Blue Knit Maxi Dress

This is a break from my normal art related posts, but it is a creative craft: sewing!

I’ve been shopping for a knit maxi dress for months now, without success. I was looking for a neckline that wasn’t too low, with the flattering/right fit of the bodice, material not too thin, and at the right price (I may have set my expectations a bit high!) I was lamenting about it to a friend yesterday, and she said, “Oh, it wouldn’t be hard to make one – you should try it!” I have had a nice piece of knit yardage languishing in the basement, so I thought I’d rather make a dress (even if it didn’t work out) then leave the fabric in storage for years!

I apologize for the quality of photos – it was snowing today, so I took the pictures inside ; ) I had a long sleeve knit top that I just layed out flat on the yardage and cut out around it to make my ‘pattern’. It’s possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever sown – front and back bodice, two sleeves, gathered skirt, and neckline trim. I didn’t even hem the sleeves or skirt – just leaving them to roll naturally!

Please excuse my awkward selfie photos! Fellow seamstress will be interested in the details: I did normal shoulder seams and extra long sleeves. One of the things I’m used to now with retail clothes is that long sleeves are rarely long enough for me…but these sleeves are plenty long! I did a simple strip of fabric around the neckline – left raw so it will roll – it’s top stitched to the neck opening to keep the neckline from stretching too much. 

In just a couple hours I had a comfortable dress with the neckline I wanted and a proper fit! This knit fabric was a medium weight  and not super stretchy, so it should hold it’s shape well. This dress has the long sleeves for winter, but I plan to make a couple more (in peach pink and sage green?) with short sleeves for summer!


Minimalist Culture


There’s been an exciting trend growing in our culture to have quality over quantity and to value what you have rather then accumulate the next best thing.  I’m not a minimalist, though I tend to live by the “everything in it’s place” rule.  What I do cultivate in my own life/home/etc is to count my blessings and purpose to share those blessings I’ve been given with others.  For me peace and prosperity is found in living simply.  It takes diligance and purpose to limit yourself and say no to the extras life has to offer – so that I may fully enjoy the essentials in my life.

Have you had to make those choices?  To cultivate those things that bring joy into your life, and let go of those things that would prevent you from having peace and contentment?  Sometimes it is almost a daily task!

Autumn and Art Class


I had to rescue this monarch from the cold, rainy day outside!  Autumn has arrived with it’s chilly nights and rainy days!



I have a craft class to teach for homeschool group this year.  I’m doing a gift theme for all my girls this year.  Crepe paper flower gift toppers, hand stamped wrapping paper, paper cut pop-up greeting cards, and hand painted mugs for the actual gift!  I’ve got examples of the crepe paper gift toppers ready for the first class, to give them ideas for shape/color/sizes!



I’m also working on a hellebore flower pattern for a publication this winter!  It’s a challenge to get the right proportions, shape, etc…but I think I’ve got them worked out – I’ll share all about this project when it’s finished and printed this winter ; )


And, of course, I’m still doodling in my sketchbooks at every opportunity!  It’s basically my exercise/practice – keeps me limber in my mind and hands and pushes me to better performance!  That’s what I’ve been up to lately.  How about you?  What fills your free time?!


Autumn is Pink







Pink is everywhere in my world these days – even at the zoo!  I’m drawn to it’s soft blush in the transition from summer to autumn.  My hydrangea, dahlias, and fall anemone are all in shades of pink.  I’m also working on a template for paper hellebore flowers!  Stay tuned for that ; )  Do you have a favorite late summer/autumn color right now?




This is the view from my porch – what I call the door yard.  I watch my birds at the feeders and relax on my shady porch with my kitty.  It’s my happy place!  My little slice of heaven on earth is right here ; )



My Babe built me this beautiful little porch just last year!  We’ve been enjoying it so much!  It’s such a great place to relax and visit together with family and friends.  We both liked the idea of having a porch before we built it – but we had no idea how much we’d love it!!!




This is my favorite chair – the hammock chair!

Also, My Babe and I have a wedding anniversary coming up soon.  Counting my blessings and so grateful to have a beautiful home and family with this man!  I’ve been married 14 years with this guy – My Babe ; )



Woodland Flowers





Loving these shadeloving flowers from a garden I toured yesterday with my girlfriends – flower goals for my own gardens someday!!!  I did bring home a pot of red trillium – finally!  So excited to have found one and have it planted in a special little woodland border at home! I’ve been wanting a red trillium for my garden for over ten years!


Spring Woodland Garden




I take a walk around the yard nearly every day to see what is blooming…sometimes kitty comes too – I think she expects me to be hunting mice with her ; )


I take a 3 mile walk every day too, for exercise, and when I get home I like to sit a minute on the porch and rest – kitty likes that too!  How is your spring going?  I hope you’re enjoying all the spring flowers where ever you are!






Sets of paint – I just love all the colors!  First picture shows the original Sennelier set of 8 half pans and the expanded set of 12 half pans that I upgraded to.  I use it for any traveling/outdoor painting.  Next picture shows my Cotman sketcher’s pocket set of 16 half pans – this was my first set and it served me well the first year – now my son is using it for his set.  Lastly the Lukas set with 48 half pans that I use for everything.  I’ve had the set for two years now and I love it!  So far, the only color I’ve had to refill is the sap green that I added.  I replaced the phthalo green with sap green because I like the yellow greens better for botanical painting.