Hello again!

Firstly, thank you all for your encouraging thoughts, prayers, and words.  I am truly touched by your thoughtfulness!  It means so much to me, really it does.  With every comment I’d read I could feel more and more love and hope filling my heart. ❤  Thank you!

So hello to you all!  Summer break is coming to a close and I am trying to hang onto these last days, but they refuse to slow down for me.  Time just seems to speed by faster and faster the more I am aware of its passing.  Do you find this to be true, also?

I haven’t been doing much sewing this summer, but my sewing room has been very busy.  My daughter got the sewing bug shortly after summer break started and has been in there morning, noon, and night!  Did you know there’s a whole new world of indie pattern makers out there who teach how to sew with their patterns?  There are also numerous tutorials on You Tube.  It’s now cool to make your own clothes.  I love it!

All I’ve been working on are these dozen dresses for my 2018 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I am doing these batch style—all the pockets, back seams, binding all the armholes at once, etc.  I have only to hem the bottoms, sew the top casings and insert the ties, then these dozen are complete.


So far, this is my completed “store” of dresses.  I think I need more closet room and more hangers…


My daughter started a weaving project the other day which enabled me to get into my sewing room and work more on the dresses! 🙂


Although I haven’t been sewing, I’ve been knitting quite a bit.  In addition to socks and cowls for us, I’ve knit a couple of toys for the shoeboxes.  Bonbon by Susan Claudino turned out super cute.  I knit her out of Knitpicks Stroll Tweed Sock Yarn in Oyster Heather.  The little rag doll was made from Knitted Babes by Claire Garland.  The Knitted Babes are supposed to be much larger, but I used a finer weight yarn (Knit Picks Palette).


Both of these little toys took too many hours to make (IMO) and were quite fiddly, lots of little bits—don’t think I’ll be knitting anymore toys for awhile.  I’ve been looking for some easy toy patterns to charity sew though.  I like “easy” and “quick”—any ideas?

Other news—our northern Illinois summer started out with lots and lots of rain.  Past years of planting reseeded and produced some tiny flowers for me to find.  Violas in the grass and the tiniest forget-me-nots.


For Mother’s Day my husband and daughter bought and planted hanging baskets and planters.  They did a great job picking out flowers in all shades from warm red to pink to violet.  I never tire of pinks which smell like carnations from the florist.


The summer started out wet, but then we went without rain for weeks.  The grass got crispy and crunchy and very thirsty.  The other morning, however, the weather changed.  After a super loud thunderstorming kind of night, we woke to a rainy day .


Today it is sunny once again, thank goodness.  I don’t know about you but after a couple of cloudy days I’ve had enough of them.  So now, for me, it is time for a walk and to enjoy this beautiful morning out-of-doors.  I snapped this photo of bee hives weeks ago on one of my walks.  Aren’t the colors fun?


I wish you all a beautiful day!

What are you up to today?


19 thoughts on “Hello again!

  1. Catherine

    What happiness to hear from you again!
    I think you worked a lot! Your colorful dresses are beautiful!
    Bonbon is really adorable!
    Your daughter is as talented as you, she follows your steps!
    Here it is very hot, I’m on holiday and I haven’t been out since Friday, I can’t stand this extreme heat.
    Have a good day, warm wishes.

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hello, Catherine. The feeling is mutual; it’s so nice to hear from you again, too. Thank you for the compliments on my dresses and Bonbon. I’ve become quite attached to Bonbon, but it will time to let him go in a few months. I hope he fills a little girl’s heart with joy, like he did me. Hmm, maybe I will have to make another—he’s so cute and full of sweetness.
      Congratulations on your holiday, but not so much the hot weather. Do you have air conditioning in France. Here in the United States it is very common to have it for the entire house. When I was growing up, though, it wasn’t very common. I remember that we would drag our mattresses downstairs on the hottest days. At that time we had a little wall air conditioner which worked to cool the main floor only.
      I hope it cools down soon for you, Catherine. ❤

  2. lynnfrenscreations

    It was good to hear from you again Cindy! I love seeing your creativity – charity dresses, knitted toys, and photos. It seems you passed down your artistic bent to your daughter. How nice!
    I know what you mean about knitting toys. There are a lot of loose ends to sew together as well as many parts to sew together. I still love Elijah the elephant knitted toy and am inspired by the bunny patterns with clothes that I see on Ravelry.
    May God bless your day!

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hi, Lynn. I looked up the Elijah elephant pattern on Ravelry. What a cute elephant! That would be a fun one to make. Your mention of bunny patterns reminded me of Alicia Paulson’s Miss Maggie Rabbit pattern made out of felt and Mary Jane’s Tearoom knitted toys. All so cute! Thank you for writing, Lynn. I hope you have a wonderful day today. ❤

  3. Joy Rose

    Great seeing your post! Love all of the photos. Thought of you yesterday when other person mowed the lawn laying waste to the clover. I’m sure the honey bees will be back in a few days though when more pop up.
    The dresses are such a treasure to view. It would be so wonderful to see a photo of some of the girls wearing your creations. Guess imagination will have to do.
    What about making some simple one dimensional ducks, bears, etc. in colors with felt eyes/noses. Would be perfect for little ones and not too time consuming. Although, that knitted bunny and dolly are quite wonderful.
    We’re still getting smoke blowing from the north, next county, from the largest wildfire I think ever in CA. They’re saying they may have it under control by September.
    And yep, summer is dwindling down. School starts here in less than two weeks. Second grand is starting kindergarten. Now that is hard to believe.
    Keep up your good work.

