Monthly Archives: January 2014

Tottie Tomato wishes you happy year of the horse

Hurrah! The Year of the Snake has curled up and slithered away, with few of us wishing it would last longer.

And, now, The Year of the Horse has galloped through the gate! YAY!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Poor Tottie Tomato got a sudden and surprising ride when she was posing for this photo- one of the Small Dogs grabbed her up and raced away with her.

I was shrieking, ‘No! No! No!’ in hot pursuit across the studio. Jim jumped up and leapt to the studio, gasping: ‘What? What!?!?!?!’

Small Dog dropped Tottie at Jim’s feet and pranced with delight.

I shot in and grabbed poor Tottie back.  Luckily, she wasn’t hurt, and she forgives Small Dog for her unexpected ride.

This is NOT the way I would like the Year of the Horse to proceed, thank you very much!

I’m all up for delicious surprises and fast forward motion, but being challenged by unexpected canine capers is not a metaphor that I am going to embrace.


I’m all for having a year of unbounded creativity, excellent good health, delight in community and happiness in family and tremendously delicious moments of serendipity and connection.


And, that’s what I wish for you, too!

Happy, happy Year of the Horse!




Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Tottie Tomato Loves

Doll making as a healing art

In the past week, we have added several  friends and relations of relations to our healing prayers.

As part of my meditations and prayer work, I focus my mind by creating healing dolls.

I pour my love and healing thoughts and images into the making of a healing doll.

Stitch by stitch, I make a doll that I quietly, gently and peacefully pour my thoughts and intentions of wellness, loving kindness, tenderness, inspiration and insight into.

Sometimes, the doll is for a specific person, and sometimes, it is simply a response to feeling the call to make a sacred or healing doll.

I never sell these dolls- I give them to a person that feels right for it.

I wrote the book: Soul Mate Dolls: Doll making as a healing art many years ago. It’s out of print now.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Over the years, since the publication of this book, I have continued to work with the sacred art of doll making for my own contemplative practice, but also professionally.

I have taught many workshops, and I have designed many patterns for people to continue to make dolls that are focused on healing themselves and others.

And, now I am working on a whole new book about the healing power of mindful doll making.

Until it is released, here are some of my designs that are available on my website and in my etsy shop. The link to my etsy shop is below each of these dolls.

May doll making be the source of great happiness, healing and wholeness for you, my friends!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The crocheted Angel of Compassion link to pattern on etsy: Link

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The Crocheted Angel of Healing dolls: LINK

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The Crocheted Angel of Peace: LINK

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Weaving with simple looms, such as the peg or stick loom is very meditative, and I find that weaving mermaids is an excellent way to focus my thoughts on healing body, mind and spirit: LINK

Simple tools can be used to make sweet little dolls that provide great comfort when tucked into a pocket, and they are so easy to pop into an envelope and mail to a friend:

The spool knitted tiny angels are so easy to make, but full of love, too:  LINK

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As are the Friendship Fairies: LINK

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And, I mustn’t forget the Menopause Fairy!

After all…. the Tooth Fairy takes away teeth and leaves a gift of money, right?

Well, the Menopause Fairy takes away all manner of things and leaves behind the gifts of laughter, wisdom and compassion, as well as soooooooooo much more!!!!  LINK

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And, if the healing involves some deliciously wild energy, then perhaps a Wild And Wooly doll is in order: LINK

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If you feel a connection to Goddesses, I have designed a knitted pattern for the Venus of Willendorf.

I love holding her in my hand- she’s just a perfect little handful of the Feminine Divine energy! LINK

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And Venus of Willendorf inspired Goddesses to Crochet: LINK

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There’s also the Minoan Goddess of the Bees to knit: LINK

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There are so many women from history who are powerful role models and whose strength, dignity and wisdom are deeply inspiring and offer great hope. One of them is the Empress Theodora….. LINK

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May the work of your hands bring you soulful and engaging ways of healing your heart, mind, body and spirit and may it bring joy and peace and healing in countless ways to your family and friends, too!

