Sunday, February 10, 2013

Olive and Festus and Taking New Directions

January and working into February have proved to be pretty creative for me and this time has also presented me with some new artistic direction.

First, little Olive and her cranky cat Festus are two little characters that popped into my imagination during the pre-dawn hours one morning. 

Olive is yet another character that lives in Frog Bottom Borough nestled in the mountain meadows of sweet Shenandoah Virginia.  Olive has always loved apples and is well-known for her delicious, fresh, crunchy apples from her orchard.  She bakes the most delicous pies, tarts, apple dumplings and apple butter this side of the Mississippi.  She loves walking barefoot in the cool meadow grasses and Festus reluctantly follows her, begging to be carried. 

 Chasing mice is not his specialty ... too ambitious.  He will growl menacingly and whip his tail back and forth at birds in Olive's apple trees but prefers to sit in a rocking chair on the front porch and watch Olive peel apples or carve apple head dolls on warm early fall afternoons.

I loved making Olive and detailing her fingers and toes (toes even have detailed nails and joints).  She has a little summer dress made of repro vintage Civil War print and her sunbonnet protects her from the hot sun as she works over her kettles.  She and Festus are available in my Etsy shop as is her sweetheart, Gordy the Sweet Tater Man.  Festus is handpainted and soft sculptured and comes with his own cat-titude.

Now a new twist in the road has brought me to a fascination with pincushions and pinkeeps.  I wanted to get back to cross stitching but wanted to find a practical and useful place to be able to enjoy my finished cross stitch piece on more of a daily basis.  So I combined it with a pincushion pillow and here is the result:

I love the warmth and sweetness of this piece that can remain close to you as you work on your own particular needlework projects.

Presently, I am refreshing my skills at needle- turned applique.  I am taking a class taught by Judy Glick at the Quiltery (my favorite quilting and fabric haunt in Fairfield, VA).  I wanted to try my hand at re-introducing myself to applique as well as trying wool felt applique applied to, you'll never guess, a small canvas such as a pincushion!  Here is the result of that on a pincushion with wool felt and button flowers and a wonderful Blue Ridge beauty standing in the background.

  This has been so much fun and I must say I am moving through the tail end of winter and into the soggy sneak peeks of spring with a happier heart.

What have you been up to during these soggy, silvery sleepy days of winter?

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