Monday, December 26, 2011

Santa brought me this cute package early on in the holiday season and I've been happy as a jay ever since.  Lovely sales in the shops kept me hopping Nov and most of December.  Lovely to visit with returning customers and everyone has been extra sweet this year. 

I actually shopped and made gifts early this year.  I don't know how that happened exactly since I've always taken to such a rush, as far back as I can remember.  We actually had some free days with the kids, and SUNNY ones at that, leading up to the holidays!  We took the dog and scooters to zoom around the paths of the gorgeous University of Oregon campus, climbed trees and sculptures with equal abandon.  Drank cocoa in the sun.  Still cold but sunny is quite nice for us Oregonians.  We had a games afternoon and time for the kids to draw book mark gifts.  (Whatever I did right, I'll try to do it again next year. )

Lovely to spend Winter Solstice with friends.  Xmas eve-eve playing games at Grandma's house with auntie and uncle.  And host everyone here on Christmas day.  I'm always grateful to have family in town (or close to town) rather than jump planes for the holidays.  But if Mom were to, say, retire in Kauai, THEN we'll be pretty stoked to jump a few planes!  (Maybe I best get her to visit the island before I get any more big ideas.)

Happy holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Gift of Glove

 My etsy shop is full of pretty wrist warmer stenciled lace wrist warmers.....

 Symmetrical dreaming tree series....

 My favorite color version of the Foxy Gloves...

Hot hot colored Dreaming Trees!  Yummy.    Lots of wrist warmers heading out to new homes each day and I keep adding new ones.  If you don't see the exact pair for you, keep checking back.  Im able to take custom orders again in late January. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gnome Friends

I've added some new gnome friends to my BlissForest shop for the holidays.

Kai, the ocean loving, dolphin friend, gnome. 

Astrid will bake your cookies and tell you all her best stories.

Add caption

We got the beet, and you can dance to the beet!

 A tribute to my little sister and OG Farmers Market folks everywhere.  My new garden series of wrist warmers!  I had a blast making these and have been wearing the practice set of Carrots around town.  They make me smile. All currently available in my AlyTheRed etsy shop.

 "Powered by Carrots"

 "You Make My Heart Beet"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Mommy Book- the ultimate gift you'll want too

I'm making myself a present.  Yep, in the midst of holiday sales, lovely wholesale orders, shipping madness, I'm making myself an important gift. Some ideas just can't wait.

I think you can relate to this project. You, reading this, are likely to be a mom, or an artist/creative person, who has a collection of special cards from those you love.  In my case, it's a BIG stack of hand drawn cards from my two boys, and some favorite drawings I've finally peeled down from my walls in various rooms.  I wanted a special place to keep them together, and best of all be able to LOOK at them.  Why not put them in a book?

Find a nice hard cover drawing book with strong blank pages.  I've removed about every fourth or fifth page so when I tape new pages in, it won't get too huge.  Of course I've SAVED the sliced out paper for the kids to draw on.  :-) 

I've gotten all the special little drawings done just for me, and cards together, and taped them in with acid-free, double sided tape. 

Two pages of special stories the kids wrote and illustrated awhile back.

I don't have a view of it here, but some of the cards are taped in so they can be folded up and shut.  Some have the front removed and taped in next to the inside of the card so both are viewed at once.  Some drawings are trimmed or cut out.  Really old ones that have been on the wall for too long, were restored, so to speak, by color copying them.

For holidays, the kids tend to make new art for my display frames (my favorite gift), and when I take the old ones out, I can now add them to the book.  My hope is that sometimes, they will pick up my Mommy Book, and write me some notes and drawings right onto the new blank pages.  :-)

They saw me working on my book and took turns looking through it themselves, smiling and remembering.

If you don't have children, you can still make yourself a Dear One book, adding cards, letters, drawings from friends to you.  Then continue to add things you like:  your favorite poems, your own drawings, photos you love, letters of awesomeness to yourself, and all new cards you get. 

Monday, November 7, 2011


I spent a lovely Sunday, gallery hopping in Portland with family, made especially nice by an unexpectedly sunny day.  I found a wonderful Gnome themed shop on Alberta and picked up these new gnome friends.  Not only are they the cutest salt and pepper shakers, they also set the table for dinner!  Industrious little fellas.

Feeling Foxie?

I have a new batch of Foxgloves, this time on black.  I have also fine tuned my design.  I really wanted the cute little foxy fella to be bigger.  I'm pleased with the turn out.  Almost like wearing a puppet instead of a design.  Happy Autumn! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bad Gnome Busts Gift Guide

 HGTV's design star, the sweet, fun and very original Emily Henderson has added my Mr Bad Gnome mug to her favorite gifts for the holidays.  Emily's online gift catalogue guide went live this morning and let me tell you, it's simply gorgeous!  238 pages of beautiful decorating ideas, great guest blogger posts, DIY ornaments and gift tags, and of course her hand picked best gifts for the holidays. 

My hand drawn gnome mug is featured a few pages into"Emily's faves" portion of the e-mag, page 64.  I'm honored to be amongst several great etsy items and many big brand names in the guide.

