we celebrated my niece's 3rd Birthday with a Party. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAZEL! I think I was inspired by the colors and the sweet toddler energy that filled my morning because this little lady (above) is something special. I've been working on her for the last few days, but this afternoon she came together with ease. mmmmmm Happy Sunday.



I've been working a ton this week trying to get everything done for next Wednesdays website update. I was up late last night feeling bleary-eyed and tired. I'm happy to report that in the morning light things appear be coming together. Finally instead of just bits I'm beginning to see beautiful finished pieces.



Step One: Sew
Step Two: Stuff
Step Three: Repeat

Even though I'm feeling worn out today {can you tell?!}, I really do love sewing. Sometimes just the simple perfect symmetry of piecing and the quiet repetition of stitching can become a mediation. That's when things are going well- and today has been more or less that way. But- I must admit there are plenty of frustrating moments in the studio when I get stuck in a cranky quicksand and I feel I can't get anything done. Lets hope for more of the former and less (okay lets hope for none) of the latter. Hope you all had a good day too!


this soup is making me really really happy.

bits and pieces

one little bear,
a heart for a kind soul,
someones vest,
a gift of peace from a friend half way around the world


jellyfish or teddy ear?

For the first time I'm working with really long mohair. It's a lot of fur to shove into those little pieces when I sew them... and looking that these ears, I'm not sure I'm making a bear or a little sea creature- we'll see how it turns out.

still life

I brought a few of the things I've been working in the studio up to show Jay and Claude- so today- this is the scene on the dinning room table. Love that color combination.


A Library Outing...

I don't have time to make a quilt right now, but I always have time to daydream about designing one. I found two books in the library on Saturday which I've been pouring over. The combination of pattern, texture and color in these pieces is making me a little crazy.

images from: Classic Quilts from the American Museum in Britain and Bauhaus Textiles



This is the house of multitasking. Sometimes it makes me crazy- I feel I'm unable to enjoy anything when I'm trying to do everything- but today has been really nice. I've been hand sewing (getting ready for next weeks website update) while Claude plays on the floor and professes his hopes and dreams in long beautiful babbling monologues. Listening to him while making little valentine messages seems to be a perfect combination of tasks.


The Valentines Day Update

It feels like years have past since my last website update. I've been working on a number of new pieces and slowly but surely it's beginning to take shape. There will be a few totally new pieces and of course the old standards finished in fresh and love-filled new ways. Can't wait for the unveiling. Please come by on February 3rd to see all the pieces! In the interim check back here for sneekpeeks (I won't be pre-selling any pieces I post on the blog before the update.)

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Mark your calendar for the:
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The Valentines Day Website Update!
Wednesday February 3rd at 12noon CST
(1pm eastern, 11am mountain, 10am pacific)

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If you'd like more information about how my website updates work:
check out all the details here.
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Someone kindly nominated me for the "Favorite Handmade Artist Blog" category- Thanks! I'm honored! (I'm voting for my Sis- she's my number one resting place in the blog-o-sphere.) Well voting has started go pick your favorites and check out all the blogs and artists others love!


~ to Benefit Haiti Relief Fund ~

This sweet Rabbit has been in my studio for the last year keeping me company while I work... I'd saved her for myself but in light of all the need and suffering in Haiti I've decided to put her up for Auction on Ebay's Giving Works donating 100% of the final sale to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Letting the giving begin!

~ Clara the sweetheart ~
She stands 7.5", Mohair and 100% Wool Felt, Fully Jointed, Glass Eyes, Cotton Dress with Vintage Ribbon, Cotton Skirt, Hand Drawn Paper Valentine, Stuffed with Excelsior (wood shavings), Hand Dyed and Aged. She does stand on her own, but it's a little bit of a balancing act. #1 of 3 - Hand Made by Jennifer Murphy - 2009

If you'd like more photos or would like to bid on this piece,


thinking of love

I've been thinking a lot about love and commitment of late- which makes since... I've been working on Valentine's Day Pieces (for a big update) and for the last few days I've been making on a wedding cake topper that's a bit overdue. Working on a cake toppers is such an enjoyable process- the delicacy of the materials, the scale, not to mention the joy in making a pair of lovers to commemorate the couple's wedding day. The significance is not lost on me, but that's part of the reason they take so much time- I keep tweaking the piece until I feel I have it just right. I have to love it enough to put it atop my wedding cake- Hmmmmm- Maybe this is all just practice?

