How Did It Get To Be 2017?

Somehow when I wasn’t looking several years passed and I didn’t blog!  I was busy making things and yes I was cooking but somehow I didn’t put anything here on my website!  Shame on me!  Well, I made a New Years resolution to get back at it, and here it is February and I still haven’t started, so, here I am, trying to get back into the habit.  Yes indeed!  Hopefully someone will stop back by, but if not, I’ll just be sending these out into cyberspace.

I do have a cool new cooking toy that I want to share.  Hopefully in the very near future.  And I’ll share some things I’ve made, and dig up some of the photos I took along the way thinking I would post them at some point.  And, I’ll post some cool snow pictures I took when we went to New Mexico in January!  Yeah, snow is a big deal when you live where it’s summer all of the time.

So, ok, I’m back.  I promise.

Butterflies in Winter

I like butterflies all the time.  It’s especially nice to see them in the winter.  So, I made some butterfly suncatchers to share.  I think especially with the snow we’ve been having in parts of the country, this might cheer people up.  It’s an easy craft, however it requires a few things that you might not have at a home.

Transparency film can be found at office supply stores.  It’s pricey but you will probably not have to buy it again for a long time.  If you don’t bead (or fish!) you might not have the monofilament on hand either.  I think I bought mine at Michaels.  Any craft store should carry that.  I think everything else most crafters either have or know where to get.

I have been working on these for quite awhile, not because they were so hard to do but because things kept getting in the way like Christmas and other things.  Each one really only took an hour or so (not including drying time for the paint).  Kids could make these with adult supervision.  OK a LOT of adult supervision.  🙂  Well, whatever, I think they’re really pretty and they make nice gifts.

Stay tuned for the other crafts I came up with using the butterflies.  But for now go and take a look at instructions for making these Butterfly Suncatchers.

Doo To Doo!

I think everyone who has had kids has done something with the cardboard tube in the middle of toilet paper and paper towel rolls. They are ubiquitous and for some reason children love them. What child has not put one up to his mouth, filled his lungs with air and bugled “Doo to doooo!” I don’t recall having a name for them when I was a kid. I think we just called them “toilet paper rolls” or “paper towel rolls”. Something really creative like that. When my oldest son was about 2 he liked to play with them and it was a big deal when we got to the end of either item so he could get a fresh one. One day, he came up to me and asked for the one I had recently liberated. I didn’t know what he was talking about as I was busy with some task.  I could only tell he wanted something in the general direction of “over there”. He pointed to the tube and and said clearly, “I want the doo to doo.” Forever after after those tubes were known as Doo To Doos by our family.

So, now that I have a grandson who is old enough to enjoy them, I decided to see what was new in the world of Doo To Doos. Of course people are making all sorts of interesting and cool crafts with them, but I wanted to send him one that was fun while still in line with what his Dad played with. After looking at many, many photos I decided on this. Very easy but I think the Duck Tape (hey that’s what they call it) will make it last longer than the original.

I used:

  • a short toilet paper tube for the small one and a paper towel tube for the long one
  • scrap ribbon
  • double sticky tape –you might be able to do without this but it’s easier to hold them in place
  • Duck Tape in whatever pattern/color you like – I thought the owls were cute!

 

 

 

 

 

Cut 11 pieces of ribbon (depending on the width of your ribbon you might need one more or less) to varying lengths.  Using double sided tape stick them around one end of the tube so that they will hang down.  You can overlap the last one if you need to to make them fit. 

Starting at the end where you put the ribbon, begin wrapping the Duck Tape around the tube in strips.  The straighter you can stay the better it will look, but after all, it’s a Doo To Doo, don’t stress about it.  When you get to the end, go ahead and put some tape down inside.  It should help it hold up to being blown into, if you know what I mean.

I made a short one and a long one and sent the short one to my Grandson.  Then, when we had a Face Time chat he was quite tickled with the ribbons blowing out the end of mine.  Just a little silly Grandma/Grandson fun.

It’s a New Year

I’m not a resolution maker because they hang over your head and I tend to either forget them or resent them. However I have resolved to do better on my blog this year than I did last year. It would be hard to do worse. Last year was just an anomaly.

I was on the reunion committee for our class reunion which was in April (and out of town of course). Then I stayed to spend time with my kids and grandkids and spent most of the summer out of town. By the time I came home I had appointments to catch up on and and suddenly it was Thanksgiving and then BOOM Christmas. BTW if you think Christmas came fast it did. There was a week less than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So. Those are my excuses.

