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!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Make it a Merry Christmas

My top ten wish list for this week.

1. To be finished with shopping
2. To have 2 kids with lowered expectations
3. To surprise my 2 kids with more than they expected on Christmas
4. To safely travel to NC to visit my brother and sister
5. To travel without fighting with my 2kids
6. That my 2 cats survive without human interaction for a few days. *Sadly cat #3, 21 year old Cookie had to be put down this morning. Her pic finishes this post.
7. That I can exercise discipline over my over-eating
8. A prayer for those struggling with depression and loss
9. More Snow
10. To see the real spirit of Christmas joy in the faces of my loved ones.
What are you wishing for? Now I have to apply myself to the making it happen phase!
Meanwhile, I am offering a tutorial to keep your hands busy during the downtime of the week. This is a portable and make it up fast craft that your friends and family will enjoy.
CROCHETED EDGE BABY BLANKET or crochet edge any item you choose!

Start with a flannel blanket or fleece, prefinished or simply square off and turn edges under on
your sewing machine. Take a sharp pointy knitting needle or use an awl, and make holes along the edges, about a 1/4 inch apart. Begin by making a single crochet, securing the ends, by tying on or looping on.
Simply single crochet in each of the holes, with a chain one between them, or more chains depending on how far apart you make the holes. After a foundation round of single crochet, you can build on this row with many more rows. The picture of the fleecy blanket has probably 3 more rounds, making a scallop design. I freelanced the pattern, but borrowed the idea from a book I saw at the craft store. Make the edging thin or as elaborate as you want. I take this craft with me when I substitute teach, or at the doc's office. It is not hard and makes up something impressive in an hour or two. And the cost is minimal! For the headband, just buy an inexpensive set of gloves and band, and to finish, I made a small "flower" and sewed a peace button in the middle. So easy, but so satisfying to make especially for the attention deficit among us.
And here is another application on inexpensive accessories from Walmart.

So you have a little quicky Tutorial on Crochet Edging, Merry Christmas my friends, post your top ten Wish Lists in comments, I would love to hear yours~!

********Cookie 1989-2009 RIP*********

Friday, November 20, 2009

After the market...and the boutique...

Homes Tour and Holiday market were not the big money maker we had hoped for. Together with my 2 crafty gal pals, under the name "It Takes A Village", we knew that a change of venue, (see pic above, of our Community house, fronted by the charming gazebo, used for weddings to band concerts) from the middle school and and with overcrowding in our community house, I think we were doomed to leave with most of our wares. Except of course my gal friends' Barbie sleeping bags, and glove stuffies. I heard the homes on the tour were fabulous, if I can, I will alternate with my pals next year and try to attend. We have some beautiful older homes in our area, many women spend alot of time decorating, and when I tour a beautiful home, I am inspired to at least clean off my counters, maybe arrange my clutter more artfully, in general make an effort! Sure it can be intimidating to see what others have that you don't. I find it something to aspire to, not covet. Well you can see the location of our market, above and side in the pics, as well as our wares! The pic reminds me to perhaps simplify next time, way too much to take in!

And now I have the local Rockets Boutique behind me, and while I had a table fee, I made my money back and then some! I was surprised at all the vendors, so many different ones, and the crowds were steady. I sold some of my wares to many familiar faces and friends. That was nice, my stuff going to good homes! Baby stuff and clothing went, my towels are mostly still around, maybe people don't want to buy them as gifts. Guess what I"ll be giving this year to my family!
Meanwhile, I am subbing alot, and this helps the bottom line. Still the full time gig is eluding me. I got to see some of my kids from my long term assignment, they seemed geuinely happy to see me. I hope to get more high school sub jobs, so I can check in on them. The teacher I subbed for was pretty quiet, and didn't tell me much about how I did or if she could find things. My gratification has to come from the kids reactions. Most say they liked the way I taught. And I know I gave it my all. Just check out my messy house, and you know I put everything on the back burner during those 9 weeks.
Thanksgiving came and went, quietly. My dad and step mom finally sold their home, (after 3 years on the market) and they left for their Florida condo a few days after. And a week ago Tuesday, my darling Kate became a teen at age 13, a dinner and movie party with boys as well as her gal pals. A top your own spaghetti dinner and a video from the library were the entertainment. They also ran around town with a scavenger hunt and sniper games. I am grateful we didn't have to spend too much. Her only wish was for a camera which we ordered on black Friday, with a discount and no shipping.

