Monday, December 31, 2012


The last post of's passed so fast hasn't it?

Here's Auld Lang Syne with some beautiful scenery from Scotland, one of my favourite countries.

All you e-mail recipients will have to visit the website to hear the bagpipes  :o)

Big Ben, London

I started a new journey in 2012, this blog and an Etsy shop.
I am very much looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings
for myself and Textile Trolley.  I would like to thank anyone
who has stopped by to visit this blog and to those that
have subscribed to reading it via e-mail.  It keeps me going
knowing that someone out there is reading this.  I hope that
I will be able to provide even more interesting and useful posts
for you for 2013.

Here's to a wonderful year for all of you out there.
I wish you lots of health and happiness for the year 2013,
may it be all that you wish for.

Until next year....



Friday, December 28, 2012

Hip Children's Names for 2013

Reading around the Internet as I sometimes do I came across a website called
'She Knows' some of you may have heard of it????   I hadn't.

I was researching something else but what caught my eye was their list of predictions for popular boys and girls names of 2013....I thought it was quite interesting.  There are of course some oldies and some very unusual names.

According to the Social Security Administration the baby names claiming popularity the fastest in 2012 and likely to grow even more popular in 2013 are......
Briella, Angelique and Aria for girls. 
Brantley, Iker and Maximilliano for boys (and just for the record spell check came up on 2 out of 3 of those boy  names LOL)

'She Knows' also predict the following names will be a hit in 2013


Olive (my personal favourite after my Grandmother)



Any of you out there pregnant and deciding on a name?  Got any unusual favourites?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A new camera - Happy Christmas to me!

Well I hope you all had a lovely holiday this week......for those celebrating Christmas.....Happy Christmas.
I have had and continue to have a lovely time at home.  Christmas is always busy no matter how well you plan....each year I find myself saying I'll be more organized next year!  Really I should just be very grateful I get as much done as I do.

I had a lovelier than normal Christmas bonus this year from my generous bosses so I have treated myself to paying off my fabric debt and a brand spanking new camera.

This is what I bought.....Nikon D3200 and can't wait to start learning how to use it.  I'm hoping it will improve my blog and Etsy photography.

See....I haven't even put the lens on yet!

I used my trusty Sony cybershot to take these pics.
I look forward to comparing pictures by both cameras.

If anyone has any tips on taking great close up pics in a light box with this camera....please let me know.

O.K. I'm off to read the instructions......I wonder which chocolate bar will help me concentrate the most.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Book Review: I'm Bored by Michael Ian Black

It's been a while since I did a book review....this book is for children.  My little girl brought it home from the school library this week and read it to me while I was cooking dinner.  It's very humourous.

The story is by Michael Ian Black and the illustrations by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

This is a story about a little girl who is, so bored.  Sound familiar?
She doesn't realize how lucky and not boring her life really is until her conversation with a certain potato (yes I said potato) who is also bored and who claims children are boring!

During the course of the book the little girl proves to the potato why being a child is SO not boring.  She shows him just how much fun you can have at home with everyday items and a great imagination.

Just when she is starting to convince the potato....a flamingo shows up and the potato looses all concentration!

This book is great for the child in your life who claims "I'm bored".

Friday, December 21, 2012

Candy Wreath update

Well outside might not be the best place to put the candy wreath.
I arrived at work this afternoon to find the candies melting and dripping down the door and believe me it's not hot here in N.J.  There was a pool of candy juice at the bottom!  LOL  A quick clean up but they are obviously best kept in doors!

How to make a Candy Wreath

I know, I know there is no other wreath better than a candy one to a kid.  And the good thing about this for parents is that they can't eat it!!!

Here's what my little friend and I created together!

GORGEOUS!  Don't you think?

Here's what you will need

All the ingredients necessary
Hard candies
Glue gun and glue
A foam wreath (ours had a flat back)
Glitter paint spray
Wreath hanger

First I sprayed the wreath with the glitter paint and let it dry for a few hours.  I did this outside on cardboard.

When the wreath was dry we took it inside to decorate.  We then began the tedious task of unwrapping all the candy.

