Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Printed Pot Holder Tags

Wow! I don’t know what took so long. I guess this is a real commitment to making more potholders, 2,400 more to be exact. Until now I have hand written each tag, which I actually enjoyed, it was kind of relaxing sitting in the living room by the wood stove or listening to one of Jerry’s stories while I wrote at break neck speed. My theory was if someone really wanted to read each word clearly they should buy 2 potholders, then the odds were good that the whole message could be pieced together. The side benefit was my handwriting really improved, not so much on the tags, but on the odd occasion when I write something down now it’s a real joy.
But it was time. I am very happy with the results and the new efficiency. Ellis of Bellwether Printing, about 2 miles from my studio, and I worked together choosing the font and layout. It’s pretty simple and similar to the hand written tags. We used this wonderful heavy 100% post consumer recycled board left over from another job, so the paper is recycled and rescued!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Here are the shops
where you can find my handmade gifts and affordable art during the holidays:

             19 N. Market Street
             Frederick, MD 21701
::Pot holders, padded pouches and note cards::

            613 E Main Street
            Purcellville, VA 20132
::Potholders, padded pouches and City Market bags::

             2107 E Capitol Dr
             Shorewood, WI 53211
::Potholders and padded pouches::

             Toll House Turn
             Shepherdstown, West Virginia

            40 W Potomac St
            Brunswick, MD 21716
::Potholders, Padded Pouches and the City Market Bag::

::Possibly will have things add before Christmas::

Opening December 7, 5-8 pm. Runs through the end of January
            9 West Patrick Street
            Frederick, MD 21701
::Affordable artwork and special addition padded pouches::

December 15th, 12-5pm. A wonderful event for local handmade gifts.
7701 Hollow Rd
Middletown MD 21769
::Potholders, padded pouches, City Market Bags and possibly the classic saddlebag and a new bag::

Monday, May 21, 2012

Portrait of a dinner party with very close friends

The hostess.

The conversation. 

                                                                       The kitchen.

                                                                            The light.

                                                                       More light.

                                                                  The tired gardener.

                                                                         The poet.

                                                                    The boyfriend.

                                                            The place.

Homemade Desserts this spring

 Milk Chocolate Mouse with Port Ganache and Whipped Creme Fraiche for 6. Made by Jerry with table setting by Jan..
 Strawberry Custard Pie for a pot luck. Made by Jerry, with strawberry layout by Karin.
 Home grown Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for two as it turns out over several days. Made by Karin.
Every few days lately we've been harvesting one or two colanders of strawberries from the front yard.  They are sweet and ambrosic.

Dessert at a dinner party

This is most likely Jerry's most magnificent dessert to date.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2 of 6 in progress #4

I love how this area come out. Very simple, strong and solid. All rights reserved Karin Birch 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2 of 6 in progress # 3

Working the edge. Just had a rare relaxing and productive weekend and I am loving all the craziness going on in the garden with this supper early warm spring weather. This piece is going to be billowy, wrinkly and puckery in areas and though that was not intentional, I am really looking forward to working with that aspect of it. All rights reserved Karin Birch 2012.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2 of 6 in progress #2

The stitching started with these pale blue line, which was the immediate intuitive impulse to start with and it was a full day later before I recognized the lines as trees, which is fitting as I am intending to emphasize the cathedral like quality of the right panel. Many years ago hiking up a mountain stream in Dolly Sods Wilderness I experienced and recognized the tree canopy flanking the stream, soaring up and filtering the light as the inspiration for imagining and building cathedrals. Lately it seams I have traded in exploring the wilderness for exploring the garden, I feel incredibly fortunate for both experiences. All rights reserved, Karin Birch 2012.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2 of 6 in progress # 1

Started working on this piece, 2 of 6, last night. Looking at the photo this morning, I’d like to reshoot, but it no longer exists as I jumped right in and got quiet a bit of direction defining stitching done last night. I had had a few ideas in my head about the direction of where this might go and how it might relate to 1 of 6 in the progression of the series, but as soon as I got it stretched and mounted I saw something very different with a very strong sense of mood (cloaked in subtly) and where the action/ subject was and spent zero time second quessing. Action stitching. Haha. I love fearlessly hurling into the unknown on canvas it makes me so happy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Home for the Holidays"

