Free Pattern :: Custom Monogram Sachet

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." --  William Wordsworth

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
--  William Wordsworth

I have monogrammed towels, napkins, handkerchiefs and pillow cases that date back to my great grandmothers.  Some were stitched by them, others were commercially made and all are treasured. 

For my daughter's birthday, I decided to make a monogrammed sachet featuring the initial of her first name.  I flipped through books of typographic counted cross stitch charts, but none were satisfactory for my purpose.  They didn't reflect my own script.  Handwriting is personal and unique to that individual.  With a few simple tools and a little bit of improvisation, I was able to make a sachet that featured my handwriting.


5" x 5" piece         14 count cross stitch canvas - white

5" x 5" piece         cotton cloth to match your floss

1 skein                    6 strand floss in your favorite color

1                                Tulip® Disappearing Ink Pen

1                                tapestry needle, #22

1                                sewing needle

1                                spool of white thread 

1 pr                          scissors

1 ounce                  dried lavender

1                               metal ruler

1                               rotary cutter

1                               rotary matt


sewing machine


Measure and cut the cross stitch canvas and backing fabric using your metal ruler, rotary cutter and rotary matt.


Use the Tulip® Disappearing Ink Pen to write the letter you wish to stitch in your fanciest of fancy handwriting.  Be certain to center the letter on the canvas.  Don't worry about making a mistake.  If you do, simply rinse the canvas in water and iron until dry.

Cut a piece of the floss the length of your arm.  Anything longer will likely tangle.  

Divide the floss in half.  You will be working with only 3 strands at a time.

Thread your needle, knot the end and begin.

For my monogram I combined back stitches with cross stitches.  Where the line is thinner, I followed along with back stitches.  As my line grew thicker, I switched to cross stitches.  

I followed the thicker portion of the monogram with one cross stitch working them on the diagonal along the curves and then went back to fill in with another where I felt a bit more fullness was required. The result looks stepped like a staircase when close up.


When I finished the monogram,  I stitched one cross stitch every other space around the perimeter of the letter to act as a frame.

Once finished with the stitched framework, place right sides of both fabrics together.  As this project is small, you won't need pins to hold them together.

Using the straight stitch, machine sew around the edge of your sachet with a 1/4" seam allowance. Be careful to leave a 1" gap at the bottom edge that you don't stitch. 

Trim away the excess fabric.  

Cut the corners close to the edge of your stitched line.

Turn your sachet right side out and lightly press with your iron.

Fill the sachet with lavender.  I found it easier using a spoon rather than a funnel of any kind.

Hand sew the gap closed using the ladder stitch.

Pebble Charm

"In summer, the song sings itself."  --  William Carlos Williams

"In summer, the song sings itself."  --  William Carlos Williams

Summers mean long walks along the shores of Lake Michigan in search of perfect pebbles.  I love their smooth texture in a range of earth tones.  I introduced my niece to this lovely past time.  We collected dozens of pebbles for use in making  jewelry, paper weights and other fun reminders of vacation.

To make your own pebble (or sea glass) charm you will need the following: 


Pebble (My own is 1" x 1.25".)
24 gauge non-tarnish silver wire (I used Artistic Wire from Beadalon.)
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Round nose pliers
An 18" length of ribbon, chain or other necklace strand (I used a silver necklace my mother gave me years ago.)


 Cut a 12" length of wire.

Fold the wire in half and place the pebble in its center.

Fold the wire in half and place the pebble in its center.

Bend the wire around the pebble, wrapping tightly as you go.

Bend the wire around the pebble, wrapping tightly as you go.

Proceed until you have completed three wraps.

Proceed until you have completed three wraps.

Firmy grasp the wire ends with your needle nose pliers. Hold the pebble steady and proceed to twist the wire with the hand holding the wire ends until you achieve the desired twist.

Once you have achieved the desired amount of twist, use your round nose pliers to bend a loop approximately 1/4" from the top of the pebble.  Using your needle nose pliers (or your fingers) bend the tail along the shaft of the loop covering the entire 1/4" length.

Split apart the remaining length of wire. Using your needle nose pliers, bend the wire into a flat spiral. Once you have completed both spirals, bend them flat against the front of the pebble charm.

To further tighten the wire against your pebble (thus holding it securely in place) and to add a bit more texture, pinch the wire with the tip of your needle nose pliers.  Twist slightly to add several crimps.


A charming reminder of sunny summer days that you can wear year round!  This also works well with found beach glass.

Sparkly Valentine's Day Door Decoration

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein

This sparkly door adornment let's everyone know exactly where your sentiments lie.

You will need:

10" diameter  x 1" deep  Smoothfoam™disc

1000 5mm red sequins (give or take a sequin)

100 5mm pink sequins

Pink glitter paint

1 ball of Vanna's Glamour® in Diamond (white)

1 ball of Premier Spangle Yarn in Pink Punch

Aleene's® Turbo Tacky Glue® Pen

Flex-i-File™ Sticky Micro Stix

1 yd red grosgrain ribbon

12" of 1/4" satin ribbon

large eyed blunt tapestry needle


sponge brush

3 thumbtacks

4 ball headed straight pins

Download Heart template

Let's create!



