Reepicheep Revisited

One of my favorite series of books is the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. My favorite book from the series is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, probably because it showcases my favorite character from all literature: Reepicheep, the mouse. It inspired this painting when I was in college:

(Prints available HERE.)

Anyway, as you can see, I'm a big fan. I won't tell you why - you need to read the books!
Read the whole series though so you know what's going on - you'll love them!

Well, when I started creating little needle felted animals, I knew that Reepicheep needed to be on the list, right after Harvey.... So here he is, in all his rodent glory....


...complete with sword, sheath, and feathered headband...

Did I mention I'm addicted to this whole felting thing?

I will be listing some items like this in my Etsy shop very soon...

Meanwhile, if you're interested in commissioning a needle felted sculpture of a special pet (or character) in your life,
please e-mail me!

Hope you're having a lovely week!
Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for all of your kind comments on my last few posts -
I love hearing from you!



my new obsession and an old one...

I showed you my needle felted bunnies a few days ago - my first needle felting project. After making them, I knew I wanted to try to make a miniature schnauzer (since I have a real one). Here's my attempt:

 I made him last night while I was having a Monk marathon. (You'll thank me later).


 Forgive the excessive number of photos.... I have a soft spot for cute doggies.

 Harvey didn't seem to share my enthusiasm.

Guess who LOVES posing for photos....

Can't you see how excited he is???
He got a little bit interested when he thought it might be a new chew toy...
...but it wasn't, so,


If you are interested in commissioning a special little felted "portrait"
of your pet or another favorite little critter, please e-mail me!

I am linking this post up to "You Capture" over at I Should Be Folding Laundry. The challenge this week is "animals," so I guess my little felted guy AND the Hairy One are appropriate!
You Capture is a weekly photo challenge/linky. Check it out!


Hope you're having a lovely week!


New Shelf's New Home

Last week I showed you my in-progress pics of my $18 bookshelf re-do.

Here are the finished pics, once I got it set in place in its new home with its new residents....

I used Valspar's Clear Mixing Glaze mixed with several colors of acrylic craft paint, then topped it off with a coat of poly. I love the effects you can create with the glaze - it's the base for most of the faux finish treatments that are so popular today...

Not bad for $18!

Hope you're having a great week!



Hoodoo voodoo???

You might think that's what I've been up to if I told you I'd been stabbing dolls with needles this week...
                                        ...but you would be wrong if you made that assumption.

Nope, no Voodoo dolls for me, thank you very much. Just my latest addiction hobby - needle felting! I saw it on the Martha Stewart show a few years ago and have wanted to try it ever since. So, for my birthday, I received a couple of kits like these, except my kit from WoolPets was for a bunny (can't seem to find the bunny link on Amazon today - this sock monkey is super cute though):

Anyway, I had a blast learning how to needle felt. It's pretty simple, really. You take a ball of wool or any other natural fiber (some people use their cat or dog's fur!), roll it into a ball, and start jabbing it with the needle.

The felting needle is not a regular needle. It's large, long, has a bend in the top end to grip it with and tiny little barbs on the edges of the pointy end. These barbs catch the fibers and shove them down into the center of the ball of wool. You're basically creating a big, matted knot (in a deliberate shape, however). The more you jab it, the firmer and more compact the wool becomes. You can "shape" it by jabbing more in the areas you want to indent. You can add on tufts of fiber to create protruding areas, and you can add on smaller pieces you've already felted to make arms, legs, ears, etc. It's a lot like modeling in clay or playdough, but you're using the needle to shape it rather than your fingers or clay modeling tools. I've got so many things I want to try to make now - the possibilities are endless!

I also received this book for my birthday, which makes me want to try making a little schnauzer, just like on the cover. Isn't it cute? It looks just like Harvey!

I think that will be my next felting project....

I took my kits up to the lake where I spent a couple of days this week and made my first attempt at a needle felted piece. Here's the first bunny I made:

It seemed a little lonely (and I had some leftover wool), so I made it a baby bunny from my own design....

And my Mom made them a carrot...


Another idea for my Etsy shop - little felted animals (maybe even personalized pet portraits?) .... What do you think?

And is it just me, or are bunny butts one of the cutest things ever???

Hope you're having a lovely week!


a new life for an old shelf...

Here's my latest garage sale find: a solid wood bookshelf for $18! Of course, it was quite dirty (bird poop and everything - gross!), so it involved a little bit of Murphy Oil Soap and Krud Kutter, and a lot of elbow grease, but I got rid of the grime. I sanded it down a bit, then brought it inside to paint. I forgot to take a "before" picture, but here it is after I started painting it - you can still see how it looked "before" on the lower part (minus the grime and bird poop).

Since it was only $18, I decided to do a little experimenting on it. I mixed several colors of blue, green, and brown craft paint in with Valspar's Clear Mixing Glaze (LOVE that stuff - it's what you use for many types of faux finishes, and it's the medium I use on all my murals). I wanted a streaky, weathered look....

I used a paper plate and added puddles of different aquas, a green, and burnt umber to it, along with a puddle of the clear glaze. I used a regular angled paintbrush, and just dabbed it in randomly in the different colors, followed by a dab of the mixing glaze. The glaze allows the paint more drying time, so you can work it around, streak it out, and blend it evenly. Not hard at all, and it gives such a cool, weathered effect. A friend came in while I was working on it and said that it looked like it was built with boards off of some old, weathered boat. Yes!
You can see how I mixed the paints on the bottom shelf. I purposefully missed some of the corners, so that it looks like the paint has worn off there. 

Here's the paint job finished.... I plan on removing the little peg legs once it's dry - not a big fan of those.... I think there must have once been sliding doors on the front, but they are long gone,which is fine with me. I love the look of open bookshelves....

I will post again when I have done the final coat of poly, removed the legs, and set it up in its new home. Not bad for $18, a little time and effort, and paints I already had in my studio! I can't wait to get it set up!

What great garage sale finds have you refinished? I'd love to see! Feel free to add a link to your project in the comments....

Hope you're having a lovely week!



Glory be to God for dappled things....

And for the second installment of my "Because I Was Once an English Major" series, I bring you, without further ado,

Pied Beauty (1918)
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.


I love this poem. It reminds me of fall and all the colors and textures you find during this season, my favorite of all the seasons. I also love this poem because the poet is praising God for simple, beautiful things that He created and surrounded us with every day, which we so often miss because of the constant bombardment of artificial distractions surrounding us.

I love that we worship a God with boundless creativity that we can see in the changing seasons, the variety of plant and animal life in the world around us, the uniqueness of each person. The leaves are starting to change here in East Tennessee... one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen. I love that that was designed by a God who does NOT change, but is always faithful, true, holy, and merciful to all who seek Him.  

Josh (my husband) found this egg last year in an abandoned nest at the beginning of fall.... It reminds me of this poem - it's a dappled thing - a tiny, delicate white shell speckled over with tiny brown dots. The nest was beautiful too - a little piece of art, made by a little birdy. I saved the nest and the egg - they're in my studio now - a little bit of inspiration. God is so creative.

"Abandoned Nest" by Beth Stone
Watercolor on Arches 140lb CP

If you like this print, you can purchase it a couple of different ways:

Shop for greeting cards and several sizes of prints HERE. (Click on "Art Prints" to find this image.)
Shop for 8"x10" prints or handcrafted jewelry featuring this piece HERE.

What dappled things have you been enjoying lately?


P.S. Still time to enter my birthday giveaway! Click HERE to enter!