Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Pillow Case

Here is my cat Nutmeg snuggling on one of my pillows. It is covered with a pillowcase I made in a Christmas fabric. There are many places on line with instructions for homemade pillowcases, so it's fun to change them out with the holidays! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Here is a Mandala I made recently.

Mandalas are pretty easy if you know your basic crochet stitches. Just change color every round!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Ornament

Super Easy! I saved scraps of felt from another fall project I did last year (probably cutting out leaves) because I thought they were too pretty to ditch. I picked up a clear plastic ornament from Michael's and just stuffed the little pieces inside. I tied on a green bow and now it's part of my fall decor!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Here is a little Halloween ghost I knitted. I started with a pattern from a UK magazine called "Let's Knit," but did my own version of the face and arms. I like this because the pattern is worked on straight needles. I'd say he's about 8 inches tall.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Bird Feeder

Poke holes with a screwdriver and run string through them to tie up pumpkin to tree.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Goodbye maybe

Seriously considering dropping this blog. No one reads it anyway and I'm pretty much just using it to get pictures into Pinterest. I'll think about it...

Friday, September 6, 2013


I'm almost done with a shawl I've been crocheting. It started as a simple triangle shape but I found it was not wide enough to wrap around my shoulders. So I started making a border around the edges. I like the way it is coming out! I just have to finish the white and weave in some ends. I'll try it on and if necessary will add 2 more rows of each color, maybe in a plain stitch like a double crochet to give it a 'finished' look. My goal is to have it done before we have any hurricanes! Last year, during Sandy, I almost froze it got so cold!

The best part of this is that I got the yarn from a clearance bin, so this whole thing is costing me less than $10 to make!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Coloring Bag

I don't remember where I got the pattern for this, but it's just a basic tote bag with a pocket in front. The pocket is stitched to hold crayons, and the bag is just the right size for a color book. Something for a child to take on a trip or to a restaurant!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thread/Bobbin storage

I have one of these wooden spool holders. I used to keep my bobbins in a pillbox, but it was kind of annoying having to open each one to find the right color thread. (Labels kept falling off.) So it occurred to me the smartest thing to do is to keep the bobbins with their matching thread spools. Like this:

I still have more to do. I also need to buy some of those little hair scrunchies to hold the bobbin threads in place. But this will make it a lot easier to find what I need! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Doll Sleeping Bag

Here is a very simple, basic sleeping bag for a doll. I just made two padded rectangles, one shorter than the other. Some doll sleeping bags have zippers but I think that's just a bunch of fuss and no kid really cares so long as the doll/stuffed animal is comfortable, LOL!

Measurement-wise, I'd say it's about 9x14 inches finished. It's going into my 'gift' box for some future kid.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Family Bingo

I put together a Family Bingo game to enjoy during our family reunion this past weekend (to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday). Here's an example of the cards. I only made 7 or 8 because randomizing them was kind of a pain and I did this pretty much last-minute. Got the idea from Pinterest, of course!

My picture is the last one under "I." 

How did I call the names/letters? Well, I got a really cheap deck of cards and pasted images on some of them. My mother was the only queen. The babies were diamonds because babies are jewels. 

I gave out pencils and little candy bars. I was the 'caller' for a bit then my niece Jackie took over. She 'rigged' it so Grandma won the first game, LOL!

Monday, July 22, 2013

As Clean as it Gets

My office, that is. Straightened up my sewing table today. Trust me, it was a wreck. I took almost everything off of the table and carried the stuff to my dining room table. Then I went through and reorganized. And now all I want to do is make something and mess it up again. At least the floor is clear--there were off-season pillows, balls of yarn and a big Scrabble game box under there!

I have to move that heart box someplace else. It's just full of 'miscellaneous.' See the pile of red stuff next to the iron? I picked a color (red is my favorite, anyway) and decided to work on everything I can without changing thread color. The bobbin's already in the machine, but of course, somehow I don't know what I did with my red thread.
Tomorrow, if I am ambitious, I'll work on another section of the room. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

skirt template

I was lucky enough to find a brand new (wrapped) cutting board last week at our local Salvation Army thrift store for only $3! (Half price day!) So I was going to throw out the old one. Then I decided to use it to make some templates. The one below is for a skirt for me. The old cutting board has curved lines drawn on it, so I just divided my waist by four and cut out a quarter circle, including seam allowance. Now all I have to do is trace around this two times, with the straight side on the fold, and I can make an easy skirt!

