Sunday, August 23, 2015


This is an ornament I wanted to make in 2014 to commemorate our trip to Disney.  I didn't have a pattern and ran out of time to design something, so it just didn't get done.  I'm glad I waited because something showed up on Pinterest this year that worked great!  First . . . a little back story.

Mariah had never been to Disney and we didn't want her to be any older before she went.  Scott had sworn about 20 years ago that he would NEVER go again, so I really had to exercise the power of persuasion to get him on board.  We decided to go in the fall when it would still be warm and the crowds would be low.  We pulled Mariah out of school for 2 days -- we are THOSE parents -- and flew down for a long weekend.  At that time of year, there's a special event called Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  The park opens after hours and everyone is in costume.  There's a special parade, special fireworks, etc.

Mariah had NO idea about this trip.  It was a complete surprise.  We picked her up from school at lunch time and drove straight to the airport.  We told her when we left school where we were going.  We did not, however, say one word to her about the Halloween event.  Unbeknownst to her, I had made costumes for all three of us.  I worked on them during the day when she was in school and had them stashed in our storage room.  

Our first day at Disney World was great.  Mariah bought the customary Minnie ears and wore them for the duration: 

We told her we were coming back to the hotel to rest for a bit and then go out to dinner.  When we got back to our room, we asked her to open one of our suitcases.  (It had all the costumes in it.)

Mariah was Tinkerbell, Scott was Woody, and I was Minnie.  Here are a few shots of us as we headed out for a really fun evening.  

I had big plans for making all three ornaments, but that didn't happen.  I had kind of let it go when I saw this on Pinterest:

I couldn't track down an actual pattern, so I used this as inspiration to design something and here's what I came up with:

Mariah loves it and it's the perfect souvenir for a really happy memory . . . even if it is a year late!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

West Holmes Knight

I shared in an earlier post that Mariah would be starting high school this fall.  Our school's mascot is a knight, so I knew I wanted to make that into an ornament somehow.  I didn't really see a Carolyn DeAngelis pattern that I could adapt easily.  Since I can't draw, I knew I needed to buy some clipart.  I headed over to Etsy and did a search for "knight clipart."  That led me to this set, which I ultimately bought.  $6 is a bargain for the amount of images you get.

I was particularly taken by this one:

A suicide mission in terms of making an ornament, right?  Feeling bold, I decided to take the plunge and convert this to a pattern.  I really wasn't in love with the horse's head.   For starters, it's to cartoonish for me and not the look I was going for.  Secondly, I didn't like the head covering thing.  I did a Google search for horse clipart and came across this:

I figured I could do a head transplant and make something work!  It took awhile to get the pieces right and it took even longer to stitch the ornament, but it was TOTALLY worth it because I think this is probably the most magnificent ornament I've made so far.  See what you think:

And to give you an idea of the scale:  

I'm not gonna lie . . . this was a beast.  I had about 15 hours of stitching time in it and that doesn't include the time it took to design the pattern or cut the pieces.  But it was totally worth it, don't you think??  Mariah LOVES it!

I posted a picture of it on Facebook and told people they could, indeed, place orders.  The selling price?  One million dollars!  I can tell you for sure that this is a one-of-a-kind!


In case anyone happens by and thinks I've stolen someone else's work or thinks I'm profiting from it:

  • purchased the clip-art.  I did not do a "right click/save as."
  • I am not selling a pattern made from this clip-art.  I'm not even giving away a pattern made from this clip-art.  
  • I am not selling ornaments made from this clip-art.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Painter Pauline

It's funny . . . I've looked through all my Carolyn DeAngelis patterns at least a million times, but they just hit me differently on different days depending on my mood.  I was looking for a pattern and stumbled across Painter Pauline.  She's never interested me before, but this time I immediately thought of this painting that Mariah did in art class.  It was chosen to be included in a county-wide student art show.

