a felt pocket book

I love baskets … especially old ones.  Each time I find one by the side of the road, or at the oppie, home it comes.  After a good scrubbing they are usually filled with one of my many “current” projects.  This means there seems to be a perpetual need for extra baskets in Bootville :-)

last supplies the finishing touch

in my basket

It also means that the baskets regularly venture out with me.  To university, to babysitting, to the shops, on adventures.  Anywhere where there might be a need for notebooks and laptop, or a moment for knitting a few rows, or adding a few more stitches to an embroidery.  There are *always* such moments.  Having a basket slung over my arm also means that I don’t always need my handbag.  But I do like to be able to put my hand to purse, phone and keys quickly – something that can’t easily happen when they have been buried by wool or fabric.  And so … the felt pocket book.  Started last year, finished last week.  Hand stitched out of exceptionally rigid thick felt. I had to use the rubbery grippy fabric we use in the kitchen to open tight jam jar lids just to pull the needle through!  Measured to snugly fit each of those three essentials.

a pocket book what it holds back pocket

Decorated with a wee bit of applique, embroidery and needle felting.  Finished off with a pair of pretty buttons and a long tail of red ribbon to weave back and forth around the buttons in a figure 8 … the kind of ribbon that makes me think of old manilla folders, bound up with ribbon before being stored in cavernous cellars.

clasp close up of girl and dress in hand

I’m so pleased I finally finished this very useful little pocketbook (oh my, I can surely procrastinate!) and it’s so sturdy I’m sure it will put in many years of practical service.  The best kind of crafting – the hand making at home of objects which I know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.  Thank you Mr. Morris – your marvellous words inspire me everyday :-)

embroidery basket

felted easter eggs

rooster legs

Friday morning dawned grey and quiet.  Just as it should be.  Family consensus … a day spent together, crafting, listening, watching, sharing.

Me?  I made Easter Eggs.  The non-edible variety.  Inspired by the terribly sweet, cheerfully coloured and decorated candy eggs that were popular when I was little.  The ones that broke your teeth.  And rotted your surviving teeth as you ate it.  Oh they were good :-)

finishing the sheep

I started with a mandala/Ukranian decorative design.  But then, spying “Petook: An Easter Story” which I’d taken down from the shelf to re-read, I decided the rest of my felt eggs would tell a more traditional tale.

I needle felted the trees of Calvary, a wee lamb of God, a radiant sunrise, and a Rooster … joyfully singing at the miracle that is the arrival of each new day, and the beauty and wonder of life that comes with it.


The last step of each egg … adding the crocheted trim (like the piped iced edges of the candy eggs) was by far the trickiest and most time consuming.  But all were finished and ready for the Easter table.

And in a week’s time, they will be carefully packed into the Easter box, awaiting their turn to shine again next year.  That’s one of the things I love about the handmade loveliness we create and keep for our special festivals.  Each year, we pull them out and there they are, filled up with the love and effort of previous years.  Reminding us of the richness and comfort of family life as it journeys with the sun, round and round and round.

all together

ukrainian style




rooster and chick

on the easter table

If Easter is a feast you keep, in whatever form, I hope it was filled with family, love and happiness :-)

~ loveliness found 12/52 ~


 ~ very simple, very sweet and oh so very soothing ~

new friends made

 ~ new friendships were cherished,
endings that arrived so quickly were lamented
& promises were made ~

cafe au lait

~ an early morning prac was rewarded
with a steamy, creamy bowl of coffee in the sun ~


