Hello dear Reader. We hosted Easter this year and had 21 for the occasion! On Saturday I started baking. This was what the kitchen looked like after I baked this:
Marc and I got so much done on Easter eve! Power washing lawn furniture, washing windows, weed whacking, taking winter coats and boots out of the closet and setting up tables and chairs.
Bubbe meets the 13 lb ham. He's not impressed.
The star of Easter was the beautiful and warm weather!
We ate outside, well my family did, as there wasn't any seating left indoors. The kids played whiffle ball. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos.
Moments from slicing: the traditional lamb cake made by Kirsten and decorated by her girls. In the rear Mom's Apricot and marzipan torte. She also made her divine Lemon chiffon cheese cake, which always gets rave reviews. Bobby brought an apple pie. I made the chocolate babka and the chick cake. I used the chocolate cake recipe from the Hershey's cocoa tin.
Today was the first class for Pet Portraiture. I'm teaching a 4 week session at the Handicraft club. One student came to class today. I don't know if Good Friday threw off the other students, but I was grateful that one came. She is doing a portrait of her dachshund Wallie. For my demo I was working on Shari's dynamic duo: Huckle and Hobbes. I've never taught in this wing of the club before. It is a wonderful studio, filled with light and plenty of work areas.
After class, I had to hustle over to Bristol for a Daffodil tea at Blithewold. Gail had made the reservations and it was fun to see the gardens. Our last tea, was in December. The house was so beautifully decorated then. This time Gail had her sister, Edna had her sister and Jeanne was my fill in sister! The weather couldn't of been more perfect. It felt marvelous to be outside in this setting.
My photos don't due justice to the grounds and hothouses. I think it was a case of just enjoying the moment and not looking at it through the camera lens. You can see more of it here.
Hello dear Reader. Today was my first class that I hosted in my home. Lately I've had difficulty with classes not running due to low enrollment. So by hosting in my home, I could determine the class size. Happily we were a nice group of 4. It was super handy to pop upstairs to get something to show, or find a book to reference. I hope that I can make these home based sessions happen again in the future.
Here is Annie moments before unfolding her fraktur cutting.
We didn't have lunch, but had a slice of this to keep up our strength. It's Kirsten's Almond flour torte. So good!
Today was the start of a new season of soccer referee-ing for Andrew. On the right, is him on his first season, 2 years ago. He had a shift at Sweenor's after his game and is pretty pooped.
I was inspired to make an Easter card after receiving one from Doreen (thank you Do!) this week. Here's my sketch on the left and the snitte in progress on the right.
Here's the finished cutting. I brought it to the copy shop, to reproduce it, so that I can...
add color with watercolors. I'm pretty happy with the finish. I'll show it later, so that they can be a surprise to those getting one via snail mail.
Hello dear Reader. Today I was in Wethersfield, CT. I had the pleasure of doing a talk and workshop for the Charter Oak Chapter guild of craftswomen. They were all so enthusiastic and I felt so welcome. Here they are posing with the first cutting of the day. We all enjoyed a pot-luck lunch and got back to work.
They meet in the basement of this charming Chapel.
Sandra, the Chairman, brought some of her rabbit themed craftwork. She explained that the image of this leaping rabbit is based the earliest image of a rabbit with a basket of eggs.
This was a group who had a great skill set, having done cutting before. A handful of these ladies preferred to cut on glass, instead of the self-healing cutting matt.
Above are some eggs that were made for a previous event, as table favors. LOVED them! The dish that they are displayed in, is a terra-cotta pot saucer. How clever is that?
Everyone is focused.
They were so sweet to send these tulips home with me. Just what my mantel needed. Thank you for a wonderful time, Charter Oak Chapter crafters!
Hello dear Reader. Hard to believe that I was dining with my folks, this time last week. I stayed with them after flying in from Atlanta. So what's been life like after Folkschool? Take a peek and see:
Clearly the folks of Brasstown have a good sense of humor! Kirsten and I stopped at Clay's corner for 'Possum drop t-shirts, on our way to the airport. Yes, they drop, slowly and safely in a crate, an Opossum on New Year's eve. Peta isn't fond of this Time's Square alternative.
