Friday, December 26, 2008


If your efforts are sometimes greeted with indifference, don't lose heart. The sun puts on a wonderful show at daybreak, yet most of the people in the audience go on sleeping. (by Ada Teixeira)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I find this sign alarming.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Study in Red

With Christmas soon to be over, the next card giving holiday will quickly be here ---- Valentine's Day. Instead of buying red paper, I decided to paint my own. This was infinitely more fun and my plan is to cut this sheet into multiple hearts.

Monday, November 24, 2008


How do you record/store your treasures? The book was made by my sister, Shell, and is decoupaged. I use it to keep track of the ornaments I have made and to whom I have given them. This box made by my friend, Jann, is where I store the beaded treasures until I give them away.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Maggie, once again

Last summer, while still in Maine, I started this drawing of Maggie. Last week I got it out and have continued working on it. Whether it is finished or not, I don't know. I'll need to live with it a few days to see how I feel. Sure do miss my Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. I finished this piece using Derwent's regular watercolor pencils but they just aren't quite as nice. Santa will be coming soon so perhaps he will bring me some Inktense pencils - especially now that they are available in 72 colors.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2008 pages/reverse side

Thanks everyone for your comments. For the reverse side of the ornament, my plan is to put information about the person the ornament honors. After stitching the front side, I add another piece of stiffened felt and join the two pieces using a three-bead whip stitch around the edges. I found this tag among my mother's things and it will be mounted on the reverse side of the Swan ornament. The handwriting is my Mom's and she wrote my younger sister's birth information on it. On the other side is my birth information as filled in by the hospital.

Sis - today is the big day - Happy Birthday.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

BJP 2008

After completing my butterfly wings for BJP 2008, I came up with the idea of beading "memory" ornaments that I will hang on my Christmas tree. When Robin announced that another year was going to happen, I decided that these ornaments would be my project for the year.

This page is in honor of our 39 year marriage. My younger sister, Shell (my maid of honor) made the center coin while at Disneyland. It reads "Dee & Bob Happy 4th anniversary". I beaded both sides of the "do-nut" so the coin can hang freely.
This page is in honor of my husband whose birth month is October and features his gold baby ring. The sequins on this piece were a first for me.

This page is in honor of Shell whose birth month is November. When we were children we used to ride the swan boats in Boston Commons - of course, the water wasn't quite this blue! The swan bead is carved from a piece of shell. For many years Shell sent us an anniversary card that featured swans but it has been awhile since she has been able to find any "swan" cards.

Friday, October 10, 2008


The ink I use with the pens featured below is stick ink. The stick (long rectangular piece with silver and gold pattern) is ground with a few drops of water in the grinding stone (base piece in photo). To write, I hold the pen in my right hand and the small paint brush in the left hand, pen a few letters and then dip the brush into the grinding stone well and proceed to brush the ink on to the underside of the pen nib. For color work, I use watercolor paint.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Now that we are in a new house, in a new city and a new state, I will start learning a new hand in calligraphy. Here is a photo of the pens I use to write Spencerian Script. The two pens on the far right were ones that I commissioned Bill Lilly to make. The wood was removed from the White House during renovations in 1950 and under the pens is a small brass plaque that came with the length of wood. My Mom bought the wood for $1.00.
My new course of study is Foundational hand with Monica Dengo and below is a photo of my new pen made by Cynthia Ellis-Petrow The wood has been dyed with deep greens and blues and is incredibly smooth --- feels like satin.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Two Scenes

Today we took a late afternoon walk on the beach and were treated to the following.

Scene 1 - a couple of young girls were riding their horses, bareback, along the waters edge with the waves crashing at their feet. It is such a beautiful sight to see these magnificant animals running for the pure joy of it.

