Pretty Purple Hat

This pretty hat is made with a dyed wheat straw that highlights different tones depending on the light. It has hints of rose, lavender, champagne, and blush all in one. Because it it natural straw, the color does vary through the hat.

In this hat, I decided to play off the lavender purple tones, adding a purple silk ribbon bound in loops of straw and pretty pink and purple velvet vintage flowers.

This crown is 20.5″ around inside with the ribbon lining, suited for an average head. It has a pair of cotton satteen ties to help hold it on your head.

Published in: on August 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Index of Free Projects

I thought it would be nice to make it easier to find the free projects I’ve shared here on If I Had My Own Blue Box as well as those on Don’t Paint the Cat. After all, if it is challenging for me to remember and find each of the projects I have offered, it is likely challenging for my readers. Here is a collection of the projects I’ve offered over the years. They are in a variety of formats including videos, pdf printables, and blog posts. Note some of the projects from my video series span multiple posts/video.


Segmented Pincushion (Link coming)





Strawberry Bookmark (Link coming)

Holiday Whimsies


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Published in: on August 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Index of Free Projects

I had this brilliant idea to put together a pretty index of free projects I’ve offered on my blogs….. three hours later of using WordPress’s new block editor…. I have tiny photos with columns of text that looks nothing like how it was supposed to look. So, rather than cry, I am just going to hit publish and hope it looks better in the actual post compared to the preview window.






Holiday Whimsies


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Published in: on August 9, 2020 at 1:53 pm  Comments (1)  

Walnut Bonnet at a Special Price.

I noticed as I was taking the photos of this walnut brown bonnet that it is asymmetrical looking at the back from above. This is what I get for working in the dark. So upset. I am listing it at a reduced price. It probably won’t be noticeable once decorated.

Published in: on August 8, 2020 at 9:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Updated: Pillow Pin Ball

As my In Detail series has developed, I decided to update the original “Recovery Project” publication to fit with the In Detail series.

This In Detail is particularly special to me as it was initially my recovery project after a stubbornly delayed gallbladder surgery that resulted in a hospital stay. This Pillow Pin Ball, then called the Pillow Pincushion, became a way to nurse my hands back to health. You see, awaking from the second surgery, I discovered my hands to be a mess from less than ideal IVs. I found I could sew one little square pillow at a time before my hands would tire out. Eventually, I worked up to being able to sew the pillows together into the pin ball. The photos in the original Recovery Project publication were taken on my lap, on a green foam cushion.

I offered this project for a short time that summer as I recovered. The following winter, I had to make it available again as little miss Clara decided to follow suit with a feline version of emergency abdominal surgery.

The support I received each time, both emotionally and financially, is something I will never forget. I thank you.

Fast forward to now, this pillow pin ball is dear to me. As much as I feel connected to the photos on the funny green background, I decided to update the look of the publication and Etsy listing. The new In Detail: The Pillow Pin Ball version has a full page format in the In Detail lay out, with the original photos and directions.

I think it looks pretty cute with its golden silk and green stripe border.

Published in: on August 8, 2020 at 1:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Announcement: New In Detail w/ Kit Option!

Find the In Detail downloadable PDF here:

Find the Limited Edition Kit here:

(Remember – You need to order both the Kit and PDF)

Published in: on August 6, 2020 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sunbonnet Spectacular!

Extra Special Announcement!!!

You have probably heard me rave about Chestnut Bay Quilt Shop. I love having such an awesome shop so close to home. Today, I am extra excited because I get to announce….. a SALE…. not just any sale though… a SALE filled with Spectacular Sunbonnet fabrics!

Check out these beautiful fabrics. Each one is only $7.50 a yard (Plus tax and shipping) for my readers. I recommend ordering 1 1/2 yards for a sunbonnet to ensure you have enough fabric. (You can buy more.)

