Two days left

I’m so tired of this image and I only have two days remaining for carving. My right hand is exhausted. My body doesn’t enjoy all the sitting. I just have to buckle down and keep focusing on the end goal. Saturday morning I leave home at 7:30.

The block is 40” x 24”. Cherry plywood.

Break time

Current stage of the project.

Yesterday I was forced to take a break, not that I wanted it. My back muscles decided to go wonky. This happens several times a year so I typically can get it under control in a few days. Hopefully that will be the case here. So I’m spending time with ice packs and a heating pad, Yoga stretching, hard ball massage, and trying to keep the stress to a minimum. That’s the game plan for today and Friday. Of course this would happen when I was finally getting a better feeling for working the block. Oh well. Maybe this project wasn’t the best choice for me, but I still hope to complete it for the April 16th deadline. I just need let the body settle down.

Woodblock size is 39” x 24”. Cherry plywood.

Carving Wood, Felt Flowers and 13 Years

Let’s start with the 13th Anniversary of this Blog! Has it really been that long???? I’ve been so neglectful of keeping up with everything in life on any platform. Ok, I guess Instagram probably receives the most attention these days because it’s just easy to post a photo and add a few words. Sitting down an blogging takes time and brain energy, which seem to be spent in other areas these days. So, Happy Anniversary to Sticks Stones and Paperstew!

The last two months have been swamped with quite a few things: First, I was asked to add a few items into the Valentines show at Vintage Roost and came away with a little cash (which was greatly appreciated). Second thing to note is an art challenge: a Big Ink woodblock print! Many years ago I started following BigInk Print because of his very interesting press. It’s mobile and can fit enormous blocks most often left to giant construction rolling equipment. I guess the prints could also be created with lots of hand rubbing , but that already makes my arms hurt just thinking about it. So I applied, last minute, to the Eugene OR visit and was accepted. Now I have to create!

The print journey has been running for several weeks. I chose a Zebra with Oxpecker birds that I photographed while visiting Kenya in 2019. The block size is 39″ long by 24″ high (99×61 cm) and is cherry plywood. The surface was tinted with a blue acrylic paint and I used carbon paper to help transfer my image. Print Day is April 16th and I’ll receive 3 images during my session (and the block will come home with me for more hand pulled images). The count down is real! Below are some of the process images thus far:

Transfer of the image to cherry plywood.
Starting to carve out the zebra head
Progress image as of March 16, 2022

Besides printing preparation, jumping back into tax prep, I decided to make a few Snowdrops and Crocus in felt. The weather is warming up after a few weeks of cold weather with rain. Today was beautiful! Daffodils and plum trees blooming their hearts out. The sweet smells of Daphne from numerous neighbors homes. I’m feeling the need to get out and start planning the new garden beds.

Snowdrop in wool.

I suspect that’s enough for now. Please keep following along for more print updates. One of the completed images will go to auction to benefit the Makindu Children’s Program.

New ideas popping up

Happy Lunar New Year! I’ve been working on numerous projects lately, mainly with wool, and slowly selling off the remaining chickadee cards from our holiday print run. Taxes are in the works because I’m awful about keeping track of expenses/time invested into projects. The Vintage Roost, a local seasonal venue, is currently hosting a few items of mine during their Valentines Open House. Additional stock was produced for the event and it’s actually starting to push me into thinking about other ways to use wool. Their clients seem to be interested in quite a wide assortment of finished goods. This weekend I started to work on wool as jewelry. If you look at Pinterest, there’s an overflow of ideas (yes, I do pop on to look at colors and textures in a variety of things from printmaking, ceramics, and textiles). So I’m slowly learning how to make small things and play with my existing bead stash.

Beaded felt earrings still missing the actual ear loop portion. That will be sorted soon.

Another thing that surfaced last week was the print advertisement for the upcoming show at our local arts center. I happened to win the 2021 “Peoples Choice Award” with the giant felted wool cow head. The winning art is featured on the show advertisement the following year.

The artist and her work.

I’m glad they chose to feature a photo of artwork and artist. It certainly gives a size reference for the art but actually connects the art with the actual artist, even if I have on my face mask 😷. One friend said I looked like a cattle rustler! This is the first time they have used an image like this for their show.

