Wednesday, November 28


I've got a scathingly brilliant idea! (Can anyone guess which of my favorite movies that line is from? Hint: It's from 1966.)

Ok, I'll start at the beginning. It's a little pouty and pathetic at the beginning but it get's better. So stick with me.

Remember this flickr group I began way back when I first started putting patterns and tutorials on my blog? Well, only dear dear Bettsi came to play with me. And I get a little sad about it every once in a while because there's nothing I love more than a crafty party. And if it weren't for Bettsi it would be my 14th birthday party all over again (that's the one that no one showed up for).

Do you hear the violins playing their melancholy tune? Good. Then the stage is set for the good part.

A giveaway!!! (I just sort of blurted that out, huh? Perhaps I didn't need so much build up if I was going to do that!)

The rules: If you use one of those patterns or tutorials over there in the left sidebar between now and Christmas and share a picture at the flickr group, you're name will go in the hat. Don't forget the .pdf patterns. They count too! And feel free to modify them to your needs. It's all good!

I don't know what the prize will be, but it'll be good. OOOH!!!! (yes, I stopped typing to flap my hands in that happy-excited sort of way!) I do know what it will be!!! And it is good!!! But let me make it first, then I'll show you. I'll give a hint though: it's quilty!

I'll be completely honest, too. Pouting about how no one (except for Bettsi!) would come play with me wasn't really what inspired this idea. Actually it came to mind because Christmas is on a strict budget here this year. And I know it is for lots of other people too. We're planning lots of handmade gifts. And I was thinking that perhaps those patterns and tutorials might prove handy for the holidays. Especially since I'm always happy to help if you get a little stuck along the way!

So get to crafting! And then come show me!!!! The drawing will be on New Year's Day (since that's always such a boring, do-nothing day.)

Oh, and if you have already made something and would like to share a picture that counts too. Everyone's invited to the party.

Just another Tuesday

"Another Tuesday" as in I'm finally getting to the stuff I'd planned to start on yesterday! But somebody had to do some housework around here. Turns out my middle name is Somebody.

Gearing up for a change of pace around projects ready to go!

Thought I'd share a few things I'm loving these days:

1. This sweet gingerbread house to decorate online. (Thanks, Jenny!!)

2. This amazingly beautiful dress makes my heart all fluttery! And, yes, I need the pantaloons too! I wish she had the pattern available NOW. But it's definitely good motivation for the diet as I'm not so sure it would be quite as adorable on my body as it is on her body.

3. New, blue glasses that are fun and were very, very affordable. Please pardon the bizarre expression on my face. Self portraiture is not one of my talents.

Monday, November 26

a busy, busy day

(It's definitely worth the effort to click that picture and make it bigger. The sparkle shows up much better)

The Annie twins now have finished Christmas outfits. Well, all except my Annie needs her wings still. I ran out of pre-stained fabric.

And speaking of pre-stained fabric...

I was asked for a tutorial on how I stain fabric for that "prim" (aka primitive, but cuter) look. Ask and you shall receive!

Another question I was recently asked (but I couldn't reply via email so everyone gets the answer) was if I am taking orders for next Christmas.

And then I realized I wasn't very clear when I posted this.

Because, really, I'm pretty caught up right now. Unbelievable, but true. I'm busy for the next 5-7 days. But then I'm done. At the end of my list.

Now if I were to begin something big, like a nativity set, it would be 10-ish days before I finished. And then by the time it got to wherever it was going, it would almost be Christmas.

So it seems sort of late to me for something like that. Because I know *I* would want something like that by the day after Thanksgiving at the latest. Maybe I'm a spaz about stuff like that though. I'm willing to admit. A little.

Bottom line is that I am still accepting orders. Most orders I can guarantee in time for Christmas. And if I were at the point where I had reached my limit, I'd say. But we're not there yet.

However, something big, like a complete nativity set, I'm not sure I can have finished in time for Christmas. I'd try (hard!). But I can't promise. But if that's ok, I'd happily accept your order.

