Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The debut of the gnomies! These guys are big too! 17" tall and wearing cute fleece snowsuits! They like downhill skiing, snowflake collecting, and stinky cheese.

Hey, wait, who's that dark one in the back? He's got a pale face and sour expression..... is it a gnome gone bad? Past his expiration date, perhaps?

Who's this cute gnomie in green holding Oolin?

Sven and Oolin are available at my etsy store.

I'm off to the Holiday Market this weekend: 10-6 Fri-Sunday. See you there!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kudos for Bliss Monkey Studio....

Drop into Mike's FourTwoSeven blog to read what he's written about his new coffee cozy. You can leave a nice, "I like Mike" message or something fun in support of coffee cozies everywhere!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Ornaments

Gift Monster is excited to be an ornament this year. It likes Christmas a whole lot, loves wrapping presents, but always feels shy at the last moment of giving. Might you have any egg nog? Available in my etsy store.

It was fun to have a friend here, as I turned him from a sketch into a stuffed ornament using my Gocco machine. It's a very easy process (once you know what you are doing.....) and so fulfilling. I hand-painted the gift boxes after the ornament was sewn and stuffed.

This is the wee gnome family. They love taking long walks in the woods, swinging on christmas trees and giggling. They are made from felt and wool. You can order your gnome family with two mamas, two papas, or one mama and papa.

I'm working all this week to stock up for a Holiday Market weekend. I'm there sharing a booth #62, with Practical Rabbit, this next Friday, Sat and Sunday, come visit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Oh I love you, yes I love you, how I love you.....

Kids, I'm a busy busy bee in the studio, sewing lots and lots to keep everyone in wrist warmers and coffees cozied and such. I'll be debuting my new ornaments soon.

Here's a pic of me and Melissa sharing a table at the last Meet Your Maker show. Her hoodies sold like hot cakes!

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Not All Who Wander Are Lost"

"Not All Who Wander Are Lost" is the name of this freshly brewed coffee cozy. I've been selling "Wandering Bear" coffee cozy (below) for quite awhile, and thought it needed a companion. Those of you who collect the coffee cozies will smile.

I love making small works of art for a cup, and sometimes I just fall in love with the photographs. These might look pretty framed on the wall together. :-) Happy Weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wristies R Us

I'm having a great time sewing "One Leaf Tree" fingerless wrist warmers. The tree styles sell fast, so they are pretty much catch-as-you-can. I can occasionally take custom orders, so it's OK to ask. I use my wrist warmers every day. They are safe for driving because your fingers are bare, great for walking the dog, as well as indoor things like typing and sewing.

They can be pushed back to the wrist, with thumb nub tucked in, to free your hands, but still keep your wrists warm. Great for knitting and hand washing, or when you need to touch something wet and don't want to get your warmers all sog. Wash and dry with your clothes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Delights of Winter

Was last night a full moon? On the way to bed, I was soooo sleepy, until I caught a glimpse outside....... the clouds were lit up in a way I've never seen before- almost from underneath like a big spotlight. They were blowing so fast, I stood at the glass door in amazement as creatures came tumbling across the sky.... troll with staff, smoke ring that got larger before collapsing, a large rabbit that rear ended a monkey...... it was unlike any 11pm sky I'd ever experienced. I didn't want to go to bed at all!

The sky this morning. This is my view as it gets light out each day. The kids off to school, I had a wander in the garden still wearing my pajamas. It is so WARM this morning. The two kittens followed me with my coffee cup and camera outside.....

Nasturtiums, who gather dew jewels on their plates.

The garden all tucked in for the winter. Does it look grey and cold? It's lovely and warm and bright compared to the past week of grey and damp! Lovely Oregon weather. REally.

