Blog Tour for Making Peg Dolls Launches Monday

 Dearest all --

The Making Peg Dolls blog tour starts Monday, and I have something fun to share with you.  All during the time I was planning the blog tour, in my mind, I kept thinking of it as a "blog tour parade," imagining tiny, peg doll-sized trumpets blowing tiny fanfares.  This idea of a little peg doll parade was so stuck in my head, that I was compelled to create one.  The result is this:

Truly, this is a trumpet fanfare, of thanks and gratitude to you. To each and every person, thank you for your support and encouragement towards this peg doll book project.  Thank you for your kind comments via my blog and facebook, for your friendly emails and for the beautiful photos of peg dolls created by both you & your children.  Every message has made me smile and brought me so much joy!

And finally, an especially big, star-spangled thank you to Hawthorn Press for providing books for the blog tour... And most of all, for having faith in this beautiful peg doll project.

See you Monday!!


A Reprieve for the Gnomes of Oakland

photo by Emily Cotler: Fairy Room

Across the bay from me, there is a city called Oakland.  About a year ago, gnomes began to take up residence.  They appeared in an assortment of places, but their primary haunts were located at the base of utility poles owned by Pacific Gas & Electric (otherwise known as PG&E.)  PG&E had called for the gnomes to be removed, saying, "We can't have anything that would compromise the integrity of our equipment."  However, due to public outcry, the gnomes have been granted clemency and will be allowed to remain.

photo by Emily Cotler: Fairy Room

It is said that the gnome population of Oakland has now climbed to 2,300 gnomes.  Their emissary and ambassador has remained anonymous (i.e. no one knows who has assisted these gnome-folk finding homes in Oakland.)

photo by Emily Cotler: Fairy Room
To learn more about the gnomes of Oakland you can read this article and this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.  You can also visit Fairy Room (where they claim no responsibility for this magical infestation.)


To Pin or not to Pin...

Last week I was alerted to the fact that a vendor on etsy was selling copies of my work (and the work of a number of other artists/craftpersons/vendors.)  While it's fine to use the designs and ideas of others to create beautiful things for yourself, it is not okay to sell work based on the designs of others (unless one has written permission from the artist or copyright holder.)  Needless to say, a lot of people (including me) were very upset.  This started me thinking seriously about copyright.

I try to be careful and respectful when using images and text by others.  So, the question which pressed me most was how to make sure my work was, in turn, treated with respect.  I read a number of articles from this list here and this list here; it seems the bottom line is that all artists/writers/creators own the copyright to their work the moment that work is created.  Whether others respect that work is another matter.


After some thought and research, I added a notice about copyright to the bottom of my sidebar; maybe it comes off as stern? (if you have any feedback or ideas about this, please let me know.)  And anyhow, is a notice on my sidebar really going to make a difference?

Then there is the issue of Pinterest.  That's a doozy when it comes to copyright infringement issues.  To address this, Kal Barteski started a blog and movement called Link with Love.  I highly recommend reading some of the links available on the site, especially this blog post here by Kal about Pinterest, and this other post here about why she deleted her account.

I'm afraid that, beyond this, I don't have any answers.  I am grateful to friends with sharp eyes who spotted copies of my work, and while I have not deleted my Pinterest account yet, I will no longer actively be using it.  Any thoughts? Ideas?  I'd love to hear anything you have to say about this topic.


Making Peg Dolls Blog Tour, etc...

Yesterday my little kitchen was filled with children.  What were they doing?  Making peg dolls (of course!)

Why so much peg doll making and festivities?  A few reasons:

1) In 10 days, Making Peg Dolls will officially be released -- then anyone, anywhere who wants a copy can get one!

2) In less than 2 weeks (Monday February 4th, to be exact) the blog-tour for Making Peg Dolls will launch.  Way back in July, I mentioned there would be a blog tour, and I just realized I've hardly said a peep about it since then; however, behind the scenes, things have been busy, busy, busy planning for this.  There will be books to give away and some really delightful surprises awaiting you over at each of the 12 blogs during the run of the tour.  Please do come back on February 4th so you can see what's happening and follow along the parade route of tiny peg doll fun (can you hear the wee trumpets practicing their tiny, peg-doll sized fanfares?)

3) On February 10th (less than 3 weeks away) Kepler's Books in Menlo Park will be hosting a book launch where I will be offering doll making classes.  Yesterday was a test-run for those classes, and, as you can see, everything was splendid.  If you would like to participate in a class at Kepler's on February 10th, you can get more information and register for one of the sessions here.  Or if you just want to say hello and have your book signed, that would be grand!!

I'm counting down the days... Are you?



photo used by permission of Leafprint Studio

I'm obsessed... with my new hot water bottle.

I've never liked electric heating pads and, up until recently, had been using a microwavable grain-filled sack.  But the hot water bottle is just, better... And what makes it best is this flannel cover.  I don't have time right now to make a cover myself, so I went in search. The moment my eyes landed on this blue one, I was sold (those shiny red buttons clinched the deal.)  Isn't it gorgeous? Just in case you want one for yourself, I bought it here... and there are lots of other nice colors and fabrics, too.

photo used by permission of Leafprint Studio


Reading The Hobbit

One afternoon when I was ten years old I spotted this paperback sitting on the dining room table.  It appeared to me a very grown-up book -- daunting, intimidating, inaccessible and not for me. Still, I picked it up and read the first paragraph:

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.  Not a nasty, dirty wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Then I knew this book must be for me. I stood at the table reading through the first chapter, and then finally went to find a comfortable place on the sofa to continue my journey.

My husband and I went to see the new movie version of The Hobbit two weeks ago.  Sitting in the theater brought me back to that moment I picked up this book and stood at table reading those first lines -- a skinny ten year old on the verge of a great adventure. I've read so many other books, traveled, earned university degrees, married, had two children, experienced joys and weathered storms in my life so far, but every time I encounter those first lines:  In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit... I am still that ten year old standing at the table...

Are there any books which bring you back to that first moment?