If anyone out there is still following me, or reading this, please ignore how dirty the cutting board is! It's very old!

Best part about this? It folds up and I can just tuck it out of the way!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

T-shirt rug

I've been working on this t-shirt rug foreeeeever and today I took it out again to add to it. I was wondering exactly where I was going to put it. Looks like Nutmeg made that decision for me--now it's a cat rug! I put it on the floor to see how it looked, and she immediately laid herself down on it. As you can see, the hook is still in it! Well, I'll just finish it off and let her have it. I'm sure here sister Melody and even Shadow will want to lay on it, too!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Father's Day Gift

Here's what I made Mike for Father's Day. It is not my original idea, but Mike got a big kick out of it. Of course, Katherine guessed it came from Pinterest! 

Basically, you take a big can (this one held 2 lbs. of peanuts originally), then you cut a piece of cardboard to fit down inside of it. I covered hte outside with decorative paper and put a bow on top, too. 

Now Mike has a place where he can throw his pistachio nut shells!

BTW, I am obviously still among the living. Just have too many projects that are 'in the works' and I haven't really had the chance to post. So thanks to any loyal followers who still visit! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Crochet Frame

You can get packages of little girls' bracelets in various shapes pretty cheaply. I bought a butterfly one for about a dollar. You can use these to make crocheted frames!

All you have to do is work slightly loose single crochets around the shape, then continue to crochet to the size of frame you'd like. (As you can see, the points show on the butterfly, but that's okay. Obviously, a plain circle would be easiest!) I did some long single crochets between each section of the butterfly's wings to emphasize the shape.
For the back, just make a round piece big enough to cover the opening. Sew it in place a little more than halfway around.
Then you can just slip a picture down into it. 
I'm linking to the Saturday Sparks link party over at "Pieced Pastimes." Go and check out what else is cool over there!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Finished Bunny

Well, I didn't get the cross stitched bunny done in time for this Easter, but he'll look cute hanging up next year! I'll keep him in the pink embroidery hoop and add a big, pink bow on top. It's been a long time since I did counted cross stitch, and I look forward to my next project!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Yet another use for creamer bottles

I'm trying to start some seeds in my kitchen and needed a way to water them without drowning them. So I put some water into a clean large-size liquid Coffee Mate container. I have these bowl covers that come in a zillion sizes and put that over the top, securing with a small rubber band to make it even tighter. Then I poked a few holes in the top. Voila--a super easy watering bottle! (And by keeping the red lid on when I'm done, there's no chance of a spill.)

Monday, April 8, 2013


Sometimes I actually make the things I pin in my "Stuff to Make" board on Pinterest. Here's proof (besides the pig bank from yesterday):

You make it this way:
Start with 6 circles.
Fold them in half.
Baste along the curved edge.
Pull up the basting to make a petal.
Make 6 of these.
Sew them in a flower shape.
Embellish. (I happened to have the yo-yo made already).

So what am I doing with this? Don't know yet. I put it in a bin with all the other flowers I've sewn or crocheted. I'm sure they'll come in handy someday.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Piggy Bank" from felt

I've seen this done and I think I even pinned about it. It's just two pig-shapes cut from felt. I sewed a buttonhole using the largest setting (the thing you put the button in, which I just opened up all the way without a button) to make the slot for coins. 
I looked up 'pig' and found a simple drawing that I copied for the pattern. I think this would be a cute way to give some birthday cash to a kid--maybe with some change inside and a bill sticking out through the slot. You could even put it in a birthday card since it's nice and flat!

