The Cloud

My latest piece is called “The Cloud.”  

“You know that heavy feeling you sometimes feel on your shoulders, maybe a pressure on the back your head?  The feeling that makes it just a little harder to smile, to break out in laughter?  The feeling that you have to work harder to be as happy as everyone else?  That is the cloud.  Embrace the cloud, bedazzle the hell out of it, and keep going.”

I did this on an 11 x 14 wood panel (thanks dear husband for cutting that for me!).  I wanted to be able to use hardware on this piece – so I could have the beads, maybe use some nails, etc.  I had so much fun expanding my art in this way.  I am going to be using wood panels more often!  

Alright, so let’s talk about this cloud.  I had felt the cloud for a long time.  Like maybe 6-7 years.  I think I found out why my cloud was there.  

Diet Culture.  Seriously, because my cloud is gone.  

About 2 months ago I quit weighing myself on a daily basis.  Previously, I weighed every. single. damn. day.  

I thought I was one of the people that didn’t intertwine my worth with the number I saw.  Well guess what?  I was fooling myself.  Weighing myself and then restricting my intake if I didn’t like what I saw was controlling my life.  It was stealing precious moments of happiness from me.  It was affecting my mood (just ask my husband), and instead of being in the moment with my son I was preoccupied with thoughts of food/exercise/weight.   

Late September, I started reading Intuitive Eating and decided to try ONE DAY of not weighing.  And then I decided to not weigh myself the next day either.  And the day after that until we get to today.  I have not stepped on a scale for 2 months.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s been hard.   I have been “feeling all the feels” as they say.  I have had good days and bad days but mostly good days.  I feel free.

I know that diet recovery is a process.  I will have days that I feel the urge to get back on the diet train, but in this short amount of time I have learned something that will keep me fighting back against diet culture.  Dieting doesn’t align with my values anymore.  I can’t be my authentic self and a dieter at the same time.  

I have spent a lot of time reading about the body positive movement, HAES (Health at Every Size), and the anti-diet culture movement.  I am so wound up about the anti-diet culture movement – I am passionate about it and I feel like I have found a calling.  I am going to be starting a series  called “Dear Dieter.”  It’s a letter from me to dieters, and I’ll be posting them here.  I know this is quite a left turn for my blog, but I am fired up and angry as hell.  It’s time to do something.  

Stay tuned for my first Dear Dieter letter tomorrow!

Pure Joy Shawl

The past three months I have been GLUED to knitting needles.  Like knitting non-stop – it’s totally taken over my life and bank account.  Eeek!  I do have something beautiful to show for it though!  I give you, the Pure Joy Shawl by knitting pattern master Joji Locatelli. 

Obligatory “Hide-Face-With-Hair” Pose. Check out my boots! They are the Sanita “Puk” clog boots. I adore them.


The “Wingspan” pose.


The “Yes, I hang out under trees and ruminate alllllll the time” pose.

I am so pleased with how this shawl turned out.  Initially, I had a bit of trouble understanding the wrap and turns but thanks to a few helpful Ravelry users I was able to figure it out.  I have worn this shawl several times already, usually as a scarf draped around my neck.  It looks bitchin’ with my leather jacket.  Here is a shameless selfie as proof.


So what is next?  My WIPS are:  The Girl from the Grocery shawl by Joji, Pilot Pullover by Amanda Kaffka, a cowl for my son, and just 30 minutes ago I bought yarn for Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter.  You guys, I need a second job to pay for all this yarn. 

Check out my Ravelry page.  Friend me and be my enabler! 




Painted Table Finished!

I haven’t be doing much mixed media work, except for re-doing our kitchen table.  That was a huge project.  I sanded the top off of the table, primed it, and then went to work creating an outdoor scene.  I added sequins, paillettes, and cut paper to create the work.  When I was all finished I covered it with an epoxy called Art Resin.

I wanted to include text on the table, something special to me since it’s a place where my family will gather daily.  I chose to write “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Mmmmm…. isn’t that lovely?  When I read it I feel a physical relief of mental weight taken off my shoulders.  It’s so beautiful and peaceful. 


