Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Feedback on my site redesign

Hi Everyone,

I need some feedback on some minor redesign I'm getting done on my site. You can see it here .

What I'm aiming for is something a bit bolder and that showcases my work a bit better on the index (home) page. I also wanted to work in more ferns/ green to pick up on my business name, Fern House Studio. I think I'd like the background green a bit more green, like a more spring green color,and maybe the ferns a bit more prominent

Please let me know what you think. You can post at this thread.
Thanks thanks thanks!

Update on October 7th: The new design has gone up... But you can still look at my site and give me feedback! Thanks...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Snail Mail (and chicken mail, and blissed out mail...)

The Common Ground Fair was wonderful. We had perfect Fall Maine weather this weekend, though it's now raining as I write.

One of the vendors I always visit at the CGF is Toki Oshima of the wonderful TokiCards. Toki's cards are awesome--I am so inspired by her work depicting the joyful aspects of life in rural Maine. Here's one I bought-- a belated birthday design called "slow birthday" featuring a snail and turtle-- so clever!Photo Hosted at
All of Toki's cards are printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks. Fortunately for all you non-Mainers, she now has a website: Photo Hosted at

Speaking of cards, I got this nifty chicken cards from Young And With It Industries in my Sampler.Photo Hosted at

Lastly, for your snail mail pleasure, there are wonderful cards at

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that many of the cards on my site make great holiday cards, so think about stocking up. Sadly, I'll have to raise the card prices a bit in October, so I suggest stocking up now if you have a chance.

Happy mailing!

Friday, September 23, 2005

New Things

• New things are coming to my site, very soon... be on the lookout. A new steal, a new print and I just completed lots of new fingerpuppets that are making their way to my site over the next couple of months in stages.

• I spent $81.00 yesterday on office supplies at Staples. Small business is not cheap. What is cheap is poor people working in substandard conditions in some less developed countries. I saw some very cute sewn fingerpuppets at a Pier One-like import store yesterday. It was obviously a lot of work to make them. You know what they cost? $7.00! It's just too sad... Someone very skilled is being paid next to nothing to create this stuff.

Reason # 1 to buy handmade: You know the person making the item has set their own price, and chosen their own working conditions, and gets a lot of joy from making what you buy.

I'm going to be posting more reasons as we head into the holiday shopping season. Just to keep you feeling good for maybe spending a tad more, but doing the right thing.

• Oh, I also got all this cool fabric today, for future handpuppets (too exciting-- I love buying fabric and already have way too much-- but all these were only $2.69/yard)
Photo Hosted at Buzznet.comPhoto Hosted at Buzznet.comPhoto Hosted at Buzznet.comPhoto Hosted at Buzznet.comPhoto Hosted at Buzznet.comPhoto Hosted at

• Got this cool tissue,too, to wrap all your orders in: Photo Hosted at

• Speaking of handmade things, I'm going to the Common Ground Fair this weekend. Sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), they always have lots of great crafters there, as well as other vendors, fun-to-look-at livestock, lots of great organic food, and organic produce to buy.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Happy Birthday Sampler

I got my first anniversary birthday Sampler today. It really made my day, which was mostly spend running dreary errands. So coming home and finding the Sampler in my mailbox definitely gave me a boost.

This cute little notecard from Sprout Studio was one of my favorite things. I also loved a red and green seed bead bracelet from Erin Elizabeth. Very simple with great choice of colors!

Ohbara gave a cool little packet of supplies for making kanzashi. I don't know what kanzashi is at the moment, but I know I'll be making some, because the fabric in the little packet is beautiful and intriguing.

Pink Thread & More put in the coolest thing- a keychain with a seamstresses' tape meaure inside a cute little sewn pouch. I've been needing a tape measure-- it's the best!

The Sampler is great & I love it! But one of the things that makes it uniquely The Sampler is that I always get something really weird in it that I have to throw away. Sometimes I think I'm really too old for The Sampler, because some things in it, I just don't understand. The thing I threw away with a shudder this time was a little Sculpey fetus from FeTo . I just don't get it. Forgive me. It gave me the creeps. Can anyone explain?

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Thanks everyone who went looking for the "steal" on my site this week. It actually sold within an hour, so I guess you have to be quick to get one. Next time I will post 2 of them, so more people have a shot at it. Meanwhile, all those small works on paper are steals as far as I'm concerned, so check them out. Original artwork, beautifully matted with a foam core back... ready to frame or give as a gift as is. All for $28-$35-- that's quite a deal!

