Hungry Mice

If you’re wondering why I’ve been ‘off-line’ since last week Wednesday, it’s because I’ve been without telephone service. No biggie, since we all pretty much have cell phones, right?  

Wrong! No AT&T phone service means no DSL and no computer hook-up.


Finally, yesterday at about 6 p.m., the AT&T repair man showed up on our doorstep to investigate the ‘problem’. About fifteen minutes later, he tracked down the location of the problem. Apparently, hungry little mice had been munching on the wires resulting in our lack of technology!

In the meantime… I kept busy enough without the disruption(?) of the computer…

I made more bunnies…

…a bit more primitive perhaps? That’s a little clay carrot necklace I made dangling around his neck.

This one is still ‘in progress’. I think I’ll add a needle felted carrot at the base of the topiary.

Speaking of carrots…I made a few more needle felted carrots to feed hungry bunnies.

Then I made a few wooly sheepy ‘pillows’ stuffed with my dried herbs ~ very fragrant.

This is a simple wet felted ‘free-form’ sheepy made with wool roving. (The back of all the pillows is made with recycled wool from my rug hooking stash.) The sheep is standing in a field of hand-stitched ‘button’ daisies…c’mon Spring!


This is the back detail…more hand stitched daisies on a sky blue wool background.

Don’t have any wool roving? No matter. This wooly sheep is needle felted with mohair yarn! Sky blue and sunshine yellow…is it Spring yet? I love the daisy details to pick-up the ‘yellow’.  I stitched a yellow button to each corner of the pillow too.

I love the fuzzy texture of the mohair yarn.

Here’s another fuzzy mohair sheep, but with black face and legs. I needle felted the sheep in a field of poppies and added felted balls to each corner of the pillow.

Well, I survived a few days without the computer. (I did run up to the library w/my laptop once or twice!!) and I managed to get a few projects completed too! No computer required!



sa·chet \sa-‘sha: n 1: a small bag or packet 2: a small bag containing a perfumed powder used to scent clothes and linens

In my opinion, herbs are magical! These modest looking plants have the power to heal and protect against disease, flavor foods, perfume the body and delight the senses.

Scents, aroma, fragrance… evoke memories, especially florals, perhaps of childhood days when there wasn’t a care in the world.  Since everyone’s sense of smell is different, you really must experiment with different plant materials to find your preferences.  Most everyone likes lavender; it’s a nice relaxing base scent and often used in sachets (but you can use a mixture of your favorite scents).


Pretty little sachet ‘pillows’ are a beautiful way to add a lovely scent to any room of your home. A sachet ‘pillow’ may be made from any fine cotton, linen, muslin-type fabric. HINT: Recycle old linens and pretty hankies for pretty sachets!  Simply cut 2-fabric squares (mine are approx. 4X4 inches) allowing for a 1/4-inch seam; print side facing inside. Stitch all around, leaving a 2-inch opening at one end. HINT: You may add a piece of twine or yarn for a ‘hanger’. Once the sides are sewn, turn right side out. I tea-stained my sachets for an ‘aged’ prim look.

A Refresher on Tea & Coffee ‘Dyeing’

Tea or instant coffee can be used to create an ‘aged’ look to your handmades. I like to use Lipton tea or Maxwell House instant coffee.  Put a kettle on to boil. Add 5-6 teabags (depending on the appearance/depth you’d like to achieve) or several tablespoons instant coffee into a bowl, add water and allow to steep. You can use the tea bags to blot your item to be ‘aged’ or submerge the entire item into the cooled bath water. Gently squeeze out excess water/towel blot. Pre-heat oven to lowest setting (about 170 degrees F) and place items on a cookie sheet and into the oven with the door slightly cracked. Check your piece often until desired effect is achieved! Viola! Instant heirloom!

My sachets are filled with lavender and a touch of flax-seed (about 1 tablespoon). The flax-seed makes them feel great…nice and squishy! They stack nicely and look pretty tied in a bundle for a gift and look great tossed in a bowl together.  HINT: Save a 1/2 gallon or  smaller plastic jug, cut off the bottom and use the ‘top’ half as a funnel!  

A few more benefits of scented sachets:

They make a great hostess gift
Linens smell fabulous when used in a linen closet
Freshen your car or office
Display near your bed or toss under your pillow to aid in sleep
The scent lasts and lasts, just give a squeeze to release heavenly scent
Toss in your yarn stash as a natural moth repellent
Freshen your closet and clothes or toss in the dryer


Lavender is one of the most treasured herbs. It is loved for its rich aroma and garden beauty.  An effective medicinal herb, it helps relax and revitalize. A favorite herb for bath & laundry since Greek and Roman times. For fiber enthusiasts, a natural moth repellant! English lavender, Lavandula augustifolia, hardiest of the species, is most often used in cooking.


Lavenders want well drained soil, good air circulation, and as much sun as possible to promote flower production. Lavenders prefer neutral to alkaline soil. In humid climates, coarse sand worked-in around the crown will help the plant dry out. Lavenders require no feeding, though an occasional dressing of low-nitrogen organic fertilizer will make your plants happy. 


Lavender can be pruned in the early spring or in the fall (not too late so as to give plants time to harden off before winter). Generally speaking, trim plant by one-third, keeping the typical mound shape of the plant. If you do not plan to harvest the flowers, then a light pruning just after flowering, will be sufficient to promote new growth. Cut each flower stem back to the first or second pair of leaves.


sun + warm = spring fever

I’ve been working in the shop the past few days. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Tossing all the holiday greens (treats for the goats and sheep), making way for Spring. It was 100 degrees F in the greenhouse before noon…by the time I opened the door to allow the radiant heat to penetrate and warm the shop.

I know there’s still snowdrifts galore, and no sign of ‘green’ anywhere, but I think I’m coming down with a touch of spring fever! My latest project list confirms my suspicions…I’m making lots of bunnies, topiary forms and sweet herbal sachets! Here’s a sneak peak…I’m not nearly done ~ actually only just begun! I’ll explain HOW-TO’s in a few days. Perhaps share a bunny pattern too for those not gifted with drawing ‘free-hand’?

 I like simple, prim-looking sweet herbal sachets…to scent a drawer, a closet, tuck under the pillow or scent a room! They are wonderful to make and fill with all the dried goods from the herb garden. Most herbs do very well by just hang-drying: make a small bundle and secure the stems with a rubberband. Hang from a peg (flower side down) out of direct sunlight  for a couple of weeks. When dry, you can store as a bundle, or garble the leaves and store in a dark airtight container.

I’ve got several projects in the works…as usual! Hope you enjoy your day!