Archive for the ‘Embroidery’ Category

Happy New Year!  We’ve had a slow start this year, trying to take things at a more relaxed pace, and enjoy the little things.  Like sewing with my daughter.  On Monday Eowyn when to her first “Friend Birthday Party”.  She gifted a handmade doll that we made together…or more I made, and we stuffed together, but that started her on a quest to make another doll.  Tonight we sifted through mama’s fabric scraps where she spied a perfect Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy

We cut a simple shape from the fabric.  Then cut a circle and hair.  She stitched the hair to the face, and the face to the body.  I embroidered.  She and I used the machine to stitch the front to the back.  We stuffed her, and Eowyn stitched the body closed.  We added wings to her back, and tied a bow around her neck.  Eowyn was proud, and well she should be.  The doll is darling, creative, and fun.  Eowyn exhibited great listening skills and followed directions very well.  She also showed an aptitude for stitching.

I have no doubt there will be more doll making in her future.  She already mentioned plans for a doll that has a dress…


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Our first day with the heifer went well.  She was quite agreeable, and seemed to enjoy being on the edge of the woods where she grazed, drank, relaxed in the shade and rested next to the big rock, which I’m sure provided her an enjoyable cooling effect.  Christopher used some of our Jenness Farm bug spray on Nellie and it really helped keep the bugs away from her, no easy task for a cow in a wooded area.  I have always been impressed with their bugspray, so if you are at a market, or near their shop, be sure to pick some up.  If you don’t live nearby, you can order it online.

Eowyn is in her first dance recital this Saturday, which is very exciting.  I wanted to do something special afterwards, as a sort of reception.  We are going to make treats, decorate and I’m embroidering a little memento…a ballerina doll with the date on the back.  I just found an image on google images printed, enlarged, and hand copied on embroidery tear away paper.  It makes a fun and easy pattern, and I altered it a little by adding wings, because Ewoyn is playing the part of a butterfly.  So cute.  I mostly outline at this point, as I’m not a super skilled embroiderer, but it’s will be just perfect for Eowyn to remember her big day on stage.  I still have to turn it into a doll, which is done simply by putting a piece of fabric for the back face down on the embroidered image.  I then put it in my machine with the backside of the embroidery facing me.  I stitch around the embroidery about 3/4″ from the outline, maybe more in spots to keep  arms or legs from getting too thin, basically just so it looks even and leaves me with something that I can easily turn right side out and stuff.  I leave about a 2″ hole in a convenient spot for turning and stuffing, then I hand stitch it closed.  I figure that will be along one side of the legs for this doll.

I have some tomatoes in the ground, but am now a little behind on planting…and transplanting.  Hoping for some early morning “cool of the day” time this week.

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My family caught our first bad cold of the Winter. We all go it, to varying degrees. I am happy to say that herbal remedies and lots of Elderberry syrup was all it took to get through it, but the staggering of sickness had us off our game for over a week. Glad to say we are all back to being well, and were so in time for Istra’s 2nd Birthday!

Momma made the little Kitchen helper a new apron, embroidered with a little blonde girl working diligently in the kitchen! She’s happy to wear her new apron while safely standing in her Little Partners Learning Tower.   Her grandparents got together on this one. I was thrilled, because she’s had a couple mishaps with the chair she usually stands on to help, and there is no way I want to deter her, from what seems to be, an inborn passion to cook and wash dishes!

On her birthday the weather was showing all signs of the approaching Spring. Then, 2 days later, the first official day of this new Season was ushered in by a snowstorm!

The Music wall looks so cool, even covered in snow. I can’t wait for the girls to play with that this year!

The Elderberry plants and raspberry bushes in their Spring regalia.

The fence with the branches that will be a lovely trellis for cucumbers this year.

I love listening to the Ducks complain.

Not everyone on the farm complained.  The Rabbits didn’t seem to mind a bit, nor did the litter of 8 kits that are all cozily snuggled in the nest Clementine made for them.  She kindled 9 a couple days ago, but we lost one, at 1 day old.  Not uncommon, and he was pretty tiny compared to the rest.  The others seem to be doing well, and they are starting to get there orange fur.

It may be snowing, but the Arugula Microgreens are doing just fine, inside by the window.

Flowers will be blooming soon, but for now we can enjoy the bouquet from Istra’s Party.

Grammy can enjoy the felted flower her granddaughter’s made with a little help from their mom. Needle felting is such a kid friendly craft, especially with the great forms they have now. The girls made the petals and leaves and I helped with the assembly.

And while the snow came down, we read our new book. The Gardener. It’s a fabulous story told in letter form. I simply love it. I think we may do a little project with the book. It’s set during the years of the Great Depression, and while it mentions the peripheral events, it does not mention the event by name. I love that. The little girl the book follows is a real trooper, and family is so sweetly portrayed. I can’t recommend it enough.

A similar theme, but a very different book, is the The Curious Garden.  We’ve loved that one for a long time now.  It’s about a little boy, who lives in the city, but finds a small patch of Garden.  The Garden needs a Gardener, and though he’s not one, he decides to become one.  It’s sweet.  I love that the gardener is a little boy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your first day of Spring, whether it acted like Spring, or not.

