A Merry Christmas was had...

Completed and sent Christmas Cards

Christmas morning

Play time...
We had a lovely quiet Christmas starting with my parents coming over for Christmas Eve dinner of Beef Stew and Roasted Pears with pound cake and vanilla ice cream. Since we have no kids and had no house guests we slept in on Christmas day and had a leisurly time with breakfast and opening our gifts (just a few this year). The cats always have such a good time playing with all the paper and wrappings. Later we went to my parents for a nice Ham dinner and then to my Aunt and Uncles for some more festivity. Sorry for no postings, I was a but busy knitting and cooking and knitting and wrapping and did I mention knitting? up until right before we went to my parents. I hope all the gifts we made were well accepted and next time I need to start earlier!

Mom's Fair Isle gift Bag

Dad's felted Bowls

Brendan's handmade picture frames (5 were made)


Handmade pledge VS Wal Mart

Over 10,000 People have taken the Handmade pledge and The NY Times has also featured an article about the Handmade Consortium . Personally I choose to take this pledge for several meaningful reasons among wich were, using my stash of crafting materials, using my creative skills, giving people something meaningful and handmade which to me translates as "From the Heart", to encourage others to try making something to give and to remove myself a bit more from the consumerism of the Christmas holiday.
The bigger issue for me was well hilighted by the movie Wal Mart: The High Cost of low Price and really it just made me SICK!
I have not shopped there for years. I saw first hand what they did to small towns when we lived in Berea KY and after moving to GA I hated working at Mohawk because Wal Mart drove the prices down so far that eventually they had to close down all the domestic looms and outsource off shore. Sadly this year they then closed the whole textile division and some good friends of mine lost their jobs! We (Americans) are going to be dealing with even more of this in the future because we have moved from a society of making things that we need to relying on others to make thing for us. We use to make things for ourselves and now we just consume without thought to where it comes from, who made it and what the real cost is. Since I work in the textile industry I have seen first hand over the last 10 years how this industry has closed more and more US manufacturing facilities. Really I've just seen the tail end of another American Industry dry up.
All this being said, I'm encouraged by the small force of people out there that want to start making again and for the others that don't feel they have the time to personally make things I do hope this Christmas and throughout the year they will consider giving a gift of something handmade, made in the US, made with love and made by fair practice because it truly is the right and necessary thing to do.

2008 Pantone Color of the Year is Choosen

Pantone’s choice of blue iris, or No. 18-3943 has been choosen as 2008's color of the year.

In a statement, Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said: “Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspects of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast. Emotionally, it is anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic.”
See the full NY Times article here .


Client Gifts

These came out so well, we will be handing them out tomorrow and I hope everyone likes them!

WIP's still knitting...

Still working on one of these:

One done:Ruffled Felted Bowls

And this will be another one of the Ruffled Felted Bowls

MSH 12.07 Mosaic Completed

MSH 12.07 Mosaic
Originally uploaded by we98bees
My second Monthly Scavenger Hunt is completed with the mosaic here. There were some tough ones this time like "furtive" along with some that were very fun like "merry", "horray" and "sleeping it off". I had many of the shots in my archives but had to go hunting for others such as "chocolate", "ice cream", "oil", "quote" and "turning it on".


Happy Birthday to my Dear Husband

I just wanted to make a quick shout out to my wonderful Husband! He has finally caught up with me! Big Hugs to him!

Brookside Gardens

Last Saturday PM we went to Brookside Gardens for the "Winter Garden Walk". This spectacular holiday lights show in the garden was so much fun, especially since we went with family and kids! We had great weather and were the last ones to leave because we were just having so much fun and taking our time looking at all the wonderful decorations. They have a welder that makes many of their features and most of the flowers like the sunflower below are made by taping bundles of lights together to create all sorts of different things.

This was the best part, the huge rainbow could be seen from almost any part of the garden, then as you walked under it they had a branch lit up like lightening and thunder booming along with the beautiful clouds and rain. The whole thing was magical and made me feel childlike.


