Quilt Market Butterflies

I was delighted to make these butterflies for National Nonwovens Quilt Market booth. They manufacture gorgeous wool felts and roving products. The company supplies me with a selection of their product for my publishing work. I was especially grateful to have an array of their felt on hand while I worked through the designs for my newest book Stitched Whimsy, a playful pairing of felt and fabric. Check out the post to learn how I worked through this project and get inspired!

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Brunswick's first Indie Holiday Marketplace

Here's a preview of an Artsy Affair, Brunswick's first indie holiday marketplace, and some of the vendors I'm looking forward to seeing. If you live in the area please come join in the 'Artsy' fun. I'd love to meet you - my booth will be the one filled with birds owls and lobsters!

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Autumnfest Craft fair

Fall is one of the loveliest times to visit New England, and this weekends weather was perfect for Autumnfest in Bath, Maine. We were overwhelmed by the fantastic response to our booth, so grateful for all the kind words and many purchases. Half of our customers were local and the other half were on vacation enjoying the peak color.

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Painted Pebbles are Pet Rocks with Personality!

I've decided to bring a new breed of pet rock to the Brunswick, Maine this summer. I'm loading up buckets of beach rocks to bring into the library so that creative youngsters can transform them into in vibrant sea creatures. If you're unable to join us at the library there's no reason that you can't have a rock painting party of your own!

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Creativity that sticks - Childrens Plant Pot Workshop

Proud artists with their plant pot creations!

Have I told you lately how much I love our library? When we moved to Brunswick, Maine from Des Moines six years ago Curtis Memorial Library was the very first place that made us feel part of the community. My older boys loved both the children's and teen programs. Four years ago when Celia joined our family I began taking her to 'baby lapsit', many of her preschool friendships started at the library. Last summer my husband Jon and I were delighted to donate our time to help them revamp the childrens play area, I promise to post shots of my murals soon. Recently I've been fortunate to be part of both the children and teen library art and craft events.

Parents and children making one of kind plant pots at library Earthday library event.

Today's craft was inspired for a design I developed for the summer issue of Crafts 'n Things.

I created a trio of mixed media plant pots that incorporated 'junk' everything from odd game pieces to hardware. I loved the 'in process' pots almost as much as the finished grouted pots. I realized that using adhesive alone would be the perfect way to introduce kids to the concept of mosaics and tiling. One of the biggest challenges in preparing for this event was collecting enough recycled materials.

This is me intently helping someone decide which pieces will 'stick' to their pot.

A girl after my own heart, she was intent in filling the entire surface of her pot.

To make this project at home, begin by sealing the inside of the pot with a weatherproof sealer. Purchase a small container of tile adhesive at your local hardware store. Use a plastic knife to spread a 1/4" layer of adhesive onto the outside of your pot. Press found objects into the adhesive, filling the small spaces with plastic beads and buttons. Let adhesive cure 24 hours before planting your funky pot. 

Another superb original creation!

Today's plant pot activity quickly reached eighty pre-registered children, unfortunately the librarians were forced to turn many people away. At a time when library budgets are being cut nationwide, the outstanding attendance for these kinds of events is a strong indicator how important libraries are to our community!

These young men found a way to personalize their pots with letter beads.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be working with the librarians to plan more creative summer activities for both children and teens. I can't wait to get messy and share more smiles!

Ukrainian Easter Eggs and Family Stuffed Sock Bunny Workshops

I took a late afternoon walk around our neighborhood yesterday with my daughter Celia and our wheaten terrier Maizy. It was so pleasant to have the sun shining on us in the late afternoon. The streams were rushing with the water from the weekend storms, providing  plenty of mud and puddles for the girl and dog to explore. There was an abundance of downed sticks and branches on the ground to poke into the mud and instigate a game of tug of war with the pup. Nature had created the perfect playground for my companions. I relished their happiness and started to believe that spring is slowly creeping it's way to Maine. 

I'll be giving my first Pysanky egg decorating class at Art Mind and Soul studios on March 28, 2-4pm. I was captivated by this technique as a child in Canada, a very kind neighbor spent an entire afternoon teaching me the craft. Although my designs are not authentic, the process is true to it's origins. If you become a committed follower of Ukrainian eggs there's an entire alphabet of authentic symbols to memorize and master. I love how easily this craft can be  modernized to suit your own creative style, in many ways it's similar to batik. A small stylus is used to heat beeswax over a candle flame enabling you to draw the wax directly onto an egg. The egg is repeatedly dipped in dye and more wax is applied after each immersion. The dramatic finish happens when the egg is heated over the flame and the built up wax is wiped away to reveal the colors and designs.

It might be because Easter falls close to my birthday but I've always loved this season of renewal! To celebrate I'm offering another spring workshop for parents and their children to enjoy together on Saturday March 27, 1-3 pm also at Art Mind and Soul Studios. We'll be cutting up socks, stuffing and stitching them together to make adorable stuffed bunnies.

Mark your calendars, and send me an e-mail I'd love to have you join in the creative fun!