Friday, December 30, 2011

Best wishes 2011 -- Happy New Fortune 2012!

Folk Art Flag, 48"x27", in process, 2011 Georgianne Holland
We are in the midst of many "Lowlights of 2011" news reels in the media. In seeing these, do you feel like I do that 2011 was a very sobering, "knock-the-wind out of you" kind of year? I'm speaking on a global scale here, which of course is where we all live. With this in mind, for my last post of the year, I'd like to wish 2011 all my best.

I am a natural-born optimist, and because of this, I am looking forward to 2012!

I know that there will be a lot of news coverage from Iowa next week, where grown men will argue and degrade one another, and call it a job interview. I'm going to keep my optimism anyway.

I know that as an American living in the beautiful state of Colorado, I am extremely fortunate each time I lay my head on my pillow and kiss my husband good night -- and then again when we both wake up in a warm, peaceful home -- we are truly blessed. I am going to be optimistic about our situation and lift up others in their daily life. I'm going to wish happy good fortune to families around their world in their daily lives in 2012.

Peace on Earth -- Goodwill toward All
I am also an optimist as an artist, knowing that I am making my living in a field that is often populated with those who call themselves "starving" artists. I am going to continue pursuing my best work, learning new techniques, elevating the quality of my craftsmanship and design, as I also look to forge new friendships with my clients and collectors. I've never done well with the starving-thing anyway.

I send my best wishes to you, oh historic 2011! It is time for you to come to a close. I choose to think about all the positive happenings of the year, at least as much as I think about natural disasters and bad decisions. I will put my focus on what went right with the belief that we get more of what we think about. And I think about chocolate, a lot.

As Will Rogers said, "Don't let yesterday use up too much of today." Amen

Happy New Year to each of you and thank you for your support of Nestle and Soar Studio. I know myself to be truly blessed.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Embroidered Pillows at Nestle and Soar Studio

Folk Art Flower Pillow on linen, Georgianne Holland ©2011
When I was a young woman setting up my first home, I didn't really know what I was doing, but I did know what I wanted: a superior home with elegant decor.

This was a tall order for a time in my life when my furnishings consisted of hand-me-downs and cinder block/pine board bookshelves!

The dreams of youth are a great way to start building a life, and over the years, I have learned to make home decor as well as learned how to earn money to buy the wonderful decorative elements that grace my home. One good example of this is the hand embroidered pillows I make at Nestle and Soar, like this Folk Art Flower Pillow. My taste in home decor now leans more toward finely crafted fiber folk art than it does anything gilded or elegant, and in my way of thinking, this is superior in every way!

The wool felt circles used in this decorative pillow design are stacked and hand-embroidered. The bright colors are very popular in home decor today. This design is my fun take on the ever-popular Penny Rug design in folk art, where concentric circles are hand embroidered into delightful designs. I've added bead work and buttons to some of the hand embroidered pillows I sell in limited edition at Each month I offer a unique assortment of colors, types, and sizes of decorative pillows. 

Spring Tree Needle Felt Pillow, © 2010
Do you also dream of decorating a first home or redecorating your long-loved home for the new year? My clients are stocking up on decorative pillows and pillow covers that reflect their love of nature. I've seen this same trend everywhere! What isn't everywhere are handmade bird pillows and tree pillows that are handmade in America in limited editions. Making special home decor using time-honored needle art skills is the joy of my professional life as a fiber artist! That is also one of my favorite ways to focus my Needle Felting fine craft at Nestle and Soar. The handmade bird pillows and tree pillows I create come in ever-changing designs and are an absolute thrill for me to create!

Setting up a home is not new to me, and perhaps it is not new to you, either. Do you agree that sometimes, it is not the big-ticket item that makes a home cozy and special, but instead, it is the little things that make home comfortable...and that works whether you are making your home feel superior for the first time or the 100th time!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Releasing clutter from our home and our mind

As I will be spending more time today decorating our home for the holidays, the topic of clutter of the home and the mind is a bit comical. This time of year, it seems that life is cluttered with things, obligations, and if you are like me, a half-finished project in almost every room!

This is also the time of year when I begin thinking about what I'd like to do better (or perhaps stop doing) in the year ahead. Making resolutions has not worked well for me, but thinking through my situation always seems to have rewards.

The clutter in my mind is actually more of a problem than the pile of unwrapped gifts or mismatched socks. When do thoughts tip the balance and become clutter?
  • We've always done it this way!
  • I dread doing this, but I said I would, so I will.
  • Who would I be without "my story"?
  • I couldn't live without [fill in the blank] in my life!
  • Some force on my part is necessary to speed up the process.
  • I'm not sure God can handle this...It is time for some supportive worrying.
  • If I could just fix this one thing about myself,  life would be perfect.
  • If I could just fix this one thing about [fill in the blank], life would be perfect.
It is important to me that the creative process of my Nestle and Soar studio be safeguarded, and perhaps you, too, have a creative life that can become bound-up with physical and mental clutter. As I make my plans for a prosperous, healthy, and joy-filled 2012, here are my clutter-busters for the new year:
  • Try a new technique or use a new material in my folk art every month.
  • Say yes with enthusiasm to only the projects that are exciting to me.
  • Take time every day to listen to the hopes and dreams of other creative people.
  • Give away art supplies and materials I do not use.
  • Trust in the creative process and when I feel rushed, take a walk around the block.
  •  Notice moments of supportive worrying and call a friend to chat (or roll over and whisper in husband's ear). Create a quiet corner in my studio for reflection and meditation.
  • There is nothing that needs to be fixed, as nothing is broken. Trust the creative process.
  • People are not gracing my life as projects I'm supposed to organize. Write down three things I am grateful for about each person I decide to judge. When I feel judgmental about a fiber folk art project I am working on, set it aside for 48 hours. Laugh.
I hope that the next two weeks of your life are cluttered in just the right ways! I'm proud of the mess I'm making all around my home and folk art studio, for as my son use to say, this mess is a Sign of Life!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Green Luxury Items created by Fiber Artist, Georgianne Holland