I wanted to share Teagan, the mushroom doll, who arrived in the mail, so sweetly wrapped, yesterday. I love Projectgrabbag! I am rather obsessed with gnomes (watch for my gnome ornaments and kit coming out soon). HER gnomes are a must-have for any gnome collector! There's a gnome couple for only $22 that are soooooo dear! And her dolls are wonderful, and many more mushroom girl dolls to be had. Like Teagan, they can be a keychain ornaments, but I wouldn't want her to get dirty.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

January feels like an open window onto white

I'm having some artist angst. That's a short cut way of saying I am feeling restless in my work, and the way I'm expressing my creativity and my spirit. Something important is missing. This feeling of wanting to move in a new direction is cycling through more and more often. I take this as a positive sign that come January, my creations will have space to take new form. I'm drawing and drawing and filling my sketchbooks with weird new work.

I know one specific: I'm tired of making little things. I am dreaming B-I-G, and it's scary.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I am feeling a little tired. I swore off the sewing machine today. When I think back over what I did in the last week..........

For Halloween, the kids dressed as ninja ( our first not made by us costumes ) so max and I surprised them by dressing as pirates. As in "ninja vs pirates" all night long! They were amused.

With all my "spare" time I organized a Neighborhood Halloween Children's Parade. We hope it's an annual event. Lots of families showed up to make some noise with instruments, to do a loop through the neighborhood. It's fun to get some playtime in and show off your costume before DARK when no one can really see. We went home to eat a few more bites of dinner, light the pumpkins and add the finishing touches on our porch decorations, before getting down to the serious business of trick or treating!

I finally got Saffron on the right medicine this week. He's only 7 months old (he's the fuzzy guy on the right with his arms around his best buddy Lil Scoop who's 4 months old), but he's been sick the past two months! He has some sort of intestinal disorder. It's wonderful to see him feel better than "OK". He's so fun and playful with Lil Scoop- a riot, but the good kind. They wrestle and race through the house and backyard together. And Saffron is more snugly with all the cats during nap times. I'm super in love with the kittens so it's wonderful to see both so well.

Besides all the great busy-ness of orders, and making lots of new coffee cozies, I finished a design project for Lark book's "Pretty Little Mini Quilts". I designed the quilt (framed on a wooden shape which make for a fun look but a bit tricky and expensive to ship), then wrote directions for the book so readers can make their own. The tea cups button off, can be flipped to the reverse side colors, or changed seasonally. One of my "interactive quilt" dreams come true. The book won't be out till Spring 2010! But I have two other books coming out this next spring, which will help my patience. :-)

Oh! And I wrote a new bio for this book, and used the term "my girlfriend" instead of "my partner". That felt big, though you are the only one I've told.

I developed a project I've been amusing myself over for quite some time..... the Lochness Monster coffee cozy screen print. I haven't put it up on etsy yet, but have the photos ready....

The Loch Ness Monster pillow/wall ornament/tree ornament/lavender sachet!! I hope some others will enjoy her as much as I do.

I am negotiating a massive wholesale order for wrist warmers... I have to consider all the timing and upcoming holiday market dates.....

THEN I got ready for the Meet Your Maker indie craft show Friday evening. It's great fun to sell at the Broadway wine bar, and see all my crafty friends out of our studios and lookin cute!

Gee, need I wonder why I'm tired? Busy busy busy week, and even given the chance to sleep in a few times, I'd wake up and start DESIGNING in my mind. A-wake! Where's the off button?

So today I swore off the sewing machine. Max went on a trip to Seattle to visit her ex who's about to have a sweet new baby soon. The weather was so warm and sunny-lovely, the kids and I RAN outside and raked the gorgeous yellow leaves out front .... a storm began to roll in so we raced the clouds to get the leaves put away in the garden before it poured! Perfect timing. I indulged the kids with both in a peppermint bubble bath while I read Harry Potter aloud, and fixed second breakfasts of folded over peanut butter pancakes with jam.

I received a package of new fabric straight from Japan, which was wrapped sweetly and included a complimentary hello kitty tissue set. THEN we did needle felting all afternoon, and watched Happy Feet. That was a little more intense than I imagined. But the kids liked it. They went off to their dad's for a boy's night of fun.

