People who know me well!!

Christmas was so different this year, even from our own little established tradition. Ken and Jenn didn't make it home, but they are every other year, with her family - distance does that. Their gifts came in the mail a day before Christmas Eve.

Instead of decorating the house and having Jim and Andrea (and the 5 kiddos) at our house Christmas Eve, we had to pull out for our winter venture on Christmas Eve morning, so, we filled our little SUV back with packages and headed to their home a few days early. We had a great time, teasing the kids, making them wait awhile for packages, and thoroughly enjoyed each of them with their gifts. Some were on their list and some were random surprises.

Since the tradition was a little unusual, I found myself struggling, I had pulled out 3 decorations to fancy up our craft show a few weeks before Christmas, and hadn't put them away. One was my Christmas tree shape stand that holds plates full of candies and/or cookies. I decided I would do cookies, but we wouldn't or couldn't eat them all, so boxes of cookies were delivered to our favorite Auto Repair shop (he does our tires, brakes, engine work on our used vehicles, and general advice on all of our equipment, he's a super guy and we hoped to bless him.) The hubby delivered the cookies and came home with a Rose for me. I so needed that - was starting to feel a little deprived or something.

At the kids house adults opened their presents. My gifts to our son and d-i-l were a hit, they posed for pictures in their scarves. One woven for our son, knit for our d-i-l.

Then my hubbies gift. I had seen it, and our (almost 3 yr old) granddaughter almost carried it out of it's hiding place a week early when we visited, she couldn't wait for Papaw to see it. A picture of him, holding her, he's about to kiss her on the cheek, she's squinting from the fuzzy beard that's approaching. She's wearing a dress I made here when she first arrived from Guatemala nearly 2 years ago - and holding a doll that has a matching dress The pattern was for an 18 month old, so I made it for her first spring. She just grew into it. The picture is such a treasure it's already hanging in our RV.

I opened my gifts, and was amazed at the thoughtfulness of my d-i-l and son. They went to a yarn shop and picked out a variety of specialty yarns that were over the top amazing. One of them:

This was a little intimidating. Feza Alp Oriental "Bravo" 07 Scarf Kit

Because it is a huge ball of yarn, with several fringe strands attached. The instructions were hand written with a sticky note attached from the store clerks. I tried both scarf patterns and absolutely loved the original pattern. There's probably 20 different yarns in this, two or three yarns wound together, about 16 yards of each color pattern, then the change to 2 or 3 more yarns held together, throughout the piece. Here's a few views of the finished piece wrapped with my denim jacket.

Finished Scarf and close up of some of the fiber.

This is just one of the projects that will come out of the gifts of yarn I received.

The other gift that was so right on with me was a beautiful glass globe hand made from Colorado that had a wildflower bouquet. The center flower was a miniature Daisy. My favorite flower in the world. That's the flowers I had in my wedding, with much strong opinion and dislike floating around ... you don't use daisies for a wedding??? I did!!

There were so many meaningful things happening in our lives and our family's life this year, that the gifts were more like icing on a cake ... we are so blessed and God has been so bountifully good to us in our 42 years for marriage, that just knowing his Grace and Love would have been enough, yet he allowed us to purchase meaningful gifts, receive them too, and spend quality time with family whether it was literally together or over the phone.

I'll close with a sweet memory!

Three Sisters Christmas 1950's


A special Grandparenting Moment, and a few of my knit felt purses ... 2009 grand finale!

The anticipation! Just before pierced ears.

Listening to earring care instructions at the jewelry shop!

When this little lady, Aven Catherine Mundell, came into our lives, we really weren't sure what we were getting into. We had 4 grandsons at the time, and pretty much knew about boys. When her 4 brothers welcomed her into their family she was less than 1 year old, adopted from Guatemala. In just a few weeks she turns 3. We have watched her toddle through every stage of babyhood swinging her runway shoulders, dancing across rooms on her toes in tutus and admiring every piece of jewelry any person wears on any occasion. She grabs the doll hair brush to groom Papaw's beard. Aven has to have a pretty in her hair and is always dressed in frill, lace or at least pink. Only having two sons of our own, and 4 grandsons the transition has captivated us. Our daughter-in-law brought a new element to our family. Having another lady around sparked new creativity and softened the guy inspired decor of our home. Now Aven dances through our hearts causes everyone to pause. She's tender, but strong, sweet but decisive, and loving in a tender quiet way. Standing on the couch next to her Papaw talking him into Dora cartoons and sharing cashews or chips makes her day.

