Saturday, March 27, 2010

A good omen...

...and another sign of spring! Can you see her up in the left corner? I didn't want to get too close and spook her. It's a mourning dove nesting in the blue spruce we planted when Sarah was born. It's the first time we've ever had a bird nesting there as far as I know, and it seems providential. There are many taller trees around and nesting places she couldv'e chosen where she would've been more remote and well hidden. But now we get a chance to observe this beautiful little dove, sitting so peacefully, patiently, and stoically through wind and rain and even freezing temperatures this morning, while she protects her eggs and awaits the miracle of hatching! Here's a closer look:

Isn't she just so pretty?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Finally finished!

January's winter light
shines on every shade of white,
from dazzling pure to pearly gray,
the twilight of a snowy day,
the silver sheen of icy lake,
the sparkle of a crisp snowflake.
A clean, fresh start, the chance to seize
a year of possibilities.
Through flawless snow, the path is clear:
Start anew - January's here.

Tada! My latest collage titled "January" is finally finished! Several things slowed me down, from the hand stitching to the thread work in the trees, to drawing the figure and getting the proportions just right (to getting distracted by other fun projects like postcard and pendant swaps!). I'm happy with the final results. Maybe I'll have postcards printed with the poem and send it out to publishers early next year...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fun Little Things

Here are a few fun things I made yesterday and today...

...Cupcakes frosted in yummy spring colors!
...And an "ugly doll" for Cassie! She is always stealing the girls' stuffed toys, so I made one just for her in the shape of a cat. I put on a braided rope tail because I knew she would like to chew on it (which she does) and it would be useful for playing tug-o-war, one of her favorite games.
In addition, I am almost finished with my January poem illustration, a bit behind schedule, but better late than never. I had a little setback when Cassie got a hold of the particular gray thread I needed for the trees (I think one of the cats knocked it off my sewing table!). Cassie gnawed on it, breaking the threads through several layers. The nearest store that sells that type of thread is a 35-minute drive, so I decided to save time by unraveling all the broken threads to salvage the spool. Of course, some of the threads were still broken further in so I would begin to sew and then the thread would break and I would have to rethread the machine etc. What a pain in the neck! But I got over that hump and have the piece almost completed. Just in time too, since I'm tired of looking at winter things, now that the snow is gone and we are all beginning to think about spring!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"March Forth!"

On Monday I read a review of this gorgeous book and found it on the shelf at the library. I think I've read it every day this week and today I finally checked it out and brought it home so I can look at the illustrations more closely. I can't say whose work I admire more: the author or the illustrator. Joyce Sidman's poems about colors through the seasons are wondrous and imaginative. In this amazing world Pamela Zagarenski has created, everything seems to float in a quiet dreamy place that matches the poetry beautifully. The mixed media collages are detailed, intricate and fanciful and as a budding artist, I am curious how she creates them. (Read an interview and see many beautiful pieces by clicking here). The only issue I have with the book is that it has already filled the niche that I hoped to fill with my own poetry book about a colorful year... it's a bit daunting. It raises the bar on what a quality children's picture book is and only makes the competition tougher!
But March 4th ("March forth!") seems like a good day to take a step forward, even if it's a small step or I'm not sure where I'm going. I finally got a glimmer of inspiration for a piece I need to complete by early April, so maybe I'll head downstairs to move forward a little...