I operated the glue gun and my little girl placed the candies in the glue.  She had a very serious talking to about how she was not to touch the glue gun and to very carefully drop the candy in place and push it down with one or two fingers!

Our wreath took four rows of candy.  Two on the top and one on the inside, one on the outside.  We left a gap at the top so the ribbon could go around but really it wasn't that necessary.

The finished product hangs on the screen door that is propped open in the porch.  Our front door was too thick for the wreath hanger to go over.
You could also hang it anywhere using a hook.

My bosses are worried it will attract animals.  What do you think?  We don't have too many bears in the area so I'm not worried.  I could possibly imagine a squirrel curled up in the bottom of the circle taking a nap while licking on the candy  LOL.  Or maybe the birds will peck it to death!!!
I'll keep you posted!

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New items on Etsy

Hey guys....I'm busy sewing and posting on are a few items that I put up recently.....I know, I know they are all bibs ....getting ready to post other items soon.  I'm in bib mode....what can I say!!!!

Love this Moda print Bungle Jungle Elephant in Blue.  The Star fabric is from Goodnight Spot.

Goodnight Spot in green.

A popular print for the 'Rock Star' to be!  Michael Miller's Groovy Guitars.

One of my favourite prints, Ric Rac Rabbits, I 'think' they are supposed to be pigs dressed up as rabbits.  And the red flowers is a Remix print.

Beautiful pink and orange dots let the outfit be the star of the show, not the bib.

LOVE these Little Kukla Dolls by Kaufman.

How can you go wrong with Amy Butler?  Here is a bib, burp cloth set made from her Midwest Modern Fresh Poppies in Fuchsia

Almost vintage Lilly Pulitzer fabric.  I will only be able to make a certain number of these as I don't think the fabric is for sale anymore.

Such a fun Christmas print by Michael Miller.  Although you could get away with using this all year round.

Kumari Gardens Teja print.  Better wear something plain with this because this print steals the show.

And for the boys a classic argyle print by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit.

Miller's Groovy Guitars in a gift set.

And finally one of my personal favourite colours....kelly green.  I painted my studio this colour!

Check out all my goods on Etsy here....

If you want to have a go at making your own bib check out my previous post how to!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easy Sewing Project: a pillow

Well I would like to say that this project is good for the child or beginner sewer but I think I'm just going to say it's better for the child.  I think the beginner sewer will be able to accomplish a bit more of a polished look.  

So my charge decided one day that she would like to sew a pillow!  We went to the fabric store and she chose all the fabric herself!

First I ironed some interfacing on to the back of the cotton star fabric so it would prevent it from fraying.
Next she drew and cut out a heart shape on paper and we used that as our template for our star heart.
I cut two circles of the purple flannel using a large plate as a template.

I tacked on the heart so it would keep in place and then I set her up with a large needle and embroidery thread and she hand stitched it with a running stitch around the edge onto the purple circle.

She wanted the outside of the pillow to be wavy!!!!!!  So we kept the seam on the outside.

She did a pretty good job of sewing this herself with the machine but from time to time needed some guidance so she didn't sew straight off the edge.  Round is not the easiest shape to sew but that's what she wanted.

We left a 4" gap and she stuffed it with poly-fil.

 I stitched up the gap on the machine because it was a little more challenging with the stuffing inside.

She is so proud of her accomplishment!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My etsy shop is officially open! 

I'm still working out how to operate it but I've had a few sales and they all went through smoothly!

I don't have much up there at the moment (compared to others) the photography seems to take forever! I want to be able to show 5 different photos for each item I am selling (so buyers get a good feel of what it is they are looking at) and then often the photo's need tweaking.

But honestly, I think I am in need of a new camera......"Oh Santa"  :o)

Please stop by and have a look.

Here are a few of the items I have for sale over there.

