Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Friday, March 9, 2018

New foxes...

March! What a great month, you never know what to expect. One day its 72 degrees, the next day it's trying to snow. What a roller-coaster month. I love it!
 One thing is always constant here in the Hollow, March is time to make new creatures and I've had  a busy week filling some orders.
 The newest fox couple, Lord and Lady Dunwoody are traveling to their new home today.
 I do believe this is the most handsome fox I have ever made.


I've made several foxes in the past and it's
 funny that one can never duplicate the creature exactly as before.... the characters simply decide WHO they want to be... and it's always a surprise to me. 


The same applied to the Hare Below.   A customer wanted to purchase Dominicus Pike from my website, but he had been sold .. SO I made her a Phineas Tumbleweed instead..
I used the same mohair and the same colors in wool, even the same vest, yet Phineas is completely different in facial features and demeanor.
 That's why all the Hopalong Hollowfolk are one of a kind.... just like us.

Phineas has left us for New Hampshire, where he plans on planting a  sumptuous vegetable garden for his new Mistress....

and the Dunwoodys will continue living stylishly in their new home, as only the Gentry can.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Time to plan your Potager garden!

Hello my fellow garden-gals! Starting the season with 2 new videos on planning and planting a Potager in the old fashioned style of Hopalong Hollow.
Part 1

Part 2.
Turn your volume up when the filming begins, my voice is very faint for the first few seconds.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Answered Prayer in a Beautiful way.

 I'm delighted to tell you that 
 "Pippity Trimble and the Cunning Green Stranger" 
is going into print as I type. It is always a thrill to finish a book. After months of persnickety artwork, and the inevitable countless editing and hair-pulling episodes, the elements at last go to Book Layout where all is prepared for the Book Printers.

I am delighted with the final book jacket.
Here you see the front of the book, (with the mouse), the spine, the back of the book and both book flaps. 
 However, as James and I are the publishers, our expense to put out a book is quite breathtaking at times, and it often leaves us with very shallow pockets. 

  We really needed a good show to cushion the blow to our bank account and see us through until the new books arrive. Our show in Nashville over this last weekend was very important to us.
As Christians, we don't normally ask God to help us with monetary blessings, it's just not what we pray about.
But for this show, we did.... we reverently and sincerely asked God to give us a decent show, nothing outrageous, just enough to get us through the lean times.

 So get this: My first sale,  in the first hour,  on the first day of the show,
was to one woman who purchased SEVEN birds; yes 7 birds.
I can tell you that, as beautiful as these felted birds are, they are pricey starting at $125 and going up in price according to size.

 The fact is, I rarely sell 3 0r 4 birds during an entire show....even one at a time.
Now, if you are  Christian or Jewish, you  probably know this: Seven is God's number.
So what makes this even more special is the following:
The customer had placed 8 birds before me and after I had tallied up 7 of them, her husband asked me for the total thus far. When I told him, he said to his wife, " We'd better stop there".
Thus, the 8th bird stayed with me.

  Now you may call me delusional if you wish, but I found this incident to be a very beautiful answer to prayer, not only was it SEVEN, but it was also BIRDs
  My first sale was Seven Beautiful Birds

 The woman and I talked quite a bit, and I learned that she had been a long time friend of Tasha Tudor, had worked with her for years and also, that she and her husband live in a stone house with a thatched roof! (He showed me pictures)
 Now, You don't get more Hopalong Hollow than that!

For the next 2 days, the  show went very well, and we had quite a gratifying end result.
 What more can I say?!!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Finished with the woodland folk...

WHEW! Didn't think I'd finish these on time but I did!


Poppy Loo

On to the Badger... he looks a little like a Frankenstein's monster here..

 Oh those big ol feet!


Friday, February 2, 2018

Hopalong Hollowfolk....from the deep woods

I've only got a few days to finish the rest of my Woodland scene for the Gallery show, here is what I have so far....

Might have gotten a bit carried away when making the possums...

but a mama possum has a lotta kids.
. Those tails were easy to make.. they didn't need any fur.

Feet, hands and heads are my favorite elements while making a critter.. 
(and bonnets!)

   I really worked on getting her mouth just right,

and the little boy possums tongue... can you see it?

Drucilla has 2 daughters ZUZA and Ceclily, and a son named Cyrus.

Who says a possum can't be lovely? 

The bodies come together for the fox, raccoon and the badger, this requires SO much wool!
 I think Gustave Fezziwig turned out to be quite dapper.

The sad part is that I have to send these out before I've even had a chance to
 to know them better.

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Today I will finish my Raccoon.

