DIY Felt Ball Mobile


Here’s a project I’ve been trying to share for about six weeks now :) I had all of the materials assembled and ready to put together on the night before Baby T was born.  Then of course she was born and I am only recently getting around to completing and photographing it. I’m rather proud of it a) because it’s really cute in Baby T’s room – colorful and whimsical – and b) because I have never seen a mobile like it so maybe there’s a chance in this overly-pinterested era that I actually invented an original project.  Maybe.  I will admit to having been inspired by this felt ball garland project on ARMommy, but the rest is imagined by me.  I think.

I give you, my DIY Felt Ball Mobile.

Pardon the poorly-lit photos.  The good light and I aren’t on the same nap schedule.  Also, upon further reflection, I should have turned the hoop so that the clasp faces the wall.  Sigh.  I don’t sleep so much these days.


All you need to make this are:

  • felt balls in whatever colorway you prefer (I got mine here.  They took for-stinking-ever to get here from Nepal. I ordered the 100 ct pack and have some left over to use for another project I have in the hopper)
  • embroidery hoop (I painted mine silver)
  • ribbon for hanging the hoop (I chose silver to match my hoop)
  • embroidery floss for stringing the felt balls (I used gray)
  • a needle to string the felt balls
  • scissors
  • whimsical charms (found in the jewelry section of the craft store)

Once you have the materials, assembling the mobile is straightforward.  I don’t have to go through each step, do I?  You all are smart and can see the obvious.  String balls on floss using needle to make garlands of varying lengths.  Tie garlands to hoop (only on the inner one, so that the overall look is cleaner). Attach charms to ends of garlands.  You get it.  (Am I assuming too much? Ask questions if not.)

I just love the bright, whimsical effect it has in the room.  When B first saw it, she said “ooooooh!  touch it!”  I have now fallen in love with wool felt balls and am thinking of all kinds of things to do with them.  Ooh ooh, Christmas tree garland!

December 11, 2012 2:45 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby, Crafts + DIY, Nursery, Tutorials | Tags: , , ,

Embroidery fun with Sublime Stitching


Hey everyone! Happy Tuesday! I don’t know if you have noticed, but I haven’t been doing much posting lately. In the last couple of weeks, Lyle and I have undergone some major life changes (which resulted in my unintended absence). After my graduation festivities, we had a brief vacation, and then we headed back to Waco to pack up our things, move out of our lovely house, say goodbye to our dear friends, and make the move to the Austin area. We are still kind of in limbo, but it feels good to finally start the next chapter in our life!

In the midst of all the craziness, I found the time to make these sweet dishtowels for my friend who recently got married (which, by the way, may have been the most beautiful wedding I have experienced to date – and I have been to and in a lot of weddings!):

Over the last few years, I have found that I generally try and make something for my friends when they get married. Normally, I go with dish towels because to me, they symbolize what Fran and I (youfrillme) are all about – finding beauty and frills (and functionality) in the practical, day-to-day things. Everyone needs dishtowels – why not make them FRILLING and lovely?

The details:

The entire concept was inspired by embroidery patterns I purchased from Sublime Stitching – who I discovered at last year’s Renegade Craft Fair. I wanted a sort of vintage-inspired look, and I fell in love with this flower and birds design.

The Russian nesting dolls were also inspired by Sublime. I actually purchased embroidery patterns for these, but instead, I decided to incorporate them using applique and some super fun pattern mixing.

I also sewed on ruffles to the bottom of the dishtowels for extra FRILLS.

Finally, a little shout out to Mrs. Kathy Davidson – if you get a chance to read this – your wedding was gorgeous and you were absolutely stunning. Thank you for including me on such a special day. Best wishes to you and Matt as you continue having the time of your life! Hopefully these gifts will reach you soon!

