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Showing posts from April, 2015

A Boy Who Became Pope

I have been following Fabiola's blog for some time. She is an amazingly talented young artist. I am impressed by her experienced drawing style and her good eye for backdrop scenery and landscapes as well as her characterization. I can't wait to see what God has planned for her. She inspires me to use my talents to glorify Him.

The Story of Saint John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope is Fabiola's first book for children. It was released to the public following St. John Paul's canonization. This is, by far the best children's book on the life of St. John Paul that I have read.

I love the fact that catholic sacramentals can be spotted all through the book. I noticed that one of her illustrations was based on a photo of Karol at work wearing a cap and scapular. She does a magnificent job helping us call to mind those old photos of our beloved pope.

Her whimsical drawing style reminds me of the concept art for movies such as Tangled and Frozen. Her artwork is bursting wit…

DIY Denim Whale Using Recycled Jeans

Sometime during my teens I decided that it was cool to reuse old jeans and make stuff. I wanted to make everything out of jeans. I remember creating pocket purses and a patch quilt with matching pillowcase for my bed.

I thought I was over my denim phase when I stumbled upon a DIY Denim Whale on a Finnish blog. How clever is that? I just had to make one.

Didn't look like a difficult project to tackle...but folks, it's not a walk in the park. Lesson learned: Sewing tiny fins for said whale made it almost impossible to turn them inside out. Better luck enlarging the pattern by 150% next time.

My mini whale:

Thunder Cake, by Patricia Polacco

I distinctly remember certain books from childhood. Mom collected children's books of her favorite illustrators. She kept a great stack in the living room. Rotating the books every few months, we'd never get tired of them.

It was exciting to see which books she would bring down from the attic. There's something special about reading a familiar story. The illustrations come to life; the imaginary smells and feels come back to you.

My favorite rainy day book is Thunder Cake, by Patricia Polacco. It's the story of girl who overcomes her fear of thunderstorms with the help of her grandmother, "Babushka." They gather the ingredients for a special cake as the dark and gloomy storm approaches. The warm, rustic color scheme and whimsical illustrations bring you right in to Babushka's farmhouse. Polacco did an excellent job characterizing Babuska's "grandma traits". Russian floral prints cover her sweater and head scarf. Her home is simple with beaut…

Breakfast anyone? Felt Foods

During the last weeks of pregnancy, waiting for my second child to enter this world, I preoccupied myself with household tasks. Although I didn't admit it at the time, this was definitely my "nesting phase." The week before my due date I had baked a pie from scratch, put away all the ornaments and the nativity. Took down the Christmas tree and washed, folded and organized the newborn baby clothes. Then my due date came... and went... still no baby. I was running out of things to do (and energy to do them). Then came the itch to create something crafty.

I decided to sew something for A to play with after the baby was born. The idea of hand sewn felt food piqued my interest. How cool would it be to have a miniature grocery store full of felt foods for the kiddos! My dream is to build a darling play kitchen using Vinny's furniture.

Here are the breakfast foods I created. Didn't use a pattern just kinda eyeballed it using Pinterest as a reference. Assembly process w…

Felted Babushka Dolls

Felt! I love working with felt. For starters, it's cheap and it comes in a multitude of colors and textures. Plus, it's easy to store. I have a growing supply of felt living in a shoe box at the moment.

I found an adorable doll pattern in the book: Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond, by Amiee Ray. The book has a variety of stitching projects ranging from forest animal quilts to placemats and baby bibs. I decided to make the Babushka dolls for the girls this Easter.

Using basic stitches like french knot, split and satin stitches, and the lazy daisy stitch, I added decorative flourishes to the doll aprons and hoods. The hardest part was cutting out all those tiny pieces. This was my first embroidery project. It was a learning process but I am pleased with how they turned out.

Last year, while out on a garage sale binge, I spotted a bag stuffed full of embroidery threads, zippers, and elastic ribbon. Gold mine! I used the yellow, green, pink, purple threads for the dolls.