Monday, November 17, 2014

Quilts in Progress

I have started a "Solids" quilt.  I'm not sure I am going to have enough scraps to complete an entire quilt.  At least one large enough to cover a grown person.  We'll have to see.  I am working an a quilt for my youngest son and once that is complete I will have some more scraps to add to it.  I have an idea what route this quilt might take, but it won't be for awhile.

The other quilt I have started is the "Up, Up and Away" quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts, pg. 132-137. This is the one that uses all your triangle ends.

I am using 3" squares instead of 2 1/2" squares so my quilt should end up a little larger than Amanda Jean's.  We'll see how many scraps I really have.  I have 54 blocks assembled above in the pic and you need 589.  That means I'm about a tenth of the way there.  Right now I am cutting out white squares and sewing more triangles to them before I do any more assembly.

This will be the 4th quilt pattern that I've made from this book.  And I have one more in mind in the blues category that I haven't yet started. Most of the fabric for this idea is packed away.  So I'll just have to let it mull over and keep working on my other projects.

Sunday Morning Quilts that I've done.
#1 Splash Pattern
#2 Candy Coated Pattern
#3 Checkerboard Pattern

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Finds

Found this gem at my thrift store.  I'm sure it is a corner piece for a sectional couch, but I like it just as a chair. ($11)  It is super comfy and other than smelling a bit like cigarettes, it'll work great.

I had it sitting out all day the day I got it and sprayed it with Febreeze to see if that would help.  It may need another time or two of airing out as well as Febreezing.  The plan is to make a slipcover for it and redo the 2 cushions.

When the middle school kids came home from school they were happy to try it out and use it as a homework space.  They also told me that they would happily have it in their room.

Nice try.
This will either go in the LR or in the master BR when we get a new house.

Our lovely neighbors Carol and Doug gave us a meat slicer, still with the box, that they've probably used twice--for both HS graduations of their children.  At least one of their kids is now a grandfather.  It has been a long time.

I think they figured Hubby could use it for the next time he gets a deer.  We do already have a meat grinder, we make our own venison hamburger, but we didn't have a slicer.  We'll just add this to our other food storage equipment.

Found this spiky-ish Fall wreath at the Thrift Store that I decided I liked.  Took off the gold ribbon/bow and have hung it by my front door.  (My other Fall wreaths are packed somewhere).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Braided Cable Scarf

Winter has come to Minnesota.
We received 6 inches of snow on Monday and we are in the 20's for the next 2 weeks for sure.
That means we need to break out all the winter gear, including the scarves, or maybe especially the scarves.

I like knitting with chunky yarns.
Your project comes together so much quicker.
And as one of my teenage daughters said, "Chunky is in."
Thank you, I'll take that as a compliment.

CO 28 stitches with size US 13 needles.
RS: K1, p1, K1, p2 then follow the 18 stitches on the chart as row number indicates (even rows 1-12), p2, k1, p1, k1.
On every WS (odd row) pattern is as follows: K1, p1, k3, p18, k3, p1, k1.

  • Finished dimensions: 6 1/2 inches wide by 68 inches long. (Don't forget to block the scarf)
  • 2 skeins Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Pumpkin (bought on clearance somewhere).
  • Pattern inspiration found here.  The pattern is in Russian but there is a chart to use also.
  • Knitted 20 repeats for the infinity scarf.
  • Size 13 needles

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Weed decor

As I've said before my children have complained about the lack of holiday decor at our house.
I don't necessarily go all out anyway during Halloween, but I do like some Fall flavor in the house.

Near my house is a frontage road to the highway.  Over the past number of weeks as I drove that direction I wanted to see these weeds (the dark ones in the pic below) up close and personal because I thought they might work for a cool vase display.

These white ones would probably make an interesting display too, but I was after the dark ones.

Finally one day my oldest son and I just hopped in the car with a pair of scissors and cut some down.

