I'd like you to meet my friends here...they really ARE the voices in my head!







Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring In My Heart



Spring is on it's way.

I have to remind myself on days like today, when skies dabble in color between milky white and dark grey.

It's too cold to keep the window open... I tried for a bit.

A South Wind blows and it is cold and damp. 
The showers will green everything up quickly, so it's not so terrible.

My heart, however is light and sunny today.
I've finished the set up of a new book keeping program and I now have order where there was once a box of tortured receipts and papers.
It wasn't so quick this year, to get everything set up, but it will be so easy from here on out.
It's already keeping next year's information all neat and tidy.
What can I say... I'm an Artist, NOT a bookkeeper. 



I can hear the baby Starlings in their nest, next door to me.
 Another black bird to inspire me. 

Art truly is a reflection of your heart and I'm happy to settle in to my goode creating for the year.


Spring is in my heart.

Friday, March 28, 2014

As Winter Gives Way To Spring



It's time for my hibernation to end. 
The snow has melted and nearly gone. 
The lawn needs raking to lift the matted leaves and I'm sure I will see purple Crocus in one of the flower beds. 

The birds sing louder now from the Hedgerow.
 A sweet couple is building a nest in the crook of our bedroom window.... just inside where we can't see them. Soon, I will hear baby chirps as I awake each morning. 


It has been a very long Winter for most of us, but for me, it was I time to close a chapter in my life.

The home that I grew up in as a teen, 
 made so much art work in, and started my Primitive Journey in. The home that I raised my girls and took care of my parents.....
 this home so full of memories, 
is now the home of another.

 It was a bittersweet process, but in true small town fashion, it went to the couple that it was supposed to. There are two little ones that bring laughter and magic back and it is once again a home. I have known the couple since they were very young and before they started their schooling. 


 I have enjoyed my hibernation. It is a time for me to recharge... to work and plan.
A wonderful time to spend with family and simply sleep in if I want to.

I'm ready though...


to open the windows,
 have coffee in the back yard
Smell the wet earth after a rain storm. 

I'm ready to get back to this wee business of mine, bringing friends to life.


I've enjoyed so many messages and emails, asking me to keep doing those Mousels and Natty Rats...

I have had a little fun with Mrs Munson...


And her partner in crime (and tea), 
Mrs. Dibble.

I have a goode Spring planned, and even a local show....
so  while you may not have seen much of me here,
I have been the Maker and Thread Pusher (as a dear colleague refers to what we do).

I've been the Pencil Pusher...
The Brush Mistress, and even tried my hand as a Paper Snipper.

It's never too quiet, no matter the season. After months of snow and cold....I am very ready for winter to give way to Spring.





Monday, February 24, 2014

The Simple Quiet


Although the weather isn't always the nicest...
this is a nice time of year for me.
If a stubborn cold wants to linger, I'm not under too many deadlines.

If the snow piles high, I am home with the wood stove and hot chocolate.
If I need to meet a deadline, the crock pot or the pressure cooker gives me the time I seek and a good hot meal (or two) for us.

It's not so crazy, busy and I can rest up a little.


It is the time of year for me to pick up my pen and draw new note cards.

This year I have the Wee Shoppe to think about too, so the pencil has been getting a workout with new designs.


There is plenty to keep busy, but I feel like I can catch my breath...
center myself...
try to pick up where I left off when it got so busy, last year.
Find those projects,
Set sail those goals that I did not get to work on.

I feel like I can think clearer.
Balance life.
Enjoy the simple quiet.









Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Yankee Snow


Today we have been given snow.
It seems to be a good old fashioned, Yankee Winter. A school friend and I were talking today and reminiscing....circa, winter 1977.
Sleds and toboggans, sunrise to sunset.
Hot chocolate with milk taken right from the barn vat,
Mountains dressed in white.

Today's snow is a pretty one, each flake taking it's time....not in a hurry, like the last snowfall....

And so, my afternoon has taken suit. A candle glow day, that brings a warm, yellow light as the sun begins to fade.

Michael Lucarelli plays classical guitar for me, adding a coziness and a familiarity to days gone by.

The "big sauce" simmers and wraps the house in Sunday afternoons at my Grandmother's. 

                        Tiny stitches made with love are bringing Wee Miss Belle to life.
She is a little different for me and I am enjoying each step of the way.

I love days such as this.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Reflection of My Heart



It's snowing again... or perhaps the better word is, "still".
I won't complain, it is so very pretty out and it's not bitter cold, either.
I love the smell of a fire in the wood stove. 
Ours is in the basement, it keeps the floors warm and all of us cozy.


