Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas to All

A Wish         
May He come to you
   this Christmas Eve
In a star or in a song
    painfully sweet,

In a pearl sunset, in
    a tree’s soft glow,
Or in the quiet of
a falling snow,

Bringing Peace on Earth,
love, laughter.  May
Your whole heart swell with joy
                  this Christmas Day.                   

by Sarah Ashley Posch

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday's Child

I, and generations before me, grew up on rhymes like "Thirty days hath September" and "Monday's child is fair of face."  My niece and nephew don't know these.  They're not alone.  I'm constantly surprised at how many blank looks I get when I mention them.  

Many times, my mother and I have embroidered cute little squares of this poem for baby quilts.  I calligraphed it a while back, just for a fun challenge.  Recently, an Etsy customer asked me to make a 5 x 7 print with watercolor illustration.  I was most pleased with my sunrise behind the trees.

Thanks for visiting!  
Come back soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Simply Joy

Here's another card I created for my mother's stash, which I plan to give her for her birthday.......if I can wait that long!  I'd gotten the "My Notebook" Art of the Card set from Hero Arts  It's not Christmas-y by any means, but something kept nudging me to use this swash on a Christmas card.

I inked it in green on a muted tan piece of cardstock and mounted it on a dark green card.  Calligraphy pens tend to bleed when writing over a stamped area, so I sprayed lightly with hairspray before writing.  

I was so pleased with the end result, I went ahead and made several of these, also trying it on a muted blue background.  

Thanks for stopping by!
Come back soon!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Silent Night

Here's another card I created with my mother in mind.  I fell in love with this stamp from the minute I saw it.  Thought I pair it with a little calligraphy.  

Patterned Cardstock:  Momenta pad 20469 R4
Stamps:  Winter Town (Hero Arts)
                Snowflake (Stampabilties)
                Small snowflake (Hobby Lobby)
Black Dye Ink (Tsukineko)
Watermark ink (VersaMark)
Embossing Powder:  silver and gold (American Crafts)
Fine nib calligraphy pen with black ink (Schaeffer)
Deckle scissors (Fiskars)
Gold leafing pen (Krylon)
2 small gold gemstones (The Paper Studio)  

Did the same basic design again, all in blue.  Didn't like it quite as much as I thought I might.  What do you think?

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Monday, October 20, 2014

No Peeking!

The UPS man delivered my complimentary copies last Thursday evening. I'm on page 49, but I won't even THINK of letting myself stroll through this magazine until I've finished a certain baptism garment and smocked dress!!


The UPS man delivered my complimentary copies yesterday evening.  I'm on page 49, but I won't even THINK of letting myself stroll through this magazine until I've finished a certain baptism garment and smocked dress!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Christmas Red

Here are two new cards to add to my Mother's stash.  I made them both the other morning, using a pre-folded kraft card, plain white cardstock, and this antiqued red from The Paper Studio's Christmas on Amesberry Street stack.  I wanted to keep that typewriter as the focal point of the first card.

My Merry Christmas stamp is several years old, from an unknown set.  I stamped only the Merry on the first card, in black dye ink.  For the second card, I embossed it instead and punched three snowflakes to show off the white underneath.  

Now it's time for a cup of chai.

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Christmas Time's a'Comin'

I can almost believe it this morning, with a delicious nip in the air!

I wandered over to the Hero Arts Club Blog yesterday and discovered a new holiday challenge underway.  Hooray!  That's just what I need.  For my mother's birthday this year, I'd like to give her a stack of Christmas cards ready for sending.  I only have two or three so far, so I'd better get busy!

This idea happened by accident.  I'd stamped these Winter Trees from Hero Arts and had that piece lying on my desk.  Meanwhile, I die-cut an oval for another card.  I tossed aside the paper that was leftover from that oval, and it landed on top of these stamped trees.  I fell in love with that look. 

A touch of scoring and the deer on the outside of the card really set it off. 

card outside
inner layer

a touch of calligraphy inside

I'm entering this card in the "White Out" category of the Hero Arts Holiday Challenge.  

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Before settling down to today's smocking, I needed to make a couple of birthday cards for a friend.  I found this quote some time ago and have been saving it to calligraph this time of year.  I wasn't sure how my pen (Shaeffer cartridge pen and ink) would write on this scrapbook paper, but it did just fine.  No puddling.  No fuzzies.

