change in plans and sidetracks- a messy post about stuff.

I've been working on a handful of new bears and animals to bring along with me to the Creative Connection in a couple weeks. I won't have a booth set up at the Handmade Market but I'll have pieces in my workshops for everyone to manhandle and if they'd like, buy. I'd planned on having a big table full of goodies - patterns, supplies, and lots of one of a kind bears and animals. I'd even day-dreamed about cleaning out my drawers and bins, bundling small packages of vintage goodies. Ahhh the best laid plans. The whole thing fell apart when Jay's gallery in NYC (he's an artist too, have I mentioned that?) scheduled his opening for the third week in September. Which meant, the big family getaway was now Jay alone in New York for two weeks WORKING and Claude and I in Minneapolis- WORKING (I like the implication of Claude working on something - what would that be???). Anyway, what's the likely hood of Jay and I both having work events planned for the same week when in reality we have so few concrete events in any given year... Drag.
So, I decided to make things easy on myself and canceled my table and consequently considerably lightened my workload. This is a new practice for me but, motherhood has hammered home the lesson about not taking on too much faster than anything else in my 30+ years. I feel like I've suffered under my crazy desire to get EVERYTHING done for too many years now and it seems I've finally learned. Well, not so fast- before I commit to a life of ease and pleasure I should just say it looks like maybe I'm on the right path- this time at least.

Ohhh and about these two bears... They've just come together today- in part because I've been really distracted from sewing by my crazy desire to Knit... Usually I don't care much for knitting in the summer but this year has been an exception. I finished the second sweater for Claude I started a few weeks ago and now I'm working on another pair of socks. In an attempt to be productive this morning I whipped up this sweet little scarf for the mitten bear. He needed something special for his neck and this was just the thing to finish him properly... Success! Now, who else in the studio needs a knit good?


and yes...

things are much improved around here today. phew. Here's what I'm doing this morning:
Sewing! It's been a while... it's amazing how much business there is in running a business.



was kinda rough. By kinda I don't mean horrible breakdown and cry rough, I just mean it's been a little bit off since I woke up and I can't help but wonder why it is I seem to be struggling just to keep my head metaphorically above water. I've been sucking it in all day. Cough. Man Alive- it's been one of those days. Now that it's nearly over and my belly is full from a delicious dinner of take out (because cooking was just not going to happen), my boy is snug in bed, my house is quiet and I have a moment to- ummmmm well, to breath... perspective is setting in- tomorrow will be a new day.


Three Pin Cushion Pattern...

I've been working on this pattern for over a week and it's finally all finished. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The PDF is packed with info including, 10 pages of easy to follow instructions, tons of images, 3 video tutorials made just for these projects, detailed material list and shopping guides, tips and how-to secrets, and of course all Pattern Pieces and details you'll need to make three simple and timeless pin cushions.

Depending on the success of this pattern, perhaps more are to follow?!
Check out all the details and order your own here.



Working on the finishing touches for the New Pin Cushion patterns and spending a little time with the fam I finished this bear today. Overalls in dots and stripes ... they seem a mandatory piece for any wardrobe.


new ceramic pieces...

are now up and available in my Etsy Shop....
among them is my first set of Foxes which I'm especially fond of. These pieces have been hanging out in my studio for almost a year. I'd been enjoying them so much I didn't see any reason to put them up- but I'm cleaning up and moving things out! Hope you like them as much as I do...

sailor goodness and a brilliant object...

I visited Michelle at Rose Mille a few days ago and came home with a few choice items (and left so many goodies in the shop- it's a treasure trove). First are these three lovely vintage ribbons. I have no idea what I'll use them for but I couldn't get enough of that sweet sailor. And this "survival kit" might just be my new favorite invention. Can I call it an invention? Anyway, it's loosely woven thread, so when you're out in the world and a mend is in order you're never without the perfect color for the job. Grab the strand you need and pull----> there you have it: beauty and utility woven together perfectly.

Update about Patterns: I'm working on them today so the first in the line of many will be available soon... like Monday??? maybe Monday.


Fido enjoyed this bear a little too much...

Poor old boy. I wish I could say this was a before and after- but this little bear, Kelsey was beyond repair when he made his way into the studio. A curious pup with good taste snatched him off a shelf and had a hay day. I would have been able to just replace his head and stitch up his arm, but he was made from hand dyed mohair and I didn't have any more of that dye lot left... So I started from scratch. Now Fido- leave this new little brother alone.


work work working... PATTERNS!

I'm working on all the instructions, detailed photos, and VIDEOS! for the new patterns. I think the first- a set of three wool pin cushions will be available by the end of the week. Hurraahhh!

