Category: on my work table

cardboard shingles, bunny issues, the sideburn verdict and flea market report

The outside of the cardboard house has been on my to do list forever. Two things got me moving:

I happened upon this house. I love everything about it. I’m not going full on folk art but a little color and graphic detail will be just right.

And I made some space. The actual, available work space on my table has been getting smaller and smaller as all the things in progress and essential items encroach. Spending an hour getting organized and reclaiming most of that space made a huge difference. It’s restorative and refreshing and motivating. A chunk of dedicated time and space for a project is magic.

doll house shingles

The bulk of the work, before the fun stuff (finish painting and maybe some window boxes) is the chimney and shingles. The chimney is done with the egg carton stone technique.

I also used some spackle to add a little texture to the walls and cover some of the tape edges.

find more about the cardboard house here


After way too much thought I went with a kind of haphazard fairy cottage shingle situation for the roof. The cardboard is a thin corrugated- pretty stiff -but easy to cut with scissors. The shingle size varies – but mostly around 1 by 1.5 inches. They are glued on in rows with a generous amount of wood glue.

I’ll finish shingling the roof this weekend, sand the chimney and then everything is ready for paint. It’s all going much faster than expected. I’ll be a little sad when it’s done. I’m a process person. Stay tuned for paint details soon.


two rag doll heads- one with sideburns and one without

the captain charmley sideburn verdict

Sideburns were the clear winner. But no sideburns made a respectable showing. So I think I will include an extra template and the option to skip them in the pattern.

Thanks so much for your input – it was super helpful.

two bunnies lounging in the shade of an in progress garden

the bunny situation

A pair of bunnies have been eating my flowers. And parsley. And the tops of my leeks. A couple days ago I saw them siestaing in the shade. I’ve named them Snakkin and Nappin. They were so peaceful and happy and I watched them from the window for a long time. At one point Snakkin was lounging on his back, feet in the air and he reached for the parsley and pulled it down to his mouth for a little bite. Pretty luxurious.  I went down and a confrontation ensued. You can see it here. Apparently I’m terrifying because they have not been back.

tiny round cream colored vase with mini flowers

I’m super into tiny, miss thistle size flowers this year – forget me knots, oakleaf and pinkberry among them. The bunnies do not seem to care for those. So far. I’ve been making mini ceramic vases to hold them. I also planted some wild flowers for mid summer surprises and, for the first time, “Love In the Mist” Miss Jeklly variety. Hoping to dry them- the seed pods are glorious.

a collection of puppets and or dlls in fairytale character costumes

and a flea market report

The first treasure:  tiny puppet/dolls. They are actually a friend’s estate sale find but I had to borrow them and show you. The costumes and expressions are everything. They are giving me all sorts of ideas for new tiny doll wardrobe items.

 a small wood doll with cotton clothes and a red cap held in my hand - the feeling is dutch 1940-ish

Also in the tiny people department this little man who sits and stands looking eternally guilty about something… Also outstanding in features and costume.

portrait of a gray terrier on a purple backround

And finally this needlepoint dog portrait.  I love it and plan on framing it so the moths don’t’ get it.

Are you making a cardboard house? Any great flea market treasures? Do you have a bunny situation?! Let us know in the comments,


new workshops: the french circus and stitched vessels – registration is open!

images of circus dolls and stitched vessels - text overlay ann wood handmade

3 Workshop Weekend Series at French General in Los Angeles – Friday October 11th – Sunday October 13th, 2024

click here for registration

Join me in Los Angeles this October!  You can participate in any or all of the workshops – a significant discount applies if you take all three. All materials supplied!

In a few weeks I’m headed to France and I’ll be shopping with the french circus and stitched vessels workshops on my mind. I love treasure hunting with something percolating in the background- it makes me notice things I might not. The context shines a bright light on stuff that might be missed in the great sea of intriguing things. I want color and stripes and little bells and buttons and trim. Those one of a kind details add so much.  I’m super excited to share all that in the workshop and see lots of woebegone french circus folk come to life.

Find more details below. Or click here to jump straight to registration!


little containers made form scraps

Friday – Stitched Vessel

Aperos and snacks

An evening of conversation and slow stitching. Learn to layer and stitch fabric scraps to form a small vessel. This is an improvisational and meditative process. The technique is simple, flexible and easy to do.

