Sunday, December 31, 2017

Eleanore's Gnome

Here's the dude I made for my sister, Eleanore

I think he's the wise man of the donsy as his beard is more grizzled than most.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Julie and Jeff's Gnomes

Julie and Jeff's gnomes show opposites attract. One gnome has a polka dot body with red/white hat. The other has a red/white body and polka dot hat.

The polka dot body is made more festive with candy cane stripes for belts.

This may be my favorite combo for the hat embellishment: a red flower button stacked on top of a white round button.

The next gnome has a more fastidious, tidy beard. The plain satin belts are neatly tied.

A simple row of red buttons adorn the hat, and mimic the polka dots surrounding them.

They're all so cute. It was hard to decide which to keep and which to give away! I've got three more gnomes to share.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Jodie and Kenny's Gnomes

The parade continues!

This imp has a sparkly red body and a hat of black with white polka dots.

I used twine to wrap the body and to embellish the hat. This also sports a giant button from my grandmother's button collection.

The next gnome is bejeweled for the season. Her belts are white satin ribbon.

The tip of the hat is adorned with a sweet one-of-a-kind red flower button.

The hat's rim is decked out in strings of red jewel bling.

Gotta love these faces hidden behind real sheep's wool beards.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Remembering Mom

20 years ago today, I lost my mom. And yes, it does seem that long ago now. Following is the memorial I posted at the time on my now-defunct website about counted cross-stitch, CameoRoze's Stitcher's Studio.

I love you, Mom. There are times I still yearn to talk with you. I wish you'd lived to see Jodie get married to Ken this year. I wish you'd lived to meet your great-granddaughter, Melody, and witness Julie and Jeff as parents. I wish you could see what a lovely young woman Jeanne has become after her troubled 20s. I wish you could see how blessed my life is with Dale, and celebrate my 60th birthday with me. I'd have liked to share these experiences with you. 

[small smile]

I'd be able to take a much better portrait of you now than this photo that I took on your 51st wedding anniversary.



Emily Codispoti - 1921-1997

After a year and a half of fighting kidney disease, my mom died. I was so lucky to be the daughter she lived closest to during this last year. She got to know my kids well, and they got to love her. And I got to be the one that she talked to as she prepared for this final passage.
It was my mom that first taught me to sew, to embroider, to crochet. One of her last gifts to me was a set of four "flour sack" dishtowels that she embroidered. She never did like cross-stitch, though. She said that was my domain.
Below is the obituary that I wrote for the papers. It only tells a little bit about the woman I knew, and call Mom. I do miss her so!

Cameo @-->-->---

Emily Marie Codispoti, 76, Hayden, died Sunday December 28, 1997, at Sacred Heart Medical Center after a prolonged illness.

She was born May 14, 1921 in Chicago, IL to Bertha and Edwin. She spent her early years in Chicago, working with her parents in their family-owned Ben Franklin Store. She moved to Burlington, IA during the Great Depression and graduated from Burlington High School in 1939. Emily attended Southern Illinois State Teacher's College in Charleston, IL graduating in 1944. She then had an early career as a high school teacher of Mathematics and Physical Education in Bradley, IL.

Emily met her future spouse, Tony, at a USO dance at Chanute Field during World War II. They corresponded faithfully during Tony's tour of duty in the south seas, and were married following the war in August, 1946. They honeymooned in southern California, then stayed there to raise a family of eleven children.

For twelve years Emily was a homemaker while Tony worked as a sales representative and supervisor for Standard Brands, Inc. in the Los Angeles area. For the following eighteen years Emily and Tony operated a "Mom and Pop" pizza operation, Giovanni's Pizza, in Fullerton, CA (Orange County). The family moved to Moscow, ID in 1977 where Emily worked toward a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Idaho. In 1981 Emily opened her own daycare center in downtown Moscow at the old Grange Building, Emily's KinderHaven. She operated this business for 10 years. She moved to the Coeur d'Alene area in 1996.