I did craft, I just didn’t take photos of everything and I didn’t blog about it. I already have a few craft ideas lined up and ready to start on and some things started that I need to finish, but today I’m just going to post a few photos of things I did last year and didn’t blog about. You can click on the photo and see a very short description along with a larger image.


And so that’s it for today. If you see something that interests you, please comment. If you have done something similar or the same and have a better idea, tell me! Here’s to happy crafting and cooking.

Sock Babies

It’s embarrassing how long it’s been since I’ve blogged.  I’ve thought about.  I’ve started posts.  I’ve crafted.  But I’ve not actually put anything on this blog since…  well let’s just say it’s been too long.  So, here is something I’ve been working on for some time now and someone got me off high center by asking how to make them.  The easiest way to tell them is to blog about it.

These are pretty easy.  I think they’re easier to make than it was for me to get this blog committed to paper.  Well, to digital paper, whatever the term for that is.  I started working on it (not counting taking the photos, but counting getting them ready to post) Sunday afternoon and am just now done and ready to publish if that lets you know. And I really did work on it most of today.  Maybe I’m just slow and out of practice.
Fortunately I have some ideas for things and things I have made since I have been off.  I haven’t exactly been lollygagging.  Not entirely.   Anyway, here is a tutorial on how to make my sock babies.  They grew from the sock bunnies I posted last year. And they have evolved into something entirely different.  Enjoy.

Making New Treasures

I often think of ideas when I’m trying to fall asleep.  When I have an idea stuck in my head I usually have to make it in order to really get it out of there.  This bunny is one such notion.  He started out with the simple idea of sewing a piece of blanket to a piece of blue jean fabric (both leftovers that were haunting my dining room table) and grew from there.  I admit, I love creating the ideas more than I actually enjoy the process of making them because it’s a little easier.  Often when I actually start the making I discover that my idea doesn’t quite work out as planned.  However, this bunny didn’t give me too much trouble.

He’s not the most beautiful, and I would have to say he’s got character more than elegance.  But I think he’s going to be sturdy and snuggly with no parts to pull off easily for a small child.  And I very much like the idea of making stuffed animals by recycling things that belonged to family members.  Hopefully they will be friends for many years.

Click on over to see my Bunny in Bluejeans.

Good Morning


Good Morning a video by sundero on Flickr.

Just another thingI like to make, little flip book animations. 🙂

Five Funny Monkeys

 

I got a new Scotch Laminator last fall (on sale!) and had never taken it out of the box because I went out of town to visit family and got home and it was Thanksgiving and Christmas and here it is March!  So, I decided to try something with it.  I’ve had an idea in mind for awhile.  I think that even today, with all of the ebooks and computers kids need to have books in their hands and the earlier that happens the better.  But they tend to eat them and tear them.  I know you can buy those cardboard books, but my kids ate those too.

So I had an idea to laminate some garage sale or used bookstore books and it’s been rattling around in my head (like five funny monkeys!) for awhile. So, I decided to go ahead and do it. A journey of discovery!

I discovered that the laminator is a joy to use and very very easy.  I discovered my hole punch needs to be replace and is the opposite of a joy to use.  I discovered this idea is a pretty good one and fun to make (and older children would probably enjoy this with some adult help and supervision and in fact could make their own books for younger siblings/cousins/friends).

I apologize for the photos, I took them with my IPad so they are not my usual quality.  So lets just go and check out how to make a Laminated Book.

Denim Cat

 

This whole project just fell together by itself without any planning, really.  I was actually just trying to see if my ink stamps would stamp onto denim scraps for something else, but I loved the way the cat looked in that blue ink on the blue denim and I wanted to do something with her.

I thought for awhile and decided to go ahead and cut the piece smaller (and yes, it’s cut not really square on purpose) and sew it to a piece of muslin (or it might be linen, I can’t recall) that I had in my scrap box.  I still wasn’t sure what I was going to make.  Sometimes it’s fun to surprise yourself.  I stitched all the way around using a little zig zag stitch –really fun!  I have to say I’m enjoying how confident I’m getting when using the sewing machine.  I am pretty good at making bobbins and changing thread, both things that used to sometimes put me into tears.  I can also change the feet (altho sometimes I still struggle with that, surely the machine moves on it’s own!)

Anyway, the fabric set her off nicely, but the denim was a little frayed (I forgot to mention I washed the scrap after I the stamping had dried because part of my experiment was to see if the stamp dye was really colorfast.  It was, it faded just slightly, and to a pleasing effect).  But the fabric did fray slightly, so I pulled them a little more until I liked the result.   I also gave her a golden eye with some gold metallic thread I have, using a french knot or a close approximation.

