Hobby Horse

Trot trot to Boston, 
Trot trot to Lynn.
Trot trot to Salem, 
And home again!

My older son received a hobby horse for his third birthday. We named the horse Trusty, and for several happy years they galloped together near and far. Then Trusty retired to a closet.  Two days ago, I realized that my wee Bloom was the perfect age for a hobby horse and so Trusty came out of retirement. He was taken for a gleeful gallop through the house, but I quickly realized that Trusty needed a companion.  It's much more fun to go for a gallop with a friend (or older brother or mama) at your side.


Not wanting to lay out money to buy a new horse (a fine stallion, after all, can cost a pretty penny), I grabbed an old broomstick, some felt, some stuffing, my sewing machine, needle, thread and a glue gun.


A few hours later, Trusty had a new companion -- a handsome fellow named Ed to gallop at his side.

My pattern was not fancy (you can see it was cut from some scrappy drawing paper.)  I cut 2 of the main head pattern piece, 2 small ears, 1 gusset (the piece which is pointed at the top), and a 3" x 12" rectangle for the hair.

I stitched in the gusset from the chin down to the neck and then sewed over the top & back of the head with the hair sandwiched between.

Cut the hair into fringes, appliqued eyes and stitched on the ears... Stuffed the front of the head, inserted the broomstick and stuffed the neck around the stick. Used hot-glue to attach the bottom of the neck to the broomstick and finally, cut a wide strip of felt and hot-glued it around the base of the neck.

And then our new friend Ed was ready for a ride!!

For inspiration, I found a number of tutorials online. One of my favorites was this one here at Pink Stripy Socks -- a hobby horse made from a hocky stick (and there is a also a dragon design... brilliant!!)

My other favorite tutorial was for these sweet hobby horses at the blog Light Blue Grey.  I love their button eyes and irresistible grins!



Average & Everyday

cover Average Magazine: junk drawer photo by Kate Procrass

Things that are seemingly average and easily overlooked are in reality very special and quietly magical.  --Kate Procrass

Last Sunday I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating buttered toast and reading the San Francisco Chronicle.  I opened up the Style section and was greeted by a double page spread featuring photos of people who had been asked innocuous questions: What's your morning routine? Something you enjoy that most people find boring? Have you bought anything online recently? Something ordinary which inspires you? What do you like to spread on your toast?

I continued nibbling my toast and felt a small kinship with those other toast-eaters.  What do they like to spread on their toast?  "Cow butter mostly, with peanut and almond butters as frequent understudies."  "Butter and jam, peanut butter & honey or Nutella."   "If I have toast it's butter. Real butter. On rye or wheat."

Below the double page spread of random questions and answers was an article about Kate Procrass and her magazine called Average which focuses on the simple, mundane and everyday.  The cover of the magazine features a photo of a junk drawer, and inside, among other things, is a photo of bottle caps embedded in the pavement in front of a street-side snack kiosk in Cairo, Egypt; an article on the humble sheet cake; an interview about the history of a favorite pair of clip-on earrings; a series of photos taken of the interiors of people's refrigerators (I found these photos at once fascinating, and at the same time utterly horrifying.)

I loved the article in the SF Chronicle and especially the following quote by Kate Procrass -- "I don't think there's a problem with being average, or seemingly average.  I don't know why people think that's a bad thing. There are lots of  superlatives used to describe things, but I'd like to describe things for what they are, and recognize that that's still special."

And so this bears the question: What do you like to spread on your toast?


Making Peg Dolls: part deux

Although I haven't made any formal announcements, it hasn't been much of a secret that I am working on a second book.  Yes, the second book will have peg dolls, but it will be quite different from the first book... and ummm... I'm afraid I cannot say much more than that right now (sorry.)  The book is due to be released Autumn 2014 by Hawthorn Press, and as the publication date approaches more will be revealed, I promise!

Meanwhile, you may notice that things are more quiet than usual around here. Don't worry -- I'm still here (just hard at work), but please feel free to drop me an email anytime you want to say 'hello.'  And, in the interim, I offer you some possible titles for the new book...

How about Valley of the (Peg) DollsNight of the Living Peg Dolls? Peg Dolls vs. Godzilla?  Or the ever popular Return of the Peg Dolls!

Which title is your favorite?  Do you have any other suggestions?