I started sculpting my fine ladye horse last week.
She is my heart.....
I have loved horses for as long as I can remember.

 A freckle faced kid, chasing my father around and  for one. 

I never had one of my own, but I did spend my teen years beside them....
riding, enjoying and always sketching.

Enjoying the smells of a stable and all of that leather.
heavenly.....


It was just a matter of time before horses would creep into my sculpting.

I wasn't sure I was ready, but with a deep breath I dug into the clay, determined.

I can't tell you how surprised I am at how she came out.....every step of the way. 
I am awestruck at my own ability.
It was magic, I am sure of it.

I know, the man that was always my greatest champion in life and artwork is up above and always watching. 
Always critiquing and pushing me to do better; learn more.
(I'm still learning with these Queen Anne inspired.)

Before he went home, he asked that I show the world all that I do, not just the Primitive dolls.
 I can't help but think that he had a hand in this...
a little magic, he would say.

Mariah is available on Early Work Mercantile.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life Wrapped In Love


There is a quiet on my Facebook posts and on here...but don't be fooled. 
It's busy at the Wee Cottage.

There are taxes to work on....
Appointments to go to...
Special family time.
The wood stove has worked harder this year; no surprise, right?

Tim and I have danced with  colds here and there...and I have been doing battle with a virus. They can be tough bugs sometimes, but I am winning.
Spice Chai has been a goode friend lately.

In it all I have been working on designs and sculpting as I can. There are patterns that will need samples and my new line is coming along.


A couple weeks ago, there was a commercial for Valentine's Day, showing a beautiful necklace as a gift from a gentleman to his beloved....

I looked at Tim and said....
"I am just NOT that kinda girl. I would be happiest with a brick of clay...."
He laughed...after nine years together, he knows how true this is.

This afternoon he asked what I would like for Valentines Day....I replied that I couldn't think of a thing besides him, to which he smartly replied,  "and a brick of clay too?"

I kinda love that guy....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Cold Wind Doth Blow


It's certainly a Winter for the books. Yesterday, we awoke to a snowy, blowy morning.


Out in the front yard, there was not a Sparrow or Chickadee to be seen in the Pine Shrub... the Hedge Row is only a stop for the nicer days...
of which we have had so few this year.

A few hours after this picture, the skies cleared to a chilly blue and the temperatures dropped, even farther.





In the midst of fighting colds, celebrating Birthdays, and being on standby as a loved one needed to go to the hospital, we were able to make a quick trip to our favorite Village; Sharon Springs.  I had to pick up a few things at the shop, take a few notes and make plans for an April re-opening.  The evening before had left a light covering of snow...

it's so beautiful there and reminds me of home.


Our Wee shop shares the same building as McGillycutty's Naturals
Our favorite place for goat milk soaps!

Above is one that Deb, personally picked for us, because it looked like Tim. The spots you see are bits of chopped mint.

killer.....

Do click on the link, and try some!



It has been frosty...
snowy,
blowy
and down right cold.

I have been busy with family and paperwork...with a bit of creating. My pencil has been at work, taking notes and sketching as always.
We are cozy, here in the Wee Cottage and I make sure that my day includes some time for stitching.

Soon....very soon, I will hold a webshow.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Snowflakes, Surprises and The Wee Shoppe






It's a snowy afternoon in Northern New York. It has been softly falling since morning. Our days at the Wee Cottage are switched around a bit as the Mister is working second shift. It has taken a bit of getting used to, as we were better at being early risers. 


This weekend, the inside of the Wee Cottage was filled with giggles and laughter as my two daughters and a boyfriend made the journey down from farther North. They are older now, balancing work and school; so to get them all together for a couple of days is magical.....


The reason for this? The Mister turned 60! His daughter Kelly and husband Kenny, orchestrated a surprise party for him. He was led to believe that the party was actually for his daughter instead. 


As families blend, they have the ability to grow in a special way. The Walsh family welcomed us with opened arms nearly 9 years ago. As a Mom, the choice to separate and end a marriage is difficult...I made a promise to my daughters before then, that life would get better and our family would get bigger. This weekend, my heart smiled at how beautifully it has  come to pass. The goode memories continue to be made and it is nice to see how much this family has grown in size, just in the 9 years that we have been a part of them.


The weekend was also one for big decisions on the Wee Shoppe that I share in Sharon Springs.......