As I write this, she was happily showing me pics of her group members from a church retreat held in local homes over the past weekend. I was most inspired to see the whole gang in matching sweatshirts and jumping to the praise music. Most important, this was her generation, celebrating their faith and learning more about being in community with believers. Definately time well spent!

I will post pics as she releases them from her camera. I leave you with our favorite boy cat, Kitty, he gets to sport a new look whenever the kids are around. I will post a tutorial next post, on how to crochet a baby blanket. I have had alot of fun toting this craft around with me and it makes up quick! Make a burp cloth and loopy lovey, and you have a Baby Bundle Set, that has been popular as shower gifts. More soon, dear reader, stay with me! Subscribe so you don't miss!

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Living Space

If Mr. Linky brought you here today, Welcome! Of if you read other blogs, you know that sometimes your blogger friends get you to post pics that you wouldn't ordinarly. I took the my living space challenge from Heather, at Want What You Have , one of my regular blogs that I check in on. She asked for readers to link and show their space. In addition to the room I designed and had built in 1999 (with hubby of course) I am showing pics of my vintage linens collection. Well what I am not showing you is the real place I live, in my craft room. There you will find stacks, and piles and the maybe-I'll-get-around-to-it projects. Sunday is my next opportunity to sell my wares with my gal pals, under the sign of "It Takes A Village". If you have been a reader of over a year, you may have seen that I sent my pals in my place as I went on a biz trip with the hubby. Finances and animals are keeping me here this year, I will miss the garment district, where I poke through dusty old stores for sewing notions.

Oh well. I'll be plenty bizzy so I will content myself with what I must do in the next few days. No sub jobs till the end of the week, which leaves me no excuse but to tackle. But as promised, I am adding a tutorial here for a funky child's puppet, that I never got around to last summer, but plan to sell at the Early Childhood Homes for the Holidays Market at our Community House on Sunday.

Here is my Buggy Puppet Tutorial

Whew, I made 6 and stopped, don't know how well they will be received by the buying public. Time will tell.
As to directions, if you follow the pics, you will see how simple they are. Using old or new garden gloves as a base, simply cut an oval shaped body out of fun foam. Using a glue gun, assemble a matching pair of heart shaped wings. I cut a styrofoam ball in half and embellished them with wiggly eyes or sparkles. A little bit of netting, more fun foam, glitter, and wala, (I don't know the french spelling) and you have some buggy creatures that are sure to annoy the heck out of adults in nearby buzzing range. Remember, your kids are only young for a short time! Just be careful not to expose the very young, as some objects are sure to be choking hazards. Enjoy till next time!

Friday, October 30, 2009

I hate Halloween!

Ok, I am not some deprived soul that was denied the "holiday" in my youth. Heck, I participated like most American children, but there was always an ambivalence about it. As a Christian, we understand that pagan traditions got mixed with the spiritual and that we are reminded that we shouldn't give in to the devil and the culture that has made Halloween as big as Christmas in some circles, maybe even bigger. Grown adults get to act like spoiled children, and parties and events seem to thrive on the macabre. The older I get, the more I despise it, but with a 12 year old still around, I have to hold it in check. Right now, she is spending hours applying garish makeup and I was just told we have to go to the drugstore to buy sparkly hair spray. She is going as a 60's girl, kind of mod, in a brightly colored sleeveless dress. Big earrings, hair and jewelry to match. At least the dress is a modest length. I will try not to judge too much. At least she is on her way to October Bash at our church, attending a fun program for her youth group. I hope they explain how Christians view this day differently...I am too perturbed to try.

