Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Peppermint Dessert Coffee

I have a great recipe for Peppermint Dessert Coffee that comes in handy for thank-you gifts during the holidays. 3 heaping tsps. of this mixure in 6oz of hot water is delicious.

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup powdered creamer
1/4 cup instant coffee
2 Tblsp Cocoa powder
4-6 crushed peppermint candies

Christmas Cookies

It is hard to run away from the memories of Christmas past. It means that I have to be the one to carry on the tradition of making all of the cookies. I don't remember a time when my Mom or my Grandmother did not make these Chocolate nut drop cookies for the Holidays. That was the only time of the year that we had them, it made it even more special. I'm not sure when I picked up this torch to carry, but it is alot of work. My family ( as well as other benefitiaries) assures me it is well worth it
These are my husbands Christmas memories, they are his Grandmothers Date Nut Drop cookies. These are the cookies that have to be hidden. My kids have developed a fondness for them as well.
I make 5 or 6 different kinds of cookies each year (my children will love me for this someday when they have to make them all,to settle thier hunger for Christmas pasts!) I make Chocolate Nut Drops, Date Nut Drops, Grandma's Suger Cookies, Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, Buck-eyes, and Pinwheel cookies. When all of the baking is done, I package them up and send them out to family members who don't cook, or as a thank-you to special people in out lives. Then the feast begins. My family goes on an all out cookie and milk binge. I takes me 2 days to make them and they would eat them all in one day if I let them.
These are the "Buck-eyes" that have become one of our favorites for Christmas. They are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. By the way I am sick of cookies, and cannot wait to start taking off some Christmas pounds. And the reason I do this all in the first place is...?
oh yes, Christmas memories. Funny I don't remember all the extra weight when I was a kid!

Rice filled neck pillow

My husband has been having problems with his neck, so I used a large bowl for a template and made a rice bag that he can hang around his neck, I wasnt sure how to make a removeable outer case for this so when it gets to dirty I may have to make a new one. I am not aware of anyway that it can be washed other that spot cleaning.

Rice Bags

okay this is one of my favorite and easiest gifts for Christmas! I love them myself , and I get requests for them every year. I have to chuckle when I go to the mall and they try to stop me to buy one of the expensive herb/grain filled bags. I can make one for a dollar fifty! My kids heat them up and put them at the bottom of their beds under the blankets to warm thier feet. I buy cheap 20lb bags of plain white rice. Herbs of every kind can be added. This year I made some peppermint eye pillows that you put in the freezer and pull out when you need to "chill out"
I also scan the fabric and print out matching instruction tags, this year I made use of some ribbon that I found at a yard sale back in august. I fill the inner bag with rice and sew it up. The outer bag fits like a pillow case and can be washed frequently.

Handprint Christmas Tree

This is fabulous project I did with some kids at our church. I did not come up with the idea, I copied it from someone else. A friend and I traced around lots of little hands, and cut them out in two differant colors of construction paper(cut multiple layers of each hand at a time). I believe it took around 200 handprints to make this tree.
I used a mixture of elmers glue and shaving cream (around half/half of each) to make the snow that the kids painted on thier handprints. We glued pinecones on and also wrote down the kids quotes about what they would give baby Jesus for Christmas. The possibilities are endless as to what you could do with this.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rag Quilt Finished

okay , I thought that when I got to this part that it would be easy! Well it was simple, but time consuming. It took me over 3 hours just to snip all of the edges about 1/4 inch wide. My hand cramped up. I would invest in a nice pair of spring loaded scissors if I made another one of these.
This is the part that my mother would not approve of. The quilt is not finished until it has been washed and dryed. This loosens the fibers and causes the snipped ends to fray and look raggety. As I pulled it from my washer, I had a vision of my mother scolding me for treating my washing machine in such a way. I think it is well worth the mess :)
This is what all the hard work was for. The only problem now is that I need to make some more throw pillows to match.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Raggety Quilt

I cut my fabrics into 9" squares and arranged them to suit me. I used 5 different fabrics for this quilt and stitched each piece together with a 1" seem allowance.With seem side up I made my quilt "sandwich" and stitched an x on each square. I have to say that thier are some people in my house who have not seen a "rag quilt" finished and are doubting my abilities.

Sew Fun!

My 11 year old is having a good time of her own.
She drew a picture of what she wanted to make, and did a great job of bringing it to life. She sews on the singer while I sew on the "old beast".