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The other day I got a little goodie in the mail and it had a tag, on which was a little Japanese doll image.  Mini thought that was great and said she'd like a doll from Japan like the doll on the tag.  I threw "Japanese Doll", or something like that into Google Images, and found a sweet little card with this image on it.  I printed, enlarged, traced onto embroidery paper, and stitched away.  She is stitched on White Linen and stuffed with Organic Cotton fluff.  I love how she came out!


We are trying to figure out a name for our homestead.  It's been quite tricky.  My business name is Zoozii's.  It's a fun name, visually pleasing, short, uses an uncommon letter so it catches attention.  All good things.  Though many people have no idea how to pronounce it.  It's pronounced Zoozy or Zoo-Zee.  See, picking a business name is tricky.  Not that the homestead is a major business, but at some point I'm hoping to have the opportunity to sell excess.  I'm thinking that I'll have Rabbit, Duck, maybe a couple chickens, the eggs for sure, and who knows, maybe some produce, over the next few months. 

Husband likes "Unicornucopia Farm".  This is from a Joy Electric Song, and he's always liked the word.  Unicornicopia.  It is fun to say.  It's like a combo of unicorn and cornucopia.  Not sure how it really relates to our homestead…a fantasy of plenty?  But, again, it's fun to say, if people can figure out how to say it.  I personally would rather have "Homestead" than "Farm" in the name, if it's going to have either.  I'm not sure we are, or ever really will be, a Farm.  That seems far more grand that what I have in mind.  I want a homestead, something that supplies all the food we need, and a bit more.  Any thoughts from all of you would be welcome, either regarding Husband's suggestion, or a name in general.

A fun little treat on the Homestead this morning…a baby Muscovy. 



This poor mama has had me pulling baby after baby out from under her because they were Cayuga's that hatched last week.  Today, when I saw the adorable little baby resting on it's mama's back, I was pleased to not have to take it away.  She only hatched the one today, so I'm hoping tomorrow there will be a nest full.  

There are chicks pipping away in eggs in the incubator, which is exciting.

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A few days ago my neighbor, Andrea, told me she wanted to make homemade marshmallows with her son, but realized she didn't have the necessary candy thermometer.  As luck would have it, I had one, and received a second for Christmas, so gifted the original to her.  She made the marshmallows and treated me to some!  How lovely!!  I'm not a marshmallow fan, beyond camping and S'mores **.  But homemade marshmallows, these are a whole other creature.  They are not as sicky sweet, the texture is delightful and does not make you wonder if they could survive an atomic blast…or at least stay on the shelf unaffected for decades.  I am totally thrilled with these tasty little treats!  In line with the luck of the double candy thermometer, I also just so happen to have some hot cocoa that Husband bought on a whim a few weeks back!  Mmmmm.  Thank you Andrea!


**S'mores made while lampworking, at Snow Farm a couple summers ago was a great new use for my oxygen/propane torch…sure it melts glass, and that's fun, but stick a marshmallow on the end of a clean mandrel and you can snack while you torch.

Husband and I had a day out together, sans Mini…who had a delightful day of Grammy indulgence.  We had crepes at the Silver Moon Creperie (that place is becoming a favorite spot), time at B&N where I picked up a sweet little book, watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", and picked up some craft supplies for projects to do with Mini.

Crepes:  I had the Eggplant, pesto, tomato and mozzarella for lunch, and a Dulce De leche and Chocolate Chip for desert!  I had a bottle of Orangina, so now I have an adorable bud vase for this summer!  Seriously those little Orangina bottles with a little ribbon, and flowers.  Adorable!!

Sweet Little Book:
Pretty Little Felts: Mixed-Media Crafts To Tickle Your Fancy

 Pretty little felts

It has some adorable projects, as well as being a delight to look at.  One of the projects is a little fairy using a black and white photo for the face…I intend to turn Mini into a fairy or two, very soon. (Book bought with a gift certificate!  Thank you Chip!!)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:  Not sure how I felt about this movie.  It made me very emotional and sad thinking about how I'm about 20-30 years away from the start of the friends dying stage of life.  Sure anyone can die at any time, but really once you get into your 60-70's it becomes common to hear of deaths of friends and family.  My grandpa had his mom alive until he was in his 80's.  That doesn't happen often.  So the constant focus on death hit me.  The message or point of the movie seemed deeply shallow.  The focus on not knowing what life will give you (Life is like a box of chocolates?…same writer as Forest Gump…hmmm) and that if you don't like your life, you can change it at any time and that you need to, seemed like a greeting card, not a real life.  The film was incredibly acted, and the cinematography was divine, but the emotions and message left me wanting…and after 3 hours to find that out, I was almost a tad annoyed to have had my time wasted…well not entirely, of course, because I did knit a few inches of the front of Husband's Sweater Vest.  But I think if a movie is going to take that much of your life, give such an impression of depth, it should be.  Just my opinion.