All materials and refreshments provided.

Saturday  – The French Circus –  Elephant And Cat

Coffee, lunch and aperos
Join Ann Wood for a day (or two) of stitching and imagination with the french circus as our inspiration.

Saturday”s workshop includes the elephant and cat and all wardrobe pieces. You will receive patterns and instructions for both dolls and our goal will be to complete 1 dressed figure in our day together. Overachievers might complete both.

We’ll be working with antique and vintage textiles, French General prints and solids, my favorite wool stuffing and treasures collected in France: lace, buttons, notions – magic little details to add to your one of a kind piece.

Basic sewing skills are needed, we will be stitching by hand and machine.

All materials will be supplied.

Optional – if there is a fabric you would love to work with feel free to bring it. It’s also helpful to have a disappearing fabric marker.

Sunday – The French Circus – Lion And Monkey

Coffee, lunch and aperos

Sunday’s workshop includes the lion and monkey and all wardrobe pieces. You will receive patterns and instructions for both dolls and our goal will be to complete 1 dressed figure in our day together. Overachievers might complete both.

We’ll be working with antique and vintage textiles, French General prints and solids, my favorite wool stuffing and treasures collected in France: lace, buttons, notions – magic little details to add to your one of a kind piece.

Basic sewing skills are needed, we will be stitching by hand and machine.

All materials will be supplied.

Optional – if there is a fabric you would love to work with feel free to bring it. It’s also helpful to have a disappearing fabric marker.

Click here for details and registration


the question of sideburns and road sewing projects

It’s a pre-memorial day weekend tradition for me to organize sewing projects so they are ready to go on summer trips. This year there is:  ever present mending, foundation quilt blocks, a new KZ Steven’s top and my stitch book sections – more about those in minute..

linen blue and black check hand sewn top in progress

This is my 4th KZ top. The blue linen is maybe? a tiny bit heavier than ideal for the pattern but the color was irresistible. The hand stitching is my favorite part. The top is cut and assembled on the machine super quickly and then comes with me for the hand finished seams. Hopefully it will be done before July, it’s a perfect travel wardrobe item. I’m headed to France with French General to teach and shop for textile treasures for the October workshops in LA.

20 stitch book pages- fabric collages- arranged in pairs for assembly

stitch book pages arranged for assembly

find the full book assembly instructions here

Also in the hand finishing department – assembling the stitch book. Just like last year I’m leaving my edges raw. It’s slower and more work but it’s the same kind of pleasant and meditative hand stitching as the KZ top – lots of little careful (ideally even) stitches visible on both sides. If you also prefer raw edges the only difference in the directions for making the book is that in step 11 you place the fabric wrong sides together.

There were two big decisions to make before assembling my finished pages- page order and finishing stitch color. If you’re doing visible stitches the thread color has to work with all the very different pages. Last year I chose a medium gray, (super sensible) and that was my plan this year too. The brown was an accident- it just spilled out of a bag while I was working on page order. It’s perfect, a magic color surprise, just right on every page and I love it on the binding too.

So far I’ve got two sections done and the third in progress.

Foundation blocks are also easy to take with a pleasure to pick up and stitch. They don’t require as much attention as all those tiny straight stitches. The foundation blocks are going to cross the quilt finish line this year. Really.

Something else that is definitely going to cross the finish line? Captain Charmly. I have been tormented by his sideburns. It’s an extra-ish step. Tiny pattern pieces. They were in the first draft, came out in the second, went back in in the third- you get the idea…

two rag doll heads- one with sideburns and one without

I think really carefully about what I ask you to do in a pattern. Weigh the effort against what you get – does the detail deliver extra dastardly, extra birdness, extra socksness? Is it essential?

So the question is: are the sideburns worth it? Do they deliver extra Captain-ness? What do you think?

patchwork pouch sewing pattern cover image

Have you got some road sewing planned? This is the perfect time to make your travel sewing kit- get the pattern now at 25% off  (just $6.19!) for the remainder of May.

Are you finishing your stitch book pages? Have you got a favorite travel sewing project? Are you in our out on sideburns?! Let us know in the comments.

in the woodshed with the french circus

circus rag dolls and lacey scraps in a basket

handmade animal rag dolls in circus costumes

The circus has been rolling around in my imagination for a while. It got mixed up in the scraps and fabrics I brought back from France with me. It bumped into an obsession with bicornes and cats and became a collection of rag dolls, a french circus.

patched linen rag doll - circus elephant with ruffled collar and cap with bells

My friend Mickey introduced me to the term woodshedding – in a nutshell it means a period of intense creating, refining, practicing – you can find more here.