Click to download my Doll/Animal price list (opens in Adobe Acrobat). (There is no charge for baby Jesus with a nativity set).

Oh, I was also asked about a back view of this quilt. You know I love those backs! But I didn't take a picture of this one because I used a small floral print with a green backround. And I can't get my camera to show the stitching. If you really want to see you'll just have to come by for a peek (and tea and snackies, of course!).

And did you see who left a comment on that quilt's post? The lady who designed the fabric! ACK! Do you think she noticed how badly I messed up the layout of those squares? I managed a couple big mistakes in laying out 16 whole squares. Yes, I did.

I was in such a hurry to get to the quilting that I did a very poor job laying them out. I assumed no one would look that closely. I could be wrong though. I'm so embarrassed!

Saturday, November 24

WIP: Angel outfits


They're coming along nicely. Two dresses finished (one without mistakes...guess which I'm keeping!). One set of angel wings sewn and awaiting quilting. Everything has been coffee-stained and baked. And two stuffed stars to embroidery and sew. I'm working on the embroidery right now.

I did have some boy bendies for the shop but a spill left them all damp and root beer-scented. Maybe this is how my children tell me they'd like some bendies to keep.

My bead order STILL has not come. It's making me crazy as that package is full of Swarovski crystal love!

Friday, November 23

In a nutshell...

Bendy set

Finished a Peter Pan bendy set for an order.

Caught a cold (bleck!).

Gotta go to the grocery store (bleck again!).

Working on Christmas Annie outfits.

Added more bendies (girls)to the shop.

Making some boys tonight.

Bead order has NOT arrived YET (grrrr!).

That is all.

Tuesday, November 20

Bendy Heaven

The Hittys are finished! I think I may have to make some more of these at some point. I just love them. Even if no one was ever interested in purchasing one I'd be perfectly happy keeping them all for myself. However these girlies were a special request by someone who has 4 daughter who each needed their very own mini-Hitty.

If you're not familiar with bendy dolls they might seem a little too plain...too simple. Let me tell you, in real life they're magical. At least I think so (and have since the very first time I laid eyes on one!). You just can't truly appreciate the scale of them until you've held one (or four!) in the palm of your hand. I've probably made near 1000 of these little dolls over the years and they still delight me.

I also made a few non-Hitty bendies today for the shop.

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with pictures of the Annie twins Christmas outfits. And hopefully my bead order will arrive so I can make all sorts of new sparkly earrings and such over the holiday weekend!

Monday, November 19

Answering a question

I just wanted to answer a question left as a comment to my last post as I couldn't reply via email. I shouldn't have been so vague and I don't want to leave anyone wondering.

So the question was if I would be offering the nativity (or another) for sale in my shop.

My answer:

The nativity was a special order for a friend. At this time I don't have plans to make any for my store.

If I were to put it on my list, I'm afraid it would be mid-December by the time I got to it. Probably too late for this season.

I got a very late start on holiday business sewing this year. I will definitely do better next year. :)

And, just for fun...Are you a child of the 80's? I am!

You Are 92% A Child of the 80s

There's hardly a moment of the 80s that you missed out on.
Was there ever a better decade? As if!

Nativity finished. Baking not finished.

Yesterday's baking day was going along fine and dandy until I ran out of eggs. Uh-oh. Someone dropped the ball on that. Yes, me.

Oh well, we got 5 loaves of bread, 2 pans of pumpkin bread, and the cranberry and banana bread I had already mentioned. Check the recipe category in my sidebar for those recipes. I followed the pumpkin bread recipe for the cranberry bread. I just substituted a can of whole berry cranberry sauce for the pumpkin.

We'll be doing some baking tonight too. Only this time it's going to be cheesecake and pumpkin pies. Mason is thrilled. Those are his two favorites. And they're soft e that his hanging-on-by-a-thread tooth won't even interfere with his enjoyment.

