Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Need Feathers, Anyone?

Many years ago, when I was very young, I slept on a feather bed, while staying over at my Grandparent's house,which I did quite often. It was wonderful back then, since the houses were heated by one wood or coal stove, which was centrally located in the house. The feather bed was wonderful for keeping one warm in the extra bedroom.Now that our modern homes have more efficient means of heating, a feather bed is no longer necessary. Nevertheless, I fell heir to a feather mattress this past year.I accepted the gift from a friend,mainly because I wanted the mattress cover for my rug making projects. It was nothing more than a huge pillow case that encased the entire mattress and was buttoned shut. I can always use the buttons, and I definitely wanted the cranberry colored fabric to make more little rugs. Cranberry has become one of my favorite colors lately.I have moved the mattress around for nearly a year now, not really having a place for it,but definitely wanting to hold onto it.

Low and behold, I found another pillow case of sorts,large enough to hold the ticking. A real bargain.$4.98.Now I can begin ripping the cranberry case up for my rugs.

I can't wait to get started on another little rug like this one.

I have made many rugs like this in the past, and have given them all away to friends and family, but this is one of three, that I have decided to keep for myself,forever. They come in so handy for wiping wet feet or simply cleaning up spilled water or drinks. Just toss it in the laundry, and it's good to go again. One of the most used projects I have made in awhile.

My Thread Storage Box

It seems I find a spool of thread at every turn. I try to keep them all in one place, but try as I may,they seem to turn up everywhere.I have started out with many different containers for my sewing notions, only to have each one to eventually overflow.Since I love fabric, and I love boxes, I decided to cover a box in pretty fabric for storing my many spools of thread. I pick up spools of thread at yard sales and consignment stores. When and where ever I find them at a bargain.I can always use thread in my business of crafting.

I started out with a good sized box and covered it, inside and out, with pretty fabric.Something I can identify quickly amongst my many boxes,stacked on shelves, in my crafting room.I have used those store bought plastic bins forever, but they have never really appealed to me like the pretty fabric covered boxes that I make myself

I added this little touch at the last minute. This way I am using my pretty pieces of fabric, my cut out letters, which I love so well.If you remember, these are the letters given to me by my sister,Vicki, of My Favorite Things, some 30 years ago.I used them for 20 years on my bulletin boards when I worked for the school cafeteria. One of my favorite tasks there was changing the multiple bulletin boards,on my cafeteria walls. Now that was such fun.The storage box has turned out nicely,and I am so pleased with the finished product.It is such a shame that it must be stored away,down in the craft room, stuck upon a shelf amongst all the other boxes. I am so proud of it now, I may deliberately forget to put it away when I'm finished.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Precious Moments!

Yes, you might call them just that,but then again, you may disagree completely.The moments I speak of are those that I spent with some of the family yesterday.We tried to persuade the last two sisters to join us, but they had prior comittments,and we know, as for most,life happens.Nevertheless, it was my goal to get Mom and a couple of the sisters out of the house for a day. Mom and Vicki are getting in a lot of quality time together, but too much of even a good thing can get boring, and a constant togetherness is one of those things.We all love Mom, but she can get on the best set of nerves after a spell.She claims it's her age that causes a lot of the problem, but most of us know better.She is and always has been a very head strong person(although I really would love to say mule-headed and stubborn person) and she thinks her way is the only way to do anything.One can only be agreeable,in a pleasant manner,for so long.Even when dealing with a person with dementia.Especially when it is your Mother..That's why the caregiver,in most cases,needs a break and a release occasionally, and that is why the caregiver dies first in a lot of cases. The stress is overwhelming,eventhough most care givers would never admit they need a break.One of the sisters that did not join us,is,for the most part,Mom's number one care giver,and I understood completely, why she had other commitments.

Needless to say, we four,Mary,Vicki,Mom,and I had a wonderful visit.Since Mary is without a drivable vehicle,at the moment, I picked her up at her home, after picking up Mom and Vicki, then we made a stop for Mary,at the feed store for chicken and rabbit food.Then we were off to a couple of consignment shops.There was so much to see, two was all we could squeeze in.Vicki's main goal was mostly to get ideas for crafts she could make for her daughter,Beverly's booth, back home in North Carolina.Beverly hopes to open up a little shop some day,so she and her Mother can craft to their heart's content and hopefully make some extra pocket change.

