Thursday, March 31, 2016

Doodles and More Doodles

So, continuing with my series of doodles from my long-lost-but-recently-found sketch books, I'll shall now post just a few of my silly Goddess Luna doodles. 
These were done during long church meetings...and let me clarify here.  I always pay attention at the meetings.  The doodling while the meetings go on, just keep my fingers busy.   Most of my doodling was done during the Administrative Council meetings simply because we were always sitting at tables. I always enjoyed those meetings so I had no trouble paying attention.

I remember the time that I was supposed to be the secretary keeping the minutes at our Pastor/Parish committee meetings.  I had soooo much trouble keeping notes because I had to write instead of doodle.  I finally told the chairman that I just was not cut out to be a secretary.  I resigned from that duty so that the chairman didn't fire me.  :) 

I had a whole series of goddess sketches. It seems odd that I was doing this during a Christian church meeting, but keep in mind, this is completely tongue-in-cheek and NOT something that I did because I worship Greek gods and goddesses. 

Imagine, if you will, that we have a goddess who provides her silken threads of hair to use for all of our stitching needs.  Meet our Goddess of Thread, ThimbleLuna.
  Next, how wonderful would it be to have a goddess who cleaned our bathroom for us. 
Meet our Goddess of the Bathroom, LavatoryLuna:

That's all for now!   :)  

Be Kind 
  Happy Day!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Blessing!

So busy getting ready for the big family Easter dinner tomorrow.  I felt the need to take a break and do something else besides cleaning and baking.  With the heavenly smell of a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake in the oven, I'll type out the amusements that go on in my head.

First of all, I have to STRONGLY encourage everyone to do some Spring cleaning, especially if you've lost something years ago.  Even though you've long ago giving up the search, Spring cleaning brings it to you!  Like magic, your missing treasured things appear!

My Spring cleaning made my lost sketch books reappear and look what was inside my sketch book!
My Hippo wedding couple with their little ring bearer!
 Anytime I have a church meeting, or any meeting, I doodle.  I've always doodled, even back in school, I had pages and pages of my notebook filled with school notes and doodles. 
This was something that I did back in 94 during a particularly long Ad Council meeting at church.
It doesn't matter if it's the agenda for the meeting, I'll doodle on anything in front of me that is paper. 
This turned out to be a bit more than my usual doodle but I'm so happy that my Hippo wedding couple have been found. 
So, I've lost two of my most treasured tablecloths.  I've seemingly looked everywhere for them, but even with the spring cleaning, they unfortunately haven't magically appeared. 
But my old sketch books have just made me so so happy, the missing tablecloths distress is eased.  I know they will turn up eventually.  Probably just like the sketch books; when I'm not looking for them. 
When I found the sketchbooks, I immediately sat down and went through them, page by page, over and over again, at least a half dozen times.  I don't remember most of the things I drew but some of them ...well, I'm just so incredibly happy that they are back in my life. 
I've found that the older I get, it's just the simple things in life that make me the happiest. 

I also found a long lost leather thimble.  I actually had two of them go missing, but finding one is just fine with me. 
Simple things.  Blessings indeed.

I have a couple new designs that will be ready once this Easter stuff is over.  One in particular, I'm really really excited about. 
No, it's not a design of a hippo wedding party.  :)

May your home be filled with Easter happiness tomorrow!  Happy Easter!  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Treasured Gifts! 1953 Chevy

I stitched this to give to my hubby for Christmas a few years ago....

This turned out to be an even harder task to create than the 56 Chevy that I made for my brother-in-law. (see the post before/below this one for the story of Mark's 56 Chevy)

My husband's '53 Chevy has been in his family since...well, since 1953.  It used to belong to his uncle and then his uncle passed it on to my hubby way back when he was just a teen.
It still runs well, but my husband had/has it stored away during the winter.  Unfortunately, winter is when I needed to see it so that I could sketch it and draft the pattern.  
I didn't want my husband to know what I was going to do, so I would sneak down to his garage and try to uncover his car enough to get glimpses of the car details.  He has this car stored in the very back corner of his very big garage.  It's covered and has lots of other equipment surrounding it.  I had to take pictures of small sections of the car and then compare it to the few online pictures of that model year.
The one error in design is the tires.  They need to be big white-wall tires.  I will fix that....someday.  I can't be faulted with that though since hubby had so much stuff surrounding that darn car, it was impossible to see those tires!  :)

So, just as I did Mark's 56 Bel Air Chevy, I sketched the car to the size that I wanted the wall-hanging.  Then I had the daunting task of drafting the pattern for it.  
I had some shiney silver vinyl that I wanted to use for the chrome on the bumpers, the hubcaps and that little side panel by the back tire.  Once I had it stitched on though, I ripped it all back out because it just didn't blend well with the wool.  The silver/grey wool worked better.