I gathered them all up in a vase and set them on our piano.
I like it.
The kids have since added some red leaves from our Maple tree out back.

Here are what those weed things look like up close--those little pods dropped like crazy when we were arranging them.  But if we leave it alone they stay put just fine.

A couple other weed options I've noticed around my neighborhood.

And this feather grass something......

I am going to retrieve some of this.

While taking pictures I noticed that I will need something to cut it.  Those stems are thick.
And the feather ends are bigger than my hand.
They were awesome blowing in the wind when I took these pics.
I need to plant some of this at my house too.

Hopefully you can find some interesting weeds around your home to use.....for free.
Enjoy your weekend.
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Burlap Wreath

All my Fall and Christmas decorations are in bins at the VERY back of the POD sitting in my driveway.  A couple of the kids have complained about the lack of holiday decor in our home right now, but I am not digging through the POD to get at our stuff.  It just isn't worth it to me right now.

However, the other day while at Michael's I scored a screaming deal---3 - 10 yd. rolls of burlap ribbon for the price of 1.  I think it was $6.99.  Lucky me they had actually left the tag up from the day before and so I got the sale price.  Yeah!

I've been looking at burlap wreaths on Pinterest and while they are probably everywhere, I still like them.  I had decided to just hold onto the ribbon as I knew I had a wire wreath frame also packed away somewhere in that POD. But at the dollar store I happened to see those frames and for $1 I bought another one.  I felt like I need something crafty to do to keep my mind sane.

Here is a backside view of my wreath.

There are plenty of how-tos online, but basically I just took loops of burlap and pulled it through the wire sections until it was as full as I wanted.

I then added some flowers that I already had sitting in a vase and cut them with wire cutters and just shoved them into the loops of ribbon.  I didn't want the flowers to be permanent.  I had some brighter flowers that I thought I wanted, but this turned out more calm and earthy.  For now I am just using what I have on hand. And I may want to change it seasonally down the road.

For now it is hanging in my dining room.  I didn't think I wanted to leave it outside to possibly get ruined.

  • 2 rolls of 10 yd. burlap ribbon
  • 1 - 14" diameter wire wreath frame 
  • Flowers or other additions to add to wreath.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Despicable Me costumes

This year my girls wanted to do a group costume and this is what they came up with.

Meet Gru's girls.

Edith, Agnes, and Margo from Despicable Me

Love how it all came together.

Plaid skirt--we made this.
Thrifted jacket and white shirt
Add a graphic tee over top--she already had this
Bought dollar store wire frame readers and popped the lenses out.
Tennis shoes and socks
Hair back in a low ponytail.

We went with the Ninja version for ease of costuming
Black t-shirt and pants.
Nunchucks ($1 at the dollar store)
Pink striped stocking cap--knitted this up, winging it as we went but turned out great. Based on this pattern.
If you didn't have long blonde hair like my daughter you could easily throw a blonde wig on under the hat.

The unicorn is what makes it.
We found ours amazingly enough at the thrift store for $3.
Short overalls also thrift store purchase.
Yellow t-shirt w/ red stripes.  Made ours by painting the stripes onto a Michael's bought tee.
Ponytail on top of your head.  Later on we sprayed her hair black, but it wasn't for this picture.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stretch Lace Skirt

I made this skirt for my second daughter.
She wanted a cream lace skirt.

This one is super easy.
T-shirt fabric with a stretch lace overlay and elastic waist.
Can't get much easier than that.


  • McCall's 6654--LOVE this pattern.  Lots of options for easy knit skirts--pencil or a-line and lots of different lengths.  View A/B option to get knee length.
  • Thrifted cream knit sheet
  • 1 yd. stretch lace--about $6/yd.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Crochet bar stool cover for a Friday Finds

My birthday was this week and really I need nothing---except some time and someone to buy our house.