That was a day or two ago.The following day, Mom was having pains in her chest area. A couple of the sisters rushed her to the doctor and then to the hospital. They ran tests and determined it was something on the order of acid reflux causing a gas of sorts in her chest area,thus making her feel like it was her heart. Pop had a smiliar problem once, requiring a hospital run, so we were familiar with that happening. Nevertheless, she has been under a lot of stress for awhile, and she has been crying a lot lately, so the doctor prescribed her an antidepressant.Hopefully, that will help more than anything. She is having such a hard time with her failing eyesight and memory and abillity to care for herself.

Nevertheless,she felt up to our preplanned trip to Louisville for a Celebration of Life for the husband of one of our first cousins.Several family members met at Mom's and drove up together. We had a great time visiting with the four girls and their families. The two brothers were not able to attend, but we got to meet many of the children of our first cousins.It turned out to be a nice trip, even though we thought,at first, we might need to cancel with Mom feeling poorly,but with the new medications,she was ready and eager to go.(but then, Mom is always ready to go somewhere/anywhere)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We're Out of Toilet Paper!

How many times have you heard that statment coming from behind the closed bathroom door, with the ocupant in a situation, where they are not able to search for the toilet tissue? Many times,I'm sure.

Well, this project is for just those occasions. We use a lot of Coffee, and these canisters that it comes packaged in are too nice to discard.We use them for everything imaginable.

My bathroom is decorated with a bit of cranberry, so I scavanged through my stash of fabfics and found something appropriate.
I trimmed the fabric to fit the canister and hot glued it in place.

I snipped and glued the edges then cut a circular piece of fabric to cover the entire bottom.

I found a contrasting piece of fabric and stiffened it with Stiffy and let it dry.Then I cut out my freehand star for a patern and produced 5 stars for decorating the canister. I used a narrow strip of matching fabric to fill the gaps around the edges of the lid and the mouth of the canister.

Now my cute little tissue holder has taken it's place next to the lovely soaps sent to me by Brendie of Bregle Estate, in New Zealand..

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Second Rose

my 2nd rose
Now, if only Vicki could find the time to teach me to make the green leaves for my roses.My little dish rags may have to take the back seat for a spell.I enjoy making the little roses.I feel they are going to be another quick and easy, as well as useful project.Thanks,Vicki, for teaching me how to make them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My First Rose

my first rose

My sister,Rita and I,and a couple of her daughters and one of her grandsons, visited with Mom and Vicki today.Vicki will be staying with Mom for a few weeks, and hopefully longer.Especially during the time her back heals from her recent surgery. We all felt it would be good for both, if she came during this time. Her back can heal, and she could be close to keep an eye on Mom during the cold winter months. Mom will be 86 on the 30th of January.

While we were visiting,Vicki took a few minutes to show me how she was making these roses for her daughter's booth in Canton,North Carolina.Her younger daughter is very crafty herself, and has recently rented a booth along with a friend of hers, to see how her craft ideas will sell.If all goes well, she may consider opening up a shop of her own one day.Vicki says if anyone can make a go of it, it will be Beverly.We wish her lots of luck.She and Vicki spend a lot of time communicating on the phone and computer, discussing plans and exchanging ideas.Hopefully, we will be able to follow her progress in the up coming weeks.

Above is a picture of my first rose. I tried my hand at it, as soon as I returned home today.I,personally,think it turned out pretty good for my first try.I was pleased with it,anyway.Vicki will be making them a bit larger, and in a variety of colors.They should be a big hit for their booth.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Perfect Little Gifts

I have been making these small dish washing cloths for a spell now. They are quick and colorful,handy and useful.I can carry the materials with me where ever I go,to avoid getting bored.I can pick up yarn for a song in most consignment shops. I can even unravel other projects and use reclaimed yarn. The cost of making them is essentially nil.They make a thoughtful gift, especially at times when there is no special occasion to be giving gifts.

The reason I say this is as follows. I had driven Mom to Bowling Green, to meet with her Eye Specialist from Nashville.Three of us sisters had made the trip with her. Stacey knows the Medicare business,inside and out, so she handles the talking with the doctors. I do the driving. Mary had came along simply to get out of the house and spend some quality time with the family. She had been couped up for the past month,partly due to illness, and partly due to the weather and partly due to the lack of a vehicle.Two of her vehicles were down,waiting for help to get them up and running.

