Friday, July 15, 2016

Sew-a-Softie Day - Tutorial


How to Turn a Child's Drawing into a Softie.
This tutorial is a joint effort of my niece Dana (7) and myself:

1. Dana began by drawing a pretty butterfly.

2. I transferred the drawing onto fabric
using a tracing pad, a fabric marker and an iron.

3. Then came the fun part - the embroidery.

4. Once that was done, I cut around the finished butterfly,
leaving a small seam allowance, and used that as a template
to cut a piece of yellow felt for the back.

5. I sewed them together, leaving a small opening,
filled the butterfly with fiberfill and closed the opening.

5. Dana drew a garden for the butterfly and we set it free.

6. Finally, not necessary but nice, we wrote a little story:

There once was a butterfly
who was a little shy,
he liked to fly
but not too high.

The flowers said:
it is silly to be afraid,
there is nothing up high
but the big blue sky.

The busy bee
had to agree:
do use your powers
stop playing with the flowers.

The shy butterfly
gave a small sigh -
I do beg your pardon,
it is cozy in the garden.

And I like to be at ease
with the flowers and the bees.
But I'll give it a try -
look at me fly high!

7. And then Dana drew a picture of a lion girl
so that we could show you that if you want instant color
the same could be done with felt.

This tutorial is part of the Sew-a-Softie project
organized by Trixi Symonds.
The tutorial list can be found here
and if you are inspired to take part you can post your creations
on instagram with the tag #sasday2016
for a chance to win some great prizes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My Summer Vacation: Scotland!

Ten lovely things from my vacation to Scotland:

1. There were more shades of green in nature 
than I could count, and all the drama you wish on vacation
was in the clear or cloudy skies.

2. Everybody we met was nice and chatty,
especially the sellers in the farmers' markets.

3. The animals were friendly as well.
A red rooster came to visit our rented farmhouse 
every single morning.

4. Even the rain had a sense of humor.
Walk about with a coat and an umbrella 
and you might get a drizzle.
But go to a castle on a cliff with only a light sweater
and it will pour buckets on you.

5. A lonely stone on a hilltop had the carving:
As still skies or storms unfold
take a moment to behold;
in sun, rain, sleet or snow
warm your soul before you go.

6. The cleanest public restrooms ever.
It had to be mentioned.

7. The dairy products (my favorite food group)
were delicious. When I saw the cows grazing quietly
in the open fields, I could understand why.

8. The tea-rooms with their amazing scones and cakes.
I felt I was in a Miss Marple mystery
(only without the bodies).

9. The little stream that run just outside the farmhouse,
the perfect setting for my morning coffee.

10. Most of all I liked the cool clean air.
I've been back for a single day in our hot and humid
summer and already I miss it so.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Grumpy Rapunzel

My hair is pure gold,
my heart true and good;
it's a disgrace that I'm locked
in a tower, in the wood.

I'm stuck in this place,
just me and the plait;
if a prince is coming
he is late for our date.

I've tried being patient
but it's too much to bear -
it takes me two hours
just to wash all that hair!

Featured: a small sampler made
from scraps of felt sewed together and embroidered

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Five Star Review

Five reasons I'm giving Five Stars to:
The Darling Dahlias
by Susan Wittig Albert

1. For me this is cozy mystery at its best.
A series of books (6 so far) with an interesting setting,
not too much blood and gore,
a light tone and very decent writing.

2. The time and place - the story is set in the small town of
Darling, Alabama, in the early 1930s.
A group of ladies get together to form the Darling Garden Club
and if they happen upon a mystery - they are on it.

3. The protagonist - we gradually get to know all the ladies
of the club and some of the town's people, but
the protagonist and my favorite character is
Miss Elizabeth Lacey, club president.
Lizzy is a legal secretary by profession,
a gardener and a writer, and as nice as they come.
She is said to look a little like Loretta Young.

4. Beyond the mystery plot this is the story of a small town
struggling with the Depression of the early 1930s.
There are a lot of domestic details, which I always love,
and a lot about the way the ladies help each other and the town
through these difficult times.

5. The message of these books, to my mind, is that
friendship and community are the best weapons to have
in times of adversity (and always).

Featured: My little bear is going to the library in style
in this brilliant car made by my dad

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mission Impossible

A little bear
set himself a mission -
he was going to climb
on top of a cushion.

The dolls said no,
it's too high at the top,
and asked quite nicely
whether he'd stop.

The bear was hurt
by their worry and doubt,
and decided it was time
to be out and about.

He laced his boots,
thought what to pack,
and finally decided
to take only a snack.

The dolls scowled
and began to scoff:
shoes on a cushion?
take them right off!

He started the climb
with his feet bare and cold,
but none of that mattered
he was feeling so bold.

At first it was fun,
he was going quite strong,
but two minutes later
it all went wrong.

His heart began racing,
his mouth was dry
and he was dizzy
from being so high.

He felt his feet go
and managed a frown
before starting to tumble
all the way down.

He fell on the sofa
so it wasn't rough,
and I'll say this for the dolls -
they tried not to laugh.

Featured: My nephew Ariel
climbing up a new crochet cushion.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

France Revisited




If, by chance,
you visit France
and want to have fun -
go south to the sun.

The blue sea will dazzle,
the pizza has basil,
a festival in Cannes,
and you can work on your tan.

A market, an old city,
the shops are so pretty,
the people are nice,
so - take my advice!