Friday, December 26, 2008

it's a wonderful life

We watched my all time favorite movie this afternoon. George Bailey is so handsome, quirky, and sweet. Mary is kindness impersonated and just plain beautiful. There could not be a cuter angel than Clarence. Mean Mr. Potter never gets the punishment he deserves, and uncle Billy truly is a fool, but resentment and revenge should not be part of our human nature... I love it's a wonderful life. It makes me cry, and laugh, and then cry some more, much to my teenage sons' amusement. In the end it leaves me with a feeling of hope, goodness, and optimism. What a great way to gear up for a new year.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

happy holidays

The straw julbock has been part of my Christmas since childhood, along with gingerbread cookies, chubby painted candlesticks, and fresh smelling greenery. Over the years we have added new traditions to the old, mixing our Scandinavian and American heritage into something that is uniquely ours. Decorating the tree is one of our holiday favorites. It is now covered in ornaments collected over time — vintage glass balls, straw stars, popsicle stick reindeers, tinsel garlands, and felted elves, all have equal importance. Most of all this is a time to rejoice in life, family, friends, and togetherness. I wish all of you a joyous, peaceful, warm, and happy holiday season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

star power

I love stars, with their angels and outward focus, and their symbolism of warmth, light, and strength. Here are a few samples of stars scattered around my house and wintery garden. Sorry about the blog absence. I have been enjoying my mother's and sister's company, while things have been hectic around the studio with holiday orders and inquiries trickling in. I'll return soon...

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Giving thanks has never been easier. I am thankful for so many things that it was hard to get it all out during our annual go-around-the-table-and-tell-us-what-you-are-thankful-for ceremony. My amazing sons, my husband (the love of my life), my fantastic extended family, the dogs, health, happiness, my art, my friends, and the privileged life I am allowed to live. 

Right now I am most grateful for my mother and my sister who are visiting from Sweden. They arrived the day after Thanksgiving and will be here for a couple of weeks. We will have time for many delicious meals, giggles over wine, adventurous outings, and some work... My mom is a master seamstress, and she always helps me with sewing projects when she is here, and my sister is a computer-whiz. Again, I am thankful...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

etsy love

Just a few lovely things I recently discovered on etsy.

1. liberty vintage wallpaper lamp shade by drawflowers
3. large moonscape felt cushion by modernwool
4. blue and brown plaid bias skirt by sohomode

Thank you to pia for featuring my japanese maple bag. This week is all yellow over at her wonderful blog, and I am grateful to be included. Many thanks also to Beth over at Sew, Mama, Sew! who included my geranium sachets in their holiday gift extravaganza. I feel honored. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

refreshed and restocked

Today was one of those almost perfect days. After a hectic but successful artisans studio tour weekend (big thanks, to everyone who came out to visit) I managed to joyfully complete a bunch of tasks that's been on my to-do list for a long time. I ordered printing supplies, photographed, edited, and uploaded several new pieces to the etsy store, did laundry, organized my studio, and cleaned the boys bathroom...  All of this may not seem that fun, but it was refreshing to get it all done without guilt over not doing something else or worrying about another deadline. Which usually is how my life goes...  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

robust roses

The summer season is certainly over. But throughout our neighborhood the roses carry on despite frosty mornings and blustery winds, blooming their hearts out in mid November... 

Monday, November 10, 2008

artisans studio tour

I am gearing up for this year's artisans studio tour. 33 artists in 17 studios in the Charlottesville area will open their doors to show and sell their work this weekend. Many of the participants will offer demonstrations, so there will be opportunity to learn about wood turning, forging, and leaf printing... I will be exhibiting at The Barn Swallow together with potters Mary Ann Burk, and Janice Arone, and textile artist Enid Adams. The tour is an exciting event where visitors are treated to incredible art as well as edible goodies from local gourmet stores and caterers. For details about the tour, studio maps, schedules, and directions visit the tour website

Thursday, November 6, 2008

taubman museum of art

A new art museum is opening in Roanoke, Virginia, this weekend. Taubman museum of art is an architectural masterpiece as well as a transcending space for art in all forms. Among the inaugural exhibits are beaded handbags by Judith Leiber, Pens and Needles: Drawings for tattoos, and 17th century Florentine paintings. My work is represented in Taubman's museum shop, along with creations by other regional as well as national artists and designers. Plenty of festivities are planned for this weekend's opening celebration. Visit the museum website for schedules and more information.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

glorious day

Somehow the world looks much brighter this morning!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Remember to vote tomorrow. Prepare yourself for long lines. Bring granola bars, thick sweaters, and determination. Encourage your fellow citizens to cast their vote, drive someone to the polls if you have the time. This is your day. Make sure you have a voice. Vote.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

wedding favors

One of my favorite projects during these past weeks were the clutches I made for my friend Lynn, as gifts to the bridal party at her daughter Lauren's wedding this weekend. I had never tried to make framed purses before, but got inspired by red ruby rose's beautiful creations on etsy. They are leaf printed on organic hemp, and lined with vintage cotton. The sewing part was easy, at least compared to the trickery and patience it took to attach the purse to the frames. I do have it down by now, at least I think so... It is always fun to explore something new, and I am pleased with the final result.  Lauren and her soon to be husband Lincoln are renowned wedding photographers in Portland, Oregon. They are getting married this evening, among friends and family. I know it it will be a beautiful event and I wish them the best of luck and all the happiness that married life brings.

Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween

For the first time in many years, I will not walk the streets with my children this halloween. My youngest is almost 13 and decided last minute, that trick-or-treating just is not for him anymore... He went out in style last year dressed up as Mr. Bean. A brilliant costume, but unfortunately a bit too sophisticated for the audience, many were unaware of the British comedy character so popular in our house.  So this year we are instead happily decorating our yard with creepy creatures and gleeful pumpkins, and we are planning to hand out scary goodies to hordes of other young trick-or-treaters. 

I did not intend to be away from the blog for almost two weeks. My sincere apologies. The schedule is looking better now, and I have much to share, so posts will be more frequent in the next few weeks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

a while longer

I am swamped with projects this week, and as my deadlines pile up I will be away from the blog for a little while longer. I'll return soon with updates about all the exciting things that are in the works. Warm wishes for a wonderful week!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

pale purple pining

This weekend was spent indoors, mostly in front of the computer, finishing up many small projects and tasks that had reach the end of the deadline rope. I should be grateful for busyness. Our lives are uncertain and knowing that so many people still want my work and my help is reassuring. But I long for a few more moments in the garden, zooming in on the smallest of details; the smell of the moist dirt, the lingering morning dew, and the vivid hues of summer's last flowers. There should be a time for everything.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

tooting ones own horn

A bit late, but I have to celebrate that my geranium patchwork zip purse was featured in the body + soul October issue. Thank you to the magazine editors who picked my purse for the planet-friendly handbag feature, along with work from prestigious designers such as Helen E. Riegle and Liz Saintsing. A big thank you as well to my friend Reena Kazmann and her cool, and environmentally conscious on-line store eco-artware, for providing the samples. I am honored!

And this week my doublefile viburnum sachets made it to etsy's front page in equally impressive company. Thank you Shay for including them in your beautiful treasury!

Monday, October 6, 2008

gifts in times of stress

I try to focus on the little things. The dogwood tree's bright berries and mauve tinted leaves. The big smile on my son's face after a couple of saves in the soccer goal. The cool fresh air during early morning runs... But it is difficult to ignore the stress these days. The markets are crashing and those precious college funds, needed in just a few years, are dwindling. Inleaf sales are meager as well, and lets not get started on the cost of groceries...

In the midst of anxiety and distress my newfound Swedish blogger friend and artist Eva-Lena Rehnmark is promoting a world wide movement called the 29-day giving challenge, in which you pledge to give something every day for 29 days. Eva-Lena will donate an original painting (see above) to a giver who is willing to comment about their giving experience on her blog. The deadline is November 4th, and you don't have to finish the full 29 days to enter. The daily gift can be anything from a kind word to a stranger, a pile of old sweaters to a homeless shelter, a cooked meal to someone in need, or a monetary contribution to a charity. It is the spirit that counts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

pure bliss

My wonderful blogger friend Mrs. French recently opened her shop blissfulimages on etsy where her magical photographic prints are available for sale. All of you who visit her inspiring blog bliss  are already familiar with her amazing images. They capture mystical light, subtle reflections, and glimmers of muted colors. They also evoke a peaceful sense of being in the moment. The photograph above, skeletons, will be mine. I am clearing a spot in my studio where it will hang as a source of inspiration and as a symbol of artistic beauty and friendship. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

new things

I have added a few new things to the etsy shop, more to come soon I hope... Things are busy around here, busy in a good way. Boys are happy with school, soccer, and music. I have several fun projects in the works, and  cooler weather has arrived which means plenty of garden chores. 

Thank you Tyler for your nice post about my work. You are so sweet.

Friday, September 19, 2008

american citizen

This morning I was sworn in as a naturalized American citizen at the federal court house in downtown Charlottesville. After living in this beautiful country for 20 years I am so proud and happy to finally call myself an American. I am especially eager to participate in the political process, and the first thing I did as a new citizen was to register to vote. Now I will truly have a chance to help change our country and our future.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Periwinklebloom is one of my favorite blogs. I love the way Tyler writes about simple but wondrous things in life while stressing the importance of caring for the world we live in, and each other. Now she has launched an online shop where she sells her beautiful eco-friendly, locally made children's wares. The clothing is exquisite and the site photography, by Greg Rannells, is breath taking.
Many of us grownups wish that some of these garments were available in different sizes, like a maybe a 10... But for now, if you have a toddler somewhere in your midst, I recommend scooping up some of these goodies. A letter press paper line is in the works as well. I can't wait to see this endeavor take off and flourish. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

garden sunday

I spent most of my sunday in the garden. Few things makes me happier. By this time of year our garden is like a jungle. Due to my neglect, a few hurricane related rainstorms, and our southern heat and humidity things grow rampantly. So today was spent cleaning up and unveiling hidden treasures under layers of bind weed, grape vines, grasses, and bitter sweet... The asian pears are ready for picking. They are best sliced up in an arugula salad with crumbled blue cheese, or poached in red wine and served with whipped cream.

The garlic chive is taking over my herb garden. It really is a weed, but I love it in bloom, and the leaves are mighty tasty as salad toppings.

Butterflies, moths, and bumble bees are all flocking to the sedums and the chives. Nature in full force.

The fall crocuses are in bloom. They pop up from nowhere and these have the most delicious shade of lavender pink.

I did clean out our garden shed and its surroundings. It doesn't look like much but I am not showing the before pictures on purpose. It is very satisfying to sort out a mess and get things nice and orderly. The shed is lovingly called "Mona's annex", since my lovely husband jokingly threatens to house my mother there whenever she comes to visit. It is made from salvaged materials left over from our house renovation projects. The doors are from our old pantry, the window was once the only natural light source in our kitchen, and the wobbly landing is made from bricks discovered and dug up throughout our yard. I love living in a place with a past... 
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