I did ask my oldest daughter if she would be willing to make something for me for my birthday--as a test of the pattern and style.
Crochet stool cover out of knit fabric: Super clever idea to change the look of typical bar stools!
I saw this on Pinterest and knew she could do this for me.
I wanted to see if I would like it as much as I thought I would.

I cut the fabric yarn and she crocheted it.  Literally it probably only took her about a 1/2 hour total from start to finish.  Those are really large single crochet stitches--9 rounds is all you make.

We are super happy with how it turned out.

Much softer on the seat than straight wood.

I have enough fabric for another one and then I am thinking of what other color to choose--royal blue--or each stool a different color all together.  I have 4 stools, 2 short and 2 taller.  3 of them I got free off Craigslist and the other one for $1.99 at the thrift store = 50 cents apiece.  I am also debating on whether or not to paint the stools white and then have the colored cover.

They don't have a place in my current house, but I have plans for the future house, which amazingly is still available for sale.  I tell my husband that it is my house---just waiting for me.  However, all this house business is about to kill me....I just want my house sold.

  • Pattern instructions found here.
  • How to cut the fabric yarn here.  I thought that 2 1/2 yards of cut fabric sounded excessive, but really you do need that much to make this cover.
  • Green knit from the stash--about 6 yards that I bought at the thrift store for probably about $4.
  • Crochet hook Q--I went and bought one specifically for this project.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First crochet project--the striped afghan

My #2 daughter (15 yrs. old) wanted to try her hand at a knitting or crochet project to fulfill a requirement for her Young Woman personal progress.  She decided that she wanted to make an afghan for one of her value projects. My mother makes afghans: usually for baby gifts, graduations, or weddings.  At times she will use up her extra yarn and make random striped ones and then gift them to a local charity for their needs.

I think the M. must've got the idea from her.

So for Christmas last year Santa gave her all the yarn she needed to make herself a striped afghan in the colors she wanted. She and Mrs. Claus had conversed about that beforehand.  She started working on it and at first was quite frustrated with the experience.  She is a bit of an A-type person so it doesn't make her too happy when it doesn't work out perfectly right away.  Nothing like picking a large project to complete for your first EVER project.

However, she persevered and it came more natural to her as time went on.

She would go in spurts with her crocheting and finally in August she finished her project.

Here she is sometime in March and in the middle of the project.

All completed.  She designed the striping herself and is thrilled with the end result.
I am happy she stuck to it and met her goal.

  • Finished dimensions 67 inches by 74 inches
  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn (7 oz skein) in White, Pumpkin--which is neon orange in my book, and Shocking Pink.  We think we remember having 4 skeins of each color.  For the white we may have only needed 3--guessing, 'cause we really can't remember.
  • Crochet hook size--guessing a G. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Finds

Here are a couple of my finds over the last couple of weeks.

After driving by this LARGE dumpster in front of a house at least 2 times in a couple days I decided to stop for this pair of chairs I could see the legs sticking out.  The dumpster was completely full of all sorts of stuff, mostly household stuff, but I just wanted the chairs.

I knocked on the door of the house more than a few times, but no one answered. Since it was in the dumpster I just took it.

Turned out it was only one chair---at least where I could get to.
The other legs belonged to the pedestal portion of a table.
No table top that I could see.

The chair is cool, and so was the pedestal, but I didn't want to think about figuring that part out.
I just took the chair.

Then a different week on a different street and after passing by a freebie pile in someone's front yard about 3 times in a couple days I decided to rescue a hexagon side table with a glass top.

I think I will put a wood piece on the bottom to make another shelf.  There might have been another glass piece there on the bottom, but it is now gone.  I may replace the glass top with wood too, but not sure just yet.  Here is an upcycle option I saw on Pinterest.

Last week hubby asked me if I went to the thrift store every day.
"No, just Tuesdays and Fridays on their 25% off days."
"Oh", he says, "it just seems like you go every day."
Maybe, but really I don't.

