Saturday, December 29, 2012


Knitted on 5" DP US Size 4 needles with Gatsby Lux by Katia.  It is a metallic knitting thread that comes in a nice selection of colors.

Ever since I spied this tree on Pinterest (view source here), I have been wanting to make one.  Here is my version. The base is an old Starbucks store decoration that I stripped down to bare styrofoam and covered in vintage French music paper.  I have two more of these trees in my attic waiting to be refurbished.  I want to do one in all different sizes of pastel pearl beads.  Haven't decided about the last one yet.


Monday, December 24, 2012


A Merry Christmas
And A Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 23, 2012


WOW!  Frannie did it!  You know, this really wasn't that easy, she stuck with it, and to me that is the most important part.  (Yes, she did have a little push/help from me now and then, but we all need a little encouragement sometimes - right?).

Drum roll, please... (drum roll - get it?)

Twelve miniature drums (about 1" tall) made from empty spools of thread (why do I save these things? - the plastic kind - not my vintage wood spools that I have been collecting), cardboard from a cereal box, bits of scrapbook paper, pipe cleaners, leftover gold knitting thread, a round paper punch, scissors and a glue stick.

...11 Pipers Piping, 10 Lords A Leaping, 9 Ladies Dancing, 8 Maids A Milking, 7 Swans A Swimming, 6 Geese A Laying, 5 Gold RIngs, 4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, and A Partridge In A Pear Tree

My favorite project was the Four Calling Birds and I'll definitely consider making more of those (in my own way) for next year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I am sure there are more than 11 chocolate filled cookie pipes in this can, so that will make up for the 7 missing frogs.  Besides, chocolate filled cookie pipes are way better than actual pipers piping.


Friday, December 21, 2012


WARNING Will Robinson - WARNING!

This One Is Lame.

Wait for it.

Ribbit, ribbit.

That's right - three - not ten - origami frogs that leap.  How about an A for effort?


Thursday, December 20, 2012


Phew!  Only three more to go.  These dancing ladies are cupcake toppers.  Had them in our stash.  They came from the dollar store quite a while back.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Mmmm...You can get these little chocolate squares at the checkout counter of your local Whole Foods store.  They are available in a variety of flavors, and they are sold individually.  There's still time to tuck a few in those hand-made stockings we all finished this year. ;)


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Grandma is only getting one swan - it's a felt pincushion.  Frannie has had a nasty cold for the past week (although she is feeling much better now), so her enthusiasm had waned a little bit.  She has everything else ready, except for those darned Lords A Leaping.

Merry, Merry!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Is this too much of a stretch?  It's a paper patchwork - six flying geese a laying on a piece of cardboard to create a holiday bookmark.


Friday, December 14, 2012


No Brainer!


Thursday, December 13, 2012


I just finished crocheting this baby afghan - Lucy's ripple pattern from Attic24 - I added a shell border to mine.  Excuse the early morning sun streaming across the blanket - but it did make it ever so warm and cozy.

Everyone once in a while I squeeze in time to work on a project for Enchanted Makeover.   I'm just going to use their words:  "Imagine feeling hopeless, scared, vulnerable and unworthy because you are living in an environment where often everything is depressing, broken or filled with things other people threw away.  Imagine your children living in such a place."  Enchanted Makeover's mission (all volunteer) is to transform these depressing environments into places that inspire and are supportive to those re-building their lives.

I know a lot of sewers, quilters, knitters and crocheters out there create lots of beautiful things.  You might even have a pretty, useful item that you are willing to part with in order to help someone else.  After all, that's what this season is all about.

Merry, Merry!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


These little birdies were really fun and easy to make.  Best of all, it was a QUICK project!  We even made a couple for our own tree.  Luckily, I had some double sided Christmas paper already in my stash, and this project just used scraps.  If you don't have a supply of that on hand, just use what you have and glue a piece on each side of a cereal box.  If I had time, I could see myself making them out of some vintage French book paper with some glitter and other embellishments.  This pattern would also work with felt, fabric or even cookies.  Trace around the template on your cookie dough and glue the wings on with royal icing.  I think they would be really pretty out of gingerbread and sprinkled with sanding sugar.  Yummy too.  Pattern here.  Thank you Pinterest.

...And a Partridge In A Pear Tree

Merry, Merry!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Close enough.  We added a gold string through the loop in the beret and turned them into ornaments.  You can get a pattern here.

By the way, Frannie is a great artist.  She finds a drawing she likes, copies it freehand, and then adds color.  One of the requests on her Christmas list is a set of real artist markers, dual tip, brush end on one side.  She better be good! ;)

Merry, Merry!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


...and a partridge in a pear tree.

Merry, Merry!

Friday, December 7, 2012


Last May, my mother moved to New Jersey.  Frannie used to see her everyday.  Needless to say, she really misses her.  Frannie decided that it would be a nice surprise if she sent grandma The 12 Days of Christmas.  This is what Frannie made for the first day.  We found the partridge pattern on Pinterest (where else?) and you can get it here.