Nevertheless,while sitting in the waiting room, I drug out my trusted crochet thread and needle.I completed one cloth while sitting there, and as I crocheted, a little old lady and I struck up a conversation about crocheting. We talked while I worked, and then as we stood up to leave, I decided to give her one of my little cloths which I had just finished.As I handed it to her, another little old lady sitting beside her spoke up, saying "You beat me to it. I was just thinking about asking....."I didn't wait for her to finish her sentence. I gave her another cloth I had stashed in my purse from a previous crocheting session.Both little ladies,whom I had never seen before, and will most likely,never see again, were tickled pink over their little dish cloths. And that makes me happy.

Pretty, Simple, and Useful

Now, that's my kind of project.Pretty, simple to make, and very useful.Most of us have cabinetry enough to hold extra toilet tissue, but when company drops in, asks to use your bathroom, and you inadvertently forgot to replenish the tissue,it's right there in plain view,so to speak, for them to find by themselves. Great idea.

While shopping at one of the Amish owned, discount grocery stores yesterday, I found this neat item. I may have seen something similar in the past, but never took the time to investigate it and see just how pretty, simple, and useful it could be. I have lots of fabric, that I am constantly trying to find uses for. Much of it is in small pieces, too pretty to discard, yet not enough to make anything big. Not that I would care to tackle anything big. Small projects work best for me and I know that. So small is good. You can color coordinate and decorate this little  holder to suit your own decor and taste, and I am sure there are many variations possible.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ellie Mae Left Us Today.

For those who have been following my blog, you may remember Ellie Mae. He was a chick I raised in a cookie jar,.Thinking he was a she,I named him Ellie Mae,only to find out later, She was a He.Nevertheless we raised him to a full grown rooster, then turned him in with the hens. He became very mean, and attacked anyone who came into the pen. We have since gotten many more roosters, not by choice, but when you raise your own chickens from eggs, you tend to get lots more roosters than you'd hoped for. Our goal was to get more laying hens.Needless to say, there was a lot of feuding going on in the chicken pen.We will never know exactly why Ellie had such a short and sickly life, but he got quite poorly several times in his short life.The constant feuding amongst the flock was likely a big part of the cause. 

When he was agitated for whatever reason, his comb would turn a deep purple. For several days lately, his comb was purple. I figure it was when he was stressed. He got really mopey lately, as he had done a few times in the past, but this morning,Pop ask me to check to see if I could find him. He had roosted in Pop's garage,but Pop was not able to locate him this morning,when he went out to do the feeding. He asked me to check on him, which I did,and found his cold body ,where he had passed away in his sleep.We loved Ellie. Lately, he would come to the door, wanting his daily treat, like he had done as a youngster.It seemed, some times, he would forget that he had been so mean and flogged the daylights out of my legs the day before.He would come,expecting me to give him, the same loving treatment I had given him as a chick,which I always did. I miss those days when he was an adorable little chick,but all I need do, is to look at the scars on my legs, and it all comes back to me, the mean grown up rooster he grew to become.We'll never know what made him turn out to be so mean, or why he had such a short life.We'll miss him.

My Little Rug

One full sheet and one half of a valance later,it's finally finished. I think I like it better than the other two I have made for myself.It matches my decor much better.Now on to another project.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pretty Dish Rags

from this

to this

to this

I will never use a ratty dish rag again. Since I have begun making these little dish rags, I have given away about 20 or so during the Holidays, but an added bonus is the fact that I never need to use a ratty old dish rag again,and,too, when I need something to keep my hands busy,or simply need a small gift for someone,I can whip one up in about an hour.That's just enough time to sit with Pop in the mornings around the wood stove,drinking our first cup of coffee, while we watch the morning news, or watch a couple of Western reruns with him of an evening, before we both nod off to sleep.I try to keep several made up for last minute gifts. We visited the clinic yesterday, for our regular 3 month blood tests, and I had 3 dish rags with me, to give to the ladies working there. When I realized there were 4 ladies working, I quickly began the fourth dish rag, since I carry a ball of yarn and a needle with me at all times.I have accumulated loads of yarn from consignment shops,garage sales, flea markets, and even unraveled an unused afghan,so I have plenty of colorful balls of yarn lying around at all times.
We stopped by the local restaurant for breakfast, after our blood tests, since we had to fast for the test.That is our usual routine on blood test day. Nevertheless, when we had finished our meal, I began to finalize the fourth little rag I had started for the fourth lady at the clinic. I finished it just in time for us to leave the restaurant. We usually linger and socialize with all the locals anyway, so I had plenty of time to get it done, and Pop drove me back by the clinic to deliver the dish rag to the fourth lady.We stopped by the Post Office to mail my brother,Jerry,in Geogia, his Christmas calendar,plus a few samples of my dish rags,when it hit me that I had not made any for the ladies there. I had given one to our Mailman's wife,Teresa. She had rode with her husband,Billy, during the Holiday's while she was off from her job at the school. She and I worked together there, until I retired in 2005.Now I need to make one for each of the ladies at the Post office. They do make a quick and easy last minute gift,and useful,too.That's the kind of gift I love to give.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One Step Closer

Remember the old flip flop that I couldn't bear to discard. I felt that one day,I would find something to use it for. Well, today is that day.While shopping at one of my usual consignment and discount stores during the last few weeks, I found this set of rubber letters. Just the right price,50 cents,and just the right size to fit on my little flip flop pieces, and I just happened to have a tube of crazy glue handy.

Pop's oldest daughter,Rhonda, and her husband,Marc, had stopped by for a few minutes,to get a truck load of kindling for their newly installed wood stove. They had cut and hauled home a truck load of wild cherry a few days ago, and it doesn't burn good by itself, so they had come back for a load of something to burn along with it. While they were visiting, I needed some busy work.Something to do with my hands, while we were all sitting and chatting around the kitchen table.They had an engagement over at Marc's Mother's home later today,to eat the traditional New Year's Meal of cabbage and black eyed peas, so we did not prepare a meal here. While we all sat around the table sharing stories, I proceeded to glue the little rubber letters to the flip flop pieces. Now I have a nice set of block letters when I need them for my stenciling.I am so proud of them. I only hope they work as good as I am hoping they will. I will do some experimenting soon and post some of my handiwork later.

Teach A Man to Fish

Tonight we attended the local Auction, and I carried my "Old Faithful" ball of yarn and my crochet needle along with me.I never plan to go too far without something in my pocket or purse, just in case. I don't like to say I get bored, for that is a word I detest. I wish it were removed from the English vocabulary. In my opinion, there is no reason for any one to be bored.You should always plan ahead for moments when you might reach that point.Always have an alternate plan of action, in mind.A book, a deck of cards, a pen and a tablet of writing paper,needle and thread for mending,fabric pieces for quilting,needlepoint,nail polish.The list is endless. Never let yourself get in a position to be bored.

Nevertheless, I was sitting with a couple with a young daughter who kept squirming and asking to bid on every other item.She was so restless and fidgety. I kept hearing her Dad and her step-Mother telling her to sit still and be quiet. I pulled out my ball of thread and my crochet needle and offered to show her how to crochet, telling her how she would never be bored if she would try to learn to crochet. Her step-mother had learned to crochet a chain sometime in the past, so she took the thread and tried her hand at it. She was a bit tense and clumsy with her technique, but most beginners are. I worked with her for awhile then turned her loose with the yarn and needle. She spent the rest of the evening trying to crochet. By the time she was ready to leave the auction, she had a small pouch crocheted,due to her stitches getting tighter and fewer with each round she made. She could have used it to make a nice cover for a baseball.But she'll get the hang of it if she keeps trying. When you first begin to learn,your project usually looks pretty rough. Just ravel it out and start again. That's how you learn. All the while the step-mother was learning, the little girl and I were talking.I ended up telling the step-mother she could have the thread and the needle,for herself and the daughter to practice their crocheting.The little girl could not believe I was giving them the ball of yarn and the needle. I explained to her that I make and give things away a lot, but in this case I would teach them to crochet.I told her it was kinda like the verse. "Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."I could crochet something for her, and give it to her, but by me teaching her how, she can make many things for herself and others.

I have given several balls of yarn and crochet needles to ladies and children, over the years, who showed interest in learning. I tried to teach my younger step daughter when she was very young, but her real mother thought it was a worthless thing for her to do, so she tossed it in the garbage. I found and about it later and it was rather painful to hear, but I had tried. Now that same daughter is teaching her daughter the same thing. Crafts are worthless and don't amount to anything, so there's no need to learn them. I know folks are all different, and some folks enjoy crafts and some don't, but it pains me to see anyone,bored out of their skull at times when they could be enjoying a craft of some kind, especially when there is no other alternative available to pacify oneself.There are so many other crafts than the ones that I enjoy. One needs to try several types of crafts and most likely they will find something that they enjoy doing, that can be used to fill their idle moments.

What do you do to keep from getting bored when you are forced to spend idle time, in a place where you'd rather not be?