Happy Thanksgiving (to my US readers)

We are waking up to the perfect Thanksgiving weather—dark, damp, and cool.  It doesn’t feel like winter any longer;  (Yay!)  except for a few piles here and there the snow has melted.  Soon the house will smell like roasting turkey.  It’s just me and my little family enjoying Thanksgiving at home today, but we will have all of the goodies—turkey breast, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie; needless to say there will be leftovers for a few days, at least.

I am thankful for so many things including all of you, my readers!  You can see Riley has a LONG list of all that she is thankful for.  (This is a photo of her from 2005).


My husband likes to cook and got busy on the stuffing and potatoes yesterday while I was busy embroidering and finishing up red Christmas dresses and Santa hats for the tines.  Isn’t he great?

This was my handful of knitted pieces yesterday morning.  I finished the two red sets for Pukipuki and Amelia Thimble.  I need to take photos and write up my website pages for them and then they will be for sale to dress a couple of cuties this holiday season.  The winter white set will be for Kish Alisha and coordinate with the other winter white sweater dresses I just completed.  The aqua blue dress is for Millie.

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Major improvement from last weekend, wouldn’t you say?  It’s pretty when it snows, but then it is nice for it to melt right away too, in my opinion.

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There are still apples on the tree!  It is so nice to see the green grass again!

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My husband like to pump the excess water off the pool cover to relieve the stress on the plastic cover, so that is what he is busy doing (in case you were wondering).

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Our pachysandra is uncovered again.  The honeysuckle bush never had a chance to drop its leaves.  I wonder if those will fall off now.

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This is our golden retriever’s favorite holiday.  She gets LOTS of turkey today.  Poultry makes our little chihuahua itchy, so he needs to abstain.  I’ll give him something else though.

Have a great day everyone (even if it isn’t a holiday for you).  I am so thankful for all of you!

Bye for now!

“Santa’s Helper”

It’s been many years since I’ve made anything new for my Kish Riley, but she finally has something new to show you.  This ensemble came about by accident.  If you remember, I made the Santa hat (that is now Riley’s) thinking it was for one of the tiny dolls, but I was mistakenly following the pattern for Gina (the pages were next to each other in my book).  Because I was using a thinner yarn on smaller needles it came out too small for Gina with way too many stitches for the tinies.  Well, it fit Riley perfectly and was the beginning of this ensemble for her.  This is her first sweater dress; it took two tries to get the perfect fit, but it was worth the effort, I think.

santa's helper 267santa's helper 239Look at those rosy cheeks on little Riley!  Oh, I’ve missed dressing her!

santa's helper 237I just LOVE embroidered sweater dresses on dolls, don’t you?

Here is the photo of my four dolls in their coordinating outfits that I showed you a couple of weeks ago.  Like I had said in a previous post, I didn’t plan on making four sets that looked so sweet all together.  It was a pleasant surprise!

christmas gina riley sugar amelia 286Riley is my last doll to show you her little ensemble; I think she felt a little bad because she is last.  I told her that I am saving the best for last which made her feel oh, so special.

santa's helper 229For more information on “Santa’s Helper”, please visit my “Shop What’s New” page at cindyricedesigns.com.

P.S.  Riley made me promise to mention to you all that she would LOVE to know how cute you think she is all dressed up for Christmas.  Bye for now!

“Snowmen and Candy Canes”

With our first snowfall now behind us and Christmas right around the corner, it is the perfect time to debut Gina and Lucy’s “Snowmen and Candy Canes” ensemble.

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snowmen and cand canes 435The Little Darlings’ hand knit mohair/silk sweater is embellished with embroidered snowflakes in shades of light blue, crystal seed beads, and a wool felt embellished snowman.

snowmen and candy canes 465The hand knit candy cane striped scarf can be worn a variety of ways.

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snowmen and candy canes 439For more information on Gina and Lucy’s “Snowmen and Candy Canes” ensemble, please visit my “Shop What’s New” page at cindyricedesigns.com.


Instant Winter!

Well, we have instant coffee and pudding, instant messaging, and now instant winter… for us in northern Illinois anyway.  Yesterday it was over a foot of snow and this morning it is 10℉ (-12℃), so it is definitely wintry out there.

Oh, what fun!!!  No, not really…  The only GREAT thing is that by the end of the week it will be in the 50s again!  Yay!

As the sun was coming up, I took some icy looking pictures.  Can you feel how cold it is?

mid november cold 568 mid november cold 572 mid november cold 576 mid november cold 586Tonight (7:00 pm, CST) I will have “Snowmen and Candy Canes” available on my website.  It’s only fitting, don’t you think?  Here’s a sneak peak.

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So, who do you think models it better, Lucy (top) or Gina?

Bye for now!  I’ll be back later with the post for this ensemble.  Have a great day!

It’s Still Coming Down!

The television meteorologists were all wrong!  We were supposed to get up to 7″ of snow, and instead we got about 12″—and it’s still coming down, heavier than ever!  This is a February snowstorm, wet and heavy.  Luckily we were able to cancel our plans and call it a “snow day”, so a stay-at-home day for us.

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Here is a photo of our front walk two days ago.

mid november 484And here is our front walk now.

mid november snow 511And here was our stand of spruce trees on Thursday.

mid november 474And this is how our backyard is looking today.

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mid november snow 509The birds get so hungry during a snowstorm.  Luckily the bird feeder is full of sunflower seeds.

mid november snow 501mid november snow 508The magnolia tree is loaded with snow.

mid november snow 514The red crab apples are barely noticeable now.

mid november snow 512I think we’ve gotten a few more inches in the time it took me to write this blog post.  Geez, we still have another month of autumn!

Bye for now (from the north pole, just kidding)!

