February News- lots of classes!

Suddenly it seems I am teaching a lot of classes!

Owls- At the Brookline Arts Center

Sunday Feb. 19, 12- 4

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In March, I will be teaching 2 classes in Cambridge at GrayMist. On Saturday March 11, we will be making felt whales-

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and on Saturday March 25, Tiny World Pincushions.

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At the end of April, I will be going out to Los Angeles and teaching Tiny Worlds again- at French General on Saturday, April 22 and at Craftcation (which runs April 27 – 30).

I will also be making a Crafty Hand ornament at Craftcation.

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I hope some of you can join me for a fun few hours of making. Give yourself a crafty retreat-from-the-world spa day.

finally, a fox girl!

I finally have a finished piece to show you!

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This fox was a request from someone at CraftBoston, back in December. She saw this fox and then came back later but someone else had taken her home. I was asked if I could make another with the same fabric. Luckily, I still had it!

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This fox (body) is made of some hand-dyed (by me) wool. I love the richness of the color.

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William Morris inspired dress fabric, cashmere sweater with 1 antique button, Liberty of London wool shawl, wool felt purse. Hurray for finally #1- 2017 finished doll!

checking in

I have been working. I’m doing that part of the job where I am getting all the parts sorted out (matching dyed “tattooed” body piece to plain flesh color pieces and then cutting parts out), stuffing groups of already sewed animals (kitties and foxes) and giving them faces,

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and moving forward with dressing some of the them. I had a fox girl that I had promised to make so those are moving forward first.

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Soon I will have some finished pieces to show. But, the thing is, that really isn’t why I’ve been so quiet.

*** trigger warning for liberal politics- stop here if you can’t stand anymore***

I have just been so overwhelmed and distracted by what is happening here in the US. I have had a hard time focusing on my work. I get sucked into checking the news multiple times a day. My social media feeds (twitter, facebook) are filled with all the terrible news. I find myself thinking, I will just go peek and see what horrifying thing this new administration has done since the last time I looked. I know this is bad for me. I have to limit my exposure but I vacillate between feeling like I need to be informed and wanting to put my head under the covers and block everything out. I am a person who has struggled with depression my entire life but focusing on my work is what has kept me stable and functional for years now. I have to find my way back to my focus, and I know I will, but it is mental exercise and that is hard work.

This blog has never been a place for politics. Someone once told me that my blog was their little oasis from the real world. I am not planning on changing the focus of the blog. I will give a trigger warning if I feel like I need to vent again. But, I can’t remain completely silent. Someone in my life recently said to me, it doesn’t matter who won the election, they were both the same. Honestly, it ruined my day to think that anyone believes that and I consider it to be deliberate ignorance. We are at the beginning of a very scary time. I will be participating in some art projects as one of the ways I will express my resistance and that will be showing up here.

This is what I worked on all of Inauguration Day. It is for a community art project for the window at Gather Here.

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And this is what I posted on Saturday in solidarity with all the Women marching.

1-26-resist - 1 (1)Now that I’ve finally written this post, I am hoping I can get things back to normal around here, posting and all. I was feeling completely blocked so phew.

 

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!

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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!