Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Love My Row Counter!

Here are the booties that I made using the row counter and they are perfectly sized.

I just love that counter ♥
This pair is listed on

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tools of the Trade

The first step in making my treasures is usually done while watching TV with my family or riding in the car. Although this this allows me to spend time with my family and hubby always does the driving, I have found that my space is always cluttered with the little things I need or there just isn't enough room in the car to have what I need surrounding me to get the job done.

When making two identical items, such as booties, I need to keep track of every row to ensure they come out the same size. I was constantly loosing track of my pen and paper and it would break my rhythum to stop and make a tick mark each row. And not to mention, my needles were stuck in the arm of the chair which my family avoided at all costs in fear of being stabbed.

With these challenges in mind, I set out to make something that would help me keep track of the rows and keep my needles at bay.

I crocheted a flat piece and tossed it in the washer to felt. I used soy yarn, which comes out extremely stiff and is incredibly cool! Once that was nice and stiff, I crocheted strings threaded with plastic beads. There are two rows of 10 beads each. (Perhaps I may need to add more rows for larger projects in the future, but for now it is working like a charm!)

Now while I am working, I just need to move the beads from one side to the other to keep track of my rows. I can do this easily with my left hand, so I don't need to actually stop each row and I always know exactly where I left off if I need to set the project down and walk away. Also, I can keep my needles neatly tucked into the side so my family won't fear sitting in the chair! I think I will add a little pouch on the back to hold a pair of sissors as well!

I whipped up a pair of booties last night and thoroughly enjoyed TV as I didn't have to count or pay attention to what row I was on. And they came out perfect!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Back To Basics

Last week I was trying to figure out my next project.

I had just ordered a large box of wool and it was delivered on time and with no back orders. There is nothing more exciting to me than opening up that box when it comes.

But, as I sat there surrounded in beautiful shades of pinks, blues and greens, nothing jumped out at me. So, I set the yarn aside and waited. And waited. Two days later, I picked up my hook and jumped in. About half way through, I tore it all apart, put the wool aside and waited. And waited some more.

Then it dawned on me, that I was just trying too hard. I told myself to concentrate on color and shape. So, hook in hand I just chose yarn that I liked and worked it up focusing on shape, not necessarily design. The results:

I think we just need to return to basics sometimes to get the motivation going again. ♥

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Inspiration from Nature

I am blessed to live in a beautiful area of Central NY State that soothes in the summer, wakes you in the spring, alerts all your senses in the fall and reminds you that Mother Nature is certainly in charge during the winter. I am located at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and every day is a celebration.

Every day that I look out the window or drive to work, I find myself scoping out the view and thinking how could I capture that in my work?

One of my favorite pieces reminds me of summer and those long dreamy days, when the sun warms you while laying in the grass watching the clouds roll by. How can life get any better than that?

This bowl is made with both wet felting (fulling) and needlefelting techniques. I have tried to capture the carefree days of summer.

I am also inspired by flowers. Although I do not have the greenest thumb on the block, I do love flowers. In fact, I love them so much that I don't even try to grow that many as it really comes down to how long can they last before I kill them. I just can't be that cruel. But, I love to add them to my designs.

Both these pots are made with wet felting (fulled) techniques.

And then there are the trees. I look out my window each morning and I look at the grandfather of all grandfathers of maple trees. The base is at least 8 feet across at the base. Although he is going bald and loosing many of his limbs, I love that old tree. It will be a sad day when we need to cut him down, but he has had a majestic life.

This bowl was a custom order in which I tried to capture the great sequoia trees. They are truely amazing!

Birds are also one of my favorites. This little bluebird pin is so dainty and sweet.

When ever I am creating a new treasure that includes nature it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I sometimes get lost in my thoughts and don't come up for air until they are complete, all the while traveling to another place and time.
I can only hope that I will continue to represent nature at it's best and continue to improve as I produce more and more treasures.

What inspires you?

Saturday, April 12, 2008


With Mother's Day soon approaching, I have been thinking about my own mother so often lately. And while deep in thought of great memories, I also have to think of how much women of this era have contributed to our current days.

Mom will be 79 this summer and is a product of the depression, was a young woman during WWII and survived the 60's as a young mother. She saw her son through Vietnam and was part of the women's movement in the workforce. Yet, she was very quiet, reserved and very, very frugal during those times in her life. I guess I haven't seen her as a piece of all these changes and events until I really stopped to think about it. I would like to dedicate this entry to her. Thank you for visiting this long winded blog ♥

Anna was born in 1929, a year in which the depression was just starting. However, her father owned a vegetable canning company and things were fairly well for the new family. Bertha, her mother, was a home maker and as the family grew, they held their own. It wasn't until a few years later that tragety stuck with an accident killing Leo, leaving Bertha, Anna and then Margaret and Al on their own. In 1936, there was no Social Security benefits, so Bertha used her creative mind to keep the family together. In addition to taking in custom sewing and boarders, she would find ways to earn enough money to survive. Things were sparse and my mom recalls Christmas as celebrations with an orange as a special treat.

