Art · life

Life happens when you aren’t looking…

I have a piece going into a new exhibition at Annmarie Gardens starting October 11. When the call went out for this one I was playing around with a couple different ideas developing them and then a good friend threatened to commit suicide. Out of that experience “22” was born.

Unfortunately it is not the first time I have been put in the position to intervene when someone threatened suicide and odds are it won’t be the last time either. It is a “heavy” piece mentally and there were quiet a few tears shed while working on it. But I would much rather have it this way than shedding tears at a funeral.

I will post photos after the show although it’s difficult to get decent ones since the colors used are so dark for most of it. It does have one bright spot and there are beads and Swarovski crystals scattered about the piece too. I’ll post the statement that explains it as well.

I’ve done a LOT of refinishing furniture in the last few months. Will have to see if I can manage to post some pictures here soon. Some of it was also putting together and staining a set of Adirondack chairs and matching ottomans.

Recovery after the surgery is slow. I’m doing better than most I’ve heard about who get their Achilles tendon replaced but I’m not always known to be the most patient patient. 😊 I’m able to walk a mile at a time now on the track at the high school and could probably bump that up again now.

A friend cajoled me into putting some items in two local county fairs. I put in two skeins of hand spun yarn, two sewn girl’s dresses, and two different felted pieces. All 6 pieces got ribbons at both fairs. Although the dresses are rather funny – one comment “don’t buy dresses to enter into the fair”! There were a couple other similar comments from the judges but that was the harshest. I’ll take it as a compliment that they thought my sewing was so professional they felt it was not “hand made”. 😄

My grand mother was a seamstress as well and I did grow up learning from her! She is part of the reason I am “Jones Branch”. My husband said that tells me that if I sew for the fair next year I shouldn’t put my tags in there then. I say the hell with that! I am who I am, I have spent time to get my various arts to the level they are and I am not hiding or dumbing down anything.
Now I just need Fall to arrive! What’s the deal with having temps in the 90s in Oct for crying out loud?! Although we are cooling down a bit this weekend, let’s hope this is a continuing trend… along with me being back to my blog!

Art · life

Definitely slows ya down!



Ugh, sooooooooo, after almost 2 weeks on the marble floors at Annmarie Gardens during my time at Artists in Action my heel made me cry Uncle! Dorothy surrendered! I went in and on March 18th the doc did the surgery to remove (in her words) a “honking big heel spur” and clean up the Achilles while in there. I was in bandages the first 5 days to allow swelling to go down from the surgery and on the 22nd they put the cast on. I have 17 (yes, 17!) staples in the heel incision and best my husband and I could tell, because the incision was covered with cloth tape, the incision on my calf has 10-12 stitches that will dissolve. We’ll see how that goes, I haven’t had the best of luck with those in the past. LOL

I go back April 3rd to have this cast removed, staples removed, and a new cast put on, and then another recheck on the 19th. By my calculations, May 3rd is exactly 6 weeks to having the cast put on and I was told 6 weeks in the cast. I’m hoping to have the cast off by then and into “Das Boot” for the next 6 weeks. My loving husband has dubbed this the surgery from hell – 666: 6 weeks in a cast, 6 weeks in Das Boot, and 6 weeks of physical therapy!

Whatever – I’ve got my art to keep me company! LOL And on that note…

“The Journey” is all hand needle felted, hand dyed wools with a small amount a Stelina. With color it tells the story of life. We all start life fresh, green and idealistic. Life hits and we get mired down by hardships in one form or another, some worse than others, we all have our challenges to go through and face. At some point we break free and move past that all the stronger for having gone through the rough times, we realize life is fun again and start to enjoy everything around us, we start exploring again, taking chances again, having fun, life is good! We start seeing glimpses of those golden times ahead until one day realize life truly is golden and you have good days all the time.

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It will be installed at Annmarie Gardens in their upcoming exhibit (click on the logo to hit their site) –


If you are in the area I hope you will stop in to see the many wonderful pieces in this exhibit. It is truly an amazing collection and I am honored to be among the artists included.


Art · life

I’m the satellite and you’re the sky…


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My run at Annemarie Gardens’ Artists in Action has come to a close, and a bittersweet one at that. It was such an amazing experience. The artists I got to meet and work with were just awesome people and artists in their mediums, getting the opportunity to be around them was such a blessing.

Like all things though, my time there had to come to an end and that was sad. I admit there were tears. I’ve never had such an amazing time like this around such terrific people so it was sad to see it come to a close.

