fairy garden

A friend assembled a fairy garden kit for my younger son as a holiday gift.  We've been waiting for a break in the cold, rainy days to create our fairy haven -- so yesterday, when the sun broke through the clouds, we pulled out our gardening gloves and seized the moment.

The kit our friend gave us included three small wooden houses, a fairy-sized bucket & gardening tools, tiny pots & pans, little striped flags to create a festive bunting, many sorts of seashells for decorative paving stones, and of course, the essential jar of fairy glitter.  My son was overjoyed with this project, and since the garden's completion, has been checking frequently for signs that the fairies have accepted his invitation to take up residence.  Thank you dear E. for this marvelous gift.

Spring is almost here...



Who can take a rainbow,
Wrap it in a sigh,
Soak it in the sun 
and make a groovy lemon pie?
The Candy Man...

The Candy Man can
'Cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good.
lyrics: Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley


tutorial :: valentine heart stamps

A little tutorial on making tiny Valentine cards from peg doll heart stamps (reposted from February 1st, 2016...) xo


-- 1 sheet of craft-foam (this stuff)

-- Larger size peg dolls, at least
    2 3/8 in tall (6 cm) like these

-- water color paint

-- beeswax polish (tutorial HERE)

-- Scissors & glue


STEP 1 :: Cut a shape from craft foam.  The shape you cut should be smaller than the diameter of the peg doll base.

STEP 2 :: Glue your foam shape to the bottom of the peg doll and allow the glue to dry for at least an hour or two.

STEP 3 :: Have fun using your stamp!

Note: If you use water soluble glue, be careful washing your stamp.  I find it's best to clean these stamps by dampening a paper towel and gently wiping off ink residue.


-- 1 peg doll stamp (see instructions above)

--  Colorful ink pads & a black ink pen

-- Card stock paper

-- Scissors or a paper-cutter


STEP 1 :: Cut your card stock paper to desired size. My card stock was
 2 in (5 cm) by 3 1/2 in (9 cm). After cutting paper to size, fold it in half.

STEP 2 ::  Use ink pad to apply ink and then stamp your card(s).

STEP 3 ::  Use a black pen to write little messages on your card(s).

Happy (almost) Valentine's Day!


i carry your heart mitts :: knitting pattern

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
-- ee cummings

For the past two years, I've had several knitting projects in mind which I've hoped to document and share with you -- but I haven't had the time.  For me, knitting projects are more time consuming than all others; however, last week, it suddenly felt urgent to share this project with you in time for Valentine's Day.

The materials you need for these mitts are basic: worsted yarn plus some lace weight (or 2-3 plies separated from a length of 6-ply DMC embroidery floss).

Please note: for me, knitting is a calming meditation, but I don't find it relaxing to hold the tension between DPN's as I switch from needle to needle.  Hence these instructions are written for the mitts to be knit flat and then seamed up the side, however, this project may easily be converted to be knit in the round with DPN's.  Please feel free to convert it if that's your preference!

i carry your heart mitts

For this project you will need worsted weight and lace weight yarn.  I knit two pairs of these mitts using Berrocco Ultra Alpaca and a third pair using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (combined with a strand of Knit Picks Aloft for extra color and dimension).  For the embroidery, I combined one strand of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud with a strand of Knit Picks Aloft.  If you don’t have lace weight yarn on hand, you might substitute 2-3 plies separated from a 6-ply strand of DMC embroidery floss.

US size 7 (4.5mm)

Stockinette Stitch: knit (RS), purl (WS)
Ribbed Stitch 1: k3, p1 (RS)/ p3, k1 (WS)
Ribbed Stitch 2: k1, p1 (RS)/p1, k1 (WS)

9 st/14 rows = 2 in stockinette

3.25 (8 cm) wide (after seaming)
6.25 inches(16 cm)  long

This pattern is designed to knit flat and seam up the side, however the pattern can easily be converted to knit with DPN’s in the round.  To knit in the round, CO 32 (to complete ribbing pattern) and proceed.

CO 31 st (leave long tail for seaming)
Odd # rows 1-15: (k3, p1)* repeat until last 3 st, k3
Even # rows 2-16: (p3, k1)* repeat until last 3 st, p3

Odd # rows 17-35: k across row
Even # rows 18-36: p across row

Row 37: (k1, p1) repeat across row (ending on k st)
Row 38: (p1, k1) repeat across row (ending on p st)
Cast off in 1x1 ribbing pattern. Leave long tail for seaming.

placing markers to indicate the bottom tip of the heart

First mitt: From left edge, count 8st. From bottom edge, count up 20 rows (or count up 4 rows from 1st row of stockinet section). Place a marker.  This marker indicates the bottom point of the heart.  You will find instructions for doing cross-stitch on hand knit fabric and a diagram for embroidering cross-stitch heart below.

Second mitt: From right edge, count 8st. From bottom edge, count up 20 rows (or count up 4 rows from 1st row of stockinet section). Place a marker.  This marker indicates the bottom point of the heart.  Use diagram for embroidering cross-stitch heart.  You will find instructions for doing cross-stitch on hand knit fabric and a diagram for embroidering cross-stitch heart below.

Note: if you are not sure regarding placement of markers to indicate bottom points of the hearts, please refer to above photo showing the markers.  


Thread a tapestry needle with 2 strands of lace-weight yarn; you can use a strand of two different types of lace weight for various effects and texture, or two strands of the same type of yarn – you may also substitute 2-3 plies DMC embroidery floss.  Please refer to diagram for stitching the heart, plus instructions below and/or photo indicating method for cross-stitch on hand knit fabric.

The following instructions are from Knitted Embellishments by Nicky Epstein (Interweave Press, 1999):

For the best appearance, the top strand of all cross-stitches should be worked in the same direction.

Bring threaded needle out from back to front at lower left edge of the knitted stitch you want to cover.  Working from left to right, *insert the needle at the upper right edge of the same stitch and bring it back out at the lower edge of the adjacent stitch, directly below and in line with the insertion point.  Repeat from * to form one half of the X.  Then work from right to left in the same manner to work the other half of the cross-stitch.

Fold mitt in half so that 1x1 ribbing is across the top.  Thread tapestry needle with tail of yarn left over from binding off.  Sew edges together 1.5 inches (4 cm) using mattress stitch. Make a discreet knot and weave in end. Instructions for mattress stitch can be found here and here.

Thread tapestry needle with tail from casting on.  Sew up side of mitt from the bottom, until the opening for thumb is 1.75 inches (4.5 cm).  Make a discreet knot and weave in end.

* If you enjoyed this project, I hope you will post a photo of your own work on the Ravelry page here.