Near Boulder, Colorado, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in her Nestle and Soar Studio, fiber folk artist Georgianne Holland helps birds and trees come to life from a deep pile of soft merino wool. Fuzzy piles of wool roving cover every horizontal surface, and are the material used by this folk artist to depict the natural beauty of birds and trees. In this color-saturated fiber arts studio, she creates original handmade home décor items, green luxury items, for sale on her newly launched website,

Nestle and Soar appeals to consumers because the energy of nesting at home and gliding above the fray is a long-held dream for many. Folk art has always been an avenue for self-taught creative types to make useful objects that are decorative, and Nestle and Soar is certainly part of that long tradition. If you speak to Georgianne for any length of time, you will hear her say that everyone deserves the chance to nestle and soar. That has certainly happened for this passionate entrepreneur.

The fiber art created by Holland is also rooted in thousands of years of tradition: creating useful items from the fleece of animals has helped humankind survive harsh weather as well as make home more special. Georgianne said, “I have always felt the energy of homemakers and other creative women. I truly believe that the needle arts are a valuable skill that should still be celebrated in American culture. I believe there is great power in the home arts. As with this art form, the work of women’s hands will always be important. However, needle arts like the craft of needle felting have never been just for women.” These historic needle art skills are newly popular with many, and fiber artists around the world celebrate the decorative nature of this heritage fine craft.

The Nestle and Soar website features the designer pillows and folk art for the wall created by Georgianne Holland, and also features bird and tree-themed green luxury items by other folk artists and fine craftspeople. “I am proud to make this website a venue for bird- and tree-themed fine crafts.” Hand-thrown pottery, hand-pulled woodblock prints, and hand-embroidered winter-weight scarves, are among some of the treasured items featured on this new website.

Georgianne has also joined forces with the Arbor Day Foundation so that she and her customers can have a tree planted in a National Forest in honor of their purchase. “This joint effort celebrates the many friends I have made through my work as a fiber artist—friends who also adore the beauty of the natural world and help create the loving energy that is part of every transaction from Nestle and Soar.”

Georgianne Holland, fiber folk artist and writer, began her career as a family member in the profoundly popular Leman Publications, the kitchen-table creation of her parents, George and Bonnie Leman. Beginning in 1969, the Lemans published the world-renowned Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Perhaps one of this family’s greatest contributions in their 30+ years in the quilt industry was their mentoring of female entrepreneurs who went on to breathe new life into what became a thriving industry and economic opportunity for thousands around the world. Georgianne believes in the personal connection between herself and her Nestle and Soar customers, a lesson she learned from her parent’s example. This creation of community fuels her work with featured artists as well as her support of the Arbor Day Foundation today. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Handmade Bird Pillow and the Audubon Society

Western Tanager Hankie Pillow, © 2011 Georgianne Holland
I have on my calendar "Go to movies" almost every month, which hasn't been a date I've kept with myself in a while. I'm excited to say that The Big Year starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and my favorite, Steve Martin, is coming to theaters! I will not wait for this movie to come to my pay-per-view. The Big Year is about birding and while thumbing through my beloved Audubon magazine, David Yarnold reminds us that like in the movie, birders (and the Audubon Society) are a very social group. That works for me!

I have been working to make the birds I depict in my handmade bird pillows more easily recognizable, as I know that true birders know their species! Often in the past, the birds I depict are figments of my imagination, and when I see a photo of an unusual bird found in the wild, I think that they are so varied in color and shape, my imaginary bird is like a rare species. Will the Audubon Society let me get away with this? I hope so, because I'm having so much fun!

The Hankie Pillows series that I began in September of this year is a good example of my work to capture well known bird species in a fiber folk art manner. They are called Hankie Pillows because I begin the exercise with a pristine vintage hankie that was created by an unknown woman sometime in the 1940s. Collecting these vintage hankies has been part of the fun of this series! Often these hankies have embroidered flowers stitched as decoration, and I always choose hankies that have tatted lace on the edges...a fine needle art I've never learned to create. I place a vintage hankie on my work table and then decide what species of bird I'd like to needle felt: today's example is the Western Tanager in bright yellow, orange and brown. I'm very fond of creating birds with big, round bellies. I also like creating tree branches for my birds to perch on. Jacques Deval reminds us that "God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages." I love birds in trees and I also love birds recreated onto pillows. Sometime next week, I plan to love birds in funny movies...would you care to join me?

Thanks for stopping by,

You can visit my website to see more of my handmade bird pillows at

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Wonderful Little Something I Found Today

Have you ever strolled along an historic shopping area and found tiny boutiques hidden away, say, near that hip diner everyone keeps talking about? I love exploring the Old Town communities of Colorado, looking for little gems like that!

