I am an unfinished work, and so are many of my projects. This blog is just an odd collection of things I make and do.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tinkerbell Purse

Kristel loves Tinkerbell. 
and purses.
I sewed her one for Christmas.

The pattern is from madebyrae.blogspot.com.  It's called Buttercup Bag, and is designated as "for personal, noncommercial use only. Products made from this pattern may not be sold." Just so you know.  Please respect it. The Disney fabric is also labeled as for personal, noncommercial use.  Good thing it's a gift!

Here is the detail of one of the Tinkerbells, and you can see the pleats in it better than the picture above.

This is the original, which is a very cute purse.

I did make some changes, though. I put the button placket on, but I couldn't find buttons I liked in my collection, so I added the flower.

The original pattern called for one pocket inside; I put in two.  I did the whole outer shell with iron-on interfacing to make it a little stiffer and sturdier.

The original has the front and back sewn directly together. I wanted a bit more depth to it, so I added a band around the sides. 

In the original, she overlaps the strap down the outside a little and stitches it on. I decided to sew it into the lining. It is sewn onto the shell before I attached the lining. I then attached the lining with the strap around the bottom of the shell, zigzagged the edges, and after it was turned I topstitched the edges to hold the lining inside and it adds one more layer of stitching to the strap.  Hopefully it's plenty strong. It's a small purse, so it won't have too much weight in it.

I got all ready to sew, and had a short deadline, when I realized I didn't have the magnetic snap, so I used Velcro for the closure.

 As a final touch, I threw in a Dove dark chocolate bar, some eye shadow and lip gloss, and a pill organizer.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reusable Gift Bags

It's Christmas Eve
and I've got to wrap a few more gifts. 

Inspired by K La's resourceful ideas, I decided to quickly stitch together some simple gift bags.  

I have more fabric in Christmas prints from a never-completed (barely started) stocking project. My kids are grown and starting their own family traditions, and here I am with this pretty cloth.  

During the next year, I want to make more gift bags. I think I will line the next batch, especially if they have light-colored patches in the fabric.  I want to do more with things like buttons and ribbons.  But this is a good start.

Vegetarian Mom's Apron

 She started it this summer. 
I took one look at her logo and decided on her Christmas gift.

I couldn't find exactly the fabric I wanted, so I settled on blue with white polka-dots.

It looks a little busy, blinding even, in the picture, 
but the detail shows it's really a cute pattern.

I sent it along with a package of hand-made cookie mix and instruction sheet.  I hope she likes it, and she and her family enjoy the cookies! Chocolate cookies baking just smell and taste so good.

 Just in case she wants to make them again, the ingredients and recipes are on the back of the sheet. If you try this recipe and you like them, I'd love to hear about it!

The apron is made with about 3/4 yard of 44" wide fabric.  Cut it to 19" long, hem three sides, and gather the top.   Cut a waistband 1/2 of the waist measurement (+ 1 inch) and 3.5" wide.  Press one side down the width of your seam; attach unpressed side to apron skirt with right sides together. Hand baste first, then stitch after checking that your gathers are even. 

Press in ends to match sides of skirt; fold waistband over seam and press the fold.  Top-stitch or hand-stitch edge. Sew on 1 1/2 yards of wide grosgrain ribbon to make ties.  

If you can follow these directions without pictures, you probably don't need them. You could probably Google other tutorials for better directions. Here's one with pockets and fabric ties. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Santa Truck

 Facebook Status Fun 
 |^^^^^^^^^^^^^ |
 |   The Santa Truck         |  |”"”;..,___.
 |……_______ . . . , |=| _|__|..., ]\
“(@)’(@)”""*l'  (@)l'   (@)**l'(@)
 Christmas is coming.....
Put this as your status and keep the truck going.
I got this from Facebook. I don't know who designed it. I thought it would be cute to make the truck red and green so I transferred it to this blog just for fun.
 Merry Christmas 
to You and Your Family!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nursery Christmas Card

We have our Christmas Lesson
today in  the church Nursery.

For our little ones,
it focuses on Jesus being 
the Son of Heavenly Father. 

To simplify the idea, the picture we use is of Mary and the baby only. We can introduce Joseph as step-daddy later. I love this picture, the way it portrays the bond between Mary and her Heavenly child.

