Monday, December 30, 2013

Water Bottle Carriers

I made my first water bottle carrier for Kelly--we drove up to Cascade Springs that afternoon during one of my weekend visits.
This is a detail of the knit pattern. Many of you got them for Christmas--hope you enjoy them!
They're made of 100% wool, so they are felted down to shrink over a quart size mason jar.
These are the ones I made my younger grandkids, they are for a regular water bottle--and yes, they are drying on my shower curtain pole after a nice hot shrinking in the washer!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Make Something

The sky is the limit for this one.  Anything goes. 


A friend and I decided to join forces and try selling these pretty dishcloths at some holiday craft fairs this year.  She bought the lovely fabric and I cut and sewed a nice edge around them then tied them together in either sets of two or as singles.  She will take them to the craft fairs and sell them.  Then we split the profit.  I just finished edging 59 for the craft fair this weekend.  I wonder how it will go.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Secret Santa

I joined in with a group of gals here at the school in a Secret Santa swap.  I love getting and giving random gifts!

My Secret Santa has been busy in her workshop making this amazing advent banner.  Each and every one of the 25 stars has an adorably hand stitched pocket on its tummy.  I love it!  Squeeeee!!!  And the set came complete with 25 delicious chocolates to tuck into the pockets.  But who can only have one chocolate per day?  Certainly not me.  

I made a couple of ribbon and bead ornaments for my secret person.  I used 3/4" grosgrain ribbon, glass beads and buttons.  I really like how they turned out!  Maybe I'll make a set for my tree...  But if I did I would probably end up giving them away to someone else. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gingham Checked Rag Doll

When I was 16 years old (an eternity ago!) I made my little niece Traci a pink gingham checked doll for her first birthday. We shared a lot of fun times together when she was a little girl. I loved her so much! Recently, Traci passed away, leaving grown-up children of her own. As I pondered over what I could do in remembrance of my sweet niece, the visual image of this doll came back to me and I knew I needed to make her daughter something I had made for her mom many years earlier. So, Traci, I love you, and  here for your daughter is that silly little pink checked rag doll.  

Baby Sea Animal Quilt

I started this quilt three years ago, and finally got all the pieces sewn together. I still have to put on the boarder and then of course the batting and backing. But the big work is done. I used a pattern (McCall's 6096) for the top three animals--ugh! That's why it took 3 years! What a lot of little pattern pieces, many duplicates of the same animal. My favorite animals are the two that I created myself, the sea turtle and the sea horse.

I hand appliqued the stars and animals using the freezer paper technique, and embroidered a few mouths.

I couldn't figure out where to put a mouth on the sea horse, so she will just have to be the silent type.
So the crab is pleasant enough...

The blow fish is kind of a dork...

And the octopus? Well, maybe we should call him a pentopus--get it, 5 legs, instead of 8. OK, so I'm an art teacher--the other 3 legs are really there, we just can't see them!

XeTava Lemonade

So for my birthday, Lisa & Bill took me and the girls to this wonderful local restaurant called XeTava--it was HOT outside, the desert tends to be that way in July. We ordered a lovely refreshing lemonade. While the rest of the lunch was scrumptious, it was the lemonade that was the real hit. I just had to try and duplicate it, so here goes.....

1 Cup fresh lemon juice--about 6 lemons
3/4 Cup Agave
1/8 Cup fresh mint leaves
2 Cups water

Blend this all up in your Vita Mix, you can stop before all the pieces of mint are liquified, or like I did, just blend it till it's a nice smooth light green. You're not done!

Now you are going to add the following:

1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla
1/4 Cup canned coconut milk
1/8 teaspoon Xanthan Gum (this is totally optional, it just holds things in suspension-a health food item)
7 Cups of Ice

Now blend this all up till it begs to be poured into a nice tall glass. Top with a sprig of fresh mint, a mini umbrella, and get ready for one of the most refreshing drinks EVER!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Teapot froo froo

We gave a teapot to our friends as a little thank you gift for letting us park our camper at their house for a week.  I wanted to dress it up a little before presenting it.  I made a little felt flower with wool felt, glass beads and a big safety eye for the middle to hold everything together.  I attached it with a little crocheted tie with beads on the ends.  