1.  Paint the Smoothfoam™ disc.

Paint 4-5 layers on oneside allowing the paint to dry between layers.  Repeat for the other side.



2.  Glue down first line of sequins.

Download, print and cut out the heart template.  Center it on the disc.  Hold in place by securing the paper to the disc with a few thumbtacks. Trace the edge with a line of glue.  Add one sequin at a time using the Sticky Micro Stix.  These are available online or at local hobby shop and make this part go quickly and easily. If you don't have one, use a toothpick with a dab of glue on the end to pick up the sequin and position it. 


3.  Remove paper template and fill in the heart with more red sequins.

Remove the thumbtacks and carefully remove the paper template.  Working in a concentric manner from the outside in, add a line of glue and then the add the sequins.  Continue until the heart is filled.


4.   Add the pink sequins.

Add a line of glue around the perimeter of the circle and add the pink sequins.  Add random dots of glue and place pink sequins between the red sequined heart and the pink sequined circle.


5.  Add the ribbon along the edge of the disc.

Cut the ribbon to 33 inches.  Make sure to cut the ribbon on an angle on both edges to prevent fraying.  Add dots of glue along the side of the disc.  Starting at the bottom (the side where the point of the heart faces), position the ribbon in place, adding more glue as you may require

6.  Make a large tassle.

Cut one foot of Vanna's Glamour® yarn.  Thread the needle.  Put it down. There is no need to make a knot at the end.  Now take a book the length of which will be the size of you tassel.  My book was a 5" x 7" sketchbook. Holding both the Vanna's Glamour® and Premier Spangle yarn in your hand and wrap the yarn 20 times around the book.  The more yarn you wrap, the bigger the tassle!  Take your threaded needle under the top of the wrapping.  Pull tight and knot at the top.  Take your scissors and cut the yarn at the bottom. Now take another 12" of Vanna's Glamour® yarn and again thread your needle.  Hold the long end down with your thumb so it blends in with the rest of the tassle. With the needle end, wrap the yarn several times about an 1" from the top.  The yarn will poof like a ball.  Use your needle to weave the tail in and out of the bit you just wrapped to secure it.  Trim excess.  Trim your tassle so the bottom is even.  

7.  Attach the tassle to the bottom of the disc.

Trim back the edges of the knot you made at the top of your tassle. Add a dot of glue at the top of the tassle.  Attach tassle to the bottom of the disc with two pins.  Once the glue has set, you could remove the pins or leave them in like I did for an extra bit of sparkle.





Day of the Dead Door Decoration

Hay más tiempo que vida - Mexican saying. (There is more time than life.) 

Hay más tiempo que vida - Mexican saying.
(There is more time than life.) 

Most of my adult life has been spent living within Latino communities.  I didn't really feel the influence until I moved to St. Louis. Over the years my cooking was transformed from traditional Southern to one filled with fresh and dried peppers, corn tortillas (not the kind with a shelf life of a month or longer) and the various fruits and vegetables I can no longer find with ease at my local grocery store.  What was once a staple is now a specialty item.  While Day of the Dead  (Dia de Meurtos) is Mexican in heritage, the holiday is one honored by many. In keeping with this upcoming holiday, I made a door decoration. It is colorful and sparkly, acknowledging that despite death, life goes on.

You will need:

Wood laser cut skull shape
2 purple plastic cabochons

1 red plastic cabochon

Decoart's American Acrylic paint - Berry Red, Citron Green, Calypso Blue, Titanium White

Decoart's Craft Twinkle Writer paint - Black

Sharpie - black

Size 1 round brush

Sponge brush

Sandpaper (fine grit)

Silver paper trim (1/8" wide)

Silver pipe cleaner

Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue

Paper plate - as a paint tray

Parchment paper


Let's create!

1.     Lightly sand the entire surface of the wood shape.  Be sure all stickers are removed.

2.     Paint the front and back of your wood form with white paint.  Allow to dry before flipping from one side to the other.  You will need two coats of paint on both sides.

Hint:  I use parchment paper to cover my work surface as I find that the paint doesn't stick       to it.

3.     Use the other colors to trace around the edges of the decorative cut outs.  I mixed paints to obtain pink and lavender.  

4.     Use the writer paint to trace around the teeth and the citron of the eyes.  Allow to dry and then trace those edges with a black Sharpie for better definition.  

5.     Glue the silver trim to the outer edge of the skull shape.

6.    Use a pipe cleaner to form a handle / hook at the top.

Day of the Dead is celebrated November 1st.  I find it a reassuring tradition, a day set aside to remember and honor our ancestors and others in our lives who have died.  



Free Pattern :: Pompom Topiary

"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."  -- Hanna Rion

"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."  -- Hanna Rion


Topiarys are living sculptures.  They bring delight with their whimsy.  As a child I imagined they were the homes for elves and fairies.  Here is a  delightful popom topiary I designed for that childlike spirit who still believes in magic.

Let's Create!