Scene 2 - one of the horses decides there really is no joy to be had running in the northern Atlantic Ocean as it is darn cold water. The horse stops abruptly dumping the rider into the sea. Apparently, only in movies is it easy to mount a horse without a saddle. After a few futile attempts, the rider walked the horse up the beach to the sand dunes so she could be somewhat higher than the horse. She then raced down the dune (not with the grace of Misty May or Kerri Walsh) and jumped on the horse. After a few attempts she managed to get upright and they were on their way.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Bit of Pink

This is another feather and fan stitch scarf being knit with baby alpaca - very soft. For this piece I taught myself how to do the Norwegian purl stitch. A bit tricky at first but okay now.

Monday, September 8, 2008

After the Storm

Yesterday the waves were wonderful. Lots of folks body surfing and a dozen, or so, with surf boards.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

In Circles Hat

I designed this hat to eventually knit with shetland yarn, using multiple colors. These circles lend themselves to all sorts of experimentation.
Sis, happy 29th anniversary.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Green Thumb

This tomato plant looks rather awful, but the tomatoes sure are tasty. I've been wondering if it is the salt in the air, especially the fog, of which we have had quite a bit.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Knit/Purl Hat

On this version of the "August hat" the crown decreasing is much better.

Street Light

The Department of Public Works must be bored now that the tourists are gone. Last night at 11:45 a crew arrived, with multiple flashing yellow lights, to change the light bulb in the street light outside our bedroom window.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Feather and Fan Scarf

After much playing around with the feather and fan stitch and placement of colors, I finally managed to complete a scarf. With this pattern, the color placement really changes the look of it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Tourists - they seem to have evaporated with the morning fog. It has been bustling here all summer and yesterday they were gone. Once again, it is a quiet seaside community.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August Hat

This was a fun hat to knit using a combination of knit and purl stitches. Also, it is a good way to use a multi-colored yarn.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Drawing Bria's fur presented a whole new set of challenges. Her fur is satin smooth and really reflects light, unlike Maggie's fur which seems to absorb it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Needle Sizes

After trying several charity hat projects using size 5 needles, I've dropped down to size 3. Having knitted with tiny needles for many years, the larger stitches created by the size 5 just don't look right to my eyes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Maggie drawing update

For now, this drawing of Maggie is finished. I'll need to live with it a few days before making a final decision.

7/27 - I've softened the fur on the right side of the drawing (top image).

Monday, July 21, 2008


I'm now giving Maggie a try and decided to attempt some fur, along with the eyes. This is still "in progress" as sometimes life gets in the way of having fun.


My attempts at Bria's eyes. The top one is a bit glamorous. The bottom photo looks more like her.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


In celebration of my 60th birthday last week, I bought myself a present - "Secrets to Realistic Drawing" by Carrie Stuart Parks and Rick Parks (husband and wife forensic artists and teachers). My goal for my 60th year, is get back to drawing and, in particular, to draw my cats faces. Above are the eyes belonging to our now deceased cat, Pumpkin. For starters, perhaps I will do "eye" portraits. These are my very first eyes and my husband immediately knew that it was Pumpkin I was drawing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Color Play

This section is now complete. The pattern is 65 rows equaling 7.25". Just barely had enough yarn, with a combined total of about one yard left over - a little too close for comfort.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Color Play

I think I have finally come to my senses re knitting hats for charity ----- I shall continue to do so, but with knitting needles somewhat larger than size 0 or 1. For detail work/color play, I've started the above sampler. The needle size is 1 and all the yarns are a fingering weight. My plan is to have this as an ongoing project.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Gosh, it is hard to type (and knit, and bead) with the left index finger bandaged up. One finger and nail are no defense against a sharp knife - perhaps I need to rethink cooking as one of my interests.


I've been tagged by Timaree.

The rules of the game are that each player answers the following five questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags five or six other people. The player should then notify those individuals that they have in turn been tagged. Also, once you have posted your answers, please let the person who tagged you know.

