Monday, November 28, 2011

Mason Jar Warmers

My mason jar warmer is in the running for Cold Antler Farm's mason jar cozy contest! She asked readers to post photos of their creative solutions to insulate canning jars for holding hot beverages. You can stop by Jenna's blog to view the post and leave a comment to put in your vote at:

You can also find more of them in my Etsy shop at:

I hope everybodys hands are staying toasty out there.
It's cold outside!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mushroom Hunting

With the rain and mists of Winter in Oregon comes one of my favorite reasons to go out in the woods. Mushrooms. Wildcrafting for fungi is a delightful way to spend a November afternoon, and my enjoyment of these excursions often carries over into crafting inspiration.

With Chanterelles piled all over my counter, in my dehydrator and in many of my meals last year, I started making these little Chanterelle mushroom folks. I found just the right color of orange wool felt, and stitched up their wavy little caps.

I made little translucent white faces from clay to give them a little extra character.

Here's my King Bolete among the oak leaves.

And  brightly colored Amanita toadstools are a lot of fun to play with. Just remember not to eat them.

It's good to take time to enjoy the fungus among us.

You can find more of these little mushroom folks in my Etsy shop here at:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garden Goddess

It's late Summer and gardens are bountiful. All the gardeners are busy harvesting, and baskets are spilling over with ripe fruits, squash, carrots, potatoes, onions, greens, garlic and tomatoes. Many folks are proudly wearing dirt under their fingernails on a daily basis.

 The Garden Goddess is smiling on us.

I needlefelted this seasons figure from soft, colorful wool roving in honor of late Summer. You can see more pictures of her here on my Etsy shop:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Homestead Sunrise

Roosters crowing at the break of dawn, the sun peeking up over the mountains, fiery colors on the tops of the trees, woodsmoke curling out of the chimney...there are so many wonderful things about mornings on the homestead. It just makes a person want to get up early!

I have needlefelted this scene on a couple of occasions, and this is my latest one. These homesteaders have planted a small orchard beside their winding stream. I imagine they're sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and getting ready to go out and start the morning chores.

You can see more pictures of it here on my Etsy shop at:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Birds of Fern Ridge

Living close to a large reservoir and wildlife refuge that is a major stop along the west coast's migratory flight path, this is the time of year when I've got birds on the brain. They're everywhere you look. All sizes, shapes, colors and songs. I spent a Saturday vending at our local Wings and Wine festival, and made this wall hanging in honor of our fine feathered friends. A canoe paddles across the lake in between stands of marsh grass and cattails. Redwing blackbirds sing, great blue herons stand stately and tall, swans glide across the water, a mother duck is followed by a row of fuzzy yellow ducklings, and overhead a "V" of Canadian geese prepares to land. Fern Ridge Reservoir is a haven for birds and bird watchers alike.

You can find more pictures of this one on my Etsy shop at:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Giveaway on the Wooly Moss Roots Blog!

My dear friend Taryn is giving away one of my cast-iron skillet grabbers and mason jar warmers over on her blog, Wooly Moss Roots! Stop on by at this link:
for a chance to win!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Be sure to head over to my other blog, A Mountain Hearth, to enter my giveaway in honor of reaching 100 official blog followers! I'll be sending off a handmade bird's nest, a cast iron skillet grabber and a mason jar warmer to the three winners.

You can follow the link here at:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Around the May Pole

Yesterday was our Waldorf school's annual May Faire, and in honor of the season, I made this needlefelted wool wall hanging of a May Pole dance to sell at my booth. I had started out intending to felt a different scene entirely, but the excitement of May Faire got me thinking about the May Pole dance, and it took shape from there. As I was making the pole I decided it should have roots, and then branches with a tiny little bird's nest tucked in them. The girls are from all over the world, dancing together upon the earth to weave a unified thing of beauty for everyone. The woman who bought it really loved it, and I hope she enjoys it in her home.

You can read about our May Faire on my other blog at:

A Merry May to All!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Runaway Bunny Returns

"Shucks," said the bunny, "I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny."
And so he did.
"Have a carrot," said the mother bunny.

-Margaret Wise Brown


I so enjoyed needlefelting a wall hanging based on Margaret Wise Brown's "Runaway Bunny" last year, that I decided to make another one. I've been seeing little wild bunnies hopping away at the edge of the woods when we're out on evening walks, and was reminded of the story. This wall hanging depicts my favorite scene at the end of the book of the mother and child in their cozy burrow. After talking about all the far-flung  places he is going to run away to all day, his mother just tells him she will follow him anywhere because he is her little bunny, and offers him a carrot for supper. It's a tale of motherly love.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Full Nest

I just finished this custom handmade nest for a woman with eight grandchildren who wanted one felted egg to represent each. I was just so tickled by this, I had to share it.

Every Spring I make these nests out of European beach grass roots, an invasive species that is causing our local sand dune ecosystem to disappear. Habitat restoration was my main focus in college, and I still can't help taking out these problematic plants when I see them. I love hearing about folks making invasive plant species into art! My friend Jeff over at Mystic Orb makes these great wooden buttons out of Scotch broom stalks!

