Matchbox Chest of Drawers

We’re not pyromaniacs, really. But we do manage to go through matches at an alarming rate. And I always squirrel away the matchboxes–like clementine crates, I find them impossible to toss. So I guess that makes me a pyromaniac and a hoarder.

After I wrote about dollhouse love last month, I remembered making this matchbox chest of drawers as a kid. For those of you who share my affection for little things, this Lilliputian project is fun & quick. I used 4 matchboxes, a piece of polka-dot card stock, and those doodads (not brads–snaps?–but brads would do the trick). Here is a downloadable pdf with step-by-step instructions for making your own mini dresser.

I also admired this groovy homemade dollhouse in the April issue of Family Fun magazine (“House & Carton” by Amy Brown). This Family Fun link shows you how to make your own (from two cardboard boxes) complete with the fancy furnishings (all fashioned from egg cartons).

House & Carton

(Photo by Andrew Greto; ideas and craft stylings by Lynn Zimmerman. Reprinted with permission of Disney FamilyFun. Copyright April 2011.)

And while I’m on the topic of the miniature (I know, I know–again!) . . . I thought I’d mention the three-book series, Doll People, by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, with exceptional black-and-white illustrations by Brian Selznick (including a cut-away of an antique dollhouse).

Yes, the doll people are alive & there’s a creepy baby doll in one of the stories–but the books are gentle and true to a kid’s perspective. They are emphatically not Toy Story. Toy Story 3, with its hints of torture and apocalypse, left my 5-year-old weeping in the theater aisle. And me, too, for that matter. But Zeke & I just finished these books & we loved them.

Sock Dog

We’re just back from a long weekend in the Deep North at my brother’s house–skiing, ice skating, and, in my case, suffering from a stomach bug. What is more pleasant than a puking houseguest? you might ask. I’m pretty sure Ben Franklin coined a pithy adage about it.

Not only was my beautiful sister-in-law, Toni, gracious about my digestive turmoil, but she also let me photograph her latest sewing projects.  

She made this polka dot pooch from a couple of old socks. Such a cute pup! The pattern comes from Martha Stewart Crafts (step-by-step instructions here). You can also find it in Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.

Toni also made this pretty drawstring  bag from a pattern in Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing.


And this canvas bag (perfect size for an IPad or say, those paper things formerly known as books) from Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter.

Thank you ever so much, T. I promise not to return for a while. Love, m.

Embroidered Hearts

Before we kick into full valentine production at my house, cutting and decorating paper hearts for my kid’s multidinous classmates (maybe this is the best argument for keeping class sizes small), I thought I’d sneak in a little stitching.

It all started with this freebie download for bear and bunny dolls  from wee wonderfuls. I stitched bunny, but not bear because . . .

 . . . I was taken by the urge to create these lumpy little stuffed embroidered hearts! 

I had hoped they’d be reminiscent of these embroidered birds,  but alas, not quite. I learned that it’s really hard to turn small shapes right side out after sewing. Also that I haven’t mastered sewing perfect curves on my machine. And the elusive invisible stitch? I keep trying . . .  

But I did my messy best and enjoyed the embroidery. I used muslin for the front and for the back, scraps of printed cotton and denim and (pink!) cordoroy from recycled pants. The heart paper is from Paper Source in Cambridge. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!