Monday, December 20, 2010

A Penny Saved

We were at the weekly auction a few weeks ago, and they were selling a lot of farm related pieces. Among them were several feed and corn type scoops.The prices they were bringing was ridiculously cheap, but I couldn't help but think about our little home made scoops we use at home.We take a one gallon plastic jug,usually a vinegar jug or bleach jug, and cut it to serve as a scoop. We have made and used these for many years. I just wondered why other folks don't have the insight to do the same. Especially with money so scarce, and prices so high.It only came to less than $20. for 3 or 4 scoops,but that would buy a few items, needed worse,especially right here around Christmastime. I suppose a lot of this way of thinking never comes at all to some folks, or if it does, it will do so as they grow older and wiser. These were young folks doing the buying,and being frugal just doesn't seem to enter young minds unless they have been exposed to that life style all along the way.I can only hope that my grandchildren are taking note of some of my frugal ways.One doesn't have to be eccentric to be frugal.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ever Needed Faux Matches?

Who in their wildest dreams, would have ever thought they would need fake matches? Not me. Well, with small Grandchildren, you find you need a lot of things you never needed before.
I recieved this Match Holder years ago,for a gift, and never used any matches with it. I have hung it up near the heating stove during various Christmases, but never ever thought about putting matches in it. They are so tempting to young fingers, and then there is always the chance of them igniting from the heat from the stove. Well, this year, I decided I wanted matches in the little holder,so I set out to find something to use. I had a bottle of fragrance in which the liquid had all evaporated,so I took the wooden sticks from it, and used them. It wasn't until later, that I ran across the bottle of little sticks I had found at a yard sale. Nevertheless, I took a red candle and lit it, then dipped my sticks into the red wax a couple of times each, until they looked like match heads, then I used white craft paint to dip the very tip into.I was very pleased with the results. Wal-lah! Now I know how to make Faux Matches.Double click on the picture, and you can get an up close look. I was not as neat as I should have been with them,but then this was my first try.

Working with wood scraps

If you have read any of my blogs, you have probably figured out, I have no rhyme nor reason,no plan or schedule, for making any of the things I make. It just depends on the mood I'm in,as to what craft I may undertake at that moment.
The holidays bring out a lot of my desires for making some things.Then I proceed with whatever notion I have at the moment. If I like that idea, and it turns out nicely, then I may proceed to make several of that particular item,in various ways.I love making wall hanging,mainly from wood pieces.I love verses, and quotations.Usually those that would "strike a chord" with anyone.I use a lot of scrap lumber,metal,what ever is available,that I can save and recycle in the making of my crafts.

I found a pile of scrap lumber, here lately,piled on a small lot near the road I travel, when picking up the grandchildren. I knew the folks who owned the land, and I knew that pile would be burned shortly,as they have done in the past. I stopped to ask if I could scavenge through the pile,but no one was home.Since I did know the family, I went ahead and loaded several pieces of the lumber into my truck, and called them later.

They were elated to hear that I could use any of it. They said I could stop anytime I saw a pile there and take whatever I wanted before it was burned. I was so glad I stopped. I will be watching that spot on a regular basis from now on.

I have posted some pictures of a few of my wall hangings I've made lately.
I have not sprayed them with a coat of varnish to seal them good yet, but I will do that as time allows.
I really enjoyed making the little blackboards.I have not put the strings on them yet,by which they will be hung, but that will be my next project.Drilling the holes and attaching the string and chalk to each one.

The little square pieces is supposed to be just a pad to hold a hot bowl,so as not to damage the table or tablecloth. I cut and glued them and held them together tightly with my new vice type thingies I bought at the auction for $4. each. I knew they would come in handy in my crafts somehow.I sanded them on my belt sander. I have not been brave enough to try my new planer yet,then I brushed them with a coat of stain/sealer. I will put a coat of polyurethane on them next.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Using up Little Bits and Pieces

This is another favorite project of mine. Using up little bit and pieces of Christmas trimmings. You know, the fragments of garlands, and leaves that have fallen off of the holly or mistletoe,or bits of greenery from the tree or from the garland you usually hang on the banister railing. Tiny bulbs and bells and ribbons, that are too numerous and meticulous to hang on the tree.I usually pitch mine in a special box or container, until I get in the mood to do something with them. That's usually right in the middle of Christmas preparations, when I really don't have the time for "playing".That's what I call all the fun things I love to do. Things I should do after I have finished all the things I must do.Only Heaven knows,who ever thought up that rule.Must have been a man.I like to play when I feel like it, and work when I feel like it. Playing for a spell, rejuvenates me, thus helping me to do more work later.

The many ways you can use these tiny fragments are endless. I use them by hot gluing them on tops of jars of jellies and jams when I give them as gifts. If you make those mixes in a jar for gifts,glue an arrangement to the jar top.Or,I simply glue several little pieces of Christmas glitz together,on a piece of wood or a piece of cardboard that has been covered with a pretty paper or fabric, for a nice piece to set around the house during the Holidays.It makes the house feel so Christmasy.(I wonder if that's a word)

I have other ways of using up bits and pieces that I will be posting along the way.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tweeking in Progress!