Oh! I stuck a piece of pipe cleaner between the layers. You should sew over it very slowly if you do this. Even though pipe cleaner wire is fine, you wouldn't want your needle to hit it directly.
I wrapped the p/c around a narrow knitting needle to make the tail. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Tonight I'm making a recipe that I found on Here's the link:

It looks easy and good, too. I cooked the chicken earlier and now I'm finishing it off to put the casserole together. I actually cooked up chicken tenders in some turkey broth that I'd made from Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Okay, left for a moment and now I'm back. The casserole is in the oven. Can't wait to try it out. It looks good, especially with the cheese and Ritz on top!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Wreath

I have made a bunch of these little crocheted flowers, and had enough to encircle the white wreath. I think it looks very cheerful!

These flowers are very simple. You just make a starting ring, then work 10 single crochets into the ring. Then you do 5 double crochets in one single crochet, slip in the next, and repeat around until you have 5 petals. The original pattern comes from Mollie Makes magazine, but the wreath is my own. Not that it's original, as I'm sure there are a bazillion wreaths just like this out there! But then, the last original novel was probably written 500 years ago, so maybe the last original wreath was created 50 years ago.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Things to do with Creamer bottles

Here's an idea to reuse one of the bottles from Coffee Mate Liquid Creamer. After you clean and dry it thoroughly:

Use it to store smaller, wet paintbrushes! Your brush will be ready to go next time, without all that messy cleanup. Oh! And if you do this, put it in brush-end first. I didn't think of that and it is so much easier to remove if you can get the handle first.

Cleaning the bottles is easy, btw. I just let mine soak for a bit in a little water with soap, then I shake it up to make sure all the little 'bumps' get cleaned out. After you rinse it out, let it sit open for a day or so to let the water droplets evaporate.

I'm editing this a few days after I posted it to add this link, back to a Saturday carnival!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bunny X-stitch

I haven't done counted cross stitch in a long time and decided to take it up again. I'm starting with a simple, small design. This is "Bertie Bunny" from the British magazine "Cross Stitcher." Actually, as of this writing I've done all the beginning stitches and am just crossing over them, so I'm more advanced with this than it looks. He's coming out nicely! (He does still need his eye and nose!)

I'll put him in a pastel frame with a big pastel bow on top and use him as an Easter decoration. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

orange crate shelf

A few years ago, I got some little orange crates--the kind that clementines come in--at a garage sale, for free. I've made different uses of them, but here's the latest one:

(Ignore the walls. I've been experimenting with possible paint colors.)

Yes, its' a shelf! I didn't even have to drill holes in it as the crate has it's own little openings in the back. I had already painted it pink. Then I cut out a piece of felt to cover the back. No glue necessary: the wood is rough enough to 'catch' the felt.

Of course only light-weight things can go on this. But it makes a cute display! 

PS--that white thing is a little crocheted marshmallow. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Pat's Wreath

Here is the St. Patrick's Day version of my year-round wreath. The base wreath is just a wire form wrapped in white bulky yarn. I crocheted some shamrocks and found a green and white silk orchid. The pieces are just pinned in place for easy removal. 
Next week, I'll be replacing the shamrocks with Easter eggs! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Here is an Easter Egg applique I made. I used a coffee filter, folded and half and cut to make an egg. I drew a design on it and tried some paper-piecing. I couldn't quite get it right, hence the extra ribbon trim. I think I will use other people's designs for a while until I figure out how the pieces lay out. There are many cute designs out there!

The egg is sewn onto a piece of pink batiste. I plan to put two plain eggs (that is, just one print) with it and maybe some grass. Then the whole thing will be sewn into a pillow to throw on my couch for the Easter holiday.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't like it when Easter falls in March. March, IMHO, should be reserved for St. Patrick's Day, and Easter should have April. I will be taking down my green decor on the 18th and putting up Easter, which will overlap into the middle of April.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Baby Harp Seal Crochet

I'm sorry I don't remember where this came from--I started it a long time ago. It is a baby harp seal! He's about 10 inches from nose to tail.