Other than that table, I have been knitting up a storm.  In September I went to the Manitoba Fibre Festival, which was my first yarn/fiber festival experience.  I bought a few things and am planning to go back next year.  I’m looking forward to sharing my knitting projects with you.  Thanks for stopping by!

Feelin’ It!

Hey!  I haven’t posted for a while, but that doesn’t mean I’m not busy with creating.  In fact, I’ve got a few pieces that I’m currently working on and am definitely feeling those creative ideas running through me. 

First, the art quilt/headboard covering.  IT. IS. FINISHED.  I actually finished it the weekend that I had originally said I wanted to, I’ve just been busy and haven’t posted the update.  Here it is!

So much gorgeous color!  I am really happy with it.  Now to finish the rest of our master bedroom and make it look complete.  Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do for curtain panels.  Do I want to sew some or buy?  Decisions, decisions. 

I finished this piece a couple weeks back.  I LOVE the song Like The Dawn by The Oh Hellos.  It makes me think about my sweet husband and this piece was inspired by the music. 

Like the Dawn - Artwork is the Property of Alicia Spilde

Like the Dawn – Artwork is the Property of Alicia Spilde


Speaking of my sweet husband, we went kayaking last week at Lake Bronson State Park.  It was Wednesday night, and it felt great to have a mid-week adventure.  I am looking forward to getting out again.

We saw a beaver, a crane, an eagle, and 3 fawns with their mammas.  So sweet. 

This weekend I am going to work on getting my entry together for the FL3TCH3R EXHIBIT.  It’s an “international juried exhibit focused on socially and politically engaged art.”  I think my piece, “The Pressing Question,” would be a great fit for this exhibit.  I hope they think so too.




Etsy Shop is Open!

I have exciting news! My Etsy shop, Wild North Art, is now open for business. It was A LOT Of work to get things organized and listed, but now that it’s done I am so happy I did it. Please take a moment to check it out by clicking the image below.

Wild North Art Etsy Shop Alicia Spilde Original Artwork and High Quality Reproductions

Other than working on my Etsy shop, I haven’t gotten much else done. I am hoping to spend some time in my art studio this weekend, as I have had a few new ideas. I have found the time to practice free motion quilting on my new machine, so that is a good thing. I’m practicing so I can get started on the quilting portion of the headboard covering I’m making. I can’t wait to show you the finished product, it’s HUGE!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

New Hues Exhibit

The New Hues Exhibit artist reception was this past Saturday, scheduled to coincide with the first Art & Wine Walk of 2017.  The weather wasn’t cooperative but the art was fine!

I was inspired by the other artworks shown in the exhibit and have been busy in my art studio getting my new ideas out.  Sometimes I feel so full of passion and new ideas that I feel like my heart is going to burst.  Does that ever happen to you?

On the schedule this weekend is the Northwest Minnesota Art Council’s annual exhibit reception.  I’ll be traveling to Halstad, MN for that event.  I am happy to say that my piece, The Pressing Question, will be making it’s way around northwest Minnesota in the NWMAC traveling exhibit.

I’m working on getting notecards made from some of my prints.  I’m thinking about opening at Etsy store to sell them.  I do wonder if my work will get swallowed into the black hole that is Etsy, but I won’t know until I try.

New Work

I’ve got a few new pieces that I’m excited to share.  Three will be in the NWMAC March Exhibit and one has been entered into the NSMAC Annual Show.  I haven’t heard if it’s been accepted yet, but should find out soon.  All of the artworks I created are mixed media consisting of acrylic, ink, collage, and embroidery.  Wanna see them?  Ok!

This is a 12 x 16 art work called “She Lit a Fire”.  I was inspired by a song by Lord Huron while I was creating this one.

Here is “Hold On. Don’t Let Me Go”.  This was a really fun one to do.  Compared to my other artworks I would almost consider this minimalist style.  This one is 8 x 10.  The women portrayed in this work are the same person.

