Sunday, December 28, 2008

Amigurumi Mouse

I've been observing  the latest trends in crochet and have seen some really cute stuffies made in the amigurumi style.  I found a free pattern on the web to try it out.  I made this mouse using a larger hook and yarn than the pattern, and found buttons in my button box for the eyes.  I was able to make him in one afternoon, between folding laundry and picking up M. from practice. He's larger than a real mouse, but I think he turned out pretty cute for my first try at amigurumi.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Lights

Last night (December 23rd), we took a ride to Sandy Point State Park to see Lights on the Bay.  Here are some pictures from our ride.  When we paid our admission, we were told what radio station to tune in to hear Christmas music.  The station played a nice mix of religious carols, classic Christmas songs and more recent releases.  We had a great time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Early American Companion Doll Outfit

While I had finished making this doll and her pantalettes a long time ago, she had been wearing a "borrowed dress" ever since.  I've finally gotten around to making her chemise, slip, dress, pinafore and bonnet.  She looks quite pleased with the results, doesn't she?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Tray and Teddies

My mother gave me this terrific tray that she's had a very long time.  I always liked it and had told her to not get rid of it.  As she was making room for my grandmother to move more of her things into their house, she was parting with some things.  I was the lucky recipient of the tray I'd admired for so long.  It was too big to fit on top of my kitchen cabinets or on my plate shelf, so I found a spot in my family room.  It required that I rearrange quite a few of my collections, so I decided to have fun and gather the smallest bears in my collection for these shelves.  I have so many bears that many only get to come out for a special season, but these little ones have persuaded me that they don't take up too much room and should be out to participate in life all the time!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pumpkin & Oakwood

Here are are 2 little bunnies that I made using Gail Wilson's retired girl and boy rabbit kits.  I had bought the girl kit on one of Gail's sales, and the boy kit was a gift from my Mom and Dad.  They are made of wool, have button "joints" and button eyes.   Pumpkin has pantelettes, dress and pinafore, while Oakwood has a shirt and overalls.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Fashion Doll's Day Dress

I finished the Gail Wilson Fashion Doll's day dress about a week and a half ago, but haven't been able to post any blog updates due to laptop issues.  Now that I have a new laptop, uploading pictures is going much smoother, so hopefully, I will be able to post a little more often!  The underskirt and blouse are actually a dress, and the overdress is like a jumper that goes over it.  There are buttons down the back of both, with thread loops to close it.  I really like how this outfit turned out.  It was tricky to make, but very much worth the effort!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Hat Box

The Fashion Doll class included making a box for the hat. I worked on it today. Gail Wilson provided printies for lining the box, but I used some scrapbook paper I had to line the bottom and the lid, and just used the "newsprint" for the sides. Making it took most of the afternoon, but it was fun to do, and I'm pleased with the results! Now Louisa, my Fashion Doll, will have a place to store her hat when she isn't wearing it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gail Wilson Fashion Doll Silk Hat

I had a lot of mixed feelings about this hat. It makes Louisa look so stuffy - prim and proper and all about showing off. But making this wasn't all that hard, and I was able to get it done in a day. I made a few mistakes, but I think that only I will notice those!I like the fabric and the decorations, so I guess she will wear it with her walking dress. So, here's some pics of Louisa in her 2 piece walking dress and silk hat.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fashion Doll: Two Piece Walking Dress

At last, the two piece walking dress is complete. This part of the class took me almost a month to complete, pausing for other projects and only working for short bits of time. I am glad to have it done and am looking forward to completing the rest of the class.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Two more

I couldn't help myself. I made two more pocketbooks for Mom's birthday. Since her birthday is August 1st, I made one in lighter colors for the end of summer, and the other in darker fall colors. She can carry those colors much better than I can, so it was fun to make something in colors I don't normally choose for myself. I love the dark wooden handles on the darker one - they are larger and smoother than mine - perfect for shoulder comfort!

Friday, August 1, 2008


One of my favorite subscriptions is the one I have to American Patchwork & Quilting. The August issue has an article called "Towels with a Twist" that show how to use dish towels to make handbags. When I first saw the article, I thought "Oh, how cool! Someday I might have to try that out."

As luck would have it, I saw some towls that I really liked two days before leaving for Nationals. I got the great idea that in addition to shopping, laundry, packing and other last minute preparations, I'd make a few pocketbooks - one for me, one for Melanie, and 3 more (gifts for her individuals coach, her big sister on the team and another friend). It was so easy, I really did get them done in one day and still manage to get all the travel preparations done! And it was really fun and not the least bit stressfu! It was really nice to get a sewing fix before going away for a week.