My fav feature about this car is again, the door handles and lock, stitched with metallic threads, but also that radio antennae.    
One other thing I should husband had just retired when I made this so he was home most of the time.  I had limited time during the day to make this.  
So, I would wait until he went to bed at night to work on it.  I sometimes stayed up until the wee hours of the morning stitching because once I get going on a big project like this, it's really difficult for me to shut down.

I've lots more projects from the past to show, but that's it for now.

So much sadness today with the bombings in Belgium. 
Prayers for those have been personally affected by this horror.

I've found that being kind to those who are hateful can make a difference.
 I'm afraid that kindness to those who are evil would make no difference. 

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness"  ~ Dalai Lama

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Treasured Gift

This is a very special gift that I made 3 years ago for a very special guy.
My brother-in-law, Mark.
I'm finding it very difficult to write the story behind this gift because Mark passed away back in September of 2014. Gosh, he is really missed.

My sister, Carol, (casserole Carol) was planning to give her husband a surprise 60th birthday party.
Since there would be a lot of people there, I knew that most presents would be either his favorite Guinness, or his favorite Jameson Irish whiskey.  (being Irish, he loved his whiskey and oh, do I have stories about THAT!)
The problem is, what do you give a 60 year old guy who is confined to a wheelchair and not in the best of health?
After much thinking, my husband and I realized that his 56 Chevy was probably one of his most prized possessions and I needed to commemorate that car for him!

I texted my niece, Steph, and asked her to go outside and take a few pictures of her dad's car.  The car was in pretty bad condition, and sitting under a carport with a lot of other things pushed up around it. It was difficult for her, but she managed to get some pictures so that I could get a better idea of the details, (two door, white sidewalls, chrome, etc)
Then I went online and did some searching to find a good picture of the 1956 BelAir Chevy. It's a popular car so the pictures were fairly easy to find.

Once I had a good picture, I sketched the car in the size that I wanted to make the wall-hanging.  That was the easy part.
The hard part was drafting the pattern for it.  It was to a point that I thought of giving was overwhelmingly difficult.  The trick is to put the project aside for a little while and then come back to it, fresh.
Once the pattern was drafted, I dyed the wool to get the good yellow.  The rest of the wool was mill dyed so that was easily on hand.
The stitching part was so much fun.  I really enjoyed that challenge.  Then seeing it all come together with every single stitch was incredibly rewarding. I kept calling my husband over to gleefully show him the results of my newest stitched detail.

For the chrome stitching, I used silver metallic thread.  The little chrome door handle and the french knot below it for the lock is my favorite feature.  So cute.

I researched and found a "Chevy" font online to use for the lettering.  I printed the letters in the correct size and then traced the letters onto the wool for embroidering.  The little BelAir stitching on the side of the car took some time since that metallic thread was so difficult to use.

This took a tremendous amount of time but I thoroughly enjoyed every single stitch of it.  And the reaction from Mark when he opened it was just the best possible reaction one could give when opening a gift.  There was no doubt that he loved that gift.
Mark had Carol hang the wall hanging on the wall right by their front door so that he could see it from his recliner in the living room.
Mark is sorely missed.

"It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone." ~ John Steinbeck

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring (cleaning) Is Here!

"It was one  of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light,  and winter in the shade."  ~Charles Dickens
No, this isn't a new pattern design. It's something I made years and years ago.

I've been so productive these past few days and simply because the weather has been so nice.

Spring cleaning is what it's called.  Redding up (that's a Pittsburgh term for cleaning) my office space,  vacuuming behind the furniture and generally getting rid of the clutter, are just some of my accomplishments.  It's a really good feeling and it makes me happy when I see the clean results. I'm hoping to finish by the end of this week so that I can plan for our Easter family time.

I do have some new designs all stitched up and ready for pattern printing.  I'm so very very pleased with their results.  I'm going to wait a bit for their release until after Easter so that I can enjoy my Spring cleaning efforts.

