5 things that are bringing me joy, boats and a goat

5 simple things,  that made me happy this week:

sewing in bed

1. Sewing in bed. It’s become a regular thing in the morning. I sew by hand for an hour or so and drink lots of coffee.

2. Getting rid of stuff. Lightening my load.  I spent a whole day this week making space and letting go of things.  I plan to do more this weekend. The spring cleaner in me has awakened early this year.

a boston fern and a handmade goat

3. A boston fern. I’ve been walking by it in the supermarket for weeks, watching it get sadder and sadder. I could not take it anymore and shelled out the $12.99 and brought it home. I did not have high hopes for it but it has made a marvelous recovery. I love plants and I’m happy I did this fern a solid, wish I had done it sooner.

handmade goat in gingham with felt horns

stiched goat with embroidered features


get the goat sewing pattern

4. Finishing stuff.  All of a sudden a bunch of things I’ve been working on forever are almost done. I spent the morning (in bed) finishing this little goat, stitching sail edges and adding patches and details to owl captains.

hand stitched sails

owls made from scraps

little owl pattern


get the little owl sewing pattern

I’ll take the official photos of the ships with their little owl captains next week. They just need flags and wind in their sails. Do you need wind in your  sails? Check out this video – it’s super easy to do.paper mache ships with owl captains

I’ll take the official photos of the ships next week. They just need flags and wind in to their sails.

cordless iron

5. And finally this old iron. So much joy. I have never felt like this about an iron before. It has been a bad year for irons, this is my fourth and I love it. It was free, a serendipitous meeting, and I never would have chosen a cordless iron but it turns out I love the cordlessness. And it gives excellent steam and the surface of the plate is beautiful, it glides.

What little thing made you happy this week? Do you love your iron? What are you making? Do you sew in bed?

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  1. Jules Parrish

    I’m also spring cleaning ahead of spring this year! Do you have a preferred organization to donate nonessentials (samples/supplies/excess finished items)? I’m not sure where to direct frou-frous when there are plenty of people needing essentials, but I think everybody could use a little luxury in their life.
    I love your apparent comfort with simplifying your life, and am working on getting past the “what if I need it later” trap.

    • Hi Jules – maybe it’s the day getting a little longer! I don’t have a preferred organization, it is the custom in Brooklyn to put things on your stoop or sidewalk for people to take if they like. I put all sorts of fun stuff out there lately. I suffer from “what if I need it later” too but the space has been making me so happy that it’s getting easier.

  2. Hello, Ann! Your fern looks so happy! The boats and owls are wonderful.

    I’m in the middle of making one of your boats, but it will be a while before I finish because I am undecided about the sails, which feel like an important detail.

    I’m going to leave off talking here and start making this sweater: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/teru I’m so excited about it.

    Also, yes, I do love my iron 🙂

  3. That sweater is a reason to learn to knit. And the sails are an important detail. I want to see when you are done – the sweater and the ship!

  4. I do love my irons. I have a 25 year old Rowenta that cost me almost a week’s pay when I got it and I have my Mother’s 50 year old GE iron. I love ironing; but I don’t do it in bed. I have spent January working through my stash and have made bark cloth dish towels, a grosgrain skirt, a silk shawl with tassels of silk twist, I’m learning sashiko with some inherited linen. January is all about clearing out and setting my sails in a direction. I love it.

  5. Life’s little treasures…

    I, too, have a cordless iron. Aren’t they wonderful?

    I enjoy sitting in bed with a cup of hot coffee, surrounded by stacks of small, colorful quilt pieces waiting to be joined with their sisters.

  6. I have been busy making your boats. My grandson, who loves pirates and their ships, happily took home a small sail boat today.
    I’ll load my pictures to flicker.

  7. Thank you for this wonderful post Ann.
    I also keep reminding myself that it’s the small things that bring contentment.
    Happiness and a positive attitude is a choice!

  8. Susan Hebert

    Love the goat, Ann. She/he made me smile.

    Love so much of what you do. I wish I lived near you and could benefit from your spring cleaning. I beat even your cast-offs are wonderful.

  9. Great post, thank you <3

    I'm happy for my cat, standing up on her hind legs this morning to hug me. I just finished a hoop inspired by a traditional Swedish embroidery style called järvsösöm and I'm thinking of doing some experimental embroidery on a piece of linen fabric I've dyed pink with avocado peel and pits. To read this post was a great start of the weekend!

    • Thanks Alicia, the pink avocado dye sounds very interesting and I love the shade it creates ( just checked out your blog – happy to have found it). The pink is so soft and moody- I’m going to get a bag of avocados, make guacamole and dye some fabric.