I thought it would be a really cute way to commemorate that achievement by incorporating it into an ornament.  I thought the ornament had some cute details, so I got to work on those.  I matched up the colors in Mariah's painting to my felt and used those colors for the palette.  I Googled "dollhouse miniature paint brush" and found this image:

I figured I could make that work by painting some wooden toothpicks.  Next, I laid her painting on the floor and took a picture of it.

Then I scanned it into my computer, put it into my Print Shop program and shrunk it down to about 1.5" x 2".  I printed it on cardstock and mounted it to a thin piece of cardboard.  There's a lot going on with this ornament and her hands are certainly full, but look how cute she is!

It doesn't show up well in the picture, but the hat is black and the legs are navy.  This is the first time I've done a pattern where the feet are turned in.  It was tempting to turn them out, since that's how all my other ornaments are, but I decided to stay true to the pattern.  Ditto for the little buttons.  Carolyn shows them this way -- cut with a hole punch and a little "V" nipped out of them.  Here's a close-up of the paintbrushes:

Making an ornament really personal is one of my favorite things to do.  This Flat Zach ornament from a few years ago is still on my greatest hits list.  When you take the time to give it that little personal touch, I guarantee your recipient will really treasure it.  I managed to make this one without Mariah seeing it and I can't WAIT to see her face on tree decorating day!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sammy the Sea Turtle

I posted Serena the Seahorse last time and told you that I'd ordered the pattern from an Etsy shop called Squishy Cute Designs.  When I was ordering, I perused the other patterns, too, and stumbled across the magnificent Sammy the Sea Turtle pattern.  I'm not really into turtles, but our family did have a great turtle encounter last summer on our Mexico vacation.  

We had rented a house on the beach and there were lots of signs and roped-off places in our general vicinity marking where sea turtles had laid eggs.  My husband got up early one morning to find some conservationists on the beach right outside our house.  A turtle was out there laying eggs!  We got both kids up to watch and we had the opportunity to watch the mother tossing sand out of the hole and then crawl out and return to the ocean when she was finished.  

When I saw this pattern, I immediately thought of this experience and knew I wanted to make the ornament to commemorate it.  It's a really basic turtle design, but I love what she did with the stitching detail and the embellishments like sequins, beads, and buttons.  Even with all the little shell pieces, it was a relatively quick ornament to make.  And it turned out great!

(It's hard to tell in this picture, but the green felt for the shell is a darker green than what I used for the body.)  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Serena the Seahorse

If you're not a Pinterest user, you're missing out on one of the greatest things on the web.  For crafty, creative folks like us, it's a treasure trove of ideas.  I see beautiful felt ornaments on there all .. the .. time.  This seahorse recently caught my eye:

I have no idea why it caught my eye, really.  I'm not a seahorse person.  I think maybe the added stitched details really got my attention and I knew immediately that I wanted to make it.  Fortunately, the pin led to a link on Etsy where the pattern was available for a bargain price of 5 whole bucks and was a PDF download, which meant I had it in my hands almost immediately.  The creator intended for this to be a larger stuffed toy, so I just shrunk it to the size I wanted.  The pattern pieces were great and very detailed -- well worth the money.  I really loved the colors in the photo and I copied them as best I could.  My beads are a little different color-wise, but I was working with what I had on hand.  Every I've shown this to LOVES it!  Here's mine:

If you would like to order this pattern, please visit the Squishy Cute Designs shop over on Etsy.  Be sure to check out her other patterns, too!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jeffrey Jump-Up 2

This is the third time I've made this ornament and I'll be honest that I'm not a fan.  I will say that he turns out GREAT, but he's just a pain.  There are small pieces and those socks and shoes require a lot of thread changes when you stitch the legs together.  The stitching on the basketball is no picnic, either.  The first time I did this one was for my oldest nephew, Alex.  I think it was one of the very first ornaments I did -- definitely prior to starting this blog -- and I didn't even take a picture of it.  The second time was for our friend, John, who was playing basketball for Heidelberg College at the time.  As you can see from the blog post, the colors weren't very exciting and my picture was terrible.  In fairness to Jeffrey, I thought I'd post this ornament a second time so you can get a better picture of what he looks like.  My younger nephew also plays basketball, so I thought I'd do this ornament for him, too.