March and April have always been a slower time for my business ...I'm pretty sure it's because everyone, just like me, is outside enjoying the beauty of Spring.  I take advantage of this slower time to "catch up"with everything that I've put aside because the business was just too busy.

In the meantime, I'd love to show off some of my treasured things that I've given as gifts to very special people in my life.
This is the wall hanging that I made for my grandson.

 Fang is a beagle and my grandson named him after one of the character's dog in the Harry Potter books.
Fang certainly doesn't live up to his ferocious name.  He's a gentle, loving soul.  Although, I have to say, if you aren't guarding the hamburger in your hand very closely, he will make it disappear so fast that you'll wonder if it was ever in your hand!  :)  I still laugh when I think of the look on my grandson's face after his hamburger disappeared from his hand. 
To make this, I took a picture of Fang .....

Then I drew/sketched him to the size I wanted to make for the wall-hanging and drafted the pattern for it.  I hand-dyed the wool to get that mottled brown color to match his fur.  I even held the dyed wool up to Fang just to make sure the color was perfect.
I found a special "Harry Potter" font and cut the letters to resemble that.  My grandson has always loved Harry Potter.  He's 9 now but even back when he was 3, his mom was reading the books with/to him so I knew he would recognize that special letter font.
For the circle dog tag, On one side I stitched, "I love Kaiden" and on the reverse side, I stitched "Kaiden loves me".
I attached a dowel rod to the top and have a dog collar chain attached to that for hanging.
I made this for him 3 years ago and it's hanging in his bedroom.
If think if I were to make it again, I'd make his snout just a little longer.  I made him look more like he did as a puppy rather than a full-grown 8 year old dog.  Even so, my grandson loves it and that's all that matters.  :)

I'll have more treasured gift pictures to share in a few  I do old cars.

"Do it for joy and you can do it forever"  ~ Stephen King 

Thank you for reading and have a wonderfully Happy Day!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

More Lilacs!

Good morning!  Thursday, March 10, 2016
Shown below is my "Lilac Beauty" design done with a black background.  The wonderful lady who packs my kits for me will be working tomorrow, so expect to see more wool kits on Saturday for both the white background "Lilac Beauty" candle mat and the black background option.

I stitched both the black background and the white background and just couldn't decide which to show on the pattern front.  I loved how they both looked.  I finally decided to print the pattern with the white background and only because the "Geranium Beauty" design (which is similar) was done with the black background.  It was either that or doing eeny meeny miny moe.
The pattern and the wool kit can be purchased from my website by CLICKING HERE

Want a weekend project?
Make a traditional penny rug!

No, this isn't available as a  pattern but only because it doesn't need a pattern to make it!
I cut the pennies all by hand, but a die cutter like Accuquilt can do that job for you too.
Any graduating sizes can be used but for mine:  The large pennies are about 1 1/2".  Medium pennies are 1" and the small pennies are about 3/4".
I traced the circles onto freezer paper then ironed the freezer paper onto my wool.  Then started cutting.
I always do my cutting while watching the Penguins hockey game.  So, this past Saturday, I cut the large and medium pennies and started stitching.  
Then Sunday, when they played again, I cut the small pennies and finished stitching the rest of them later that night while watching Downton Abbey. (stitching while watching tv keeps me awake!) Once they're all stitched, simply string them together.  I string them by rows.  Then I string the rows together.  
I used my pastel wool and the natural white Dorr wool for this one, but any colors you might have will look wonderful.
This penny rug was made just for me.  I have a really cute vintage pastel Easter basket that will look really nice with it.  
Give it a try!  
I have hand-dyed pastel wool and the felted natural white wool available on my website CLICK HERE

Thank you for reading!
Blessings and Happy Day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Power Of Prayer Needed

My very good internet friend and customer is having heart surgery this morning.  Kelly has been a constant source of goodness for me over the years.  Her first email to me was a request to design something with a scarecrow.
I did.  Our friendship grew from there.  It's her positive spirit that is inspiring and oh so contagious.
So, if you believe in the power of prayer, please say one right now for Kelly and her beautiful family.

