Country Girl Through & Through
I'm a country girl from the western part of Virginia in a small community of New Castle/Craig County. I've lived in Craig all my life-eighteen years with my parents and siblings and forty + years with my wonderful husband.
We have two children, a boy and a girl, and two grandchildren, all of which we love very much. We live on a 500 acre+ farm that has been in my husbands family for over 200 years. We are raising beef cattle, chickens, rabbits and a couple dogs.. We grow pretty much all we eat or harvest from the farm and I can't imagine living anywhere else.
I love to create, craft, quilt, read, write, decorate, crochet, candlewick, bake, bow hunt, cook, garden, farm animals and walking/hunting in the woods. I love sharing our home with family and friends.
I hope you enjoy the posts that I enter on my blog and hopefully will be helpful and/or fun to all that read it.
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Sampler QuiltCompletion of the King-size Sampler QuiltDecember 31st, 201871 days to go.
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Category Archives: Crafting
I am so blessed to have the husband that I’m wed to for 45, almost 46 years! He is always so attentive to my wants and needs even when it’s a pain in the derriere for him!!! He puts up with my love of animals and the work it takes to care for them. He puts up with my hunting needs, not paying attention to him when I’m reading or sewing and so many other things. He tries to see to my wishes for handmade, primitive decor. This is the reason for this post!! He claims to not be a carpenter but wait until you see what he has made for my country kitchen for my birthday and Christmas (both in December).
I have a passion for country decor and primitive country!! After he had the kitchen painted for me this summer I got a “wild hair” and decided to get rid of all of my plastic containers I use for food staple storage. I HATE plastic!!! I changed everything over to old blue 1/2 gallon mason jars with zinc lids. THEN I asked for a special place to put them. Here’s what I got:
THEN, he made me a small cabinet to go beside my stove for storing cookie sheets, loaf pans, and the pans I use on a daily basis. It also is made from chestnut lumber from the farm.
Winter time can get very dreary when looking out the windows. No beautiful color from the flowers anywhere to be seen. I’ll admit the snow is beautiful before the animals track through it or the vehicles drive through it but it’s not like looking at beautiful blooms in our yard.
I FOUND A REMEDY!!
Take a look at these beautiful glass flowers I created from old dishes!
Now get busy putting those old dishes to good use and think SPRING!!!
For the last four or five years I have enjoyed making personal calendars for my family and it’s a gift that they can enjoy all year-long. I’ve started calendars for this year but they are a work in progress.
I have an old computer program that I got years ago called “Greeting Card Factory” and I use it to format my calendars and I also use it when I want to make “special greeting cards. It’s awesome and I’m not sure there is a newer version on the market or not.
Once I get the main format set up I can add photos, special dates, different fonts, and the list goes on and on.
Calendars are great stocking stuffers and as I said previously they’re a gift your family and friends can enjoy all year round!! Adding family birth dates and anniversaries is a great addition and make the calendar date blocks a little large makes for a day planner, too!!
Do you like the convenience of a dish towel hanging close by in the kitchen? For years I’ve made my own hanging towels and they’re quick and easy and only take half a towel.
I have lots of them and change them about every other day depending on how much they’ve been soiled. Here’s how I make them:
Then I fold them in half and cut them in half. Then I turn down the cut edge about a 1/2 inch and using a large darning needle threaded with a matching yarn, I blanket stitch the fold down. The stitches are usually about 1/4 – 3/8 inch long, longer stitches will show more and not fill in the top of the towel quite enough.
Tie off the end of the towel with a couple whip stitches and knot. From here I make a single crochet using a Size F crochet hook in each blanket stitch across the towel. At this point you can use any crochet stitch you want throughout the towel until it’s about five to six inches wide. I mix the crochet stitches on some and single crochet throughout, just depends on my mood and how fast I want to make up the towels. At the end of each row, DO NOT chain and turn. This is how you will decreast the rows to go into a point. To decrease the row, pull the yarn through two or three stitches. My instructions aren’t great but if you crochet at all you will know how to do this. For more details just comment on this post. When I get towards the end with about 6-9 stitches on the row, I add that turning stitch until I have a tab look at the end. At the end of the last row you crochet make a chain of about 10-12 chain stitches and carry it back to the start of that row and pull through your first stitch several times to make it stay.
Fold that tab over and place your button in the middle of crochet work to meet the chain. Your done! Not sure I would make a very good crochet instructor unless it was a one on one session!!
