Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New Directions

So, as some of you know, I have had difficulty maintaining a blog with any regularity! That's not really an issue for me for the most part since I do not really keep up or participate on any social media. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram etc etc. I've always thought that, as a creative maker of things, the best course of action/promotion is to just make more things. Explore new ideas. Better my skills. Try new techniques.

But, I DO love to write and to share what I am creating. . . so I am going to make a more concerted effort to tie my blog into my shops for the first time so that customers/visitors in all of my Etsy and online shops, as well as the wonderful blog friends I have already, can keep up with what is new and what I am creating going forward. I felt this was especially important since I am taking some definite turns of direction for the year ahead in 2016.

Up until now, for the 6 years I have been creating and making my living thru Bewilder and Pine, Shadow of the Sphinx and My Antarctica, I have just allowed myself to drift from idea to idea all the while building a world within those shoppes that, at this point, I feel is now ready to move in very definite directions. But, when creating 7 days a week to meet demand for fairy houses, Kemetic statues and amulets and custom pieces of all sorts, I have often let the larger picture go due to those demands or just going wherever my heart takes me without much direction. (And I have a lot to say about that in the coming year!) This, inevitably, leads to the larger, more involved projects being started and then left to sit while the day to day creative work goes on.

What I feel I need to do now is to begin to build the world of "The Bewildering Pine" in more complete stories and finally accessing areas I have yet to explore too. I've been wanting, for a few years now, to move towards complete storytelling and world building in "the Pine" and away from just creating individual pieces solely for the shoppes. After another wonderful holiday season that saw my shops pretty much depleted, I decided the New Year would be the best time to start anew.

So I have a very "big picture" idea for Bewilder and Pine. And for Shadow of the Sphinx,  I think it means just less undirected exploration and more focus on really refining the style I've created without allowing that shoppe to take away too much time doing projects that require a lot of planning or learning new techniques right now. And for My Antarctica? Well, I have not created any new digital art for four years but I DO have an idea for a series of very abstract future-scapes, rather sci-fi-ish, involving some of my miniature work and the watery-coloured backgrounds I love to combine digitally so much.

I'm planning to write at least two blog posts a month, one on the first of every month with new ideas, progress on the larger project of world building and sneak peeks at what's new and what's to come. One perhaps on the mid-month as well to just talk about what I am doing and where things are in a larger sense as well as telling more internal stories about how I got here..

I am changing the whole way I go about creating and listing for the shops, doing it in batches instead of a piece a day or so and this will also give people a chance to see ahead of release what is coming.

And I do, truly, want to talk a lot about the lifelong paracosm of my world. Why I created it, where it comes from, and why I strive so hard to keep as much of the "adult world" around us at bay and keep my inner world so simple and undisturbed by that outer and, in my opinion, equally illusionary world.

Here's one little story to leave you with:

My mother who is in her 80's just recently had her bathroom floor redone. With the exception of replacing the base carpet, this had not been done in over 50 years. When the workers were done installing the tile, she asked the one worker if the floor extended all the way under the heater (she is a real worrier about anything causing a fire!) and when he ran his hand under the baseboard heater to show her it had plenty of clearance, he knocked something over. . . and he pulled it out. . . and it was a tiny little model train figure. It must have been mine when I was a child and, likely, during one of my many world building endeavors around the house, I put it there at some point and never took it out again.

It has, essentially, been "standing guard" there for probably 35 years or so.

She had to call me right away to tell me and I was glad she did. That little piece of myself is something I strive to find in everything I make. And those earliest days of world-building are what I constantly wish to reclaim in my world, and in my daily life, with each new opportunity.

Now as I look around the studio, I see that it is filled with new pieces that stand guard just as that little figure has for all these years back home.

And, inside, all the memories and nostalgia of that time remain undisturbed.
Always on watch.
Always near.

So this year, in short, I plan to do more world building and less order fulfilling. :)

Tomorrow I will post the first monthly update and start redirecting people here from the shops. That post will be focused on the first of my ideas I am trying to finish and formulate for the year ahead. A little remote set of islands in the world I create called Kitsurada and the Legend of the Foxgoyles who protect and defend it's citizens.

I hope that it will provide a glimpse into the larger world I create and an inspiring poke into the possibility of the worlds, perhaps yet unbuilt, around and inside of YOU!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a creative year ahead!

