summer, orange, and a necklace give-away


Okay, so it is definitely summer - in the best way possible. We've been having some warm days with kind of cool nights along with some thunderstorms here and there. At the end of the day I'm hot, sticky, and my legs ache (I know - total wimp situation here) from all of the climbing and chasing and cleaning up of juice spills and whatnot. This afternoon, we spent an hour gathering vegetables and picking peas and strawberries at our C.S.A farm. I almost passed on the strawberry picking because there were so few left, but then the bargain shopper in me kicked in and I just couldn't leave the farm without scavenging the fields for the last of the ripe (but not rotted) berries. Miss Mouse was on my back and grunted at me each time I bent from the waist to pick a berry and Chick ate every single ripe berry she found, so I'm thinking that my meager pint of berries is kind of a big deal. Then, after dinner I brought Chick to her nightly swim lesson. Yes, I said nightly. She goes every week night for two weeks, which we hope will help her to feel more comfortable in the water. Tom went last night while I stayed home to hang with Miss Mouse, but after hearing that he got to sit in a lounge chair while he watched Chick have her lesson, I decided that, perhaps, I should relieve him of this duty. I was pleasantly surprised to meet a local friend/crafter, Kelly, there, and since we have been trying to find a time to get together, I joked that tomorrow night I would bring iced lattes for our twenty five minute chill session in our lounge chairs. Perfect.

Oh, and I just had to post this picture of Tom because in this moment he was so perfectly coordinated, but blissfully unaware. Here he was chatting away, nibbling his orange carrot, looking all orange-y, and I couldn't resist.



This is my first blog give-away. It is a pale blue wooden disc pendant necklace with a hand carved birdy stamped on the front. Just leave me a comment by midnight on Friday, July 3, and in it I ask that you tell me something you love (or maybe just like) about the town or city or neighborhood that you live in.


xo e

board

This is one of Chick's wooden board collages. She used origami and tissue papers, buttons, markers, and glue. When she finished, she said, "See Mama - look at how I'm an artist!" And, she is spot on - she is an artist. I think she must have been making collages in the womb. When Chick was a wee toddler and just beginning to experiment with art, her style was unique and most often all about layering. She loves to blend and cover, and group, and at the same time she is mindful of building and creating something that feels purposeful. Once, she told Tom and I that when she grows up she wants to "be a builder and an artist at the same time," which makes me think of something she said to me earlier in the week while washing her hands in the bathroom. "Mama, there is a t-shirt that I saw a kid wearing and she told me it is a clean-up t-shirt. I think you would really want me to wear it because it helps kids to think clean-up is something fun to do." I inquired further and she said, "Dora is on it. So, to get one all we have to do is get some fabric, cut out a Dora shape, find a clean shirt, iron it on, and then sew around the edges." Wowzers! I was so proud! Buying the shirt never crossed her mind. She was all, if I want a fun, useful thing, I had better figure out how to make it myself. *Sigh* We aren't big into buying licensed character stuff and we do limit Chick's television intake (I don't think she has even seen Dora), but I really think this was her response because she is a born crafter, and, my goodness, I love seeing what her busy fingers create.


Below is one of my collage board wall hangings. It is made out of a series of fabric concentric circles covered in Mod Podge. I am just realizing that I am really crushing on circles lately. Oh, and reproduced vintage feedsack too.

I sold my first story stone in the shop today! Thank you, buyer, whoever you are.

xo e

play


The rainy weeks have meant that Chick and I are spending lots of Miss. Mouse's nap time in the studio. Mostly, we've been experimenting with mixed media collage on wooden scrap board. I've found all of the board in Tom's scrap pile and a decent portion of the collage materials are scraps and old trinkets from my studio, so this is definitely feeling like green, remake crafting.

This one is called play day.


More on what Chick created on Monday. I'll also be having a stamped necklace giveaway next week! Stay tuned.

xo e

apple stamping on fabric tutorial


I'm hearing lots of complaints about all of the clouds and rain that have been hovering over our New England town, but I'm finding that I'm genuinely enjoying the cool days. We're bound to have a whole array of those 95 degree, humid days this summer, so I figure I should savor every cool, comfortable day that comes my way. It does make for windy, twisty, find-something-to-do-all- day-long kind of days, though, which is why I found myself wrist deep in fabric paint and apples. It all started with apple slices for lunch, and before I knew it I was getting busy with old fashioned vegetable stamping. Instead of the usual craft paint on paper, I coated the fruit with fabric paint and stamped right onto some t-shirts and a tea towel.

