Friday, December 4, 2015

Studio Tour!

The Toe River Studio tour has begun! 
My studio is number 27 (Grenell Studios) on the map.
Info and maps are available at

Hours are 12 to 4 today and Sat/Sun 10 to 5pm.

There are lots of rugs, table runners, dishtowels,
 mug rugs, ornaments and critters available! 

Chenille Scarves
Table Runners and Dish towels. 

We have hot spiced cider and home baked goodies!
Come see me! 

I'll post more pics as time allows this weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Snow Man with Cardinal

 Meet my new Snow Man!

I think he is a cool guy with his Shibori dyed wool coat 
along with his Cardinal friend and birdhouse! 

Back View  
Cardinal has lots of stitching!

Bird house will be warm and snuggly for Cardinal when the snow comes!

Holly and greens make his house festive for the holidays.
He has been a lot of work with all the dyeing, stitiching, embroidery 
but I am in love with him.
This first snowman turned out big at 35" tall.
I have a feeling he is only the first of many and smaller ones are planned. 

Oak Tree has returned from the Toe River Arts Council Juried Art Show. 
Sadly no prize but was very honored to be included in a show filled with 
amazing paintings, photography, glass and pottery. 

Busy, busy time of year but then my entire year has felt this way. 
I can't seem to keep up with my life and the days/weeks are passing in a blur. 

Studio tour is coming up December 4 thru 6 and I am working to get ready for it.
Hopefully after that I can get some rest!!


Friday, October 2, 2015

Rugs, Runners, and News…

September went by in a busy blur.

In the studio the busy blur included producing 8 rugs,

  7 table runners
and two sets of woolly pumpkins.

The Cranbrook found a new home so the studio has been rearranged!  
I was surprisingly happy to see the loom go because it will now be used instead 
of gathering dust and taking up space.

The other good news is Oak Tree has been accepted into the 
Toe River Arts Council Juried Art show!
 Very happy about that! 
The show runs from Oct 17th to Nov. 14th.
I will post some photos of the show for you during that time.

On the home front we have gone from being in a moderate drought and then getting 9 inches of rain at our house since last Thursday night.
 I was really looking forward to the super moon and the eclipse but there was no chance of seeing it with all the cloud cover. 
We are now being affected by hurricane Joaquin bringing more rain, which could cause flooding. Seems the weather is so extreme with either feast or famine. 
Thankfully it is not making landfall!  

At least it has cooled off and some leaf color is beginning to appear in the mountains.
Welcome October!
It’s my birth month and my favorite time of year!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More Cats with Long Tails!

Seems like one set of Cat Dolls was not enough for me. 
 I made two more sets and didn't change their tails! 

I laughed when I read the comments and saw "long tails".
 Yes, it is a fine thing to have a long tail and they do help them sit up so nicely! 

I've really enjoyed and had fun making the cats. 
There is a lot of sewing in them but once 
I got my pattern worked out the clothes went a little faster. 

As much as I have enjoyed them it is back to weaving. 
Rugs will be going on the looms today. 
I am so behind and need to pick up the speed on rugs and runners. 

Happy September Everyone! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Here Kitty Kitty

 My new "Cat" dolls were fun and simple to make 
after spending so much time on Oak Tree.
They are dressed in their Autumn colors and as ready for Fall as I am! 
I may have gotten carried away on their tails and made them a little big
but they are fun. 

A big thank you to each and everyone who made a comment on the Oak Tree. 
All of your comments mean a lot to me! 
 I was not sure what the reaction to the tree would be but so far it has been very positive! 
I've turned in my application and photos 
so I should hear something from the jury by the end of September. 

And to answer Jeri's question about how I could part with the tree - 
I have sold many weavings, sculptures and dolls that I have put my heart and soul into. 
It is very hard to part with them especially since most of my work is one of a kind
 and will never happen the same way again. 
That's part of an artists life. 
You have to sell your work so you can make more. 
I have always heard it said that artist's can't afford their own work 
and have found unfortunately for that to be true. 
For me the joy is in the creating/making of things and being able to do what I love. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oak Tree

The Oak Tree sculpture was finished a couple of weeks ago but 
I waited to show it to you after the official photographs were taken. 