Emily is survived by her husband of 51 years, Tony Codispoti and ten children: Eleanore Neidiger of Pullman, WA; Paul Codispoti of Fullerton, CA; David Codispoti of Garden Grove, CA; Annette Codispoti of San Diego, CA; Janet Codispoti of Fullerton, CA; Margaret Davaz of Post Falls, ID; Mark Codispoti of Bothell, WA; Jon Codispoti of Whittier, CA; Barry Codispoti of Fullerton, CA; Burt Codispoti of McKinnleyville, CA; and 18 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Carl Codispoti in 1989.

A memorial service was held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Moscow, ID on Saturday, January 3, 1998 at 1pm.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Year in Review

Every December, in this week between Christmas and New Year's Day, I pause to take a look back at the past year. I do a bit of reflection and review. I write for a while.

I pat myself on my back for my accomplishments. I consider the lessons I've learned. I ask myself how I can become a better and wiser person. I decide what projects, goals, beliefs about myself, and stories I tell myself I can release because they either aren't true or no longer serve me. I offer gratitude for the blessings.

Then I make a list of goals for the following year.

My daughter Jodie had a great idea for 2017. She made "17 goals for 2017." She made progress on all of them and completed at least 14. I thought that was a neat idea. At minimum, it's more approachable than my usual far-too-many goals for a single year.

So for the last few weeks, I've been writing down goal ideas. This week, I prioritized them. It took quite a bit of juggling to get down to my top 18. Here's what I've decided to try:

And through these goals are now set in print, they are not set in stone. If I find that one of them is too far out of reach, I've given myself a back-up plan: a list of alternate goals. I have permission to exchange one goal for another.

I find that as a goal-oriented person, these lists help me. But they can also cause me to kick myself when I overreach, so seems like a solution worth trying.

I like the feeling that comes with review and goal-setting. I have both perspective, and a plan on how to move into the year's rebirth.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Jeanne's Gnome

Now that Christmas is here and presents are delivered, I can share the craft I made for my daughters.


This is the one I made for Jeanne:

These little guys are made with a couple pairs of socks, some rice, rubber bands, some sheep's wool for beards, some ribbon or twine for the belts, and doo-dads for decorating the hats. The finished gnomes stand about 8-1/2 inches tall.

These little guys are full of personality! I must say that figuring out how to decorate their hats with a buttons and bells was quite fun. I got into my button jars and used some that belonged to my grandmother.

More gnomes to come in the days ahead!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Just In Time

... for Christmas, I finished my Thanksgiving stitchery.

Gobble Gobble is one of the designs from the 2006 Cross-stitch Calendar that I've been working through in 2017. As you can see, the original design has the words "Gobble Gobble" surrounding the turkey. I didn't like that. So I looked for some pumpkin buttons or charms that I could use in place of the words.

I was unable to find them easily, and didn't want to put a lot of effort into it on this Christmas Eve. So I hunkered down in my Studio with some Sharpies and shrink plastic to make my own buttons.

Click for larger image

I free-handed the pumpkin drawings directly on the shrink plastic and colored them in with the Sharpies I had on hand. The pumpkins are a little bright for the rest of the design, but I think they work just fine.

It took a couple tries to get the finished buttons the size I needed. I think I did OK. I framed the stitchery in an inexpensive frame from Dollar Tree. This little turkey is going to hang out on the mantle for a while with the Christmas stockings and gnomes.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Baby Ian

Here's a lovely update on the criss-cross shell afghan I made. Little baby Ian, wrapped in the afghan and surrounded by his Christmas buddies.

Photo by Ian's mom and used with permission.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dainty Thanks

I finished prepping all the Christmas gifts yesterday, then cleaned up my Studio, so I had a little time to make a Thank You card.

I found the idea on Pinterest. I have a suspicion that the inspiration uses washi tape or stickers with lace designs. I used real lace since I have a huge stash, and used double-sided tape to adhere the lace to the base. The base is brown paper cardstock.


Inspired by Sugar and Spice Crafts on Pinterest

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Baby's First Christmas

I made a little keepsake for my granddaughter today. Over the years, she can hang it on the Christmas tree, and know that her grandma loved her from the moment I learned Melody was on her way.

Stitched on hand-dyed 14ct aida with Gentle Arts Sampler Threads in the colors Pine, Mistletoe, and Holly Berry. Pretty good colors for the season, yes? The hanging loop is a scrap of deep green satin ribbon. I stuffed the ornament with a bit of poly-fill.