Christmas Pudding Ornament
Dog bone ornament

Star of David Ornament

Christmas Bunting

Paper Chain Kit

Hanukkah Bib 0-18 months
Christmas Tree Bib 0-18 months

Christmas Bibs 0-18 months

Bib 0-18 months
Bib 0-18 months

Burp Cloth Set 0-18 months

I'll be adding more items as fast as I can.....I have lots to share.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sick Days

I Am Unwell 2Well I was supposed to have a beautiful wreath to post about today that is a great activity for kids and adults to do together but yesterday I was sick and didn't go to work to finish it off so I'm afraid you'll have to wait until next week  :o(  

So how do you treat your child when they are unwell and request a day off school?

I've known parents to allow children to have a sick day from school just because
they think they need a break and then they take them out for lunch and
shopping!!!! (true story).

And I've known parents that will keep their child off school and let them do whatever they want, no rest required, video games, T.V. all day, playing outside etc etc whatever they want, the child dictates the day!

To me if a child is not well enough to go to school then they need to stay home and rest.  I've seen far too many children try and fake it because staying off school can be a day of fun!  If I'm in charge the child must stay in bed and rest for a decent amount of time....whether they are up in the morning and take a nap in the afternoon or stay in bed for longer in the morning and then rest on the couch.  We all love to lie on the couch and watch a little T.V. when not feeling well and I think that's perfectly fine as long as it's not an all day event.

It's can sometimes be tough trying to judge when a child is sick or not.  You know your child best so just go with your instincts.  Thermometers definitely help in judging a fever so keep one in the house.  Knowledge of what is going on in your child's life can also be an indicator.  Are they having a tough time with a friend at school or struggling with a subject?  Being a parent or caregiver means that at times you have to switch to detective mode!  How well do you know your child? Sometimes for an older child just even the mention of a 'doctor's appointment' can be an instant healer!

Here's hoping all of you and your children make it through the winter without needing those sick days!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Worldwide Christmas Traditions

First before I begin, let's set the scene with a bit of music.  Make sure your volume is up and click on play on the youtube box (if you're reading this in e-mail that's unfortunately not an option (that I can figure out anyhow).

Last night I was watching a travel show that covered various towns throughout Germany and how they celebrated Christmas.  It was so beautiful to see how quaint and old fashioned some places still looked and to see all the Christmas market stands, people shopping and drink gluhwein, children decorating the town tree and singing carols.

Growing up in England I probably experienced very similar traditions to here in the U.S.  I used to play in the town band (cornet) so on a Saturday in December we would gather on the Town Hall steps and play Christmas carols while people shopped the market stalls.

One of my favourite traditions took place on Christmas eve, I lived in a large village and a lot of the village people (ha ha the YMCA  song just popped into my head) would gather around the Elm tree and sing carols and then head into the pub afterwards.

I think the biggest difference in England is that we call the big guy in the red suit 'Father Christmas' not Santa.  We also celebrate Boxing Day (December 26th), there are various explanations for the naming of this day.....some say it's to do with when people come calling you give them a small box of goodies to take home with them.....maybe Christmas Day leftovers such as nuts and sweets.

I've been curious as to how other countries celebrate so I've done a bit of's SOME of what I found.

China - Santa is called Dun Che Lao Ren, children hang stockings and paper lanterns decorate houses.

Denmark - Santa is called Julemanden and his elves Juul Nisse.  The believe the elves live in your attic and apparently they like rice pudding and saucers of milk because that's what the children leave out for them.....forget Santa LOL

France - Children leave shoes by the fireplace for Pere Noel a.k.a. Santa to place small gifts in.  The children are allowed to open their gifts on Christmas Day but parents have to wait until the New Year.  They also partake in a large meal at midnight on December 24th this is called La Reveillon.

Italy - It's said that Italians aren't supposed to open gifts until January 6th (do you hear that all you American Italians???)  That was supposedly when the wise men finally reached Jesus after their long trek, they got distracted by a witch, hence the delay.  I know a lot of American Italians celebrate Christmas eve with a large dinner of fish too, The Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Mexico - People dress up as Mary and Joseph and go door to door looking for a bed for 'room at the inn' they are told no, the door is closed and then re-opened and apparently everyone comes out of role play and has a big party.  This happens for 9 days and is called Las Pasdas....finally on the 9th night there is room for Mary in the stable, all are invited in for food and the children smash a pinata and then they all go to church!

