Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let’s Make Some (Wool Dough)Christmas Sugar Cookies!

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Christmas cut-out sugar cookies?  They are so much a part of our Christmas holidays baking, that I really can’t imagine not having them.
Ever since last Christmas Holiday season I wanted to make some wool Christmas Cookies.  I couldn’t fit the “baking” into my work schedule until now. 
I started with the background “plate”. ….
christmasSugars1With this background, like the backgrounds on “Witchy Things”, “Jacks & Cats” and “Just Pumpkins”, no measuring is required for the shape placement since the shapes are all ready cut out in the background wool “plate”.
My cookies are ready to be pinned on and stitched now.
ChristmasSugars2 MMmmm, sugar cookies!
I used thick, coat weight wool for the cookies.  The thickness makes the cookies look almost real.

ChristmasSugars2a All the cookies are blanket stitched in place in no time at all!

ChristmasSugars3But I like my cookies with icing!

ChristmasSugars4  The icing is whip stitched on!
But, I also like some sprinkles on my Christmas Sugar Cookies …
ChristmasSugars Does this not make you want to go in the kitchen and bake now?
I liked how this turned out so well, that I wanted to make a plate full of cookies to go with the candle mat …
ChristmasSugars6 These cookies could be used as bowl fillers, or as ornaments….

Christmassugars5 But make sure you tell the grandchildren to not eat them!

ChristmasSugars7 Of course this Sugar Cookie Candle Mat would look nice with a candle in the center, but a plate of Christmas Cookies would be absolutely yummy delicious too.

I have to write the instructions for this new design pattern but it should be ready to sell by early next week. 
Watch for the updates!
Happy Day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seeing is Believing!?

A big huggable thanks to my email friend and reader, Marla, for giving me that final kick "in the roost" to blog today.
I'm here!  I'm alive!  :)

I'm working on a new wool project and it's definintely Christmas related but I'm not telling you anymore about it until it's closer to completion ... which will probably be either tomorrow or the next day. 

SO, the other day, late morning, I happened to glance at the thermometer that we have on our kitchen windowsill.
This is what it said the outside temp was ....

Now, I did hear that Los Angeles was hit with a heat wave of temps over 100 degrees yesterday, but I live in Pennsylvania, where we should be having Fall temperatures.
Imagine my shock at seeing that it was 107 degrees!
I must be really slow on thinking/reasoning skills because my first thought was "I better turn the furnace off and the air conditioner back on." 
Then it occurred to me that we never get temps this high, especially not in early fall.  Something must be wrong with the thermometer. (DUH). 
All it took was one step outside to find out that indeed, our indoor/outdoor thermometer had gone berserk.  I was very gullible for about 10 seconds.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Googled Our House

Before I type about my googling experience with our house, I have to send out a big thank you to all who have ordered my newest pattern, “Witchy Things”.  You should be receiving the patterns in the mail shortly.

I’ll still keep the pattern at the special $8.50 price for another day, so if you’re interested in purchasing it, just click the Paypal button over there to the left. The pattern will still also include the gray wool that is used for the witch’s socks too.

So, the other day, Rachel discovered that Google had updated their maps for our area.
We typed in our house address in Google Maps just to see what our house looks like from the sky.
I’ve some problems with what we found….

Do you see where that red flagged "A" is pointing? 
According to Google, that's where we live. .... out in the middle of a field.
This new update indicates that we've improved our living area, because the previous, old map had us living in the woods to the left, right by the road.
I much prefer the sun shining over us.
For those who don't know us, no, we aren't homeless and we don't actually live in the woods or out in an open field.
The map requires us to scroll up a bit to find our house ....

OK, good.  There's our house and we estimate that this picture was taken sometime in June because there's our new roof and our new car.
Let's take a closer look, shall we?  I can show you some issues that I have with this picture that is shown to people around the world....  (If you click on the picture, it will show it bigger)
I wish that Google would give us advance warning that they will be taking a picture of our home.  That way we would have an opportunity to make ourselves picture pretty and perfect.  I could even cut a special message in the grass like, "Hello Google!" or "OUR HOUSE IS OVER HERE" with an arrow pointing from the orchard over to our house.
As it is now, there are some major flaws that I would like to have fixed ...
See where I've marked the "A" and the arrow?  That's my car, parked wonky on our driveway.  Normally, I NEVER park my car like that.  Actually, normally, my car would be parked in the garage.  Had I been given notice, I would have had my car parked more carefully, either with it in the garage, or lined up nicely in front of the garage. 