When I got the pattern out, I laid out all the pieces to be sure I had them all.  

Ouida's mom must've made this pattern several times, too, judging by all the pin holes in the pieces.  Just looking at the pieces filled me with dread!  I had a picture of Zach in his uniform to go by for the color choices:

He may be a pain in the butt, but he sure does turn out well.  I know Zach will love him! 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Heaven Sent

Time for Audrey's angel!  I've always liked this pattern.  I wanted to wait until she was old enough to understand that the angel is praying.  This one is pretty straightforward -- no special instructions or tricks.  I used my metallic silver fabric for the star to give her a little pizzazz.  I know Audrey will love her!

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Time for Allyson's mouse!  Between Allyson and my mom, I feel like I've already made a lot of the mouse patterns.  This is a total exaggeration, though, because, in reality, I've only made half of them.  But some of them just don't appeal to me at all.  Mouse sleeping under a mushroom -- no.  Mouse with a mushroom house -- no.  Pretty much anything involving a mushroom is on my "do not stitch" list.  I decided to do the Winzit pattern, but that stocking is just completely uninspired.  BORING!

I had some ornaments saved on Pinterest and one was a cute elf stocking.  I went looking for directions and a pattern for it and step one went something like this:  "Draw a stocking shape that you like."  No can do!  I Googled "elf stocking" and found something I liked.  I got it to a similar size as the one of the pattern and used it instead.  It's still a pretty basic design, though, and not too exciting.  Then I remembered the cool polka dot felt Ouida sent me and it was perfect for this project!  Very simple, very quick, and very cute!

Now that I think about it . . . I don't know why a mouse is sleeping next to an elf stocking.  Do you???

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Berry X-mas Special with Tree

Spring has finally sprung in northeast Ohio!  We are knee-deep in weeds, mulch, and pool chemicals.  We have our first weenie roast of the season scheduled in just a few weeks.  We are ready for summer!

I wanted to do my mother's mouse ornament, but just wasn't feeling it the day I looked through my patterns.  I had joked with Ouida that when I ran out of mouse patterns, I was going to move on to the bear patterns and just replace their heads.  Annnnd . . . that's what I did.  According to Carolyn DeAngelis, this is actually the "Beary X-mas Special Bear with X-mas Tree."  I don't know what to call it now.  "Beary X-mas Special Bear with X-mas Tree and Mouse Head from Claude Pattern" really doesn't have much of a ring to it.  Here's the Claude ornament I made her a few years ago:

It was pretty easy to swipe his head and put it on the bear pattern, which gave me this:

And now I'm looking at these pictures and seeing the obvious omission that I hadn't noticed until this very second:  THIS MOUSE HAS NO TAIL!    I have no words for the shame.  Despite the number of pieces, this one really didn't take terribly long.  I used sequins and beads for the Christmas tree.  Get out your magnifying glass for that teddy bear, because that arm and ear are tiny!

I did want to take a moment to talk about hanger placement.  Sometimes, a finished ornament is very symmetrical and it's obvious where to tack the hanger to the back so it hangs straight.  Then you have ones like this.  When I get an ornament finished, I always stick a straight pin through where I think the center is like this:

Then I hold the pin between my thumb and middle finger and let it hang loose:

That'll show me how it would hang if I tacked the hanger there.  In this case, we're leaning a little to the right.  Move the pin and try again:

Now we're too far to the left.  One more try:


When you look through your patterns, don't forget to imagine what they'd look like with a different head.  It's easy to switch genders, turn bears into mice, people into animals, etc.  This really opens up a lot of possibilities for stretching your pattern collection and making more personalized ornaments for your friends and family!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mogul Mike/Mariah

Happy belated Easter!  I didn't post yesterday because we were busy enjoying a holiday with both kids -- something we hadn't done before.  But ornaments wait for no one!

When  Clif shared his ornament photos with me years ago, I was struck by his Mogul Mike ornament and always wanted to make him.  