And I have plans to concoct a diet-friendly dessert for myself. I have some fat-free cream cheese, a package of sugar-free cheesecake-flavored pudding, and pumpkin. Hopefully it works. Because cheesecake and pumpkin pie are my favorites too.

The nativity set is finished and will be off in the mail today. If you're interested, there are more detailed pictures here.

Up next on the crafting agenda: mini bendy Hitty dolls and Christmas ensembles for the Annie twins.

Sunday, November 18

A day of baking and stitching

Today is going to be a *big* baking day. I did this two weeks ago (spent about 5 hours baking) and it worked really well. Everything lasted just about 2 weeks. And it was so handy to just keep pulling stuff out of the freezer. So I'm doing it again.

I just pulled 2 loaves of banana bread and 2 loaves of cranberry bread from the oven. I've got about 5-6 loaves of whole grain bread rising. And I plan to make pumpkin bread, granola, and possibly cookies but the time the day's through.

Today's stitching project is to finish the nativity set...or come as close to it as humanly possible. The angel is finished. And all the other bodies are ready to be dressed and finished. So it could happen.

The animals, however, are finshed. The camel and donkey are both 4" tall. The cow is 3.25" tall. And the sheep is 2.5" tall. I'm in the midst of embroidering a blanket for the camel's back.

Hopefully I'll be back to post tonight about successes in both baking and stitching.

Friday, November 16


Dragons have arrived in my shop. They're made of wool felt, some of which I've dyed myself, and stuffed with wool. They're 6" tall.

I haven't made dragons in a while. Unfortunately they just take too long to make and making them isn't as profitable as it should be. They are one of my more requested items at holiday time though so I made a few assembly-line style to shave off a little construction time.

I have to admit, this dragon is one design that came out exactly as I intended. And I love that!

When I was first asked to create a dragon I was a little torn. I have issues with fierce/mean/fighting toys and I wasn't so sure I wanted to create a fire-breathing killer. But then I thought of all the sweet, not-so-fierce dragons in storybooks and decided that I would make a dragon if I could manage one that looked kind and a puppy ready to pounce. And, somehow, I think I actually managed to do just that. At least that's what I see when I look at them.

Over the next few days I'll be finishing a nativity set I'm making with large-sized bendy dolls and felt animals. And then I plan to spend a little time on restocking my shop with new earrings and perhaps a few necklaces. I'm just waiting for my bead order to arrive! It's shipped so I know it will be here soon. And then it will be time to work on some surprises for the new business secret I'll soon be revealing.

Busy, busy!! And I totally *love* it!

Wednesday, November 14

little quilt

The last time I placed an order with the Fat Quarter Shop I picked up the charm pack of this collection since it was on sale. I like this collection because it's Christmasy yet not only good for Christmas, if you know what I mean.

I finished this a couple weeks ago but just now got around to taking a picture. The charm pack only consisted of these 16 squares so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a simple patchwork and play with freehand fans a la Tonya. I loved it! I just pulled out one of my handy-dandy double-ended water/air soluble markers (I used the purple air soluble end) and drew a couple arches at a time and stitched them. Right up my alley.

I'll definitely be doing this sort of quilting again. I love how it looked after being washed. I have a feeling it might be a bit labor intensive on a quilt larger than 17" square (which this little quilt is) but it was totally fun.

On another note, I've been having such a hard time keeping up with all the blogs I love to visit. I took the plunge and signed up with Bloglines. Wow! What a huge help that is!! Wish I had done that sooner!

Also, thank you, all, so much for all your support regarding my book dream. One day...

Saturday, November 10

Weekend plans and secrets revealed

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far! We're having gorgeous autumn weather with temperatures in the low 60s. It's that kind of weather that makes you want to open the windows and scrub the house shiny.

There won't be too much scrubbing going on here this weekend. The bare minimum, actually. Instead there will be lots and lots of stitching. I've got some orders to work on (I just sent off the order pictured) and a few more things to finish up for my etsy shop.