See point "B" with the arrow? 
Point B looks like an odd blob in the lawn but it's a chaise lounge chair with a little kid's wading pool beside it.
Had this picture been taken just a little earlier, it would have been hilarious because it would have shown our daughter, Rachel, laying out in her bikini, in the chair, with her feet dangling in the pool water.
Gosh, that would have been funny.
I bet there are lots of embarrassing Google map pictures out there though.

Point "C" with the arrow and ?? means that area should be showing my really nice circle of planted flowers in that spot but because of their bad camera angle, the tree shadows it and it can't be seen.
I think if they are going to show our personal property to internet people around the world we should have a say in what is shown and darn it, I want my pretty flowers showing in this picture.

Point "D" is an unidentified vehicle.  We think it might be Rachel's boyfriend's truck, but we're not really sure.
The red car parked at the side of the driveway is Rachel's car and it's parked oddly too.  I don't know what was going on that day with our cars parked at odd angles but gosh, that's just not normal and I'm upset that Google caught us looking like this.  :)

So, if you haven't Google mapped your house, it's time that you did.  Just go to Google Maps , type in your address and be surprised!
If you live on a main road, there might even be a street view of your house.  That's interesting to see too.
Just always remember though, be very careful of what you do in your backyard because even when you think that no one is looking, there's a chance that someone is looking and then showing it to the world.

Happy Day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

“Witchy Things” New For Halloween!

Witchy Things2
This is my newest design called “Witchy Things”.
It measures about 12 1/2” round. I’ve shown it made with 100% wool, but just like most of my patterns, it can easily be made with woolfelt too.
When I initially drew this candle mat design, I had intended for it to be just witch hats.  I didn’t feel like stitching 8 witch hats with the same exact details though.  I easily become bored with stitching the same thing over and over. So, I came up with the idea of witch’s shoes.
I think it worked out quite nicely and I had zero boredom when it came to stitching it too. 
So…yesterday, I was watching our grandson for the day and I showed him this new “Witchy Things” mat.  He spotted the spiders first, pointing to one of them and excitedly said “SPIDER!”.  I asked him what else he saw on the mat and to my disappointment, he pointed to another spider and said “another spider”.  He continued doing this with my questioning until I gave up.  I don’t think he ever did see the witch shoes or hat.  He loved those spiders so much that nothing else mattered.
Personally, I love the witch socks the most.
100_4481 The “Witchy Things” Wool Candle Mat is now available as a pattern.
To purchase the pattern, just click on the Paypal button over there to the left.
If you don’t wish to pay with Paypal, just email me at , and I’ll give you my mailing address so that you may send me a check instead.

Wool Kits will be available for this also.  If interested, just email me and I'll send you an invoice for payment.
Wool kit includes all the 100% wool needed to complete the pattern.  Price also includes the pattern and the shipping cost  (US customers only.  International customers will just pay a little more for shipping.)

Happy Day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Day Of The Pet Peeves

Maybe it has to do with waking up at 3 am to stumble to the bathroom because I drank too much ice tea after dinner and then waking up at  5 am and  having trouble getting back to sleep only to wake up at 6am to hear hubby leaving for work and then waking up again at 7 to hear Rachel getting ready for work.  Yea, that's why I'm grumpy right now and that's why I want to make today the very special day to talk about mine and YOUR  Pet Peeves.

To me, pet peeves are my excuse to gripe about something.  I need to gripe now and then just to help get over the grumpiness that will set in IF I don't gripe.
Pet peeves are things that aren't annoying enough to get me angry.  They're just bothersome things that I know won't ever change so I just have to either avoid the peeve or if that's not possible, then I have to accept them as being bothersome and deal with it.
For instance:
Every stinking time I go to Walmart, the deodorant aisle is always full of people.  What the heck is the attraction with deodorant?  If you go to Walmart, just stand at the end of the aisle and do some people watching.
That's what I did the other day, simply because there were so many people in there staring at deodorant that I couldn't get in to get mine.

