Flower Crowns for May Day!

Happiness is watching children joyously dancing around the May pole. A symbolic ritual that chases away cold winter winds and welcomes springs blooming flowers and trees. As the mom of a kindergartner this was our first time celebrating May day at our local elementary school. 

Learn how I made these easy crowns made from lightweight garland!

Read More

Holiday Craftiness - Simple Gifts

This weekend I had the pleasure of crafting with some wonderful teens at our local library. I planned three quick and easy projects that used materials I had on hand to keep costs down. We made wreath ornaments, lavender sachets and beaded choker pendants. The girls were thrilled with their creations and had friends and family in mind for each gift.

Crafting wreath ornaments was a great way to work through my giant bag of scraps. You'll also need to gather: 18 gauge galvanized steel wire (hardware store), jingle bells, scissors, pliers and wire cutters. Start by cutting the scraps into 'uniform' one inch square pieces. Fold each piece in half and clip a small slit along the fold line.

Once you've prepared enough pieces String them onto a 14" length of wire. Continue stringing until you have enough felt to encircle a wreath. String a jingle bell and/or two felt holly leaves onto one of the wires.

Bend the wires at a ninety degree angle where they meet at the top of the wreath. Coil one wire end around the other, use wire cutters to trim the coiled wire end. Use pliers to form the other end into a large open spiral hanger. Give your wreath a hair cut, use scissors to trim away stray felt ends.

This simple beaded choker pendant was a very successful group beading project. Making a beaded pendant is just like making one half of an earring set. It also allows you to showcase one of a kind beads. Rubber Silkies necklace cords are my favorite new beading supply. They're manufactured by Pepperrell and are sold at our local JoAnn's fabric store. The smooth rubber clasp is built into the cord and is very comfortable to wear.

I purchased a bulk bag of glass beads and divided them in bowls for easy selection. You'll also need small bead caps, head pins, round nose pliers, and wire cutters.

Simply string three beads onto the head pin, add a bead cap into the mix if you want to highlight a bead or narrow the opening of a large bead. Use round nose pliers to turn the end of the head pin into a loop. Open the loop laterally and then slide it onto the center of the cord. Be careful you don't pinch the rubber in your pliers as it breaks apart when squeezed with metal. Use the pliers to carefully close the loop back to it's original shape.

These sweet little lavender sachets scented the room as we crafted. You could easily substitute great smelling Balsam or make use the fabric pouch as a small gift bag. You'll need two different colors of purple fabric, straight pins, lavender buds (San Francisco Herb Company), thread, hemp cord, card stock labels (I cut my with my Sizzix Big Kick), stamps, chalk ink pad, black pen.

Cut the fabric into 4" x 7" rectangles, placing right sides together stack one color over. Pin the two layers of fabric together. Because I had a nice small group I was able to help each girl machine stitch three sides of the fabric together. For many of the girls it was the first time they'd used a sewing machine. Trim the top off the bag with pinking sheers then clip the extra fabric off the corners with regular scissors.

Turn the fabric right side out and used a pencil point to push out the corners. Pour a half cup of lavender buds into the sachet.

Stamp and write messages onto the tags before tying them around the top of the sachet with a section of hemp cord.

Fa la la la la ...Crafty girls with their creations!

Ukrainian Easter Eggs and Family Stuffed Sock Bunny Workshops

I took a late afternoon walk around our neighborhood yesterday with my daughter Celia and our wheaten terrier Maizy. It was so pleasant to have the sun shining on us in the late afternoon. The streams were rushing with the water from the weekend storms, providing  plenty of mud and puddles for the girl and dog to explore. There was an abundance of downed sticks and branches on the ground to poke into the mud and instigate a game of tug of war with the pup. Nature had created the perfect playground for my companions. I relished their happiness and started to believe that spring is slowly creeping it's way to Maine. 

