Sunday, September 25, 2011

For the faeries

Yesterday morning we were watching The Wisconsin Gardener on PBS and Shelley Ryan, the host had on a guest named Tatiana Katara who is a Wisconsin artist who makes beautiful faerie houses and furniture.  During this episode, Tatiana showed the viewers how to make a faerie bed.  Amelia was so enchanted with the thought of a faerie bed and hardly blinked while watching them make it.  I've never been into faeries much, but there was definitely something magical about it.   She made it all look so easy with just a hot glue gun, sticks, little pieces of fabric and little found things from nature such as acorns, flowers, leaves, etc. Since the idea was fresh in Amelia's head, I thought we should make our faerie bed right away that same day.

We went to one of our favorite parks and walked along some trails looking for things in nature which would be just right for a little faerie.  It was a wonderful way for the kids to look around and observe things in nature.  It turned out that fall is a really great time to look for things.  Most of the flowers have seed heads or have dried up, acorns and pine cones have fallen, leaves and moss are on the ground.


Amelia had a blast building this little faerie bed.  Since we were using hot glue, I did the gluing, but she told me where to put everything, and she picked out the fabrics for the blankets and pillows.    We had brought home a cattail reed and I used it to weave a little headboard.   Building this little bed was very fun and easy to make, and the end result was so cute and enchanting.   We even made a little table with an acorn vase with flowers.  Amelia had such a good time and wanted to keep adding more things.



When we were all finished we decided to bring it inside and put it on a little table in our kitchen in hopes of a faerie visiting during the night and sleeping in it.  Fischer was skeptical about faeries being real or not.  After the kids went to bed, I opened up the covers to make it look like a faerie had slept in it.  When the kids saw that in the morning they were so excited and surprised.  It was like the excitement that they get on Christmas morning!  Once they saw that, they started drawing little pictures and hiding little presents under the bed for the faeries, and they even filled up an acorn shell with cereal for them.   It was so sweet and magical.

 If your interested in the interview, you can watch it here, plus they show some of her other faerie furniture.  It originally aired in 2006, but is still very inspirational.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello Fall!

fall colors

Today is the official first day of fall, though it has felt like fall around here for weeks.  The trees are turning  color and the leaves are starting to fall.  Originally I wanted to do a painting  with colorful fall leaves, but instead I kept thinking about all the colorful flowers which are still in bloom and was drawn to  flowers instead. 

I've been sick most of the week with the seasons first cold and have not been inspired to do much of anything, let alone create and paint.  Yesterday I went to bed at 6:30 and slept through the night until 6:30 this morning!   Wow!  I'm happy to say that I'm feeling better today, not great, but definitely better.    One would sure hope to feel better  with all of that sleep!

Today I actually had the urge to do a little bit of painting and this is what I came up with.    I'm not very happy with it, but it felt like a good little exercise to shake off all of that sickness and get my creative energy flowing again.  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quilt status


It's looking good!  Last week our little quilt group was finally able to get together and sew the quilt top.  It was supposed to have 12 squares, but we were short one lady (which meant 2 squares since we each had to do 2) and another one made only one square.  I love the square with the  squirrel and fox roasting marshmallows and acorns! We added the nice border in between each square and on the sides and top which really defined the squares nicely and  it also added height and width that we needed due to the shortage of squares.   Tomorrow evening we are sewing the back and batting to it and if we have time we will start to tie it.    The Harvest Parade is on October 8th which is just around the corner!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Goodbye summer

Fall is definitely here.  Tonight we actually have a frost warning.  Yikes, a little early for me.  I was busy in the garden tonight doing some last minute picking of basil, tomatoes, peppers, raspberries and ground cherries just in case it does frost, which I'm almost sure it will.  I could see my breath when I was picking and the sun hadn't even set yet!