I used Inkadinkado stamps around the edges.   

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Birthday Poppies

I absolutely LOVE these poppy stamps from Hero Arts!  I typically stamp them with dye ink pads and then deepen some of the colors with colored pencils.  

Here, I made the top one first.  I needed another birthday card, and I had this poppy already stamped on a square of vellum, just sitting in my scrap drawer.  I tried layering it over this bright yellow patterned paper and immediately fell in love with the combination.  (I sponged the edges of the vellum first, using brown chalk ink.)  Alas, since it's an old pack, I don't have much of this particular yellow paper--just one more small square.  So..........

...I created this card, using a different poppy and layering the vellum over a more recent patterned paper.  I like it, but I wish it were a brighter yellow.  The colors just don't have the same pop, do they?

Which card do YOU like best?

Patterned Cardstock:  Songbird Duet stack (Momenta)
Sparkle Vellum (The Paper Studio)
Stamps:  H5904 Poppy (Hero Arts)
                Sweetheart Birthday set (
Dye Ink:  Ladybug Red, Bamboo Leaves, Rich Cocoa (Tsukineko)
Colored pencils:  red, dark brown (Prismacolor)
4 bronze brads (The Paper Studio)
Sponge dauber  

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

John 16:33

Here's my latest calligraphy for a good customer...

I did this on 8 x 10-inch antique-y gold parchment.  Haven't used this in a while.  It's pure joy.  My pen just glides along the surface, as I listen to Christmas music while writing.  Thanks to fellow calligrapher Margaret Shepard for this capital J design.

Want a verse like this for your very own?  Visit my shop at  I love doing custom orders!

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Seriously Study Hall

 Setting out to make a late-summer sheath dress, I started with a Butterick pattern and ended up having to throw my work in the trash and start over from scratch.  I was not pleased.

This Vogue 7241 sheath fits like a dream.   I cut it a wee bit shorter than the pattern for a true '60s look.  Don't try lining the whole dress with another fabric, as the instructions suggest.  Too bulky!   I lined the neck and armholes with tulle before putting in the darts.  

Darts in doll clothes, particularly full darts like these, used to be scary.  No more.  First I mark them with a pin prick, and then I mark each teeny tiny hole with wash-away marker.  Then sew with short stitches.

I call this "Seriously Study Hall," and it's available on my etsy shop at:

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Autumn is Coming!

Autumn is almost here!  Hooray!  I can feel it in the air.  And that means I feel like putting in my Christmas music--maybe just one CD to begin with.  

I created this autumn card for my big brother, Leo.  Of course this stamp of the man on the bicycle from made me think of him immediately, so I had to have it.  

I set if off with this favorite tree from Penny Black and a couple of leaves from Inkadinkado.  For the multicolored leaves on the tree and ground, I used a pencil eraser to make dots of green,ochre, orange and red.

I'm entering this in the Vintage Stamping Challenge

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


 I came home from our Sunday drive inspired to make more sunflower cards.

Here I have brown paper from Co'ordinations and deep yellow from Die Cuts With a View, which is slightly lighter on one side.  I used that to my advantage making these flowers.

With my Fiskars flower punch, I punched two flowers.  Use any 1-inch circle punch for a brown flower center.


Next, I put these sunflowers to use.

For the first card, I used Co'ordinations paper for blue sky and green grass, tearing the grass piece and sanding a few "clouds" into my sky.  

I love this second card, though it's very simple.  I used kraft paper for the card base.  The leaves I'd happened the cut from scrap when I was trying out my brand new Cuttlebug and dies.

I'm delighted with that purchase already!

Which card do YOU like best?

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday Drive

We took a spur-of-the-moment drive yesterday, just heading out west with no particular destination in mind, ending up in Council Grove.  

We ate the buffet at Hays House.  Hays House, which opened in 1857, is the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi.  It was busy, but there was plenty of room.  Our waitress encouraged us to take a peek at the basement after eating and explore the upstairs as well.  I enjoyed the fresh peach pie (topped with homemade whipped cream) for dessert.  Yummy!

We drove around to see some of the houses around town and got out to walk a tiny bit of the Neosho Riverwalk before heading home.   It's lovely, but we were running out of time, since we'd gotten an awfully late start in the day. 

