Stitching Santa 2017 – My Santa is a Sweet, Sneaky Genius

Thank you to Sheila for hosting another year of #StitchingSanta, a secret Santa gift exchange open to all stitchers, knitters, and crafters.

The backstory. I discovered Danielle otherwise known as @Nell1120 on Instagram. She recently posted her participation in Stitching Santa with a sneak peek at what her recipient was getting. One of the items was a little handmade fabric basket, the very one I was making for my own partner. I commented on the post saying my recipient was getting one, too, and she slyly replied “too funny! They’re so useful, aren’t they?” I secretly hoped that Danielle was my Santa. And she was! (Oh, and I just learned she blogs at Enchanted by Books, you’ll want to go that it out.)

My package arrived just as we were leaving for a Christmas visit with my kids on the Central California coast. My conundrum – do I open now? Or wait till we return on the 29th? Of course I wanted to open immediately, but I deferred to the community who would all be opening on Christmas Day. Waiting was the proper response. Curses.

We returned on Friday morning Dec 29 and as soon as we were in the door, I opened my parcel.

Oooh, my box is stuffed with this….


Unwrapping revealed…more unwrapping!


And after all the unwrapping, look at this haul!


Danielle sent a most eclectic assortment.  A pack of five Christmas fabrics, a pack of white lace seam tape, a cute monogrammed tea towel and spatula, a little jar of pretty buttons (who doesn’t love buttons!), a tiny little ice cream charm, a chunky Christmassy coffee cup, and two handmade items – the cute little fabric basket and an adorable stripey pin cushion.  You won’t see the assortment pack of hand needles because they were apparently camera-shy.

Here is a close up of the pattern: it’s Butterick which has always been a favorite, and I just might have the perfect fabric already in my stash.


Special closeup:


I wanted to be sure you all can see what this is. It’s just a little charm. But in her card, Danielle said she included it hoping to bring a smile, as she knew I’d still be sad over my mom’s recent passing. Mint chip was Mama’s favorite (and mine) and this was such a sweet gesture. It did bring a smile, and will go onto my key ring.

So after all, it was best to open my gifts after our Christmas holiday. It prolonged a little bit of joy for another day.

Thank you Danielle! I love it all, such thoughtful and kind gifts!





StitchingSanta Revealed…What Carmen Gave Me

Hoping you’ve all had a marvelous holiday, and that 2017 brings you peace and joy. And a great big thank you to Sheila, of Sewchet, for again hosting this delightful StitchingSanta Christmas gift swap.

My parcel arrived a few days before Christmas, and it was so difficult to not peek! But I was strong, and managed only to notice a gentle rattle when the box was moved. Ooooh, what could that be? Popcorn? Peppermints? Lumps of coal?

And so it is opened….


Ooooh, look at the wrapped bag of snowy goodness!

And emptying the parcel solved the rattling mystery: buttons! Lots of cute, mostly wooden buttons! And who doesn’t love a nice button. See the one with the world map?


Buttons and more….


Everything all spread out and looking pretty impressive.


The contents, in no particular order:

A lovely Christmas card
A yellow book, all about the color yellow
A rubber stamp featuring a vintage sewing machine
Two spools of thread
A roll of golden circle trim
A roll of stay tape (now I don’t need to buy it)
A pack of buttons and embellishments
Six (!) patterns; 3 garments, 2 home decor, and a duffel bag
Three yards of snowy white polyester jersey

Quite the haul, wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks so much, Carmen of See Carmen Sew!


Stitch on in the New Year everyone!

#StitchingSanta 2016


Cheers! It’s time again for Stitching Santa, the third year of this gift exchange, but just my second year to take part. I’ve received my swap partner’s info and started to “stalk” her blog. Ideas are spinning around in my head and I’m anxious to get started.

