in the attic. As I sorted through the choices, it was obvious that I’d already used it for hair once before- now I was curious! I went back through all my photos. And back, and back, and back. Right to the very beginning of when I had a digital camera. Here! That is 2001 and some of my first dolls. (And my daughter.) That was before I was blogging, before Flickr, before Facebook and all the rest.

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Anyway, I used the mohair again and then went back to the fabric hair that I used for the rest of this group of dolls. I haven’t figured out a way to use the yarn fibers in a way that I am 100% satisfied with. I like her hair but I’m not sure who is in control here!

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I made her a kitty in a bag.

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Here she is in her underwear,with all her things.

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2017 what-I-made review!

I went through all the photos today. I already knew the total- 134 dolls, but it is a whole different thing to see them all together.

By the time I finished making dolls for the year, I’d made-

21 foxes and 7 pugs-

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11 Owls and 13 Kitties-

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7 Lumberjacks, 6 Mermen, and 32 Tattooed Men-

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7 Babies and 8 Tattooed Ladies-

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And 22 Fresh Fish pillows-

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In addition, I made 20 Tiny World Pincushions.

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I was surprised to see how close I was to last year with only a slightly different mix. Onward into the new year!

Beards Rock

Beards Rock by Sarah, La Barbiere de Paris

I received an amazing surprise in the mail- this absolutely beautiful book!

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And I am beyond thrilled to be included in it!

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I get a certain number of email requests to participate in projects and I never know if it will be fantastic or a big zero. I usually decide to do them based on a whim- does the email sound friendly, knowledgeable and respectful of my time and artwork? Then I will probably say yes. Mostly, I spend some hours answering questions and collecting photographs, send them off, then never hear or see anything again. But, THIS BOOK! Awesome! I am honored to be part of this group of artists-

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I’ve taken a few pics of some of my favorite pages-

This fellow, so classic and perfect inspiration for one of my fellows.

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The flower beards!

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Each artist gets a little biography, answers a few questions and then has several pages of photographs/illustrations. The author of the book is identified as Sarah, Barber of Paris. She is apparently one of the few professional women barbers in France. It is a big, coffee table type book and so much fun to page through. It is going to give me loads of ideas for future men with beards.

This is an affiliate Amazon link if you are inspired to buy it. There is also a set of postcards with images from the book. I haven’t seen them though and don’t know if one of my images is included.

 

News Post

I mostly remember to blog when I finish a doll but I have news to share!

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I will be teaching Swaddled Babies in LA, California at French General. It will be a 2-day class over the weekend of March 3 and 4. All the info and signing up is here. I sure hope the class is a go because I can hardly think of anything better at the end of a Boston winter than a trip to warm climes and palm trees!

Other big news- I have been accepted to show at the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC at the end of April 2018. I am so thrilled that I am going to get to be part of this amazing show! Actually, I’ve got several shows lined up at this point. I will be doing CraftBoston Holiday again this year and next year too (Holiday 2018). And in August, I will be back out in California, San Francisco this time, for the American Craft Council Show.

I am so excited about what I’ve got lined up for next year. I really didn’t know what to expect when I started applying for the fine Craft shows. I talked to friends and got recommendations and did my applications. I got rejected from the first 2 and thought, Oh well, my work isn’t a good fit (because, of course, that’s what I was really thinking before I started any of these applications!). When I was accepted to the ACC show, I was thrilled and surprised and now I start down a new path. Exciting times!

teaching in Southern California

I’m back and catching up on my sleep. Wow was that trip exhausting! I know that as I travel-teach more, I will get less anxious but at this point I can really make myself crazy. I’m a list maker and everything that I forgot, wish I’d had, or overdid, will be noted for next time. Honestly, the trip and the teaching went really well and any little blip was mostly easily worked out so I’m hoping for less stress on future travels.

The first venue was French General in LA.

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It was 2 full days- 2 classes of wonderful women making Tiny Worlds. I am always amazed that there is so much range of experiences in teaching, each group is unique. One class, almost no one finishes and in next class, almost everyone does! Some groups are chatty, some intense, some get very creative, some follow the pattern exactly. And you never know what it will be until the group comes together! I got to meet some long-time internet friends and meet many new people. The current plan is that I will go back next year and teach the Swaddled Baby which would be a 2 day class.

