Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

 Has it really been almost 5 years since I posted?  So much has happened to the world and my life since my last post!  Just coming off a pandemic, and a very crazy teaching year, I am really amazed how quickly this time has gone.  I am due for an update! 

Well I am still a FCS teacher, finishing my 7th year in my district, we bought a house 3 years ago on a beautiful island, and everyday seems like I am on a vacation! As I am turning 66 this summer, I am made aware of how much I appreciate my hubby Ted, and how we get to do life the way we really want to, at this stage of our lives.  He works part time at Freedom Boat Club, and I get to teach Foods and Adulting, to high schoolers. I get to participate in a busy community including now playing pickleball, member of 2 quilt groups, Visual Arts Club on the island, and membership chair for my state professional organization, SCATFCS; and still get to go boating on the weekends.  I still have an Etsy shop, that I hope to get going again this summer.  Still sewing and crafting, though mask making was a big part of my rencent year past year.

Last spring we took a day trip for a doctor visit in Charleston, where we made a

reservation to a newly opened restaurant, named Lenoir! ( One of my fav public tv shows is Chef and the Farmer, and more recently Somewhere South where you can see where her interests are now going!  The teacher in me, and guiding my classes in cooking, is thrilled with her latest projects. See this link to learn more 
Vivian) Well I got to totally geek out when Vivian Howard came to our table to say hello!  Truly a highlight that made my week and month!  

As another pandemic school year is counting down, I am very grateful for staying safe and for so much that is positive in my life.  Daughter Kate is engaged to her long time sweetheart, and we are deep in planning for a June wedding. Son is maintaining our home in Ohio, for the day we may eventually sell.  Here are a few fun pics from recent activities in my foods classroom, 
Winners of our Apps/Garnishing contest, gift cards from local restaurant!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another school year behind me...

So much to be grateful for; the luxurious open ended days ahead, sleeping in, cooking, cleaning, laundry...wait, well at least I get to do these chores when I want to, not on a schedule!  I had a few extra days after school ended mapping curriculum for my Foods classes, but these past days have been glorious.  Even got to the beach two times already, though it is still not completely back since the hurricane last October.

Part of the joy for me has been getting to know more of the staff from school on a personal basis.  We have been to a few get togethers, and last weekend our first Southern Wedding, at Tybee Island.  So wonderful and filled with great people and food.  I have felt pretty blessed, and look forward to more time this summer hanging with my teacher friends.  Moving to a city where we knew no one, was a risk, but has really opened our eyes to exploring every weekend and to stay open to trying new things.

Hubby and I have really begun to think of our adopted town as home.  We look around and are happy with our decision so far.  Plans are to visit our kids for a week this summer, so we can stay connected.  Phones, FB and social media in general has kept us in the loop, so the 700 miles between us doesn't seem so far.

Because I have the luxury of time again, I set up my large crafting table and am looking at finally finishing some projects that have languished for many years.  One of which is a quilt that I cut the pieces for back when I worked at a quilt shop, and though the colors would be better suited for our former black furniture and oak floors, somehow, I could see this quilt gracing our guest room, or maybe for display, at some later time.  So it is worth finishing...

And my jewelry hobby has kind of gotten away from me, but because I wear an ID badge and key every day, every necklace has gotten used so that somehow I can justify purchasing more beads at every turn.  Recently we went to the Gullah Festival, and I got a bunch more glass beads, and an African themed skirt with pockets.  Even though I can sew, and could have made one, I felt compelled to get something I know my students might enjoy seeing...

And the crochet bits pick, shows how I incorporated the lace into furniture, and future plans are to add to a boring lampshade. It has been a long school year, and now to make every minute count, crafting and lounging...I do both well!  Please leave a comment if you stop by, it is nice to connect with other crafty bloggers!

And a last pic of a craft using shells, looking for somewhere to hang this...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Reflecting and of course crafting!

 Merry Christmas! Well this post has to start with a defining moment this past year. Hurricane Matthew made a big impact on my little town, and the region.  As I write this, it has been 2 months out and most of the places we love are still too damaged to enjoy.  Our marina was destroyed, as was our favorite state park beach, Hunting Island. Our little boat survived on dry land so that was a an additional gift.  Although there was a mandatory evacuation, my hubby and I chose to ride it out, as we have animals, and finding a hotel was not something we had time or money to pursue.  We never felt like our lives were threathened, but it was scary as even our local fire department was evacuated, so we knew we would be truly alone.  Good news is that we didn't sustain any severe damage, and live in a newer home, with young trees, but plenty of homes were damaged all around us.  Living without electricity is nothing new for us, but being housebound because of downed trees and power lines was a little difficult.

