Monday, December 19, 2016


This is another one of those patterns that's a little deceiving.  It is SUPER unappealing on paper.  I wanted to do a lion, the Alpha Delta Pi mascot, for Kelly's ornament this year.  Every time I went to cut out a new ornament, I'd look at this pattern and think, "Yuck.  I'll design something better than that."  Push came to shove time-wise and there just wasn't time to design something from scratch.  I decided to do my best to make this one look presentable.  

Here's the picture from the original pattern:

See what I mean?  Snoozefest.  The more I looked at it, the more I realized that what was bugging me was that the mane and body were one piece.  That just didn't even make sense to me.  I figured if I could make them separate pieces, that would probably help in terms of color.  Here is the Alpha Delta Pi lion logo:

I looked at several images and they were all the same: two-tone lions in light blue and a darker blue.  Easy peasy.  A simple drawn line, an additional piece and abra cadabra:

Doesn't he look great?  And don't let that stitching scare you away.  I was too lazy to walk downstairs to get embroidery floss, so that's just two strands of plain old thread.  He went together pretty quickly, so if you're in a pinch, stitch up this one!  I can't wait to give him to Kelly . . . she'll love him!

Beary Christmas Special . . . With a Twist

As you know, I make a different mouse for my mom every year.  I did this year what I did last year: modified a bear pattern.  This is actually one of the Beary Christmas Special patterns.  I borrowed a mouse head and tail from one of the mice patterns and it worked great!  The candy cane is super cute and this one looks great on the tree. 

Here is a REALLY lousy shot of my mom's Christmas tree with all her mouse ornaments.  She sent this photo in an email in such a way that I could not figure out how to download it or save it.  I finally gave up and just took a picture of my computer screen!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Snorkeling Brayden

We took a family vacation to Mexico in June and it was Brayden's first experience with snorkeling.  I didn't think we'd ever get him out of the water.  This was my view of him for pretty much the entire trip.

I made the Snorkeling Mariah ornament after her first trip to Mexico, so I thought Brayden needed one, too.  I went to Etsy in search of clipart and found the boys' version of the art I'd used for Mariah.  Since I knew what I was doing this time, I took pictures of how I did the mask.  I used clear vinyl tablecloth covering.  This is much thinner and easier to stitch through than actual clear vinyl.  

First, you cut a piece of vinyl bigger than the mask.
Sandwich it between the two pieces of felt and pin it.  

Stitch around the inside of the mask, going through the felt and the vinyl.

Trim away the vinyl inside the mask with a tiny pair of scissors.

 Then you have this.

Now comes the fun part.
Start stitching and stick in the pipe cleaner.

Keep stitching and bending as you go.  

When you get to about here, you have to measure and cut.

Bend it around, stick it down in there, and finish it up!

It's really not as hard or time-consuming as it looks.  The first couple of stitches are the worst and then it's smooth sailing from there.  He turned out great and I'm anxious to see them hanging side-by-side on the tree!  


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.  


Our family really enjoyed watching the Olympics this summer.  Especially the women's gymnastics.  I thought an ornament would be a fun way to remember the nights we spent crowded together on the couch watching Team USA conquer the world.  Caleb and Mariah were particularly captivated, so I made one for each of them.  

Step one was to locate some clipart to adapt.  I always go straight to Etsy.  I can almost always find exactly what I'm looking for, it's always affordable, and you can download it instantly.  I found this really cute set for $3.  Step two was to decide on which of the various uniforms to use.  After looking through pictures on the web, I thought this one could be fun with sequins and red glitter felt.

Once I got the pattern drawn up, it was time to cut out and start stitching.  Here's a little lesson on perspective.  I got to this stage and just wasn't happy.  Something didn't look quite right.  I finally decided the facial features were too small and too close together.  I took out the stitches, moved the eyes farther apart, and made the smile bigger and that took care of things.  

I named her Goldie and she turned out great.  I always do my people ornaments with hair and eye color to match the recipient's.  Here are my two ornaments for Caleb and Mariah.  


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.  

