March 26, 2006

More Gourds from Cate

Santa Gourd
Kaleidoscope Gourd
Poinsettia Gourd
 Posted by Picasa

A Tisket... A Tasket... A Template

Yes, I've been monkeying around with the template. Hope this one is OK. I felt a little bubbly about the whole collaboration! So, voila, polka-dots!

March 24, 2006

Baby Blanket

This is a clover leaf blanket I made for my friend Kork. She's having her first baby in June and this is the gift I make everyone. It's easy to make, you can change it up as much as you like (Mom adds giant ric-rac or eyelet lace to the edges), and it folds up nicely to mail (Kork lives in Colorado).

It's made specifically for swaddling. My mom made these for all her friends' babies when I was growing up. My kids have about 6 of them she's made.

Kork doesn't know the baby's gender, so I wanted a material that would work either way. I'm sure she's tired of yellow and green by now and when I saw these beautiful zebras I knew they had to go live with her. The material is from Wal-Mart and is called "A Zebra of a Different Color." The back of the blanket is the coordinating fabric.

There are also 2 burp clothes made of the same material. I cross stitched "Welcome to the worked Baby Z" on one and "Baby Z" on the other using tear away cross stitch fabric.

March 20, 2006

Spirit Stick

Yup, gotta agree with Phin! It was an amazing day. I totally created something out of my element and loved the entire experience. Talking with Sharon, sharing in her energy and doing it with Phin was fantastic. But wow, by the end of the day, I was tired! All that creative energy is exhausting! Posted by Picasa

For Phin and Anyone Else Who Wants Them: Directions on the Snowman Gourd


Materials Needed
Acrylic Paint (soft white, tan, off white, black, orange and pink)
4 Buttons (2 large and 2 small)
One sock (small size – the toe of this will make the snow man’s hat)
Super Sculpey (You can get this at Walmart or Michaels Crafts
Hot glue gun
Wire ties (floral decorations) (You could also use pipe cleaners)
Gourd (birdhouse type)
Any type of fabric
Minwax-rubbing oil stain and finish in Colonial Walnut
Small container
Metal scrubber
Various paintbrushes
First wash your gourd under water, gently scrubbing it with your metal scrubber until it has a smooth clean surface.
  1. With a soft, broad paintbrush paint the entire gourd off white

  2. Pour your tan paint in a small container.  Dip your toothbrush into the container and flick the paint on the gourd (Make sure you continue to rotate the gourd the whole time so your paint won’t all be in one spot).

  3. Next, rub the Minwax lightly on one section at a time and then immediately rub it off with a soft clean cloth.

  4. Cut your wire ties off for an appropriate arm length for the size of your gourd (don’t forget to leave room for the hands).  Unravel the ties slightly and twist the ends to make hands.  Hot glue the wire ties to the back of the snowman’s neck.

  5. Paint the facial features on the snowman using a small tipped brush.  To make his cheeks rosy, use a dry-brush technique.  Using a  large, dry, firm tipped brush, dip it in the pink paint and get as much off the brush as you possibly can before you paint the cheeks.

  6. Take your sock and cut off the section of the toe and leave room to roll it up so that it will look like a toboggan.  Cut off the end of the sock for the scarf.  In the middle part that is left, cut two long, narrow sections and fray the end with your scissors.  Poke the un-frayed end under the scarf.

  7. Make a nose out of super sculpey, bake it and then hot glue it where you want it.  Paint it orange.

  8. Hot glue the buttons on his stomach (the big buttons on the bottom with the little buttons on top of them).

  9. Cut out little squares (like patches) from your material and hot glue them on him for a country look.

A Little Music for Inkling

When my cousin Inkling first got in touch with her intended Henry David, she told me if it ever led anywhere she wanted my recepies and hymns for her kitchen window. You see my mom and I both keep pages out of old hymnals covered in contact paper at our kitchen sinks so we can sing while we wash dishes. There's nothing worse than being up to your elbows in suds and forgetting the third verse of Great is Thy Faithfulness...At least not in our little worlds.

I didn't have anymore old hymnals to tear apart, so I did the next best thing. I photo copied them. Then I tea stained some and coffee stained others. I pulled the excess edges off the paper while it was still wet. Once dry I ironed them flat and glued them to card stock I had decorated so they would stand up better. A few days later I covered them in clear contact paper to keep them clean and dry (that's country style laminating).

She was thrilled with them, and my Aunt wanted to know when I was going to make her some. The picture isn't great. Contact paper has a glare with or without the flash. Hope you can make it out.

In all I did 18 songs, front and back of 20 sheets. Two of them were 2 page hymns. These were some of my favorites.

March 19, 2006

Spirt Stick

MadRetz and I spent all day Saturday at the studio of Sharon Wheat, a local fiber
artist who creates wonderful pieces called Universal Totems. We met Sharon at a juried art & craft show at Fort Mason in San Francisco, spent some time in conversation, and were invited her studio. Sharon's work is amazing...mysterious, thought provoking, inspirational and we were so excited to get to play in the place where she creates her art.

The base of the piece is a wooden blank in a long triangular shape, about 2 feet long and 2 inches across at its widest. I covered mine in beige raw silk and then wrapped it with a piece of cheesecloth that had been tea dyed and stiffened in various places with glue.

The stone was attached as the head and then I added the embellishments, which included shells, freshwater pearls, bone, frayed waxed linen (Sharon calls them nerve endings, so descriptive!), a glass bottle with a secret message inside and bone beads.

Click on the images for a larger, more detailed view, altho' the photos don't do the piece justice. MadRetz's spirt stick also turned out beautifully. Hopefully, she will post hers too!!!

This was a gift for my nephew inside a Christmas card. Very easy, but if you have to give money, at least it should look like something else.