I picked a bad time to start a new blog, but I'll not be discouraged or whipped.With all the goings on around this place, on a regular day,it's hard to keep one's sanity.Now with Halloween and Thanksgiving over, and Christmas, right around the corner,and let's not forget the birthdays and anniversaries. Oh, how I wish I had a secretary. Oops!I made that mistake once before. Be careful what you wish for, or at least make it very clear, just exactly what you mean.I didn't mean one of those little black pocket type things that you must spend hours programing and setting up. That's what I got that year for Christmas, and it's sitting in a drawer somewhere. That was one gift, I wish I had not asked for,but it is a gift, and you should be thankful for gifts and deal with it.I just don't have time to give it all the attention it needs, to do it's job properly. It has boocoodles of bells and whistles to remind you of various things(if you take time to set it up.)Maybe I should have wished for Time(Most likely,I would have gotten a nice watch).
Well, since time is what I need,and that is definitely one thing no one can give you, I guess the next best thing is to tweek my schedule.(And post it everywhere possible,for all to see,)
On days when I am here alone, I can get so much done(if my biorhythm is on the upswing in the physical aspect of it).But it's the luck of the draw as to whether that will happen. I have days when my energy level is over the top, then days where it's crashed to the bottom with no hope of coercing it to any other level.

I got a little feed back from my sister over at Nails in My Pocket and she suggested I do a little tweeking to my directions. Specifically,on my post about using woolen fabric for the rolled fabric base in my pincushions.She's right, and I will get back to that, but let me tweek my time schedule a bit, and I promise,I will do better.

(Oh,Vicki,how I wish you could come for a few days or weeks, or maybe months.I sure could use your help.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Lap Table

As I sit with Pop some evenings, and watch a good western movie, I like to work on some type of craft. Tonight I had a little trouble deciding which craft it would be, I have so many in progress.I kept thinking,If only I had a lap table.Wah-lah!That's my project for tonight.
I had my hands on a board just this week, and I refused to cut it. I needed some small pieces to finish up my cup cupboard,but I felt I could better utilize that nice square piece of wood, better in another way.So I set it aside.
While sorting through some of my fabric stash, I found several large pieces of a corduroy type of fabric, and wondered what in the world I would ever do with that.It was just the thing I needed for my project.
First, I cut a bed pad up to where it fit the board perfectly, top and bottom.It is not necessary to leave any overhanging fabric on the underneath fabric. I glued it securely on both sides of the board.Then I proceeded to make a pillow case type covering for the board from the corduroy fabric. Once I had the pillow case of sorts fitted snugly onto the board, I sewed the opening up completely.I rummaged through my goodies drawers,which is about 6 drawers or so of ribbons,lace,buttons,etc., with the intention of finding an appropriate trim, and hot gluing it around the edges, or doing an embroidery stitch all around it. Instead, I opted to use fabric paint, and make the chicken scratch type stitches that way.I simply made X's all around the edges,since my embroidering is a bit rusty, and it suited me just fine.I used opposing color paint, which in this case was orange on the green fabric. It pleased me just fine, but the choice of colors, fabric and trim would be yours.

When you make your lap table,hot glue a small piece of flat metal(about the size of a quarter will do) on one corner,one on both sides would be better,then no matter which side you had facing up,you'd have a spot to stick you little pin cushion. (a strip of a metal tin can or lid will do)
Check it to be sure the magnet will stick to the metal before gluing it to the board.
They are making everything so much cheaper nowadays.

The whole time I was making the board, I was watching a Christmas program where the family members drew names, and made a handmade gift for the person they had drawn.Even before they spoke of drawing names, I was thinking,while working,Wouldn't it be wonderful to do something like that for Christmas. Like The Little House On the Prairie. No spend,spend,spending our hard earned money on things that would never be used.What I would give to turn back the clock and have that kind of Christmas back again.It would do the children,especially, a tremendous service if they could experience that type of Christmas for a change.

I feel my directions would be easy enough for a beginner to follow,which is my goal, but if I have not explained it clear enough, simply leave me a comment, and I will try my best to clarify and simplify them.Thanks for visiting and Happy crafting.

(After reading Brendie's comment, I edited a bit. She suggested putting a strip of Velcro on the lap board some where for her pin cushion.That is a great idea,but with my little pincushions with a magnet on the bottom,(you might have one like that) then you might consider putting the metal piece on your board.Which ever works for you.)

Hard Times

I'm not an advocater
Of women's liberation.

I'm just a simple housewife
Who's trying to fight inflation.

I've had to take a job
To supplement the income

For with the rising cost of living,
It takes my husband's check
And then some.

I've put aside my apron
And the cookbooks I've enjoyed
So I could take my name
From the list of unemployed.