PS: As for custom work. . . in case one might get the impression that I do not enjoy it, here is something I made for a client this holiday season that I absolutely loved every moment of!

Enjoy and . . . BELIEVE!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It Was 20 Years Ago Today. . .

Give or take. . .

It was 1995. I was in my early 20's and I had, about 4 months earlier, moved my entire life across the country to the West Coast.

Though not the first, it was, easily, the largest reinvention I had ever undergone.

I brought little with me in that cross country trek in the old Chevy Corsica. My musical equipment, my basic necessities and just enough of everything else to get by til I got settled. But, as with any reinvention, I left so much behind for good.

Somewhere, tucked among the boxes, was at least one of the Calvin and Hobbes book of comics collections.

In November of 95, the strips creator, Bill Watterson, announced he was ending the daily. I remember being quite sad hearing that. Calvin and Hobbes had been the strip that I felt most connected to in my life. The often solitary boy and his stuffed tiger in his wonderful imaginary world. 

During the next 20 years, those comics would be a beacon to me. The more I tried to find my place in the adult world and struggled with my reluctance to let go of the threads of my own childhood that were such lifelines. . .

Recently I have read a few articles about Bill Watterson. One  a graduation commencement speech he had given years back and, another, a recent Washington Post article/interview about the Calvin and Hobbes strip.

This is from the commencement speech:

“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.

You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them. 

To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”

Can I just say I adore Bill Watterson!

And there are two other things I'd like to say here and now.

Calvin and Hobbes continues to be that lifeline. Though now, after shedding that desire for an "important adult life" years back and fully embracing and returning to the imagination and paracosms of my youth,  it is an easy line to grasp. One of gratitude and simple acknowledgment.

A "thank you" of grand proportions from my beautiful world.

And two, that the Calvin and Hobbes strip, when I do indulge in it, is not a mere nostalgia trip. I still feel it's tug of emotion and possibility. I still believe that many people would look at my world as the "stuffed tiger". . . appearing still and lifeless on the outside. . . because you'd have to be inside to really understand the vibrant world within. That used to feel odd at times but, now, all these years later, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Ever. It's meant to be this way, if only to protect and preserve it.

And like other things I recall so clearly from childhood and throughout my life, I still see that final panel of that final strip. Calvin and Hobbes going off on their sled, heading down the hill, and the final words. . . "Let's go exploring."

It's winter many places. Maybe snowing. When it does, get out and see that world in it's newness and as the blank white page waiting to be written upon.

And explore!

(It's good to be back)


Friday, July 10, 2015


Had a commission recently to create this set of two Leprechauns, Sigge and Dilton, and the Codding Fox Public House for a client's first fairy garden! I would LOVE to move into more figure work and am pretty settled on this sort of size (3.5 to 4 inches) and composition. I do not know if I will ever get into making clothing from fabric but I do love creating these outfits made entirely of Polymer clay (hair made of wool roving).

Below the images I placed the little story that was included in the listing. . . of course, all my work HAS to have a story to inspire it. ;)

Thanks for looking and I hope the magic is flowing in your world. . .


Sigge Fritch and Dilton Beedle are two of the many regulars who frequent The Codding Fox (est. 1813), which is a tiny little Pub in the back reaches of the Bewildering Pine. Here, among the tall spruce and cedar, a small colony of Leprechauns has dwelled for many, many years in Heathgrove, a tiny village found in the shadow of Aster's Keep, a long-abandoned castle once used before the closing of the time rift by the last remaining "Otherkind" in this world.

The Codding Fox (codding, in the language of the Leprechauns, means kidding or joking) is always a gathering place among the inhabitants and on any summer night, you might find almost everyone seated around the tables inside or on the benches outside enjoying a refreshing pint of their favorite tasty beverage and telling tales and yarns until the proprietor, Miss Delaney, kindly asks them to head home.

Now, not everyone in this village is particularly good with remembering their coin as they head out for the evening and so, every now and again, the tabs which Miss Delaney allows the locals to run in the Pub begin to mount. Kind soul that she is, Miss Delaney will never request payment or ever embarrass a patron who has not paid in several weeks. However, on occasion, when it's time to pay her own monthly bills, she will invite the tab-runners to come down to the Codding Fox for a special event. This, it turns out, is an evening of tale telling in which the winner is absolved of their debts and the rest are required to pay in full by weeks end.

