Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Grateful on a Silent Night

I'm grateful for so many things. You being here to share my adventures, my happiness and my tears are among the greatest things I am so very grateful for.

May your Christmas be every bit as special as you are to me.

Here's a little something from Lindsey. A gift of music on a silent night.

See you back here next week.

Light, love and hugs
Michelle and the fuzzy ones

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Shining Bright - a little Lindsey

I've been thinking about people lately. How some people are always a bright light in the world and how we are magically drawn to them. My new boss, Amy, is like that. She is amazing, kind and passionate about her work. Her light shines bright on all that she does.

I know my path will be changing a bit in the year ahead so I decided my word for 2016 will be "Float." I intend to float along with the tides of fate and soak up the light of those around me so I too can shine bright.

Here's a little tune from Lindsey with her friend from Echosmith. Lindsey's keyboard player and best friend, Gavi, died suddenly the other week. He was in remission with his cancer, but passed away. Gavi was a wonderful guy and his light will be missed by many, especially Lindsey.

See ya next Wednesday!
Light, love and hugs,
Michelle 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Slow Stitching and the Builder

Hi ya!

I'm sure you have heard of the slow stitching movement that is going on right now. If you haven't, it's all about how people are slowing down and enjoying the peace and enjoyment of hand stitching. I think if you are a person who enjoys embroidery and hand quilting, it is very appealing. It's not for everyone and certainly not for those who like to produce lots and lots of projects in a year.


However, for me, I really love it. I find it meditative. It's time I take to sit and listen to music, be with Hannah in the studio and basically dream and imagine. This is a sneaky peeky of Dillon Dragonfly. He will be a new class in addition to being a pattern and kit.


I am having a lot of fun stitching him. A needle pulling thread is very comforting and therapeutic, which is good as the job I accepted with the builder McKee Homes of my house is busy. I'm their new Selections Coordinator here in Wilmington. Basically, this means when you buy one of their homes, I will be the person to help you pick all your colors, cabinets, plumbing, lighting, etc. My most favorite parts of building for sure! :)

It's only part time, so no worries, I will not be giving up my designing and teaching of Folk Art Fusion. After all, I really do love being an artist and I'm an artist first, but helping people decorate their homes is an equal, creative passion.  ;)

See ya next Wednesday!
Michelle

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas in the Shed

Hi ya! Did you have a good Thanksgiving? We sure did. We even went for a walk on the beach after we had dinner!



Yay! Have I mentioned how much I love living in Wilmington, NC? :) :) :)


Our little house is coming along, but it is still going very slow. Here's what it looks like as of today.


Needless to say, we will still be living in this apartment shed during Christmas. We can't get to our Christmas tree and since we don't have room for it anyway, I went to the store and purchased this adorable real tree. She told me her name is Gladys of Good Tidings. hee,hee,hee. Gladys is a Norfolk Pine. I have always wanted one of these trees. I think the branches are so beautiful. Gladys will go with us to the new house and live in our bedroom as we have lots and lots of natural light coming in the windows. 

I also decided to buy Gladys a little pixie to live in her branches. This is Feli. She reminds me of Pippi Longstocking. Isn't she sweet? When I was in 6th grade, I was a munchkin in our school play, The Wizard of Oz. My mom put wires in my hair and braided it just like this. I loved it! Seeing Feli brought back that happy memory and made me smile. I knew she would be the perfect pixie to live in Gladys' branches.


Feli was handmade by the incredible artist, Tatjana Raum of Rosenheim Germany. I have admired Tatjana's work for some time and I must say I am very excited to be getting this wee little piece. Feli is crossing the ocean now and should be to me in a few weeks.


Tatjana's work is magical and whimsical. She creates all kinds of woodland characters and creatures. Hop over HERE to her shop to see more.

Well, have a wonderful rest of your week and I'll see you back here next Wednesday.

Light, love and hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful

It's the little things that I am most thankful for. Like the sun on my face, the sound of the wind through the trees, a caring husband, a sleeping cat, a snuggle with a bunny, a cup of hot tea, time spent stitching and a long conversation with a dear friend. It doesn't take much to make me smile. I take great pleasure in the simple, the heartfelt and the handmade.

I'm also very thankful for my customers/friends. It makes me smile so very big when someone enjoys making one of my designs. This is my Folk Art Fusion flower brooch which was made by friend, Barbara Brannon.


It was her first try with my method and I think she did a wonderful job. She made it into an ornament to give as a gift to a friend.   

Today I also wanted to share this beautiful animation performance. I hope you can take a moment to sit and enjoy it as much as I did. Art comes in so many wonderful forms.



I am thankful for you my friend.

Light, love and hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Postcard Kits and a Gift to myself

Well, I can't believe next week will be Thanksgiving already. Whew! I feel like it was just Labor Day. Are you traveling to see family and friends for the big day of feasting? David and I decided to spend our first Thanksgiving in Wilmington at one of our favorite restaurants, Sweet and Savory. They put together a wonderful spread and even offer vegetable lasagna for us vegetarians! Woo hoo!!!