June 5, 2012 11:28 AM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY, For the Home, Handmade | Tags: , , , ,

Rainy day crafting


Yesterday when I arrived home from school, the thunder storm was oh-so-tempting so, instead of doing homework, I got to work on a gift I’ve been needing to work on in honor of my friend’s new babe. This is my second time to do the ruffle-butt onesies. I think they are so adorable, and they definitely worked out even better this time around. I also added some frills to my blanket-stitched applique by adding some cute little buttons to the mix. Finally, I whipped up some baby legwarmers, which Fran did a DIY on over the summer. If you haven’t tried these, you must. You will be amazed at how easy they are!

It’s storming again today, but unfortunately, I’m behind on homework!

- Aurelia

January 25, 2012 9:55 AM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY | Tags: , , , , ,

A Visit to Homestead Heritage Village


On Saturday we paid a lovely visit to Homestead Heritage, a traditional craft village at Brazos de Dios, TX, near Waco.  This place is a craftperson’s delight.  I was FRILLED by all the handmade goods made by residents of the homesteads of Brazos de Dios.  43 families live on traditional homesteads in intentional community, working the land and hand-making essential items. 

We started with an organic, locally-produced breakfast at the Homestead Cafe

Many of the buildings in the village are historical, having been brought from various parts of the country and rescued from demolition. Others have been built using traditional methods. Here is the gift barn, where I was delighted by all the locally handmade goods on offer.

Goat’s milk soaps:

Hand woven chenille scarves:


Handmade pottery

Handwoven blankets and throws, some made of locally-produced wools

Hand-sewn dolls, with which B immediately fell in love:

Even handmade cloth diapers! (all-in-ones, not prefolds)

Quilts and baskets…

All that is just a sampling of what is available for purchase.  They also offer classes in the various crafts, like pottery, weaving, knitting, woodworking, and organic gardening.

Here is the woodworking building

The water-powered gristmill, where locally grown grains are milled and sold:

We got to pet a team of horses.

I was inspired by the community’s commitment to sustainable living, care for the earth, simplicity, and reviving these traditional crafts.  If you find yourself near Waco, I definitely recommend spending an afternoon there, especially if you are interested in sustainable living or handcrafts.

note: all photos are my own.  If you copy them, please link back to this post.

January 9, 2012 2:33 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby Fashion | Tags:

A Thanksgiving Tribute, Part 2


A couple of weeks ago, I shared a project I completed with you all that is really special to me. Although I explained the meaning behind it with you already, I wanted to share in more detail why I used each specific character. 

Here is the final product. Unlike the last post, I was able to tighten the fabric so that it was not so wrinkled. From left to right, the stories portrayed are that of Deborah, the unnamed concubine, the Tamars, and Elkanah and Hannah. 

Deborah, the judge (Judges 4-5)

Not only was Deborah the only woman judge recorded among the story of the judges, but she was a legitimate leader, not just for a woman, but in her own right. Deborah has become one of my biggest inspirations. Many women were used by God to accomplish his purpose in the Old Testament. However, oftentimes, because of their role in society this was done inconspicuously. Deborah, however, was an outright leader over men and women alike. They came to her to mediate disputes, and they followed her in battle. Deborah was legit!

The Unnamed Concubine, Judges 19

This story is considered one of the four “texts of terror” in the Old Testament. It’s horrible, it’s gruesome, it’s completely unjust. This “unnamed” concubine was essentially tossed outside to a group of horrible men threatening to come in and rape her husband. Instead, he threw her outside to spare himself. She was brutally sexually abused throughout the night and left at the threshold of her masters home in the morning. Alive or not – we aren’t told – he cuts her into twelve pieces and sends each piece to the 12 tribes of Israel appealing to them to act because of this injustice. What is so tragic about this story is that at the end, her husband is treated as the victim, while she is left unnamed. This story touched me to the core. I chose this picture of the unnamed concubine for all those who have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse. Though we don’t even know her name, she will not be forgotten. 

