Friday, January 25, 2008


Making sachets is a great way to fend off winter doldrums. My studio fills up with the warm scent of dried lavender buds, which immediately makes me think of sun filled summer garden days. I get my lavender buds from Olympic Lavender Farm in Washington State. Their lavender is certified organic and arrives in perfect condition, dry, clean, without fillers or additives.  'Grosso' is my favorite variety, with its pungent natural scent. I also use 'Provence', which is slightly milder but very seductive. Olympic Lavender Farm offers an array of lavender varieties, products, and plants, all of them grown and produced in the most beautiful setting.
Photos courtesy Olympic Lavender Farm

I started making sachets to use up various small fabric remnants, and over time they have become one of my most popular items. Now I offer them in several designs, and colors. All of them generously filled with organic lavender buds. The fern sachets posted here will soon be available in the store. In the meantime you can check out the geranium, viburnum, and Queen Ann's lace varieties. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

carrie's bag

My friend Carrie's messenger bag is finally finished. We started this project last summer discussing fabric, leaves, design, and hardware options, still it was not until this past weekend she had the bag in her hands. That is an unusually long production time...

So I am a procrastinator, but not for the common reasons such as laziness and distractions. Yes, pressing deadlines, holiday rushes, and other urgent things happened, but the main cause for the delay was the unspoken worry that it would not turn out as perfect as I envisioned. 

I am delighted with the bag and so is Carrie. I loved the every minute of the process – creating something special for someone who is special to me. But next time I take on a custom assignment I promise to work harder to fight off the fear of imperfection.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First snow

The first real snow of the season is blanketing our town. The boys came home early from school, and we are staying warm with hot chocolate in front of the wood stove.  The dogs are frisky, romping around in the whiteness. Life is good!

Friday, January 11, 2008

In progress

I am working on this wall piece for an upcoming fundraising event at the Artisan Center of Virginia. The featured plant is Queen Ann's lace, a beautiful, lacy perennial, somewhat weedy for garden use but lovely for printing. I pick the seed pods in late August, and make them less three dimensional by pressing them for a day or two before they are used. For this piece the pods were printed in black on light gray linen, and combined with black and dark gray linen fabrics. I added pin tucks on the solid fabric strips to mimic the wiry stems.
Once the patch work front is sewn together with the vintage linen/hemp backing, the piece is turned and pressed.  This wall hanging is displayed hanging from a branch, with another branch at the bottom for added weight.  The final size is 13 x 26 and I am very pleased with how it turned out.

If you are interested in the event "An afternoon with artisans" you can contact the Artisan Center of Virginia, 1-877-508-6069, for more information. The event is scheduled for January 27, between 3 and 6, at the gallery in Waynesboro. The ticket price ranges from $100 - $500 for two persons, and all participants will bring home a lovingly created piece of art like this one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Work samples

I want to introduce some of my work. A few of these pieces are available for sale in the store, others are one-of-a-kind projects, and others again are samples that may resurface in some form in the future. All are representative of me and my craft.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

All the leaves are gone

The holidays are over, my boys are back in school, and I must admit that I love the calm and quiet after the hectic and  bustling days around Christmas. I am cleaning, setting up my new studio, trying to get organized for the new year. There is plenty to do like finishing up a custom bag for my friend Carrie, and creating a special piece for an upcoming fundraiser for the Artisan Center of Virginia. But I will not do much printing in the next few months, since almost all the leaves are gone. 

I use a technique called leaf printing, where real leaves are used as everchanging printing plates. Fabric paint is applied to the back of the leaf, where the veins are most prominent, and the leaf  is then pressed onto the fabric using tissue paper and a brayer. This makes each impression unique, and slightly different than the next - even if the same leaf is used both times. I love this technique and my art is built around the magic, mystique, and sometimes unpredictability of these beautiful prints.

Its a bit anxiety provoking to know that certain designs can't be reproduced for a while, but it also makes me realize that in times of mass production and busyness, there are still some things that can't be hurried along. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

I am proud and excited to launch this blog on the first day of the new year. I look forward to sharing my ideas and discoveries regarding creativity, art, and inspiration. My own work will take center stage, but I promise to highlight people, objects, and endeavors that bring beauty and joy to my heart.  Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year!
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