Sunday Pass-along: A Manifesto

pod1I am sitting here at my desk trying to remember what the heck my Evernote password is (and what I was even going to look for in Evernote) when I came across this link I’d saved to a Blog called Inspired Home Office by Jen Hofmann.

This is her most popular post – read it and you’ll see why. Here’s the link:
A Manifesto for Cluttered Creatives – and here’s my favorite excerpt (the whole thing is great):


I have a right to a sacred space
that is free from intrusions

that is free from guilt
that completely supports my spirit
that is truly sacred space
powerful as an ancient circle of standing stones

Right on!

Friday Freebie – get in the spring spirit


I’m having my first workshop on Creating Spirit Dolls this Sunday. That one is full, but there is another one on Sunday, March 24th, that has spaces if you’d like to sign up. There is also a very eclectic workshop on Creating Mala Meditation Bracelets and Prayer Flags on March 17th. Celebrate spring and refresh your spirit!

Today’s freebie is a booklet for everyone about Spirit Dolls – I put it together last Sunday when I was working by myself in the Studio making my own Spirit Doll. It was an odd experience – she really seemed to become “real” as I worked with the fabric, twigs and clay. Here’s a link to the booklet. I’d love it if you came to the workshop at the Studio and worked with the group, but you can try it on your own as well with these instructions.

PS – I’ve also done an update on my webpage that,hopefully, will make it easier to find out about events at the Studio.

Clay to jewels

I promised to show you the results of the Sunday workshop. After everyone made their clay adornments, we put decorative finishes on them at my Studio, then went next door to Ann Pearce’s to *really* transform them.Her jewelry shop is packed with gorgeous crystals and cord and chains and findings and carved beads and stones  – it’s amazing. The hard part is always deciding what to choose. Here is a short video of the work in progress. Ann has an expert eye about color and texture combinations, and her input insured that each piece was unique and stunning.

Friday Freebie – another absolutely invaluable free tip

I learned this from a jewelry designer friend – I have a favorite pin that’s shaped like a kimono, and I like to wear it, but it’s kind of large and heavy and it slips around and always seems crooked. My friend showed me how to cut a short length of drinking straw and slip it onto the rod part of the pin. Close the pin clasp around the straw. Then you can slip a thin leather cord or a very thin chain through the straw and turn it into a pendant! Check it out – it’s very simple and very cool.


First workshop at new Studio –

The first workshop was so much fun. I don’t know if it was the new space or the combination of personalities, but we had a blast. And this is just the first half! Yesterday we made the clay faces, and then Wednesday we’ll meet at Ann Pearce’s next door to do the beading and jewelry creations. I’ll take photos of those so you can see how the final pieces turned out.  If you’re interested, there’s a repeat of this two-part workshop on February 17th. Thanks to Chris, Jill, LeAnn and Susan – I had a fantastic time with you guys.

School starts tomorrow

I still have a day job! Meeting the new Trinity students is always so much fun – we kind of test each other out to see how the semester might go. If you’re curious, you can see my class page at Trinity at this link (click below) and follow along throughout the semester – not sure why you’d want to, buy you never know!CSCI

Speaking of links, I’ve created a Facebook page for the studio where I’ll post events. It’s easy to remember. Just go to – hope to see you soon on FB.


Workshops update

I just realized the early winter workshop brochure didn’t have the new studio info on it, so here’s the New Improved Version. There are three spaces left for the first workshop on Sunday, Jan 20th from 3-5, Making Earthenware Adornments, so if you want to sign up for that one, you can help me test drive the new space. I think it will be fun to have so much room. There’s a PayPal button to reserve a space,or just email me for any other arrangement.

Turning face shards into fabulous jewels at Ann Pearce's during the second half of the workshop

Turning face shards into fabulous jewels at Ann Pearce’s during the second half of the Earthenware Adornments workshop last fall

Joanna, Spirit Dolls and new faces . . .

Joanna Powell Colbert appeared in my life at a serendipitous time – she ordered some of my little faces for a Spirit Doll workshop last year and, in doing so, opened a door to lots of new connections for my shard faces. You’ve seen some of the photos of Spirit Dolls that people have sent me – now Joanna has made her booklet describing how to make these small spiritual sculpture available to everyone. What a cool gift!
How To Make a Spirit Doll by Joanna Powell Colbertspiritdollbook

I’ve had lots of new orders for faces and, as a result, I spent last night making new ones, about 100 of them. Every one of them seems to have a different story to tell. It’s kind of meditative to work the clay and see the expression in each face. Here are a few, ready to finish drying and go into the kiln. Thank, as always, to Joanna for her example and inspiration! We’ll be making Spirit Dolls at The Studio in the spring 🙂White clay faces before firingWhite clay faces before firing

Terra Cotta faces

Terra Cotta faces


Boxing Day Challenge

Today, December 26th, is Boxing Day in England where I spent part of my childhood (our father was stationed at Ruislip Base in London for five years). There are all kinds of reasons why it’s called that – giving boxes of Christmas goodies to service workers is one – but I’m going to give you a challenge instead. I decided I wanted to learn how to make a new kind of paper box, and this little mulberry-paper container the result. Simple, right? Not. Even with the video, it’s tricky. See if you can do it. It took me a couple of tries to figure out that x#@% last part.

Origami paper box

Origami paper box

PS The person’s hands in the video are impossibly smooth – I think it’s a plastic robot, personally 🙂

Link address to copy if you want to save it –

Quick gift you can make

These cosalts2ol bath salts are one of the examples I show in my aromatherapy classes (see the site at ). My biochemist friend Dr. Bill Kurtin knows all of the reasons essential oils work scientifically, but you can do this project without knowing any chemistry – whew :). You’ll need some Epsom Salts, some essential oil (Sprouts, Central Market, Whole Foods) and some lunch bags. You can make these for less than a dollar each and they smell wonderful and work great on sore muscles or stressed out psyches. You can store them in your linen closet to make the towels smell fresh. Easy, cheap and nice – there ya have it.

Here’s a video I made for our aromatherapy class site that explains the how-to. Think hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. You can even toss a small handful of the salts into your shower and get the therapeutic effects of the essential oils without soaking!