Theme - Water Sports

header for monthly calendar You want to read something funny?  Here is a post I wrote last night - great aspirations of doing more:

I’ve been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding for the last couple of years and am going to reserve a board rental before this post goes live.

This week’s theme is Water Sports.

A favorite childhood memory is visiting family friends on a lake in New Hampshire or Maine one summer. Their kids were older than us.  They were super cool and friendly. The daughter had long blonde hair and I was envious. They had a motorboat and water skis. I didn’t have the courage to try skiing but it was fun riding in the boat and watching from there.

Violet is a swimmer. She joined a summer swim team and looks forward to practice all week. She doesn’t want to go to meets, just practice and learn different strokes and build her comfort level in the water.

Before my daughters were born I was a daily runner. Ever since, I've suffered from self-inflicted guilt of not running or replacing that demanding form of exercise with another that feels as good and clears my head as well. Violet has inspired me to get a one-piece suit, some flippers and goggles and try for some serious swim exercise with her at the lake.

This week will mark the beginning of a new solitary exercise and of me overcoming my fear of deep water swimming by initiating a family exercise and researching a running replacement. These themes are designed to egg me in a desired direction. Stay tuned.

End of Silly Post!


This morning I got up early, after going to bed late and was super frustrated.  Initially my frustration was directed at my husband, then my kids, and finally, as I was heading out the door without the food I need to be healthy or the work needed to move me toward my highest priority I realized that I simply cannot add another thing to my list of tasks.    Here's to simplifying and staying focused on getting over the hurdles right in front of me.    IMG_8952So, I will not be stand-up paddleboarding this summer.  I will focus my attention of the uncountable loose ends that need tying before we head across the pond in December for an extended stay in Ireland.


As far as Water Sports go, I'll be sticking to what I know, swimming at the town beach with my kids before work and relaxing on an ocean beach on Cape Cod in a few weeks.  Can't wait!IMG_5820

Mindful - Limited Access

File May 22, 10 35 41 PM Today is my first full day of mindful internet and illuminated rectangle use. Yesterday I decided to work toward 30 minutes twice a day, a morning session and an evening session plus one full day a week of internet work.

What fun it is to really pay attention to my habits. I noticed being drawn to the drivel and opted for more meaningful enrichment. What a lovely day it was!


Spent three minutes reading news this morning while still horizontal and signed off until now.

Responded to texts from friends and initiated a couple to plan my summer schedule.

Checked my Analytics and saw that my Limited Access post blew up! It inspires me to imagine my path inspiring others to consume this commodity in a thoughtful and mindful manner.

Realized that 30 minute sessions morning and night might not be most productive for me.

Working on clarifying my plan for the rest of my week long social experiment

Most notably

My sense of relief stands – it excites me to have found lost time!

File May 22, 9 35 02 PM

I made amazing sugar free, dairy free chocolate. Some of you may know that I became macrobiotic in September 2014 due to an Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis several years earlier. More on that another time, for now just know that today’s batch was most notable to date!

Recipe coming soon.

We started the patio we have been dreaming up for the last couple years. Its going to be amazing! The door hearthstone we put in place today is the one my hubby grew up with – so cool.

Cleaned, Folded a mountain of laundry, sewed for a couple hours and generally felt super great not even thinking about anything happening online.

Day two of my social experiment to leave the interwebs behind for most of my day was a success. Looking forward to another wholesome day of creativity tomorrow.

File May 22, 10 30 24 PM2

Limited Access

Today is May 21, 2016 File May 21, 11 19 41 PM

My 10 year old daughter won a tablet raising money for The American Heart Association. Her big brother has a cardio-myopathy so she is super motivated.

This device is the first for her. I was thinking about her screen-use and wondering about how best to limit it and I had an epiphany. I, like so many around me, am completely distracted from the here and now by the damn illuminated rectangle in my hand – it became clear that in order for me to feel right about limiting Lucy’s tablet use I needed to limit my own.

It started immediately.


The relief was immediate.


So here goes!

30 minutes twice a day on the illuminated screen, plus one day a week for work/sales.

It’s a social experiment I’ll be undertaking this week, I am calling it Limited Access:

So far I have spent a few focused intervals wondering how best to spend this super limited timeframe. What is most important to me?

Spent time writing in my journal with pen and ink, my favorite new drawing tool a Quill pen and india ink.  Fun to write with too cause you gotta keep dipping -  slowing  -   Thank you kindly for that inspiration Dan Blakeslee!

Dan playing at BINGO! Gallery earlier this year with some of his amazing artwork on the wall.

Enjoying the moment, spending more time with my kids and hubby – like really WITH them.  And checking OUT of all the spinning whirling craziness happening out there in cyber land.  Upon initial contemplation what I came up with as 'most important' is accountability.  So I’ll be using this platform keep myself accountable and to post my findings.

Stay tuned.

