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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


M is for mountain, mailbox, music, and...


I think that M is my favorite. I love the little monkey and his cute little smile. I love that the mailbox works including the flag.

I love the snow capped mountains and the music in the sky. "The hills are alive, with the sound of music, la la la la..."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


L is for leopard, lady bug, leaf and laces.

The laces do come undone but this book has only been through one church service and already that last blue rivet on the bottom of the L has come off. I think that I need to go invest in some larger, quality rivets. 

Personally, form a design standpoint, I find L tacky. I really think that it is the leopard print. I am just not that into the jungle scene. However, overall, I am still congratulating myself on my cleverness of the laces down the L.

I made the leaf applique and if memory serves I even had it on the pages before I remembered that I had the leaf buttons. So I went for the over-kill and put them both on. 

The more that I blog about this, the more that I want to actually put it all together in a pattern book. That would probably involve making another one so that I can do illustrative pictures of the process. I'm not sure Shannon could handle that. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010


K is for knit, key, khaki, and...


I have everything that can be moved tied down in ribbons. I thought that with little kids pieces that can go missing, will. This little key is something that I have had for so long that I don't even clearly remember where I got it. I think that it might have something to do with collecting things from the neighbors perpetual garage sale with the Fitzpatrick twins. The other keys I found in the scrap-booking isle, another one of those great finds in the paper section.

I knit the K without a pattern or really knowing how large it might turn out. So of course with this experimental way of doing things I did it twice. I gave the first and larger K to my cousin Katie. I have the pattern all written up for one of those days I get my act together. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


J is for jalapeno, jellyfish and...


Sometimes I had to let go of the fact that some of my ideas where cheesy and just do them with a smile. J is one of these. I am not a big fan of these jellyfish or the way that they jump, but they work. On my next version of this book (grandchildren one day?) I will do it better.

The jump was made by sewing an elastic in a small tube of the background fabric.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I is for icecream, iguana, and ivy.
You smart ones out there might recognize that there is nothing interactive about this page. This is because I was my nemesis. Of all the 'hard' letters I really wasn't expecting to get stumped by I. J, K, X or even Q but I?
This one was the last page I did. It sat on my desk for weeks and I attempted so many different things, ice-skates, ivy that you hook on, ivy with paint, pen and ribbon.

I then decided to do hand-stitching of the vines. A bit time consuming but so much faster than doing nothing.

The ivy leaves were buttons that I cut the loop off the back so they would lie flat. I hot glued them down and then stitched them down around the stem. You can't be too careful if kiddies are going to be playing with it. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010


H is for hearts...


and horses.

So sorry for the blurry photo with the hanger and the lens shading on the horse, but I was in a hurry when I took these.

This page was one that I wasted a lot of material and time on, had to set it aside and do other pages and return with a clear head. The plan was always the same - a H on a hanger but at first I was trying to get the horse print on the H. Also I was having a hard time working out how to sew the H with the 'arm' holes but still have it neat with no fraying.

In the end I used iron on seam tape around the 'arm' holes and sewed the rest together. The H was actually 2 H's on top of each other and folded in half and sewed/ironed.

The hanger I had to draw a hanger shape on a piece of paper and then bend the wire while aligning it on the piece of paper.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


G is for gate...

giraffe, golf, and...


I love that little giraffe. I think he is cute and his name shall be Garry.

The gate is made from white satin ribbon sew onto clear vinyl. I went a little hardcore on my gate and put ribbon on both sides so it looks nice from the back as well. I tack glued them down before I sewed so that they wouldn't shift during stitching. 

I hope you noticed the cool hinges. Remember me talking about them on D?

Story goes: I went to JoAnne's and got these really cool hinges in a package of 6. When I got ready to use them and opened them up, there were only 5 hinges and the missing one was the one I wanted most.

I went back to the store, without a receipt, because it had been some time since I had purchased them. I didn't think that this would be a problem because they were store brand hinges and I wanted a straight exchange. I don't understand their store policy because they started rattling things off to me about only being able to give me the lowest sale price (who cares when you want an exchange?) and crap about sales tax. I paid sales tax when I first bought them. However, they made me pay the sales tax again in order to exchange a product that was faulty.

Let me say that I was a little bit pissed off until the trip that I went with my sister and they only charged me for 1 yard of material instead of the 2 that was cut. I say we are even now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


E is for elephants, eagle and...


E was actually the first letter I did. I got this grand idea of making an elevator, because if you haven't figured it out yet, something on each page had to be interactive (there is one exception that will be explained when it makes its appearance). I like my elevator and I think it worked out nicely.

 Now, that I am looking back at the work I did on my first page, as opposed to the last one, I can't believe the stupid little details I was adding. It really isn't much but I actually two-toned the inside of the elevator to show the floor and the wall. I should have been chanting, 25 more, 25 more, 25 more....

The elevator is just a loop of ribbon through two button holes. Super simple.

Friday, September 24, 2010


D is for door, dots...

...dragon and dog (a dalmatian).

Yesterday, I was talking about finding fun things in the scrap-booking isle and among those things I found the hinges for the door (the hinges on G are better, just you wait). Of course, I found these hinges after I had already sewed on the door, by hand. So I had to cut that out and then attach the hinges. Of all the redos in this book, it wasn't so bad.

I have had this happy little mutt, sitting in a collection of patches, for years. He was just waiting for a proper application and I do believe he has found his spot in this world.

Shannon and I both collect things. I have to work fairly hard to keep uncluttered and fail repeatedly. I am always happy when an item in my collections come to good use.

The dragon was actually an afterthought and so I didn't actually get it ironed on. The problem with this is that it is actually sitting behind me on the shelf and no longer in the book. Everything else I tried really hard to make sure that it would stay were it was meant to. My shelf isn't big enough for everything in the book. 