I made my first ever burlap wreath yesterday and it turned out really fluffy.
The wreath was very simple to make by using a wire wreath and burlap. I used this link to watch a two-minute tutorial: https://www.burlapwreath.com/how-to-make-a-burlap-wreath/. It’s so simple and to think I’ve been putting this off since last fall because I didn’t know if my brain could handle one more thing in it.
I wanted to do something patriotic for the front porch but this was just a little too plain so I decided to add a little more red, white and blue.
Elegant yet country, don’t ya think! Now I need to come up with some just as patriotic at our mailbox at the end of the driveway that won’t get blown away by the storms like we’ve been having! Oh well, I’ve got nine days to come up with something!
The brain is already full of ideas for the fall and winter and have you seen the different colors of burlap out now??? It’s amazing!! Happy crafting!!
I’ve crocheted some more warmth during the winter and these were made for me.
The headband is perfect for around my ears and the infinity scarf fits over my hoodies and around my face to block the wind. I used a heavy yarn and did a half-double crochet using double strands of yarn to make them thick and warm. The scarf is wide enough to cover my mouth and nose in the frigid air. They were quick and I did them both in one night. I even made a pair of mittens to go with them but they’re not very usable when carrying in the firewood, gathering the eggs or bottle feeding calves so they stay in my dress coat for non-work events.
Here’s a closer look at the stitches I used and I got both pieces out of one skein of yarn.
Several years ago I started a new project and didn’t finish it. I recently picked it back up and wanted to share where I am now and will share the finished project in a couple of months if all goes well.
It’ll take some time but I love the look of the linen fabric and the colors just pop with that background. When finished I’m hoping to put it in a barnwood frame made by hubby.
I’m crocheting a lot at night now. Over the last two years I’ve found and been given some white feed sacks.
I decided since they were cotton they would make some strong and easy to clean scatter rugs. First I pulled out all the seams, washed them and hung them out on the clothesline to dry so they would hold their shape. Then I pressed them out with my iron just enough to be able to cut fairly straight one inch strips. I connected the strips as I rolled them into five-inch balls so they would be easy to handle and not get knotted up while crocheting.
I decided I wanted them to fit perfectly in front of the camode, shower and the sink. I took the measurements and started crocheting with a simple single crochet using a size N hook.
On the second row I started hooking in the back look of each single crochet. This gives the rug a layered look.
I decided not to dye them because I liked the look of the old feed sacks and the finished product will work in any room. I’ve washed them one time and got a sort of rag look from the pieces which makes them look even older. These rugs will take a lot of washing and last for a long time. They’re not so heavy that I can’t dry them in the dryer or hang them on the clothesline. I love the end results.
I love to blog about things I make or decorate with and most of those ideas come from this book.
As I pull ideas from the book I’ll post about them with details. I sure hope this resolution proves to be beneficial to me and ideas for someone else.
I have a friend that lives down the road from me about a mile and she is the sweetest lady you would ever want to meet. I’ve known Linda for years and her boys and their families live close by to. Linda is also retired from Virginia Tech and we both have so many interests and hobbies alike. She is so talented and is willing to help anyone at the drop of a hat! We need more people like her in our lives everyday!!
Linda has, I think, two looms in her home and she weaves rugs, beautiful rugs. I have a loom that I bought at a yard sale for $25 but have never sit it up. Linda has told me that when I’m ready she and her husband Gene will help me and figure out if all the parts are with it. This is one of my resolutions for 2016 but first I have to clean out a room in the mansion to set it up. Looms take up a lot of room. She said she would teach me how to sit it up and give me all the basics to learn how to complete this old craft.
Last year when I was doing some “cleaning out” I found several totes full of upholstery fabric that was taking up too much space in my storage room. I gave Linda the fabric and she said she would make me a rug which was not necessary since she was helping me out by adopting all the fabric that I needed to do something with.
For Christmas, Linda made me this beautiful rug from some of the fabric I shared with her.
I’m hoping that 2016 will make me a weaver too!!
I recently inherited over a hundred old feed sacks made of muslin fabric. They had been washed but I gave them another good bath in really hot water to get them good and clean and to get rid of the aroma of being packed away for a very, very long time. They held up marvelously and now I have a huge treasure to do something with. They are not white but sort of beige/peach/pink shade of fabric.