Hot pink heart with Red the cow.
Heart magnets.

Everything hearts seems to be the current studio theme. I’m glad it’s coming to an end and my brain is pushing forward with ideas for the upcoming event later this spring.

Spring is coming to our part of the country. Snowdrops and crocus are blooming! Even daffodils are almost in bloom. Migrating birds are starting to move back north. I saw my first Turkey Vultures of the season on January 28th, happily consuming a rotting critter. It seems a few weeks early, but they certainly know when spring is coming.

wood burning on plywood. Warbler part 2

Eventually I’ll get back to working on the Warbler block. It takes a special energy and focus that I don’t seem to have available right now. Maybe later this week I’ll uncover it. Maybe not. I do want to make a valentine card for family! Oh dear, that’s my impatient brain running away with ideas again!

Thanks for checking in!

For those who want to see what I’m doing more frequently, please check out Instagram

Warbler Start

Warbler start on plywood

Here we go with a second round of bird wood burning/ drawings. This is a Townsend’s Warbler, a very active bird around my area. I’m working from a photo that I took last February during the same ice storm as the Chestnut Backed Chickadee. This little male has a lovely profile but his tail end is actually facing me. I’ll be attempting to get all those delicate fluffy feathers and strong wing and tail working in an appropriate manner. Time will tell! I have lots of burning ahead.

The wood is a plywood cut as a 9 inch square. Wood burner is from Walnut Hollow.


Progress image of a Chestnut Backed Chickadee in burned wood

For several years I’ve created a special holiday card for family and friends. The vast majority of them were hand pulled prints including block and screen prints in multiple colors. The last card (2019) was created from cut paper pieces put through photoshop and sent to a printers to replicate. Holiday cards are special and made with love, but haven’t been quite as regular as in years past. This year I’m going for a little different attempt with, wait for it…, yes a totally different medium!

Pyrography, also known as wood burning, just recently popped into my life. I ran across a pet portrait artist on Instagram who does lovely images and it intrigued me. I happen to have a wood burning tool purchased for a different reason years ago and hasn’t been used but once a few weeks back to create signage for wool laundry balls.

Of course this is just a giant experiment for my brain to jump on. What if I burn wood? What happens when I add colored pencils over the top? Does that add to the look? Do I get greater interest from it? Possibly! When this particular image is completed, do I experiment with the same chickadee image in pastels? Cut paper? Ceramics? Felt? Life is one giant experiment in the making. I’m just swirling around on different eddies of artistic delight. Maybe someday I’ll settle down on one thing.

Hopefully, once the cards arrive, I’ll have enough to sell later via art events or online. The above photo is a progress image. I’ll post the final image after Christmas. If you’re on Instagram, you can see the completed image there

If I don’t get in another posting before Christmas, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

December? Already?

Vintage Roost Display

Oh my goodness! Where has all the time gone? Wait, I seem to remember lots of wool… stabbing with barbed needles and production. Yes, I’ve been working on product and things have been selling. Which means more production for restocking. Now the final weekend is almost here and I can shift to creating the holiday card for 2021. The image is in my brain but how to put it to paper is the question. Will it be a block print or drawing? I’ll try to keep you posted. After the weekend, all the remaining felted product will return home and be placed on Etsy for sale. Ceramics are also going into production. Oh my! I think my hands are primed and ready for clay action. They really haven’t enjoyed all the felting torture. So on to new projects!

Over the hurdle

Hello November with your blustery days. The atmospheric river of storms are dumping rain around the Pacific Northwest (aka “the Pineapple Express” due to the high temperatures). I went walking yesterday with my neighbor and we both had to pull off our coats. It was in the 60’s! The flood of rain is hitting farther north, but it should still reach us at some point today. No worries for me because I’m spending time cleaning up after the frenzy of wool creature creations. Everything was dropped off yesterday. Over $2,000 of product. I sure hope some of it sells!

