Sunday, March 12, 2017

Time to Spring Forward under the Worm Moon

March's Worm Moon setting - as seen from my west driveway
Turning the clocks ahead has made me a little blurry this morning...kinda like this pic!
Native Americans, who used the Moons to track the seasons call March’s Full Moon the Worm Moon. It's my favorite because it signals the coming of the equinox – the balancing of light and dark, when the Sun is at the midpoint of its extremes.

Right about now, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting the return of robins and migrating birds. These signs announce the beginning of the gardening season and my inclination and enthusiasm to dig in the dirt returns.
This is also the time when other lights dot my landscape. Greenhouse lights pierce the dark; they are on day and night coaxing seeds to sprout and grow tall. On closer inspection this morning, the tomatoes are up and the peppers are popping through the soil. BLTs are not so far away that I can't imagine the taste!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

NOW: Victorian Lace Eggs in COLOR

COLORS Nature never intended
I've experimented with this idea for a while. Like so much of my work, I am prompted by clients to expand my repertoire to include a broader range of design - and especially color. Tricky thing though. I've finally found pigments that work with the chemicals and the process of shell carving! I'll be adding a softer range of pastels as soon as I can figure out how to get even color coverage without building up unmanageable layers on the surface of these delicate shells.
Watch for these soon in my ETSY shop. As soon as Easter orders are out the door and that bunny has left the building, I'll be going full speed ahead with this project. Oh, happy spring. It's time to look at old things in a new light.
Take a different path in the warming days ahead. 
Let spring work its magic on you all.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs!

The incredibly warm February weather we are enjoying in the mid-section of the country is a gift beyond measure. Pussy willow catkins are plump and silver. Warm southern winds are waking daffodils from winter’s cold hold on them. Moss is greening and the forsythia buds are swelling.
Neighbors are out and about, months before the traditional break from hibernation. Best of all, my cats are spending less time underfoot and more time chasing squirrels from their territory.
For me, ‘tis the season of eggs, eggs, eggs. Blowing them, carving them, selling them! This year I have finally found a reliable source for the rare and exquisite Tinamou eggs I’ve sought for so long. The eggs come from a breeder in Chile, where these once wild birds are now being raised domestically. Their shells have a striking glass like shine. Elegant-crested Tinamous lay a deep green egg while another member of the species, the Chilean Brushland Tinamou, lays a purple/brown/black egg.

I started to carve them the day they arrived!

My work is featured this spring in two national publications.
You’ll spot my hand-carved Victorian Lace eggs in the Favorite Things section of the March/April issue of Victoria Magazine and on the front and back covers of the Guidepost publication, Angels in America.

I’m grateful for such publicity, but it means busy days and late nights ahead. 
It’s a good thing I love my work; there is plenty of it right now! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

The dark days of December made brighter by snow

The snow last weekend delivered a dose of holiday spirit. A beautiful blanket of white covered the my Nest, Littlebrick, and Echo - the house next door that my husband and I are renovating to be our home. The snow eventually showed in my work and I carved a new selection of snowflake Victorian Lace Eggs!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Feathered Nest OPEN HOUSE Sunday, September 25th

Rain or shine; all are invited 

Feathered Nest - Sunday, Noon to 4pm
Maintaining an online etsy shop presents a challenge in managing my time and energy. I makes it necessary to limit the days I receive clients here in my Bishop Hill showroom, The Feathered Nest. Though I try to make myself available whenever new visitors discover me at the edge of town, I advertise that my hours are by appointment.
But I am trying something new...
In response to kind inquiries and requests to open on event weekends, I've scheduled an Open House for all those who have shown interest in my work. I invite you to stop by during Sunday's Jordbruksdagarna celebration (Bishop Hill's harvest festival) to browse my seasonal selection of dried flowers, wreaths, and eggs.
And a book launch too!
I am also pleased to host a book launch for my dear friend Mary Davidsaver. Her newly published novel, Clouds Over Bishop Hill, is a mystery set right here in Bishop Hill. Mary will be reading to visitors and signing books from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday at the Bishop Hill Museum and on Sunday she will here at the Feathered Nest from 2pm to 4pm.  Please plan to stop in for a very warm welcome!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Maple Leaf Roses Are Easy-peasy To Make!

The golden days of Autumn are almost here in Bishop Hill. For me, that means it's time to make some maple leaf roses.

Mother Nature has finally caught up with me. Just weeks ago I had to rely on dye to tint my dried materials the fiery shades of fall. The crispness of autumn is approaching to the delight of all. Just as the maples that dot my grounds start to lose the lush green of summer, I gather the brightest, most vivid of the falling leaves and turn them into roses for a beautiful fall display.
It is a wonderful way to enjoy the day with family and friends or as a solitary exercise in communing with Nature.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beautiful Balloon In My Bishop Hill Backyard

I was out weeding one Sunday evening; it was the tail end of a busy weekend here in Bishop Hill, IL. The Fiber Fest had attracted record crowds and the members of the Illinois Association of Wheat Weavers were packing up and heading home. I heard an odd noise above my head: “phissh, phissh, phissh” a pause and “phissh, phissh, phissh” again. I looked up to see the flame of this marvelous aerial conveyance cycling on and off as it clipped the tree tops and settled softly in the hayfield across the lane. I often refer to Bishop Hill as “enchanted” (especially for those who have never visited) and nothing illustrates that description more than this vision of a hot air balloon bobbing up and down around the village giving residents and their guests rides – and a unique perspective on this quaint utopian village.