Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wellie Socks for Canaan

After seeing the tutorial by Jessica from sunnystitching on making wellie socks, I decided to try it.  Well, Jessica is my daughter and she was coming for a quick visit last weekend.  I had already remade a pair of leggings for her daughter Evie and wanted to make something for Canaan also to send back to them with Jessica when she returned to England.

The wellie socks turned out great and the tutorial was so easy to follow.  I used some leftover charcoal gray fleece from the vests I made for Canaan and Henry for Christmas.   I would highly recommend it if you live in a cold area that would require the wellie socks.

Wellie Socks laying flat...Front and Back views.

Standing View....

Just wanted to share and wish everyone a wonderful week!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Luncheon for the Ladies!

Today was such a nice day.  Three friends came over for a Ladies Luncheon.  I worked with Patti and Kelsey at a physical therapy office 3 years ago.  We all have moved on from that office, but have remained good friends and try to stay in touch.  Liz and I have been friends for 23 years!!! special is that.  Liz was actually a featured guest on the blog in January.

Left to right:  Liz, Kelsey and Patti
The menu included a big salad full of vegetables, romaine lettuce and spinach.  Side dishes were kidney beans, garbanzo beans and cut up chicken breasts with three choices of salad dressing.  Of course, two types of bread completed the menu.....Yum!!!!!
Salad and side dishes
Look at that yummy bread!
Patti brought some mini cupcakes but we all had to much to talk about, they were forgotten...can you believe that....but I just ate one and it was delicious!

I want to point out the centerpiece that was created this past Sunday by my beautiful and crafty granddaughter Corey.  We were at a birthday party for Grandpa Tom and she made this bouquet from paper hand towels while we were there.  I loved it!!!!!!....isn't it pretty and clever!!!!
Cute and Clever Paper Towel Bouquet by Corey
Our beautiful and creative Corey!
Friends are a necessity to me......this was a special day of sharing, catching up, laughing and enjoying being "gals"!

Happy friendships to all of you!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Refurbished Leggings for Evangelyn

I received several pairs of leggings from my neighbor that her daughter had outgrown.  One pair had some ink stains on the bottoms of the legs so I decided to redo them.

Original pants with stains.
First I cut off the leg bottom right at the stained area.  Then cut a piece off the other other leg to be the same length.  I had decided that the small stain still showing would be the designated place I would sew on the cut off eyelet trim. 
Cut off legs
I folded over the top edge of the cut off pieces and pinned them onto the bottoms of the leg pieces leaving about 1/2" bottom edge of leg pieces exposed.
Pinned eyelet trim on leg pieces
Cut off eyelet, folded under

I needed some more lace to add the the bottom of each leg piece so I had a tank top that was in the "use these clothes as fabric box" that had a light purple lace around the top edge.  I cut it off right above the sewed edge.  I folded it around the bottom of one of the leg pieces, added 1/4" and cut it to that length.  I then cut one more piece of the lavender lace the same length.                                       
Tanktop used for lace trim.
Folded lace around leg piece to get length.

I sewed each lace piece together using a 1/4" seam
Sewed lace 1/4" seam right sides together.
After sewing them, I turned them right side out and pinned them around the pants legs right under the pink eyelet lace trim.
Pinned lace trim right under eyelet trim.
Pinned eyelet and lace trims on leg pieces

Then I sewed on sewing machine first the pink eyelet trim and then the purple lace trim.  I sewed a double seam on each trim.
Sewing lace trim under eyelet trim
Found some purple and pink ribbon in ribbon drawer.  I laid the pink over the purple and put it over the top edge of the pink eyelet trim, folding it around the leg piece and adding 1/2' to turn under.  Stitched it on sewing machine, but held it as I sewed it.  The fabric was too thick to pin it.
Folding ribbons around leg piece.
Sewing on the two ribbon trim


The Cute Newly Trimmed Leggings!
Pink ribbon hand sewed and tied in bow.

I then cut two pieces of pink ribbon and folded them in half, marked the half spot, and handsewed each of those pieces of pink ribbon to the front of the purple/pink ribbon trim, in center of trim.  I tied them into a bow and now have a pretty pair of leggings for my granddaughter Evangelyn.

