Sunday, 28 February 2010

March Birthday Girls!

Happy Birthday to the three ladies with birthdays in March!

Cynthia's birthday is March 15th - the Ides of March. Hope it is lovely for you....

Clare! Where are you? How on Earth are you?!! Happy Birthday to you on the 20th!
Here you are dancing with Sue...have a dance on your day, too.

And me, on the 5th. I will be with Sue on the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon! We are looking forward to it with excitement and a tiny bit of fear (!)
It will be a life-altering experience, just like France last summer.

Have a wonderful March everyone!
Love to all of you...

museum of brands in london

went to this really sweet but crammed museum of brands and packaging here in London...they had some fab vintage packs, dolls, and advertising ephemera...saw these gorgeous dolls and immediately thought of Becky....think what you could do with these!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Fairs Here and There

Carol and I were recently at a textile trade fair in Paris and we came across a wonderful stall that was selling all the sorts of antique textile collectables that we just know you pantry violets would go crazy about.

Sadly they are based near Lyon (about as far away from us in France as is possible and they don't have a website yet!), but we thought you might enjoy looking at a few of their sewing and knitting accessories (and yes! we did buy some). If you want to see other items we fell for at the fair check out Carol's posting at LSA's blog.


I looked outside and saw this daffodil trying to grow up through an empty pot....
Through the snow and cold, it was finding its way up to the sunshine..
Now, THAT is determination and drive!
A couple a of days later, it has grown! I was tempted to take the pot off, but I am fascinated by this phenomenon. Is it cruel to restrict it like this? Maybe I will relieve it this afternoon...

And, Oolie, this one is for YOU! 
My friend, Anna (Queen of Flat Rate) had this wonderful little 'Shroom guy out at Christmastime and I fell in love with him. She brought him over so I could take a photo for you, and maybe figure out how to make one!
A big smile to all of you......
Check out "polkadotponie" to see the amazing gift that came from Sweden!!!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Cool Coffee Cup Shelf !

I´m gonna build a shelf like this, with some help from my handyman!
I love collecting vintage coffee cups!

Welcome to my cottage,
you can pick your favourite cup
and have a nice cup of coffee or tea with me!


My Fridge

Does anyone else put stuff all over their fridge like I do?
I looked at mine this morning and just had to giggle.....
.......what a mess......!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Bird on House

I decided that the little house needed a big ol' bird on top.. voila!
This little birdie needed a perch to sit on to ponder this flower.....
Still unfinished, but I am liking it....
And tomorrow, this little bird will be on the way to TexaS to celebrate my mom's birthday.
Happy Little Bird.... I like the simplicity..... must make more of these!

Lovely aprons for lovely ladies

Dear Violets!

I know some of you like aprons, have a look at this site!



Spoonflower fabric samples have arrived!
I ordered swatches of the fabrics I have designed for the challenges and they came yesterday.
I am pretty happy with the colors and the quality, for the most part.
The best sample is the BUG sample! It is a cotton/linen blend and I am in LOVE!
It is unusual for me to design anything "large". The size of these bugs are sooo appealing to me. I surprised myself!
I immediately sat down at the machine and made a little "Bug Bag"....
It is not as sturdy as I would like for it to be, but I just couldn't wait!
Here are the two sides of the bag - with black & white checked binding for straps.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

weekend diversions

Hi Violets,
I don't usually post my work on both blog spots but I really like this page I did in my journal so I wanted to share it. I have gone a bit rabbity these days. Maybe because they are always hopping around in a hurry.

