so ornamental

These German bell ornaments were gifts that I made for very dear friends & teachers this year.

And although Christmas has already passed, I did want to show you how beautiful they turned out & yes! they are oh, so versatile.

Choosing from the tons of fabric, ribbon and beads available everywhere --- well, goodness, you can personalize these to fit just about anyone. The directions can be found here and although the folding seems complicated, just keep thinking 'folding a paper airplane.....'


crochet christmas

I did indeed finish this Christmas tree skirt in time for Christmas! There were some serious doubts that I could get this done in time for present-opening. And honestly, my hook flew like it has never flown before and I just amazed myself with finishing it.

The pattern if from Country Woman magazine, issue: Nov/Dec 2003. I'm not sure if this issue is still available.

And of course, the cats presume that it was entirely crafted for their napping pleasure....

And many of you asked for the pattern for this aqua doily. It is from Magic Crochet magazine, issue: April 2002. From the buzz on different web pages, I don't think this magazine is available any longer. I have picked up a few at rummage sales and thrift stores.

Lastly, my blogirl-friend, Robyn tagged me. She has a beautiful blog and she is sooooooo full of charm & sweetness! And because I was just recently tagged w/ the same 'game' here are my answers.
And I am tagging all of you who read this!

another bag

The current fashion craze of black nail polish and skull & cross-bones adorning clothing....eeeehhh. Not exactly my thing. Okay, truly not my style, but when our teen asked if I could make another bag for another friend, I made it to her modern specifications.

And then we found this rather cute skull fabric at the fabric store. Actually, not too scary and quite adorable when coupled with the flowery, black fabric.

And the friend -- well, she loooooooooooooved it. Along with the black nail polish that came with the bag.
Yah...well. My desire will still lie in the vintage-y goodness of the fabrics from my grandma's apron & tattered quilts found hidden in an attic.


so much to celebrate

There is so much to celebrate during this holiest of holidays -- and that also involves being neck-deep in wrapping paper, cookie dough, hand-made presents and finding the mate to that boot that seems to disappear as soon as it leaves our son's foot....

....so I will be away for a bit -- but will be back with~

*the resources for the crochet patterns that so many of you have asked for
*pics of a crocheted checkerboard tree skirt
*and I have been tagged by my dear friend, Robyn
Until then--
Merriest Christmas
to all of you.


patchwork crochet

I am making this patchwork crocheted doily out of the most beautiful shade of turquoise thread -- ever! I swear I was grinning all the way to the cash register when I spotted this color in the store. Honestly, it's the small things. And that got me to thinking about how this whole crochet thing started....

It began with a walk through a beautiful store and fingering these gorgeous, vintage doilies. Oh, how I wished I could actually make something like that. Having been told that I could never possibly accomplish something as fancy or delicate as that -- I went on my way with those beautiful doilies still dancing in my mind, but resigning myself into believing that I could never make something so gorgeous.

And then I met Susan. She was one of the 'parents' of a student I had in my 4th grade classroom. And she not only loved doilies too, but she actually made them! What? Are you kidding me?
I was very much pregnant at the time and waddled my way into her living room every school lunch hour. It was there that she patiently showed me how to make those delicate single crochets, double crochets and treble crochets. I was completely taken away with the beauty that was flowing from my #7 steel hook. A doily.

And a few people have questioned my love for doilies, okay - actually rolled their eyes - because it conjures up for them the picture of the aunt that is just-sooooo-not-with-it and *gasp* gave the crocheted toilet paper cover for a wedding gift. But I don't mind the comparison at all -- I love the connection to my aunts & grandmas -- yes, even if my husband does get a kick out of calling me 'Doily Dawn' and swears he is going to include that name in my obituary.
So seriously, if you crochet or knit -- or even sew, who was your inspiration? Who sat you down and showed you how to carry on this beautiful tradition of hand-work?


into the heart of a friend

If, instead of a gem
or even a flower,
we could cast the gift
of a lovely thought
into the heart of a friend,
that would be giving
as angels give.
--george macdonald, 1824-1905
A gift of a lovely thought. This vintage hanky is from a lovely blogirl-friend, Marlene. I met this woman through her lovely blog & laugh out loud at her funny, funny insights into every day living and wipe a tear for her heart-tugging endearments.

And she sends me this. Does she know that vintage hankies have such a fond place in my heart? I collect these! I love these! I cherish these with every particle of my collecting self!

Ah. Such blessings. From such a beautiful friend.


sewing & mending

These last few days before we gather together to give thanks -- I am spending in front of my sewing machine. Yay. I think I might just get this 'Pumpkin Crazy' wall-hanging completed before Thursday!

And yes, if you know me, the most troublesome part of completing something like this is -->the quilting. Between the thread breaking & a complete tangle of threads on the bottom.... I. don't. like. this. part. I know I must be doing something wrong. It is such a hair-pulling endeavor.........and I see all of your quilts and your beautiful quilted stitches -- oh, please, zap some of your gifted sewing talent my way!

Hmmm. Or I wonder. Can Santa fit a long-arm in his sleigh?


