What has Sarah been up to lately?

Has it really been so long since I last posted?
Oh, well...I'll begin where I am. I've found time recently to get back to some much loved hobbies.
This weekend I will be in NH with several of my doll artist friends learning how to create and cast a mold. We will work from our own sculpted piece and learn how we can make a mold of this piece to produce cast pieces from the original. I am going in with a "blank" doll head I have sculpted that I can use as a base when creating my original dolls. It will be great not to have to start from scratch each time when creating a head. Having my own original to work from as a blank, then sculpting the detailed adding features and reshaping, then covering with fabric and painting a face....I'll keep you posted!
(Yes, the pun is intentional!)
View of my workroom bulletin board...
I haven't worked with my doll art for several years and am happy to be getting time to spend with this craft again. I am finding the drawing and painting classes I have taken in the interim are helping me sculpt the heads.

Sculpted Head blanks to use for mold making class

This doll is further along in the process. Her head has been molded from clay, then covered in fabric, painted etc. This unique doll "opens" in the middle to an egg shaped cavity. From a Joanne Pinto class.

I'm also learning to use my new Pfaff 2170 sewing machine and my Pfaff 4874 Serger. Love the sewing machine...coming to love the serger! That thing has been a challenge to learn.

The machines are quite advanced and computer driven so I'm spending time learning the software capabilities as well as the hardware. Here is a test stitch out of some quilt motifs. The one on the left, I used the software to precisely position 2 separate motifs to interlock in the middle. Too cool for those of us who have strugged in the past to line up the next motif in a row and have it placed correctly on the fabric!

I made this little table runner with my new serger. This machine stitches and finishes edges and overlocks seams. What a treat! The center of this runner is woven from fabric strips that I serged with a beautiful stitch before weaving them into the center patch. Ends were added and the whole thing is reversible. Took me about 3 hours start to finish. If I knew how to work the machine..it would probably take me half that time!

Table Runner Front /Table Runner Back

Started this wall hanging applique project last Saturday. I have all the pieces together, will the machine applique with invisible thread, then quilt and bind.


Nesting Snapper Turtle June 9, 2007

Never leave the camera home. Mark, I know this was your first advise to me, but today when I stepped outside and felt the misty rain I decided to leave the camera at home rather than risk damaging the new equiptment. I slogged along the trail until I made it to the beach. There along the grass at the edge of the ranger station was this beautiful Snapper about 14" across her shell.
She was digging a nest for her eggs. I couldn't believe I had left my camera at home! I decided to finish my route and if she was still there when I came back around to the beach, I would try going home to get the camera. Sure enough she was still there, so half an hour later I was back with the camera outfitted with a ziplock baggie to protect it from the rain! It was well worth the effort as you will soon see! I will keep an eye on this nest for the next few months and maybe...

Incredible Morning June 8, 2007

I was up and on the trail at 5:15 this morning. After days of rain off and on this brilliant sunrise was a welcomed sight. I wasn't the only creature who was pleased to see the sun this day. I was richly rewarded for my early arrival this morning as you will see....

I flushed my friend the Heron out three times from the bank as I walked around the beach cove on my way to the point. She would fly a few yards down the bank then tuck herself back into the brush and trees along the bank. The third time she took off arounded the point and disappeard behind the trees. I began to think the only way I would ever get a good photo op of this beauty would be to arrive early and park myself somewhere and let her come to me. As I rounded the corner on the back side of the point, I came face to face with a wild turkey. I followed him throught the woods and snapped a few pics before he took off. Just before his departure, I heard the unmistakable squack of a Great Blue Heron and caught sight of one with a fish in her mouth flyng low over the trees. Teasing me! I wished she knew I only wanted to take her picture, just wanted to capture that elegant beauty... Oh, well...I would stake out a quiet spot along the bank another day and hoped to catch sight of her again.

Finishing up my 3.5 mile route, I began to traverse the dam. A half mile from the far end I spotted a pair of Great Blue Herons flying along the far side of the lake. One landed in a tall pine about halfway to the dam but the other continued on. She landed on the bridge at the end of the dam just a pretty as, well, a picture! I was so far away but kept snapping the pictures and walking. I realized I didn't have my telephoto lens on. She waited while I changed lenses. I kept walking, slowly, carefully. Stopped and screwed on the monopod. She waited. I kept walking. Unbelievable. She waited. I snapped. What a beauty! What a gift!
Maybe she had heard my thoughts!

Time to go

My head was reeling with the splendor of the Blue Heron. I don't know why they stir me so but they are breathtakingly beautiful in my eyes. My heart was pounding and I was laughing out loud at the sheer joy of having had the opportunity to capture such beautiful shots of her. I glanced down the other side of the dam and caught this shy doe just before she darted back into the woods. What a morning!

Saga of the Snake Tuesday June 5, 2007

It has been raining off and on for days. Today a bit clearer. Loved the backlight on these ferns.
Forest Rock

Popped up after the rain

Lessons on the Path

The saga of the Snake.
As I take my daily walk on the woodland path, I am becoming alert to guidance, lessons, and insights offered along the way. Today it came in the form of this little Snake. Missed opportunities. Little regrets. How often to we get a second chance? Are we able to recognize important choices when they present themselves? Do we possess the courage to act on those opportunities when we see them? The small choices we make each day build to form the larger picture of our life. Becoming more mindful of my choices and having the courage to act is a daily challenge as I journey along my life’s path.
Today, as I crossed the footbridge to start the curved path along the lake edge to the Point I heard a small rustling in the leaves beside me. It has become my habit to stop and try to identify any noise I hear along the path. Most times it is a squirrel, a chipmunk, or maybe a bird. Today, the sound was close, and slight, and after peering around a bit, I saw movement in the leaves and caught my first glimpse of this snake. My initial reaction was instinctual, muscles tensed up, nose wrinkled and I pulled away. Ugh, a snake! I thought about taking out the camera to get a shot but that thought was immediately replaced with “Why would you want to look at pictures of snakes!” so I turned away and continued along down the path. The conversation continued in my head and before long I was regretting my decision not to photograph the little snake. She really was pretty and I had been walking this path for months now and had not seen a snake before today. I was sorry I had passed up the opportunity to add her picture to my growing collection. It made me realize the value of each opportunity that presented itself. I vowed not to squander any further photo ops that came my way. I continued my circuit along the lakeshore another mile then back along the path to the footbridge. About 200 yards from the crossing, I was stunned to hear that gentle rustle again in the leaves beside the path. Incredibly here was my little friend again, posing for her picture! This time I did not hesitate.

Things are not always what they appear June 3, 2007

Rainy week. I still managed to snap a few good shots. Lovin' the new camera and beginning to understand all the buttons!
Mushroom Tree
I had to do a triple take before I realized this bird was part of the stump. Cool!

One of my favorite flowers... Lady Slipper


Late Afternoon in Early June

First attempts with the new Nikon D40X

Late Afternoon Sun

I needed a Tripod for these next shots but couldn't resist trying! This heron is one I see frequently in this spot on my morning walks so I will stake her out and try to get some clearer shots of this beauty soon.

I tried out that technique of long shutter time on the waterfall. Smooth!

Mr Toad hippity hoppin' along the path!