Au Revoir!

In May of this year, my dear friend and fellow contributor, Stephanie, moved to Oregon.  Our family sold our second home (that was close to Stephanie) and we moved back full time to the hills of our hometown.

When we started this blog, our intention was to contribute to it jointly but in light of this (sad, tragic, terrible- can you tell I wasn’t happy about this change?) move, we have each begun our new solo adventures in blog land.

Please visit us at:



It was a wonderful time while it lasted.


Giant Kaleidoscope

The kids and I took off for San Diego a couple of weeks ago to have a few “hands on” school days (long overdue) and had a marvelous time.  These photos were taken of a giant kaleidoscope in the San Diego harbor.  There were magnificent creations that lined the harbor but this was by far my favorite.  It actually worked!  There were several levers to pull and twist and the image produced from these different variables was incredible.





I’ve always had a “thing” for kaleidoscopes so I’m not sure who was more thrilled, the kids or me!  



In response to the CPSIA near disaster for many home-based crafters who sell their lovely creations, Anne from Bird and Little Bird coordinated a wonderful toy swap for handmade goods.  I was so excited to take part in this wonderful statement.

My swap partner, Sarah, will soon be receiving this sweet little friend:  


It was completely inspired by Meg’s version of the Kit, Cloe, and Louise pattern over at WeeWonderfuls.  Earlier I posted about Fay which was from the same pattern just adapted a little.  I may have said it before but both of these sites are a source of great inspiration for me.  Also of great inspiration are the new fabrics from the Good Folks line by Anna Maria Horner.  One of these days I will make a quilt from her fabrics.  For now, I get my fix by using the fabrics for dolly clothes and the like.  

When I first signed up for the toy swap, I had already decided I wanted to make that kitty I saw on SewLiberated’s blog. However, after seeing Sarah’s sweet little nephew that reminded me a great deal of Andrew when he was a little tyke, I remembered a pattern out of a goofy softie book I had picked up at Barnes and Noble one day.  So, I decided to make this simple but pleasing (and maybe a little kooky) car for Charlie (or anyone else Sarah chooses). 


Probably the best thing that happened during this toy swap was learning of the good news that the CPSIA has extended this deadline by a year in order to finalize the details concerning the use of certain materials.  Even better news for softies makers is that cotton and wool have been excluded under this proposed  certification. Yippeeeee!!!


She Can Fly!!!


Just a quick update on the pretty, white bird.  We believe that it is a homing pigeon of some variety.  Anyway, she (he) has been named Groovy and she seemed to really be anxious to try to fly.  So after a couple of weeks of convalescing we decided to give it a go.  Our great neighbors up the street took care of her the second week as we actually live in two places and couldn’t really take her to the other house.  That next weekend, we walked up the street to see if she could do it and to say our farewells.  


Mr. Mike let Andrew hold her just before releasing her.  He lifted her up high and gave her a little toss and …….and…….and……


she didn’t get very far.  But just then, she took to the sky and flew to the top of the house.  She spent about 1/2 hour up there which left us all wondering what we would do if she didn’t fly away.  We have lots of red-tailed hawks that live on our surrounding foothills and she surely wouldn’t survive up there for long.  During this time she seemed to be exercising her wings and getting herself oriented.  Here is a picture of her wound that is still visible.  The yellowing on the wing is from the iodine solution that we kept on the wound.


She finally found the direction she wanted to go and flew about a mile or so up the road before landing out of sight.  

Bye, Groovy.  We’ll miss you.


Fly, Birdie. Fly!!!!

One of the challenges of having dogs, especially faithful-to-their-breed retrievers, is that the big, red one loves to capture anything that scampers within his domain (which is every square inch of our property).  Seriously.  Earlier in the day I had the displeasure of finding a final resting place for the fuzzy little flop-eared that said-red-dog presented to me upon waking.  Thanks.

Red Dog:


After returning from the quilt show with my brother and his family in tow we discovered this, red dog’s latest victim:


Fortunately, this one was still alive.  I think the dogs became distracted by our return.  I can’t explain it any other way.  Normally, this would be dinner.  Sad.  I know.  I hate that aspect of having this dog.  However, I guess he’s just doing what nature is telling him to do.  The naughty little thing!!!  

