I know….long time, no writing. 

But I have been busy! Im not any kind of expert, but I have been knitting away on dolls, slippers and learning to make socks for christmas. 

I will have some dolls to show soon. But I thought I would share my chatelaine with you.

The toddlers kept borrowing all my tools from my sewing bag as as I knit, and chasing them down for needles and scissors and measuring tapes while I had knitting in my hand became taxing.

So I decided to rummage through my supplies to see what I could recycle into  a all-in-one tool kit.

Made from a package of keyrings and clips from the craft section at the department store, and some new and vintage odds and ends I had on hand, I came up with something that definitly resmbles an old fashion chatelaine. 

I also used a junk jewelery mens chain necklace to add length to some items. And a package of small jewelery rings to hold items onto the clips and chain.
1. I took the metal ends off of a measuing tape and cut it down to 12.5 inches. Reused the metal ends and nailed a hole straight through to add small jewelery rings and clips.

2. A magnify glass from the surplus store

3. A brass key and pendants added to clips from the sale racks in the beading isle at micheals. The key is for fun, and I use the pendants as stitch markers.

4. I cut an older crochet hook shorter and bent it around my jewelry pliers for emergency knitting fixes.

5. A stitch counter

6. a harmony/ maternity bell with an added glass crystal, just because they are beautiful and I dont want to loose them on a normal key chain.

7. An empty seed bead container to hold short darning needles, sewing needles and straight pins.

8. Pair of stork scissors

9. A homemade “strawberry” pin cushion from some vintage fabric

10. My favorite…. A antique 3.5″ safety pin with a vintage wooded bobin for wrapping stray yarn or thread. 

No idea why a safety pin was made so big, but I have two of them from my grandmother, so they must have been useful for something!

I would like to add a tatting shuttle to this, but I have to drill a hole through one to do it, and haven’t gotten around to it yet. 

Well, wouldn’t you know it of course, baby girl now trys to swipe my chatelain. So I made her her own safe one that she can swipe from my bag without a scolding. Big chunky home made tools and a pair of plastic playing dough scissors to boot!

Now to make her a ball of yarn that can’t be unwound……..


Portable Ukulele Chord References

Another Ukulele post…. I wanted a chord reference that was easy to carry in my bag. So I printed the pdf chord chart and then cut them out and glued them onto business card templates. With a hole in each one, I can slip a ring through them and throw them in my bag for traveling. That way, if I need a ” refresh memory” moment, or a guitar chorded  piece of music, I can look it up quick!

Ukulele gig bag


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I recently bought a ukulele for myself, but didnt have much chance to learn it. That’s because the oldest kids took it over and learned it themselves.  I actually had to put a time limit on playing it so everyone could have a turn. Oldest daughter even played it in church 3 days after picking it up, to accompany me on the piano to the song Build Your Kingdom.

I ordered a second ukulele for myself. Paws off! But it didnt come with any case. After scouring the internet, pinterest, ebay and Etsy, I decided I could build my own for a better price and more personal. 

So voila. The results! It’s a simple lined bag with a flap and one velcro pocket. It has a side strap, a back strap and a hanging loop. I made it 3 layers thick, the middle layer being part of a padded table cover, to add structure, safey and water resistance. 

Very pleased with the results!

I am really enjoying the ukulele too! It is the easiest stringed instrument to learn. There are even courses for Jk and Sk children! Our 4 year old can play itsy bitsy spider. 

If you are looking for an easy instrument, I highly suggest an 21″ or 23″ ukulele. There are lots of free resourses, charts, songs, and online teaching.

Thumb rings

The new fad of figit spinners has exploded into classrooms. They have a purpose for ADD and ADHD and Autism and Anxiety student. Where figiting is a coping mechanism for concentration, they are perfect. The problem, is that these have now become toys for any student and they distract the teacher and classroom.

I as a mother am extremely frustrated that the school has allowed these in the classroom for general use, when my own son has been scolded and disciplined for playing with pencils and erasers to keep himself from sucking his thumb. He has social anxiety issues and at 11 he knows the thumb sucking is going to cause problems amongst his peers. But no teacher has ever allowed him an alternative outlet, even at my request and a recomendations from his dentists. 

The other day while window shopping through etsy, I noticed there is a trend of finger rings for women that cover the whole finger. And I thought to myself, “would’t that be great for a thumb sucking deterant!” But I didnt act on it because I wasn’t sure I could convince him to wear it. 

Low and behold he comes in my room the other evening and asks if I can make him something to wear on his thumb to keep him from sucking it!

So here is the result…….