Has anyone got an idea for Lords of Leaping? 

Merry, Merry!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I had been wanting to make one of these wreaths for a long time.  I would snatch up old ornaments wherever I could find them - especially pink and aqua.  I covered a wire wreath form with some old silver garland and just started hot gluing everything in place.  The entire wreath has been made with vintage trinkets, except the little polymer clay cupcake to the left, which I had made sometime last year.  I also added some glitter to a few ornaments that had seen much better days.  It's the perfect size - approximately 16" in diameter.

Merry, Merry!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


When you are in 6th grade orchestra,
the dress code changes.
So how does one stand out in a sea of black & white?

Put Christmas tree garland in your hair!


Stamford Town Center
Center Court
All Decked Out For The Holidays

Security would not allow photos from the front.
Bah! Humbug!

Merry, Merry Anyway!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Victorian Thread Holder.  Pattern found via Pinterest (thank you Thimbleanna!).  All flowers made with leftover DMC 6 strand cotton embroidery floss.  I have years and years of scraps and now I know why I kept them all.  There is still lots of end-weaving and blocking to do.


Thursday, April 26, 2012


I have been teaching Frannie how important and EASY it is to recycle - or is it upcycle?  You know - re-use something you might ordinarily throw away.  So, can you guess what this needlecase is upcycled from?  That's right - there are CD's in there - four to be exact - two for the front and two for the back.

Here's what the inside looks like.  The left side has a pocket and the right has a two-layer felt booklet for needles and pins. The hinge is a scrap of wide black & white polka-dot ribbon.

Flip side.  The fabric is from Deena Designs.  Have had it for years.  The little girl on the left with the pony tail reminds me of Frannie.

Speaking of Frannie, here she is on stage at the Citywide School Orchestra.  She is first violin, and only the cream of the crop gets selected to perform at this event.  Do I sound proud?

 Look at all those conductors!

Every violinist needs some flowers at the end of a performance - pink of course!  How cute are those shoes?!!

We made Easter cookies.

Then we gussied them up and Frannie hopped around the neighborhood making deliveries.  She always pops up unexpectedly with treats.  The neighbors can't wait to see what she brings next.  Don't tell anyone, but they should be receiving a nice little surprise for May Day.

And, yet, another cupcake hat.  This one has white frosting with multi-colored sprinkles.

I think this one is my favorite so far.

One more little tidbit - we were in the mood for some bakery-style sugar cookies.  Large ones.  With lots of sprinkles.  Really, really good.

I just realized I didn't take any photos of the crocheted cherry hair ornaments I just made.  Super cute!  I'll have to remember to do that.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012


There was another birthday around here recently. Frannie turned 11 years old. We celebrated with a "Parisian" style party for her and eleven other girls. Of course, we were so busy attending to our guests, that another year has gone by and I have only these two photos to show for it. We set up three intimate tables with seating for four girls at each one. The color theme was pink (of course), white and black. The tablecloths were white with black polka-dots ($1/yard fabric that I cut to size. I didn't even bother to hem and at the end of the party I just tossed it.) The plates were paper, but the petite champagne flutes were glass. Each girl received a "bon bons" container filled with goodies. I made these out of recycled cereal boxes that I formed into cylinders. They were quite generous, measuring approximately 7" long by 4" in diameter. I covered them in pink papers and printed out the words on the computer. Frannie filled clear cellophane bags with lots of goodies and then we tucked them inside the cylinders. I wrapped each in clear cellophane and tied the ends with wide polka-dot ribbon. The girls loved them!

The guests dined on five courses of "French" food. They started with petite croissant sandwiches - their choice of jambon (ham) et poulet (chicken). This was served up on an elegant footed silver-plated tray that I had previously rescued from the Goodwill. The second course was pizza de pain français (French bread pizza) that was devoured in an instant. Next up was pommes frites (French fries) - I had no idea 11 year old girls could each so many! Soon the pain grillé français (French toast) was ready - another hit! The last course were parfaits in petite parfait glasses (I've been collecting them from tag sales and thrift stores). My husband, François, donned a beret (as well as Frannie & myself) and penciled on a thin, pointy moustache for the occasion. He put a white cloth over his arm and played the role of waiter. François served the girls champagne (ginger ale). All afternoon the girls were calling, "garçon, garçon, more champagne! The guests had their choice of desserts as we set up a table de dessert in another room. They had a selection of yellow gâteau with frosting de chocolat, gâteau de chocolat with crème rose de beurr, red velvet with cream cheese, giant pastel M&M cookies, petite eclairs, and Oreo truffles in petite ice cream cones dipped in chocolate and covered with sprinkles (not to mention jelly beans, marshmallows, and other assorted bon bons). There was plenty for each girl to take home as well as another hand-made party favor which is not shown. I made each guest an adorable pink felt chick (from Pinterest) and crocheted a small black beret for each one that I sewed on top. After all, French chicks do like to party!


P.S. - Here's a knitting update - not only did I finish 24 points, I also picked up the 120 stitches required to continue. No, I did not spend the entire day knitting.