By Sue Nugent 1966

Young Love

This is a poem I wrote, when I was 17. I had never been on a date, and had just met this guy through his cousin, who attended my school. He was in the service, and she had asked me to write to him,so I did. When he got out of the service,which he was in the process of doing, at that time, he came by my house. He was a very handsome fellow,clean shaven,clean hair cut,a really neat and clean fellow overall. I guess a stretch in the service will do that for anyone. Lots of boys I knew at that time,did not go through the trouble to be so polished and clean.Nevertheless, I fell in love immediately. Looking back now, I think I was in love with "Having someone of my own, and in love with Love itself",if that makes sense.I tell you this because the marriage only lasted twelve years.But the poem is still fresh in my mind, and this is it.I may have left out a word or two, but it's been so long, I doubt I could ever find a copy of it. If I remember any other lines, I will insert them later. I chose to recite this for a grade in my Public Speaking class in High School, instead of the Preamble or the Gettysburg Address. We had a choice. I got an A on the poem and my presentation.

Girls, did you ever meet a boy
That you liked real well,
And you think about him all the time?
So you sit right down,
With a pencil in your hand
And you write 'till you make it rhyme?

Well, this I've done, as you can see,
And if it sounds corny,
Blame only me.
I've called it "Ronnie"
'Cause that's his name
And when I'm happy,
Then he's to blame.


On the tenth of December
I'll never forget
A night to remember
A boy I met.

He's six feet tall,
With eyes of blue.
When he smiles,they sparkle
Like drops of dew.

His hair is blonde
In a flat top style
I'll tell you more
But it'll take awhile

He drives a car
that really goes.
It's long and white,
A 59 Olds

He came to my house
On a Saturday night
I'll tell you now
I was filled with fright

I invited him in
And we got acquainted
He asked me out
And I nearly fainted.

I thought to myself
My Dad will say
"Oh, not tonight.
Maybe some other day."

But when he said
He didn't care,
I thought to myself
"Dad can be fair."

So we hopped in his car
At just about seven
And didn't return
Until nearly eleven.

We went to his home
Where I met his folks
And ,Oh, his Dad
He was full of jokes.

He has 3 sisters
And a brother,too.
He lives in a house
All big and new.

Well, Butterflies are pretty
And fun to touch
But when they get in your stomach,
Well,that's too much.

written by Sue Nugent 1965

The Squirrel Inspired Me Today....

A little squirrel,outside my kitchen window, inspired me today, to write this little poem.If only I had snapped a picture of him.

The Squirrel in the Tree.

Hurry! Hurry! Come and see.
A little squirrel, playing in the tree.

But wait a minute!
He's coming down.

I think he sees something
Down below,on the ground.

No! He's headed for the shed.
Could it be, he's found a piece of bread?

Nellie Mae has left some corn.
Maybe that is what he's after?
Or maybe an acorn or a hickory nut,
That was dropped there,by my little crafter?

Let's be still and watch him play.
Oh No! Bear has come to chase him away.

Bear is our guard dog.
And she does a good job,as you can tell,

But I only wish she'd sleep a little longer,
So I can watch the squirrel at play.Oh well!

Written by Sue Nugent 11 24 10

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pincushions from wool fabric

Although there may still be some folks left who are using woolen fabric, I find I have some that never seems to find a purpose. Well, now it has a purpose for me,at least. I fell heir to a huge amount of a brown checked woolen fabric from an older lady I once worked with.She once made some of her clothing from wool.One being she is older, and two being she was a librarian. I'll bet you can just picture her in your mind.She's a delightful little lady. She wears lots of jewelry, and the flashier, the better. She jingled and jangled when she walked. Make no mistake, you knew it was her,coming down the hall.

I finally came up with this idea one day while making pincushions.I had been using various materials to stuff them, and found that certain ones did not let the needles and pins slide in and out so readily.There's nothing worse than a pincushion that won't let you stick the pin in. I made a few like that before I started experimenting with various other materials. I have bought batting,for stuffing, on occasion, but if I can find another material,that I have on hand, that works as well for the stuffing, I will use it instead. I have even used fragments of materials and threads, left over from my quilting projects. Some materials worked fine,some didn't.Dryer sheets definitely did not work.Felt works really well, but I usually save it for other projects.

Never the less, I cut the fabric into long narrow strips.About 1 inch wide.Depending on the size needed for the specific pincushion, I roll it up like a jelly roll, then proceed with the pincushion.If I want a taller pincushion, I roll up cardboard which has been cut and rolled in the same way,hot glue it to the wool roll,flat side to flat side, then proceed to cover it in whatever manner I choose for that particular pincushion.Some I crochet over, some I use different colored pretty fabric.I match up and glue whatever I have on hand to the side for an added touch.The coverings for the pincushions are endless, especially for someone who loves mixing and matching fabric and trim as I do.I will be showing more of my pincushions as I go along.

I thought of one helpful hint, after I posted this piece. You can use hot glue to seal your cardboard roll and to fasten your two rolls together, but don't use it to secure the wool fabric roll. The needle or pin will surely hit that spot of glue, and will not penetrate the cushion.It's probably best to tack the wool roll together with thread. Then Proceed to cover it with your choice of coverings.I love to experiment with that part.

Thanks for checking out my new blog.Please continue stopping by,on occasion,for other show and tell projects.