Wild sunflowers along the side of the road are profuse this year--bright yellow faces on tangled stalks.  Now and then was a purple blur of asters.  Even the goldenrod was beautiful from a safe distance!  Broom weed was just beginning to turn.  This September is very green and yellow.

Coming up soon.........I'll post cards inspired by this trip!

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Verna Opal

Happy Birthday, Mammy!
September 7th, 1899-June 6, 1986

Happy Birthday, Mammy! Thank you for the boxes of doll clothes you made and sent so many years ago. I treasure them and all the happy memories they made. I miss you still. I always will.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Custom Calligraphy Card

My latest client wanted a card with these lines from "Bagpipe Music" calligraphed on the front, along with an illustration of an old fashioned mercury barometer.  

It's always a fun surprise for me when I find I can actually do it!  After a few false starts, I did the barometer with watercolor pencils.  It doesn't really show up in a photograph, but I added a couple of touches with my new Twinkling H2Os.

Check out my shop at

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Two Looks

Good Morning!  It's another hot, sunny, windy day here, and I'll soon be headed up to make a custom card for a client.  First, I thought I'd share these two cards I made with my "Girl Jumping Rope" stamp from

All the papers I used were simply leftovers I had on hand.  (I'm partial to stripes and dots!)  Flowers are from K & Company.

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Dolly Version of "Betsye Gray"

 I had fabric leftover from the little girl's sundress, so I decided to make her a dolly version of her own dress.

First, I adapted the smocking design for an 18-inch doll, eliminating the big flower with black center.

Smocking complete, I sewed the skirt to the yoke, sewed shoulder seams, then sewed the yoke to the lining at the neckline and armholes before turning. 
Many patterns will tell you this can't be done.  Sure it can!  It's a cinch!

After finishing the side and back seams, it's time for the tucks and hem.  I wanted two 1/4-inch tucks.  It's easy to hem and tuck at the same time.  
First, press up the seam allowance.  In my case, it was 1 1/2-inches.  Now, press up that same amount again.  (This did not make sense to me when I first read it.  I thought that meant I'd have to compensate by adding more length to the dress.  Nope.  It only dawned on me as I actually did it!)

Now stitch the tuck...

...and press it down.  Voila!  You've got a tuck with the raw hem edge up inside it.

I measured 5/8 from that stitching to press my second tuck.

Here they are!

If you want dolly's dress to have a sash, as mine did, here's an easy way, with no turning.  Narrow hem long edges.

Fold right sides together and stitch across one short end.

Trim the corner.

Turn the corner out and press flat.

I did include these sashes in the side seams.

Anyone interested in the pattern for this doll dress?  I'm thinking of offering patterns here.

Thanks for visiting!
Come back soon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Betsye Gray

 My client wanted a sundress for her daughter's portrait sitting.  She sent me this pale blue linen and asked that it be smocked with white and have black centers for the flowers.  At first I was alarmed.  Black centers?  On a little girl's dress?  But then my client showed me a picture of her own blouse she'd be wearing in the portrait.  It was made of black lace. 
Edgestitching the neckline
I came up with this smocking design.  It's quiet elegance kept me thinking of my great-great-great grandmother, Elizabeth "Betsye"  Gray, who is a bit of an enigma to us genealogists in the family.  

The dress is collar-less, with a big sash to tie in back.  I made two tucks at the hem, incorporating the hem into the bottom tuck.   I'll discuss how that was done in a future entry.

Thanks for stopping by!
Come back soon!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

for a Sister

It's been just over a year since I first discovered Flonz stamps.  I had to have them right away!  I particularly love this little girl.

I stamped her on a scrap of stone-colored paper from an unknown pad.  (The cover was torn off when I found it on mark down at the store!)  I layered this over a printed piece of olive green from the Vintage Charm stack from My Mind's Eye.  Tied the two with a piece of gold organza ribbon before gluing to the card base.  Then I decided to add three pink gemstones--one as a flower center; the other two are kind of randomly placed.  

I'm applying for the Design Team at the Vintage Stamping Challenge.  Wish me luck!

Vintage Stamping Challenges
Vintage Stamping Challenge from

Thanks for stopping by.  I love to hear comments!
Come back soon!