You'll need:

some apples (1 or 2), sharp knife, fabric paint (green and red), paint brush, and a bunch of t-shirts, bags, tea towels and anything else you would like to print on.

How to:

1. Have all of your t-shirts, tote bags, bibs, and tea towels set aside and ready to use. Pre-wash all items and put newspaper or cereal box material inside shirts/bags and underneath tea towel to prevent leakage.

2. Cut your apple in half. Slice apple with sharp knife. Cut straight down the center (the long way) while being mindful of cutting evenly and precisely. It is imperative that the apple is cut evenly or else it won’t print fully and evenly. You are aiming to have a nice apple shape, but since you are working with a real apple, slight irregularities and imperfections are part of the charm.


3. Brush some red fabric paint on to the apple being sure to coat well. Avoid over coating the apple by smoothing out any little puddles of paint.



4. Press the painted apple firmly onto the prepared surface. Use your other hand to apply even pressure over the whole apple. Carefully lift apple off of t-shirt. Now, the apple part is done! The next job is the leaf.

5. Using the other, unpainted, part of the apple, cut a 1” thick cross-section. Then, using the sharp knife, carefully cut a leaf shape out of the cross-section.



6. Evenly coat the leaf with green paint and then firmly press onto surface just above the apple.

7. Let painted surface dry. Once dry, follow directions on paint jar for setting the color. Most paints ask that you heat set with an iron or clothes drier.


xo e

fancy father's day breakie plans


We plan on making the papa in our house a special, fancy Father's Day breakfast tomorrow morning. The girls and I are thinking that dark coffee with cream, ham and cheese omelettes, crispy toast with jam, and a big bowl of sweet strawberries from our CSA farm will make a nice menu. We gave him his present this evening because Chick had ants in her pants and felt too excited to wait until the morning. I figure that spreading out the gifts and breakfast will just make the celebration last a little longer. Chick picked out two lovely purple and orange Asters at our local garden center (one is from her and one is from Miss Mouse), and I picked out a new wired headset for his mobile phone since we both decided that the blue tooth requires too much upkeep. Raising two small children AND remembering to charge a battery every two days is apparently too much responsibility for us.

Chick and I made wrapping paper by stamping a sheet of craft paper with some random sheep and clouds, and then I made a papa circle hanging tag with a little message on the back. It was meant to be hung downstairs in his tool area, but Miss Mouse decided that it was the perfect toy to play with mid-meal, which means that it is covered in tomato sauce, butter, strawberry juice, and whipped cream. I'm feeling like it is still perfectly fine for hanging, right?

xo e


p.s. Hey, Tom. I love that when you look at our kids, you can't help but sigh and mutter under your breath about how cute they are. Can we go to the local beer bar and hold hands sometime soon? Happy father's day today and tomorrow. I heart you. xo e

yesterday



This fish garland is made out of old newspaper, blue water color, old cereal boxes, and pictures of our family from last summer. We hung it last week in our dining room as a way to kick off summer vacation. I thought it would gear us up for water play, grassy sandwiches, and buckets filled with muck. Vacation had started in the usual slow to rise, happily still in pajamas kind of way, but soon turned terribly sad when we learned that one of Tom's closest and one of my dearest friends passed away on Thursday, June 11th. Mark was a constant in Tom's life from the time he was seven years old, and we are both having a hard time understanding that he is really gone. He is loved and will be sorely missed.

xo e

tidal



You would think that this piece of coral, which serves as the model for my vertical garland, would have some kind of wistful, summer adventure tale to back it up. But, no - I found it by peeking behind a bush in front of our house. There it was laying along side some other beautiful sea pieces scattered in the dirt. This particular piece is actually one of my favorite ocean finds ever, and I kind of feel like a cheat since I found it next to my driveway.


We now use it as a little garden decoration, and for the past few weeks I have been inspired to bring its details into my crafting. I decided to carve a design, inspired by this coral, out of Mastercarve, which happens to be my favorite stamp carving material.


I cut an empty cereal box into squares, and painted them a grayish green. Once the squares were dry, I printed my design on each one, punched holes in the top and bottom, and threaded some thrifted red/pink wool yarn through being sure to leave a loop at the top as well as knots in each hole to prevent slippage.




xo e

to market, to market




I've updated my shop with some new chicken necklaces and lots of story stones of all shapes and sizes. Some story stones are being sold in sets, and some alone. Since I am a total newbie at selling my wares, I am always open to suggestions.

xo e