Monday, December 31, 2012

May this be the Year that your Dreams Come True!

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year! 
 I also wanted to share with you a picture from my online Sea Spirit Ornament Workshop.  This was an ornament created in the workshop by Fern.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sea Spirit Ornament Workshop

I had so much fun teaching the online Sea Spirit Ornament Workshop on A for Artistic that I am already busy working on a new online class to teach!  The next class will be a full body doll with costuming.  I will be teaching more watercolor techniques for the facial coloring along with more needle sculpting techniques.   I so enjoyed seeing ornaments made in the Sea Spirit Class and wanted to share some of the pictures with you.

This is a Sea Spirit Ornament made into a Winter Fairy by Sarah Kochanowski

 This is a Sea Spirit ornament made by Laurie Hutchison.

  This is a Sea Spirit ornament made by Jane Galvan-Colson.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all that are celebrating Thanksgiving today find themselves surrounded by the comfort of good company and good food.  Cheers!

Friday, October 26, 2012

All Dressed Up for Halloween!

A few years ago I used Peggy Wilson's body pattern for her Long Tall Sally doll and designed this costume and hairdo that she is wearing with Halloween colors.  I had so much fun dressing her!  Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sea Spirit On line workshop!

I am so excited to be teaching an online needle-sculpting workshop for A for Artistic starting November 5th!  It is an intermediate level workshop where you will learn a variety of techniques while creating a heirloom ornament for the holidays.  I hope you will join me in the fun!  If you are interested in taking the class you can click here for more information

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mr. Furry Bear and Miss Velvet Kitty

I received these pictures from Candice and Aaron of their wedding and the wedding cake topper I made for them.  I thought you might enjoy seeing them.  I just love weddings!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Still Head over Heels in Love After all these Years

My husband and I went to Ottawa this weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I am very fortunate to be married to my true love, the man that brings out the best in me, and has become the best part of me. We had an absolutely wonderful time this weekend. We really didn't have any major plans of what we were going to do other than walk around, have a nice dinner on Saturday,spend the night in the city, and visit with the kids on Sunday. I had found online Stella Luna Gelato Cafe and read about the very romantic story behind Stella Luna. I wrote to Tammy and found out that yes they serve gluten free gelato there so of course we had to go. The gelato was just amazing! After checking into our hotel we wandered around the park across from the hotel where they had artists selling their wares. While doing this we heard the most beautiful music and walked over to see what was going on. We stumbled upon the Capital Pride Concert and decided to attend after enjoying a nice dinner out. We had front row seats and thoroughly enjoyed the show that The Peptides put on. I guess they are considered retro since they had many of the dance moves my husband and I had way back when and I recognized the dresses the female vocalists wore as similar to ones I had worn many years ago when they were retro the first time. The hairdos were before my time but adorable nonetheless. The audience was filled with a nice group of young people that seemed to be enjoying the event also. I just love going to Ottawa. It seems to always be filled with art, music, and celebrations of diversity wherever you go.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Artistic Inspiration and Amazing gluten free desserts! Who could ask for more?

Thursday, not only did I get to visit with my good friend Annie at her shop Man in the Moon Bake Shoppe, I also had the honor of meeting one of the most talented doll artists of our time, Nancy Wiley. Nancy was at Annie's shop for a book signing to promote the new book she illustrated with her dolls, The Little Red Riding Hood (which of course I bought and now own a signed copy of). Nancy's work has always inspired me and has been one of the reasons that led me to walk down the road of becoming a doll artist. Her work has always reminded me of a beautiful impressionist painting. She hand paints each doll and its costume with oils creating the illusion that the doll is walking right out of an impressionist painting. The painted backdrop that often appears as part of the settings that she creates for many of her dolls enhances this illusion. Not only is Nancy amazingly talented, but she is also a very warm, down to earth individual. She gave me lots of good tips and left me with a lot of encouragement to continue down the road I am on. I also had the pleasure of meeting Nancy's absolutely charming mom and beautiful daughter.
If you want to see why I have been so inspired by Nancy Wiley's work, or if you would like to pick up a copy of her new book you can check out her website here:

