Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I get a little more Swedish around the holidays

My dad's family is Swedish and my mom's folks comes from Nairn, Scotland through Prince Edward Island. I love what they've passed on to me from both cultures but I do get particularly Swedish in the winter and around the holidays. Simple tree ornaments are a special love of mine and Swedes do it so well. Here are some sweet ones you can make, buy or just admire that seem influenced by Scandinavian design.

My special friends at Beehive Kitchenware have a
wonderful assortment of ornaments.

found on gwen elliot's flickr photo stream

lino prints by mangle print found on flickr

found on crafty juice via pinterest

Lovely crocheted ball found through calico&co

Sweet little dala horse found at
PoppetsByGill on etsy

kissadesign on etsy sells these
pretty paper polish stars

juleker knitted balls, pattern found at arne&carlos

Friday, November 16, 2012

My drug(s) of choice

Landscape No. 12
I'm not fond of apologies from bloggers concerning their lack of posts, but I will say I've had a few good excuses this fall for being quiet. Some travel, lots of design work, putting the house on the market, and looking for a new place with the purging and packing associated with a house sale, has left me little time for much else. But I would shrivel up and die if I didn't sit in front of color once a week. I've become a Sunday painter and have just finished 20 paintings to launch in the world. Thank you Charvin paints for providing me with my drug(s) of choice; Celadon Green Deep, Pouzzoles Red, Intense Lemon Yellow, Opaline Green, French Blue Violet, Julia Pink, Provence Blue, Light Linen, Deep Shell, and Diamond Orange. You make me so high it lasts half way through Tuesday. To see all the newbies you can hop over to my flickr page, here.

Landscape No. 16

Landscape No. 6

Landscape No. 14

Landscape No. 9

Friday, September 28, 2012

What I Did on My Summer Vacation Part 2

Hannah Noah, newly weds, Santa Cruz, CA
It wouldn't be summer without a wedding. Our trip to California was in part, to see my dear friend Hannah, marry her wonderful Noah. I asked Hannah this spring how I could contribute to the rustic, elegant, bespoke event she was planning. She requested something I'd never done before- a paper cake that a cupcake could sit on top of. Paper hats, collages, even clothing I've done but never a cake. She left the design, color and style completely open to my inspiration. Checking out her beautifully curated Pinterest wedding board, I got a feel for what she was attracted to. For materials I settled on an old Benjamin Moore color chip set. Inexpensive, abundant and perfectly graduated colors to build my version of an ombre cake. Photos by Paul Clancy

Thank you Mr. Benjamin Moore
I started with trimming hundreds of paint chips
 to create flat bottomed "petals"
I then stitched them together, carefully butting
the edges of each petal.
I arranged them in four tiers, starting with a
 small light cream top (big enough to hold her cupcake)
then a soft green and blue layer,
then two deeper blue/green layers
 and ending with a large "chocolate" bottom.
I also made hundreds of white, cream and chocolate
" mushrooms".  A simple circle, with a slit to the center.
 Pulling the corner on each side of the slit together,
I glued them with a dab of hot glue.
The cardboard base of each layer I made
fashioned after a basic hat box design.
Using templates that were available
(cereal bowls, odds and ends) I traced
two circles the width I wanted each layer.
I added a 1/2 inch to each circle and cut out.
 Then all around each, I cut tiny slits from outer
 edge to traced circle and cut.
They became the tabs I used to glue it all together.
Straight strips of cardboard cut
to the size I needed with
penciled guides for gluing became
the walls of my cake layers.
Even though I carefully packed and shipped the
cake unassembled, there was a little repair
I had to do when I got there.
The hundreds of mushrooms hid lots of sins.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What I Did on My Summer Vacation Part 1

Great summer. 

Writing a posting after being AWOL for 2 months feels like putting on new school shoes after a summer of flip flops. A lot of family visiting, some great projects professionally to work on with Paul, setting up a new sewing room and going to the San Francisco area for a beautiful wedding and to see old friends kept us going at a lovely speed.

First I'd like to introduce you to a new client that had us shoot some of the most beautiful, well thought out gardens I've ever walked through. Kathy and Chris Tracey of Avant Gardens in Dartmouth, Massachusetts hired me to design their logo last winter. Logos are one of my favorite things to create and the process with them was one of my favorites to date. They can design and build a garden for you, sell you some of the most rare, uncommon and delightful plants, inspire and instruct with their blog, and offer you a walk through one of the loveliest nurseries you'll ever visit. Client crush big time. 

Below are three collages of some of their work Paul and I captured. For general info their site is  To see more of the photos you can visit my flickr site here

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stare with your ears

Poet and voice over artist, Ken Nordine, the bridge between the beatniks and jazz poets, was asked in the early 60s to create a series of radio commercials for Fuller Paints in San Francisco. They told him "Do whatever you want just mention our name" Nordine would begin each commercial with an invitation, "The Fuller Paint Company invites you to stare with your ears at yellow (or blue, green, magenta...) He would then recite a stream-of-consciousness piece that would often make the listener forget it was a commercial, coming under the spell of the anthropomorphic qualities of a particular color. A rare thing happens when a client trusts you that much. It's when an artist, designer, craftsperson does their very best commercial assignments.
The vinyl album can still be purchased and there are countless animated attempts of visually articulating his poetry on You Tube. I prefer leaving it up to the listener to "stare with their ears". Nordine went on to create dozens of these riffs on color and as a visual artist and performer, I can't tell you how green with envy I am. To give yellow, one of my favorites, a try you can go here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

William Miller "Ruined Polaroids"

William Miller and his light leaking, photo warping Polaroid SX-70. Exquisite mistakes. Could look at these for hours. Via Alpines blog.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I spent a long day at the computer yesterday working on a casting project for a print photographer. I do real peeps casting occasionally and I love it but it's a lot of intense searching on Facebook, getting in touch with a lot of friends, (too briefly) and compiling everyone's schedule, height, sizes and addresses in a concise way. Admin overload. I was a tiny bit weepy because I missed my paintings so much and lots of family and friend stuff is making it look like painting is unlikely on Sunday. Then I got this gift. Sun was going down through the trees, shadows playing on my painting prints posted on the office wall, birds settling in, peepers coming out and Paul playing around on the flute. I watched this little dream play it's few minutes out, then shut off my computer and walked out the back door barefoot onto the lawn. Done for the day.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fresh Landscapes

I've been working on some more abstract landscapes. These are still in progress, using oil bars and poppy seed oil paints. Big inspiration in the backyard from peonies, new baby RI red chicks and spring rain that turns everything bright and pink and acid green. Can you tell Helen Frankenthaler has been an inspiration lately?