The woodshed is my favorite place to be. Completely immersed, making tons of mistakes, failing forward in relentless pursuit of what is already real in my imagination.

circus rag dolls and lacey scraps in a basket

They are rag dolls in their truest form. Simple, spare and playful with an inherent woebegone quality to them. I can’t wait to share them and plans for patterns and a circus workshop are already happening – scroll to the bottom for more on that.

I’ve been working on the mechanics, taking them from ideas to drawings to stitched and stuffed things and feeling for the vibe.

the vibe:  A box with a dusty lid, undisturbed for decades, “CIRCUS” scrawled on the top in pencil has almost faded away. You open the box and find them, sleeping in crumpled paper, frozen in time. All at once you get a full sense of the world they lived in as loved things until the box lid closed a century ago.


Everything I needed for my circus folk kept showing up – a friend sent me a scrap of red silk fringe a little while ago, another gave me a worn linen duvet in a remarkably elephanty color and a box of fabric and trim I got in France a couple summers ago all seemed like they had been waiting to be circus folk.

And the space between the idea and execution was almost nothing. I had the thought and started working. No one heard from me for days. It was glorious. It got me up early and kept me up late. There is so much there to play with – mood and color and sparkles and patterns…

There will be sewing patterns for all these for sure and we’re already putting together a french circus workshop in Los Angeles in October (stay tuned!). I’m looking forward to shopping for supplies in France this summer.

There are more circus dolls on my worktable now – I’m playing with a giraffe and more costumes.  I think the elephant is may favorite so far- how about you?

how to make a tufted titmouse : a sew-along

The tufted titmouse sew-along begins today! What’s a sew-along? Everybody works on the same project at the same time and shares images if they feel like it. That’s pretty much it.  You can share your images on instagram using #annwoodpattern or in the facebook sew-along group or join stitch club- the ann wood handmade community.

We are using the songbird sewing pattern.

Today we’ll get into the steps for making the tuft – the defining feature- and a couple body details.  First let’s talk about some other tufted titmouse features to consider:

  • the beak is smallish, black, short and symmetrical
  • the eyes are black
  • the tail is pretty short
  • the dominant colors are snowy white, soft grays, a little black and there is an orange patch on its flanks.

Make the bird body from snowy white fabric. For the tuft, wings, feathers etc. you’ll need a little black, a couple shades of gray and maybe some orange (more on that below).  All the fabric should be light weight. It’s also handy to have a fine black sharpie.

download the tuft templates


1. Make your bird in white and add a little black beak. Pro tip – make a few beaks and pick the one that feels just right for your bird,

2.  Mark the center tail 3/4 inch from the edge.

3. Trim to a point and stitch closed.

4. Cut out the crest and head cover pieces from gray and the little beak tuft from black. If you’ve made the cardinal this process is mostly the same with a couple details adjusted

5. Use the head cover template for the tufted titmouse. Pin and then whip stitch it in place.

6. Fold the pointed end of the crest 1 piece.

7. Pin in to the top of the head and stitch around the edge.

8. At the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base.

9. Pin the crest 2 piece the same way – on top of crest 1 and stitch around the edge. Again – at the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base. Feel free to stop adding layers here if 2 feels like enough for you – or – carry on with layer 3.

10. Add the third crest piece.

Read More

new tutorial : make a mini foot stool

There’s a lot to talk about in  the tiny rag doll’s world including the roaring fires upstairs and down in the cardboard house. Pretty luxurious. Jump down to the end of the post for more on that. Let’s start with how to make the sweetest, tiniest, heirloomiest footstool ever.

A note on the house – there is no pattern but you’ll find the measurements and tips for building below.

a sneak peek at miss thistle’s house and tips for building with cardboard

The footstool is super quick and easy. You can make it plain or do some faux needlepoint. I can’t stop making them and have all sorts of plans for the imagery.

