Saturday, May 23, 2015

Back at the Bay

The Blue Heron on our deck was happy to model this newly knitted cotton yarn dishcloth. It's been awhile since he was asked! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Red Jack" Rhododendron

This is our front door today, identical to the way it looked when we moved in 35 years ago. We have tried to buy more rhododendrons this blood red color, but they are difficult to find. It's hard to believe something this pretty is poisonous!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Doll Quilt Swap

Is it a light center square with 4 rectangles on a dark background? Or is it the "Churn Dash" block? I see both in this 15.5" square mini-quilt. It's off to my May swap partner in Indiana. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Penny's Restless Dolls

One of Penny's dolls lives with me (Penny of "Art Journey" blog fame), and since last week I've decided this doll must be an ancestor of Penny's more recent "Unlikely" people. I found him on the windowsill one day and left him there because he looked so comfortable. However, by the next morning he had moved to perch on the telescope in an opposite corner. The only explanation I have is his restless "Unlikely-ness"!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bear PS

I ment to include this photo in my last post. It gives an idea of the pattern pieces cut from the tipped mohair for my bear. I love this woven fur! 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Bear for Me

After years of making jointed teddy bears for others, I bought a pricey half-yard of woven tipped-mohair to make one for myself. The fur sat around for awhile, but I finally started this project recently. However, it came to a standstill because I can no longer bend the cotter pins to make the joints. I'll get my husband to do it and post a photo of this important finish when it's done. I say important because I'm sure this is the last jointed teddy bear I will ever make. It needs to become a family heirloom! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Knitting Only

I'm taking this dish cloth to my elderly Mom when I visit next week. I don't think she actually uses them, but I do think she likes them. At least there is one I've made in her kitchen whenever I visit, but it always looks like new. ;) This one used up my left-over cotton yarns, and the reddish tinge (lower left) is a rainbow from a crystal hanging in a sunny window. Next I'll knit one without changing yarns. That will be more fun! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

An Oldie But Goodie

This is not new or even mine. It's the work of my daughter's young hands years ago, and I always loved it. Just sharing. :)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Paper With Pressed Flowers Update

My handmade sheets of paper are dry this morning. As always happens after drying, paper colors are not as vivid. See the purple sheet (with no pressed flowers) and the dark blue sheet compared to yesterday's photo. This is expected, but what I was more eager to learn is which of the pressed flowers would hold their original color. Sadly, only the wild violets still show a bit of their original purple. The pink tree blossoms and forsythia have all turned brown. I guess I can still use these, but I'm disappointed. :(

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Handmade Paper with Pressed Flowers

This worked pretty well (except the dark blue one). The 6 sheets are not completely dry in this photo so they are still quite colorful. What I will learn tomorrow is which blossoms held their color well after drying overnight. Some of them often turn brown. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pressing Spring Botanicals

Here are a few photos of spring things I've collected while walking. In a week or two, when they are completely pressed and dried, I'll try adding them to my handmade paper. The press was a gift from my husband, purchased on, and it's on sale right now. I love it!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Photography

My husband has a new camera, and birds are plentiful!

                                  LAUGHING GULL

                                         MALE CARDINAL

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My Daughter's Knitting

I'm just adding this post of my daughter's work. Mine below now looks even wonkier(!) but I have a good teacher at hand.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Knitting Experiment

At the risk of cracking up those who are master knitters, here is my attempt to learn the purl stitch. This wonky dish cloth is the result. After putting the project down, I had trouble remembering where I left off when I picked it up again, so there are number of mistakes. Lol. No matter, it will make fine dish cloth! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Rusty objects wrapped with vinegar soaked fabric.

Next day, here is the best result. What do you see???

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Creativity of Another Kind

There's something enchanting about flowers that open at night. With a little luck, these Moonflower seedlings will do well. I'm a July "Moonchild", maybe that will help!

Sunday, April 19, 2015


It's a spectacular spring day in NJ, and everyone wants to go outdoors! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I captured this while walking last evening. I looked up a minute or two later to take another shot, but the clouds had move on closing up the hole.

Friday, April 17, 2015

April Mini-Quilt Swap

This is half of the 14x22" mini-quilt I made for my swap partner in Nevada. I chose the Churn Dash block and worked it into the theme for the month -- black, white, and one other color. I "quilted" it by tying with DMC floss and vintage buttons. ;) The mini-quilt she made for me is on its way to NJ, and I'll post a pic when it arrives. I can't wait! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's the Little Things

My kitchen sink with my new dish-cloth and my daughter's hand-made Guinness Beer soap. Everyday things, but so much to enjoy! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Done Dishcloth

A close-up after Saori-ly adding the yarn at the bottom. 'Tis now done. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Saori Knitting?

