January 16, 2019

Comfy Doll #2

This is my second 5" knitted "Comfy Doll". If you knit and know the two basic knit and purl stitches, you can make this too. It’s made from a simple flat rectangle with alternating knit and purl rows (photo below). I have a 3rd one in progress. So easy and so much fun!


January 10, 2019

Critters in my House

I found these two "pets" while straightening up my daughter’s old room. I sighed, picked them up, and the memories came flooding back. I made them for her decades ago when she was very young. I had no patterns, and I remember just "winging it". They look like it too! The bear has a belly full of beans, and his right arm is lower and longer than his left arm. They won’t give you the mushy nostalgic moment they gave me, but I decided to share them anyhow. 

January 6, 2019

A Special Painting

I sent some acrylic paints to my daughter Beth which she received yesterday. She used them immediately, and just now she texted me a photo of this finished 9x12" painting. I absolutely love this, it’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do myself. She painted an impression of a scene from her mind with dabs of paint to simulate what she was thinking and feeling. Yet, it’s left somewhat open to personal interpretation by the viewer, and I have a slightly different take on it. She is discovering "Impressionism"!

January 3, 2019

String Block Quilt Layout

I said I’d never make another big quilt, but to get a layout I like says otherwise. Ive decided to do something like I laid out for this photo, which is only a portion of a possible finished quilt. I didn’t plan my scrap use, and the strips of one block don’t match up with the strips of another block. Some of the blocks even have strips that are slanted all the way through. Putting sashings of only about 1" between the blocks will hopefully keep this project from driving me crazy. I still see diamonds, but it has morphed into something I like that’s different from my usual symmetrical projects. Making something different feels good!

December 24, 2018

A Painting Session

Our daughter Beth is visiting and suggested she and I spend some time painting together. So I gave her a blank 11x14" canvas and put out all my paints and brushes. I’ve recently been thinking about trying a palette knife painting myself and decided this was a good time to try it. I had an abstract piece in mind, and it started out that way. But it slowly began to morph into an impression of a landscape. So I decided not to fight what felt natural to me. It’s a 9x12" canvas and I’m calling it finished, but Beth says hers is still in progress (see below).

She hasn’t decided how to proceed yet because it looks like sky as pictured here, but when flipped upside down, we see water. She will sleep on it! 

December 19, 2018

Slowly Coming Back

I’ve found a couple workarounds for Blogger issues, and I’ve been able to start re-building my blog roll. So I recently took a bit of time to try knitting again. This 8" comfort doll is a fun project, and I hope to make more after the new year. Best of the holidays to all! 

December 8, 2018

Taking a Holiday!

Blogger is acting up for me again. Since I have a lot of other things to do getting ready for the holidays and family coming home, I’m taking this break. Wishing each of you the best holiday season ever, and an awesome 2019!

November 17, 2018

More Eco-Dyeing

My son recently harvested 3 colorful leaves for me on a trip to Newport, RI. These are the pages I got after eco-dyeing them. There is very good definition (which is enough for me :), but color didn’t transfer well. It’s all about chemistry during the soaking and steaming process (ask Kathyinozarks). On the left is the main image, on the right is the opposite “mirror image”. These pages are always a lovely surprise!

November 13, 2018

Sunset Inspiration

I like to walk at sunset, and sometimes the clouds and colors are magical. This is my impression of a recent landscape across the fields as it became a dark silhouette against the sky. The size is 11x14", acrylics.

November 2, 2018

Eco-Dyeing Results

The leaves I used all had some Fall color, so I hoped for more colorful results. However, the paper images  are mostly shades of dark green and brown with some lime green/yellow tones. There’s also a red blotch that started out very strong and soaked through other papers in the same location. While taking the bundle apart after steaming, I couldn’t figure out what caused that. The faint row of papers on the left resulted from leaves that were not soaked in the rusty water. I think Kathyinozarks knows the chemistry of a rusty water soak (with a splash of white vinegar). Several of you asked, so I hope Kathy comments and explains it.

November 1, 2018

Eco-Dyeing Urge

I see colorful leaves while walking and decided to do some eco-dyeing. I got all my supplies out, pressed the leaves for a couple days, put them in rusty water (suggested by Kathyinozarks) and got my papers ready to soak in Alum. Then I couldn’t find my container of Alum! I’ve been away from most projects for months because of my hands, but that creative urge is strong! So I will go for Alum when the stores open. In the meantime, here are my leaves still soaking. I hope I haven’t overdone it!

October 22, 2018


Having trouble commenting again, but I’m enjoying following everyone! 

October 20, 2018

Smaller Painting

This 9x12" painting has had numerous lives. It started as a landscape with rocks, but I didn’t like it, and I delighted in using Gesso to start over. Since I’ve lived in New Jersey most of my life, I’ve seen the ocean many times. This is not an attempt at realism, just an impression of what I remember on a grayer day.

October 16, 2018

Cotton Plantation Update 

I haven’t shown these plants since mid-August. They’ve been brought indoors now and placed in a sunny window. I didn’t have room for all of them, so I kept only the hardiest. The tallest is about 1-1/2 feet. I am eager to see if they thrive indoors, and will put them back on our outdoor porch in the spring if they are healthy. I’ve never taken care of a plant so thoroughly, and I feel like I have new "pets"!

UPDATE: Like all pets, Jennifer of Hot Chocolate in the Pines decided they need names, so she sent "Cotton Top", "Cotton Candy" and "Cotton Tail". Now I’m hoping they produce some actual cotton! 

Jan. 4, 2019 UPDATE: RIP cotton Plantation! The plants still looked healthy enough, but they became infested with spider mites. I couldn’t get them out of the house fast enough. 

October 3, 2018

Finding a Style

I’ve had my necessary blogging vacation and am back with something I haven’t done in about 35 years, acrylic painting on canvas. This started as a realistic rendition of a cabin in the woods with a footbridge, but many attempts and much Gesso later, I decided tedious realistic tiny brush strokes are definitely not for me! Faced with an 11x14" blank canvas yet again, I switched gears to a scene in my mind of water and sky applying the paint quickly and loosely. I just hoped it would look like something in the end. It’s definitely not realism, but I’m happy enough with the impression it gives.