This is an 8 x 10 called “Luminous”.  I had some help with this artwork as you can see.  Our cat, Cookie, ate part of it while I was at work one day.  I was devastated and considered starting over from the beginning.  I decided to roll with the punches and modify the piece instead.  I will always love this piece because of the story and memory behind it.  I am considering putting some ink on Cookie’s paw and having her stamp the back since she so graciously helped me with this one!

Bonus pic of Cookie!  What a stinker.

The three pieces above are the ones that will be in the NWMAC March exhibit.  The one below is called “The Pressing Question” and the inspiration for this piece came from the political happenings of 2016/2017.

I love the layers of this work and find it so interesting to look at in person.  The colors are so vibrant!  It makes me happy too look at but at the same time communicates my strong feelings to what’s going on in America.  I’m so glad I have this artistic outlet to express my feelings.

That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by!

I Was Busy Doing Things

Hey, it’s me!  I’m back to update and hopefully check in a bit more than I have.  The 3 times per year doesn’t really cut it, huh?

This is going to be a quick update for what I’ve been doing and also a preview of what’s to come.

Ok, so since September I have been sewing up a storm.  Some successes, lots of failures, and many learning opportunities and lost money in between.  When something turns out the cost of fabric doesn’t really matter.  But when I mess it up, oh, now that is painful.  I had to put a ban on purchasing the custom fabric from all those Facebook groups that sell it for $20.00/yard.

My garment sewing has now merged with my love of mixed media art.  I started practicing free motion quilting so I can add textiles and stitches to the style of artworks I was creating the previous two years.  Here is an example of an art work created using only fabric and stitching.  This one isn’t finished yet but you get the idea.



Last night I started two artworks that will be shown in the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council gallery space next month.  These are going to be done on paper in my usual style but with textiles and stitching for embellishments.  I’m feeling so inspired!

Aside from my creative endeavors, my family has taken up snowshoeing.  What a great way to get outdoors.  I love the crunch, crunch of the snowshoes on snow and I enjoy the challenge of braving the cold and snowy conditions.

My husband and I went to Hayes Lake State Park for our first outing.  It was COLD.  There were times when I thought I was going to lose my fingers to frostbite but I powered through. 🙂  We had such a fun night and then went to Roseau for supper afterwards.


Yay for date night!

The three of us have gone out several times since then.  Our son caught on right away and he is a great sport with putting up with adventures.  I think he even enjoys himself, haha.

I’m a proud mom.

Look at him go!

Ok, that’s it for now.  I promise to update  on my artwork coming up.  I’m so excited about the direction it’s going.

P4P Jolly Roger Raglan

I completed the P4P Jolly Roger Raglan over Labor Day Weekend.  At first my son wasn’t quite sure if it was cool enough to wear, but after showing one of his buddies and his buddy proclaiming it was a cool shirt, my son then decided it was awesome.

jolly-roger-rag-picI used this Marvel fabric for the body and a stretch jersey ITY knit for the sleeves and neckband.  I didn’t like how the ITY fabric had a different stretch than the Marvel fabric.  I felt like that made the neckband more challenging.

One problem I have when making neckbands is that I sometimes don’t get all the layers through the serger.  That means I end up with a gap between the neckband and body of the garment.  This is super annoying but I am getting better at making sure all the layers are going through.

My current project is the Grandpa Cardi (also from P4P).  I’m hoping to finish up in the next day or so and will definitely be posting the final result.



Upsetting this Fruit Basket

I am changing the format of my website.  After realizing that my interests span so much more than mixed media art, I am leaving my options open and am going to be posting more content on my blog.  Mixed media art covers A LOT of art, but I don’t know if it covers enough.


Here’s the deal.  I recently took up sewing and feel the need to share my creations and process.  I absolutely love reading other sewing blogs and I think having more resources for sewists can only be a good thing.


I am giving myself the A-OK  to post whatever content I feel like sharing – it feels so good to allow myself to post freely about other topics – maybe I will post about my life too.  I’m sure you’d all love to read about that, ha!


Going forward the look of my website/blog may change and that is ok.  I like the current format but I might be adding a few more pages.  One with my sewing projects and perhaps a page full of useful links.  Stick with me for a while, I am excited to see where this is going to go.