Saturday, February 1, 2014

Needful Things Swap - Things I Need in My Life

This is part of the Needful Things swap being hosted by Val over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot. Today’s post is all about me.

One of the pups - Sophie

I’m an artist and crafter and I love to create things from clay, fabric, ink and paint. I have 4 amazing children and one stupendous man in my life. I have 2 hyper dogs named Alice and Sophie- they are Jack-Russell Mix pups so I did expect that they would have an abundance of energy, and I have one very old kitty cat named Rosie, she only gets riled up when her food bowl is empty or I break out a new catnip toy.

Rafting the Truckee River in Northern California

My Kayak

I love the outdoors, gardening, hiking, kayaking, camping, boating… anything that involves being outside is pretty great in my book. I love to incorporate found natural objects into projects. Acorn caps become helmets, drift wood becomes a stand and small pebbles become a garden path. I also enjoy photography, paper crafts, scrapbooking and all things inky.

A Hatter in Zombieland

My main artistic activity (outside of my day job) is figurative sculpting. One of the reasons I love working in this genre is because I can use so many of my artsy/craftsy passions including sewing, sculpting, beading, embroidery and more in a single sculpting project. Creating a character starts with wire and clay but once I am done a piece might incorporate Tibetan lamb’s wool, mohair, wood, beads, shells, coins, bones, feathers, fur, silk, taffeta, fairy wings, a top hat or even a crown. There are no limits when you create characters and since I have so many things I like to do figurative sculpture satisfies a whole lot of them with the added benefit that I can justify buying all sorts of fun bits and baubles for use on a piece of work.

I just recently started making my own body soaps and lotions, my own wine and planning my heirloom garden. I love how interesting the heirloom vegetables look so I am taking the plunge and turning one of my gardens into an heirloom one.

Now for my list, hmmmm, this was a hard list to come up with but here it goes. These are some of the things that I “need” in my life, or things that I need to do in my life, basically these are some interesting things about me :0)that I think are important enough to be considered needs.

I need heirloom vegetable seeds for zone 6 – I am just starting out with heirloom seeds and need to get more. I love the interesting colors that are available in heirloom tomatoes and peppers.

I need to spend time outside every single day, even if it is only for a few minutes when the weather is cold, wet or windy, I need to feel the sun (or rain) on my face every day.  

Rehoboth, Delaware

I need to visit the Atlantic Ocean at least once a year (which can be quite an event since I live in the wild, west), otherwise I really miss it and end up terribly homesick. I was born in Delaware and when I was growing up I spent every summer in Rehoboth Beach! Salt Water Taffy, Old Bay Seasoning, Wooden Crab Mallets… such great memories!

I need more Gutermann Sewing thread. I just recently got a regular sewing machine and have really amped up my sewing and while I have 100’s of colors of machine embroidery thread I do not have much good quality sewing thread.  Happily I can get Gutermann Sewing thread at JoAnn’s on sale. So far I have several spools in primary colors so pretty much all colors are still wanted and needed!

I need to spend time with my family. I love playing games with my hubby and the kids. Even though my children are older we have fun playing games. Whether its apples to apples or Phase 10, playing games and connecting with the family is one of the ways that I can have fun and spend time with my family and it is so important to me.

I need wine. Not every day, heck, not even every week but I really enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day.

I need dark chocolate – how can you have wine and not chocolate?

I need buttons, ribbons, bits of lace and all types and colors of trims. I love collecting these things whether they are harvested from old clothing I purchase from yard sales or my local thrift shop or found in attics, basements or shops, I am always on the lookout for interesting bits and bobs to use in my projects.

I need time with my man. I love to travel with him, whether it is to London (my favorite city) or to Grass Valley, CA (just a couple of hours away) or even just a walk around our neighborhood. I enjoy spending time with just my guy.

I need time with my girlfriends. My friends are amazing. I love spending time with them. They are strong, funny, oftentimes crazy, artistic, talented and much loved! They recharge me, support me and thankfully love me.

Whew – Half way through the list!

I need to create. I love to work with my hands, actually, I have to work with them and be creating something or I get antsy.

I need healthy snacks. I love candies – you know – jelly beans, laffy taffy and the like, but I need to start eating healthier snacks like pretzels, popcorn and fresh fruits and veggies.

I need blueberry pancakes on Sunday mornings in the summer. I love to sit on our deck and listen to the birds singing as I eat pancakes full of plump blueberries. This is my most favorite breakfast!

I need more fabric. Ok, maybe I don’t but I really, really do! I love fabric. I need small print fabrics in all colors. Coordinating fabric lines make me swoon!

I need decaffeinated tea. I drink tea every morning on my way to work. I love almond vanilla tea and recently tried some vanilla red tea. I also like fruit teas and am always willing to try a new one.

I need live plants in my home and office. I love how warm and inviting plants make my living spaces. I am always looking for interesting pots to plant in and fun plants and seeds to put in interesting pots.

I need mulberry papers in different colors or in white – I can always dye white mulberry paper! I use mulberry paper when I make books, for fancy footwear for my sculptures and for many other fun things. Mulberry paper had the beauty of natural fibers in it, it tears nicely when you draw your “tear line” on it with a wet q-tip and come in lots of colors… I just can’t find any right now!

I need to embrace my inner weirdo. For the longest time I fought that part of myself but not anymore. Now I embrace my weirdness and it has been a pretty fun thing.

I need books and music. I have an Ipad and I even have stories on it but I really love to hold an actual book in my hand. I love old books, new books, kid’s books, horror, romance, science fiction and more. It makes me sad that people do not appreciate the book. Let’s face it, when you get on a plane you do not have to turn your book off during takeoffs and landings and a book will never run out of battery! Music is just an essential part of my environment. It can set a mood or change one and when I am working on something I usually have my favorites playing in the background  - my favorites are a mixed up bunch and range from Nine Inch Nails to Billy Joel to Wendy Rule, music is necessary in my live.

I need colorful candles and candle holders in my studio and at my day job. I love folk art and funky candle holders, color faux mercury glass; painted wood, molded metal… all sorts in lots of colors and textures. These fun little artsy bits really brighten up an area.

Wowsa! Well, that is a little bit about me and the things that I need in my life.


  1. Love it! I learned to embrace my inner weirdo long ago. The question in our how isn't "are they weird?" but "are they weird enough?!"

  2. Love it! I learned to embrace my inner weirdo long ago. The question in our how isn't "are they weird?" but "are they weird enough?!"

  3. i love it. i often try to embrace my inner normal, but my outer weirdo keeps sending her back!

    i too, have a passion for guttermann thread. my problem -- i need a decent shade card to put in my little book of other craft product shade swatches. the one i found on the guttermann website does not coordinate with the color numbers on the spools. very frustrating when i come back from the joann sale 45 miles away and discover i have bought duplicates -- not that they'll go to waste or anything..