The leaves on the trees are starting to show small amounts of fall colors, the air feels and smells different and the landscape is slowly turning from green to golds, oranges, reds and browns.   This is the time of year when I really start to notice the cattails everywhere.  You can usually find red winged blackbirds sitting on top of  the cattails.   Their cheerful song is always a welcome arrival in the early spring and I'd like to think they will hang around into late fall, but I'm not sure.  Living in town, I miss out on this.

After picking all of my fruits and vegetables, I stood there for a few moments looking over my garden, I knew that tonight I was saying goodbye to this years garden and to summer.  As much as I don't want summer to be over, I feel a shift in me starting to happen, I was fighting it at first and then without knowing it I'm painting and feeling fall. 

among the cattails copy flickr

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tidy tea bags

One of my favorite things to use in my paintings are recycled tea bags and coffee filters.  Our kitchen is my studio, so I don't really have anywhere to store my supplies.  One of my favorite ways to store my supplies are in old cosmetic/toiletry suitcases, I have one for paints and one for my tea bags and coffee filters.   In between meals and at night I will tuck them away in our pantry, right above the pasta!  This seems to work pretty well, except my suitcase with the tea bags and coffee filters was becoming quite a little disaster.  It's easy to pack a lot of tea bags and filters into one of these suitcases!   I was getting into the habit of just pulling out everything in handfuls and then cramming it all back in.  I was finding it hard to find colors and pieces, so today while I was trying to find some brown, I decided it was time for a cleaning.


I love to keep all my tiny little pieces of painted  tea bags and coffee filters that are left over from previous paintings, because you never know when you might need them, but what to do with all of them? 


I found some little birdies I had drawn on tea bags but never used, and a little reminder that it was time for tea.


While looking around the house for something I could use to store all of these little pieces of paper I remembered  I had bought another little suitcase over the summer at a yard sale and when I opened it I saw the perfect little tray for all of my tidbits of paper.  I had totally forgotten about the little tray that was inside it.


How perfect!  I was able to seperate all the little pieces by color and even my little pieces with drawings and words have a place!


Isn't it amazing how something so simple can make one feel so happy?  It feels so much better to have it all organized.  Now I have one suitcase for coffee filters and one for tea bags and scraps.   Now I need to figure out what to do with all my scrapbook paper, old texts, and found papers!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Around here

We are in full harvest,

DSC_0156 (2) 

picking, cutting, and eating lots of tomatoes,


making lots of tomato sauce,


canning tomato soup,


fermenting beans,


shelling beans for more soup,


freezing pesto for winter pastas and pizzas,


enjoying the happiness and beauty of these,


eating raspberries until our bellies are full!


and finding (very) small snippets of time to start some new paintings!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm sure I've told you before that one of my favorite flowers are zinnias.  Their colors are so vibrant and bold and come in so many different colors.   I forgot to plant zinnias in my garden this year and have been seeing them blooming all over town.  I started this collage back in March or April and was distracted by something else and hadn't felt like finishing it.   I guess seeing all the zinnias around motivated me to finish it.    For some crazy reason,  I had decided to cut each petal out of painted tea bags.  I really wanted the look and feel that the tea bags give.  I was going to put a butterfly in this collage, but the zinnias really took center stage and  started to have an  almost pattern like feel to it  and having a single butterfly just didn't seem to work.

So here is my zinnia garden!

zinnias flickr

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Go check it out!

Hop on over to A Life Sustained where Courtney has an interview of me and you can enter to win ANY print from my Etsy shop!  Courtney is a stay at home mama who blogs about living more simply and sustainably which are things that I'm always trying to do.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1st


Today was Fischer's first day of first grade!  He was so excited to go to school. He just can't wait to learn how to read this year.   Last year he attended the Waldorf school here in town, but this year we are giving the public school a try (he did go to the public preschool so it's not entirely new to him). Luckily he is an easy going kid and is just going with the flow.   He was very happy when he got home from school and had many things to tell me, he was all smiles and looking forward to tomorrow all ready!
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