art inspiration observations

Woodpeckers & Thistles

As I’m out and about walking the dog or mowing the lawn or peering out a window or whatever, I’m keeping an eye on nature. I’m not sure if that makes me a naturalist or a phenologist or just curious about what’s going on around me, but I especially enjoy plants and birds. This year, a pair of woodpeckers built a nest in one of our oak trees. I had noticed that woodpeckers had made…

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art family history pragmatic historian writing

Becoming a Writer

Several of John Scalzi’s essays/blog posts in his book “Don’t Live for Your Obituary” are sticking with me such that I want to bounce off them with my own blog posts. One such post is called “Imposter Syndrome, or Not” (page 395-401 in the book, dated January 30, 2016 on his Whatever blog). Scalzi opens the post discussing how so many writers suffer from Imposter Syndrome, the feeling that they’re just not good enough at…

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art family projects

Fertility Bunnies

Have you heard of amigurumi? It is a crocheting technique wherein you use primarily single crochet to create these wee, cute creatures, which can include animals, fictional characters, or even human beings. An Albert Einstein amigurumi figure showed up in my Twitter feed not long ago. I’ve dabbled in amigurumi before, making an amigurumi frog years ago. I saw an amigurumi bunny pattern roll through my Twitter feed around Easter and it gave me an…

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Tarot for Enlightenment

Happy Easter! Given the pandemic and the necessary stay-at-home order we are under, this is not a normal Easter. On a typical Easter, we would be getting together with family to eat a nice dinner and socialize. It would also be somewhat warmer. Instead, we are all in our individual homes doing homely (in the British sense of the word) things and it’s around freezing in Minnesota, with snow in the metro. I am writing…

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art family projects

Rooster Applique-Embroidery

One of my goals for 2019 was to create “a crazy quilt type piece,” which means to me using scraps of a variety of fabrics coupled with embroidery to make something interesting. I just finished this rooster wall hanging, which features pieces of fabric hand-appliqued to a background fabric with embroidered stitches to add extra interest. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Incidentally, I did most of the work on this piece in…

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