  • 3/8" Clover pompom maker
  • 5/8" Clover pompom maker
  • 2 1/2" Clover pompom maker
  • Bamboo skewer
  • 2" x 1 5/8" miniature wood flower pot
  • 6" piece of 1/4" ribbon
  • Small bottle of dark green acrylic paint
  • Small bottle of brown acrylic paint
  • Skein of light green yarn
  • Skein of emerald green yarn
  • Paper punch in the shape of a butterfly
  • Sheet of gold paper
  • Bottle of Aleene's® Original Tacky Glue
  • 1"x 1" x 1" piece of Styrofoam
  • Piece of dark green craft felt
  • Scissors
  • Piece of white tailors chalk


  1. Paint flower pot with green paint. Allow to dry. Paint another coat. Allow to dry.
  2. Paint skewer with brown paint. Allow to dry. Paint another coat. Allow to dry.
  3. Make 1 small, medium and large pompom. Use both green yarns held together. Trim any access or long bits.
  4. Turn the flower pot upside down onto the felt. Trace the circle with a piece of tailor's chalk onto the felt.
  5. Cut out the circle.
  6. Insert the foam into the flowerpot pushing it down firmly so it is secure.
  7. Glue the felt circle onto the top of the styrofoam.
  8. Glue the ribbon along the brim of the flower pot. Trim off access.
  9. Make a gold paper butterfly using your butterfly punch.
  10. Glue the butterfly onto the ribbon at the point where the ends meet, so that the ends of the ribbon are no longer visible.
  11. Stick the skewer into the center of the flowerpot through the felt and styrofoam. Remove. Squeeze some glue into the hole, carefully not spilling any onto the felt. Push the skewer back into the hole.
  12. Thread the pompoms onto the skewer, beginning with the large, then the medium and finally the small pompom. Spread them evenly across the pompom with the smallest at that top.  
  13. Once you like the positioning of the pompoms, add a little glue to secure them to the skewer.  
  14. Allow to dry before moving.
  15. This project is perfect for using with yarn leftover from other projects. Make them white for a winter scene or for use at a wedding table.

Free Pattern :: DIY Flower Bracelet

Color is the fruit of life.  --  Guillaume Apollinaire  

Color is the fruit of life.  --  Guillaume Apollinaire  

I'm a magpie.  I love shiny objects and rich saturated color.  When a sample packet of Rowlux® Illusion Film arrived in the mail,
I instantly fell in love with the product.  These 12" x 12" sheets are perfect for a multitude of projects.  Inspired by the roses in
my front garden, I made this bracelet.  The colors shift with the light, hot pink, light pink, magenta, deep red, fire engine red.  The
illusion of depth and motion is the result of thousands of tiny parabolic lenses that are molded into the surface of both sides of
of the material.  These lenses create a pattern of light reflection and refraction resulting in stunningly brilliant optical effects.  



Rowlux® Illusion Film is incredibly easy to cut with scissors, as well as punches and die cutters.  You can also score, fold and
emboss it!  

To make this bracelet you will need:

Rowlux® Illusion Film - Red Moire
Rowlux® Illusion Film - Hot Pink Serpentine
Cousin® small silver flat chain - 7" (or a size comfortable for you wrist)
Fiskars® Lever Punch - Poppy Medium
Fiskars® Hand Punch - 1/4" circle
22 7mm silver jump rings
toggle clasp
2 needle nose pliers
side cutter 


1.    Punch flower charms.  Punch 10 red and 10 pink flowers from the Rowlux® Illusion Film using the lever punch (image 1).

2.    Punch holes.  Use the hand punch to punch a hole at the top of each flower charm (image 2).

3.    Add charms to the chain.  Cut 7" of silver chain with the side cutter.  Using your needle nose pliers, open a jump ring,
       attach it to the chain and slide on a charm.  Close the ring.  Repeat until you have added all 20 charms.  Alternate colors.

4.    Add the clasp.  Use the two final jump rings to attache the toggle clasp to the chain.


Free Pattern :: Shabby Chic, Vintage Photo Frame

The most important thing in the world is family and love. --  John Wooden

The most important thing in the world is family and love. --  John Wooden


  1. Run the Touch n’ Slide Decoration Pen along the edge of the inner mat frame.  If you make a mistake and don’t line it up perfectly, simply moisten your finger and rub the mistake away and start again.
  2. Roll the Mini Decoration Roller around the edge of the window of the outer mat frame.  Continue rolling it around in concentric rectangles until you have filled the entire surface with gorgeous green pattern.  To get that shabby chic look, I purposely overlapped some lines.
  3. Run a few lines of the 4mm Glue Tape Adhesive along the backside of the inner mat frame.  Position your photo and press it into place.
  4. Place the outer mat frame on top of the other mat frame and insert into the 11” x 14” frame.

Scrappy Collaged Notebook

"A dream collage is pictures of your goals. It is like your future photo album."  --   Bo Bennett

"A dream collage is pictures of your goals. It is like your future photo album."  --   Bo Bennett

Translate your collage craft ideas into something you can use day after day. Cover a binder in your own unique design and watch your Scrappy Collage Notebook come to life. Use pieces of your favorite papers and products from PLUS America to form an unexpected design.