Well today, I got to enjoy being a free woman again, my long term sub position ended on Wednesday, and I subbed the Jr High yesterday. I have my name in 3 districts, so I will have to learn to be flexible in the coming weeks. Pictured here is the foods lab, making pasta noodles from scratch, and the showcase window with my sewing students first sewing projects in them. I miss the kids already, I hope I can visit them when I am in the building.

Well I am off to the drug store, I hope to post a tutorial again soon, I just finished helping 33 girls make their second projects, purse/totebags, and I think I learned a thing or two in the process! Stay tuned, dear readers...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hello October!

I love the seasons! While it is rainy and colder today, I know it will bring a blaze of color, and the crispiness of air and apple as we slide towards the winter. It is such a short time, I know I have to get outside and breathe in the coolness. Well I have been a busy gal with hours spent preparing for my classes each day, and still maintaining the stuff of life that I so enjoy. Pictured here is the big harvest of tomatoes I canned so that I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Now I have Mango Salsa and stewed tomatoes standing by to boost my recipes. And a bushel of Cortland apples made their way into sweet apple sauce with a little help from my step mom Ingrid pictured here grinding away...still hope to save some for a pie. I am not done making things with apples, though I will be digging in again soon.

I have so enjoyed teaching again this fall, my Creative Foods class have been challenged but also have shown me that they are up to it. Today we made Yeast Bread Coffee Cake, with the dough rising overnight, and then topping with a custard and fruit sauce. Our first go around over flowed the pans, and the recipe was too big for the small cake and pie plates we tried. Todays class got to make theirs in a 9x13 pan and they were quite attractive. I'll post a pic when I get one from a camera phone. Another 2 classes are beginner sewers, but after a letter pillow they are proudly making handbags, drafting the pattern and designing the result. I am so proud of their talents! My mainly Senior class called Transitions has been challening me to keep the material interesting but also I have to work hard to stay ahead of them. I spend more time each week preparing for it, than any other but after we get through the culiminating project a "mock" interview we should be able to switch gears and do more group work. I am amazed these kids can feel so comfortable with the electronic portfolio I have them making. Each part of the project gets linked to their portfolio, and we save some paper too by simply posting these to a shared drive at school.

I will be posting more items on etsy soon, I have quite an inventory, and am making more for an upcoming Holiday Marketplace. My friends and I tried it last year, under the name "It Takes A Village" and we are hopeful we are more savvy this year about what people are buying. Lots of kid friendly gifts for this one, my friend Paula makes Barbie sleeping bags and I will make quantities of hair clips and pins, keeping them low cost. And the stuff from vintage lace and quilts are always popular. I plan to post a tutorial for a fun pin cushion I made soon.

Well, I have to get caught up on my blogs, hope you all are enjoying your fall, wherever you are reading this!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Where did this month go?

My last post was the first week I was called back to a teaching job, and I can't believe all this time has passed! I have been so immersed in my day to day, I lost track of time and space. And if I wasn't busy enough, I had signed up to be in an Arts Fair in a local town, with no booth fee! I decided back in July to commit to it. Of course my teaching job came along, and all the sewing and crafting I was going to do, came down to the week before. My sewing room was a wreck, but I happily cranked out vintage towels, pin cushions, mosaics and flannel baby blankets! At least I have some stuff to put up on etsy, I was selling and not replacing. My vintage apron finally found a home on someone it fits like a glove. I asked to take a pic of her, so I could save the memory. I loved that apron, I had it hanging up so I could look at it, it reminded me of my grandma B. She died shen I was 5, of breast cancer, just like my mom did. But I remember her filling her pockets with candy and always welcoming with a warm hug, even when I imagine it was painful.
The day was beautiful, and the people were friendly and generous. You can't ask for more than that! I traded my wares for a few coveted items at the show, the CountryDreaming lady with painterly photos, the asian lady with lovely and stunning silver and stone jewelry, a gal named Debbie, who I found out lives close to me; I am sure we will meet again, at Heinens and talk about the "Village" where we live.
For my first show, it was a success, at least I got paid. I will probably do it again, and have more to sell. Meanwhile, I have to get back to my grading papers and lesson plans, I am so enjoying being with kids again, even if they can be a bit sassy. A short post for now, I hope to catch up on my favorites, and post some tuts. Be watching, and reading!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New School Year, New Job!

