Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tooth Fairy Pillow

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Pillow 1

To be frank, today I’m just showing off. This might be the cutest thing I’ve ever made!!! Li’l Miss, aged four, had a loose tooth, and her mom asked me to make a tooth fairy pillow. After scouring Pinterest for inspiration, I combined several ideas to make this one:

Pillow 2

I bought white and pink felt sheets, embroidery thread, and the dotted pink ribbon. I used pink fabric scraps and fiber-fill I already had in my stash. I used a back stitch to create the tooth fairy and the “Lauren’s Tooth” part. I stitched the felt heart onto the white felt, leaving an opening at the top to insert the tooth. I then ironed on interfacing to the white rectangle, cross-stitched it onto the pink fabric, leaving a large opening for the treasures that the tooth fairy would bring. I assembled the pillow on my sewing machine, stuffed it, and hand-sewed the closing.

Li’l Miss lost her tooth this weekend, and hung the pillow on the inside knob of the front door so the tooth fairy had easy access. The fairy sneaked in last night to leave a treat, and Li’l Miss was a happy camper!

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Marshmallow Snowmen

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Snowmen

One of our family holiday traditions is cookie decorating for the young ones. I made these cute marshmallow snowmen as part of a treat for the kid crowd. Using orange and black food-safe paint pens, I drew the black eyes, coal smile, and carrot nose on each large marshmallow. Five snowmen fit perfectly into a sandwich-sized zip-lock. I then loaded five packs of hot chocolate mix into a small gift bag, inserted a snowman pack, and voila, a cute treat for our cookie decorating afternoon!

Poem for Expectant Grandma

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Several weeks ago, I hosted a baby shower for the daughter of a dear friend of mine. I was honoring the soon-to-be grandmother, the soon-to-be mother, and Baby Grace. Of course, my big gift was for Mother and Grace, but I couldn’t let Grams go away empty handed.  I attached the label above to a bottle of champagne.  The baby was born in early May, and Mother and Grace are doing fine!

Cleaning Aluminum Patio Furniture

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I read a Pinterest link about using Turtle Wax to clean outdoor aluminum furniture: http://hip2save.stfi.re/2015/04/16/how-to-fix-faded-aluminum-patio-furniture-using-just-one-common-household-item/?sf=dbopznp#aa

Our pool furniture is a couple years old, so I wanted to give this cleaning tip a try.  But being the cheap crapsperson that I am, I decided to use Armor-All since I already had it in my garage.  The Armor-All was useful for cleaning off all the yellow spring pollen, but it didn’t renew the finish of the aluminum.  Not willing to give up my cheap habit of using what I already had, I switched to using some Johnson’s Paste Wax.  Here’s a before and after:

Did it make a difference?  Somewhat.  Was it worth the effort? Maybe.  Did it live up to the restore-your-aluminum-furniture-and-make-it-look-like-new promise of the original Pinterest post?  Nope.  I guess I’ll splurge on some Turtle Wax!

Sewing, Day 2

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Last week, I wrote about the easy-to-do mat I made for my new sewing machine. The day after my success (?) with that project, I tackled a dust cover for my machine. I used an easy tutorial from My Decoupaged Life (http://www.mydecoupagedlife.com/2012/08/easy-sewing-machine-cover-tutorial.html). (Are you noticing how often I’m using the word “easy”?  Don’t believe it!)

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In the end, it turned out acceptable though homely, and I had a few significant lessons along the way. CRAP ALERT: Avoid these crapsmanship mistakes!

  1. Measure your fabric ahead of time to make sure you have enough.  I had to piece two smaller pieces together.13457557_10209541632248076_483046079_n
  2. Don’t do a beginner’s project using stripes. They’ll never come out straight.13479410_10209541631968069_314194320_n
  3. Make sure you understand the tutorial. I blindly followed (or thought I was following) the instructions for sewing the ties into my seams, but all my seams ended up inside my piece, with only a little tag on the outside.  Duh!  I cut off the small pieces and cursed by stupidity.13479242_10209541632168074_47693931_n
  4. Use crapsmanship as a last resort.  I was unwilling to rip out the seams and re-do the ties.  So I sewed the ribbons on the piece directly, leaving stitches that stick out like a sore thumb. But you really can’t see them much because they’re on the inside of the cover; I hope I’m the only one that notices the crapsmanship.13453770_10209541632528083_380932332_n

Now my sewing machine has a happy-but-not-professionally-or-prettily-made home to keep it free of dust.  Sure beats dusting!

