pillow making
This machine has not seen the light of day in years....I am not a seamstress!  However, I had to remember how to do some simple thread the machine!! so that I could make some cute little pillows to go in the bottoms of my larger boxes.  The very small boxes get a pile of cool yarn.

  The slip cover for the pillow is not closed because....I want you to be able to insert your wish into the pillow if you decide to make this a dream box or wish box. just want to put some pretty jewelry in it that's still works. These are multipurpose boxes....they can be used for many interesting things.

I'm making a list..feel free to help me out with ideas!

You can find my new little darlings at three locations:  Ornamental Arts Gallery in Marysville, Seagrass Gallery on Camano Island and..for three days at my very special event at 164 Vista Del Mar on Camano Island. I loved making them, and I just know all of you are going to love owning them.


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The Art of Chocolate


yummy chocolates
What to do on a rainy, cold, wet day in western choice?? Go on a chocolate adventure with my girlfriend, Carolyn.  Our first stop was in Marysville at Strita on State Street.  The store is can see and smell what is going on in the back but up front they have comfy places to sit and oogle the goodies.  We were the only ones there at that moment so we got some great one on one attention from the owners.  They were very gracious to tell us all kinds of interesting things about their chocolate....dark....very few additives..sugar and vanilla basically.  You can even get 100% pure bars.  I lean more to the 75% but they come in all the %s. they get their beans from their farm in the Phillipines and roast them and take them through to the finished product.

I am especially excited to try the Aztec hot chocolate blocks that I purchased with the special wooden twirlery thingy. The tin is in the photo.

We then took a break to eat lunch and do errands and then we headed to Mt. Vernon where, unbeknown to us, a famous chocolate maker lives and creates!! She is not easy to find but so well worth it! On enteriang her shop you are by beautiful displays and her many awards.....she can do it all....sugar sculptures..caramels....white chocolate....dark

 Forte die for goodies. A person could spend many hours just sucking up all the wonderful smells coming from her back is not just chocolate smells as she adds so many interesting ingredients to her creations.  A big pot of caramel was bubbling away that afternoon. She does the unusal....Meyer lemon pepper truffle anyone?  The chipotle caramels are amazing as well.  My fave after a very nice evening of tasting at home..dark chocolate with bacon pieces...they crunch and are salty..yummy.

We got the one on one here as well and got to go back and see how all the goodies are made and...she gave us tastes and explanations of process and content.  Amazing...this place is extraordinary...go there!! Even if you don't like chocolate you will have fun here!!

Our goal was to learn about chocolate and try to figure out how to go about having a wine and chocolate party for the holidays.  We did learn where to buy some great the wine tour to research that end of it.


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Constant Contact...WOW


One more thing to learn how to do so that I can be more effective in getting my art work out there and sold.  Constant Contact...if you haven't heard of it, go to the site and play around.  It is amazing!!  I've signed up with two other artists..Island'll be hearing from us on a regular basis now that we kinda know how to create event emails.

The first one I sent out even had video....I was walked thru the process but was cool. I just sent out the second announcing our holiday sale at Dolors Ruscha's art glass studio.  I use her glass in some of my paintings and on the canvas boxes I am making for the holidays.

The plan is to use the template for a newsletter and create a little update each month on what is going on in my studio.  Even if no one reads is good for me to take note of what is or is not going on in my studio.

Learning new things is always a thrill so I have had fun even though it has also been frustrating.....their support team is amazing and have been called twice now.  Computer things are not always obvious to say the least!

Check out my Events page!!


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Wahooo!! again


I'm in the A & E
Now this is a large color photo of Dream Tide.....which sold last year but according to the paper is showing at the Ornamental Arts Gallery.  Oops..oh well, Stargazer is there and they are very close sisters! You can tell I was a bit excited to find this in the Everett Herald...thank you Laurie for calling me and letting me know it was there.  I confess I do not read all of the paper and was not expecting it.

Also in the photo you can see our new banana plant which will have edible bananas next year that taste like vanilla ice cream custard...that's what they say..I'm hoping.  The Meyer lemon is also in the background along with the lime tree.  The greenhouse is still a project, but she is coming along....wired and plumbed as of yesterday!  John is taking some time off today to make sauerkraut with the Bill down the street. Retirement is a blast.

11/2/12 was a very up day for me!!


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Ornamental Arts Gallery Show


Ornamental Art Display
November 2nd found me at this lovely gallery in Marysville, Washington.  I was excited to see that my first Constant Contact message had such an impact as nine people showed up as a result of that email.  It was great to see some friends from way back when, a neighbor or two, and some yoga buddies as well.

Elizabeth did a great job of combining my abstract work with the lovely glass work of Dan Bergsma.  The white vases with swirls of gold are perfect under those paintings.  The box painting on the upper right sold..yea...and one of my red boxes as well.  It was a delightful evening with lots of people visiting, tasting the Forte chocolates, and partaking of the delightful refreshments.

My work will here all of November and some will remain for the big holiday shopping event she is holding on December 8th.  It sounds wonderful so mark your calendars!!


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I just bought one of your lovely new little boxes today for a gift at Ornamental Arts Gallery! Great work Helen!
-- Marie-claire Dole, 11/16/12

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Helen's Originals showcases abstract acrylic mixed media, printmaking with monotypes, dry point and gyotaku, figurative collage, and informative blog entries. 

 Helen SaundersCamano Island, WA360-320-0136