First of all, there are just way too many types and brands of deodorant.  Since they're all small bottles/containers there are dozens of diffferent types all in one 10 foot section of Walmart aisle space, so I can understand why a lot of people can be standing in a small area of aisle space.  But sheesh,  I know what brand I use, so it's just a matter of 30 seconds to walk down the aisle, select my brand, place it in my shopping cart and walk away.
While people watching, I discovered that just about all the people standing there were confusing the deodorant aisle with the perfume aisle.
People were actually taking the lids off the bottles and sniffing.  What the heck? 
I can't understand why deodorants need to have a scent anyway.  I always buy the unscented.  I have scented soaps, scented shampoos, conditioners and lotions.  I don't need anymore scent added to those scents, especially not an armpit deodorant scent.
Apparently though, I'm the only one there in the Walmart deodorant aisle that feels that way.
Do we really want to respond to a "you smell so nice, what's that scent you're wearing?" with a " oh, that's my Soft & Dry!  It's called "Passion Flower", you should try it!".

Oh, I feel so much better now that I've expressed my sincere displeasure about  the Walmart deodorant aisle!

I feel so much better that I'm going to share with you a really fun driving tip.
When out driving and an impatient driver happens to blow his/her horn at you for some stupid reason?  All you have to do in response is excitedly wave and smile at the horn the impression that you know him/her.  This instantly confuses the hornblower.  Their reaction is just so precious and you drive away with a big smile because you've totally messed with this guy's/gal's head.  
Oh, the fun!

Ok, now it's YOUR turn. Feel free to share one of your own pet peeves.   Get it off your chest and we can laugh about it together.

Happy Pet Peeveless day everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Design Sneak Peak

It’s yet to be named but it’s almost complete

I’ll give you a picture for a quick sneak peak …

Witchythingshat I should have this candle mat ready to show in a couple days.

I’m often asked how long it takes me from start to finish when making a new design. 

Wisely, I never keep track of my time.  I don’t think I really want to know.

Once the clear idea is in my head, I’ll sketch it out on paper.

I have a collection of sketches laying about. 

Here’s two rough sketches for penny rug tablerunners that I did last year.  They’re still hanging on my computer cabinet door….

I look at these every stinkin’ day!

100_4480 Gosh, I really like these drawings, but I just haven't had the time to work on them. 

That fall one on the bottom is going to have to wait yet another year to be created because I’ve run out of time for fall things. 

The Christmas fireplace one, I have high hopes to work on that one soon. 

So anyway, once the design in my head is sketched out on paper, I’ll completely redo it, measuring and adjusting the sizes of each little element so that it fits properly in it’s space.

Once I get the sizes and shapes drawn perfectly, I’ll trace each individual piece to create the pattern for it. 

Then I’ll focus on the colors.  Sometimes, I’ll color it in with colored pencils just to give me a better idea of color combinations. 

I always tend to take lots of time getting the wool colors just right, so once it’s finally decided, then the rest is easy for me.

But  how many hours from start to finish?  No idea whatsoever.

I’ll just say LOTS.  :)

My sister, Casserole Carol and her husband had stopped over last week to annoy me  to visit and they saw my latest design just in the beginning sketch stages.  So whatever day that was, until yesterday was how long it took me to create this witch hat and shoes mat.

In other news, our Rachel finally started a paying job today. 

She’s been bored to death for about a month now since she finished up her internship at the Pittsburgh BLA .  (She doesn’t allow me to type in the name of the place where she worked but it rhymes with kaZOO)

I’m not exactly sure what this new job will entail other than she will represent everything and anything to do with Granite. 

I’m going to miss her during the day.  In just a month’s time, I’ve grown used to her being around.  She’s a constant source of entertainment … in other words, the girl is just plain wacky.

Ok, I’ve things to get done …. grass to be cut, doors to be painted, file cabinets to be cleaned, and a lily to be planted.

Happy Day everyone!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Easy Way To Mottle Your Wools

Much thanks to Suzanne, a reader, who reminded me the other day that I forgot to show how to use coffee to overdye and mottle wool.

Before I get to that though, I need to talk about steam pressing wool.

The picture that I had posted the other day of my newest, easy “Just Pumpkins” pattern design really bothered me.

Here’s the one that is bothersome to me:

just pumpkins 3

I had forgotten to steam press this after I finished stitching it.

See how the bottoms of the pumpkins don’t lay flat?

Here’s how much nicer it looks when it’s steam pressed:

100_4476 There!  That’s much better!

To steam press this, all I did was flip it over to the backside and using a pressing cloth and lots of steam, I lightly ironed it.

Now, only do this with 100% wool.  Don’t steam press it if you’ve used woolfelt, especially if it’s felted woolfelt.  Otherwise, the steam will take all those nice puckered bumps out of the woolfelt. 

