I spend quite a lot of time each week on digitizing or tinkering with the website, but I also like to work on other crafts and projects. This page showcases mostly things I've been working on, though I do sometimes feature items made by my sisters. Most are embroidery-related, but some show other crafts and activities as well. Many of the items, though not all, are gift items for friends and siblings, mainly for Christmas, the biggest gift-giving time of the year in my family.

If any of these project ideas interest you, please let me know and I'll post some detailed instructions.

Manger Scenes

Posted 30 December 2022

DH loves manger/nativity scenes as part of Christmas decor, and I must admit so do I. We have acquired several over the past 20 years or so -- and he loves them all. I've collected photos of some of our favourites in this pdf. Click here to see them all.

Christmas Decor

Posted 23 December 2022

It took me two weeks, but it's all up and we're ready for Santa to arrive tomorrow night (!). 

Click here for a glimpse into our Christmas decor. And find Scampers hiding in the photo to the right! 

My Favourite Glues

Posted 16 December 2022

I use a lot of glue in my projects, choosing different products for different purposes. There are tons of good adhesives out there, but I have a few favourites that I find myself reaching for more than others. Click here to read more.

Repairing the Tree

Posted 9 December 2022

I guess it's not surprising that the plastic brackets that support the branches on our nearly 30-year-old tree have begun to fail, but I wanted to see if I could repair this disintegrated one to extend the life of the tree for another year. Here's how I did it.

A Letter from Santa Ornament

Posted 2 December 2022

My project this week is a personalized ornament in the form of a letter from Santa himself. These are adorable on the tree! 

Click here to read more about the ornament.

Canada Post’s Santa Letters Program is staffed by special Postal Elf volunteers, who make sure that Santa’s replies are sent out to the children (and the occasional adult) who have written to him. Over the past 40 years, they have mailed out more than 30 million of Santa’s replies. That's a lot of letters, bringing joy to millions of kids.

How Lovely are Your Baubles

Posted 25 November 2022

I don't hang many plain baubles on the tree anymore, but I still like the festive air of a box of shiny glass balls. Given that fact, and my love of minis, this "box of ornaments" ornament was an irresistible idea. 

Click here to see how I made it.

Matching Snowman Mini Stocking Ornament

Posted 18 November 2022

As I did for her cousins, I made a Mini Stocking ornament for Cassidy, to coordinate with her Christmas stocking. 

Click here to see the details.

Snowman Sack Stocking

Posted 11 November 2022

When Kelly was a child, I made her a specialty snowman stocking; now that she's a mom herself, she wanted the same style for her baby daughter. I was thrilled to oblige! 

Click here to see how little Cassidy's Snowman Sack turned out.

Ballerina Cake Topper Ornament 

Posted 4 November 2022

I made this teeny vintage ballerina cake topper into a tree ornament! Click here to see how it turned out.

Tiny Vintage Television 

Posted 28 October 2022

I have long been a fan of the CBC, so I thought these TV ornaments were adorable when I saw them at the local museum shop. I didn't buy one, though, because I had the idea that I'd like to make one of my own. Click here for a view of and details about what I came up with. 

If you're interested in purchasing one of the CBC retro TV ornaments that inspired me, you can try here or here, or search "CBC Mini TV ornament" on line. Some of the varieties seem to be sold out, but each outlet has a couple of versions.

Just to be clear,  I'm not affiliated with either of these commercial sites in any way and receive no remuneration from them.

Mini Lobster Pots

Posted 21 October 2022

I must say I love these FSL Lobster ornaments, but after I finally made this one for my own tree, I really thought it needed a little something more.  Click here to see what that turned out to be.

Miniature Ouija Boards

Posted 14 October 2022

Wait -- are those actually tiny Ouija boards?! You bet, but they're even more special because they're magnetic and will stick to the frig or a filing cabinet or any metal surface . . . but they also have an extra little flourish that makes them even cuter than that!! Click here to see what it is.

