It melts my heart to watch as my kindergartner walks out of his classroom at the end of the day carefully holding his tender seedlings he planted at school. His sweet face lights up as he talks of the sunflowers these will grow into. Despite all his efforts, one doesn't quite make the trip home...but he is still hopeful it will grow if he continues to nurture it. I love that intrinsic sense of optimism in my five-year-old.
It was a beautiful Friday.
My dear friend Mimi is in town again and we got to spend the afternoon together at my house in the company of two other blog friends. I've only recently become acquainted with the blogs of Erika and Susan, but I became an immediate fan of both once I became familiar with their work. Susan's sweet daughter Hannah joined us and made such an impression on Julen he was still asking for her at bedtime. Just as all my past blog friend meet-ups have been, this get-together was just as easy and comfortable, there's an immediate bond that only we craft bloggers can understand.
I loved seeing Mimi's tattooed doll wips in person,
and it's only now sinking in how special this piece is
my love of vintage needlework did not escape Mimi. Did she say this came from her mom? Her MOM?!! And she's passing it on to me. Really, I am so touched and so grateful...it is truly special, something I have never seen before. It's the kind of design that has me digging through my vintage needlework wool stash anxious to start stitching.
I loved that I got to ask Mimi about my Purl girl that I started way back when. For some reason I got stuck when I was stitching the dress so just put her away for a while...but now I have renewed enthusiasm to finish after talking to Mimi about her.
Yes, it was a beautiful Friday indeed. Enjoy your weekend.
Her work is beautiful. I love my tulip cards she made. She took gorgeous polaroids of hand-selected tulips, printed them on water-color quality card stock and is offering them to us. You can find them here. They are just so, so pretty, I had to frame one to keep.
On Mother's Day my mind always seems to wander into the past. I reflect on my mom's life, her mom's life and so on. I like to just think about the lineage of women before me and how we are not only linked by blood, but also by the love of handwork. My mom's mom was a very skilled seamstress (wish she had lived long enough to teach me how to use a sewing machine!). My grandma knew how to do just about anything crafty. She crocheted plastic bread bags into rugs, she made dolls, quilted, painted, did macrame, embroidery, knitted...the list goes on. As far as I know, she made one cross stitch...this one.
My mom feels very nostalgic about this piece. While her father was in the service during WWII, my mom remembers being just a little girl, sitting with her mom as she stitched this. Waiting and waiting, as so many women did, for my grandfather's safe return. My mom has no recollection if she had used a pattern, but imagines it probably came from a woman's magazine.
After my grandmother passed away in the eighties (just before my grandfather passed), my mom and her only sibling, my aunt, divided the estate equally. Part of the agreement was my aunt was to keep their parent's house. Although my mom so dearly wanted the cross stitch, she felt it belonged on the fireplace where it had always been.
As a surprise for Mother's Day about ten years ago, I borrowed the cross stitch from my aunt and using it as my pattern, duplicated it for my mom. Below is the one I made.
As I've been dabbling once again in cross stitch, I wanted to see what it felt like to actually chart out a design. So I did. And I thought I'd share it here for any of you who may be interested.
The idea for these lavender sachets came to me after I finished stitching up this cross stitched one I made from a small kit I recently picked up at the thrift store.
It was a twenty-nine cent kit from the early 90's called Heirloom Thistle. The project was simple enough...just stitch the design on a long rectangle of fabric, fold in half, stitch up the three sides, and stuff with lavender.
Simple enough, but the cross stitching is a bit time consuming.
Tomorrow, I'm attending a Mother's Day lunch with some friends. The theme for the get-together is mom's celebrating mom's. Just this morning, I thought it would be fun to bring everyone a little gift but needed something quick and easy to make and these lavender sachets made from some vintage trims I've collected were the perfect thing.
I started by gathering materials. I used my widest trim which measures one-to-two inches across.
I cut a length of trim about eight inches long. Then folded it in half and using blanket, whip, or straight stitch I stitched the three open sides together stopping once at the top to add a bit of seam binding, ribbon or rick-rack for hanging, then again to fill with lavender. Even hand stitching, I managed to make these six in about an hour-and-a-half.
Won't they look pretty on a hanger or hanging from the rear-view mirror of the car? freshening the air with the scent of sweet lavender.
There are many ways to decorate these but we chose to go with a flower theme. They are quite easy for preschoolers to make once all the pieces are cut.
Here are the materials we used...wooden clothespins, wooden ice cream spoons, magnetic strips, buttons, felt and rick-rack.
We started by cutting out felt in the shape of the wooden spoon to use as the base. Then using precut flowers, flower centers and leaves, (cut using thismethod) the children arranged their design and glued it into place. Then they glued the decorated spoon onto the clothespin with the magnetic strip already attached on the back.
Here is the layout of all the pieces before gluing together.
And all glued together.
They were so sweet and very colorful...here's what the children made.
Just the perfect thing to clip a favorite card to the refrigerator.
For more Mother's Day gift ideas, here's what we made last year and here's what we made two years before that.
Yesterday, Julen accompanied me to Craftstravaganza, one of our best local art and craft sales.
We started the day off by visiting the Textile Centers' hosted workshops. I was enchanted by the spinning wheel demos. Watching raw wool spun into yarn is so magical. (have you seen Kim's beautiful work?) Of course I'd love a chance to learn how to spin some day.
They also had an activity for kids...making a teddy bear. This is Julen's (with some help from mama).
I was so happy to see my friend Lisa there. She's still making the most beautiful bibs and burp cloths I've ever seen...like the ones she gifted me before Julen was born. You can find her things for sale here.
I was also thrilled to meet lovely Alyssa, who happens to be friends with one of my dearest childhood friends. He had emailed me long ago to tell me about her work, but as she had already claimed fame on Etsy, I already knew her work well. She is quite a talent, not only making gorgeous plush creatures and animals, but she designs her own embroidery patterns and has even illustrated a children's book! I couldn't resist and went home with one of her darling cats. You can find her store here.
Then I went in search of Happy Go Lucky whose beautifully detailed needle felted mushroom house and girl I just had to see in person. (see it here on Flickr) I went home with a very affordable but equally as adorable fabric one that I know my preschoolers will love. Really, this was such a bargain, I'm still a bit shocked at what she was selling them for. If she had any left after the show, she may list them in her Etsy shop.
And how could I resist this sweetie? Leisure Suit Lap Dog, by All My Own. This little guy has so much character, he just makes me smile every time I look at him.
Finally, I just had to go home with this Scrappy Skein by My Friend London. I started knitting up a square as soon as I got home just to watch the colors and textures stitch together. This woolly ball is such a treat to work with...look for one in her Etsy shop once she gets caught up after the fair.