Let’s make it – it helps to read through the directions before your start.

download the template

  • the template – download above
  • felt – wool is best
  • embroidery thread
  • glue – i love -ALEENES CLEAR GEL TACKY
  • cardboard
  • stuffing
  • small wood beads
  • craft paint and brushes
  • a basic sewing kit

make a dollhouse foot stool

1.  Pin the template to felt and cut out.  Trace the rectangle onto cardboard and cut 2. Round the corners of your cardboard rectangles.

2.  Optional – embroider the center of the felt  – I made some super simple flowers and leaves.

3.  We are going to fold the felt at this notch.

4. Match up the edges and whip stitch them together (whip stitch means stitch over the edge). Use small tight stitches. Stitch the notch and then continue along the side – stop about 1/2 inch from the point – shown in yellow above. Repeat this at the the three notches.

tiny rag doll sewing pattern

Get the tiny rag doll sewing pattern

She’s just 5 inches tall and fits in the palm of your hand. Perfect for a doll house or somebody’s pocket. And she has a tiny wardrobe: dress, reversible pinafore apron, bloomers and camisole – all included in the pattern.



5. With all four sides stitched your piece should look like this.

6. Turn it right side out – use a chopstick or similar to gently push the corners all the way out.

7. Add a little stuffing.

8. Optional – add a penny- the little bit of weight gives it stability.

9. Insert one of your cardboard pieces.

10. Stitch the edges of  triangle flaps together to close the back.

the finished back and front


11. Paint your wood beads and the edges and one side of your cardboard.

12.  Apply glue to the entire surface of the unpainted cardboard.

13. Glue the cardboard to the back. Press it firmly and place something on top while it dries.

14. Add a drop of glue in each corner and place the beads. Let them dry completely.

Finished! It’s so dear.

make a miniature fire

flames cut from coffee filters and painted orange and yellow - cardboard wood stove in background

The fires are mini led string lights and painted coffee filters. The lights are fed up behind the fireplace and into the wood stove – it was awkward. Also – I cut 3 sides of the wood stove door to make it open and painted the inside black. I so wish I had a flameless flickering votive on hand. It’s on my list… The coffee filters are painted with watercolor in bright yellow and orange on both sides. After they dry, trim them to flamey points and bunch them up a little. Arrange them in front of the lights and you’ve got a miniature fire.

So cozy on a March morning to come home after your tiny chores to sit by the fire with your tiny feet up. Do you need a mini footstool and  roaring fire?! Let us know in the comments and happy spring!

what to make in march, feather scrap packs and wabi sabi vessels

hand holding small stitched vessel

In today’s post: ideas for march, feather scrap packs, a new stitch club sew-along and we’re nearing the halfway point of the 100 day stitch book. Before we get into all that:

I was thinking about the odd names there are for some animals in groups – parliament of owls, murder of crows, etc and it occurred to me I had no idea what a group of ravens is called. The answer is so strange and surprising and I can’t believe I didn’t know it.

It’s an unkindness! A group of ravens is called an unkindness.  And as if that’s not enough! It is also referred to as a rave, conspiracy, treachery, and super basic – flock. I really love conspiracy too…

And Speaking of ravens and crows I’ve just added some feather scrap packs to the shop.

scraps of dark antique clothing

They are wretched, faded, frayed and fragile scraps from antique clothing, perfect for creating crow and raven and owl feathers. They are for the most part not suitable for body construction. Each little pack (roughly 5 ounces)  includes a variety of sheens, shades and tones. Combining them into layers of feathers creates a remarkable effect. Each pack is different. These would also make great feathers for songbirds.

They are in short supply but more will be available soon. I’m collecting more antique garments now. Find them in the shop here. This batch is gone – more soon!

Check out some crows made by customers using the crow sewing pattern.

stitched vessels

little containers made form scraps

hand holding small stitched vessel

Also new for March- a sew-along / tutorial in stitch club. The community creative spark for February was “vessel”  and it inspired these little baskets made from scraps. Word of caution, it’s the kind of process a person can get obsessive about – as in laundry piling up and eating only popcorn for days obsessed about… So much fun and full of possibilities.

The first lesson drops next Wednesday the 6th. This is exclusive to stitch club and included with your annual membership – you can join here.

what to make in march

– Eggs – These eggs are super cute and easy to make – find the DIY here.

– Spray Starch  – Take your recreational ironing next level.

-Whisk 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 and ½ cups water. You’re already almost done.
-Bring the mixture to a boil, boil for about a minute while stirring.
-Remove from the heat and let is cool to room temperature, add a couple drops of scent if you like and pour it through a strainer into a spray bottle.

– french hens in nesting boxes – an annual favorite – get the details here.

– boxwood shamrock – Why not?  Such a charming idea. Find the tutorial here.

– fabric basket – I love the print interior with simple exterior. There is a full tutorial here.

simple basket with handle with a white exterior and pink rose print interior

– nice bunnies – add long ears to very nice mice to create your own tiny bunny parade. Find the nice mice pattern here. The bunnies below are by @paper__thread  (who is also my very talented sister)

handmade felt bunnies

100 day stitch book

Time is flying – we are already on page 9.

9 collage stitched pages

The stitch book page above is by @butternut_plaid – I love everything about it.

suggestion box

March fires me up like nothing else. I’ve got such spring fever. I’m so ready to start the garden (lots of flowers this year) and open the windows and organize absolutely everything. I’m in the same mode with the community and website – working on streamlining and efficientizing everything and planning fun stuff for the year. If you have a suggestion or question you’d like to share you can add it here.

Is March your favorite? Are you ready for spring? Are you making a 100 day stitch book? Did you know a group of ravens is called an “unkindness?!  Let us know in the comments.

the international scrap festival – 10 ideas for your scraps

small sewing projects made from scraps in a basket

small sewing projects made from scraps in a basket

Welcome to the 6th annual international scrap festival (this is a thing I 100% made up)! The time of year when we celebrate our scraps a little extra. I’ve gathered 10 awesome ideas for your treasured little bits of fabric.

Over in the stitch club community we’ll be sharing our favorite scrap projects, plus there’s an international scrap swap and a new free pattern coming later this month.

learn about the stitch club community here


In addition to the 10 ideas below the free pattern page here has tons of scrap friendly projects (everything in the basket above plus more) and past scrap festival posts are a wealth of ideas too:


10 ideas for your fabric scraps

vintage wool sweater mended with cotton print fabric scrap patches

1.  mend a sweater
If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  I came across this non-traditional and very visible mending idea on pinterest. I love the make-do, holly hobby feel of it. It’s perfect for this moth eaten wool hoodie.

2. stuffing
Did you know that historically scraps were used as stuffing and batting? I’ve definitely come across a quilt within a quilt (a worn quilt used as a batting for a new quilt) but the idea of scraps as stuffing is new to me. There ‘s a DIY video about how to turn those little bits of fabric into fluffy stuffing here. And the video where I first encountered the idea is here- the little packages are fascinating

quilt blocks made with vintage scraps

3.  foundation blocks
By the end of 2024 this quilt will cross the finish line. I’m using the foundation method and cotton scraps. I could probably knock this out in a couple weeks if I machine sewed everything but at the moment it’s an easy thing to take with me to hand sew at random in in between times.

fabric scrap tassels in bright colors

4.  fabric tassels
Festive and easy – and sweet to make with little folks. And a perfect companion and scrap festival favorite – make some twine too.

5. 9 patch quilt
An ideal project for really little scraps. Find a tutorial here and for inspiration checkout KZ Stevens glorious naturally dyed 9 patch here.  If I wasn’t already working on a scrap quilt I’d be starting one of these… I’m probably going to start one anyways.

mini fabric flags in ivory linen with slowstitches and patches pinned to antique ribbon

6. mini bunting
Love these slow stitched little flags.

tiny scraps of fabric and paper with charms and buttons stitched to string

7. even minier bunting!
It’s so dear and so much fun to make. You could go on forever with these little strings of tiny scraps. Wind them around packages or hang with mini twinkle lights. Magic.

8. slow stitch collage
Not ready to commit to the 100 day stitch challenge? Test drive the idea with one page. Gather your scraps and spend 5 days stitching for 15 minutes today – see where it takes you. You will be surprised.

long pin cushion in warm vintage prints with other patchwork sewing kit pieces

9. long pin cushion
You need one! And it’s a perfect way to celebrate scraps. Make it with the free tutorial here. The super sweet example is by @bricolosdulundi

hand stitched pouches with more in progress- made from small prints and linen

10. patchwork pouch
Make it from scraps and take it with you everywhere. It’s just the right size for a mini needle book and a few spools of thread. Find the sewing pattern here.

