some more of the NYC trip

We stayed in a hotel in Brooklyn and enjoyed having some time to walk around. When I am there for Renegade I never seem to have a minute to explore!

On Saturday morning we went to the Dekalb Market. It is lots of little shops in rehabbed shipping containers. Plus there were venders selling under canopies and fantastic coffee. Then we headed onto the Subway and over to Manhattan. Next stop, ABC Carpet and Home. How is it that I have never been here before! It is one of those stores where the selections and displays are so exciting and inspiring that it is like a design museum. Next, John Derian, another fun, inspiring, and very crowded, shop. Clearly I wasn’t doing a very good job on the photo-documentation of the first part of the day.

At this point we needed a sit down break. We headed for City Bakery for hot chocolate and a yummy treat that I think they call a Bakers Muffin- sort of a muffin version of bread pudding but crunchy on top. Delish! And, a confession, both Ben and I removed the giant homemade marshmallow from our cups after a few tastes. It was just too much.

We headed uptown to join the crowds admiring the Christmas windows. In our typical way, before we went we googled to get a map of all the good displays. There is something very exciting about being in a crowd of cheerful people, all enjoying themselves. The highlights (ie the ones I took pictures of)-

Barneys– there was some kind of Lady Gaga connection but frankly I don’t really care about any back story. The windows were amazing! This is a room all decorated/ made of hair!

Just beautiful.

Next, Bergdorf Goodman.  They seemed to have a taxidermy thing going on. Some of the windows were small-

yep, that is a squirrel on a bike-

and some of them were big. These bird heads were on human size mannequin bodies.

I was intrigued by the fabric that this gown was made of- little strips if blue fabric sewed onto white netting.

These are Bergdorf’s too, although the theme changed. These windows are materials based. Everything in this one was wood-

This one, glass. The fish are mosaic and the dress is beads.

And now, back to taxidermy. Little mice on purses. This one made me laugh- it is that mouse in the tutu that did it.

This one, all metal.

The next store had theater scenes of cut paper.


And we later saw a giant version when we were on the bus heading downtown. I love the silhouette look in a window.

Tomorrow I will show you the few little things I bought. I can’t remember when the last time I was in New York at Christmas time but it has been a while. I’m so glad we went!

Gallery Hanahou

I had a great visit to New York. I headed down to SOHO as soon as I got there. It was a thrill to see my work in the Luvable and Hugable show at Gallery Hanahou. As always, it is fantastic to see everything in person after looking at the catalog, and so funny to see things where I had a picture of a certain scale in my head and I was way off!

Lots of the other artists in the show are people who I follow online so it was a thrill to see their work in person too.

I loved how they hung the Cotton Monsters from the ceiling!

This is the other side of the room. Aren’t the crochet paintbrushes so funny!

Somehow I seemed to have missed photographing one of my favorite pieces- a plush spray can. I was expecting it (from the photo in the catalog) to be life-size and as a result, didn’t notice it on my first turn around the gallery… because it is much bigger!

My husband and I stopped into the new Scotch & Soda store which happens to be right around the corner from the gallery. I didn’t see any suspiciously familiar fabrics on the clearance rack. I felt the need to check since my sister, who is visiting Australia right now, actually saw some of the offending articles in Melbourne. My spies are everywhere!

My studio is a disaster right now. I managed to get myself into a crazy gridlock. It started because I am trying to clear out a little bedroom and uncover the bed since all the kids will be home for Christmas. This is the room that I’ve been tossing everything into for a while now. I needed to take out some of the furniture including a bookcase. I can always use another bookcase in my studio but to get it in, I needed to rearrange things- which involved emptying other bookcases. Yikes, what a mess. The little bedroom is getting close- I think it will be ready for tomorrow evening when it is needed. Then I can move onto clearing out the front room so we can set up the Christmas tree.

Tomorrow I will post about some of the other things I did in the city.

Update with good news!

I put an update on my posting of Oct. 29 and I will repeat it here-

***UPDATE 11/18/2011-  I am happy to report that with the help of a friend we were able to connect with someone at Scotch and Soda who helped us come to a settlement that I am happy with. I am grateful that this was able to be resolved quickly and cleanly. Thank you for all your support.***

Let me reiterate- I am so grateful for all your support- well, and especially my husband. Go Ben!

I have a little more faith in the world today and also in people doing the right thing- with a little encouragement. I have A LOT more faith in the power of the voice and many eyes of the Internet! This situation has given me much to think about and I plan (and maybe it will happen) to blog about my thoughts on copying, inspiration, what I learned, the useful advise I got, etc. For now I will leave the original post up but will start editing it tomorrow. I would like the comments to become a list of useful advise, information and links for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.

And something pretty- a fun treat I bought yesterday at Gather Here.



Portland weekend

We were up in Maine for the weekend. Having a son going to school in Portland has improved our life. It is a wonderful town with natural beauties and amazing food. And, only 2 hours north from home!

This group of dogs was waiting patiently next to the Scratch Baking Company, #1 bakery in Portland- and that is saying something!

And lastly, a perfect lighthouse- good inspiration for my next tiny world.

botanical garden

or Jardin Botanique. I love Botanical Gardens and always find them inspiring. Oh, but first, I forgot this photo for the market post- look at all the beautiful preserves!

