January 28, 2010

Homescaping: My Cottage Garden Dream

Have you ever seen a cottage garden? Their rustic elegance makes them a magical place to explore and relax. Over the past few weeks I've been on the edge of my seat for Spring to come. While I still have a few months to wait, I've been sketching out my gardening plan.

The home I recently purchased has no quality landscaping. There were three, now one, large bushes in 3 of the 4 corners of the yard. When I say large I mean LARGE! The diameter was about 10 feet and the height was roughly 7 feet. As we chopped down two of them we noticed that the main shrub spawned offshoots that took root, hence the largeness!

Here is my plan to make my bare property into a bountiful garden (if you double click on it you should see a larger version of the sketch):

Cottage gardens take years to mature (or so I've learned during my research). It is that characteristic that makes me love them so much! I adore the idea of being able to go to a nursery, find a plant I love and plant it in an empty spot in the garden. The eclectic nature of the garden is going to allow it to grow with me. It will truly be overflowing with wonderful memories.

Another lovely characteristic of cottage gardens is how they allow me to stash away rusty cans and gardening tools and worn-in wooden garden furniture to use as focal points! I can't wait to visit antique shops and country yard sales in search of those special pieces overflowing with character!

January 24, 2010

Sketch of the Week! (Jan. 24)

This weekend I've been thinking about birds. We have adorable little birds that visit our back porch in search of food. I have yet to put up bird houses, feeders, and baths. This spring the entire yard is going to go through a makeover.

I am excited to design my own hand made bird houses. I have a little bit of experience with wood working. I plan to use existing construction designs and sketch images of birds and flowers on the outside and use my wood burner to imprint the images. Once the outlines are burned in, I will use wood stain and some sort of sealant.

I made some progress with the blog give away item this weekend. I hope to complete it by the end of next weekend! Stay tuned for the post with the contest instructions!

January 21, 2010

Generous Bloggers

There is a Ravelry group for knitters who blog, of which I am a proud member. I am so touched by the number of blog give-aways that the bloggers of this group are hosting. I think a handmade gift is priceless. Here are a few links to the bloggers I am referring to:




I am happy to say that I will soon be hosting my own blog give-away! Most people host these give-aways to celebrate the new year or their 100th post. I am hosting the give-away to celebrate (and be a part of) the generous blogger community.

I plan to crochet my favorite scarf, using Lion Brand yarn and a simple stitch. It is absolutely my favorite scarf to make and wear. It is great to wear either when you are dressed to the nines or with a casual outfit.

Stay tuned for the give-away!

Edit: I am having some difficulty with the links. I apologize if they are not working.

January 18, 2010

New ideas from weekend inspirations!

This weekend proved to be a great source of inspiration. I spent one evening hanging out with one of my dearest friends and my fiance. We went to Philadelphia and discovered that Pearl (an art supply store) is closing! Everything in the store was 50% off. However, by time we got there most of it was picked over. I did buy a set of colored pencils and a frame for paper making. If anyone is interested in digging through the looted store I suggest you go now! I think they are officially closed on January 21. Their website is www.pearlpaint.com (for some reason links are not working) They are a chain store so the website is still in tact.

After our Philly adventures we hit Deptford. I found this great book on nursery knits. This book has great patterns! One of the patterns, a bird mobile made of knitted birds with irregular shaped patches of patterned fabric, sparked a great idea for knitted bags. I designed knitted cotton bags with patchwork fabric birds and lining that matches the patchwork. As soon as they are finished and images are available I will share on the blog! I am very excited about them! Most likely, they will be for sale in my Etsy shop (when it gets established).

January 15, 2010

New Yarn!

I am currently in the process of building a small inventory of items before I establish my Etsy shop. I am having a blast with all the new materials I am using! So far I have acquired some linoleum blocks to do lino prints, I have gathered used paper for my paper making adventures, I bought Sculpey to create broaches and beads and I purchased this new yarn the other day. The exciting part of this new yarn is that I would normally never buy this color of yarn. It is not a color I would normally wear but I think it is beautiful. It has a sort of rugged elegance (if that makes sense). I decided to use this yarn to make a knit stitch scarf. I decided to do a very simple stitch because (1) I wanted to really enjoy the yarn and have the ability to concentrate on and become familiar with its characteristics and (2) I plan to pair this scarf with a red flower broach. I think the contrast will be stunning. Here is an image of a few rows that I had knit last night.
I have multiple projects in yarn, house and other art mediums going at the same time. I wouldn't have it any other way! I love to keep busy and inspired. If I become tired (or dare I say it...bored) with one medium I can switch to another project. I think that method keeps me creatively fresh.

