Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone out there had a terrific holiday! I did, especially since I bought my own presents this year instead of trusting my gift-giving challenged husband to do it, which makes him just as happy as me! :)

This Christmas has been doubly great, as I've increased my dabbling skills yet again. I am now becoming quite talented at plastic toy assembly! Yay! I had the fantastic opportunity to put together a Zhu Zhu pet habitat, a Magic Rise Oven, and last but not least, a Disney Princess Castle.

And if that is not enough, I am also now dabbling in the art of Lego design. Anyone ever play Creationary? That game should come with a warning to Moms everywhere who can't tell a brick from a plate and need their 9-year old daughter to explain how to make a round light bulb out of square legos!

All in all, it was a wonderful holiday and I hope you enjoyed your day, too!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dianne LeMay Studio now selling on Etsy!

Well, it's taken a while, but I'm finally selling my jewelry on Etsy. I'm very excited to be taking this next step! My pieces celebrate the unique beauty of opaque gemstones, pairing them with various transparent stones and sterling silver.

British Columbia Jade, Peridot, and Sterling Silver

Peruvian Amazonite and Sterling Silver

To see more selections, please take a look at my Etsy shop at

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yorkshire Mysteries!

Forgive me for not posting sooner, but I've been very busy making felted bracelets and my adult line of jewelry (which I'll be blogging about soon!). I've also been busy getting my young adult novel Yorkshire Mysteries, Book One: The Pilfered Pouch sold on Barnes and as an ebook. My ebook can be read using Barnes and Noble's Nook, which is also downloadable for use on ipads, iphones, droid phones, and computers. My novel is the story of two young girls living in 15th century England.

Bess Cardwell is wealthy, blonde, petite, and quite unhappy. Her mother died when she was only three years old, and ever since her father re-married and had another daughter, she has felt out of place and thoroughly ignored.

Jasmine Bowles is a butcher’s daughter, whose own mother died just one year ago. She is opposite to Bess in both appearance and circumstance, but is just as miserable.

When Jasmine accidentally knocks Bess down in the crowded streets of York, the two girls take an instant dislike to each other. Fate, however, will bring both girls together again as Jasmine witnesses the theft of Bess’ pink pouch in the marketplace just one week later. She sees the thief who stole the pouch and a mysterious man in black who ran after the thief. The following day, Jasmine is shocked when her friend, Harry, reveals to her that he has found five pounds, a pink pouch, and a dead body in the blacksmith’s stables!

The two girls will join forces to discover why Bess’ pouch was stolen, how Harry is involved, and who is the menacing man in black? The will also find out, along the way, that friendship born from misunderstanding can sometimes be the most enduring of all.

I wrote this book years ago and am extremely excited to finally have the opportunity to sell it in the Barnes and Noble marketplace. Now I might have to put my Dabbling aside and concentrate on writing the sequel!
To purchase, please go to:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Fantastically Brilliant Fun of Needle Felting!

I found my new favorite thing to do - needle felting! No pesky sewing maching or trying to thread a needle with an oh-so-small eye...  Needle felting is basically attaching fibers together using a special barbed needle tool. In my latest creation, "Hooty Hooty Night," I used a base of wool felt and attached more felt, silk roving, and various yarns by needle felting. I then made my little felt owl and hand-embellished the lot. Stay tuned for more needle felting by me, the Happy Dabbler - Brilliant!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Felted Bracelets

Pay no attention to the little girl in the picture above! Look at the BRACELET. Hmm, I shouldn't have picked such a cute model, huh? :) That's my four year-old Jamie wearing my latest creation, a needle-felted and hand-embellished bracelet.

I made one for my eight year-old daughter, Elise, and one for myself. They're so much fun to make and really great to wear. If I can keep from dabbling in something else, I plan to make a bunch to sell at this season's Christmas fairs. What great gifts for all the little girls in your life!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pillow Talk

Last week I spent some time in California visiting my parents. While there, I came across this book about making pillows. I've always wanted to learn how to make pillows, so of course I had to buy it! It's called, appropriately enough, The Pillow Book, and was written by Shannon Okey.