There is a limit on new purchases ($15 here in the US), but we have a free reign with our existing stash and any extras (freebies) we can come up with. This the process: After our partner assignment, we cruise through her blog to get to know her and gather ideas for our parcel. From time to time, we’ll post a little sneak peek at what we are creating, and then on Christmas Day, all the “reveals” begin posting, so follow along and we’ll see everyone’s handiwork together.

Just to give you an idea, here are my giving and receiving posts from last year’s partners, Abi of Freckled Fashionista and Michelle of Sewnhenge.

Many thanks to Sheila of Sewchet for organizing this activity, it’s a great little way to get to know other sewing/knitting bloggers, and spread a bit of holiday joy in the process!

Stitch on, lucky participants!


Sunday Sevens – 8.28.16

Hi all, and welcome to today’s installation of Sunday Sevens, created by the lovely Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins. It’s a loosely-ruled challenge: just choose 7 (or so) pictures from your week, and post them on Sunday (or any other day). Check out her site, and think about joining in.

In no order whatsoever, here are a few snippets of my week.

New toy


Some people are easily excited by the most mundane things. I must be among that group of people, because I’m unnaturally thrilled with my new salad spinner.

Painting continues


My contribution will be the window facings and baseboards, when all the “messy” stuff is finished and cleaned up. I got off easy, wouldn’t you say?

So pretty


Haven’t had a cloud shot in some time, so here is dandy one for you.



So, why would anyone be lining up their needles and photographing them? Perhaps because one’s glasses prescription is outdated and one cannot read the fine print on the needles, thereby being unable to determine which is the proper choice for a particularly fine fabric without enlarging the picture. I’ve heard that can happen to someone….

A new hamburger joint in town


We tried a new place, and we were quite pleased. These three stooges gentlemen were apparently happy customers, too. (We did not eat any one-pounders.)



One of my nearly new tires was slashed. I don’t know where, or when, or how, but it went nearly to the cord. Spent an afternoon getting a new one. Grrrrrrr.

Cutting out


Oh look, progress! The muslin is finished, and the real fabric is now cut out and ready for stitching up.

More to come


And look, some new cloth bits.

That’s it for now, everyone. Hope your upcoming week is outstanding!





Sunday Sevens – Week 65

Hi all, welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens. What is Sunday Sevens? Well, it is a place to blog about the little things of your week – those that might not merit a whole post of their own. You only need seven (or so) pictures. Easy! It was created by Natalie, over at Threads and Bobbins. Why not visit her site, check out the non-rules of Sevens, and think about joining in?


Hide and seek, with feline

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We can still see you, Molly.

Santa’s on his way

IMG_5458 (2)This handsome Santa is in front of an upscale jewelry store and a Pilates studio. The small, crowded shopping center (where I needed to pick up a bag of coffee) had large, elaborate decorations; he was my favorite.

Christmas Secrets

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What might become of this little grouping?

Early, Accidental, Unexpected Presents


Working without my sewing machine and rummaging in mom’s old sewing cabinet for necessities. (Oh the hours I’ve spent there!) And look what I found! Vintage Ginghers. In their original box. And now they are mine. I suspect there will a shipment of vintage goodies headed to NY to greet me when I arrive home. Oh happy day!

Sewing Plans

SWAP 2016 JEN ideas board

To be precise, Sewing With  A Plan. Since many of my sewing plans have been temporarily derailed, I’m hoping I can still manage the SWAP 2016. This is my very preliminary idea and it will undoubtedly be revised as it seems quite mundane after more thought. Fingers crossed!

Words of wisdom


I recently read a great quote from world-renowned cellist Pablo Casals on Facebook  and decided to look into it. Here is what I found:

“THE MUSICIAN: Pablo Casals, who performed at the UN recently, is 81. He agreed to have Robert Snyder make a movie short, “A Day in the Life of Pablo Casals.” Snyder asked Casals, the world’s foremost cellist, why he continues to practice four and five hours a day. Casals answered: ‘Because I think I am making progress.’ ” From The Quote Investigator.

Stitch on, everyone and have a most glorious week!