Art Therapy #21

Art Therapy is where Rae & Nancy make postcards and send them to each other. Yes, we get real mail.


This postcard sat on my desk for weeks, waiting to be finished. Until I figured out it was finished. I tend to overwork things so it felt good to not add any more. That little card with the girl would also surface in my desk mess endlessly. I love her energy and it seems like you as a little girl, Nancy.


I am less pleased with this illustration. But this, for me, is also an exercise of not remaking something 5 times until perfect. I used colored pencils and watercolor pencils. I really like the drawing until I overworked it. The black lines in the flower seem too harsh and I should have done something else with the handwriting. But I learned things, so that was good.


I think this postcard of Nancy’s tells it own story. And knowing Nancy as I do I see this card as where she is in her life.


Nancy’s comment with this illustration was… trying out a new style or maybe same old style just different paper and pencils.

I think it is a little of both.

Mail is good. I am always excited to see an oversized kraft envelope in the mail from Nancy.

Make someone’s day, send some real mail.

Japanese Sashiko Mending

I am learning this method of mending because I am tired of throwing out all my favorite flannel and denim work shirts. Oddly I wear out the elbows just when a shirt is becoming a favorite. In the 70s I did embroider on jean jackets. I find this easier on the fingers and more fun.


Sashiko is a hand-sewing technique that originated in ancient Japan. In Japanese, its name means “little stabs”—a reference to the plain running stitch. This type of mending or embroidery goes from the basic running stitch to more decorative stitches.

I ordered these two books from Amazon. Actually I ordered more books but settled on these two. Mending Matters talks about the Slow Fashion Movement and the opportunity to repair and reuse our favorite garments. Neither of these books are specifically Sashiko mending books but I am learning what I need to get started.

The Geometry of Hand-Sewing is another nice book. It has beautiful stitch illustrations and a vast array of stitches to ponder. What really sold me on this book are the two templates in the back with little holes to use as a pattern. I am sold on anything with a template.

You may not need any books. But I love books and love to read about whatever new thing I am going to do.

I bought the Sashiko needles and thread. I would say both are a must. The needles are nice and sharp and nice and long. The idea behind this mending is to be able to have 6 stitches on your needle before you pull the needles through. It is not happening for me because I am using a cotton, linen, canvas fabric for the patch. The thread is nice and strong and a tightly twisted heavy-weight cotton thread. You can use embroidery thread but I would not. Embroidery thread is multi strand and a soft thread. Since I want my mending to last I am using the right thread. I ordered both of these from Amazon also.

sashiko mending

I also got a fine point disappearing ink pen to draw my lines. I found that overnight some of the lines disappeared. Not sure if it is the pen or my choice of fabric. I was hesitant to draw harder and will try that next time. I am in a trial and error mode.

I started by cutting away the frayed fabric. I then cut a piece of fabric and put it behind the hole and stitched it in place.


I then drew some lines with the pen and did kind of an alternate running a stitch. You can really do what you want.


And here is the finished patch. Lots of things I like about this. I like the white thread on the soft blue and the addition of some vertical crosses. I do like it that my stitching is a bit irregular. As many of you may know I design fabric through Spoonflower. The best part is that I have a drawer full of swatches of my designs.

Next project will be a favorite gray and cream buffalo check shirt. And I get to use a black bear piece of my fabric.

If this inspires you or if you do this leave me a comment. I’d love to know what you make.

Many ways to say I love you!

I know. Who wants to think Valentine’s Day when, like me, all the Christmas decorations are not put away. But it is just around the corner. These heart fonts are a great shortcut to a professional quickie invitation, kid’s valentines, lunch box notes, flyers etc. Endless choices.


Keep it simple in the new year. Here are 4 different heart fonts. $9 each for a limited time. Soooooo many uses for all those last minute things. The top 2 are my designs and the bottom 2 are Justine Childs.

You can see them here If you want to use these fonts to print things you want to sell contact Rae (using the Ask Rae link above) she would be delighted to chat with you.

Art Therapy #19

As you know this is where Nancy and I send art postcards to each other.