I love to crochet and have decided to use some of the sacks to make some bath rugs. I can always dye them to suit the decor of the room or possibly bleach them to a lighter shade.
First, I cut the sacks into a continuous 3/4″ strip of cloth and wind them into a ball which gives me a 3″-4″ ball for each sack.
I’ve decided to use a single crochet stitch for the first one and use the back of the stitch for the pattern. If you crochet you know what I’m talking about and it give the line of stitches a “layered” look. For a 4 x 5 bath rug it takes about six balls of the fabric and I think it turned out pretty nice.
They’ll be sturdy and wash up nice and last FOREVER! They’re also thick enough that it’ll feel nice to step out of the shower onto it. It took about four nights, an hour at a time to finish the rug. The best part is you can put it down to take phone calls, do some laundry, give some attention to Sassy or most anything and go right back to it without missing a stitch.
All I need to do now is square up the rug which is so easy to do with this fabric. I just stretch the sack out and spray with lukewarm water and as it dries the shape retains itself. I don’t think I”ll dye this one and will make two more in the same design and color to use in the bathroom. I keep a rug in front of the shower, sink and the camode.
I think the next group of three, I’ll make my fabric strips a little more narrow and see if I get the same look and feel. I’d also like to make a couple of aprons from the sacks. There’s so many uses for a good quality fabric to re-purpose.
I’ve done a little crafting in my absence. Don’t you just love ladybugs that AREN’T alive!!
It’s much easier to handle the balls to fill the holes and to paint them if they’re cut in half first. Those suckers are HEAVY!!
Paint the bottom of the halves first and let dry overnight before adding the second and third coats.
Once the third coat is dry, flip them over and paint the top side. Also, the more coats you put on the longer they’ll last in your flower gardens or where ever you place them in the outdoors. I take mine in during the winter months and it sits on a shelf in my kitchen.
Big dots, little dots, medium dots, random or patterned, suit yourself and your whim! Make it fun!!
Now we wait for drying time to paint on the faces. This is when I start preparing their legs and antennae.
There’s such a variety of faces you can paint on them and I may do a completely different design and color on the next ones. I drill holes in the bottoms and screw the lag bolt/legs in. Then I use a very small drill bit to put two holes along the black line of their face to affix their antennae. The antenna are made from pieces of a heavy black metal clothes hanger. I curl the tope end for cuteness. They’re quick and easy as long as you don’t count the time it takes to wait for the several coats of paint to dry. Everyone loves them and their cute on the end of my porch steps, coming out of the end of a crock laying on its side, sitting on a rock or paver in the flower garden or waiting at the entrance of the yard gate!!
These two are from last year and you can see the sneakers they’re wearing. I decided to go with the bolts for their legs this year because these little guys are throughout my yard in the flower beds and the wooden legs and feet didn’t last as well as I hoped they would.
Aren’t they just adorable!! 🙂
About four years ago hubby bought me an embroidery machine which I love. It’s an older model but perfect for me. I started making blocks of embroidered snowmen and plan to turn those blocks into a quilt. Here’s a quick view of some of the blocks.
Each block will have a different color scarf and I’m thinking about adding a new version of the snowman too. Aren’t they adoable?? I’ve not decided how to put the quilt together but thinking about borders of brightly colored snowmen and Christmas fabrics or just winter fabrics. I’ve got a long way to go though because I only have about 20 of the blocks completed. I’m finding it hard to stay with the machine any length of time.
Over the last three years, I’ve found all sizes of eggs that the hens have left for me but the little guys in the photo above are real treasures. I use them throughout the house as decorations. I use them in my antique egg crate in the kitchen.
I use them in bird nests for decorations and wreaths. The best part is I found a very easy way to get the whites and, if any, yolks out of the eggs so they won’t rot and become a nasty odor for the room they’re in. I used to take a large sewing needle and gently drill a hole in the both ends of the egg and blow it out but that took time and a lot more breath than I have nowadays. You will want to use the following method when there are no children around just to be on the safe side and you’ll understand what I’m talking about once you see the tool I use.
First step is to make sure your eggs are clean and NOT old. The syringe comes in three parts: needle, syringe base and plunger. Next push the plunger as far in the base as possible (after you put the needle in the base). Gentle holding the egg and careful how you place the needle, gently push the needle into the large end of the egg (you will be surprised how easily it goes in the shell, no drilling). Hold the egg in one hand, positioning the egg over the hand holding the needle. I apologize for not having a photo to explain but it’s hard to take a picture and do this at the same time. Try to picture your fists folded and one fist on top and one fist on the bottom (make sense?).
