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little bird pattern

bird pattern

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collecting words

One of my favorite parts of making paper mache ships ( and other things) is collecting words and parts of words and letters to include.  I’m always collecting them and when I’m ready to make something, or sometimes when I’m wandering and inviting inspiration I sort through the box –  I love the happenstance of it.





Everything is blooming in Brooklyn – There are blossom trees up and down Union St.  and my view is all pink, pale green and white for just a little while.

brooklyn spring

Spring has not quite happened upstate yet- but it’s thinking about it. I spent a few days wondering around up there and sewing lots of little birds for BHLDN.


moss and lichen

I gathered some mosses for a new terrarium I’ll put together this evening – right now they are doing fine in a plastic strawberry container with a damp paper towel on the bottom wrapped loosely in plastic. I picked up some charcoal  from the same area as some of the moss to add to the soil. I have had mixed results with my previous terrariums – maintaining the right moisture balance, preventing mold etc. One thing that seems to help is watering only with water from the nearby creek, I wonder if distilled water might be good too? Any tips appreciated. There are a few more photos from the lovely gloomy weekend after the break.

Continue reading “spring” »


I came across a youtube video recently that stunned me. If you visit me on Facebook  you’ve already heard a bit about this.  When I was 5 or 6 My mother took me and my younger sister  (who was very small at the time) to the movies. It was a big deal- my mother didn’t drive – not at all – and we lived in the country so a long walk to a bus etc. with little folks – pain in the butt. I was mesmerized by the film and have had images from it floating around in my head ever since. I did not remember the name and it was so long ago and so pre internet I couldn’t imagine I would ever find it. And then I came across this video and recognized it instantly:   the tales of beatrix potter


It  premiered in 1971 – the Royal Ballet presentation of The Potter tales. There are lots of clips on youtube and you can find it in it’s entirety on DVD on Amazon.  My strongest memories are of the Jeremy Fisher segment.

jeremy fisher
I love the moodiness and  there is an intersection between pretend and real elements  - a particular note – that has  always held a huge appeal for me.  I believe this film played a huge part in who I became and I think you’ll see more of its influence in some new work  I’m in the planning stages of.  You might also enjoy this series of behind the scenes  photos by Lara Platman  of the making of the costumes ( it is still performed on stage). 


treasures from sri threads

I found a large unexpected box in my vestibule last tuesday morning.

sri box

Magnificent and inspiring treasures from Stephen Szczepanek.  I spent the rest of the morning having a marvelous time, unpacking it very, very slowly.  So much to think about.

sri textiles

sri threads

There is a fascinating post on The Sri blog right now about stitched amulets. I didn’t know about this practice and Stephen writes about it beautifully,  it begins ” In Japan, there is a certain magic associated with stitching”.


little mysteries – a mini creative assignment

I love an assignment. This week I’m giving myself a fun mini assignment and you’re invited to participate if you like. The subject is “little mysteries”. The only rules are: that I take a photo ( with my phone) every day that feels a little mysterious to me and post it on instagram. Pretty easy. I have an extra busy week working on orders from my shop and wholesale orders for catbird, BHLDN and Fortuny. I try to encourage myself to experiment in at least small ways regularly and I think that it’s even more important to do that when I’m very, very busy producing. It’s also very easy not to do when crunched for time so I made this a fun, easy and for me, very appealing assignment. In case you’re not instagramy I’ll update this post with them as well. I’d love to see your little mysteries and if you like you can use the hash tag #littlemysteries or leave a link to your photo in the comment section.
Here is little mystery #1

little mystery #1

little mystery 2#2

little mystery 3#3

Continue reading “little mysteries – a mini creative assignment” »


Color, courtesy of Sri Threads – a deeply inspiring pallet.

japanese textiles

sri color

sri color

Stepehen  (of Sri Threads) is traveling in Japan right now – I love  following  his travels on his blog and facebook .

sri textiles

Stephen Szczepanek  of Sri Threads has fabulous timing and he’s also pretty psychic about what I might be needing.  His packages are always a surprise and they always seem to turn up at a moment when I’m in need of  a boost.

sri textiles

This gorgeous collection of scraps turned up a few days ago and I’ve already begun a mini collection of  Sri toadstools,  little owls and spiders. Please join the shop mailing list if you would like to be notified when this collection is available.

sri toadstools

You can see more of Stephen’s treasures  on his blog and the Sri Threads facebook  page.

road’s end

I spent last week in  the Adirondack forest, by a lake.  The house is called Road’s End and it is among other things, a former turn of the century  cure cottage.

road's end

There are lots of sleeping porches ( to facilitate the cure) and I used this one for my work room.

adirondack sleeping porch

It was glorious and I sewed a ton. And when I wasn’t sewing or sleeping or swimming or reading I hiked up things. The views were spectacular.

the view  from whiteface mt

The view from Whiteface Mountain – a frightening 3,676 ft.

whittleling beaks

And I collected twigs and whittled some beaks.

The beaks were for two songbirds I finished  and photographed there – here’s a peek at those:

teal songbird

black songbird

It turns out vacations really are good for people. I don’t take vacations. I barely take breaks or days off- partly because it needs to be that way (so far anyway)  and partly because I like to work and partly because I’m pretty compulsive.  I did make things and sew my ass off but there were breaks and activities outside that and there was almost no internet – that may have been what was really vacationy. What a relief. A discomfort too – but less so after a couple days.

I came home with an  organized and clear head;  motivated and with something that was puzzling me figured out – I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

what’s left

This was a great dress,  it was ruined in such magnificent ways. I’ve been making things with it for  almost two years and it still has more to give – transparent silk chiffon, a little more lace and  bits of shattered silk  - not sew-able but perfect for tiny corsages.

ruined antique party dress

I wish I had spent more time photographing it when it arrived  so I’m giving it a last hurrah now – it’s last breath in it’s original form.

ruined antique party dress

the new artisans

I can hardly believe I’m included in this book – it is magnificent in every way. I think Olivier Dupon has created something very special.  In less expert hands this wealth of  information might  have been overwhelming or the spirit could have been lost but Olivier presents it with simplicity and real elegance – you are never distracted from the central idea: that this is a book about love of craft, process and materials or Olivier’s true affection for the subject.

Find the book: http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/new/fall11/551585.htm

on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Artisans/108346249261751

Olivier’s blog:  http://dossier37.tumblr.com/

the new artisans

the new artisans

the new artisans

“This book captures the new mood – a return to a preference for the unique and the handmade. Design expert and acclaimed blogger Olivier Dupon has sourced the cream of the contemporary design world from all over Europe, Australia and the United States, profiling 75 artisans who use craft techniques, rather than mass-production methods, to create stylish, whimsical, covetable objects. Hundreds of colour photographs feature a huge variety of crafts, including art, ceramics, furniture, glasswork, jewelry, lighting, metalwork, papercraft, textiles and woodwork. Complete with a directory of products, and Dupon’s personal recommendations for inspiring shops and websites to visit, this is the perfect resource for discovering unique and beautiful objects made by new, talented artisans from all around the world.”