Archive | October, 2013

Terrarium Workshop Day!

Today was Terrarium Workshop Day! For me, making a terrarium is like creating a tiny hillock under glass! The trick is to make it so the mosses are happy and compatible, and compact enough to fit in their new tiny ecosystem. Here a few from today. Now they all need to  ‘settle awhile’ and  get used to their new home. I want to watch them a few days to make sure it has enough moisture to recycle as rain. Here are some that are underway!

Terrarium1 Terrarium2 Terrarium3

I may tweak the insides and add a few more elements like rocks, wood, lichens, fern. Next I’ll work on the more exotically shaped ones. The third one is equipped with twinkly lights that are set to a timer to come on at a certain time in the evening. Here’s what it looks like with lights, though it I’m not very good at photographing it with the twinkly lights on.

Terrarium3AA

They are quite fun placed in a living room on an end table, coffee table, or dining room table.

Terrarium1A Terrarium3A

Meanwhile, Martha Julia Agnes Adele is down at the ‘real hillock’ looking for her shoe! I need to get back to writing and painting so that she can get on with her adventure with Slab and Slug and find her lost shoe!

Sometimes Life Gets SO Full!

I’ve been working on so many writings, uploading so many photos, and researching SO many things, that my computer desktop was spilling over the edges, similar to grandson, Oliver’s, little car. I took a few days break to be with him and his family and our newest grand baby Andrea! What a treat! And how FULL life can be!

OliverLoadingCarOliverLoadingCar2OliverLoadingCar4

 

My desktop was so full that even Slab the slug could move faster than my computer! Hopefully now I can get back to writing and painting! Thanks, Oliver, for reminding me that even computers have a limit to what they can hold! But my heart doesn’t have any limits to how much Love it can hold for you and Andrea!

Meditative Sanding & Painting

Sometimes when I’ve been writing for awhile and not getting anywhere, I feel the need to take a break and  ’accomplish something’. There are a variety of such ‘breaks’ to take and one that seems to crop up from time to time is ‘painting stools’ from my old classrooms. I’ve been trying to get them ‘spruced up’ to sell to raise money for publishing some of my books. The stools are very sturdy and stackable to take up less space. I’ve become more fascinated with the process than the actual result. After cleaning them and sanding them over and over I’ve had fun painting them in different colors. First a primer, the one coat, more sanding, then another, layer after layer. Each sanding smooths the nubs and allows for the color to sink deeper and deeper into its being. I’ve moved them in and out of the house, to run from the raindrops and bird poop that threatens to add yet another layer to each stool’s story, ‘stool upon stool’ so to speak! Now they are finally ready for a final gloss finish and ready to sell!Stools

Lotus & Seahorse

I want to introduce Lotus and her portrait painter, Seahorse. They are not in any books I’m working on right now, but they just keep showing up in my mind. Here is a painting of Lotus, painted with leftover fingernail polish that used to be my daughter’s. In ‘real life’ her dress is made from a large lotus leaf and her body of wire and seedpods. She’s a dancer and can even dance on and with water! Keep an eye out for her for she shows up at the most unlikely times and in the most curious of places!Lotus&Seahorse

MossTender Busy in the Fall!

The Hillock is UNDENIABLE in the Fall! As everything around it begins to fade or turn brown, the Mossy Hillock THRIVES and brings forth an array of every everGREEN moss possible. As the MossTender, I work ‘overtime’ to sweep away the crinkly crunchy leaves as they fall, for moss needs air, moisture, and light to thrive. A layer of leaves would keep it moist for awhile, but would smother the tiny sporophytes and gametophytes, making it hard for mosses to spread by dispersing spores. Also, since they get their nutrients from the air, they would be a little starved, not to mention no light to make chlorophyl!

TheHillock10:14:13

I’m a little limited as to how I can clear off the leaves since Francklin, my 3-legged wonder dog, has an unfortunate history (my fault!) with rakes. When he was just a tiny 3-legged puppy, I would try to get something done while I was outside with him, so I raked paths in the woods. Francklin constantly wanted to play, and very early on decided the rake was his playmate! He would crouch like a kitty and POUNCE on the rake when it got close enough. Hence, the rake attacker game came to be! For me to accomplish any raking, I had to rake really fast and sort of narrate as I raked. I guess it was like playing with a 2 year old! Well, now, I’m paying the price. If I were to bring a rake with me to The Hillock, Francklin would WIN and go off with the rake. That’s what happens when puppies become big dogs! So I’m reduced to using my hands and a small stick! I’ll have to say, though, that it’s really the best way to be a MossTender. I’m much more connected to the earth, the moss is less disturbed, and sofar, no snakes or spiders have intervened in the process.

Another thing I notice about The Hillock is that it’s no longer just a hillock, with knolls, emerging magical dwellings forming a community, and beautiful pebblestone streets. It’s NOW a truly MOSSY Hillock! The small clumps of moss on the north side of trees have now spread and the WHOLE Hillock is mostly covered with moss! It’s so amazing! Moss is even growing between the pebbles on the pebblestone street! I don’t know if I could ever move away from this land because of this special place….hmmm…maybe we could someday way down the road sell the house and keep the studio and the hillock?