• Coming soon: a new print will be up in the next couple of weeks! I'll keep you posted.

• Other news: Our monthly card winner is Melissa of St. Louis, MO. Congratulations, Melissa! Sign up for the Fern House Studio newsletter to enter our monthly drawing.

• I just signed up for the November craft swap at They have really cool swaps--a different one each month. If you sign up, maybe we'll be swap buddies in November.

• Hurricane disasters are on my mind as we have a rainy weekend here with the tail end of Ophelia. Been thinking about all the folks whose lives have changed so harshly as a result of Katrina. It's been overwhelming watching and hearing the sad stories coming out of New Orleans, Mississippi and other affected areas, therefore...

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New Small works on Paper are up!

Hi everyone-- new small works on paper are up at my website! Yay! These are beautifully matted and shrinkwrapped by my framer. There's one "steal" to be had ( a specially lower-priced one). First person to find it and get it in their cart & checked out gets it! Good Luck!

Oh my gosh! Already SOLD! These sure go quick!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I've been tagged

Candlelight tagged me almost 2 weeks ago, but what with Hurricane relief projects and my school job starting, I'm just now getting to respond to her tag by listing 5 idiosyncrasies I have (Just 5?--man! my list is much longer than that!)

1. I tend to be very silly (despite the fact that I'm a teacher as my "day job") and I often make up words and use silly voices (this is mostly at home, not in public, though my students sometimes beg me to do some of my voices like the Indian Guru voice and the New Jersey lady voice, etc.). As an example of words I make up, like if I'm really full, I say "I'm stuffelated", or if Phil's nose is stuffed up, we say it's "stuffenated"...I kind of do it all the time on the spur of the moment.

2. I don't exercise much, and I eat fatty food fairly often, but I'm really skinny. As a matter of fact, my boyfriend Phil often says, "Where does it all go?!" in disbelief, as he watches me pack away yet another snack. I pretty much eat all the time, but I don't really eat sugar, so I guess that is why I don't gain weight easily (actually I'd like to gain some weight!)

3. I have sea vegetables (fancy name for edible seaweed like nori, kelp & dulse) in my refridgerator from about 6 years ago that I won't throw away because they're dehydrated and don't really go bad, but I rarely use them for cooking.

4. I make puppets-- I mean, come on, how many people do you know that do that?!

5. This is kind of a sad one: I'm allergic to about a zillion foods, due to an illness I got when I was 28. I can't eat wheat, most dairy, tomatoes, oats, corn ...that's just to name a few! It's a real pain...but at least I make sure to eat healthy, as I rarely can eat prepared foods. This may still change..I may be able to heal these allergies. In any case, I'm working on it.

Ok, I'm tagging RJ , Cornelian Cherry and Cheryl and Jessica. I think I'm actually supposed to tag 5 people, but I don't want to visit this madness on too many innocent lives out there :)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Monthly Card Winner

I was a bit late getting the monthly card winner drawn for September because this was my first week back at school... as a teacher, that is. I'm a K-5 (not-quite-full-time) art teacher. It's my alter ego... the art lady, in about 600 students lives! Whew! That's also the reason I haven't been updating this blog as often as usual... but I'll try to get to it at least 4 times a month.

So...Fern House Studio's card winner for the month of September is Melissa from St. Louis, Mo. Yay Melissa! If you haven't already, you can sign up for Fern House Studio's enewsletter and you'll be entered into the monthly drawing. Your name doesn't get removed from the hat (actually,it's a box) until you win... so, give it a try! My newsletter is pretty neat, too, and will keep you informed as to updates and new items that go up on my site before everyone else finds out. New small works on paper and prints are going up soon, so keep checking here or sign up for the newsletter to be the first to know.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Crafters United for Hurricane Katrina Relief

I'm sure that you all are watching and listening with shock and sadness to the ongoing Hurricane Katrina tragedy. has organized the indie business community to donate items for a benefit sale on Etsy for Hurricane Katrina relief. You can view and buy items at Etsy's Hurricane Katrina Relief Store. The print I donated has already sold, but there are hundreds of great items to choose from--it's win/win-- you get a great new handcrafted item, and the money you spend is also a donation to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

To get links to all the participating businesses, go to Craft Revolution's Directory of participating businesses