Friday, September 30, 2016


It's time for another angel ornament for Audrey:  her 8th, in fact.  I can remember I was in kind of a blah mood the day I started her ornament.  None of the patterns were really appealing to me too much.  I just sort of randomly picked one and just started cutting.  Ouida and I have talked more than once about how some patterns look really good on paper and then aren't quite as exciting when they're done.  Other patterns look totally stupid on paper and you cringe when someone requests them and then they turn out great.  That was the case with Angela.  The pattern just didn't do anything for me at all, but I love the finished product.  Maybe it's the color choice.  Or the fact that I made the wings a little bigger.  Who knows?!  Whatever the case, I think Audrey will love her!

Fire Chief Freddy

Hello, friends!  Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  I've actually been stitching and getting ornaments done, I just haven't taken the time to sit down and write a post.  In addition to ornaments, I've been busy with some other sewing projects including a Victorian dress and a wardrobe of American Girl doll clothes.  Another day, another stitch!

At any rate, here's a new ornament I did for my friend's little boy.  This is the third ornament I've made him and each year I do one of the boys for him.  This year I chose Fire Chief Freddy.  He really turned out great!  There are so many different things you could do with this one in terms of color choice.  I also think he'd be great paired with the fire truck pattern, Red Hot.  I might have to break down and do those for myself some time.

This little guy was relatively quick and easy.  The only thing that bugs me is that I think he needs something in his hand.  An axe, maybe?  Hmmmm . . . . we'll see if I have time to revisit that thought before Christmas.  What do YOU think?  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Since it's August and I have completed a whole TWO ornaments this year, I finally decided it was time to get down to serious business.  And by serious business, I mean it's time to see what patterns I can whip up the quickest for the people I make ornaments for every year.  First up:  my friend Rachel's three kids.  Angels for Audrey, mice for Allyson, and boys for Reid.  Nothing in the mouse department grabbed me right away when I looked through my patterns, so I defaulted to plan B:  look through the bear patterns.  Frizbee looked like a likely candidate!

I'll be the first to admit that this isn't the most exciting ornament I've ever made.  Sometimes the pattern looks a little boring, but the finished product surprises you.  No big surprises here!  But it was quick and that just had to be my focus for this year.  I added the little bow because it was pretty plain and I thought that might help a little.  I also used white glitter felt for the sheet, though you can't tell from my less-than-stellar photo.  If you need to whip one up quickly, give this pattern a try!

Friday, July 29, 2016


It's a good thing I did that Mickey first, because had I started with Minnie, she would've been destined to be a spinster on my Christmas tree.  Holy cow!  I knew I was in trouble at this stage:

Look how tiny some of those pieces are!  And because I'm a classic over-achiever where these ornaments are concerned, I decided to STITCH on the polka dots using 1/8" punched circles.  I'm pretty sure it took over an hour just to cut the darn thing out!  That might've been my first clue.  

Once again -- lots of gluing on this, which is not my favorite thing, but the engineering was a nightmare and that was the only way to get the whole thing together once everything was stitched and stuffed.  This seemed like it took a hundred years to make, but it was totally worth it:


The kids love them and can't wait to see them on the tree this Christmas.  I saw Mariah thumbing through that Disney book as if she was looking to see what other ornaments she'd like me to make from it.  I put it away somewhere that NO ONE will ever find it!


Several years ago, I was procrastinating about cleaning perusing ornaments on Ebay and came across this book of ornament patterns for Disney characters:

My first thought was, "That looks like it was made for Ouida and me!"  A smarter person's first thought might have been, "Oh, look -- the directions are in Japanese!"  I figured I didn't need any stinking directions; as long as I had the pattern pieces and a picture, how hard could it be?  I don't even want to think about how many years ago that's been and the book had been in a drawer since I bought it.

Cut to this spring when two of our kids went to Disney on a band trip.

They had the time of their lives and I was caught up in a Disney frenzy.  MUST.  MAKE. MICKEY.  ORNAMENTS.  I dug out the book and got to studying.  And I mean that seriously:  studying.  These patterns aren't for the faint of heart.  There are a million pieces and most of them are tiny.  There are diagrams, but no English text, so sometimes it was hard to tell what piece was what.  The diagrams definitely came in handy.  The ornaments themselves were quite small, too, so I enlarged them a bit.

