Category Archives: Crafting

Making Calendars

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.

This is an image of a month I did for my Granddaughter last Christmas. I had all sorts of photos on it of her and her animals. I think she liked it!!

The format is so easy to use and I use all sorts of special papers with the calendar as well but most of the pages are using card stock.

This apparatus is used to punch holes in the pages so they flip easily.

The plastic coil that holds the calendar together fits on this apparatus making it easy to put the calendars together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crocheted Dish Towels

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.

This one is hanging on the top drawer of my kitchen sink this morning.

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:

I go to the Dollar Tree and pick out a full hand towel designed for the kitchen. They’re only a dollar and you get two towels out of each one.

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.

Darning needle threaded with scrap yarn.

I use a beige or tan yarn most of the time because it matches everything and I have a lot of “almost empty” skeins of yarn.

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.

This is the point I spoke of earlier where you make the loop which will go over the drawer handle. Then you hook the loop over the button to keep the towel in place when you need it.

It’s really simple to make and great to have so you don’t have to go searching for the hand towel.

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!!

Imagine these hanging on your kitchen sink with red or green toppers or even chocolate or bright yellow.

I made these in February and saving them for gifts.

 

Burlap Wreath

I made my first ever burlap wreath yesterday and it turned out really fluffy.

 

First try and it only took about 15 minutes to complete just the wreath.

First try and it only took about 15 minutes to complete just the wreath.

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.

Simple, yet elegant!!  July 4th, bring it on!!!

Simple, yet elegant!! July 4th, bring it on!!!

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!!

 

 

Keeping the Face and Ears Warm

I’ve crocheted some more warmth during the winter and these were made for me.

Wide headband and a infinity scarf

Wide headband and an infinity scarf

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.

Half-double crochet stitch

Half-double crochet stitch and the ends were stitched together using single crochet but that can’t be seen in this picture.

The Red Quilt

Quilt number two for 2016 is pieced and ready for my quilter.

The Red Quilt 03032016 (6)

The Red Quilt 03032016 (7)

The Red Quilt 03032016 (1)

The Red Quilt 03032016 (2)

The Red Quilt 03032016 (3)

The Red Quilt 03032016 (4)

The Red Quilt 03032016 (5)

Cross Stitch

Several years ago I started a new project and didn’t finish it. Old Salem Mill cross stitch project (3)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.

Old Salem Mill cross stitch project (2)

Old Salem Mill cross stitch project (1)

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.

Crocheted Bath Rugs

I’m crocheting a lot at night now. Over the last two years I’ve found and been given some white feed sacks.

Old feed sacks that have been unseamed and washed.

Old feed sacks that have been unseamed and washed.

100 % cotton feed sacks. They don't make these anymore, everything is plastic.

100 % cotton feed sacks. They don’t make these anymore, everything is plastic.

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.

Feed sacks cut into 1" strips and rolled into balls for easier hangling.

Feed sacks cut into 1″ strips and rolled into balls for easier handling.

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.

Single crochet stitching

Single crochet stitching

On the second row I started hooking in the back look of each single crochet.  This gives the rug a layered look.

The sacks were in several shade of white, cream and a peachy tone. This is the results of the first rug I completed and before it was blocked.

The sacks were in several shade of white, cream and a peachy tone. This is the results of the first rug I completed and before it was blocked.

Sink and shower finished rugs.

Sink and shower finished rugs.

Camode rug

Camode rug

Sink rug

Sink rug

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.

Idea Book

I love to blog about things I make or decorate with and most of those ideas come from this book.

Journal of Ideas

Journal of Ideas

The book is almost three inches thick.

The book is almost three inches thick.

Indoor and outdoor projects.

Indoor and outdoor projects.

I started this one in October and it's almost full.

I started this one in October and it’s almost full.

Everything from decor, useful tools, and so much more.

Everything from decor, useful tools, and so much more.

There's enough ideas in this book to keep me busy the rest of my life and then some.

There’s enough ideas in this book to keep me busy the rest of my life and then some.

Ideas found on Facebook, Pinterest, and magazines I receive monthly.  I don't keep a lot of magazines anymore.  I copy the ideas I want to make and pass the magazines on to my daughter and she passes them on to her friends.