As I look over this past year and get ready to welcome a new one, I am struck by the blessings that we have enjoyed and have not taken for granted.  A job that I love, a hubby in semi-retirement, enjoying his own pursuits, and while the town took a beating, we have come back resilient and grateful.  This change of lifestyle and location, have impacted on my little family too, we just enjoyed a Christmas reunion with my siblings and their daughters.  Meanwhile, my own children live in Cleveland, creating new traditions for their holidays after all the years I was in charge of it.  I have seen new maturity in both my 20 and 30 year olds, a fact that makes me proud and confident that our choice was a sound one.  Where we will be a few years from now, is still in question. But we know that this path has been exciting and rewarding.  A few pics to show what I was making before and after the power was restored.

Because school was cancelled for more than 2 weeks, I had time to do some shell crafting, without power on my back porch, using up some of my beach finds and clay pots for herbs.  When I got electricity, I proceeded to put together ornaments, that my neighbor made a Scandinavian wood tree display so that I could sell a few ornaments at a local gift shop.

The ornaments were part of my Christmas gifts this year. The pic shows my display at a local gift shop, where I attempted to sell some of them. Using Hunting Island Shells and beach glass, lace and twine, I thought they would be a big hit.  I picked them up right after Chrismas, and hope to add them to my tree next year.
Also pictured below, Tissue Case, simple and useful,  Using bits of vintage linens and lace, I made 8 of them, to hand out to my friends and nieces. Useful and pretty, takes minutes to put together.  I tucked them into cosmetic bags for nieces and added hand sanitizer for my teacher friends.
I tried to find pics of all the gift baskets and items I crafted, but somehow, the pics  are few.  I will add to this post when I find them.

And so I will leave for now, showing you an action shot of me teaching the students how to make gravy, for our Thanksgiving Class Meal.  I find that each semester I tweak what I cover and what I expect, and hope that the excessive time I spend planning and prepping will diminish as I go forward.

If you read my blog, please take a minute to leave a comment, I like to connect with my audience, and would be glad to provide more detailed tutorials if needed for any of the items, I brag about.  Hope this holiday time finds the reader, appreciating all that is good and true in the world, till my next reflection and craft session...bye for now!

Monday, July 11, 2016

So much to celebrate!

Why not celebrate?  I am reflecting as the school year has recently ended,  how wonderful and

+refreshing life has been this year  Coming to a new life and job here in SC, has really energized my life and marriage  Each day, I get to do what I love, and each weekend, hubby and I get to play tourists, exploring new areas while we bike, boat or kayack.   Just spent many weekends and time in school writing SLOs, (student learning objectives) a mandate for all teachers in this state this year. While the value of going through the process is apparent, the large amount of extra work it required was a challenge.  The good news is that I was able to go through new teacher requirements, and state mandates, even passing the PLT Praxis, which I never had to back in Ohio; and teaching 2 preps all at the same time acclimating to a new culture. After jumping through all the hoops, I was offered a contract for next year, so it looks like I get to continue doing what I enjoy, we will rent another year, and our tenant will rent from us one more year as well.  Life will get easier as we bring down debt and live more simply.

Makes me itchy to do some crafting and sewing again.  I have been making simple aprons for my Students' of the Month..so each month after I pick a candidate, I size them up to reward them with a monogrammed apron.  One student was so pleased, he won't wear the apron, but he says he mounted it to his trophy wall.  HaHa, never heard that be a thing to do , but I am glad he will cherish it!  

And recently I joined a "free" yoga class at the local library.  I find it so relaxing and fun, I invested in a mat.  Of course, I needed a holder for it, so, after looking around on Pinterest and Etsy, I came up with a fun carrying case, I fashioned from an embroidered towel.  Some of you of a certain age, would know that the embroidery is called "huck" and I do remember my mother embroidering some of her towels  I always thought it was so much work for something you wipe dirty hands on!  This embroidered "huck"  towel I thrifted, was in perfect condition, and just the right size to accomodate the width of my yoga mat. It is basically a towel sewn into a tube with elasticized ends, with a hidden pocket for a cell phone and a hook on strap, taken from another bag I no longer have The tutorial steps I took follow here:

Vintage and Hip Yoga Mat Carrier

To create a casing for elastic on each end, I used hem lace.  Anything could sub for this, but I have a lot of it, so I am using it up.  Not shown, is a "secret" pocket I created to hide towards the top of the bag, with a button closure.  Not sure why I missed taking a pic of this, but oh well, you can use your imagination.