It can be found in the manual "Behold Your Little Ones" at LDS.org.  If you are interested in finding out about our beliefs, another good site is mormon.org.

We are letting the children decorate a Christmas card with foam shapes. We will slip the picture in and they can take it home. 

We did some at Thanksgiving with Christi's family, and the little ones loved it. 

The hands of a two year old. I didn't know how he would do with the markers, but he did great.

 Ginger Giraffe was quite interested.

 Even Mommy got into the act. 

Here are the finished cards. 

From Our House to Yours

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An Apron for the Princess

Missy M. is almost six years old.
She is into Princess stuff.

I used that theme for Christmas.

Using a combination of patterns and ideas I found on other blogs, I made her this cute apron.


So I made it pink on the other side.


Pink seemed a little plain by itself, so I made an applique of the fabric from the other side.


I love the elastic neckline and velcro closure to make it easy for her to put it on and off herself.



Of course, if a princess is going to wear an apron, she needs something to cook. So I made her a Princess Cookie Mix.


The extra little packet of chocolate is for nibbling. That way there is still plenty of chocolate left for the cookies.

I used to snack on chocolate chips, and it was a little treat for the grandchildren when I shared. Most days that Missy came over we made cookies of some sort, so hopefully this will help her feel her Grammy's love.

Here is the finished project, before I gift-wrapped it to send.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Ginger

Yep, I made the pie. But not the giraffe.

I cooked the pumpkin myself, strained it in cheesecloth, added homemade pumpkin pie spice mix and the other ingredients, and baked it just right.  Okay, the crust is the coolest thing...I bought it refrigerated, rolled it into the pan, and shaped the edges. Looks homemade, but it isn't. 

Our hostess made a beautiful apple pie with lattice crust on the top. Her little girls were so proud of that pie and the others she made. 

At this time of year, and always, I am thankful for family and friends. I am thankful for plentiful food, for my church, and especially for the Lord and his constant presence in my life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daily Shots

I have a friend who has to give herself a shot every day for the next two years. She went to buy a sharps container, and they are not cheap! The nurse said she could just use a milk jug if she wanted.

I made a small container; it's only going to last a month or two, but it came out cute. I simply took a white plastic jar with a screw-on lid and had Anthony drill a hole in the top. It's a little bigger than your typical cold-cream jar.

I made a decorative label, covered it with contact paper, and stuck it on the jar. And then I took it to her--but I forgot to take a picture first. Oops.

I can post the image of the label; I guess you can just picture it wrapped around the jar.

 Do you think your could give yourself shots every day?  I really think it would be hard. I hope this makes it at least a tiny bit more cheerful process for her, because for every needle she disposes in this little jar, it will remind her that someone cares about her.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crafty, Maybe, But Not Craftsy

I am working on kitchen curtains, but I've been hired on as a tutor at ITT-Tech, and it's the end of the quarter. My biggest project lately was making a review sheet for the students.  We had a big review session on Saturday--3 hours long.  5 students showed up at various times, out of the 20 or so enrolled.

 So, my pictures today are of math review!

If anyone wants all seven pages, please post a comment. These are just random selections.  I could probably improve them.  I think I'll run them by my math whiz son.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Digital Camera

I finally got my own little digital camera. Now I can take my own pictures of finished projects. Maybe that'll give me the incentive to actually get one done.

I read many reviews of inexpensive digital cameras, which said they don't give a lot of options. That's perfect for me! If I wanted options, I'd learn to use my husband's D-SLR. We went to Best Buy and played with a bunch of them, to get a feel for them.I finally settled on a Sony Cyber-shot.

I wanted black but it had to be special-ordered so I decided on silver so I could have it right now.

The other choice available locally was red, but it was a little too close to Utah Red! 

The BYU Blue one also had to be special-ordered. I really didn't want a color anyway, but that black was a very pretty camera!

The one I got doesn't say on the box it does video, and I was disappointed when I realized that.  Happily, it does have that feature, which will be nice when I see my family again, and it looks really easy to use.

It does have a lithium ion rechargeable battery, supposed to last 230 pictures. It's lighter and doesn't require carrying a bunch of batteries around, so that's good. But what if it dies in the middle of an important event? The Nikon Coolpix that takes AA batteries is a nicer shape, though. And should I have held out for black and waited the week for it to be shipped?