I had intended to make him for Scott a few years ago when he started skiing, but I never got around to it.  Now that Mariah skis with him, I decided to make the ornament for her.  And I'll try to get one made for Scott, too!  The first trick was to change the ornament to a girl.  And knowing that I'd like to make a second one, I wanted to do something just a little different so I didn't wind up with two of the same ornament on the tree.  (Why that matters, I do not know . . . but it does.)  I kept thinking of the Herald Angel ornament I made several years ago for Audrey and decided to steal her ponytail and profile.  

I didn't like that spit-curl thing that was happening on her face, so I omitted that.  I also decided to do a headband instead of a hat  . . . though Mariah is too cool to wear either of those things and prefers to just pull her hood up.  Here's my finished ornament:

You're probably wondering about the ski poles.  The poles themselves are just long, skinny rectangles that are stuffed with a pipe cleaner.  The round things at the bottom . . . . what ARE those things called?  I know they probably have a specific name, but I don't know it.  Anyway -- those round things at the bottom look like this:

It's two circles cut from my silver fabric with a hole punched in the middle.  Then I stitched them front to back, making sort of a donut.  (Yum . . . . now I want a donut!)  I put the poles through the middle and just used a tiny dot of hot glue to hold it in place.

She's really cute and Mariah LOVES her!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Olaf from "Frozen"

After Anna, I moved right on to Olaf.  He was simple and turned out great!

I stuffed his hands with stuffing and stuffed the arm part with pipe cleaners.  No picnic, let me tell you.  I had some decisions to make about his eyes.  This was the picture I had looked at for inspiration:

I liked the wiggle eyes, but the purist in me just wouldn't let me use them.  I just wanted them to be felt.  I used a regular hole punch for the white part and my 1/8" punch for the black part.  That seemed to work out size-wise.  I got them stitched on and they looked like this:

Blech.  I labored over it for a little while and decided to try stitching an outline around them.  I started with one eye:

That definitely made the difference!  On to eye #2:

I used two layers of felt for the nose.  I started stitching at the top left, went across to the top to the point of the nose, then down across the bottom.  When I got to the bottom right, I put the nose on the face and stitched the straight part through the two layers of orange and the layer of white, attaching to the nose to the face.  You can't tell from the picture, but the nose has some dimension that way and isn't completely stitched down to the face.  It sticks out a little.  (Does that make sense?)

I know in the movie, Olaf is substantially smaller than the humans.  I didn't want to make him to scale, because he would've been too small.  I did want to make him smaller, though.  Here he is next to Anna so you can see the proportion:

If you wanted to simpifly him, it would really be easy to do.  You could glue on all the facial features and the buttons and use wiggle eyes.  You could also just use a single layer of felt for the arms and hair.  Easy peasy!  If you're on my email list, I'll be sending you this pattern.  If you're not, drop me a line at I'll get it out to you.

I'm getting back to a couple of my "must stitch" ornaments before I design and stitch Elsa.  You'll just have to be patient!  I got out the pattern for Jeffrey Jump-Up (the basketball player) and shuddered.  I'll have to force myself -- he's got to be done!  I hope you've found a little time to stitch.  Don't forget to send me your pictures!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Anna from "Frozen"


I have a confession that I might as well get out of the way right up front.  I haven't seen "Frozen."  I know -- the horror.  Somehow, that was a father-daughter outing and we even own the DVD but I still haven't watched it.  But that doesn't mean that I've managed to escape Frozen-mania.

I kept seeing Frozen-inspired felt ornaments crop on Pinterest and I really wanted to make a set for Mariah.  I looked at lots of pictures and took inspiration from here and there.  Then I looked for pictures of actual costume details.  I used these for inspiration:

One of the trickiest things was to decide how to do the hair.  Doing some sort of stuffed braids would've been a pain in the butt. I decided to go for accuracy and really braid the felt.  It turned out great!  Here's the finished product, and then I'll talk about some details:

You can see here how I slit the pattern piece for the hair into three strands and then braided them.  I did a simple tack at the bottom to hold them together.  Word to the wise:  Don't slit the braid pieces until the bitter end -- After you've stitched and after you've stuffed.  Because I'm hard-headed, I had to learn this the hard way TWICE.  Once on Brother Lee Love's hair and the second time on Leiloni.  When felt gets cut into a thin strip, it tears very easily.  I wound up doing patch jobs on both those ornaments.  Cut it, and then immediately braid it.  