I do believe in the power of prayer.
When I was little, our family would go on summer camping trips. We'd often camp alongside groups of family friends.  Some really good memories I have of our vacations at the beach with family and friends.
So, the one summer, the weather was beautiful with no rain and lots of sunshine.  Now, sunshine is great for vacations, especially when camping.  But the long drought we were having during that time, was causing much distress too.
With so many people talking about the drought, that night, during my nightly prayers, I prayed for rain.  I didn't just ask God for rain, I pretty much begged God for rain.
That next day, it rained.
The day after that....
it rained.
It continued to rain, HARD.  Our tent trailer had to be moved to a higher location.  Our friends had to move their tents to a different location.
Everyone started complaining about the rain and I felt so guilty.  I was convinced that my prayers had caused the rain.  I must remind you, I was young...about 8 or 9 years old?
I felt so guilty, that I finally confessed to the group that it was my fault that it was raining so much.  They all had a good laugh,  I know now that they were laughing because it was pretty cute that I really believed that I caused the rain.  Back then though, I thought they were just trying to make me feel better.
After that, I was really cautious about what I prayed for.  I made sure to emphasize to God exactly what was needed and gave him instructions for his limitations.   I  laugh as I type that, because eventually, I did figure it all out, thankfully.
But, I still try to say a prayer every night.  A pastor and friend of ours now, once told me that even if we are too tired to take the time to pray at night,  just fitting in a quick, "help me to be a better person tomorrow" is easy, fast and helpful.
That is always included in my nighttime prayers.  Although, there are times that I'm not a better person, there are definitely many times that I remember that prayer and I take the high road and do my very best to be a better person than I was yesterday.
That alone is how the power of prayer can help each of us every day. 

Goodness, that has really helped with the worry about Kelly's surgery today.
Kelly....when you read this, know that I think you're *almost* the best.  *wink* :)
Your faith and the goodness inside you will get you through this difficult time. 

God Bless and Happy Day everyone!

(comments are turned off because of silly internet foreign spammers who keep peddling their woven rugs throughout my blog.)  email me instead!

Monday, March 7, 2016

New Pattern! Lilac Beauty!

"Lilac Beauty" wool applique penny rug candle mat pattern.  The finished size is 13 1/2" round.
The wool kit for this is also available.  It's now available on my website.
I'll also be showing this later today done with a black background.  So pretty!
This design is very similar to my "Geranium Beauty" design.  The flowers are done just a bit differently though.

We have 4 large oversize lilac bushes on our property.  Last year, I trimmed back the bushes since they had overgrown the area.  I'm hoping that the cut-back will help with the blooms this year, giving me even more splendor.  But, I'm a bit concerned that I might have cut them back a little too much.  I love their scent.  While they're blooming, I always keep a bouquet of them on my living fireplace mantal.  The scent fills the entire room.
This color is my favorite of all the lilac colors.  It's what I struggled with for two days last week, trying to get the dye recipe just right.
Just love my lilacs!

Another design is in the works for hydrangeas too.  Wait until you see the colors!

I know, I know....this looks like a lot of work to cut and stitch all of those little flowers!
Well, it is a lot of work, but stitching them on is really easy!  Since they're stitched so close together, if they're not cut perfectly, it's fine and not the least bit noticeable. trick, if you just trace and cut enough flowers for one lilac, once that lilac is stitched and finished, your fingers are rested and ready to cut the flowers for the next one.

The other trick is to cut them while watching TV.  My favorite time to cut is during the Penguins hockey games.  If you root for the Pens, this is what you need to do too!  They win every time I cut these little flowers during the game !  :)
Way back before I sold patterns of my designs, I used to make cute little woolly pincushions, mug rugs and some candle mats to sell as finished items on Ebay.
The lilac pincushion that I made was so popular and in much demand.  However, as you can see by the picture, there are lots of little flowers that need to be cut.  Because of that, I had to turn customers down. It was just too much on my fingers to cut thousands of little flowers!

Browsing though my Photobucket account is like a stroll through my past.  It stores pictures of every single Ebay item that I sold.  Designs are stored in there that I completely forgot about because it's been so long!
It brings back so many memories and it also reminds me of how long I have been obsessed with wool.
Way back in 2000, I discovered wool and penny rugs. 16 years now, wool and I have been together.  :)
Since then, I've learned a lot about wool and working with wool.  I've also learned a tremendous amount from my customers / stitching sisters.
For all of you wonderful sisters (and some brothers too!) in stitching, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart for the business and the lessons that I've received from you.

I have comments shut off for now.  I've been getting a lot of foreign spam peddler comments so I'm hoping by shutting the comments off for a while, they'll move on and leave me alone later.
If you have a comment or a question, just email me at
My website is
God Bless every one of you and Happy Day!

Also....a big THANK YOU to Kelly for the encouragement to do even better every day!