winter whites


Powdery blue, silver, rosy taupe, celadon, winter white, blush, misty gray. The faintest of colors seem to dominate my surroundings this time of year. It happens to be my favorite palette no matter what season, but I love how the winter time somehow makes even the whitest shades of pale more vivid.


The color scheme in the landscape is influencing my work. There has been plenty of white on white stitching done (some may be altered in the dye pot at a later date) and a few older unfinished pieces has gained new life, despite being tucked away because of perceived lack of color interest.


Right after the holidays I made time for a dye pot, experimenting with only using plant materials gathered from the back yard despite the wintery weather. A combination of nandina, oak, magnolia and leatherleaf viburnum were layered between silk, cotton, and linen fabric, with a few pieces of paper thrown in for added interest.



The clamped bundle simmered with a handful of fustic wood shavings, for a couple of hours and were left to rest for another few days. The unveiling was far more thrilling than I expected. Somehow the wonderful imprints left behind mirrored the shades of the wintery cold landscape outside. In layers, and gradations, even the palest of impressions managed to stand out. Such joy...


white work


White is my latest obsession, especially stitching white on white with a bit of color thrown in for contrast. There is something refreshing and restful about white even as we head into the cosy winter months. These new pieces are part of an upcoming show at Gallery 45 in Richmond, a wonderful collaborate effort with hundreds of artists participating. The show opens this Wednesday and runs through next weekend.

all white

The world is blanketed in snow outside my studio window. Inside I am sifting through my vintage treasure box. Most of its content relates to my family. Every monogram and piece of lace has a history. I come from a line of seamstresses. Not the professional kind, but the kind who sewed, stitched, and embroidered out of necessity and out of joy. Weaving, knitting, quilting, tailoring, crocheting, mending, and altering were my grandmother's and my mother's artistry. Their passion and appreciation were passed on to me. Some of their skills (not all) were as well...


Each time I visit my mom in Sweden, I bring a few more pieces back with me. My promise to her and to myself is that they will be used for a special project, a heirloom of heirlooms of sort. I don't know what shape it will take, when it will be done, or how, but hopefully it will be worthy to pass on to a few more generations.


A few belated thank yous are in order. Gay over at I dreamed I saw, included my geranium sachets in her sweet smelling post this weekend, and Elaine at nestingblog recently featured my queen anne's lace art quilt. Tusen tack! I also want to thank Denise from Hamburg, Germany, (lieblings.weerke) who picked my market tote as one of the items in her beautiful fig post.

reclaiming the garden

Gardening has always been a big part of my life, but for the past few years my own garden has been woefully neglected. Family, work, art, and life has gradually encroached on my precious gardening time and lately I have been too embarrassed to face the weeds and the decline.

This is about to change. This weekend I met with Tracey, (blogger friend, horticulturist, garden consultant, artist, and almost neighbor). We had a wonderful time walking around my yard in the warm morning sun, discussing options, admiring the good, noting the bad. Tracey's positive attitude and practical advise, made me see the garden and the practice of gardening with new eyes. I am truly inspired! The daunting job of caring for our acre of our overgrown land, will be broken down in small manageable projects. I have promised myself to stay on task and to rediscover the joy of digging in the dirt and stopping to smell the roses...


winter wonder

We woke up to more snow this morning. Wet and heavy, engulfing the neighborhood. Everything seems so pristine after a snowfall. This month I am starting two new partnerships. I am collaborating with Karen Young and her newly launched show:room, where she will promote independent artists and designers. Karen's own line Hammocks & High Tea is part of this small but talented group of eco conscious creative businesses. I have also placed my first ever sponsor ad on bliss. I can't imagine a better venue than Mrs. French's lovely blog, and I am proud to be a bliss supporter.

liljekonvalj and dogwoods

Few flowers are more symbolic for me than these two. Liljekonvalj, or Lily of the valley, represents my Swedish childhood. Wherever we lived, from the baltic island of Gotland, to the coastal area of southern Halland and the tenant house we rented on a southern estate, there vas always an abundance of liljekonvalj both wild and cultivated. It is my favorite flower and I am lucky to find them quite content in my current garden. The delicate bells have a divine scent, that now fills up my studio. The dogwoods are the essence of my life in Virginia. They are currently in full bloom all around town, along the highways, and scattered in the woods. We have two old trees in our front yard, magnificent despite their relative smallness. The blooms seem to hover on almost bare twigs and the branch structure is very sculptural. In the fall the shapely leaves will turn bronze and burgundy for yet another time in the limelight.

folds and foilage

I am leaving you with a snapshot of another project I am working on, this one involving lots of folds and fantastic vintage Irish linen. Prints of leaves will be incorporated at some point as well. Also, I can't resist these freshly sprung japanese maple leaves in my front yard. The color combination is perfect in that strange way that only nature can provide. Anywhere else it would look garish. Chicago is waiting. I'll be back next week with photos, marvels, and impressions.

spring unfurling

It is unseasonably chilly here in central Virginia, but somehow spring still makes its way. A buckeye sapling is unfurling its leaves and the crab apple in the far corner of our yard is in full bloom. The geraniums are leafing out (ready for printing yet again) and Trevor, the frog fountain, is waiting for action in his soapstone basin. The fruit trees are blooming as well, both plums and asian pears try hard to attract the honey bees... Thanks to all of you who visited the bloom show, in person or in spirit. The opening went well and the middle room in the gallery was bursting with lushness, flora, and fresh imagery. 

white spring

Cut star magnolia branches are in full bloom in our family room. The flowers are so beautiful in a fringy, delicate way. I spent most of this past weekend outside, working in the garden. Despite near freezing morning temperatures, I happily pruned, dug, replanted, raked, and dug some more. My lovely husband started on the raised beds for the vegetable garden. They look so nice and they will help us conquer the inevitable chaos of rampant growth that will hit full force come July. There is much left to do of course, such as plopping the beds in place, digging and hauling dirt to fill them up, amending the soil, planting the seeds, and watch everything sprout...