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little bird pattern

bird pattern

free tutorials




paper mache ships


An owl at sea

sailing bird

Sailing bird

the anastasia

And The Anastasia

new ships

I got up extra early this morning to begin  photographing more new ships. This time of year the nicest light happens between 6:30 and 7 am. I’ll do the same again tomorrow – the ships are tricky to photograph – they need lots of light and are almost constantly in motion – lots of waiting around for stillness.

ann wood ships

ann wood ships

You might notice that I’ve rearranged my place. I have stuck with  pretty much the same arrangement in every apartment I’ve lived in. I tried changing it a couple years ago with unhappy results – nothing about it worked – I couldn’t concentrate and it just felt wrong. I got inspired to try again a  few weeks ago and I’m very happy with it.  From a purely practical perspective I have light where I need it and it makes sense with the electrical outlets.  It feels more open and spacious and new and the plants seem to like it. The sewing machine is next to the largest window now – it’s a huge improvement. Sometime when I’m being tidier I’ll show you the whole thing – right now I’m kind of a disaster in that department.

ann wood studio

I’ll post some more ship photos in the afternoon tomorrow ( they will all be in my shop on thursday 6/5).


a better wobbler

I’m working on a re- design of my merry wobblers.  It’s one of the patterns I’ll be publishing for the making something project.  In their original incarnation they were tricky to make – unnecessarily tricky I think.

wobbler work

So I’m simplifying and perfecting and adjusting – again and again and again. I’ve made wobblers that don’t wobble, misshapen potato like wobblers, tiny headed wobblers, wobblers that burst and wobblers that didn’t look merry at all.


The most successful one so far has been the little guy on the lower left above. I’m adjusting a little more this morning and testing a few more times to make sure the result is consistent and hopefully tonight wobbler will be achieved.


Regarding the patterns I’m working on- I have a  question for those of you who sew:

Do you prefer  to have the seam allowance added for you on a pattern or to add your own?


the louisa may

The Louisa May – she’s made mostly from edwardian gowns and petticoats – sheer, thin, whispery things sewn over millinery wire. the louisa may



ship work and a dark bird

Spring really fires me up and I’m having a super busy and super productive month. Besides all the air and freshness the extra daylight in the evening makes such a difference.


I find I  work best early in the morning to mid afternoon and then I usually get a significant creative second wind between 5 and 8 PM – how about you? Other people’s creative practices are always interesting to me.
A couple progress photos for you:

dark bird

A  dark, crow-ish sort of bird and and sails for several new ships. I’ve been saving that antique embroidered cuff on the lower right  for 6 years- waiting for just the right ship. I’m finishing the first full sized, multi sailed extravaganza sort of ship that I’ve made in a long time tonight and I’m excited to photograph it  tomorrow – excited enough to get up extra early.

the forest and squam art retreat

I sure do like to make something and then wonder around the forest looking for  a perfect spot to photograph it.  It’s an intersection I’ve always been attracted to. I finished this indigo fellow in the Adirondack Park over the weekend with a particular mossy stump in mind for his photo.

indigo owl


I also worked on my toadstool pattern and technique  - that is one of the shapes I’ll be teaching at Squam in the fall ( there are just a couple spaces left in the class – you can register here).  There are so many things I want to share in that class – so many possibilities.  I’m also excited that there is a free afternoon built into the schedule –  the forest at Squam is spectacular and it would be such fun to photograph what we create.

seed pod

I’m building lessons around shapes and techniques that can be used as jumping off points – like the toadstool shape, a  seed pod shape, a very particular way to create stems, root systems,  textures etc.


I’d love to see you there – if you have questions I’m happy to answer – just send me an email.

P.S. – if you can’t attend the retreat but you’re near by or don’t mind traveling to New Hampshire – come say hello at the art fair ! I am already deep in preparations for that – It’s going to be an adventure.



on my work table

I’m working on a bunch of things – sometimes that feels comfortable, working on a variety of projects at the same time, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s fortunate that it’s working for me right now because it really must.  It’s nice to have a mix of paper and sewing projects, as  glue or paint or paper mache is drying I sew – it makes me feel like an overachiever.  I’m also spending time everyday working on my class for Squam in September and  patterns for my make something project – I’ll have an update on both of those a little later this week. Below is a peek at what I’m working on:

sri threads work

Some sewing – a little owl and mushrooms. I think that indigo print is the most owly fabric ever – thank you Sri Threads.

flamingo mess

And flamingos! I can’t make them without also making a big pink mess – I’m making 60 this week, flamingo madness……

ship work

Ship progress- I haven’t made a translucent ship hull in such a long time I forgot how  and had half a dozen painful failures on the way to this  one.


And a dastardly owl just finished, there are a couple more photos of Nestor after the break.

Continue reading “on my work table” »


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” »

make something

I’m working on something new : In a few weeks I will begin to offer patterns and kits for sale; some brand new things as well as a couple of my most popular items. I’m going to start with six projects and build from there. I’ll share my creative practices, techniques, top secret tips and tricks and inspirations. I’m very excited and energized about this and I hope you will be too.

make_something_ann_wood_1 copy

I’ve got lots and lots of ideas for projects I’d like to share – fabric, paper mache and crepe paper- and I would also love to know what you might like to make or techniques that interest you. If you like you can let me know in the comment section or send me an email.


I have timed carved out every day (and night) to work on this, drafting patterns, recording steps and sourcing kit materials etc.  and I hope to have the first few things ready for testing in about two weeks.

Sign up below ( be sure to check the “make something “ box on the sign up form) to stay updated and be notified of the launch – subscribers will also see sneak peeks of some projects and have a chance to be a pattern tester.


the box method

If you’ve been visiting here for a while (thank you) you know I’m a big fan of Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit – particularly the box method. I’m overwhelmed with projects right now and that makes me a little frantic and anxious. Anxiety makes it hard to focus which produces more anxiety etc. etc.

“Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity” – T. S. Elliot

I’ve never been good at moving multiple things forward and the boxes help immensely with that – they contain the projects in more than a physical way. This past Saturday I devoted an hour to gathering and boxing.

sri textiles


anrique garment fragments

I chose a collection of Japanese textiles (courtesy of Sri)  for toadstools, owls and hummingbirds and antique garment fragments in shades  of black for 2 dastardly owls. The search focuses me and spending time ironing ( which I secretly love) starts to slow my brain down; as I make my little piles, put them in their boxes and write the project name on the tag I feel forward progress,  ideas that were vague start to solidify, panic recedes and I feel better and clearer about the coming too busy week – enthusiastic even.


A finished hummingbird – photographed in one of my favorite spots – the side of my tool chest.  I think the patina of the wood and the light give it a  stillness and trompe l’oeil feel I like.