First Snow

Coneflower with Ice

Coneflower with Ice
Originally uploaded by we98bees
Our first snow was on Wednesday which at our house ended up being about 4 inches. It seemed like fall just ended (hasn't yet technically) and we had about 6 glorious weeks of fall foliage color. Now, the snow has come and the garden is hibernating for winter but a few things haven't quite died back yet. I loved this Coneflower with the ice.


Christmas In Progress

Hot chocolate which will go with Tea bags in these mugs

Forcing Paperwhites (or as my husband calls them the "pee pee flower")

Scarf in Progress

Cards (inspired by these) in Progress


Monticello Wreath Making Workshop with Mom

The finished wreath has a boxwood base of greenery and features magnolia, holly, osage orange, dried orange pieces, dried okra sweet gum balls and poppy as well as other various greens and dried things from the garden. I wanted a wreath that was a contemporary take on a traditional craft. I really love it. This ptoject was so much fun especially since my Mom and I drove to Monticello together to take the workshop.

Once the base was covered we hung the wreath up on a stand to begin adding the "decorations". I was determined to use an Osage Orange as the centerpiece of mine so I began working with the larger pieces and choose an asymetrical format.

The straw based wreath forms were covered first by wiring bunches of evergreen to the form. I used Boxwood with a bit of Holly for my base.

The Supplies were laid out in baskets and bags of materials to use for creating the bases and decorating the wreaths.


Flickr~MSH 11.07

MSH 11.07
Originally uploaded by we98bees
I've had my eye on this group on flickr and have been tempted to join for several months now. Okay, so today I broke down and did it. I was intimidated by some of the strange/offbeat subjects for the scavenger hunts but decided I'd give it a try. Being the last day of the November hunt I went ahead and managed to pull together all 20 from existing photo's in my pool! The fun is in having to find out about those strange subjects and use your creativity to find things that relate. For example Photo # 3 (from top left) was "Brotherhood of Man" which I found out was a Brit Pop band who had a popular song called "Save your Kisses for me" & I posted a picture of my brother trying to get a kiss. It was a bit of a stretch but that's how the game goes. The more relevant and unique your photo's are the higher your photo's are scored but personally I don't care about that portion of it. I just find it amusing to look at your photo's in a different way and to have "assignments" to go out and photograph things if you don't have them in your existing photo pool. I'll post my completed Mosaics when completed each month.

Swap Bot~Photo Scavenger Hunt

Clockwise from top left: 1.Something red 2. Food 3. Child 4.Coffee or Tea 5. Animal 6. Nature

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.


Smokin Hot Black Friday Party

The Friday after Thanksgiving we had our 3rd annual Black Friday holiday party. This year it was a fairly large group of friends and family. We had a very funny "Black Elephant" gift exchange, tree trimming, a fire (in a fire pit-outside), warm mulled cider, lots of food, a specialty "Black Martini" and a really great time overall. The party certainly has gotten me into the holiday cheer and I've finished decorating the tree. Seems so early but it will just give us more time to enjoy it this year. This party really came about by my disgust for the consumerism of Black Friday and I choose to boycott shopping (by way of keeping busy cooking for the party) on Black Friday and the rest of the holiday weekend. I'm going to try to give all handmade (by me or other artists/craftspeople) items this year with the exception of some "charitable" gifts. Last year we gave all the kids in the family Defenders of Wildlife Wildlife Adoption gifts in animals of their choosing. I'm thinking along those same lines again this year but obviously we won't do quite the same thing.


