spring sampler

I did in fact survive winter! All four of my jobs are asking quite a bit of me these days, so I just haven't had the energy to keep up with social media. But I am still mending and making, drawing and appreciating this spring!

top: embroidery sampler from a recent kids class at The Ragfinery, tender blossoms on the opening day of the Bellingham Farmer's Market

bottom: a page from my sketchbook for our family drawing club, the return of cotton hats for warmer days.


how to survive winter (part3: daily project)

This winter my family is playing along with Creative Live's daily project called 28 to make. Each day there is a short video prompt telling us what to draw (or in the case of Sunday, to not draw and just build rest into our creative habit.) And each week there is a different artist giving us the prompts. 


It is giving us something to look forward to each day , a moment to connect and be on the same page. To get out of our winter minds and be with color and line and a houseplant for 20 minutes.

I imagine there are month long projects like this for all sorts of interests, fitness boot camps and whole food cleanses, knit alongs and writing challenges. Instagram seems like the platform for sharing these results with hashtags and contests along the journey. It's cool for us to see what other artists do with the prompt and to have little comment conversations encouraging each other.

And you can certainly design a project for yourself. It can be an act you repeat every day: write a haiku, cook a new recipe, do a sun salutation, leave yourself a post it note. Or it can be committing to work everyday on a larger unified piece, make stitches on an afghan, spend fifteen minutes on your garden, glue one page for a scrapbook.

Just make a few rules for yourself and go. And then do it again the next day. And the next.

A few winters ago I made a quilt project. Each day in February I hand stitched a section of fabric. Some days are dense with tiny stitches. Other squares have the bare minimum of stitches to keep the layers together. 


Any particular section might not be that great, but it makes a satisfying whole.

If you don't want to commit to your own daily practice, you can support someone in theirs. Especially if you aren't following a sports team or reality tv, following someone's project is a great way to get through the dark days of winter. My friend Jessica Bonin did an inspiring daily painting project a few years back and now she's doing it again in a Subscription format. I'm excited to be watching what she creates.

How to survive winter (part 2:stay warm)

Staying warm seems almost too basic to mention. But when our furnace broke last week it became clear how essential it is to well being in winter. When you are cold you slip into animal survival mode. It's hard to relax, get good rest or do the important work. Getting warm is often as easy as pushing a button on your thermostat. But when it isn't, here's an illustrated guide to staying warm.


  1. wear a hat (and a scarf or slippers or leg warmers)
  2. snuggle under blankets (bonus heat if you can get a child or pet to cuddle with you) 
  3. borrow a space heater
  4. do jumping jacks, dance around or jog in place
  5. drink warm beverages 
  6. knit or wear something knit (wool layers are your friend)
  7. build a fire (extra warming if you chop the wood)
  8. get in warm water (shower, bath, swimming pool or hot tub)
  9. eat or drink warming spices (peppers, ginger and cinnamon)
  10. find the sun (if not out the window in a movie, book or music)

I am so grateful for a solid home to keep me dry and safe, even if it got a bit chilly. And I am beyond grateful to my brother who helped us finance a new furnace.