27.2.13

Birthday Thoughts

Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.
-- Jean Paul Richter


Dearest everyone --

Thank you for your kind birthday messages yesterday.  All the good wishes fluttering my way via facebook, blog, email, text message, phone call & snail-mail made my day a special one, because, to be honest, I spent the entire morning cleaning the house and the afternoon recovering from the effort.  Thus, all your happy messages were, indeed, the best part of the day!


Also, there was this wonderful supper provided by the handsome Mr. Bloom -- Vegan Chinese food from my favorite restaurant...


And cake (of course...)

It's funny... this business of birthdays.  I spent a bit of time hunting for a poem or quote for this post which might suit my feelings.  I like the quote at the top of this post quite a lot, but then there is also this one:

Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
-- Anonymous

There are moments when I feel due respect & gratitude for gifts brought by the passage of time, but mostly these days I'm feeling a bit cynical and grumpy about the business of  birthdays (could it have anything to do with my creaky joints or the fact that my sagging jaw-line and crinkly crows-feet cause my vanity to suffer?)

 How are you feeling about birthdays lately?  Any thoughts you'd care to share?

26.2.13

Birthday


 

I grew up in the city of Los Angeles, known for it's mild, sunny climate.  Because of the climate, my mother would sometimes plan backyard parties, despite my wintertime birthday.  She always said, however, that in those years when she DID plan a backyard party, we could always count on rain.

And so it has always been, that if I planned something for my birthday which required good weather, it would inevitably rain (not that I'm really complaining, because I'm an odd sort who likes rain.)  A few years ago, however, I discovered another phenomenon which coincides with my birthday -- a  nice association and not at all the sort to spoil plans.

Plum blossoms!  End of February is the time for plum blossoms, and this makes me very happy.  Seeing trees crowned in pink is a pretty birthday gift, indeed.

21.2.13

Bye-Bye Blog Tour. Night-Night Dolly...

Wow!  Thank you to all who participated in the blog tour. Thanks to every wonderful friend who wrote a blog post and to each of you, dear friends, who left kind comments & sent lovely emails! 

Now, for those of you who are feeling a bit tired of seeing so many posts about peg dolls, here is a message:  Today we finally conclude our All-Peg-Dolls-All-The-Time portion of this broadcast.  We will now return to our usual programming.


night-night dollies
  
In fact, things may be bit quiet around here for a while.  You see, I will be knuckling down and getting to work on a second craft book.  There will be some peg dolls, but not entirely peg dolls -- it will include lots of other stuff, too (oh, my!)

paper doll-bed design courtesy of Marilyn Scott-Waters: The Toymaker

Not to fear -- I won't be disappearing entirely.  It will just be... quieter.  But please feel free to drop me a note any time just to say hello.  I am always happy to hear from you!

See you soon --
xo

p.s. You can find a PDF for all the peg doll furniture by Marilyn Scott-Waters here.

19.2.13

Making Peg Dolls Tour: Sacred Dirt


artwork by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

Today we have Faith Pray of the blog Sacred Dirt waving flags at the end of the blog tour parade.  Please allow me to make introductions...

photo by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

Faith is a writer and has finally completed the manuscript for her novel (which is the first in a three part series.)  She is also a prolific doodler (i.e. an artist) and Empress of Puns Extraordinaire (on her blog you will find wordplay and comical turns of phrase around every corner!)

photo by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

You will also meet her four children who keep busy painting & drawing...


photo by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

Digging & climbing, whirling, twirling, jumping, stomping, and obviously having a rollicking good time.

photo by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

Faith seems to be an endless source for creative adventures with her children... This post here had me laughing hysterically (apparently Faith was inspired to give a hammer to her toddler?)

chameleon design & photo by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

 Then, scrolling through her blog I came across this post here where Faith & Co. had fun with paper chameleon cut-outs.  And an added bonus to Faith's posts is that she always ends with a list of thematic book suggestions.  For her chameleon post she suggested Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett, Chameleon's Colors by Chisato Tashiro and A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni.  Fun, fun, fun!!


photo by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

I hope you enjoy meeting Faith today over at Sacred Dirt, and while you are there, you can leave a comment under Faith's post for an opportunity to win a copy of Making Peg Dolls!

