18 May 2020

Spring break creative vacation

I have been working what feels like full time on my art workshop and this is our Spring Break. I'm sure things had been planned before the Corona virus hit but despite causing cancellations I have planned a relaxing creative week.

First up has been sketchbook creation. Now this isn't your usual blank page sketchbook. This is similar to two I made a few years ago with marks inside made before construction. There is a FIVE part workshop selection on DMTV with step by step instructions for this and other books. It was only 7.5 GBP or $9.33 for all five workshops.

First step was my tiding my workshop which included using soapy water and a putty knife to remove the paint from my work table.

Next I took out 2 large sheets of paper to work on. Note to self: next time use 4 sheets for a fatter sketchbook.

Below is a sheet of transparent overhead projector film for monoprinting

I used Speedball acrylic printing ink for a quick clean up.

I used a pamphlet stitch for each signature, ran a woven trim I bought in Amsterdam through the thread and glued and also wove my hand dyed thread into the sections in between.

I really think it could have been more pleasing with hard covers and coptic stitch but I wanted to do something different. this time.

Now as I go into each page, I can respond to the marks that are already there. I've done this before and I REALLY enjoyed doing it.

14 May 2020


Next flower up wasn't very successful but it's what I did nonetheless.


Not that I am using it as an excuse but the bud wasn't quite open yet. The weather here has been appalling and it was probably reluctant to show it's face. Hopefully I'll do better one the "second" dandelion.

11 May 2020

Enjoying spring flowers.

I have a "friend" on Instagram (   https://www.instagram.com/louisemaywatson/?hl=en  ) who keeps a perpetual wildlife sketchbook. She draws and embroiders plants, butterflies and wildlife that grace her garden. I remember last year about half way through the season, I wished I had started with yer. Well, this year I have but only flowers.

Here is my first attempt

Pulmonaria (Lung Wort)

07 May 2020

Spring Break

The first thing was to literally use soapy water and a putty knife to clean my work table as well as tidy the place so that I can breath again.

How satisfying is that!!

Next thing was to start a FUN project. A "friend" on Instagram was making a book/sketchbook out of prints and I remembered a great set of workshops on DMTV that I did a few years ago. They are only 7.5 GBS  which is $9.33. In this classroom there are 5 individual half hour (about) workshops on making these really fun and easy sketchbooks. 

Anyway, I bought the classroom collection and I am starting on the sketchbooks. I wish I could show you the process but it is the Kemshalls intellectual property.

This is me starting with two large (22 x 30) sheets of paper.

The aftermath of step one

Believe it or not THAT is my bathroom sink and it usually looks like that. I only use it to wash paint and other materials. I don't bother to clean it because it will look like that again the next day. I know because I foolishly scrubbed it one day and voila, a mess.

I do hope you will give this group of workshops (Classroom) a try because the fun only STARTS when the sketchbook is made. You'll have to trust me on this but creativity will be pouring out of you before you are done.

04 May 2020

My art course

Well, I am exhausted listening to lectures, watching critiques of student work and doing homework. It's every day and lasts for hours and I'm at the point where I can't even concentrate on what is being said. I have seen it all and done it all and have kept up so far. This is a "spring break" week and am I ever ready.

These are seven pieces (yes, we work on multiples at a time) that I was working on one week. Some are "done". But this is the process.

The two at the top are pretty much "done" according to me .

ps. Please notice that paint all over my white table!!

30 April 2020


I'm sure you are aware of the fact that sewers are making masks in droves. Me too; I've made about 60 and they've gone out all over the country. I found this is the best mask pattern, by Leah Day, the free motion queen.

It's amazing, once the word gets out, how many friends, family and neighbors will want one of your masks. We all have scraps to work with.

For people with small faces (tiny women) and children, I either make the Leah Day mask narrower- 6 inches or use the cone mask pattern.. This is a bit of a weird site but they have a huge array of sizes. I make the small for kids and small face people.

Some masks in process

Let's all be safe.

27 April 2020

Work from Ann Standish

Hi Beth, I continue to really enjoy your blog posts, and saw that you posted Jean’s finished quilt using her grandmother’s doilies, dyed in indigo.  Gorgeous.    I thought you might enjoy seeing my own finished project, using a piece of pink fabric dyed one year, and over dyed with indigo last year.  Hand stitched, with machine quilting.  “16 Crowns”, a quilt for these times we are in.

23 April 2020

snow dyeing outcome

My "assistant" Brian holding up the cloth

20 April 2020

Making lemonade: part one

Spring finally arrived on the coast of Maine and the daffodils were blooming all over my lawn then.............we got seven inches of heavy snow. I was so mad about it because all my valiant daffs were bend low under a blanket of heavy snow. I posted about that on my Instagram page and one of the women who was a yearly participant in the Maine Event from Vermont suggested I snow dye. Perfect---lemonade from lemons!!


Really really OLD dye (6 to 9 months at LEAST)

Loaded with dye

Dye in fabric and empty snow left on top.

16 April 2020

A new dog sweater for Jaic

On Instagram, a woman was making these great sweaters for dogs. I messaged her and got the name of the pattern. From Google search, I take it this is a very popular set of patterns. I LOVE cables so I did the Joe coat in cables. This is washable wool. The Patterns are called Knits and Pieces and be found here. I made Joe and instead of striped, I did solid cables.

The thing that looks like a mistake was a buttonhole I added to the pattern to allow the metal ring on the harness to pass through.

13 April 2020

Jean's indigo dyed project

Remember Jean from Indigo Dyeing Days?? One of the things she dyed were old crocheted doilies from her mother-in-law. She intended to put them together in a quilt. Well, she did and here it is in her own words.

Here is the wall hanging I made featuring my mother-in-law's doilies--many of which I dyed in your indigo vat.  Some are the natural color of the perle cotton, so I went for the layered look.  There are also bits of vintage lace and trims and some mother of pearl buttons.  In the background patchwork are bits and pieces of "hand-dyes by Beth".  Over all I'm pleased.  The quilting looks very unprofessional.  It was hard to keep it steady and smooth over all those bumpy layers.

What a beauty!!

10 April 2020

some more 2

This is the one I like the best so far