Snow Flurry

IMG_3695The snowflake installation at the Church of Universal Fellowship has become an annual display during the months of January and February. This year’s offering, ‘Snow Flurry’, consists of hand cut snowflakes rolled into and hanging from three clouds of snow white tulle all suspended from 40 lb. fishing line. The clouds, together with 200 snowflakes distributed in the hymnals, weighs less than a pound.

IMG_3682 Ken hangs each line individually.

IMG_3684 Thanks for looking at this post.

Nancy Leavitt




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New work


My 2,000 plant specimens have been sorted, labeled, boxed and passed on to a New England university herbarium where they will be cared for properly. Over the last 3 years I have enjoyed sifting through the plants collected as early as 1817, pondering the many environments around the globe they came from and researching the hundreds of botanists represented in the collection. I am grateful to the herbarium for taking them, thank you.

A GREEN THOUGHT: height 14 ½ inches by width 9 3/8 inches, 43 pages, manuscript #113

IMG_3387Green is the love of nature and plants are life. The title is taken from stanza 6 of The Garden by Andrew Marvel (1621-1678).

‘Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,

Withdraws into its happiness;

The mind, that ocean where each kind

Does straight its own resemblance find;

Yet it creates, transcending these,

Far other worlds, and other seas;

Annihilating all that’s made

To a green thought in a green shade.’

IMG_3403The text for A GREEN THOUGHT contains poetry/prose by Andrew Marvell, Li Po, and Brian Capon, along with a discussion of the color ‘green’ told by the artist. Topics include: the origin of the word ‘green’, the function of the pigment chlorophyll found in green plants, and the importance of green in our surroundings.

IMG_3388The lettering is completed in watercolor and gouache. The illustrations and book cover are created with watercolor, gouache, pastel, paste, fabric and decorative thread on Arches text wove and Katie MacGregor papers. Joelle Webber of Mermaid Bindery bound the book and box.

IMG_3391IMG_3396Completed late summer and posted at Christmas 2017.

Nancy Ruth Leavitt






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An Immigrant Garden


The garden is lush and green from the cold and wet spring – a condition that plants love so the garden is in good shape. In spring one is engulfed by the garden. Cleaning up leaves and twigs, pruning, weeding, edging, carrying away refuse, mulching, deadheading blossoms – it is endless.


This year my goal is to identify all of my perennials with genus species names and the native range of the plants. The garden is a collection of over 275 perennials from around the world. This has inspired my garden name, “An Immigrant Garden”. Plants have been traveling/migrating around the earth since the beginning of photosynthesis.

It takes 100 hours of labor for the garden to look good enough before I can sit back and enjoy the verdant splendor. In this brief moment during the longest days of the year I want to be a stone in my garden – just sitting still in solitude and peace surrounded by my immigrant friends.

Photos in order: Entrance to garden, Rockii tree peony native to Japan, Harrison’s yellow rose bred in Scotland, Shimanishiki tree peony native to Japan, orange Geum a native to Asia, Africa, and New Zealand, and purple Salvia from Europe.

Happy summer everyone, Nancy


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Sorting it out


Several years ago I came into possession of a small plant collection of herbarium specimen mounts. While sorting through the collection many ideas surfaced for bookwork. My plan for organization seemed to change daily. It was easy to say, “I’ll do this”, but I have taken it slowly and made numerous schematic drawings listing what I already knew about the topic with suggestions of what I wanted to research. With further research and discovery the project grew. One of the most helpful working displays still in use is a large triptych painting on which post-it notes of information and ideas are tacked. It helps me physically see the relationship between information and keeps the project real and open. It is a large puzzle, an enigma really, and I continue to process data by moving tags around as my ideas change and develop.


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Snowflakes in the Sanctuary 2017

In memory of Liliane


Snowflakes suspended in the sanctuary.

In the Gospel books created between 600 and 1000 BCE scribes used their knowledge of the Pythagorean theorem and simple geometrical tools to develop a characteristic style of decoration that integrated complex interlacing geometric designs. This style of illumination succinctly illustrated the early Christian principle of God’s existence everywhere, from the smallest microcosm to the largest macrocosm.


Folded squares of paper ready to cut and stacks of cut snowflakes.


A hand-cut snowflake exhibits similar traits and a square of paper, any size, folded into triangles with shapes cut out of it creates a lacey 6-sided design. The resulting repetition and variation of designs are endless.


 Ken and Jesse hang the installation.

This year there are approximately 850 snowflakes distributed in the Church of Universal Fellowship on Orono, Maine. The hanging installation consists of 540 hand-cut snowflakes and the remaining 310 snowflakes are found in the altar vestments, musical instruments, hymnals, bibles, window ledges, tables, and collection plates.



Altar cloth and bookmark and collection plate

The hanging installation is composed of 540 hand-cut snowflakes made from 250 sheets (19 by 25 inches) of Finch opaque white paper. The snowflakes were sewn into 60 lines with 700 feet of white all-purpose sewing thread and hung from 6 lines (150 feet of fishing line) and tied onto 2 four-foot metal strips attached into the molding on either side of the sanctuary. The work hangs over 13 feet above the floor and is approximately 8 feet wide by 5 ½ feet in height and 40 inches in depth.img_0425

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Nancy Leavitt  website


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Snowflake Gingerbread Houses

This gallery contains 11 photos.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Liliane, a creative spirit and friend. This year I made snowflake gingerbread houses for my nieces and nephews to use as a refuge for fun and imagination. The houses are constructed of … Continue reading

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Nature and Art


The landscape

A garden is a living collaboration of nature and art. Flowers are lovely but secondary to the importance of the color green. Composed of numerous shapes and volumes of plants, it is a tapestry of green woven from a variety of leaf textures and colors. It takes approximately 100 hours of weeding, digging, edging, and mulching to get the garden ready for the annual Peony Garden Tour in June. Over 100 garden enthusiasts toured the gardens this year and now we head into high summer. The garden is beautiful and a wonder to behold.

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Foxglove and peonies




Hand-lettered labels


Stone stairway to south garden




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