Inspired by RikkasCreations

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Nearly Ready

Packages are shipped. Cards are mailed. Cookies are baked. Songs waft through the house.

Gifts are wrapped.

Tree is trimmed. (I made the majority of ornaments on this tree!)

We're nearly ready for Christmas.

Thanks to my photo workshop, I believe I have the bokeh effect figured out!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On the Streets

In the shadow of Philadelphia's City Hall, amid the colorful Christmas decorations and cheer, lies this.

I've been homeless at this time of year, living in a shelter with two children under 3 years old. I do know how blessed and charmed my life is right now.

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Liberty Bell

While in Philadelphia for the photography workshop, our group had a chance to visit a number of historical sites. After our tour through Independence Hall, we walked by the building where the Liberty Bell is housed. At that moment, there were few visitors surrounding this important symbol of American freedom. I was able to capture this image.

Earlier we had gone through that structure and seen the bell up close and personal. I'll likely share some of those photos later. Yet I like this image.

Stepping back. Contemplating from afar. When I was this close to the seeds of our democracy, walked through Ben Franklin's printing office, walked by the first Post Office, stood over Ben's grave, the turmoils of our current administration in Washington, D.C. appeared as a pothole in the longer stretch of road toward a great idea.

As an optimist, I plan to be part of the crew filling in the pothole and trudging up the hill toward a more perfect union.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sneak Peek

A family of gnomes has taken up residence in my home!

But they're sort of shy and need to feel at home with Christmas cheer before they reveal themselves completely.

Watch this space.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Crochet Baby Afghan

My friend Mary commissioned me to make an afghan for a special baby. Ian was born prematurely in July. He was so tiny. Only 20 ounces. The size of a cornish game hen! He has a huge will to live.

Mary asked if I would crochet a special afghan for this little trooper. We chose to use the colors of the sea because the little tike lives close to the ocean. We chose the criss-cross shell stitch as the pattern. The shell stitch also keeps with an oceanic theme.

The afghan is about 32 inches square, alternating two rows of each of three colors, white, blue, and green. I used a nice soft Bernat Softee Baby yarn. I found the crochet pattern through Pinterest.

I finished the edges with a simple shell stitch made of 7 double crochet.

One thing I like about the criss-cross shell stitch is that when you see the finished afghan in profile, the color changes form an X or criss-cross pattern, too.

Ian was finally able to go home in early November, once he reached 5 pounds. I've seen photos of him now and have become "Facebook friends" with his mom. What a special family! I was honored to be a small part of their story.


Criss-cross Shell Throw inspired by I Like Crochet

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Russell was one of my classmates for the photo workshop in Philly. He's a quiet and thoughtful man whose outward appearance belies what lies beneath.

Click for larger image

I loved the way he could walk into a space and get a good grasp on the lighting. He thinks deliberately about his photography. It was great to talk with him and pick his brain.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I met Nick Kelsh in person for the first time in Philadelphia at the start of our photo workshop. He's been my online teacher and mentor for years. The first meeting was one-on-one so he could check our camera settings with us and get a sense of our starting point.

Shortly after meeting him (and trying to keep from fangirling all over the place), he said, "Take my picture. I'm going to sit here. You direct me. And take the best picture of me that you can."

The sweat glands opened and I was overcome with nervousness. But his demeanor and belief in me calmed me down. After a number of tries, I took this picture.

I'm starting to believe I can do portraiture after all.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 Family Christmas Ornaments

It's that time of year ...

when the Christmas crafters have a flurry of activities.

My daughters and I began making this year's family Christmas ornaments on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The body of the bird is red corduroy. The beak is craft felt. The wing is calico. The legs are made of twine. Add a button for the eye. Hang it with a loop of picot-edged red satin ribbon. Cute and whimsical!

We managed to get all the components ready before Melody needed some attention. So I finished them up and the Christmas Cardinals are ready to perch on the Christmas trees.


Inspiration was found on Pinterest with the original design from My Blankies

Monday, December 11, 2017


This sentence jumped out from the book and made me write it down.

The memory fluttered like a trapped moth in her mind.

~ Liane Moriarty in Big Little Lies

The part of me that was a student of literature swoons over language like this.