Oak Tree

This has been the most labor intensive sculpture that I have made. 
It measures 12" at the oak wood base, 18" wide at the branches and 25" tall. 

Back View
 The tree is made from my hand dyed wool fabric using the Shibori technique 
I showed you last post.
 This type of dyeing gave me the perfect wood grain look. 
The base, branches and roots of the tree have been stitched 
and gathered to emphasize the wood grain patterning. 

Carolina Wren


All of the leaves have been hand stitched and 
made with my hand dyed wool fabric.
         They took the longest to stitch since each individual leaf is wire wrapped.

Owl, Mouse, Bird and Moth were all individually made and then attached to the tree. 

It was a long process with a lot of stitching but
 I am very pleased with how this idea turned out! 
The tree will be entered into a juried art show which is coming up in our area. 
I am hoping it will be accepted especially after all this work!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shibori Dyed Wool

We have finally caught up enough on the “have to do right now” list for the house 
that I can go back to work in the studio.
 I love working with wool fabric - stitching, dyeing and felting but
 especially I like the Shibori stitched and dyed wool. 
Dyeing wool fabric this way is great for applique but not for rug hooking. 
Rug hooking needs only shading which is easier to dye for 
but Shibori stitched and dyed fabric has a wonderful patterning. 
It is a little more work since you have to hand stitch your fabric and 
draw it up before dyeing but it is not complicated.

Stitched and drawn up wool fabric before pouring on concentrated dye.

Then into a dye bath to add more color on top.

Pattern starts to emerge when cutting out the ties.

Wood grain patterning.

If you have never seen Shibori before or know what it is then 
do a Google search and you will be amazed at the possibilities in using this technique.

Making an oak tree using this type of dyed wool fabric has been in my mind for quite a while.
 I usually make very few sketches when planning a new sculpture. 
I like to cut out shapes and let forms evolve with each new piece
 and I make the technical parts up as I go along. 
I am not sure how my tree is going to turn out but then 
I am never sure of how any new piece will work.
 That is one of the reasons I don’t like showing work in progress. 
If it doesn’t work then no one but me knows! 
This time I think I will give you just a glimpse of my oak tree because 
so far I am very pleased with how it is progressing.

I am taking care of my grand dog Jack this week so it has been a good time to stitch on the tree while he sleeps on the rug beside me. 

Jack is a miniature Schnauzer and a very lazy old man.
Thanks to everyone who commented and offered encouragement on my last post.
It meant a lot to me and helped me to keep a positive attitude and hope for the future.
What ever that might turn out to be.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Time Off

Well I can’t say that what I have been doing since the tour is time off  
 but it was time away from the studio.

The studio tour went well with around 89 people visiting, which is about average. 
EggBert, Green Man and the Gold Finch House have all gone to new homes 
along with lots of mug rug sets, table runners and rugs. 
It was a good tour with so many nice people visiting.

Doing the studio tour is an enormous amount of work and 
I haven’t slowed down now for months. 
The Monday after that weekend I hit the floor running! 
We have worked all of this month to get the house ready to go on the market 
so there has been lots of downsizing, sorting out what to keep and what to put into a yard sale. Every closet in the house has been cleaned and reorganized, basement is still a work in progress (Pog’s 40 year stash), decks/porch’s have been power washed and I totally repainted, cleaned and reorganized the pantry/laundry room! Whew!! 

New improved pantry!

Moving is going to be a big change for Pog and I. 
Both of us have been living in the mountains for a long time now, 
37 years for me and over 40 years for him.
 At least we are staying in North Carolina, which is a state, that both of us love.
It is time for a change. 
With Pog’s decreasing vision it has become too difficult to take care of
 a big house, yard, flowers, cutting firewood and so many other things that come with living where we do with no support. 
It is time for a simpler house one that is all on one level and has a flat driveway! 
Hopefully after the house sells and we are resettled then we will be able to travel and visit faraway family while Pog still has some vision.