Funny thing about him though, the very next day he comes home and says to me, "Do you want a cedar chest?  There is one just around the block with a FREE sign on it."
I grabbed my shoes and off we went.
Now we have another cedar chest--hubby plans to give it to our daughter, which is certainly fine with me.

She was excited about it once she saw it after work and then they were doing some research on it and it turns out it is a Lane cedar lined chest that was made in July 1942--we know this from the serial number underneath.

It still has original paperwork inside attached to the lid--dated Jan. 1944. And the inside looks brand new.

Other than some glass water marks on the top and a slight crack on the inside drawer which can be easily glued together it really is in great shape, especially as old as it is.  Hubby says he doesn't think the owners knew what they had.  Probably not, but that's fine.  We'll take good care of it.

Just wish I knew some of its history.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

No more braces!!

This doesn't especially have anything to do with being creative, but we are celebrating the day as my daughter got her braces off this morning.

She looks gorgeous!!
I think she'll be smiling like this for some time.

We should all be smiling like this.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall has arrived

After 3 straight days of 80 degree weather last week here in Minnesota, it appears that Fall has decided to make an appearance--and stay.  This week we are in the 60's and 40's in the morning at the bus stop.  Yep, that's Fall.

Usually I adore the Fall season.
Sleeping with the windows open.
Not needing the A/C or the furnace.
My birthday is less than 2 weeks away.
The cooler weather makes me happy.
The kids get creative and excited about Halloween costumes.
More firepit evenings.

This year it is going to be difficult.
Selling a house is not fun.
And when it doesn't sell in the time frame you would like it is even more less fun.

All my Fall decorations are in the back of the POD sitting in my driveway.

Somewhere WAY, WAY, WAY back there.
I'm pretty sure the Fall bins are up against the back wall of the POD.
That means about 6 layers back--top to bottom.
And unfortunately PODs don't come with both a front and a back door.

So the only decorations I have are these 2 ceramic pumpkins.

I only have these because when we went to visit my parents in August my mom decided to clean out her Fall and Winter bins and she was getting rid of these two.  I figured I could use them somewhere.

I actually looked at the thrift store today to see if I could find something inexpensive to decorate with.  I really don't want to buy new stuff, because I have stuff.  Not a lot, but I have stuff.

So maybe I'll go take a walk and find some fun weeds to cut and put in a container.
That might work.

Stay tuned for Christmas...if our house still hasn't sold by then it will be even more interesting.  The Christmas bins are right next to the Fall bins.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dandelion Jeans

When talking about "jeans" for daughter #3 we use that word loosely.  She will NOT wear store bought jeans--zip up the front, scratchy on the waist, unable to move, too much bulk in crotch region kind of jeans. That is her description of why she doesn't like them.  She will however wear denim pants that I make for her--i.e. loose fitting, elastic waist, and no butt pocket.

Recently she informed me that she didn't have any long pants for school.  Yeah, it has been a rough couple months around here.   I had bought her shorts for gym class--first year of middle school and all, but they were a bit big in the waist.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to buy her pants that were long enough but skinny enough to fit her body.  So I pulled a couple pieces of denim and chambray that I could find and cut out 4 pairs of pants.  I then tried to make them all a little bit different from each other so that people wouldn't think she was wearing the same pair of pants over and over and over and over again.

On the dark denim I asked her if I could do a little embroidery design.
She agreed.
I only did it on one leg because I didn't think I could duplicate it well enough on the second leg.  And really I was just winging it on the design and idea.  Maybe if I had a white washable fabric marker/pencil I could outline it and do it but she was fine with just one leg fancied up.

  • Thrifted fabric--about $3 for 3 yds. or more.  I got 2 pairs of pants out of the dark denim and 2 pants and a skirt out of the chambray piece.
  • McCalls 5135 and lengthened the pants a bunch.  The pattern is out of print.M5135
  • Used heavy thread (I think quilting thread) for the dandelion detailing.  I had practiced with regular thread and didn't think it stood out enough.
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