Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mixed Materials

A Babushka doll I just finished this morning from a self-made pattern. I am so excited that I am making up patterns that work. I meant to make one of these for Em for Christmas but seriously ran out of time. Now both girls want this one but I think I will use the pattern to make more since I can't let this one go. Yikes, that bluebird just did it for me, the way it is tipping its head up towards the little girl's kerchiefed face. I used fleece, cotton fabric, felt--both acrylic and wool blend to put her together. The fleece and cotton worked wonderfully together. I thought they might pucker. The felt and fleece on the little girl's face worked together as well. When I added the white French knot to the eyes the whole face just popped--amazing how such a small detail works so well.
Have a great New Year's weekend! :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Bear

This is the bear that I made for Meg this Christmas. I followed a pattern for a bear that I found in a Japanese magazine (Cotton) but I made it out of brown linen instead of mohair. I made up the pattern for the bear's bed, dress, etc. with heavy inspiration from Lynn at Molly Chicken. That bear is all of 6" tall and man were the pieces small and fiddly. I used sleeves from a flannel nightgown of Meg's, when she was about four, for the comforter and pillow. The little dress is reversible and on the other side is a red heart button from a grade school dress of Meg's. :-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mouse House

Finally I can show you what I've been making this month. The girls are always checking my blog to see what I've posted so I didn't dare make any mention of my makings. This is the house for a mouse that I did up for Emily. The bed and house were purchased--unpainted and I made the table, mushroom stools, food, teapot/mugs and soft furnishings. Close-up pictures will have to wait for a sunny day--the rainy day we are having here is the pits for photos. :-) Some of the ideas here were inspired by the Danish company Maileg's Mouse House.

This is the mouse that I made of felt to go with the house. I like how she turned out. I made up the pattern myself. The hands I would change--make them part of the arm pattern and her bottom could be a little rounder. I put little plastic pellets into her body so she could sit on her own on her wee mushroom stool. The table is an unpainted wooden candle holder glued to a round piece of wood edged with felt.
Once upon a time when I was eleven or so, my brother made me a life-size round table for my room. It was made of 2x4's and had a skirt made from a white chenille tablecloth. I remember spreading out my precious nic-nacs on it. This little mouse-sized table reminds me a little of my brother's gift.

Here is the back of the mouse's head, showing the gusset I added.

The two-sided dress I made for the mouse. Lynn of Molly Chicken inspired the double-sided pattern.


Little bird I made for Em this Christmas. The pattern is from the "Softies Kit" by Therese Lasky.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Christmas Eve day--it came so fast. I have been so busy getting presents made for the girls this year that the days just flew by. We decided to try and do handmade presents for each other this year and mostly it has been fun. The only downside is that it took away time actually spent with each other as we bustled to finish up. And, our dog is acting has been so cold here that he doesn't want to go outside so he ends up being outside to do his business for a few brief seconds and coming back inside only to poop on the carpet. Arrgh! He is usually pretty dependable but he's driving us nuts. Last night it had warmed up enough outside that he took off after a rabbit and we had to go find him in the snow. Goodness gracious!

Do you see the Brownie face resting on our tree? I made him a few years ago out of felt.

I hung crocheted snowflakes under the mantle. The very center one my mom crocheted and the other four a friend made for a gift exchange. The nutcracker at the center bottom of the picture is a thrift shop find--two years ago. You can see on the tree, we like to have the large old-fashioned bulbs, same as last year, same next year. :-)
Now, to tidy up, wrap gifts and enjoy a snuggly evening.
Take care!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Frosty Day

Here is the sun rising outside our porch yesterday morning. The temperature never got above zero degrees Fahrenheit the whole day. It got down to a very chilly 46 degrees in a front room where we have the computer while our power was off for 6 hours! Boy, were we glad to see the power trucks pull up outside in late afternoon. We really appreciated them working outside all day in -25 windchill replacing a transformer. We had a kind of wonderful day though even with the power out. No TV, no playing outside, and no computer made for a quiet day together reading, singing Christmas carols, and crafting for the girls and I. And so of course as soon as the power went back on we all scattered to different rooms and singular enterprises again. We did get those kinda pesky Chrismas cards written out and sent too--wahoo! I'm always glad to get cards from friends but slow returning the favor unfortunately.

In the evening we got together to share a little Solstice celebrating. It was hard to turn off all of the lights and just enjoy candlelight after a day spent without power but we did it for a little while. (We kept the space heater on tho, it warmed us up to 76 degrees in that room--a real treat) We appreciate the sun returning now that we've gotten past our shortest day even more than usual after the day we had. :-)

December Days

A little cocoa and some cookie baking...........

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Halls are Decked

The candle houses surrounded by lacy snow and a penguin (added by Meg). They have a very short strand of lights poked into the openings underneath or at the back of each house.

Middle of the table, all festive with candles wrapped with a rope of faux greenery and red beads. The little glass pinecones are Martha Stewart's.

Kitchen side table with cookie cutters, nut choppers and a chocolate santa. That's a candle ring that I used for a little wreath hanging on the little cupboard.

And then there is the nutcracker that seems to be eyeing everything. :-)
Good Cheer!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Swedish designs

Aren't the designs in this old Swedish bowl pretty? I like the swirly hand lettering and the warm brown and red tones.
And the designs on the side of this Swedish book---is it the bible--seems likely? There was no touching allowed so I couldn't find out.
More designs--this time stenciled on the side of a field cradle. The cradle could be rocked and had wheels for transport to and from the fields of wheat and barley. Lucky baby to be so well cared for.....
Finally a little gnome that I knit up last night and this morning. I got the pattern from a Swedish craft book called "The Gnome Craft Book" published in English in 1999. Available from Amazon.
Meg thinks it looks like a caroler with the cape over her shoulders.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dream Playhouse

This is a really cool playhouse that I saw at a local festival a week ago. I love the "stone" edging and the window boxes, the Dutch door and the eyebrow window in the shingled roof. Enlarge it just a wee bit and I would live there full time! Wouldn't this be fun to put in a backyard and plant flowers all around it.
This playhouse makes me think of one of my all time favorite books, "Mandy" by Julie Edwards (Julie Andrews/Mary Poppins). I still return to the book now and then and enjoy reading it aloud to Em. It is the loveliest story of an orphan girl who finds a little cottage in the woods and makes it her own. She clears weeds and plants nasturtium, dusts the shell room in the cottage and enjoys a picnic in her very own "house".