from author, Amy Overley Rizzo


Nonna dress face

Little Bear is a two-year-old of definite opinions. See that expression? She has decided that she doesn't like having her picture taken. Nor does she like to wear pants.


One fine spring morning not so long ago, I pulled out a pair of pink pants from the Pants Party Days that are now about an inch to short (although I ignore that and pretend that they're toddler capris) and proceeded to go about getting Little Bear into them. She promptly burst into mad tears and wailed, "ME NO LIKE!" As if I were trying to squeeze her into a mohair bodysuit, not a pair of soft, cotton pants that she's worn a bazillion times before.

"What would you like to wear?" I asked.

"Pretty dress," she sobbed and covered her face with her hands.

I trudged back to the closet, rolling my eyes where she couldn't see them and pulled out a dress. "This one?" I asked.

"No. Red one," she said between the cracks in her fingers.

My loud sigh coincided with her dramatic sniffle, but I produced the desired togs and we went on with our day. I thought the incident was a fluke, but I fear it's now a full-blown stage. And I've been so busy with writing and preparing my submission for Skull Appreciation Day (more about that in the next day or so) that sewing for Little Bear has fallen by the wayside. For the time being we rotate the same dresses (sometimes twice depending on how bad the blueberry stains show up) every week. This morning I saw a spot of dried porridge on the dress of the day but just turned it to the back. She'll never know the jumper's on backwards.

Check out one of Little Bear's favorite dresses:

Nonna dress full


My mom made this for me back in the day, and it fits Little Bear perfectly. She wore it to church on Sunday even though she dripped maple syrup on the skirt. (By the way, an extra thanks to the man behind us who permitted Little Bear to take his hymnal for her horses to read.)

I think the embroidered flowers are my favorite part:


Nonna dress close


And lest you think Little Bear changed her mind about the photo shoot…

P.S. She practices that face in the bathroom mirror. (I wish I were kidding.)


Nonna dress full grumpy

sewing silliness

"What on earth is on that dog's paw?" you wonder.

Yo yos paw

Welcome to my Monday morning's bit of silliness, thanks to my long-suffering hound who will tolerate just about anything. He may not be the smartest canine in town, but I've determined that he's the sweetest. Especially since he permitted me to place a yo-yo on his ticklish paw and let it stay there forever. Until he rolled over, that is.

I'm cuckoo for yo-yos at the moment. Not the round things on a string that go up and down, but these adorable cloth whatnot that you can stitch up in a quick even if you don't sew. Any scrap of cloth will do, and although a circle is the easiest shape to use, I like squares as well. Whatever I've got in my stash will do.

Yo yos make

Simply knot one end of your thread and run a simple stitch around the circumference of the cloth about a quarter of an inch inside the perimeter. When you return to your starting place, don't tie off the thread. (If you're using a shape other than a circle, now is the time to trim any excess.) Pull the thread gently, causing the fabric to fold and crease until the edges meet at the middle. Like a Chinese dumpling but with cloth. Knot the thread and voila!

Oh I know what you're thinking. You're wondering what one does when the yo-yo is finished. Honestly, I have no freaking idea. I think they're cheerful and cute, and I believe I'm going to experiment with making them into a more elaborate embellishment. I might even use them in an upcoming art project. You'll have to stay tuned.

In the meantime, how would you use them?

Yo yos group