He calls it his bionic thumb! I tried to make sure it wasnt ” girly” , but I included some figit beads on it that roll and slide. I made sure all the ends were sanded and rolled in tight so he cant scratch himself or others. He wears it at night, and it works! And he isn’t afraid to wear it at school. 

Just like a smoker, he has noticed an agitation from not having something iln his mouth. So today I sent him gum that he is allowed to chew on the play ground. Praying we have found the answer to breaking this habbit and that it increases his confidence! 


A Potter sat at a wheel with a lump of clay. Carefully he cupped the mud in his hands and as the wheel turned, a beautiful smooth shape was formed. A tall, shapely and delicate vase. 

The Potter scratched at the bottom, dipped it into glazes of deep rich colors and then fired it in an oven to make it strong. He finally sat back and admired the vase. It was very good.

The Potter carefully packed up the vase, along with some other vessels he had created and entrusted them into the care of a Gallery where vases could be viewed and given a home.

The special vase stood tall and quiet as people passed by , and believing that clay has no ears, spoke praises and judgments on the vase and the other pottery works around it.

There where many vessels like this in the shop:

Some were for holding food,

Some where for holding keys or trinkets

Some where to hold refreshments

Some were for holding plants and flowers

Some were rustic in style and others needed an acquired taste to appreciate. 

And some made a strong enough statement about beauty that their only purpose was to stand all alone and be appreciated.

The vases were often picked up and admired and turned over (because that is where the price can be found, of course). They might be carefully put down and returned to their place on display. Or sometimes they were carried gently from the Gallery to a new home to fulfill it’s intended use.

One day, the vase observed a patron shove his way through the door of the Gallery. He was sloppy in speech and dizzy when he walked. He carried his own glass vessel that had been labeled with it’s very own name.”Jack Daniel”

The man bumped into the display of pottery. One of the vessels fell to the floor and broke into pieces. And the tall vase rocked and bumped quite roughly against two other pieces, and then teetered back into place.

An uproar! The horrors! Patrons complained and the man was escorted out of the Gallery back into the street, where he had already forgotten what had just happened.

 With words of disgust about the man and his misdeeds to the Gallery, the broken vessel was swept up and dumped into a spare box and forgotten.

The vase stood tall and quiet. And patrons again admired it, and praised and judged the vase nicely. That is, until one patron picked it up to admire it. In the process of turning it over they found a chip. The glaze had been knocked off and the dull clay was exposed! The vase was brought to the Gallery’s attention.

“Sincere apologies!” No clue when that happened!That such a vase with this kind of damage was still on display and priced so high!”

The patron chose another vase, and as they left, the tall vase was marked with a sticker and sent to the dark back of the gallery to be sold for half price.

There it sat. For a long time. Or perhaps it was really a short time. Because when you are lonely and sitting in the dark, time can be difficult to tell.

But there it sat until a cleaning day, and the space was needed for something else of more value. The vase was placed in a box and sent out the back door into the alley to be taken by anyone who might have interest.

An Artist happened by the box first. He regularly checked the alley of this particular Gallery, as he had often found boxes with their discards sitting outside the back door. And he always found use for the pieces in his work. 

He dug through the contents of the box, and under the vase found broken piece from the vessel that had been smashed. He picked up the vase and admired it and turned it over. Of course he saw the price, but he also recognized the initials of the creator scratched into the bottom. They were his Fathers. 

He searched through the broken shards again and found that important piece with the price…and the creators initials. 

The artist picked up the box with the vase and the vessel and took it back into the Gallery. He pulled all the money out of his billfold and emptied His pockets and asked to pay for the items he had found.

“They are worth nothing to us. Broken. Free for the taking.”

But to the Artist they were worth everything. And he paid full price.

The artist took the pieces home to his Fathers house. And together they lovingly re-fashioned and shaped the pieces that had been broken onto the vase, so that the chip and pieces became a part of the vases character and it became something brand new.

The vase was given it’s own place in the studio. And if anyone asked of it’s value, the answer was always,


Part 2

Now what if I tell you the story again?     But the Potter is God in his home up in heaven.  And His Son Jesus Christ is the Artist, who has paid the full price for our sins.

What if the Gallery is “the good life”. And the street is where trouble brews. And all the patrons are people,who pass judgments all our life though.

And the vessels are Gods creation. Yes, it is me and It’s you. Some hold something, some hold nothing, some have beauty,  Some do stagger with a dizzy life view.

Some sit quiet, some hide cracks.Some just seem to have it all. Some have chips, some are broken from the perils of life’s falls.

What if the vase is a woman. Who is trying to stand stately and tall. But finds herself shaken and troubled. And thinks she has no one to call

We like to fix things that are broken.Or toss those things out and buy new. But this just does not work when it’s people. We should ask “What would Jesus here do?”

