Monday, June 23, 2008

Hand Carving Stamps: My New Obsession!

I was so excited when I learned that I could carve my own stamps using rubber blocks and simple carving tools (Both available for your local craft supply store, for me that's 'Michaels')! Maybe it's partly because carving the stamps takes me back to my childhood days of cutting and scraping designs into my school erasers.
It's really enjoyable to create a stamp using my own drawings. I've got so many ideas, these are just a few of my first designs. Check out my Etsy Shop if you'd like to see my newest designs.

I highly recommend stamp carving to those of you who are crafty types. If you would like to learn more there is a plethora of information on the web, here's a place to start: Ruthann's Soft-Block Carving

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anthemis nobilis

Chamomile is said to be one of the oldest favorites amongst garden herbs and it's got quite the reputation as a medicinal plant. It is considered a tonic, achic, anodyne and antispasmodic. And, can be prepared as a decoction, an infusion, and an extract.

To my delight this unassuming and delicate beauty grows wild in my back yard.

I haven't done much but admire it yet. But, I'm looking forward to drinking lots of soothing tea, and soaking my hair in it. Chamomile tea is said to make hair shiny and enhance natural highlights (I'll let you know if it does).

And contact me if you would like some of your own seeds I'd be happy to send you some, so you can have this little cuties in your own yard!

Movin' Day

I'm sure everyone says this, but I can't believe how much Stuff we have!! I mean, not until I had to pack it all in boxes did I realize how much there is. Even with Garage sales, donating, selling on Craigslist and giving things to family and friends we still filled up the entire moving truck!
I'm glad it's all over (well, not really since not everything has been unpacked yet.) Just thought I'd share a couple pictures with you.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Interview with Liane of Nature Child

I love needle felting. Such imaginative creations are possible with simply a bit of wool. Of coarse one's imagination is the most important part. Laine of Nature Child has quite the imagination. I have admired her little creations for some time now, and thought it would be fun to learn about the artist who creates such whimsical figures. Here is an interview with her:

Tell us a little about yourself
O.k. before I start you must know that english is not my native language and it`s really hard to find the right words, but I will try:
My name is Liane. I live in a little village in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany. It`s a very idyllic valley with a little river, where you can go to swim in the summer and much forest around with mushrooms, elves and fairies and what ever you like to see. It's the place where I was grown up in a big patchwork family. A family with very contrasting persons, but they had something in common: the interest in art, music and the nature. That all rubbed off on me. After a wild youth, that was the time I met my husband (my soulmate) and a short time later we got our first child, I calmed down. And now, I live here with my husband, our three children (4,10,16) and a lot of animals in an old house with a very, very big garden.

How and when did you begin creating needle felted art?
It was a long way to find this kind of art. Since I was a little child I liked to make things with my hands. I began many things. At first I wanted to go on a artist school but my first child was born and she was more important for me, then I helped my father in his work- shop and I restored antique furniture. After the birth of my second daughter I was fascinated by making tattoos and I taught it to me by myself and opened my own tattoo studio. Then we bought our house and and got our third daughter and I had no time for my work anymore. One time I was in my favourite toyshop, which has only things made of natural materials and I saw a small packet with wonderful coloured sheep's wool and I bought it. At home I noticed that I didn`t know what to do with it, but the wool smelt so good and it felt so warm and I decided that I wanna do something with it. In that shop I found a book of dwarfs, fairies and other figures made of sheep's wool and I was impressed and bought it. At the same time I should make something for the christmas bazaar for the montessori school my daughter went to. I felted some of the figures from the book and it was a really satisfying work to do. The people liked it and I was happy. Then I tried to make figures in my own way and I found much more delight in felting than before. During felting it seems to me the little creatures begin to live and in thought I ask them which colour should have the dress or the hair. How whimsical. Now I do felting since three and a half years, and I love it! It`s a great feeling to know that a little baby is lying under my bee mobile and is having fun with it.

What are some things that inspire your creations?
The wonderful coloured wool. You can make so different things out of it, look on etsy and you can see all the beautiful things. The nature. I like to watch the bees and butterflies and other little animals. Of course seeing the flowers or running through the forest is very inspiring. Music is a much important implemental to get in the right mood. I like to hear celtic or irish music, but sometimes I need other kind of music, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante, Apocalyptica or...Sometimes it's very stimulantly for me to listen to talking books. And so it`s no wonder when the spring fairie is getting a little big tush when I'm listen to Diana Gabaldon`s great story. I also like to read or hear stories from the dark ages or fantasy tales by Marion Zimmer-Bradley or watch movies by Tim Burton (I really like his helices), Richard Carpenter (Robin Hood). I also get inspired of my children, Cicely Mary Barker, Buddha and God.

Would you like to share anything else with us?
For the future I hope to find more time to do felting and realize my ideas. At this point I wanna say thank you to all the people who helped me to do my work: my husband for his patience and help with the computer and the translation, my children for her truthful review and to give my life a deep meaning. My friend Silvia, she told me about etsy and she emboldened me to offer my work there. My parents to make me sensitive for the nature and doing things with my own hands. The people from etsy for their really great idea and work. All the people who liked or purchased my works, I never got so many compliments. And of course to you, Jessica for your interest in my person and work. You have a great blog and you do really beautiful work. I wish you and everyone love & peace & hope & power.