Laughing Dog Arts

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wet woods walk

As I said in my last post, we have had plenty of rain lately.  I'm not complaining, just stating the facts.  I'm glad it warmed up a bit and things are growing more finally.  The 3 dogs and I had a nice walk in the rain today and I brought my camera along to snap a few photos of the wild flowers and such.  Above is an unfurling Bracken Fern.

Star Flowered Solomon's Seal

Wild Bleeding Hearts with a seed pod developing

most of the forest is carpeted with these little plants, the Bleeding heart and Solomon's Seal

Wild Strawberry

Large Flowered Fairy Bells

Tonka always has to keep his eye on me.

The wild purple iris are starting to bloom and they are so gorgeous and prolific.

You can see the grass is beginning to get tall.  It will be time to begin haying soon, usually around the 4th of July.

Here is one of the Big Leaf Maples on my property.  It is not fully leafed out yet.  It has been so cold that things are at least two weeks late this year.

Service berry blossoms.

Sadie and Tonkabutt, patiently waiting for me to quit taking so darn many photos.

Sadie likes to take a dip in the creek every day no matter how cold it is.

I made a little video of the end of my walk.  You can hear the rain and a robin singing.

I hope you enjoyed this little walk with me.  As I was preparing this post I heard the first Swainson's Thrush of the year, singing the dusk in.  I love that bird.  It's arrival usually heralds summer for me.

Be well.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

I guess I have been busy

I enjoyed making the first woven piece so much I had to make another in mostly blues and greens.  This time I attached it to a piece of old linen napkin that I dyed and stenciled and wrapped that fabric around a piece of foam core board.  It is about 6"X 8".

Here it is, still on the loom.  I put the gift card in the photo to give an idea of the size of the piece.  Plus it is a cute gift card from Powell's book store, my favorite book store.

As you can see I have continued to make large tote bags out of feed sacks.  There are so many colorful bags, and they are quite strong.  I have given plenty away and I use several for my recycling stuff.  Still there is a big pile of them waiting to be turned into totes, mostly the plainer ones.

In my last post I showed the piece of felt I had been playing with on the needle felting machine.  I turned the felt into these little pillow hearts.  I like the above one the best.

This heart has the foil on it but I think I needled it too much and most of the foil came off.  It does look better in person, the photo doesn't show it to advantage.  It has sequins and beads, including some polymer clay beads I made.

Last but not least, I finished a beaded bracelet I have been working on for awhile.  I had to crop in real close so you didn't have to see my sun damaged skin so much.  This pattern came from a book by Beverly Ash Gilbert titled Beaded Colorways.  It is a lovely and very inspiring book showing how to create free form bead weaving projects.  I'd recommend it.

Sometimes I feel that I don't get much accomplished down here in the studio.  That is one good thing about the blog, it helps me to focus on what I have done, rather than what I haven't.  When I began to gather photos for today's post I realized I have been busier than I realized plus I haven't even shown all the things I've been working on.  I have several nieces either getting married or having babies so I'm also making baby quilts and thinking about what I could make for a wedding gift.  Not any big quilts for wedding gifts!  I'm not up for that much focused work at the moment!  Not with all the garden chores at this time of year.

I hope you all are enjoying some fine late spring weather.  I'm continuing to enjoy this fine spring rain here.  Sorta.  It is better than too hot or tornadoes, that's for sure.

Be well.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011


I became enthused to try to make a little weaving on my small beading loom.  I strung it with red upholstery thread and began weaving in various fibers and ribbons and threads.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it once I finished it, I didn't have a plan.

After I put it on this piece of felt I had made, I liked it there so that is where I attached it.

This little silver decoration is a fork.  I've had it for over 20 years and now it seems to fit into this piece nicely.  By the way, the black background is not part of the piece.

Another thing I've been working on lately are these postcards that were mailed out to the other gals in my Stitch 'n Bitch group.  If you want to see what kinds of things we do you can check out our blog here: Fox On The Run.

Today I was playing with my needle felting machine.  I took some suggestions from Maggi at To Dream To Stitch and layered some silver foil on purple felt with Misty Fuse between the layers.  Then I needled silk and wool fibers on top. You can see the colors I used in the bundle to the right there. Next came some pale green organza, needled and then hit with a heat gun to melt the organza mostly away.  The photo below shows the foil fused to the felt, next to the left over foil.

Not sure what I where I will go with it from here.  Some hand work, for sure.

We did get some sun finally, and I was busy outside doing gardening and walking, enjoying the sun.  Today was back to pure clouds and a bit of rain.   I'm still here.  I guess I'm just an ol' backslider, not worth rapturing.

