Many years ago, I made this butterfly for my former pastor and dear friend, Bertha Landers. This afternoon I was privileged to visit with her briefly in her new home in a retirement  complex, and the butterfly graced her coffee table.

The butterfly is often used as a symbol for new life. And Bertha was, for me, a midwife for a new life. After Volker died, when I struggled to come to terms with the changed world I lived in, Bertha listened and advised, walking with me through the darkness.

I chose to make the butterfly of stain-glass. It was a craft that Volker indulged in for several years before his death. He taught me, though I could never make the neat welds that he did. And so, this butterfly spoke of both the old and the new.

Thank you, Bertha. I am forever grateful for your faith, for your love, for your influence in my life!


An Anabaptist Learning Workshop

Following Jesus Together While Having Very Different Beliefs

How does kimchi relate to following Jesus? Pablo (Hyung Jin) Kim-Sun and Jinah Im were quite happy to explain last Saturday (April 7).

Kimchi Ingredients (Simple version) Congregational Ingredients
green onions varying genders
chives singing styles
sea salt praying styles
red chili powder ‘heart’ language (first language spoken)
fermented shrimp who is Jesus?
anchovy sauce what is the meaning of Jesus’ death
onion what is the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection?
Fuji apple how do we live faithfully?
Asian pear what does it mean to live justly?
garlic (and many more)
sticky rice


  • There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi, just as there are hundreds of varieties of congregations.
  • Most of us recognize cabbage kimchi, but other vegetables can also be used. Those of us in the workshop are ‘European’ Anabaptists, but often now our congregations include people from other parts of the world.
  • Kimchi has evolved over the centuries; Napa cabbage and chili powder are more recent additions to traditional recipes. Our Anabaptist beliefs and understandings have also evolved over the last 500 years and hopefully will continue to do so.
  • Some ingredients in kimchi get blended together, some are left distinct. So too the ingredients of our congregations, some things get mashed together, some things stay distinct.
  • Kimchi needs time to ferment, to create that unique flavour, each day tasting a little sharper. Can we recognize how the church also needs time to ferment, how over time we can become more flavourful?
  • In Korea making kimchi is a community event. So together we learned how to make kimchi and how we might use diversity to demonstrate the vastness of God’s love to the world.

On the Anabaptist Learning Workshop website

Soft Sculpture Dolls

I’ve long liked making toys.

Original pattern pieces

About 35 years ago I started making soft sculpture dolls. It was the beginning of the Cabbage Patch Kids craze, and I thought I could do a better job — so I bought a pattern for Miss Martha’s (?) “Little Sonshine Baby.” It was a 14″ doll.

Pattern pieces transfer to graph paper

Not being satisfied with that size only I graphed the pattern and enlarged it, first to 18″ and finally to a 24″ doll.

Pattern enlarged

I took orders to make and sell these dolls. Friends, family, and strangers ordered dolls with varying skin, eye and hair colours, hair styles (or bald), freckles or not, some  dressed, some not. These order sheets represent over 60 dolls that I made.

Order sheets

I made only two 24″ dolls, for my own kids.

My daughter on her 5th birthday with her new 24″ doll, Randi.

I take great joy and satisfaction knowing that at least some of these dolls are still being played with by another generation.

Randi, sitting on my granddaughter’s bed, 2018
My niece’s and nephew’s dolls, now played with by their children
Sammy, 24″ doll made for my son; Baby, 14″ doll made for my granddaughter in 2011 (brought home for repairs); my first ever 18″ doll.

Fortune’s Shawlette ~ updated

The  Crochet-a-long Google+ community is working on shawls for January. I liked the looks of the Fortune’s shawlette and decided to make it.

Several years ago I bought Drops Lace (70% Baby Alpaca, 30% Mulberry silk) in a grey-green. It has sat and waited for the right project; this is it. I’m using a 6mm hook with a double strand of yarn. It is so soft. I’m looking forward to having it finished. IMG_0083And here it is, one week later, unblocked, blocking, and detail.

unblocked blocking detail


My granddaughter loves dolls, and probably has more than she can accurately count. She decided she wanted an “American Girl,” but she is, of course, Canadian though she lives in California. So her Mom made a deal with her: if she sold some of her current toys she could use the money to buy a Maplelea doll. (A good deal, what with the low loonie!)

I picked up the parcel from the post office.
I picked up the parcel from the post office.

Consequently, Mina ordered (and Grandma received – it was shipped to my house) a Maplelea friend. Mina decided her name should be Chrissy Burkard Gehiere Bacon, because of Aunt Chrissy and “I likes bacon.” But when Uncle Simon complained that she didn’t name her doll after him, she added “Uncle Simmie” to the end!

After I picked the doll up from the post office Mina allowed me to unbox her. Definitely a pretty doll, but not dressed for winter. So I found some suitable yarn and made her an outfit. I think she is pretty well off now. (Mitt pattern follows)

All ready for cold weather
All ready for cold weather

Chrissy’s Mitts

Start at fingertips and worked in the round toward wrist. I used Caron’s Simply Soft with 4mm crochet hook. If using different yarn and hook adjust accordingly.
Chain 5
Round 1: Sc in second chain from hook, and in next 2 chains, 3 sc in end, working up the opposite side, sc in next 2 chains, 2 sc in beginning chain. (12 stitches)
Round 2 – 6: Sc in each stitch (12 stitches); chain 3
Round 7- 9: Sc in each stitch, including the 3 chains (15 stitches)
Round 10: Sc, one decrease, 5 sc, one decrease, 5 sc to end. Join.
Row 1: Joint yarn. Sc in each chain and in the body of the mitt. join
Row 2: Sc in each stitch, end. Use end to close the thumb.
(These mitts are not very easy to put on due to the style of the doll’s hands.)