The next step is to keep the needle in the egg and gently pull the plunger out to the end of the base. You’ll see the clear white of the egg pull into the syringe. Pull the entire syringe out of the egg and push the plunger back into the base pushing the egg white into a dish or some kind of container. I usually do this over the kitchen sink and let the running water wash it down the drain. Do this whole procedure again until you feel you have gotten the white entirely out of the egg.
After emptying the last bit out of the syringe, fill the syringe with water (it’ll suck out of a glass of water w/a touch of dish detergent or bleach really easy). Put the syringe back in the egg and fill it with the water (gently) and pull it out and emptying the sink again. I usually do this four or five times just to make sure it’s clean and make sure you entirely get all the water solution out of the egg. Repeat the cleaning as many times as you feel it takes to clean the egg. Set your little egg up to air dry for several days and where it won’t get knocked off and broken. I store them in an egg carton until I’m ready to use them in my decorations. This is so much easier but you just have to be careful using the needle.
These are some of the eggs I’ve used with this tool:
Hubby was cleaning up apple trees brought down by the duratio last summer and he brought me these treasures!! I’m so excited!!
I think the first two will be new birdhouses as I like to use natural things to make the birds feel more at home. All I’ll have to do is screw on some barnwood to the bottom and top and drill a small hole for the bluebirds to enter. Drill holes in the bottom board for drainage. I like to use screws so I can take the top off in the winter and clean them out for arrivals in the spring. I like to put a little overhang on the top to keep the weather out and a place for the bird parents to perch between food breaks. I also put a short perch in the front right below the entry for them to perch while feeding the fledglings.
The third one though will make a perfect nest for the next orphan squirrel we save. We tend to find them in the woods fallen from their nests. If their bodies are still warm we let Mom come back to get them and carry them back to the nests. If their bodies are cold, I snatch them up in my pocket and get them home quick as possible and feed them some warm milk with a little honey to warm them up and boost the energy.
Hubby is always looking out for things in the woods that he knows I’ll put to good use. We’ve been looking for a hollow tree about five to six feet long to make into a flower box for the yard or the gazebo. I’ve also been looking for just the right knarly stump to put in one of my flower beds for the natural look. You will see it when I find it 😉 .
This has been another successful quilting day for me. First I corrected the mistake in block six from yesterday. Then I spent two hours cutting the pieces to make the two different blocks that follow. There are four different blocks but two versions of each pattern; subtle, yet vibrant differences when you look carefully.
This is block 7 of the Sampler Quilt I started yesterday. It’s a simple block but look at the difference changing the colors can make in Block 8.
You can see the same difference in placement colors for Block 9 and 10.
I plan to do this throughout the quilt, that is, two color placements of the same block. It will give me practice for all the blocks that will wind up in the quilt. I’m really pumped to complete the entire king size quilt.
This is the correct Block six that caught my eye yesterday and it only took about ten minutes to pull out the seams, turn the blocks and put it back together.
I may not be as productive tomorrow because I have 36 half pints of blackberry jelly to process, but more about that later!!
I’ve set a goal for the year of completing a king-sized sampler quilt in burgundy as the primary color. I started it yesterday and completed six 10 inch blocks. Now, I just have to keep it up and hopefully have all of the 200+ blocks completed in three months, I hope!! I thought I would share the blocks as I go along so this will be a continuing post. Here’s the first six:
I think this is a pretty good start and if I 12 weeks to complete 200 blocks, that means I have to complete about 17 blocks a week, which works out to three a day for the next three months. WOW! Maybe I’d better rethink this time limit and make it six months instead of three. Oh well, I will get it done and I will post as I go. Wish me luck!! Did I tell you I also have three baby quilts to start and finish by JUNE 2013!!!!!!!
I think I told you last week that my wonderful hubby got me a new HP desktop computer for my birthday and Christmas! I’m getting used to the new programs and catching on pretty quick. Now, I just need to catch up on some posting. Hubby knows how much I miss my blog!!
My daughter and family got me a new crafting table for my quilt room. I spent “three” hours putting it together this morning. It didn’t take so much time because it was complicated, it was because I took so much time getting up and down out of the floor trying to put it together. Here’s how it went without me in the pictures:
Can’t wait to get started on some new quilts and other projects.