Family Thanksgiving

Family Photo
Originally uploaded by we98bees
Here is the gang on Thanksgiving day. Clockwise from bottom left, Mom (Andrea), me, "Grand Bonnie", Susanah, Ryan, Hunter, Brendan and Dad (Ed).
We ate like kings and queens.
Our Menu:
Eggplant Caponata
Radish Spread
Mini Pigs-in-a-Blanket
Assorted Crackers and Cheese
Carrot & Ginger
Norwegian Fish Mousse (Fiskepudding) with
Mustard and Chive Sauce
Main Dish
Brined Roast Turkey With Pan Gravy
Side Dishes
Honey and Wiskey Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans With Ginger and Cashews
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Jamie Oliver 's World's Best Baked Onions Corn Pudding
Crock Pot Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie
Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie
Chiffon Pumpkin Pie
Carrot Cake

Calories 12602- Full of Bliss!!!
Our long hike at Seneca Creek State Park before our meal was a perfect way to enjoy what is sure to be one of the last warm days. As the storm rolled in the temps began to drop from 60 to 40 over the evening.

Jamie Olivers World's Best Baked Onions-I made these after seeing his Naked Chef episode where he made these for Jamiroquai (one of my favorite bands)
Mom's Beautiful Table!

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie


"As the holidays approach, you may be preparing yourself to gather with family members you don’t usually spend time visiting...you can call upon your inner strength to stand in your truth and simply be who you are without needing their approval or heeding any criticism. Then, you can offer them the gift you’d like to receive when you also allow them to be themselves.
Being in situations that we might not choose for ourselves allows us to see ourselves in a new light. The contrast helps us to see our own strengths and weaknesses, and to learn to accept others for theirs. Part of the magic of family is the way in which it bonds diverse people together, allowing them to function as a complete unit. Who we are today has been built upon our past. If nothing else, rejoining with the family and friends who knew us in our earlier days allows us to recall where we came from so that we can appreciate all that we’ve been given." ~Exerpt from Nov. 21st Daily Om

I wanted to take a moment this morning while all is still quite to be thankful for every moment of my life. I am truly blessed with wealth of spirit, health and wonderful family and friends whom I love so dearly~Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!


Table project finished!

Phew, sorry it's been so long. I've been busy in preparations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, house guests and our Black Friday Party! All of these things were super motivation towards finishing the Table and Chairs purchased off ebay this summer. All together we got a new cherry dining table and 6 chairs for under $400! I'm very VERY pleased with how this project came out. It was a lot of work but so worth it. Brendan and I really work well together on these type of projects and I love doing them, especially with him.


In Progress



Birthday Resolution-More Museums

Instead of just making New Years resolutions I decided I would make one resolution each year on my birthday. So yesterday being my birthday I do hereby pledge to see one or two museums every month for the next year! I'll also post more info on these visits here on my blog.
I spent my birthday evening attending a wonderful lecture at the Textile museum with Gerhart Knodel as the speaker. It was so inspiring listening to him talk about his tenor as an educator at Cranbrook academy. The topic was "Hot House: Expanding the field of fibers at Cranbrook 1970-2007"
My original interest in going to this lecture was that two of my beloved college professors went to Cranbrook and studied under Gerhard Knodel. I was totally blown away by the many notable fiber artists alumni who are so successful in the field of Fibers today. Among them are, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Joan Livingstone, Wesley Mancini, Fuyuko Matsubara, Piper Shepard, Chad Alice Hagen, Nick Cave, & Bhakti Ziek to name a few. Please see the exhibition website for works by these artist and links to their sites. The tremendous success of these individuals says so much about the quality of education at Cranbrook and the talent of Gerhart Knodel. These individuals have and continue to pioneer the field of fiber arts and are creating contemporary works of art that break the boundaries between art and craft. The attention to detail, exquisite quality, insightful commentary on society and conceptual/experimental approach of these artists is truly inspiring!


Happy Halloween-Spooky Inspiration

On our trip to New England earlier this fall we visited a few cemetaries from the 1600-1800. These images are a spooky selections of the wonderful and very old headstones we saw.

Mushroom in Cemetary, Groton Mass.
Headstone in Cemetary, Pemaquid, Maine.
Cemetary, Pemaquid, Maine
Headstone in Cemetary, Pemaquid, Maine.
Cemetary, Groton Mass
Cemetary, Groton Mass
Headstone Detail in Cemetary, Groton Mass.
Headstone in Cemetary, Groton Mass.