As for the mending --

Jake is indeed mending after his hit-and-run accident. (Sheesh! Who hits a dog and just drives away?) He is slowly healing and gaining back his playfulness -- much to the delight of everyone in this household.



Being thankful for ~


I am paper-piecing these pumpkins with scraps from my fabric stash & using the 'Pumpkin Crazy' pattern from the Nov. 08 issue of this magazine ~

I am hoping to get this wall-hanging done just in time for Thanksgiving....but hopes aren't necessarily a reality in my world. (On a more personal level --> our Golden Retriever, Jake was hit by a car yesterday and the event has been a devastating detour in our somewhat 'normal' family' life. He is recuperating on the couch and thank goodness we have 3 Florence Nightengales -- in the form of 3 children -- who see to it that all of his needs are being met.)

And seeing my fingers doing something with needle or thread calms & soothes the pains that make their way into that thing called---> LiFe.

Still. I am thankful for so much. And yes, w/ smile on my face, I am thankful for all of the friendships from you, dear readers!


catchin' up on Christmas

WARNING---> If you are related to me & your name starts with a B, E or L --->StOp reading now!
I am catching up on Christmas gifts & am in the process of finishing these cross-stitch items for my favorite sisters-in-law and mother-in law. The black & white stitching is going to be a biscornu -- French for a 'quirky, little pincushion with 8 sides'. Because 'L' is soooooo into beading, I will be making a matching scissors fob to go with this pincushion so she can take these to all of her beading classes -- and for those times she sets up 'beading camp' on the dining room table as soon as a family meal has been cleared.

'B' has a love for goldens that almost surpasses our love for this beautiful dog, so when I saw this pattern I just knew that this would become a pillow for her....and most likely her dogs. Hey, she leaves the TV on for them while she is at work -- so providing a stitched pillow is almost a requirement for them......

And here is a blue-bird with apple blossoms that will become some sort of something for 'E'. She is so sad that their cat has chased away all of these birds from their feeders, so I tried to capture their beauty in this stitching. I'm not sure how to finish this, but hopefully an idea will spring forth before the mad dash for getting all of my gifts done hits me on the head-- that mad dash usually hits about the 20th of December. But.....

ThIs YeAr WiLl Be DiFfErEnT!


simply friendship

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: What is the secret of your life?
Tell me, that I may make my life beautiful, too.

Charles Kingsley: I had a friend.

This from my friend, Kris, Quilted Simple.

Simply beautiful.

Simply thoughtful.

Simply a quilted gesture from a beautiful friend.
Thank you. Oh. ThAnK yOu!
And what makes this even more special is that I have never met Kris, I have never personally spoken to her, yet -- she has touched me with the gift of a simple friendship.

And -- I have a special request for all of you -- yes, even those who do not leave comments....*grin*

If you do happen to make one of these flowers, please post your pics of your fabric flower here. I would love to see them!


fabric flower tutorial

Many of you asked me where I got the fabric, pattern & flower for this bag.

Fabric: top edge from denyse schmidt and bottom flower fabric from Walmart.

Pattern: from my head which is just swimming with pictures & patterns that I have seen in the countless books, magazines I have or even from women carrying them in stores, restaurants, church etc....

Fabric Flower: from a book that came from my beautiful Grandma Anna. I don't even remember the name of the book, but I do remember the fabric flower.

Here is the tutorial for

anna's flower

Begin by choosing your fabric. One color, two colors --- doesn't matter.

Trace a circle on your fabrics. This one is approx. 4 1/2 in. in diameter.

I usually cut out 4 circles from one fabric and 4 circles from another fabric.

Find the center by ironing a crease down the middle.

And using ruler & rotary cutter, cut down the center of all the circles.

Your half circles.

Fold each half circle in 1/2, wrong sides together.

Sew approx. 1/4 in. seam down the straight edge. Feed all the 'petals' through your machine w/o cutting the thread.

A petal necklace.....

Clip the threads that join these petals. Turn right side out.

Begin Bottom Layer of Flower

Use upholstery thread and stitch a running stitch on the bottom curve of each 'petal'.

Add your next 'petal' with that same running stitch.

Keep adding 'petals' to this same length of thread, alternating the fabric. I use 9 half circles for this bottom layer of the flower.

Pull tightly on the thread to form the flower. Secure with backstitches. Leave a 8 in. tail when cutting thread.

Top Layer of Flower

Repeat steps for top layer of flower as you did with the bottom flower. I use 6 'petals' for the top layer. Leave a 8 in. tail when cutting thread.

Using the 8 in. tail of thread, stitch the top layer to the bottom layer of fabric flower. Do not cut threads. You will use this thread to secure the button.

Use a button for the center of the flower. Fabric covered, or your choice of button/bead etc.

Using the 8 in. tail of your thread, sew button to the center of the flower.

Bring both threads to back, tie knot to secure.

Trace a circle on felt to cover the back center --messy thread part!-- and using fabric glue, attach circle to back of flower. Add a pinback if you choose.

...and you have a

flower from anna's garden.