"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Clouds and Puzzels

"I only do this until I get dizzy and then I lay down on my back and watch the clouds, she said. It sounds simple, but you won't believe how many people forget the second part." Brian Andreas

Are clouds different in the winter?  They seem so "wintery" in the winter.

It was a little cold today to lay on the ground and watch the clouds....but one of the ways I pause when life makes me dizzy is work on my puzzle. I'm making slow and steady progress on my pumpkin and squash puzzle.  It's good to pause with a puzzle....or clouds...or something.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I finished the machine stitching on my December project today....now it's time for handwork.

There's something about a little outline that makes things just pop.

As you can see I'm going with the image of the bottle....I like how the machine stitching emphasizes the dimension. I used the release paper I peeled off the fusible webbing as an overlay to help me get a basic idea for placement of the branch. I'll settle in this evening and get started on the hand stitching.                                                                           

Monday, December 11, 2017

Do it!

"The most effective way to do it, is to do it."  Amelia Earhart

It was a good "do it" kind of day. One of the things I did was play around a little bit with the base fabrics for my December Folt Bolt project.

I had done this rough little sketch several days ago....and I'm going with it more or less.

I built up layers of solids and batiks along the bottom. As of now I think I'm going to wrap the whole thing around the paint panel so that's why there's the wide solid at the bottom. I will make that decision a little later. I am wondering if it will be better with some sort of a border.  As I write this I'm thinking I might add a border just around the gray at the top....hmmmm

If I tighten up the photo....this is the view that will be on top of the panel...with the bottle of pine sprigs on the right.  Tomorrow I'll add the batting and top-stitch. I've said it before....and I'll say it again..."stitching makes all the difference!"

I wanted to keep the top very simple so the hand stitched pine branches will really stand out.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Snow Angels

"Most people don't know that there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don't get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life." Brian Andreas

Today the angels came in the form of the first snow....it was just beautiful. There's something special about the first snow of the season.

The sun was streaming through the trees in the back yard. I wish I could add glitter to this picture....because it was just glistening in person.
Our church....Hancock United Church of Christ...looked lovely draped in snow.

And the classic New England church next door was magnificent against the pure blue sky!

Today I'm grateful for the snow angels keeping me awake.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Inspired by the pine sprigs in my window sill I did little experiment for my December project. I printed an image of a bottle in different sizes on fusible fabric. It may end up be too literal....I need to get a little further along before I decide. 

This is a screenshot of the page I printed on white muslin. When the fusible webbing is ironed on the fabric it has a paper backing. I cut it to 8 1/2 x 11 and fed it right through the printer. Then I peeled the paper off and it was ready to cut and fuse again.  I made the background of the text box for a couple of the "joys" a gradated aqua. 

We'll see....

Friday, December 8, 2017

Light Covers

I finished decorating my tree today....and the Christmas music was rocking in the background.

On a recent shopping trip to Russels Garden Center I came across one of my favorite Christmas tree decorations.....tinsel light covers.  I've had some for years and always have kept my eyes out for more.  They are balls of curly colored wire that you pinch over the light bulbs. I think they're whimsical and fun.

I love the way the lights shines through and reflects off the metal....they're perfect for my colorful tree.
I have a gold and silver set that I often use on my mantle.

I actually have lots of favorite decorations....but I do love these light covers! 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Moment of Inspiration

The condo in Maine backs up on a woods so I finally have my own space where I can gather greens.

I love putting little pine snippets around the house for the winter. Last weekend I put some in these aqua bottles in my kitchen window and had a moment of inspiration for my December project.  Stay tuned.

Last year's pine snippets in cobalt blue bottles on my table.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Little of This....

....and a little of that.

A quote came came across my Facebook page that struck me...."Nothing is more exhausting than the task that is never started." Gretchen Rubin

There were a dozens of  things/tasks I woke up wanting to do....so I spent a little time on almost everything. Some were chores that had been put off for way too long and other things were creative and fun including a start on my December color scheme project.