dolls by Margaret Bloom, photo by Faith Pray: Sacred Dirt

Making Peg Dolls blog tour:

February 4th:  The Crafty Crow
February 5th:  The Magic Onions
February 6th:  The Toymaker
February 7th:  Clean
February 8th:  Anna Branford
February 11th:  Red Bird Crafts
February 12th:  Art is a Way
February 13th:  Softearth's World
February 14th:  Chocolate Eyes
February 15th:  Rhythm and Rhyme
February 18th:  Wild Faerie Caps
February 19th:  Sacred Dirt

18.2.13

Making Peg Dolls Tour: Wild Faerie Caps


yarn & photo by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

Welcome to day 11 of the Making Peg Dolls blog tour! Today Melissa of Wild Faerie Caps is hosting.

yarn & photo by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

Melissa and I met during the winter of 2011 when she joined a peg doll swap I was hosting. The dolls she created for the swap were fascinating and the story she wrote to accompany the dolls was so very beautiful and inventive.  But what cemented our friendship was the fact that our youngest boys are only several months apart.  We exchanged endless emails during that winter and spring commiserating over our weepy, teething babes, and during the summer we laughed over emails chronicling their first wobbling steps.  Melissa and I also have older sons who are less than a year apart, and these two have struck up a pen-pal friendship; the drawings and tiny Fimo sculptures they occasionally send to each other are hilarious!  I also want to mention that Melissa has a third son who is 4 (we musn't forget her Imp!)

yarn & photo by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

As you can see from the photos above (and also more photos to come below), Melissa is very clever with fiber -- she cards, dyes and spins her own yarns.  She also knits beautifully, and my book & I have been the beneficiaries of her generosity & talents.  In the book you can spot her knitted work in the photo of my toddler on page 11, and Melissa also created the ridiculously cute little hats for the Martinmas procession dolls on page 116.

capelet & photo by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

And do you see the shawl in the photo above?  Melissa knit this last year for my birthday (am I a lucky girl to have such a friend, or what?)

yarn & photo by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

In addition to her talents with fiber, Melissa has also created many beautiful Waldorf-style peg dolls (remember, we met via the peg doll swap!)  She came up with her own very original designs for dolls (chore gnomes!) and sells them in her etsy shop. Melissa also volunteered some gorgeous dolls for the book (green and lavender with wood burned motifs -- they appear in the introduction on page 10) and she is selling a set of dolls similar to the ones she made for the book here.

yarn & photo by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

I hope you enjoy meeting Melissa over at Wild Faerie Caps today...


Making Peg Dolls blog tour:

February 4th:  The Crafty Crow
February 5th:  The Magic Onions
February 6th:  The Toymaker
February 7th:  Clean
February 8th:  Anna Branford
February 11th:  Red Bird Crafts
February 12th:  Art is a Way
February 13th:  Softearth's World
February 14th:  Chocolate Eyes
February 15th:  Rhythm and Rhyme
February 18th:  Wild Faerie Caps
February 19th:  Sacred Dirt



yarn & photo by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps


15.2.13

Making Peg Dolls Tour: Rhythm and Rhyme


quilt and photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

Today's stop on the Making Peg Dolls blog tour is with Shannon of the blog Rhythm and Rhyme.

photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

Shannon and I met in 2010 when we were matched in an Artful Stone Swap, and our long-distance friendship grew from there. Among the things I have learned from our cross-continental exchange is that, although kookaburras seem exotic to me, in Australia they are "common as dirt," they stir up a ruckus when one is trying to sleep, and there is a cheeky verse to the traditional kookaburra song about a kookaburra sitting on an electric wire. I have learned that Australian possums are much cuter than American possums, but the Australian ones are just as much of a nuisance.  Additionally, I now know that lamingtons are small, chocolate covered cakes, sprinkled with coconut, and that they sometimes have strawberry jam between cake layers.


pincushion and photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

Shannon and I also share a silly joke about pincushions.  I won't bore you with details because I have a knack for ruining jokes (I tell them badly, spoil the punchlines and leave my listeners looking utterly bewildered.)  Suffice to say, one of the results of our joke is the pincushion you see in the photo above.  It is the fattest, reddest tomato pincushion I've ever seen, and it is featured in not one, but two glamorous photos in my book.  Who ever thought a mere pincushion could achieve international fame?