Now, it must be said that, in truth, all the Leprechauns are quite able to pay their bill. Leprechauns do, after all, have a tendency to do well with gold and fortunes. . . but it is storytelling the Leprechauns deem their greatest asset and it is the desire of every Leprechaun to be the winner of just such a story contest. So, no matter how many tales they tell on a given night, the Leprechauns are careful to keep their very best tales for this sort of event.

The rules are simple. The tale told must be new and unheard before by all in attendance. It must be no longer than 4 minutes long (this rule is absolutely necessary if you have ever heard a gathering of Leprechauns tale-telling) and it must not involve the misfortune of anyone other than the teller of the tale. (The kindness rule Miss Delaney calls it)

Sigge and Dilton are two of the regulars of this event. Sigge, who is quite a few years older than Dilton, has won the event a handful of times while Dilton, still learning the finer points of timing and truth-stretching, is looking for his first win. This night, in the poses you find Sigge and Dilton in, the two friends are practicing their tales on each other before the contest begins.

All agree that the best part of these evenings is the round of new stories to be heard, many of which will be repeated again and again for travelers and newcomers to the Fox over the coming weeks and months, and the fact that all libations, on these nights are also on the house.

Needless to say, The Codding Fox and Miss Delaney are somewhat legendary among the Leprechauns and it s no surprise that this little Pub is often considered the finest establishment in any corner of the realm.

So the next time you are wandering north through Heathgrove on a summer's eve, stop by for a dish of Miss Delaneys hand-cranked Brambleberry ice-cream, a dish of traditional Colcannon or a Pale Lucky Clover Ale and let the stories of your table mates and hosts whisk you away and, once the evening is over, may they stay with you now and for ever more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Scaling it Down

Continuing to explore the world of tiny, N scale miniature work. . . .and given the futility of trying to hide anything from the fairy spirits around here, it was probably just a matter of time before the very wee-est of fae in the studio decided they needed their own Mossy Lane Fairy Houses to dwell within. 

I am desperately trying to keep up with their demands around here. . . seems every fae in town wants one of these tiny little abodes now! Even those too big to fit comfortably!!

The new occupants are asking for a little street / lane to go along with these now as well. . .sometimes I wonder who exactly is the boss around here!

These fit just about anywhere and are just 2" tall!

I can't wait to work on more N scale designs. . . mostly because I can fit more of them on the work table at once as well as in little nooks around the house!

The two sizes I offer: HO (this one still needs it's bad-hair-day mossy top) and N scales side by side.
More to come in the weeks to follow. . . hope you are all finding the magic of the fairy realm within everything that you see!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Creating the World We Live In

Last night I was discussing the town I grew up in with my mother who is now 80 years old and who lives in the house my grandparents built back in 1950. This was, as many Midwest US towns were in the early part of the 20th century, a factory town. Steel and glass to be precise.

The entire neighborhood I grew up in existed only because of the mill and, by the time I was a kid, the steel industry was already taking it's leave from our town. Jobs had been outsourced and builders were placing orders overseas. Clean air and clean waterways were also now a priority and the combination of many factors led to the reduction of jobs and eventual closing of the mills.

My grandfather worked in those mills for 45 years. My brother had been working in them for a dozen. The town, once thriving with four pharmacies, three grocery stores, over a dozen and a half churches and a hundred or so small shops, slowly began to disappear too. The public was being drawn out of the cities to the suburbs and for the neighborhoods built along the rivers close in to the city, the tide had turned.

So, in talking with mom about the old days, I realized that we had totally different ideas of what the town was like.

In her day, when she was just out of school she worked walking distance from their house at a flower shop, a dress shop and a diner. She shopped every weekend after the matinee movies and spent many Saturday nights at the soda fountains in those pharmacies. The five and dime was a must see each week to catch new, inexpensive imports and clothing and the ethnic flair in the food, born of the community consisting of German, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Irish, Greek and Italian families that lived there, must have been a treasure for the taste buds.

In my day, what was a fractured but still close knit community was, to her, a crumbling shadow of it's former self. I grew up with one pharmacy. One grocery store and every other building along the 10 blocks or so of the main street closed and boarded up.

It was only in the last few years, in looking on line for old photos of the neighborhood and in talking more and more with my mother about the history of that place, that I came to know it in her day.  In the images of the town from the 40's and 50's I find bits and pieces of my childhood too. Some of the businesses that remained when I was a teenager were there even back then. Harder to spot in the pictures of busy streets, lively foot traffic and every door and window filled with life.

