Dear Readers: I appreciate you. For reading my words and for commenting. For looking carefully and engaging with my artwork. For telling me if and how I have touched your hearts. And I hope that somehow I have.
Here is your free calendar for March. These calendars are a gift from me to you because I want you to have something to remind you of a different way of seeing the world around us. And … well, just ‘cuz…
I’d love to know if you find these useful.
The calendars are free for you to download. I will try to post the calendars the first day or two of each month. The only thing I ask is that you use them only for your personal use. Please don’t sell them yourself. And please do tell your friends these are available. Thank you!
If I don’t have the size or proportion of your computer monitor, or if you would like one for a cell phone, please tell me in the comments and I will make one for you and post it here. This month I am posting two versions: the calendar below may be downloaded and printed for your wall or fridge. The one at the top of this post is desktop wallpaper for your computer.
How do I do this? Just right-click to save the image. Let me know in comments if you have any trouble. You can download and print either calendar. Late Winter Cheers from me to you!
Calendar for your (analog/actual) wall:
calendar for your iPhone
I remember making these dolls from hollyhock blossoms in late summer. They only last for a few hours, even less if you play with them. But they’re fun to make, and really do have lots of personality. Now is hollyhock time in Montana. Do you have hollyhocks where you live? If you do, then you’re in luck. Go find a few, get out a needle and thread and go for it.
- Pick some hollyhock blossoms. Remember to get different sizes of buds, and a few leaves (for hats.) Sort the buds by size, making sure you have at least 3 buds for each arm.
- Keep blossoms fresh while you work, by placing them in a bowl of water. You can also mist them with water using a sprayer.
- Remove the large, fuzzy stamen that sticks out of the center of each flower. Using a large needle and thread, stitch up through two or three large flowers, layering them to look like a skirt. You can make multi-color skirts with different colored flowers. Next make the head — you can use either a small blossom that hasn’t fully opened yet, or a large bud. Stitch from the bottom of the head through to the top.
- You can add a leaf on top of the head for a hat.
- Use 3 buds for each arm, a small, medium and large. I like to start at one hand, thread 3 buds together, then pierce the shoulder with the needle, and continue on the other side with 3 more buds for the opposite arm. (see photo 6)
- Your hollyhock doll will have personality and facial expressions if you use your imagination with her.
You can add legs if you want but I kinda like them without legs. The big skirts make the dolls look like Southern Belles at a Ball, or Ballerinas Dancing Across the Stage. If you want legs, do them the same as the arms.
Another way to make hollyhock dolls is to use long, stiff pine needles, or toothpicks instead of needle and thread. Using the thread allows the arms, legs, neck and waist of the doll to move and jiggle, and if you hang her she will dance in the breeze. Using pine needles or toothpicks gives you a stiffer doll that can be played with more easily. Here is a link to making hollyhock dolls with toothpicks.
Miss Hickory is a children’s book that dates back to 1948. It is about a tiny doll made of apple twigs with a hickory nut head, so is a little similar to our hollyhock dolls, only longer lasting. The story follows her adventures through the four seasons. And eventually, the story ends with the little doll asleep on a branch of an apple tree and in the spring the apple tree blossoms all around her. Below are a couple of illustrations from the book and a link to a tutorial on how to make a Miss Hickory doll.
The Helena Farmers Market is a hoppin’ place in August when the harvest is rich and our days are warm. People bring their shopping bags and market baskets, their strollers and dogs, and their dollar bills to give to our entertaining street musicians. Today was a special market day because the Lake Helena Watershed Festival was also going on at Women’s Park adjacent to the market, lending an extra excitement. (There was a bounce house, live music, face painting, science learning activities for all ages, wetlands & xeriscape booths, and an ice cream aquifer)
Here is a gallery of shots I took this morning. Hope you find it almost as entertaining as being there.