File May 21, 11 21 04 PM

Earthday Reflections

finished on table Potholder Rugs weave all sorts of things together. Since I started recycling clothing, it has become apparent that my work is actually all about mixing our culture together at the base. Setting the stage for random assortments of people to find connection and allowing them to discover how much they love each other.

weaving3This aspect of my work began as a happy accident and has moved toward center stage. When my product first came to the marketplace back in the late 1980s I imagined all the people who wore the clothes that were cut and pieced together. As time progressed, the makers of all that cut up clothing came to mind. . .   . in far away places with less than stellar work conditions. . .   … making clothing for us that we deemed so inconsequential that we discarded it before it was worn out.

The ridiculous American demand for excess (particularly clothing) never leaves my mind.

What if?

What if we ‘fat Americans’ all stopped the demand. We all just woke up one day and realized the damage we are doing to the planet, our collective diversity and culture with our over-consumption? Life could be simple and whole.


I get on tangents.

getting started

If there is one good thing about Donald Trump its that he has inspired me to show how connected and interwoven we, as people on the planet, actually are. Let me explain.

As Shire City Sanctuary, where my studio is housed, hosted the Berkshire County Bernie Sanders Campaign Headquarters last winter, I got all amped-up and excited about the idea of a government that actually represents its people. And - I got super disparaged by the bigotry and ignorance that seems rampant in some of the other candidates’ campaigns.

first few rows

A magical opportunity arose for me on April 23rd.

April 22nd, 2016 marked the 26th Earthday. To honor this sacred day – I participated in a groundbreaking for Great Barrington’s newest community garden with a Clothing Drive and Community Potholder Rug Weaving. My friends, Alan and Nancy Timmons in collaboration with The Great Barrington Fairgrounds, orchestrated the event. While a tractor filled raised beds built by volunteers, fledgling gardens were being nurtured and caressed with loving hands. Soil was turning; there was face painting, live music, jesters, food and drinks.

When Alan asked me to participate he suggested I hold a clothing drive – for material for my work. What a WONDERFUL idea! I was stoked to finally have a way to support a community event in a mutually beneficial way! With his suggestion I was inspired to bring along a big loom and weave a Potholder Rug onsite with some of the donations. It was super inspiring to witness the day unfold. From the moment I arrived there was support and assistance with smiles and able hands.

From loom construction in the morning, cutting material all day and finishing the edge of the rug right at the end of the day eager helpers were abundant. A true woven community, in, what Smithsonian says, is the best town in the country for lifestyle.

nearing completion

We used donations gathered that day to make 3x5ft Potholder Rug on site. Visitors brought along sweaters, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and fleece tops no longer useful to them. They cut and knotted and warped and wove. At the close of the afternoon event the rug was complete and over 30 people had contributed to its construction.


Today we have a super amazing rug  made by many diverse hands on the same mission. It is for sale in my online shop with proceeds going to support the Great Barrington Community Garden. I have a feeling that this is the first of many community events where I can participate in this way. Take a gander over to my online shop and take a look at the finished rug and know that with your purchase the garden will be fed, grow and feed.

taking it off

Spreading the Word - Permaculture at Shire City Sanctuary

My pattern of learning and accomplishment revolve closely around deadline and time constraints. Yesterday and last night I shot and made my first video ever. It was submitted today for a super huge and awesome grant right on deadline.  It was noted on the application that we are not being 'graded' on video production (PHEW!). Not only was the result of my pressured learning curve successful, the process was enjoyable and the tool so useful! Here is the fruit of my midnight oil. It is just a simple little visual tool for sharing more about our project proposal. Shot with an iPhone 5 edited with an app called Splice, and uploaded to Vimeo – all fist time experiences for me. The hardest part is remembering all the passwords.

Now here is a taste of what Shire City Sanctuary has in store.  Feels super positive and there is a strong sense of team spirit building in each of us working on this bright beacon.  Take a look.


And then stay tuned for teaching videos bringing my workshops and more to you wherever you are! Yay!

Ready, Get Set, 2016!

As we head into the wild blue yonder of a new year full of cyber connection and online interaction, I like to track my days with handmade creative goodness. Here are some inspiring examples to set and achieve your goals for 2016.

2016 Desk Calendar / Nature

2016 MOON CALENDAR - Midnigh...

Screen Printed Flour Sack Di...

2016 Blue Silver Moon Phases...

Nauli Daily Planner 2016 - c...

LOVE Book , Black Leather Bo...

2016 Dolphin Studio Calendar

2016 Kraft planner | weekly ...

letterpress herb datebook wi...

GILDED FOLIAGE | Anytime pla...

Textile Pattern 2016 Planner...

Katharine Watson 2016 Letter...

10 Grand Press 2016 Calendar...

2016 (44) Leap Year Datebook

2016 LIMITED EDITION letterp...

Grow Your Own Seasonal Plant...


Each week posts made here are centered around a theme.  This week are are looking forward to 2016 with handmade calendars, date books and planners to keep the handmade creativity in your every day.  Be inspired to bring one of these carefully crafted tools into your life.  Click on any image here to be taken to the selling page for that item in Etsy.  Happy New Year!

