Light Drawing

My brother-in-law showed me some photographs of Picasso doing light drawings, and I had to give it a whirl myself.  I had so much fun, I kept going until my camera battery ran out. All you do is put your camera on a tripod in a dark or dimly lit room and take a long exposure (10 seconds or more) and quickly draw with a flashlight pointed at the camera. …

Exciting News!

Last month, on the day of my birthday, an editor at Shambhala Publications / Trumpeter Books (Now Roost Books) asked me if I would be interested in writing a toy&craft-making book for them.  Over the past few weeks we’ve been working on the details for the project, and I just found out it’s a go! I feel so honored and excited to be …

Lullaby Piano

This post is a shout out to my sister. She recorded this classical piano album after becoming a mom. I think it’s brilliant, but of course I’m partial. I also did the artwork. It is available on iTunes Music Store, or at

Yo-Yo Ball

My kids each have a yo-yo but they’re not able to work them yet.  So I tried to think of something that could provide a more toddler friendly yo-yo experience.  I used some Paul Smith sock material scraps and some cotton canvas to sew a ball.  Then attached a length of elastic string.  So far, the kids are loving them! I’ve never sewn a …

Little Sheep

I made a little sheep this morning out of wire and scrap material.  It’s simple, but it feels good, and it seems to like standing on my Olle Eksell book.  I’ll let the kids play with it when they get up from their naps.


We were at the park over the weekend and I spotted some very nice tree branches on the ground and decided it was time to make some fishing poles! The kids each picked out a stick and we carried them home.  I took my knife and whittled down the bumps, found some string, a couple of old wooden spools, wire, two magnets (stolen from the fridge), and made …


There was one corner in my art studio that didn’t have enough light, so I thought it would be interesting to try and make a lamp. I found an old socket in the garage, bent some wire, and sewed a shade from some fabric. It definitely looks homemade, which may or may not be good. But at least it gives good light, and it was fun to make.

Art Show

I just had an opening reception for my art show at the Daily Cafe in Portland.  It was a great dinner party.  In addition to the art, I designed coloring sheets for kids.  If you want to try them out, download below.     Coloring Sheets: Click on the images below, then print.

Made by You!

I’ve been getting a lot of emails from teachers and parents who are trying out some of my crafts.  It’s so great to see what everybody is doing.  I just got an email from Marta, who is a teacher in Spain.  She told me her students just made design trees!  This was probably the most difficult toy I’ve ever made, and these kids are …

Slotted Building Discs

While reading the December issue of Art Forum Magazine, I came across a brilliant Damián Ortega sculpture made of tortillas.  Of course I immediately wished I could play with them.  So I scanned some recent collage circles I’d made, printed them out, and made these building discs.  It’s surprisingly tricky to build with them, but amazingly …

Little Paper Cowboy

Today I made a little cowboy scene out of paper.  Similar to the paper animals I made before.  These are made from painted paper that I use for my collages, but any paper will do.  I also used a black and silver pen to draw on them.  I like toys like these because they flatten and you can take them on the go, to restaurants or the doctor’ …

Design Tree

A few days ago I got to spend some time at the Portland Art Museum on my birthday.  I hadn’t been there in awhile and was really inspired by the Native American exhibits.  Dance wands, totem poles, jewelry. So I came home and dreamt up the idea for this toy.  A kind of interactive art sculpture that can be assembled many different ways.  It’s …

Modern Nesting Dolls

I just finished an interesting art commission: painting a blank set of nesting dolls. It was quite different than anything I’ve done before, but surprisingly enjoyable. Another big bonus is that the recipient of the gift is an amazing photographer, and she put together this really great video. Thanks Lisa!         This last …

Paper Chicken Animation

I used to do this all the time when I was a kid, but forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when drawing with Jack and Tess.  It’s a great trick, and you can do all kinds of animations.  We did a chicken first.  If you want to try something like this, here are a couple of tips. Draw your design on the bottom first, so you can trace over …

Dress-up Drawings

This morning we were drawing together and I thought it would be fun to get some material scraps and cut them into clothes so we could dress-up the drawings.  Similar to the vintage buttons game we did before.

Backyard Playhouse

We’ve been spending time outside in our playhouse lately, and I realized I’ve never posted pictures of it on this blog.  Some of you might have seen it in my Daddy Story on Bloesem Kids.  Last fall I decided to utilize the strip of cement behind our garage and fit a playhouse to that space.  I tried to keep the design as simple as possible …

Modern Doll House

I finished the dollhouse!  At least for now.  I’m sure I’ll never stop making furniture for it.  It’s too much fun.  My son especially loves organizing and arranging the furniture.  The guys in the family are playing with dollhouses and the girls are out riding bicycles.  Nice.

Tree Birds

While finding branches in my yard for the doll house, it got me thinking about what else I could do with them. I just finished making some new bird collages for an upcoming art show, so I scanned them and printed out smaller versions. Then cut them out, and wired them to the branch. Kind of soothing to look at.

Doll House Furniture

I’ve started to make some doll house furniture.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a few months now.  My kids love playing with doll houses.  I bent a little chair out of wire, and finally found a use for the awesome hand printed fabric scraps I got from Umbrella Prints.  Got out the hot glue gun, cut some wood scraps and found a tree …

Finger Puppets!

The kids got some new construction paper for a Christmas gift last night, so we made finger puppets this morning. You can see on their faces the excitement and wonder they had for the tiny puppets. They had a great time acting out really funny scenes and stories. A super fast craft with fun results!