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Projects

My oldest daughter wants me to make her a quilt to take to college with her in the fall of 08' she picked out this beautiful aray of fabrics and designs, and would like me to make something non- traditional. She is in the process of designing the quilt herself. Cant wait to get started.
This is my raggety quilt project. I have seen them all over the place and I just love their warm appeal. I am very into the whole rustic/primitive look for my decor. I am going to try to make it with a plain quilt back and not the raggety look on both sides.I think it will be more comfortable to cuddle up in that way.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Apparentley the chair is more comfortable than the DOG bed I just made, and this is NOT what I had in mind for the new pillows.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pillows and Puppy Beds

I was in desparate need of new covers for my living room throw pillows. My husband said "why dont you just go and buy new ones!" I informed him that that would take all of the FUN and the frugality out of it. I keep the same pillows and make removable covers for them, it make for easy washing. I was so pleased with how cute and cozy the dogs bed (below) was, that I decided to use the same fabrics for the pillows.
Okay, its not really a Puppy bed, its a geriatric dog bed. I used two old bed pillow to stick inside, and can easily remove the slip cover for frequent washing

Fish Quilt Completed

It has taken 3 years to finish this small quilt. I decided it was not a gift after all , instead it is hanging on my wall to inspire me. My husbands stepDad was the inspiration, and (might be) who I was thinking about while making it, he loves to fish. But it turned out smaller than I planned and looked like it should be hanging on my wall (oops), Grandpa J. if you ever read this, I beleive I owe you an explanation...........

Nature's Decor

The kids brought this "abandoned" beehive home. I was so fascinated by it that I hung it on the tree in the living room for all to see.
To all who have not done this, you are missing out! While my daughter and I were walking in the woods we found a big patch of wild rose bushes a.k.a prickers, and clipped these beautiful rose hips. I am so inspired I cannot stop picking them, I have been back 3 times and picked 2 more baskets full. Free holiday decor!

Don't forget the Dogs

I bought bandana's for the dogs from walmarts and made matching leashes out of nylon webbing and canvas fabric. I lined the handles with black fur fabric and used old clasps that were laying around the garage.

Yeah! Pajamas

after learning to sew soft fabric linings into athletic shorts this summer, I was inspired to make some lined pajama pants. They are very comfortable and warm. And I love the stripes.

The Machines

This is my mothers old Brother sewing machine, yes the same one that made all of those fabulous doll clothes when I was little. I ressurected it from the junk pile this summer, and let me tell you it does a great job! I oiled it up and gave it a good workout, I now prefer to use this over my cheap singer. I sadly cannot find the feet that used to go with it, I looked on the internet in hopes of finding some, but it seems this old beast is all alone, I cant even find anything refering to it on the brother web site. If anyone knows where I could find some old attachments Id be very grateful.
This is the $99.00 singer that my husband bought for me a few years ago to get me started, it has served me well , but, after sewing this summer at the clothing factory, it feels very inadequite. I am ready for an upgrade.

Quick Cat Costume

This was a quick costume, I made it for my daughter the day of Holloween, its a little rough but she was tickled. Meow! She made the body/shawl out of the fabric that was left over from the ears, paws and tail.
I made a loop on the end of the tail and she put a belt through it and attached it that way, I also put a clip halfway down the tail so she could clip it to her belt when she did not want it to dangle. A winter hat was a loose template for the head/ears. Purr.......

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sewing Memories

This is my inspiration for making all of the doll cloths. I spent many hours playing with these hand made cloths that my Mother and my Aunt made for my cousin and I when we were little. Those of you who grew up in the 70's might remember the Fisher Price Mandy doll. My favorite piece was the fuzzy blue cape, it used to have a very large metal button that held it closed. The capes were made from the liner of an old coat. The rest were made from old clothes and scrap material.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cardboard Penguin

Another cardboard prop, the possibilitys are endless. This is the Emporer penguin, in the process of makeing this life size prop I found out that the Emporer penquin is 64" tall!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Temple Mural

I painted this "Temple Mural" along with a stone wall for a fair booth background ,the theme that year was the holy land. I did not get a picture of the whole board but it is a sheet of foam insulation that you put on your house before you side it. Not sure of its exact name, but it is fairly cheep and very light, and reusable. you can just paint over it for the next prop.

Cardboard Ancient Ruins

Again, more VBS props, this was my ancient ruins. I used old paints and recycled boxes. The vines are made from twisted brown bags and construction paper.

Cardboard Dinosaur

I made this dinosaur out of old cardboard and oatmeal containers(the feet) also alot of tape and some old paint. He was a big hit at our VBS that year.