Hoofies to the Quick!

Posted 7 October 2022

My sister's Undeer ornament -- based on a well-loved 7Up promo campaign from the 1970s -- needed a finishing touch. After a bit of casting about, I came up with just the thing!   

Click the link to see the PDF discussion and learn more about the Undeer.

Knee-Hugger Elf

Posted 23 September 2022

In this project I recreate a hand-made version of the little elf ornaments that my sister and I loved when we were kids. Unlike the plastic heads on those vintage elves, mine have heads made of felt and stuffed. They're all cute, but each has his own personality. Click the link to see the PDF discussion and photos.

Dawn's Banner

Posted 16 September 2022

Dawn asked me to add an applique to this large banner, with the letters "Lest We Forget", so it can be used as a display piece for Remembrance Day.

Click here to see how it turned out.

My Looney Tunes-themed Christmas Tree

Posted 9 September 2022

A few years back we added a second Christmas tree in the family room, and DH suggested it should be a themed tree with all Looney Tunes ornaments! So an on-going project for me is adding ornaments to complete this tree -- some store-bought, but many more handmade. 

I've made about 150 over the past seven or so years, and this year I'm adding a few more.  Click here to go to my other site to see a couple of the new ones . . . and then take a few minutes to explore the rest of the site to see a whole lot more of the ornaments I've made for our Looney Tunes tree.  The link will open in a new window so you won't lose the embroidery site when you go.

Rusty & Jerome on the Tree

Posted 2 September 2022

As an homage to the Friendly Giant kids' show (CBC, 1958-85), I turned my redwork designs into ornaments. I made a bunch for friends and family who are old enough to recall the show. I know they'll be a hit come Christmas morning! 

Click here to learn more and to see the finished ornaments.

Personalized Game Pawns

Posted 24 June 2022

It's awfully difficult to find nifty stocking stuffer ideas that you can make yourself -- especially for the guys. But for anyone who enjoys playing board games, how about a special personalized game pawn? I made these for everyone on my list, and they were a surefire hit that most of my peeps still use. Click here to read more about them. 

Matching Mini Stocking Ornaments

Posted 10 June 2022

The "first Christmas" ornaments I made for Austin and his big sister Callie were Mini Stocking ornaments, designed to match their large Christmas stockings. How fun is that? 

Click here to read more about them.

Snow Cat Companion Stocking

Posted 3 June 2022

When it came time to make a Christmas sock for a new baby, I wanted to make it a companion piece to the one I made for his big sister a few years back. At the same time, I wanted it to be individual enough that each child can feel that his or hers is unique.

Click here to read how I did it.

Miniature Peacock Crayon Box

Posted 27 May 2022

When I was a kid, we always had Peacock crayons -- a Canadian brand now sadly defunct. When my sister and I saw Hallmark's crayon box ornaments, I decided to see if I could create a miniature box of Peacock crayons. I did, and it's just too cute!!

This mini version of the package of crayons makes a great knick-knack, but it's also a fun Christmas tree ornament.

Click here to read more about this project. 

My Kenmore Rotary

Posted 18 May 2022

As I make decisions about which of my machines will be moving along to a new home, I find myself faced with a few unexpected surprises -- like this 1938 Kenmore 117.600. In preparation for posting it on my local Kijiji, I decided to stitch a small project. Then the magic happened! 

Click here to read the PDF about this unusual machine.

Repairing Plastic Sunglasses

Posted 6 May 2022

We love these polarized sunglasses, but the plastic frames are prone to snapping at stress points. Rather than throw them away, I've learned to fix them! Click here to find out how.

Mini House Ornaments

Posted 29 April 2022

Believe it or not, this little house model is of the house I grew up in, immortalized as an ornament and only 2.5" tall. Since crafting this one I've made a dozen or so other homes and buildings that are special to me and to my sibs, all of them now treasured ornaments for the tree. 