New padded pouches heading to Catepetl Studio in Middletown MD for this weekends event, see below.
A great place to find local handmade gifts, in a beautiful rural setting.
Sorting and fraying. This is one day of sewing, which I've been doing everyday this week to fill orders for 5 shops and the up coming Catepetl open studio.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Starting a series of 6 pieces each beginning with a silk screened image on white linen as background. This is a huge shift in color sensibility as I've been working on natural linen for years, which has an absorbing toning down effect on color and adds a rich stabilizing contrast to brilliant sparkling beads. There will be some technical adjustments to working out the details of using a thinner linen, hopefully with some interesting surface results. Each of the six prints are different yet similar, leaving plenty of options for embroidery exploration.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here I am peeping around a garden with my new to me red camera.

Pie on the fly, picked, baked and on the way to a party, rhubarb pie.

Some recent improvements

Ta da, the rock wall is finished. Jerry completed this side wall in about a week. All dry laid and beautifully puzzled together.

This was taken before I forgot to water on multiple hot days.

All the grass is gone from the front yard and a lot of food is growing amongst the shrubs and perennials.

The wine grapes are up on wires now and they even have their own yard art. Jerry made 6 bottles of wine from last years harvest, which didn't have such handsome surroundings.

The guest room/office has officially moved out of the living room, into it's own space.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bicycle Rack Installation

Getting ready for the cement pour.

This is the first phase of Jerry's installation of these cool new bicycle racks near Beans in the Belfry in Brunswick MD. He had the railing made locally, made the retaining wall and set the racks. Next step is installing the gravel and slab.

March opening

Gardening has been taking all my time of late, which is good, so I am a little behind on this one. This is Jerry and I at the opening of my solo show last March. It was a phenomenal turn out for the opening and people were really buzzed about the work. Alas, no sales which is a first in 18 years of doing solo shows, hence all the gardening work.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Installation of oval mirror scavenged on bulk trash night.

Also found a working outdoor umbrella, which was very needed, a wool oriental rug amazingly as big as my dinning room and a great metal chair for my studio garden.

Many thanks to our wonderful friend Billy, who is letting us use space in her garden. This is more space than I’ve ever gotten to plant food in having always had tiny postage stamp lots crammed with French intensive raised beds. So far we’ve double dug two of the beds and tilled one, planting 2 kinds of potatoes, lots of garlic, corn, green beans, beets, carrots, winter squash and melons. At Jerry’s house we have wine grapes, strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, shallots, lettuce, radish, peas, basil, peppers, beets, kale and tomatoes and at my studio are the raspberries, blackberries, asparagus and table grapes and lots of herbs at both places.

Yesterday we scooped out lots of wine berry on one of our most favorite walks that we’ll be back to pick when there ready. I am so excited to be growing so much food.

Untitled Night

This 8"x 14" embroidery is heading to Minneapolis for the SDA Conference silent auction fundraiser in June. Bidding starts at $700.

Friday, March 25, 2011

new start

Worked in two gardens this morning and did a walk around in a potential new garden. This afternoon started two new pieces, one destined for the SDA auction and one for the affordable market that I am inventing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How long?

People always want to know how long it takes me to make a piece. This little secton of beadwork is about an 8 hr day. I had a short lunch, no phone calls, though I did take a break to read the wonderful article about Sandra Brownlee in the current Surface Design. Other than that I was stitching. I am not really sure how I like it yet; I’ll tear it out if I have too , however I'd think it over carefully first.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


The week after Thanksgiving, which I spent most of Thanksgiving week on the couch recovering from a bad hip injury, I had the wonderful experience of my daughter and parents coming to work with me. Being one who loves solitude and works very well alone it was a lovely surprise having my family being all industrious around me. My dad took over the pot holders cutting table while I worked on the sewing machine and my mom and Chloe worked together reupholstering Chloe’s dinning room set.

Christmas Day 2010

The morning started very late with freshly baked Anadama apple coffee cake, eggs scrambled with caramelized onions and bits of sausage, coffee and clementines. After a long walk around town we made mushroom croustades to have with wine. Mushrooms croustades is how, after all, I bribed Chloe to come for Christmas dinner in the first place. Then for dinner we made pot-roasted poussins agro dolce with mashed potatoes, and steamed kale and finished with pear clafouti (custard tart).