“Apple Season” is Fast Approaching

I DO love fall (even though it means winter is not too far off).  I think that the flavors of autumn are like no other season and apples are a huge part of fall’s yumminess.

When my daughter was young we would visit apple orchards and pick a bag of apples to enjoy at home.  This was the orchard we went to that I remember the most.  By the looks of their website it has grown a lot since we were there.  It was always fun to walk down the rows of apple trees and see how each variety of fruit was slightly different in shape and color.

A highlight of our apple orchard visit was getting those “still warm” apple cider donuts with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on them.  Yum, yum, yum!  Is one ever enough?  No, no, no!

Sometimes we would bring home apple cider too.  I love to drink it warm, do you?

My Little Darling, Gina, is the lucky recipient of the perfect apple season ensemble.  Here she is to show it off to you.

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apple season 054It was fun creating her little apple slice crocheted purse.  She can slip little found treasures inside too.  I was thrilled to find a little bead in my stash that matched the blossoms on the dress’s print!

apple season 040Gina’s little cardigan is knit with lace weight mohair/silk yarn.  Tiny apples hanging from branches and apples lying in the grass amongst coordinating colored colonial knot blossoms are embroidered in a fun and cute composition on the sweater.  I even put a tiny apple motif on the back.

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apple season 104For more information on Gina’s “Apple Season” ensemble, please visit my “Available for Sale” page at cindyricedesigns.com .

What’s Growing Around Here

Since July is coming to a close and it was a perfect day for taking photos (overcast) I wanted to capture some images of what is growing around our house.  I spend very little time in the garden these days, so what is growing has started up by itself with little or no help from me.

Our apple tree has quite a few apples, but sadly they seem to be dropping before they can ripen.  I don’t think we will get any this year.  Last year for the first time in 6 seasons, we had some for eating.  I wrote about it here.

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The yellow jacket wasps will be very happy.  They love the fruit.

The maple tree has these beautifully colored “helicopters”.

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A bit of leaf lettuce is growing in clay pots.  My daughter started some seeds for a biology experiment and this was extra.  We couldn’t throw it out, so we put it into a couple of pots and hope to enjoy a salad soon.

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My husband and daughter went to the greenhouse and purchased some beautiful herbs.  Here is a dwarf purple basil and an orange mint.

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I dried some jalapeño seeds (I eat LOTS and LOTS of jalapeños) and planted them as an experiment.  Do you see the baby jalapeño?  I have four plants growing and they are still in shallow containers.  I REALLY need to take 20 minutes out of my day and get these poor little plants into deeper pots, nothing too big though.  I want to be able to bring them inside and keep them going under florescent lights when it starts to get cold.

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And here are cantaloupe plants that started out in our compost pile from cantaloupe seeds that came from a grocery store melon.  I dug up a few and planted them in the sun near the house.  I hope they have a chance to turn into ripe fruit before it gets cold.

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The violas, pinks, and lobelia reseed every year without any help from me.

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My hanging baskets that my husband and daughter planted for me on Mother’s Day are doing quite well.  Aren’t the flowers colorful?

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So, that’s it for out and around the house at the end of July.  It was nice to get out today and observe nature even if it was only for a short while before I came in and got to work on my new project.  Unlike the apples on our tree, the apples in this print are looking quite delectable.  Hope you all had a great weekend!

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“Are You Ready?”

Are you ready for the first day of school?  It’s not so far off for some, and others have a month or more of summer vacation left.  The public schools in Chicago don’t start until the second week in September and here in the suburbs the kids go back middle to the  end of August.  My niece who lives in a southern state has one more week off.  :(

Personally, I cannot believe it is time to start thinking about school starting up again, but it is.

My Little Darling, Gina, is beginning to get ready and would like to show you her new school-ish looking ensemble.

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are you ready? 851Gina’s lace sweater is knit out of natural colored lace weight merino wool yarn and embroidered with mirrored image rose motifs to coordinate with the dress print.

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Who can resist a beret for back to school?  I embroidered this one with a blue rose and added a multi-looped hand tied red grosgrain bow.  Très chic!

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Isn’t this the cutest blue rose print?  The colors of blue, red, and green on an ivory background seemed like the perfect back to school palette.