It is hard to tell from the pictures but the door is made by cutting a piece of clear vinyl then covered in the brown fabric with a window hole cut in it. Once the fabric is over the vinyl I did a zig zag stitch around the window hole to finish the edges and hold it in place. It creates a stiffer door and also a nice little clear window. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


C is for chicken, cherry and clock.

I thought that the clock would be a good add to help the girls start to learn how to tell time. Sor far it looks as if I am right. Claire always asks me what time it is and wants me to make her clock the same as the clock in the living room.

I searched all through the buttons and sewing notions. Then one day, during a miraculous event called shopping without children, I was able to cruise the store more slowly. During this adventure I found that there are a lot of good ideas in the scrap-booking isles. You will another of these great notions next in D.

The numbers were drawn on with a laundry pen. This is a better option than regular permanent markers as they don't bleed much. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010


B is for blue, button...


bear and bird.

B has a lot of possibilities but knowing how limited some of the pages were going to be, (how many items can you think of for X?) I decided to keep all the pages rather simple.

Simple does not mean easy. I was not following patterns. This means that I glued and sewed each and every one of those buttons twice because I didn't get the front of the book the right size the first time. That is a lot of gluing and sewing. Try it sometime I think you might agree.

Let me give you this little tip. When gluing down all those tiny little buttons have a pair of tweezers that have a very pointy tip that fit into the button holes. I think my tweezers saved my sanity. I have fat fingers (the proof of this is in the above photo, check out those sausages), and without the tweezers my fat little digits would have been pushing around the buttons I just glued down while trying to place the next button.

I think that B might be one of my favorite pages. Except maybe for M or G or maybe even P or Q, oh I don't know!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


For all you smart people who knew it was an alphabet book (thanks to the clues of the ABC's on the cover material and the hint of 26 days) here is a look at the material on the inside cover.

I found this toward the end of the constant searching of Walmart, JoAnne's, Beverly's and any other store that dared carry material or notions. I had to have it, rationalizing to myself that it would help my girls learn how to write in cursive. The truth being they would probably get in trouble when it came time to do cursive in school, as it seems every teacher teaches a different method of writing specific characters.

I am going to go through the book in order of the alphabet but I will have you know that that is not the way it was created. If I remember correctly I started with E and I definitely remember that I was last.

So with no further ado here is the broad look at A:

A is for apron, airplane, apple and...


I love this airplane material. It reminds me of an old painting we used to have hanging in our house and now sits forlornly in the closet. Rejected by the fact that there are no little boy rooms to decorate.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's In The Bag?

Here in lies a surprise for all. This small little package has taken months, but every stitch was made by me.

Over the next 26 posts (is that a clue?) I will be showing you what is in it, bit by bit. I don't have patterns for all of it but I will try to guide you through how I made everything so that you can use your own creativity to make your own with your own flair if you so choose.

This is the beginning of it all. The accumulation of me making things. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Annabelle Doll

This is Annabelle. She's a good sort. 

She waited for the train with me. We were having issues with trains that day.

Annabelle has a belly button and is cute as a button too.

This pattern is worked on the round

Working in the round goes up in spirals. So your beginning point of each round will actually move around the body. E.g. if it starts on the hips on round 8 by round 12 it will be on the back. 

I have a couple examples at the bottom of the page if you need help doing either the popcorn stitch or sc2tog


Ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook (5)
[2 sc in same sc] repeat around (10)
[2 sc in same sc, 2 sc] repeat around (15)
[2 sc in same sc, 3 sc] repeat around (20)
[2 sc in same sc, 4 sc] repeat around (25)
25 sc (25) at this step you can just sc until you get to a count of 150 and then you have done all rows required.
[sc2tog, 4 sc] repeat around (20)
[sc2tog, 3 sc] repeat around (15)
[sc2tog, 2 sc] repeat around (10)

Add stuffing here, stuff tightly

[sc2tog] repeat around (5) fasten off and leave a long tail to use to sew the head on the body later.

ARMS (x2)

Ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch (5)
[2 sc in same sc] repeat around (10)
10 sc
Sc2tog, 8 sc (9)
Sc2tog, 7 sc (8)
8 sc (8) at this step you can just sc until you get to a count of 80 and then you know you have completed all rows required.
Fasten off

LEGS (x2)

Ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch (5)
[2 sc in same sc] repeat around (10)
[2 sc in same sc, 2 sc] repeat around (15)
15 sc (15)
2 sc2tog,  11 sc (13)
2 sc2tog, 9 sc (11)
11 sc (11) at this step you can just sc until you get to a count of 110 and then you know you have completed all rows required.
Fasten off first leg, second leg go straight into body part of pattern


7 sc, join with sc in 2nd sc 10 sc, sc in same sc as the join, sc in 7th sc (same as join), 4 sc

23 sc (23)
10 sc, popcorn stitch, 12 sc (22)
22 sc (22), at this step you can just sc until you get to a count of 110 and then you know you have completed all rows required.

6 sc, 7th sc is a join 14th is a join in the same sc as the first join, 10 sc, join with sc, 7 sc, sc in same stitch as first join, 4 sc (36)
36 sc (36)
8 sc, sc2tog, sc2tog, 14 sc, sc2tog, sc2tog, 6 sc (32)
6, 3 sc2tog, 10 sc, 3 sc2tog, 4 sc (26)
13 sc2tog (13)
7 sc2tog, this technically goes into a new round, but whatever.

Sew on head.


 2 dc in same sc,
remove hook from loop put hook through last sc,
pull loop through

SC2TOG (single crochet two together) 

Pull loop through like a regular sc (2 looks on hook)
Pull another loop through the next sc (3 loops on hook)
Loop over and pull through all 3 loops on hook