Craft supplies:  I've been wanting to try needle felting with Mini, so I picked up a needle with a guard, some felt and roving for that. 

I'm going to be flipping through seed catalogs for the next few days so I thought it would be fun to make a collage, with her, showing the veggies we will have so I picked up some poster board and glue sticks.  When we do these, I'll of course post about how they went, but I'm now fully supplied when the mood strikes.

I can't believe how giddy I am about my trip to The Fabric Fix tomorrow!!  I have been waiting, ever so patiently, to get over there so I can pick up the Fold Over Elastic to make those adorable little slippers, for which I purchased the pattern for, a few days ago.  Downright giddy I tell you!! 

Oh, and for those who are interested, like Jennifer who commented on yesterday's post, about learning embroidery, I have a couple really great books that I have been loving, and have been inspired by.  The first is  Stitching for Beginners and Beyond: 23 Simple Projects Using 5 or Less Basic Stitches


This one has probably been the most useful reference for the how to for each stitch, and has cute projects.

Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners


Very inspirational, and I agree with the title, Fresh and Fun.  There is a stack of projects I'd love to make from this book.  I need to make a point to spend more time on such projects. 

I have found embroidery a lot less complicated than I thought it would be.  It really can be quite simple.  Certainly, there are folks that take it to an art form, but for simple embellishments and for the fun of it, it's really quite an accessible craft. 


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The "Birds of Change" exchange wraps up this weekend.  I realized that the rules state we needed to have them to the coordinator by the 31st, not shipped by the 31st, so today while the snow fell, and fell and fell, I made birds.  I wanted to come up with something really creative, but in the end decided to go with the same pattern I used for the giveaway, which came from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts  Very appropriate I guess, since I did seem to wait until the last minute.  I really enjoyed these little birds though, and I've also found this book has many other fun projects, including the sweet little elephant I made for the Holiday Traditions Swap.


The birds will go out tomorrow, so she should have them right on schedule.  I feel pretty good about that, since timeliness is not my strong suit…I have too many endeavors to me on time.  I do like to be, but it rarely happens.  So tomorrow I was take a couple moments to bask in the glory of being on time, aaahhh.  Fly away little birdies…



Mini really likes the tree branch and the butterfly birds.  She said they were her "two favorite".  I might need to make a couple more of these.  She's not thrilled they are not for her…again, this may not last forever, but for now, I'll also take time to appreciate and enjoy how much my daughter likes the things I make, especially when they are for her.

Every time I play around with embroidery I find it such a delight, and I wonder why I don't do it more often…Of course when I then realize I didn't knit at all today, I remembered why I don't…Knitting!  That just keeps calling to me. 

Tonight after dinner, while I was putting the finishing touches on the birds, I told my husband that I hadn't knit at all, yet today.  He was amused that that bore mentioning, but agreed that it did, as he couldn't remember the last time I went a whole day without it.

Today did not break the streak.  After the birds were done, a couple special car catchall's were finished and listed, and dinner was done, I sat down and finished the back of Husband's Sweater Vest.  It's still rather dull for photographing, but here is what I have so far.


Mini's socks were a bit more photogenic!



Dinner tonight was another "simple farm style meal".  Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Butternut Squash and Maple Oatmeal Bread. It received rave reviews from my little clan.  Meatloaf was not made with a recipe, I just threw this and that, but basically it was as follows:

Meatloaf on the Fly

1 lb ground beef
1 cup oatmeal (I used these instead of crackers)
2 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 onion minced
2-3 garlic cloves minced
Salt and Pepper, not sure how much, just some

Mix, put in bread pan, bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  I squirt a pretty little design on top with ketchup too, but that is not necessary.

The eggs were from our flock, the meat was from the farm up the street, the garlic and onion came from the farmers market.  Just leaves the oats, ketchup and Salt and Pepper from sources unknown. 

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I’m in the Birds of Change Swap. 
The coordinator suggested giving away a bird, similar to those being made for the swap, on the 20th.  It was optional, but since I’ve been wanting to do some kind of giveaway, I thought it was a great time to do so. 

This little ornament was made out of 100% wool, stuffed with organic cotton and is embroidered on the side and the bottom.  It was fun to do, and gave me a chance to practice some embroidery.  I always enjoy the embroidering I do, but rarely take the time to do it.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the rest of the birds that I’ll be sending for the swap, but I had fun making this one.  The bird shape came from the pattern in the book,Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts
If you would like to be the owner of this little creation, please make a comment to this post.  I’ll pick a name at random on Friday, and announce it that night.



I also did some knitting today.  The February Baby Sweater is almost done. I have about 2″ of sleeve left, then to stitch up the remaining arm.  It’s so soft and adorable.  I love this little sweater.  I’m pretty excited that it’s such a lovely handmade alpaca sweater, and it only cost $8.75, which is amazing!  Frog Tree Alpaca is a lovely yarn, very cost effective and so cozy.  I did get it during the Spinning Yarns New Year’s Sale, but even if I paid full price, the sweater would only have cost $12.50.  What a bargain!  Add to that the fact I had the enjoyment of knitting, too!  I love being able to make things myself.


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