The Tamars, 2 Samuel

There are multiple Tamars mentioned in the Old Testament, but this is a picture of Tamar, son of David. Tamar was the sister of Absalom. Amnon was Tamar and Absalom’s half brother, and he was in love with Tamar. One day, he decided to rape Tamar because he wanted her so badly. She appealed to him to ask David for her hand in marriage, but he did not listen, and she was dishonored. She was forced to live as a desolate woman in Absalom’s house. Absalom loved Tamar, and was so upset about what happened, but David did not punish Amnon or really even acknowledge the situation. Over time, Absalom became bitter, and he ended up killing Amnon and trying to overthrow his own father, David. This story is so sad because it shows how awful things can happen when those of us in ministry focus on being good leaders, to the detriment of our families. Before the story ends, Absalom names his daughter Tamar. He loved them both so much; he spoke out for Tamar when no one else did. Though she was forced to live a life of dishonor through no choice of her own, I like to imagine the peace she felt when she held the beautiful babe that shared her name. 

Elkanah and Hannah, 1 Samuel 1

Elkanah and Hannah were the parents of the great prophet Samuel. I love their story because Elkanah loved Hannah and saw her identity even a part from bearing children. I like to imagine them walking side by side, true lovers, a real team. They are one of the only examples of exceptional parenting I have been able to find in the Hebrew Bible. You can tell that they are great people from their great faith and character, but mostly from how great their son turns out. Samuel is one of the few great heros of the Hebrew Bible to not only start out well, but to also finish well. He was a consistent, faithful servant of God from beginning to end, and I think his parents played a large role in that!

That was a lot of reading, but if you made it this far, you can probably see that pretty much all of these stories revolve around women. When I started this project, I reflected a long time on who I would use as lasting memories of my learning from this course. I knew I wanted to use people who did great things in my eyes, but are often overlooked. I compiled a long list, but these are the final four I chose. If you are interested, other people whose stories spoke to me include: Benjamin (brother of Joseph), Shiphrah and Puah (Midwives in Egypt), Caleb (in the story of Joshua), Othniel (Caleb’s brother and a judge), Huldah the prophetess, and Josiah (last good king of Judah). 

- Aurelia

December 8, 2011 10:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY | Tags: , , , , ,

A Thanksgiving Tribute


In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share the latest project I have been working on with you all. As many of you know, I am finishing my last year in seminary. Even though I am almost finished, I am only just taking the Scriptures I class which covers essentially the first half of the Old Testament. This class has been hands down the best class I have ever taken because the professor is absolutely amazing. Thanks to her teaching methods, I have learned and been challenged more than I ever have in a class. Also, I have been transformed personally in many ways, I feel as though I am reading the Old Testament for the first time, and I LOVE it! 

One morning, not too long ago, I was alone in prayer when all of a sudden it occurred to me just how meaningful this class has been. I wanted so much to do something creatively that could express how much this whole experience has meant to me. In my head I saw this bright, abstract image of biblical characters that have had the greatest impact on me. They were embroidered on pieces of fabric and hanging together in white frames. I journaled for awhile, listing people who often go unrecognized, until I finally narrowed my list down to four. 

This project is a tribute to those characters and done in thanks and gratitude for my professor, Dr. Ngan: 

First, I took multi-colored flour sack towels and cut and sewed them into 4×6” blocks. 

Then, with help from google images, I drew pictures of how I envisioned each character. 

Using a water soluble marker, I traced the images onto the fabric blocks and then embroidered over the tracings. I wanted the images to look kind of abstract so I used all kinds of brightly colored thread. 

The finished product is meant to be hung as a set, either in a straight line or as a square. Or they can be set out separately. Whatever FRILLS!

Stay tuned for a post explaining the significance of each character I chose. Until then, have a happy and thankful Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for this season?

- Aurelia

November 23, 2011 9:20 PM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY | Tags:

Fuzzy Baby Rooster


This little guy was the first toy I made.  I have been meaning to show him to you.  He’s crocheted of 100% wool yarn and stuffing, with the exception of his eyes and nose, which are acrylic embroidery floss.  You can find the pattern here. I just improvised his comb with a series of double and triple crochet stitches.

I think he reminds me of baby, I say, baby Foghorn Leghorn. Maybe we’ll name him Foggy, as a tribute.