Let's Create!



  1. Measure and cut six 2” wide strips of paper using your paper trimmer.
  2. Run a line of 8.4mm tape along the bottom edge of the front cover.  Position strip of paper and press firmly in place.  Use your bone folder to fold the paper over the edge of the binder.  Add a line of 8.4mm tape along the inside bottom edge of the front cover and press firmly into place.  Use your bone folder to tuck in the edges.  Secure edges with a dot of the 4mm tape. Repeat this procedure fro the top of the front cover.
  3. Run a line of 8.4mm tape along the side edge of the front cover that has not already been covered with paper.  Press the 3rd strip firmly into place.  Trim excess with scissors.  Use your bone fold to fold the paper over the edge of the binder.  Add a line of 8.4mm tape along the inside of side section of the front cover.  Press paper firmly into place.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the back cover.


5.   Measure and cut two 8.5” X 11” pieces of paper.  Run 8.4mm tape along the edges of the first sheet and across its center.  Center the paper over the front cover.  Press firmly into place.  (You may measure and use a ruler for exact placement, but I simply “eye balled” it.)  Run 8.4mm tape along the edges of the second sheet and across its center.  Center the paper over the back cover.

6.   Measure and cut 11” X 12” piece of paper.  Run 8.4mm tape along the edges of the paper and across its center.  Center the paper over the inside of the front cover.  Press firmly into place.

7.   Measure and cut a 3” X 11” piece of paper and a 1” x 11” strip of the same paper.  Run 8.4mm tape along the edges of the first piece and center it inside the spine of the notebook. Press firmly into place.  Run 8.4mm tape along the edges of the smaller strip of paper and center it inside the spine under the edge of the D-ring. 

8.   Measure and cut a 10” X 11” piece of paper.  Run 8.4mm tape along the edges and center of the paper.  Center it inside the back cover and press firmly into place.

9.   Measure and cut two 11” pieces and two 9” pieces of 1/4 “ ribbon.  Run the 4mm tape along the edges of the large paper centered on the front cover.  Firmly press the 11” pieces into place vertically and the 9” pieces into place horizontally.  Add a dot of 4mm tape at the four corners and firmly push the sequins into place. 

10.   Measure and cut one 11.25” piece of 3/8” ribbon.  Run the 4mm tape along the outer edge of the back cover and press firmly into place.

11.   Use your notebook for organizing favorite craft projects you’ve printed off the Internet or for recipes you treasure.

©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer- Plus3.jpg

Free Pattern :: Vacation Memory Beaded Necklace

Laughter is an instant vacation -- Milton Berle  

Laughter is an instant vacation -- Milton Berle


 I didn't take a vacation this year, but I have a jar full of coins from my travels around the world.  This particular coin is an Australian dollar that I saved from a vacation 14 years ago.  I've been itching to get back to Australia, so I figured a little talisman around my neck may bring the funds required

You will need:
1 7.5 gram tube of 11/0 red Deilca / cylinder beads
1 strand of size 14/0 Czech seed beads (approx. 100 per strand)
60 8mm turquoise blue glass discs
1 spool size d red Nymo thread
1 size 10 beading needle
toggle clasp (I had silver in stock, but I think a vintage brass one would have been a bit more interesting.)
7 strand .015 inch beading wire
2  #1 crimp beads
wire cutters  
crimping pliers

Let's create!


1.    Cut a 40" piece of Nymo and thread your needle.  With your needle pick up enough beads to fit around your coin.  Slide the beads 2/3 of the way down the thread and form a circle by tying a square knot.  Pull firmly. (See picture on left).  

2.    Begin working in rounds using even-count peyote stitch and the red Delicas.  For my coin I worked 5 rounds in red and then switched to two rounds using the smaller blue beads.  For the next round you will decrease every other stitch, so add a bead as usual and on the next skip adding a bead pulling firmly.  Continue in this fashion until you finish the round. (See pictures in the middle and on the right.)

3.    Thread your needle through the beads working your way to the back.  Add the coin.  Repeat the rounds for the blue beads.  After the decrease round, work one more round in the normal fashion.  Weave the thread back into the beads and snip off access.


4.    With the tail, begin weaving in even-count flat peyote with the red beads.  Work back and forth for 3/4 of an inch.  Attach the flat peyote strip to top round of red beads on the front to form a loop.  Weave the thread through several rounds of red beads and snip off.


5.  Using the wire cutters, cut a 24" inch of beading wire.  Thread on a crimp bead and one side of the toggle clasp.  Thread the wire back through the crimp bead leaving a 1" tail and pull firmly.  Use the crimping pliers to crimp the bead in place.  Trim back the tail of the wire to 1/4".

6.  Pick up 4 red Delica beads and then a disc bead.  Continue in this fashion for 22" ending with 4 red Delica beads.  Add your coin pendant and slide down to the center.  Add a crimp bead and then the other half of the toggle clasp.  Thread the wire back through the crimp bead leaving a 1" tail and pull firmly.  Use the crimping pliers to crimp the bead into place.  Trim back the tail to just above the disc bead.  