So, I take these unwanted plants, make them into a nest, add a few bits of moss and lichens I find on the ground under our ancient oak tree, and wet felt some little wool eggs, and...Voila! We have eco-friendly art.

You can read more about my handmade birds' nests on a blog post I wrote last Spring called:

And find them on my Etsy shop at:

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

~William Butler Yeats

I became acquainted with the poetry of William Butler Yeats in a college course on Irish literature a few years ago, and I particularly enjoyed this poem for the images of solitude and simple living close to the land. I also liked it because it very much reminded me of Henry David Thoreau's "Walden." As it turns out, Yeats was a fan of Thoreau as well, and "Walden" was an inspiration for this poem. Great minds do think alike.

I needlefelted this wool wall hanging of what I imagine such a place would look like. I like to think of the occupant of this cabin hoeing bean rows and tending the hive of bees, enjoying a very simple life.


Sunday, March 27, 2011


As a handcrafter, I always strive to make eco-friendly art. I work with wool and natural fibers. I scour thrift stores for old sweaters and silk flowers which I recycle and re-purpose. I remove invasive plant species like dried teasel flower heads for making magic wands, and European beach grass roots for birds' nests. I make needlefelted wall hangings that celebrate the beauty of outdoor places, and hope that my work will help remind folks of their connections with nature.  My hope is that the things I make will contribute positively to the world, while having minimal impact upon it.

On an outing with my children to the woods this week, I brought along the Lady of the Forest I had just finished needlefelting so I could photograph her amongst the trees for listing on my Etsy shop. As we drove along the BLM road to get to the woods, we passed through this clearcut. I was suddenly struck by the idea of photographing the Lady of the Forest on a stump in the middle of the clearcut. It felt as though this little woolen lady had something to say. The idea and the image said a lot to me,  and I wondered what it would say to other folks out there. I think that art says a lot all on it's own, but when we set it against the back-drop of real life, it can say a lot more.  I'm sure we've all seen a clearcut, and I'm sure we all have our own feelings about them, but perhaps through art, we may see things in a new light, or at least give them more thought.

And here, the Lady of the Forest stands in her home of moss, ferns, salal and trees...
saying something entirely different.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady Spring

"My Lady Spring is dressed in green,
She wears a primrose crown,
And little baby buds and twigs
Are clinging to her gown;
The sun shines if she laughs at all,
But if she weeps the raindrops fall."

~Traditional Children's Rhyme

I just finished needlefelting these Spring maidens from soft wool roving. Each holds a pussy willow staff and a basket of Springtime treasures to watch over as the earth wakes up from Winter slumber.

Lady Spring has returned to the land.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~William Wordsworth

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Root Children

Mother earth opened the underground door and the procession of root children holding flowers made their way up into the warm Spring day.

When Spring starts to come back to the land, and little seeds are beginning to grow up into tender green shoots, I love reading The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Offers with my children. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is one of renewal in the cycle of Nature. I was inspired to create this needlefelted wool wall hanging of the little root children emerging from underground to help prepare the earth for Spring.

You can see more pictures of it here on my Etsy shop at:

Let Spring Begin!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Snowdrop Fairy

The Snowdrop Fairy

Deep sleeps the Winter,
Cold, wet, and grey;
Surely all the world is dead;
Spring is far away.
Wait! the world shall waken;
It is not dead, for lo,
The Fair Maids of February
Stand in the snow! 

~Cicely Mary Barker

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine Faeries

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I've been busy in the craft room making these lovely little Valentine Faeries with wool felt hearts and sparkling wings.

My Own Sweet Valentine

Like the sweetly budding rose,
Freshened by the gentle rain
Like the Evening Star that glows,
Brightest of the starry train
Like a well arranged Bouquet,
Where the fairest flowers combine,
Odours rich and colours gay,
Is my own Sweet Valentine

~Traditional, Victorian-era

You can find them here in my Etsy shop at:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Owl Moon

"It was late one winter night,
long past my bedtime,
when Pa and I went owling.
There was no wind.
The trees stood still
as giant statues.
And the moon was so bright,
the sky seemed to shine."

~Jane Yolen

When I was growing up, I loved reading Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Now it is a favorite winter story of my children, and it even inspired us to go out on an owling walk at our local arboretum led by a professional owler. It was a fun way to spend a cold January evening.

In this beautifully illustrated childrens' story, a young girl and her father go out into the snow late at night to call the owls and possibly catch a glimpse of one. They crunch along through the snowy forest calling out "Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooo!" until a great horned owl starts calling back. Finally, with a lot of patient waiting, silence, and hope, they see the owl in the trees. Yolen says in the dedication of the book that her husband took all their children owling and their grandchildren too!

I needlefelted this wool wall hanging of a young owler going out in the snowy night with her lantern to find the great horned owl. You can see more pictures of it here on my Etsy shop at:

"When you go owling
you don't need words
or warm
or anything but hope...

The kind of hope
that flies
on silent wings
under a shining
owl moon."