Category Archives: hairbows

Independence Celebration Duds




Making holiday outfits for the grandchildren is always fun.  They look forward to having special clothes and I look forward to seeing them wearing the things I have made.  Some holidays, such as Christmas and Easter,  require an investment of far more time and materials than this summer celebration of independence and Americana.  Right now, quick and easy is what I like.

Robert and Laurel are all set for this year’s festivities in  their matching shirts.  Alastair’s shirt has the same design.  If all three are  together for the Fourth, they will enjoy being part of a set.



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Smocked Sister Easter Dresses


What a tender pose!

What a tender pose!


A few weeks ago as I worked feverishly on Laurel’s Tea Dress, I asked readers to share pictures of their Easter creations.  Jenny Jo, who lives on the prairies of Nebraska, graciously shared these photos.  I was enchanted. 

Her daughters look like Celtic lasses just returned from strolling in the highland heather and the dresses perpetuate the image.  As a matter of fact, I think I heard bagpipe music as I viewed the photos!

I’ve been reading a lot of Scottish historical novels and these little darlings, with their porcelain skin and tumbling auburn curls, look just like the well loved “bairns” (babies or children) described in these books.  Continue reading

Creative Needle’s Easter Inspiration

As usual, Judy Day has made extra special Easter outfits for her two 7 year-old granddaughters.  The radiant blue dresses seem to illuminate the sparkle in their sweet, innocent faces.  And as usual, Judy has made hairbows for the girls and matching dresses  for their American Girls dolls.  This year, she even included a free standing lace Easter bonnet for the dolls!  I so admire her dedication to her grandchildren which extends  far beyond their wardrobes.  She is truly a grandmother extraordinaire.

I’ll let Judy tell you all about it:

“These Easter dresses are dedicated to the memory of my grandmother.  While I hand stitched the tatting on to the dresses, I  reflected on sitting and watching her tat in the afternoon when I was the age my granddaughters are now; but only if it was cool or in later years when the air conditioner was on.  She would not take a chance on her hands getting moist and ruining the tatting.

I am sure she would be very pleased to know that her 2 beautiful great-great-granddaughters are wearing the tatting she made so many years ago as did her granddaughter (me), 2 great-granddaughters (my daughters) and her great-grandson (my son), even if he doesn’t want to admit it!

Yes, she tried to teach me to tat.  At the time, it was just too slow for me.  Maybe one day I will try again.  I have all her shuttles and I do know the basics.

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Party Sewing

Note the ever popular Happy Birthday tablecloth. Several years ago I made 3 or 4 of these. They have been through more parties than Thomas has been through tunnels.

The birthday boy chugs a cold one as he admires his birthday balloons.

Alastair’s Two-toot birthday party was a big hit with the children and as well as the adults.  The cupcake train delighted everyone and was so easy to make.  Typical of Florida spring, the sun shone brightly and a gulf coast breeze kept everyone comfortable.


My daughter Rebecca and I made the cupcakes and built the train cars the night before the party.  A Thomas train engine  pulled flatbed cars loaded with cupcakes.

The train cars were  built with a stack of two graham crackers with buttercream frosting holding them firmly together. 

Other graham crackers were  broken into “sticks” and stacked three high for the axels, with mini Oreo wheels.  Gum drops served as hitches between the cars.

We all enjoyed watching 2 1/2 year old Ethan surreptitiously pull an Oreo wheel from the train and pop it into his mouth.  His mother scolded, but  Rebecca assured her that the flatbed cars were there for the children to enjoy, just like  the cupcakes and their teepee train bags.  Continue reading

Toe Bows

“If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly until you get good at it. “  Martha Pullen

ztoe Bows1

Hidden beneath the satin ribbon is a narrow yellow gold ribbon stacked onto a blue polka dot grosgrain bow. The button in the center is a tiny orange flip flop.

In my humble opinion, this is one the most astute and helpful statements I’ve ever hear Martha make.  It has been at least 25 years since I first heard heard this kernel of wisdom and it has influenced many of my efforts. Like these bows.

My life has been incredibly hectic this past week.  But always I sought a tiny window of opportunity to make flip flop bows to match the embroidered sundress posted in the previous entry of this blog.  Finally, this evening, I seized the moment, leaving Bob alone in front of the tv to cheer on our beloved Gators as they battled Vanderbilt on the basketball court.  FYI, the Gators were victorious.  Yeah!




I was not so enthusiastic about the results of my freshman attempt at bow making.  To me, it is important to mention that I have not yet received the videos I ordered from   I probably should have waited for them to arrive before starting.

It has been said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and I think I proved it with these bows.  But still, I had fun and my precious granddaughter Laurel will offer hugs and kisses of appreciation with virtually no criticism.

So, thank you Martha for your timeless assurance that a poor first or second attempt is all the more reason to follow up with third, fourth and fifth attempts at improvement.

I have 4 more pairs of flip flops for Laurel.  I hope that’s enough.



Almost 2 year-old Alastair needed daycare this week.  His mother, my computer engineer daughter Rebecca, was called back to work full-time for a big project so I am tending the little guy on the west coast of Florida while his parents work.  I love it but his presence adds a new dimension to the challenge of snapping photos for a post.

plain jane sundress, unembellished except for cat hair

The dresses (one embroidered, one plain) were carried here in a bag, meant to be ironed.  But Alastair thought that was not a good use of our time and nixed the session at the ironing board.  Okay, we’ll live with the wrinkles.

Then I wanted to sew three tiny buttons onto the bow knot on one shoulder.  But before they were stitched in place, Alastair snatched them from the leather ottoman where they were resting and ran like the wind with them clutched in his hot little hand.  As he ran, he squealed with delight that Nana was chasing him. 

When I finally convinced him to return the buttons to their rightful owner, he dropped them onto the oriental rug where they became invisible.  I quickly recovered the buttons and sewed them to the bow knot. Finally, I got things set up to take a picture. Continue reading

Coming soon: St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time-a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”  Adrienne Cook


Though March 21st is the official first day of spring, March 17th is truly the harbinger of sunny days to come.

St. Patrick’s Day is just plain fun.  Snakes are said to have been driven away by this popular saint and yet parades “snake” through town in celebration of all that is Irish.



The holiday implies no responsibility for candy or roses or gifts or greeting cards.  A celebrant’s only duty is to wear green, The Great Equalizer that enables people of all nationalities to share a single ancestry for a day.  Of course, there are always those who take advantage of a situation and sport shirts or hats demanding “Kiss me.  I’m Irish!”

On this day, everyone of good humor is Irish.   Though the smallest dab of green on one’s clothing implies participation in the day’s festivities, it is more fun for children to dress for the occasion. Continue reading