another 25 tiny green snakes

100 tiny green snakes (approach)

For this 100 tiny green snakes project, each quarter is (as you may have guessed) different. I subtitled this one Approach – they are clearly aiming at something interesting.

I was visiting my brother on an island off the coast of Maine several springs ago, and two of the local girls were pouncing on something in the grass like kittens. When I brought my girls over, we could see they each had a handful of tiny baby garter snakes, coiling and curling around their fingers. 

one hundred tiny green snakes (singing the Hallelujah Chorus)

100 tiny green snakes (singing the hallelujah chorus)

an off hand comment from a friend online specifying something unexpected had happened and wondering what would happen next – it kind of took a hold of me. 

I spent most of today making backgrounds, and starting on these snakes. There are 25 on each of four panels. I haven't even thought about how to mount or frame them. Finishing them will be triumph enough. 


100 tiny green snakes, singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Doesn't it make you happy? 


Delaware hen

A Delaware hen. An endangered breed, which is sad, because she has lovely speckled feathers on her hackle, those neck feathers. 

I am thinking I need a red hen ("the sky is falling! the sky is falling!") or maybe a Sebastopol goose because I really, really like those frizzled feathers! Probably both. I'll have postcards of these four chickens up on Etsy next week. 


black jersey giant hen

black Jersey Giant hen

Have another chicken! I am surprised I'm still awake, so I'll give you a small piece of doggerel and go away: 

Heckety, peckety, my black hen

she lays eggs for gentlemen

sometimes nine and sometimes ten

heckety, peckety, my black hen

five small shells, and melty weather

five small shells

Yesterday I was melty, migrainey and miserable. Even with fun things going on and migraine meds I wound up lying on the living room floor panting in front of the air conditioner. Today the weather seems to have moderated some, and I'm much happier. 

I had enough blues left over from the Buttercup chicken that I made some little cards and embroidered shells on them. I was experimenting with using only thread to suggest outlines and edges rather than cutting out sillouettes and stitching over them.  I like the way they came out, enough to put them on a key chain and list them on Etsy



Sicilian Buttercup hen

sicilian buttercup hen

Another chicken – This one is a Sicilian Buttercup, mostly I think because the comb is a lovely dished affair. I have spent a lot of the winter reading the poultry book Margaret (of the Chicken Hat) loaned me. There are a lot of details of comb and ears and layers and meat and all rounders, and spurs… (In an interesting side note, if you go look at the cover, the top left chicken is one of Margaret's and the inspiration for the hat.)

No, I am not contemplating chickens in the backyard. I hated owning chickens. I liked the ducks when we had them, but they are noisier and smellier and harder to keep track of than chickens. They need water, and then they poop in it. No, what I really love is the details of the feathers. I should do a whole series of smaller pieces just on feathers.

Apparently this is hereditary, as I am the proud possessor of my grandmother's feather collection, complete with scrawly kid handwriting on where and when the first ones were collected. 

When I have these two girls mounted and framed I'll be posting them on Etsy. 

chicken the first

silver laced wyandotte hen

A silver laced Wyandotte hen. The body is white silk with black wool thread over it – the thread is nicely wooly, and gives a nice contrast against the shiny of the silk. It isn't as thick as the perle cotton I've used in the bobbin before, so the lines I can draw from the back are thinner and neatness counts more. 

I thoght I was working on a chicken breed called Sicilian Buttercup, but I was so indecisive about what to do that I gave up and made this girl instead.

I like her. 

ten birch leaves and two polka dots

ten birch leaves and two polka dots

After all the time in the sun on the water it took a day to get back to work!

I finally got these really done, attached to a ribbon (both to hang them on the wall and to make it possible to pop them out of the tin) and stuck two perfect polka dots to the end of the ribbon to make a point. Like putting a period at the end of a sentence. They are listed in the Etsy shop, if they are speaking to you. 

what we did for the Fourth of July

one boat

One boat, 


second boat

Two boat, 

third boat

Three boat,


boats four and five

four and five boats in/on three cars. For five people. 1.20 percapita seats afloat. Naw, that's not overkill!

And we headed for the best local pond, at the DAR state park. Some other people had the same idea, and it was kind of a riot on the beach, but we were happy once we got around tot he the other side of the pond and got organized. 


Al oversees the deployment

Al oversaw the deployment of the troops. All the loose crap stuff went into the canoe, which has at other times carried six people and a birthday cake. The wind was blowing straight onto the beach, making it difficult for Aerin to get the Elephant's Toenail off the beach, so Red Kate gave her a tow out to the deeper water where the octopi water weeds were not grabbing at her keel. 


We stopped in the very center of the pond, and had our picnic lunch. Aerin sailed around and around us, sometimes on the same tack all the way around because the wind was so shifty. Alice came along next to us like a duckling, and Red Kate was streaking off to the edge of the pond and back like a puppy.

lunch afloat

what happiness looks like

This is what happiness looks like.