It is with a thankful heart that I share with you that the Shoppe will continue. We will close at the end of the month and reopen in April, when the weather is nicer and the tourists visit the Springs. I feel so very blessed at the many goode things that this year holds for me. I am taking a leap in Faith and I know that no matter the journey this year, it is not made alone, but with many friends and family to cheer and lift me. Our success comes from many beside us. 2014 has only just begun.....



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter's Voice



We've gone from bitter cold to warm Spring teases these past two weeks in Northern New York. Most of the snow has melted and a rain shower is due this evening. Even my heart does flip flops on what Wee Folk to start. I settled in with two offerings on Early Work Mercantile. If you haven't stopped by this selling site, it is a feast for those who love Early American inspired work. 


For me, it is the perfect site to let my heart play with my sculpts and extreme Prims.......and that I did.


For those of you that stopped by earlier in the day, Annella looks a bit different. Ever the Artist I am, and as I put her finishing touches on last night ... I realized that she didn't reflect who she truly was. When the sun rose, I ran upstairs  knowing that I just couldn't let her stay like that. A little time and tiny stitches and she is now where she should be. Who says you can't go back?


Gabby was the result of some gesture drawings. Those classroom drills keep me in sketches and characters. I love her folky look and true extreme form. 


It has been nice to enjoy a little slower pace...tea in the afternoons and Sunday evenings devoted to Downton Abby, without balancing work along with it. As January discovers it's Winter voice, I am discovering mine. 






Sunday, January 5, 2014

Punch Love



I've had a love-hate relationship with Punch Needle for quite a few years now. I first saw it, up close and in person in 2000 when I was in Sturbridge for the Golden Glow of Christmas Convention.  I visited the Colonial Crafts shop and fell in love with it. The ladies were so friendly and informative... I walked out of the shop on a sunny afternoon with a Cameo punch, hoop and floss for punch needle.  Forward a few days later and.....



Not a pretty sight. Trust me, it is all knotted and yucky. And this was after pulling it out and trying it a couple times, and even over a couple weeks. No matter how hard that I tried, I couldn't get the hang of it.....and I despised the hoop. Mind you, I had been a cross stitcher for many years, but for this, the hoop was not my friend. Fast forward to 2007 and Valley Forge. I had the opportunity to meet Mary Jo Wylie of Wylie Primitive designs. She was needle punching at the show we were doing and took the time for a hands on lesson. Her work was beautiful and so detailed...like tiny rugs, hooked for a dollhouse. I was smitten again and with her help, I purchased the frame stretcher and a Igolochkoy Russian Punch Needle for 3 strand punching....



All righty!  See how tiny the Punch Needle is compared to the Cameo? Now, you need to remember that you use 3 strands of floss, verses 6 strands with the Cameo....and that it truly makes for a beautiful project.  I drew out my own design and well...it still looked wonky after several attempts. I packed it all away as life kept me busy as a caregiver more frequently.

The following year at Valley Forge, I was pleased to meet Lori Brechlin. I had been a long time fan of Notforgotten Farm since my Primitive Journey began. (One check off my Bucket List of people that I would like to meet). Lori and I talked about many things that day and I felt empowered and inspired. I carried her advice and hints with me. I couldn't pick up the Punch Needle just yet, but when the time was right, I would be ready.






Last Spring, I had blogged about coming across this Tintype treasure in my Punch Needle box. I thought she had been lost, but I couldn't figure out why she would be where she was... except perhaps to nudge me and let me know that it was time. I chatted with friends about adding Punch Needle patterns and Chalk Ware to my offerings....and I started the Chalkware and played with designs until the many blessings of last year took me on their own journey.




Finally, my work settled a bit as it often does right after the Holidays. I ordered a couple patterns and gathered everything..... determined now to learn this.



It was wonky still, as all of our beginnings are in anything that we do. I practiced a bit, took  the advice of other Punch friends and decided to just stick with it...wonky or not. It worked! As I worked on it and filled in areas, it wasn't quite so wonky. It seems that I just needed to relax and trust the process....oh, and be comfortable in my beginnings.




None of us make such a journey alone. There is someone along the way that will give you advice, point a direction or just encourage you. You will make it your own, simply by putting your heart into it. I am thankful for everyone that has taken the time and encouraged me every step of the way with this....from the afternoon in a little Sturbridge shop to the encouragement of friends to keep it up. I will continue to learn this medium and I know that I will enjoy the designs of others as well as challenge myself with my own. It's who I am in all that I do.