So, the patterns for this “Just Pumpkins” candle mat is being printed today so it will be ready for mailing tomorrow.

If you wish to order it, just click the Paypal button over there on the left to purchase.  If you don’t wish to pay by check instead, just email me and I’ll give you my address and payment info.

Pattern price is a very special $7.00, which is $2.00 off the regular price. 

Ok, mottling the wool time.

I had shown in an earlier post how to darken wool by using coffee.

Here’s a quick and really easy way to mottle it, (creating shades of spotty color)

I’m using a small piece of light brown wool for this but any color can be successfully mottled.

Warning! Don’t try this with Wool Felt!  Make sure you’re only doing this with 100% wool

First, you’ll want to soak your wool for a bit in some hot soapy water.


I use a bit of shampoo to soak it but regular liquid dish soap will work just fine too.  I soak it in my kitchen sink while I get everything else ready. 

Turn the oven on:

100_4447 Temperature can be either 325 or 350.  If it’s set at 350, you need to really watch the progress closely so that it doesn’t burn.

You’ll need an old baking pan that you don’t use for cooking/baking anymore.  I have an old white enamel one that’s the size of a cake pan.  For larger pieces, I use an old cookie sheet that has sides.

100_4458 Take your wet wool out of the sink .. no need to rinse the soap out unless you used a lot of soap.

arrange the wool in the pan so that it fits without going up the sides.  It’s ok to bunch up the wool .. acutally, it’s better if the wool is bunched up because it makes nicer mottles that way.

Take some extra strong coffee and pour it over the wet wool.

Depending on how dark you want the mottles to be depends on how much coffee to pour on it.

If you want lots of deep shading, only pour enough coffee over it to soak it completely.  If you want just light mottling, pour more coffee over it so that it’s completely covered with liquid.

100_4459 Now stick it in the oven. 

The coffee will bake into the wool, usually about 30 minutes is all that is needed, but if you want the mottles really dark, watch it closely because the longer the wool bakes, the dryer the wool becomes and once the coffee has evaporated from that pan, your wool will burn.

I’ve actually let the wool burn a bit if I wanted really dark shading, but always keep a close eye on it.  Your nose will be doing most of the work for you because it’s going to start smelling pretty funky in your kitchen after about 15 minutes.  Naturally, the longer it bakes the stronger the smell so your nose will warn you to go check it.

Since I just want a little mottling on this wool, there’s still quite a bit of liquid left in the pan so when I think it’s baked long enough, I drain it in the sink while rinsing it with COLD water….

100_4460 Heavily mottled wool, since it’s baked almost dry, will sometimes stick a bit to the pan, so use be sure to use tongs and care when removing it from the pan to rinse.

After it’s rinsed with COLD water, I always add just a dab of some shampoo or liquid dish soap to the rinse water.  The soap helps to get the coffee smell out of the wool. Just a note … if you haven’t baked the wool long enough, then rinsing with soapy cold water will take quite a bit of the coffee back out, so it’s important to make sure that the wool has baked long enough for the coffee to heat set into the wool.

Once it’s completely rinsed, using COLD water, gently squeeze it out and throw it in the dryer with an old towel, or I use a couple pairs of old mens jeans.  The dryer will set the color in, so be sure not to skip this step and dry it out on the clothesline.

Dry it completely and then admire your newly mottled wool!


Happy Day everyone!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

“Just Pumpkins”New Design, New Pattern

Yet another reason why I love my blog so much is that it’s easy for readers to contact me with pattern suggestions and ideas.

I’ve had enough requests from readers now to understand that some are looking for simple designs that are quick and easy to make.

Since just about all of my patterns are more detailed and somewhat labor intensive, I’m focusing now on options for the beginner.

“Jacks & Cats” was the first one and here’s the second beginner option:

just pumpkins 2 “Just Pumpkins” measures 12” across and only requires black, pumpkin orange and a little bit of green wools. 

This is one of those quick easy ones to make for a handmade gift too.

just pumpkins 3 Again, I’m going to offer this pattern at a very special pre-order price of only $7.00, which includes the shipping and international customers.  After the pattern is printed, the price will go to the regular selling price of $9.00. 

It’s PRE-ORDER pricing though so that means the pattern is not printed yet, but will be soon.  As soon as it’s printed, hopefully by Thursday, it will be mailed out.

Pre-orders are helpful to me so that I can get a good idea of the designs popularity.  I can better judge how many printings I should order so that I don’t sell out right away. 