I used two strands of embroidery flosss -- not thread -- to do the detail work.  The little dots are just French knots.  I didn't draw this on first.  I just freehanded stitched it . . . as you can plainly see from the imperfections and asymmetry!  

Here are the boots.  They turned out great,

On the skirt, I used some lazy daisy stitches.  (Google that if you're unfamiliar with them.  It's an easy stitch.)  If had to make one change, it would be on the skirt.  I would make the scalloped overskirt come up a little higher on the underskirt.  I always forget that things look one way flat on the paper and a little different stitched and stuffed.  The stuffing drags that scallop a little more down and under than I would've liked.

Here's the back.  The cape is a completely separate piece that's just glued on the front under the neck.  Different pictures of Anna show the cape at different lengths.  I like the short one, but you could easily make it longer by extending the pattern piece.  I did two pieces and stitched them together.  You don't have to -- I'm just OCD about having unstitched edges of felt on my ornaments.  (I know -- I'm in therapy.)  

Mariah LOVED her!  I'm already working on Olaf and he's turning out great.  The final piece will be Elsa.  She's actually a little boring.  (Did I just say that out loud?)  Mariah also wants me to do the reindeer.  (It is wrong that I don't know his name???)  We'll see how complicated he is and how my time holds out!

If you receive my email updates, I'll be sending this pattern directly to you.  If you don't and would like to have it, just email me at  I hope you're stitching away.  Don't forget to send me photos of your finished projects!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow White

I realize I'm a day late with this post.  I was supposed to have a baby shower Saturday and it got snowed out and postponed until yesterday.  I went from post-shower cleanup straight to pre-Oscar news coverage, so you'll have to forgive my tardiness!

The baby shower was for my friend, Naomi.  Naomi and her husband, Dave, are the recipients of several of my ornaments, including the nurse and ninja that they proudly displayed at their wedding.

They know they're having a girl -- Penny Jean -- and I wanted to give her first ornament as a baby shower gift.  Naomi is a Disney movie fanatic, so it wasn't a difficult decision about what kind of collection to start for the baby.  What WAS difficult, however, was designing the ornament.  Since I can't draw, I'm handicapped and have to rely on adapting other patterns and using photos for inspiration.  I knew I wanted to do Snow White since she's the earliest Disney girl.

I have a computer file of ornament inspiration where I save pictures.  I had several different Snow Whites to look at and I borrowed bits from all of them.  I also checked images of Snow White online to make sure I used the correct colors.  I didn't realize until this ornament that Carolyn DeAngelis typically drew all her characters with long sleeves.  I had to go through several rounds of arms before I finally wound up with something that worked.  They're probably not great, proportionally speaking, but they work.  Here she is:

The arms are completely separate and glued on.  So is the white collar on the back.  I just couldn't figure out a simple way to deal with the sewing construction on those pieces.  The real Snow White has yellow shoes about the same color as the skirt.  That wouldn't have looked good for ornament purposes, so I made them red,  The apple is a little disproportionately large, but I wanted it that way because I kind of wanted it to be a focal point.

If you're on my email list, I'm sending you this pattern today with the blog update.  If you're new to this blog and would like this pattern, email me at:  I'll tell you here that the pattern includes the pieces for the apple, but the completed drawing doesn't show her holding that.  That was outside my drawing capabilities!

This ornament is a little out of order in terms of the the chronology of ones I've completed this year.  That upsets my inherent OCD nature, but it seemed fitting to share this one today since she was given away yesterday.  I will give you a teaser now and tell you that Anna from Frozen is designed and completed and she is fantastic!!!  But you'll have to wait a few weeks to see her.  She's worth the wait!

Happy stitching!