I inspected this lovely white bird (not certain if it can be called a white dove or white pigeon -neither of which are wild around here) and noted that he is quite torn up under his wing and also has a small puncture wound on the top of the other wing.  Clearly a result of big-red-dog’s mouth.  I kept the bird in a box last night (can’t fly) but knew something must be done in the interim to keep it more comfortable.  So….my brother came back up today (sweet husband working) and helped my little man create a “bird condo.”  I didn’t even have to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot for supplies!  We managed to find everything we needed to construct the condo.  Johnny (brother) gave A some wood working lessons including working with the table saw.  I couldn’t find any safety goggles (I know. I know) but he used my sunglasses.  Cool, eh?  


This is the end result.  No laughing.  We used what he had and it was a quick put together.


Tomorrow we’ll be headed over to PetCo or Petsmart to inquire about general first-aid care for the pretty little thing.  Then…I have no idea.  We can’t keep the bird and I wouldn’t want to.  I hate to see it confined to such small space and am only doing so until it can be rehabilitated.  Hopefully, I’ll find someone at one of those locations that will be a wealth of knowledge and all will be resolved soon.  Until then, it was a great afternoon project for my eager little man to work on.  Good job, A (and thanks little brother).  


Handmade goodness

As I’ve already mentioned, I really wanted this year to be more about gifts made with our hands (at least as much as possible). Here are just a couple of examples of things made this year.

This idea came from Lorilee over at Livenlearnnow. My intention was to paint the acorns but didn’t get to it.  I decided (on Christmas Eve) that it could be a project that Andrew helps me with.  I purchased the hand-made catapult from here and the acorns from here.  The target was just made out of felt circles drawn from a pot, a plate, and a bowl and backed with another layer of felt. Man, I love felt.  It has to be some of the most versatile fabric available!  

These great little coloring totes now go everywhere with us.  They can be taken into restaurants and even transport any portable school work that needs to be done on the road.  The fabric for Andrew’s tote actually came from the fabric I purchased to make his quilt.  However… homemade gift list was longer than I had days to create them.  I still have plenty of fabric so that is one of my next projects.  Hannah’s tote is made from Anna Maria Horner’s fabric.  So fun. I love the ric-rak that I picked up at the last quilt show in Long Beach.  

The pattern I used is for the “Large Coloring Tote” and can be found at
It was pretty straightforward and easy to make. 

colorbaga  colorbagh

This last little thing for show-and-tell was a gift for me made by my lovely children.  Daddy picked out the kit for this stepping stone and the kids did all the work (supervised and directed). So pretty and I’m so proud of them for finishing the project that took a couple of days (steps) to create.  Thank you, darling children. And thank you wonderful husband for helping them create something for me that I will always cherish- especially their handprints and initials on the belly. 




Dolly Love

I have to admit that this little project has set me down a new road that I am enjoying immensely.  There is something very special about creating treasured items for your children and this one, for me, has been the most special. 

Meet Fay. 


She was created from the pattern Kit, Chloe, and Louise over at WeeWonderfuls.  I knew the minute I saw Hillary’s dolls on her blog that I wanted to make one for my daughter.  Fortunately, she posted the patterns for sale in enough time to get her done before Christmas.  This also gave me the opportunity to use some of my luscious fabric to make some fun outfits for her.  This dress was  made from one of Anna Maria Horner’s lines.  The orange shirt was from probably my all-time favorite designer, Valori Wells (which, admittedly, changes often because there is just so much great stuff out there).  




I had first made the body and wig from the pattern using a different type of yarn but wasn’t satisfied with her size, nor her hair.  Those who know my daughter, know she has curly hair that spirals and I really wanted the doll to reflect parts of my DD in her.  I found this chunkier yarn that was variegated and messed around with the yarn until I found a way to get that look.  As much as I love the hair on her, the photos make her look as if she’s “all hair.”  That’s okay though.  I still love her.