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For more information on Gina’s “Are You Ready?” ensemble, please visit my “Available for Sale” page on cindyricedesigns.com .


Talyssa is “My Golden Girl”

After seeing Talyssa in this golden yellow ensemble I pronounced her to be my golden girl because she looks beautiful in golden yellows.  Fair skinned Talyssa has a beautiful ivory skin tone that definitely prefers certain colors and I think that this is one of them.

my golden girl 821This is Talyssa’s first ruffled skirt.  I think it fits Talyssa’s personality nicely; she is such a girly girl.

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my golden girl 803This is my last color to use of my vintage pillowcase looking fabric.  You can see the other sets I made with this print in the other colorways here, here, here.  I still have a bit more of each, so hopefully can make (at least) one more dress in each color.

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For more information on Talyssa’s new ensemble please visit my “Available for Sale” page on cindyricedesigns.com .

Summer Means Lots of “Blue Skies, Sunny Days”

A picture perfect blue sky along with a sunny day is the kind of summer day I had during this photo shoot with Millie.  It was a pleasure being outside and taking these pictures of her.  I thought she looked lovely outdoors.

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Millie finally got her very own light as a feather mohair/silk embroidered sweater.  It is embroidered with sunny yellow roses and blue colonial knot sprays of flowers.

Millie is wearing her new wig that I ordered just for this ensemble.  It is a mohair bob from Kemper.  You can see it here.  I needed to play hair dresser and trim it a bit because it was way long.  Trimming the wig was actually quite easy to do.

blue skies, sunny days 753Using the pool as a back drop added the most gorgeous turquoise color behind Millie.  Secretly, I think she wished she could take a dip in the cool water.

blue skies, sunny days 795Millie has a golden yellow blossom for you that she picked from the garden while we were outside.  Isn’t she a sweetheart?

For more information on “Blue Skies, Sunny Days”, please visit my “Available for Sale” page on cindyricedesigns.com.

A New Knit Dress Ensemble for the Little Darlings

Phew, it feels GREAT to have gotten  something completed today and the Little Darlings get something new…yes, again.  I finished something new for Millie mid week, but felt that I really needed another wig so that the ensemble looked its best for the photo shoot.  So, poor Millie is in limbo right now waiting for the mail service to do its work.

I spent a day and a half this past week working on a new styled dress for Talyssa.  I am so HAPPY with how the dress looks on her and will finish up the other pieces of her ensemble this coming week so she can model it for you.

And, here is Gina, my Little Darling, modeling “Summer Blooms” which I put the finishing touches on this morning.  I actually started knitting this sweater dress two weeks ago.  These little babies take awhile to knit (remember they have over 10,000 stitches in each dress), so I would pick it up between projects.  If I didn’t work on it this way, I would really feel like nothing was getting completed.  If you’d like to read about my first fine gauge sweater dress that I made for the Little Darlings you can find it HERE and HERE is the second one that I made for them.  I added a crocheted cap to this one; it seemed like the perfect summery touch for this ensemble.

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summer blooms 546For more information on Gina’s “Summer Blooms” ensemble please visit my “Available for Sale” page on cindyricedesigns.com .

“Perfectly Pink” for My Sweet Little Darling

I hope you don’t get tired of seeing pink on my Little Darling because it seems to be Gina’s most favorite color in the whole world.  Gina is a girly girl through and through and I love that about her.

I decided to call this ensemble “Perfectly Pink” because it is the perfect shade of pink, not too blush-y or violet-y, just pink.  When this shade gets paired with yellow, kelly green, and white cotton accents it shouts summer, don’t you think?

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Gina’s crocheted hat frames her sweet face perfectly.  A matching band decorates the crown and a hand made wool felt flower and crocheted leaf draw your eye to this darling’s face.

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Gina’s light and summery sweater is hand knit in white bamboo with a lacy panel running along the center of each sleeve.  A pair of mirrored image floral motifs in coordinating colors adorn the center front of the sweater.

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This summery ensemble wouldn’t be complete without a pair of crocheted ballet slipper shoes in cotton thread with matching roses on the sides of each shoe.  I love the way these tiny slippers show off the Little Darlings delicately shaped feet and ankles.

