"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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Felt Garland

Happy New Year's Eve!

I am quite fond of felt garland...and have a nice little collection going.  I loved the way they looked on the tree...part whimsy...part homespun. I tried several times to photograph them....but none of the photos did them justice.  Now that they're off the tree....I have a chance to show them off before I tuck them away for another year.

I have made some and bought some.  The colorful one on the far left and the all red one are "Free Trade" products. You can read my other posts about garlands here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Snow

First Snow of the season....and it finally feels like winter. This funky lobster trap Christmas tree looks lovely in the snow.

Photo compliments of the Maine Daily Photo.

Paul and I were in the Old Port in Portland when they were putting the tree up after Thanksgiving. Only in Maine!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


It was a snowy blowy day in Maine today....but I was tucked in with my new coloring book and journaling projects. I did get a few house projects and chores done too...it was a great day!

I enjoyed coloring this page of leaves.

I decided to cut them out and use them in my journaling. They were just the right touch scattered over a few pages.                                                          

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mindfulness Coloring

Another great Christmas gift was The Mindfulness Coloring Book from Paul.  It's a sweet little book full of patterns and designs to color and play with.

We are up in Maine...and I have myself all set up to color, work on my new shared journal from Sam, and my shared journal with Becky.  Tomorrow is going to be our first snowy day and I might sit right here at this table a good chunk of the day.

My first little splash of color!

Thanks Paul!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Splashes of Color

Paul and I enjoyed an evening drive around Portland looking at the festive lights.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pen Sketches

We draw names on Paul's side of the family for Christmas and I was fortunate that my niece Clarke had my name. She drew a few of her wonderful pen sketches and I'm looking forward to framing them in some simple black frames.

She used this photo from my Facebook page of a corner of my craft room.  I absolutely love all the details of the pens and drawers.

This was an awesome rock formation from Fort William's Park.

 And finally....Portland Head Light!  Thanks Clarke!  I love my sketches!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Best Christmas Present Ever!

The goal of this blog from the very beginning was to have a place to share my creative projects and collections and the joy I get from creatively connecting with people I love. Shared art and journaling and creative exchanges have played a huge role...and I am so grateful for those of you who have participated.

The best Christmas present ever came today from my son Sam...a simple but beautiful gray notebook and the first entry in a shared journal. His hope is that we get to know each other better... exchanging this journal back and forth with little glimpses into who we are and what we love.

I couldn't be more proud, touched, and excited.

Thanks Sam!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Joyful Christmas!

My sister Angie made this sweet little Nativity puzzle.  

Merry Christmas!

The camel is my favorite!

A Glass Forest

For a while I had a light theme going....and recently it has been trees.  My friend Jane has quite a collection of little trees....that's why she is getting the felt trees from the last post.  She sent me this picture a few days ago of just a few of her mini trees and snowmen. I made her the three little glass trees on the left several years back and I had forgotten all about them.  Yes, I said glass....and they are just 3 or 4 inches tall.

I have a glass ring saw and was able to make these funny cuts. It's actually more grinding than cutting.  I haven't played with it much...but getting this picture sure has me thinking about it again. OK...it's true....I have too many hobbies and too little time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Felted Forest

I started these little felt trees for my friend Jane a year ago...maybe two. My hold up was finding the right stand. (or at least that's my story)  But the little doll plates I bought for the paper trees from the last post worked well....I just stained them a little darker.

I used wool felt to make the tree....cutting a triangle shape and hand stitching it into a cone. Next I stuffed it with batting and stitched it closed with a round insert of felt on the bottom. I needle felted the red polka dots right onto the wool felt (you couldn't do that with regular polyester felt) and finally embellished them with beads and stitching.  The star is also needle felted and the trunks are painted skewers.

I hope there's a little spot in your forest Jane!


Here's one more that I'm going to keep....it has a whole different vibe.  I intended to paint the red and white stripes on all the trunks....but it was hard to get my lines straight so it's a little wonky. I decided to go with just the red on the others.  I'll have to work on that because I think the stripes are kind of fun.  I covered a wooden block with polka dotted scrapbook paper for the base.

I think at some point I'll make more felted trees.  They were kind of fun and the possibilities are endless! And...I just love trees.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Paper Forest

I was quite inspired by the paper tree I bought a few weeks ago at the fair trade store....it was just a matter of time before I gave it a try.  I was supposed to be organizing and cleaning my craft room...but as soon as I got a space on my craft table big enough to work...I ditched the cleaning and made this tree.

I topped it off with a little paper star...also from a book page. The base is from a local craft store.  It's actually a little wooden plate for a doll house that I drilled a hole in and turned upside down.

I've made three so far...and here's my little forest.  It's kind of hard to tell...but there is a little bit of glitter on the tip of each branch.  The one on the left has red tips...the middle is gold...and the one on the right is white like snow.  Much easier to see in person.

 These were my supplies...and of course book pages.

I started by doing a quick green water color wash on several pages.  Like the inspiration tree, I didn't want to completely cover the pages....just a hint of green. The books are from the Goodwill Store and I don't pay attention to the content...jut the feel and look of the paper.  This one is about the Mayflower....I probably should pay more attention to content too.

I ran liquid glitter along the bottom edge before I cut the strips.  (Yes, I make a big mess when I work.)  I let the glitter dry overnight.

Next I cut out a piece about 1 1/2 by 3 and sliced the paper up to about 1/4 inch from the top.

At first I attached it using glue...but it was messy and the book pages are not that strong so the paper would start to fall apart easily.

So I switched to my favorite red craft tape. A tape runner would work...but the one I had on hand wasn't "running" well for some reason.

I put a piece of the two sided red tape along the top of the backside.  Once I peeled the red backing off I rolled it around the skewer.  I also learned from practice that before I peeled off the red backing it was much easier to curl the paper before I attached it to the skewer by wrapping it around a pencil.  If I forgot to curl it...like the photo below, I just curled a few branches at a time after it was attached...again, using the pencil.  The curls are important!                                                                                                                 

Then I just kept filling in and layering while moving up the skewer until it was the size and fullness I wanted.  Finally I clipped off the top of the skewer and topped it off with a star using super tacky glue.

This was fun and easy and I am certain I will make more.  I will keep perfecting my process and may experiment with some other papers.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Little Tinsel Tree

Continuing the light theme...I am quite fond of this little tinsel tree.  The LED light slowly rotates through a series of colors...a nice little backdrop for the Peanuts gang.

If you prefer live action...check out this silly little video.  I wished I thought ahead and had Schroeder's Beethoven solo playing in the background....instead you get my washing machine. You will have to just hum it in your head.

And of course...another fun 
light fact.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Words and Pictures

I love the ocean in the winter.

This quote was in a birthday card from my sister Marilyn a few years back...
I couldn't track down the author.

The Little Shupe Village

Way back in 1990 (Sam was just 6 months old) I made this little cardboard and paper village. It comes out every Christmas and gets displayed in a variety of places.  I like using these tiny rice lights...they are on a timer and are on for 6 hours a day.  The wire is almost invisible.

St Paul's Christian Church, MaryAnn's Gift Shop, Sam's Books, and Nate's Toy Store

Another fun light fact....did you know....