Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crazy quilt style bird ornaments

Posted by: Paulette

I have been collecting lace scraps as long as I can remember. Any piece larger than 2 inches was worth keeping. That makes for a pretty big bag of scraps. I made a skirt with some of it, crazy quilt style. It's pretty heavy and almost like wearing a quilt.
My love of birds just keeps growing. I want them all over the Christmas tree. Every year I make a new set of ornaments. I usually give out some as gift and keep some. This year I thought I'd combine my lace and bird love together.

These bird ornaments are made from a very simple pattern. First I cut rectangles of cotton canvas leftover from making slipcovers. On those rectangles, I sewed the lace all over, then folded the rectangles in half, and traced the bird pattern on what was going to be the inside of the bird, or the wrong side of the fabric. Then sew around the design, leaving a 1" opening. Cut around seam leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Turn and stuff tightly. Sew the opening closed using the ladder stitch, and sew on a fan of lace for the tail, and some almond shaped scraps for wings. A ribbon sewn  to the top becomes a hanger. Two beads or small buttons are then sewn on for eyes.
I still have quite a bit of lace scraps left for the next project.
Maybe I'll make more of these for presents. They could also be stuffed with lavender or cloves for sachets.

Thanksgiving Table

Posted by: Paulette

I am finding that I love to do things crafty, but taking the pictures and posting them on my blog has become a challenge. I probably wouldn't have taken pictures on Thanksgiving because I was so crazy busy, except, while talking on the phone to my Mom about how I decorated the table, she reminded me to take pictures and put them on my blog. Thanks Mom!
 Sadly my camera batteries were dead, so these are from my phone.

 As I was preparing the turkey for going into the oven, and watching PBS Thanksgiving shows. I was reminded that I'd not given thought to a centerpiece for the table. Since all of my dishes are white and so is the tablecloth, it really needed one. The show that I was watching was Katie Brown Workshop. She does all kinds of fun and easy things with not so cheap ingredients and supplies. Her centerpiece was made of a foam wreath form and some feather boas, with a candle in the center. Beautiful! But EXPENSIVE! I was looking to do something cheap! No, I was looking to do something free. Since we are fortunate enough to have a ton of trees in our dinky yard, I decided to go there.

So outside in my pink fluffy bathrobe and a pair of clippers I went. I cut some pine and some citrus branches. I bought the pumpkin on clearance after Halloween. We love roasted pumpkin and pumpkin soup and pumpkin Thai curry. Oops! I guess I got a little off track. The pumpkin was placed on a soup tureen turned upside down, with sprigs of pine and citrus poked underneath, between the pumpkin and tureen. Then more branches were laid on either side. Hubby went hunting under the pomegranate bush for some of them, and I happened to have some pine cones left over from another project that were thrown in there.
Not pictures is the pillar candles on brown candlesticks that I added later. Dinner was at 1pm, so the candles were more for ambiance than light.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baking Day

Posted by: Paulette
Last night the kids ate the last of the bread. I usually buy our bread from a bakery that has the day old stuff for $.50 a loaf. I used to make our bread, but getting it that cheaply without all of the labor involved, and it's whole grain. I just can't beat that. However, when it's the weekend, and the kids have eaten all the bread and the bakery won't be open until Monday, you gotta do something. That nasty stuff that they sell at the grocery store just won't cut it. It even smells nasty!

So after giving the kitchen a good cleaning, I got to work making muffins and whole wheat bread.
After making a protein smoothie for Dave and myself, that is.
As I'm loading up the blender with spinach, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, honey, rice protein powder and soy milk, my kids are turning up their noses and making such exclamations as, "Eeewww!" And "You put vegetables in your shake?!"
I don't care what they think about my shake. Sophia (3 years old) even asked for some, and when hers was gone asked for more!

Just to mess with their heads, I told them that I was now going to make them some vegetable muffins. You'd have thought that I was announcing the end of the world to hear Katie (4 years old) throw a fit! She sounded just like the wicked witch of the west as she cried, "I'm melting, melting!"
The muffins I made were very healthy, and tasty too, I was told by those who ate them. Since they were full of the kinds of things I'm allergic to, I had to take their word for it.
I don't really have a recipe. I just dump the ingredients in until the dough looks right.
In the muffins I made this morning, I dumped:
Pumpkin puree, Dehydrated (and reconstituted) grated carrots, raisins, powdered milk, 3 eggs, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ground ginger, whole wheat flour, white flour, canola oil, sea salt, baking powder,  powdered milk, and water.
 Since we also have run out of cereal, and have a limited budget to work with until next payday, it's nice to have lots of muffins for breakfasts for the next couple of days. I'll just pop some in the freezer and pull some out as needed.

After the muffins were popped into the oven, I started on the bread.I've been told that this is the best bread that people have tasted. I can't take credit for the recipe. I did make one modification, but that was just making the wheat  mixture half red and half white. You can find the recipe in an earlier blog that I started.
There's nothing like the smell of homemade bread filling the house. I feel so domestic today! Now who's going to do the dishes?

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous

Posted by: Paulette
I usually consider myself to be a fearless person for all things crafty. And so when I saw benches made from head and foot boards, I thought, " I can do that."
A trip to Goodwill found a pretty headboard and footboard set for $14.99. I loved the spindles, and envisioned something like this.
Painted a pretty light aqua, and sitting at the dining room table for the boys to sit on, it would be the perfect addition to our home.
As I began planning, I pulled out the bed and found that it sat very close to the ground and I was going to have to add some length to the legs.
I cut the bun feet off and cut a large dowel to 10.5 inches. Putting the seat of the bench together was relatively easy. I cut the foot board to create the sides of the bench, drilled holes and inserted furniture pegs, to attach it to the headboard. Then I built a frame for the seat, and cut my boards to fit the seat. A few screws attached the frame to the back of the bench ( the headboard), and a couple more screws fastened the frame to the sides of the bench (the foot board pieces).
Things got complicated when I started to attach the legs. Fastening the bun feet to the legs was easy. I just used the furniture pegs and some wood glue. Making the bench stable with the new legs is going to be the hard part. I think that I may have to build a new frame to stabilize the legs. First I am going to try the furniture pegs in the center of the legs. Then I will drive a screw diagonally into the leg and bottom of the bench. And hope that it will be stable enough. If not, then I am off to the hardware store to buy more wood.
 And hopefully by the middle of next week, I'll have a beautiful new piece of furniture for the kitchen table.
Plan B is to call my Uncle Dan and have him help me fix it. *SIGH*
Until then, I have to wait until my drill battery charges...again!
Here's some great inspiration pics.