Be well.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Gardening in the cold

We had an almost sunny day today.  The temperature climbed up into the low 60's.  Wow, a heat wave!  Does one sunny day qualify as a heat wave?  Lately it does, around here anyway.  So I was working outside the studio, instead of inside.  I salvaged an old wood stove a couple years ago, hoping to be able to refurbish it, but it was just too far gone.  I was able to salvage the base and the upper warming ovens and set them up today as some sort of yard art. 

The ovens are actually upside down, sitting on top of the wood stove base.  Then we put a wood shelf on the top.  I rather like the way this looks, I can keep some plants on there.  I put several pots of cactus on it and some pots with sprouts of flowers growing.  It may not show up in Better Homes and Gardens, but I like it.

It has been so cold and wet it has been hard to get plants to grow.  This past week the trees finally started to leaf out a bit, the alders and the maples.  They seem very late, I'm sure they usually would be more fully leafed out by mid May.  The fruit trees are only now coming into blossom.  We are growing things in flats, waiting to be able to plant them out into the cold soil of the garden.  Chain saw man likes his tobacco and grows his own.

It is quite a pretty plant, lush and green and it will get quite large.  I'm not into tobacco myself but I do enjoy the plants.  They smell lovely when they get big.

We resorted to making mini compost piles in these huge pots and planted right on top of the warming compost.  Here you see little kale plants.  Cool weather crops are doing the best.  At least the ones the slugs and squirrels and birds are leaving for us are.

No one bothers the columbine, which is getting close to bloom now.  A few more sunny days and we might get some actual flowers!   Not as many hummingbirds this year but the bees seem to be plentiful and that is a positive sign.  They have been in decline for several years now, we haven't harvested honey for a few years.  Have any of you seen the movie Ulee's Gold?  It is a so so movie but the part that shows the raising of bees and harvesting honey is quite fascinating and worth watching for that alone.

The new Greg Brown album, Freak Flag is out, I have been listening to it a lot and enjoying it more with each listen.  He is one of the best songwriters out there, in my opinion, right up there with Bob Dylan.  I have one of his songs in my playlist, you might have heard it.  If you enjoy Poet Game at all, you might want to look into more of his music.  I'll send you some if you ask.

Hope you are all enjoying your spring.  Be well.
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Clatskanie art show

Jan and her dooleybobbers 
The show was fun but not profitable for me in a monetary sense.  The weather was lousy, maybe that had something to do with the small number of people who came to see what the vendors had on display.  It was a very small venue but the quality of the art offered for sale was high. 

Here is the outside of the Blue Nutria.  It is an event center in the small town of Clatskanie.  Great space, wonderful people were involved with the art show.  We all spent the day chatting and making purchases from each other.

Here is a not very good shot of the space but you can mostly see the wonderful chandelier hanging in the center.  It was all clean and shiny, no cobwebs on it that I could see.  You can see one of the other vendors gazing at my display board.  That gal had some wonderful beaded items for sale.

Here is my friend Kate's space.  She does wonderful felted scarves and hats.  In the photo of me you can see I am wearing one of her scarves and the cuffs to match.  She has a good sense of color and made quite a few sales.  Several of the other vendors were wearing her scarves, helping to advertise her wares.  Or is that wears?  Anyway, it was a good experience.

Be well.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Presents and the Art Show

Corrine at DosFishes  
recently had a give away and I won this from her.  The box it came in is an old Parker Bros game box.  I'm not familiar with this game, PROBE.  I might have guessed it was some sort of medical game but it says on the back that "PROBE is the most provocative game of words since the invention of the modern alphabet".  Imagine that.  I'm sure it was a fine game in its time, but I'm more taken by what came inside the box for me.

Corrine knows I have recently been using my new needle felting machine so she has gifted me with all these luscious fabrics that I may be able to use in this regard.

There is a huge blue wool scarf with dabs of color in it, looks needle felted already.  Also a big silk sleeve with a print of Egyptian design on it.  Ribbons, fibers, a small fabric rice bag and some upholstery type fabrics.  Very enticing!  I can hardly wait to dig into these and start playing with them, see what I can come up with.  But, I am busy getting ready for the art show I am participating in on Saturday, the 7th.  That is tomorrow as I write this.

Corrine also gave me the idea to make some business cards using some of my felting.  I printed info out on fabric and attached it to pieces of felting that I made.  I have been adding a bit of embellishment by hand to these fiber cards.  I also made some regular business cards on card stock.  I can hand out the embellished ones to special people.  If you come to the show, I will give you one.  All my readers are special!

This is my display board.  I was told I will not be able to pin anything to the walls so I came up with this.  It will sit on a painting easel I have.  I will bring  a few of my larger pieces also but am not sure if I will be able to display them.  I will have my camera and hope to blog about the show next week.   It is in Clatskanie, in case any of my readers can make it, from 10 till 4pm.  Just Saturday.

I hope you all have a fine Mother's Day weekend, what ever you might do.

Be well.
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