Not knowing how to leave well-enough alone I made this little origami shirt to put in a small "shirt box" to give to my crafty niece-in-law.

I'm so excited. Spring is almost here. You can tell by all the seeds on display in the stores. I've bought a packet of gourdseeds and I'm ready to plant! This is a picture of my first gourd creation, a little snowman.

March 16, 2006


For FarmWife's BabyGirl : .)

March 13, 2006

If You Give A Mom A Mop

This is a collaborative effort between Farmwife and Zannli. Farmwife wrote this incredibly cute piece of work and zannli drew the pictures.
We hope you find it enjoyable.


If you give a mom a mop,
She'll ask you for a vacuum.

But first She'll want to dust,
so she'll ask you for a dust rag.

Then she'll notice the rag drawer is empty,
so she'll want to do the wash

When you take her to the laundry room
she'll have to walk past the kitchen sink.
She'll see all the dirty dishes
and want to load the dishwasher.

When she gets out the dish soap
she'll want to organize the cleaners.

While she's organizing the cleaners,
Grandma will call.
They will talk for an hour
while Mom alphabetizes her Rolodex.

Once she gets off the phone
she'll want to check her e-mail.

While she's online, she'll read about a new brand of linoleum.
Then she'll look at the floors,

And ask you for a mop.

March 12, 2006

"Do Something Creative Every Day!"

Says the sub-header on Paper Source. This fits nicely with one of my goals for this year, to art more.

I've been wanting to try out this kit I bought from their San Francisco store about a year ago during a shopping trip with MadRetz. Butterflies a la Urban Couture, one of BasicGrey's newest paper lines. (My *favorite* line of scrapbook papers : .) The kit comes with patterns, papers, wire and directions to make these fun butterflies, but I got a bee in my bonnet (haha!) and wanted to try the butterflies with these patterned papers instead of those included in the kit. Fun!!!

March 05, 2006

Prince Smug

I'm in the middle of reading this book. Easy to follow, great samples, step by step instructions with photos of each step. Anyhoo, pretty much in the first chapter, Claudine Hellmuth writes that "collage thrives on serendipitous discoveries; sometimes you're not sure if you are creating the artwork or if the artwork is creating itself."

That's exactly what happened with this crazy little ATC i created last night while watching tv. I call him Prince Smug.
Without any idea what the end result was going to be, I just picked up scrap piece of paper lying on my coffee table. For no reason, I cut it into a shape of a crown.
Much too plain as it was, I stamped it with the word stamp and outlined the crown. Well, since it was blue, it became a crown for a male.
Also on the coffee table was a scrap piece of canvas paper already cut into a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle. I just set the crown down on the white canvas and knew all that would fit would be a face.
I reached for my oil pastels, rubbed on some blue and yellow grey.
Went to my stamp room and gazed at my stamps. For no reason at all, I picked up the snowflakes, stamped them in the 2 corners.
Then drew a U for his face.
When I drew his eyes they unintentionally came out looking a little mischieveous. So I put a little smirky smile and goatie.

He's faaarrr from good. But he was fun to make because I didn't know where the next step would lead.

I really don't know if I created the art or of the art created itself. Posted by Picasa

March 04, 2006

A saying for my girls

I posted this on my blog, and Cate suggested (Nudge-Nudge) I share it here. This is a picture of the soffit above the mirror in my daughters' bathroom. The walls used to be covered in blue and pink ribbon patterned wallpaper. I'm not a wallpaper fan, so down it came. I repainted the walls with a Wooley, using warm beige and ochre tones.

I knew that I wanted to put some words on the soffit, but what??? I thought and thought, and this is what I came up with. It may not be flowery and poetic, but it's what I want my girls to remember always.

March 03, 2006


I came home from Dallas Sunday night and in a little envelope, I found a wonderful surprise from Phinner! This b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l mermaid that she paper pieced and a handful of those cute circular embellishments she made.

How spoiled am I? Not only did she come over to take care of our kitty, but she left me a present for cleaning cat litter!?!?

Thanks Phin! muwah. Posted by Picasa

March 01, 2006


In the early morning air, on a leaf of mint green,
If you had looked very closely you might have seen,
An ant, withered and gray, with one leg gone,
Dancing with delight, on the tip of the frond,
As it swayed above the cool blue pond,

and her dancing went on . . .

. . and on

. . . and on.

Why doesn't she stop? Can't she see she's unfit?
Said an earthworm by the name of Miss Kitt,
We need to save her, she's going to die,
Doesn't she have any friends who are willing to try?

But the insects, the arachnids, the worms and such,
Took one look and decided they couldn't do much,
'Cause if they did what Miss Kitt thought they oughta,
They could all fall with her into the water.

So they gathered around the base of the plant,
And clapped and sang a song for the ant,
And she kicked her legs and tapped her toe,

and she fell . . .

And Miss Kitt said, " I told you so."

The crowd clapped louder, shouting, "Bravo, Dear Friend!"
Miss Kitt didn't get it, all she saw was the end,
Until, stepping forward, a small moth named Sally,
Said, "That was a truly wonderful finale."

by Cate

Last year I participated in a week of writing assignments on the internet with a project called Blog 5. The first assignment we had, on Monday, was "Growing Old with Dr. Seuss". I love Dr. Seuss poems as most of you know, but had never written one. This assignment gave me the impetus I needed.

I am reading Dr. Seuss's "Horton Hatches An Egg" tomorrow at the school I retired from, and where my daughter teaches now. My daughter told me to be sure and bring the poem I wrote to share with the kids. Phin and Ragged nudged me into sharing it here with you. I hadn't posted it because I knew several of you had already read it, but for those of you who haven' it is! I'm working on an illustration to go with it.