Ideas found on Facebook, Pinterest, and magazines I receive monthly. I don’t keep a lot of magazines anymore. I copy the ideas I want to make and pass the magazines on to my daughter and she passes them on to her friends.

Projects pasted into the journal.

Projects pasted into the journal.

Journal of Ideas #2

Journal of Ideas #2

Indoor and outdoor projects.

Indoor and outdoor projects.

My bookshelf is my keeping area for all of the project ideas.

My bookshelf is my keeping area for all of the project ideas.

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.

Beautiful Gift from Friend

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.

This is a "Linda Smith" original.

This is a “Linda Smith” original.

Handmade on her loom for my Christmas present!  It's inspiration to get mine set up!!

Handmade on her loom for my Christmas present! It’s inspiration to get mine set up!!

Linda Smith Creation

Linda Smith Creation

Linda made this for me with upholstery fabric I gave to her last year.  The pictures don't do the rug justice.

 The pictures don’t do the rug justice.  This woman is so talented and I’m very proud to call her my friend!!  The rug has taken up residence in my family room entryway so that everyone can see and enjoy as much as I am.

I’m hoping that 2016 will make me a weaver too!!

Feed sacks to rugs

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.

This is a large basket holding the sacks after they've been washed and ready to cut in strips.

This is a large basket holding the sacks after they’ve been washed and ready to cut in strips.

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.

Three of the sacks have been stripped and rolled into balls to make handling the strips with ease as I crochet.

Three of the sacks have been stripped and rolled into balls to make handling the strips with ease as I crochet.

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.

I use a wooden size N crochet hook and single crochet.  I make enough stitches to make a 48" rug this time.  Notice the different shades of beige/peach in the sacks.

I use a wooden size N crochet hook and single crochet. I make enough stitches to make a 48″ rug this time. Notice the different shades of beige/peach in the sacks.

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.

Almost finished, need to add one more ball of sack strips.

Almost finished, need to add one more ball of sack strips.

I've rotated the different shades of sack strips in this rug and used 6 balls.  One ball contains one sack.  Finished rug.

I’ve rotated the different shades of sack strips in this rug and used 6 balls. One ball contains one sack. Finished rug.

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.

 

Bowling up some ladybugs

I’ve done a little crafting in my absence.  Don’t you just love ladybugs that AREN’T alive!!

Bowling ball bags for another project.

Bowling ball bags for another project.

Normal bowling ball with holes to fill.

Normal bowling ball with holes to fill.

Saw the ball in half.

Saw the ball in half.

Wipe clean of all dust with a wet paper towel .  I do this a couple times and let dry between dustings to make sure they're clean of all dust.

Wipe clean of all dust with a wet paper towel . I do this a couple times and let dry between dusting to make sure they’re clean of all dust.

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!!

Bowling ball holes filled with wood putty.

Bowling ball holes filled with wood putty.

Wood putty hardening

Wood putty hardening

Wood putty dry and sanded smooth.

Wood putty dry and sanded smooth.

Paint the bottom of the halves first and let dry overnight before adding the second and third coats.

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Paint the bottoms black with gloss paint about three times (let dry thoroughly between paint jobs) to get a good solid finish and protects the under belly.DSCN5002

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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.

Ready to add some spots and a face.

Ready to add some spots and a face.

Smear on some black paint in a "almost" oval.

Smear on some black paint in a “almost” oval.

Black gloss paintm wet paper towel for  "oops", newspaper to protect table surface.

Black gloss paint, wet paper towel for “oops”, and newspaper to protect table surface.

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Starting a face

Starting a face

polka dots

polka dots

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Big dots, little dots, medium dots, random or patterned, suit yourself and your whim!  Make it fun!!

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LOTS of polka dots

LOTS of polka dots

Different sizes of polka dots

Different sizes of polka dots

Now we wait for drying time to paint on the faces.  This is when I start preparing their legs and antennae.

Lag bolts are used for the legs.  In the past, I've used wood for their legs and attached little wooden feet and painted them like tennis shoes.  This year is a little different.

Lag bolts are used for the legs. In the past, I’ve used wood for their legs and attached little wooden feet and painted them like tennis shoes. This year is a little different.

