I run, I craft, I write, and I make your favorite clothes.

I have written books about sewing for children and adults and I'm the indie designer’s patternmaking secret weapon. I've taught video and in-person classes to anyone who would listen since 2008. I believe that sewing clothes is a radical act of self-love that increases your sense of self-worth. I'm basically your sewing fairy godmother.

“The Birds will be so Happy, Miss Karen!”

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Now that my finger is completely healed, I am thrilled to be back at school with the kids.  In fact, we added the 3-year old preschoolers to my class load. Their beautiful faces, their excitement, and especially their comments add to the many reasons Thursdays are my favorite.

Winter has reared his bitter windy head. Since I was a young child, I have always imagined winter as in Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant.  The book I have is from 1978 and the illustrations (by Michael Foreman and Friere Wright) are so beautiful and SO wintery – I’ve never imagined Winter in any other way:


…and with the yard in it’s current state, it feels like Winter is here to stay:


When Peter went for his nightly walk, I asked him to gather pinecones for the kids at school.  I brought bird seed, Shortening, Peanut butter and some gold string to hang the little offerings in the kids’ yards at home.

One of the 3 year olds, Chase, was so thrilled with the birdfeeder project he told me, “The Birds will be so Happy, Miss Karen!” These children are so sweet. I feel tears welling up in my eyes every single time I go to school at the sheer beauty of these kids.

Naturally, things got a little messy once we made it up to fourth grade.  The older kids seemed to really crave a sensory experience, so we had peanut butter past our wrists and bird seed everywhere.  They promised to clean up, and they were having so much fun that I didn’t have the heart to stop it! (I mean, really, how many kids have the opportunity to play with these materials at home?  My kids aren’t allowed to do that inside!)  They cleaned up beautifully, and the projects turned out well.

I pre-cut the gold string to about 30”, then wrapped it in between the tightly-spaced top of the pinecones.

We spread softened vegetable shortening onto the pinecones in between the open spaces with plastic spoons (or fingers) and then pressed them into bowls of birdseed and sunflower seeds.

I offered the older kids the opportunity to decorate the strings.  Ella (1st grade) chose to write the birds a love note: [Dear Birs, im sure your going tolove this food iLove you Love Ella]


We hung it in the tree where the birds congregate:

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