Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Felting Practice

I'm practicing needle felting.  So far I've broken 4 needles and had to redo one ball because the dog got to it.  But I am getting better at holding the needles so they don't break.  This sort of felting is tedious but like knitting is a good way to keep hands active in conversations or in in-between moments in the day.
Here's today's labyrinth ball...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Labyrinth balls today...
...and the pup who really wanted to help after I reattached the felt he chewed off...

Monday, November 28, 2016


I've been thinking today about my commitment to this idea of practicing everyday.  Some days it is more of struggle and I feel like I stretch the definition of making to find something that fits.  Other times it feels like this commitment hangs over my head as more of a burden than a joy.  Mostly, it is about return and accepting what is.  In reality there are many kinds of making and the kinds that I aspire to practice don't always fit into my day.  These are times to be present to other ways to create - creating space to be with family, food for nurturance and celebration.  At the same time it is good to return to an artistic practice in the more traditional sense.  And it is worth celebrating that return. Small steps help - to begin with getting out materials and just experimenting helps.  
The reality is that the making does feed me.  I'm thankful for the way the commitment to daily making keeps me coming back to practice.  
Here is today's watercolor practice...
And a felted version of a labyrinth ball...

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Snapshot on my phone through the car window of the glorious sky and light on the water driving home today...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bottle Cap Art

I'm catching up on posting here today.  We spent yesterday with friends at their home on the Chesapeake Bay.  It was lovely to be outside the reach of cell service and to enjoy the cozy house in cooler weather.
We experimented a bit with bottle cap art, creating fish from many years worth of collecting colorful bottle caps.  It was fun to sort them, find colors and designs and then to play a bit with making mosaics with the caps.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


My making for Thanksgiving day included doing my part to make our meal.  It was fun to work together as a family to cook.  We had a quiet Thanksgiving here so it was a leisurely day of preparations.
My sons and I made muffins and pies from our pumpkins and used apples we picked in October for apple pie.  The boys decided to dress nicely on their own and were excited to use the fine china and silverware and to set the table.
Today I'm thankful for my family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


My making today revolves around food and preparing for Thanksgiving.  We are cooking with a new kind of pumpkin this year and it's been fun exploring textures inside and out.
Our first pumpkin making was these muffins...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Small Handmade Objects

Here is my completed collection of 50 mini collages for Art-o-mat...
...spent the morning signing, adding stands on the back and then wrapping and boxing with a note.
Here's my collection of boxes to mail tomorrow - need to find a bigger box.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Glazing and Firing

Today I fired the kiln for a first time in a while.  I glazed 3 labyrinth balls and finished 3 more that will bisque fire today.
The thing about firing the kiln is that I usually forget to take pictures - I am eager to see what things will look like after firing so there are no photos of today's making.
They are contained inside the kiln which is clicking away as it slowly heats up on the back patio.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Color Wheel

I have been cleaning out around the house and finding various collections of the colorful felt stones. Assembling them here lets me see how many I have and begin to think about sewing them together into a wreath. More to come soon...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

"I am for an artist who vanishes, turning up in a white cap painting signs or hallways..." - Claes Oldenburg

You So I wasn't wearing a white cap but I did turn up painting signs.  I repainted the lettering on signs for the St Aidan's Christmas Tree sale today.
I was also an event photographer for the 15th annual Fox Trot for Fort Hunt Elementary.
Here are some of the runners...
...and a beautiful view of the park in the morning fog....

It's fun when making happens in different settings in roles in the community.

Friday, November 18, 2016


This evening I wrapped and boxed 50 labyrinth touchstones for Art-o-mat. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Art as Prayer

This is from my morning class today at St Aidan's.  We began with time with natural objects as a meditative prayer practice.  I returned to a familiar practice of creating a color wheel.  I also added the beeswax candles for light and sent.  They have a small clay vessel, morning glory seeds, barnacles and smooth stones set beside the candles. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Clay and collage

I spent an hour on the porch this morning working with clay - it was just warm enough with a jacket to enjoy the fall light this morning.
This evening I began my first collage in a long time...
...inspired by this photo of Huntley Meadows this week.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Today was a good day for work with clay.  I enjoyed the beautiful light on the leaves behind our house as I created these labyrinth balls.  One is complete and two more are wrapped in plastic to keep them soft enough to add the coils to create the path on the ball.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


The making that most fed my soul today was making dinner.  The last of our summer garden tomatoes were the center of this improvised sauce over spaghetti squash.
Walking with a friend in Huntley Meadows park also nurtures me - particularly with this light through the trees.  I am thankful for this landscape and for the gentle, generous, thoughtful people I meet when I spend time in the park.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Tonight I led a gathering to create prayer candles for the Sanctuary Studio at St Aidan's.  It was lovely to come together with others to share a time of creativity and quiet.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


We traveled home today and I created this tiny watercolor on the airplane.  It is only about 3 by 3 inches and was created with a travel watercolor set that is about the size of an altoids tin.  It was inspired by what appeared to be an abandoned boat on our swamp tour yesterday.  In spite of its disrepair, it had a great patchwork of colors along its side that stood out against the murkier colors of the swamp.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Louisiana Swamp

We spent the morning on a boat tour of the Honey Island swamp.  
This watercolor was inspired by the cyprus trees and colors of the swamp.  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Making Music

We had a full day today in New Orleans.  We began with beignets at Cafe du Monde and then walked around the art market around Jackson Square.  I loved seeing the variety of artwork and feeling the energy of artists working and selling their art.  There was some tourist art but also many unique and fascinating pieces.  These small paintings are on salvaged venetian blinds.
The iron work and decoration on buildings caught my eye too - like this door.
We ate lunch and spent time at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  The entrance hall had these great abstract pieces by George Dunbar.

And the kids had fun interacting with the art outside in the sculpture garden...

In city park, we followed a spot on the map noting where the Music Box village had once been.  The musical installation had moved on but we got to see these beautiful wheat pastings of portraits by artist Swoon. 

We then traveled to the Music Box Village to get to play in this great art installation created as a collaboration among so many creative people.  
My making today was making music in these creative musical structures.  I made videos of my family interacting with the pieces but am still editing...coming soon.
We ended our evening enjoying the amazing energy of a jazz performance in historic Preservation Hall.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Gators and Making Connections

We arrived in New Orleans today for a long weekend family vacation.  Here is a portrait of my sons showing 49 - Louisiana is the 49th state they have visited.

Our first stop was this alligator ranch - you can see below pictures of the kids holding baby gators. The tour was fun and informative and it was fun holding and seeing the gators.  
The best part was making a connection with our friend, Meghan.  A year and a half ago she was our tour guide through Alaska and the Yukon territory.  When she heard the kids were wanting to visit all 50 states and that Louisiana was one of the last two, she was quick to suggest a great list of things to see in and around New Orleans.  The list included her family's alligator ranch.  It was an added bonus surprise that this world traveler was home to get to visit with us.  
For me travel is less about seeing things as an outsider and more about connecting and learning about how others live.  It was great to reconnect with Meghan and to learn more about her family and their alligator ranch.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Watercolor Practice

Awed by the colors of fall today.  Here's a small watercolor of colors behind our house...this tree was the focus of a collage last spring.  It is fun to return to it with fall colors.