I am going to miss this possum family.... I sorta hope nobody buys them..

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Winter gardening in the Potager

    Winter can be the best season for cleaning, re-designing and working the soil in your garden. Really, I mean it!
When nothing is growing, you can really get a feel for your garden's design, or lack there-of.
  My very favorite garden here in Hopalong Hollow is the Potager. Maybe because I can see it from the Kitchen window, the bathroom window and right off the side porch.
Besides, I love the variety of plants you can include in a Potager;  ornamentals, fruit, vegetables, herbs, fruit-trees, roses, annual seeds and on it goes...

My garden style is Hopalong Hollowscaping, it's from my books. You may prefer a more formal style of gardening, but I am pretty rustic, old farm and cottage in my endeavors.
   I change this garden regularly, and it is always during the winter that I do the majority of the  "re-decorating".
This is a great time for you to add manure and compost to your soil and think about fencing, paths and garden structures. Just pull out your pad and pencil and make a plan because:

 and this years plans included planting over 800 various bulbs in the Potager for a superb Spring showing.

 I've had the bulbs for months, but each time I meant to bury them, a weather incident prevented it. No worries, the bulbs were stored in an extremely cold area of our old house. Besides that, I once heard a garden expert say that you shouldn't plant bulbs until you've had at least 3 hard freezes.... figure that one out. 
 In late January, I finally had a chance to plant my bulbs. Everything else in the garden was prepared and waiting due to the winter work I had done previously.
 We had moved the mini greenhouse and  gathered as many old metal tubs and containers as could be found. These included watering troughs,

large feed buckets... some so tattered they had holes in the bottom,

antique wash tubs,
 and pails.
 I love the idea of all these decrepit wash tubs filled to the brim with pristine, tall, vibrant Tulips!
The contrast should be striking and charming at the same time.
I had already prepared the soil by hauling donkey and sheep compost from the barn, and stone, sand and gravel from the creek bank to line the bottom of each container. This was all done in Dec and Jan.
All of the 400 tulips were planted in these containers as well as some
 huge clay pots and an old wheelbarrow.

These clay pots were filled alternately with Salome Daffodils, 16-18" tall, and Dark purple Tulips. After bulbs bloom, you must leave the foliage until it turns yellow. It's not pretty, but necessary for the bulb to gather energy to bloom again next year. In order to cover that unsightly foliage, I will plant sweet pea vines and scarlet runner beans and morning glories on the tepee trellis's. 

The reason I plant all the tulip bulbs in containers is that Tulips are notorious for NOT returning the following year. Unlike daffodils, alium, muscari and hyacinth (which simple multiply underground... as the gift that keeps on giving), tulips need to be dug up and stored in a cool place after their foliage has turned yellow.

   Therefore, all the tulips went into containers, while the remaining, 400 or so Narcissus, allium, muscari and Hyacinth went directly into the soil.... Bless those little bulbs, they will just keep on having babies!
You must plant some Narcissus, they will naturalize so beautifully for you

 Something else I decided to try this winter, is a "no dig" bed. You simply put down layers of cardboard right on top of your grass or weeds, and add a deep layer of compost on top, then a layer of straw or leaves. The weeds will die under that cardboard.
 When spring arrives, you will have a nutritious bed to plant your herbs, veges, or flowers. I will plant herbs here surrounding this dwarf Peach tree.
  The cast iron wheels are keeping the leaves in place for now.
 Since your Spring Bulbs will not last into summer, plan ahead on what you will be over-planting with, because your garden is always changing... and that's half the fun of it!
  So, when that one or two days of sunshine hit you this winter, go outside and garden!

Monday, January 15, 2018

woodsy wonderland

Thank you for your feedback on my book cover.. 99%  liked the logo on the bottom and Title on the top and I'm going with your suggestions . The Pippity book is out of my hands and off to layout and printing.
For those who  create things, you may agree with me that it's good to have more than one medium to work in. It's nice to move from 3 months of painting and back into fiber.

I don't know about you, but I really to shift gears in my art. Do you often find yourself shifting gears in your work? What art forms do you move back and forth between?

 I am currently preparing work for an Exhibition at the Southern Highlands Craft guild Gallery.
The exhibit will run for 4 months, Mid Feb to May. There will be 5 artists featured and the theme is "Wonderland".
I'm working on 5-6 pieces for this show, all woodland creatures.
 So far, I've only got the heads....


They are close to life-size.

 I'm not at all sure what I'm going to do with them from this point on....


 But I do know that they won't be naked.

 I like to dress Woodland critters...
 I will need 2 or 3 more characters, any suggestions?