Blessings abounding!!!!  With love, always, and all ways! 🙂


Filed under crochet, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, spool knitter & spoolknitter & spool knitting & spool knitting

Road to Django concert January 2014

For me, the very best part of January for the last few years has been the breathtakingly wonderful concert produced by Cam Neufeld and Marianne Watchel.

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

The concert is called: The Road to Django, and it chronicles Cam’s journey from India, through the Balkans to Paris for the celebration of Django Reinhardt’s 100th birthday.

It begins with Cam playing a handmade violin like instrument from India.

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

Cam explored the history and movement of Gypsy/Roma music through Asia and Europe, writing music  and studying with musicians and teachers as he went.

He then came home to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and asked a group of his friends to create a magical series of concerts that bring to life the music of the Roma, including some Flamenco (which is one of the great passions of my husband, guitar master and composer, Jim Findlay). The concert ends with a spectacular explosion of Django’s swing and Hot Club Paris music.  Holy smoke would be an appropriate response.

I was riveted by the spectacle of the 12 musicians, at the end of 3 1/2 hours of intense performance catapulting through Django’s breakneck tempos.  Holy smoke! They gave every molecule of their beings to the music and the audience exploded into cheers…….. wowsa.  Holy smoke…..

This year, Cam was joined by 11 other stellar musicians:

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

It wasn’t possible to get them all in one photo from where I was sitting…

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

The level of intensity of the music is incredible, and the audience is transfixed!

Lisi Sommer has the voice and presence of a Goddess, and I took a whole bunch of photos of her singing, so I can work on drawings of them later.

I was amazed and delighted when the slight glitter in the backdrop translated itself into what looks like musical notes around her… isn’t that the neatest thing?

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

Raquel, a beautiful dancer from Spain performed belly dance, and then Flamenco.

Her charisma, grace and beauty were a gift to the audience.

The Road to Django Concert January 26 2014

This video is the group of 12 musicians (Jim is the gorgeous greybeard in black hat and jacket with the Godin guitar on the far left of the stage) playing one of Jim’s compositions, “I See”, at the Road to Django concert on Jan 26 2014. Cam and Jim have given me permission to upload this piece to YouTube. Because it’s taken with my tiny old video camera, it doesn’t do justice to the magnificence of the music and the astonishing virtuosity of 12 gifted, beautiful musicians, but I really wanted to share even this small glimpse of the glory of the concert.

This was an evening that made me feel blessed beyond measure and awestruck by the beauty and power of music.

Thank you, thank you to the musicians, and especially to our dear friend, Cam!

Cam Neufeldt is a treasure

Cam Neufeld is a treasure


Filed under Uncategorized

The Woven Women Singing Mermaid opens her eyes

My wee grandson does not like it when I make a doll or weave a tapestry that has closed eyes, or no face.

He frowns and says to me: “She can’t see me! Open her eyes!”

I think I have internalized his demand to ‘Open her eyes!’, because the other morning, I woke up, after dreaming about my large Singing Mermaid tapestry, and heard, you guessed it: Open her eyes!

And so, The Singing Mermaid from my Woven Women series- see here LINK for previous post about her:

 copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

has opened her eyes – with the help of my felting needles and some fleece:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The colors are looking slightly odd, but in real life, they are quite pleasing.

The Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts Gallery that will be hosting my ‘Woven Women’ show of tapestry and woven works is not on schedule with the construction.

So, the show will now be running from August 1, to Sept 9, 2014 in Jasper AB.







Filed under tapestry, weaving & handwoven, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

Occupied by Octopi and Einstein

People keep asking me to design and weave baby toys……….. so…….

Every day of the last week, I have been obsessively weaving one octopus after another. Why?

Well, because I’ve been contemplating how to weave  toys that are appealing to and for babies.

My checklist for the baby toys:

Bright colors

No beads or buttons, only embroidered embellishments

Lots of opportunities to hold onto the toy, and to hang it up from strollers if wanted, and to connect other toys to it.

The answer: OCTOPUS!

Tah dah!

