in not so many words.

this weekend held a lot of things, including two felting workshops, one little girl’s art making birthday party, a whole lot of baking, one cold on the mend, one missed Julie Doiron concert, and not enough sleep.

the stereo played a lot of beyonce (yes, that’s right) and Lucius, oh and Grace because this song never stops being beautiful,and even, um, some of this… because that’s just what you gotta do sometimes, you know?

there were some good reminders given, like:
1. fresh snowfalls under mid-winter night skies are worth bundling up for.
2. hot soup is one of life’s finest offerings.
3. sleep changes everything.
4. art making is good. plain and simple.
5. kitchens were made for dancing.

took a few pictures to prove it all happened. little Claire photo-documented the art birthday party at the Gallery, so credit for the “eyes of a 6 year old awesome shots” go to her.

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sitting here, on the far side of it all, i’m tired as, but i’m also ridiculously grateful. this life is a good life. even when it’s hard, it’s good. remember that, rae.

Tis the season…needle felting workshop time!


On Sunday November 25, from 2 – 4pm, I’ll be teaching another Intro to Needle Felting workshop at the ever-so-lovely Needles In the Hay here in Peterborough. These workshops are always a good time…cozied up around the table in the shop…walls full of wooly eye candy…meeting new people…making beauty with our own hands…perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in late November.

The workshop is $20.
Contact Bridget at Needles In the Hay :: 705.740.0667 :: to sign up.

p.s. also check out the FELT tab at the top of this page to learn about Blackbird Studio’s Traveling Wool Show…a sweet way for you to host a felting workshop in the comfort of your own home :)

a list kind of day.


1. bagels for breakfast. the good-french-dense-chewy kind.
2. the heat of the summer, the way it slows me down like molasses.
3. remembering how much i love Justin Rutledge’s No Never Alone album. 7 years old and never sounded so good.
4. en masse felting with a brave, if somewhat reluctant, group of women.
5. warm wind and beach glass and waves crashing against shoreline.
6. clothesline weather.
7. heart shaped pebbles and driftwood logs that makes my heart ache.
8. brave on the rocks.
9. summer skirts.
10. devilled eggs on the back deck. decaf coffee in the grass. gratitude.

arts and crafts are blooming again. oh my.

i'd wear this badge with pride.

i'd wear this badge with pride.

it’s time for some arts and crafts goodness again!

come find Blackbird Studio nestled in among beautiful goodies and delicious treats by a fine mix of local designers, artists and chefs at this neighborhood show and sale…

sprinkle

Support your local makers of things. Buy local. Buy handmade.

Spread the word! Bring a friend…or two…or three.

The creativity you’ll find here will knock your winter socks off.

Sunday Blessings.

sunday afternoon goodness

sunday afternoon goodness

Blackbird Studio and Needles in the Hay

joined forces this past Sunday and offered a needle felting workshop in Bridget’s lovely wool shop.

it's like candy. for your eyes.

it's like candy. for your eyes.

it was a good afternoon.

hearts and dolls and sheep and computers and snakes and roses, and best of all, IDEAS!, were born.

simplicity.

simplicity

next time, come and join us.

inspiring spaces.

inspiring spaces.

we crowned her the queen.

slimer.

slimer.

this past sunday a charming group of adventurous art makers congregated here at Blackbird Studio to laze around and learn the addictive art of needlefelting. good things were born. great ideas took shape. beautiful little pouches for carrying secrets and spare change; cowboy boots and personalized badges; mobiles and solar systems and door signs and marshmallow men; boats that sail by moonlight and hearts that welcome you in.

everything she touches turns to art.

everything she touches turns to art.

i love the possibilities of felting. if there are limits, i haven’t found them yet. i’ve only seen ideas come alive. i love that.

eye candy.

eye candy.

on Sunday February 13th, Needles in the Hay is hosting a needlefelting workshop, and they’ve invited me to come along and lead it. if you haven’t been to this lovely little yarn shop, then you really owe it to yourself to drop by. Bridget (the knitting wonder who owns this little needle nook) has created a warm and welcoming space that feels like a candy shop for all things warm and fuzzy. i don’t even know how to knit and i love going in there just to oooh and aahhhh over all the beautiful colors and textures of the wool.

needless to say, it will be the perfect space to spend a Sunday afternoon learning how to needlefelt. in this particular workshop we’re going to focus more on creating 3D objects, which should bring out some neat ideas and surprises. if you’re interested in joining us on the 13th, then wander over to the shop at 385 Water St. or drop Bridget a line and ask her to save you a spot. Space is limited so don’t wait too long. Make it an early valentines day gift to yourself – gifting yourself the time and the space to be inspired.

