Category Archives: works in progress

Measuring the Progress of Plants


On Saturday, I went into the garden fairly early.  It was going to be hot and humid (imagine that Minnesota!) and I wanted to make sure all of my plants were in the ground and watered before the mini heat wave came.  Then another bright idea came to me.  I would measure the growth of some of my dye plants to see their growth weekly.  Plus, seeing their growth would allow me to understand how these plants grow, the rate at which they grow, etc.

These are my first measuresments taken on Saturday, June 9th.  The next measurements will be on Saturday, June 16th.  Plants with an * by them were planted by seed.

Anyway, on with the show:

Gypsywort 4.5”
Indigo,   False 9.75”
Dyer’s   Knotweed 8.75”
Dyer’s   Broom 10.75”
Indigofera 2.5”
Baptista   Australis 3”
Amaranthus   Hopi Red Dye #1* 3.5”
#2* 1.5”
#3* 2.75”
Woodruff* 1.5”
Safflower   #1* 8.5”
#2* 7.5”
#3* 9”

All Boxed In

All Boxed In

Have I mentioned that my husband is amazing?  Not only has he taught all of us so much about the world around us, but he was willing to give up his day off to help me build my garden boxes.  In all reality, if he wouldn’t have helped me, I would have ended up with boards strewn across the lawn.  Our yard would have been a HUGE mess!  There are reasons that I really enjoy dyeing, rug hooking and doing punch needle–it is done without instruction and ends up with differing results.

Anyway, we went to work last Friday buying pressure treated lumber from Menards.  We actually fit it all in the Pacifica.  (While we were loading the lumber, I just had to mention how I have always wanted a truck).  We brought everything back and went to work.  We were cutting sod, digging up masses of clay, several sand bar willow roots (doing a silent cheer) and quite a few worms.

Here stands our lone obstacle in creating our boxes, an evergreen tree we got from the Minnesota State Fair two years ago!


This is our first completed box!!!  I can’t wait to fill it up with some soil!  And then it will be time to fill ‘er up with flowers and other plants!!!!  Hopefully my excitement for this project will be part of the food that nourishes all of these plants and flowers!






We were onto the final two boxes.  Mitch, (my wonderful hubby) and I were concerned about cutting into the roots of the Pin Oak.  I really didn’t want my project to kill the oak tree, especially since the Pin Oak is Mitch’s favorite tree in the backyard.



I convinced Mitch to stop for the night and have some  pizza.  We could finish tomorrow!



And that we did.  Well, he did most of the work as I am just not adept at these sort of things.  I often believe that I can do things by myself without help, but this was one project there is NO WAY I was going to be able to do on my own.

Here they are!  Our completed projects all level and squared!  Now, I have to wait until I can have some garden soil delivered from Mill Pond(I found out this morning that day will be Wednesday).  Then I can fill up the boxes with some soil.  I cannot wait to see the results!!!!

Jerome Grant-The Big Reveal


Well, much like getting acceptance or rejection letters from colleges, the smaller the envelope, the smaller the chance of exceptance.  Thus was the case with the Jerome Textile Grant I had applied for.  I am not all that upset about not being picked because I think I have a lot of growing to do as an artist before I can really compete with other artists in the fiber arts field.  I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, and I think I have acknowledged that on more than one occasion.  I have seen through books that I have so much to learn.  I have so much room to grow and develop my skills that I can always return to applying for the grant next year.

Was I pinning all of my hopes on this grant?  Not really.  I think I figured out a few weeks ago that I really couldn’t put myself in contention because of my limited experience.  So many of the other people who had applied in previous years had backgrounds in art, had been educated in art beyond my short high school art classes.  Many of them had shown their art at art shows, been involved in the art community, and had taken steps to improve their craft through participating in various artsy activities.

It is a bummer that I cannot proceed with a grant to help me in exploring new possibilities, but that was the point of my KICKSTARTER project.  I have taken the initiative to create my own artwork, and show it here and to family members.  Hopefully I will soon find myself putting on an art show somewhere soon.  I need to get up the courage, and the time to put together pieces that I am willing and able to show.


Amber’s Hair pieces

Amber’s Hair pieces

I recently decided to make some hair pieces for my niece Amber.  I meant to have them finished for her birthday party on Sunday (this last Sunday), but I started a little too late.  She’ll find them in the mail this week.  Anyway, they are nearing completion and I want to show them off a little!  I don’t know if she will actually appreciate them or if she will think they are extra dorky.  Either way, it gave me practice for making smaller pieces of punch needle work.

The picture above will eventually be a headband.  I’m currently waiting for the glue to dry=)


This will be a barrette.  There is one below it as well!

Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will have the completed versions to show off too!!!!

Birdbath in the works


This is my second great undertaking with punch needle.  I think that I need to take it down a notch as far as size when it comes to making punch needle artwork.  But I really like the amount of detail in each picture.  I first draw a rouch sketch of what I would like to make and then draw it on fabric, sometimes muslin, sometimes cross stitch fabric.  It probably isn’t what I am suppose to use, but when have I ever done what I am suppose to do?

I think I have surprised some people in the work that I put out, primarily because I don’t think I have shown anything like this before.  It’s always been there.  I have always been pretty artsy.  Luckily I have found something that goes great with who I am.  I am as imperfect as it gets.  I ahve always called myself the disorganized perfectionist because I want things to be perfect, but often they are unfinished and sloppy.  And with punch needle and rug hooking I can be imperfect and that is what makes the artwork beautiful!  My things will never look store bought, or made by a machine.  My things will never look like you couldn’t make it.  And that’s what I like about it.

Anyway….Here is a picture of my Birdbath in the works.  This one is going much faster then the daisy punch needle, maybe because I know what I am doing (haha) or because I set aside time to do this.

What do you think????

It’s alittle blurry-I took the picture with my i-pod touch.