The great thing about this book is that it has all the paper patterns tucked inside a folder in the book. How easy is that? Now all I need to do is learn how to use my sewing machine! (I wish I wasn't so mechanically challenged!) Someday I will dabble in pillow-making and this book sure will come in handy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The beauty of blackwork

I originally wanted to call my blogging alter-ego 'The ADD Artist,' and this blackwork embroidered bookmark is a perfect example of why. While working on my 'Look at the Birdie' collage, I happened to see some blackwork in a publication I was viewing. My collage became instantly passe, and I decided that I had to try some blackwork NOW!

Luckily for me, I had been enthralled with blackwork and embroidery in the past, probably four or five years ago, and so I had all the supplies needed to begin. I looked online for some patterns and found this bookmark. I think it turned out great. I am now in the process of creating my own pattern for a blackwork house, which I think will be fabulous when completed! (OK, I know I really should have said 'if completed,' but you gotta have faith, right?)

A little note on the history of blackwork embroidery:

The true origin of this type of embroidery seems to have been with the Moors and Arabs, who brought blackwork to England in the thirteenth century. It became even more popular when the Spanish princess, Katharine of Aragon, married Henry VIII and influenced the English court with her passion for embroidery. The stitch she favored was known as 'spanishwork,' having become part of the Spanish culture during the rule of the Moors.

When Katharine and Henry divorced in 1533, the term 'spanishwork' was replaced with 'blackwork' because of the use of black thread on white fabric. It became immensely popular in Elizabethan times, with many examples of blackwork depicted on clothes, particularly collars and cuffs, in portraits of Queen Elizabeth and her court.

Blackwork can also be worked with different colored thread on white fabric (I particularly enjoy red and white) or, conversely, white thread on black fabric. It's a very simple form of embroidery, but I must warn you if you decide to try it, your eyes will get loopy! Do you remember those 3D pictures that were all the rage in the early '90s that you had to stare at until your eyes 'zoned out' and then you could see the 3D image? That will happen with blackwork! But it's still fun and well worth the effort! :) I am, as always,

Dianne the Dabbler

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Creative Collage

My last (and first:)) post talked about my love of learning. This goes hand in hand with my passion for creating. I enjoy dabbling in anything that is creative in nature: music, writing, designing jewelry, quilting, painting, etc.

I think we all need to be creative in some way in order to be completely fulfilled. God created us in His image, and since He is the ultimate Creator, it's only natural that we have that creative instinct inside us. I remember when I had a job in an accounting department, I would crunch numbers and send out invoices for eight hours a day. I happened to be writing a book at the time, and when I got home, even if I only wrote two sentences, I would feel such a sense of satisfaction and happiness!

I am now in the joyous throes of mixed-media art, namely, collage. (see above) I love using beautiful papers, fabrics, paint, markers, thread, and embellishments all in one crazy piece! In finishing my project, though, I learned a valuable lesson. Never attempt to brush a finishing layer of decoupage medium over colored markers; they will run. :( Instead, spray a thick layer of water-based polyurethane over top, and Bob's your uncle! I am, as always,

Dianne the Dabbler

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To Dabble Or Not To Dabble?

I Dab, Therefore I Am? No. Not quite. I Dabble, Therefore I Ammle? Even worse :) How about To Dabble or Not To Dabble? Hmm... that IS the question!

I've been a passionate dabbler my whole life, mostly in the arts, but sometimes I venture into other intriguing and irresistible subjects such as gemology, English history, and the always fun paranormal field. Dabbling enables me to keep my thirst for knowledge and learning alive. To me, learning is an art form, and needs to be practised daily. It is a necessary component to living; without it my inner spark is gone and my life becomes a boring canvas of inevitability.

However, I do sometimes feel a little guilty being a dabbler. The dictionary definition of dabble is: to work at anything in an irregular or superficial manner. Is it just me, or does this sound a bit negative? It's as though the world has judged me as a fly-by-night, inconsistent, shallow person who doesn't take her work seriously. Let me assure you, I AM a serious dabbler! (ooh, that didn't come out right)

Anyway, I am just saying NO to this negativity and have decided to celebrate my dabbling nature in this blog. I am, as always,

Dianne the Dabbler