another old worn bear... in the works

.. hand dyed vintage bluegreen mohair- all worn and growing older- today in the studio..


in hand

It's been ages since I last made these really small old worn bears*. Their arms and legs are so tiny and I'd forgotten how tricky it was to sew and turn them... but the outcome always pleases me. So today- I'm making two- I'd hoped to get three out of a ridiculously small pieces of hand dyed mohair- and after Id drawn all the pieces (even piecing a single leg to make it all fit) I realized I was 2 arms short. Three bears and only two sets of arms- that just won't do, so only two very little one-of-a-kind-old-worn-bears in the works- and coming along quite nicely too! I'll post progress tomorrow...

*for this type of bear I just draw out the pieces on the fabric without a pattern- making each bear totally unique and one-of-a-kind. I spend lots of time pulling out fur and aging each piece so that it feels like it's been around for a lifetime...



bunny feet and a cotton tail

I'm crazy for this bunny- I made him just to fit into this old outfit and there is just something about his lanky body and long feet that kinda kill me...


*** NEW PIECES IN THE SHOP *** ++++++++ NEXT WEEK! ++++++++

I've been slowly gathering new pieces over the last month but in an attempt to be of the moment- I've been working on a handful of patriotic pieces just in time for the 4th. So, I think I'll have to split my shop updates into two... I'll be posting (mostly one-of-a-kind) bears and animals next Wednesday and another group of pieces later in July (closer to my due date... time is flying by and this baby is growing and kicking and reminding me daily that IT WON'T BE LONG NOW).

4th of July Shop Update 
Wednesday June 27th 12 noon CST 
(1pm EST, 11am MST, 10am PST)

with a PREVIEW! from 11:30- 11:55am CST- 
that's 25 min to browse all the pieces at your leisure

All the new pieces for the Preview and proper Update, will be on view at the Shop. Do ask me if you have any questions at all, as I'm always happy to help! I'll be working up to the last minute on Wednesday- be sure to stop by the blog to see everything in process.


in the mail, from a friend.

Japanese Showcase, 1984, Stitched cotton fabric, cotton batting, 66" x56"
-thanks jenelle


a red bunny in the works...

Here's a new pattern I made just for this vintage shirt/pants combo. One of my favorite ways to work is building a pattern around a vintage item. It takes far longer, but it's nice to see the new shapes and forms of my animals fit into something old and already loved...


this summer on my door step...

I love wrens. They make the loveliest songs, they catch lots of bugs, and there's nothing quite like providing a home for another family. Last summer, in our old house, we'd watched a family of wrens build a nest, hatch their eggs, tend to the babies, and ultimately fly away from a bird house right next to our outside patio. It was such a pleasure to see them up close. So small and so very busy.

This spring we hung this beautiful house made by my father-in-law on an existing hook on the front porch of our new house. It wasn't made specifically for wrens like the last birdhouse, so to my surprise and joy I noticed about a week ago that wrens had moved in. They've been busy, and it's so nice to see them each time we come go but I must say this particular family is quite vocal about not wanting to share this address.  Every time I walk in or out, the beautiful wren song is replaced with a shouting warning...

I guess not everyone is good at cohabiting.


1. 2. 3.

Today was one of those deeply pleasurable days in the studio when things effortlessly came together and far more was accomplished than I'd thought possible. I've been working a little differently these last weeks- making bears and animals from start to finish in a day or so instead of working on multiple projects at once. It's much easier to work this way when making only one-of-a-kind pieces, and that's just what I've been doing. I have a few ideas about how these pieces will be presented in the shop, but I need a little more time before I nail all that down. Until then- I'm here, working away, happily enjoying the whole of the process with renewed excitement.

Today I cut out, pieces, stuffed, finished, and dresses this lady. There is still more to be done, the finishing touches are where all the goodness comes in, but still it's nice to see her go from a piece of fur to a bear. Well- HELLO THERE!



... from a weekend away ...

In the summer, Minnesota is maybe the best place to be on earth.

After floating on the lake, eating, reading, swimming, eating, kayaking, sunning, napping, eating, making jewelry, and getting a little more sun yet- I'm home from the perfect weekend. This is what summer is made for... long days with not much done, spent with friends. I found my way home- happy to see my family and get back to work, revived, energized, all the while knowing that this getaway may be my last for quite some time. The Baby is due in about 2 months and very soon I'll need to stay close to home and then- with a babe in arms I'll have my hands full with all that needs my attention here. This time in life is so full- in every direction- both with the demands and the over whelming love that's asked and given every day. 



After a many days of bug collecting, field walks, digging in the dirt, sitting on the porch, sipping rhubarb tea (really this might be the best thing ever), doing nothing and everything all with family- we're home. I'm always excited to go on a trip but just as pleased to come home- I think that's a good sign. Today I'm settling into the studio and cleaning up around the house. The basement flooded while I was away (nothing serious, just a bit of a mess) so there's lots of moving things around which needs to be accomplished. We never really unpacked and organized that space after our move anyway, so in an odd why it's a good time to get to it...

but without further adieu- we here's the progress on the quilt! All the fabric arrived to my parents house the day I did- and after hanging out for a few days we got to work. Miraculously, my mom and I finished piecing the top in one short day. I love it when things happen quickly and easily and this project did. Claude is so happy with it- and the prospect of his "big boy bed". We had to leave the quilt in Michigan to be quilted, but it will arrive here soon enough. I can't wait to see it finished with the all chambray back and the orange dot trim- I think it will be just right... and wrong, in all the right ways. You know what I mean? (ohhh and yes, that's my baby belly in the first photo- it's getting quite pronounced these days.)

and here's ... another totally different quilt I'm quite smitten with ...