Did you want a closer look, of course you did:
Inside we chatted with Clay and some of his buddies. Somehow, the fellas guessed that we were not locals.
There was a gallery across the street as well. Super nice owner and place.
Hope to see you soon again, JCC Folk School.
The week was a blur, catching up on everything that went on while I was away. In fact, I was only able to bake on Wednesday! Kirsten gave me a great recipe for an almond flour cake, so good.
I was trying to represent spring, since the weather was wintery. It helped to be at work this week and share my experiences with the folks at the library. Btw, the horse shoe is a gift from Kathy. She generously let Doreen and I have our pick of her MIL's pin collection. Today I wore this beauty:
After I caught up on grocery shopping, vacuuming and laundry, I had time today to decorate for Easter. We are hosting and I still had a Valentine themed mantle. I somehow forgot how much Easter decor I have. It was fun changing things around. I was actually ironing some of the vintage linens I've thrifted over the years. It'd be a shame not to enjoy all the pretty stuff I've collected.
Ready to lend a paw, knock something over or shed. Just pay him in kibble. Below he is trouble shooting my scanner.
My circulation partner at the library has chickens. They lay such pretty eggs.
See the two papier-mâché heads above? I bought them at a local consignment shop yesterday, before seeing how much Easter decor I have in the basement. Good thing they were only $2 a piece.
Trying for a creamy themed mantel.
10 rabbits just in and on this shelf. I have a weakness for white rabbits. On instagram, I was doing a
hashtag for i love white bunnies, and i love white boys, followed close behind, i love white bitches came up. Oh my.
Sophia brought these candle holders for me from Denmark this summer. I was so happy that they fit on these Ikea candlesticks.
I did cut two small pieces this week. One for a get well/heal fast card. The other is a commission for Kirsten. She is gifting it to a classmate who had a turkey vulture problem.
It took hanging a dead one from a tree to get the 79 vultures to leave her home. UGH! I'll leave you with the Almond flour cake recipe. I had to bake it longer than TJ said to, btw. Enjoy.
Hello dear Reader. I'm going to do my best to wrap this up. I want to get my memories down before they fade further. So, let's see...
On Wednesday night, Peg Piltingsgrud did a demo of Norwegian Rosemaling. It was very interesting. As she covered the history of this folk painting, she effortlessly painted this platter. There's a mirror above her worktable, like they use on cooking shows.
In her talk she taught us the history of the Bunad, the national costume of Norway. When her daughter married, she wore one, along with Peg instead of a western wedding gown.
These are some students' projects under way.
Here is Judith Saunders, she was teaching Scandinavian baskets. She had the brilliant idea to weave paper that she hand painted. This helped to keep the materials fee down. The papers she painted were just gorgeous, one side a pattern, the other a solid of another color. They cut the long strips in a paper shredder, genius! In addition to the painted papers, copper was also woven into the baskets.
Aren't they lovely?
Here are Judith's examples.
Luz, one of the basketry students gave us such a good tour of the studio.
It would be wonderful to visit the school for their fall festival. A weekend of dancing, music, demos and artisans selling their crafts. In the Community room some of the commemorative quilts lined the walls.
Tammy's finish, now with the World added.
Jaime making great strides with her piece that celebrates hers and her husband's hobbies.
Terry working on her Noah's ark.
Frances is cutting a tree for her X-mas card.
Tammy is off and running with a new project, that celebrates her family.
Ann, unveils a spring themed pattern of mine.
Terry, my task master. Together we gave birth to her Noah's ark!
Here I was pretty-ing up our 'library'. This evening I was giving a talk/demo about paper cutting.
Earlier in the day I was able to get the big Odense piece hung. I was so happy this happened and it did thanks to Kim, Tammy and Alan!
I had a wonderful group attend and was later teased about talking with my hands! I'm wearing an apron I cut from tyvek, the material I used in the big cutting.
The black porfolios did a great job keeping my framed pieces safe on their journey. Thanks to Delta too, for having an overside carry-on policy!
The cleanest my workspace looked all week! I was constantly looking for tools I had left on other students' tables. If I can teach at another Scandinavian week, I will bring and wear a tool belt!
Frances' tree, so lovely!
