other tools for ornaments



I played with some new-to-me supplies/tools when I was working on the patterns. I didn’t write them into the pattern directions because they aren’t necessary, maybe just interesting.

Have you heard of Frixion pens? They are erasable gel pens. There is an eraser at the end of the pen, but much more useful for me, the marks are erasable by ironing. That sounds like magic, doesn’t it! Well, there is a problem. Yes, the marks disappear with heat but they will reappear with cold. I would never use them on my dolls, but an ornament? I don’t think it is that big a deal if the marks came back a bit. The marks are either cutting lines or will be covered with embroidery. And, you could always iron them again. The thing is, these pens work great on the felt- so much better than the water-erasable fabric pens! I got mine on Amazon but I think they are available at lots of places. (btw- that link goes to amazon and if you buy the pens, I get a teeny tiny kickback!)

Next, Clover Applique pins. Short pins that work really well for pinning all those tiny felt pieces. You don’t end up trying to sew the equivalent of a porcupine.

And lastly, Merchant and Mills Bulb pins. I have been wanting to play with these funny safety pins. I discovered that I could pin them onto an ornament to hang it, instead of a string. And, I just wanted them.

Ornaments Live!

I have posted my 5 new pdf ornament patterns into my etsy shop here! I am SO excited about these. I had so much fun and can’t wait to make more but back to work on dolls for a while first. To celebrate, I will give away 10 patterns! Leave a comment saying which one you’d like and I will pick ten winners after Monday (7/20, ends at midnight eastern US time). One entry per person, right?!

There is the whale-

Whale ornament cover.pdf”

Felt fish, perfect for embroidery embellishing! If you fill it with catnip, your kitty will love you (even more).

Fish Pattern cover

An adorable Star Baby. You could embroider the back with a name and date for a baby’s first Christmas.

etsy Star Baby cover

A Gnome- or maybe an elf? Santa’s helper?

Gnome Ornament cover

And a Winter Girl- This would actually make an adorable little doll, don’t you think?

winter girl ornament cover

Okay then. Let’s have a giveaway! Please come over to comment on the blog (no emails).


ornaments on the horizon

I know it has been pretty quiet over here. It has not been quiet in my life! I am making great progress on my ornament patterns and hope to publish 5 designs in mid-July, when I get back from Portland, Oregon.

7:2:ornaments 1

And, I took another trip down to Brooklyn for some West Elm business- that made the 3rd trip to NY in 5 weeks! I stopped in Connecticut to see family. I’ve spent some time making new clothes- I really ought to do a post about that. But, mostly I have been concentrating on pattern writing and photo taking.

7:2:ornaments 2

And, wow, is my desk messy. Lots and lots of tiny bits of paper and thread and felt.

7:2:ornaments 5

And samples and more samples.

7:2:ornaments 6

I’m hoping to be back to the regular making schedule once I am back from my trip and the patterns are ready.

Cooper Bag by Colette Patterns

I am so behind on all the things I want to post about! I wanted a travel bag and so bought a pattern for the Cooper Bag. After I bought the pattern, I realized that I would never make it unless I scheduled a time. So, I signed up for a class at Gather Here- 3 evenings in May. It was a lot of fun to get out of the house and make something completely different and spend time with other makers!

6:8:bag 1

Here it is, all finished, front and back.

6:8:bag 3

And the inside-

6:8:bag 2

And here I am, testing it out on my recent trip to NYC.

6:8:bag 4

My thoughts on it after my trip. It is a great size for an overnight or weekend bag. I could fit everything I needed into it. It is too big for what I want in an everyday bag though, so that means I need to find something else to cover that. I think I would prefer strap closure to the snaps (or in addition to)- the snaps worked well but if I tried to over-stuff, even a little, I couldn’t secure the bag closed. I wish it had a secure outside pocket for things like tickets. The pockets at the bottom back edge are so public (?)- it felt like anything I put there could so easily be slipped out by someone behind me. I put an umbrella in one and a notebook in another. Those are all minor criticisms though- the bag worked well for my trip and I know I will get a LOT of use out of it!

Sew Mama Sew toy drive

Back in March I was over on Sew Mama Sew as part of their 6 weeks of softies. The 6 weeks are over and people made some amazing pieces which you can check out here. They are also doing a toy drive and are looking for more donations.

4:18:toy drive

This is what Kristin + Beth sent me-

I have a favor to ask. We are accepting donations to the Soft Toy Drive through the end of the month. So far I have a couple dozen contributions, but I’d love to be able to send at least 200 toys to the National Foster Parent Association conference in June. I heard from so many people involved in foster parenting who all agree that foster children often show up at a new home with hardly any personal belongings. Having a toy that is all their own to love and keep would mean so much. If you could help us spread the word to your readers, I would really appreciate it. All the information is in this post.

I am going to send in some pieces that were made as samples for books or prototypes for toys. I never knew what to do with them and this seems perfect. Maybe you have something to contribute?


Anniversaries, medals and patterns

Well, that is an odd collection of things! This is how they are all related-

Hurray! Today is my blog birthday- it has been 11 years! I have been working on felt you-deserve-a-medal prototypes (more on that later) so I made myself one. Don’t I look mighty proud?


My medal says blogger- it has a gold star for 10 years plus a white star for 1 year.

2:13:my medal

These are the rest of the medal prototypes I’ve been making, inspired by many things including this fellow, Lord Kitchener.


And the reason for the prototypes? This is a class I will be teaching (a project I will be leading?) at the ARC, the Art Stream Art Retreat Camp. There is a story about where the idea started. Last year, at one of the markets I was doing, someone came into my booth, looked around and asked, “Why are these so expensive?” I hate that question. It immediately puts me on the defensive and I get all huffy. Later I was thinking that one of the reasons I charge what I do is that I’ve done the work, I’ve been validated as an artist, I have a seal of approval. And wouldn’t it be great to have an actual seal of approval that I could pull out! And medals for all the “battles” I’ve fought along the way. Really, we all have fought the battles, have the scars, and deserve the medal so lets make our own.

Lastly, the patterns. Back here I talked about why I pulled my patterns from Etsy. Well, it looks like they’ve got things figured out so I will be putting them all back up. To celebrate, I have lowered the price of all the patterns to $8 for all of February. Here is a shop link.

And guess what? More snow on the way!


2 with no saucers

Lots of times I find nice cups that have no saucers. Some days I think it’s fine, other days not. Well, these ones came home and have their own little worlds now.

Can you see that this cup has Paul Revere on his famous ride?

2:9:tw 8a

2:9:tw 8b

This one is a summer flower garden of roses- how could I resist!

2:9:tw 9a

2:9:tw 9b

I have put my tiny world pattern back in my Etsy shop and it is on sale for $8 for a few days. Also, I will be putting all of these pin cushions in the shop, hopefully by tomorrow night.