Buyers' Remorse. Isn't it awful? I'm happy, I got a camera, on sale, with a gift card to pay for the first $50 of it (Thank you Qwest) and now I can take pictures and basic videos.  I gave in to the temptation of comparing my price to the online price, and guess what?  I only found one price $5 lower; all the others were at least $10 higher. It's a wash between shipping and state sales tax, so I feel really good about the price. And I am helping support local people in keeping jobs.

I guess my next project is reading the manual.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego?

My biggest project of the year came up in July. After an unexpected job offer, we made a sudden move, 1200 miles away from our family and friends.  This move has been taxing in so many ways.  I've been lonesome, tired, homesick, and sick.  On the plus side, I'm making new friends, developing a new life, and have a job I love.

To start off with, we loaded the absolute necessities for a month-long trip into my car. Summer clothes, since this was July. Computers & monitor, blankets, first aid kit, toiletries, and my sleep machine, (cpap) along with a good supply of snacks and bottled water, were included in this list.  Then we hit the road.

At the first night's stop, we discovered something I had overlooked, when we got to a hotel with a pool, so we headed to Walmart for an inexpensive swimsuit.  We found that swimming at night was the perfect way to unwind after a long day in the car--or even 2 hours, which is all we made the first day, after we finally got out of the house.

We stayed a few days in a Super 8 motel. Sadly, they didn't have a pool. They did have the most secure internet we found on the whole trip--and the lowest price.  We started apartment hunting, and went to church on Sunday. "We don't know if we're visitors or new members of your congregation; it depends on where we end up living!"

On Monday Anthony went to work while I used Ethel, our trusty GPS, to find my way around town and look at more houses and apartments.  That night the owner of this darling little house called, and on Tuesday we signed a lease with him.

It's a great little home for us, complete with chicken wallpaper in the kitchen!  I asked the landlord about changing the wallpaper, but he said no. He's kind of partial to the chickens, I guess. So I am sewing cute muslin curtains and hanging color-coordinated pictures.

I found this darling table and 5 matching chairs at Goodwill, to complement our country kitchen look. I knew there was no way our dining table would fit in the space available.

After a month, we went back to our hometown and loaded the rest of our belongings into a Budget truck.  That was an adventure in itself!  Two of our sons came along; one transferred to a state university nearby, and the other helped us drive the truck and unload before flying home and off to adventures of his own in a Master's Degree program.

While we were there, we attended a special event, the sealing of our son's family at the temple. We believe that when families are sealed in the temple, by special authority, they can be together, not just until death, but for eternity. 

We have visited historic Nauvoo, Illinois, including a couple of visits to the Nauvoo Temple.  We plan to visit other local sites as time goes by.  We have also been to Lake McBride and Bloomsbury Farm for the corn maze and other fun activities. It's a great place that I hope to take the grandchildren next summer!

I picked out this cute little giraffe and started the "Ginger Project" to help the grandchildren relate to our activities and, hopefully, feel closer to us.  We take Ginger all sorts of places and take pictures to send to the grandchildren, by phone or Facebook.  It's fun.  We bought a Ginger to send to them, but so far I think she has only visited one family.  In this picture, Ginger meets a new friend.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pillow Perplexities

One day Missy L was at Dominic and Holly's house and she ripped the decoration off one of their throw pillows. She was in big trouble! And it was a random silly reason, not an accident.

I felt it was important to teach her about restitution, so with her mom's permission, I helped her sew a new pillow for Holly. She had to pay for the pillow form herself, out of her allowance. This pretty pillow is the end result. It's a bit Christmas-y but Holly didn't seem to mind, and it fits with the red chair and red accents she and Dominic have in their living room. I had the fabric, so we didn't have to buy more.

Missy also had to give the pillow to Holly herself, and apologize and admit what she had done. She also had to admit it to her parents. Confessing was probably the hardest part for her but she was a brave girl and told the truth. Holly accepted it graciously and the matter was closed.

I fixed the old pillow as well as I could, since it seemed to mean a lot to Holly. I think her Grandma or someone like that gave it to her. So now Holly has two pillows.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was in love with life, and with romance. One day she asked her mother if she could have a bride doll for Christmas. Her mother said no, because they lived out in the country, and a bride doll would be exposed to dust and dirt.  The little girl was sad, and though life went on, she never forgot the doll she dreamed of.