Christmas is Coming

Sweater Weather Whirlwind

I have too many things going on in my life, often feeling harried, frustrated, over extended and sometimes inadequate based on my inability to accomplish my task list. There are so many things I LOVE to do!  Lately this is more noticeable than ever before. My challenge is to find a way to make a comfortable balance. This week’s treasury will have a little touch of the things I’m currently working on deadline for. There is my upcoming Sweater Chop Shop on November 8 & 9 (that is a Sunday/Monday). The Dolphin Studio Calendar is complete and ready for shipping next week! Two BIG sales events, Farm and Flea at The Basillica in Hudson NY and then of course, Shire City Sanctuary’s Holiday Shindy December 11-13th round out my production year. Oh, and how silly of me, I almost neglected to mention my family. The people I love best, the ones I want to make more time for, all of them. My goal for this chapter of my life is to learn to prioritize my time with a little more weight on what I love the most.

WaaaHOOOOoo!  Wish me luck!


Gitana Skirt by Moresca - De...

Wolf Mask hand felted hallow...

Primitive Pumpkin Rag Doll, ...

Crow/Raven Mask

November 8 & 9 2015 - Sweate...

Wool Underwear and Tank for ...

2016 Dolphin Studio Calendar

Double Edged Lace Shrug Feat...

Little Red Riding Hood costu...

30 - Pumpkin Seeds - Jack O ...

leg warmers CUSTOMIZE YOUR P...

Long hooded sweater dress - ...

winter coat winter jacket wi...

Introduction to Sewing Works...

Cedar Bird Feeders, Handmade...

Black Sheep- Funny Pun Adult...


Every week we curate a group of products we love around a theme from Etsy - an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items and supplies for making.  This week's theme is Sweater Weather Whirlwind.  Weekly 'Treasuries' are normally posted on Mondays.  Click on the images above and be taken to a place on Etsy where you can purchase, and find more information about (and usually a bunch more pictures of) that item.  Both of Crispina's online shops are located at along with a whole host of other handmakers, vintage resellers, and material retailers.  If you have a minute, leave a comment at the bottom of this post, it is always nice to hear your thoughts and build a little community right here in cyberspace.  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living.  Enjoy!

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An Apple A Day


Every week we gather a group of products we love around a theme from Etsy - an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items and supplies for making.  This week's theme is Apples.  Weekly 'Treasuries' are normally posted on Mondays.  Click on the images below and be taken to a place on Etsy where you can purchase, and find more information about (and usually a bunch more pictures of) that item.  Both of Crispina's online shops are located at along with a whole host of other handmakers, vintage resellers, and material retailers.  If you have a minute, leave a comment, it is always nice to hear your thoughts and build a little community right here in cyberspace.  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living.  Enjoy!

This year we had a super tasty and heavy apple harvest in New England! Join us at Shire City Sanctuary  this Saturday (Oct. 3) for our fist Cider Making workshop! What is your favorite apple?

Book Art Apple

Bundle of 50 caramel apple t...

Traditional Cedar Apple Crat...

Scandinavian Fabric - Apple ...

Made to Order - Pottery App...

Oak wooden apple,woodturned ...

Cascade Washington Apple Fru...

50 Fuji Apple Tree Seeds, Ma...

Cider Press Workshop

Hard Cider Sign, hand pain...

Crated Fall Apples waiting f...

Mosaic Glass Apple Tree

Handblown Art Glass Apple

Kid's Tee Shirt, Apple T...

apple pickin' skirt - gr...

Barkcloth -- Brown Funky Fru...


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Blanket Statement I love blankets. Blankets are functional textile displays of the individual heritage alive in every culture of the world. I make blankets that are just that. Created from used textiles collected from discarded clothing that is so prolific in our wasteful way here in the grand 'ole US of A.09.07.15.Trip.1

I cut up wool, cashmere, alpaca, and mohair sweaters, jeans, corduroys and anything else made with mostly natural, nice quality cloth. Cut shapes are pieced, even collaged, together using one of several alternative sewing techniques developed over the last 25 years.

Function is key so the processes used are geared toward long lasting use and heirloom quality. These materials and techniques are used to create blankets from the smallest crib sized snugglers to larger bed sized blankets. The process translates well to wearable pieces, smaller in scale allow for more detailed and intricacy.

The BEST news is that Shire City Sanctuary is hosting my Blanket, Shawl, and Scarf Immersion Workshop on September 26 and 27!


Students will be introduced to an array of construction techniques using hand and machine sewing on home and industrial sewing equipment.

Pieces will be cut with scissors, rotary cutting tools, and even die cut using a clicker press. The workshop spans two full days filled with creative high jinx literally turning a pile of clean laundry into a beautiful stack of handmade blankets, shawls, and scarves!

The process is empowering and deeply connected to our shared cultural history. Finished pieces most often contain pieces cut from many garments that have been worn and discarded by others. There is nostalgia in there, a history of a time past and a person who contributed cloth to the project in the act of discarding their garment.

Materials are affordable, common and accessible. Construction techniques are skillfully taught without judgment or pressure. There is no experience necessary although sewing machine comfort is helpful.

The use of all tools and materials are included in the cost of tuition, however, if specific colors are needed students are asked to bring those materials with them. All materials should be machine washed and dried prior to the workshop.

Register here:

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have questions or would like additional information about this workshop. Oh and if you miss this one, my 2016 Workshop schedule will be released Sept 30 – stay tuned!