Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Village

My mother has the greatest shelf village at Christmas time. Hers is white.

This year I'm pretty proud of mine. My shelves are black. I still need to hang snowflakes. The teensy nativity was a gem to come across!

Funny thing is, most of my favorite houses were made by Mom.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fa La La La La

Tis the season!  But let's just get a couple little gems out of the way first.  This is a crewel sampler my other made for the baby that is too awesome not to put at the top of this post.  I am in love with it.  It's got centerstage on the big wall in the nursery and everything else is coming together around it.  I love samplers like this where you can see each letter is composed of different stitches.  The origin of the sampler goes back to when women were learning to read and count and sew, so the samplers usually had letters, numbers and a scene all composed of a variety of stitches.  History lesson complete.

Ok so there's this craze going right now it seems.... I thought maybe Mom was alone but now I'm finding other craft bloggers talking about making fairy doors.  Here's where we are getting ourselves all fired up:  
Long story short, you create a fairy room behind a door somewhere, so the kids can see where the fairy lives/enters/does business/etc.  Can you imagine a kid getting a load of a tiny door and when they peek inside seeing a whole new place?  Yeah.  I know.  Brain explosion.  More on this later.  So far, I've gotten as far as getting my door.  We ordered ours on ebay.  Check out the link to see the doors in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  So cute!

Ok so here's the main project I've been working on.  When I was little, my family all had matching stockings made by my mother of course.  Those were quilted and simple with our names embroidered along the tops.  Since I had my little girl, I realized it was time for me to get on that.  So with some input from Mom I opted to make them from felted wool sweater pieces.  Here's a bag of pieces I collected in Mom's hoard of already felted stuff.  

(I know, I'm lucky to have stuff like this at my disposal.  Basically, collect yourself wool sweaters from yard sales or whathaveyou and warsh them in hot water with extra soap and some tennis balls for extra agitation and voila!  Felted sweaters to do what you please with.  They have to be dry clean only to work right.  Legit wool.)

Here's my work basket I have carried around for weeks with this project in it.

I also knew I would need real felt (not craft store stuff) but part wool felt for embellishment, so I ordered this pack of 6x9 pieces of all 98 colors from

Here's the basic design of the stockings including the long piece, foot piece and a heel and toe of a different color.  I cut them out with a pattern I made that originated in the Warm Fuzzies book shown in the basket above.

Then, in a trial and error fashion, I sewed the pieces together using a blanket embroidery stitch.  I did Ramona's first not realizing that the stitch should be on the outside so you can see it.  Oopsies.  Bryan's was last and is totally awesome across the board.  Live and learn.
 So basically, I pinned the pieces together and worked away using red pearl cotton floss exclusively.  I like things that are done exclusively in the red.

When I was finally all finished, I took an iron to them and learned something else.  The hot iron applied directly to the wool will burn it!  So I used a cloth napkin to protect the fibers from the direct heat and gave them each a good press.

VOILA!  They are done!  I'm pretty proud of myself.  From left to right they are: the kitties, Romy (deer), Bryan (tree), me (birds), and the doggy. 

So it took me probably a month to do these, but bear in mind that's while also trying to work and take care of the baby.  I did a little bit here and a little bit there every time I got a chance.  I finished on Saturday.

Then I celebrated by shoving the baby in Bryan's old giant stocking and putting the cat's reindeer antlers on her for a photo shoot for Christmas cards.  Hehe.

All the while, Bryan finished putting up lights outside.  It looks beautiful!  Romy loves the heck out of it.  Some blink and it's so bright and multicolored.  What a fun Christmas this will be!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Some baby stuff

So I had a baby in August, but well before that my mother started crafting things for the baby.  Here's a ball my Mom made.  It's crochet and has a jingle bell inside.  It's about the size of a soccer ball.

And of course, Grammy's afghan.  Grammy is my mom too.  These are pretty complicated granny squares and the colors are GORGE.

Here are some pics from my baby shower this summer.

My mother in law made these little lemon bluebell cakes for the shower.  They are from Martha Stewart and they were DELISH.

Here's the baby garden cake.  So cute!  And yummy.

Mom crocheted flower pins as favors for everyone.  I kept one for Romy.  In fact, I think I kept the red one in the center of this photo.

My sister Brooke, my sister-in-law Jo, and me.


Bryan, Jack and I went to Cape May, New Jersey for our babymoon vacation in May.  It was days after Mona passed away.  Here are a few good photos from the trip.  I had just started to really look pregnant.

Jack loves the beach.  This is Higbees beach.

We could see the ferry coming and going all day from the beach.

I made this little unicorn and named her May while we were there.

A few things from this past year...

Mom gave me a full set of houses and trees.  Oh my gosh I can't wait to get them out and put them up!

I made these gnomes and kitties and owls from sculpy.  I saw them at and went nuts and had to try to make some.  Go look at hers, they are unreal!

Um, I'm sorry, how could I NOT buy these?  They are Dansko, they are embroidered, and they are too tight on the top of my high arched feet.  Dad got me some leather stretcher to resolve the situation.  Once they are stretched, I'm living in these babys.

My Blythe dolls, Casey and Rumer started getting spoiled with their own apartment on the shelves in my craftroom.  The apartment has transitioned a lot since this first one, and they have acquired more stuff to accommodate.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mommy <3

I have fallen behind in posting because we had a baby girl on August 30th this year. Her name is Ramona Marie and she's the best thing I've ever made.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My sweet kitty, Mona

I said goodbye to my beloved friend, Mona this May. She was 17 and had a very full life complete with ups and downs and trials and tribulations. I got her when I was 20 and moved into a group house with friends when I was in college. She was around 2 years old then and I rescued her from the shelter just in the nick of time. She had been there for over a month and had had a cold and was going to be put down. Our time together was tumultuous. She had a lot of ailments over the years, but we always pushed through. Our relationship grew stronger and tighter than I have ever experienced with a pet. We had to work together through the struggles of the wound to her leg in particular and finally the amputation of the leg. We learned a trust and love together that I will never forget and changed me completely as a person. It was so very personal, the love we shared. And I know that everyone could see it. I miss her so much, but the idea that she's fat and 4 legged in heaven is helpful. Losing her was a great loss in my life, but having her was the greatest gift.

I love you always my friend, Sweet Mona.