Ramblings...

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!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fast forward, as the journey continues!

A lot has happened since my last post, I was in the midst of upheaval, considering taking a job in another state, and packing up the house.  Since that post, I have been to SC twice more.  Have interviewed additionally in Columbus with a Bluffton H.S. supervisor.  Ya, you guessed it, we will be staying in Cleveland another year.  Here is the low and highlights:

Quick recap: March - April, my thoughts:

March brought me to the job fair in Beaufort Co., which was short, but we packed in a lot.  3 possible openings for me, Hilton Head was one of them, though I have since learned "they are going in a different direction".  I really enjoyed my tour there, and daughter would have loved their art program.  Been getting the house ready for rental/sale, as a downsizing is still in the works.  We need to tighten belts and older son also needs to experience living on his own again.  Lots to do, we haven't moved for 26 years, and we that many years worth of stuff and nostalgia.  I welcome tips on this process, I look at everything in my home critically, gauging its worth and usability in a new setting.  I plan on shedding a lot of furniture, as sonny needs some, and we don't want to move it. Even my sewing room is in total upheaval.  Either I make something with supplies, or they go, as I might not have a dedicated room in the new location.  Donating has been fun, my alma mater still teaches home ec, and I gifted them with magazines and sewing notions that I have in abundance.  Surplus American girl dolls and clothing, furniture have all been boxed or sold.  I take a box to Goodwill every time I head in that direction, I just don't feel attached to much any more.  I now see why both of our parents were handing out stuff towards the end of life, it just becomes a burden.  Of course, both parents gifted us, and we are now in turn trying to find homes for it all.



April - May:

I got to attend the Cleveland Quilt Show, and even went for free by volunteering to take tickets at the door.  It was a long day, but very enjoyable, as I saw many people I knew and picked up some great notions and a little batik fabric for a top.  Even bought some inks to make my own textiles, after watching an energetic salesman demonstrating them with shaving cream.  I have yet to try it myself at home, but got to sit still long enough to try. I have communicated with a few etsy sellers over the years, Elise, and one in particular lives in our future community, in SC,  she has been very helpful with lots of my questions.  I hope to meet up with her next time we go, as she has a home in Beaufort.  Don't you just love how connected we are, even though we use our fingertips and electronics to do it?  Can't believe the school year is winding down, I should be able to concentrate on my sewing and crafting soon, when subbing ends.  I really miss creating things, I do save a number of pins on Pinterest, just to keep dreaming.

Fast forward to another day, August 14th
After returning from another trip in June to SC with the family, I had one more interview with another high school in the same SC district, in nearby Columbus.  Glad to not have to travel all the way down again..but now in hindsight, maybe it could have helped.  I didn't get that one either, strike 3.  One more insult to record, I applied to the urban high school I long term subbed at; again no go.  I have been in a funk since the middle of July, I am off today and have to clean up the messes I created trying to move us.

What is to be learned?  It is very hard to get hired when you are at a mature age...even when you are low on the pay scale.  The code word, "we needed someone who can coach" usually indicates a
fresh face from college.  Am I giving up, no.  Am I trying to be grateful, yes.  Hopefully we have set the stage for another time when we can revisit a move and a new life.  I will continue to pursue my interests, and work my various jobs.  I have new eyes for what it will take to downsize and consolidate; I am such a collector, it will take another year to scale back, but it must be done.

Last push on the forward button:  Dec 12th, I finally push the button on this post! I usually stick to recipes and tutorials, but I have also chronicled my recent forreys into what it means to almost be an empty nester.  For me,  approaching 59, but with a high schooler still, it has been daunting.  I continue to be grateful, and have been busy crafting again;  the rainy clouds have been parting and what has helped more than anything is that hubby got a paycheck job.  It began in October, with us both switching gears a bit.  We moved his office back into the first floor bedroom, where my son spent the last 3 years getting his act together.  And after refinishing the floor and purging a bit, hubs is quietly working with his new company. He is in California this week for meetings and is under a lot of pressure to promote his skills.  For his job, he spends a lot of time researching and gathering data to help sell properties for rental investment.  Having a regular paycheck, finally means we have health insurance again.  Finally getting back on our health track, we all need to see docs, dentists and eye technicians.  While it costs a lot, we are grateful for the protection it provides.  Now that I have brought you the reader to this day, your reward for getting through all this minutae,  I will share a few posts and few tuts and crafty ideas I have been kicking around in my camera.  Christmas always means homemade crafts for my retail job sisters, and for distant family.  My local larger family get together and donate to a charity, so the pressure is off for all the crazy gift exchanging.  Last year honey buns and I were the hosts, but I get to enjoy kicking back again this year, and plan to enjoy every minute!