When the little girl was grown up, she became a bride. Her sister Sandy sewed a beautiful dress for her, and she was happily married to her Prince Charming.

About ten years after they were married, Prince Charming gave the girl a pretty porcelain doll she had admired in the store. She bought another one on a special trip with her mother and some of her sisters. As time went on, she began collecting dolls from special occasions. One is from Easter, another belonged to her mother, one was given to her by her mother-in-law, whom she loves.

One day, during a casual phone conversation, the girl and Sandy talked about her dolls, and she mentioned the bride doll she'd always wanted. That year for her birthday, Sandy gave her a very special porcelain bride doll. It had a name on the tag, and the name was Nancy, which they both loved because it was the name of another sister.

After a few years, and a few moves, the girl noticed that the doll was showing a bit of wear. The veil wouldn't stay attached, and the socks fell down.  One day she decided to spruce up the doll. She carefully hand-washed the dress and petticoat, replaced the petticoat elastic, and created a tiara out of some little pearly beads.

She made a bracelet to match the tiara.

The girl used tiny hair elastics to hold up the socks.

Now the bride is ready for her wedding. The girl was amused to notice that the doll had no bloomers, as most porcelain dolls do. That may be a project for the future, but the bride is headed for her honeymoon, right?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Little Squirt Birthday Cake

I am a woman of many talents...cake decorating just doesn't happen to be one of them.  However, my grandson T wanted a cake shaped like a squirt gun for his birthday. It's expensive to special order such a cake, so the parents asked if I could do it. It was easy to cut out the shape, but when I set aside the pieces for the trigger guard and cap, Grandpa ate them!  Luckily I still had the corner piece, but I re-cut it in a hurry so it's quite out of proportion to the rest of the squirt gun.

The frosting is stabilized whipped cream. I wish I had a little more whipping cream so I could have made it thicker and my corners didn't show through so much.

I did get teased about the "IV" when it means 4, not 5.  Oops. I meant to put five, and I know it's V. I just goofed.  Notice the five white candles forming the "squirt of water" at the left side. The blue sprinkles are supposed to represent squirted water drops too. I "glued" them on with egg white.

T seemed to like the cake--and after he blew out the candles, he reached right out and ate some of the blue gel from the tray. I'm glad it was from there and not the cake!

Monday, June 14, 2010


My roses are blooming in spite of the rainy spring.  I pruned them last year, and gave them rose food early this spring, since I happened to find a bag of rose food spikes when we were sorting the garage.  Kevin has helped a lot with the roses, especially enjoying keeping the dead ones trimmed off for me.

The first one to bloom was gorgeous but rather shy, 
peeking out from deep in the foliage.

After that the yellow bush decided to go wild 
and bloom with dozens at once.

And here's a closer look at one vivid yellow rosebud. 
Yellow roses are for friendship, 
so here's a salute to my friends.

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Flower Garden

I got my annuals planted out front!  They don't look like much now, but in a few weeks I'll have pretty flowers. That's my favorite part of gardening. The gray-white things are dusty miller. They wintered over. They were big so I chopped them way back. It doesn't seem to have bothered them much.

I always cut off the blooms when I plant annuals, so they put their strength into spreading out for a while before they bloom, giving me bigger, healthier plants with more blooms later. Petunias are quick anyway, and they are already blooming in this bed, which I planted about a week ago.

These old buckets don't carry water any more, but they were gorgeous last year as planted containers.  Anthony rigged them up so the soaker hose from the rose bushes keeps them watered regularly.

The next one is an oak half-barrel with a plastic liner. It does so much better retaining moisture with the liner, and for annuals it only needs to be 6" deep, so it is not as heavy as it would be in case I decide to move it a bit. Once the flowers grow and bloom, you really don't even see the liner, just a tub full of blooms.

I didn't really do any high plants this year, because I'm pinching pennies, but I had to get a few flowers at least. I started some tall plants from seeds just to try them, but I don't know how much luck I'll have with them.  The tiny sprouts you can see if you look carefully are from last year's snapdragons. I scattered the seeds at the end of summer.