Here is Ron, who took Woodturning with Charles Farrar. We were captivated by Charles' demo. I was jumpy near the machinery which is fast and noisy. Kirsten and I were so amazed by the gorgeous turned bowls created! I love that the edge or border of each bowl, has the bark intact so you can understand how and what it was made from. All the students utilize the grain of the wood.
Walt is married to Jaime, one of my 'snitter sisters! During the last day of our week, he unfortunately had an accident turning a bowl. A tool hit him in the jaw and he fractured it. Walt did not need surgery, thank goodness. We all wish him a quick recovery.
More beautiful work, made by Lloyd.
An example by the master woodturner, Charles Farrar.
Tammy's work station.
Jaime's masterpiece! It was so interesting to follow her project along with my other students, thought and design process. From thumbnail drawing to ready to frame finish!
A group shot out-take, here I'm demoing what I hoped our hands wouldn't look like by the end of the week. Happily this wasn't our fate!
Terry finishes in time for the exhibit! Bravo, it is WONDERFUL!
Getting set up.
It was remarkable to see so much accomplished in such a short time! If I wasn't teaching for the week I wonder what I'd choose to study for the week. I can narrow it down to 3 choices!
Some of Kirsten's work. I commissioned the bunny motif and am the proud owner of these beauties!
This is what my sis brought home! Incredible right? In the front is a fish platter made by her teacher Chris Jones and in the rear is a deep urn/bowl made by Mike Lalone.
Here she is with her class and Mike.
Here is Chris Jones doing a demo. Both he and Dan are trying out split aprons, that I believe Dan's Mom designed.
The Fiddle students along with their teacher Mara Shea perform at the exhibit.
Some examples of the fine Viking-style iron work made by Jeremiah.
Here is what the Spinning and Needlework class produced. My photos don't do justice to the detailed stitching created. Plus the students created and spun their own tread! The instructor Judith MacKenzie made the point that if we enjoy light, heat and one other major life comfort (that I can't recall) we have to thank the invention of thread. Just try starting a fire without rope. Our light bulbs need that filament.
This is what was made during Telemarksteppe weaving with Laura Demuth. She said it was her first time teaching at the JCCFS and she was so grateful for her hardworking students. They had to spend the first 2 days of the week threading their looms. It was well worth it, as these are just gorgeous!
This is Little house, where Kirsten and I stayed. Ours is the open door.
Our room had 3 twin beds.
Our menu for the day. To the right you can see what is being used from the garden in green.
This is lunch, broccoli soup, homemade rolls and the fixings for sandwiches along with salad from the garden. Yum!
Dancing off those rolls.
Hello dear Reader. Oh, I'm still on such a high. My week at the John C. Campbell Folk School was amazing!!! I really can't even put it into words and never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would have such an impact. First off, the people who attend, work and teach there are some of the most kind and interesting folks. Not one bad apple in the barrel. I felt like we all spoke the same 'language' and I didn't have to explain why or what I create. Their motto is 'We still Make Things' and celebrate the making! The setting, over 200 acres, the food, the activities, everything was fantastic! I was so happy that I could share this experience with Kirsten. It was wonderful to discuss our days together before bed and remark on all the magic going on around us. I can't wait to go back! Kirsten feels the same too!
Before breakfast, we attended Morning song and each day featured a musician who talked about their music or the school.
In my Paper cutting studio, ideas are being formulated. I had a phenomenal group of such talented 'snitters who became sisters!
Our first project was a design of mine. The finish was two rabbits hopping over a cabbage.
Ta-daah, here's Tammy's finish.
Everyone working hard. This space had once been the school's dining hall. In April the school will cut the ribbon on the brand new Paper Arts studio! We took a look at it and it's amazing.
Frances working on a monogram. She initially wasn't happy with her cutting. At home her medium is blown eggs, which she carves and turns into a lace-like shell, it's incredible. Together we figured out that she was holding the paper cutting knife at the wrong angle and pressing too hard. She is a former teacher herself, and wisely had me cut at her station and watch how I held the knife. This helped and she went on to cut with ease.
Here is an original design of Jaime's. We had two bee-keepers in the class. She designed this illustration to use for notecards. We were all amazed with her concept and execution of her idea.