My mother learned to sew, knit and crochet from Bertha and I love the thought that in a round about way, I learned from Bertha as well. Well, back to Anna...

Now, in late 1930's - the start of WWII Anna was becoming a young woman. She started working in an office and sometimes today, I will see her doodling all her little shorthand characters that she studied so hard to learn. Now there is a lost art! Short hand - do they even teach that anymore?

She spent these years working and helping her mother and assisting in the causes of the war effort. She was a new breed of women, a woman who could take care of herself and had skills that were marketable.

The war ended offically on August 14, 1945 - My Mothers Birthday! She has the honor of sharing this special day with all the world, for indeed, that was a great, great day.

In 1952, she married my father, Neal, who was a cabinet maker at the time and had served in WWII in Navy in the Pacific. Things were changing and this couple was to be in the center of it all. Even though they were not in the public eye, they were part of the generation that would set the standards. Life would never be as they knew it again.

I was the youngest of three - and Mom was a homemaker until I went to school full time. The things I remember most in my early years include her playing nursery rhymes on the piano to us, always sewing or knitting and our red and white chrome kitchen table. Odd combination, I know, but memories are memories.

She rejoined the work force in the mid-60's - A time of civil rights movements and when women were just finding their way in corporate America. She returned to school and worked her way from bank teller to Secretary to the bank president in a few short years. She was of the generation when women no longer stayed home. Hers was the generation that made it possible for our generation to get equal wages and be recognized as capable employees. Hind site is incredible - we didn't know it then, but looking back, I am amazed at every woman who was part of this era. We take these rights and advantages for granted now, but women at that time certainly needed to fight for these things.
I was young in the 60's, but I still remember watching JFK's assination on TV and the mood of the American population. As Jackie K set the fashion for this generation, I remember my mother making stylish suits for herself, with matching hats and even wearing the white gloves. She would make matching dresses for my sister, myself and herself.
My mother would make everything - and she still owns and uses the black singer sewing machine that her sister gave her as a wedding gift in 1952. She never bought curtains, tablecloths, rarely bought clothes - she made them herself. When I was a teen and started showing horses, she made me the most incredible riding habit. Now that I think of it, I had my own custom seamstress. I wish I would have appreciated more at the time!
Once Mom became a grandmother, she would knit and sew for her grandchildren and now she has 2 great grandsons! She still knits and sews, she shovels her own driveway when the snow comes and she mows her own lawn. She will be 79 on August 14 - The day WWII ended.
When women realize that "they have become their mother" and are disappointed, I say that I could only wish to become my mother. She played such a vital role in what the world has become and has opened the path to women of the future. In their own quiet way, women of her era did SOOO much for the women of today.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Felted Booties

Felted baby booties are adorable, no doubt about it. And there are so many different styles, textures and colors.

I was testing bootie patterns for awhile now, and finally came up with one that I love to make and come out so sweet. Simple, yet functional and sweet.

I may play with some different color combos in the near future, but really, aren't these adorable?

Sweetness !

Monday, April 7, 2008

Felted Books?

Felted books? Well, of course!

I have been playing with making felted books for over a year and although my home grown lab mice have grown up and left home, I have a 2 year old grandson and a 3 year old god daughter to take their place.

Warren and Mila have been the lucky ones that get to test out these treasures during the development stages and they are a hit! These books are durable, colorful and soft. They love to look at the pictures and make up their own stories as they go and it is a delight to seem them learn how to handle books and turn pages all the while babbling in their precious baby talk.

I will say that the first few prototypes were rather primative and I learned so much during the process. But the end result was worth it.

The cover is knit with 100% wool and wet felted until the fibers are bound into one fabric. The pages are made with cotton or flannel prints. Now I am constantly stalking the fabric shops for bright interesting prints to turn into a felted book.

Every toddler should have one of these treasures.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Having a ball

I have finally perfected a felted ball pattern that is a favorite with toddlers.

This version is completely finished when coming out of the washer and needs no additional sewing up seams.

I am crocheting the balls (various sizes) and inserting polyfill. Then I crochet it up nice and tight and then felt it. This one came out so soft and perfectly round. You can be sure I will be making more of these!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Update to the Bracelet Delimma

Ok - I think I may have it now... just enough without overdoing.

Now, I must get the needles out and start knitting