Category Archives: Giving

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?


Dresses for Special Little Girls

In the last few weeks I’ve completed 5 dresses for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes I will make this year.  I am getting into a rhythm; my fourth and fifth were completed in only one day!

When I first started thinking of making dresses, I made a Pinterest board with ideas.  You can check that board out here.

 I’m first digging into my fabric stash and using half yard pieces of fabric that I purchased for doll dresses, but are too large in scale for the little dolls.  I can piece two 1/2 yard cuts together and make a dress.  Then, I can use scraps to make the pocket, shoulder strap ties, and bias armhole binding.

1st 5 dresses 910

As I write this I am inspired and thinking of Eva, the 101 year-old  gorgeous lady who sews dresses for these shoeboxes; she makes 3!!! a day.  I saw her video last year and her story has stuck with me all these months later.  Would you believe almost 10 million people have watched her video!  She must have inspired so many.  Now that’s the way to do things!  Way to go, Eva!

eva operation christmas child 894

I’ve included a tutorial for the dresses I’m making under the tutorial tab at the top of this page.

On a different note, I want to show you this beautiful sunrise from a couple of weeks ago!  The colors in the sky took my breath away.

winter sunrise 860

Have a great week, my friends.  If you make any dresses, I’d love to see them.




My Shoeboxes are Ready!

Yesterday evening I started putting together my Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I managed to scrounge up 17 of them around the house.  Here they are before getting filled.  No big deal, right?  Easy peasy!


Have you ever deboxed 50 Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, or Kelly dolls?  The hair is sewn onto plastic which is sewn onto cardboard.  Each doll has multiple heavy (ouch) twist ties.  Oh my goodness, what a job!  I’m glad I decided to do the deboxing because the poor little girls would probably have had an unhappy start with their new gifts.

I watched a live Facebook video that Operation Christmas Child did and found out that deboxing is fine.  In fact, it is encouraged because then more can fit inside the boxes.  If you’d like to watch this video scroll down until you see Hannah in purple at their warehouse.  (There is no direct link to the video.)  I found her presentation very helpful.

So this afternoon I am finally finished with the project; and a project it was.  Here are the totals of some of the things I packed:

57 Mattel dolls

28 stuffed animals

17 wash cloths

20 bars of soap

17 boxes of crayons

17 + pads of paper

17 pens

18 pairs of socks

A dozen or more doll outfits

Numerous purses, shoes, accessories for the dolls


Here are all the boxes filled.  I left them open to show you the goodies inside.




These dolls are all from my collection.  I started collecting them in the early 2000s before I discovered collector dolls.  I went a little crazy as you can see.  These dolls represent 1/4 to 1/3 of my collection.  Yes, I still have tons of dolls left . . . for next year.

You cannot see underneath the dolls, but some of the boxes have brand new doll fashions.  I was able to take the trays out of the boxes and trim them down to fit.  The clothing is only sewn onto the cardboard, so the girls will be able to take care of that themselves.

I snapped a few photos of my first boxes . . . then I got tired, sorry.









I ended up adding more stuffed animals and dolls to some of these boxes to fill them up a little more.

After I finished deboxing the dolls I filled up three trash bags!


My donation to cover shipping to the warehouse is made, the labels are printed and attached to the cartons, and the boxes are secured with ribbon.  I’ll be dropping them off this week.  To make things quick and easy there is a drop-off location minutes from my house.  I sure hope that my boxes find their way to girls who LOVE dolls.


Are you making a shoebox . . . or two?  If you are, what are you adding to your box?