Creating is definitely fun!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making a Flower Press

Many years ago I read an article about Princess Grace Kelly and how she loved to press flowers in really thick books.  After they were pressed she would make pictures, etc with them.  I decided to try pressing flowers and did some research about making a flower press.  I apologize that I do not remember where this idea came from but it is simple to make.   The instructions may appear to be complicated, but please keep in mind that each step is accomplished in a very short amount of time, some take only a few minutes.
The Supplies you will need are a Drill, Newspaper Pages, Ruler, Pencil, Scissors, Flowers or other greenery you would want to press such as leaves, petals, etc., 2 Pieces of 5/8" - 3/4" Thick Smooth Finish Plywood (these pieces had oak finishes), 4 - 2 1/2"x1/4" Flathead Bolts, 4 - 1/4" Wingnuts, Wax Paper, and Sandpaper (not pictured)  Other size Flathead Bolts and Wingnuts can be used.  We had these on hand.

Close Up of the Flathead Bolts and Wing Nuts 
 The first step is to cut the wood with an electric Skill Saw or have the store where you buy the wood cut it for you.  The pieces pictures are 18" x 14 1/2".  Then sand the edges smooth.

Mark the drill spot
Measure in 1 1/2" from the two sides at each of the 4 corners of each piece of wood and mark this spot with the pencil.

Using the Drill, install the 1/4" drill bit and drill a hole at the spot you mark with the pencil.  We drilled in the garage over a wide sawhorse; just be safe about where you drill.  Keep your drill on safety until you are ready.  We also drilled through each corner at the marked spot with the two pieces of wood stacked on top of each other. (In other words, we did the two pieces at one time).  After you drill the 4 holes make sure the screws fit inside of them easily.

Cut Newspaper to Fit Wood
Cut two pieces of newspaper to fit inside the four holes you have drilled. Put one piece of the newspaper on what will be the bottom piece of the wood.

Put Flower Inside Folded Waxpaper
Fold a piece of wax paper in half.  Put the wax paper on the piece of the newspaper that is on the bottom piece of wood from previous step.  I try to use black and white printed page of newspaper instead of color print pages. Place your flower, etc on the bottom half in the position you want it to dry.  Fold the top piece of wax paper over. (see below).  White xerox paper, or parchment paper can be substituted for wax paper; or the flowers can be put directly on the newspaper.

Fold over the top half of the Wax Paper
You can add an identifying label if you want on top of the folded piece of wax paper. 

Put another piece Newspaper on top of Wax Paper
Put another piece of newspaper on top of the wax paper that the flowers, etc have been put in.  If you have more flower to press, more layers of newspaper can be added with the flowers inside wax paper as above.  I use two pieces of newspaper for each layer).

Put top piece of wood over the bottom piece
 Place the other piece of wood on top of the bottom piece that has the 2 pieces of newspaper on it with the flower in between.

Put Flathead Screws in two piece of wood

Put in the Flathead Screws starting from under the bottom piece of wood through the top piece in all four corners.

TIghten the Wingnuts on the Flathead Screws
Now, screw the Wingnuts on the top of each screw.  I tighten a little at a time on each screw.  You need to screw the wingnuts at tight as possible so the wood is really screwed close together.  At first I would screw one at a time, but it was too difficult to get the last one tight enough.  That is why I screw each one a little bit at a time until the wood pieces are close together.

Flower Press is finished...Yea!!!!
Now that the two pieces of wood are screwed tight, place the Flower Press under a bed, dresser, or another place where there will not be moisture.  Let it sit undisturbed for a week or two.....unscrew and check to see how dry the flowers, etc., are.   Once they are dried and pressed, you can remove them and store in a cardboard box (ex; shirt box) keeping them inside the pieces of wax paper they were pressed in.  Handle very carefully as they will be fragile.  See pictures below of some pressed flowers.

