The Makers Festival

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Come see us next Saturday September 17 at The Makers Festival lin Manahawkin, NJ!

10am`- 6pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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healing

So this is my busiest holiday season ever! I’m so grateful for the overwhelming response that some of my new designs have gotten, as well as the remaining popularity of some of my old favorites. But the busyness has taken it’s toll on me and I seemed to have picked up a nasty bug. Lucky for me, I rarely get sick, but this cold took both me and the hubs out in the same week!

There is only so much that rose hips, nyquil, and netflix marathons can do to make you better (though they all have their roles, for sure) . I would have liked to go to yoga, but I skipped class for the better health of my fellow yogis, and for fear that all those down dogs and forward folds might have me drowning in my own snot. (that visual too much? I’m sorry)

Today, I had no choice but to run a few errands after being homebound for almost a week. I took the opportunity to go to the place that always heals me, the woods. I couldn’t make it too far mind you, no 3 mile hike for me today, so I took a very quick path to a somewhat secluded bench and just lay down and stared at the wind in the trees. I felt like I could finally breathe again.  Time and time again I go to the forest to feel better. Most of the time it’s to calm a busy mind, but on the occasion when I get a cold it seems to certainly help me physically as well.

I am hoping to get all caught up this weekend on all my orders while hubs is manning the booth at Gingerbread Wonderland. Then I will open up the Etsy shop again for some ready to ship items. Thanks to you for helping make Forage Workshop a success this year, and thanks to my friends the trees for helping me feel better, again and again.

 

Asbury Bazaar!

This weekend I will be at the Asbury Bazaar both Saturday and Sunday! I love AsburyPark, such a fun town!.

My hubs and I have been coming here for years, it’s our favorite shore spot! It’s so great to be a part of the pop up shopping scene here. I love the atmosphere, I love the customers, and I love going out to eat or walking on the beach after a long day!

If you’re in the area (or if you’re not, make a day trip, it’s totally worth it!) stop by and say hi, have a cider with me, and stick around for the Tree lighting tonight in the Convention Hall.

Happy Small Business Saturday!

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why I forage

I am the type of person who likes to use what she has. It might be a harder road, but I enjoy transforming something into what I need it to be. Also, it makes a heck of a lot of sense from an environmental standpoint. I mean geeze, these logs are just rotting away, why not make something awesome out of them! Such a better way to go than killing or damaging a beautiful living tree, or going to a craft store to buy wood where they process and mass murder trees to get their boring, perfect product. Foraged wood isn’t perfect. It isn’t pristine, white wood ready for me to make my mark on it, but that’s why I love it.  It’s MORE than perfect, it’s a beautiful mess.

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my Chief Executive Forager (AKA my Hubs) searching for the perfect log

 

Giddy’up

Giddy’up

It’s about the time when the sparkly lights of Christmas are down and the reality of 3 more months of cold grey slush start to make me go crazy (and research warm weather vacations!)  It’s also, not surprisingly, kind of a slow time in the ol’ workshop. The end of the year is a rush of shows and nonstop ornament making, The start of the new year however is completely different. It’s like someone threw me out of a raging party through a revolving door and I stumble out onto a almost empty street. But actually, it’s totally exciting for me. It’s time to dust myself off, and climb back up on to the horse of creativity.

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All these ideas have been popping in my head lately. A lot of them in yoga class, oh it’s so nice to go back to yoga class! (Resolution 1, check!) Most of them are really organic off shoots of what is a Forage staple, wood burned trees. Our hearts on trees ornaments are really wildly popular, so I thought, why not have them around all year long? I have started doing mini hearts on trees for magnets and pendants. Not with initials because they aren’t much bigger than a quarter, but the sweet sentiment is there. A new series of  “Baby’s first Christmas” ornaments is in the works. Something I thought of at a baby shower I was at and wished I had something that I had made to give them. Most recently I was inspired , well by myself, this blog actually. I was rereading an old post about botanical studies and I thought, a botanical study on MUSHROOMS would be such a joy to make. And while I have wood burned them for ages, I thought adding some paint and color would really make them special.Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 9.06.07 AM

These are ideas that hit me hard, like “why in the heck did I not do these before???” But the raging party was so all consuming and there was just no space for my horse. So while I miss the constant cha ching of my Etsy orders and the sweet and friendly faces of my wonderful customers at shows, this month I’m going to saddle up and ride off into the sunset.

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The beauty in the damage

The beauty in the damage

I have been a wood lover for far longer than I have been a woodworker. I often admired (still do) the beautiful patterns in the wood, the colors , the rings, the stories. But when I first started making my items I was always looking for “clean” wood. I thought my wood burning designs had to stand out against a stark white maple background, but, being a forager, this was not often what I was given. Gathering fallen wood from my property or my friends wood piles or the side of the road, often I get soggy wood that needs to be dried out a bit before I can work with it. This wetness seeps into the wood often creating irregularities and patterns. My frustration has evolved into fascination with these “damaged” pieces of wood that I work with. “Mother Nature’s watercolors” is how I have come to think of it. It turns out that not surprisingly, I am not the only one who has found beauty in the damage. The term for it is spalted, and many a woodworker has come to value these pieces highly.
Perfection is boring, give me your discards any day.

spring planting

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During the long, snowy, winter I could not stop daydreaming about warmer, greener weather. Visiting local greenhouses was my great escape out of the cold where I could soak up some fresh oxygen and imagine I was somewhere tropical. On one of these excursions I found myself in the bromeliad section and started visualizing the possibilities of my woodworking and these gorgeous little plants going hand in hand. I had to wait until all the snow melted to break the saw out of the garage and get to work, but just in time for spring, my new planters are here, and ready for sale! http://www.etsy.com/listing/186572091/birch-tree-air-plant-holder?ref=shop_home_active_1

Keep a look out for my hanging wood slice planters, available soon!