Monthly Archives: November 2017

Our Santa…



My dad was a police officer in Newark, NJ.  For many of his years on the force he worked in the Emergency Squad division.  During the long hours between calls the guys would keep themselves busy in various ways like cooking.  Near the Christmas holidays they always came up with a special project, like candle making for instance.

In 1956 they made Santas.  I still have ours.  Santa stands about 3 and 1/2 feet tall and is made from press board. After the outline was drawn the guys cut out the Santas and my dad set to work drawing the features, clothing and bag of toys.  At that point our Santa came home and my mother and I painted him.  I’m not sure how many coats of paint we used but Santa was spread out on our kitchen table for about a week before he was completely dry.  I don’t know what kind of paint we used either but here it is 61 years later and he’s not chipped or faded.  This was the only time I ever remember the three of us doing a family project together.

I love everything about this Santa, even the buttons being on the wrong side… but the thing I love the most is that he looks like my dad… a self portrait so to speak.

My creation

Below is my daughter Patty age 2 and 1/2 in 1966…


… and then her daughter (my granddaughter) Tiffany age 2 and 1/2 in 1991.


Here’s to Christmas memories ❤

Thanksgiving 2017…



For many it’s been a hard year yet there are always things to be thankful for.  Family.   Friends.   Health.


Thank you all who visit my blog and happy Thanksgiving ❤


Gingerbread here, there, and everywhere!

The holiday baking has taken over!

It's the most delicious time of the year again. It's mid-November, my house smells like gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and... curry chicken. Yes, we love our spices in this house. There are winter-themed paintings on my desk, scraps of red and green fabric all over the place, snowflake stamps, and the oven is working overtime.

I wanted to check in before the holiday madness completely takes over and I forget to blog about the latest happening in the studio...

Sewing, Crafts, & Family World

My son is obsessed with gingerbread stories... so much so that he wanted to be 'Gingerbread Baby' for Storybook Dress-up Day at his school. So, I made him a gingerbread man costume!

I've been painting ornaments and testing designs, but don't know how many I can complete by December so I can sell them. I also have greeting cards coming in the mail any day now.

Art & Design World

My web shop is finally open!

My paintings are on exhibit at the local library!


My gingerbread dudes are in a Spoonflower competition. Vote for it HERE if you like the pattern. You've got until November 28th to vote.

And, this will be the last full post on this blog here on the blogger site. So if you'd like to continue to follow my blog, it's on my website HERE.

Or if you use Bloglovin' to keep track of your blogs, you can add the new one here:


Thanks so much for reading! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental…

When I think of experimental I think back to my visit a few years ago to the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey.


This is the chem 1887 this was one of the best equipped chemical labs in the world. Within its walls, Thomas Edison and his chemists experimented on everything from phonograph records to rubber.  “Grand science, chemistry,” Edison once said, “I like it best of all the sciences.”




Here are just a few of Edisons inventions… memorabilia… anything and everything.

My creation

(Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Vineyard Morning…

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Review: Stitch Camp

Review: Stitch Camp post image

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First, the facts:

Title: Stitch Camp: 18 Craft Projects for Kids & Tweens

Authors: Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman

Published by: Storey Publishing, 2017

Pages: 196


1. Sew

  • Beanbag that is also a handwarmer
  • Felt envelope
  • T-Shirt Alchemy

2. Embroider

  • Mandala sampler
  • Art pillow
  • Scout badge

3. Felt

  • Arm warmers
  • Cut-and-sew mittens
  • Monster coin pouch

4. Knit

  • Phone sweater
  • I-Cord jump rope
  • Cord-slung backpack

5. Crochet

  • Beaded chain bracelet
  • Pencil roll
  • Hacked sack

6. Weave

  • Woven patch
  • Beaded key fob or necklace
  • Jar jacket
KS: Stitch Camp

The In-Depth Look:

This is a book I would have adored when I was younger–it’s filled with fiber arts projects for “kids and tweens.” The writers introduce it by saying, “When we started writing this book, it was called Fiber for Kids. We quickly enough realized that it sounded more like a breakfast cereal than a book–and not in a good way–so we renamed it. But fiber is still what this book is about.”