He's nice and squooshy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baby Sweater

This is from the book, "Crochet in a Day for Baby." (by Candi Jensen.) I used my own choice of colors, and will get some nice white buttons for the front. Could you do this is a day? I think so, given the free time and little expertise. The pattern is actually quite easy to follow. The book has a lot of cute designs and is well worth the $15-ish investment!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Really Good Vegetable Soup

My mom's vegetable soup

(Note: this is a copy from my original blog, "Creative Thoughts" and was first posted in 2005.  It is worth repeating!)

My mother makes the best vegetable soup in the world. Even people who don't like vegetables like this soup, because it has a nice, mild flavor. We especially like it with Premium Saltine crackers. Here is the recipe:

Grandma McNally’s
Vegetable Soup

Grandma says: “Start with a soup bone and I watch for chuck roast to be on sale and use that for the meat. Boil the bone and meat. Put in jars and refrigerate overnight...this enables you to take all the fat from the top. Then cut up 2 ½ cups celery, 1 large can diced tomatoes, 2 med. onions, 2 med. carrots, ½ head cabbage, 2 med. potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste

Put cabbage and potatoes in last 20 minutes to half hour. Just cook it all up. If the broth doesn’t seem strong enough, I sometimes add some beef cubes or granules. Cut up the meat and put it in at the last minute. Enjoy!

What I do, myself, is buy a chuck steak and cut the meat off and freeze it. I just keep adding the meat to a bag. Then I boil the bones for several hours. I do this several times over several weeks until I have 4 mayonnaise jars of broth. Take the broth and the meat out of the freezer about 2 days ahead to let it thaw in fridge. You can do it with just 2, but I like to make a double-batch because there never seems to be enough, it is soooo good. I also just throw it all together, I don't wait to put the cabbage or potato in.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nail Care Kit

I have a friend celebrating a birthday in March. I'm going to put some nail polish and other nail-care supplies in this for her.
Obviously, I still have to sew on the button. I am sorry I can't remember where I got the tutorial for this, but there are numerous hits for "manicure kit tutorial" if you want to find one.

You can't see it here, but the fabric has a little bit of silver 'glitter' in it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Afghan in progress

I think it is a good idea to have some 'mindless' project you can work on where you don't have to keep looking at instructions. Making a granny afghan that just goes round and round is one project. The only time I went 'off track' was to add a little extra on one side at the beginning to turn the shape from square to rectangular. I work on this when I feel like crocheting but don't want to think much about it. It is a nice yarn (Simply Soft, I think) and pleasant to work with. I'll keep working on it until it's big enough to cover me in my chair.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Keeping it Together

I plan to make a little manicure kit and have the pieces cut out. Some of the ironing and initial stitching is done, but there are still all these individual pieces to keep track of. I tend to put things aside and get to them later. There's no rush for this as it will probably be a Christmas gift.
I tied the smaller pieces up in the larger ones and tied them up with a selvage 'ribbon.' The little tag tells me what site to refer to when I want to finish the project. (When I actually do finish it, I will give the link.)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Notebook Cover

The old-fashioned kind of notebook, I mean.

I've actually finished it by now--took this picture when I still had a bit more to do. Basically, I just crocheted enough chains for the width. On the back I tried various stitches but found this plain chain one, single crochet pattern the best. Each color is two rows. I would say, though, that if I were to make another one I'd add at least 2 more chains. I have to stretch this a bit to get it to fit nicely. Btw, the 'flaps' are about 2 inches folded inside and sewn in place.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Row by Row Crochet Heart

I like that this is crocheted in rows rather than in the round. It's a very easy pattern you can do up in no time!
From "Bella Dia", here's the link:

I originally saw this on Kim Cochran's Pinterest page. These particular hearts are ones I made following Bella Dia's instructions.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Just a thought on Pinterest

If I spent half the time crafting/crocheting/knitting/sewing that I do drooling over things I find on Pinterest, I would hit my 1000th point of creativity in no time.

Pinterest is an addiction.

So today, I went to each person's site I've pinned (I know the parts are boards--what are the sites called?) and picked out one thing to do from each, soon!

For example, I plan to make individual little soaps via an idea from my friend Maryann LaMaster's page.