Many friends/customers have asked me to put together kits for my Postal Fusions. These post cards make wonderful handmade and heartfelt gifts for the special people on your list. Each kit contains the National Nonwovens wool felt, the Valdani 3 strand floss, embroidery needle, Soft Fuse - fusible web and 10 clear envelopes for mailing. There are enough supplies to make several of each. A PDF pattern will be emailed to you after kit purchase.


These postcards are fast and fun to make and


are the perfect take along project when you travel this Thanksgiving.


HOP over to my SHOP to get your KIT.

Today, I am super excited to share a little pressie I gave myself. I do love to give myself pressies! ;) My dear, super talented, wonderfully creative friend, Donna Liljegren of Brynwood Needleworks made me this gorgeous wallet.


I had been stalking eyeballing these on her Facebook page and just had to have one with the Alice in Wonderland fabric.
 

Look at all the pockets!


Donna makes everything incredibly special. Look at this cute little zipper fob she added. Love it!


The inside is every bit as beautiful and well made as the outside. 

I am over the moon excited with the pressie I gave myself. It's the perfect size to take with me when I run errands, grab a coffee with a friend or go to a movie.


Thank you so very much Donna! I love it! Hop on over and visit Donna at her BLOG. She might just have a pressie you want to buy for yourself. :)


Have a good weekend and I'll see you back here next Wednesday with an update on our new house.

Light, love and hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Keepsake Tags/Ornament Kits

So are you making lots of goodies for Christmas and the Holidays this year? Any new decorations, quilts or treats? David and I are taking it easy this year as we are still all boxed up in the apartment. We can't even get to our tree so instead, we will drive around, listen to Christmas music and enjoy the lights and sights of this beautiful time of year.

However, I do have some fun parties to go to so I decided to make up a few of my Keepsake Tags/Ornaments to decorate the packages. You may remember them from last year.

Hans Hare

Holly Hare


Paul Penguin and


Polly Penguin


It's nice to write a little note on the back of them and date it so the recipient can hang it on the tree and think of you whenever they see it.



Or, you could do what my friend, Carol Sylvester, did and turn them into gift card holders by leaving the bottom edge open. Cute huh? I love them! Great job Carol! :) :) :)



After receiving a bunch of requests for kits, I decided to put some together for you. Each kit will contain the patterns for each, the embroidery needle and enough wool felt, Valdani 3 strand floss and fusible web to make several of each.

Choose from Hans and Holly


or Paul and Polly


Please note, the kits do not contain the bells, fabric for the note or the beads. Those are things you can find at Walmart, Joannes, Hobby Lobby, or Michaels so I don't carry those items. The kits contain items that are harder to find.

So, if you would like a kit to make some special keepsake tags/ornaments, HOP on over to my SHOP and get one while supplies last.

Light, love and hugs to you,
Michelle 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

House Progress

Hi ya! How's your week going so far? It's been raining here for days. I'm beginning to think I moved to Seattle instead of Wilmington! hee,hee,hee.

Today I wanted to share a little progress on my new house. It has been slow going, but we are finally starting to see things take shape. So here we go!

This is the start of the framing. 

 This will be my new office. I've decided Hannah will hang out with me in here. I spend a ton of time doing paperwork and computer work and it will be nice to have her near me.

I'm standing on the back porch in this photo. We have a little pond behind us again. Yay!!

David hanging out in the living room.

The upstairs taking shape.

This is the view of the back of our house from across the pond. It won't look like this for long. They are already starting construction on other houses around us. This whole neighborhood is sold out.

We totally had a fun time watching the trusses go up. 

More trusses.

They had a bit of an issue tying the main roof into the garage roof. The truss engineer sent the wrong trusses for David's third garage. So they had to tear it off and redo it. No worries though as the framing crew finished it all in one day when the new trusses arrived. 

This is the back of the house. The top window is my studio. We have lots of windows on the back of the house, which we love as the sun just pours in.  David and I both love bright, sun filled rooms, which is why this apartment makes us crazy and sleepy. It's dark and gloomy.

Sitting in my studio window. 

This is the view from my new studio window. I can't wait to look out over the water and be inspired. 

Finally, this photo was taken last Friday. It has been raining ever since. As soon as it stops (bunny ears crossed), the roof shingles will go on. It's going to be a cute little cottage for sure. I'll keep you posted as we progress.

Light, love and hugs to you!
Michelle

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Pumpkin Season!

There must be a crazy pumpkin epidemic that has hit our country. I for one know I am addicted to the pumpkin smoothies from my local health food restaurant and David is addicted to those Little Debbie pumpkin cakes. Yes...I'm a health nut and he's a junk food junkie. Anyway, I can't begin to tell you how many emails and messages I have received regarding my Peter's Pumpkin - Folk Art Fusion design. So many people would like to make it and were sad that there was no way they would be able to attend a class with me.


