Monday, March 31, 2008


I found this beautiful tribute to Amma, also known as The Hugging Saint on You Tube, by Ambika 145. Amma's tentative Northeastern Tour Dates for Boston this Summer are July 15th for the public program, and the 16th thru the 18th for her retreat, with Devi Bhava taking place on the 18th. If you want to experience being in the presence of a real Saint, chances are she will be visiting a place near you soon...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Spring?

Well, just when things started to look a little green around here, we had another late snow storm! I don't see this as a setback tho. The snow is good for the green things too. And i have a feeling this might be the last time we see the snow cover the ground like this for another year, so i had to go out and admire it, and take a few pictures. Things indoors can tell that Spring is here! The doves are billing and cooing up a storm!

My orchids are blooming. This one was a gift from my son in law last Mother's day and the one my daughter gave me two years ago is also getting ready to bloom again.

My little bonsai trees are having growth spurts too. Spring is here! It's just not that obvious yet!

I just finished a granny square doll blanket, and started making some little cotton baby hats for Kate's store and for local charities. I need to make some matching booties and off they go! My next projects will be jewelry making. Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Gift from Seth

We have a few budding artists in the family! Here's Seth's drawing for us, of a UFO and some pretty interesting aliens. Looks like somebody is being beamed up into the ship!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Very Busy Day

Today was one of those days that when i open my eyes i tell myself "Tomorrow morning you will wake up and it will be all over!" It's a strange coping mechanism i have developed over the years. We have been in the process of remodeling our home now, for the last three years. We are almost done, and the worst of it is behind us. However, the longer it goes, the less i can tolerate it! Today we had the siding guys pull up before seven am, and the guys from the gas stove company come in right behind them. I had done all the prep work i could last night. As the stove guys had to get down into the basement(especially in the room where i keep my doves and my two guinea pig sows) I made sure to move their cages out of the way and to give them extra treats and cover them with sheets so they wouldn't be too upset by strangers walking in and out of their space. My parrot, Safou (who has pretty much the run of the house during daylight hours) was locked in his cage and covered too. He is a little fearful of tall men and squares-boxes, packages, etc...Since there would be both tall men and boxes going by his cage, i thought he's be more comfortable not knowing that. The dogs were happy to be out in the yard barking at the neighbors and sitting in the sun as it was a very nice Spring day today. After i was sure everyone was ok and settled, i slipped upstairs into my studio to do some straightening and maybe even get a little work done. I made a few more "Lollidollies" and nestled them in the basket for a photo. I started another sock doll, but got called away before i got very far with that project. I did take a few more pictures. Here is a picture of the first glove dolls i made, and used the suggested patterns in the book "Sock and Glove" by Miyako Kanamori.

The white dog was the first glove doll i made and i named him "Archie". The little pig i named "Willem" My granddaughter Lola likes him a lot. After i learned the basic steps to make the glove dolls i started making my own little creatures. The little black bunny below is named "Bunnita" and the tiny pink striped mouse is named "Fiona" Fi needs a nose. I just haven't found the right button yet....

I took some pictures of some of my old dolls too. The big dolls sitting on my bed are almost as old as my children. I made these old girls when my children were very small, using my own pattern. The teddies sitting with them were mine when i was a child. The big bear i got when i had my tonsils out when i was two, and the little bear we named "Hunny", was given to me when i was born. Now that is an old bear! Both bears were loved so much their fur was rubbed off, and the little bear, Hunny had to be re stuffed.

And then there is my favorite doll of all...My Raggedy Ann.

My Grandmother Mary Stopera, gave me this doll right after i turned 19, as a Christmas gift. As you can see, Annie has the same problem as the old teddies. She has been with me a long time- 34 years this past Christmas. She has been chewed on by a few puppies (long gone now) and age has hardened her stuffing and made her body fabric very fragile. (I can relate!) So part of what i did today was make new leggings for her out of a piece of material i had here, and i will whip stitch them onto her legs soon. I just hope there is some sturdy material left to stitch them to! So tho the day was hectic, i did accomplish some things.
The siding is almost complete, and
we have a lovely cast iron stove too! Zinnia especially appreciates the extra heat. It was a busy day. I'm glad it's over....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Goin' to the Dogs!

I thought i'd post some pictures of the two dolls i just finished. This is Marley. He ain't nothin' but a hound dog. He's made out of some pretty fancy socks, with a glove finger for a tongue. (Recognize the socks Katie?) The arm and leg seams are machine sewn, but the rest is all hand sewn.

