It’s Almost Fall

Yes, it is.  Although it is technically still summer (and yesterday morning was 80 degrees) today it is 20+ degrees colder.  When I go outside I think of Halloween.  No, not yet, please…

Here is my Little Darling, Gina, modeling a new fall outfit for you.  It is made up of a cotton floral dress, hand knit and embroidered sweater, hand knit beret, cotton tights, and a bracelet.  I bought the dress’s fabric from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL many years ago.  I fell in love with the colors in this muted, yet colorful fabric.  The top I made for myself fast became a favorite of mine which I wore so much that I wore it out.  Looking back at my photo albums the top I had made found it’s way into many pictures over a period of 2-3 years.  My favorite colors in this floral print are the violet and blush pink so I chose to highlight those colors for this 5-piece ensemble.


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For more information on Gina’s “It’s Almost Fall” ensemble please visit my website.

A Visit to the Chicago Botanic Gardens

I’ve professed my love for the Chicago Botanic Gardens in a previous post.  Well, we finally made it there today for the first time this year.   Since we usually only get there once a year, it’s interesting to mix up the visits as to the time of year.  At the end of the summer the vegetable garden is in it’s full glory and it is massive.  I kept saying to my daughter, “I wish I lived here.”  Today they had a little farmer’s market too, and we were able to buy some of the vegetables grown at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  Yum!

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As we were walking through the apple orchard we noticed that the trees were bare of fruit, like our apple tree in our backyard.  I wrote about our apple tree last year and took pictures of Amelia Thimble climbing around in it.  Well, this sign told us why.

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I looked up and took this picture of the grapes growing above out heads in the arbor, so pretty against the blue sky.  I wanted to pick a bunch and start munching on them, but didn’t…

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I brought my Pukipuki Sugar and Izzy with me.  We found a pink rosebush that happened to be in the shade while we were still in the vegetable garden.  Sugar climbed up and I got a picture of her.  The roses match her dress so nicely.

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In the walled English Garden I took a few pictures of Izzy and Sugar under a tree with dappled shade.

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Then they each wanted to climb a tree.  :)  Hang on tight!

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Here are a few more pictures of some things we saw today.



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  Hope your day was as beautiful as ours was here in Illinois.

Fall?…No… It’s Still Summer!

Fall is right around the corner…!?  No, say it isn’t so!  I think it was just the Fourth of July yesterday.  (thinking about it…)  Oh no… that was almost two months ago.  Yikes.  Where did our summer go?

I do like fall, I really do.  Here in Illinois autumn is usually still feeling warm and usually sunny.  So, no complaints with fall (autumn).  It’s the season that tries to slide in unnoticed right after fall, (and sometimes even before fall has finished up it’s time in the spotlight) now that’s the one that I don’t particularly like and that’s saying it nicely.  Anyway… (I’m not even going to think about that bully of a season right now.)

I’ve been creating some things for fall, but not too fall”ish”.  Don’t want to dive right in when I can get by with simply dipping my big toe in, right?  And, I’m not quite ready to let glorious summertime go.

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First up, is a new ensemble for our favorite Effner Little Darlings.  It is colorful yet with a muted palette goes beautifully this time of year.  Gina’s floral print cotton dress is reminiscent of the 1970’s with it’s folksy feel and the 1980’s with those large cabbage roses.  The muted shades of rose, blue, yellow, green, and white are on a ground of chocolate brown.  See, a fall palette can be quite colorful.  The lace cardigan is hand knit out of fine baby alpaca/silk in a rosy pink tonal colorway.  Tiny Delica seed beads knitted into the sweater add sparkle amongst the lace panels.  Pink glass pearls button up the sweater, if desired.  Gina’s cap is a slightly slouchy style with a hand made tassel.  Both the sweater and cap are hand embroidered, with rosebuds on the sweater and a rose on the cap.  This fall”ish” ensemble is finished off with rosy hued pastel cotton knit tights, a bracelet with a cloisonne bead and metal heart charm, and a white cotton lacy sash that ties in the back.

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Another lace panel is on the center back of sweet Gina’s cardigan.

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 Next, is a dress/hat set for little Amelia Thimble and Izzy which I call “Tiny Bit for Fall”.  Aster colored colonial knot clusters, warm pink bullion rosebuds, and straight stitched fall grass decorate this hand knit oat colored mohair/silk set.  The tiniest pink satin ribbon bows are sewn onto the dress and hat for some extra “pink”.