If you look at the reflection in the teapot you can get a little glimpse into what we've been calling home for the past month and a half.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baby Hsia Sweater

I started knitting this while nursing my twin baby girls five years ago. With my babies propped up on a boppy pillow on my lap, I realized that I could easily knit while they nursed. It was quite a sight.  I was a pretty slow knitter at that point in my life. I only got halfway done with this sweater before they started getting old enough to start pulling at the yarn. So it went into the unfinished project bin for many years. I dug it out and decided to finish the sweater for my good friend who is due with baby number two any day now.
The pattern is Bamboo Baby by Tamara Del Sonno from One Skein Wonders.  I used a soft and squishy cotton blend yarn called Idena Sorbetto with size 7 needles.

Friday, April 19, 2013


I'm going to my friend's baby shower in a few hours. She's having a little girl. I made these out of Rene's gingerbread cookie recipe. I just don't get enough of those cookies if I only make them at Christmas time!
I used a royal frosting recipe for the frosting, which tasted terrible.  It looks cute, is easy to use, and dries to a nice hard finish, but has no redeeming qualities once it goes into your mouth. Use the cream cheese frosting instead if flavor is important.

Grandma Rene's Gingerbread Cookies
(the traditional recipe)

2 cups sugar (part brown, part white)
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
3 - 4 eggs
1 cup honey and molasses (mostly honey)
1 tablespoon ground ginger (heaping)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon oil
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
8 - 9 cups flour

Combine all ingredients, chill at least 1 hour.  Roll out 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter or jar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9 min or until edges are barely browned.  Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 - 3 drops of cinnamon oil
2 - 3 cups powdered sugar (maybe more...i'm not too
certain about exactly how much to use)

Mix cream cheese and butter until creamy, add vanilla and oil.  Add powdered sugar and blend, adding more powdered sugar if too runny or a tiny amounts of milk if too thick.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Little Dolly and Her Cuddly Kitty

This little dolly and her friend were a birthday present for a friend of Mabel and Stella. I think that I will probably have to make at least two more sets of these in the very near future.

I made them both out of wool felt. Dolly's hair is sock yarn. I discovered that wool felt is much nicer than the cheaper polyester felt from the fabric store. It doesn't shine as much and the stitches are not quite so noticeable as with the poly felt. It is just about a dollar a sheet, but I think it's worth it.

I made the pattern for Dolly and her dress myself. I don't love how long her head is. She's got a Tyra Banks five-head thing going on. Maybe after I make a couple more with smaller noggins I'll post a link to a pattern. The kitty pattern came from a favorite book of mine, Palm-Sized Softies.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Mabel and Stella passed out these little notebooks for Valentine's Day today.  We chose some clip art and then created a layout with four book covers per page.  I used my sewing machine to bind the books.

If you'd like to make your own valentine's books, you can download a pdf of the book cover page.  (I've left off the names at the bottom for the download.)

1.  Print your booklet covers on card stock to make a sturdier cover.  

2.  Stack up four or five blank pages behind the cover and use a binder clip to hold them together.

3.  Use a longer stitch length on your sewing machine and sew down the left side of each picture.  There are little grey sewing lines printed on the page for you to follow.

4.  Cut along the remaining grey lines to separate each booklet.  I used my ruler and rotary cutter and it made the job super easy.  

5.  Fold each booklet along the stitching line, trim the edges to make them neat and you're done!

We also used Heidi's Clover Crayon idea to melt down some crayons from our vast supply of broken ones and made little heart shaped crayons to go along with each book.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

We're having an art party

I've committed to having eight small kids come to our house and run around with paint, markers and frosting to celebrate Mabel and Stella's fifth birthday. They are very, very into creating art lately.

I made a rainbow of birthday invitations using paint chips from Home Depot.  The glue that I was using wasn't doing a very good job of holding things together, so I sewed everything together with my sewing machine.  And matching thread, of course.