All you need to do is call Chestnut Bay Quilt Shop at
(585) 538-4420 to order by fabric number. Be sure to mention my name to get the special price. You can also visit Chestnut Bay Quilt Shop’s Facebook page.

The sale is good through August 28th, 2020. Please, only US customers at this time due to shipping needs. Remember, we are in the Eastern time zone and the shop is open from about 10 to 5.

Published in: on August 6, 2020 at 4:14 pm  Comments (3)  

Unboxing: Original Straw Splitters

I actually did a happy dance at the mailbox. I am pretty sure the frogs in the pond were as excited as I was. Then, I even jumped up and down as I pointed to my envelop, yelling “Thank you” to my delivery person. She was kind enough to yell back at the overly-enthusiastic, possibly crazy person, as she drove by.

So…. what had me so excited?

A small, 9×10″ padded manilla envelop.

This is an envelop that I wasn’t really sure would ever arrive. When I stumbled across it early in July, I thought I was seeing things. I had been looking for one of these for years. Really. Years. But, there is was. Well, not it. They. There they were. Dirty. Filthy. Worn. Damaged….. Perfect.

And… in England…. in the middle of a Pandemic…. in the midst of a global postal slow-down……

The shipping notification gave a two week window. Knowing how things were going, I figured they might show a week or so after the window. As events evolved, I started to wonder if the package would even make it. Would it get lost? Would someone get sick? Would it get mixed up with mystery seeds?

Then, mid-day-ish, I went to the mailbox to get a box of flowers my delivery digest said was coming. I open my mailbox to see not a long, skinny box, nor even a key to open another box, but a little manilla envelop…..

Que: “It’s here!” (loudly) and happy dance

Que: pond frogs replying in mutual glee…..

okay. maybe not so much with the frogs.

Some of you may be looking at the video wondering “What are those things?” or “What is she so happy about?”

I suppose I should back up and start with:

What are Straw Splitters?

Straw splitters were tools used for splitting a cylindrical tube of wheat or rye straw into almost-sorta flat pieces that can be braided/plaited or used for making straw motifs/decorations.

There were a few different kinds of straw splitters used in the nineteenth century. Here is an article from The Straw Shop showing the different types of straw splitters. Mine are similar to those in the fifth photo down. As you can see from their article, straw splitters initially were very small tools easily lost in their time or over time. I can’t help but wonder over the decades, how many disregarded mystery items found tucked in workboxes were in fact straw splitters.

As I said in the video, I am very excited to have these and to be able to display them in the future. At one point in the video, I had to remind myself I was recording. I could have sat there staring at these little tools for a long time wondering whose hands used them, how many hundreds or thousands of straws they split, what hats or bonnets they became, if they helped feed a small family or maybe a large one, and how they were lost……

My next steps will be to temporarily add them to the display case I have. I don’t foresee being able to get the case I want this year. The craftsman only does this one event a year. I think the temporary case will be the safest place for them for now. Eventually, I will get the right case. In the meantime, it would be nice to find a blacksmith who could reproduce a straw splitter like this.

*Note: I mis-spoke in the video. These are not archeological finds. These were found by a person using a metal detector.


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Published in: on August 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Walnut Vining with White

The vining walnut and white straw brim edge was a last minute whim for this bonnet. I am so glad I added this pretty feature as it makes this bonnet oh-so-sweet.

*The photos are showing the white straw so ideally white against the walnut straw, while the white straw is more creamy in reality, showing the natural straw color through the white.

Published in: on August 5, 2020 at 10:41 am  Comments (1)  

Unboxing: Plaid Wadded Hood

A nice winter hood arrived today. This is a wadded or pumpkin style hood in a red and black plaid silk taffeta. Inside is a brown polished cotton lining and a tan silk facing.

This is the largest of the wear spots that almost all appear to be from rubbing in storage. This is part of the triple set cords.

Here you can see the cord placement, a triple set closest to the front, followed by two double set cords.

This shows some of the interior:


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Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 7:22 pm  Comments (1)