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It's finally Spring in Minnesota! With snow still falling in early May, and June high temps in the 50's, we weren't sure this season would ever take off, but it's getting there, and the birds are rocking the chilly breezes with their calls and are busy collecting materials for their nests. While these birdies are doing their nesting work, I've been working on some nesting-related things of my own: Nesting Dolls!

Nesting Dolls, or Matryoshkas have been a theme I've wanted to explore for years and have finally now made time to play with the idea. I think because my water-centered pieces have a clear sense of layering and depth, the idea of something within something else isn't new, and it's something I could take in any number of ways. Remember these "Reincarnation" pieces?

Perhaps the closets link between my previous work and these new matryoshkas are these gradient-colored works:

I love how hip these look. They're very folksy-meets-mod and would look great in a sleek white frame in a baby room, living room, or wherever you'd like to put them. I think they'd look fun as a set, too! You can see the whole of my work on these so far here in the latest section of my shop.

What do you think so far? I'd appreciate any feedback, especially ideas both on how else to explore the matryoshka as a subject, and how else to explore the theme of nesting and gradients. 


All Things Paper -- in print!

If you're a fan of papery goodness like I am, there's a good chance you already know about a gorgeous blog called All Things Paper. It's written by one of the nicest people I know, Ann Martin. Ann is an accomplished quiller and blogger, and consistently fills her site with anything and everything to do with paper arts.  If all of this is old news to you, you have also likely heard about a new book that's currently available for pre-order. Taking its name directly from the blog from which it was born, All Things Paper is a new book out next month that will sate even the most discriminating paper art tastes.

I'm so excited! It's going to be a great book, and I look forward to having my own copy to page through, bookmark and find inspiration. Knowing the book is authored and curated by Ann and that it's packed with amazing projects (you can peek inside online), is enough to get me to clear off my cutting mat, but did I tell you the really fun news? My work is in there, too! I was really chuffed when Ann invited me to submit a project for this book, and she's been amazingly helpful, kind, and patient to work with throughout this process. Let me explain it this way, if you browse through Ann's online portfolio of quilled marriage certificates, you'll see that her work defines the term "meticulous". She combines a keen eye for detail with clean curves and lines, all with a beautiful grace that pairs perfectly with the love and commitment documented in the certificates themselves. She brought this same dedication to the forming of and carrying through with this book. This is gonna be good, folks!

The tutorial I contributed is a little tree card that can also be made as a frameable work of art. One of things about this book that excites me is the potential for people to create their own versions of my card and share those pieces with others. I look forward to seeing what people do with this design! You can read a bit about the book on Ann's blog, and you can follow other book-related posts and activities by liking the Facebook page for the book, too! Hooray!


June's Voting Poll is Up

We're going to keep on rolling with the Lake of the Month voting poll, and the ballot for June is live! While I'm well aware that this month's winner, New Zealand doesn't qualify as a lake, humor me with this title. It just rolls off the tongue so much nicer than "Lake, Coastline, Landmass, or other Body of Water of the Month" does. ;)

We've kept the runners up from this month on the list (Chesapeake Bay, Penobscot Bay, and the Great Salt Lake), and added newcomers Lake Tahoe and the Florida Keys to the mix. 

Let the voting begin!


New New Zealands!

And here they are! Not one but two New Zealands at your fingertips.

When researching the land and bathymetry of the islands, I couldn't help but be awed by the topography and geographic history of New Zealand. It's a fascinating story dating back over a hundred million years! You can read more about it within the listing for the 5-layer piece here.

Or in the new 8-layer piece here.

As is usually the case, I've thoroughly enjoyed researching and creating these pieces. For many years, New Zealand has been on my short list of places to see in my life, and through this process, I must mentally underline and circle it as a destination!


We Have a Winner!

It's New Zealand with 50% of the total votes!

I'm looking forward to carving out these beautiful islands and having pieces available for YOU in the shop within the week. 

While you're waiting for me to trace, cut, glue, photograph and list this new addition to shop, please voice your nominations for the next poll. We'll probably include the Chesapeake Bay and Great Salt Lake as they also garnered a lot of votes in this round, but what else would you like to see? Let me know in the comment section of this post.

Thanks for all the votes in this round, and stay tuned for the next poll.