An occupation of octopuzzzzzzzzzz in my studio!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Tottie Tomato is somewhat confused by my sudden obsession with oceanic friends.


copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

She sought out a little advice from her friend, Albert Einstein.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

He reassured Tottie Tomato that all the mermaids in the studio will be sure to keep the octopuzzzzzzzzzzzz under control.

Besides, they are only in residence temporarily, until they are adopted, and, it’s a well known fact that octopuzzzzzzz don’t eat little Tomato people. 🙂

PS: if you are feeling inspired to weave an octopus or two, too,  I used my pattern in WEAVAGARUMI




Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, Tottie Tomato Loves, weaving & handwoven

Tottie Tomato celebrates International Day of the Unicorn

Yesterday, our enchanting little grandson announced, savouring the words as he said them:

‘What a sight that would be to see!’.

He enjoyed this so much that he repeated it several times, which set me to thinking about wonderful sights to see….

And, then, today,  dear friend just sent me a note, telling me that today is International Day of the Unicorn!

What a sight that would be to see!!!!!

Well, I believe that that is cause for celebration, and so does Tottie Tomato!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Tottie Tomato and a few good friends gathered around the Green Man well to celebrate sweet, greening, lovely, tenderness in all it’s forms. If you call it ‘magic’, then that’s fine, too.

What ever you call it, take a moment to say thank you for all that is good, and sweet and growing in beauty today!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Happy Unicorn day to you! ❤ !



Filed under Tottie Tomato Loves

New woven toys

I have a passion for weaving toys that are not just for children, but also to light up the heart of adults, too.

Over the last year, I have been designing and weaving all manner of  woven wonderfuls for my booth in all the heaps of artisan’s markets and maker’s faires that I have been doing.

Which is why I have been rather remiss in blogging – it’s all about the weaving, these days 🙂

It’s been a pleasure to let my imagination run wild and create one of a kind pieces without worrying about having to make sure that I can repeat the process to make patterns.

Not to imply that I don’t like designing and making patterns- I really do!

BUT…. it’s delicious to simply let my hands fly and listen to what emerges….  and to respond to what WANTS to emerge!  In which case, I have had to build a series of new little looms to keep up with those ‘wanting weavies’. 🙂

Here are a few of my latest pieces:

I never get tired of weaving homages to Albert Einstein 🙂

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Everyone in our family really likes gargoyles, so I had to weave one (and I feel the need to weave more! LOL)

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And, we all quite like frogs- in fact, the joyous uproar of frog song in springtime is one of our favorite things!

This fellow seems very affable to me….

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This Debonaire Ginger Cat is actually based on one of my patterns that is available on my website LINK or on my etsy shop.

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And, for that matter, the pattern for dragons woven on the potholder loom is also available on my website:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And now, back to ‘one of a kinds’ – This is Dumpling Darling:

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Ahhhhhhhh, babies….. I love to weave babies of all descriptions, like baby piglets:


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and baby hippos:

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Oh, yes, a monster or two….

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And, sometimes, a fairy toadstool wants me to weave it….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

At Christmas, I wove a capybara for my son in law:

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and a fox:

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So, now you see why my blogging hasn’t been up to scratch in 2013…. 🙂  Too busy weaving….

But…. I do plan on being more active with my blog in 2014….

I have a lot of photos of pieces for my Woven Women show that I haven’t posted, so I need to get back to posting those.  All in good time 🙂

I’ve been better at posting pictures to facebook, so if you would like to follow me on facebook, the link is:



Filed under craft shows and makers faires, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, weaving & handwoven

Video tutorial for weaving circles on the peg loom

Weaving a circle can be a tricky thing on most looms.

But, thanks to short row techniques, weaving a circle on a peg loom is really quite simple.

I’ve been weaving a lot of them lately, as they are a motif that I love to work with.

I’ve made a video tutorial showing how to weave small circles on my Dewberry Ridge peg loom- and at the end of the video, I show a few examples of what I have been using those circles for…..

Happy weaving!


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Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, peg looms and weaving sticks, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven