Saturday, July 30, 2011

A new Apron project

I recently bought a package of cloth napkins on the clearance rack. For some reason they are 28 inches squared. Who on earth needs a napkin that is bigger than 2 feet on any side? Did the makers think someone was going to a luau and planning to eat the whole pig?

Okay, so I decided to make one into an apron. Actually, one side of an apron. I simply used an old apron to mark and cut the armholes.

Then I cut off all the selvedges. You'll see why in a future post. I took a piece of scrap fabric, cut it to fit the top 1/3 of the apron and sewed it on--wrong sides together. I'm binding this, not turning it inside out. 

The apron is almost finished but I will post a picture or two at a time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

4 p.m. slump

I hit the late afternoon slump a while ago. Glad I got a lot done earlier, LOL! That includes 20 minutes on the Wii and about an hour schlepping around doing housework. Oh, and I made cookie bars. Here is a link to the recipe:

No Bake 5-ingredient Granola Bar

 On the creative front, I sewed appliques on an apron I'm making (that's a future post) and crocheted quite a few rounds on some socks (another future post). I changed my machine thread to light blue for the apron, but only after doing the giraffe's body. Here he is, headless and stuffed, LOL! I'm hoping to hit the crafts store tonight and maybe find some big, goofy eyes for him.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Look, I got an award!

Barbara of "All About the Buttons" was kind enough to give me a blogging award. Cool! Here's the link to her site:

Check it out, it's really sweet! 

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award (and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 bloggers with this award and contact them to let them know they have won

Seven random things about me:

1. I am working on a mystery novel, which will be my 16th published work if I ever actually finish it.

2. I can trace one line of my family tree back to the 1600s in Germany.

3. I love a good horror movie or novel but hate gratuitous bloody stuff. It better have a purpose in the story line or not be there. Eerie is much better than gory, IMHO.

4. I am a magazine addict and have a sloo of them on my NOOK. Everything from "Country Living" to "Discover."

5. I am about 30 pounds overweight and just joined WW online two days ago. So far, so good.

6. I'm married 30 years but this November Mike and  I will have been together for 40 years. Yes, we were high school sweethearts.

7. I love almost all animals, even the furry, pesty ones others don't like. I have squirrels who will actually come running when I call to them.

And that's all about boring ol' me.

Now, on to the awards:

1. Terri, of "Hearts in Service"
2. Rhonda of "If you do stuff, stuff gets done"
3. 'Crownring' (sorry, I don't know your  name) of "Mercies and Musings"
4. Granny J of "Granny's Place"
5. Kelly Howard of Chick N Charge
6. Olga of Olga's Home and Garden Blog
7. Cris of "Real Farmwives" and others

Okay, that's 7! I hope you visit these nice blogs soon!

And thanks again, Barbara!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Giraffe

Here is the giraffe with his neck and two 'arms' sewn into one side of the body. The arms are stuffed but I haven't stuffed the neck, yet.
The body is a simple rectangle that has been rounded at the top to make 'shoulders.' The dimensions of the toy are based on the piece of faux 'hide' that I have--a strip from the longest side made the neck, then I just worked from there. The trick was to remember I needed at least two of everything, and 8 of the legs! The head is a little strange, but I'll post that when I get to it. Figuring out how to put it together was a bit of a sewist's engineering feat.

Speaking of feat, I mean feet--he's going to be about 2 and a half feet tall! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Turning A Giraffe Neck

Not a real giraffe, of course. It's way too hot to visit the zoo, LOL! (Nearly 100 here on Long Island.)  I'm making my nephew a stuffed giraffe for Christmas. I have found that when you are turning a long piece of fabric, sometimes a simple ruler is your best tool! You can really push it into the tube and the corners are perfect for pushing out the corners.

I made a muslin of the giraffe to work out how he'd go together, before cutting into the faux fur. I've got some notes I jotted down, like: "attach the neck to head and body so that the seam is in the back and the mane is in the right place!" He's my own design and I will show you each step as he goes together. I think John will like him! 

On the crochet front, I did all that early in the morning before it got too hot to handle yarn. I even stitched together two more hexagons for the snowflake afghan and wove in some loose ends. 

This afternoon, I actually did two quick rows on a square for a new baby blanket, about 50 stitches total, before I said, 'no way.' Too bad yarn makes your hands sweat. It really is more of a cool weather craft, but who has time to wait until fall?

Back to the mane: I simple basted a strip of brown felt onto one side of the neck, then sewed all 3 layers. Then I clipped along the mane to make it fringey. 

Have a nice weekend (I seem to only post here about once a week, terribly blogger that I am) and stay safely cool!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Channeling My Inner Nerd

Making things out of duct tape is such a Poindexter thing to do. But there are so many nice colors and patterns of the stuff how there, how long can you resist? 

I made this little thing by tracing an "Extra Gum" packet onto duct tape 'fabric'. The gum pack closes with that tab, but I don't have a utility knife handy so I punched a whole in the tab. Right now I'm just tying it shut with yarn, but I might figure out something better to do.

There are a lot of places to learn how to make duct tape wallets and more. I think you could use this particular idea (probably not original, but original to me!) for a cute little sewing kit. Or maybe you could find a pad to fit inside it and some mini gel pens? I think it would make a cute stocking stuffer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

More on the Snowflake Afghan

As of today, this is where I stand on my daughter's snowflake afghan:

One finished corner 

Eight completed hexagons

Fifteen stars
For a total of 24 out of the 43 or so hexagons I'll need to complete the blanket. I might actually get it done this year!

Oh, and since it is a Christmas gift, my cat Melody graciously volunteered to stand in for the "Partridge in a Pear Tree."

(PS--pay no attention to the trash that fell on the chair. I didn't see it before I took the picture!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Iced Tea Idea

I'm sure a million other people have thought of this, but it's sort of new to my brain. 

Next time  you have iced tea, instead of using ice, use frozen fruit! You know, those strawberries you've been freezing for smoothies? I put a few whole, frozen strawberries in my iced tea today. (It's peach flavored from Crystal Light. I never buy diet stuff but had this at a friend's and really liked it!) 

As the fruit thaws, it actually adds extra flavor to the iced tea. Then, when I was about halfway down the glass, I put it in my  Magic Bullet and made a strawberry iced tea smoothie! Yummy sweetness with very, very few calories! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I like aprons

Aprons are so much fun, aren't they? Such a great use for so little fabric and effort. Here are just three of mine out on the clothesline--more along the line but I couldn't get them all in a picture. One thing I always do with the aprons I make is to sew a washcloth into the waistband. This gives you something to wipe your hands on besides the apron itself.

 The two to the right are from the book "A is for Apron" using my own choice for fabric. The pattern for the one with the red flowers is my favorite because there are no gathers in the waistline. It's cut on a curve and sits nicely on you--and doesn't add extra weight to someone who is already pudgey.

For the middle one, I used two fat quarters. I cut one in half and sewed it to either side of a whole fat quarter, then cut the pattern from there.

The first apron isn't from the book. It's just a half yard of fabric, plus the trimming.

There are so many ways to make aprons, aren't there? And I just love how they look on the colorful!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Leftover Potato Salad Trick

I used those little peanut potatoes for salad on July 4th, made simply with mayo and mustard. I had about a half cup left over by the end of the week. So I put it in my Magic Bullet, added some cream and milk and blended it up. Then I poured it in a bowl and heated it up in the microwave. Topped it off with some cheese and voila--cream of potato soup! And there was nothing else to do with it because it already had all the flavor in it.

It was rich enough to make two servings, so I had some today, too. Today I just broke up a piece of Kraft cheese (like you put on burgers) and heated it together. The cheese melted right into the soup and made it soooo rich and yummy!

So next time you have just a little leftover potato salad, break out the blender/food processor/Magic Bullet and make yourself some luxurious Cream of Potato Soup!

PS--about the pickles I made yesterday. Keeping the skins on certainly gives them more 'snap.' They came out great!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Knitting in the Laundry Room

Ha, I think that would be a great title for a new blog, if I ever start another one. Can't seem to keep up with the ones I already have, though.

A few posts ago I wrote about finding a little time here and there for projects. This is one example: I'm working on a little headband. It is made of cashmere yarn that I bought with one of those 40% off coupons. Cashmere is something I'd rarely pay money for, and it isn't likely I'll make anything big out of it. I did do some fingerless gloves for my daughter for Christmas last year. But it's nice to be luxurious once in a while.

This is from the July Issue of Crochet Today magazine. It will also feature a flower, but then you're talking about circular needles. I have no idea yet how to use them (that? it's one piece) so I'll probably crochet the flower for now.

The lacey pattern on this is stupid easy, even for someone like me, who is only two steps beyond 'raw beginner.' I would like to try to knit more along with my crocheting, so little projects are a good way to start. 

I also made another batch of Fridge-to-Pantry pickles today. Two farmstands opened up near me and I bought these cute little Kirbys. I left the peels on this time around to see if that makes the pickles crispier. We'll see! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Christmas in July

Fourth of July is Monday, so of course I'm thinking about Christmas. I have been working steadily on a snowflake blanket to give my daughter for Christmas. Today I counted that I have 9 snowflakes and 9 more snowflakes with borders. That makes 18 out of about 43 that I need. I hope to finish this by this Christmas, but it can always be a "First Christmas" gift after their wedding next year, too!

This is from the December 2009 issue of Crochet Today magazine. It is slightly different in that I did not do the picot edging.