Monday, September 29, 2014

On My Desk

From this

To this.  All told there will be a minimum of 28 new pieces in my Crows Folly series.  These fourteen panels are 6x6x2 inches, with the remaining panels being 8x8x2 inches.  I have several large panels as well for this series, however they will take a bit more work to finish.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Butterfly Collection No. 2

Butterflies No. 2
Repeat for paper and fabric.

Thimbles and Buttons

Thimbles and Buttons

One of my fondest childhood memories was playing in my grandmother's button tin.  She had, in her sewing room which was a converted front porch, a huge metal tin filled with every button imaginable.

White Stitch Collection

Off to Grandma's House Sewing Basket Collection

My grandmother Baxter taught me how to sew, by hand at the age of 7ish, by the time I was nine she had taught me how to sew using a sewing machine and my dad procured, from a local dump, my very first treadle sewing machine.  This collection is reminiscent of both my grandmothers, and my paternal great grandmother, all of whom stitched in various forms from quilting to embroidery, crochet and knitting, and all of them knew how to make clothing without a pattern.

Butterfly Collection

This collection is based upon an antique butterfly applique pattern that I found in our attic.  The pattern, and calico butterfly cutouts belonged to my husbands first wife's grandmother, the fabric butterflies are beautiful and someday I hope to either applique them to some fabric or have another quilter do the hand stitching for me.  Stay tuned as I work these butterflies into other colorways.

Dualing Diamonds Collections

Dualing Diamonds One

Dualing Diamonds Two

These will be available through my Spoonflower Shop later this evening. 

I learned how to make t his pattern this past spring when I was researching how to make sunflowers using Illustrator and happened upon a youtube tutorial on how to make Lotus Blossoms instead.  I have to admit the idea of using illustrator to create such a complicated looking object was a wee bit terrifying at first, but after two days of practicing I had my very first Lotus.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Giddy or Jittery

Fabric paint on stabilizer.

I'm not sure if I'm giddy or jittery about the thought of putting some of my collections onto my website tomorrow!  The feeling I have is a whole lot like how I felt on my wedding day, a very strange mix of emotions, starting with how will this all turn out?

Anywho... tomorrow is the big day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Birds at the Refuge

Birds in flight at Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge

I miss not getting to see the bison or the elk, well the bison we did see were a mile plus off in the tall grass.  Am hoping to go back and visit again soon.

More Prairie Inspiration

I'm not sure how well the fence stands out in this image, it really pops in the larger version. This is the fence that's employed at the Refuge to keep the bison and elk contained.

More grass, more birds.

Angels Nest

It's one hot mess, yeah I know this, but don't even try to remove the "nest".  Oliver made this nest for Angel, yeah my 78 pound labradoodle really did this!  And if we remove it he only brings in more stuff for the old one to sleep on, which at this point is fine because I don't have to worry about her trying to get up or down from the sofa and hurting herself in the process.

There's a part of me that'd like to believe that Oliver feels guilty for having destroyed Angels princess bed and this is why he keeps making nests for her, but we all know that's not the case.

We're still hand feeding her, and she's become quite picky with some days not eating at all.  I've been blessed in that my neighbors help me out with her from time to time, like when I have to go places, and they have experience with an elderly dog whose time upon this earth is growing short. 

She's been with us nine years today, yes I got her on my birthday nine years ago she was a rescue, its hard to believe as the time has passed and quickly, her actual age is somewhere around 15/16 years.

Happy Birthday

My earliest memory of my mother is of her dropping a multi-tiered cake onto the table in front of me and her saying "happy birthday kid now shut the fuck up".  I was three or four years of age at the time.

So happy fucking birthday to me!  I'm taking the day off and I owe NO ONE any explanations as to what I will or will NOT be doing today!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Inspiration

Fall Inspiration at 70 mph! I took this image, the shadow of our truck against the ripening corn, as John was driving north on I35 and was inspired.  More to come.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Still Life Number 1 for Fall 2014

First still life for the Fall season, actually I really can't wait for the colorful leaves and the pumpkins!

Buckeye sketch attempt no. 1 (three minute sketch).

If your thinking you can't draw, don't worry about it I can't draw either, lol, that said well I used to be able to draw but without practice the brain and muscles tend to forget.

So I will spend the next couple of days doing quick sketches and color studies of these buckeyes and the rest of the nommies in this mini still life.  I will spend time studying and drawing their curves, etc., another words I will get to know them.

I started with a quick sketch, and then photographed the different sides of this particular buckeye.

Another view, here you can see how the color and the pattern, yes there's a burl like pattern on this particular buckeye, vary.

The spot that on the shell that makes a buckeye recognizable as a buckeye.

Monday, September 15, 2014

An attempt at a bird from September 3rd.  Right now I feel like a bird brain after yesterdays severe allergic reaction, which landed me in the ER for a good three hours!  Tons of steroids later and today I feel the best I've felt in a long, long time.  So I'm following up with my regular doc, and then the allergist, later this week.

In other news, if my previous posts on this blog seem out of whack/sync it's because I'm combining my other blogs, all nine of them apparently (and I've already deleted several of them) into one blog only.  I'll also be going back and deleting some older posts that are no longer relevant.  I'm honing my focus, with some great things to come from my studio!

Bjorkboda Marsh, Hamilton County, Iowa.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Fall is a great time for making changes, as is winter, spring, and of course summer!  The biggest changes I'm making right now are: combining my blogs, all seven of them, into one or two blogs, and closing the Natural Surface Academy at the end of this month.  This is a major weight off of my soul, I would say shoulders but this is a soul enriching experience!  My new focus will be my artwork, making meaningful art that makes my soul sing, and licensing my designs.

Stay tuned there's more to come!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paring Down & New Beginnings!!!

Paring down, starting with my websites and blogs, and soon to be my wet studio, and have new goals and an actionable plan for future art and designs. I'd do handsprings from the excitement, but my allergies are preventing me from doing so today, lol.

I have two immediate goal dates, September 6th to get my new designs/collections for licensing up onto my blog (group accountability is great for this!!!) and October 4th for the Open Studio Tour. I need to deep clean for the tour, which means an opportunity to get rid of stuff I haven't used in years and probably won't be using again anytime here in the near future, and get prints made of newly created works of art for the tour!

The next goal after that is the Month of November which is National Writing Month and the goal is to get my last Natural Dye Book finished, and hopefully the app (by the end of December) and then it's on to other activities. I'm culling the Natural Surface Academy, etc., too many things on my plate which prevents me from creating and doing what I really love! Also no more teaching!!!

The 60 Day Crow (Bird) Challenge has been a wonderful experience, I will do the big reveal here in a few days.  I now have plans to run this challenge again, as it was quite popular!

CLOSING The Natural Surface Academy

I will be closing The Natural Surface Academy NING Network on September 30th, 2014.  The Natural Surface Facebook Group will remain open.

The Acadmey is now down to four members making the expense of keeping the NING group open no longer viable.  The Facebook Group is private and can only be seen by members. I will be slowly moving all the information from the NING network to a private blog for the remaining members to access.