Okay, now, back to the gardens.

I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to visit these greenhouses in the middle of the winter.

Out to the display gardens- look at that gorgeous purply-red giant decorative Kale. Maybe it’s edible, I don’t know. Very impressive!

And artichokes. Such crazy looking things.

This is the Chinese Garden. I love the Lotus plants. Can you see the man in the boat? That is a lantern, part of the Lantern Festival they have in September.

We wanted to see the lanterns lit up but obviously had to wait until it was dark-ish. We decided to head back to the car and just relax until dusk. On our way to the parking lot, we saw this sign. Tintin! How could we resist?!

Well, Tintin and a display of mushrooms. It was an impressive collection. So many varieties.

Tables and tables full.

After that and a little rest in the car, it was getting dark enough to go back and see the lanterns.

There was an impressive crowd for a Sunday evening in September. This is obviously a very popular yearly event. I can see why- it was fun to walk around in the dimming light with the lanterns glowing and people all around.

We left before it was fully dark and loads more people were streaming in.

We had a great time in Montreal. It is not that far from Boston- about 5 1/2 hrs driving. We should go more often. I’m already thinking about what I want to do next time!

Montreal food love

We pretty much went to Montreal to enjoy some great food. I mean it is a fun city and all, but really, I think every meal we had in Montreal was better than any meal we had in Paris last year. I know, Heresy! Foodie culture is thriving in Montreal. I didn’t take meal photos. I would remember that I could have taken a picture as I leaned back to relax and enjoying the glow of a good meal. I was very busy with the camera when we went to the food market though.

So much abundance, beautifully displayed.

The smells were wonderful too!

So many colors-

And then Green!

Beautiful berries with edible orchids.

Globular food-

And who can ever resist cabbages!

A market like this makes me want to load up a cart and run home to cook something adventurous. Since that wasn’t an option, we bought some munchables- carrots, blueberries, other things too but ? I can’t remember. And Maple Syrup. Really, you can never have too much. And, we went to the Botanical Garden. That is for tomorrow.


slow motion

I feel like I am moving in slow motion. I’ve been working on a few things. Some of the poor tattooed men on the table  went down to Connecticut and back, several times, hoping to get some stuffing. But no. They are still as flat as I seem to be feeling.

I am working just as slowly through all the emails that backed up in the week of distraction. If you haven’t heard from me about something, you might want to try again. I may have lost track of your email.

I did have a birthday recently and bought myself a new toy… um, no, I mean important tool for my business.

An IPad! And I made my present a present! I tend to get a bit overwhelmed when confronted with a new electronic toy so I tip-toe around it for a while. But, hey, I know how to make a felt sleeve. We are bonding.

And, I’d love to hear about your favorite apps for crafty biz and for fun.

And lastly, thank you so much for all your kind words and condolences regarding my Dad. I added a link to his obit at the bottom of the post.

my dad

My Dad passed away yesterday (July 31, 2011). He’d lived a good long life. He was 96 years old and we were so lucky that even in mid-July, at a family wedding, he was able to enjoy meeting his first great-grandson. I am beginning to understand that there is a lot of processing to do when a parent dies, even when that parent has lived so long and it was the right time.

This photo of him is dated April 27, 1916-

There aren’t too many family photos with him because he, of course, was usually behind the camera.

I have a lot of good memories and photos of him with the grandkids.

And here he is, just a few weeks ago. (July 16. 2011). I’m glad we were able to have a happy day so recently.

I suspect that posting will be spotty for a bit. I was down in Connecticut for several days already, back for a few and then away again later this week. I need to plan for Renegade in Chicago in September but it might not be my priority.

updatehere is his obit.


other things that got done

When I am getting ready for a show or a trip, all kinds of random things get finished. And not just dolls. I think I make myself a new bag before many trips. And lately, it has been summer shirts.

The polka dots is a light weight linen. The plaid is a vintage cotton from my mom’s stash, probably from the late 60’s.

and earring-

The things is, I never think about my clothes, accessories or jewelry unless I am doing an event or packing my suitcase for a trip. And why should I? I work at home where my main consideration is comfort. And then, all of a sudden I start obsessing about what I’m going to wear!

I’ve started making shirts (and other clothes too) by making patterns from old ones that I like, that fit and have worn out. I cut them up and trace the pieces. These two shirts were made by tracing the pieces of 2 other shirts that are no longer wearable. The polka dot shirt is the fourth one I’ve made from one shirt that I really liked. I used the shirt directions in the book Sew U to help me with pattern piece placement and instructions for how to put them all back together. I make clothes this way because of my dissatisfaction with commercial patterns. I guess I must be of an age or body type that doesn’t match up with the patterns. And I don’t have the patience or knowledge to alter (or completely rework) them. When I try matching up my I-know-this-fits pattern pieces to commercial patterns that I have spent (wasted) money on, they seem to be quite different. Hmm… mystery!

scale photos

I get requests for some indication of scale for my dolls. I find it is more difficult than you’d think. Having a person in the photo helps a lot.

I just don’t often have a photographable person around. Peter left yesterday to spend the summer working in Ithaca, NY. I hope we can visit him some time while he is there.

Here are all the foxes, waiting to get their labels.