…over at the Sparkle Stories blog today!


I’ll be there every Thursday sharing a seasonal craft project for children and their adults to enjoy.

Today’s tutorial is on making cloth napkins by hand, which I mentioned in a previous post. Oh, I think we’ll be making lots of these in the coming weeks, and a special delivery of birch bark from a friend this afternoon is a gift we’ll put to good use in adding a special touch to each one.


Happy crafting!


by hand…


Last weekend, I asked the lovely Virginia Johnson of Gather Here to help me figure out my old beast of a sewing machine. O and I have a project in mind for the holidays, and I’m sure we could whip right through it if we employ the Fiatelli. I hadn’t been able to find any information on the interwebs about it, but now I think I can at least get the thing to make a full stitch.


I’ll be sharing a bit about this project later this week on the Sparkle Stories blog, but what happened is this: we did a mock-up with needle and thread. I watched him stitch attentively. I heard the words, “Hey Mama, I think I’ve got the hang of it.” When he grew tired of the activity, I took over and finished. Later that evening, he proudly told his Papa about the thing we made together.

It took a half-hour instead of 10 minutes. But, we have this useful thing we made with our hands, and it was engaging, fulfilling, quiet, and mindful. We may use the machine for the rest of them; I don’t know.

This, though: last week I had a conference with O’s teacher. One of the things she mentioned about him was that he is very thoughtful and deliberate in his actions, often not finishing his work during class because he takes the time to do his work carefully and intently. This made me more proud than any of the improvements he’d shown in the basic subjects. To his teacher’s credit, she did not imply that this was a negative thing, even in this age of timed tests and evaluations.

Rather, it’s a gift to be content, in a world of rushing and pushing and scrambling, to perform the catch stitch with needle in hand, even though you could zigzag with the machine in a fraction of the time. Not to mention he’d probably be more interested in taking the sewing machine apart instead of sewing with it, anyway, but that’s beside the point.

I like his style, yes I do.