This year's birthdays for all grandkids was a planned adventure rather than gifts. She's still young enough we didn't think she would have a preference, but when we asked her what she wanted to do with Papaw and Mamaw for her birthday, she said she wanted to go to Applebees. (That's where the 7 year olds wanted to go after a day at bouncer town) She loves that word, Applebees. Then we were informed that she's been wanting her ears pierced, and that it would be a great adventure for the 3 of us. I'll admit I was very nervous - what if it hurts her - she'll hate us forever. I wasn't too sure about it, but she and Papaw were so excited. Of course all my fears were erased when she sat right down on the padded stool and listened to everything the piercing lady told us, let her mark purple dots where the earrings would go, picked out beautiful pink flowers off the card of choices, and folded her hands to wait. WOW!!

I'm the only one that cried. She was so cute, so brave, and very excited. A treasured memory for 2009. But I'm pretty emotional when it comes to milestones with my g-kids. (think I'm normal)


I'm currently making myself a sweater. I've never done that. We'll be in the truck a lot over the next few weeks, so I'm geared up for some straight knitting.

On a less glamorous note, my current count of purses this year was over 30. Many sold some were gifts, one entered into a contest, and lots of photos for future patterns. These two I finished for a Christmas order for a friend.

The order stated one in natural colors and one in black both medium size, my design. The picture doesn't do the green, brown tan one much justice. It has a long oval base, and woven strap and closure, with a great green striped stone.


Last minute gift ideas for knitters.

So cute, use some scrap yarn to make two identical wrist warmers. they can be any length from knuckles to wrist or even longer. You don't necessarily need a thumb-hole, and adding finger-holes make them fingerless gloves, not wrist-warmers.

Using a circular needle and two separate balls of yarn you can work each row, switch to the other piece, work the same row on the second piece then turn. You'll be sewing a seam up the sides when finished.

So, cast on enough stitches (according to the yarn's stitch per inch and needles size) enough stitches to fit an average wrist. Make sure you have an even number of stitches.

Example yarn that is 4 stitches/inch on a size 10 needle, you need 32 stitches for an 8 " arm warmer. Cast on 32. For a 6 " arm warmer, cast on 24 stitches, etc. If you get 6 stitches/inch, for an 8 inch arm warmer, cast on 48 stitches. If it is a very stretchy yarn, make back off by one inch so they will stretch onto the arm.
Ribbing (cuff by the knuckles) (right side) Knit 2 purl 2 to the end, turn, wrong side, purl 2 knit 2 and repeat rows until the piece is 3 inches long.

Begin knitting the right side, and purling the wrong side until the piece is about 8 inches from the beginning. Repeat the Ribbing Section, and cast off when they are long enough to warm the wrist.

Change it up! make your cast on divisible by 6 and knit 3, purl 3 using sock yarn. Calculate your stitches the same way using the guide on the yarn.

You be the designer. ENJOY!!


Fibonacci Formula and Ending the International Year of Fiber

This was the International Year of Fiber - I didn't know that till well into the year, but I sure learned a lot about fiber this year, so it had some impact on me.

I'll have to admit I never heard of the formula until I took a weaving class, but now that I've been weaving (and I even apply it to my felting patterns I design), the Fibonacci Formula just makes the finished piece pleasing to the eye, and the patterns just fall into place.

Plus I'm logical in my thinking, if I cannot plan a piece, and know where I'm going with it - I often draw it out on graph paper with color pencils before I start, I use a yellow legal tablet to write out the pattern, I may not follow it, but I plan it...that said, the formula has changed my works. It has kicked it all up a few notches actually.

The formula is adding the previous solution to the new solution, 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,56, etc.

8+13=21, etc.

this piece started with 21 Black, then 13 Tan, then 5 Gray, then 8 Tan (2 21's and a 3 for the widest stripe in Black) on the warp face, then as I was weaving with black, the plaid came when I changed colors to match the stripes throughout the piece. Kinda nice when things work according to the plan. Yep, I'm being creative, but when straight lines are expected, it's nice to know how to use the formula.

A current project - ready to block.

My first scarf (made in weaving class using the formula)


What a fun project. I love the twill pattern on the strap. I saw it in my "how-to weave" book and gave it a try. It's so pretty.