I think this would be equally cool with shiny new quarters using those quarters featuring the states of the last family vacation or as a gift for a college student to remind them of home.

DIY Homemade Treasure Box

Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved. -- Thomas Fuller  

Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved. -- Thomas Fuller


  • 7" x 7" x 3" hinged basswood box
  • Decorative papers (I used an old Farmer's Almanac with horoscopes of family birth months.)
  • Dresden die cut foil papers (I used three trims in antique gold and silver stars.)
  • Victorian scrapbook image (or you could use a family photo!)
  • vintage buttons (I used buttons saved from worn out shirts.)
  • Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Acrylic UV varnish
  • Sponge brush
  • Scissors
  • Small philips screwdriver
  • Sandpaper
  • Water jar
  • Parchment paper (for work surface)


  1. Remove all hardware. Use your screwdriver to remove all hinges and fasteners. Set them to the side.  Lightly sand the surface of the box, Brush away any loose sawdust.
  2. Collage papers onto box. Cover your work surface with parchment paper. If your project sticks to the paper, it will easily peel away. Cut and collage decorative papers onto all sides of the box using Mod Podge and your sponge brush. I didn't measure and center all the papers. You can see that they overlap each other as they bend around corners and edges. Allow to dry.
  3. Add trims and scrapbook image. Measure the trims against the box and cut to size. Glue into place. I used two trims on the exterior and one on the interior. I set the scrapbook image off center. Allow to dry.
  4. Apply two coats of UV acrylic varnish. Protect your treasure box from fading by painting two layers of UV acrylic varnish over the surface. I used a high gloss varnish, but a matte version is fine too. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly.
  5. Add embellishments. Glue the buttons into place using Aleene's Original Tacky Glue. Allow to dry.
  6. Replace hardware. Screw the hinges and fastener back into place.

Dotty Needle-Felted Beads

"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."  --  Claude Monet

"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."  --  Claude Monet

I love making these felted beads.  They are quick to make, easy to do and can be used in a variety of jewelry projects.  They are an offshoot of my other felting experiments and a nice alternative to the more common ball-shaped bead.  

For this particular group, I chose a woodsy palette in shades of green, chocolate and cream.  To get started you will need the following:


1 package each of Clover's Natural Wool Roving in Chocolate, Mint, Moss Green and Off White

1 Clover Needle Felting Claw & Mat Cleaner

1 Clover Needle Felting Mat (small)

1 Clover Pen Style Needle Felting Tool

1 1" biscuit cutter


Put your biscuit cutter on the mat and press it slightly into the surface to keep it stable.  Pull a tuft of the roving . Gently roll it into a ball shape and stuff it into your biscuit cutter.  


Using your needle felting tool, begin punching down the roving.  Move from the center to the edge of the circle and back.  I hold the biscuit cutter with one hand while punching with the other. (In the case of this photo, I was using my left hand to take the photo!)  Once you have a fairly uniform surface, lift up the biscuit cutter and flip it over and felt from the other side using the same process.  Continue until the bead is flat like a pancake and about 1/4 inch thick..


Remove the biscuit cutter form.  Hold the bead in place with the claw in one hand and continue felting with the tool along the edge of the bead to firm up the sides.


When the bead feels dense and firm, pull a thin tuft of a contrasting color and lay it across the surface.

Remove one of the needles from the needle felting tool.  Punch down in the center of the tuft to begin attaching it to the bead.  Twirl the tuft of roving around the needle and continue punching it into place.


It will soon form a dot.  Continue punching around the edge until the dot it is round and dense.


You now have a bead!  You may add another dot to the flip side if you wish.  

Glue your new creation on a pin.  Thread it onto a cord.  Add it to a jacket zipper. There are many possibilities!  

Free Pattern :: Upcycling a CD into a Woven Coaster

We live in a disposable society. It's easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name - we call it recycling. - Neil LaBute

We live in a disposable society. It's easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name - we call it recycling. - Neil LaBute

I don't know about you, but I have dozens of used cd's hanging around my office collecting dust. I used them quite a bit before I bought a flash drive.  Make one mistake with burning your CD and you are left with this shiny plastic circle for what seems an infinity. They have to be shipped off to recycling plants that specialize in recycling cd's.  Well, rather than recycle. Let's upcycle.  The cd makes the perfect base for a woven project.  Teachers - this project will help you to teach fractions and geometry in a fun, hands on way.They also make a great bellringer.  Just pack up each student's weaving in an individual ziplock to grab on their way into the classroom while everyones gets settled and the next lesson begins. It keeps them busy and out of mischief.  Parents - this is a great road trip project!  Just think, the kids could get all their holiday gifts made while quietly working in the car on the family vacation. Win-win!

All you need:

1 used cd
Tapestry needle
Cotton yarn ( I used leftover sugar 'n cream cotton)
Leftover bits of yarn from other projects ( Don't knit or crochet, so you don't have leftover yarn, Lion Brand makes little yarn balls of color called Bonbons.  You could also use embroidery floss, though the weaving will take yarn as floss is finer.)