1. What were you doing ten years ago? Ten years ago I was spending my last few days in my 40's! For fun, my sister (Nevada) and I (New Hampshire) were planning a trip, to meet up in Ohio, to attend Spencerian Saga ( - an intensive week-long workshop studying Spencerian Script penmanship. 20 of us stayed at an inn on a lake and did nothing but eat, breathe and sleep penmanship ---- this is the "old fashioned" kind of writing done with an ink bottle, pointed pen and lots of flourishing. I'm state juried with The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen ( and ten years ago I was very active in designing and selling my hand knitted items through that organization.

2. What are five things on my to do list? Beading, housework, knitting, laundry, walking the beach, shopping, calligraphy, paying bills, cooking.

3. Snacks I enjoy. Cheese and crackers.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire? Buy more beads, yarn and ink.

5. Places I have lived?
Salem, MA
Lynn, MA
Kalispell, MT
Marblehead, MA
Milwaukee, WI
Manchester, NH
Londonderry, NH
Henniker, NH
Old Orchard Beach, ME and soon to try St. Mary's, GA

6. Peeps I want to know more about.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Blue beads

I'm still playing with sequins and beads.

One and one-half hats

Last week we moved to our summer house in Maine and I was reunited with a lot of my yarn and knitting needles. How nice to have needles in a size other than 0 to work with.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thumbless mittens

With fingerless gloves being all the rage, perhaps the next hot item will be thumbless mittens!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Flat Feet"

This is an interesting "ball" of yarn. Sections were done on a knitting machine and then hand dyed. The idea is that with the two panels (joined with a waste yarn) there is enough for a pair of socks. My two cats are not in agreement about this yarn. One thinks this is the best ball she has ever seen ---- a ready made blanket to sleep under while I knit. And the other, she can't seem to figure out how she is going to make a run for it with the panel in her mouth. Of course, that hasn't stopped her from trying.

I'm using the yarn to knit a donation hat and have adapted a Selbu knitting pattern for the design.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cats' Quilt

Here is a photo of a quilt that I am working on, for the cats, for their new home in GA. The hand quilting is only about half done ----- it is slow going when the cats insist on sleeping with it while I am trying to sew.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

BJP 2007

Last year Robin Atkins started Bead Journal Project 2007. 243 of us, from 13 countries, participated in this beading journey. We started stitching with the month of June and did one journal page per month. My pages, expect for August, reflect colors from my yard. After living in our home, here in central NH, for 31 years, we are now moving and will spend our summers in Old Orchard Beach, Maine (August page) and the winter months will be spent in Georgia. This year long project was very timely for me, in that the last page of the journal is May and it is also the final month that I will be living in this house. My star book is entitled "Farewell".

Friday, May 9, 2008

Road Work

I knitted these coasters while on our recent road trip. Not sure how many I knitted while driving through VT, NY, CT and part of PA when I thought for sure my fingers must be bleeding. I was using size 11 wooden needles with the sharpest points. In the photo some of the coasters have already been felted and a couple are beaded. The beading is slow going but really adds a nice finishing detail.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mountain Laurel

After a long winter finally something is in bloom

Pink Satin

These pink sequins were calling to me and I found myself beading with them even though I had nothing for a focal piece. A few crystals add some sparkle. We are headed out tomorrow morning and I haven't packed a single bead ---- this week will be small knitted projects ---- I've several colors of Brown Sheep worsted weight that I will use for knitted/felted coasters. Of course, after the felting, a few beads will have to be added.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trick Toaster

Yesterday Bob was toasting a piece of bread in the right hand slot of the toaster. When the bread was done, the toaster popped the bread into the air and when the piece came down it landed in the left hand slot of the toaster.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The left hand mitten is finished, but for the thumb which I think I will knit after I have completed the right hand. These mittens are being knitted on size 0 needles with fingering weight yarn. The pattern is from a book of Norwegian patterns, written in Norsk. Fortunately the charts are very good.

Friday, April 11, 2008

2008 BJP

With the Bead Journal Project continuing on for another year (starting 9/08), it is high time to get this blog of mine up and running. Once I figure out how to post a pictures, etc., I will do so. Okay, just uploaded an image of my most recent knitting project --- a Selbu designed mitten.