Thursday, November 8, 2012

For Susan

Proud to be a supporter of Susan Spicka, who ran for state representative from the 89th district after frustration with wide state funding cuts for education. She definitely made her (our) voice heard, and gave Rob Kauffman a run for his money! Though the bid was unsuccessful, she carried our county, and was closer. than most challengers to incumbents this year. I'm sure we'll continue to hear from her and benefit from her advocacy. Great thanks to her while family and campaign.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

favorite hand sewing tutorials

I've been a fan of hand sewing for years, and I firmly believe that with just a couple of stitches you can hack your way through anything and it will turn out sweet.  Having said that, the following tutorials are excellent ones, with hints for even experienced stitchers. 

For a perfect little whip stitch on your felt goodies, this is THE tutorial:

By the same brill crafter, here's an exhaustive, step-by-step tutorial for blanket stitch, including hints for starting, stopping, turning corners, and working round objects.  So good!

As advised by her (and everybody else), here's "the knot trick".  Yes, a knot is a knot, but you feel very smart when you do this, and can perfectly control the knot size & placement.  Very detailed tutorial for a knot that takes 2 seconds.

Darling little printable origami book with six essential stitches.  Developed by Cassi Griffin of The Crafty Crow for Sew, Mama, Sew!(I recommend them both, by the way!)

Sewing up the space-left-to-invert-and-stuff:  hidden stitch aka ladder stitch aka blind stitch, illustrated:

Any other suggestions?
Comment & add!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Craft therapy last night was painting tiny watercolors (fine sewing needle there for scale) to use in the November resin workshop. I love me some good wees!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Filling autumn evening hours with a new porcelain/botanical/resin/miniature project. My favorites: sage varieties gathered at The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, Oregon this summer.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Craft Party 2012

Meetups Everywhere

Crafty goodness.
Hosted by the children's art and education collective we just founded and are so excited about.
Please come!
forward to your friends...

I met with The Thought Lot’s board this afternoon and they agreed to host our local event for Etsy Craft Party 2012. We're so excited to host at The Thought Lot! It's a beautifully emerging space ran by creative locals working hard to promote the arts in our area.  Come and craft and build our local creative community.

Shippensburg's Etsy Craft Party 2012
Friday, 24 August, 2012.
5-8 pm
37 E Garfield St., Shippensburg, PA 17257.

Please spread the word to friends, neighbors, and coworkers, and RSVP via here:
25 RSVPs by August 16 = box of supplies from Michael’s
Serendipity:  Etsy* chose Friday, August 24th for the worldwide Craft Party 2012: the night before Shippensburg Corn Festival, with the theme "Wish You Were Here."  We’re working on a great line up of projects to celebrate creativity and our hometown.
Sponsored by the wonder collective, a new children's art and education cooperative in south central Pennsylvania that I've started with two lovely creative friends. 
Please do peek at our plans for both this and our new programs at  We're starting our second week of Springfield Camp, a summer day camp for ages 5-12, tomorrow, and are working on plans for a season of Firefly Creative Teams and crafty workshops for adults this fall, most to be held at The Thought Lots
*[a note on if you're unfamiliar:  Etsy is the online world's foremost craft, vintage, and supplies marketplace.  I've been an Etsy seller for 6 years (; the shop is on vacation mode but you can look at my sold items there if curious) and have watched it grow into not only a very successful way for independent artists to sell and promote their work, but into a beautiful community for those artists and all lovers of handmade.  When I saw that Etsy's Craft Party was coming up soon, I had to get involved!
More information on Etsy's Craft Party here:]
Hope to meet you there!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

While we were driving...

I planted a little area with a wildflower mix this spring. It was nothing fancy, just a box I bought at Dollar General for $2-3. I was delighted with the pretties! Shannon, friend and fellow lover of flowers, sent me this photo this morning! The poor little tomato plant in that huge wire cage has a lot of competition this season.  I think I might need to thin next year....but love the wild abundance, too!

I had this photo on my phone from before we left (fenced to protect from the flower-loving bunnies):

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I first peeked into Scott MacLaughlin's train room a year or so ago when I was visiting his lovely wife Linda and she brought me back for a little introduction. Scott is a retired food inspector, and he has brought his professional meticulous attention to detail along for a whimsical retirement ride. His current layout has developed over 14 years and delighted every member of our family (even the hard to impress goatman) when we finally visited formally this week.  Marian especially loved the scenery details, 

Audrey loved the wiring (peek here under one of the circuit boards!),

and I loved the evidence of artist-at-work.  Look at this great upcycling storage for "grass" and details!

Reuben loved every every everything.  For the next month, every time we pulled up to an unknown house, he shouted in delight, "choo!"  He was so disappointed that not every house held such good treasure!


My girl turned fourteen this week.
Daddy bought her flowers.
I'm trying to be all sentimental about it, but mostly I'm just proud. 
We're going to the This American Life live broadcast at a movie theatre in Harrisburg tonight.  It's awesome to have her old enough to enjoy grown-up (ish!  we're so excited about the ok go handbells app for it!) things together.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Heard of
Kind of like Kiva, but more first world. Which is good and bad.
Little capital campaigns that give you hey-I'm-a-helper cute rewards. My friend John used it to fund his self-published book last year. My only other backer effort so far.

It could definitely get addictive just browsing...
I just pledged in at the $15 backer level for Lille Huset: one extra little house and one bicycle (had to!). Brilliant and beautiful across the board.
I love them very much.

I would like to GET THEM ALL.
But should get a job first....

(PS: if you're interested, this particular campaign ends 4/22. If she gets her goal, it's a go--1/2 way there!--and she gets her $ and we get our swag, and if not, well, not.)

UPDATE: Goal met! But can still purchase kits at kickstarter rate for a limited time. I would, if I were you...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

spring restocking

The three-year-old is at the babysitter, so I'm finally starting to fill the little shop for Easter/Spring shopping.

I'm really excited about some new stained, unglazed porcelain handwork
and have a few of my classic surprise bowls
and miniatures, too.Only one new tiny mug.

Peek here:

(more coming through the weekend!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

purple petunia Valentine giveaway with We Bloom Here

Margaret Bloom runs a very pretty little blog at and she's hosting a wee Valentine's giveaway of one of my red-and-white birdbath bowls. Drop by here to enter (and find a coupon code good for the month of February). I have a fair selection of pottery left, as well as some sweet candy-hued Valentine dolls I made while in Singapore, including a handful of 1 1/4" (and just $4) bitty pixies. Plus you'll just want to browse and absorb her aesthetic and ideas (I just like reading all the nice comments ;)!). I was completely charmed when we "met" in December. Enjoy!

Happy February!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the pathway to truth

The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
"Ha," he said,
"I see that none has passed here
In a long time."
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
"Well," he mumbled at last,
"Doubtless there are other roads."

STEVEN CRANE, "The Wayfarer," from War Is Kind and other Lines, 1899
quoted by Valerie Frandsen in her valedictory address, June 1992 ;)

Two excellent bits of news for the New Year: (1) I'm in Singapore and (2) I got a new camera for Christmas. These young pineapple plants in our hotel garden instantly brought my favorite Mr. Crane to mind....