If you’re interested in a wool kit for this, contact me at .   I’ll have pricing and info about the kits on Thursday. 

Happy Day Everyone!

If you don’t see the Paypal button over there on the left for purchasing, it will be up there soon, I’m working on it right now!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blueberry Tart for a Sweetheart!

Last night at approximately 10:00 pm (EST) I drew Lisa’s (from Pupylov) name as the winner for the Blueberry Tart Pinkeep.

bblueb1 This is an extra special thrill for me to announce her as the winner because Lisa and I go waay back in our friendship.

She used to be one of my regular Ebay customers.  Coincidently, we both started up our blogs about the same time.  She was my very first “follower” and I one of her firsts too. 

She is a sweetheart and she collects pincushions so Lisa and the Blueberry Tart are just a perfect match!

Congratulations Lisa!  It will be in the mail today!


Happy Day everyone and have a wonderful holiday weekend too!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding Gnats in the Sandwich Buns Day

What would YOU do?

Let’s just say that you have a package of yummy sandwich buns,leftover from dinner, sitting on the counter. You go to open it up and discover that inside, buzzing all around those sandwich buns, is a tiny little gnat.

100_4415Keep in mind now, these are really REALLY yummy sandwich buns. They’re the type that are sooo good that you willingly and droolingly pay more than double the cost of regular buns.

There’s a good chance that tiny little gnat has been happily buzzing about for more than 3 hours inside that bag of yummy expensive buns.

Now, be honest. Would it not enter your mind to release the gnat and then still use the buns??

Honestly, I seriously considered it.

Last night before going to bed is when I saw the gnat trapped inside this package.

I opened the bag, released the gnat and then closed the bag up, thinking … “I can’t throw these away just because of one tiny gnat.”

I got up this morning, looked at that bag of buns sitting on the counter and again, I thought, “Darn it, that bun will taste good for lunch with a warmed up hamburger on it. One little tiny gnat is not going to spoil it for me”.

Except the one little tiny gnat did spoil it for me.

I couldn’t stop thinking about what type of damage a prisoned tiny gnat could do while inside a package of sandwich buns.

After 3 hours, it certainly would have wanted to snack so at least one of the buns would have gnat bites. After eating, and after 3 hours, it certainly would have to use the facilities and gnatted it’s intestinal stuff at least one time, possible dozens of times on those buns. And …. well, if it was a female gnat, it’s certainly possible that it would have laid some eggs here and there on those buns ….

so even releasing the gnat, giving it freedom, quite possibly, I’d come back later to find dozens of newly hatched baby gnats trapped inside the sandwich bun bag.

Ok, so I’m not going to eat the buns. I talked myself out of it.

But here comes the really bad part …..

Really bad, like shameful bad ….

Even though “I” will never eat any of these buns, my family does not know that there was a gnat trapped inside this bag for over 3 hours. What they don’t know can’t hurt them.

So if “I” can’t enjoy the deliciousness, at least they will be able to … as long as I don’t TELL THEM!

That thought remained in my head for ohh… until I drank a cup of coffee and then went back into the kitchen and saw ….

That dang package of delicious, but tainted sandwich buns.

Shame on me.

100_4416 The groundhog that lives down in the woods and the birds will get a very special treat today thanks to that little tiny gnat.

Hey, want to win this cute little wool blueberry tart pinkeep?

bblueb2 Just scroll down to the post right before this one, comment in that post and you’ll be entered for a chance.

From the hit count, thousands, hundreds, OKAY, a hundred or so people looked at this pinkeep yesterday but didn’t enter a comment for it.

Does that mean that all 100 of you don’t like it enough to win it?!?!

C’mon now. It’s cute, and it’s free if your name is selected. Even if you don’t like it, you can give it to someone as a gift…

Oh gosh, that reminds me about the special gift that Rachel thoughtfully received from someone and what she did with it because she didn’t know what else to do with it …….

I guess I shouldn’t tell that story on here ……

It’s pretty darn funny though, I promise.

So anyway, even if you DON’T LIKE MY FREE GIVEAWAY, just enter the darn giveaway and if you win, I’ll tell you what to do with it.

And Casserole Carol, don’t you dare try to enter for the giveaway by posting in THIS post. Even sisters have to enter the official way by commenting in the GIVEAWAY post, which is found by scrolling DOWN PAST THIS POST.

Happy gnat-free day everyone!