mermaid give-away!

I've been cleaning out my garage and it's obvious that I have far too many peg dolls.  Hard to believe, right? It's not much fun keeping them in boxes, so I thought I'd share some of them with you.


While I was working on my first book Making Peg Dolls, I couldn't decide on the exact mermaid variation I liked best, so I ended up creating four sets of mermaid dolls (totaling 20 mermaids in all, by the time I was done). Thus, I have mermaids in excess.

If you would like one of my mermaids (or two... or maybe even three) to swim into your mailbox, please leave a comment below; and just for fun, you can mention what sorts of peg dolls you think I should include in my next book.  The contents of the new book are already decided, so no promises re: including your ideas, but I'm always curious to know where your interests lie!

I will choose two names via random drawing and announce the winners at the end of next week.  Good luck!

Comments are now closed -- thank you to everyone for joining in the fun! Winners have been chosen; congratulations to lucky #9 and #28.


mermaid grotto :: tutorial re-post

Last August I posted this tutorial for creating a mermaid grotto, and it was so well-loved that I thought re-posting it today might be a nice way to welcome summer... and please come back later in the week for a special mermaid surprise.

-- A medium sized box  (such as a large shoe box)

-- Some paper in greens and blues. I had this
    scrapbook paper in my cupboard, but any
    sort of colorful paper will be great.

-- Seashells of assorted shapes & sizes

-- A small cardboard jewelry/gift box.  My box
    measures 2 1/4 in x 3 1/4 in (5 1/2 cm x 8 cm).

-- Scraps of fabric

-- A glue stick and glue gun

-- Scissors

(NOTE: instructions for making mermaids and octopus can be found here in my books.)

STEP 1 ::  Cut the front off your box and cut away 1/2 to 2/3 of the top.  (I also glued the top of my box so that it is tilted up, but this is completely optional.)

STEP 2 :: Cover the inside of your box with ocean-colored paper.  Using glue stick to affix your paper to box will ensure that your paper will lie flat and not buckle.  

STEP 3 :: I added waves, some seaweed, and a fish to decorate the walls of my grotto.  Other things to add might be an octopus, seashells, coral, starfish, etc...   You can find endless ideas and images by searching online for clip-art.  Have fun making up your own sea grotto design!

I didn't cover the outside of my box, however, feel free to paint the outside of your box or cover it with paper.


STEP 1 ::  Cut a strip of fabric to fit around the edges of your box and affix in place with hot glue.

STEP 2 :: Use hot glue to stick seashells around the sides of the box (note: I am not usually a fan of hot glue, however, it is the best type of glue for holding seashells in place).

STEP 3 :: Cut some small pieces of fabric to serve as a mattress and blanket.

STEP 4 :: Tuck your mermaid in and sing her a lullaby. 

It's a nice idea to set the table with your best dishes when you are expecting a friend for tea.

If you ask nicely, an octopus is always happy to help set the table.

Shhh... the baby is sleeping.

If you are looking for a beautiful bedtime story for your own mer-baby, I highly recommend The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell.

Note: instructions for creating mermaid peg dolls can be found in both of my books, and the pattern/instructions for making the octopus can be found in my second book Making Peg Dolls & More.


bar mitzvah celebration


Hello! Hello!  My older son's bar mitzvah was last weekend and so things have been very, very busy here.  We had countless family members visiting from out of town to share in our celebration, which meant lots of events and parties.  I wasn't able to take photos Friday night, Saturday morning or Saturday night, but did manage to snag a few shots on Sunday at a picnic we hosted under the redwood trees.  You might notice that I didn't catch any photos of my older son -- he was off splashing in the creek with his friends, as was right and proper after a year of rigorous preparation and study, plus a full weekend at the synagogue! 

I will be back soon, making up for lost time and lack of blog posts...


making peg dolls :: the trilogy

One morning a few weeks ago, I woke up and ambled downstairs (as usual).  I made tea (as usual).  I sat down to quickly scan email before everyone else rolled into the kitchen (as usual).  But lo and behold -- something unusual and rather happy-making had arrived overnight via email.  A contract! For peg doll book #3!

The contract was not entirely unexpected; I submitted a proposal to the elves at Hawthorn Press last year, and have already spent time emailing to and fro with the head-elf-in-chief and head-elf-craft-book-editor, discussing possible titles.  But in our house we often say, "It ain't a book contract until the fat lady signs on the dotted line" (our own personal version of this colloquialism).

When I was working on my second book, I couldn't say much about it until shortly before the release, and the situation is the same again.  However, I can tell you this: my third book will be entirely different again from the first two.  As for the title?  Some suggestions for the second book were Valley of the (Peg Dolls), Night of the Living Peg Dolls, Peg Dolls vs. Godzilla, and Return of the Peg Dolls.  Contending titles for the third book?  Peg Dolls with a Vengeance! The Peg Doll Ultimatum!

It will be a while before the book is released (right now, it's looking like late 2017 or early 2018) but I thought you'd enjoy knowing that, even when things are quiet here on my blog, the elves and I are humming away behind the scenes...