I've never been married though Jay and I have been together for 12+ years and I occasionally call him my husband (it's a good shorthand for what our commitment looks like). We've never found the right time to put it all together. Funny, for someone who loves weddings as much as I do, you'd think I'd have tied the knot right when he asked some 11 years ago. But, I'm also a perfectionist who loves to throw a party- and those two characteristics whip up into a perfect storm which compels me to spend obscene amounts of time planning. I spent weeks just getting my sisters baby shower in order and I can only imagine the complete life-take-over that would occur if I began planning my own wedding. So, for the sake of keeping my studio a productive space where work gets done and little-bits-of-cute get sent out into the world- I won't be taking any more custom Cake Toppers orders (though I hope to work on a few every now and then for the Esty Shop) and needless to say- there won't be any big wedding plans either. Someday when the time is right we'll tie that knot and make this whole thing official- but until then I'll just have to officially love that man-o-mine and call that good enough.


red cross benefit

Like everyone else in the world right now, the news and images from
Haiti have broken my heart and left me looking for ways I can help-

This week I'll be posting an Ebay Auction
with 100% of he proceeds going
to the Red Cross-

More info to come.

Post Script: I decided to donate the funds to Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to insure all funds went directly to help the Earthquake Recovery Efforts in Haiti.


What's for Dinner at your House?

I found this hand written recipe in my mailbox today from my mom. I wish she'd sent a pot of this scrumptious soup in it's place but it's much easier to make than it is to ship so I can't complain. It's the perfect dinner on these cold days. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.


getting things in order-

It's been a busy week- Jay and Claude both had birthdays (well, Claude turned 6months old on Jay's birthday so we just decided to celebrated twice as much) and I've been spending the rest of my time in the studio getting things in order. Lot's of bookkeeping, organizing and ordering things- these events are not photo worthy, so please excuse my absents. I'll be back to work making things soon. Hope you're all having a great week!

as a side note- this makes me very happy:


connecting the handmade dots

This morning while sipping my coffee I was visiting Nicole Licht's Blog (the artist behind Astulabee) and she mentioned The Poppies created by Poppytalk. It's a "virtual awards ceremony of sorts celebrating the Handmade Community"... There are 12 catigories:
  1. Favourite Handmade Accessories
  2. Favourite Handmade Affordable Art
  3. Favourite Handmade Ceramics
  4. Favourite Handmade Crafter (eg. Embroidery/Crochet/Knitting/Quilting)
  5. Favourite Handmade Eco
  6. Favourite Handmade Housewares
  7. Favourite Handmade Jewelry
  8. Favourite Handmade Paper goods
  9. Favourite Photographer
  10. Favourite Handmade Textiles
  11. Favourite Vintage Shop
  12. Favourite Handmade Artist Blog

What could be better? Go over and Vote or just check out all the artists others have nominated- It's wonderful resource for finding new and beautiful work... happy looking!


Family Day...

We were oxygenated and refreshed in the humid air-
it's the perfect respite from brutal winter weather.


today in the studio...

Hope you all are keeping warm- it's still brutally cold here. I hunkered down today and stayed indoors. Listening to the wind and watching the new light snow blow around the yard made be very happy to be here next to the fire...
I spent the day sketching out a few pieces I have in store for my Valentines Day Website Update... I have SO much work to do before now and then, but I'm still in the process of hashing out what I'll be making, how much I can get done, and deciding when the big day will be. Looking forward to sharing images as things take shape.
Okay, back to work....


in the works...

Yesterday I had a very productive day- lots of cleaning up, sewing, and an evening out making big plans (how do you like that teaser?!). I'm hoping to have a number of new patterns for the next update, but before I get ahead of myself I should share whats currently in the works... a bigger Sitting Cat! I think I like her:



It's cold here. Like -5*F cold.
Every time
someone mentions it I can't help but gush "and it's so sunny"... Call me crazy but, I like this weather. The sun and snow make for the brightest glow that fills my house with light on these short winter days. Who can argue with that?

Hope you're all having a good start to this new year- it's the year of the Tiger you know. grrrrrr.