But I never knew that thriving town. It never existed in my life. And when I got to the age of making adult decisions, I did not see much in the way of reasons to stay.

I have been back the last few years to visit her and have taken several drives around the town with her. It is going through a mini-revitalization. A new library, a summer farmers stand, community projects to beautify the area. Though it comes too late for many of the lovely buildings that fell into disrepair all those years being empty.  Now there are single and sometimes double and triple gaps between all the buildings where others once stood.

It's hard to believe I lived there at all. It's no longer "home" in some ways but still every bit as much so in others.

So this is my point.

The world I have created with my miniatures and artwork, and with my life in total, is very much like life in the town I grew up in. Wherever we live, to some extent, you tailor your life to fit the location. To fit what is at your disposal. And many choose living in places where they have every possibility and convenience around them. . . though often at the expense of having to drive, commute, speed up, do more and more, schedule, compromise and somehow find the time to fit it all in and the money to pay for it.

If I showed you images of the town I grew up in, you might think, never having lived there, "No wonder you got out!"It wasn't pretty and it had, in the end, nothing to make it an "easy" place to live.

But it is what I knew. All I knew. And I think, one of the keys to being able to create THIS world I have built around me here, in this beautiful and affordable place I live now, comes from what I found in those days long ago.

You see, the very small town I live in now is also somewhat aged and, in the sense of the beauty of urban-ness, not much to look at.  Though being at the very edge of a massive ocean bay and set in among lush tree covered hills makes up for a lot and I always will prefer the beauty and abundance of nature, as well as a general lack of humans to the hum and rattle of any thriving urban environment.

But coming here and building a life that could support our art, that would allow us to not worry about money so much (we cut our expenses drastically when we left the city four years ago and it made ALL the difference in allowing us to focus on our creative work 24/7)  and giving me the freedom to stroll to the grocery store, post office and bakery, to a beautiful waterfront or to the library, city hall and fish markets. . . all withing 5 minutes walk, it's as close as I could hope to get.

And somehow, in some way that I am sure I am far from being able to articulate, the lost town I grew up in is a huge part of the work I create too. I was always inside my imagination as a child. Always creating worlds of escape and possibility. There was really nowhere else to go in those years. It just took me a few decades to realize that to live in a world built on that imagination as an adult meant leaving much of this modern but no less self-created one behind.

For my mother, today,  "creating" means talking about the old times and living in the very fond memory of what was all those years ago. And I get it now. I am the same. All I have done is create that world in my work. In the fairy realms and miniature worlds of my choosing. I bring it to life every day. I create, quite literally, the world that I live in.

And in that, I have to give credit to the town I grew up in. . . even the one from my Mother's childhood years that I never knew. To the place where perhaps the ghosts of what once was lingered just long enough to speak to me of possibilities and map-making and imagination. . . and to tell me that I, in my own way, could live there too.

I believe that we, ultimately, create the world we live in.
Every day.

We choose.


This was the main street in my Mom's day during the 1950's the wonderful brick architecture of these early 1900's buildings. The Five and Dime, the cobblestone roads and the trolley tracks. and that's the flower shop she used to work at on the left.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Faroe Island Houses - N Scale

I am continuing to explore the very small world of N scale work this month. I had received a special request for an Adobe house in this small size and, once immersed in the scale, I decided to take the time out to try something I have been wanting to do for quite awhile. . .

Faroe Island Fairy Houses

The houses are made of scale model clapboard siding, polymer clay stone foundations, rooftops and chimneys ( not many actual stone chimneys to be found in the islands but I made the concession for my little "fairy" Faroese houses!) and N scale windows, doors and, of course, tiny sheep!

The Faroe Islands are found between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean. 18 islands make up this archipelago and the population is just around 50,000 total with several islands inhabited by less than 100 people. Now, those of you who know my preference for solitude, nature, a lack of hot weather and less-of-humanity-in-general may see why this is, in my opinion, a virtual paradise.