Today, I found a little gem I'd like to share with you, and the funny thing is, I have been working in my studio office all day! That's right, I took a stroll through the boutiques of I found the treasure you see in these photos, a Handmade Paper Journal. 

This lovely handmade journal is right up my alley because of the leaf motif that has been stitched into the cover. I'm including two photos of it so you can see it up-close, just like you would if we'd been shopping together in a brick and mortar shop!
 There is a rainbow of handmade papers used to create this one-of-a-kind journal. Each interior page of the journal as been imprinted with a leaf, too! This journal has 110 pages to write on, which I find could pen your memoirs here (or at least I could, as I have lived a simple life!).

The talented artist who made this great journal is named Indira Govindan, and she works and lives in Summit, New Jersey. She has other eco-friendly journals in her shop, which has the great name of Dharma Karma Arts (love that!). I hope you will stop by and look through her virtual boutique of truly unique handmade items. If you love this leaf journal, you may want to stop by sooner than later...not sure I can leave Dharma Karma Arts without making this purchase! Luckily for all of us, she has lots of wonderful items for you to enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Where Did You Learn the Needle Arts?

My mom and I decorated this light table 15 years ago to trace patterns!
I am asked where I learned to sew, embroider, felt, quilt, and knit. Perhaps you are, too? Because I'm in my 50s, I was lucky enough to have Home Economics as part of my junior high school curriculum. Most of the women who ask me where I learned to sew are young enough, that they had no Home Economics teacher in school. They may not know a single person who sews. But oh yes, they want to learn!

Sewing and all the needle arts are certainly in another rejuvenation. In the 1970s, I remember my 20-something year old friends talking about how quilting was being reinvigorated as an important needle art. Quilting, as well as many other needle arts, keep cycling around in popularity. For those who make a living in creative fields that cater to women, the needle arts as an industry is not only popular, but a legitimate form of economic empowerment. Home Economics may not be taught in public schools any longer, but we all can certainly learn to sew throughout our communities!

I am fortunate to be from a family that honored and taught the needle arts for over 30 years. My parents, George and Bonnie Leman, as well as my six siblings, owned and operated a Colorado-based company called Leman Publications. We began publishing Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in 1969 and enjoyed many happy years being the family that worked as a team to teach the world to quilt. How fortunate for me to have Bonnie Leman as my mom and my inspiration in the fiber arts! She instilled in me the love of all needle arts as well as the love of joining forces with other women as they work to build a successfully creative life.

In addition to this entrepreneurial jump start, I will admit that I began sewing my own clothes at age 12. I have always loved working with fabric, textiles, and colors. Like so many women who are long-time subscribers to Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, I have been fortunate to combine my love of raising a family with operating a successful fiber folk art studio from home!

Where did you learn to sew, embroider, felt, quilt, or knit? I'd love to hear your story!
Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Creative Halloween -- The Handmade Variety

My children are all adults and don't ask for my input in their Halloween costumes any longer. In fact, I likely don't want to know too many details about all that transpires at the Halloween parties they attend. It might just scare me to death!

Back when I was on creative costume duty (before there was a costume store at every strip mall in town), I recall that Halloween in Colorado often included cold weather, if not eight inches of snow on the ground. No matter what costume my kids devised, at the last minute, we had to add their winter coats and boots. (It is hard to be a fairy princess under fleece and snow pants.) But they muddled through, knowing they'd look like all the other kids in their winter wardrobe.

Later, being resourceful, the kids learned to incorporate winter gear in their initial design. For instance, my son would dress like a skier who had had a monumental accident on the slopes, complete with "bloody" head bandage, crutches and perhaps a make-shift leg brace. Pretty scarey! Now that marching around the neighborhood to collect candy is not what my kids should do, I hope their costumes can go beyond ski attire! Maybe they will even get to stay warm inside, passing out treats, like I used to do!

I did find a few wonderful images of how other moms are dressing their little ones for Halloween this year. I thought it would be wonderful to let this baby joy speak for itself in today's post: each one certainly put a smile on my face. Please Notice: no coats. Bet they don't live in Colorado!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Eagle View Walk -- 17,400 Steps into Autumn

I have thoroughly enjoyed this 70-degree autumn day in colorful Colorado! Today's agenda included a 2 1/2 hour walk around Standley Lake, which is also an eagle sanctuary. We could see from a distance four eagles in the trees, and one took flight!

The colors of the tress are magnificent right now in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Taking a long walk is a great way to see the changing landscape. I wore my trusty step-counter and we logged 17,400 steps by walking completely around this large suburban lake! I've got my feet on ice right now and that feels good!

I hope that you will have a chance to walk through a tree-filled area in the next week so that you can take in the gorgeous colors. The change of season certainly does have its bright side.

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. In my last blog post I mentioned that once my 100th order was placed from my Nestle and Soar shop on Etsy, I would offer my blog readers 7 days to claim a free gift from Well, that 100th order did arrive on October 15th, so help me celebrate by logging into and from there, send me an email with your mailing address. You have until midnight on October 22nd to claim your free gift! Thank you for your interest in my blog and my art!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Watch for 100th Nestle and Soar Order on Etsy and You Could Receive a Present!!

Spring Tree Pillow
The Nestle and Soar Studio on Etsy has approached a milestone that I plan to celebrate--will you join me? The next order that comes to me via that shop will be my 100th Etsy Order! Isn't that fun?! I have very much enjoyed getting to know my customers by way of this fun-to-use virtual boutique and I am very grateful for all the support and encouragement I receive there.

