February – longest shortest month


I wrote a guest post on Clever Manka about my plans for February. In it, I talk about some of the ways I encourage myself, and others, to make things. There is the Low Bar (it benefits everyone), the Solid Constraints (they encourage creativity without overload), and the Two Big Rules (revisit successes and failures).

I’m planning on painting a small painting in acrylics, in a valiant attempt to learn more about the technical aspects of painting. I’m using this book because it has a series of things I can check off, and I don’t have to think about what to paint or how to paint it. Instead, I get to practice mixing and applying and moving paint on canvas.

So if you feel like participating, post your work on Instagram with the hashtag #dailyFeb2018 – you can tag me too – and see what other people are working on. As I said at Clever Manka, if you get a solid week of daily work done, I’ll send you a congratulatory postcard! If you get the whole month done, every day, there will be PRIZES!!

In other news, I finished two more adorable coptic stitched notebooks; one is folded index cards, the other is (I thought this was brilliant) unused paper from  an old sketchbook, living a new life.

little books, January con’t

This is a good example of the path I take to get things done. It has curliques! I made the first cover for a coptic stitched book (the biggish red one with gold stitching) and I was Very Pleased with it. Then I worried about doing the stitching properly on the binding, so I decided I needed to practice. I made two smaller books, using index cards folded for folios (a single sheet of paper, folded once, four faces for printing/drawing) and stitched them together. They were cute, but they needed nice covers, so I made two much smaller covers and glued them on. Now I have two small (3″x4″) coptic stitched bound books with elegant covers and very sturdy pages. I put them on the For Sale page (and also at the bottom of this post) because I have more than enough sweet small notebooks, but if you might need one, or know someone who needs one, you know where to go.

It feels very much like the children’s book If you Give a Mouse a Cookie  where escalating requests take the reader all around the house for the next step that is obvious to the mouse but less so for the reader.

Friends have pointed out the January Flail looks a lot like January Fail, and they feel outrage on my behalf when I label my own work Fail. I am sympathetic, but not clear what else to call it? I mean, I am just trying new things, chasing wisps of ideas, and seeing what happens… If you have a suggestion I am delighted to take it under consideration.

The last thing I did last week was experiment with making and stitching holes in polyester felt. The results were educational but ugly.

I can see uses for it, but not right now.

Also you can buy the tiny books here:

Jan 23, 2018 Update: One sold, one left…

Coptic Stitch bound sketch/note book

Another tiny book! The pages are folded index cards, so they are sturdy and usable with all kinds of media. The covers are cardboard, and the front cover has an extra layer of stitched fabric with a rock and sun sigil stitched onto it. Pages are organized so that each spread is either both sides blank, or both sides lined – alternate notes with drawings! Or take pleasure in lining things up. Cost is for book and shipping.


here’s to 2018

I hope your holidays were lovely, and your new year is starting well.

I am beginning 2018 with a month of flailing. Or experimentation. That is likely a nicer term for it, because my list has a lot of techniques I want to try and materials I own but haven’t used yet, and these are definitely a series of creative experiments. However, it feels more like flailing because honestly I have no clear direction or plan for the month except crossing things off my list.

My list looks like this: flail list

You’ll notice there are question marks, in case I set off on a tangent not already indicated. There is a mixture of techniques and materials to experiment with, with some cross-over. Also I need to bring some order to my space, so there are a couple clearing and tidying tasks in there as well.

One technique I have checked off is Joomchi, a Korean technique for felting paper. My first efforts looked like this:

The end result is the most raggedy! It is clearly a process that requires skills I have not yet developed – I’ll try a couple more (four at a minimum) and then put it down if I don’t like it.

I’ve also been tinkering with tiny art works in tiny boxes, and how I might add tiny lights to them. I have strings of fairy lights, tiny rice lights and a spare half dozen battery operated tea lights that I have been cannibalizing for parts. I also ordered tiny doll house lights from True2Scale because they have tiny switches as well as tiny LED lights. They have a lovely catalog of truly tiny things as well – I’m not affiliated with them, I just like thinking about tiny things.

sold out!

Thank you all for your cheerful enthusiasm! All the note cards I printed are sold, and either waiting to be picked up at my house (you local people know who you are) or have been put in the mail and are en-route to your doorstep. If you wanted cards and missed this chance, I will be printing more soon. Drop me a note, and we’ll get things organized.

Notecards For Sale!!

Sets of six notecards, three each of two different designs. Puffins! Whales! Size is 4.5×5.25″comes with envelopes, perfect for gifts or thank you notes. Or just stick them on your wall. $15, plus a little for shipping.

And for the landscape aficionados, a set of  six different landscapes, 5×7″ with envelopes. Gifts, thank you notes, elegant decor – you decide. $18, plus a little for shipping.

I am suffering from a pitched battle with formatting and payment issues – if you’d like cards, email me, and we’ll figure it out.

so close…

I hope my fellow USians had a pleasant Thanksgiving, with all good things to be thankful for, and the rest of you had a pleasant Thursday. I shared a Thanksgiving table with four sea captains, three farmers, two grandchildren and my mother. I did a great deal of driving, a lot of eating, a lot of talking, and admired some pretty spectacular views of the Maine coast. Like this one, which I attempted repeatedly to sketch until my fingers got too cold and the light failed:

air bnb window in Friendship, ME