I'll be giving my first Pysanky egg decorating class at Art Mind and Soul studios on March 28, 2-4pm. I was captivated by this technique as a child in Canada, a very kind neighbor spent an entire afternoon teaching me the craft. Although my designs are not authentic, the process is true to it's origins. If you become a committed follower of Ukrainian eggs there's an entire alphabet of authentic symbols to memorize and master. I love how easily this craft can be  modernized to suit your own creative style, in many ways it's similar to batik. A small stylus is used to heat beeswax over a candle flame enabling you to draw the wax directly onto an egg. The egg is repeatedly dipped in dye and more wax is applied after each immersion. The dramatic finish happens when the egg is heated over the flame and the built up wax is wiped away to reveal the colors and designs.

It might be because Easter falls close to my birthday but I've always loved this season of renewal! To celebrate I'm offering another spring workshop for parents and their children to enjoy together on Saturday March 27, 1-3 pm also at Art Mind and Soul Studios. We'll be cutting up socks, stuffing and stitching them together to make adorable stuffed bunnies.

Mark your calendars, and send me an e-mail I'd love to have you join in the creative fun!

Sweet Needle Felted Bunnies - free tutorial!

If you haven't tried needle felting please do give it a second look, it's incredibly accessible. All you need is some wool roving and a felting needle to get started. I've yet to find a better medium for quickly making miniature furry animals. These low maintenance bunnies will be so popular you'll need to felt a whole litter in time for Easter

Read More

Victorian Beehive Valentines - Free project tutorial!

Who can resist pink, red and white papers, sparkly stickers and ribbons? The magic of a beehive Valentine happens when you pull up on the center ribbon. The paper expands into a beehive shape to reveal the hidden message underneath. Learn how to make your own using this tutorial!

Read More

Easy embroidered felt heart sachets - Free tutorial!

I just finished creating these Valentine craft project samples for my Feb 8th visit with Curtis Memorial Library's fiber arts club. The children in the group are 7-12 years old. Felt is the perfect material for introducing kids to embroidery, its sturdy enough to hold it's shape without an embroidery hoop. I like to use a full strand of embroidery thread so the stitches stand out. A crewel needle has a sharp enough point to get through the felt without poking fingers. It also has a wide enough eye to accommodate the floss. To keep Celia happy while I created this sample I handed her a felt heart and along with a threaded needle. With a minimal amount of help she was able to stitch her favorite finds out of my button stash onto the front of the heart, she was so proud!

If you're local please preregister at 725-5242 ext 225 and join me for this free workshop. If not follow the directions below, break out the embroidery floss and buttons and get your kids excited about stitching!


1/4 yard or less of pink and red felt - I love the felt National Nonwovens sends me. (http://www.commonwealthfelt.com/)

Embroidery floss, pink red and white - I'll use any excuse to break into the box full of colors DMC shipped me. (http://www.dmc-usa.com/)

Assorted buttons

Poly-fil stuffing (http:www.poly-fil.com/)

Scented plastic pellets - from plastic sleeve sachets (available at major box stores)

4" section of ribbon or cording for a hanging loop



Pinking sheers-optional

Crewel needles

Large heart shaped cookie cutter

Sewing machine - optional substitute sewing needles and thread

1. Use the large cookie cutter as your template to cut out the felt heart top, add a 1/4" seam allowance to all sides.

2. Thread the crewel needle with a full strand of embroidery floss and begin stitching flowers, cross shaped kisses, buttons even messages onto the front of the heart. If desired add a blanket stitch around the edge of the heart (see the red variation). Tie all knots on the backside of the heart and trim the ends.

3. Pin the heart to a second uncut scrap of felt, make sure it extends a half inch on all sides of the heart top. Position the ends of the hanging cord between the layers.

4. Machine stitch (or hand stitch) around the edge of the heart, approximately a quarter of an inch inside the cut edge. Trap the hanging cord in your seam and leave an inch and a half opening for stuffing.

5. Lightly stuff the heart and then pour a teaspoon of pellets into the heart. Hold the opening closed and position it back under your sewing machine presser foot to stitch the opening close (or hand stitch closed).

6. Use the pinking sheers to trim the heart backing so that it extends a 1/4" from the heart front.

Enjoy your sweet soft heart, make another and share the love!