Fantastical Tree Pillow
The fiber folk art item that is most often bought via Nestle and Soar on Etsy is...drum roll...custom work. That's right, most of my sales comes from private commissions. It is exciting that this is so, as it means to me that people find it easy to work with me in fulfilling their desire for a one-of-a-kind fiber art item. Out of the 99 orders I've fulfilled from my Etsy shop, 22 of them have been custom work. I hope you'll contact me if that is something you are interested in! You can read more about my commission work here.

Fantastical Tree Pillow
The next most popular item is one of my pillow designs that involves a tree. The Spring Tree Pillow and the Fantastical Tree Pillow are both big winners here at Nestle and Soar. It seems that everywhere I go, I find other tree lovers. In Colorado, trees may not be as old or as plentiful as they are in the eastern states, but folks from Colorado certainly love their trees! That is one of the benefits of operating a global retail shop: tree lovers from around the world tell me that they, too, have this "thing" for trees. I am very pleased to be able to continue my support of the Arbor Day Foundation through all of my different websites. If you love trees, your qualifying order from Nestle and Soar causes a tree to be planted in your honor in our National Forest system. I think that's exciting!

I am planning a special thank you for the person who submits the 100th order on my Etsy shop! I have a few special items in my cache that I haven't ever promoted, and based on what is ordered from me, I will select a special item to pass along. I think this free gift with order needs to find a new home where it can be appreciated by new eyes. Don't you think that would be a wonderful way to celebrate? In fact, on the day that my 100th order comes in, I will open a week of time where my blog readers can contact me via an email on my website, If you send me a note from there, I'll find a little something in my cache to pass along to you, too, just for saying hello! Remember, the one-week time frame for that offer begins on the day that the 100th order is placed, so you may want to keep an eye on my Etsy shopNestle and Soar on Etsy. I hope you can help me celebrate!

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grow like a tree -- Think like a tree

Coexist by Georgianne Holland, 2011
"Think of a tree, or any living event that emerges from within itself. It is the degree to which it obeys its inner commitment to unfold a certain pattern that enables it to overcome all of the resistance and the obstacles in the environment, and to demonstrate itself as a vast and vital manifestation of the energy of Life."
Swami Chetanananda

I have to admit that I do think about trees, if not like them, almost daily. Today, my favorite tree thought is the red maple tree in our front yard, as its leaves have just now begun to turn a coppery-pink color. Soon the entire tree canopy will be bright red and it will be brilliant. I am hopeful we do not get an early Fall snow storm, as that will shorten the fall foliage season considerably. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

My latest fiber art construction titled Coexist is another tree that has kept my mind busy. There are 12 birds of different colors nestled in the branches of this wool tree, and the leaves are appliqued wool, which cause them to protrude, or have that 3D-effect. The entire piece is made of wool, and is mounted on ivory linen in a wooden frame. It is my hope that this Coexist design will come to signify the unity that I believe exists between all people, for even as we have unique characteristics, we are all members of the human family. Chetanananda speaks of this as the vital manifestation of the energy of Life, and that energy can provide worldwide harmony. That is my prayer.

The Arbor Day Foundation is supported by my artwork and the success of my Nestle and Soar Studio. I received recently their journal where I read a vitally interesting article about how trees can tame storm water problems in communities everywhere. Most cities and towns in the United States have water systems that were constructed generations ago, and because they are underground and out of sight, their overwhelmed condition can be "out of mind" to most of us. Abundant trees can help curb costly storm water runoff, which is another benefit to trees that may not be top-of-mind. If you'd like to learn more about how you, your business, or your community can participate in water-system health through green landscapes, see the nice folks at

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Knit Three, Crochet None -- from Etsy

Full of Holes Pattern from 2SistersStringworks in Canada
There are so many resources on for people who want to be creative. I bought some lovely yarn at the Wool Festival in Estes Park, Colorado this summer, and stopped by Etsy today to find a few beginner knitting patterns to use with this yarn. As a member of this creative community, it is nice to know I can buy handmade items, and also, get help on making handmade items that are not yet part of my skill set!

3 Dish Cloth Patterns from KooklaCreations
I thought I'd share the three beginner knitting projects I fell in love with, and while there is no crochet involved at this time, I may challenge myself next month with a beginner crochet project. Does anyone have suggestions about what I should take on as my first crochet effort? I'm sure I'll need moral support :-)

The first project is a lovely triangular scarf pattern from 2SistersStringworks in Canada. I'm assured it is easier to knit than it looks, and I am counting on that. I have a gorgeous blue/cream/green variegated yarn to use for this project; won't that be great!

Olivia Scarf Kit from DaisyAndFlorrie on Etsy
The next project I'd like to try comes from Sydney Australia and the Etsy shop of KooklaCreations. I think that these dish cloths will be a perfect way for me to practice knitting stitches in a small format. Once I get the hang of the pattern, I will have confidence to try a larger project with more than the garter stitch. Brilliant! Also, when knit with a cotton yarn, these dish cloths will dry quickly and be a colorful addition to my kitchen...or your kitchen: great gift idea!