I'm so excited about this process. Breaking down how and what I do- step by step has been really interesting for me. I realize I've been sewing and making these pieces for over well over 12 years now... so it's become second nature. Sharing my techniques and tips will breath new life into these objects and I can't wait to see what you all make- from my studio into yours... this is going to be fun.


over in my esty shop... it's a sale!

I've been cleaning out my studio to make room for new projects and clearing my mental space. Ohhh mental space..... Anyway, I moved some things around in my etsy shop and on my website and in the process decided to put some of my cake toppers "on sale". I've decided after a lot of thought that I won't be making any more of these... I took so many orders and even though I've really enjoyed making them it's been difficult to find time while trying to keep up with all my normal everyday work. So I'm moving them out... come and get them while the gettings good. While they're made to be cake toppers they're lovely as discrete little objects of love and devotion- who needs an "special occasion" for that?

back home and knit goods to share...

Back in March I started this little wool sweater for Claude... I figured I wouldn't have it finished for months so I made a bigger size and hoped for the best. Well after my little family getaway up north I not only finished this one (which fits but is just slightly too large= perfection!), but I also began a second. The long winter was still in full tilt here last March so logically I choose wool for that sweater - but who wants to knit on wool in the summer? I picked up a few scanes of cotton yarn at the Ben Franklin in Grand Marais (quite possibly my favorite store in all the world) and started to work. This ones coming together quite quickly. It's hard to tell just yet, but I think it's going to need a couple pockets. ohhh knit pockets that sounds really good looken to me.

Want the Pattern? Here's the link to the PDF - Child's Placket-Neck Pullover by Joelle Hoverson of Purl Soho.


out in the world...

The north shore of Minnesota... everyone should see how beautiful it can be up here in the great north.


On their Way!

I've finally finished a handful of limited edition and one of a kind pieces for Earth Angels Toys. They should arrive on Jen O'Connor's doorstep any day now- so email or call her from all the details!


something I like...

I'm a big fan of needle felting... my moms been working with this process for a while and I haven't seen anyone use it as well as she does until I ran across these oddly wonderful pieces by Ruth Rivers aka Miss Bumbles. Check out her Etsy Shop for more ridiculous cuteness.

See a handful of my Moms beautiful birds on her website or here in the mobile she made for Claude.


finished and just beginning...

I made a bear to sit atop this new pin cushion ball I posted about a few days ago and while this piece is complete it's lead me to an new project...

Over the last few months, I've been thinking more and more about making some of my patterns available. I feel like there should be big swelling music behind that sentence. I wish I knew how to do that in Blogger- but since that feature doesn't exist you'll have to play some in your head. Something with horns! Anyway I've been asked for years if I'd sell any of my patterns and I think I'm finally there. I'm teaching a bunny workshop for the Creative Connection and I recently made the pattern and instructions and sent them off to everyone in the workshop. It was harder than I thought in some ways- but I think I've ironed out the kinks and I'm ready to work on a couple more. So first will be a couple pin cushion variations and then bears?! maybe. I hope I can get the first all finished and up in my etsy shop within the next month.



photo shoot and around the photo shoot

There are always just so many distractions around here. They're fun distractions but man-alive it's hard to get anything done quickly. Ohhh and did I mention my primary distraction is now walking? Yep. It's a whole new world.
Right... so the reason for this post; I just made this new bear. He's one of a kind- and really unlike anything I've made before. I used old fabric and really worked with him so he looks extra worn and aged but the fabric is still oddly stiff and course. His joints are loose but he's almost more like a sculpture than a teddy bear. I really like him- but I wasn't so sure at first... Anyway, I've been working on a number of new pieces over the last week. More photos to come.


five things

  1. The bachelor buttons which have seen better days that I can't bear to throw out.
  2. A bear with.... mittens? yup- those are mittens.
  3. The mint sun tea which I currently can't live without.
  4. Tea dying neck ties.
  5. wanted a wife- Now I just have to make someone to wear the pin.


new colors in the summer heat...

It's been incredibly hot here. And even though my studio is subterranean it's still really hot and working has been nearly drudgery. Who would think that stuffing a bear could be an aerobic work out.
In the hopes of escaping the heat I've come into the main house (mmm I love how that makes my home sound like an estate-ahhh my main house). I guess I should I say main part of the house or just upstairs- anyway, the part of the house where there is air conditioning. I've been doing a little dying of fabric up here and these are two of the pieces that I just finished. I'm loving the muted and bright turquoise next to each other. Maybe more hand dying will be in order today too- I think it's going to be nearly 90*F. Hope you're all staying cool.


today on the worktable

I'm really happy with this new pin cushion ball pattern... I sewed small cream stripes into each of the hand dyed gray sections. I think I'll be making a whole lot more like this in the future....