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!

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!

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