First up were the girls' Christmas ornaments. I had made this little ornament when their daddy was born in 1984, and stitched it again for Miss Lily two years ago. This year it was Madison's turn...
Last year I started a series of ornaments for Lily based on The Twelve Days of Christmas. That way I don't have to think about what each year's ornament will be...I just follow the song! Last year, of course, was the partridge...
which made this a turtle dove year...
During the fall I had started a little name sampler for Lily, which I think turned out so cute, with little bears spelling out her name. Thank heavens she has a short first name, and not something like Francesca or Seraphina!
I had wanted to make something similar for Madison, but by the time I finished Lily's project, I didn't think I had time for another seven letters, so I opted for her initial instead. In order to make it a little extra special I wrapped the mat in a fun baby print I had discovered - the fabric colors matched perfectly with the embroidery floss.
I loved the fabric so much, with its sweet little forest animals, that I decided to make my first little vintage stuffed bear to match. When my son was born, my sister made a little bear that he literally loved to pieces - I only have one little eye left! I thought perhaps Miss Madison might enjoy having a bear to love as well.
I found this pattern online, and figured since it was so basic perhaps I could manage it...
You can find the instructions for your own bear here.
Stitching her sweet little face was a little intimidating, but don't you love her smile? Her
eyes and nose called for a LOT of satin stitching, which I hadn't really done before.
And here she is, all gussied up with a frothy white lace bow, ready for all sorts of hugs and Christopher-Robin type adventures!
Since Lily loves books so much, I thought a "dress-up trunk" would give her a scope for imagination, as Anne (of Green Gables) was fond of saying. I chose Fancy Nancy, Ladybug Girl and Cinderella and had such fun choosing items for her dress-up box. Feather boas, tutus, jewelry, glass slippers and tiaras all made an appearance, plus, as you can see below, ladybug wings and antenna!
My most ambitious project was her Cinderella dress. Earlier this fall I was cleaning out my closet, and came across my blue bridesmaid's dress from my sister's wedding twenty-five years ago. I realized the color and fabric would be perfect for a Cinderella dress! It even had the lace appliques that matched the beautiful lace we all lovingly stitched and trimmed with pearls on my sister's wedding dress. I thought it would be a loving way to recycle the dress and include all the happy memories of that special day.
I set out with far more optimism than expertise, and soon discovered that cutting an adult dress down to toddler size was way more difficult than starting from scratch, but many late nights (and I do mean late!) and a dogged determination to not give up finally yielded the perfect princess dress for Lily...
And there, my friends, are the projects that kept me busy all fall and away from my blog. But I wouldn't trade a second at the sewing machine when I saw all their smiles on Christmas Day, and hopefully years from now the girls will have fond memories and keepsakes of all the love their Grandmother stitched into their gifts.
But now, just when I've returned to blogging more steadily - it's time to announce I'll be taking a break the next couple of weeks! Santa said I was very, very good this last year and deserved a small respite from work and winter and snow and ice and gray, gloomy days. Therefore, Santa and I are off to the Dominican Republic for some much needed relaxation and sunshine, and I can't wait to share our adventures with you on my return! Until then, please remember that
Today is a good day for a good day!