The final awesome beginner knitting project I found today comes from DaisyAndFlorrie of Chicago. This sweet kit is so appealing to me, I think I'll need to buy more than one. I'm thinking the kit itself would be a great gift item as I'd like to encourage a few of my non-knitting friends to take up the craft! With this gift, we can all knit together and that will make it more fun. I guess I'll just have to save my other Wool Festival yarns for the cold months ahead...and perhaps my growing confidence with being the kind of knitter who can do more than just "make garter stitch scarves" will blossom. You never could happen!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, September 16, 2011

How to Make It on Friday

There are never enough ways for a busy studio space to provide storage. Especially when the studio is the home of a fiber artist, and said fiber artist likes to have multiple projects in process at all times. Add to those storage needs a few daily drop-in visitors or students who need one-on-one sewing instruction, and what you have is a hot mess.

I want to share with you one easy way to help in this situation using common materials and 20 minutes of sewing time. This Coffee Can Organizer is easy to make with scrap fabrics, a few feet of yarn as well as 3/8" elastic. I pilfered an empty coffee can from my husband's collection in the garage. If you don't have access to such a collection (lucky you), you can also use an empty paint can available at your local big box home improvement store for about $4. Or, you could just quickly drink a lot of coffee..whichever way works best for you.

Here are the 9 steps to take in making your very useful Coffee Can Organizer
1. Measure circumference and height of can to be covered; add two inches to each dimension. Cut out two rectangles of this size from scrap fabric; these will make the outside and inside of your can cover.
2. Using the dimensions of your two rectangles as your guide, add 10" to the longest dimension and cut a third rectangle from your fabric; this will make the elasticized pocket.
3. With right sides together, using a 1/2" seam, sew the two rectangles from step one above along one of the longest sides. Press that seam flat to one side and stitch it down 1/4" away from stitching line. You now have a larger rectangle with a finished seam in the middle.
4. Press your elasticized pocket piece from step 2 in half, wrong sides together. Sew a 1/2" channel along this pressed edge, leaving the start/finish open (you will insert elastic into this channel). Using a safety pin as your guide, thread 3/8" elastic through channel and sew the start end to the fabric to secure it. Use your safety pin to secure the ending tail of elastic after it is completely through the channel (you won't know wet how firmly to pull the elastic for your particular can, so securing it with safety pin is just the thing to do).
5. Place the elasticized pocket on the bottom of your larger rectangle, which you created in step 3. Pin it in place. Refer to your measurement of the circumference of the can you are covering and gently ease the elastic so that the pocket top is 2-3 inches smaller than the can's circumference. This will allow the items you place in the pockets to be held in place by the elastic. Sew pocket dividers vertically from top of pocket to bottom of pocket, roughly every 3-4 inches. I have 5 pockets in my Coffee Can Organizer using this method.
6. Now that you have elastic in the piece, it will bunch up in a weird way. That's okay. Allowing for that, to complete the next step, place the can cover over your coffee can, right side touching the can. [If there happens to be another person available to you, now is great time to ask for a third hand!] Stretching the can cover over the can at this time allows you to pin the seams shut that you will be sewing in the next step. It will help you "sew to fit" the can you are covering. Remove can cover carefully from the can to avoid being pricked by pins.
7. With right sides together and the finished seam you just made horizontally located across the middle, stitch this larger rectangle into a tube shape, using a 1/2" seam. This step is a little unwieldy because of the elastic, but you can do it. Try to keep your 1/2" seam allowance along the whole seam length.
8. At each open end of your lovely tube, turn under 1/2" onto the inside of the tube, like you are hemming it. Press or sew that 1/2" turn-under flat. Now you are going to repeat that action, turning under another 1/2" on each end of the tube, but this time, sew the "hem" down leaving a small opening at the start/finish, creating a casing that can have a length of yarn inserted to drawstring the tube-ends shut.
9. Turn your can cover right sides out and stretch it over your can. The elasticized pocket should be on the outside of the can and the horizontal seam in the middle should be at the lip of the can. Push down into the can the rest of the rectangle, which is the lining fabric. Thread a piece of yarn into the channels on at each end of the can cover. Pull the yarn to gently close the tube ends and tie off the yarn.

Well, there you have it! I have placed my Covered Coffee Can on my largest work table. It is light weight, so when I need to reach way out to pick it up and take it with  me to another part of the studio, it is easy to do. I have each student make one of these to keep their supplies in order and we store them in a cupboard until the next time they are working with me in the studio. Also, they are creative! Each one is unique and fun to have out--they decorate the worktables!

BONUS IDEA You can also make one these cans for your next party...fill the outside pockets with silverware and place a handful of napkins in the middle...quick and easy way to entertain for a large group.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gratitude is an Attitude (and a Habit)

I am a believer in taking time to truly feel gratitude and to do this on a daily basis. I even have a special chair I sit in at home for this quiet time in my day. It seems to me that what I think about in this simple way has a habit of displaying itself more often in my life! For instance, when I am grateful for my creativity, I soon become a sponge for new ideas and great project daydreams. I just bubble over with creative ideas.

I would like to make time to document what I am grateful for in my Electronic World, too, and I invite you join me in this gratitude practice. I am suggesting that we take one minute to make note of what we are grateful for today. Just type out a few descriptive words as a comment to this blog and let's gather in this manner to witness the grateful attitudes we share.

I'll start...
I am grateful for my pain-free feet. The Spenco slippers I just bought are my new best friend. My poor feet have been so sore lately and these slippers are designed to absorb the pressure of walking. Now instead of feeling like my heels are bruised with every step, I feel no pain. This is huge for me and I am grateful.

