Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I love trees, I love sweaters--I love trees with sweaters!

I know that knitting to dress a tree is not what my Daytimer is telling me to do. I also know that all of my knitting friends would laugh if they heard about my plan. But ever since I heard about folks knitting for trees, I've thought, "How can I participate?" It seems like this would be a wonderful project for using up partial skeins of yarn in bright colors...May I count you in?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lemon Cake Birds

Lemon yellow along with some buttery yellow wool roving were used to create these delicious birds on a pillow top. This photo shows my progress about half-way into a great afternoon spent needle felting. I was hopeful I'd be able to show you the wonderful yellow bird images I found on
But no luck! Here's my story: I loaded this bird-lover's resource as a toolbar element to my Internet Explorer this past Monday. It is now Wednesday, and my computer hasn't worked right since then. My friend Kathy, who shall remain blameless, showed me a super application for IBird on her fancy IPhone device. This WhatBird website looks like the same thing, so I was really happy to have it available to me on my computer (as my cell phone is stone age compared to Kathy's phone). I've always taught my kids, "You need a Plan B!"

Well, let's say, I am happy to show you the yellow birds I created the old fashioned way instead ;)
Hope you enjoy them!

I have one bit of bird lover trivia I'd like to share with you before I go back to my studio. I love watching the Robins in my yard looking for worms. Have you ever seen it--the head tilt thing--where the Robin cocks his head and points one beady eye toward the ground, looking for worms? I think birds look soo funny when they do this. I find it really charming. Well, I read one expert at Animal Science say that birds do not look for worms at all when they do this! In the art of How the Bird Gets the Worm, it seems as though Robins are actually listening for the worms. Yes, they would not survive, I am told, if a visual of the worm was required. Their senses are much sharper than that, and their chances of catching their food is much greater due to their acute hearing.
I think that this is interesting, and the next time I see a Robin, or a Lemon Cake Bird, tilt his or her head, I'll be sure to be quiet so that they can find their lunch...and I think I will go tilt my head next to the fridge and hear what sounds good for lunch!
Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blue Sky Tree Pillow, now showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, Colorado

I am excited to tell you that my Nestle and Soar Studio pillow collection is now available at the museum's gallery shop in Boulder! Located at 1750 13th Street, this popular museum invited me to show and sell my folk art. I will be conducting needle felting demonstrations at the museum as well as teaching folk art classes there this Fall! I will be regularly adding to the collection of limited-edition pillows at this gallery. I was excited to discover that next door to the museum is the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House, which is like a bejeweled and enchanted refreshment. The architecture and embellishment of this building is art. I recommend it for an after-museum meal!

Here is a peak of what the tea house looks like on the inside!
You can learn more about the museum at
Thanks for visiting and sharing in my excitement!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What I love...

Amish art and lifestyle were introduced to me in 1972. I travelled with my mom, Bonnie Leman, to a quilt show in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. She was there to judge a quilt show as Founder and Editor of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. I was there to get into trouble.

There was lots of down time for me at this event. I was able to wander around and visit with the local artisans who were preparing to sell their wares. I remember vividly the ladies cooking sour kraut. They were Amish and wore the traditional Amish clothing. They watched me carefully as I spied on them and smelled the large vats of cooking kraut. I was hoping for a free taste, so I tried to be very friendly and stay out of the way. Finally, after no free taste was offered, I worked up my nerve to ask when I could come back with some money to eat what was smelling sooo good. I was gently told I should come back in a few months, when the kraut they were canning would be available. Darn!

I have the wonderful memory of crawling underneath a quilting frame in the large white barn at that Quilt Show in Pennsylvania. There must have been eight women sitting around this large quilt frame, engaged in friendly conversation as they hand stitched a large quilt. I can see hands of all ages on the underside of that quilt, with thimbles on their fingertips, to gently push the needle back up, again and again, as they took tiny quilting stitches. A few other kids were under that quilt, giggling and watching, wondering how it all worked. I love these memories...

The wonderful folks at were kind enough to include my Amish inspired folk art pillow in their etsy treasury "Simple Living". I've placed a link to that treasury below so that you can take a peek. The images in today's blog are images from that treasury. Thank you peapodcrafts for nudging me down memory lane!

Studio Wednesday - What's on my worktable?

Welcome to Studio Wednesday. I'm excited to get your opinions on my new felting project, which started out to be a triptych. The idea was to show a long tree branch with three distinct scenes taking place and then frame them into a 3-part frame: love birds kissing, baby birds being fed, and a bird soaring into the air, away from the branch.

I made the mistake of not making the frame for this project first and then designing the work to fit the frame! Rookie mistake! Now I have the emotions and colors of each scene in place, but it really doesn't fit any frames I can find.

So, what do you think I should do? I don't really have enough fabric to stretch this piece on top of a foam core. I don't want to cut it into thirds, either. I'm stumped. It is exciting to be designing needle-felted folk art for the wall. I've been doing pillows for so long, this is a new challenge. I can feel my brain cells perking up!