I'm home alone over night! I have time to read, reflect, sketch. I'm really happy, in general, but I've also been a bit design insane and it's good to regroup, get some more exercise, and have quiet time too.

What are you reading?
I have "Unlondon" by China Meiville (i love his work)
And an artsie inspiration book.

much love

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Studio Chat

I'm happy to report sales on my etsy have been hot. It's good.

I am selling many solid colors of the wrist warmers, and this new "One Leaf Tree" design is very fun to make because I bend and shape the limbs as I sew, plus they sell quickly.

I had a panic attack last weekend, with 6+ orders of black fingerless gloves, I restocked at Joann's fabric. Once at home, I noticed the black fabric was from a different manufacturer. Not as soft, not as thick, not as stretchy and just not good enough! Sewed one up and it felt more like felt! Yuck.

The other Joann's has the same new black. All the other colors are nice, but not the black fabric. I held the orders until I had good quality black in the studio once again. It doesn't sound so dire, but quality is really important to me. I am proud of the pattern I created, and how soft and comfortable they are. Customers love them, and I want to keep providing the goodness. (Have you noticed how much I like the word goodness used as a noun?) Laugh at me a little.

That leads me to discuss: I feel like I'm being overly sincere on the blog lately. Expressing my gratitude and successful things instead of my ups and downs about being a self employed designer. I ask myself, is that "honest"? I think it's because I don't really believe in complaining. The holiday season is incredibly important to me in terms of income, so I AM rather serious about the work (friends have to pry me out of the studio with a crow bar to see me), plus I'm very positive by nature. I'm working my ass off, always moving forward, hurtling challenges as best I can, and loving it. What's to complain about? If you are interested in hearing more of what I struggle with, leave a comment.

Studio news:
I'm coming out with my ornaments soon, and the big surprise will be my first pattern/kit! Very exciting.

Upcoming shows:
I hope to see all the local friends at this month's Meet YOur Maker show on Friday, 5-8pm, at our new regular location the Broadway Winebar downtown! Come out come out! Do the galleries, have some wine, shop early!

The Sarah Palin Rap- up

Yey!!! We are an Obama-nation! Did everyone watch Saturday Night Live's special the previous night? They were so funny, but the best part was seeing the REAL Sarah Palin on SNL The rap itself is amazingly good, Amy was amazingly huge and pregnant at the time, AND and Amy Poehler did the Sarah PalinPalin is right there reacting to it. If you haven't seen it watch it here: Youtube SNL rap link

NBC blocks their vids from being seen on youtube, so this is a news team version talking about the video, but their dialog is interesting too, before and after. Just watch! LOVE IT. Amy is fierce!

Happy Day all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WwweeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeee !!!!

We got a positive new president!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

First Signs

And now for an overdue photographed presentation entitled
"First Signs of Fall"

All photography by Quillan, aged 6, during a 45 minute period, as we went on our "Signs of Fall" walk. He learned how to use the macro setting this time 'round.

I adore the enthusiasm he brings to photography, skidding down slopes to get close to the water for just the right shot (carefully clutching the camera, strap over wrist, and assuring me that he won't fall in NOR drop the camera, as I bit my lip and wave back smiling), laying down under a bush to shoot upwards, placing an object on a different background, loooking for changes in season, catching texture and color and shadows, and searching for the first crunchy leaves. The funny and oh so true sign of fall is the overgrown zucchini placed outside the door as an offering to neighbors.

At the very micro end of each season, when I know the next season is about to begin, but I can't feel it yet, I've taken my kids on walks to look for "signs of spring" or fall or.... and we always find such interesting things and take photos.

Finn will be doing the guest spot here for "First Signs of Winter" photo shoot.

Amazing how much we don't SEE until we take the time to truly look. I hope they always think of me when they are grown up and the seasons change.