Now it's your turn...

Thank you for stopping by,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Awesome Ideas I Found Today

Today was fun for looking around at great ideas other people have published on the Internet, and I am excited to share what I found at Pinterest. Do you agree with me that each of these ideas are practical and whimsical? Take a peek and if you like what you see, learn more at the above link.

This is a beautifully simple way to store and enjoy your jewelry! A flatware organizer has been hung on the wall and tiny cup hooks were used to hang your necklaces and bracelets. Small boxes are placed on the bottom shelf to hold earrings. I love this idea!

My next awesome idea find shows how L-brackets from the hardware store can be lined up to make a decorator magazine rack. This is pretty enough to place front and center next to your favorite reading spot!

The fourth awesome idea I found involves a solution to one of my personal pet messy plastic container drawer! This brilliant person used CD racks to make a parking spot for each plastic container lid. No more having to unload the whole drawer to find that one missing lid! Awesome.

Here is the first project I think I will undertake from this group of wonderful ideas...a vintage spoon collection rack has been re-purposed to store sunglasses. Isn't that clever? They have even used a little Modge Podge to decoupage a fun paper onto the display to dress it up quickly and easily. When my family comes to visit, there are often 3 or 4 pairs of sunglasses tossed onto my entry hall table. I've even found a few broken pairs left behind. This will make the sunglasses spot easy to find and use. I love it!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed these awesome ideas like I have! Which one would you make first?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gifts for Bird Lovers

Whitney Smith's Bird Lidded Vessels
You may be a bird lover -- I know that I am smitten with them. I have found (or created) some
lovely handmade items for bird lovers everywhere and wanted to share them with you.
Whitney Smith is a talented and popular ceramics artist who works and lives in California.
I love her Bird Lidded Vessel series and have three colors of these sweet dishes
for you to choose from. They are food safe and perfect for the kitchen or the bedroom.
I like to keep my rings in the green dish on my dressing table. (See more by clicking the photo caption).

Donna Inscho-Hynes' Birdie Cup
 These cups by Colorado potter Donna Inscho-Hynes are my favorite for coffee and tea early in the morning. The sculptural bird makes holding the cup easy and fun! The bird's feathers are carved into
the birdie and check out the leaves Donna placed on the cup's handle!
This is the cup my guests always choose, so that's why I have one in each of the five colors.
Sharing is fun when you get to use one, too. (See more colors by clicking the photo caption.)

Nestle and Soar's 4-magnet Folk Art Set by Georgianne Holland
I am one of those artists who is kind of sad seeing her original work leave home. 
That is why I take professional photos of my most endearing work and reproduce it
into other items! This set of 4 magnets are a simple gift idea for bird lovers. In fact, you can
buy all four and give them away, one at a time. You will know who your super special friends are
when you give them the complete set...their fridge will be decked out with folk art!

Thanks for stopping by today. I'd love to hear if you make or know of other wonderful gifts for 
bird lovers. I am always on the look out for wonderful handmade items in my
Nestle and Soar Studio website. Take care, Georgianne

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nestle and Soar Studio -- Early Monday Morning Choices

If there are benefits to being a light sleeper, being awake and ready to work in the soft early morning light is a benefit I enjoy. I like to roam around my studio and daydream a bit with that first cup of hot coffee. After I've touched the soft wool and made my rounds, I begin to feel excitement about which project I might pick up first. Here are my choices for today...

Soft Sunflower Pillow-- needs to have seed beads sewn by hand...

Folk Art Flower pillows need to be hand embroidered...

Coexist Wall Felts need to have details added, like the bird's eyes...

Which project would you choose to work on first? It is lovely having three great options! It may take another cup of coffee to really get going...but out!

Thanks for stopping by, Georgianne

Monday, August 22, 2011

5 Tips for your Art Studio Renovation

Nestle and Soar folk art studio is like many creative spaces...MESSY! It is my nature to have multiple projects in the works simultaneously, and so every horizontal surface is usually covered. I set things down to grab another item, and like a whirling dervish, the mess spirals out of control.

I am not complaining. I think that this is the best way for me to let my creativity flow!

I also think that a certain amount of calm has entered my life with the renovation of my studio, even though it is likely to be messy again in the near future. Here are 5 tips I would like to share from the past two weeks of serious organizational work.

1. Daydream about your ideal space before you begin. I don't recommend waiting the 14 months it took me to take action, but I do think a good planning stage is important. Sketch ideas, do your research of storage furniture, and think through your process.
2. Ask organized friends for advice. While I admit to having a creatively messy personality, I have several friends who are organized beyond my wildest dreams. Their input proved invaluable.
3. Purge like crazy! I made eight trips to Goodwill Industries and had to call my trash service to arrange for extra pick-ups. It was amazing to me (as well as to my family -- well, actually, they probably figured it out well before I did) how much accumulated, unused stuff I'd acquired.
4. Use your vertical spaces. Because I need to spread out projects on horizontal spaces to work with my fiber, I have learned to count on vertical spaces to store supplies and display objects. It has been such a blessing to have a dedicated pick/pack/ship area, for instance, that has wide-open horizontal space to work with shipping orders. Everything I need is within easy reach using the wall surrounding the space.
5. Add seating to encourage others to visit you in your newly organized space. It is great to have high functionality, but not at the expense of making the studio a cold, work-only environment. My family can come drink coffee or a glass of wine in my studio while I zip along on my sewing machine. My students sit around my ping-pong table to work, and later that day, a ping-pong riot breaks out when the fabric scraps have been swept away! Organizing is wonderful, especially when the end result fits into your whole life.