Sewing, knitting, crocheting, felting, embroidering, weaving. That pretty much hits all the “big” fiber related crafts, and even the ones not specified like quilting are kind of implied–it’s learning to wield a needle that is the first step, no matter what you aspire to make later on.

The how-to portions of each chapter are solid, filled with good instructions and useful illustrations on everything from sewing backstitch to knitting to creating a modified loom out of a piece of cardboard. Nothing is too advanced–this book is all about introducing new crafts, not about perfecting skills you might already have–but it does so with fun projects that are not intimidating. Weaving a keychain, sewing a beanbag … the projects are fun and playful–just like the youngsters who will be making them.

Seriously, this book and I would have spent a LOT of time together when I was ten. (Mom’s Girl Scout handbook from about 1950 just wasn’t the same.) The projects look fun, and if there’s anything that I can think of that would capture the interest of the next generation of crafters, that would be it.

Help spread the joy. If you have or know a young person who would enjoy exploring some of these radically old crafts (so old they’re new again), you should really take a look.

And me? It’s true I’m too old for this one, but I know just what I’m going to do with my review copy–a 9-year-old girl who loves books literally moved in next door two weeks ago, and this is the perfect welcome to the neighborhood gift!

Oh, and kudos for the perforated “handmade” gift tags printed into the back of the book to make sharing all these cheerful projects extra easy!

You can get your copy from your local shop or help support this site and order direct from Amazon!

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Storey Publishing. Thank you!

My Gush: Fun!

Veterans Day, November 11, 2017…

Thank you to all our veterans…


This All Veterans Memorial is at the World War II Lookout Tower in Cape May, New Jersey

“This eternal flame honors not only the veterans of World Was II of the Cape May area but also all area veterans who have nobly carried forth the torch of defending our nation.”

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Thank you to all veterans for your service to our country.


Last Show of the Year!

Icelandic Association of DC Christmas Bazaar in Fairfax, VA.

Come see me!

Then after a break at the beach the Etsy shop will be 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Temporary…

Prompt: What says “temporary” to you.


Fleeting stop for a seagull… even his tracks are temporary.

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Pattern Release: Chalk Hill Mitts

The Chalk Hill mitts are named for the Chalk Hill appellation in northeast corner of the Russion River AVA in Sonoma County. Primary varietals grown here include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

I know Chalk Hill best as my bike-leg nemesis for Barb’s Race in 2007, my first and only half-Ironman triathlon. (At the time, Barb’s Race was an all-women’s half-Ironman triathlon, run concurrently with the full Vineman, raising money for cancer support.) The Chalk Hill area is gorgeous, but, oh, going up that hill was hard! The downhill and ride back to the transition area was awesome, though!

Cabled stitch pattern is both charted and written.

Read about the Winery Knits collection here.

Women’s Small (Large); to fit 6–7 (7–8)” / 15–18 (18–20.5) cm hand circumference

Finished Measurements
Palm circumference, unstretched (note the lace cable pattern is quite stretchy): 5.75 (6.5)” / 14 (16.5) cm

Shalimar Paulie Fingering, 60% Merino Wool / 20% Camel / 10% Silk / 10% Cashmere goat, 420 yds / 115 g, 1 skein, shown in size Large in Buttermilk

US 1 (2.25 mm) needles, or size to obtain gauge, for working in the round
US 0 (2 mm) needles for ribbing, or one size smaller than needle to obtain gauge, for working in the round

32 sts and 48 rounds = 4” / 10 cm in Stockinette Stitch
Cable pattern, unstretched: 2.25 (2.5)” / 5.5 (6.5) cm

yarn needle, waste yarn, 3 stitch markers

cabling, maintaining stitch patterns