doll and photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

When you visit Shannon's blog, you will see that she is quite clever at creating lovely things.  So when it came time to make samples of clothes-peg dolls for the introduction to my book, I thought it would be fun to ask her to create a few.

doll and photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

 Shannon not only created charming dolls... she also took fun photos. 

doll and photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

Unfortunately, we were not able to use Shannon's photos for the introduction to the book, but above you can see some of Shannon's photos of her clothes-peg dolls... aren't they darling?

photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

Thank you, dear Shannon, for inspiration in the form of a stone, for the fat red pincushion, for cheering me on at every turn.

photo by Shannon: Rhythm and Rhyme

I hope you enjoy the fun Shannon has conjured over at Rhythm and Rhyme today.  She has shown me a few peeks and glimpses, but I haven't seen her whole post, so I'll be headed over there in a moment, too...


Making Peg Dolls blog tour:

February 4th:  The Crafty Crow
February 5th:  The Magic Onions
February 6th:  The Toymaker
February 7th:  Clean
February 8th:  Anna Branford
February 11th:  Red Bird Crafts
February 12th:  Art is a Way
February 13th:  Softearth's World
February 14th:  Chocolate Eyes
February 15th:  Rhythm and Rhyme
February 18th:  Wild Faerie Caps
February 19th:  Sacred Dirt

14.2.13

Making Peg Dolls Tour: Chocolate Eyes



Before we move on to blog tour business, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day and bring you photos of my boys for a bit of Bloom-family Valentine foolishness...


Shall we title this photo series, "I'm a sucker for you?"

 

Perhaps "Sweethearts from Outerspace?"


Or maybe, "Sweets for the Sweet..."

dolls and photo by Becca: Chocolate Eyes

Now, on to blog-tour business!  Today Becca of the blog Chocolate Eyes is hosting...

dolls and photo by Becca: Chocolate Eyes

On her blog Becca writes about her family's Waldorf-inspired homeschooling journey. She also shares beautiful craft tutorials and some of the adventures she and her two young sons enjoy together.  You can find links to Becca's posts about homeschooling here and links to her lovely craft tutorials here.

dolls and photo by Becca: Chocolate Eyes

In addition to this, Becca photographs images of her super sweet & truly lovely, one-of-a-kind dolls created from soft, upcycled/felted wool.  She makes her dolls to celebrate each season and sells them in her etsy shop here.

dolls and photo by Becca: Chocolate Eyes

I hope you enjoy visiting Becca at Chocolate Eyes, and while you are there, please leave a comment under Becca's post if you would like to win a copy of Making Peg Dolls.  Thank you, dear Becca, for hosting today!!


Making Peg Dolls blog tour:

February 4th:  The Crafty Crow
February 5th:  The Magic Onions
February 6th:  The Toymaker
February 7th:  Clean
February 8th:  Anna Branford
February 11th:  Red Bird Crafts
February 12th:  Art is a Way
February 13th:  Softearth's World
February 14th:  Chocolate Eyes
February 15th:  Rhythm and Rhyme
February 18th:  Wild Faerie Caps
February 19th:  Sacred Dirt


13.2.13

Making Peg Dolls Tour: Softearth's World


moon angel and photo by Marie: Softearth's World

Today Marie of Softearth's World is featuring Making Peg Dolls for the eighth day of the blog tour parade. 

rainbow crystal gnomes and photo by Marie: Softearth's World

On her blog Marie shares photos of her rural New Zealand home and images of the beautiful figures she needle felts from soft New Zealand wool.  Marie creates angels and gnomes, flower fairies, butterfly children and birds for her etsy shop, and her work is much beloved by many in the Waldorf/Steiner community.

angel and photo by Marie: Softearth's World

A while back, when I was going through a difficult time, Marie sent me a beautiful angel similar to the one in the photo above.  It hangs on the inside of my front door and brings peace to my home.  I hope you enjoy visiting Marie, and while you are there, please leave a comment on her post today for an opportunity to win a copy of my book!