Please give me your ideas...I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
Thanks for visiting,

P.S. When I look at this design, the thought that keeps coming to mind is, "Inbetween Nestle and Soar is Nourishment." Deep thoughts by Jack Handy ;)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trees on Tuesday

Trees are beautiful and I spend much of my professional time as a folk artist, as well as some of my free time, thinking about trees. As of today, I plan to spend time with each of you on Tuesdays sharing lovely images and ideas about trees; today kicks off the Nestle and Soar Studio "Trees on Tuesday"!

If you haven't already noticed, the tree photo I found for today looks like a woman dancing--in fact, it looks like me when I dance! I'm being serious. When I dance, I dance alone and I dance with drama. I leap and jump and fly through the air without much ease at all, just like this tree, which I'll bet is completely rooted in the ground. My husband does not care to dance, so it is a solo flight of fancy for me, which is alright (most of the time), as I used to fantasize about being a ballerina. When one dreams of dancing, they can close their eyes and escape into the movement of the dream. That is what this tree makes me think about.

What do you see and think about when you look at this tree?

Happy Trees on Tuesday!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Song Sparrow

Here is the Song Sparrow I've been giving all of my attention to lately. What a sweetheart! The window of our diningroom looks out onto our flower garden, and in that garden is our bird feeding frenzy. When we can keep the squirrels off of the feeders, we are visited by a dozen song sparrows most every day. I understand that these birds often form small flocks, joining other types of sparrows, like the Field Sparrow. They are tiny; only 6" long! I love the red in their coloring. I've got my eye on one sweet bird that has a goofy-looking bright red patch on top of his head! I'll capture a picture and share it with you -- at least I hope to. I may have to camp out in the bushes dressed in camouflage, ready with my camera. That's a funny image in itself! My kids have worried that I might become this kind of obsessed bird woman. Perhaps we just won't tell them...

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear about your favorite bird sighting today!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bird's Eye View Pillow is the Big Winner!

There was a contest and the folks in charge named my Bird's Eye View pillow the winner! How often do you get called a Winner? I am basking in the limelight! I guess technically, my pillow is a winner, but through association, I feel like a winner. I may walk around the house with winner vibe all day today...what a wonderful sensation. I vote that from now on, we each take turns pointing out a new winner of the day. We could make a deal of it, toot a few horns, you know, the whole deal. I'll go first...

The winner of the day is ..... Dorothy Trottier!!

Everyone who would like to congratulate the lovely Dorothy, aka Jodie, can do so my emailing her at Her winning ways are known by many and her easy laugh makes her one of those women I love being around. Yeah, Dorothy-Jodie!

Here is the link to my pillow's winning web celebration. Coincidentally, it takes place on an alpaca farm named Alpaca Meadows. So, if you know Dorothy, alpaca seems to be the winner today! P.S. If you don't know Dorothy, she loves alpaca, too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Position of Power -- How to claim your territory

I have several places in which I can "be my best." I can have a seat in my living room, at a particular time of day, within my most comfortable chair, and I am at peace. Do you have a workroom, office, or letter-writing desk that feels that way to you? We all need peaceful places we can count on from which our best efforts take flight. I call these places Positions of Power.

It feels like a luxury, and it likely is one, to have more than one place I feel powerful. I am fortunate to have an entire room that is my office. I can spread out huge messes, leave projects half completed and unattended for weeks, and lock the door from the outside--this is my space, and that feels powerful. I am also fortunate to have a folk art studio. This space fills almost an entire floor of our home, has plenty of windows and closets, and again, it is my space to count on. No one will come into that space and rearrange my gear or help themselves to my fabric scissors--at least it hasn't happened yet! In both my office and my studio, I can be my creative best. I love it!

I have noticed that where people sit often indicates power in relationships. Like the person who sits at the head of the dinner table is often the family leader, or would like to be! The lawyer who positions him or herself at the conference table to be the leader in any conversation is claiming a power position. Or the birthday girl at a large party who sits in such a space that she can talk to most everyone and "be seen." It is understood that people with power get to decide where they sit.

I am more interested though in how the energy feels in a given situation and where I think I should be in relation to that energy. For instance, when I teach a large group in a venue that is new to me, I always walk around the room and get a feeling for how I can best be seen and heard once the classroom is full of folks. It is like there is an energetic vortex that I can tune into, and that is where I want to place myself. I wonder if lots of other people do this, too, and we can all be in a room, in our best energetic space, and yet, be spread out? That would make sense to me. We all operate on our own frequency!

I hope you claim your territory in your own home, in your work space, in your life at large. Whether you are sitting at the head of the table or are sitting under a tree at your next picnic, my hope is that you will feel your most energetically peaceful and powerful!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Creativity Doula

I have a huge creative impulse. I even believe in the power of the creativity stored within my hands. As this is being typed, I realize that not everyone who reads my thoughts will understand or appreciate how passionate I am about creativity and how much energy I am willing to put into creating folk art, children, relationship, or books. I do not mean to sound arrogant or presumptuous about creativity or my abilities. I want to put words to how life can be so focused on, and so in touch with creativity, that it becomes one's driving force.

