Monday, December 12, 2011


I've been making angel ornaments each year for Audrey, my girlfriend's daughter. In October, the stork brought Audrey a little sister -- Allyson Quinn. Rachel & I decided that Allyson's ornaments would be a collection of mice. I decided to start with Moonbeam, this adorable baby mouse sleeping on the moon.

It's absolutely one of my favorites so far! It went together super quick in just two nights. I'm going to have to make one for myself in some red pajamas. I'm going to search for a better yellow for the moon, though. This one's a little harsh.

Friday, October 28, 2011


And here's the final ornament in the special request collection: "a raccoon in a trash can." Yes, I am related to this boy and no, I don't have any explanation for his weirdness. But weird or not, the ornament did turn out pretty cute. I used Carolyn DeAngelis' raccoon pattern and just cut him off at the waist and stuck him in a trash can. The big green can was looking a little bare, so I threw on a recycling symbol which helped break it up.

I'm guessing my nephews thought they were being clever and thought they were picking difficult things I wouldn't be able to make. Clearly, they have no idea who they're dealing with.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

King Cobra

Here is item #2 in the "Idiot Boys of 2011" collection. The specific request was "venomous snake," courtesy of my 11 year-old nephew, Zach. Because I can't draw at all, I have to rely on Google images that I think will convert well to an ornament. This is the one I landed on:

And here he is in his felted glory:

I named him "King Cobra." His coiled tail was not so fun. It's primarily stuffed with pipe cleaners. Ouida & her mother are pros at using actual stuffing on those skinny ornament parts. I go the cheater's route and use pipe cleaners instead.

Maybe next year, I'll do the rattlesnake as a companion piece. Or maybe Zach will request something else spectacular . . . . like "rabid dog."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I've learned a very important lesson this year: don't ask pre-adolescent boys which ornament they'd like you to make them. This is the first in a 3-part series I'm calling "The Idiot Boys of 2011." And now, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you A SQUIRREL WEARING AVIATOR SUNGLASSES . . . . aka Carolyn DeAngelis' squirrel named Hop-a-Bit.

I did take a little poetic license with this one. I gave him a tan patch on his tail and on his belly because I thought he was a little monotone otherwise. I also gave him two nuts instead of one. There's an off-color explanation for this. The boy who requested this is our best friends' son and he attended the sex-ed class we taught in August for middle schoolers at our church. Where kids are concerned, I like the ornaments to reflect something that happened in their lives that year. Hence, the nuts. (Get it?) HE'LL get it, I can promise you that, and he'll laugh and laugh.

Missus Mouse

This one is for my mother. Our family has a long-standing love for handmade Christmas ornaments and I've made my mother a felt one each year since I've started making them. I added a few doodads to this one, which isn't something I normally do. I gave her a plaid bow in her hair and I thought her hands looked like they needed something, so I gave her a package.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We have a young friend who began attending Ashland University here in Ohio this fall. Ashland's mascot is an eagle and their colors are purple and gold. I knew right away that I wanted to make him the eagle ornament for Christmas, but my creativity stopped there. On a campus visit, I spied a banner with an eagle whose body was purple. A-HA! I usually don't think up the ideas on my own, but I'm a masterful copier! I used Print Shop to make a varsity "A" to put on his chest. He turned out fantastic and I have no doubt that Caleb will be very happy at Christmas.

And now you know my big photography secret. I lay my ornaments on a yellow mailing envelope to take their pictures. I'm too lazy to crop the flap off of this one. And if you look at Star's picture, you can see the return address in the corner. Sorry to blow my cover!

Marching Band Bear #2

Kelly is now a sophomore, so this is bear #2 to add to her marching band. She's still honking away on her clarinet and is still loving band! Nothing exotic here. Stuck straight to the pattern.


This is my third ornament for my friend Rachel's daughter, Audrey. Rachel is currently expecting her 2nd child on October 21st, so I'll be rapidly stitching another ornament for their tree this year as soon as I know whether the baby is a boy or a girl. This is not my favorite of the three angels I've made for Audrey, but amongst a collection, little Star will be just fine.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wizard of Oz

When my sister and I were little, my grandmother bought us a Christmas ornament at a church bazaar. It was a little felt Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and was covered with beads and sequins. My sister still has the original ornament in her collection. It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned the ornament had been made from a Bucilla kit that included the other 3 main characters.

I began looking on Ebay for an old kit. I could find them, but they were ridiculously expensive, typically going for around $75. One day last fall, I took a quick gander on Ebay and found that mere moments earlier, someone had listed a kit with a "buy it now" price of $35. I pounced immediately!

Before I cut anything out, I made copies of all the pieces so I could make a set for Jenny and a set for myself. Then I measured all the sequins and got online to order extras. I'd never done one of these bead-and-sequin ornaments before. Yikes -- I about went cross-eyed! There were a million tiny little pieces to keep up with. The kit called for the faces to be embroidered and satin-stitched, which I did. On the copies, I cut out little pieces of felt for the noses and cheeks and stitched them on. They were a labor of love, but it was all worth it. They turned out beautiful!

Here's Dorothy from the kit. I only had to make one since Jenny has one. I don't know why she's wearing red instead of the standard pale blue. Her beading was the most tedious since the beads and sequins made a plaid pattern on her dress. That hair wasn't much fun, either!

This is the tin man. That's the kit on the left and the copy on the right. The one from the kit was more difficult because the shiny metal vinyl was very difficult to sew through. The stuff I used for the 2nd one was from the fabric store and was softer.

This is the kit on the right and the copy on the left. The scarecrow presented its own challenges because I did him a little different than the directions. I like to sew everything front-to-back and then stuff it. The pattern had some kooky directions for putting the yarn on first, stitching and stuffing the head, and then slipping it over the body piece like a helmet. Yuck. I like my way better, though working around that yarn wasn't much fun.

That's the kit on the left and the copy on the right. I think you can clearly see why the lion was a nightmare! I didn't glue the mane, because I thought hot glue would be too stiff. Instead, I made a loop of yarn, then tacked it. And just went around the whole head like that. And because I wanted the mane very full, it literally took hours. But I'm so glad I did! I know he looks good in the picture, but he's amazing in person!

I doubt my sister has any idea that three other ornaments exist. I've never mentioned it to her. She will be SHOCKED when I give these to her and I can't wait!!