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For more information on these new ensembles, please visit my website.

Our Summer Garden

I am back from a wonderfully long and very relaxing vacation.  I was able to spend time with my entire family and have many memories that I will always treasure.

I returned home last Tuesday and am still finding my way back to where I left off four weeks ago.  Am getting there little by little…

I started “Our Summer Garden” for Patience and Amelia Thimble before I left, did some knitting while away, and was able to finish it up within this last week at home.

Just like my flower garden this sister set is in full bloom and oh, so colorful.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Patience’s sweater and Amelia Thimble’s soft and cuddly dress/hat are knit with lace weight mohair silk yarn.  The embroidery coordinates with the colors in the cotton print used for the dress.

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I pulled out some of my vintage paper flowers which were the perfect color of blue and attached a pink silk ribbon bow for a sweet little bouquet.

While on vacation my sister let me raid her bead stash… so fun… Patience has a bracelet from my scavenging.  Thanks, sis!  You’re the best!

“Summer’s Sweetheart” for the Little Darlings

I was able to complete one more summery sundress outfit for the Little Darlings.  I think this is the last one though… :(

I made the bodice of this dress the focal point so I designed a bolero to show off the lace and silk long tailed bow when it is being worn.  The lace is a scalloped rayon that is hand sewn onto the dress with tiny seed beads at the points of the lace and a line of pink embroidery at the top.  The bolero is as light as a feather being made out of lace weight mohair/silk and knit on slightly larger needles.  The rosebuds are colorful shades of pinks and purples and placed along the neckline and bottom corners.  Finely crocheted ballet slipper shoes, rose hair ties, and a bracelet complete the look.  Oh, underneath it all is a pair of prettily embroidered panties.

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For more information on this set please visit

“Violas & Violet” for Amelia Thimble

My new “Basically Amelia Thimble” doll suggested that I make her a viola embroidered dress too.  What a great idea she had!  Her blue eyes look so pretty with these colors.  She even got a little hat to go with the dress.  (Pukipuki Sugar is a bit jealous, but that’s the way it goes…)  This dress is embroidered with viola blossoms each in a different combination of purples and blues.  What fun!

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For more information on “Violas & Violet” please visit

“Summery Days” for the Little Darlings

Summer days…wish they could go on forever, don’t you?  My Little Darling, Gina, is wearing a new ensemble called “Summery Days”.  Bright white cotton and cool blue and violet hues with a touch of pink make this ensemble clean and crisp, perfect for this time of year.  And…just in case a cool breeze starts to blow there is a lacy sweater knit up in a tonal baby alpaca/silk blend yarn with tiny pink rosebuds embroidered at the shoulders.  A very delicate look for our sweet Little Darling girls.

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More information on this set can be found on

Violas or Johnny-Jump Ups

Sow a packet of Violas one time in your garden and every year they will gift you with more and more tiny plants without any work help from you.  What I find so fascinating about these tiny pansy-like flowers is that one basic heirloom variety begets many different color combinations.  So, if you are a pansyaholic, enjoy shades of purple, and love surprises in your garden throw down a packet of these in the spring and enjoy for years to come.

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The violas growing in my garden inspired me to create this little dress for my Fairyland Pukipuki Sugar.  I used bullion stitch, colonial knots, lazy daisy, back stitch, and oyster stitches to create the embroidery on this hand knit lilac bamboo dress.

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For more information on Pukipuki’s viola dress please visit

The Littlest Rosebud

We have two of the tiniest rosebushes that I have ever seen.  Both are in bloom right now and have the prettiest pink rosebuds.  The roses are so small…well, they are doll size.  To get in the spirit of things Sugar (Fairyland’s Pukipuki) donned her pink dress with embroidered roses and is ready to show you one of our “doll size” rosebuds.

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Pukipuki dolls are also sold at Denver Doll Emporium.

Butterfly Kisses in the Garden

My Little Darling, Gina, and I had our photo shoot for this ensemble outside in the garden.  It was a very breezy, but beautiful day.  This tiny little butterfly seemed quite taken with Gina.  It flitted and fluttered and tickled her nose.

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For more information on this 8-piece ensemble for Dianna Effner’s Little Darlings please go to