I told myself, and in a weak moment told my husband and my accountant, that I was going to give this full-time creativity life a year to bear fruit. Mmmm, a year seems like a long time when each week rolls around; I can thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to be a professional artist. However, a year does not seem like long enough to make this a "viable job". It takes a long time, even years, to build a clientele and write books. This year will go very fast, and what if the creative birth of Georgianne, successful folk artist, takes longer than 365 days? Does my focus need to be strictly creative or more business oriented?
So, I have a new way to think about all of this. Creative birth is really what is happening here. It is an organic process and it may not be logical, systematic, or measurable. As in other births, I don't want to do this alone! I think I need a Creativity Doula. I actually may need several. A doula is a birth coach, a helping hand during labor and delivery, a wise and compassionate soul who has helped many others before me have a healthy and peaceful birth experience. This image of having a creativity birth coach during this year of building my chosen role as professional folk artist is very comforting to me. And comforting is the right word because I do not see this in a business sense, but in an emotional way.

I am not talking about a business mentor, although there are elements of that expertise that would undoubtedly be wise to seek out. It is not a financial advisor or a project manager I need, either. I wonder why? I see the Creativity Doula role as emotional support and compassionate acceptance.
Do you have passion about a creative element in your life? Are there hobbies, career paths, relationships, or goals, that when you let your mind wander, you almost always start thinking about them or it? What are your creative-life fantasies? Now that you have these passions in mind, do you keep this creativity part of yourself a secret? For instance, do you fantasize about being a professional clothing designer, but it feels like a dirty little secret because, in reality, you are a grade school principal, and there isn't enough time in the day to make a new career plan? If so, you need a Creativity Doula, too.
I read somewhere that the folks who age most gracefully do so because they surround themselves with like-minded individuals who are supportive and compassionate. I believe that I will continue to fill my life with the kind of people who can hear my dreams of folk art success and are willing to encourage me, cheer me on, pat me on the back, and tell their friends about me. And in return, I will keep my eyes and ears open to be aware of their dreams, their goals, their creative lives in gestation. I hope that I will become someones creativity doula. I want to see their kicking and screaming creations come to life! I want to see that light in another person's eyes when they see their dreams come true!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Water and Crafting

I am learning how to wet felt. If you haven't had a chance to try this ancient craft, let me tell you about the amount of water involved. Buckets full. Many buckets full. I attended a wet felt class at my favorite hot spot for fiber artists--Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins, in Boulder, Colorado. Margaret Tullis, my instructor that day, kept warming buckets of hot, soapy water for us, and told us toward the end of the day that we would be wise to wear swimming sandals for this craft! My shoes, socks, pants, pretty much everything, got soaked, so I know she is right! Swimming sandals and perhaps, a swimming suit!

Water is used in many crafts and I am beginning to become painfully aware about how much water is used (and misused) all around the world. I consider myself to be a Green Artist. I learn about eco-friendly ways to be artistic, and it makes sense really, as birds and trees are my artistic image of choice. Well, let me share something I learned recently about water. "Forty percent of our rivers [in the United States] and 46% of our lakes are unfit for fishing, swimming, or drinking." That quote comes from Jon Spayde in an article he wrote for the June 2010 issue of Experience Life Magazine. As the news is filled with information about what has happened in the gulf coast, I realize that problems in the water are not isolated. I am very aware of the sadness I feel about water these days. I think I need to continue learning about and practicing all the conservation techniques available to safeguard water for my children and grandchildren. I hope that you will, too--not my children, that is, but everyone's children.

On a lighter note, I thought I'd share a picture of the wet felt slippers I made with Margaret at the class I took from her...they are comfy, cozy, and form-fitted to my feet! Wet felting is a blast! I have a lot to learn, and I recommend this craft to you. I am so very grateful to have access to clean water and the opportunity to use it in my art. I do not take that for granted.

Thanks for stopping by,

For more information:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Polka Dot Heaven

Polka dots will always be popular, or so I am told, and here is a lovely little collection of wonderful handmade items to prove this point!

A clever artist named Cathleen who creates in her TialeyStudioDesigns on organized this treasury of items, and was kind enough to include one of my folk art pillows! Thanks Cathleen and everyone who lets their polka dot curiosity go crazy!

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wool Flowers on Blue Denim

My sweet husband, Ted, calls this design "Constellation" pillows. I wasn't sure about that name, especially since constellation refers to an arbitrary configuration of stars. If you know me, you would have to say that "arbitrary" is hardly ever applicable! I'm sure I have faults as an artist, and one of them is being too controlled, too measured. I'd make better art if I simply relaxed a bit. I wonder how many years I'll have to be a full-time artist before I actually begin relaxing into the artistic process? 10? 20? How about you? When you are focusing on the art, hobby, or creativity of your choice, are you relaxed and going with the flow, or are you concentrating on making something very specific and deliberate? I'd love to know how it works for other people!
Hope you like my constellation pillow, aka Wool Flowers on Blue Denim ;-)