But, I have come away with new ideas and directions. Everyone loved watching me needlefelt. In fact, one woman came up and proclaimed – “I’ve wet felted and read about needle felting but never seen anyone doing it, you’re so exotic!” Never in my life have I been called exotic! So I fell into a needle felting frenzy since folks really enjoyed that.

A fellow fiber artist bought one of my pieces to work into one of her nuno felted shawls or table runners! I am so honored that she felt my work worthy to be included in a piece of hers.

My last piece I made there, I was feeling blue at the thought of leaving and used the colorful background trying to force myself into a “happy place”. I sat there staring at it not knowing what to make with it, coming up with a blank I left for lunch and to go home to let our pups out. As I as coming back Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’ song Cecelia and the Satellite came on (which has deep meaning for my husband and I) and the line resonated again – “I’m the satellite and you’re the sky”. So, I got back and that was the inspiration for my piece –

I have some larger pieces in mind – really large. I’ll be starting one as soon as I straighten up my studio to have it done to submit for an exhibition at Annmarie Gardens called Folksy. I’m going to be working on a piece for FiberArts Now Fiber Transformed and then for their fall Excellence in Fiber V.

So, while I’m sad at this most wonderful adventure ending I’m very excited about the ideas it has sparked. As Semisonic said in Closing Time – Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Art · life

Come and See!



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Today I go set up at Annmarie Gardens to participate in Artists in Action! Come and see me if you are in the Solomon’s Island, MD area!

When I dropped off my treadle sewing machine yesterday it looks like mostly acrylic/oil/water color artists are there at the moment and I have no idea what may move in as they move out while I’m there. I will be felting, spinning, doing origami, and obviously sewing since I dropped off my treadle sewing machine. Sometimes there is some cross over as well – depends on my mood and what idea my crazy art brain comes up with at the moment.

I can’t shake the “animal on display at the zoo” feeling but once I get working that should fade into the background I hope.

Consider yourself invited though to come and see!

Art · life

Latte Anyone???


I’ve been so busy since I last wrote – as I said the flood gates have opened. I need to take more photos than what I’m posting here. I started making needle felted pin cushions that will be for sale. They could also be used for your favorite essential oil instead of being a pin cushion and it can beautifully freshen the air in your room! These are just the start and there will be many more to come for sure.


I’ve also got a lot of jewelry in the works, both origami and some felted as well. I have tons of new stuff I’ve made that I do not have photos of yet and that is part of my goal for today – getting photos done and hopefully listing some things on Etsy…


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And I’m still getting ready for Artists in Action! I’m trying to decide what goes on display there, what goes back to the shop, what goes on Etsy, so on and so forth.

And it seems all my “surprise Subaru goody boxes” have reached their destinations and all my fellow Subaru owners were thankful for them and loved the contents. Always fun to play “Secret Santa” like that. #SubaruAmbassador #SubaruLove

Art · life

Artists in Action…

Annmarie Gardens Museum and Sculpture Gardens holds a program each year called Artists in Action where they host artists in the museum in “mobile studios” for various amounts of time so visitors can watch the artists and see their art and how they work. I have had the honor to be chosen as one of these artists this year.

From Jan 28-Feb7 I will set up a studio space in the museum and work on my art each day while visitors watch. (gulp) Kinda makes me feel like a zoo animal at the thought of it, but I’ll be “on display”, examples of my work will be on display and for sale, and I’m to answer questions.

This should be fun and yet at the same time it’s a bit daunting. Now to decide on exact projects to work on while there and get the supplies lined up and order any I need!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday – this was a great Christmas present for me!


We Did Not Ask For This Room

We did not ask for this room,
or this music;
we were invited in.
because the dark surrounds us,
let us turn our faces toward the light.
Let us endure hardship
to be grateful for plenty.
We have been given pain
to be astounded by joy.
We have been given life
to deny death.
We did not ask for this room,
or this music.
But because we are here,
let us dance.

This poem was read at the end of the mini-series, 11.22.63, but is not in the book written by Stephen King. He wrote it for the screenplay. What more can be said to explain life?

We’ve each been given our lives and they are what we make of it – good, bad, just existing… We have the power to choose, we have the power to overcome obstacles or surrender to them, we have the power to surrender and be the victim or fight back, we are the master of our own fate. We may choose to help those around us to find their potential or leave them to flounder – give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish he eats for life.

It is not a magic light switch that changes in a moment it takes time but choose to be happy, look for the good, and keep doing this daily. You’ll find one day you’ll wake up and you are truly happy, things seem to fall into place for you, things seem to be better, run smoother and life is just easier when you choose to be happy.

Let’s dance…