North Pole - work, work, work

Russia - Tradition states that a lady named Babouschka failed to give the three wise men a place to stay on their travels, later regretting that decision she began traveling around looking for Jesus and giving children small gifts along the way.  After the Revaluation in 1917 the Soviet Government banned Christmas!  Instead they now celebrate New Years Day with a special decorated tree and Grandfather Frost comes to visit in a blue suit and brings the children gifts.  Sounds to me like they managed to get around that whole banning of Christmas thing with a change of day and suit colour!

Spain - They leave shoes on the windowsill filled with straw, carrots and barley for the horses of the wise men!

Sweden - Know Santa as Tomte, who apparently is a gnome figure and comes out from under the house or barn carrying gifts for the children (that's not creepy). Apparently once out from under the house he rides in a sleigh drawn by a goat!  Santa Lucia Day is December 13th, at the crack of dawn the eldest daughter of the house would wake up and put on a white robe and place a ring of candles in her hair, then proceed to wake up the rest of the family and serve then coffee, cakes and buns (it didn't mention if the candles in her hair were lit....but I'm presuming not).

So that was just a taste of what I found out this morning, interesting isn't it? 

And to think I had 'Blogger's Block' this morning when I sat down to write!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Hanukkah

Growing up in the north of England I had never
heard of Hanukkah!
EVERYONE I knew celebrated Christmas.....and I'm pretty sure if you go back to the Yorkshire Dales today you'd be hard stretched to find anyone celebrating Hanukkah. 
Funny isn't it?  Different regions - different religions.

Anyhow......I thought I would make some Hanukkah decorations.

I don't know if it's just me but I can never seem to find many cute items when it comes to Hanukkah I thought I'd make some.

Again the blanket stitch comes into play......if you need a quick tutorial check out this youtube video on my Felt Christmas Ornaments link

Just like the others these were made during the power outage so I don't have any tutorial but they are quite self explanatory.  Just make sure you sew the Star of David on first before you sew the hearts together.  I sewed about 3/4 of the way around then stuffed them with poly-fil and sewed the ribbon on last.

And this is what they look like after you've made a coordinating set.

Have a go....they are very easy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Crafts link to

Felt Christmas Pudding Ornament

I wanted to send a link today to all you crafters out there looking for some inspiration! is by far one of my most favourite spots on the internet.  Kate is the creator and along with all her other wonderful ideas has posted a holiday link party where various bloggers can post their holiday crafts on her page and set up a link to their own blogs.  I put me little 'ol Christmas Pud up there.....craft #557 see if you can find it!

Check out all the other wonderful holiday craft ideas by clicking here

Once you pass the clay ornament 'how to' you'll see all the other crafts!

Decorating a Gingerbread House

The other day I was having quite a stressful know one of those days when things just don't go your way....the whole day!!!!!!  Health insurance, Post Office, nowhere to park etc etc need I say more?

So I thought when my little girl gets home from school we'll put on some Christmas music (even though they are Jewish they want to expose her to all religions) and we'll make a Gingerbread House....a happy stress free time! 

I don't have enough free time anymore to make the gingerbread from scratch so I relied on good old Wilton with their kits (I think it cost me $8 at Michaels)

So we got straight to assembling the house

The decorating of the house is the happy stress free time but the assembly of the house....not so much!  The walls caved in because we held it too tight, the roof slipped down because we didn't hold it long enough!  And then you have to wait for it to harden overnight so no decorating the first day!!!  BORING!
I spoke to one of my best nanny friends who agreed with me that the whole thing is really quite stressful and we blamed it on the quality of the icing.  She told me that she got so fed up one year that she got the glue gun out!
I thought that was hilarious! 

This was my overnight solution.  Salt pots, held up with more salt at one side and a large potato at the other

The next day was a little happier and easier......decorating and eating candy!

Making a Christmas tree from fondant

Icing the roof - aka the easiest part of the whole thing

Yes we had one of those incidents where the icing comes out the wrong end of the bag.  I solved this problem by tying an elastic band around the top of the bag.

FINALLY it was all worth it!