The next picture is of an apron I am making for a friend. I will see her at Artfest (a cool art retreat outside of Seattle) at the end of March and hope I can finish it in time. The fabric is an old sack I found at an antique mall. The flour was from an old mill in Louisville, KY where she lives so I am excited about the project. I still have to embroider, apply applique pieces, attach a tie and pocket(what is an apron without a pocket?) and add the secret fabric inside. (Long story about that).
Have enjoyed seeing everyone's stuff. Jone and Oolie- I am mad for your paper mache pieces.
xxoo Taylor

Saturday, 20 February 2010

bird & heart

Here is one of my "new" papier mache goodies.
To see more, go to ""

Friday, 19 February 2010

Stitching in Thailand

Wonderful to see Joni and Julie's papier mache creations - Julie Arkell would be proud of you!

Below is a little embroidery on Thai silk, "homage to Billie Spille", that I did whilst we were travelling in the Far East - usually whilst we were hanging around in airports waiting for transfers, and in the hotels. Those of you who visited Billie's studio last summer will be pleased to hear she is still painting away, is in moderately good health and surviving this continual cold spell we are having in northern Europe this year (snowed again here last week!) despite the freezing conditions of her little studio. Brrghh.

I so enjoyed doing the little embroidery - not something I would normally attempt anymore as it was very time consuming. I filled it with the last of last year's lavender from our garden.

Hope all you gals are beavering away with your sitiching, knitting and general creating - just love catching up regularly with your latest creations on this blog! Very inspiring.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

my little "pile"

so, these are some of the things that I was working on while Oolie was making her wonderful little treasures.

I made a bunch of "little" things (what a surprise :0) 
Most of them have no real purpose yet, which is why I was watching Oolie with such amazement - wow. She got so many things finished, as I continued on with my ADD... sigh...

The roof of this tiny house (3 inches tall?) comes off.. 
I haven't figured out what to put inside of it yet, but I think it is cool.
Maybe a bird on top?

Above is a collage of several things I have going. 
I did not finish ANY of them, but I am happy with the parts and pieces that will make something wonderful one of these days.

This heart has a tiny bird that will sit on the branch above the "f l y" branch.
 I hope to finish it soon, 
 'cause I can't wait to see what it will turn out to be.

"f r i e n d"

...and this, I think, has great possibilities. 
The tiny person is 2 1/2" - 3" tall. I have plans for her... 
The bird is soooo nice - covered in Japanese paper from a scientific journal that I found 
 I hope it doesn't say something stupid, since I can't read the Japanese - oh well..

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Oolie's toadstool

Okay, here is the mushroom that I made for Oolie when she was here.
It was a "snap!"
It is all foam core and newspaper! Oh, and a little "papier mache goop" and some paint..
I think that I need to make a few more of these little guys.
Guess I have a bit of a flair for toadie stools, hunh?
(it is all about the fairies and magic)

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Finished Products

So, I was torn about this photo - I do not think it is the best of Oolie, but sooooo DARN CUTE and really captures our "mood" in the studio. We were having a wonderful time and got soooo much done. I am in awe of her focus and drive. 

Below, Oolie is holding the hanger that she used as a "mold" to make a couple of papier mache hangers. They turned out sooo cute!
She is incredible....

Here, Oolie is painting the little cup and saucer. She used the most wonderful raspberry red paint - yummy! Below is the finished tea cup and saucer polkadots!

The little pram. Oolie chose a French blue (hmmm, wonder why) 
The top was made separately from the bottom and attached later with little mother of pearl brads. The wheels really roll - with wire axels.

And, here is the hanger holding a beautiful little crocheted dollie dress. I find all of this sooo inspiring. 
So, does it make you want to go do something creative?
Why not?

Papier Mache!!!

You have seen the real thing (see previous post) and now you can go through the process!
I was in awe as I watched her wrap the shoes with Saran Wrap and then papier mache on top. I do not know how she got any courage from ME...neither one of us thought it would work as well as it did.
She only did the front half of one shoe and the back of the other. After getting through the whole thing, though, she figures it might be better to do the entire shoe and cut the paper off down the middle. Then, she could "put it back together" with more papier mache along the seam.....can't wait to try it!

I will post the final of this little treasure later, but here is the teacup and saucer that Oolie has wanted to try for a long time. You can see the plastic wrap on the inside of the cup.

