Raining and Cats and Dogs

First I’m tired of rain.  I know it has a job to do, but it also brings headaches and too much time indoors.  However, I have managed to make a couple of things, so maybe being confined inside has an upside.

The tutorial is about a sweater cat but I also made her a little friend because there was so much fabric left over.  I seem to be obsessed with these little creatures.  The funny thing is, I get an idea in my head and I just have to get it out, and the only way to do it is to make it.

I’m a little late getting this posted.  I actually have a good excuse, as we went down to get dinner out and the car battery was dead when we were ready to leave.  So, we went and had a coffee while we waited for AAA and by the time we got home it was too late to get started.  The truth is, it was fun sitting outside (under cover of course) watching the rain, playing on our IPads, drinking coffee.  We don’t do that very often, and it felt very, oh, I don’t know, vacationish or something.  But, that’s my excuse.

Anyway, also don’t forget it’s Handmade Monday and you know good and well they have very cool and interesting things to check out, so please go there and see what’s going on.  But before you do that, click on the Sweater Cat and Template and see how you can make one of your own.  And if you do, send me a photo.  I’ll even post it if you give me permission.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a whole page of them?  🙂

A Horse of a Different Fabric

Another stuffed critter.  I made this little horse for my oldest friend.  We met the first day of 7th grade and have been friends since.  She always was better at any sort of artistic stuff than I, and in fact I made her this horse because I remembered one she made when we were probably in Junior High School.  It also had a yarn tail.  I also made it for her because we used to go ride my horse together, so she can look at this silly little creation and it will remind her of all of those wonderful times we had together.  🙂

Anyway, it’s Handmade Monday and I’ve really been remiss (sick is more like it) but I’m back!  So, after you check out the little Sweater Pony, go on over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone else is doing.  I know they are doing wonderful things!

 

Can You Stand Another Sock Bunny?

I was not on a fun break, but I had a little stomach bug, the kind that goes around and just didn’t feel like doing all the things it takes to get something posted.  I did make a couple of things, and I will post one today and then get the other one up in a day or so.  I can’t believe I was sick on Easter Sunday, the day after my birthday.  No fun at all.

But, I’d rather talk about more fun things so, I want to share another sock bunny I just finished.  I seem to be really intrigued with these little creatures, they are so easy to make and cute and they fit all my favorite criteria.  They reuse something you would otherwise throw away and they don’t require any sort of real skill or pattern.

This time I used a pair of patterned Christmas socks that were in good shape but I don’t wear now that we live in the land of flip flops.  I wasn’t sure how it would come out, but I think he looks like he’s wearing a little Christmas sweater!

I also modified the arms and legs and was really pleased with the new look.  Well, I’m going to stop talking and you can go see what you think of my new and improved Standing Sock Bunny.

Quick Like a Bunny Rabbit

 

Well, maybe not exactly quick.  But I made them in a few hours.  If you still want to make something to put into an Easter Basket, or just want to make something for someone special, you can whip one or more of these up.  And I don’t think they are just for Easter.  Everyone likes bunnies all the time.

I actually made some of these for Easter at least 30 years ago because I have a picture of my youngest as an infant and there is one in the photo.  And, here is one that survived all those years, although it’s not one of the Easter Basket Bunnies (those were white).  This one was stuffed with Kleenex, of all things.  I guess I didn’t have any batting and just wanted to make one that day.  I don’t really remember making it.  His arms need to be mended but you have to admit, he’s sturdy!

I actually changed things a little bit on the updated version, but the idea is the same.  I have no idea where the original pattern/idea came from, and I know there are versions all over the place, so this is not very original.  But, it’s good fun, easy to adapt to your own creative notions and you can probably make it with things you have right there in your own house.

So, if you need a quick basket goodie, give the Sock Bunnies a try.  And have a Happy Easter!

A Fox & Socks & a Musicbox

Finally finished a project that I’ve been working on mentally for months and started accumulating what I needed for it almost as long.  There were a few problems with the idea, and a few ideas I had that I tossed out over that time because they didn’t seem to have good solutions.