Lots of busy sewing-

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Next, up to Ventura for Craftcation. I taught the Tiny World pincushion there also-

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And lastly, I taught the Crafty Hand ornament. This was a free pattern that I made for Sweet Paul magazine in case you’d like to make your own. This was a relaxing class- the ornament is easy and everyone could be creative and still finish. I loved seeing what everyone made-

This one is right from the pattern-

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But some people really got into it and added all kinds of extras!

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Also, I got to take a fun class too! I learned some improv quilting techniques from Malka Dubrawsky of A Stitch in Dye, who I have online known for years- so much fun to meet in person! I am a self-taught, very basic quilter and so even though it was an improv class, I learned things that I’ve never been clear on such as theories of ironing the seam allowance. And, sewing triangles- a big step for me!

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I had an amazing, exhausting trip. I will do at least one more LA post with more pics. Now, time to get back into the studio and back to work!

 

recap, 2016

I posted all the dolls, and now the rest of the things that happened last year.

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I started the year making foxes. They were for the window at Gather Here in Cambridge. And then I made more and more and more foxes until there were 18!

I also gave a talk about using social media at a local gallery in January. I did 2 talks this year because I also spoke about my work at a local church womens group in November. Getting in front of a group of people to talk is NOT my comfort zone but I do okay as long as I can show pictures and talk about the work.

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In the Spring I went to Craftcation in Ventura, California and had an amazing time. So amazing that I am going back this year and also will be teaching! After the conference, Ben and I spent a week in the LA area having a most excellent vacation. So Many Tacos!

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In May I found out that I had won an award from the Academy of Handmade for the Textiles:Woven division. I was so surprised and honored. I have my award hanging in my studio and it makes me happy whenever I look at it.

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Also in May, we had a family gathering in Brooklyn for my son’s graduation and MFA celebration. I am always up for a trip to NY!

In September I went to Nashville which was honestly, pretty much a bust. But that happens sometimes.

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In the fall, my 3rd line of ornaments came out at West Elm- an owl family. I was really pleased with how they turned out. Unfortunately, it looks like that is all for now- no new designs for 2017. Oh well, I was very happy to have the opportunity to work with them and was never expecting anything beyond the first year!

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The last big thing was CraftBoston Holiday which was terrific. I was so happy with how that went. I was invited to participate and I am so glad I jumped at the chance. It had never really occurred to me to apply because I didn’t think it would be the right fit for my work. I was wrong! Now I am excited to start moving in a new direction- namely higher end, more fine craft shows. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

Because of the CraftBoston Holiday show, I ended up in 2 separate gift guides in the Boston Globe on the weekend after Thanksgiving- that was amazing!

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So, it ended up being a pretty exciting year for me. Not everything was smooth or obvious or easy. I found the politics to be incredibly stressful but luckily for my artwork, the way I deal with stress is to go into my studio, shut the door, find an escapist audiobook, and get to work. I feel like I have a good idea of some new directions for me to pursue this year. I learned (reminded myself?) that I do better mentally, physically and creatively when I am busy and have deadlines. It is good for me to do shows and get out of the studio and be with people. I am hoping to do more teaching both locally and out in the bigger world. And, I want to get some more patterns made. I came to a crashing halt on more ornament patterns and I have to get back to them.

1-2-patterns-1And the pattern for the dog. There, I said it so maybe that will make it happen! So, another year goes by and another year to look forward to. Happy New Year everybody and thanks so much for coming and visiting and being on this journey with me!

Save

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End of the year count!

How many dolls did I make in 2016? Well, I started the year with foxes- 18 of them.

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I made 37 tattooed men and 8 lumberjacks-

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1. Pirate with an earring, 2. blond hair, red tights, 3. man face detail, 4. blue and orange tattooed man, 5. Big man in a kilt, 6. another man in a kilt, 7. big beautiful toile man, 8. embroidered man face, 9. Summer Santa face, 10. dark tattooed man, 11. Sailor Man, 12. Summer man in a kilt, 13. man, hat, kilt, 14. Dark man, 15. Big Tattoo man, 16. tattooed man, day of the dead, 17. tattoo man 2, day of the dead, 18. red-haired man
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1. Untitled, 2. Green Man face, 3. man face, 4. man with a horse tattoo, 5. man face, brown beard with dots, 6. Green Man 2, 7. mustache and day of the dead tattoos, 8. Green Man face, 9. Green Man 4, 10. Nautical Big Man, 11. big man face, red hair, mustache, 12. cat and big man, 13. Tattooed man face, 14. tattoos and mustache, 15. Sailor Man face, 16. tattoos, skeletons, Christmas, 17. black tattooed man face, 18. red-haired man in a kilt 1