January 12, 2010

Sketch of the Day!

I began drawing contour images of ballerinas in 2008 and then stopped, but began again today. I love the image of dancers. They have such grace and movement and have a wonderful ability to activate a static page.

The inspiration for my ballerinas is the French painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917). His work is classified as Impressionist, although he refused the label and opted instead to be called a realist.

The posting of this sketch is the beginning of many. One day I might have a sidebar section that shows one of the sketches I did that day. Until then, I will post the sketch of the day at the end of posts. Just a note: I may not have one that I like enough to post everyday.

I've been searching for the perfect sketchbook for some time. I finally found one that I like. The "perfect" book is very hard to find and I am not sure if it even exists. The brand name is Hand Book. They have a canvas covered hard cover that makes them durable and yet nice to curl up with on the couch to sketch. I highly recommend them!

Today I added a left sidebar icon that links to my Ravelry profile! For those who are not familiar with Ravelry- it is an online community of knitters and crocheters.

Edit (1.13.10) : I decided to add a sidebar section titled "Sketch of the Week" as the solution to my "sketch of the day" hesitations.

January 10, 2010

A Fresh New Face!

Hi Everyone!

As you can see The Little Teapot Blog has a fresh new face! There are now sidebar links that help connect my blog to my other websites. The newly added left sidebar has icons to my Etsy Shop (coming soon)and my flickr page. Additionally,I added a section for images of my most recent work, titled "New Studio Creations". This section will have photos of my new work. As a metaphorical sneak peak of what is to come, here are some techniques I will be incorporating into my craft/art over the next few months: (seed) paper making, polymer clay, linoleum printmaking, and yarn crafting.

The upper portion of the right sidebar has information about me and a link to contact me (if you are not able to click on the link, an email address that you can copy and paste is provided.) I am noticing that the image link of the envelope is working with some computers and not others. I would love to receive email feedback about this link.

This blog will continue to evolve as I create new works in my studio, as I experience new pleasures in my life, and as I find more interesting, thought provoking and inspiring art forms. Please make sure to subscribe via the subscription link near the bottom of the right sidebar.

I would like to thank the following blogs and blog authors for an amazing wealth of information regarding html code. Without them, this blog evolution would not have happened! Thank you!


My Weekend Adventures
This weekend I truly made the most of my time. My fiance and I visited the museum of art, bought art supplies, and moved more of our belongings into our new home.

This beautiful necklace was on display in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
It was made using silver, gold and polymer clay! This inspired me to purchase polymer clay to use as a medium for creating custom toggle beads for my toggle scarves. I would also like to make broaches using this clay. An example of a design/sketch that I would turn into a clay broach is the Little Teapot logo (located in the beginning of this post).

This weekend Luke began to move more of his art supplies into our studio. As you can see, the space is quickly becoming full. Being the "planning ahead" type of person I am, I drew birds eye view sketches of how I plan to arrange my area in the studio. As we are bringing all these items into the room I am noticing that my designs are going out the window. I am so excited to use this cozy creative space!

January 8, 2010


Hi Everyone,

The blog will be under some construction from now until the end of the weekend. I am trying to improve the quality of the reading/viewing experience and (ironically) the blog will be a mess for a while.

January 5, 2010

Christmas 2009

This year was a whirlwind Christmas. Luke and I were busy thinking about the house and bouncing around between family homes. There was some time in between the multiple Christmas gatherings so we stopped home and painted our laundry room.

Our laundry room is now finished and looks great. We bought a high efficiency washer and dryer which works like a charm.

While looking for restaurants in the Deptford area Luke and I found a great sushi buffet called Tokyo. The selection is amazing and the quality of the food is mouthwatering. We couldn't resist stopping by this little gem for Christmas lunch!

Next Christmas we hope to have Christmas breakfast at our house. By then our kitchen will be done and we will have finished decorating our home. Right now, the painting is coming to a close and temporary furniture is being brought in. Here are some photos of our work in progress.

The Studio

The Bedroom with a temporary bed. We still need drapes and a new comforter (which we registered for at Bed Bath and Beyond!)

The Living Room
It is very cozy. Watching a movie in this room is top notch. Soon we will bring in our mid-tone brown sectional couch, buy a tv credenza, and add some fun lamps.