Nathalie Plumey pinned a super-easy-looking recipe (from for 3-ingredient Three Musketeers bars!

And since avocados are on sale this week, I'm planning to try some Avocado Egg Salad, from, via Pennie Rienas.

Kim Cochran has an easy row-by-row Valentine Heart to crochet.

I actually wrote these out on notebook paper, instead of bookmarking them. I think that this will make it more likely I really will do something with these pins!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another Doily

This is actually supposed to lie flat, but I must have added extra stitches in one round or the other, and ended up with ruffles. It's works.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why are rainbow patterns so pretty?

Maybe it's 'cause you get several colors for the price of one. Here's a doily I made. Changing colors every round makes everything nicer, IMHO.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Please scroll down

This post is just to be able to pin my cat, who insists on fitting her fat patootie into anything that even slightly resembles a box or basket...

"Hey, it's got an opening in the middle. It must be a place for me to curl up!" says Melody.

Kitten Goes to Russia

Here is Cocopuff (a kitten based on the cat Coco from a series in Crochet Today! magazine) with her little matryoshka doll, visiting Moscow!

You can find Cocopuff's mommy, Coco, visiting Russia in the Nov/Dec of Crochet Today! Magazine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Very Easy Crochet Pattern Tutorial

Easy, as in you repeat the same row over and over. I made a little dish cloth here, but I think that this would make a lovely spring/summer baby blanket done up wider, in soft yarn.

Here's how:

Chain an even number of chains--I did 20 here. Remember that the chain on the hook does not count as a stitch, so don't count it!

ROW ONE: Now, count over four chains from the hook, and make 2 double crochets in this fourth chain.

Skip the next chain.
Make 2 double crochets in the next chain.

Do this across--skip one, 2 double crochets in the next. See the V-stitches?

When you get to the end, where you'll have 2 chains left, skip one and do one double crochet in last chain.

ROW TWO: Chain 3, turn.

Now you are going to make V-stitches in all the previous V-stitches. Just make 2 double crochets inside each previous V. Look at the picture above and you'll see what I mean.

When you get to the end, make one double crochet. You'll know you're doing it right because your sides will look straight.

All you have to do is repeat Row Two! Remember to start with a chain 3 and end with one double crochet.

This is obviously not written the way crochet patterns usually are. Sometimes I find them confusing. Actually, I prefer those weird 'charts.'

Hope  you like this little lesson and that you give it a try!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Another Baby Blanket

This is the second baby blanket I've been working on. A few more rows of yellow, then some ends to weave in, and I'm done. It was a very easy pattern. I like when the same stitch is repeated every row, instead of having to constantly wonder where you are at. Not sure what the pattern is called, but each 'bump' is one single crochet and three doubles.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Krochet Kitty

"Crochet Today!" Magazine has been running a series about a little cat named Coco who travels the world. This is my attempt at her. Theirs is gray, mine brown. I kind of messed up the legs and made them too short, so I've decided this is Coco's kitten, Cocopuff. The original Coco has safety eyes, but I didn't feel like sending away for them so I just used felt. I also replaced the little crocheted duck in Coco's bag with a baguette made from Paperclay and some flowers.
Check out Coco's adventures in the magazine. I think you can access pictures right on their site. You'll see their Coco is pretty different from mine, but that's okay. We all work with what we have!

Here, Cocopuff has gone on a visit to Paris. While Mommycat shops at Galeries Lafayette, Cocopuff decided she wanted a little bread to snack on!
I am also working on other countries as Crochet Today comes up with them, including Russia and Holland! Cocopuff is a project I do between big ones (almost done with baby blanket 2) so I hope to have a new outfit ready to show you soon!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baby Blanket

I have two new grand nephews, Liam and Thomas (Tommy). I have just about finished this blanket for Liam, who was born about a month ago. Tommy arrived this week and I just started a blanket for him.
Liam's blanket is made with a white/blue yarn. It measures about 3 feet square.It is all double crochet with shells. I'm also trying to make a matching amigurimi animal with the leftover yarn. Not sure what...we'll see what it turns out to be.