Also, weekends have become baking time around here. Last Sunday I baked myself silly: 3 loaves of whole grain bread, 3 loaves of pumpkin bread, 5 dozen muffins, 3 dozen mini muffins, and a pan of weird brownies that ended up crumbled in some banana muffins. The freezer is still well stocked except for bread. I'll need to make more tomorrow.

Speaking of bread, I finally found (thanks to a net-friend's recommendation) the *perfect* whole grain bread recipe. It's the best ever, I think. Soft and spongy. Totally worth the little bit of extra work.

On another note, I'd like to chat a bit about my patterns. I'm often asked about my patterns for things you may see throughout my blog that I don't have listed over there in my free patterns and tutorials. Please know if the rambling I'm about to do doesn't answer a question you may have, just ask. I'm not bringing it up because I don't want to be asked. Rather I'm bringing it up because I'm asked so much that I can only assume there are many people who are wondering but haven't asked.

So here's the deal- Some patterns are pretty easy for my to create and explain. I love sharing and these patterns are the perfect thing for me to share.

But I haven't shared them all. And the biggest reason for that is that I have this (silly?) dream of one day writing a crafty book. Or at the very least making some patterns available for sale. Also, many of my patterns are in a very rough state. Some are literally cut up sketches and nothing more. There's a lot of work that would need to go into some before they were presentable.

The book thing is the big dream though. Unfortunately I haven't the slightest clue how to go about pursuing this dream.

I'd also have to figure out how to present them more professionally first. Handwritten, hand-drawn scans are fine for here (though I'd like nicer here too), but not good enough for *the big dream*.

So, anyway, that's why I have a stash of patterns that I haven't shared. I want to be prepared just in case my secret big dream should ever have the chance to become a reality.

Friday, November 9

New goodies!

Available at my etsy shop

Just a fly-by post :)

Thursday, November 8

More finishes

I finished this little quilt (15" square) the other day. The last of the autumn themed projects. Which makes me a little sad. Autumn is my favorite, you know.

I also whipped up this redwork heart using a free pattern from Angela at The Country Cellar. Thanks, Angela!!

Finally, I need to answer a couple questions left in the comments of my "Socks are not for feet" post (some people do not have "show my email" checked in their blogger profile...hint, hint...and cannot be replied to through email)

Yes, I have more sock dolls coming. :) I only have supplies enough for around 15 more or two of most sock options. So if you are hoping for something specific, please email me ( PrincessNimbleThimble AT gmail DOT com ) and let me know. I'll happily make what you need as long as I still have the supplies on hand.

As for bendy dolls: I'm working on some right now. So, same thing. Email me if you would like something specific. Or, if you prefer to choose from an assortment, there will be some available very soon. It will be in the next day or so. I'll definitely be posting here when they're available.

I've also got some business news beans to spill soon! Something exciting is brewing!!

Book Review!

It's been another busy week with not enough blog posting. But, again, so much has been accomplished around here. Including a bit of sickness. Which has, thankfully, passed.

I'd like to start by talking a little about a book we were invited to review, I Love You More by Laura Duksta.

I have to admit, I was hesitant that it would go over well with my almost 7 year old son, Mason. He's at that age, you know, where hugs and kisses are the ickiest things ever. A "snuggle up with momma" book...I wasn't sure it would be a hit.

However, he really liked it.

What's neat about this book is it's a flip book. One side is from the mother to her son. I read that side first and perhaps saw the slightest of eye rolls (combined with some snuggling though!) from my son.

Then I flipped it and read the side from the boy to his mother. This side was filled with boy-friendly imagery (caterpillars, rocket ships, frogs) and seemed to hit a soft spot in the heart of my little guy. He voluntarily hugged me when we finished. For a few moments I got my little snuggle-bug back.

Such a sweet book!

Friday, November 2

Socks are not for feet!


Socks are for dolls! These are definitely addictive. I've got a few more that need to be finished so they can be added to my etsy shop along with this batch.

I also have a little quilt in the works (quilting it now) and plans to create some bendy dolls now that people are looking ahead to the holidays. My earring stock is getting low too! So much to do!!