Thursday, December 13, 2012


Slowly but surely I am getting into the holiday spirit. I am cleaning the house, listening to Christmas songs from my lovely husband's eclectic collection. The sweet smelling tree is ready to be brought in and tomorrow my mom and sister arrive from Sweden. There is still much left to be done - gift gathering/making, cooking, and some last minute work to finish up. But I am getting ready to relax and celebrate the joy of the season.

As always I am already thinking ahead, planning new things for the upcoming year. One of the main things on my mind is to revive this blog. I am so grateful for all my readers and followers, and I am eager to make this experience worthwhile for you. Sometimes it is hard to keep up the pace in this world of instant news report, facebook posts, and tweets. What do you like to see more of? What can you do without? How can the blog become more interactive? I have some ideas of my own, but I would love to hear yours as well.

There are a few goodies left in the store. Notebooks, sachets, and small art pieces all make lovely gifts. Last day to order for Christmas delivery within the US is next Tuesday, December 18.

Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season! May it be filled with friendship and cheers!

Monday, November 26, 2012


This is the season of gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for – life, art, family, work, health, sunshine, and love. All are things that fill my heart daily, never to be taken for granted. And then there are the small reminders of kindness and friendship, such as Jude's appreciative email and blog post this afternoon. Thank you!

The store is stocked with new books, hand stitched sachets, and one of the field study pieces featured in my last post. All orders are 15% off until November 27. Just enter discount code GIVEHANDMADE2012 at checkout. One more way for me to show gratitude.

Monday, November 12, 2012

field studies

I am fascinated by the way natural dye colors relate to each other. Regardless of plant source or origin the fabrics seem to harmonize and enhance rather than compete. This revelation is the inspiration behind my new work series – field study. These pieces have evolved by combining strips of naturally dyed fabrics, almost at random. They are machine quilted rather than hand stitched, to ensure that the color fields get center stage, without distraction. 

Meanwhile my whole neighborhood is ablaze in bright and vivid jewel tones. Even when nature is shouting at its loudest there seems to be harmony and peace rather than clashes and conflicts. Lessons to be learned.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

falling into place

Fall is finally here. The leaves are twirling in the air and coating the ground. The mornings are crisp and sweaters are brought out from storage. Personally it feels like pieces of my life are falling into place. I recently started a new job, or more accurately I restarted an old one. I am thrilled to be back with my friend Laura at Roseberries, and delighted to discover that my old skills are still intact. A bit of light dusting should be all that is needed.

While I am now devoting part of my week to graphic design work, the rest of my time is spent making art. Art that no longer is constricted by financial worries or seasonal production schedules. Art that will grow from within, following its own time table. Things are still hectic as I prepare for the upcoming Artisans Studio Tour, and for holiday sales, but by restructuring my time and my goals, I feel less pressured – contradictory as it may sound.

This week I played some more with walnuts, made magic iron potions, and stitched book covers. I am slowly, but surely cleaning out our house, organizing, sorting, and giving things away. The garden is still a mess, but even that feels less stressful at the moment. Life is good.

A few things on the horizon. The show "nature prints on cloth and paper" is still up at Over the moon bookstore, in Crozet. It will be there until December 6. Next week signals the start of the World of Threads Festival in Toronto/Oakville in Ontario. Two of my pieces are included in the De rerum natura exhibit at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Center in Oakville. I wish I could travel to see this wonderful textile extravaganza in person! The Artisans Studio Tour, takes place November 10 - 11, in and around Charlottesville, Virginia. I will once again be a guest in Mary Beth Bellah's studio (no. 8), along with master woodworker Brian Rayner. It would be lovely to have you visit one or several of these events!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

walnut magic

The dye pot was waiting for us when we arrived to class. Three days old, filled with simmering walnuts and remnants from dye attempts past. Thick and almost sirupy, ready for the magic to begin.

The walnut pot was of course only one part of the enchantment taking place during the two day long botanical alchemy workshop in Cleveland with dye master and artist extraordinaire India Flint. The class was expertly arranged and organized by Christine Mauersberger, who besides making sure we were well fed and equipped also shared her own useful insights and beautiful stitching. All of my fellow class mates where so talented and energetic. They generously exchanged knowledge, fabric swatches, and plant materials.

My work space.

Walnut marks.

And then there was Ms. India, who made the two days whisk by with lightning speed, while still making sure all of us accomplished many, many things. We learned to wrap cloth directly around the fresh walnuts for amazing colorful patterns. We learned to play with  metal scraps, iron potions, milk paint, and tangerine juice. Her wonderful teachings were carried out with grace, patience, and a great sense of humor.

Magical hands.

The last day we were assigned to make a special piece. Starting out with white on white, layers of cloth stitched together, embellished with thread, fabric scraps, and stitches, lots of stitches, before ending up in the dye bath. The purpose was to create a personal companion piece, that would continue to be enhanced by dye and stitch over time. I am thrilled with the outcome and I will carry my piece along as a reminder of friendship, camaraderie, and the pure joy of making art.

My special piece.

While in Cleveland I also discovered the beautifully curated art museum, the botanical garden, and a great little exhibit of India Flint and Susan Gaylord's work tucked into the midst of the residential neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. And I got to reunite with a wonderful friend from the past. Happy times to be had by all.

Eco printed repurposed book pages by India Flint. © India Flint

Eco printed vintage kimono by India Flint. © India Flint

Spirit book by Susan Gaylord. © Susan Gaylord

Friday, October 5, 2012

new exhibit and other adventures

Nature prints on cloth and paper is the theme for my exhibition at Over the Moon Bookstore, in Crozet, Virginia. The show opens next weekend, and includes new leaf print collages and samples from my field study series among other things. The work will be on display from October 12 to December 5, and the opening reception is on Saturday, October 13, from 6 - 8. I hope you will join us, for an evening filled with art, treats, and book browsing!

Before then I am off on another adventure. I will be in Cleveland Ohio early next week, for a two day dye workshop with India Flint. I am giddy with excitement to meet up with old friends and to make new ones, which is inevitable at these fun events.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


My love story with pecan leaves continues. Clamped and bundled with a variety of fabrics and papers, these graceful leaves never cease to amaze me. This time I will let the pictures tell the story – and as always divulging what's within is the most magical part of the tale.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin