Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thrifting goodies and a little something new!

Minion 2 and I went thrifting yesterday, and what started out as a clothing trip for him became that and so much more!

He's always been my child who loves yard sales, antique stores and thrifting, and of all the boys, he's always been my biggest cheerleader when it comes to my sewing and my biz before I stepped back. So, it really wasn't much of a surprise that he suggested we turn our fun into something more.

We had a stellar thrifting day yesterday, even with not getting going until late by 50% day standards!

Here are some of the goodies we managed to grab up..




Some Fireking, linens, and a couple of books for my library.

 I live the Pfaltzgraff winter berry, it's so delicate and elegant. This candle plate was only $0.45!
A Nora Roberts I didn't have, and while I don't read many Historical romances any more, I have the 2 companion books by Arnette Lamb, and for $0.45 a book, why not complete the set right?
 Probably one of my favorite finds of the day, 2 vintage pillowcases and matching flat sheet..$1.50 for all 3!
 And another great find..These ones might just live at my house for a bit, 2 vintage pillow cases with hand crocheted trim..see that 59 on that tag? that was a piece, AND since it was half price day I got them both for that..yeah, I love 50% off day hehe.
 a couple of fire king bowls for our new Etsy shop. 1962-66 Peach Lustre Fire King
 Wheat Cake Pan...also in our Etsy shop
 I picked up this wooden plaque for a quarter, I have plans for it :)

 Another fire King bowl (lid isn't original) This is the Federal Sunflower print. I'm not sure of the date, I have to wait for my book to research it.
 I loved this little pitcher, it was priced at $0.99, this was at the salvation Army, which wasn't on 50% off, but the price was right ;)
 This baking dish cradle came in at $0.99 after the discount, I have a project in mind for this one too.
 Another great find, this is like BRAND new!

 This was a bargain at $2.99, There are a couple of holes, so it goes into the project pile, I can't wait for the chance to work my magic on it!
Tomorrow minion 2 has to get his weekly allergy shot, we are going to hit a couple of places on that side of town to see if we can score some more stock..and this weekend there is an antique and craft show at a local high school..Let the hunt begin!!










Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More last minute Halloween crafting!

So I've been working on some Halloween decorations over the past couple of weeks and realized that if I didn't share them soon I likely wasn't going to be able to before Halloween!!

 Some Skull art using an image from Graphicsfairy.com, and the burnished image transfer method.

I made this skull garland using Embroidery floss and some Target $1 bin erasers. I just threaded a long sharp needle and went through the soft eraser. (as a side note, I had plans to do the entire bag of these, but this is as far as a I got before my embroidery floss started breaking down. I highly recommend something that can withstand the friction better.)
 This was a fun project, I just drew the letters and exclamation point out on thin cardboard, painted the letters green and hot glued the dollar tree eyes all over. For the web, I painted a bit of lace black and dusted it with glitter, then glued it to the back side of the cardboard frame I left for just this purpose. The spider's body got the same paint and glitter treatment and then using my scissors, I just poked 4 holes on each side, and threaded 4 half pipe cleaners through from the back, hot glued the eyes on and called it done :)
I made these candles I saw on Polish the Stars blog yesterday. I need to redo the inserts as they aren't deep enough for my dollar store tea lights.

And that is it from me for now my friends, If I can fit more in before the big day I'll try my best to share!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Not so extreme couponing...

I am a coupon-er. I'm not a freak, I'm not a hoarder (unless you count crafting supplies..and really, if you actually use it are you really hoarding?!?) I just use coupons as a way to keep the family budget down.

I have had those trips like you've see on TV, maybe not to that extreme, but I have purchased 50 of an item (Hamburger helper) to stock up when the price was right (umm..$.25 a box...I'll take it) Or as during this past weeks shopping at the buy 5 get $5 event at Kroger when I purchased a total of 175 boxes of Pasta Roni, Rice a Roni and Betty Crocker potatoes for $4.00 (yeah, $.02 a box? no brainer!) and I do have about a years worth of hygiene and dental items I paid little to nothing for, but what makes the coupon-er's budget work is that all of the money that is saved by NOT buying those items we get free is used to buy fresh produce and meats.

In my case, I coupon to stock up for several months, and then, I don't shop for anything but the basics for a month or 2. instead we use up the stockpiled items and put the money from the grocery budget to better use elsewhere. For example, last year I stopped grocery shopping for anything more than produce, bread and dairy in November, and didn't pick back up with the rest of the grocery shopping until mid-end January. Thereby saving that $100 a week to use one something else, in that instance Christmas and Birthdays for the boys.

Now, to those naysayers clucking their tongues at the thought of boxed dinners, let me give you an example of what I do with those. This was Sunday's dinner..and it cost me less than $1.10 per serving..

Here is the cost breakdown.
1. Half a loaf of walmart everything bread-- Reg price $1.87, marked down to $.99 ( I bought all they had and froze them, wrapped in foil and popped in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes and you can't tell it's day, or rather weeks old bread) - $.50

2. Seapak shrimp poppers- reg price $1.67 a box X 5 = $8.35, after my coupons, $4.60

3. Green Giant Seasoned steamers, Reg price $2.29 Sale price $1.67, after my coupons, $0.17

4. 2 boxes of doctored olive oil and italian herb Pasta Roni- Reg. price $1.38 X 2 = $2.76 , sale price, $2.00, after coupons $0.04.

5. 5 fresh mushrooms sliced- $.25 (pack cost $.069, I used a hair over 1/3)

6. 1/8th of a red onion - $0.15

7. 2 garlic cloves - $0.05

8 1/4 cup grated parmesan - $0.50

9. 3 TBS Olive oil - $0.65

10 Sweet Basil - .05

Which gives me a total of $6.96 , This equaled out to about 6.5 servings, which brings my total in at  $1.070769 etc..

Here's how I doctored up the pasta.

In a med/large skillet, bring 1 tbs of olive oil to a med heat. add sliced mushrooms and sliced onion. Salt and then let them sweat for about 2 minutes. add sliced garlic clove, finish cooking until nicely sauteed. Prepare pasta according to package directions. After sauce thickens a bit, add contents of skillet, a pinch of sweet basil and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Toss and serve..

Not bad right?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mummy pillow tutorial..ish?




I started out with the best of intentions on this project, taking lots of pictures, then I got caught up in it and the camera sat idle. Fortunately it's a fairly easy project so I am sure you all can follow along even if there aren't as many visuals!

Supplies:
1 yard 45" unbleached muslin
1 fat quart backing fabric
green and black scraps
black embroidery floss (optional)
poly-fil (or equivalent)
sewing machine, thread, scissors, hand sewing needle

Since I was making an actual pillow and not a pillow cover, I started with a 16" square of the muslin for my base. Then, using my scissors I made random snips in the folded edge of the remainder of the muslin and then tore the stips apart.

 Then lay out your first strip


Pin in place


 and sew it down, Then snip the remainder of the strip off at the edge of the pillow foundation (I was able to get 2 pieces on the pillow front from each strip, plus a little left over for on the corners)


 repeat in varying angles until you have covered your foundation


 and here is where I stopped taking pictures LOL!

Once I had my foundation covered, I cut out some ovals for eye out of my green, then smaller circles for pupils out of black, and sewed them on using my machine's blanket stitch. you can also use a straight stitch or even a zig zag.

When your front is finished, press, then trim down to a 15" square and set aside.

Cut your fat quarter into a 15" square for your back. Pint the two sides together, right sides facing and sew around leaving a 3" space on the bottom edge for turning and stuffing.

Clip your corners, and turn. Then using poly fill as directed, stuff your pillow. you will want to stuff it firmly as after some use the poly fill will condense and you don't want a flat pillow! Hand stitch your opening closed.

Now, due to my hubby and youngest son's insistence that my mummy needed a mouth. I threaded up some black embroidery thread and stitched one on. I think it actually made it look like a friendly mummy, which is just fine with me ;)





Friday, October 19, 2012

Sewing for fall

In the past week I've managed to get a couple of quick projects whipped up, 2 different scarves for fall, The first one is in the more traditional style, and a bit shabby chic..Don't mind my mess, I'm working on de-stashing, those are my sort piles :)

I made this using beige linen and Princess Butterfly crowns by In The Beginning fabrics

And today I whipped up this infinity scarf, I changed it up a bit by using 2 different fabrics, unfortunately, 60" just isn't enough length for anyone not of a smaller stature, so I will be making more of a larger size for those of us who are of a larger size.
Look for these to be available in my shop soon, both as finished products and a multi-project tutorial!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A little quilting and a new challenge to myself

Tuesday was a great sewing day for me. I don't get to sew as much as I used to, my priorities have shifted back into 50's housewife...or as my Mom calls it "Suzy Homemaker" mode. Which I am perfectly happy about, though I do miss sewing every day. My hope is to perhaps be able to squeeze in an hour everyday, after I've tweaked our daily schedule to allow for everything else to get done.

One of the many changes I'm working on is to shop my stash, I've got a horrendous amount of fabric, and I struggle with always wanting to buy more. I've pledged to not buy ANYthing crafty in the next 6 weeks, and to work strictly from my stash. this goes for general crafting as well as sewing. The only caveat to this is in regards to batting and bindings, and binding simply because I don't have any deep dark almost black fabric in my stash, and I feel that the quilt I worked on last night needs it for the binding, and I'm low on larger pieces of batting.




So in the interests of doing some stash busting, I put together this quick little disappearing nine patch quilt. I love the patchy happy colors of this. I made it using a Happy Daisy charm pack. It's backed in Yellow Flannel and the binding is Tarragon Kona.  It's the perfect size for a baby, a table topper, or even a wall hanging! I've still got to hand sew the binding down, I was going to do so with some Dexter last night, but I got sidetracked with my Neptune jelly roll, or rather most of one ( I used a few strips for phone cases a couple of years ago).

I used up all of my strips I had left, and just started sewing 5 together. then I cut those into 10 1/4 " squares
Here's where I started laying them out..and I have really, really got to get my design wall up!

This will be the center of the quilt, the plan is to add a border in a beige/tan kona (I can't remember the actual name) followed by a border of scraps, then the tan again and bind it in This DS Quilts fabric I found at Joanns today.


I didn't buy it yet, mainly because I haven't decided how big the quilt will be when I am finished, but it feels good to have a plan :)

Here's hoping for a bit more sewing today!




Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How does quilting make me feel?

Yesterday Kristyne of Pretty by Hand posted about how quilting makes her feel,  And today while commenting, I was inspired to write up my own blog post about the emotions quilting, and sewing in general, evoke in me.



Sewing, in any form brings me such joy and contentment. Be it quilting, making a new bag, to doing needlework, I love it all.

I come from a large, but very non tight knit family. We aren't even scattered all over, but since my Dad left us when I was in the 4th grade, the get togethers on his side of the family stopped (for my brother, sister and I anyhow), and when my Maternal Grandma passed away when I was 16, the get togethers on Mom's side of the family stopped as well, She was the glue that held that side of our family together..and I miss her more than I could ever put into words, but I digress. The point is that since I didn't have it, I've always wanted that large, tight knit, everyone looks out for each other, you can depend on them kind of family..and have many more "old fashioned" values than most of my generation is comfortable with.

Sewing and quilting allows me to feel that connection to other women in the generations that have gone before, that sense of history that I've struggled to find for so long. For hundreds of years women have been sewing, stitching and quilting, sharing their gift of time and skill with their friends and family, and passing those skills and that love on from one generation to the next.

I do my sewing on old school machines, that were used and loved by women before me, my beloved Janome that was made when I was a newborn, and the Kenmore that was loved by 2 generations before coming to my hands. I look forward to the time when my 1 owner Necchi is brought back to life, and plan to make a vintage fabric quilt using my treadle machine in the coming year. Knowing that the women who owned and loved these machines before me probably felt the same way I do when working on or completing a project.
So, yes, I would say that my sewing brings me joy, although more importantly it makes me feel a connection, and feeling of family history that I've missed out on since I was a child, And one day, I hope to pass my knowledge and skills on to my Daughter's in law, or grandchildren (the sewing bug has skipped my boys) to do my part in preserving the history and continuing the passing of the needle to the next generation.

In stitches,