You can check out all that I make in my Nestle and Soar Studio here! I would love to hear about your organized creative space!

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's Stress Relief

Tension is who you think you should be.

Relaxation is who you are.
Chinese Proverb

Here's to all my knitting friends and cat-loving friends...a good chuckle is always a lovely stress-reliever! I do wish I knew the source of this photo...I am thinking the three kittens are sitting inside of a plastic shoe box, so they are tiny! And I do think that the kitten on the right thinks, "This is not who I think I should be!" The other two...they are fine with the situation.

I do hope that you can let go of what you are "supposed to be" and enjoy who you are, right now!
 Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hand Embroidered Birds and Trees at Nestle and Soar

I am so pleased to pass along details about the wonderful hand embroidered scarves made by my fellow fiber artist, Jan Constantine, who lives and works from her studio in Cheshire, England! These scarves are a new addition to my Nestle and Soar Studio website where I feature artists like Jan who create handmade items with a bird or tree theme.

The fine handwork in these scarves, which come in four colors (red, grey, purple, and cream) are available for a short time only, while supplies last. They are made with soft wool and are lined with a silken fabric that is really uptown. They are almost 60" long, so they will wrap beautifully around your neck during the cooler months. I predict that most everyone who sees you wear this lovely scarf will want to touch it and will ask "Where did you learn to do such incredible embroidery? Did you make this?" It will be a smashing addition to a plain jacket or that simple black outfit that needs a pop of color. Enjoy!

The exciting thing for me about including other artists in my website boutique is that it adds to the places where artists can make and then sell items in limited quantity, items that are of such quality that they become, as Jan describes them, future heirlooms. The time-consuming process of hand embroidery is a needle art that sometimes gets one of two bad is old-fashioned women's work and not really an art form...or it must have been made in a foreign sweatshop, so I won't buy it. Neither of these positions feel great to anyone, so when I find fiber art of this quality, I am proud to put it out as an example of handmade that comes with nothing but good feelings attached.

If you haven't looked at my new website yet, I hope you will enjoy taking a peek there now to look at all of Jan's scarves. If you enjoy bird-and tree-themed art like I do, it will be a new favorite destination for you!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trees and Birds: My Photo Gallery for Today

Here is her Etsy shop
My first photo to share today is a whimsical tree that is blooming with buttons! I am always interested in seeing how other artists pay tribute to trees, which is one of my favorite things to do. This is a beautiful new work by Sascalia, a friendly artist I found on It is fun for me to get to know this talented lady from Great Britain. The original work was sold so quickly, and I had my eye on it! I'm happy to own a reproduction that was applied to a wooden plaque. The colors are bright and the detail is wonderful. It is hanging by my work table and I enjoy it every day.

My next photo to share is from one of my favorite customers, Kitty, and the Freckled Bird Pillow I made for her looks smashing on her quilt! It was a fun project because it began with her sharing photos of her bedroom and a conversation about how she would describe the various colors she wanted me to match. We ended up calling the red wool I should use Tomato Soup, and doesn't that just conjure up a particular shade of red? I believe the results were spot on and I'm glad that Kitty is pleased with her new folk art pillow!

If you would like to arrange for a custom item from my Nestle and Soar Studio, I'd love to hear from you. You can reach me at

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pathways Through Life

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again...
Henry David Thoreau

Conscious thought is the staring point of every new creation. Science of the Mind, page 400

"The path we take with each day's thinking becomes the world we see around us. Some people say we should live each day as if it were our last day on earth. Maybe we should live life as if this were our first day on earth: conscious, awake, aware of the beauty and bounty around, having childlike wonder, and generously sharing our resources." Science of Mind, May 2011, pg. 64

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10K Walks with my daughter and a wise dog

Laura and Amina
I have been enjoying the summer with Laura and all the outdoor activities she encourages me with. We have been known to walk two 10k's each week (about 6 miles), without the need for an organized event, which allows us the opportunity to take her little dog Amina along with us. It is funny to watch Amina scamper under each passing tree, plopping down into the shaded grass, and look up at us like, "You're seriously going to keep walking in this heat?" Using dog logic, we would all plop down into the cool grass and catch our breath. Instead, I keep using my trainer's logic and try to walk faster and farther.

Laura and Me, 1990
I enjoy walking uphill much more than knees hurt a lot going downhill. I am seeking out the perfect 6-mile walk that includes only flat surfaces and uphill climbs (and a bathroom with drinking fountain). Logically, this means I cannot walk any "out-and-backs", but instead need to find a circular path. Come to think of it, walking in circles doesn't sound logical, but maybe it mirrors life that way? Is it an illusion to think that life is a straight line beginning at birth and ending at one's final bow? In my way of thinking, life is more like a circular path where we keep getting the opportunity to revisit and revise our choices. And if we are lucky, that path includes a few shade trees to plop under along with our loved ones as we enjoy the scenery and catch our breath. I hope your path through life today is simply amazing!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday at the Botanic Gardens

Botanists tend to the water lilies.
I have begun a new ritual here at Nestle and Soar Studio...Tuesday morning is now my inspirational time at Denver's Botanic Gardens. Being one of the first people through the door at 9am is a true joy for me. The temperature is cool, the birds are singing up a storm, and the light for photography is ideal.

