December 31, 2010


When 900 years you reach, look as good, you will not.

When Christmas rolled around this year, I questioned, what to get the 8-year-old boy who has everything? Ah, but a needle felted Yoda, he has not.

The body is needled out of green roving. The brown smock is flat wool felt, glued to the front of the body. The cream cloak is sewn from cotton fabric. I found the stick in driveway, whittled and sanded it down, then glued it to his hand. He should dispense sage advice for years to come.

Christmas 2010

Mike and I spent a "too quick" 4 days with family in NW Washington for Christmas. It went by so quickly, and it felt like we couldn't spend enough time with each person, but we did enjoy every moment that we did share. Some of the Holiday Highlights:

• Visiting the Golden Distillery on Samish Island, just minutes from Mom & Mark's house.

• A five-hour lunch in Vancouver, BC, with my cousins and my new 1st-cousin-once-removed, Cohen!

• Dinner with Remi & Andrew, and breakfast at the local Bakery

Mom, Bobby, Sara, Remi & Andrew taking Gibbs & Jack for a walk to the Bakery.

• Teatime with Katie & Jan, and getting to see how much Max has grown in the last month

• Christmas Day at Susanna & Claytons

Bobby, Mom & Mike (and the animal heads)

Aidan with his food (he opened a present, found it full of food, looked a bit confused for a minute, then remembered that he had asked Santa for food to put in his new treehouse).

Have you ever seen an 8-year-old so excited to receive a snuggie?

A touch of Calgary - a new cowboy hat from Uncle Will

December 29, 2010

Bear Band

Down-home, banjo strummin' Bear Band!

Live! Every night!
Marietta, OH

For Christmas I made Sara and Bobby a set of singing bears. The bears are needle-felted from two colors of wool roving, with additional accent colors for the snout and nose. I used black glass beads for their eyes. The banjo was constructed from a circular wood piece (from Michaels) and a couple balsa wood pieces that I carved. The strings are made from jewelry wire and the accent pieces are tiny metal beads.

The stage was originally the lid to a wooden box (which was used as the shoebox for the doll armoire). I removed the hinges and latch, filled the holes with wood filler, sanded it down and added a couple coats of paint and satin polish. I also added a piece of purple felt to the bottom.

The little wooden chair was put together from a Craftology kit for wooden doll furniture, courtesy of my sister Susanna. After I assembled it I gave it a couple coats of paint, then sanded the edges to make it a little more country.

December 28, 2010

Felt Ornaments

A bunny for Christine

For many years now, every Christmas I make ornaments for my cousin Christine and aunt Maria. I always choose a new medium (related to whatever my craft obsession of the year is). This year, surprise, surprise, I needle felted the ornaments.

A little blue Penguin for Maria

December 21, 2010

Fashionista Dolls

Wow, Priority Mail! The gifts we mailed on Saturday traveled 3,000 miles and arrived Monday!

Which means that since our nieces are going out of town for Christmas, they got to open our gifts early. Judging by the 4 voicemails Mike received requesting that "he please call them", I think the gifts were a hit.

I worked really hard on the gifts for the girls this year, and loved every minute of it. Last July I made three crocheted dolls for the older girls, assuming that the baby would be too young for a doll. As one of three girls myself, I should have known better. No little girl, no matter how young, will sit idly by while her three older sisters are playing!

This little Corkscrew completes the set of 4 dolls for 4 girls.

The Original Three

In addition, I couldn't let those dolls go through a Pennsylvania winter without a few more clothes. I may have gotten a little carried away...

Total: 4 dresses, 4 coats, 4 pairs of shoes, 4 tops, 1 pair of overalls, 1 pair of shorts and a skirt
(My "model" doll also helped model some of the new clothes)

Luckily, I also made somewhere for the clothes to reside.

Using an old, wood cigar box purchased from a local antique store, I covered the inside with patterned rice paper, and painted the outside with pink enamel paint. I lined the inside of the door with embossed felt, created a shoe trunk from a wooden box, added wood finial "feet" and a wood flower for a knob. I also painted a couple wooden flowers and glued them to the inside of the door as "hooks" and glued a mirror onto the felt with a felt border. Lastly, the closet rod is a painted wood dowel and the hangers were fastened from 18 gauge wire. Voila, a doll armoire!

It was very fun to figure out and make, and I'm very tempted to make one for myself now!
Merry Christmas Girls!

December 20, 2010

It's that time of year again...

So little time to blog post this month! My free time has been consumed with gift-making and social celebrating. I have been enjoying myself this month, and since the last couple of months have been a little more difficult, I'm glad to have finally hit a time when things are a little more fun.

All of my craft projects for the past 6 weeks have been gifts, so I can't share photos of them yet. I can share a teaser however.

Mike and I have also had a great time celebrating: Ryan's birthday at the 3rd Annual beer tasting party, Kir Wine Bar with Jessica and Bobby, the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Sale with Alan and Anja, and an impromptu drive to Hood River for dinner and snow viewing

Tomorrow we head north to celebrate Christmas with family. With just a few more pieces to glue and presents to wrap, I'm almost ready to celebrate!

Happy Holidays!

December 9, 2010

Shout out to my Sisters!

My sister Sara's new book, Soil Mates, hit the shelves this month - so exciting to see her name in print! Not only that, but my sister Susanna wrote all the recipes for the book, so both of their names are in print! I've already ordered my copy, and several others for gifts.

Sara and Bobby have also been getting lots of press, for the book and for their business. Check out the following links:

• An interview at Inspiration for Writers

• A little write-up in the NY Times

• There is also a feature in the January issue of HOW Magazine's "Young, Hungry, Creatives", with an incredibly adorable photo.

In addition, a special pat on the back goes to Susanna, who visited us last weekend to work on her needle-felting, and who managed to sell all four of her pieces on the train home without even trying!

Good thing I have excellent self-confidence, or else my sisters would be putting me to shame. Keep up the good work ladies!

December 2, 2010

Over the narrows and through the woods...

Last weekend we celebrated another wonderful Thanksgiving at Papa and Sharon's house on the Kitsap Peninsula. This time there was a light dusting of snow on the ground. And while gorgeous to look at, it made travel much more difficult (Susanna was in desperate need of a strong drink when she finally arrived). But we all arrived safe and sound, ate well and relaxed well (they got a hot tub this year!).

Like in years past, we all brought a project to work on for the long weekend. Recently Clayton built a treehouse for Aidan in the woods near their house. Aidan realized that the place was lacking that certain "homey" touch, so worked with Poppy in the shop to craft some wood chairs. I determined that they were the perfect size for little boy butts, but that we could put them together for the perfect Auntie butt fit.

Susanna had expressed some interest in learning how to needle felt, so we pooled our supplies and spread out on the dining room table. As luck would have it, Katie, Jamie & Max were also able to join us for part of the weekend, and Katie was just as excited to learn needle felting.

Susanna worked on felting some appliques to add to fingerless gloves, and all three of us worked on creating 3d penguins.

Our eyeless penguins. All very different, and way too cute for their own good.
Left to right, mine, Susanna's and Katie's.
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