sunflower child and photo by Marie: Softearth's World

Making Peg Dolls blog tour:

February 4th:  The Crafty Crow
February 5th:  The Magic Onions
February 6th:  The Toymaker
February 7th:  Clean
February 8th:  Anna Branford
February 11th:  Red Bird Crafts
February 12th:  Art is a Way
February 13th:  Softearth's World
February 14th:  Chocolate Eyes
February 15th:  Rhythm and Rhyme
February 18th:  Wild Faerie Caps
February 19th:  Sacred Dirt


 P.S.  There is a special * VALENTINE PEG DOLL GIVE AWAY * over at this post here.  Tomorrow is the last chance leave a comment for a chance to win!

12.2.13

Making Peg Dolls Tour: Art is a Way


painting by Elsa Mora

Welcome to the seventh day of the Making Peg Dolls blog tour.  Today Elsa Mora (or Elsita, as she likes to be known) is featuring Making Peg Dolls on her blog Art is a Way.

a book by Elsa Mora

Elsita creates papercut illustrations, paintings, drawings, tiny art books,  jewelry and sweet toys for her children.  The beauty and intricacy of Elsita's work leaves me with my mouth gaping open (not an attractive facial expression, but that's honestly the effect her work has on me!)

a book by Elsa Mora

I hope you will visit Art is a Way today and see what kind of peg doll magic Elsita has dreamed up.  You can also leave a comment on Elsita's blog for a chance to win a copy of Making Peg Dolls!

a book by Elsa Mora

Making Peg Dolls blog tour:

February 4th:  The Crafty Crow
February 5th:  The Magic Onions
February 6th:  The Toymaker
February 7th:  Clean
February 8th:  Anna Branford
February 11th:  Red Bird Crafts
February 12th:  Art is a Way
February 13th:  Softearth's World
February 14th:  Chocolate Eyes
February 15th:  Rhythm and Rhyme
February 18th:  Wild Faerie Caps
February 19th:  Sacred Dirt

P.S.  There is a special * VALENTINE PEG DOLL GIVE AWAY * over at this post here.  Don't forget to leave a comment there for a chance to win!

11.2.13

Making Peg Dolls Tour: Red Bird Crafts


photo by Emily Neuburger: Red Bird Crafts

Dear Friends, today Emily Neuburger of the blog Red Bird Crafts is hosting the Making Peg Dolls blog tour.  Over at Red Bird Crafts you can read an interview with me and get a little peek behind the scenes.  Also, at Emily's blog you can leave a comment for an opportunity to win a copy of the book... but before you head over there, please stay a moment to hear me sing Emily's praises.

love-rocks by Emily Neuburger: Red Bird Crafts

Emily's work first crossed my radar when I saw her book Show me a Story.  I loved this book from the very beginning. The ideas in Show me a Story are perfect for parents, teachers & therapists, and most of the activities can be created using materials found at home or easily obtained at a local store.  The projects themselves are unfussy and uncomplicated, but they invite depth and exploration within the world of story.  Best of all, Emily's voice is gentle, whimsical & encouraging, making the reader feel like she is sitting at the kitchen table with Emily, working magic with craft materials and dreaming up stories together.

love-rocks by Emily Neuburger: Red Bird Crafts

In addition to her book, you can find Emily's heart-felt words, beautiful images and fun crafts at two blogs: Red Bird Crafts and Everyday Fun at Parents.com.  I hope you enjoy reading the interview with me and also meeting Emily!

love-rocks by Emily Neuburger: Red Bird Crafts

Making Peg Dolls blog tour:

February 4th:  The Crafty Crow
February 5th:  The Magic Onions
February 6th:  The Toymaker
February 7th:  Clean
February 8th:  Anna Branford
February 11th:  Red Bird Crafts
February 12th:  Art is a Way
February 13th:  Softearth's World
February 14th:  Chocolate Eyes
February 15th:  Rhythm and Rhyme
February 18th:  Wild Faerie Caps
February 19th:  Sacred Dirt

P.S.  There is a special * VALENTINE PEG DOLL GIVE AWAY * over at this post here.  Don't forget to leave a comment there for a chance to win!