And the traditional HOUSES! Oh how I fell in love with these as a child while pouring through an encyclopedia (remember those?).  The following is from

The Faroese Houses

The grass roofs are probably the first things you notice, and these have been a feature of the houses since the islands were first settled. In the Viking Age farmhouses had curved stone walls and the roof was supported by two rows of posts in a large common room with a longfire in the centre. Along the outer walls benches or seats were placed, a Faroese home today is still called a sethús (seat house) after these seats. And there is a good reason that the ancient name has survived, for on the Faroes the original longhouse lasted longer than any other place in Scandinavia.

The house, with its protecting stone walls and the large grass roof, gradually developed into the traditional Faroese dwelling with the stall at one end, in the middle the smoke room with the working and sleeping areas, earth floor and the open fireplace with the louver in the roof as smoke outlet and light intake. At the other end of the house was the glass room, the farmer’s fine parlour with windows and jamb stove. Inside the smoke room and glass room there were vertical planks set in a groove between the posts and sills.

This is the same construction that was used in the historic Norwegian stave churches, but in tree rich Norway the stave constructed houses were gradually replaced by the shorter loghouses with horizontal logs. The stave constructions, which required less wood continued in the Faroes until the beginning of the twentieth century. Gradually the stonewalls were replaced by wood, except perhaps in the ends of the houses oriented against the fiercest wind direction. From this originated the classic Faroese house a low and small longhouse, tarred brown or black with white painted mullioned windows, blending into the terrain under a large grass roof.

The churches were built in the same way. They were modest buildings, not much bigger than the other dwellings, but with a distinct difference: the little white bell tower, placed parallel or diagonally over the ridge of the roof. The inside of these churches are like chests made of untreated timber. All the designs are visible and simple, but every detail has its own special carving or image and the chancel wall, the half open wall between the nave and the choir, received the finest treatment.

Times changed and with the development of sea fishing new kinds of houses appeared. The longhouse was superseded by a more refined house on a high basement, and with dormers in the attic, but still tarred and with turfs of grass over a layer of beech bark. Then came fervent individualism, corrugated iron was placed as protection on the outside of wooden boards and together with the corrugated iron came paint in many colors. This colorful individualism has become respected through the years and even the authorities have supported it in later years, most directly in some experimental construction with individually built terraced houses in the northern part of Tórshavn.

The painted roofs dominate, but you can still see new buildings with green grass. The most important of these is the Nordic House, where, as in the older dwellings, the roof lies over the house like a protecting wing and enhances the lines of the landscape. The grass still has something of a symbolic meaning and maybe it is a type of nostalgia when it is used on private houses. On the other hand it is a living material, which insulates and protects and requires very little  maintenance. It also follows the beautiful seasons of the year and paints itself: brown in the autumn, white in the winter, burgeoning light green in the spring and lush green in the summer.
Yes, this is a place I imagine to be populated by more fae than humans. . . do an image search for the islands and you'll instantly see why. :)  
These will find their way into the shop soon but I am finishing a Faroese church before listing all three pieces at the same time. 

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rue de La Minuscule

It's not like I don't already have enough on the creative fire to keep me busy. . . but, truth be told, the more "have to's" that are beckoning. . . custom orders, replacing favorites and requests. . .. the more I want to do something completely new or different and get lost in another direction!

The benefit of this is that it almost always leads me to new things that end up being staples in my shops. So, this past week, with all the "have to's" circling and bearing down, I went off on yet another creative tangent.


When I began working with polymer clay 5 years ago I had in mind the notion that smaller would be easier. That if I made things tiny, they would be less likely to show the learning curve as I grew into working with the clay. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Larger was easier and, out of that, I grew into making houses, statues etc etc but every once in awhile, I come back to "tiny". . .

It's been awhile this time but I thought I would go ahead and try something in a very small scale again and see where it took me.

The results were very satisfying and I wanted to share them here before they make it to my shoppe.

I originally decided to try one little French/European style shop. But it turned out so well I kept going and, well, as you can see below, my tiny idea became so much more!

 A trio of buildings and street, in N scale (1:148) that I am so happy with! I am going to create more and have little touches on the way, bicyclists, villagers etc etc to fill out the scenes. This took awhile, as one might imagine, and I do not expect they will move quickly but I LOVE creating on this scale!

So enjoy a little stroll down the Rue de La Minuscule

My ideal city apartment. . . .between a cheese shoppe and a wine seller! :)

Note to self. . . fix crooked flower pot!

Rue de la minuscule is just 4.5 inches long!

Very picturesque street I'd say!