Pinning a safety pin on one end of a 4 inch piece of elastic,, I slid the elastic through on each end, securing it with a few zig zag stitches. Then I stitched the long  side seam, leaving an opening of approximately 8 inches towards the top of the bag. 

Next step is to sew in the velcro, I lined it up in the opening I left, and used a zig zag stitch. In the second pic below you can see the secret pocket, in a rose fabric. 

The plastic triangles I had from a crafting kit, and the strap from a briefcase, that somehow I no longer have.  You can find straps at thrift stores, or even in your stash of briefcases that you might not sue as originally intended.  I like that the strap has a non slip section which helps keep the bag balanced on your shoulder.  Below I am stitching by hand the triangles one on each end, securing to the elastic.

 The yoga mat caddy is practical as well as beautiful  My towel had a lovely hand crocheted border on each end, and of course a detailed design that someone spent a lot of time on. 

I love to use vintage linens in a new way, but also get them out from storage.  I get lots of compliments on mine at class.  I hope to scout around for more towels with similar proportions so I can offer these in my etsy shop in the future.  What do you think?  Do you have vintage towels that are too pretty to wipe dirty hands on, to repurpose into something practical?  Celebrate and Share with me!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Brand New Chapter...keep hands and feet safely inside the vehicle...this should be an exciting ride!

Where do I begin?  My family and I are in a new chapter of our lives.  After interviewing for several Family and Consumer Sciences positions last year and this past spring, a phone call this past summer out of no where, changed our lives...The school district I interviewed for last year, that was my dream town and job, had the position cut, do to budgeting issues.  But God's timing was different than mine...the call came in July 6th from Beaufort High School,SC and I was offered the job on July 7th...ironically my hubby's and mine 37th wedding anniversary.  A few days later, daughter and I jumped in the car for the 12 hour trip to check out rentals.  At the same time a job interview was offered for my own home district, a job I was waiting for for many years...a quick chat with the superintendent revealed that job was a long term substitute position, and I was unwilling to experience job loss after only a year back, so my decision was quick and decisive.  Within hours of that decision, a friend from church mentioned someone he knew that would need a home in our school district due to divorce.  Again, in Gods' timing, our home in Cleveland was rented and large furniture remained to save us the cost of moving and to provide some items that were much needed by the tenant.  As I update my blog here, I am flooded with emotions, both in gratitude and wonder as to how energized my life is.  I feel I am living out my true purpose, and while there have been many sacrifices made, most of the decisions and pain of moving have melted away, and true gratitude has set in.  A few pics to show you where we are now, and snapshots of my life as I am living it...

My new highschool pictured here, a newer building, and on the same island that we chose to live, Ladys Island.  We have a newer rental, that meets all our needs, as we still have the 3 cats and dog and community college attending daughter.

  She has her own Bonus room above the garage.  She decorated it like a dorm room, so for now, we are settled in.Pic is with her bestie that traveled here with her, and then flew back a few days later. Boyfriend got to visit over the labor day weekend.  He is only 8 hours away!

  Yesterday, part of hubbys' birthday gift was to travel home for a week, live on our boat in Sandusky, and attempt to sell it or arrange for storage.  Leaving our old pick up truck behind, enabled him to  travel and to also assist my dad and step mom, the latter of which took a fall and is recovering.  Timing was good for him to be there on several fronts.

I did manage to make something first week, after uncovering my sewing machine, deep into a spare room closet...I needed a dust ruffle for our new bed,  We donated our old foam set that sat on a drawer platform to my son, so the new bed was naked.  I had a queen ruffle, cutwork in design, that matched a curtain panel I already had., It definately didn't stretch far enough.  So a quick trip to the local Salvation Army helped me find some curtain panels that I spliced into the center, and added cotton sheeting to join the two large pieces.  Here are a few pics, feel free to ask for a tutorial, if you need clarification.  You can find lots of great linens and parts you can join to make a large piece.  

I took a long curtain panel, centered the cutwork design at the bottom;
I split the queen size skirt in the middle, and then spliced in the curtian panel, centering the design, and adding more to one end so that the panel went the length of the bed.  I didn't save construction photos, but you can get the idea.  You might recognize this grandmas garden quilt, from a large table in my former great room.  I have found homes for almost everything that came with our move, just repurposed and have things in new places.  The only things we had to buy, were a table and chair, bed and most recently a Facebook sell buy site,  washer and dryer.

I hope to post more tutorials and ideas, as time goes on.  Since I am teaching Foods 1 and 2, my pinterest is very food focused.  I will share some of my discoveries here in the coming weeks.  Stick with me, this will be a view into a new chapter, that will provide you some great ideas for making a change to pursue your passions!

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