These images are my original designs on an up-cycled mug.  For the catalog, I sourced a style of mug I liked so I could make a large set.  It's now on a matte, stone wear mug that looks like something you would find in a gnome's home.  :-)  When you click on the mug image in the catalogue, it takes you to my page with the NEW mug, beautifully photographed by Lee Rog.

This original green mug is still available in my Bliss Forest etsy shop.  After this one sells, I will be offering more of the new design in blue or black ink.  The perfect gift for the grumpy gnome in your life.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Feeling blue?  How about some Bluebird of Happiness fingerless gloves to cheer you up? 

I usually save this design for Spring, but a favorite customer made a special request so I stitched up a batch for my shop.  It's nice to see a big cheerful stack of blue up on the office shelf ready to fly to new homes. 

The Bluebird of Happiness is a symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime in many cultures all around the world.  This symbolic bird has shown up repeatedly in my design work.

(Words by Edward Heyman and Harry Parr Davies / Music by Sandor Harmati)
Art Mooney & His Orchestra - 1948

The beggar man and his mighty king are only diff'rent in name,
For they are treated just the same by fate.
Today a smile and tomorrow tears,
We're never sure what's in store,
So learn your lesson before too late, so

Be like I, hold your head up high,
Till you find a bluebird of happiness.
You will find greater peace of mind
Knowing there's a bluebird of happiness.
And when he sings to you,
Though you're deep in blue,
You will see a ray of light creep through,
And so remember this, life is no abyss,
Somewhere there's a bluebird of happiness.

Life is sweet, tender and complete
When you find the bluebird of happiness.
You will find perfect peace of mind
When you find the bluebird of happiness.
Two hearts that beat as one,
'Neath a new found sun,
We are in a world that's just begun,
And you must sing his song, as you go along,
When you find the bluebird of happiness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Does she love sewing?  Does she love quilting?  Hand embroidery?  I've designed this charm bead just for her.  Drop by my Charmish etsy shop and see all the other charms for crafters I have in stock.

 Charmish beads are universal fit with all other European charm bead brand bracelets, solid sterling silver, and threaded, so your beads stay put.  Shipping is always free, even internationally.  It's my gift to you.

The perfect holiday gift for the stitcher in your life.   I have designed this thread spool charm with great care and detail.  She'll love to wear this on her European charm bead bracelet all year around. 

Facebook?  Join my Charmish Beads page to see new releases and share your own ideas.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rich new colors

 Ooo, I'm thrilled to find this rich, royal purple, and the deep teal fleece to make fingerless gloves with. 

I field tested them with a good October dog walk this morning. 
Dog walking comfort- check! 
Ability to use iPhone- check! 
Held coffee cup with no slipping- check!  (Of course the dog WAS minding his "heeling free" lesson at the moment so THAT did help).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Foxgloves

New batch of Fox Gloves, fleece fingerless gloves, aka wrist warmers.  Warm, stretchy, soft, and very importantly:  WASHable.  :-)

My new fall patterns.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Autumn is all about the trees

 Every autumn for the past five years, I've been creating and selling woodland themed fingerless gloves (aka wrist warmers).  I never tire of finding interesting color combinations and debuting new designs. 

  Each tree is hand cut and prepared for applique.  I choose to use fleece to applique, rather than felt (which some people like because it's easier).  Sewing fleece over stretchy fleece, is tricky but ends in a more organic style AND is much softer and flexible to wear.

 When you put your hands together, the two gloves form a tree.


One Leaf Tree is my signature design.  It represents the last leaf on the tree in the fall and the first leaf on the tree in the spring.  It symbolizes patience, optimism and our connection to nature.  

Happy Autumn all!

Getting the most of the last few days of summer

How does August 1 roll around so fast every summer? We get the sudden urge to get out in the woods, hike our favorite trails, go play in nature. Here's the gorgeous Sahalie falls in Oregon.

My boys enjoying the cool mist coming off the icy blue waters.

The water rushes down river in a fast rush, but there are little quiet pools to cool your pads.

The amazing blue.

Surprises along the trail.

The old wood bridge above Sahalie falls.

Our local Mt Pisgah park. Its so important for kids to have time to leap, play, climb, explore in nature.

One explorer, and one who loves to catch fish to inhabit the temporary pools before being released.

What artist mama isn't inspired by a good hike and time to play by the river?
Happy summer Oregon 2011.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where the Gnomes Roam

Gnome ornaments bring their woodland cheer for the holidays. Holidays in September? Yep, this is the time of year my stores and boutiques are putting in their wholesale orders for gnomes and wrist warmers. :-) It's both fun AND efficient to make a big batch at once, now I'm stocked up.

I used my gocco to transform my original gnomes drawings into a silk screen. To print an image, I coat the squeegee with printing paint, and draw it smoothly across the screen. One at a time. They dry over night, I hand paint the hats red, and heat set with my iron. Then the gnomes are ready to be stitched and stuffed for ornaments....... or.........

This year, the gnomes have found their way onto my wrist warmers. Soft, fleecy, washable, fingerless gloves to walk the dog, wear to school, type, knit, work your phone, or play music in.

To stay up to date on new projects and store sales, join my Bliss Monkey Studio Fan page on facebook.