If that was not good enough for one day, I have to add in that I had the most amazing gluten free cheesecake you can imagine at my good friend Annie's place, Man in the Moon Bake Shoppe and Cafe. Annie's husband came up with a gluten free cheesecake that surpasses any regular cheesecake out there (other than Annie's of course which is also amazing because I tried it before I knew I had Celiac disease). So I left the shop with wonderful goodies to bring home to share and lots of good advice and inspiration to continue down my artistic journey.
If you want to have the most delicious baked goods, gluten free and/or regular, great service, and wonderful conversation head down to Man in the Moon Bake Shop and Cafe at 982 Route 34B, King Ferry NY You can check out their website here:

Sometimes life is just good!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blushing Brides

I am working on more wedding cake toppers.  Here are some of the blushing brides.
This is a close up of one of the brides.  Now I am off to sew some tuxedos for the grooms!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gluten Free Travels and Feeding the Artist Soul

I know I haven't been blogging but does it count that I have been taking some trips to feed my artist soul? I went to the Van Gogh exhibit in Ottawa Canada. It was wonderful and very inspiring. My husband's favorite painting in the exhibit is Blossoming Almond Tree by Van Gogh. It is very beautiful and pictures of it do not do it any justice. Isn't that true of most paintings? While visiting in Canada we went out to eat at a very gluten free friendly restaurant that was just delightful. It is called the Cheshire Cat Pub in Kanata. My husband and I went with our beautiful daughter in-law Sandy, her husband Corwin (my bonus child), and our son Jason. Everyone loved the food that they ordered and there were plenty of gluten free choices which were all very delicious. It was nice to eat outdoors in their backyard patio dining area and the service was wonderful! Yes you can have delicious food on a gluten free diet!
  To continue my impressionistic journey of inspiration I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with my two favorite aunts where I fell in love with Lydia in a Loge Wearing a Pearl Necklace by Mary Cassatt. Again the pictures of this painting cannot do it justice. It is a wonderful museum to visit.  I will have to return again. It will give me an excuse to visit my New Jersey relatives again which is always an enjoyable trip. I always hate to say goodbye when we leave.
My last impressionistic journey for the time being was to visit the Fenimore House in Cooperstown,
NY. There I fell in love with Josephine in the Garden by Theodore Robinson. I wish you could see it in person because again the picture doesn't do the painting any justice. It is filled with light and peace. The garden behind Josephine is Monet's garden. I went with my good friend Mary on this trip and we had a very wonderful lunch at the Hawkeye Grill in the Otsega Resort. The Hawkeye Grill is very gluten free friendly and they even list their gluten free items on the regular menu. Not only was the food and service very good, but the view of the lake was magnificent! I wish I had my paints with me because I felt like I was in the middle of an impressionistic painting waiting to be painted!
Now that I have become totally inspired it is time to settle down and produce some art!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hat of Many Unfinished Projects and Inspiration from ADU

I always am amazed and inspired by all of the talent exhibited by my fellow All Dolled Up Cloth Doll club friends in Ottawa. I recently attended the June end of the doll club season tea party. There I was amidst a sea of well dressed and well hatted doll makers, one donning a hat that I had seen worn by the Queen in photos not so long ago, others in beautiful fascinators similar to those worn by guests of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and here I found myself in the Hat of Many Unfinished Projects. I guess my idea of “going all out” was different than the other members of the ADU. It all started at 5:00 AM the morning of the ADU tea party. I really hadn't thought about what I was going to wear to the tea party but remembered something sent to members to “go all out” with the hat. So, since there had been a challenge to complete unfinished projects for the past three months, and since I really haven't finished my unfinished projects for the past three months (instead I chose to start new ones, even the night before the tea instead of finishing just one project I chose to start a brand new watercolor journal and start a watercolor painting in it, is there such a thing as Artistic ADD? ), I woke up with the “brilliant” idea at 5:00 in the morning to attach as many unfinished projects as I could to a straw hat of mine to wear to the tea party. 

So I wore it to the tea party. Have you ever heard about the universal dream of embarrassment where you find yourself taking a test in your underwear? Well, it sort of felt like that when I walked into the tea party with my Hat of Many Unfinished Projects amidst all of the many classically dressed, well hatted ADU doll club members. But, I took a deep breath, relaxed, and went ahead with my plan to wear the Hat of Many Unfinished Projects. I even brought another bagful of unfinished projects to share in our show and tell segment of the program. I brought a set of jewelry that needed to be completed but instead of completing the project, I started another jewelry set. I brought dolls that I was working on for a wedding cake topper that I had not yet finished. I even brought the bunny that I had developed the pattern for, shared with my doll club members and presented tips on how to complete the bunny in March, and THEN NEVER FINISHED MY BUNNY! But all in all, it actually turned out to be quite a fun tea party and my embarrassment quickly faded as I was reminded so kindly by one of my doll club friends that doll making should never be taken so seriously that you can't have fun!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


