tutu day

time for tutus
Groundhog’s Day was a couple of days ago, and while that is a fine holiday, it occurred to me that February 2nd could also be “Tutu Day.” After all, we can always use an excuse to celebrate our favorite ballets, and I know I appreciate any reason to wear a tutu skirt…
I have a couple of these long tulle skirts. I love them for special occasions.
and I wear these shorter skirts practically every day with leggings and boots.
Some vintage tutu prints I have around my house.
Shop Window
The glorious tutus at Repetto Paris. I would love to get there one day.
Some background information on tutus and the making of Swan Lake costumes.
My tutu love pin board
I ended my Tutu Day by listening to my Coppelia record about four times and sewing little tutu costumes for Rapunzel and Elsa.
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Have a lovely day!

my melody

I have been a fan of My Melody for as long as I can remember. Her world is so sweet and magical. IMG_4356

One of my favorite Japanese brands, Liz Lisa, has a special collaboration mook (magazine/book) with My Melody. It always comes with a cute tote. llquilt

Liz Lisa also has a My Melody collection of goods and clothing, and this year it came out right around my birthday, so I was able to pick up a few cute items. melody trioThis plush sits on my dresser. I really like her flower crown. IMG_8077

And the mini bag charm has a beautiful plate that reminds me of stained glass. tiny melody

Even my Line Play character has been decorating with a My Melody theme. IMG_9603

My first project of 2014 was a tiny tote bag for my little niece. I was pleased to use a bit of this fabric I’d been saving for awhile.melody bag

Happy the heart shaped marshmallows are back in the stores…melodymarsh

And with so many snow days and chilly evenings, I’ve been baking away. IMG_9042

Now I’m gearing up for Valentine’s Day, getting my papers, punches, seals and stamps in order.


Stay warm and thanks for visiting!


a new year

2013 2

I hope you had a merry Christmas and are enjoying this beautiful New Year. I had a bit of a rough December. I was sick for most of the month, and then got especially sick on Christmas Eve. My family actually had to postpone Christmas on my behalf. That made me so sad. But I am doing better now, and I discovered that there are some definite perks to prolonging the Christmas season.

I am still in a New Year’s mindset, as I’ve had to go at a slower pace than usual. So before I get started on my projects for 2014, I thought I’d look back on some of the things I made last year.

2013 was really a return to sewing for me. I dusted off my sewing machine and set up a little craft room in my attic. This was definitely a learning year for me. There were lots of bumps along the road (and unpicked stitches), but I rediscovered the thrill of making something new from fabric and thread.

To that end, I decided to create a couple collages of some of the sewing projects I made in 2013. 2013 collage

Before I got started on any sewing for the new year, I had to finish my traditional first project of the year- a new calendar.

A few years ago, I started printing off some of my photos from the year with a calendar template to give to family and friends. This year, I only gave a very few and decided to make things easier on myself and got them printed at Walgreens.

calendar 2014

And here are some of the calendars from years gone by.


Wishing you happiness in 2014!

dreaming of a pink christmas

IMG_8562Christmas is really near, isn’t it! Oh my, I should be putting the finishing touches on gifts, but instead I’m up in the wee hours sewing little mittens. 

IMG_8827It seems as time goes by my Christmases keep getting pinker and frillier. Oh well.photo 6photo 1IMG_8807photo 8photo 3photo 4photo 5feather wreathIMG_3816 IMG_3726photo 2IMG_8845


Wishing you a merry little Christmas!

it’s christmastime

Wow. December is really flying by! It really makes me feel grown-up to say that, because as a kid it took forever to finally light all those advent candles and make it to Christmas Day.

Last weekend I had a nice trip to see The Nutcracker, go to the German Christmas market, and get a little frozen! But now I’m back in my warm cozy home, working away on Christmas projects.

Such as sending out Christmas cards


Trimming the tree

ballet ornaments

And having lots of sweets!

winter cupcake 2

I thought I’d share a few Christmas projects that I’ve enjoyed making. Two are actually from last year and one from this year (so far).