(Hi, Mrs. Andrews!  It was good to see you Sunday.😃)

Sewing Machine Mat

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I bought a new beginners sewing machine a few months ago. I haven’t really sewed since college, and sewing isn’t a good craft for this crapswoman.  It requires too much precision for my style and generally frustrates me beyond measure.  But having arms and legs the length of most eight year olds, I have often regretted not having a machine to easily shorten hems.  And when I saw this Singer machine on Amazon for less than $60, I pulled the trigger.  When it arrived, I unpacked it, set it up on the desk in the grandkids’ bedroom, and let it sit gathering dust until yesterday.

I learned how to fill a bobbin and thread the machine. (It amazed me how much I remembered from so long ago.)  I organized my notions drawer and experimented with the different stitches available.  Fortunately and unfortunately, the machine doesn’t slide much.  That’s a good thing if you want it to stay in one place; it’s a bad thing if it’s hard to move when you want it to slide a few inches.  So the first order of business was to make a mat that the machine could sit on.

With one fat quarter (a new term for me), I ironed, folded in half, stitched two sides, turned the material, pressed seams, and then zigzagged around the whole piece for a decorative edge. Though it was a project for a newbie and probably the easiest job in the history of sewing, I’m ridiculously pleased with how it turned out!

Decoupaged Bracelets, Part II

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13459509_10209541029433006_1550319988_nYes, I’m obsessed.  I made another bracelet this morning.  This time, I painted the bracelet purple and stuck on some pansy stickers I had in my craft collection. The stickers were designed for scrapbooking.  I had to finagle the flowers a little to get them to remain flat, but once that was accomplished, I gave the whole bracelet three coats of gloss ModPodge.  I love it!

If you’re interested in making some bracelets, here is the link I used to order them from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/imagine-Bangles-Narrow-Unfinished-Bracelet/dp/B01FWJGWS2/ref=sr_1_2?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1466106108&sr=1-2&keywords=wood+bracelets.

Decoupaged Bracelets

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I love, love, love this project! Using plain wooden bracelets, I transformed two into high fashion!

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My first project was the green and yellow one. Using an old calendar page with some impressionist art, I cut out small strips of color.

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I then painted on gloss ModPodge to the outside of the bracelet, about 1/2″ at a time, and glued down the strips. Messy but easy. I let the strips hang, not yet gluing them to the inside. I gave the outside one good coat of ModPodge to ensure the strips were glued down well.  I went on to another project (pickling cukes from my garden!) as they bracelet dried.

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Then I tackled the inner part of the bracelet. I first trimmed the strip ends to make them more uniform. I forgot to take a picture of this step until I worked on the second bracelet.

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About an inch at a time, I glued down the ends with ModPodge. I used my fingers to press and rub them until they were well stuck.  I then used two longer and wider strips to glue along the inside, making sure to cover any wood they still showed. I gave it all an additional coat of ModPodge to seal it, and set it aside to dry.

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For my second bracelet, I used a map of Louisiana from an old atlas. I made sure I cut some strips so that place names would show. I glued the “Louisiana” label to the inside after following all the procedures described above.

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I’d be hard pressed to tell you which one I like the best, but I know I’ll do this project again soon.  Cheap, easy, and attractive?  My kind of project!

 

 

Salted Cherries

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CherriesToday I made an old family recipe that brings back the flavors and smells of my Grandma’s kitchen. She used to pickle bing cherries in a recipe she called Salted Cherries. They’re one of those you-either-love-’em-or-you-hate-’em relishes, and my dad and I used to go nuts over them. They’re easy to do when cherries are at their peak.

You first wash the cherries, and I always take the stems off.  In they go into a quart Mason jar. For each quart, you sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt over the top.

Salted cherries

Fill the jars half way with plain white vinegar, and then top it off with tap water.  Screw on the lid, turn upside down, and store in the refrigerator. They should be ready in about 3 weeks.  Yum!

Here’s the original recipe, in my teenage handwriting, as dictated by my grandmother.

Recipe