It is entirely appropriate that I begin this post with the Time Fly. This charming creature was sent to me by dear friend, Shelley Noble, and is the first piece of personal mail that I have received at my new Canadian address! Time Flies are featured in her fabulous, hand made, stop motion, animation movie, Halfland. They control the speed of time, and let me tell you, around here it has been moving way to quickly! I am late with this week’s weekword post! The Time Fly arrived in the nick of time!

Last week our word was Summer, posted by the lovely Emma at the Gift Shed.

Hurry and get yourself a copy of the Spring/Summer issue of SewStylish Magazine before they are all gone! I thoroughly enjoyed creating a map (of sorts) for the article, Sewing without a Map. (click to see the full illo) I found this article extremely helpful, especially for following vintage patterns or for those times when you might want to deconstruct a favorite but worn out dress and remake it anew. The magazine is packed with lots of other fun sewing projects and tips too!

I hope you’ve been enjoying summer so far. I spent the first part of the season packing, packing, packing and moving.

We’ve all had some adjusting to do.

I will be spending the rest of the summer relaxing/recuperating, exploring and setting up the new nest.

I’ve been tapped to post the next weekword! Let’s see what you can do with the word water. If you’d like to join,  just leave a comment here and I will list your entry on my post this Friday!


It’s time to read Alice in Wonderland again. I have read it every 5 or 6 years since I was 13. It gets into my dreams, with a slightly different twist, and makes me see the world from a different angle each time I read it. Have you noticed that things tend to surface when you most need them?

This video by Angela Kohler gives me the same happy-excited feeling  that I get when I read Alice in Wonderland. (via Mint)

My daughter has heard the story in Lewis Carrol’s words many times.  I recently found a copy of the invitation to her fifth birthday party (10 years ago!) She and her friends went to see Tim Burton’s version of Alice last night. I can’t wait to hear what they think of it. I wonder how many of them have read the book?

Alice in Wonderland is a perfect book to read aloud. To kids, to adults, to the mirror. I also highly recommend reading anything by James Thurber aloud, The 13 Clocks and The Wonderful O are family favorites.  And of course poetry. I just got my copy of Margie and I love her.  But I beg of you…whatever you do, DO NOT read  in “Poet Voice”.  No.

Imaginary playmates

That is what I used to call my blog friends.

While I was planning my recent trip, I thought it might be fun to actually meet a blog friend in person. Shelley Noble is a stop motion animator whose work  I have admired for some time.  I wrote to tell Shelley that I’d be in town,  and her reply with an invitation to visit her fabulous world of Halfland was so warm and welcoming that I knew it would be a special day.


From the minute she met me at the door I knew that this would not be a typical “how do you do” visit.  Shelley lives and works in a wonderous loft. Her work and living spaces were in a lovely balance when I arrived, the set for Halfland on one side, living space on the other. Shelley’s workspace is chock full of stuff for making  Halfland come to life. It’s an incredibly magical workshop with everything in it. Honest, every color of paint or pastel, ribbons, feathers, paper, all sorts of tools. I could have lost myself in there for weeks.  But the thing that really makes it all work is her resourcefulness. Just read her blog posts about the way she creates things and you’ll understand what I mean. She’ll use a drinking straw to make the perfect mechanism to animate a bird’s head, or a 99 cent container of gloop to make a cup of tea look delightfully real. Incredible imagination, she has.




Here are a few of the beautifully detailed props that she showed me. I love Shelley’s blog because she is so open and generous with her techniques. She is always willing to share what works and discuss what doesn’t and why.


And for more fun, she asked me to draw some paper trees for Halfland! She brought out some huge pieces of cardboard  and we spilled over into  the whole space.  It was the most wonderful blend of life and art. We talked and talked about everything as we worked; animation, dance, art,  food, books…etc. Shelley and I have a lot in common, but the most important thing that I noticed was that we are both curious. The questions flew back and forth between us and it was all so comfortable. We each had a genuine interest in how the other conducts her life/work balance.


Shelley painted this quote backwards on the wall so that it can be read in her bathroom mirror. Clever.


We had a great time cutting out the trees. When my family came to pick me up, I couldn’t wait to show them everything. Next thing I knew the girls were painting too! YAY!! They each signed the guest artist board, they will never forget it.  To see how the trees came out check out Shelley’s post.

I could not have dreamed up a better visit.

Fish & Collage




I’ve been having a lot of fun with collage lately. Above are a few I did in Tami’s book for our sketchbook exchange.


About 5 months ago I glued hydrangea petals and leaves into the shape of a fish on a page in  the sketchbook of Aurora, another participant in the exchange. Before I sent it off I scanned the page so that I could post it to flickr and also so that I’d have a record of the way it looked when it left me. I imagine the leaves and/or petals will eventually turn brown. Recently I printed it onto canvas and made a puppet out of it to send off to  friend who is making a wonderous animation. This fish travels to the west coast more than I do lately!

And while we are on the subject of collage, check out the wonderful work of KC Trommer. Oh, and her poetry…sigh.


Tanya Davis’ song Art. Video by Andrea Dorfman

I cannot stop watching this video. I love it so.

Last week my daughter was accepted into an arts magnet high school. The application and audition were so much work, she worked so very hard and I am so very, very proud of her.

(ahem….highschool? How did that happen?)

Wonderous stop motion

I’ve been thinking a lot about getting back into animation lately. Coincidently, this week two blog friends posted  two awe inspiring stop motion animations.

Thanks to  Gaia for posting this:

I have similar dreams. There is a place on my headboard where the paint is worn off.  It’s where I hold on when I dream that my bed is sailing off into the sky with me,  Little Nemo style. I’ve hung onto headboards in my sleep ever since I was very little. I don’t sleep very well in a bed without one. For fun facts about this video look here. (thanks Heather!)

And this amazing film was shared by Shelley, whose blog, Notes from Halfland, has been such an inspiration for me!

And just in time for Esme’s birthday too!