~ knit, knit, knit, knit, knit … & so with tiny stitches
the jumper surely grows ~

warm bread and butter 

a little bit of essay a little bit of politics

~ the torture of essay writing was relieved
with cups of tea, warm bread & butter,
& frequent checkups on the state of the nation ~

fiddling with fabric

~ just one hour was granted to the cutting of a pattern & fabric
… just one hour, I promise ~

a new pumpkin girl

~ a little girlie wanted her own pumpkin doll …
& so I earned my money needle felting with a small girl at my side …
it’s a hard life ~

saturday morning breakfast

~ ahhhh … saturday morning breakfast … long and slow
… with the essential ingredients ~

asking for a play

~ she gathered her toys, bringing them to my desk one at a time,
hopeful I’d notice … I did,
surely one walk won’t an essay make late ~

favourite books~ a pile of favourites … rescued from the shed … so many waiting to be re-read
once this current rush of assessment has passed … but where to start
… bilgewater? my utmost, utmost favourite of all ~







finally frida

Whilst on holidays, I bought these gorgeous earrings.  We found them in a very appealing shop in the little fishing village of Bermagui.  Straight away, they made me think of Frida Kahlo – an artist whose story, art and style I have adored since my first university sojourn.  I don’t much wear earrings and when I do they are usually small and plain.  But these – oh what an extravagance – both visually and financially.  I cannot even remember the last time I bought jewellery for myself, let alone something new.  But these earrings were just so glorious.  So I bought them!

I’ve worn them almost every time I’ve gone out since.  And without fail, someone always comments on them.  Just last week, whilst I was in line at the Student Centre, waiting for help with my enrolment, a woman came up to me, grabbed my elbow and said – “I saw your earrings as I was passing in the street – they are divine!”

Sadly, infuriatingly, teeth-gnashingly, I’ve lost one.  I cannot believe this.  I wore them on Monday to a dreadful meeting I had with the head of department to sort out my enrolment – frankly, it’s been a really tedious week.  It was the kind of meeting where I had to pee five times before even getting into the meeting where I then sat with my hands clasped tightly hoping I wouldn’t cry.  These beautiful earrings were my Frida courage.  I must have taken them off when I got home.  Now there is only one.  One.  ONE!  I don’t know how this could be.  I’ve crawled around the floor with a torch.  Dragged the furniture aside.  Rolled back rugs.  Looked in everything.  Nothing.  Julian has lifted the sofa up from one end.  Abby has crawled under the beds.  She’s working on a $20 commission.

First world problem, I know.  And my enrolment disaster has been resolved.  In my muddled up head it seems as if the lost earring has been exacted as an offering to the great and cranky enrolment god – “You dare ask for something different – I will seize that which you are coveting!”  Something like that :-(

Anyways – the earrings, combined with the pleasure I had before Christmas stitching my crocheted nativity dolls, made me think of making a Frida doll.  I dragged together some wool from the stash and started with her feet.  The first leg is completely straight – the second leg, I added some shape for her ankle and knee and thigh – much nicer.  The white bloomers were marvellous fun – and then I cinched in a lovely waist.  I ran out of white, so her brassiere became smaller than planned and pale pink.  Then the arms – with shaped wrists, elbows and upper arms, and finally the head.  It’s been a work in progress – growing in fits – and this morning, as I waited for final confirmation that my enrolment was now settled (a huge phew!) I tried to still my twitching limbs by stuffing her and adding some features.

She’s definitely a prototype.  I’d like to write up a pattern and make several outfits – I foresee using the same shape to make different favourite women – Frida, Austen’s Emma and Elinor,  a Young Victoria, and Anne Shirley for starters.  With clothes – mostly sewn, some knitted. So when it came to stuffing this here Frida, and there was no lovely pure wool stuffing left  – I made do with dried pinto beans for the body and a bit of dark fleece for her head. Not quite right but still plenty good enough to turn her from a flat pile of misshapen crochet to a character that felt so real as she sat on my lap and I sewed her head shut!  It was one of those moments where I found myself talking to my sewing :-)

I ran out of steam soon after that – a bit of needle felting, a chunky bead necklace and the thoughts of a Mexican green skirt.  Maybe tomorrow.  And I have some lovely wool I bought on super sale to try again – I’ll write out the pattern as I stitch.

Until then – I’m off to bed with a glass of milk.  What a week.

p.s. if you know where you can buy earrings that look like these, do please let me know!