I wanted to make a stuffed animal for my upcoming, now due any moment, grandson.  And I wanted to put a music box into it.  I found one that plays a tune with his name in the title, and my son requested a particular animal, a FOX.  Well, while I think foxes are cool, they are not the easiest thing to come up with a design for.

After pouring over various things online I did finally come up with something I thought would be easy enough for me to make.  I wanted something two dimensional, that is I didn’t want to have to cut out more than 2 sides!

Since my blog post is fairly long I won’t go into a lot of details here, just suffice it to say, he’s a little crazy looking, but I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.  I hope my little grandson will enjoy his fox and the nice thing about him is he has 4 long legs and a tail and a long nose which can all be handles to drag him around.  Plus he’ll make a nice soft pillow to lay a little head on.  And he’ll play a nice little tune.  And maybe it will make him think about his grandmother.  🙂

Now, it’s also Handmade Monday, so, after you check out my Plaid Stuffed Fox you should go check out all of the things they have done there too!  That will keep you busy. Have a great week.

Who Doesn’t Like Meatloaf?

 

I always hear people make fun of meatloaf, but it was always one of my kids’ favorite meals.  I like to imagine it’s because I make AWESOME meatloaf, but I think it’s really because meatloaf is in fact just a big hamburger.  Well, anyway, I finally got around to making mine to share on my blog.  Mostly because an old and dear friend asked the other day for that recipe of mine for meatloaf with the cheese in it.

I hope this was the one she meant, because I did so many different versions.  And it has evolved a bit through the years.  But this one is good.  And if you make it and don’t like it just like this, never fear, you can easily tailor  it to suit yourself.  It’s one of THOSE sorts of recipes.

I also tried something else I’ve never made before, golden beets.  I added a link for the recipe I used (not my own) because they turned out really good.  Even my husband, NOT a beet lover, liked them.  I think the golden beets are a little less overwhelmingly “earthy” than the red beets.  By that I mean they don’t taste as much like dirt.  Yes, I said it.  I think beets taste like dirt.  I don’t hate that myself, but I can see why some people don’t like them.  The golden beets have a lighter taste.

Anyway, if you want to try my meatloaf recipe, which has oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs, so has no wheat, and isn’t cooked in a loaf pan so has a nice crispy outside AND has cheese, well, here you go:  Awesome Meatloaf.

And it’s Handmade Monday, which I’ve missed two weeks in a row, so, I’m going that way now, myself.  Please head over too, and check out what they’re doing, they always do such wonderful things, crafts and some recipes and everything!  Thanks for stopping by.  🙂

It Must Be Spring


Anole a video by sundero on Flickr.

Because the lizards are looking for love. 🙂

Comfort Food

I suppose comfort food is the stuff you love best and that makes you feel at home.  For me, it’s Mexican food of almost any sort.  Because it’s hard to find here, I have reverted back to cooking my own again.  Most of my recipes are not exactly haute cuisine and maybe not even totally authentic, but I liked them, and apparently so did my kids.  One of my sons called and requested my enchilada casserole recipe the other day.

When I first had the idea for this blog it was to have a place to share my old recipes with my sons and their wives so that they could always eat those things they grew up with.  So, my son’s call was a little like comfort food to me.

Here is my recipe for Enchilada Casserole.  It is something I made all of the time, not always the same, because I never really used a recipe.  If you are out of the right kind of cheese you can substitute within reason (cheddar will actually work, altho I don’t like it quite as well).  It froze well and the leftovers (if they existed) were never turned down for a lunch or dinner even the next day.

BTW this is not wheat free.  I have not tried to find a wheat free enchilada sauce.  You can make your own too, which is not all that difficult, but one of the wonderful things about this recipe is you can put it together in a short time and have dinner on the table quickly.