There are of course lots of other things to do on the house but I think we are getting closer to being able to catch our breath soon. 
I hope so because I am anxious to get back to creating.  
 It would be nice to sit and stitch/sew or weave instead of 
being up and down ladders and being hot, sweaty and dirty 
especially with the heat we experienced this month. 
It has now cooled off at least for a few days and some much-needed rain 
has arrived to feed the flowers so it is a good time to return to the studio.
I think a lot of Fall during  summer heat so the table runners 
in progress below makes me feel happy.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Studio Is Open!

Studio is open this weekend for the Toe River Studio Tour. 
Hours are 12 to 4 today and 10 to 5 on Sat and Sun.

Come see me if you are in the area! 
Information about the tour and maps can be found at

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last One

The Toe River Studio tour is coming up fast 
and today I am weaving my last hand towels. 

This will be the last warp that I can finish and
I am surprised by how much I am enjoying weaving greens! 
Starting Monday it will be all about cleaning the studio.
Open studio tour begins Friday June 5th from 12 to 4 
and then Saturday/Sunday June 6th and 7th. from 10 to 5 each of those days.
Maps are available on line or 
at Toe River Arts Council galleries 
and many locations across Western North Carolina.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blackberry Winter


It was cool enough this morning that a small fire in the wood stove
 was needed to take the chill off in the house. 
This is sleeping weather, cool and no humidity,
 but there has been little time for sleeping. 

Sadie is the only one who gets to snooze the day away!
There are a lot of changes going on in our household.
 We have been doing some major downsizing
 beginning with Pog’s 40 year stash in the basement. 
 There are finally some empty spaces starting to show up
 but we still have lots more to do. 

My studio downsizing sale helped in easing the load in my space.
 Some nice things found good homes but still haven’t sold the Cranbrook. 
I drastically reduced the price but still no takers as of yet. 
 It is a beautiful loom that needs a good home!

I have not been able to weave and sew as much as I need to. 
The Toe River Studio Tour is coming up soon
 and I have a few more dishtowels to weave 
and lots of hemming/tagging that needs to be done.
 As usual it will be up to the last minute. 

Stack of rugs to tag

Towels and table runners to hem

After the tour is over I will be taking a break from the studio 
while we are getting the house ready to put on the market. 
Pog and I have been making some life changing decisions.
A process that has kept me up for too many nights. 
Change is never easy  and it is scary especially 
when you are going into the unknown 
and way out of your comfort zone. 
Time will tell if we are making the right choices 
but I am going on faith that it will all work out in the long run.

Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gold Finch House

I think this little Gold Finch has been dreaming of warm and sunny days!

She has built her little house with Sunflowers all around!
Petals are around her door and pretty flowers in the window boxes. 

She even has sunflowers growing by the back door,

and a bee buzzing around her flowers! 



Saturday, April 4, 2015


Well, I don’t know what happened but an egg hatched 
and it turned out to be a rabbit,
 so meet EggBert!

You can tell from the look on his face that he is kinda surprised too! 

EggBert visiting my Mother's Flox that started blooming.

EggBert has a wooly bunny tail!

No - there is no genetic engineering going on in the studio, 
just some Easter fun.

Wishing everyone a Blessed and Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More Rugs!

Six rugs just came off of the loom today and they are all patriotic colors.

This photo shows them after they came off of the loom. 
Do you see glowing cat eyes at the top of the rugs?  

Inspector Sadie has added her stamp of approval!

When I order the selvage used to make my Cabin Rugs there is no choice of colors.
 I usually get darker colors and sometimes pastels.
I was very happy with the last order because it had red, white and blues,
 which I usually do not get especially the blues.
All of them were saved till I could make this warp. 

Ready to cut apart and serge the ends.

Ready to hand hem.

Five of the rugs are from selvage till I ran out 
and then I finished the last one with denim.

There are two that I would really like to keep but cannot.
They will be for sell here at the studio or if they last that long at the June studio tour.  

After hemming the rugs then I will be back to stitching/finishing birds and a new rabbit.
I finally got my order of bird eyes! 
I have to find a more reliable source for them. 

 My daffodils are beautiful and our weeping cherry tree is about to bloom. 
Unfortunately it is supposed to be below freezing and some snow flurries this weekend. 
I hope it doesn't kill all of our beautiful blooms.  
After anxiously waiting for Spring to begin
 I will feel so sad to see our first blooms frozen!