During the craze of everything, the owl was requested to participate in a show at the local Arts Center in Corvallis. It will be dropped off next week. I’ve been neglecting my photography of product because, well, it just takes so much energy to make that portion of things happen. So to help make things easier, I finally broke down and purchased a collapsible photo booth with LED lighting & swap out background. The biggest problem was what size to purchase. Since I’m hoping to be creating larger works I opted for a 24″x 24″ cube. The brand is Fotodiox. The owl photos below are from the set up

Is It Safe?
Is It Safe? Wool Barn Owl in cedar box

Is It Safe? Wool Barn owl with Cedar box

So what’s next? I think, after rearranging the studio to be habitable again, working on finishing the walls and ceiling in the downstairs portion of the house. If that zone can be completed, we could finally move back into the space rather than using it as a dumping ground for work gear. We could finally move the TV and a couch to the space! Of course the flat file cabinets and intaglio press still wait for an actual studio but hopefully that will happen in 2022.

I’ll leave you with a few more photos from my crazy critter creations waiting for the big 3 weekend sale at the Vintage Roost. Did I mention that it’s only 2 miles from my house? I’m so looking forward to seeing the festivities!


Thanks for your patience waiting for a new posting. Hope your November is moving smoothly and life is good.

Fast and arty in all directions

New Pastels!

Another crazy art week has passed with new items sprouting up everywhere plus several gatherings with beloved friends. Above is the pastel set I ordered from the UK. So looking forward to playing with these soon!!!

felted bear head ideas

I spent a day working on felting bear heads in an attempt to better grasp what I’m envisioning with the project. The first ones were all pretty simple but my brain doesn’t like just simple. I want to dive into the complexities. How are the eyes REALLY placed on the face? How big are the ears and in what relationship are they with the eyes and snout? What are the real head proportion and planes of the face? Those are the things my brain is thinking and I’m trying to portray it with the stabbed felt , but it’s not there yet. More effort and time is needed to really reach what I want before actually selling the little guys. I still have time on my side.

first feline head attempt

Felting quickly gave way to clay sculpture (Georgie’s B mix). I wanted to see how my hands would do compared to the stress of needle felting and less finger stabbing. I think I just have a huge yearning for sculpture in some form or another. Clay might be the medium I’ve been really needing back in my life. The only problem is where to do it. My default location is the dining room table, which again makes the point of needing a true studio space out side the home. The above cat head was the first attempt without any muses, drawings or other visual aids. It turned out to look more Egyptian. Below is a first round with trying to find a cheetah in the clay. It does look cat like, but could also look like an otter or something else.

second cat/cheetah head attempt.

Now I’ve added in more photos for reference and cheetah head #2 is still not there and needs more work time. Hopefully this week I can sit down with all the cat heads and figure them out more.

cheetah profile?
cheetah frontal
Sheep head comfort zone

Since I was feeling a bit unfulfilled with the cat heads, I pulled together a sheep head from memory. It didn’t do too badly. Still rough and needs more working time.

Dave and Tom on the mountain

I had two beautiful clay absorbed days working at the dining room table! This was because I had a Dave free zone! Seriously, I love my husband dearly but it’s been rather challenging working with him on the other side of the wall from my space. Yes, I work better without anyone else around. Thursday he was on-site for work and Friday he went ziplining with my brother Tom at Mt Bachelor. I was totally jealous but we couldn’t both go due to the dogs. They both had such a good time together. What a view!

A view looking up the wall from the lower stairs

Saturday we buttoned up the last bits on the blue pine wall. The door still needs trim, but we have a few bits to sort out with that application. The rest of it is done!

Mary’s Peak

Sunday we went to visit dear friends on their farm. This is where I receive the majority of my wool, where I gather sheep face inspiration and tasty sausage. Unfortunately, the herd is undergoing a major illness that might take the full flock of 10. The ewes have an unknown respiratory infection that took two on Friday and two more are already going down the same route. If the veterinary college can’t figure out a cure quickly enough the entire group will be gone within two weeks. I really hope answers come forward to save the girls. This could mean the end of sheep farming for this couple . It makes me sick. However, I did take a few photos while there. It was strange not to have the lambs around.


Thanks for checking in for yet another installment of my art zone. Stay safe and healthy out there!