August 3, 2011 10:01 AM | Comments | Categories: Baby, Crafts + DIY | Tags: , ,

The Bear


Remember when I mentioned that I was working on a cute little crochet teddy bear?  Well I finally finished him.  Isn’t he cute?  He isn’t the shapeliest of fellows, but we think he’s endearing.

B particularly likes to nosh on him.

He seems pretty patient with all our shenanigans.

Here’s the pattern again, in case you’re interested in creating your own friend.

July 13, 2011 2:42 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby, Crafts + DIY | Tags: , ,

7 Basic Sewing Essentials


Lately, quite a few friends of mine have asked me for sewing advice. Just to get things straight, I completely consider myself a beginner. Still, I know what it’s like to be starting out and with a budget in mind. It’s easy to go to a fabric shop and feel the need to buy EVERYTHING. There’s a tool out there for it all, but what exactly do you NEED? And what can you get by without?

Here is my list of basic sewing essentials. With these few supplies, I feel like I can do most anything at my skill level without breaking the bank, but still with the efficiency proper sewing tools often provide. This list is intended for those with a sewing machine already, so I didn’t include needle, thread or fabric. 

1. Pins: DUH! Really? Do I have to explain why you need these?

2. Iron: I hope you all have an iron anyway (come on people, don’t be wrinkly). For sewing, you can’t live without this. Whether you are getting the wrinkles out of your fabric or marking your hems, you’re going to eventually need an iron.

3. FABRIC scissors. Honestly people, regular craft scissors may cut it (PUN! haha!) for a while, but life is so much easier with a good pair of fabric scissors. If you want to save money, just by a small pair like mine here. I have found that you can do everything with a small pair, but it is much more difficult to do everything with the standard, larger size. 

4. Quilter’s Ruler: You NEED this. Again, you could use a standard ruler, but the little sliders you see at the left of the ruler REALLY help guide you when you are doing your hem or any other measuring at the ironing board. Plus, these are smaller and therefore, more convenient, than a typical ruler.

5. Water Soluble Writing Utensils: Markers, Pens, Pencils, whatever. Marking on your fabric with something that will come out with water is essential if precision means anything to you. 

6. Rotary Cutter and Mat: This and the rotary mat are probably things you can live without. However, I included them because they are SO handy as you begin sewing more and more. Using these tools, it’s much easier to cut a larger portion of fabric and make bigger measurements. If you are pinching pennies or don’t have a lot of space to work with, don’t buy these first. But FYI: somewhere, someday, you will eventually cave.  

7. Seam Ripper: The fun part. Just when you’ve ALMOST finished your project, you realize you’ve made a mistake and that the seams HAVE to go. Unless you’re perfect, buy these ASAP. Unlike scissors, they are a safe way to rip out your seams faster, without risking tearing up your fabric. 

So, there you have it; my advice on basic sewing essentials. This is based on my own experience, so comment below if I’ve left anything important off the list!

- Aurelia

June 9, 2011 10:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY | Tags: , , , , ,

Frilling Friday 5/13/11


Happy Friday! 

It’s Bay to Breakers weekend here in SF.  I have never experienced it, but apparently it’s like San Francisco’s own Mardi Gras. We’re headed out Sunday morning to watch the fun and have brunch.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have brunch here?:

aaaahh, spring.  Too bad you turn into San Francisco summer, which has a reputation for being chilly and gray.

Here are some FRILLING things I found this week:

Check out these other gorgeous outdoor dining spaces.

I mostly line dry our clothes to save money and energy.  This little guy is a good friend.

Knockoff nursery chandelier.  She prolly saved herself a bundle by making her own.

I want to make some spring onion relish and refrigerator pickles!  mmmm, makes me think of the ploughman’s lunch I once had at a lovely little tearoom.

I think these are beautiful and fun.

A Style-180. And more style with less stuff.

These handmade earrings are lovely.  (via Creature Comforts)

Curator, a clothing line made in SF.  lovely, drapey silhouettes.  (via bleubird)

Got any FRILLING plans for the weekend? Find anything fun to share?


May 13, 2011 1:16 PM | Comments | Categories: Frilling Friday | Tags: , , , ,
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fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.