 

I painted them black and put two coates of paint on the lag bolts.

I painted them black and put two coats of paint on the lag bolts.

2014 ladybugs ready for the garden!!

2014 ladybugs ready for the garden!!

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!!

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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.

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Aren’t they just adorable!!  🙂

 

It’s a wormy situation

Two happy little caterpillars

Two happy little caterpillars

I made them from croquet balls with hubby's help with the drill!

I made them from croquet balls with hubby’s help with the drill!

Mansion craft room

We have a beautiful old house on the property that was the families original home in the 1800’s.  Right now it’s used mainly for storage, has no heat and no electricity within the house.   It’s been in the family for at five, maybe six generations.

 

"The Mansion"

“The Mansion”

The Mansion

The Mansion

It was and still could be a beautiful home if we were rich!

It was and still could be a beautiful home if we were rich!

Back of the house and looking into the kitchen window where the playing will be done!

Back of the house and looking into the kitchen window where the playing will be done!

I’m in the process of turning the kitchen into a crafting/DIY room for all of my projects that can’t be done in my quilting/sewing room.  Electricity could be used for small hand tools and some lighting but first I need to clean it out and get it organized.  I may have to call a friend in the fair state of Maryland for this undertaking.   Everytime we get together we find “treasures” in the mansion.

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From this picture you can tell I’ve started the clean out and still have some more junk and treasures to move.

 

Great table for working on and storage underneath.

Great table for working on and storage underneath.

Wood cookstove and chair that has possibilities.

Wood cookstove and chair that has possibilities.

Junk and treasures.

Junk and treasures.

Other side of the great work table.

Other side of the great work table.

Table and a cart for storage!!  YIPPEE!

Table and a cart for storage!! YIPPEE!

Kitchen sink covered with junk and treasure.  Storage under the sink in the way of shelving and drawers.  I see it coming together!!! :)

Kitchen sink covered with junk and treasure. Storage under the sink in the way of shelving and drawers. I see it coming together!!! 🙂

Through the door in the last picture is an enclosed porch where I start my plants and “greenhouse”!!  In the back of the room is a place for a woodstove but that would take up too much room.  This would be used mainly in the three warmer seasons of the year, when I’m not doing ANYTHING else!  RIGHT!!!

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This window is going to be one of the first projects I’ll be working on but that’s will be in a couple months, I expect!!

 

Looks like I got some great things to work on this summer when I can’t get out in the sun!!  Updates on my progress will be coming soon!!

 

 

 

 

Fabric eggs

I have a marvelous friend from Stockton Maryland that taught me how to do these pretty eggs.

Fabric eggs

Fabric eggs

I love using these for decorating for any season or just to be different decor.  They’re very easy to make and very inexpensive.

You need plastic, wood or styrofoam eggs,  white glue, brushes, scraps of fabric and wax paper lined tray or dish.  Take the fabric and snip into small pieces of fabric 1/2 – 1 inch in any shape you can cut.  I usually cut 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ strips but the smaller the pieces the easier it is to work with and won’t pucker.  Next, mix about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of glue with enough water to make it easy to soak up in fabric.  Then you take a snip of fabric, lay it on the egg and brush with the glue mixture to soak good.  Lay the next piece of fabric on the egg and brush on more glue.  Continue doing this until the entire egg is covered.  Smooth out any bumps, wrinkle and blemishes and lay on waxed paper to dry.  Try not to soak the fabric with the glue or it’ll stick to the wax paper.  Think of a basket of pretty polka dot eggs, satin, stripes, endless choices.  Once they’re dry (I usually don’t move them for at least 24 -48 hours) place them in baskets, trays, whatever you want to use to decorate.  Simple and easy!!

The other project that isn’t finished

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.

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (8)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (7)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (6)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (5)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (4)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (3)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (2)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (1)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.

DECO Bernette 600

another finished snowman

snowmen card

favorite embroidery cards

Embroidery embroidery machine

embroidery cards

Crafty morning

I started the morning with some relaxing crafting which was SUPPOSED to be a room clean-up!  Needless to say I got distracted!

I have wanted a new wreath near the front door for a while so I decided to make a wreath that can move to my guest room during the fall when I put out a fall wreath.

