Archive for November, 2010

Making It Ourselves With Wool

Every year, someone in our family participates in the Make It Yourself With Wool contest. This year, Eleanor and Margaret, with Amelia’s amazing and generous help, completed outfits. A couple of weeks ago, they participated in the state contest.


Aren’t those matched plaids awesome? Amelia is one great seamstress and we are blessed that she is willing to coach the girls as they learn new skills. They even learned how to use the serger this year!


Yet, despite all they learned and despite the fact that the clothing they made fits them perfectly and despite the fact that they will wear these outfits all winter, there was a measure of disappointment when they didn’t place in the contest.

Now take a look at what I made recently with some wool.


I based it on my friend Lynn’s contribution in Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas.


And I used bits of leftover wool from previous Make It Yourself With Wool garments.


I love this necklace! I learned new techniques making it. I will wear it a lot, all winter. And there is no disappointment in my not “placing” with it.


I started thinking about these two different experiences making things with wool. It seems that the greatest value in our participating in the Make It With Wool contest over the years lies in setting a deadline for completing a garment. We end up making outfits that we like and wear frequently. And, we’ve met fabulous people who have become friends. Yet, there is always the angst involved in being judged for our work. Although Amelia is an absolutely amazing seamstress, even she doesn’t know all of the “rules” that the judges are basing their placings on. The “rules” almost seem like they are a kind of secret to those of us who are not professionally trained seamstresses.

On the other hand, when I made that necklace, I didn’t even think about anyone else judging it. I didn’t think about how it varied from the original pattern. I wasn’t worried about trying to figure out “secret rules.” I just made it. I enjoyed the process and I’m enjoying the product.

And that enjoyment is another benefit I’ve received from participating in the Silver Bella community of crafters. It seems that it might possibly just be totally acceptable to “do your own thing” in the crafting world. There are no “secret rules” or set patterns. I can truly create what I like to create and be welcomed into community. At least that’s been my initial observation. And I hope it holds true.


Comments (10) »

Thanksgiving, One Last Time

Before we get too far away from Thanksgiving, I wanted to show you the cute place cards that Margaret, Eleanor, Lydia, Charlotte and I made from the idea in Family Fun magazine:


Aren’t they cute? The place cards are, too. I love crafting with my girls!

Comments (1) »

Birthday Giveaway

Today is my birthday. As I was growing up in Nebraska and South Dakota, I always wished for the first snow on my birthday. Then, we moved to Texas and I kind of gave up on that wish.

But, thirty years ago, something really remarkable happened: I met Joey. Oh, but we were talking about my birthday and snow, weren’t we? So, I suppose you’ve guessed that thirty years ago, on my birthday (the day after Joey’s and my third date, by the way), it snowed. In COLLEGE STATION, Texas.


Now, College Station is not in northern Texas. I would not characterize it as a snowy place.


But, there I was. In snow. On my birthday. With Joey.


He was holding my suitcase because I was leaving to go home for Thanksgiving break. Thirty years later…

Joey, Anne ane me

…he’s not holding my suitcase, but he is holding our tenth child. And I’m not so much wishing for snow. But I’ll take it, if I can get it.

So, in celebration of my birthday, I’m doing a little giveaway. If you would like to receive one of these ornaments, leave a comment. I’ll draw names (if I have more comments than ornaments) after noon central time on Tuesday, November 30, 2010.


And since Kathy Heitland Holland and Melinda Meuser both mentioned that they had noticed that I hadn’t posted recently in THIS post, I’m sending each of you an ornament!


Thanks for reading my blog!

Comments (11) »

I’m Giving Thanks

Today–and every day–I give thanks to God for our four older children. This year, I am especially, especially grateful for them. We’ve had so many big challenges over the past year: suffering unfair job loss, starting a new business, changing churches, dealing with Peter’s mental health issues. At times, these challenges were overwhelming. Yet, our older children rose to every occasion and provided the support our whole family needed time and time again.

So, thank you, Amelia and Stephen!

Amelia and Steve on the beach

Despite being newlyweds and facing job challenges yourselves–not to mention giving birth to sweet Harriet–

Amelia and Harriet

you have been there for us!

Thank you, Clara and Levi!

Clara and Levi

Despite being newlyweds and working long hours yourselves–not to mention that you are expecting a baby–you have been there for us!

Thank you, Jacob!


Despite being totally responsible for your own full-time business, you have been there for us!

Thank you, Tim!


Despite having academic and ornithological goals, you have been there for us!

Without your support this year, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, we would have been sunk. Thanks!

Comments (3) »

Wrapping Up Silver Bella

Although, in addition to the swaps and classes, I made a few more crafty items in association with Silver Bella, the BEST part of Silver Bella was not all of this crafting. The BEST part was getting together with other “Bellas.” Especially dear Joan.

With whom I talked…and talked…and talked….

And crafted…and crafted…and crafted….

And dear Clara. Who is game to wear funny hats with me to vendor night.

And take photos of MY funny hat for me.

And who are both just down right fun to be around!

And all of the Nebraska Bellas who have been so very generous in helping me prepare for enjoying Silver Bella to the utmost. (Thanks, again, Lynn and Karla, especially!)

And Amy Powers, who is so very nice and inspiring.

And Jenny Doh and Teresa McFayden, whose seemingly tireless efforts to provide encouragement to those of us who need to create have had such a hugely positive impact on my life these past few months.

I can’t wait for next year!

Comments (5) »

Oh, Tannenbaum Workshop

Our last workshop was SO fun because it was the only workshop that Joan, Clara and I had together. PLUS, I got to sit beside my friend, Cherie and craft. Led by Kerry Lynn Yeary, we made some totally groovy Christmas trees.







It was really relaxing to make all of the ornaments and I could have sat there all day gluing and gluing and cutting and cutting and twisting wire. It was such a great workshop on which to end. But that wasn’t the VERY end….

Leave a comment »

Chatelaine Necklace Workshop

On Saturday, our first workshop was by Charlotte Lyons. We made this extremely useful and groovy chatelaine. With as much embroidering as I do, I think I’ll have this thing on all of the time.


We made the little strawberry pin cushion from tie-dyed velvet and added little beads for seeds. Seed beads…how can I be SO funny? My little charm reads: There is a fountain. That is one of my favorite hymns and Heather gave me that hymn sheet during our soldering class, so I used it in this class, too.


Here we are!


Oops! It looks like Joan’s chatelaine is in motion. But, then, again, Joan is usually in motion. She even taught Emily, who we enjoyed visiting with at our table, how to crochet a chain to add to her chatelaine. Go, Joan! Go, Emily!

Comments (1) »