It must be holiday time…..


Around the holidays the excitement and stress of “family” gatherings loom.  It’s a time meant for catching up and reconnecting.  However since my mom has passed away, holidays just feel very strange and a little empty.  

I mean I miss her a little almost everyday and then there are days when it is almost overwhelming but contemplating an up coming holiday just makes it hurt so much more.  

She didn’t just cook the food or bake the pie, she created the atmosphere, the glue.  A friend of mine once said that after your parents die, the contract with the siblings is done.  I’ve thought about that a lot.  Is that true?  We try to keep in touch and go through the motions but lately and especially after losing mom, I feel like I’m on my own.  The person that knew me best, who really saw my heart is gone.  She knew all the players, shared the inside jokes, and above all things put me and my daily stuff first.  She was my best friend, my partner in crime, and the ultimate touch stone.

I miss you Wilma Vae.











Go away stuff, go away…..wait come back!


The thing about stuff or clutter is that it accumulates without much effort.  For example even when you are trying not to bring home more stuff, people give you stuff anyway.  Presents, plastic bags, mail, kittens, (well maybe joking about the kittens) but you get the point.  
I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff lately.  I want to de-stuff my life and my home.  My mom recently passed away and I ended up bringing some of her stuff home with me.  I just couldn’t bear to part with it.  Now I have even more stuff that I never use, wear, appreciate.  BUT maybe my sons will want it someday or my unborn grandchildren…..????
I have too much stuff.  Too many things to clean, too many choices of what to wear, too many things to put away.  I have extra pillows, blankets, sheets, empty boxes, extra nails, and screws, and kitchen gadgets, you get the idea.  I don’t want to have to deal with all this stuff everyday and especially not when I want to move somewhere else.  
This year I’m going to be working on getting rid of stuff. It will probably be hard.  I might miss some of it or go looking for it from time to time but it’ll be ok.  It’s time to stop storing things because “I might use it someday”.  
I decided that the best way to go about this is to stop buying things like furniture, clothing, knick-knacks, shoes, coats, etc. and to use the money instead on consumable items.  Like a good meal with friends, organic fruits and vegetables, trips with family, and life experiences.  
The only thing I want to allow in the too much category is, yarn.  You just can’t have enough yarn.  It’s beautiful and textile.  It’s comforting and meditative.  I find it utterly fascinating that I can take some soft string and essentially make any type of clothing my skills allow.  
Well, we’ll see how it goes.  Stuff can be very attractive, comforting, and rewarding.  Wish me luck 🙂

Foxy day off :)


I played hooky from work today (well not really, I used a vacation day) and spent some quality time in the craft room.  Mr. Fox had been lurking in the felt bin waiting for a chance to come out and play.  So before you could say, “what’s up Mr. Fox?” he was sitting on the craft table giving me the nod.

Well, ok it took a little while to construct him, but it was really a fun afternoon.  The personality of your critter is only limited to the fabric and felt scraps you have available and a splash of whimsy . 

If you’d like to whip up some felty critters of your own, but would like a few ideas, there are plenty of books at your local library (for free) 🙂 Below is the book that got me started.


“Happy Stitch” by Jodie Rackley.  

There is plenty of fun inside to keep you busy on a sunny winter’s day.  I found the fox pattern pretty cute so I 


enlarged and cut the individual pieces of the pattern out.  

IMG_0815 IMG_0823

And then once I was happy with their placement, I used fabric glue to attach them.


I also cut a back out of the flowered fabric.  Before attaching the back to the front, I hand stitched each piece with a running stitch using embroidery floss. Then it was off to the button box for the eyes and then I was ready to top stitch the pieces together leaving an opening to stuff the little critter up.  I used fiber fill.  


I’m very happy with how he turned out.  I’m thinking I need to make some more additions to this felted family.  Maybe a wise old owl and a bouncy bunny rabbit.  Why not brighten up your winter with a sassy Mr. Fox.  

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Slippers, No Fairy Godmother Required :)

IMG_0677When it’s February and the winds are whipping down the lane, then it’s time to snuggle in and put something warm on your feet.  Well at least that must be true for me because the slipper box which had about 15 pairs in it, has been getting emptied out.  I can’t resist making them and they are so nice to give as gifts.  Once I figured out how to put a suede bottom on them, so that you didn’t slip and slide around, they were spectacular.  

I went to Joann’s Fabric and purchased some padded faux leather and cut out the shape of the sole by tracing around the slipper bottom.  Then I hand sewed the leather to the bottom of the slipper with some embroidery thread and viola!  They are so much fun to make and so cozy to wear.

If you’d like to make your own pair, please check out Yuko Nakamura’s pattern on  

IMG_0670Non-felted Slippers

Warm feet to you all.
Please post a picture of the ones you make, I’d love to see them.

Blue and gray

Bosco on a winter evening

Bosco inspecting the winter evening.


We’re in a blue and gray mood at our house today.

I started another sweater.  This will be the fourth this winter.  I’ve had a lot of “sitting” time this year. 🙂 might as well make the most of it.

blue and gray in progress

The colors aren’t showing up as beautiful as I’d like them too, but I’ll post more pictures as it develops.  I am using Vanna’s Choice in Silver Blue and Silver Gray. 

Below is the link if you’d like to see more.

Hooded Cape

Swag bags?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

“What, no gift bag?” Paul looks at me with a puzzled expression.  The Hematologist has just informed us that, yes, Paul has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and that he will need at least 8 rounds of chemo and then a few more weeks/months of either radiation or a newly approved drug called BinTuxaMab or something like that. I don’t know why, but I keep waiting for her to hand him a gift bag or swag bag filled with goodies to go along with the news.  You know like “hey, you have cancer, but here’s a really cool gift bag to make it easier on you”.  I imagine it filled with specially approved items that are super helpful to cancer victims.  Victims? Contestants? Celebrities? 

At the Oscars, celebrities are given Swag bags.  It’s a special enticement or treat or bribe to make the celebrity feel better, look better, and be more excited about being there.  Shouldn’t there be such a thing for cancer patients?  I mean if there was ever a time to cheer someone up or at the very least distract them from their impending medical adventure, wasn’t this that time?

On the television show Survivor, there aren’t gift bags, but there are prizes.  Be the first person to eat a bug, get a prize.  Complete the puzzle, get a prize.  Swim out to the platform and back first, get a prize.  Who sponsors those prizes?  How about take your cancer medicine like a champ, get a prize?

Paul nods at me and smiles.  It’s been a crazy month since finding the lump on Christmas Day.  Now we are hearing the word that no one wants to hear and everyone fears.  Cancer.

And here I am thinking, swag bag.  It could be filled with cancer approved items (cause I imagine there are such things) like special mouth wash and tooth paste, and yummy treats that are easy on the tummy.  Gin-Gin’s and chamomile tea.  Maybe a soft warm hat for the upcoming bald days, and why not a few face masks (maybe with silly drawings on them like fangs or big red lips) to keep other people’s nasty germs away while your immune system is being pummeled.  The bag could include a meditation CD, some vitamin C drops, a nice smelling candle, and some lip balm.  Also a little book of positive affirmations and a gift certificate to a take-out place.  Oh and a parking pass to the Mayo Clinic parking garage (now we are talking).  The bag could be useful too! It could be shaped like a messenger bag or a back-pack to contain all the info they give you at each appointment.  

It might be an unusual thought, but If on a particular day your world is altered in a profound way, then at the very least, shouldn’t there be a swag bag?