Start by threading the yarn through the hole and tying it onto the cd, by making a knot. be sure the knot is tied firmly.   Trim off the tail, leaving only about 1/4 inch.


Now you are going to warp your cd loom by wrapping thread over the circle.  


Once you have wound the warp around the the cd enough times to cover the center hole, but not so much that the line overlap, you will be ready to start weaving.

Cut a piece of yarn no longer than 18". Thread it through the needle.  Tie the yarn to the back of the cid.  Attaching it to one of the cotton warp threads.


Bring your needle up through the hole to the front and proceed to weave yarn over and under each thread.  Once you've gone full circle, you will continue weaving until you run out of color. 


Bring your needle up through the hole to the front and proceed to weave yarn over and under each thread.  Once you've gone full circle, you will continue weaving until you run out of color. 


Continue weaving until you reach the outer edge.  Slide your needle under all your weaving and bring it to the back and tie off.


Weaving was one of my first passions and I actually received a bachelor's degree in weaving. I am so glad to see a resurgence of interest in it.  A few other bloggers to inspire you into weaving at least one cd. 

Great school display of children's work.

Make them as dream catchers to decorate a bedroom.

Weaving becomes a project about unity and variety in terms of art and people.

Free Pattern :: DIY Desk Cube


After once again searching for pen and paper to make a note while on the phone, I decided to be proactive and made myself an adorable desk organizer.  I was able to use up some of my favorite paper scraps which made me feel even more virtuous.  Here's to starting 2013 organized!



You will need:

4" x 4" Smoothfoam™ cube
patterned papers (bigger than 4" x 4")
Dresden foil paper trim (or washi tape)
liquid glue (I used Aleene's® Tacky Glue.) 
Mod Podge® Matte
craft felt
double-sided tape
sponge brush
Post-it® Notes
ballpoint pen 

Let's get started!

1.    Cut papers.
Using a ruler, measure and mark your paper to make five 4" x 4" squares.  With scissors (or cutting board), cut the papers to size.  

2.    Glue papers into place.
Using the sponge brush, spread Mod Podge across one side of the cube.  Center and place paper. With your fingers, smooth out any wrinkle or air bubbles.  Repeat this procedure on five sides of the cube.  Allow to dry and then paint a layer of Modge Podge over the surface of the paper.  Allow to dry.

3.   Add trim.
Cut a 12" piece of Dresden paper trim.  Apply a line of glue to the outer edge of one cube face. Center and place the trim, carefully bending it to follow the corners.  Repeat this procedure on the papered sides of the cube. Allow to dry.

4.   Add felt base.
Measure and cut a 4"x4" square of craft cut.  Glue to the bottom of the cube.  Allow do try.

5.   Add paper pad.
Apply double-sided sticky tape to the back of your small pad of paper.  Center and attach to the top of the cube.  

6.  Add the pen.
Determine where you want your pen to be in relation to your pad of paper.  Mark the spot with a pencil.  Use a screwdriver to start a hole in the Smoothfoam™ cube.  Use the end of your pen to finish up the hole.

Variation:  Collage with photos sent by family and friends over the winter holidays.  

Free Pattern :: DIY Sparkly Valentine Coasters / Placemats / Decorations.

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."  --  Albert Einstein

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."  --  Albert Einstein

I love Valentine's Day!  All the pink and red.  These quick decorations can be completed in under a 20 minutes each and are great to do with children (7 and older).  Not in a Valentine's Day mood?  Well, apply the same idea to any other felt diecut. A Christmas tree with Beads in a Bottle used for ornaments! Same with easter eggs!   Lots of fun here.


die cut felt heart (approximately 3" for the small and 5" for the large)

Aleene's® Jewel-It Embellishing Glue

Flat sequins (I chose red, for the red heart)

Tulip® Beads in a Bottle Paint (pearl pink for the red heart, semiprecious gold for the small pink heart and semiprecious silver and gemstone red for the large pink heart)


small piece of aluminum foil (3" x 3"



Squeeze dots of glue around the edge of the heart.

Sqeeze a small amount of glue onto the foil.

Pour out a small amount of sequins near the foil.

Dip the toothpick lightly into the glue.

Use the toothpick to pick up the sequins and position them into place on the heart.  You may need a 2nd toothpick (without any glue on its tip) to push the sequin into place.

Once dry, use the Pearl Pink Beads in a Bottle to squeeze random dots.  If you have a heart with a lacy pattern as those in the sample,  follow along the die cut pattern.

Allow to dry before moving.


For the small pink heart - 

Use the Semiprecious Gold Beads in a Bottle to squeeze random dot working your way from the interior to exterior of the heart.  If you have a heart with a lacy pattern as those in the sample, follow along the die cut pattern.

Allow to dry before moving.


For the large pink heart - 

Use the Gemstone Red Beads in a Bottle to fill the interior of the heart with random dots.  Use Semiprecious Silver Beads in a Bottle to squeeze random dots along the perimeter.  If you have a heart with a lacy pattern as those in the sample, follow along the die cut pattern.

Allow to dry before moving.