Do you have a favorite scrap project? Does tiny bunting make your heartbeat a little faster? Were you today years old when you found out about scraps as stuffing? Let us know in the comments.

handmade christmas 2023 : maximum festiveness

simple, colorful, twinkly and cozy

In the kitchen there is a huntington carpet rosemary and a parlor palm (both super easy plants), pomegranates, dried orange slices, herbs and peppers from the garden and extra candles.

festive kitchen with candles, dried oranges and peppers ceramics and a turnip

And 3 Christmas trees (branches). One tree couldn’t contain all the festiveness this year.

A lesson learned about stick (branch) trees: don’t wander around in a cold rain storm for hours searching desperately for the one magic stick that’s gonna get the job done – just get lots of good-ish branches and bundle them together.

For this tree I used three branches. The largest branch actually goes into the container ( a heavy vase) and the two others are attached to the large branch with masking tape. Lot’s of masking tape. The tape is covered with a torn strip of fabric wrapped around and tied. The little skirt is a block from an old cutter crazy quilt (thanks french general). It’s just right.

I would have paid cash money for a snowy day outside that window.

The ornaments are super simple. I started with orange slices and learned a couple new things about making those. I laid the slices on dish towels and let them air dry for a couple hours before putting them in the warm oven for four-ish hours. They stayed in the oven overnight after turning it off and were perfect in the morning.

The knitted tree garland is one of my most favorite holiday things and was a gift from my sister. The crow is made from this sewing pattern:

sewing pattern for a realistic crowget the pattern

the other ornaments on stick tree number 1 are:

jingle stars
little owl
scrappy trees
sleepy moon

single pine branch (stick tree number 2)

Rocking the asymmetry…  And I like the simplicity and the moodiness.  The little traditional glass ball ornaments were just right for it. This was my first branch effort and was going to be the only one. The minimalist aspirations dissolved almost right away.   Pro tip: Know what takes out pine sap? Rubbing alcohol…  PS – we’ll talk about the antique daybed of my dreams soon – there’s welting and everything…

white pine branch in an antique jug with mini christmas ball ornaments - the room is otherwise dim and moody

and stick tree number 3

This year I finally got my old Christmas stuff out of storage, the things from my mother and grandmother. I haven’t seen them in so long I forgot how magnificent they are. I’m knee deep in nostalgia and crumpled tissue.

The secret to holding these branches in place is pennies. Once they were arranged in a
pyramid, tree-ish shape in the vase I dumped a bag of pennies into it. It holds the branches perfectly in place. I bet gravel would work too.

Besides the old glass ornaments there are some wax paper snowflakes. The star on top is also made from the snowflake tutorial but with tin foil and paper layers too.

I sure do love a holiday project, and always have. There is extra permission, an absolute invitation, to be whimsical, to create a warm and sparkly atmosphere. I’m looking forward to the next week or so of basking in the twinkle and being in a general state of wassailing. I’m also percolating all sorts of ideas for the new year – stay tuned!

I hope your holidays are merry and bright!


jolly flies : tiny santa hat tutorial

These guys definitely have a “too much to drink at the office party vibe” or SantaCon but with flies…  And the little scrunchy bend in the hat really delivers the holiday magic.  The hat works on mice too or anybody really little.  They only take a few minutes to make.

how to make a tiny santa hat

download the hat template

You will also need:

The house flies are made from this free tutorial.

  • felt (wool or wool blend is best)
  • extra fluffy chenille stems – I got these at Joanns
  • white and red thread
  • basic sewing kit

1. Cut out the hat shape from felt. PS – we don’t use the glue for the hat but I did use it to make the flies legs a little stiff. Put a little on your fingers and rub it onto the threads. Also- I love that glue.

2. Bend one end of the chenille wire over- about 1/2 inch.

3. Use your finger to separate the chenille as you stitch it to the edge of the felt with matching thread. Wetting your finger a little will help to flatten the chenille. Stitch over the wire in the center. We’ll fluff it back up after.

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4. Here it is form the back – stitch to the end.

5. Clip the stem (with scissors you don’t love) a little past the end.

6. Bend the end in towards the back.

7. Bend the end of the remaining stem over about 1/2 inch.

8.  Place it on the back so the bend extends past the top edge. Trim the other end and bend the it up a little past the bottom edge.

