Flower Girl Dress by Whimsy Wendy

Flower Girl Dress by Whimsy Wendy
dropping petals... one by one.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Solution for Little Itchy Newborn Tummies

Is there anything sweeter than a newborn sweetly sleeping in tutu? A common problem for newborn photographers is getting that little thing into her props. After hearing from a photographer about a fussy session, I came up with this idea:

Wrap the waist in a satin waistband.

Attach the satin ribbon trim and silk flower to embellish.

Attach Velcro at both ends of the waist band to easily dress and remove skirt from sleepy baby.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Monster Valentine

Gone are the days of the Valentine shoe boxes with a few pictures on the sides adhered with canned paste, simply wrapped in brown paper grocery bags with a hole cut into the top. Last year, I sent my youngest daughter to her new school with the 'traditional' brown box only to discover an unspoken and secretive contest had been posted for the most creative and ingenious of Valentine boxes. To shame!

So, this year, not to be outdone by fourth grade counter-parts, I scoured the Internet and library for unique box designs. (They say copying is the best form of flattery). And I must say, using a little inspiration and a little more competitiveness... we scorched it this year. Behold, the Monster Box:

 This size seven shoe box was simply wrapped in brown poly-fur and hot-glued to its surface. The layered eyes were cut from scraps of felt and hot glued as well. His teeth, of beige felt, were sewn on the sewing machine for a little stability and hot glued onto the inside of his mouth. And voila!

This creature will collect even the sweetest of valentines without a fuss. He just grabs it between his fuzzy teeth.
Just wait until next year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Small Act of Thoughtfulness

Being that it is a very special day, this entry is dedicated to my darling Grandma Doris who really got my creative juices going when I was just a tadpole. She was always knitting, cooking, crocheting doilies, baking, sewing barbie clothes, kneading, or embroidering kitchen towels. I really do attribute my love of working with my hands to her. She was a gentle, kind and very loving grandmother.

Grandma loved bridge and often played with her friends, hosting simple gatherings at her home. I was fortunate enough, a few years ago, to come across a small collection of some of Grandma's homemade bridge cards.

Looking for some ideas for a thank you the other day, I took a closer look at these gems.

My favorite theme, which she used quite often, was the peasant girl. Using scraps from her sewing box, she'd carefully shape out a bonnet and dress and glue them to the card. Using crochet flowers or drawn free-hand, a small bouquet was added. Sometimes she'd add a bit of lace to give her a petticoat. My favorite were the shoes and grass...always drawn from markers or pencils she'd have on hand.

I love thinking of her sitting down at her dining table, taking the time to make these sweet cards for each of her friends.
This next batch I grouped together demonstrates her flair for detail. The mice are a favorite; made from a simple thumbprint. The yellow flower is actually a small collection of shells layered in a circle to create the petals. The card at the bottom left of this picture is little glued balls of embroidery thread and leaves sewn into the card.

What a treasure to have been a friend that could take these home! With that thought in mind, I came up with my own present day version to give as a gift to a friend.

I started with some beautiful blank cards from Crane & Co. Using my sewing machine, I sewed a simple triangle for her dress onto the card. I stitched a little ric-rac to embellish. I hot glued a simple felt bonnet on her head. At the bottom of my notions box, I found two simple, die-cut tulips to glue on. I continued by free-handing the simple stem and leaves, a little lace on her bonnet and finished by putting her shoes on.

I think she'd say I cut a few corners, but Grandma Doris would have been pleased it was used to think of someone else.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Schmaltz-y Valentine

I wanted to feel the Valentine Spirit in my studio so...  I found a very inexpensive styro-foam heart form at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I tied loads of 12" vibrant red tulle strips around it, and followed up with a clean 'hair-cut' to create this very schmaltz-y heart. I made sure all of my knots were directed the same way to keep it looking neat and tight. I hot-glued some pretty silk ranunculus flowers and voila! To spice it up a little, I was thinking next time, I'd add some patterned ribbons or extra small flowers, dotted through-out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What!? No Homemade Valentines???

I'm in shock...despondent... in mourning... For first the first time in her ten years, my youngest has asked me not to make homemade Valentines for her class party.

Every year, I scour the Internet and library for cute and unique "homemade" valentine notes and treats. We've done heart shaped mice with Hershey kisses for their nose, heart flowers with lollipops in the center, thumbprint hearts on Kit-Kat butterfly wings... the list goes on.

So, in an effort to ease her obvious discomfort with my Valentine's Day obsession, I gave in.

Welcome to Hello Kitty and the store-bought kit:

So now, as I glare at the burgeoning pile of crispy chocolate hearts and stale smelling, pre-printed note cards, I fight the urge to hide them until next Tuesday. Would she forgive me or would this scar her for life? Would she forever turn her back on home-made goodness?

Instead, I fight back these decidedly evil, non-parental feelings by baking for my sweeties:

Valentine Heart Cookies on a Stick
Using the Wilton Heart Cookie pan and an easy spreading frosting. They hold up very well on the stick, yet aren't too crunchy. They have a great texture. My only complaint is they are a little sweet, but isn't that what Valentines Day is all about?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentines Inspirations

 I always get a little mushy this time of year (for good reason) and a smidgen of spring fever as I search for new inspirations. I've been cooking away in my 'test lab' coming up with new ideas, patterns and whatnot. Here are just a few items that turned up on the plus side... sometime I'll show you my duds. Thoughts?


Three tiered tulle purse with beaded handle

Hand embroidered baby booties

Valentine Nog Bear with button belly-button

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Special Friend

Norman: June, 1995 - February 2011
I lost my little shadow this last week. Norman was almost 16 and has been at my side almost every minute of every day. How strange and difficult to sit at my sewing machine and see an empty bed next to me. I found this poem written by an anonymous author that really expresses the 'noise' in our house right now.


"They will not go quietly, the dogs who've shared our lives.

In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives.

Old habits still make us think we hear a barking at the door.

Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor.

Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be,

And, sometimes, coming home at night, we miss them terribly.

And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill,

That one place in our hearts belongs to them... and always will."