The first thing I did was decide to do the Mickey first.  I initially intended to do the pair, but thought I could potentially see the writing on the wall.  If the first ornament turned out to be a nightmare, I might wave the white flat on the second.  In my fantasy version of the future, my kids will fight over these ornaments after I'm gone and I figured they'd both like a Mickey, but Brayden might not like a Minnie, so I decided to do the Mickey and let them duke it out if the need be.  

I'm not going to lie:  this was a major challenge.  But it was a good one.  It was sort of like putting a puzzle together.  There is more glue than I normally like, but I think we'll all survive.  He turned out great . . . . so great, in fact, that I decided to proceed with the next ornament.  Stay tuned for chapter two!  

Thursday, April 7, 2016


If you recall, I designed the monstrously complicated West Holmes Knight to represent my daughter's school mascot.  I knew what would happen as soon as anyone around here saw it.  I had my response all ready:


People always ask why I don't sell my ornaments.  I always tell them it's because they can't afford them.  Seriously -- that West Holmes Knight ornament would require someone to take a second mortgage!  I had a couple of people, though, who I knew would truly appreciate some sort of school mascot ornament, so I came up with a simpler design of just the knight. I had purchased some clipart from Etsy for the other knight and it also included this image:


I used that to design my little guy.  I substituted our school colors and put the initials on the shield and here's the finished product:

It was still a lot of work, but nothing like that knight on horseback.  The recipients were very pleased and I think he turned out great!


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.  


Brayden, our latest acquisition, had a dachshund when he was little.  He was determined to get an ornament this year, so I quickly threw this one together right at Thanksgiving.  I added the brown patches to make him look more realistic.  He was quick and easy . . . and well received!  


If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I make each of my nephews an ornament each year.  My oldest nephew is graduating high school in May, so that means I'll be making another blasted Graduate ornament this year.  Another one that turns out great, but makes me hate it through the entire stitching process!  I was sort of stumped as to what ornament I'd make for him this past Christmas.

Then I recalled his love of pandas when he was little.  So deep was his love that he once wanted to be a panda vet when he grew up.  Not just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill vet -- a PANDA vet!  This fact is at the root of the great panda/pop-tart incident.  My brother-in-law does not allow food in his car.  Ever.  When Alex was in grade school, he fooled around one morning and didn't get breakfast before it was time to leave for school.  He begged to eat a pop-tart in the car and his father wouldn't let him and was hoping to teach him a lesson about procrastination and parents meaning what they say.  Alex had a flair for the dramatic and pitched quite the fit.  "If I don't eat breakfast, then I won't be able to concentrate!  If I can't concentrate, then I won't do well on my test!  Then that will wreck my GPA!  AND IT WILL DESTROY MY DREAM OF BECOMING A PANDA VET!!!!!"  

Sigh.  Good times.  

I'm not a huge fan of Carolyn DeAngelis' original panda pattern, so I decided to make some modifications to her Christmas bear pattern:

I liked the general shape of the body and the changes to the face seemed easy enough.  I had seen another panda ornament on the web that was clutching a bamboo stalk, so I sort of made something up.  I just rolled up a piece of felt and tied it with thread.  I cut some small leaves and glued those on.  It turned out well and Alex enjoyed the stroll down memory lane!

Happy Belated New Year!

Wow . . . . I can't believe I haven't posted since AUGUST!!  Did you think I'd been kidnapped by aliens?  I wish it were something that glamorous and exciting.  The short story -- which is about all you want to hear about my personal life on a blog about felt Christmas ornaments -- is that we inherited/got/took in another stray kid in the fall.  (I really don't know what the right word is.  It's not a traditional foster care situation.)  Now my house has TWO teenagers and all that goes with that.  Additionally, we moved my 94 year-old grandmother from her home four hours away to an assisted living facility 5 minutes from me back in November.  I try to go over every day for at least half an hour.

So . . . here is what my "immediate" family looks like now:

All of that activity has left me precious little time for stitching.  I didn't abandon it completely and I do have a few new ornaments to post.  I did several that were duplicates of ones I'd already done and I didn't think you needed to see another Ashland Eagle.  (And trust me . . . I didn't want to STITCH another Ashland Eagle, either!  I think that's my last one in this life.)

Consider this a late "Fond Farewell to 2015" post and enjoy this photo of all the ornaments I did manage to finish last year.