Each one of us was formed in a vessel. A woman God has fashioned and formed.He loves her, and provided salvation. New life for her and her newborns

So please today think of your mothers. The thoughts may be thick, or be thin. But remember all mothers are human. Created in the image of Him.

Happy Mothers day. In Him, you are “Priceless”

Story and images are copywrited to the author of this blog

Flying Fish

From our “non-artistic” teenager… 
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”

…but a fish can jump out of water and survive!  

This isn’t a quote to excuse not trying at what you aren’t good at. It is a quote asking others not to judge people. It is about finding contentment and having pride in your  personal strengths, even when you are working at or even struggling at something that is outside of those strengths. Everyone, when given the chance, can be good or even great.
Challenge your kids! Take part in their education but dont do their projects. Cheer them on!

 The school project was to choose a quote and illustrate it with multiple mediums. This went from being an idea of a 3 foot paper mache tree with a fish on top that would have been tossed after being marked, to this! 

I asked dear Son to consider making a project that could be displayed when finished, that he could keep and enjoy.

 A pintrest search for “diy tree” and “diy fish” and he came up with and made this. He isnt even done it yet, but already looks great! The picture doesnt do it justice! A fish might not be able to climb a tree, and dear Son might not consider himself artistic. But some fish can jump great heights out of their environment and so has our Son!


My insite for today….

A marriage is like two people with two piles of bricks building a life together. If you don’t continually pick up and lay those bricks down in some kind of order together, you will never have a home together.  If only one of you is building, it will be harder and take longer to build shelter. If you build seperate walls, you will be alone in the same building. If both of you quit, it will never be complete and neither of you will have a place to weather the storms. And the world can’t help but see the ruin it would leave behind. It can get pretty cold in that world alone.

– CEJMT aka Princess JoJo


Story of Snow

A little round raindrop sat in a puddle. 

The little rain drop had been quite a traveler. She had landed in ponds, and rivers and oceans all around the world. 

Her best friend was the sun, who would lend her his sunbeams to ride up high into the sky on his warm rays of light. 

And then she would blow with the wind and leap back down to earth again at thrilling and exciting speeds, never knowing where she would land next.

Not so thrilling was the sound of childrens voices that often chided her with “Rain, rain. Go away!”

Today the taunt hurt right to her middle. Today, she had not landed in a beautiful pond or a quick flowing creek. Today she had landed in a rut of dirty, mucky puddles beside a barn gate.

The children chanted loudly at her to go away and they stomped hard in the puddles making her leap about in an undignified way. She had lost her shine, as she picked up dirt with every bounce made by the boots.

The little raindrop got angry and decided that she would indeed go away, and never return. She would go so far away even the wind couldn’t catch her. 

When the sun came out, the little raindrop called out to her friend. He barely recognized her in the puddle of mud. 

The sun sent down his rays to warm her up to the sky. She reached the wind, but begged the sun to take her higher. At the top of the rolling fluffy clouds she again begged the sun to take her even higher.

As she rode the rays she noticed that they were not as warm as they had been down in the cloud. She had climbed so high, determined never to fall to earth again. But her coat began to harden and sparkle, and she started to shiver because it was so cold. She had reached Nimbostratus, a cloud in the sky that was biting and cold. 

It grew dark out when the sun went to bed. But the little raindrop was not alone. A wisp named Verglas noticed her tiny, glassy glint in the moonlight. He was a covetous creature, who was always trying to collect raindrops for himself.

He quickly came up with a scheme to keep the little raindrop  up with him in his world of cold and ice. He offered her a dress of white lace, telling her it would keep her warm.

But as beautiful as it was, when she put  it on, it wasn’t warm. And it weighed her down and she could hardly move in the dress. She did not like it here. She did not want to stay with Verglas. She wanted to go back to her friend the Sun, and the warm earth. 

But  Verglas would not let her go so easy. He began adding layers upon layers of heavy lace around her. Verglas had an entire garden of little crystals, made of drops just like the cold little raindrop, and he wanted to keep her there too. 

But Verglas, in his carelessness and haste, put too much lace on the little raindrop. The little raindrop was so heavy she slipped from the sky. She was so heavy, that Verglas couldn’t hold her up when he tried to catch her.

The raindrop floated back down to earth, her white lace dress parachuting her slow and gently.

She landed silent, beside a frozen pond, where no one took notice of her amongst all the other white dressed snowflakes that had fallen from Verglas’ garden with her.

Pictures are of our raindrop and snowflake puppets. They are crystal beads on beading wire. The snowflake is a tatted snowflake with bead embellishment.

Not to be reprinted for distribution or publication without direct permission from the owner of this website.  c2017