Here’s my creation:

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I took a simple straw wreath  (on sale for $1.17) and and wrapped with with burlap (on sale for $2.00) .  I had purchased one large bunch of silk flowers ($5.00).  I used my wire cutters to cut the flowers off the big stem leaving a three to four inch stem to work with.  I used floral picks (had too long to remember the price) to attach the flowers to the wreath.  I took a six inch piece of 1/2″ satin ribbon and tied good knots on each end, criss-crossed them and attached to the back of the wreath and “wallah”  I have a new pretty to dress up the entry way.    The flowers were chosen to match the red and purple flowers I have growing this year.

Peppermint rose

Peppermint rose

office desk and home 06132013 017  DSCN4043

 

 

I’m pretty darned tickled with all of them!!  Have a wonderful day!!

Denim quilted swing and lawn chair cushions

I love to recycle and this spring decided I needed some new cushions for the porch swing and the backyard swing.  I wanted something durable yet easy to clean.  I had huge tote full of old jeans that I had recycled and would use for sewing projects.

First I measured the seat and back of the swings and one is much larger than the other.  I started cutting out 4 1/2″ squares from t he denim.  I then layed out a pattern of sorts on my quilting wall.

cutting out 6 inch blocks

6 inch denim blocks

Then I started pinning, piecing and pressing.

pinning is tedious but necessary

seams much match up

pressing apart qtr inch seams

pressing apart qtr inch seams

pinning together two rows

top finished_now for the bottom

I stitched two of these together on three sides, inserted batting, and sewed up by the hand the fourth long side.  The final project has six layers of batting in it and makes for a very comfortable pad in the swing on the front porch.

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IMG_0023Of course, this is only one seat made.  I still have to do a matching cushion for the back of the swing and a complete set for the back yard swing.  There is always something to do!!!

Easy as pie egg-blowing but not for children!!!

DSCN2827Over 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.

Antique egg crate & chickens

Antique egg crate & chickens

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.

DSCN2831We keep these syringes on hand for giving the animals they’re worm shots and other vaccines when needed.  The tips of those needles are very, very sharp.

DSCN2832The needle point should be small and I can’t remember the gauge we use but if you ask at your local farm store, ask for the gauge to use on small animals such as cats and dogs.

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:

DSCN2827

 

 

Treasures from the apple orchard

Hubby was cleaning up apple trees brought down by the duratio last summer and he brought me these treasures!!  I’m so excited!!

Apple tree stumps

Hollow apple tree stumps

Three hollow tree logs for crafting.

Three hollow tree logs for crafting.

Fuzzy thinks this one would be good for squirrels!

Fuzzy thinks this one would be good for squirrels!

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.

Baby squirrels are so easy to care for and they usally bond with only one person after being orphaned and thats usually whoever feeds and bathes them.

Baby squirrels are so easy to care for and they usally bond with only one person after being orphaned and thats usually whoever feeds and bathes them.

 

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 😉 .

Four more blocks. . .

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.

Block  # 7

Block # 7

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.

Block # 8

Block # 8

Block # 9

Block # 9

Block #10

Block #10

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.

Corrected Block #6

Corrected Block #6

I may not be as productive tomorrow because I have 36 half pints of blackberry jelly to process, but more about that later!!

Sampler quilt beginnings

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:

Block  #1

Block #1

Block #2

Block #2

Blcok  #3

Blcok #3

Block #4

Block #4

Block #5

Block #5

Block #6

Block #6

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!!!!!!!

Birthday Present

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:

Not out of the box yet

Not out of the box yet

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!!  Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part !  :)

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!! Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part ! 🙂

 

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

 

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up.  This is going to be so useful!!

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up. This is going to be so useful!!

 

Table top is together and on it's feet (and me too!).  Daughter helped me turn it up and we inspect for sturdiness.

Can’t wait to get started on some new quilts and other projects.

Hyder Baby Afghan

 Soft chenille yarn

Soft chenille yarn

We’ve had three babies born in the past year in my office.  Two girls and one boy and the first two received a baby quilt and I just finished the baby afghan for the last one born.  I thought I would share how I made the afghan.  I chose a chenille yarn by Bernat yarn in pastel colors,  size F crochet hook and four skeins of the yarn.  It’s a very simple pattern using a single crochet stitch throughout and I think the chenille yarn will make a really warm blanket for the baby.