Step 1. start with a large cardboard box, crush the corners to get some of the rigid squareness out of it, have LOTS of newspaper and ductape.
2. add dowels, sticks or in my case pvc plumbing pipe(what I happen to have on hand) IN the SHAPE of a Plus sign or a cross, depending on the shape of the box , I used hot glue and duct tape to secure it to the inside of the box. this will give it some internal support.
3. I use a piece of pvc on the inside of all 4 legs (oatmeal containers) and the dino is resting on that pvc, not the container, the pvc is ductaped to the oatmeal container.
4. Tape wadded up newspaper wherever you think it needs it, I added alot to the thigh and front leg area. dont be afraid to layer it :)
5. for the neck and tail, I added "rings" of cardboard, stuffed with paper and taped together until I achieved the right length and shape.
6. finally , I papermached over any thing that needed it, and painted it with different shades of gray.
I hope this helps, good luck!

Flannel Fish detail

here is a better picture of the the fish and worms, this was a really fun quilt to make. The only large amount of fabric is the background, the rest is scraps of this and that, and some flannel shirts.

Fish Quilt

I got the idea for this quilt from an old quilting magazine (one of my husbands many great auction finds). The magazine was so old that it was impossible to get a pattern. So this is my version, I like to call it "Flannel Fish" because some of the fish are made from second hand flannel shirts. I made my own pattern for the fish, and used the zig zag stitch for the fishing line and the worms. It is a small lap quilt or wall hanging, I have not decided yet! The face of it has been finished for almost two years, I just can't bring myself to finish it because then I would have to give it away.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Paper and wire pot tag

I was looking for a way to fancy up some flower pots that I had some kids make for Mother's day. I made a tag from papers that matched the kids artwork and held it in place with a wire swirly. I used the same Idea on my teacher thank you notes. I don't have any idea what gage the wire is, I found it laying around my husbands garage.

Mini Scrapbook Cover

This is the mini scrapbook below, closed and tied

Mini Scrapbook

Here is a Mini Scrapbook made from 4 square sheets of paper and folds up accordion style. I photo copied some of my husbands baby pictures that were starting to deteriorate. I put up the originals and made this little book so that the next generation can enjoy them !

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Thank you notes

I made these thank you notes for a teacher appreciation dinner. We had students and parents contribute thank you notes, and printed them all out on card stock and made these little cards to fit in the homemade envelope. I made a wire clasp to hold the envelope closed and it added a little pizazz. The envelopes were placed at the teachers place settings at the dinner, it was a big hit!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

18" doll "bunny slippers"

The pajamas would not be complete without fuzzy bunny slipper. The nose and pink on ears is stitched and the eyes are black seed beads . I used a fuzzy felt fabric which holds together nice.

18" doll pajamas

What little girl wouldnt want flannel pajamas for her doll! again I did alot of sewing in the summer of 2006 and I made many pairs of these as well as pink polyester ones. I had full intentions of making and selling a bunch of doll clothes, but they all ended up as gifts. When I was a little girl my mother and my aunt would get together and sew doll cloths for my cousin and I . We both had Mandy dolls and sat at our mothers feet anticipating the new outfits that would be tossed to us, I still have them all buried in a box in my basement. I think this is why I enjoy making the doll cloths so much.
This is the same pattern as the blue dress, my daughter has alot of fun with all the differant pieces, she can interchange them with some of her other cloths. I have also made this out of a cotton/poyester blend and it has a more casual look.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Victorian Dress for 18" doll

This is a dress I made for to fit my daughters american girl doll, I enjoyed it so much that I made about 6 of them this past summer for friends, this was a pattern from the original American Girl dolls when Pleasent Company owned them, after the Mattel change-over they became hard to find. I beleive this was one of Felicity's Christmas dress patterns. I modified it a little to add some extra fun, I added the lace apron.

More Grammie's quilt

close up of Grammie's quilt, you can see more of the detail and applique. The two corner quilt patches are called "card trick" it is one of my favorites.

Grammie's Quilt

This is a quilt that I designed myself, I had no real way of knowing how big it was going to turn out , I just pieced and stitched....tweeking things as I went along. My kids helped pick out the poems and my oldest daughter helped with the embroidery. We were so happy with the end result! (I have to confess I wanted to curl up with it myself, but is was a christmas present). You can do amazing things with a $99.00 singer from walmarts!

The Reason

I really like the idea of haveing a place to showcase my ideas and projects, and getting feedback!I am trying to figure out how to post pictures, I will have to make use of my good friend "B's" knowledge of blogging. I used up all of my patience last night trying to figure out the photo host idea.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Try something new!

Okay, thanks to my good friend I am going to try something new, she is very hip on blogging, and I have to confess that it is fascinating to glimpse into other peoples daily lives. Widget Worm was the nick name that my father gave me as kid, because I could not hold still.........I believe....or as I remember it. He is good at coming up with nonsensical this day I am mezmerized when he recites "Tale of the jaberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. I will have to post it sometime for those who have never heard it , it is no easy task.