I really like mine, although I wish I'd found a bit larger handles so that it would slip on my shoulder a little less tightly. There are 4 roomy pockets on the outside. One pocket holds my sunglass case, another pens, calculator and my epipen, another a nail file, comb and chapstick, and another is available for my cell phone. That leaves the interior for little notebooks, wallet, calendar, checkbook and other necessities. Very roomy! Mine is on the left (fully loaded) and M.'s is on the right.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Special Things

One of my doll groups was talking about childhood memories of special birthday gifts that were dolls. It reminded me of this lovely glass "doll" figurine that was given to me by my great grandmother when I was a little girl. I love how her blue glass sparkles and reflects other colors. I don't recall how old I was when I got her, but I do have some wonderful memories of visiting my grandparents in Cumberland, MD. Grandma K. lived with them and she was very good at making things with her hands. I have an afghan of knitted squares in some very interesting colors that I keep in my hope chest that I will never part with, even if it matches nothing, I know it was made by someone very special. Some days, I really miss all of my grandparents that have gone to heaven ahead of me (only one dear grandmother is still with us). I love to tell my children stories about them: what I did with them when I was little, or what habits I have that I learned from them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Things progressed very quickly today! It is always amazing how much I can get done in a few hours before everyone else gets out of bed. I'm definitely a morning person. The pantalets went quickly - not much different than other's I've made from Gail Wilson's kits. I must say that I am getting much better at sewing on lace. The bottoms of the legs practically gathered themselves when I did the basting on my maching - this batiste is so delicate it was a breeze. The socks are more like leg warmers and they fit perfectly. I don't think she'll need stirrups or garter stitches for these as long as I don't take them off and on too much and stretch them out. Isn't it nice how the lace shows up on the dark socks? The shoes were a challenge, but they didn't turn out too poorly for someone who has such limited experience with leather. If I make another Fashion Doll, I could be tempted to just paint on the shoes!!! I'm enjoying this girl more and more. I need to come up with a pretty, old fashioned name for her. Hmmmm...

Fashion Doll

I am in Gail Wilson's on-line Fashion Doll class this spring and summer. It has been a very enjoyable class. Some of the members of the class are seriously into historical accuracy and are sharing everything they know or can find about the era. Others are asking questions or sharing tips to help the dolls turn out the best that we can. Some have chosen to give their dolls earrings , crocheted snoods, and fancy mitts. Mine is more of an all-American, down to earth girl who finds beauty in simpler things. I had a hard time with getting the snood to work with her hair. I might not have trimmed or thinned the wig enough, but after looking at other's photos, I really think the netting just isn't as stretchy or large as the crocheted snoods. Maybe I shouldn't have given up with crocheting one and moved up to a larger hook size (I tend to crochet so tight, I found the size impossible to see and work with). I like the way she is turning out, so I'm not going to dwell on that! Last weekend I made her camisole/petticoat onesie - I am hoping that she will get her pantalets, socks and shoes in the next few days so that I can move on to her clothes!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Little Fallen Bird

When I returned hom with W. and M. after taking W4 to leave for a mission trip in Richmond, we found a tiny, baby bird under the apple tree. It could barely fly. We knew there was a nest in the tree, but could not see one within reach. We could hear other baby birds chirping, so we knew it was higher in the tree, out of reach.

We put the bird up on a branch of the tree several times. It would try to fly again and fall back to the ground. Poor little bird.

After a few attempts at flying out of the tree, we put it on a smaller branch, and it was able to climb on the tree a bit.

Before we went inside, we put it on the highest branch in the tree that we could reach. We hope that it will not be found by a wandering cat or other predator. We know that God knows about every fallen sparrow. It will be up to Him to protect it when we can't. We will just have to treasure the time when we tried to help a little, lost creature in trouble.
- Jen

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Something Sweet

I really have been very busy since my last post. Really. I bought 2 leotards from Show-Off, and adorned them with sequins, appliques and rhinestones for M. to wear at her baton twirling contests. Those kept me busy for a lot longer than I planned!

I've been taking the Gail Wilson on-line Fashion Doll class. The doll is made and wigged, and I've even finished the stand. I am woefully behind on her clothing - onsie slip, pantelettes, socks, shoes, 2 piece outfit and hat. When she isn't naked, I'll take some pictures and post them.

Until then, I thought I'd share a pic of something M. and I made last week for her brother's high school graduation party. She jokingly called them smorgashboards, but you'll figure out what they really are supposed to look like...

I saw the idea on Kraft's website. We covered graham crackers with melted milk chocolate morsels. The cupcake tops were cut off. The graham crackers were attached to the cupcakes with chocolate frosting. M. trimmed fruit roll ups to make the tassels and then stuck Skittles on top for the buttons. M. & W.'s cousins gobbled them right up - and I think the adults enjoyed them, too.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Kate Greenaway Class Dolls

At last, I have finished my Kate Greenaway class dolls. Gail Wilson's online class was fantastic. I have made a lot of her doll kits, but this was my first class, and my first boy doll. I learned a lot during the class and know that I'll be able to use what I learned on future dolls.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another very long project nearly finished today

I started crocheting these granny squares about 3 years ago, I think. While we were in North Carolina, I finally managed to crochet them all together. I've been adding the borders over the past week while watching television. I say it is "almost" finished because it still needs to be "blocked" - maybe that's something I can do next weekend.

More Elephants!

Not a great picture, but these elephants wanted to make their presence known! They were all started the week before Christmas. The red and blue ones were finished the day before we left for North Carolina for this kids, and the grey one was finished on New Year's Day for hubby. The red and grey socks were smaller socks that I found at the grocery store when I couldn't find the colors I wanted at other stores. The quality wasn't so good - more losely knitted and the grey just wouldn't stretch the way I wanted it to. Anyway, they are being enjoyed now and that's one more thing crossed off of my "to do" list!