1/4 complete

1/4 complete

I got it almost done and decided to check it for being squared and had to pull 1/2 of it out and start again.  It’s going to be such a warm blanket for the baby and just in time for cold weather.

 

Single Crochet - four skeins

Single Crochet – four skeins

 

Finally done - 32 x 45

Finally done – 32 x 45

The second time around went much quicker and I hope the baby enjoys it for a long time.  She’s four months old but I think it should still cover her on long winter nights.

How to make a ladybug for your garden

I love finding new things to add to my flower gardens.  This year I found the cutest new addition on Pinterest and decided to make one for myself and my buddies, Jackie and Margaret!  I also saw these in a friends flowerbed but hers were smaller and   a entire family of them crossing the flowerbed.  Hope you like these!

First, you need an ordinary bowling ball.  Jackie found four  of them for me at the local Goodwill stores for a couple bucks.  I took them home and hubby cut them in half for me.   He said this was no easy chore because he wasn’t sure he was cutting them exactly in half.

Bowling balls cut in half

Bowling balls cut in half

 

 

 

 

Next, clean the bowling balls making sure that all dust and residue are gone before the first coat of paint is put on.  I used a spray enamel for the interior and exterior.  Let the first coat of paint dry completely.  I let it dry overnight.  A mistake I made with the first venture was not painting the bottom.  I sprayed the bottom of each half with black enamel (two coats, dry completely between coats) and then spray the red, orange, yellow, whatever color you want.

First coat of red paint.

First coat of red paint.

After the third coat of red had dried, I turned the crafting over to my granddaughter to paint their faces and bodies.  She’s pretty good and has a flair for the dramatic.  I was afraid she would get a little carried away and decided she needed a template to go by.  After all her hard work we decided they would look better with a whimsical flair.

Victoria helping Nana with the artwork.  We started with serious ladybug faces.

Victoria helping Nana with the artwork. We started with serious ladybug faces.

We sat them out in the sun to dry and that's when we decided we needed to make some changes.

We sat them out in the sun to dry and that’s when we decided we needed to make some changes.

This is the point where we decided they needed  a touch of whimsy!  After all her hard work, Nana decided to paint over their faces and add some legs.  The legs were designed by hubby and his workshop.  They consisted of some dowel rods about three inches long and tiny little boots made from scrap lumber.  Once put together, I painted their sneakers white or black with contrasting laces.    What do you think of the end result??

Big eyes & eyelashes.

Big eyes & eyelashes.

Cute red tennis shoes.

Cute red tennis shoes.

Crafting is so much fun and I promise more projects in the very near future!!  Thanks Victoria for helping Nana!!

The year is almost three quarters gone and what did I do?

                                                                                                                                                                    January -Ice and snow

February-Making maple syrup

January-February – grafting fruit trees

February – March – Seedlings started

March – Baby calves arrive

March-April – Spring turkey hunting for two of my favorite people.

April – fire wood for winter 2012

April – New equipment for working the cattle

April – More new fencing

May – Gardening begins

May – Honeybees cleaning house and we prepare for fresh honey

May – Bee swarming begins

May – Fruit trees bloom and we worry about late frosts.

June 2012 – 1st ever “duratio” in our neck of the woods. Lots of cleanup and keeping hubby busy!

June – Duratio takes down lots of our fruit and nut crop and wreaks havoc on our fencing.

June – Hay time

June – Hay lot is full!

July – Spring cleaning almost done!

July – Harvesting & canning for winter in full swing!

July – A little crafting along the way makes life fun!

July – First barn quilt in Craig County on the barn!! More fun!

August-September – Mammoth pumpkin from the garden. He almost didn’t fit the wheel barrow!

July – August – Fresh vegies from the garden.

September – Potatoes harvested and in the cellar.

September – Plowing to sow the winter crops (turnips & parsnips).

September – Spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce from the last of the tomatoes.

And, here it is the end of September.  Deer season and turkey season is soon to be here.  Baby calves are coming and yearlings are headed to the market.  Two nights of cold temps and frost in the mornings means firing up the wood stoves.  The cycle starts again.