Mother Bird

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Playing with bird feathers and an egg found on our walk, along with a perennial theme in my life–time and creation. Things go at their own pace, whether we rush or not. “No time to lose” is a favorite play on words.

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Empathy Cards

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I remember when I was first introduced to Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg, about five years ago. It was so inspiring and so comforting to see that my feelings were always helpful guides pointing me to deeper needs and values.

Not long after reading the book, I discovered the feelings and needs cards, which are used to practice giving and receiving empathy in a group situation. They are so useful in helping you stick to the practice, rather than spin off into your own story line.

I wanted my own, so I decided to make some. While the official cards are just words, I wanted mine to include images that related in some way to the words. I made these 5 years ago, and I just doodled them without too much effort, but they still ring true. I’m feeling inspired to try making another set.

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Peg Doll Spirits

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Taking a break from colored pencils to mix paint and play. I call these little totems “peg doll spirits” because of their abstract, open qualities… They aren’t really people, but they could be. They can be toys or decorations on a nature table or even used for something more magical.

Above are the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Below are the four elements: water, fire, earth, and air.

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Mealtime Blessing

We’ve been singing this blessing for a while. It’s simple. It’s easy enough for a three-year-old to understand, and it still manages to do its work on me, too.

Earth who gives to us this food

Sun who makes it ripe and good

Dear Sun, Dear Earth, by you we live

Our loving thanks to you we give

Here it is as a work in progress.

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And here is a close up of it, finished.

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The Pink Rag Doll

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C was very consistent with her request for Christmas–a doll with pink hair and floppy arms that would rest in her lap. (C was also adamant that her doll would have a smile, so this doll lacks the neutral face that can be helpful for imaginative play.)

Luckily, my mother has a stash of patterns, and we found one that worked. It was my first doll, and I learned a lot, from fabric and stuffing choices to embroidery stitches for the face. I’m not sure if I’ll make another one, but I would like to put all that I learned to good use.

One thing I learned is that it’s traditional to stuff a rag doll doll, stitch it up, and then cut it open it again to add more stuffing after things settle. That is how this doll earned her heart!

 

 

 

 

A Moose in the Mountains

A silhouette Christmas present, made by me, for my mother.

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A moose came to visit my parents’ cabin last summer, before we arrived. They showed me a picture of him, surrounded by willows. Even in the picture, he is a mysterious, hulking presence, and I can only imagine what it was like to see him in real life.

When we came to visit them, we went fishing and canoeing, and C went strawberry picking with my parents.

She kept saying, “I want to go to the mountains!” And we kept replying, “We’re in the mountains! They’re all around us!”

 

Winter Handwork

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I’ve slowed down on the blog because my hands have been busy doing other things.

With an old moth-eaten sweater, I decided to make a pixie hat for C. I used a pattern from Twig + Tale. I felted the wool, patched the moth holes, and lined it with nice pinkish-purplish fabric to satisfy C’s love of pink.

Since I had extra felted wool, I made matching longies, and since I had extra yarn, I crocheted an infinity scarf to match (just a simple half-double crochet stitch from a pattern here).

I remember thinking ten years ago about fiber arts, and how I’d like for my art to become more connected to art that’s traditionally feminine. But there never seemed to be a good way to integrate my art with the world of craft, and I liked colored pencils for their minimalism. And then came a child, and suddenly there was no need to integrate handwork with artwork–life has given me plenty of reasons to pick up a needle and thread.

I’m still doing colored pencil work, but it seems to be evolving, too.