Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Last week's dye session grew into something much bigger than I could handle.  I am still washing out beautiful oranges, yellows and two different gray/green/brown blends.  I have to get this mound of fabric under control, along with lots of other projects, so this will be the only news from my world until next week.  Go make something!

Here is a quick photo of the pile of Tea Leaves and Safari Gray (Procion dyes) fabric from last week:

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


It has been a challenge to sit inside, in front of the the computer for any reason lately... I have been taking in the amazing view I have of a valley filled with meadows and a bit of woods.  Cicadas buzz, the cricket chorus goes on constantly and butterflies float by my lookout on a second story porch.
Sometimes, I wander around and get mesmerized by simple things.  Last night, it was a stand of vibrant orange butterfly weed that captured my attention.  I look forward to the bloom of the butterfly weed every year.  One of my ongoing series is variations on a meadow or fence row featuring these flowers. 

The flowers, leaves and grasses leave plenty of opportunities to be captured in stitching.

I am in the midst of a fabric dye session, so check back on Friday to find out how my yellows and oranges turned out.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Daily Challenges

Of course, sometimes just getting out of bed is a challenge, let alone realizing a dream, creating a masterpiece or changing the world!  Look to accomplish little things.  I have posted before about daily projects, and I have started several strings of daily projects over the past few years.  I have yet to finish any of them.  As I have said before, if you get bogged down and break a daily sequence, just pick it up again whenever you can.

I am returning to an artist trading card a day project that I made up for myself.  It was supposed to run for one year, 365 cards.   I have been working in it for five years now!  I have finished January through May.  Here are most of the pieces for June and July:

It is June again, so time for me to pick up the project again.  Will I finish the rest of the project this year?  Time will tell.

Last year, I discovered a great website about art journaling, DaisyYellow and a two month challenge out on the site each year - the index-card-a-day challenge.  I started the challenge last year, and did not get very far:

I enjoyed the concept and I love the cards I made.  I lost the self discipline to keep going to the end. Now, I am rolling along with this year's challenge:

I fully intend to pick up and complete last year's remaining index cards (most of them!) after I get through the ones for this year.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Latest Adventures, Having Fun

Can anyone blame me for not wanting to sit in front of my computer when I've had a week like this?  First, this is the week of the annual Route 40 Yard Sales.  I took a day off from work on Wednesday, rain dampened the four days of the event, but I found a couple of astounding late 1800s scrapbooks.  Here is a sample of the treasures in them:

I am a casual collector of paper ephemera, I never thought that I would find anything like these.  They have a bit of everything, calling cards (social media, 1800s style), advertising cards, newspaper clippings, and embossed and printed cut outs that were sold just for scrapbooks.  The newspaper clippings are mostly social news columns for rural communities near where I live.  Notice the date in the above image, but I don't know who MSL was, I have not found a full name with those initials yet.  One of the scrapbooks goes to World War I, with clippings about local residents in the war effort. 

In between everything else, it is tomato planting time again:

Finally, I tried something new this year and went to a produce auction to get a stash of locally grown. strawberries to freeze for the year ahead:

I have usually been able get strawberries from local Amish farmers selling from the roadside, but I have not been in the right place at the right time this year.  They must all be taking their produce to the auction, so I will be buying there from now on.  I simply cannot eat grocery store strawberries anymore, they are picked when underripe to survive shipping, and strawberries do not continue to ripen once they are picked - sour and tart tasting.  The local berries are right on ripe, so sweet and delicious.  I am looking forward to strawberry cake, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry shortcake, strawberry bread...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spring Cleaning, Spring Projects

It is vegetable garden season again, so for the next few weeks, I am going to go with one post a week here.  One thing is for certain, I am never bored!  In the midst of planting, I started some new sizes for my mini boxes, and I am once again working in color.  Here is a view of a whole pile of sides to be embellished:

I have also been doing some spring cleaning, and I came across two zip bags full of 2" puffballs that I made a few years ago, with little idea of the final result.

The pastel ones are decorated with my early efforts in hand stitching.  About two years ago, I took some of the pastel puffballs lined them up in a shallow, open fabric box.  They looked like a surreal box of chocolate candies, a tribute to my days as a candy maker.  I'd like to create some other oddball fabric sculptures with these crazy puffballs.  To start, I think I will try putting a few in my mini boxes.  I need to decide if I should stitch them in the boxes, or just set them in there, to be removed and replaced.  I have no functional use in mind for the puffball stuffed boxes, just something fun to have around.  Well, they do have a purpose, to make their owner smile.  We all need things in our lives who sole purpose is to make us smile.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Learning New Things

For some reason, I've decided that I don't have enough to do (not the case in reality), so I am taking a six week long calligraphy class.  I had the first session last week, and here is what I did in class:

Learning any new skill starts with the basics, and there is no getting around it.  It takes time to master anything.  As I have discussed here before, I have encountered many people who apparently want to master a skill instantly, so they don't bother trying anything new.  It just doesn't work that way.  The best things in life aren't downloaded.  Which reminds me, I have some lovely stitching going on a collage, I am off to continue these fly stitch vines and keep working on my stitching skills.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


It is finished:

Images and design copyright RPS

One of my many goals for this year is to finish more art work for competition, selling and project samples.  So, now that I have finished this box. I'm on to the next one!  I also want to finish a couple of 2-D collages that I started earlier this year, not to mention all the unfinished projects and series from the past few years... I'd better get busy!  Next week I will profile one of these older projects.