happy holidays

Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.

—John Greenleaf Whittier

Illustration ©1991 Sally Holmes from The Book of Christmas published by The Albion Press, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York, 1991.


miserable cold

Sorry for the lack of posting the past few days. Not sure where I picked up this miserable cold I have but my nose is running and I can't stop coughing. I haven't been sick for so long that I forgot how bad it feels. And how really awful cough medicine tastes! As soon as I get off the computer I'm heading to the sofa with a book and a hot cup of tea. Hopefully, none of my clients will need anything from me today.

Hope you all are enjoying the mad rush to Christmas and finding some time for yourself amongst all the shopping, baking, wrapping, crazy relatives, etc. Take some time to stop and smell the gingerbread :)


get your indie fixx


If you're looking for some great holiday gift ideas this year may I suggest the Indie Fixx Holiday Guide for inspiration. Yes, I'm participating (that's one of my tissue cozies in the bottom row up there) but you know about me already. There's a whole handmade world out there and this guide has a little of everything—from crochet sushi magnets to dog bandanas, beehive neckties, and monster pals finger puppets—there's something for everyone on your list.


mystery solved

Remember that cute laundry-themed fabric that I used for the cat pillow? The one that someone asked where I'd gotten it and I couldn't remember? This one...

laundry-themed fabric

Well, I was at Joann Fabrics on Saturday buying zippers for some little vintage fabric cosmetic bags I'm working on and I walked past the quilting cottons (which I always do because you just never know what's going to jump out and say "you must have me") and there it was. There wasn't a huge amount on the bolt but I told the cutting person I'd take 4 yards. And wouldn't you know it but there were exactly 4 yards left. Fate, I tell 'ya.

Unfortunately I can't tell you much more about it. On the selvedge are the words Our Family and the ten colored circles that show the number of colors printed and that's all. Usually when a fabric is manufactured exclusively for Joann it will say so, and this didn't, so I don't know. No other colorways either. OK, maybe we haven't solved this mystery after all.


paper cranes

Looking through an old Christmas issue of Better Homes & Gardens (December 1961), among the weird recipes for cookies made from peanut butter, butterscotch chips and chow mein noodles* (no kidding!) and the letters to the editor about the dangers of communism (this was during the "red" scare), there was a section on making homemade Christmas ornaments. Most seem kind of silly, but the origami cranes made from colored tissue paper still look modern today.

I like the directions for folding paper cranes on this page.

This is a one of the harder designs to make with lots of tricky folds, so if you need more help, try here (and read about the peace crane project), here, and here (this is a Greek blog so you probably won't be able to read it but she has a nice photo of the finished cranes on a tree).

I bought a package of origami paper (the folk art print kind) yesterday at AC Moore so I'm going to try a few of these for my tree. And I think a string of them along the top of a window would be kind of cool, too.

* OK, I guess I know nothing about cookies because yes, these haystacks are quite popular and can also be made with chocolate chips and no peanut butter. I didn't know. Maybe it's a regional thing? They still don't sound good to me but having never tried them—who knows? Anyway, I stand corrected :)