Read more about this in the PDF

Pizza Slice Ornament

Posted 15 April 2022

I love a handmade Christmas ornament, especially if it has special meaning for us. This one from Urban Threads will be a fun addition to our tree -- and our friends' tree -- to commemorate our pizza nights together, enjoying homemade all-meat pizza. 

Click here for a PDF that tells the story, along with how my slight changes to the stitch-out made a two-sided ornament.

I'm not affiliated in any way with Urban Threads. I just like a lot of their designs.

Customized Gift Bags Update

Posted 8 April 2022

Turns out you can put just about anything on a gift bag, and I've been having some fun making a variety of unique and meaningful gifts for my family and friends. 

Click here to see some of the bags I've been making recently. They're sure to be a hit at Christmas! 

Bad Sewing Room Habits

Posted 25 March 2022

As a collector of vintage sewing machines, I sometimes see evidence of bad habits that I find mystifying and even occasionally dangerous. 

Click here to read about three of the ones I see all the time and that I find particularly off-putting. 

Ornament Storage

Posted 11 March 2022

Wow, what's in all those boxes?! Would you believe . . . Christmas ornaments?

I have a huge collection of ornaments, both homemade and purchased, but they're organized enough that if you ask me to retrieve one of them, I can pretty much go right to it in a few minutes. My secret is these lidded boxes that once held copier paper. I love them!  

Click here to read more about how I organize and store my many, many ornaments in these versatile boxes that most offices would be happy to give you for free. 

DIY Craft Cabinet

Posted 25 February 2022

Storing craft supplies so they can be easily viewed and retrieved is an ongoing challenge. A cabinet or rack with shallow drawers is the perfect solution, but such items are difficult to find and expensive. Some years ago I built this simple cabinet with many shallow drawers for storing a collection of rubber stamps, but it would serve just as well for any number of different craft supplies. 

Click here to read more and see more pictures.

Stop at the Burger Scoop!

Posted 11 February 2022

If you're ever near Ignace, Ontario, you really owe it to yourself to stop in for a home-made burger at The Burger Scoop. It's one of the highlights of Day 2 of our cross-country roadtrips. 

As it happens, we like to collect ornaments from the places we visit, and it occurred to me after our last trip that we really ought to have a Burger Scoop one to add to our tree! Click here to see a PDF of the one I made as a surprise for DH a couple of Christmases ago. 

Organizing My Button-Making

Posted 4 February 2022

I make quite a few small gifts with my button-making machines, and I use the completed buttons as components for my other crafts and ornaments. But how on earth do  you keep it all organized? 

Click here for a glimpse into my craft studio and see how I keep the button machines and parts under control. 

Folding Tool for Geodesic Ornaments

Posted 28 January 2022

Sometimes the simplest gadgets turn out to be the most useful -- like this nifty folding template that I created for making my geodesic ball ornaments. So far it's the best thing I've tried -- quick and accurate! 

Click here to read more about how it works.

Santa's New Accessories

Posted 14 January 2022

My thrift store Santa came to me without the accessories he'd have had if I'd bought him new: two paint cans and a small toy crate with carry handle. 

After seeing photos on line of these accoutrements, I decided to make a set of my own. If I do say so myself, they look just as good as the missing originals.

Click here to read more about how I did it.

Digitized Handwriting Gift Bags

Posted 7 January 2022

One of the pleasures of being able to digitize your own designs is creating something special for loved ones, as I did when I added my mum and dad's handwriting to gift bags for each of my siblings.

Click here to read more about this project.

Juanita Banana Stocking

Posted 1 January 2022

As a surprise for Juanita on Christmas morning, I created a new stocking stuffed with a variety of craft supplies and treats, all individually wrapped. 

The sock was inspired by some beautiful golden yellow corduroy, sprinkled with tiny black flecks. It's perfect banana fabric, and it made a great stocking. 

Click here to read my discussion and see details of this project.  You can also read more about how I create and sew my stockings at this link