Ok, here goes: a few crafty ideas to get you thinking about Christmas. A low cost decorating trick for your dollar store ornaments:  I bought two packs of small cheap sparkly ornaments, plastic of course (I have animals who like to play) and just simply mod podged little bits of lace and bits of doilies on them.  The glue drys clear, and gives plain jane ornaments a little jazzing up.



Another great tip for a quick gifting/craft is making soap and soap scrubbies. You will need a 1pound glycerine block, soap coloring, and fragrance oils, and molds, all easily found at any craft store.



   I used jello molds, actual soap ones, and small cupcake shapes to create small personal luxury soaps.  I saved bits of soap from a previous project and melted some goats milk cubes, added pink coloring and added almond oils for fragrance, I poured this concoction into a loaf pan, letting it set up an hour.  Then after melting the clear honey glycerine block I recently purchased at Michaels( with a half off coupon,) I sliced up the pink tinted loaf, using a vegetable ridged cutting tool.  I sprinkled a few pieces into each of my molds, dusted the contents with soap sparkles, and then poured in the clear glycerine setting everything aside for an hour as it set up.  Then you simply pop the soaps out of the molds and repeat if you have more material.  One pound block made over 25 soaps of various sizes.  I like added several different formulas into each soap, so you get the smell, moisture and cleaning of those expensive soaps, for a fraction of the cost.

You can see in the pictures all the elements, with the pink blocks cut with the vegetable tool.  The finished glycerine based soaps are in the second pic top right.  And above the soaps, you can glimpse the little soap scrubbies.  I plan to put the soaps in.  I still substitute daily, and I bring my portable crafts along.  I can make 3 of the little scrubbies a day if I don't have too many class transitions.  Here is my makeshift pattern below:


Sandy's So Simple Soapy Scrubbie
Supplies:  Cotton Yarn, use leftovers or better yet, variegated!
Tools:  Crochet hook E or 3.5 mm, or any size that makes the right size stitch to create the scrubbie that will fit your soap.

  Finished bag on computer keyboard for size reference...  This is my own pattern feel free to use it as long as you give credit if you repost...Thanks!









Chain 10 to 14, or chain the width of your chosen soap size.
in 3rd chain, make a double crochet, and dc all across the chains.  In last chain, make 3 dcs, turn work, and dc across the other side.




You should have approximately 20 dc including the chain 3.  10 on each side.  slip stitch to join at end the row.  Chain 4, skip 1 dc, *dc chain 1 all the way around, making what looks like a grid.  At this point you will see your bag beginning to take shape






.At the end of the row, slip stitch in the 3rd chain of the 4 chain, and chain 4. Follow the pattern of dc in each dc, chain 1 all aroud each row, till you get the length of your soap choice, for my purposes, it was 8 to 9 rows..










Slip stitch at the end of the row, then begin making a chain cord, approximately that you will weave in and out around the top.  When it is long enough to weave in and out of the dc posts around the top and provide a loop for hanging and pulling, mine is around 70 chains long, join the end of the chain with a slip stitch through a point in the chain that is close to the opening of the drawstring, slip stitch the two to join and secure.  I usually pull the yarn through and then tie in a secure knot.  You could also just make chain around 70-80, weave through the top, then slipstich the two ends together, to make the drawstring.

If my directions are confusing, please send me an email or comment below, I will be happy to help...I am not good at following patterns and I choose projects that aren't exacting...so I can fudge a little.  The patterns I found on Pinterest were too time consuming or complicated.  Hope you give this one a try!




If I get too busy with my jobs, the next few weeks, I am posting our family pic here, to wish you and yours, a very Merry Christmas!

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