Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gardening, Embroidery and more

Wow! I can't believe it's already been a week since I last posted. I'm so excited that school will be out soon! I'm counting the days!!

I've come up with a cleaning plan to clean our home daily. I realized that there are basically three phases to cleaning the house.

Phase One-
Make the bed
Open curtains
Clear up counters in bathroom
Wash dishes, set to dry
Fold blankets in living room
Put away shoes
Start laundry

It's amazing that just doing these things really spruces up the place. This list gets done daily right after hubby leaves for work.

Then, there's Phase two-

Put dry dishes away
Clean off counters in kitchen and table
Wipe down bathroom counters
Swish toilet
Rinse laundry

This is usually done after I eat breakfast. Again after doing these two phases, there is a huge improvement to the look of the home.

and then Phase three-
Hang up laundry
Scrub knobs on stove and clean burners
Clean tub
Dust bedroom and living room
Vacuum floors

House is blessed and sparkly. I love living in a small home. I can have all three phases done by 9 in the morning and then I have the whole rest of the day to myself.

Of course, there's a few other things to do in the evening, but it doesn't take long.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite a time. Thursday I pulled out my embroidered bird squares and started working on them again. One stitch at a time. My goal is to complete one square each week and have them completely done by July 21.

*Update* I did not finish the squares yet, but maybe some day. For now they are put on hold, while I persue other activities. August 9, 2014.

I picked up a book at the library called "Easter Chimes". They had a bunch of children's books on sale for 25 cents. What a treasure find! I liked the stories in the Easter book (stories about animals and children) and when I got home, I looked at the copyright and it said 1942! No wonder I liked it so much. They just don't write books like they used to! We got some rain today and the okra plants now have three petals each on them.

Since I last posted, I made some tissue holders, some credit card wallets (like the tea wallets only smaller), and two pin cushions.

I forgot how magical growing things can be. I found 12 green bean plants shooting up this morning. I had checked them Friday mid morning and counted 4. Then, when beloved got home there were 8 total. It was so much fun going out there to check often at them and finding new shoots sticking up out of the ground.

Sunday we watched the robins tap their little feet in the garden picking out bugs, grubs and worms. They seem to know not to step on the delicate plants and just hop around them. I guess we have a deal worked out with them as they like to eat the Japanese grub beetles in the garden. It's quite a sight to watch them stalk a bug. They get down low and sneak up on them.

Monday I went to knitting club. The sale at the store continues but I didn't shop as I didn't need anything or have any money. I spent it happily on garage sale finds the week before. (zippers and crochet hooks and books)  I completed all the lettering for the bird names this week (except for dotting my "I's" and have started on doing the borders for each square. I received a trash bag full of yarn that day. It was so much to sort through it all and pick out what I wanted to keep. There is a lot of it that looks like hand spun yarn in various browns, tans and cream colors. Just my colors!

I plan on sharing some of it with a friend as it's more than I can use!

Wednesday I sewed my first Japanese knot bag. It was a tough pattern to figure out but in the end, a bag was made. I am pleased with how it turned out.

I am addicted to sending out R.A.K.'s on Ravelry. I gave away one of my six pocket tea holders. The lady posted a picture on the board and that got me thinking to give away more. So, I found another lady who wanted one and sent two so she could give one to her daughter. Then,  I posted up six tea wallets and found homes for each of them in a day. I got over 20 people wanting some. It was hard to choose who to pick. I think for the next few months, I'll give away the rest that I have. I'm just happy that other people know what tea wallets are and that they want one!

I forgot to put the pocket on it, so I ripped out the whole thing and re-added it. It was worth the trouble!

I've been enjoying eating fresh spring rolls for lunch lately. They are so scrumptious!

Until next time!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Enjoying the weather and garage sale finds

I can't believe a week of May has already gone by!

I have so been enjoying this beautiful weather. Laundry has been on the clothesline almost every day and the garden has been planted some.

Let's see, this year we've got:

Tomatoes, both large and small
Jalapeno- giant sized
Red and yellow lunch box peppers*
Red onions
Green beans
Green onions

*I'm excited the most about the red and yellow lunch box peppers. I'd seen some in the grocery store and they looked delicious, but I did not get any. So, when I saw these, I had to get some for our garden! I can't wait to snack on them!

Last year we planted two okra plants and had lots of okra to eat and juice. I really enjoyed okra carrot juice. This year, we planted three (or was it four?) okra. I LOVE okra. This year I plan to dehydrate some as well. I love dried crunchy okra. Like popcorn but better! 

I'm still making project bags to send off as RAK's and for local knitting buddies. I sewed two this week and just waiting for the ribbon to go in them. I've got two more I will make next week at least.

Pictures of bags will post later as they are a surprise for the recipient!