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For more information on “Perfectly Pink” please visit my “Available for Sale” page on cindyricedesigns.com .

“Sunshine & Posies” for Patience

Patience is all about summer sunshine and flowers, flowers everywhere.  Doesn’t she look all bright and happy and ready to make you smile?

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sunshine & posies 285Patience saw the shrug that I made for Talyssa and Gina; she suggested that I make her one as well to complete this ensemble.  Patience’s lace shrug is in buttercup yellow bamboo.  Yes, this is the discontinued yellow bamboo that I have a very limited supply of, but it worked perfectly with this dress.

sunshine & posies b 414Here’s a close up of the hand beaded tuck on the hemline.  The bright yellow seed beads brought out the tiny bit of yellow in the print nicely.

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I love Patience in hats.  This one is crocheted with three strands of cotton in two different weights of thread.  The brim can be turned up, down, or a bit of both.  The band matches the dress.  I “free hand” crocheted (no pattern) the flower to coordinate with the shapes on the dress.  It is a cup shape and filled with yellow beads for the stamens and has a curly apple green stem.

sunshine & posies 422The elbow length shrug falls just above the ribbon bow in the back.

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For more information on Patience’s “Sunshine & Posies” ensemble, please visit my “Available for Sale” page on cindyricedesigns.com .

Happy Fourth of July

Wishing all of my readers in the U.S.A. a Happy Fourth of July.  We still have the fireworks to view when it gets dark, but July 4th, 2015 is just about over.  There are swarms of mosquitoes outsides, so we will stay in our cozy car (like a drive-in movie) and watch them that way.  No one feels like showering off the bug repellant late at night.

We live in a small town that still has an old-fashioned parade down the main street.  It is very quaint and reminiscent of days gone by.  This year I took lots of photos to share with you, so you can see what it is like in our town.

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July 4th 339Everyone wears red, white, and blue today.

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This man took a picture of me taking a picture.  How funny!

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There’s our favorite DQ in the background!  No, we didn’t get any today.  I barely had breakfast before we headed out the door.

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I took this photo into a darkened store front and it captured what was behind me.

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These two Yorkies were beyond cute and did really well considering the noise.  We left our two dogs at home.  They don’t appreciate the noise at all.

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July 4th 401We see this tractor snake every year.  It circles around and around the street.

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Hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday.  We are off to find a spot for the fireworks.

“Vintage & Rosy” for the Little Darlings

Yes, it’s me again with another ensemble to show you.  I was so busy with creating new outfits during the last couple of weeks; I was on a roll and didn’t take the time for photography, so here they are almost all at once.  Sorry, I hope you don’t mind. :)

Here is my Little Darling, Gina, in a one-of-a-kind 1970s inspired ensemble.  This is one of my favorite floral prints.  It reminds me of the 1970s, but without the orange, using pink instead.

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Here’s a picture of my best friend and I right before our 8th grade graduation, long, long ago.  This is the dress that I thought of when I saw this floral print.

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I also used this print to make an ensemble for Patience, but hers is in a brighter colorway.  You can see it here.  The colors in Gina’s ensemble are more muted, so this would be perfect for wearing into the fall season too.

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The bullion stitched embroidered roses, hand dyed rayon ribbon, tiny thread bows, and a few bugle beads add lots of rosiness to this ensemble while the English cotton Cluny lace, fine thread crocheted ballet slipper shoes, and whitish flowers in the fabric add that warm white/ecru vintage feel.  I love the touch of blue in the print and brought that out with a few colonial knot embroidered flowers and the heart dangle on the bracelet.

The crocheted ballet slipper shoe tops are made with very fine thread.  The Little Darlings have the cutest shaped feet and ankles, so these hand made “tinies” show them off.   The roses on the slippers are hand made out of the lace with a bit of rayon ribbon and a seed bead added.  The extra lace rose and the pink crocheted rosebud on Gina’s wrist are separate, so they can be tied anywhere: hair, over waistline ribbon, wrist, etc.

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vintage & rosy 267For more information on Gina’s “Vintage & Rosy” ensemble, please visit my “Available for Sale” page on cindyricedesigns.com .