The Hillocks 4:30:13

What I DO know is that NOW is the time to have Teas at the Hillock,  bring children to the Hillock, invite school classrooms on field trips. I need and want to SHARE it! So soon I will send out fliers or invitations! It’s where stories grow for my books and images grow in my mind. It’s where I go to create, re create, meditate, and just BE. It’s a place for Aha’s and Amen’s and Aciu!

Fascinating Words

 

I’m starting this category of  Fascinating Words because I LOVE discovering words I don’t know, especially one like this one!

Front Cover

Palimpsest:

Here’s the definition from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

palimpsest: a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visibleThe noun palimpsest originally described a document, such as a page from a manuscript written on parchment, that had been rubbed smooth so it could be used again, with traces of the original writing showing through. The word still carries that meaning, but ancient manuscripts are rare these days, so you’re more likely to hear palimpsest used to describe something that has traces of early stages showing through, like “the palimpsest of an urban neighborhood” — in which hints of earlier styles and designs are still evident among the new highrises.

I must save this word. For some reason, it makes me think of ‘treasure maps’…never know when I might need it!

November Workshop Peek!

Mornin’ Everyone! Need a little help from my friends! Could you give me some feedback? I’m getting ready to advertise for Fall Workshops. Which offerings do you think would be more appealing and fun for people? Could you vote? or give feedback?

1.  Create a Fun Chair or Stool
2. Make Indoor Moss Terrarium/Moss Container Garden (evergreen!)
3. Construct a Fairy/Elf/Gnome House for Magical Friend (even with lights!)
4. Start a Family Shoe Fairy Tradition!
5. Make a Cloth Bound Book for special friend!
6. Use Studio and Supplies for an Individual/Group Project
7. Other suggestions?

After I decide which ones to offer first, I’ll work out the details. Post times and prices.

Later I will be offering workshops for children as well. So many options from up my sleeve and from my studio!

Here’s a little more information for now:

These are one session workshops, designed to be taken home that very day unless otherwise posted.

1. Fun Chair or Stool Bottom

Learn and using techniques to create a woven chair/stool bottom using old belts, neckties. etc.

1. Create Fun Chair or Stool!

2. Indoor Moss Terrarium or Outdoor Evergreen Container Garden:

Learn/use techniques and supplies to create a variety of indoor terrarium gifts from options such as ‘bell jars, ball jars, domed covers.  Or… Learn how to create and care for your own outdoor evergreen moss container garden.MossTerrarium

3. Fairy/Elf/Gnome House for a Magical Friend

Use natural materials, power and hand tools to create a sturdy fairy house/elf/gnome house and the magical dweller for a young friend. (this could take two sessions)

Fairy House

4. Outdoor Birdhouse:

Use power tools, old seasoned outdoor wood, old tin and wooden roofing, and natural materials to create a sturdy birdhouse for a gift or for your yard. If put up this fall, it would be well ‘seasoned’ to be ready for spring birds, or just in time for wintering birds looking for unique, warm real estate. (could take two sessions). Also learn simple techniques for placement, mounting/posting your birdhouse to protect the birds from snakes, squirrels, etc. (could take two sessions)

birdhouse

5. Shoe Fairy Tradition 

Create a new Family Tradition for special occasions or family overnite gatherings, or even mailed suprise visits from The Shoe Fairy. Design your own shoe fairy system, shoe presentation, and create a ‘stash’ of magic for the upcoming visits. Share your own Family Traditions, ex. Elf on a Shelf, and learn from others. Together you all may create a winner!

.Shoefairy

6. Open Individual or Group Project in Studio (could be repeated times)

Open Project Workshop Time
Come ‘open-minded’ to decide what project you want to do after you get here! Or bring an idea of your own. I will have offerings, plus you can let your magical muse loose and see what happens:
Available supplies:
woodworking: power and hand tools available as well as a variety of wood pieces, glues, screws, nails, etc.
clay work: slab or free form (I don’t have a kiln, so we’d have to take your work somewhere to be fired.)
painting: watercolor, acrylic, tissue paper painting, …(I have oil pastels but no oil paints.)
mixed media: collage, paper, cloth, gesso, papercraft
jewelry making: using a potpourri of supplies, etc. (I’m not that brushed up on fine motor jewelry-making techniques, but we can teach each other

Studio 1

7. Your Suggestions

What would you like to see offered in a country setting with some other creative souls and a workplace with supplies and inspiration?

PLEASE LEAVE SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENT! THANKS! Ann

 

Martha Julia Agnes Adele 14

Tried a new ink pen, and even though it was permanent, bleed free, and more, it ran when the brush with water hit it!  From now on, no compromising on art supplies just to save time or money. Finally enters Slug. I’m still playing with how to get his looks to fit his character. He’ll start expressing himself more soon! I’m wondering if I should have had the artist involved in this scene ? We’ll see what happens!Martha14withtext

 

Martha Julia Agnes Adele 13

This particular page took a lot of  text editing and reworking. I’m working on being a better gauge at how much space to leave with calm background so that the text will show up. This page worked except that I haven’t quite got the sizing right to match my paintings to a horizontal page. Hence, some of Marth had to be ‘cropped’ out of the picture. I’m also including a few photos of the real Artist’s House down at The Hillock. I added the bottle tree. Makes me think of my friend Deter who’s spirit is in this book and in my heart. She had a beautiful bottle tree in her yard.

ArtistHouse1Martha13withtext

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