I forgot, I made this one too. It has already been rak'd out, so here is the picture! It uses an entirely different pattern and is medium sized. I like it a lot!

It's large enough to hold four skeins of sock yarn and one skein of worsted. In this case, Nature spun worsted. 

These are the zippered pouches  I made this week and last.

The first one is unlined but has interfacing. The second one has a lining but is made the same way. I just took a piece of material and held it in place as I made it, so I zig-zagged the edges to keep it from fraying. I'd like to try making some with laminated cotton that I heard about. And found a source! Yay! They have free shipping if you order $35 or more, so I'll wait until I can get free shipping. They sell my favorite Mary Engelbreit pattern too!

These zippered pouches are great for carrying some peppermints and driver's license in. Few bills and coins too. I plan to experiment with different sizes. I got the pattern from this You tube video. Whitney Sews is a great place to visit!

I love sewing boxy bags! I haven't made any in awhile because I was out of zippers. The quilt shop sells them for $1.25 while Walmart sells them for $1.47, that adds up after awhile. I've made about 2 dozen boxy bags within the last two months. ($30 spend just on zippers!) 

So... when I was out at a garage sale with a friend and she led me to a box of zippers for 10 cents each!! I jumped for joy!!! I immediately started looking through the zippers trying to decide which ones to get. 

My friend suggested I see if they wanted to sell the WHOLE box for $4. So, I went and asked and they said, YES!!!! I was thrilled! I have enough zippers to last me a very long time. Of course, when I got home, I counted the zippers to see how many were in the box. Can you believe there were 117!!!!  That's less than 4 cents per zipper! Wow!  Most of them are still in their original packaging. They range in size from 6-22 inches. I use all different sizes in my projects. In fact, the second zippered pouch came from this box. That was one of my biggest garage sale finds of the day. The other big find was two new clip on lamps for the living room. The other two we bought new at Walmart have already melted. Yes, that's right. The plastic shades have holes in them from use. We moved one to the "shed" for lighting. The "new" ones have metal lamp shades and can hold a higher wattage. And they clip to the back ledge behind our chairs. They are great for reading by! (I've since made a commitment to buy used whenever possible.) A few exceptions but for the most part, I'd much rather buy a used item that was built better than a new one that is made to throw away!

Until next time!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April finished projects

April has been yet another busy month of sewing for me. I just love sewing boxy bags and drawstring ones. They are so much fun to make and give away! I made close to three dozen and gave them away to friends and strangers. I'm blessed that there is a local quilt shop near my town to get my supplies from. I love choosing fabric from there. It's more pricey than Walmart but the quality can't be beat!

 I was blessed with a box of knitting and quilting magazines. I'm excited to try some new things for next month.

I made a bag for a friend who LOVES Mary Engelbreit. Her entire kitchen is decorated as such and she wanted a bag to keep her medicine in. 

As far as knitting goes, I hadn't had much desire to knit since I made the chemo hats, but I bought some sock yarn from the local yarn shop and got the urge to start a pair of socks. I decided to knit Nick another pair of socks. For the cuff, I did K3, P1 all the way to the heel 8 inches long. Usually I just do a K2, P2 for about two inches and then do stockinette the rest of the way. I got down to the heel part and it looked like I was running out of yarn. Not wanting to do the rest of the sock in a different yarn, I ripped out the cuff and took off 2 inches. Then, went on to the heel. Halfway knitting the first foot part, I realized I was STILL going to run out of yarn! So, I went back to the yarn store and found two more skeins of the same color I had bought originally. I really thought I had bought all that was left of that brand/color, but was glad they had some left. Then, I finished up the first half of the sock and ended up with a tiny bit leftover! So, now I have two new skeins of sock yarn to make another pair! lol! I will post pictures when I get the second sock done. Right now I have second sock syndrome, so it's put on hold.

I made several dozen pot scrubbers in April. I just can't seem to make these things fast enough before they are sold out. I have two shops where I sell these at locally and several friends that wanted me to make them some. 

Another thing I worked on at the end of April is zippered pouch wallet key chain holders. I am still perfecting them so no pictures to show until the end of May. I noticed a friend of mine had a black purse hanging off her keys that was duct taped at the bottom and clipped closed at the top. It was well beyond use but she didn't want to give it up as she liked it so much. I sewed her two styles and the one she liked best was similar to what she had. She loved it! She takes it with her when she goes to garage sales. Keeps her keys, driver's license and emergency peppermints all in one secure place. 

There are a ton of great tutorials out there! I will be posting and sharing up the ones I used next month, so stay tuned!

Until next time!

Cell phone zippered pouches

Last week a friend asked me to sew her a cell phone holder that she wanted to give to a friend. So I took out my supplies and started to d...