  10. Your post gave me a chuckle and an idea Ann.
    The chuckle is that hubby did two basketfuls of ironing this week and the only things of mine were six handkerchiefs. I told him he needs to get some non iron clothes.
    You’ve given me the idea of stitching in bed in the mornings and as hubby will be working away next week it means I get to spread it out all over his side of the bed and not have to tidy it away haha. Brilliant ! Thank you

  11. Hi Ann …. I just wanted to say that I too love to sew in bed and been woken up in the night with a sharp stab from a needle or two that I lost the night before ! I love that feeling of tying up loose ends with projects before I move onto something else especially when they have been waiting for me to do it …..as if they know that they are not finished yet.
    I’m pleased that you saved the plant from the supermarket and the reason its doing so well is because of the steam from your ironing as ferns love to be ‘misted ‘ from time to time .

  12. Sharon holmes

    I live in the U.K. beautiful Cornwall by the sea in Penzance. Finally finding our Bosch iron which cost a lot but worth every penny.
    Sewing in bed sounds like heaven.
    The birds will be my project.
    Cost the fabrics, wire and tape.
    Great project for me as I adore birds.
    And this weekend is the great bird watch. You see what comes into your garden, count them then pass the details into the big world bird count.
    Love your work. Happy sewing everyone. Sharon from Rainy Penzance. Walking to Mousehole today for lunch with a friend. Never heard of Mousehole look it up. Stunning village.

    • Hi Sharon I did look up Mousehole and it looks marvelous, i want to live there. Happy sewing to you.

      • Cindy Armstrong

        I love the Mousehole Cat book! It makes me cry every time when Mowzer purrs in angry sea into peacefulness.

  13. Your plant rescue, I have windowsills covered with them, getting on with stuff and early spring clean gave me a rush! I’m there doing it! Then I can give myself permission to sew!Thank you!

  14. Carolyn J Harness

    Your newsletters are always so lovely, Ann. I have a “classic look” Black and Decker iron which I like but it is awfully heavy, for my arthritic hands and arms! But it works, so it stays.
    I too love to sit in bed in the mornings with my cuppa tea and some knitting or hand sewing or embroidery. I do that while watching knitting podcasts on youtube!

    • Hi Carolyn – I have the classic look black and decker too – for nostalgia I guess – and it’s an OK iron. I’ve knocked it over a bunch of times though and smashed the plastic temperature dial. And me too, love listening to a podcast while I’m sewing.

  15. i love your posts and the projects you take on and dream of someday waking up and being able to stay in bed and create but for now i will chase after all that i chose to chase and look forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve next. your photography is spot on too and i love seeing that old sewing machine in the background. my nana had one like that back in the day.

  16. Rosemary B

    sewing in bed sounds divine. I am not sure I have ever ever done that. Unsewing- I love unsewing at the doctors office. I am at various medical offices mainly for my dad’s appointments, but yes, I do have to show up now and then. Unsewing is comforting in the doc office. haha

    What brings me joy… probably that many things do bring me joy. I love sewing, I love loving my hubbs, 94 year old daddy, and my two lovely grand daughters, one each from my completely lovable daughters that live very close by.

    I have been clearing out when I feel the “urge”. I love giving things away to my friend that has a sewing school and shop.
    The other things I give to charities, or groups that can appreciate them. I am holding on to A LOT of my parents things at my house.

    Happy Week-end

    • Rosemary B

      OH! and your makes are just adorable. I love all of them

  17. They do cordless irons!
    I’m so impressed with you sewing in bed
    I lose stuff can’t get comfy and with 5 cats and 2 dogs usually give up.
    Such a good call on the fern it looks great.
    You mention getting rid of things. I’ve been making an item for a while because of my health. I black poodle called Lucy. It’s a needle felted copy of a ladies dog. I finally finished it and posted it …hurray. but I’m missing her do you ever feel sad when something sells?

  18. I’m doing a complete clean out of my work space, a two car garage that has become my own. I have been collecting things in it for twenty years, and it’s time to get rid of some things. This is where I make quilts and paint quilt blocks and folk art pictures. It must be a Spring cleaning thing because it just hit me this week. I’m painting the walls and floor and will make new burlap curtains for the windows. I knit in the mornings while I drink cups of coffee. Have you thought of making pussy cats to join your owls who are sailing the sea?

  19. Cindy Armstrong

    I got a new (used) work table really cheap from my neighbor. It’s really a movable kitchen island, so it’s a lovely big top with shelves underneath. My BIG happy!

  20. Hi Ann,
    I don’t sew in bed, with 2 cats and 2 shelties, it could be dangerous. “ooo! thread!” My little happinesses this week: sorting and getting rid of clothes, cleaning cloths, beads and paints( beads and paints are headed to the girl scouts who are always scrimping by), making super easy passion fruit mousse, finding a library book (I was horrified, I thought I’d lost it), finally trimming the ear fur of the dogs so they don’t resemble muppets quite so much, going to a concert by a women’s choir, and gessoing over a painting I had put aside for nearly a year, to get ready for a whole new composition.
    I’m glad your fern is so happy. Our cats eat plants and we have a funky floor plan with lots of windows, so I concentrate on outdoor gardens up here in the mossy northwest.

  21. I was feeling kind of melancholy today an just teading your post about your five things made me happy. Thank you.

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