 

 

I Forgot My Homework

I got up this morning and realized I had nothing for Handmade Monday!  I did finish something last week and had a fleeting thought of saving it for today, but clearly that thought didn’t last long and I posted it on Friday.  Over the weekend I never gave it another thought, as we ended up watching a couple of movies (Hugo was awesome!) and here I am, Handmade Monday-less!

So, I have a couple of options. First option, ignore Handmade Monday.  Clearly I didn’t choose that one, or you wouldn’t be reading this. If I did that I would be bugged by it all day.  All week in fact.  Second option, and clearly the better one, admit I didn’t have anything else and link to Friday’s post.  And that is what I’m going to do.

I finished a rag doll I have been working on since before Christmas and got her sent off to my Sister in Law, who has named her Stella.  I struggled with her (the doll, not my Sister in Law who is the sweetest person ever) but learned a lot and hopefully my next one will be much better.  You can see all the details and photos here.

That’s really all I have, so now I’m going to head over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone who planned better than I did is up to!  🙂

 

She Finally Got Ahead!

I should probably explain the title right away. I have been working on this doll since before Christmas. I had an idea in mind which she didn’t really turn out to be much like, although I’m not that disappointed. But after I finished her body, I had a devil of a time deciding how to make her head and face and hair. So, she sat from early December until this week, headless. Frankly, I was getting tired of looking at her that way and decided the only answer was to just do it.

I knew I was going to make her face/head out of some white muslin fabric I had bought for exactly that purpose. I had thought to embroider her eyes, nose and mouth on, but changed my mind and drew them on with colored pencil instead. I have a wonderful friend who makes beautiful dolls and I got the idea from her. Of course, mine is a pale comparison, but still, she has a face.

I needed to make a neck to attach her head to her body using my machine, which ran out of bobbin thread, of course. For some reason when I put the new one in I must have put it in wrong because each time I sewed the neck up, the thread just unraveled. I tried doing a search online but couldn’t find anything. Finally I took the bobbin out several times and put it back in and it worked the last time. Something had been wrong, but I’m still not sure what. Machines!

Then I sewed her head up, leaving a large enough spot to stuff it, stuffed that and her neck, attached the head to the neck and hand stitched (not very well, if you look at the photos you can see I didn’t do a very good job–well, she looks VERY hand made–probably shouldn’t have used red thread either, I don’t know what I was thinking other than I am SO tired of this project!) After I was done I noticed she had a sort of “tumor” on the side of her face which I took a tuck in and it left a bit of an ugly spot too. I will have to do better with the next one.

Next problem, her head was sort of floppy, back and forth. Either her neck was too long or not stuffed enough. So, I made her a little collar and tacked it down in front to hold her head up. Looks decorative, but it’s really functional. A neck brace for the poor dear with her congenitally weak neck.

Then for the hair. I had dreaded this, because for some reason I thought doll hair was the hardest thing. My husband and I had gone to the craft store and I had found 2 types of yarn. One was really hairlike and I liked it best, even tho the color was not all the same, it went from a pale cream to a darker blond. However, I thought it would work beautifully. I made a lovely little *wig* out of it and sewed it into her head and it looked pretty nice until it started pulling out in tufts! Oh, this would never do! *sigh*

OK, so I got out the other skein of yarn, very glad that I’d gone ahead with a backup plan. It was a pretty, sparkly gold color. I made a big glob of it, tied it in the middle, cut the loops at the ends and sewed it in on the top of her head (where the seam is). Then I did a second one behind that one toward the back. This gave good coverage, and turned out pretty nicely, I think. She has a better head of hair than I do, actually.

Other details. Her hands are mittens added over her arms and her feet are booties added over her legs. Those were both a little tricky to make because they were so small.

The skirt was more see thru than I intended, but I didn’t think it really mattered since her body looks like clothes anyway. I had intended to give her knees and elbows but didn’t realize I needed to sew those before I stuffed her. Live and learn! 🙂

So, not too terribly bad for a first try, I think. All done without a pattern. Maybe I would do better to actually use patterns, but I don’t follow them very well. And it takes the fun and excitement out of it for me. 🙂