This is my dear friend Vola at her home after we went out to lunch together a few weekends ago.  Vola has been a dear friend for many many years. The way she lives her life is an inspiration to me and most who are fortunate enough to have crossed her path.  A long time ago she tried to teach me how to quilt.  I wound up making a quilted table runner, realized how much time, work, and effort is involved in quilting and decided to go off into the worlds of doll making, beading, painting, jewelry making, and collage.  I may sometime go back to trying my hand at quilting when I feel I have more time to spend.  But I still use the stitch she taught me that hides how the thread is tacked onto the quilt, and how to use it to end a thread you are using to quilt.  I use it all the time in my doll making.   But, that is a little off topic.

 What is inspiring about Vola is that she spends her life every day trying to do something to make someone else's life just a little bit better.  She lovingly works on quilts daily to give away to all that she knows, to the homeless,and  to the children that are victims of domestic violence.  When she is not busy making quilts to give away with love, she is knitting hats to keep those less fortunate warm in the cold winter months.  I had the good fortune a year and a half ago of sitting beside her at her 90th birthday tea party.  People from near and far came to wish her a happy birthday.  Many shared with me how Vola had touched their lives in a very significant way by her acts of kindness during a difficult part of their life journey.  I have always told Vola that when I grow up I would like to be like her and feel lucky to have her friendship as a part of my life for so many years.  Not only does she inspire my art but she inspires how I try to live my life. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kuan Yin Revisited

I started a cloth representation of Kuan Yin quite some time ago and for some reason she was set aside amongst my multitude of unfinished projects.  I worked diligently during the last Figurative Artists Consortium Retreat in Ottawa on her hand beaded lotus blossom seat and never finished her.  So I took her out this weekend, completed her lotus blossom seat, needle-felted mohair for her hair, and have little left but a few finishing touches to do.

For those who did not see the original post, and may be unfamiliar with Kuan Yin, she is known by many as the goddess of compassion, one who hears the cries of all beings. She is also known in Buddhism as a Bodhisattva, one who puts off Nirvana in order to liberate all sentient beings. Many representations of Kuan Yin depict her as a beautiful oriental woman in flowing gowns carrying a vessel filled with the waters of compassion. She is often seen standing or sitting on a lotus blossom. In the representation of Kuan Yin that I have created, she has golden colored skin and is seated in the Bodhisattva pose.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring Garden Asparagus and Artful living

I am so happy to be able to work in my gardens this season! When I work in the gardens I always keep in my mind a great respect and thankfulness for nature.  I also look at the act of gardening as an active meditation and as an art form. So I am so pleased to be able to return to my work in the gardens and the beauty the gardens surround me with.  
There is a story to the asparagus bed.  Quite a few years ago when I had just prepared the bed for the asparagus but had not planted them yet I was near the bed weeding one of my rose beds.  As I was weeding I noticed the ground in the bed rising.  I stopped and really didn't believe my eyes and wondered what was going on.  I went back to my weeding but kept an eye on the bed, with curiosity.  Well the ground continued to rise until all of a sudden a very large turtle rose from the ground and walked out of the bed.  I had never seen anything like that happen before.  I imagine it had laid its eggs there in the soft, sandy soil, but never saw the baby turtles rise.  I took it as a good omen and have had incredible luck with the asparagus in that bed despite the occasions when life gets too full and the bed goes unattended. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Glinda the Good Witch

This is Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz.  Although she is often depicted as a redhead she just could not resist having lavender hair to match her fine costume.  She is a one of a kind original needle sculpted doll that I created for the MAIDA Storybook Challenge.  She has just been shipped to Prims Magazine to be photographed for the article on the challenge.  How cool is that!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Love is in the Air

I just completed another wedding cake topper. Mr. Furry Bear and Miss Velvet Kitty are ready for their wedding day! Miss Velvet Kitty chose a beautiful mermaid style wedding gown to wear. She is carrying a bridal bouquet of white and light green roses. Aren't they just a dashing couple!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jewelry Spree

Hi everyone! Well I have been a little behind in posting on my blog but wanted to share the results of a jewelry making spree I had at the end of the holiday season. I enameled the blue and red metal components with my friend Mary during a play day last spring.