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. 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Easy Homemade Lip Balm/Moisturizer

Only 3 ingredients needed:  

Coconut Oil,  Beeswax,  Vitamin E oil

Measure 2 parts coconut oil to 1 part beeswax in a microvable container (tip: if the coconut oil is hardened, melt it in microwave until pourable). The beeswax can be chipped into small pieces for measuring. I used 1/2 cup coconut oil to 1/4 cup beeswax (which will provide enough lip balm to last a year or longer).

Add a couple drops of Vitamin E oil and stir. Put in microwave and heat until it is all melted. 

Be careful taking it out of microwave as it will be very hot. Stir and allow to cool to room temperature when it will become lip balm/hand salve consistency. 

I filled small plastic tubs to keep handy in my purse, car, bathroom, etc. I bought these at a beauty supply store for .79 each. My son has allergies, and this works very well for his skin issues.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rust-Dyed Fabric Critters

While it was snowing, I added a rust-dyed spirit owl to my kitty. It's the beginning of a gallery! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Handmae Paper Fun

Today I spent some time replenishing my low supply of handmade paper. The lilac sheet has embedded lavender buds, and it made my kitchen smell great! The light red sheet has red onion skins and dried weeds. The yellow sheet has rosemary leaves, swamp grass seeds, and glitter. The green sheet has dried and pressed red flowers from my Christmas Cactus plant, and the white flecks are pressed Baby's Breath flowers from my Valentine's bouquet. Although I can only make one sheet at a time, I like making paper a lot. I never know for sure how it will turn out, and the possibilities for things to add are endless!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Using my Rust-Dyed Fabric

A spirit kitty with sage inside for good vibes, about 6" tall, with vintage button eyes...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

From my Doll Quilt Swap Partner

All the way from Washington state to NJ! This lovely spring quilt is about 15" x15", paper-pieced, and free-motion quilted. It's hard to see in this photo, but the white fabric has the most lovely sparkling thread throughout. Sparkle is one of my favorite things! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Doll Quilt Swap Group

My February swap partner likes batiks, so here is the mini-quilt I'm sending to her. It's the "Jacobs Ladder" block, measures about 18" square, and this time I secured it with vintage buttons instead of ties. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Silkworm Cocoon Mini-Book

This is another dyed silkworm cocoon fashioned into a mini-book. I used my handmade paper with inclusions of seeds and weeds for the 8 little pages, each with it's own positive word collage. They read "cherish, peace, forever, new ideas, super, special, beautiful". Then I added glass beads for 
a sparkly finishing touch. Silk cocoons are actually sturdy, and they take stitching well.