I tend to make things up as I go along, so I was fascinated by the process Oolie chose - using real objects as the base. I do not know that I would have the patience, but it certainly makes anything possible...

Love this little "wagon" which is actually the bottom of a pram. Oolie took the top off to make a separate mold of it to attach later. 

I was sooooo impressed with her ability to cut this darn hanger from foam core board! The handle was a major challenge, I bet. She worked so methodically and consistently ....sigh.... wonder what that feels like (!) Here you can see the papier mache in process.

Oolie's whole group together. We had the heater on in the studio cause it was sooo chilly outside. It came in handy, though, to dry the pieces along the way.
I was so impressed that she came with her ideas intact and stuck with ALL of them to the finish. I do not know what that feels like, either. I am soooo all over the place.
See, Oolie, we both learned something from each other!

Thanks for the visit and the fun and the laughter, the chatter, the secrets, the plans .....sigh....
Have a great time in Hawaii (YES! She leaves this week!!) See you when you get back!

papier mache Mary Jane shoe

Dear Violets-
My heart is still in Santa Fe in Jone's studio!!!!  We have great plans for a workshop there will be thrilled with the unique scenery, the food, the shopping and Jone's wonderful studio!  I have been yearning to make some papier mache objects for a very long time, but needed the self-confidence boost that comes for me, with creating with a friend.....
especially being in the presence of such a talented and generous artist named Jone!!!!!  I just put the "frosting touches" on this little 5" girl's shoe which was made by wrapping a real, live shoe in cling wrap and then papier mache-ing a few layers around the cling wrap;  after I had a solid "mold" of the shoe, I cut it down the middle and extracted the papier mache object from the real shoe;  then I closed the seam with masking tape and continued adding layers of papier mache.  That was the method for the tea cup & saucer and the baby carriage.  The doll clothes hangers were cut out of foam core board and then papier mached.  I brought a few children's books that had lovely images to use on the objects.  We experimented with filling the color copier with cut down newsprint paper rather than regular copy paper which would have given the images I was printing a too starkly white backround.  It worked perfectly and was easy to glue on with matte Mod Podge....a glue that is often used for decoupage.  I also watered down the acrylic paints so that the newsprint underneath would show through.  I need to come up with some foreign language newspapers to use on the top layer for a more interesting effect.  Jone has offered to post the other objects we made and hopefully the Valentine mushroom that she made for is adorable!!!!!  Love to all-  Julie/Oolie

Monday, 15 February 2010

Oolie's Visit

When Oolie arrived last Thursday, I jumped up and down!
We had a fantastic time - re-creating a miniature version of our time at Briancon.
Talking, creating, laughing, exploring....dropping things, forgetting things (!)drinking tea, and coffee (lattes)
We hit the Teahouse once, with Mark (her hubby), but the rest of the time we spent in the studio, mostly.......I will send photos of that time in the next post.

This is the pin that Oolie MADE for me and brought to me as a gift! It is soooo wonderful!
We sure did talk about all of you ladies..and gentleman.......(xo) and cannot wait to be with you again!

I took this photo of Oolie and Mark just before they left yesterday early afternoon. Mark was not feeling all that great - sinus infection? - but I think he looks just fine here....

Oolie, I miss you and am glad that you made it home safely!
Kinda gray today - so NOT New Mexico...

Happy President's Day everyone!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Beautiful Artwork

Good Morning!
Just wanted to share the results of our "printing factory" the other day.....
Here are a few of the Valentine cards that my friend, Sylvie made. I hope you can click on them to see them charming!
Sylvie wrote a little personal note on the back of each card, too, and they are incredibly special.

And here, ta da! The artist herself......Miss Sylvie!
She gave me permission to post a photo of her, so here it is.
Thank you, Sylvie, for letting me photograph your beautiful artwork and share it with others.

I love you....