More like this are already in process. A Venetian set of Burano houses with gondola and canal and a few one offs of my favorite Medieval town settings. . . those little corner buildings with a winding cobblestone path that wrap around and frame the house in those interesting and odd triangular plot shapes!  Who knows what else!

I expect to only complete a few of these a year but I have to say, working tiny is such a fun and satisfying thing to do!

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Idea in Process - Amulet Magic!

I adore amulets.  .  . In my Shadow of the Sphinx shop , half of my sales are of my little mini altar and wearable amulets.

In my paracosm of childhood, amulets had such power. Luckily, my mother was a lover of costume jewelry so I had oodles of fun things to create stories around and that she did not mind me "borrowing" for my imagination's sake.

So lately I have been realllllllly wanting to create amulets that will hail from the "Bewildering Pine" world to offer in Bewilder and Pine as well. Of course, the fun is in the making and creating of the "ancient" stories to go along with them.

Now, for the finished product, I envision setting up a very dark, apothecary shoppe look and feel for the photography where I would display the amulets in their magic boxes and with their scrolls of authenticity etc etc.

But the amulets are where I am beginning and below is the first iteration of one of them. A simple polymer piece with an iron rust patina. aged and mysterious. This one, I believe, would ward off
nightmares and keep the wearer safe from dark ogres and malevolent shapeshifters.

I love the aged patina look and the mysterious golden symbols inscribed. It feels magical to me even at this early stage.

Sort of a nightmare capture device. The box shape and the hole in the middle to lure the nightmares within. Woven with repellent spells to ward of all of those other nighttime creatures too.  Could have used this as a child! :)
Anyway, that is the beginning of it and I wanted to post it because, in my world, too many ideas get lost in the shuffle of maintaining the shops and all the custom work.

I have to remember, sometimes, that what inspires me most is making what I truly want and love, and that only those things really inspire me and refresh my soul. : )

Thanks, as always, for believing!


PS, I've been inspired this week by a book about Stonehenge that I have been wanting to read for awhile. It goes into detail about the larger community of sacred circles around the Stonehenge site and how the key to unlocking so much of the mystery seems to have come thru the ancient belief that stone circles and monuments were for the dead while wooden/timber circles and monuments were for the living. 

For years it was believed that Stonehenge was an anomaly, an enormous monument sitting all alone on the Salisbury plain but, in the last 15 years,  research and new digs have shown that to be anything but true. This is very inspiring to me. . . time keeps revealing the secrets of the dead and the idea of certain materials being linked to the living or to ancestral dead is so remarkably simple to me. 

I was fortunate enough to visit Stonehenge in the late 80's and remember it as if it were yesterday. A cold, rainy Spring day with only two other people around the entire time I was there. Those stones in that setting, even with the modern highway that runs beside it. . . only the Badlands of South Dakota have ever given me the same feel. Ancient, magical. . . eternally alive with unending stories to tell.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bloom - The Renewal of an Idea

Inspired by the creative challenge issued Sunday by the lovely creative spirits at Pixie Hill, I took the word "Bloom" and decided to see where it took me.

I am much more of an Autumn soul than a Spring one and I never am at a loss for creative ideas and a to-do list a mile long. . . so then, what would "Bloom" bring up in my own creative world?

Well, for me, it does mean renewal. . . so how about the renewal of an old idea?

Bookmaking. . .

I have dabbled, many times over the years, in the art of bookbinding. Never seriously but always with the knowledge that the ideas I would love to bring to life in that realm would definitely fit my work and my expression of possibility and magic.

I tend to get excited whenever I have down time (rarer all the time these days)  about the art of bookbinding and I'll jot down ideas, start on covers, buy book cloth, binding tape, waxed linen thread etc etc. . . so all of the necessary supplies are here. I just never seem to take those ideas to the completed stage and get sidetracked with orders and finishing the work for my shoppe.

Well, the last two days while recovering from eye surgery, I thought "OK, here it is, a bit of time with a chance to try to renew this idea.

The results are as follows:

A blank spell book, perhaps left behind intentionally for a human child to write their dreams and wishes, large or small, within? 

The completed small, blank Elven Spell Book with ribbon marker 1.75" x 2.5"

An incantation in "Elven font" on the facing page. . . this spell allows the person who writes their dreams within the book to have them protected and spell-bound by the magical wee folk.

A map of my imaginary world (still in progress) of The Bewildering Pine where the elven folk of my little paracosm reside.

