Sunday, January 31, 2010

Be Mine...

Sitting in this nest of mine

I'd like to be your Valentine

In your mailbox i would hop
if you buy me at mare's Etsy shop
(for more of Rudy's story, click here)

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Letter from Nisansala thru ChildFund

I received a little packet in the mail yesterday...It was a progress report on my sweet daughter Nisansala who i sponsor thru ChildFund(formerly Christian Children's Fund) She is growing so fast and becoming quite a beautiful little lady! As you can see on her card, she writes that she would like to become a Teacher.

She is also quite an artist! This is a drawing she did for me...
and here is the Christmas card she made for me. It was enclosed in the packet along with this little note...

Nisansala lives in Sri Lanka, and was personally effected by the unrest taking place in her country. Her letters would be full of stories of the whole family going to bed at night while listening to the terrifying sounds of guns going off in the jungle behind her home. It is amazing what some children have to cope with in their daily lives...Haiti, Sri Lanka, Africa... They are all our children, all our responsibility... I am honored to know this child and have a close bond with her and her Family...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Knitted Bear...Jelly Roll.

As part of my New Year Resolutions, i decided that i would take a deep breath and try to read more complicated patterns and try my hand (and brain) at making some new projects. This little guy is my first finished project working with a book called "The Best Dressed Knitted Bear" by Emma King. Of course, as you can see, he is not dressed yet, but that will come, I'm sure...

He is knitted with traditional straight knitting needles and had to have his seams sewn together before stuffing

His head, legs and arms(and ears) are all separate pieces and are sewn on in a way that makes him a bit floppy, but i really like that.

His muzzle is also shaped after his head is stuffed and then his features can be embroidered on...
His arms and legs are like little sausages, and his trunk is like a Jelly Roll. So i think we will call him just that... Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Jelly Roll! I think he came out sweet and i think i will definitely make more of these little fellows!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Clean up detail

Our cat ThistleBella NEVER really had much to do with any of the dogs that have lived here during her 17 years of life...until Pollyanna came along. I don't know if it was because Polly was so small...Maybe Bella didn't even know she was a dog! But right from the beginning, if Polly walked up to Bella and gave her those big beautiful pug/chihuahua eyes, Bella would respond by giving her a good bath.
Polly just stands there and let's Bella decide what needs cleaning...

It's sort of like a Mom scrubbing a little kid with a washcloth

Don't forget to wash behind the ears!

Polly will stand there until Bella stops

and if she lingers too long Bella will give her a swat or a little nip and Polly will move on and Bella will go back to her nap... It still amazes me...

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Little Terrorist

This is a painting i did for my friend Paula from The Fraker Farm blog. I love the stories she tells about the animals she has living on the land with her, and one story really caught my imagination(and my heart). She has this little banty hen on her farm that wanted so much to be a Momma, that she would wait until one of the laying hens would get off her nest to feed, and then she would scoot right up and into the nest and sit there on eggs way bigger than her own would be in an effort to hatch the chicks... And once she was on that nest, she was not budging! The look on the little hen's face...like "Go ahead! Make my day! Try to move me!" was priceless. So, that's where the name The Little Terrorist came from. You've gotta love this little bird...
The Little Terrorist

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crochet Away...

One of the things i am planning to accomplish for this new year is to read and follow knit and crochet patterns better..to not be intimidated by more complicated twists and turns type of instructions. One of the ways i am trying to get over my fear of making a mistake is to knit and crochet things i REALLY want to learn how to make. Like more toys and dolls...

Meet Alphonse... or Al for short. He is a little monkey crocheted in the round..No seams, just crochet the parts and stuff him and sew him together.
He is currently looking for work as an actor, following the path his Grandfather took (His Grandfather performed with an organ grinder back in the days...)

Al is waiting for his next gig in my Etsy shop.

And here's Mimi.. She is a flexible, talented little mouse.
She is a figure skater in the Winter and a ballet dancer during the rest of the year...

