Sunday, September 28, 2014

Some Progress

The new witch hat project is still underway and I have managed to make a little bit of progress.  Here is what I have done so far.  I made a pattern to create a fabric witch hat the same size as the paper mache one.

Now that I have it all sewn together

you can see them side by side.  It does seem a bit redundant, I grant you that.

I painted another coat of gesso on the paper mache version and

slipped the fabric version right on top of it – it was a pretty good fit.  Then I painted it with gesso too.

Here you can see it dried and ready to go.  I think it will make a great surface to work on.  Very much like an artist canvas.

I wanted the edge to be nice and clean for whatever comes after so I clipped it to turn it under.  Eventually, this will be finished underneath when I have finished painting.

Here’s the edge much improved.  So far so good.

Now it is ready for the next phase but the real question is: Am I?  I finally gave in and bought one of these non-stick craft surfaces and I can tell you now that I’ve used it a bit, I don’t know why I didn’t get one sooner.  That’s called living and learning.

I need to get my ideas to gel and put some paint on this thing.  It’s the only thing between me and where I want to take this haunted hat.  As Pooh says, “Think, Think, Think.”


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ideas and Obligations

A couple of years ago, I had a delightfully and ‘frightfully’  fun time creating three witch hat apothecaries. Here is one of them from a post back then.


For the past few weeks, I have seen this smaller witch hat in the craft store, and I purposely avoided buying it because I couldn’t see revisiting the idea again.

Then I had an idea which would use the form but in a little different way.

So I’ve put some gesso on it to begin

and hope that I can squeeze this (hopefully fun) project in between the others I have underway.

Ideas and obligations. Sometimes they mix and sometimes they have to take turns.

We’ll see what happens. More photos to come.


Monday, September 22, 2014

It’s Electric!

Friday night we donned glowing tubes of light,

joined this huge, huge crowd and participated in Electric Run, a 5K run after dark, but not necessarily in complete darkness. That’s where the electric (and fun) part comes in.  This photo was taken near the beginning at the front of the crowd looking back.  That’s a lot of people, people!

Runners got very creative with their lighted attire.  There were twinkling tutus and

flashing pigtails and

even a few Mohawks – wish I had thought of that!

We ran through various lands including the Electro Rainforest,

Under the Sea and

Rainbow Road.

We were offered water along the way – you couldn’t miss those glowing cups!

and ran through my favorite land, Sweet Tooth Acres with giant cupcakes,

ice cream cones,

candy sticks (that’s Jay by the way),

and gummy bears (that’s me).

Next year, if we go around again, I might just have to wear a twinkling tutu.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Empty Studio

I was thinking today of all the things that go on in my studio and decided to make a list.

Of course there is sewing and bear creating. There’s also accounting and counting, as in “How many discs do I need for this bear?”

It’s also communication central as in email and snail mail. There’s bill paying and TV watching. We’re looking forward to the new season!

I design, dream, imagine and get inspired in the studio - and other places too but I do get a lot of inspiration right here!

We play ball with Topher and watch him try to be invisible as he climbs into a lap. He’s very good at it.

I trace patterns, test out theories, contemplate options and we dissect the merits of particular plan of action.

It’s a place of experimentation, exploration and investigation.

It’s a place we have doubled over in laughter, where I occasionally mess up something important, spill my tea, splash a coffee, and where crumbs fall on the floor but Topher makes sure they don’t stay there long.

It’s a place of reading, researching and trying to remember where I put something.

It’s a place of lost things, found things and strings.

It’s a place I occasionally use to drill a hole, saw a board and iron my jeans. (I know no one does that any more – so just pretend like you didn’t read it.)

It’s a place to entertain new ways of thinking and recall old ways of doing something.

It’s a place of face-the-day, a place of twilight and a kiss goodnight.

Yep, a lot goes on in my studio most days and nights, but not today. Today it is empty of all the things that make my studio my studio. That is everything except the link to the world beyond the studio.

Today we began the process of replacing the carpet – yea for a fresh start! But for now, the studio is sorta empty - hungering to be back in the land of the I-make-stuff.

Soon.  Soon. 


PS I am still working, just in another location but Topher can’t quite figure out what’s going on.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Topher says . . .

“I need a haircut, please.”

“I’m just a wee bit too shaggy to see properly.”

Ginger says “Ah, now. That is much better.”

“Let’s celebrate with pizza please.”

signature  &  toph_signs

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I learned a new word a few months ago: habituation. A friend explained it like this. You buy a house and initially you see things that you would like to fix. Perhaps the door squeaks or a cabinet doesn’t close properly. Times passes and fixing these things becomes less imperative. After a little while you don’t even notice them any longer.

Often it is because of habituation that we don’t see our own locations as interesting or special. For instance, we have cardinals here in North Carolina. It is our state bird. They are bright and colorful and easily seen. I seldom take photos of them but I still notice them. But I may not pay quite as much attention to them as say, someone who isn’t from here for whom they seem unusual because they come from a place where these birds don’t live.


Now I have never been to Paris but I have seen photos of the Eiffel Tower. There are people walking by it who see it every day and don’t look at is as anything special. If anything, it could be all the tourists taking photos of it may even be annoying. Living and working around that iconic structure has become routine for a lot of people in Paris.


That is one of the reasons I find travel so intriguing. And it doesn’t have to be to an exotic location for me to be captivated by some place new. I am fascinated by people who live in small towns or people who live and work in the shadow of a mountain or those who live day in and day out by the ocean, hearing the break of the waves as the tides come in and go out.


When we have company, I love taking them around to visit places that we see all the time because we get an opportunity to look at our own city through new eyes. We get another chance to appreciate the good things about living here and see things that might be unusual but that we take for granted.

If you were to come for a visit, I would show you this


and this


and maybe drop by here for a hot doughnut.


I could take you to #34 of the top 50 coffee shops in the USA. In fact, we could walk there from my house.


Where would you take me in your neighborhood?


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