I designed this purse from countless purses I've made. The request was for an Aqua Hobo Bag. I embellished with a woven strap and closure, adding a nice turquoise stone. The 2 1/2" rings attach the bag tabs to the bag straps. The woven strap was 4" wide but I chose to sew it under 5/8" on each side lengthwise to give it a little more sturdy shape. The bag is 100% merino wool in teal, held with 25% wool/75% acrilic sea spray. The acrylic didn't felt thus the knobby texture. If you look real close the bag appears to have a watermark as I used a bamboo yarn in Sea Spray really by mistake the colors were exact and the packaging was so close to identical and it was in the same bin as my acrylic wool blend, when it felted I got a darker section 2/3rds up the bag. Didn't even notice the difference in the weight of the yarn while working with it, but the benefit is amazing.

I'd be glad to share the pattern with anyone interested, a knit strap can be sewn to the bag just as easily as a woven one, I just love the mixed media.

Oh yeah!! It is sold.


knit then felt a purse or handbag or computer bag

Just found this blog

A great, simple how-to for felting a bag.

OK - I sold two purses and my Fedora at a Craft Fair yeterday!!

I've finished all my orders for Purses, and I sold two purses and my one and only hat, Fedora, yesterday. The lady who bought my hat had a felted wool hat she's worn for years and wanted to replace it, it looked amazing on her. A grandmother bought the denim sparkle purse for her 23 yr old granddaughter, and my sis bought her "favorite bag ever" the red and navy knit felt stripe drawstring purse that was softly felted with an i-cord handle, made from upcycled (recycled) yarn from Etsy. The lady www.yarnagain.etsy.com buys high end knit sweaters, unravels and sells the recycled yarn.

I'm getting to the place where I'm thinking I like Art and Craft Fairs a lot. I get to know the nicest people, everything is handmade, I get tons of ideas, spend the day with my sister and actually sell items and get orders for more. What more could you bargain for when your craft is something you love?

I'm blessed to have something separate from our "vocation" that gives me purpose. Our ministry is Chaplains to motorcyclists, bikers. We go into motorcycle events, rallies and cross-country runs, build relationships and minister to individual spiritual needs of the riders and vendors. We love what we do, but I also love hand crafting items, I really have the best of both worlds.

Now I'm moving into that time of year where I'll be away from a washing machine until spring. Which is my main tool for felting my bags. I've never used commercial washers to felt, but I may be experimenting with this in the near future. My loom is portable, it folds with a project dressed on it, it's called a workshop loom, which means it can travel!! Yeah!!

My mind is racing with creativity these days, but there is nothing on my needles or my loom. Give it a day!! (I used my sales money to buy - guess - YARN!!)

Craft Fairs are so tiring, setting up - we made several sales getting set up - tearing down, packing things in a place where you can access them and set up easier the next time, etc. I ached so bad last night I thought I had a terminal disease, but recuperated with a good nights sleep and lots of coffee and advil.

HERE'S the link to my blog for the Denim Sparkle purse that sold.

So, I do still have a few items for sale, but I'm not re opening my etsy store because, I'm rethinking etsy. I don't get that many responses to my page, so I may closer er down, make items for about 8 months or so, put them back for a Grand Re-Opening. Then again I may get a longing to start it up again after the 1st of the year. In the meantime, I'm going to knit, felt and weave and do as my son says, video tape it and make how-to videos. He's pretty wise!


Is anyone else like this. Study, Study, Study, finally buy the pattern, then improvise. Bag Style by Pam Allen & Ann Budd

I bought a knitting pattern book.

I'm so guilty of this. I have so many designs in my head for knitting, weaving and crocheting, yet when I see a book that has unique patterns, I almost buy it, put it back, find it on Amazon, eventually buy it, determined to follow the pattern, I dive into the pattern and walla ...
I've designed another something.

I bought this book - Bag Style by Pam Allen and Ann Budd

... finally. I've seen many of the items finished by knitters at my local yarn shop. I started the bag on the front this weekend, changed the yarn, choose a different color, changed the cast on amount, changed the height, changed the strap tabs at the top, wove the strap and forgot the front panel completely. It looks nothing like the picture, but it is so awesome. It is aqua and teal, has a similar base to the picture, but proportionately the bag is wider and not as tall as this. I felted it loose so it hangs more like a hobo bag. The strap is fastened to the bag tabs at the top with 3" metal rings.

Hobo Bag

I don't buy a lot of patterns, because I design bags. My first bag was the CoCo bag from Felted Handbag Workshop - free pattern.

Once I made that bag and several similar - I never looked back. But then I got a loom. Now that I'm learning to weave, I'm seeing all kinds of options for mixed media.

Recalling that I'm not a photographer (especially with my blackberry, oops!!)

I learned this twill pattern from a book!! YEAH!!

Not to mention the polymer clay pieces I'm putting with my finished bags.

You can buy this poster.