A Little Christmas Spirit

Hi there and a happy Friday evening (or Saturday morning, if you are in other parts of the world) to you.  This morning I started browsing on Pinterest and got to looking at my vintage Christmas card board and was enjoying it very much.  I LOVE vintage illustrations, well modern illustrations too!  Anyway, as I was looking through my board I was getting nostalgic and more and more in the Christmas spirit.  I thought that maybe you would enjoy it too, so put on some Christmas music, grab a cup of something hot, and please enjoy my collection of Christmas illustrations from years and decades gone by!

Here’s the link to my Vintage Christmas Card board:  click here

Thanks for visiting!


The Week So Far

Here in northern Illinois we’ve had a rather warm week, until today… it’s sooo blustery, which makes it seem sooo COLD.  My cold tolerance is pretty low right now, so I’ve been wearing my knee length down coat today.  We’re expecting our first snowfall late Friday into Saturday.  It seems too soon, but it really isn’t.

Today, even though it was blustery and cold, the sun shone brightly.  I walked outside with my camera to photograph possibly one of our last “green grass” days for awhile.

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mid november 491These leaves were REALLY blowing when I snapped this photo.

mid november 486The pachysandra still looks pretty; it stays green, but is covered with snow most of the winter.

mid november 484Other news, my new Little Darling painted by Helen Skinner arrived on Monday!  Ohhh, happy day!!!  I waited approximately 30 seconds to open her.  Ha ha, such discipline.

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lucy's arrival 373I asked my daughter to name her for me, and she picked Lucy.  I do like the wig she arrived in, but for fun I tried lots of wigs on her and I like her best as a redhead.  Did you ever notice how, even though we can change our dolls wigs, there seems to be a hair color that suits them the best?  For Lucy it is auburn or carrot;  Gina looks best as a brunette.  Lucy is my second Little Darling and is the #3 sculpt.  I love how she always seems so happy.  It sounds silly, but seeing that smiling face makes me happier.  Helen did a phenomenal job bringing her to life.  I also really like the new arms on the Little Darlings; Lucy holds onto things such as dolls and stuffed animals very easily, too cute.

lucy's arrival 376Here is a quick photo of what I was working on today.  Lucy will be modeling this sweater dress for you all very soon.  She can’t wait!

11-19-15 467Thanks for spending some time visiting with me today.  Bye for now!


“I’m a Santa Helper”

“I’m a Santa Helper”, says my Little Darling, Gina.  She is indeed wearing all of the jingle bells and whistles to get herself noticed by Santa Claus.  Gina even has a tiny present to add to the pile for good little girls and boys.

i'm a santa helper 216Gina’s hand knit sweater dress is made from Peruvian Highland wool in winter white.  The “fur” trim at the hemline is knit with mohair/silk.  The asymmetrical waistline embroidery depicts holly, berries, and blue spruce branches.  Of course, Gina cannot help Santa without a Santa hat.  This one is in deep red wool with a hand made pom pom, jingle bell, organza bow, and a heart bead decorating the tip of the hat.

i'm a santa helper 253The red bell decorations continue on the bracelet, necklace and as a decoration on Gina’s tiny gift.

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i'm a santa helper 248For more information on Gina’s “I’m a Santa Helper” ensemble, please visit the “Shop What’s New” page at cindyricedesigns.com.

Portraits of Talyssa

We had such a gloomy and wet day here.  I didn’t know it would turn out to be such a great day for some natural light photos.  Talyssa was the doll that I happened to pick up.  I thought that I’d share them with you.

There are quite a few windows in this room, but since it is a rather large room the only near light was coming from the window on my right side; I was about 12″ away.  To slightly blur the background and keep her face in focus I used an f/stop of 4, ISO of 400.  It was almost too dark in the room to take these without a tripod because the little red “shaky camera” icon would sometimes appear (depending on what I focused on, light or dark).

talyssa holiday darling 393talyssa holiday darling 3394talyssa holiday darling 3399talyssa holiday darling 3401I can’t believe how different she looks in this natural light!

Thanks for stopping by!

Live and Learn When Things Go Wrong

What do you do when you are working on something, putting your heart into what you are making, and then, something goes wrong?

I was really sad and oh, so disappointed.  The hours I spent knitting and embroidering this sweater flashed through my mind as I looked at the stains that a new strand of beads had left behind around the buttonholes.  I tried dabbing the worst stain out with water, then tried a tiny bit of Shout, the one stain didn’t budge, so I didn’t even try with the others.

Well, how bad are the stains?  Not too bad, in my opinion, but the sweater is not perfect now.   😞  I know that I don’t have it in me to remake this sweater and the stains are very faint, so the sweater isn’t ruined.  I removed the offending beads and replaced them with glass beads.  If the sweater is buttoned, the stains are totally covered up.  And, (ha ha) unbuttoned in a darkened room they are unnoticeable.  Hey, I gotta laugh or I’d cry!

But seriously, see not too bad.

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holiday darling 151Here is the sweater with the new glass beads sewn on and the sweater buttoned up.

And, here is Talyssa during the photo shoot when everything was going perfectly, or so I thought.  I liked Gina’s “Ivy and Holly” ensemble so much that I decided to make Talyssa one of her own.

holiday darling 076Now, for the learning part and in case you were wondering about these beads.  These beads were labeled as “Dyed Bamboo Coral”.  I wanted to better understand how this happened and how I could test beads , so I took the strand and rubbed it on an old wool sweater and sure enough there was a faint pink stain left on the wool.  Needless to say, I will be staying away from dyed beads.

Talyssa’s “Holiday Darling” ensemble is available (at a special price) on my “Shop What’s New” page at cindyricedesigns.com.