You’ll fall in love, love, love.

sailing by moonlight.

sailing by moonlight.

side by side.

side by side.

we crowned her the queen of sheep.

we crowned her the queen of sheep.

winter offerings

sun setting on snow, day after christmas
sun setting on snow, day after christmas

I feel like it has been a long time since I’ve written an email like this. And maybe that’s true. For a handful of reasons, I chose to slow things down a bit here at Blackbird Studio this past fall. I am learning – often the hard way – that this work, this life, is a precarious dance. A fine balancing act between putting myself out there and nurturing myself in here. Learning when to stretch and when to rest; how much to give to others, how much to care for self. I know that I want to have the heart and the ambition to be able to create, both for myself and with others, for a long time still. But it is still a journey of learning what that means, what I need, in order to be able to do that well.

foggy first day on a lake of rice in a new year
foggy first day on a lake of rice in a new year

All that to say, this past fall was a season that moved at a bit of a quieter pace. Or maybe more accurately, a more introverted pace (which can be noisy and busy, just in a different way!). I spent a lot of hours getting lost, in the best way, in my own art making – something I haven’t carved enough space for in seasons past. And I was blessed with some great opportunities to create with people outside of the studio walls – through projects like Culture Days, Shelter Valley Folk Festival, and with my gracious friends at Hospice Peterborough.

elbow to elbow art making
elbow to elbow art making

And while the slower season was good and necessary, I am really ready and excited to have the warmth and creative energy of others come and share the studio with me again. And by others, I mean YOU!  I’ve put together some workshops for the next couple of months – you can find all the details by clicking on the Up and Coming link under the Workshops tab at the top of the page. We’ll be offering the always popular Painted Floorcloth workshop again, as well as trying out a new 6 week series called Be Where You Are. I hope you’ll find something in the mix that inspires and intrigues you. I am always open to new ideas and suggestions, so if there is something that you have been aching to learn or try – or if you’ve got a group of friends who would like to come and book a private studio workshop session – then please drop me a line.

art underfoot
art underfoot

If you would like more information, or want to sign-up for a workshop (or two!) contact me at info@blackbirdstudio.ca

One of the most rewarding parts of this work is when I hear from you. I love to hear your feedback and your stories. I am honored when you take an interest in this work; when you tell me that somehow, some part of it has connected with some part of you.

Thank you, as always, for coming along for the journey.

Be well.


come and be.
come and be.

full immersion

felted body, no armature

felted body, no armature

my fingers have been so busy felting, i haven’t had much space/time/energy left for typing.

i started playing around with making felted dolls this fall. i started with solid, egg shaped bodies. then moved on to felting around wire armatures – which allowed for defined arms and legs, and some bendy-ness. which was fun. but now i’ve decided to try one with limbs but without an armature inside. this is my first attempt.

...and she's finished...

...and she's finished...

this particular doll was created by request for my friend jubes. lots of purple and pink was on the wish list. she turned out a bit bigger than the ones i made around an armature, and it took some persistence to not make her limbs too sausagey and somewhat uniform in size.  the hair is made from some deliciously dyed kid mohair.

fairy wings. and felting-too-long eyes.

fairy wings. and felting-too-long eyes.

i’ll keep fine tuning the form…i’m about to embark on another one. but there’s lots to be said for just diving in and giving yourself permission to figure it out as you go. be your own best teacher.

what have you been sitting around, waiting to begin?

sunday afternoon delight

Focus Fair Holiday Craft Sale

Focus Fair Holiday Craft Sale

make your way to The Spill on Sunday and check out the wooly Blackbird Studio display as well as a bunch of other wonderful, local artists and crafters. now that’s a sweet sunday afternoon…

in good company

art buffet

art buffet

thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who bundled up and came out to our Makers of Things sale this past weekend here at Blackbird Studio. it was a wonderful weekend, full of old friends and new faces and warm cider and handmade goodness. your support and enthusiasm for us art makers and our work is truly appreciated.

la tienda

la tienda

and to the wonderful friends and creators who spent hours crafting treats and art…thank you. so much. for creating beauty, for letting your ideas spill out, for sharing your work, for filling the space with such joy and delight, for being brave and being willing to walk a path less ordinary.

may the journey be blessed.

needle and nest

needle and nest

two dishes

two dishes

blackbird studio

blackbird studio

( and thanks to erin for snapping photos, proof that it really did happen)

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