I hope that this serves to encourage those who teach, design or create to inspire and empower others with what they do. There is plenty of room for everyone. I have not started this medium with my work looking perfect and pretty. I'm not afraid to share that. If I inspire others to do Punch Needle (as well as other mediums that I love), I am thrilled. If it brings a new designer, a way to make money or a way to relax, wonderful! That is truly what being a creative woman is all about. Empower and inspire each other.

*If you would like to see more of Lori's work and life, pleas stop by her beautiful blog. You can find links to all of her designs and supplies.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ready for 2014


This past year has been full of blessings for me. That's not to say, that it didn't have it's rough patches. I truly believe it was a change in a more inviting lifestyle: embracing the goode and positive energy. We had times that weren't so goode, like everyone else, but we kept faith and did the best we could for a positive outcome. I started naming my Simple Joys at the end of my day on Face Book. I was amazed and touched at just how many of my friends messaged me or commented, even doing their own. Who would have thought? Oh, there was one "Negative Nellie" but as my Dad would say, not everyone is a gem. Hopefully, kindness will prevail and they will learn the power of positive.

The year before had been more of a rough patch. I truly had to let go of toxic people and walk away. I did so very quietly, without drawing attention to anyone or attracting drama. You see, I forgave all of them and especially one....again. The behaviors had not changed, but I was wiser. I learned that sometimes it is just best to let them go ~ show everyone exactly who they were. This person was a lesson for me both times I allowed her into my life.  A goode friend pointed out that you never have to tell the world all that you want the world to think that you are, you just have to live your life the best that you know how...and in the end what matters is those lives that you have touched and made better. 

Even when someone tries to tear you down, have faith that you know exactly who you are. People see. In today's world, emails intended to be private go forward and reaffirm exactly who they are. They are a reflection of their own negativity and unhappiness. They give me too much of their energy instead of living their lives. Not everyone is going to like you, it's their business not yours, but when they try to tear you down because of their own shortcomings...forgive them and trust that the right people know the truth.

I walked away and instead I am learning to become aware and to be grateful to all Universe gives me. I took on the lifestyle and learned that you surround yourself with those that live their life in the same gratitude and positive energy.....you let the toxic go. If they haven't learned by your example, they are probably comfortable in the world that they have made for themselves. I found that it was much easier to forgive the second time around. Lessons learned. I am confident in who I am and what I do. I'm busy living  and being thankful for all that has come my way. Yes, I forgive and hope that they receive kindness. They need it the most.



The blessings received, just keep coming. I am having a great time exploring different designs and techniques. Confident that my style will only grow clearer and clearer. I am trying and exploring techniques that are newer to my sewing skills. I am certainly blessed to have the ability to do what I love from my home. I am grateful for this blessing, especially on those snowy days such as this, to not have to travel.


Sometimes when you go through your archive of designs, you see the little something that wasn't there before. I fully believe after years of doing the mice, that if you keep the vision in your head of what you want, you will get there when the time is right. As self taught in sewing and patterning, I had to put my time in and be patient in my growth. 2013 blossomed for me in grasping just how to execute the Mousels among other things...



Oh how well it worked....I am where I had envisioned a rat should be all those  years ago when I first did Nat the Rat.



....the confidence and growth within seemed to explode and as an Artist, I can't tell you how goode that feels. 


I even started the chalkware line! I've wanted to do chalkware since the early 90's. There wasn't much information out there then. I did sculpt for someone that did, and they took time to show me the process and encourage me to continue.....but life was busy with family matters then.

Now, my children are grown and trying out their wings. We spent some time together for the holidays........




Meeting Jessie's rescue, Sammy for the first time (he looks so much like our Molly!). Jess is on break from college, but busy as ever with her critters, work and her special guy.

Bailey seems to be coming along and I am proud of her as she tries to make her own way, She has come so far since her Asperger's diagnosis. Last month she was able to do something that we were told may never happen....getting her driver's license. 


In this picture, I had asked the girls to make a goofy face for the camera. "I don't know how" was Bailey's reply. Things that you and I take for granted, she is still learning. With Jessie's help, she got in to it!



They've got it now.....

There are changes ahead for The Goode Wife in 2014. I'm not sure if we will keep our little shop that we have been given the opportunity to try out. If it is meant to be, it will be....

While we work on that decision, I am mapping and planning some of the things ahead. There are opportunities that continue to come in.  I am working on some of the things that I didn't get to last year. We are truly blessed here at the Wee Cottage and ready to take on this brand-spanking New Year .