First off, a ruffled tree skirt. Last year was my first year having a real full-sized tree in my own home. Up till then I’d only had my tabletop “apartment tree.” So I wanted to commemorate the occasion with a new skirt that really matched my style. I had seen quite a few tutorials on making a ruffled skirt and decided to give it a go. As usual, I blended ideas from different sets of instructions and came up with what worked for me.

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My skirt is actually not sewn at all. I didn’t sew much at all last year and therefore didn’t think my machine (or I) could handle all those ruffles, so I took the glue gun approach. Normally I always opt for a more lasting (i.e. tedious) approach, but I would really recommend the glue gun over trying to sew something of this scope. Sure, it eats up a lot of glue sticks, and you should take breaks, but it’s a satisfying and low-stress project– I watched Miracle on 34th Street while I ruffled away.

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Advent Calendar!


I love advent calendars, and have fond memories of them from when I was a kid. I was inspired by this lovely tutorial, but after searching for a long time for a wooden house style, I eventually gave up and bought a brown paper craft advent calendar from the craft store. I painted it white, covered the drawers with fabric paper and made little hang tags with my number rubber stamps. Inside are little chocolates and typed messages of Christmas activities.

I’m quite tempted to try a cross-stitch advent calendar, as I just found I nice pattern in my new Japanese sweets cross-stitch book. So there might be a new calendar next year…


Lastly, fabric trees. These are a pretty common Christmas sewing project, but my first time making them. I liked being able to use some of my Rachel Ashwell fabric in a new way. I’m working on some pink trees now.


I got the pattern from this Japanese site, but there are several tutorials and variations out there.

We had quite a snowstorm yesterday, so I’m cuddled under a quilt with some cocoa, nursing a bit of a cold. Hope to get my shopping done soon, but I may have to do it from my sofa!

a tale of two samplers

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A month or two ago, I was browsing a local thrift shop when a Christmas cross-stitch kit happened to catch my eye. I recognized it immediately as one my mom had made many years ago. And although the package was tattered, it had never been opened. So I decided to purchase it and make a matching one for my home.

I spent a few nights stitching away in front of Christmas movies, and was happy that the sampler was a swift and stress-free project. After I finished, I showed the kit to my mom, and she remarked that mine came with a red frame, whereas hers was in a green frame. But neither of us realized that the patterns were actually slightly different until she brought hers out of storage for us to compare.

I think they are definitely from the same era, series, or manufacturer, and I like that they are not identical but still linked. You see, my mom lost interest in sewing before I was born, so we never did any projects together, but now it sort of feels like we have!




I’ve also been sewing lots of Christmas bows.


And packaging up ornaments and candies for little Christmastime gifts.


We got our first real snow yesterday. Time to bundle up, stay cozy, and keep stitching!

sleeping beauty ballet birthday

sleeping beauty ballet birthday
Sleeping Beauty is a glorious ballet and one that provides a real treasure trove of ideas for a little party. I truly had an overabundance of ideas and images to draw from– the fairies, the spindles, the hundred years sleep, the garland dance, and all the fairy tales characters in the second act. I had to reign myself in!
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1. The Tasha Tudor Book of Fairy Tales 2. Sleeping Beauty The Ballet Story
3-4. Rand McNally Sleeping Beauty 4-5. The Big Golden Book of Fairy Tales
As usual, I got out my story books to reacquaint myself with all the different versions. Sleeping Beauty is so rich in imagery, and I love to see all the ways illustrators have told the story.
A few stickers and an ornate frame make a quick sign that sets the theme.
I love miniature things, so I made tiny little pillows to be the place cards.
Rather than a banner, this year I sewed a small quilt for decoration. The fabric was intended to be used for a “soft book,” but I think a quilt is a nice way to tell a story too.
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Found these ballet cupcake toppers on eBay-have been tempted to decorate more than just cupcakes…
I made some flower crowns for guests to wear, but they also make pretty table decoration.
I wanted a dollhouse bed for a centerpiece, but they are kind of pricy, so I made one from a sturdy box and sewed the bed clothes from scraps.
 The cake! The toppers are from this Etsy seller. They are really beautiful, and have inspired me to try and make a Nutcracker set this Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, I forgot to get a photo of the ballerina cookies I made from the Sleeping Beauty party, but I made a few more tutu bodices when I made Christmas cookies this week. A tutu cookie cutter is on my wish list!
I got balloons! I am such a kid at heart about balloons (and a lot of other stuff too).
Sleep masks and Sleepy Time tea make good favors.
Well that wraps up the series on Ballet Birthdays (for now), but I hope to be back soon with Christmas projects. The tree and lights are up, the Christmas records are playing,  and I’m off to see the Nutcracker this weekend 🙂
If you’re in the mood to watch a bit of Sleeping Beauty…