9. Wrap the felt around and whip stitch with matching thread.

Open the bottom to its round shape and bend the tip over in a jaunty flop.   You can pin it to the head or use a few stitches to make your fly permanently jolly.

I hope you make jolly house flies! You definitely know somebody who needs one!

holiday ornament round up 2023

moon tree topper

Let’s start with a look at christmas past – I got this norfolk pine at a bodega in Brooklyn in 2014. It had been out in the cold and sprayed with thick plastic and glitter.  It almost died the first year but has made a miraculous recovery since. It lives with me in Connecticut now and is 4 and 1/2 feet tall.  My tree plan this year is multiple, small, tree-ish situations. Norfolk will have twinkle lights and dried orange slices. So pretty and the smell is glorious while they’re drying.

ann wood christmas tree

There are tons of ornament ideas in the free pattern library including these super easy “crystal” snowflakes I make them every year.


wax paper craft idea

More recently on the blog find:

  1. jingle stars
  2. jolly flies
  3. cardinals

and I’ve scoured the interwebs for sweet holiday diy projects

These ornaments by Swoon Says are perfect for scraps. Find the tutorial here.

I’m definitely making a few of these corrugated cardboard metallic ornaments.

These paper and pompom ornaments are so elegant and simple.  Find the full tutorial here.

doll on a popsicle stick sled

Mini sled! Made from popsicle sticks using this tutorial.  PS The lamb is made from the mr. socks sewing pattern with these alterations. The tiny pants are on the free pattern page.

Make your very nice mice Extra festive with a tiny bicorne and fascinator! this pair is by @poppymayye

These felt tree’s by allsort’s 

English paper pieced stars.

And finally your yearly reminder that these retro bulbs are essential.

nostagi christmas light ornament diy

Do you have a favorite holiday project to add? Let us know in the comments.


brown paper packages tied with bakers twine and decorated with stamps. Colorful post cards and fabric are tucked into the package.

PS- Thanks so much to everybody whom purchased patterns and wool last week. Packages are mostly off – the last 20 or so tomorrow.

jingle stars tutorial and knob fobs

little wood chest of drawers with s tassel and stitched indigo tetra hanging from one knob

Current obsessions:  knob fobs (if that’s not a thing it should be) and putting bells on things. Tiny bells.

It has taken this little drawer knob to new and glorious heights. Magic. I guarantee you there is an underdressed drawer pull in your life somewhere, you just didn’t know it until today. Remember the tetra post? Go check that out if you haven’t. The little fob above is the small size with a little tassel added. Then the idea of combining tetras occurred to me. And adding tiny bells (bell season is upon us!).

If you are a confirmed minimalist re: your drawer knobs, this makes a charming and jingly Christmas ornament.

so do these little scrap stars

*this post contains affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

Jingle Stars! Jingle stars flowed out of the four square sew-along. As soon as I started making stitched square experiments I realized I needed a bunch. A couple sets of four are becoming  patchwork pouches. The others are (so far) stars and woebegone pines.

The stars are pretty mini and I think that adds to their magic.  After hours of intense debate about where to add the bells I landed on the asymmetrical one bell option. It has such a playful quality to it and makes the star hang in a darling very slightly lopsided way. These will be great for adding to gift wrap and as ornaments and of course drawer pulls. A garland would be super cute too.

The patched squares also make great woebegone pines. Stitch four squares together and you can just fit the small and medium pattern.

let’s talk about how to make the jingle stars

download the star template

You will also need:

1. Place the template on one square and trace onto the wrong side of the fabric.

2. Pin two squares- right sides together -and stitch the line. Leave one side open (pro tip – pick a side that is not pieced).

3. Cut out about ¼ inch all around the star.

4. Clip off the points close to the seams. Clip into each corner.

5. Clip a little more seam allowance for the points- reducing the bulk here will make your points pointier. Fold over the seam allowance at the opening and press.

6. Turn the star right side out and stuff. Start turning with your fingers and then use a chopstick to gently push the points all the way out.

7. Stitch closed starting from the point. Stop halfway down and add a little stuffing and finish closing.

Add the bell – attach it loosely for maximum jingle- and add a hanging string or hook. I loved the bells and hooks – linked above – the hooks make the stars super easy to hang on my Norfolk Pine.

I hope you make jingle stars! And dress up a drawer pull!

And a very happy thanksgiving to you,