penland school of crafts

I recently stumbled upon Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. I really want to take classes there someday. It’s an amazing little school and a tiny town of 200 people in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They have classes in books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles and wood. Here is the entrance sign.


I visited the gallery.


I saw Cristina Cordova’s “Cerca Y Lejos” exhibit.  These were so moving and HUGE.

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Here are some pics of the classrooms. Who wouldn’t want to play here, right?

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As I was walking the campus I came upon this porch with rockers. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I LOVE to rock.


I hope I have the privledge of attending a Penland class some day. It’s beautiful and the students and teachers are really nice and welcoming.

What have you been up to this week?


tea towels, pink stuff and pierogis

My latest project has been so fun thanks to Spoonflower. My Aunt sent me two of my Nan’s recipes and I had them printed on linen-cotton and sewed them into tea towels for her birthday. Here are the recipes that are in my Nan’s handwriting. I scanned them and uploaded into Spoonflower.


I had them printed on linen-cotton fabric. A fat quarter was just the perfect tea towel size. Spoonflower is currently running a special 2 for 1 fat quarters, if you are interested in making these.

Printed Fabric

Before I sewed them, I washed and ironed the fabric. I created neat, mitered corners. Never knew that there was such a thing as a mitered corner.

Ironmitered corners

I then sewed them up on my mom’s sewing machine that she just gave me! I love the machine. Just got it all oiled and it is humming nicely.


And viola, tea towels.

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I got the idea for this project from Spoonflower’s new Handbook. It has lots of wonderful projects to try. If you would like to buy these recipes on fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap, Check out my store front at Spoonflower.

What have you been up to this week?

sketchbook view

Thought I would share some views of my sketchbook this week. Spring has sprung and I’ve been drawing bugs, flowers, and butterflies.

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The above sketch turned into the individual watercolor pieces below. I’ve been working with them in patterns too. More to come on that next week.


What have you been up to this week?


surface pattern design, week four

The last couple weeks I’ve shared that I was taking a Pattern Design Class from the Art and Business of Surface Design with Rachel Taylor and Beth Kempton and that for the next five weeks, I’d be posting about my experience with Module 1 Designing Your Way.

This week and next week are all about pattern – how to create pattern, how to layer and create texture, and how to do box repeats. For the box repeats, we first started out doing them by hand. I took some of my paint chips and carefully placed them on the edges, mirroring each side as a seamless repeat pattern would occur. Then I simply scattered the rest in the center. Viola, a box repeat. Seemed easy by hand with an object that was symmetrical. We’ll see when we get to more complicated shapes and on the computer.

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This week I also received my first pattern printed on cotton from Spoonflower. You can purchase it by the yard, as wall paper or as gift wrap here.  I was ecstatic. Here it is a photo of a fat quarter.


In addition to all that fun, I was totally EXCITED to find out that my pattern was trending at Spoonflower on their Recent Trends list.  Super fun week!


What have you been up to this week?



curtains and weddings

Hi, it’s been a fun week. I’ve been to a friend’s wedding in Carmel Valley last weekend and this weekend my daughter and grandson visited. Here are some pictures from the wedding venue.

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The crafty part of the weekend was sewing a curtain from a bedsheet with my daughter. This is her first time sewing. Crazy that I just learned a couple months ago. The machine my friend Tami let us borrow is getting used a lot! Guess I may need to get myself one soon.

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What have you been up to this week?


hex signs and rain

It rained here in Santa Cruz yesterday. It smelled so yummy. We haven’t had rain in almost a year. I hope this means we will have some rain this winter.

Soooo….I’ve been busy creating hex signs this week. It’s so fun! I painted right on the wood canvases that I made several weekends ago with the babes.

Hex signs are a form of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. I’m from Hershey, Pennsylvania and love that I’m going back to my roots. People originally painted them on their barns as decoration. The barn paintings, usually in the form of “stars in circles,” grew out of the fraktur and folk art traditions about 1850 when barns first started to be painted in the area. Here is my work, enjoy.

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The eight point star is to offer abundance and goodwill to everyone. Here is to abundance of water, which we need so badly in Cali.

Have a GREAT week!


dreaming big and whales

I had fun this week using the wood canvases I made with the babes last weekend. Here is the shape I cut out with a jigsaw. My first attempt…not too bad.


Originally I was going for a fish, but it turned out more like a whales. I took some really cool paint that my friend Anna brought me back from Mexico.


…and painted him blue.


Then I added some text to the wood canvas and added the whale.


And viola… a finished art piece!


tall boys, babes and boards

Had fun on Saturday with these two lovely ladies, Heather, Anna and a couple tall boys. Heather sure is handy and crafty! She has made some lovely wood items like outdoor seating areas, tables with succulents, shelves, wall hangings and other AWEsome household items.



Today with Heather’s help I created some canvases and Anna created some shelves and a box for her cats. Here is Anna using the chop saw. She jumped right in and was quickly at home.


I was a bit more timid. Heather patiently taught me how to use the table saw to cut down some long fence board that she had recently scored. Here I am using the table saw.


I had wanted to create some wood canvases. So, I took the pieces and fit them together to create the canvases below.


I flipped the pieces over held them together with some brackets. I got to use an electric screwdriver.


Sanded them down with a  hand sander and voila, some nice canvases for painting, mod podging, etc.


Pretty happy to have such lovely canvases to play on in the next couple weeks.


What have you been up to this weekend?