I don't know if there is such a thing as Saori knitting. I only know I need a new dishcloth, and I have lots of colored cotton yarn ends. My hands cooperated, and I started picking up whatever yarn I felt like using. So, here it is, my Saori dishcloth in progress! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Making More Stick Pins

The pins with darker tops are vintage hat pins. I used glass beads from my stash, some of which were hand-picked from a "Bead Soup" bin at the bead shop. They didn't fit very many of my projects until I started making these stick pins. They are easy, quick, and brighten my crafting room desk!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Using Rust-Dyed Fabric

 Mr. Turtle has joined the other rust-dyed critters. He's happy that he's the biggest.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Continuing NOT Chicken Parts

Checking on the two-day old bundles yesterday, I knew rust-dyeing had occurred. Even the string securing the bundles was dyed. Here are the pieces of fabric after washing. I think my favorite is bottom right. That piece was stuffed into a rusty bell-shaped object. Once again, I don't know what I'll do with these fabrics, but I'm counting on an idea coming to me.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pretty Stick Pins

I'm not at home to check on my rust-dyed project in the last post but will later today. In the meantime, here are some stick pins (thanks to Peggy for the idea). I like having a use for some of my vintage hat pins, and they add a touch of sparkle to any pin cushion. I love bling! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NOT Chicken Parts

Rusty objects (nails, screws, old metal tools, bottle caps, etc.) are wrapped inside vinegar-soaked fabric, then tied tightly into these bundles with jute (any kind of string will do). This time I'm using some printed fabric as well as some plain. I got the printed fabric idea from Kathyinozarks who recently shared some of her hand-dyed pieces in a swap with me. This plastic bin will be closed and sit at least overnight in a warm-ish place (in front of a heat vent) before I take another photo of the results, which I will post next. The surprise of this is so much fun! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Post Card Quilt

I made this scrappy "Post Card Quilt" a long time ago. It's King-sized and made of nostalgic fabrics -- mostly leftovers from toddler dresses I made for our daughter. The second photo shows the hand-quilting I did, which is amazing to me as I could never do that now. I don't think I ever thought to post this on my blog, but our furnace is broken and I got this quilt out last night to stay warm. Then the idea to post it here came to me. The furnace will be fixed tomorrow. Why does it always break down on a weekend?!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Retro Theme Spirit Doll

I decided to make this doll when I found the red and black old-fashioned telephone print fabric. I clearly recall my grandfather at his desk talking into the tall base with a separate earpiece held to his ear. The line of glass beads reminds me of a telephone line. The buttons on the face are of vintage glass. Then I added a large button from a pea coat (with an anchor relief) like so many had in the 40s and 50s. The two beads hanging with that button are painted and varnished paper clay. The other arm has a Cape Cod style house charm, the most modern development architecture of that time. The sewing machine charm on the chest, more reminiscent of older mechanical machines than modern computerized ones, is attached with a Swarovski crystal that I add to all my Spirit Dolls along along with sage in the stuffing. The last thing I added is a resin cabochon (made by my daughter) encasing steampunk-type gears widely used during the earlier machine age. That cabochon is attached with black glass bead stacks. Polished river rocks provide base weight for standing. The retro elements of this doll are random, but I relate to some of them more than those of our high tech age.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Doll Quilt Swap Group

I've taken part in this group for the past 6 months, and here are the mini-quilts I've received. Some had a theme, some not. I love them all!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In the spirit of the day, good wishes to all, Irish or not. The cabochon beaded on this Spirit Doll is a stone I found on the coast of the Irish Sea, and the green shamrock is of polymer clay. 

Monday, March 16, 2015


I make soap the cold-processed way (with lye) because it's how my daughter taught me. I guess it's the most traditional way, and I like that, but it definitely is not the easiest way. Also, I find it hard to make really pretty soap this way, but I try. I wanted some spring color, so I swirled some green and lavender oxide pigment on top of these soaps. Still not really pretty, but at least a bit of color. They are now just starting six weeks of curing. Once soap is used, it's not pretty anyhow, so I guess it doesn't matter!  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mini-Quilt Group Swapping

This photo is the Easter-themed mini quilt I made for my group swap partner in Nevada who likes 30s fabrics. It's tied and buttoned with a wool-felt bunny.

Next is the Tumbler mini-quilt with bunnies that she made for me. Someday I'll post  a photo of all my mini-quilt s in one place. This an awesome group! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Whatever Spirit Doll

This is a failed stitching project that was re-invented to become a Spirit Doll with the usual sage inside and Swarovski crystal on the outside. No name comes to mind! 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rust-Dyed Critter

Perhaps a spirit giraffe? He will go with my rust-dyed kitty and owl in previous posts. I need to rust-dye more fabric if I want to enlarge this gallery. Fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Third Silkworm Cocoon Mini-Book

These cocoons are naturally white, and this one is tea-dyed which I like best for adding color. The 8 pages are cut from my homemade paper, and the collaged words read "Giving Perfect Love -- Welcome -- Living Well -- Always Blessed --Special". When I finish a couple more of these, I'll choose a few to put in my Etsy shop.