Hang your collection from a chandelier.  Install them on the wall.  I scattered mine throughout the house for use as coasters.  

The Duchess of No

"Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned."  --  Mark Twain

"Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned."  --  Mark Twain

***Update:  This post was transferred from my old blog and written in 2012.  Note that in 2014 the stress of not learning to say No finally took me down. I ended up with a stroke, heart attack and cancer in one year. Please follow your doctors advice about stress.  I didn't. Here ends  my lecture.****

Grace Bonney's recent essay on  Design*Sponge about the business of saying no left me amazed.   How in the world was she able to crawl into my head?  I've been there, done that and have the medical bills to prove it. What we've both experienced is the negative impact of stress.  Last year was one of the best years of my career, but I  also ended up in the emergency room, not to mention the doctor's office for more tests than I wish to count.  For someone as driven as myself, saying no to any opportunity, let alone to family and friends, has got to be the hardest thing I can do.  I suck at it.  As it turns out, I'm not the only one judging from Grace's essay and the comments following it.

But I'm learning.  This was my first weekend off in nearly three years! Yes, two whole days off in a row.  Saturday I sat at my dining table reading through Facebook, going numb from the possibilities, so I did some dusting.    Like I said, I'm learning.  Grace figures she's become the Duchess of No, working her way up to Queen status.  I'm still at the stage of Lady-in-Waiting.  It really is a process to learn how to let go, to relax, to just be.

Buidling a business is completely absorbing.  I love my work.  So if I love what I do, does it still count as work?  YES!  Last year I sat buried in my studio, cranking out show after show.  Every opportunity was another brick in the foundation.  Art brings pleasure.  I enjoy it.  I also love to garden, putter in the kitchen , read and hang out with friends.   My garden is a mess and the homemade jam stock is down to a single jar.  You get the picture.  

As Grace so astutely pointed out, saying no doesn't mean missing an opportunity.  I've worked hard to make those opportunities happen and more will come my way.  Sure, I may cause disappointment, but sometimes it is worse to say yes, especially if the situtation causes stress for myself.  I have to trust that there will be another opportunity at another time, better yet, by saying no now, I may actually be opening the door to something even better.

Free pattern :: Blooming Spring Hat

"Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses"  -- George Herbert

"Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses"  -- George Herbert

In Chicago March is always wet, cold, and grey as a piece of slate. This hat is for heralding in spring long before the roses bloom. It has been designed to fit an average adult female. 


1 skein Manos (or other worsted weight yarn) in color #70
Assorted bits of pink, red and green from previous projects
1 16” #9 circular needle
1 set of #9 double points (you could do the whole project on double points)
1 G crochet hook (or size to match assorted bits of pink and red)
1 set of straight knitting needles in size to work the green leaves
1 tapestry needle
Stitch markers
And of course – scissors


4 stitches to the inch

6 rows to the inch

On #9 needle using Manos

Take time to do the gauge. Really. I mean it. You don’t want the hat too big or too small.


Directions for hat:

Cast on 80 stitches and join circle.

Add a stitch marker to mark beginning and end of round.

Work in Garter Stitch for first inch. Remember that Garter in the round is - *K a round, purl a round* repeat from * to * for one inch.

Switch to Stockinette Stitch and continue for 4 more inches. In the round, this means you are just knitting.

On final round of the body, place stitch markers every 10 sts.

Decrease round is worked as a K2tog after every stitch marker.

Knit the next round. You will continue working a decrease round and then knitting a round until you have only 8 stitches left. At some point, around 40 stitches, you will want to switch to double pointed needles as the crown of the hat is too small to continue working on a circular needle.

With 8 stitches left, cut a long tail and pull it through the remaining stitches. Pull firmly and weave in all tails.


Directions for flowers:

Chain 21 stitches. Leave a long tail.

Turn, skip 2 sts.

Double crochet 3 times in the next stitch.

Continue working a DC 3 times in each stitch. The piece will begin to form a corkscrew.

When only 5 stitches remain, work a DC in the next stitch and the rest in a half double crochet. Bind off.

Leave a long tail.

Directions for leaves:

You will be working the leaves in Garter Stitch.

Cast on 1 stitch. Leave a long tail.

Work an increase – 2 stitches.

Work an increase in both stitches – 4 stitches

Work an increase in the end stitches – 6 stitches

Knit for 3 rows.

Work an SSK (slip, slip, knit) on the right side and a K2tog on the left – 4 stitches.

Work an SSK (slip, slip, knit) on the right side and a K2tog on the left – 2 stitches.

K2tog. Cut tail and pull through final stitch. Work in this tail, but leave the other.


Open up the first corkscrew / flower. Use one of the tails and stitch the corkscrew into a spiral / rosette formation onto the crown of the hat. Bring tail to back of work (hat crown) and tie to first tail. Work in ends.

Continue until all “flowers” are attached.

Sew on leaves where needed visually (I used five). Work in tails.

Download this pattern!



Free Pattern :: Knit Cord Coaster- Kid Craft!

Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home.  --  Magdalena Neuner

Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home.  --  Magdalena Neuner


  • Spool knitter with 4 prongs
  • Sport weight yarn (app. 50 yds) - I used Noro's Silk Garden Sock Yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors


  1. Knit 5 feet of i-cord following the spool knitter directions.Cut a long tail when binding off or start a new yarn. To get started with the spiral, begin by curling and stitching together one end.

2.   Continue spiraling and stitching.


3.    If you run of yarn to use for stitching, no problem. Simply tie on more, pull the knot tight and sew in the tails.


4.    Continue spiraling and stitching the cord until you have none left. Add a few extra stitches to secure the end of the i-cord to the body of the spiral. Sew in the tail.


Free Pattern :: Button Embellished Kitchen Jar - DIY Hostess Gift

“If you're afraid of butter, use cream.” ” - Julia Child

“If you're afraid of butter, use cream.” ” - Julia Child

This kitchen canister was given by a colleague during a holiday gift exchange.  I have since made many of my own, some which I've kept and others which I've given filled with homemade goodies.  They make a great host(ess) gift!

You will need:
Aleene's Glass and Bead Adhesive
glass kitchen canister or storage jar
buttons (The ones in the photo are vintage, but any without a shank will do.)

Let's create!

1.     Wash and clean the jar.  If the jar is new, be sure to remove all labels and any sticky residue they may leave.

2.     Arrange your buttons on the jar's lid.  Remember, buttons with shanks won't work.  An assortment of simple white shirt buttons will look fabulous.  Once you have an arrangement you find pleasing, glue the buttons in place and allow to dry thoroughly before using the jar.

Free Pattern :: Cute as a Button Topiary

"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity."  --  John Ruskin

"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity."  --  John Ruskin

 This quick weekend project is a great way to show off your button stash while making them easily accessible to use when the need for an emergency repair occurs.  A great decoration for your dining table or mantlepiece.



1     6" Styrofoam ball 

1     ball of  worsted green yarn (I chose an olive green.)

1     3/8" x 12"  dowel rod

2     yds of ribbon

1      3.5" terra cotta flower pot

1     bag of decorative spanish moss

1     4oz bottle of Aleene's Original Tacky Glue

4    boxes of Dritz Quilting Pearl Head Pins

2  yds of gingham ribbon 

1    scissors

1  small box of dry plaster of paris mix

1  sharpened pencil

1    ruler

1  roll of Duck Tape


Measure 3.5" from the end of your dowel rod with a pencil

Take your dowel rod and insert it into the styrofoam ball.  Push it in to the ball to the 3.5" mark. Pull it out.

Wrap your yarn around the ball.  Do not cover up the hole you've made for the dowel rod.  Once you have covered the entire surface, glue down the end.

Measure 2.5" from the other end of your dowel rod with a pencil.

Apply a small amount of glue onto the dowel rod between the marked ends.  Spread it evenly across the wood's surface with your finger.  Wrap the ribbon around the dowel rod.  Trim access.  Allow to dry.

Take your buttons and begin pinning them to the ball.  Use two pins per button.  Place the buttons evenly across the surface using a variety of sizes and textures.  Push the pins fully into the styrofoam.  Do not cover up the hole for your dowel rod.

Use a small piece of Duck Tape to cover up the hole at the bottom of the flower pot.

Mix 1 cup of dry plaster following package directions.  

Insert your rod into the center of the flower pot at the 2.5" marked end.  While holding the rod with one hand, pour the plaster of paris into the flower pot.  Hold your dowel rod straight until the plaster sets. Allow to dry several hours.

Once the plaster of paris is dry, squeeze some glue into the hole of the styrofoam ball being careful to not squeeze too much.  You don't want any to drip out when you turn it to place on the dowel rod. If it does, wipe immediately with a paper towel.   

Place the stryofoam ball onto the dowel rod.

Use the rest of the ribbon to tie a bow onto the dowel rod.  

Place some spanish moss into the flower pot covering up the plaster of paris.

Allow the glue to set in the styrofoam ball before moving to the center of your dining table or mantlepiece.  

*Note -  I recommended using plaster of paris as you need to add weight to the flower pot.  Otherwise your piece will be top heavy and likely to tip over.


The crocheted blanket in the background was made by my great grandmother who was never without her "work."  I inherited her collection of steel hooks and many of her finished pieces. Following in her footsteps, I made the featured black and white granny square table runner from linen.  

Artist Crush :: Lisa Solomon

Lisa-Solomon Installation_Inquire_detail.jpg

Occasionally you run across another artists work that takes your breath away. My latest art crush is Lisa Solomon.  Her work seems rooted in the studio of color and social practice.  I first came across her work in this essay while doing research on some ideas I have.  I especially love how she came to make it. 

Solomon takes a completely contemporaneous approach to art as social practice. Reaching out through Facebook and Instagram, Solomon was able to recruit 45 people to help her with the project, sending out an instructional video to each. I love this idea of building a community, however temporary, though the Internet and turning it into art. Her accomplices are located in Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Canada and throughout the United States.
— Written by John Held

Take a moment today to pursue her website. You will be amazed with the color. Her art makes me happy.  Yep, that simple. It makes me happy.