Welcome to my home away from home! I have a new job in a nearby school system. Exactly a week ago today, I got a call to interview for a long term sub position for a teacher on pregnancy leave. The job started 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning, so I had less than 48 hours to absorb the changes in mine and my families lives. The good news is it is in my chosen field, Family and Consumer Sciences, so I get to teach Foods, Sewing classes and a teen life skills class.Pictured here are the foods and sewing rooms. I have a nice schedule, with only cafeteria duty that complements my class and conference time. Answered prayer for sure, as I have been praying for a full time job. I do hope it will go longer than a quarter, but only time will tell. I am having fun, and while there are many challenges being the new teacher, it has been rewarding. I'll revisit this comment in the future. For now, I am exhausted and grateful for a weekend of recovery. And I even had an etsy sale while I was busy at school. A full week for sure, daughter and friends are posed for their first day on Monday, as they ride bikes.
I am so happy that I will be helping with the bills again, and maybe I will also be teaching classes at a local quilt shop, PJ Palooza and Sew Crazy Club. September will get busy I am sure...
I haven't been reading my blogs or posting much lately, just too many adjustments. I am sure this will change as we all get comfortable with our routines. Some Tutorials will follow, stay tuned!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Shower turned Wedding Surprise!

Exactly a week ago, Saturday night, hubby and I were invited to my nephew TJ and fiance Tiffani's wedding shower, at Clifton Beach, on Lake Erie.

We were expecting to nosh, and toast and watch them open their gifts, when they disappeared and reappeared in their formal wedding clothes, and a judge appeared in his robes as a platform was set up on the beach. Suddenly we were presented with champagne and we witnessed with tears of joy as they tied the knot in front of all their friends and family. The day had been rainy and muggy, but the sun broke through just as they set up for the ceremony, and most of their pics were against a beautiful sunset sky. We all couldn't believe how they pulled this off, even the bride and groom's mom's were caught off guard. What fun and excitement! I am so happy for them, and rather than a stuffy formal event, we were all in awe of how they were able to pull
it off.

God bless their marriage!

I wanted to include tutorials for the gifts I made the bride and groom, but didn't take pics in the right light. I bought a pie plate, potholders and towels, server and spoon, and used a vintage basket to assemble all the pieces. I lined the basket with fabric that coordinated with the greens of the towels. I created jeweled handled serving pieces by using a silver wire, wrapped with small white and crystal beads alternating with solid glass beads in different colors to coordinate with their kitchen ware and dishes. I printed a few of my family recipes and attached this with ribbon to the basket wrapped in plastic. The pie server looked especially sparkly, and I am sure will look good with anything they put it with.

The other shower I was invited to was earlier the same Saturday, and was for the upcoming birth of a friends baby. I checked with her, and I was delighted to hear that she was going with a monkey theme, and using colors of brown and green. I found a cute sleeper with a monkey monogram and monkee faces on the feet. Then I made a crocheted flannel blanket in brown, with red yarn, to coordinate with the sock monkey I made. Using the monkey face theme, I also machine appliqued on a burp cloth and taggy blanket I had in my etsy inventory. I put the whole thing in a small handled basket and tied monkey on with ribbon.
Michelle seemed quite tickled I had made this gift special for her and her baby. I don't have the tutorial pictured out, but I am including a link to the sock monkey instructions. I was fortunate to find a source for the socks on ebay. But I also found them last week at Pat Catans, the cost was about the same. I found out that they no longer make the socks, that there is a finite supply of them, so if you are ever considering making them, try to find a low cost source for the socks. I bought a set of two, my daughter wants me to make her an elephant out of the additional pair.
Hope you are having a great weekend, off to my sewing room, to clean house before the next production! Happy weekend!

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