Pressed Rose, Rose Petals, Rose Leaves
Pressed Flowers

Left page shows pressed flowers on stems from a vacation and a Cosmos Flower from our garden.
Right page shows Alyssum, 2 Stems of Sage, Another stem herb, Dandelion

Uses for Pressed Flowers:  Glue on  Plain Cards ( I buy them at Michaels Craft Store)
                                            Use with kids to iron inbetween two pieces of wax paper to make bookmarks or glue onto cardstock and laminate to make bookmarks.
                                             Glue onto gift wrapping
                                             Use in collages
I have used this Flower Press for over 20 years......just nice when I see a flower I want to press to be able to pull it out and add another layer!!!!

I am sure there are more ways to get creative with them.  I will end with a picture below of some leaves that my daughter sent me from Japan.  I purchased the frame at a local frame store and have enjoyed looking at these leaves for eight years. 

Beautiful Maple and Ginko Leaves from Japan

Note from my daughter sent with leaves

I also mount on the wall next to the picture of the leaves the above note my daughter sent with the leaves.  It reads: "Mom, These are some of the fall leaves that fell from trees at one of the temples we visited when the colors were the most beautiful.  I thought you might like some."

Flowers and plants are indeed  some of our greatest silent friends.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Garden of Greens

We planted this Kale from a started plant about a month ago.  The Swiss Chard in the back corners of the box and the Loose Leaf Lettuce peaking over the front corners of the box were from seed.  Jerry built the box from some old fence wood a few years ago.  This kale grew magnificent! We will start eating and juicing it this week!
Front View of the Garden of Greens

Top View of the Greens   

 Eat Healthy!!!!

Flannel Shirt for Corey

Finally finished the pretty plaid flannel shirt for Corey.  She was so patient waiting for it.  I used McCall's Pattern M6389.  It was a pieced shirt pattern with 3 pieces to each front and 3 pieces to the back.  Definitely more complicated than other shirts I have sewed.  It fit her well.  We put pretty purple wooden buttons on it that completed it.  I will say that Corey has enjoyed wearing it.  Here is a picture of the shirt:
Front view of flannel shirt
Back View of  Flannel Shirt                  

I hope you will be
inspired to create
this week!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Colorful Little Elephant

My friend Liz and I saw the cute crocheted elephant by sunnystitching.  I was really wanting to make one and Liz said she would like to have one.  She chose colors for her little elephant from my inventory of yarn, and here is the result!...This cute elephant loved modeling her uniqueness!
Front Pose!
So cute!
Her special blue leg
I am very excited to give Liz her little elephant tomorrow.  I think she will really like it. 
A big thanks to sunnystitching for posting such a cute project on her blog.  Will definitely be making more of these!  I found the pattern on Lion Brand Free Crochet Amigurumi Elephant Patterns

It has been a wonderful day!
Thankfulness and Thoughtfulness....nice theme for the rest of the week.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Time for Encouragement

On several occasions friends have mentioned they are not creative or do not have a creative outlet or feel like when they make something it has flaws......I hope this bit of poetry that I read on Creative Chaos 
will be an inspiration to all of us.  Our creations do not have to be perfect....I really believe creating is so important for our mental and physical well being.  This poetry was really inspiring to me.

Ring the bell that still can ring,
forget your perfect offering

there is a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen


Valentine's Day Cookies

I was at our local 99 Cent Store and purchased some DIY Valentine Cards, a great deal at 4 to a pack.  They came with the double stick adhesive squares and hearts and flowers to use with the squares to stick on the front of the cards.  I wanted to make them for our neighbors and decided to make heat shaped sugar cookies to include with the cards.
I used a Sugar Cookie recipe from a Betty Crocker Cookbook that had belonged to my mother.

I made the dough the night before and let it chill.  When I started rolling it out with a rolling pin that had also belonged to my mom, the dough was really soft.  Decided to roll it thicker and use the smallest cookie cutter in the package I also purchased at the 99 Cent Store.

Put them on the greased baking sheet, sprinkled sugar on them and baked them for 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees.

After they had cooled I piled them on a red paper plate and started getting the cards ready.

Divided the cookies to put on the 7 plates and wrapped them in plastic wrap.  Then put white tissue around each group of cookies and tied leftover red ribbon from Christmas around the tissue.  Put the cards on each red plate with the cookies and had a wonderful time delivering to the neighbors.
 What a wonderful way to spend Valentine's Day. ....... Happy Valentine's Day!