Sweet dreams!

cinderella ballet birthday

Cinderella Ballet Birthday
For this party, I chose a Cinderella ballet theme. Cinderella is such a playful and whimsical ballet, and everyone knows the story. It was a good excuse to round up all the vintage storybook editions of the tale I could find for guests to peruse.
cinderella collage1
 I gave myself full reign to go overboard with all the pink and girly touches!IMG_4797
One of my favorite parts of the Cinderella ballet is the dance that Cinderella performs with her broom, so I decided to make place cards by decorating tiny brooms with little rosettes and ribbons.

The tulle poms were a lot fun to make, but of course I have a real weakness for tulle.
A quick and easy sign
Any excuse to wear a tiara…
I really like the imagery of the carriage. It’s so magical!
And glass slippers of course!
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for the conclusion of ballet party week with Sleeping Beauty!

swan lake birthday

swan lake birthday

Every year I like to have a tiny tea party for my birthday. I usually pick a ballet theme, and over the years I’ve chosen some of my favorite individual ballets as inspirations. In the weeks leading up to the party, I try to find as many variations of the ballet as I can to watch, as well as classic storybooks to read. It’s quite fun to reacquaint myself with the stories, music, sets, and costumes. Even with ballets I’ve seen dozen of times before, I usually discover something new while I’m in party prep mode.

ballet scans-8

And planning a tea is a welcome diversion since I tend to get a little depressed around my birthday. Even when I was a little girl, I remember always being a bit somber around the day.

Luckily, having some tea and cake, putting on a frilly dress, and playing a Tchaikovsky record are all nice antidotes to birthday melancholia. And busying myself with baking and making in the weeks prior helps a lot too.


I thought I’d revisit some of my earlier parties this week starting with Swan Lake.

It is truly a dear favorite of mine. When I was a girl, I had an all white room with a Swan Lake theme. There were black and white photos of various Odettes and Odiles on the walls and feathery pillows and throws on my white twin beds.

So in planning that party I continued the airy white color scheme. IMG_3403


Some lacy hearts I made as favors.


Tiny white swans for decoration.

swan birthday 2

A fluffy white cake. Frosting a whole cake still stresses me out a bit. I’m more comfortable with cupcakes…


Here’s a link to more ballet birthday inspiration. Stay tuned for Cinderella!



For the past few years it seems I start my Christmas preparations earlier and earlier…

When I was little, I often got upset that Thanksgiving, and indeed a good measure of the entire autumn season, got trampled over in the rush to emphasize Christmas. Being a November baby, I always had a fondness for the quiet fall days.

And I still wait for advent or at least until after Thanksgiving to really decorate and immerse myself in full Christmas spirit. However, if you enjoy making your gifts or holiday sewing and crafting, one month is just not enough time! So in the fifty or so days we have until Christmas, I’ll try to gently work on my projects and gifts so hopefully I won’t be in a frenzy come mid-December.

I know I’ll never be one of those people who has all their shopping done by Halloween. I will always sew and bake and shop up until Christmas Eve, but hopefully by getting an early start, I’ll enjoy the season with a bit more calm!