book review at happy whimsical hearts

photo credit :: happy whimsical hearts

Today, I am pleased to share with you that Kelly, of the blog Happy Whimsical Hearts is featuring my second book, Making Peg Dolls and More.  Most of you are already familiar with my books and so might not feel the need to read Kelly's review; however, you may want to click over just to pay Kelly a visit.

photo credit :: happy whimsical hearts

There is much to enjoy on Kelly's blog, but my favorite posts are ones where Kelly discusses parenting (this post, for example). Kelly's approach is full of gentleness and sensitivity, and I can feel how her clear intention would bring a sense of peace to a home filled with the energetic young children.

Additionally, if you are as fond of wombats as I am, Kelly's tutorial for stitching up a little wombat is perfect.

photo credit :: happy whimsical hearts

Thank you, dear Kelly, for sharing peg-doll-love and inviting your sweet Ruby to present my book on your blog!

(a note for Australian readers: if you click over to Kelly's post at Happy Whimsical Hearts, you will find information about a discount on copies of my books at Honeybee Toys!)





For many schools in the U.S., children have a break during the third week of February which is designated President's week in honor of the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  This school break is also referred to as Ski-Week, which is a bit of a joke for families who have neither funds nor inclination.

So, we spent a day at the beach racing waves & collecting sea-glass; and it cost exactly one gallon of gasoline (plus the price of a hot coffee and 2 hot cocoas from a cafe to fortify us for the 25 minute drive home).

Rain is forecast for the rest of the week, so today was the day... and it was a perfect day.  I even saw two spouts from migrating grey whales -- the sort of thing you look out for, but the moment you glimpse it, it's so fleeting, that you are not quite sure you really saw it at all.  Akin to seeing a shooting star. And then there are the sea lions, swimming along 30 feet off-shore, gazing at us with curious intensity.  I swear there are selkies among them...


doll making

A dear friend will be having a baby soon.  When I asked whether there was anything she wanted for her baby, she requested a soft doll.

And so I made the softest, sweetest doll imaginable.

My 5 year old hugged her close before she was gently wrapped, packed in a box and sent across the country.  He was very sad to see her go, but the best consolation is knowing how much she will be loved in her new home.

note: I used this velour fabric from A Child's Dream for the doll's body. It is the softest, most wonderful fabric ever.


spreading kindness :: the rainbow rock project

photo credit :: the rainbow rock project

Alia, the 7 year old daughter of Agnes Hsu (of the craft blog hello, Wonderful) recently undertook an ambitious and heartfelt venture titled The Rainbow Rock Project.

photo credit :: the rainbow rock project

In her own words, these are Alia's goals for the project:

My mission is to spread kindness and make people smile. I want to do that by selling my rainbow rocks for $1 each and donating all proceeds to a cause I believe in. When we are driving around, I sometimes see homelesss people on the street. I always ask my mom or dad to stop and give them money. I feel bad that there are so many homeless people out in the cold without food or a warm bed.

For each rock I sell, I will place it out in the "universe" for someone to find and bring a smile to their face! I leave them in places we visit - on the beach, park benches, on hiking trails, even the Golden Gate Bridge!

My goal is to sell 500 rocks in 2016 and donate ALL proceeds to my local homeless shelter, Bay Area Rescue Mission.

Each rock has a bright rainbow I paint myself and is sealed so the rain won't wash away the rainbow! On the back is a quote I came up with myself: "Here's a rock from me to you that grants wishes and happiness too!"

photo credit :: the rainbow rock project

If you would like to find out more about Alia's project or make a donation, you can visit her website HERE.

photo credit :: the rainbow rock project


a creative valentine

photo credit :: deborah way of ink & glue

This found-object Valentine project is created with things from around the house -- a sort of scavenger hunt, art/craft mash-up.  I love it and thought you might enjoy it, too.

photo credit :: deborah way of ink & glue

Fun instructions can be found  
HERE at Ink & Glue.


tutorial :: valentine heart stamps

This is a redux of a tutorial from late last summer -- but this craft is so perfect for creating peg doll gifts and Valentine cards for your favorite sweethearts, that I thought it would be a good time to bring it back again.


-- 1 sheet of craft-foam (this stuff)

-- Larger size peg dolls, at least
    2 3/8 in tall (6 cm) like these

-- water color paint

-- beeswax polish (tutorial HERE)

-- Scissors & glue


STEP 1 :: Cut a shape from craft foam.  The shape you cut should be smaller than the diameter of the peg doll base.

STEP 2 :: Glue your foam shape to the bottom of the peg doll and allow the glue to dry for at least an hour or two.

STEP 3 :: Have fun using your stamp!

Note: If you use water soluble glue, be careful washing your stamp.  I find it's best to clean these stamps by dampening a paper towel and gently wiping off ink residue.


-- 1 peg doll stamp (see instructions above)

--  Colorful ink pads & a black ink pen

-- Card stock paper

-- Scissors or a paper-cutter


STEP 1 :: Cut your card stock paper to desired size. My card stock was 2 in (5 cm) by 3 1/2 in (9 cm). After cutting paper to size, fold it in half.

STEP 2 ::  Use ink pad to apply ink and then stamp your card(s).

STEP 3 ::  Use a black pen to write little messages on your card(s).


Happy February!