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hi, Joy! Wow, you remember our clover patches from last summer! You have a great memory; I forgot about them.
      It would be great seeing my dresses where they end up. You never know… I’ve seen a few photos of the kids with the shoeboxes. It could happen. It takes a lot of faith believing that what I make ends up with the right recipient. I believe everything will work out.
      Your idea of one dimensional toys sound perfect. Thank you for the idea. I’ll start “researching” on Pinterest.
      I feel for all of you in CA. All that smoky air must get to you. It seems like it happens every summer. Is it more often that it used to be, or is it because we now hear about it more?
      Your littles are growing up. It all goes so fast! It’s great, though, that you live close to them and can visit often. I hope I’m as fortunate some day.
      Thanks, Joy, enjoy your day!

  4. Wendy Gibbons Marsh

    Hello Cindy.
    I look forward to your news letters. You have been busy. There is always some creations ready to be made.
    For your Christmas shoebox dolls may I suggest “yarn dolls”. They are so easy to make. They are therapeutic while making them and it is fun creating the clothes. I usually knit all my outfits with some crochet ones occasionally. When knitting I use your cardigan pattern (which is so versatile ) then just extend it into a dress creating the pattern and design ad I go.
    I have ordered my next batch of Knit Picks yarn which will have arrived by the time I am back home from our holidays and I will be ready to start a new rug.
    Only a few more weeks left and we will be heading home. With the rest of my time here I am experimenting with colour, designs and patterns and making a miniature versions of my next rug.
    Take Care💝🌹

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hi, Wendy. You are so busy and inspiring with all of the different crafty things you make. It sounds like you’ll have a fun gift awaiting your arrival back home. I must admit a little jealousy at your approaching springtime then summertime following behind. I’m not ready for summer to end yet; it flew by this year. *sigh*
      I’ll look into yarn dolls. My daughter made one when she was young, but I cannot remember what we used as a pattern. Pinterest will offer ideas, I am sure.

  5. Carol J Tuthill

    I was so glad to see your post. I am working on two of your classic sweater patterns now. One is safflower, the other sweet potato… Knit Pick colors. I love them and they are so fun to make. I’m happy that you are doing the shoeboxes and I know they will bring great joy to the little girls that receive them. You are so generous with your time and talent! Take care.

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hi, Carol. Thank you for sharing how much your are enjoying one of my knitting patterns. I, myself, haven’t made a little sweater in many months, and I am starting to miss it.
      I really feel that I am meant to share my talents making things for these little girls. Even though I will probably never see where my things end up, I have faith that He will get them to the perfect recipients.
      Thanks for writing, Carol, and have a beautiful day! ❤

  6. Terrigirl2018

    Sorry I hit send on accident! Summer is moving faster for sure with each passing year! It is so great your daughter is getting into sewing! It must be wonderful for you seeing her doing projects. The shoebox dresses are gorgeous , Ilove the pretty colors and prints. There will be some grateful Girls recieving them. It does seem like a lot of work knitting the toys but they look wonderful! We got a lot of rain early in the season too, but it is staying dry recently. The voilas are so pretty dont you think? Its nice recieving hanging baskets for mothers day, there was one gifted at this house too! Today I am looking after the kids and catching up on blogs. Wishing you a lovely weekend, hugs, Terri xo.

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Thanks for writing, Terri. I started loving violas and pansies when I was designing cross stitch patterns in the 90s. The various colors and shading on their petals was a fun challenge trying to mimic in thread simply by making a cross stitch x.
      I hope your Mother’s Day basket is flourishing, too. So far I’ve been remembering to water mine and they look great.
      You all are probably in full back-to-school prep and shopping right about now. Enjoy it! These years fly by, oh so fast! ❤

      1. Terrigirl2018

        You are so welcome Cindy ❤ cross stitching the violas and Pansies sounds like a challenge to me! The hanging basket flowers are in pretty good shape. Back to school is in full swing, our eldest is going into Middle School this year, she’s looking forward to it. Then it’s a boy going to third grade and one starting kindergarten. The baby is in daycare for another two or maybe three years. And the years fly by I can see it already! Wishing you a wonderful Monday hugs Terri xo.

  7. Marian

    Hello to you as well. Love that you are keeping busy. My dearest friend is struggling with the after effects of two surgeries and a round of chemo and is having a really tough time of it. The good news is that she is still interested in her handiwork ( she’s an extraordinary stitcher and knitter ) but she is so tired all of the time. We are hoping that this will change in time. Cindy, are you also interested in weaving? The reason I ask is because I have a rigid heddle loom that has your name on it if you wish. Just let me know. M

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hello, Marian. It’s so nice to hear from you again. I am so sorry to hear about your friend who is struggling. She WILL get stronger! Faith and prayer will push her forward. I have a daily ‘to do’ list, and even though it’s pretty light, it gets me to accomplish something. Then, I can look back and see that indeed I’ve been productive. It is an added bonus for us to have our interest in our craft too.
      I AM interested in weaving! I used to love weaving those potholders when I was young. Please email me with the details, cost, size of loom, etc.
      Thank you, Marian! ❤


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