family tree

Phew- I really wanted to be able to post at least one doll before the end of the month.  Thank goodness for the extra day!

Two little woolly babes.


This one is the day baby with an orange cashmere bird.



This one is the night baby.  I guess I needed to try my hand at owl imagery…  so much owly goodness around the internet- I was inspired!


A moon “hat”-


The owl is cut from an angora-blend printed sweater.  I have found several printed, natural fiber sweaters.  I always grab them.  There is something odd and wonderful about them.  When I found this one, I thought it would be perfect for a kitty or wool hair.  Instead, an owl!

2 more babies with trees to finish.


I love pollarded trees.   It is something one rarely sees in the US.


I noticed a lot of these trees in London- they look like they have ornaments hanging from them.


And here is what I’ve been working on.  Trees on the mind.  I didn’t get much done on my travels.


This photo is from my walk yesterday.  Chilly flamingos!


inspiration at the V & A

I spent most of one of my days in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Since I didn’t have to be concerned about anyone else being bored, I could spend as much time as I wanted pulling out drawers and looking at textile samples- mostly embroidery and lace.  My arms were actually sore at the end of the day!  Taking photos is allowed (unlike most US museums), but the dim light combined with the glass cases, made it almost impossible to get a decent photo.  These photos will at least remind me of the treasures I saw.







I have a page full of names of artists to research.  The day at the museum will give me a starting place to find more inspiration.  I love the internet!

back from London

I’m back! There is so much to catch up on- isn’t that always the way.

It was Spring in London.


It was hard to come back to this-


I had a great time- went to the Victoria and Albert, Liberty’s, the Tate, walked my feet off, got my money’s worth from my Travelcard, met up with Shashi, did very little shopping but lots of looking.

This is what I brought home-

fantastic Liberty fabric – a vacation indulgence.

and nostalgic yumminess-


some of that bunch will be sent on to kiddos.  I am trying to catch up on my sleep so that I can think clearly again.

On the run


I will be away from my computer until next Monday. Then I will give you the London travel report- Yep, we are off tonight! As usual, I have been crazy ever since hearing about the trip- I am not a relaxed traveler… I might have mentioned that before. One thing I worry about is having nothing to work on. That happened on one trip we took. Since then, I always try to bring a project to work on, just in case. Even if very little ever gets done. The picture is of my work table with 4 swaddled babies started. I thought I could bring them along to work on the embroidery. I will be happier just knowing I have them.

Thanks for the blog birthday good wishes! See you soon!

a new bag

My new bag is done- another messenger/ schoolbag design. The last one I made was looking very worn out indeed. This is a very similar design. The changes- slightly bigger, longer and adjustable strap, slightly different pocket configuration, button closures.

I took these photos with the bag empty. The front-


You can see that I found my left-over pieces from the first bag and have used them up. With the flap up- 2 layers of pockets in the front.

The back- more of the old fabric. A large slip-in pocket in the back.

It is a real mish-mash of colors and fabrics. The purple on the inside is a home decorating fabric sample. The brown is cotton twill from a pair of pants. I recycled the hardware from an old schoolbag.

I’ve put my stuff into it. It seems so roomy now … but that won’t last long, I’m sure.

Onto other news. First- Happy Valentines Day everyone! And Happy 4th blog birthday to me! That was yesterday actually. I am constantly amazed at the wonderfulness of the internet. I am looking forward to another great year!

I AM going to London- the tickets are purchased and the hotel is booked. I am tagging along on a business trip. If anyone wants to meet up, I will be there from Wednesday through Sunday. I can bring freezer paper as a bribe!

The trip has meant a bit of reshuffling of schedules and as a result, on Tuesday, my son and I drove up to Portland, Maine. We went to visit the Maine College of Art. I love visiting these art schools. It is so much fun to see what is being created, all the tools and equipment, the amazing studios. And it surprises me that mostly I have no desire to go there anymore- I have so much in my head that going back to school would be a huge distraction… even if it would be fun to play with the toys- hee hee! It was fun to see Portland too. It is only 2 hours away but I have never been there before. They seem to have an exciting, thriving art scene. I think it would be a great place to go to Art School. We will see.

On the drive up, an entire thermos of coffee managed to leak out into the bag with my computer. Of course I spent the whole visit with a niggling worry that I had fried my computer. I brought it home for Ben to look at. Not too terribly bad. Now, two days later, I have an odd splotchy pattern on the left side of my screen- not so awful, except when I am trying to look at photos… which is, of course, what I do a lot of.  Hmm.  Maybe we will take it to the MacHospital while we are away…

fabric, bleach, storque


I went a little nuts on Friday and did another fabric purge.  I seem to do this about once a year- go through all the fabric I STILL have from my mom (and my own stash too) and decide  what I am ready to part with.  This time it was lots of wool- plaids, suitings in gray, navy, black and brown.  And also some silks, cotton knits, terry cloth, seersucker, etc, etc…   Things that I am very unlikely to use.   I worry that they will get ruined if I just leave them in the attic for another generation- how crazy would that be.

I was looking on Ebay to see if it’s worth trying to sell rather then donate it all to local fashion programs.  One of the auctions for wool yardage said that their fabric was all wool because they had done a bleach test on it.  I have never heard of a bleach test for wool so I googled it and found a description.   Now, I have a question about this- I can understand that bleach eats away natural fibers, but what if your fabric is a mix of wool and cotton or silk?  It would still dissolve, right?   Anyway, I tried it out and confirmed that some things were all natural and some things aren’t… so I know more then I did before.

Remember this post that started such an interesting discussion about buying handmade?   Since it was prompted by my visit to Etsy and my conversation with Vanessa who works on the Storque, I forwarded her a link to the post so she could see the thoughtful comments everyone left.  Vanessa wrote an article today that links to the post and quotes me and also some of you in the article.  I can’t wait to read the comments the article get- it continues to be a fascinating and important dialogue.

another scrappy cashmere scarf-

this time for me! With a trip to London looking very likely now, I figured I needed to do some wardrobe enhancement.


I’d been meaning to make this for a few weeks. I made the big decision of what colors to use and laid it out for a general idea more then a week ago- and then it just sat there-


When I heard the news about a possible trip, that was the push I needed and I put it together yesterday. I got some input from Eleanor since she has been wearing her scarf for more then a month now. She suggested that I make it wider. This one is about 14 1/2 inches wide. I put a lettuce edge on it. People think it is hard to do, but really it couldn’t be easier. I do a zigzag stitch around the edge- that is it. The zigzag stitch stretches the knit just enough to give it a ripple effect. What would really be hard would be to put a zigzag edging on a stretchy fabric and not have the waves.

Now I need to make myself a new bag!  Back to the drawing board…


It is looking as if I might have a chance to go to London in 2 weeks (around 2/21).  If that happens, could that lead to any fun, blog-related meet-ups?  Or is there anything going on that I should jump at the chance to see?  I think spending whatever time I had at the Victoria and Albert might be worth it, all by itself.