Archive for the category “Gifts”

What do you give a 92 year old for her birthday?

My dear, beloved grandmother will celebrate her 92nd birthday in a couple of weeks.  My husband always tells me that I’m not my mother’s child but my grandmother’s child – which might be one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me!

I was the first grandchild born to both my maternal and paternal grandparents which set me up to be pretty dang special!  I freely and happily admit that I have reaped some tremendous perks as the first grandchild.  I was also fortunate to have known all four of my grandparents for many, many years.  It is a lovely relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild, in my opinion.

My grandmother who will be 92 was always so hands on with us.  She let us play beauty parlor with her as our loyal customer!  If there had been smart phones and Instagram back in the 70’s, I imagine the pictures of our ideas of gorgeous hairdos and pretty make up would not seem so gorgeous as much as garish now.  No matter, she gamely sat patiently while we put extremely generous amount of Dippity Do (remember that!) in her hair and rolled and teased her coif until I imagine her head ached!  Then on to the make up application – I wouldn’t be surprised if the final result was more kabuki than anything else.

She also let us play dress up in her closet.  In her REAL closet with her REAL dresses and shoes.  And boy, did she have some gorgeous clothes!  My grandfather would go to town (Memphis, TN) and buy her complete outfits to wear to the Rooftop Parties at the Peabody Hotel back in the 1940’s,  50’s, and 60’s.  He brought boxes home with dresses, slips, matching bras and underwear, stockings, hats, and shoes – from head to toe.  Everything matched!  An ivory brocade dress and jacket had ivory foundation garments and an ivory hat and matching shoes.  Same for a red chiffon dress – red foundation garments and a matching red had and shoes.  Oh, and matching jewelry, too!  She let us play in all those exquisite, expensive clothes!  What a trooper!  For our part, I don’t recall us ever damaging her pretty things.

Some years ago, it may have been on the occasion of her 80th birthday, I took her to town (Memphis is still the “town”) for High Tea at the Peabody Hotel.  True to form, she went to the beauty parlor and got her hair done and wore one of her best dresses.  She looked beautiful and we had a fantastic afternoon sitting in the luxurious lobby, eating petit fours and drinking tea while watching the Peabody’s ducks swimming in the marble fountain carved from a single enormous piece of travertine, an impressive piece of Italian workmanship in its own right.

As she gets older, her passions include shoes, fine china teacups, and handbags.  I am neither a cobbler nor a potter, so I decided to make her a handbag.  Here is the final result:

Mammaw's Birthday Present 2013 - exterior

The exterior of Mammaw’s birthday present

Mammaw's Birthday Present 2013 - interior
The interior of Mammaw’s birthday present

Matryoska Doll Card


Sooo, we have a co-worker from Russia named Vladimir. His birthday is Saturday, so I thought I’d try to find something cool to make for him. (I make stuff for my co-workers from time to time and I always try to remember their birthdays.) I made a sign with a pic of Red Square and fireworks but that seemed so blah.

I usually make some kind of papercraft from Toy-of-the-Day or things I find on DeviantART. (I work in IT so I’ve put together plenty of daleks and the like.) For Vlad I thought maybe I could find papercraft Russian Nesting Dolls.

What I found was a Folding Matryoshka Doll Card where the smaller dolls fold up behind the larger dolls on the Zakka Life blog.

I printed the template on red and cream cardstock and cut everything out. I found some colorful fabric and used some craft glue to adhere the fabric to the doll card. While that dried, I made the little faces.

I used quilting adhesive to attach the face circles to a piece of ivory craft felt. I used a disappearing fabric pen to draw the hair outlines then used a tight zig-zag stitch on my BabyLock Elizabeth machine to fill in the hair.

Next I sewed green and pink beads on each face, using clear nylon thread and a super thin beading needle. After attaching the eyes and mouths, I made a little kerchief for each face from a scrap of baby blue felt left over from the Poodle Skirt project.

Finally, I glued each face to its body. Taaa-dah! There you have it – a handcrafted Folding Matryoshka Doll Card. The question now is whether or not I can bear to part with it!

Sock Hop Success!


This darling girl wore the poodle skirt I made to her school’s annual sock hop. She looks so cute and her mom says the event was a huge success!  Whew!  I’m always nervous when doing things like this.
We left it longer and I put an adjustable placket in one side seam so (hopefully) she can wear it for another year or two.

Rock and Roll!

I made this felt poodle skirt for the.daughter of some friends. She is going to a sock hop after school tomorrow. It was pretty easy to make and has a separate petticoat, too.


Boldly sewing,

Whooo’s cute?

This guy!



This is a darling little owl keychain with a pocket on the back for a credit card, gift card, your ID, or some cash.

The project was made “in the hoop” on my Baby Lock embroidery machine.  The design is from Embroidery Garden on Etsy.

My friend Judy received this little happy as a gift. She loves it! 

Boldly sewing,

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