Monday, December 17, 2012

in the classroom

I spent some joyful moments last night as I prepared for today's lesson:
cutting 1,568 rectangles of tissue paper
and practicing my folds

and many more joyful moments were spent this afternoon
as I and 28 children made tissue paper stars together
joy in the classroom
it was nice

for some of the boys, the folding was tricky
they feel as if they are all thumbs
we started calling them ninja stars
and the folding became martial arts minus any fighting
there was great success!

I said, "a Jedi folder, you are, young man"
and the smile was contagious

simple joys and small successes 
it was nice

they all brought their stars home
- as did I -
and these they are:

(the how to:

Saturday, December 15, 2012


it seems as if everything is weeping today


dear ones in Newtown,
I have no words
but words are not what is needed
just a hand that reaches out
I stretch mine across these miles

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

victorian kissing ball

this last Sunday afternoon, I took a class at a local nursery and made a victorian kissing ball
- hey - 
a girl can never have too many kisses

I loved how it turned out, so I came home with the supplies I needed to make more of them

The How To

what you will need :
an ivy plant in a 4 inch pot
floral wire
a heavier gauge wire for the hook
sphagnum moss soaking in water
miscellaneous greens
pliers for bending the heavier wire

first step:
remove your ivy plant from the pot, keeping as much dirt attached to the root ball as possible, and wrap the dirt ball with sphagnum moss. Wring out the moss after removing it from the water, or you will have a soggy mess on your hands.

second step:
using your thin floral wire, begin wrapping it into a ball shape.
I used a lot of wire - about four pieces that were 16" 
(it might be easier if you use floral wire that is on a spool and then you can use one long length of it)

third step:
 make "hairpins" with the floral wire
these are about 4 inches each and bent in the middle into a u-shape
use these to pin the ivy tendrils into your moss ball

fourth step:
 bend your heavy gauge wire so that it has a j-shape at one end
insert this through the middle of your ball
for best results, have the bottom of your ball be full and the top bare

fifth step:
bend the top of your wire to form a hanger
attach greens with more of the pins (filling in any bare spots)

attach a bow at the top
also: dried flowers, pinecones, sparkly baubles ... dress it up any way you would like
(that's the fun part!)

** to care for your kissing ball, simply immerse it in water once a week **
the instructor told us she has one from two years ago
- in the summer, she hangs it under a shady tree -
(remove ribbons etc and refurbish it next year)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

mend and make do

(I took these pictures yesterday 
it was a sunny day believe it or not!
winter light is tricky at best)


a stack of teabag papers
and you know me well - to know it is one of my favorite things

just one of the things I love:
stitching on them

this was a whitework embroidery vanity cloth of my grandmothers
unfortunately, there were many tears and stains 
but they mend beautifully with teabag paper patches and sashiko stitching

they were stashed in a stack of old mending ...
... now they are individual wall hangings

(on Etsy)