These 2 cards are mine. Both are entries into the Minted/Target contest. I like them both but I really like the first one. I really like the shapes and color palette. Always hoping for a win.

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I really like these 2 postcards of Nancy's. As usual interesting and thoughtful. Love her poem too.

We have been doing this since after the election. I think Nancy is putting on her traveling shoes. There is a possibility that this may be the last post for a while. No matter what it has been a good ride.

Mike's Dish Towel Fabric #1


Here is another set of wilderness dish towels. These 4 dishtowels are one yard of fabric 54"x36". You need to cut the dish towels apart and then hem the edges. Or find someone who will do that for you.

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These are tighter shots so you can bet a better look at the designs.

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This fabric is printed by Spoonflower is a print on demand online company. This means you can have any pattern on their site printed on a variety of different fabrics. You can get one yard or many yards. 

These make great hostness gifts when visiting your friends at their cabin, cottage or lake home.

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These  dish towels were inspired by my font Wilderness Doodles.  These were drawn after an amazing trip to Alaska. And were a Christmas gift a year ago for our friend who lives there. You can see them here.

NEW! Spoonflower Dish Towels

Mike's Dish Towels #2

Mike's Tea Towel #2

I like dishtowels a lot. And I like to design them. Especially when I can use illustrations from one of my fonts. These towels were inspired by my font Wilderness Doodles. I like to design doodle location fonts after I have been somewhere where so I can absorb the location. These were drawn after an amazing trip to Alaska. And are a Christmas gift for our friend who lives there. You can see them here.

Mike's Dish Towel #2

These checks are 2" wide.

Mike's Dish Towel #2

These dish towel are for sale on When buying them use the recommended fabric. 54" wide, 36" deep and use the Linen Cotton Canvas fabric. If not, there is a good chance you will be disappointed. And we don't want that.

Mike's Dish Towel #2

Just so you know. When you buy this item you are buying a yard of fabric. You need to cut the dish towels apart and then hem the edges. Or find someone who will do that for you.

Mike's Dish Towels #2

These squares are also 2". Also when you buy this yard you get all 4 designs.

These make great gifts to all who live "up north".


3 Christmas Cards and 1 New Year's Card now on sale at!

So very excited about my collection on Minted. And you can enjoy 15% off using the code JOY17 at checkout. Expires 11/6. Here is the link to shop


Art Therapy #13

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If you don't know, this is where Rae & Nancy make postcards and send them to each other. We have been busy and are slacking off a little.

My postcard above is cacti illustrations I did for a Minted wrapping paper challenge. That arrangement is slightly different with more white space. But I like both the drawings and the colors a lot. I can't wait to be able to buy some!


I love to make soup. Especially in a snowstorm. Trust me this is the best tomato soup ever. Of course this is the basic recipe. Like my grandma, I add a little of this and a little of that. I know I add more honey. The basic recipe is from the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook. A Madison guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce. It is always a bit of a garbage soup. I may toss in any appropriate veggies in the fridge that need to be eaten. I also use my immersion blender to create a nice smooth soup. Perfect with a baguette from Batch Bakehouse. Closest baguette I have found to the ones in Paris.


Nancy's postcards are all wonderfully thoughtful. She has gone through some well thought out changes in her life. She is really brave and honest with her actions, although she would probably say she is not. But I think she is wrong. She is a friend of many years that I am lucky to have.

"Courage transforms the emotional structure of our being. During the process of rising we sometimes find ourselves homesick for a place that no longer exists. We want to go back to that moment before we walked into the arena... straddling the tension that lies between wanting to go back to the moment before we risked + fell + being pulled forward to even greater courage is an inexhaustible part of the rising strong." - Rising Strong, Brene Brown


Among many other things Nancy is writer. This is an excerpt from her book, Get Lost: The Adventures of Ruby O'Hara.

Nancy and I are taking October off. She is off to writer's workshops and visiting her girls. I am ever so busy with Minted and will start illustrations for a well-known retail store. I think we will be back in November. Until then.....