So, after much debating and lots of breaking my arm off, arm twisting, I have decided to offer all my Folk Art Fusion classes as PDF Patterns and Kits to all my friends.  Of course, I will still offer them as classes and if your guild, or group would like a Play Date with the crazy bunny lady, I would love to meet you. Plus, it really is super fun getting together with friends and having an adventure down the rabbit hole. :) :) :)

Peter's Pumpkin (Photo above shows fabric center. Kit is all wool felt as in this photo)


Seamore the Seahorse


and Bridgette Butterfly



are three of my six Folk Art Fusion classes which are now available to everyone as PDF's and Kits in my SHOP. The other three classes are coming soon.

As always, your friendship and support of my small business is so truly appreciated! Without you purchasing my designs and kits, I would not be able to continue designing projects for you to create. I also would not be able to help the bunnies. So thank you for believing in me!

Hugs and I'll see ya next Wednesday!

Michelle

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What I do - Who I am

Isn't it funny that as adults we are always asked, "What do you do?" Yet, when we were children, we were never asked that question. We were simply asked, "What's your name?" I read once that this is the reason it's easier to make friends when you are a child and why those childhood friendships usually last forever. I know this is true because my best friend, Beth, and I met when we were twelve and have had a "BFF" friendship spanning the last 35 years.


     Bridgette Butterfly - new class for 2016

When you are a child, you are just "you." You're not a mom, dad, boss, employee, husband or wife. You are simply (insert name here). Your main focus, in most cases, when meeting someone was to make a friend. So recently, when I was again asked, "What do you do?" I realized I am more than an artist, author, instructor and what I do. Who I am is, Michelle, and I am a friend.



As I hopped down the path of my creative career over the last three years, I discovered how much passion I have for teaching and sharing my Folk Art Fusion with others. I also realized how important it is to get together with others. While on-line courses are wonderful and convenient, they will never compare with the creative energy, laughter and fun that comes from a gathering of friends.  


Last month I had a "Play Date" with the Crystal Coast Quilters in Morehead City, NC. They were so very kind to me as I was at the tail end of a cold (first one in 9 years) and I had LOST MY VOICE! Let's just say it's not easy to teach when you can't talk. Lucky for me, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear their stories and get to know them better.


Here are some photos from our "Peter's Pumpkin" Play Date.







This is Cindy. She invited me to teach. She is a retired Physical Education teacher. Cool! I told her that was one of my favorite classes and I always made straight A's. Math....not so much. ;)




This is Debbie (aka the Iron Lady). We were all sooooooooooo grateful to Debbie because there was a little misunderstanding about needing ironing stations for our play date. Debbie graciously brought three irons to class. Thank YOU!! (She's so pretty!)



This is Nan. She's a sweetie and super creative. She is going to put her pumpkin on a sage green background. PLEASE send a picture! I can't wait to see how it turned out. 

This is Joanne. She is a lady after my own heart as she supports animal shelters with spaying and neutering.


I like to inspire my students to use their own creativity to finish their projects. They don't have to stitch exactly like I do if they don't want to. I'm just a tour guide into my Folk Art Fusion world. Joanne was excited about this as she wanted to use her new couching foot and her sewing machine's decorative stitches to finish hers. Here is what she came up with.


I love how it turned out and was even more excited when she told me it was being donated to raise money for the animal shelter. Yay!!


This smiling sweetheart is Patti. She is soooooooooooo much fun! Patti is one of those quick witted people who I love listening to. She made a suggestion in class about an easier way to layer the pumpkin stem and I must say, it was a GREAT suggestion! Thank you!


Patti finished her pumpkin and decided to hang it on her front door. LOVE it! What a great fall welcome to friends.

It's amazing the friendships you can make when you teach someone to express their creativity. Last night I got a text from a my friend, Julie. She was a student of mine ten years ago when I taught at the local quilt shop. Julie had finally finished her "Stardust" quilt from my class back in 2004 or 2005. She took the quilt to the Croatan Quilters' guild (miss you girls!) meeting for show and tell. Isn't it beautiful? I can't tell you how much it means to me that she shared this. Thank you Julie!


Creative friendships are so much fun. Like I said earlier, the energy, the laughter and the bond cannot be found through on-line classes. This photo is from my new friend, Patty DeSaye. Patty, along with her daughter, Karmen, own Cozy Mountain Quilts in Whitehall, MT.    


Patty contacted me about carrying my book in her shop. I was thrilled!!!! Patty was inspired by my work after seeing it on Pinterest. She ordered the books, made a sample and offered a class. Each student got a copy of my book (thank you!) and Patty was their tour guide into Folk Art Fusion. She said everyone had a total blast and is looking forward to the next adventure. Yay!!!!

Maybe one day I will get to hop in and visit with Patty and Karmen in their adorable shop. Until then, if you get a chance to visit, be sure and give them a hug for me!

So now, when someone asks me what I do, I say, "I inspire creativity and play" but who I am is Michelle and I am your friend.

I have updated my calendar, photos and contract for 2016 Play Dates and Chats. If you, your guild or group would like to have an adventure down the rabbit hole with me, then HOP over HERE for more information.

Light, love, hugs and friends,
Michelle