Amazon rocks

My books from Japan came already! They got here 2 days ago 🙂 I really thought that it would take forever for a shipment to get from Japan to Ohio (especially with customs and whatnot). Three days (!) is all it took.

Anyway, I got a bunch of incredibly fun looking books…some on embroidery, one on tawashi, and a few on felt mascots.

I took them down to our friend’s house to share and look them over yesterday.

The kids each picked out a felt mascot they wanted and I whipped them up. I give you Brownie (the seal) and Annie (the deer):

Hiding in their natural habitat:


The only thing slightly disappointing about my order was that I didn’t notice I that I had ordered a book that IS available in English. I love the book and the patterns seem easy enough to figure out, but English would have been nice!

It was Aranzi Cute Stuff
by Aranzi Aronzo. Here it is in the English version.

These books are available by the same author (also featuring easy felt and fabric projects).

Aranzi Aronzo Fun Dolls (Let’s Make Cute Stuff)


Baby Stuff


Aranzi Aronzo Cute Dolls (Let’s Make Cute Stuff)


Despite the bunnies on all the covers, there are projects with other animals inside 🙂

Sewing Kit

One of our friends is having a birthday today and I finally pushed through and finished the sewing kit I was making for her. I kept getting bogged down by color choices. I seem to have that problem often 🙂

Anyway, I wanted to incorporate buttons this time so I could use them to hold the kit’s cover closed. I love the previous ones I have made, but if they get tossed in a bag, they can come open.


Hope she likes it.

They are Getting Older

I never understood how some crafty moms got so much done in a day when their kids were around. Lately, I have gotten to work on a bunch of new projects and I think it is simply because they are getting older. That, and neighborhood friends have been coming to play and the weather has been fantastic (when it isn’t raining).

Don’t get me wrong- I still spend time with them and all, it just isn’t as intensive as it used to be (knock on wood).

Yesterday, the girl whose grandpa lives across the street came over to play with both of our kids and stayed for hours! At one point I did go for a walk with them to her real house, but for the rest of the time they were happily occupied 🙂

The cars came out again:

On the way to her house, we saw a dead racoon in the street which both fascinated and saddened the kids. On the way back, we found a bird nest. It was built with tiny twigs and grasses and lots of trash.


Koinobori Tawashi

I tried out my first charted tawashi pattern today. I wanted to see if I could follow along with the symbols and in the end it came out just right. I am really proud of myself! This is what the instructions looked like:


Here is my finished Koinobori (Carp Flag) Tawashi:



Although it turned out just like the pattern and I think it is super cute, I probably won’t make many more if any at all. There were so many yarn tails from changing colors so often that it took forever to weave them all in securely at the end.

Busy Day

Yesterday was a pretty busy day. We started out with swimming lessons, came home for a quick lunch and then headed over to a friend’s house to play. When we got home, a neighbor boy came to play and brought a toy car with him. That led to our kids bringing out their cars and eventually chalk. The kids spent a long time racing them down the driveway.





When he finally went home, my daughter’s friend came out to play until it was dark and the mosquitos chased her in.

Ahh- summer.

Sitting on the Front Porch

While the kids were out playing across the street and down a few houses, I sat on the front porch and crocheted while keeping an eye on them.

I tried out another tawashi/coaster pattern which turned out to be a simple increasing circle of double crochet. I’m not sure that it really even counts as a pattern, but I liked the festive colors.


During some free moments inside, I have been working on some craft pages for my website. I have a crocheted tawashi page now with pictures and free patterns and links to the pattern authors.

New Neighbor Friends

No, the neighbors aren’t new, but we just met them last night. Usually when we go out walking, we stick to one of two predictable paths around the neighborhood (which don’t require crossing the street). Yesterday, after picking up our car from the shop, the kids wanted to get out and walk the rest of the way home. I let them out and followed behind a bit until we were in sight of our house. I noticed that there were kids playing in one of the yards they passed.

As soon as we got home, the kids asked if they could go back out and “do it again”. I said they could as long as they stuck together. They made a beeline right for those kids.

J. went to check on them after a few minutes and met the owner of the house, their grandfather. Apparently he and his wife have lived there (3 houses down after crossing the street) for over 30 years and raised 6 girls in that house. Now some of them were there to hang out while the grandkids took piano lessons and played in the yard.

My daughter came home a bit later (one of the daughters walked her back) and then headed across the street to do gymnastics with another friend. Then I went over and introduced myself and chatted for a bit while keeping an eye on how things were going. The kids got along great and my son stayed and played wiffle ball with the boys.

Eventually, they all wound up catching fireflies together 🙂