On Monday afternoon, Kirsten and I went on a tour of the campus. Here is the garden. On the menu board, the staff wrote what items came from here and were in the daily line-up.
The school is in the process of preserving this historic cabin.
The campus is over 200 acres.
Can you see the blacksmith on top of the weather vane? All over the school you see examples of the blacksmiths' work in railings, hooks, light fixtures and chandeliers.
Here is the threshold to the Blacksmith Studio. Can you find the 2 anvils and the hammer?
Some examples of iron work.
As an instructor, we could have a sample of our craft displayed in this case. You can see it was Scandinavian week!
Frances is moments away from opening her cutting. An event we all celebrated. The first time we oohed and aaahed some of the office staff from upstairs came running down to see what was happening!
This was a personal and autobiographical piece. A true labor of Love.
Kirsten and Mike. Two very happy campers. It's tremendous what got finished in days! Kirsten hadn't thrown pottery since 1991. I think the week ignited her passion for the craft again.
During the week, after class we could tour studios and watch demos. Here is Kay Patterson demo-ing Enameling.
This is one student's work and it's only Wednesday!
Some of the many studios on campus.
One of Kirsten's bowls.
One of Mike Lalone's beautiful pieces. He is the resident clay artist.
In the jewelry studio I learned and fell in love with the term: 'tool whore'. Here is the creator of that catch phrase.
One panel of a 'story band' that will be used for a watch. Can you see how tiny the children playing in the surf are? Amazing.
Woodcarving was taught by Harley Refsal. I saw him featured on PBS's Craft in America, and that's how learned of the school. He is also a part of Vesterheim, the National Norwegian American Museum and Heritage School.
His class is hugely popular!
The School's motto!
Here's the front door to our 'home'. Kirsten and I shared a room with a private bath at the 'Little House'.
On our walk to the dining hall and our studios. I'll stop this post here. Dear Reader, get up use the bathroom and stretch your legs. Tune in for part 2 of our Sister/Crafting/Week/Folk-a-palooza!
Hello dear Reader. Well, I'm two sleeps away from leaving for NC. Are the suitcases packed,
no. Am I doing laundry, no. Instead I'm gazing at my wrist. Why, well this came in today's mail:
I'm so happy with it. I used a custom printing service and the design is one of my fraktur cuttings. I was inspired by this watch, but not it's price tag. My watch cost $46 including shipping. Best of all it's my own work! Well, I'd better get back to getting ready. No more stalling.
Hello dear Reader. Here we are hours away from a potential blizzard. It was hopping at the library. Folks were coming in for books and dvd-s for storm entertainment. Fi braved the supermarket for me. She said it was slim pickings at Aldi. I baked a cake after work. One that I almost made on Sunday. I had a bout of butterflies when I realized that I would be in NC a week from yesterday. What to do, but cream butter. Well, I held off, until today. I had made cinnamon rolls in the a.m. and Andrew had baked blondies on Saturday. Tonight's cake is from the NY Times and it's a mocha walnut number. Delish! It came out super light too. In other news, I had a lovely time lunching with my magazine girls, Do and Kathy. We tried Tallulah's Taqueria and after got some of last donuts of the day from PVdonuts . These doughnuts are so popular people stand in line, in single digit weather for them. The pickings were slim when we went, but happily we didn't freeze our buns off for them. They weren't as good as Doughnut Plant, and but I wanted to try them. Anyhoo, Kathy generously shared a bag of her MIL's costume jewelry! We also digested lunch shopping at Saver's. We all came away with good finds. I was sporting my new-to-me Sundance cardigan today!
Hello dear Reader. I have a cake in the oven, what else is new? In other news, I was interviewed on the John C. Campbell Folk School blog! In less than 2 weeks, I'll be teaching paper cutting during their Scandinavian week. My darling sis is joining me and will be doing a week of ceramics. I've been getting things ready for the trip and am curious to see how it all goes. This is something outside of my introvert/homebody zone! These two quotes where my inspiration for pushing my comfort zone:
Today I made a little cutting for a friend's birthday. She's almost a St. Paddy's baby and has Irish roots. We meet for coffee, for her and tea for me. So here we are as lucky ladybugs, toasting our friendship.