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paint box 1/31

ann wood paintbox 1/31

cardboard horses

cormac Way back in 2006 I made 100 cardboard horses as an experiment and creative exercise – I exhibited the group in Los Angeles in 2007. I’ve added cormac and the other 16 remaining horses (some of my favorites) from the collection to my shop.

PS -If you are getting snow I hope you’re enjoying it. I am getting snow and enjoying it.

snow in brooklyn

botanical experiments

I’m working on botanical shapes including some small toadstools – little experiments in color and texture. They are  a numbered series -with signed hand sewn tags with the number and date for each. I’m using mostly Japanese garment fragments (courtesy of Sri Threads)  with rich color and history.

toadstool # 1

toadstool #2

I like the idea of these turning up unexpectedly (as mushrooms sometimes do) on a hook or knob or a drawer pull. I’m also working on others- flower and  seed pod sorts of shapes.  These will be in my shop very soon and next September I’m teaching a class at Squam on making botanical shapes with textiles – you can get more info here.

botanical forms

botanical experiment

botanical experiment

If you’d like to be notified when they are available you can join my mailing list here.

sweet things

I designed a new cake topper over the summer: Flamingos in Love.

flamingos in love

I painted miles of crepe paper in very particular shades of pink and coral.

flamingo work

paper flamingos

They are available in my shop now as well as at BHLDN.  I’m also thinking of putting a “make it your self” kit together for these – what do you think?

I loved working with crepe paper and I’ve got something else for the cute department in the works – here are a couple sneak peeks:

red shoes


happy 2014!

sparkling and bright

rat helper

Wishing you a happy and merry new year,


designing soft sculpture or toys

Abby Glassenberg makes wonderfully imaginative and incredibly well made toys and in her new book “Stuffed Animals: From Concept to construction” she shows you how to make them as well as how to create your own designs.

stuffed animals
This is a solid, comprehensive guide to sewing 3 dimensional shapes – essential skills are explained and demonstrated clearly through 16 delightful and detailed projects.


As you make each project you learn a skill to use in creating your own inventions – like darts and gussets and joints.


The 52 lessons, tips, tricks and equipment overview make this a great place to start  for beginners as well as an excellent reference for more advanced sewers interested in designing patterns or soft sculpture or improving the quality of their work.

I don’t generally review things here but this book answers  questions I’m asked so frequently I wanted to offer it as reference for anyone interested in sewing their own designs.

a new shape on my work table

I  started working on a new pattern in October.

lamb work

It’s a long process for me – experiments and  trial and error – I enjoy it immensely.  I make piles and piles of prototypes and duds – learning a little bit from each. It wakes me up early and keeps me up late.  This is the first finished lamb:

fortuny lamb

A  Fortuny lamb – he was auctioned in November at  The Littlest Lamb gala here in NY – The Littlest Lamb is an incredibly inspiring organization – they ‘re  building an orphanage in Egypt.

The next lambs  were made from vintage tablecloths.

rosy lambs

I love vintage linens and I very particularly love vintage linens with roses.  I had 2 that wanted to be lambs – both had some staining in areas making them not so desirable to use as  tablecloths – otherwise I would have saved them for the country home I will ultimately have.

3 lambs

I also used a depression era drape I found upstate last summer and  one  little black lamb is made from edwardian garments. I’ve finished a little flock now and they will arrive in the shop tomorrow 12/18 (noonish EST).

Whenever I post about creating  a new creature or pattern I always get a ton of email from people who would like to do the same – looking for a course or a book. I haven’t known of a great resource until lately:  Abby Glassenberg has written a comprehensive guide to sewing in 3 dimensions and I’ll tell you more about it in my next post.


week 50  in my “this is where i am from” year long project:

I had a serious puppet phase. For years I got a marionette for Christmas every year, made some myself and my father made me one, a king.  He also made me a theater from a dishwasher box,  it was covered with classic 70′s striped contact paper and I painted scenery on an old window shade and sewed costumes for the puppets.



Exciting news! The Squam art retreat offerings are live on their website. I’m teaching a class in September called “Wild Beauty” –  creating botanical experiments in textiles. You can read about it and all the other classes here:
Pre -registration is open now.

I taught at Squam in 2012 and it was a wonderful experience – I’m so excited to go back.

wild beauty : botanical experiments

an interruption

week 47,48,49  in my “this is where i am from” year long project:

Well there has been an interruption hasn’t there – Weeks 47,  48 and 49  will be the weeks that never were. Hopefully I’ll back on track next week. I hurt my back on the 18th and I tried to ignore that  because I really, really didn’t have the time or patience for my back to be hurt. That made things much, much worse until everything came to a grinding halt on the 20th.  I’m nearly better now and dealing with the work overload mess this interruption has caused.  This experience has  gotten my attention. I’ve been working at a ridiculous pace for too long. I need to change things in a big way going forward. I’ll share that with you as I figure it out – right now it is 0% figured out.

And I  I wanted to show you these – a couple weeks ago  I posted a drawing of a clothespin ballerina ornament I made as a child – I made the drawing from memory – but my sister found the ballerina!  It was packed away with family Christmas treasures along with another I made that I had forgotten about.


clothespin ballerina


I think my dad must have made the ballerina arms for me and the soldier’s arms are wooden coffee stirrers (do they still make those?) – maybe you know someone little who would like to make these.