A couple things are done...a few things things got started...and progress was made on everything else. 

The day also included a walk with Paul while the sun was starting to set...and movie downtown with Anita. 

It was that kind of day....a little of this and a little of that and it was all good.  Another one of those everyday magic kind of days. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Shiny Objects

Another fitting Story from Brian Andreas...

It was a delightful day of shopping with Linda and Anita and there was plenty of Christmas color and bright shiny objects to keep me occupied. And...I came home with a few treasures.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Just Giddy!

Subtitle: "It never hurts to ask!"

This last Saturday on a tip from my friend Amy I went to the Winter Market at the Umbrella Community Arts Center in Concord.  It was filled with artists in their studios selling their wares....I always love to see where artists work. Making connections with other artists brings me a lot of joy.

I was drawn in by the color to Barbara Willis' studio.  Spools of yarns and fibers filled the shelves and beautiful scarves and sweet little pouches were hanging everywhere you looked. It was an explosion of colors and textures.

Right outside her door were long strands of beautiful fibers tied together to create an eye catching art piece. And in her studio was another bundle of fibers hanging with her scarves....almost like a work in progress. I have learned it never hurts to ask..."Is it for sale?" I wanted to know more. Turns out it's the ends and leftovers from lots of different projects that she tied together.  And sure enough...she was happy to sell it to me and I was just giddy. We had a delightful conversation while we rolled it up in paper then I carried my treasure home.                                                                                                       
Just this morning at a project group I go to at our church I unrolled it for the first time...and soaked in all the luscious color.  It's about 10 feet long and full of possibilities. Thanks Barbara....I'll let you know what I do with it!

I'm just giddy!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Merry and Bright!

I did a little speed decorating (and a little cleaning and stashing) today....nothing like a dinner party to kick things in gear.  The first thing I did this morning was hang my colored glass balls from the chandelier.....one of my favorite decorating ideas from my artist friend Laura Meddaugh

My tree is coming along....I'll pick away at the rest of the decorating throughout the week.  I love the lights this time of year....so merry and bright! 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Scrumptious Color

Today is December 2nd....and it's tree day in the Shupe household.

I was away for 1/2 of last December so didn't do much decorating for Christmas. We hosted a church staff party early in the month and I decorated all in blue in honor of Advent.  You can check it out in a post titled "Blue".

But color is back this year...and I smiled when I opened this box of scrumptious color.  I've been collecting and making felt garlands for a few years now...and they're the first thing going on the tree.

Don't you think the box looks pretty good sitting on my colorful living room rug.

This is my newest acquisition...a Fair Trade garland I picked up at a shop in Concord.  

Friday, December 1, 2017

December Scheme

I love Folt Bolt's December scheme!  It's so wintery and fresh. A couple of ideas are going through my head....this one should be fun! 

When I sent in my November project a few days ago I got an immediate reply from Kriszta....all the way from Australia....she had just been thinking about me. Probably because I'm generally submitting something right at the end of the month...but it did kind of make my day.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Happy to You!

Today is Paul's birthday and as we say in our household..."happy to you!" It's how our son Nate said happy birthday when he was little...and it stuck.

Just a month after Paul turned 4 he got this book Train Coming for Christmas from his Aunt and Uncle.  And...as the story is told he read it out loud to the class when he entered kindergarten. He's always been a bit of an over achiever.

I love that Paul has lots of things from his childhood...books, vehicles, and little doo dads. My things got passed down to nieces and nephews before I got a chance to retrieve them as an adult and I'm a little sad about that.
I do, however, have one book...yes, just one.  It's called There's an Elephant in the Bathtub and it's about a little boy with a wonderful imagination.  

The binding was in pretty bad shape...but it's all I had and I loved it.  Much to my surprise one year for my birthday early in our marriage Paul secretly had it rebound. It's probably one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever gotten.

Happy to me!