The cover is an antique book cover printed on archival linen paper. I want to try staining the inner pages and adding little printed symbols etc here and there for the final versions.

 It's really a wonderful thing to get outside the usual mode of my creative production and try something new . . . or, at least, renewed! I can't tell you how many years I have been dreaming of making little books. . .  though most of my ideas are not for blank paged books but, instead, for almost-filled "sketchbooks" that a fairy might "lose" or leave behind in your garden with sketches like these I completed a while ago: 

The font is slightly askew which leaves for me to include "translations" in the packaging! :)
Faerie Garden Obelisks

Cataloging of Vegetables, Flowers and Insects of course are part of the design.

Yes, I think it's time. . . . Spring. . . . ideas do bloom too. . .. so, thanks, to Nichola, for the gentle nudge of inspiration to allow these to do so!

A very magical and happy Spring to all!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Long Absence and New Work

Two months? Has it really been two months since I've posted. . . anything?

Well, it's been a crazy two months. Off to a busy start this year. Throw in a couple of eye surgeries for cataracts, (the second one coming in a week. . . and if I hear "Oh you're awfully young to have cataracts." one more time. . .  it's little consolation!) The first surgery went great and the new lens they implanted is crazy-good! My vision has not been this good since I was 5 or 6 and no side effects at all.  . well, except I did have a hankering to watch some old "Six Million Dollar Man" episodes after-wards but that went away.

But I have been busy with my work and so thankful for the wonderful customers who have been so kind and patient as I get back to full tilt productivity.

Below is a sampling of the work I have been doing this month and hopefully, after the next surgery, I'll be able to really go, go, go this summer!

So here is what I am up to. . .

The smallest pieces are always my favorite!

There's a TINY mailbox in front of this one. The textured walls are a new feature I plan to use a LOT! lol
He's got a rather pleasant disposition for "God of Storms and Chaos" but everything can't be all gloom and doom can it?
A custom piece by request. . . but I loved creating the night-time sleeping Elf motif!

Two rather pleasant fellows in their own right!
A custom landscape for an Australian customer. I'd really love to get more into finished landscapes as an offering in my shoppe one day.  Perhaps for the next year to come.
Osiris. . . My Egyptian statues get larger and larger as my comfort and skill level grows.  I've only been sculpting forms like this for four years so I am still learning a lot. He is one of my finest though I believe.

Another house with mailbox and picket fences. And the textural roof and walls. LOVE those!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the peek into what's been going on in my creative world. In addition, there's been loads of story writing and idea jotting and plan making.  . little books, fairy stories and maps, more than I can squeeze into a day!

Hope all is well in all of YOUR creative worlds too!



Friday, January 16, 2015


A wonderfully creative blogging friend of mine has issued an intriguing challenge thru her blog. Once a week she chooses a single word for a theme and asks her followers to create something. . .  just one little thing. . . no matter how small or incomplete, that sums up that word of the week.

It's the kind of challenge I love and have decided to approach it as a way to fill out the cast of characters for our own little paracosm of Bewilder and Pine. So, when I saw the word for this past week was "Hero", I knew exactly where the theme was going to go.

What came from that word and the inspiration was this little guy. . .  Moxley Wynn

Isn't he a total cutie?

Heroes come in all sizes, of course, but little Moxley has a very large presence around here.

It's going to be reallllly hard to part with this guy one day.

So, little Moxley Wynn is inspired by a lifelong love of mouse/heroic characters from a variety of times and places. Starting with a nostalgic soft-spot for Mathias and Abbot Mortimer from Brian Jacque's "Redwall" on up thru the recent comic book phenomenons "Mouse Guard" and "Mice Templar". The mouse, as the underdog. . .  as the hero. . . it always just seemed to make perfect sense to me.

Moxely is just the first of the Forest Guide Mice I will be making. He is crafted from polymer clay and armature wire and hand-painted. His staff which comes from the magical woods of our local forest haunt, Kilchis Point,  features a little hanging polymer lamp and a few tiny polymer acorns too. A little lichen and fishing line whiskers really brought him to life.

The best part of having just a week to make the piece is I can't over-scrutinize and worry about how  each detail looks without just diving in and making it.

So HUGE thanks to Nichola and her wonderful and inspired idea!! I look forward to the next. :)

Hoping that you all have a little hero like Moxley to help you find your way "home" creatively.