Next, meet Murphy. Murphy is a pit bull mix, and is as sweet as pie! Murphy is made out of a glove. He is totally hand sewn.
I love making dolls using socks and gloves. I started out with instructions from this excellent book called:

Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori

After trying some of the basic patterns in the book, i am making my own little creature designs. If you like making sock dolls and sock monkeys, try this book. It has many great ideas to get you started.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Budding Artist- Lola's First work!

Lola came by for a few hours this afternoon while her parents went shopping. So i thought i would get out the crayons and try to teach her to...well...scribble. It turns out she would rather be a sculptor than a painter. First she had to inspect all aspects of the paper....Then fold the edges.......

make it a real 3 dimensional piece...To get a real feel for her work, she even tasted it in a few places......Until....
Voila! It was finished! And here is the final result.....
She is definitely a minimalist! Maybe she would prefer collage.....

Eggshells, Frosting and Fun!

Well, the Easter Egg Decorating Party was so much fun. By the time i got to my Parent's house yesterday morning, the egg decorating was just about done and all the little fingers in the house were dyed blue, pink and green. The adults were in cleanup mode and the kids were about to run around before settling in for a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So, i took out my bag of handmade guinea pig dolls, and let them all pick their own, starting with the oldest. Seth picked the dark eyed white, and a silver for his little brother Ty. Ross picked out the black and white "roan" and a speckled one for his brother Jack, who was sick and couldn't join us. Lukie picked the red one, and Ryan picked a pink eyed white. This was a great opportunity for me to be able to watch the kids play with the dolls and see how they reacted to them. The little guys ran around and held their piggies and kissed and hugged them ... while the bigger boys used them as footballs and weapons, bonking each other over the heads with them. I know I like the piggies, but i wanted to see how the kids liked them. Well, they are officially "Kid Tested and Approved"!

Oh were the cupcakes!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tying up a few loose threads....

I spent a few hours last night finishing the last few hand made guinea pigs to complete the "herd" before bringing them down to Mom's house for the little ones to choose from. My Nieces and Nephew will have their babies down there, and my daughter Carly will bring Seth and Lola too. Mom and Dad are coloring Easter eggs with the little ones this morning and i thought it would be a good day to gift the piggies. I am proud of the piggies as they are my own design, made with a "Knifty Knitter" loom. I love guinea pigs. I used to raise them and still have 2 little sows here as pets. I know children love the piggies too. I also spent some time adding button eyes, button ears and a button belly button to my first sock monkey. I think he needs some clothes tho..... I'll be sure to take my camera with me so there will be pictures to follow!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

Today is the first day of Spring...It's not the prettiest of days, but it's Spring none the less. It is very chilly out there (38 degrees at this moment) and very wet and overcast. Still, I love this time of year. My favorite seasons have always been Spring and Autumn. I always have this feeling of excitement and anticipation, of good things to come. Actually, the Winter this year wasn't so bad. Still i look forward to it's end. I love my little gardens that have been with me for all these years we have lived at this house. I am anxiously waiting to see what will come back up after all the construction going on here these last 3 years, and what we have lost to wear and tear. Regardless of all the mess and construction, i see little blades of green pushing up thru the muddy ground...Little snowdrops, bluebells, and tiger lilies pushing thru. No matter how many times they were stepped on, or had debris piled on top of them, they never seem to give up. A good example for us all....
Today i hope to get some heavy duty Spring Cleaning done around here. With three dogs, and a wheelchair with heavy tire treads, and all that mud, you can imagine what kind of work needs to be tackled! I also hope to slip up into my studio to straighten up there and get some work done for my daughter Katie's store, and for the upcoming fundraiser my Sister Sandy is running in April. I need to finish up some dolls i started for the shop, and make some jewelry for the tea/fund raiser. Oh and finish up the baby blanket, and the baby hats, and the loom knitted guinea pigs for the grand-nephews who will all be at my Mother's house for Easter Egg decorating on Friday morn.... Time to get to work!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A New Venture..Welcome to my blog.

Dear Friends,

I have never had a blog before, tho i have been reading them for a while now. My daughter Kate, who has her own blog, ( ) helped me get this one started, and i thank her for it. I see this as a way to share with you some of the things that are important to me. It may take me a bit of time to get warmed up, but please be patient and stop by for a visit often! I will be sharing pictures of the work i do here. I love to paint with watercolors, make semi precious stone jewelry, crochet, loom knit, and am learning to sew. I grow and train bonsai trees, raise doves, and have many animal companions, all of whom you will meet sooner or later. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, and friend. ...and now a blogger! Much more to come....