The photo I took this Tuesday is of the water lilies being tended to by 3 botanists, each with a plastic tub tied to their leg! As they walked around in their tall waders, the tub of debris would follow them around. They each carefully lifted a flower up off the surface of the pond and clipped or fluffed the foliage, and they moved methodically from plant to plant, so no flower was missed.

They were in the pond for the whole 3 hours I was at the Botanic Gardens and it was a lot of fun watching them work. I'll bet their skin is most from the humidity after a warm day working in the pond!

I hope to share a photo and my experience of the Gardens from each Tuesday visit. I am still going through all of my photos, which I will use as inspiration for a wall felt or a needle-felted pillow. I am so very grateful that spending time in this treasure of a garden is part of what I do for a living!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Studio Scene from Nestle and Soar

Folk Art Flowers on Linen Pillow
Photography and Me...

I am learning how to better use my camera this week and here is a practice shot of one of my folk art pillows. I am learning about controlling the light in a shot and how it is half the trick to good photos. I am also learning how to set the timer on my camera -- it seems that my hands are shaker than I realized -- even using a tripod!

My mom used to say that in her business life, she wore many hats. Entrepreneurs often do wear many hats...even all the hats! One task I must do for myself is photography and I am only now getting training. For folks who make handmade items and then sell them through their virtual boutique, as I do, having a photography set up that is convenient to use is a must. When it is too much trouble to get my folk art photographed and up on one of my websites, then business comes to a quick standstill. I would love to hear of ways you have made the photography part of your life easier and of better quality. I am a person who needs to take photos, but doesn't particularly like to take photos! I always seem to forget my camera at family functions, for instance.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, June 24, 2011

National Do-Over Day

I wouldn't turn clock back quite this far!
I have been reading an interesting book, What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty. In a nutshell, Alice hits her head while falling off of a spinning bike at the gym and forgets the past 10 years of her life. This is interesting because Moriarty does a good job writing about how people change/grow/live as seen through the opinions of others. "You always do such & such!" Or, perhaps, "You never seemed to like me." These are some of the revelations Alice is confronted with as she is introduced to her three children (whom she doesn't remember having, as well as her estranged husband, whom she thought was her newlywed perfect-match!) Yikes!

Reading this book has made me think about my life experiences and how others may have perceived them. This has not been a cheerful reverie! I could have definitely handled a number of things better. I plan to make a few adjustments with my coping style, that's for sure! I think one day next week should be declared National Do-Over Day, and everyone gets a chance to turn the clock back and redo something important. Are you in?

New Day...New Opportunity
"Reviewing our lives occasionally from different perspectives can be very useful. It will reveal the growth and evolution of awareness as well as give us more insight into living in the present moment. Reminiscing about our younger years is a very healing exercise if we let go and move on not becoming obsessed with the past at the expense for the future." Science of Mind, May 2011, pg. 48

I am hopeful that Alice and her amnesia work out well by the end of this story. It may be simply a cautionary tale about over exercising at spinning class! I've been suspicious of the folks in spinning class, to be truthful. It looks so painful! Or perhaps, the bigger observation is that in order to create a fulfilling life, we need to blend what we bring from the past and what we vision for our future into our actions in the present moment. Very I go into a new day. Today is really the only day we get, after all. Best wishes on your new day!

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Planting Seeds -- Within and Outside, too!

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." Alert Schweitzer

"When a seed is put into the ground, the law pertaining to growth operates and a plant is produced...unless a seed is planted, no plant will be produced." The Science of the Mind, page 206

There are flowers growing in my yard on this fine Spring day. The seeds that became these flowers laid dormant for weeks or even all winter long, until the conditions for their growth set them free. Within each of us are seeds as well...seeds of peace, joy, recovery, health, and abundance. The thoughts we choose to keep and nurture in our mind create the conditions for the blossoming of these internal seeds. It is our role to create the right conditions, through our mind and heart, for these seeds to bear fruit. I will begin by making sure my thoughts of constant kindness are directed toward myself.

How does your garden grow...well I hope. Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trust Yourself as a Creative Person

Vintage frame refurbished and ready...
Trust yourself. Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best.... Trust yourself to do what's right and not be second-guessed.... Trust yourself to know the way that will prove true in the end. Trust yourself. Bob Dylan

I found myself in the studio today second-guessing almost every action I needed to take. It really slows down the creative process.

Beauty can come to us as creative people, enter into our thoughts and heart through every sense, and then that beauty can be expressed as we manifest or create with our hands. This process is magnificent unto itself. Then, the humbling magic happens for me. When that beautiful item I created is purchased, placing it into the hands of another who enjoys the beauty I, too, can see, but also, gives that fiber art new meaning by thinking about it and enjoying it from their OWN PERSPECTIVE, then the circle is complete

Art does that--art touches something unexpected in people who look at it. The artist likely will never know the real meaning that the object acquires from its new owner. There is such poetry in this whole experience and I suggest that it can't often happen without Trust.

I decided today to ease-up on the second guessing in my studio. Instead, I can ask myself, "Does what I am doing at this moment contain kindness, possibility, or good energy? Does it feel comfortable, and does it sit well in my heart?" If so, just go with the flow, trust, create.

Thanks for stopping by,