She is waiting for someone to discover her...

She can be reached in my Etsy shop also, waiting right along side Alphonse for their big break....

And then there are the easier projects, like this cowl...No bells or whistles, just beautiful color and chunky warm wool blend yarn

meant to keep you warm no matter how cold it gets out there...

And if it snows? Just pull it up over your head to keep the snow off your roof!
(And that model? It's me... I just couldn't get a good picture of a cowl unless it was on a body, and Bill just wasn't up to modeling! So i am practicing taking my picture in the mirror...VERY difficult for this little dyslexic brain of mine! ) So! That's what I've been up to! I have several teddies knitted or being knitted and put together~both the regular patterns and a few new, more complicated ones...
And i have a crocheted elephant in the works! So far, so good with the harder patterns. Of course i started with the easier patterns on top of the pile....We'll see how it goes as the going gets tough. If i get stuck i KNOW there are a lot of experts out there that can give me good advice, right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bella

a new portrait of my sweet little cat, ThistleBella...
She is 17 years old and counting and has had a few health issues recently... But in my heart and mind she is still my sweet little kitty...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Favorite Artist

One of my most favorite people in the whole world also happens to be one of my favorite artists...My Mom! (Pictured here with my Dad) Mom dabbled in art her whole life, and also is the poet of the family. But Mom never took the time for herself to pursue any of her own interests. She raised us, all five of us, with her heart and soul, and was just too busy to do anything for herself. Then one day about 10 years ago, she said she was going to sit down and try to paint again. I have her very first rose painting. And now she's a pretty prolific watercolorist. Mom turned 80 this past August, and she doesn't let that slow her down at all. I think she has more energy than i do! I will spend the rest of my life trying to be as good and loving a person as my Mother is...and as good an artist. She is always amazed when someone shows interest in her paintings. She is very humble. But i'm not surprised at all. I think she and her work is fantastic!

Here are a few of her paintings...

She painted this little birthday bear for Lola...

and she loves to paint pictures of children

animals

snow folk

flowers

and i think she is especially gifted in painting birds. I have a few of Mom's prints for sale in my Etsy shop, and we have another Mother/Daughter show at The Paper Sparrow scheduled for May. I am so proud of my Mother and all that she has accomplished. My walls are filled with her paintings and i just wanted to share a few of them with you...

one of Mom's first rose paintings...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Gift from my Grama

When i was a little girl, i used to get really wonderful gifts from my Grama, Mary Stopera. They didn't have to make sense...didn't have to be "age appropriate"...But it was always something that i loved. Gram gave me my Raggedy Ann doll for Christmas the year i turned 19! My Dad thought we were crazy! My Gram really loved Christmas, and always made it so special for us. So every year at Christmas time i think of her a lot... AND i buy myself something special, just from her. It doesn't have to make sense or be age appropriate still....
This year, i ordered myself a teddy bear from my Gram, from Jess at teddybearswednesday. His name is Pikelet, and he is the little guy sitting on the chair. He is fully jointed and made with love and mohair from her own pattern....

The happy little guy standing next to Pikelet is Peabody. He was also made by Jess and was up for adoption in her Etsy shop. I didn't have any particular excuse for buying him except that he is adorable and...well, just LOOK at him! And he is so happy to have a little buddy to hang out with!

Jess makes these jointed mohair bears, as well as crocheted and amigurumi bears too. You can find other lovely things in her shop and on her blog. Thanks Jess for sharing these little guys. They are very much loved here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Something Sparkly for the New Year

Now that Christmas is over for another year, i can focus on helping to restock The Paper Sparrow cases, and my Etsy shop that i opened just before Christmas!

i added these sweet little pink shell and pearl earrings to the Etsy shop today

as well as these dusty blue faceted glass drops on sterling silver ear wires

and these aquamarine earrings

and matching bracelet

Stop by and check out the new shop at Etsy soon!