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1. Red-haired man 2, 2. Lumberjack with wild hair, 3. Cashmere carrot lumberjack, 4. classic lumberjack face, 5. Classic Lumberjack, 6. Classic lumberjack 2, 7. lumberjack 3 face, 8. Big Man Lumberjack, 9. December Lumberjack

20 fish and 5 babies-

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1. 3 red fish, 2. 2 blue fish, 3. goldfish and purple fish, 4. green and red fish, 5. November fish, pink and purple, 6. November fish 4 5 6, 7. green and blue fish, 8. sleeping swaddled baby, summer flowers, 9. purple and green bird baby, 10. swaddled bird baby, 11. little birds baby, 12. bright summer flower baby

12 tattooed ladies-

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1. tattooed lady face, 2. tattooed lady detail, 3. dots and stripes lady, 4. tattooed lady in a tutu, 5. red-headed lady face, 6. tattooed lady in mauve, 7. tattooed lady, red boots, 8. aqua stripe pants lady, 9. stars and stripes tattooed lady, 10. Tattooed lady, day of the dead, 1, 11. Day of the dead tattooed lady #3, 12. #2 day of the dead lady

10 owls and 8 girls-

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1. grey/black owl, 2. grey/black owl 2, 3. dark brown owl, 4. light brown owls, 5. scraggly brown owl, 6. brown owl, 7. snowy owls on the porch, 8. blond girl doll face, 9. Spring girl doll, 10. red-haired girl doll, 11. school girl doll face, 12. school girl in red and green, 13. blond girl, papper cranes, 14. Folktale girl, 15. butterfly girl

And 14 dogs-

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1. grey hound dog with beret, 2. curly-haired dog, 3. yellow dog in checks, 4. black dog with curly hair, 5. black and white girl dog, 6. golden girl dog, 7. orange dog girl, 8. Puppy and kittens, 9. white curly-girl dog face, 10. herringbone girl dog, 11. white dog, red shirt, yellow scarf, 12. last boy dog of winter, 13. grey plaid girl, 14. tweedy brown girl dog, 15. 3 lovely tattooed ladies!

Plus one random favorite photo to fill in this mosaic! That adds up to 132! Much better than 2015 (thank goodness) but not as much as 2014 and I’m okay with that.

I also made 18 Tiny Worlds.

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1. Tiny worlds, Nov. 4, 5, and 6, 2. tiny worlds, Nov. 1, 2, and 3, 3. tiny world- castle, 4. tiny world- castle, 5. tiny world fairy house- gold, 6. fairy house tiny world, 7. mid-century modern flowers pincushion, 8. transferware pincushion, 9. tiny world pincushion lighthouse, 10. tiny world pincushion lighthouse, 11. 3 tiny world pincushions, 12. topiary garden pincushion

Phew- Busy year!

 

I’m a winner!

Awards 2016 (25)

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I feel my head swelling as I write this!

I am so honored to have been named a winner of the Academy of Handmade awards- category, Textiles: Wovens. When I received an email telling me that I had been nominated, I was completely surprised and I really didn’t know anything about the organization- Academy Of Handmade. (Here is a list of all the 2016 nominees.) Luckily, when I was out in LA at Craftcation, I met people who are involved with it and I think I have a better idea now.

It is an online and in-person support group for micro handmade businesses like mine. You have to apply to be a member, there is a membership fee, and it is mostly West Coast based at this point. It seems to be a formalized version of my Crafty Biz meet-up. (Their faq page.) I would guess that it is incredibly helpful to people who are near an in-person chapter. I get so much from my monthly meeting up with people who are doing a similar maker biz thing.

Speaking of which, Merriweather Council, my friend and former Crafty Biz meet-up fellow (we miss you since you moved Danielle!) was a winner too! She also won the award for Handmade Community Superstar which she totally deserves!