It was then that I decided she would look charming in a frame!

And I have frames.  I don’t know why, but I just have a collection of frames that I plan to use.  I can never get rid of a frame or turn one down if offered.  I looked through them and found one I thought was perfect.  I cut the muslin (or linen) to fit, put it in place with double sticky tape, put the frame back on (it was one of those with those little devilish spikes so my husband had to help me so I didn’t poke holes in my fingers).

And the result, I think, really is charming.  Blue on blue.  She will be off in the mail in a day or two. As the project emerged I also realized who the perfect recipient was.  I know she’s going to a wonderful home.  🙂

Now, time to head to Handmade Monday.  A little late, but I have to see what everyone else has done.  Come on, there are always amazing things!

Scatter Some Love

Scatter Some Love by sundero
Scatter Some Love, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hope everyone enjoys today and spread a little love! Give someone a card (homemade is good!) or a call or a visit and let them know you care about them.
And smile at every stranger you see. If they don’t smile back, don’t worry about it. It still impacted them. And it didn’t cost you a thing.

Homemade is Always More Fun

I know there are wonderful cards out there to buy and some of them are amazing (I love looking through the cards when I have a chance and I always think what a fun job it would be to come up with them –but not have to make them!).  But I have to admit, I also enjoy making them, even tho I always seem to be doing it at the last minute and they are sometimes late.  I like to think the recipients appreciate the work and thought that goes into them (they seem to).  I do get a few home made cards and they always mean a lot to me.  I keep them and I keep thinking one day I’ll make an album to make it easier to enjoy them.  My Dad makes wonderful birthday cards for the family.  I think I have every one he’s sent me through the years.  I always look forward to them.

Anyway, enough chatter.  Here are my Valentine’s Day Cards that I made.  I didn’t make many.  One of these days I will actually be ahead and maybe make up some, but I usually end up making them especially for each person.  Maybe that’s better anyway.   These were fun, although the photos aren’t great.  The lens I used doesn’t auto-focus on my D60 so I had to focus and a few of them were a little out of focus (they looked ok when I took them).  By the time I realized it the cards were in the mail and gone.  Oh well. 🙂

You can see what I did at Valentine’s From This and That.  You still have time to make some before tomorrow.

Hearts Around the Corner

A little late for Handmade Monday myself, altho everyone should still go check it out. But it’s still not too late to make a last minute Valentine’s gift for someone. I actually made this over the weekend, and should have gotten it up on the blog sooner. However, I didn’t. It’s very simple and I was able to make it completely from things I had in my craft stash. Some of you might not have everything on hand, but I bet many of you do. If not, you might be able to substitute something else.

Now, if you really want to get this done in time for Valentine’s Day I really need to stop talking about it and tell you how to make a Valentine’s Day Frame. Just click the link. 🙂

Throws Boys Will Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I promised a couple of weeks ago to share the Moose Throw I made. I’ve been having a little trouble with my back, which hurts most when I sit and that makes computering (which doesn’t seem to be a word) one of the more difficult things to do. However, I shouldn’t neglect my blog, and so I’m going to share the Moose Throw (which was a BIG hit) and another one I made for another boy this week.

I was going to make one of those tied throws (I’ve seen them called knotted or no-sew throws as well) for my nephew for Christmas. It’s gotten harder to get him something for Christmas as he’s gotten into the teen years and while a gift certificate is always welcome it also seems impersonal. I also wanted to make him something since boys are always a little more difficult to make for and I wanted him to have something from me that he could enjoy. I don’t get to see him very often and I thought it would be nice.

When I went to the fabric store I focused in on some really wonderfully soft fleece, in fact it was called Ultra Cuddle and I can’t disagree with that name at all! It was a little difficult to find a pattern that was appropriate for a teenaged boy, however I fell in love with the moose fabric, especially since my brother and his family recently returned from Alaska! It was even better that they were funny, since the recipient loves humor. I chose a dark fabric for the back that matched. Unfortunately when I went to have it cut the saleswoman asked me if I were planning to make a tied throw. When I said yes she said it would be unsuitable as it would fray and shed badly. But I was so in love with the fabric by now that I decided to sew it instead.

It was a little difficult to deal with (hard to cut straight, hard to sew straight and big and bulky to manage). However, I was still happy with the final result. I simply sewed it with wrong sides together, like you would a pillow, left a small opening, turned it and hand stitched the last little bit. Not only was I happy with the result, my nephew loved it. PLUS my sister in law apparently is thinking of stealing it. I think I know what I’m going to make HER for some future gift giving occasion! This was seriously easy and I have to say, really turned out great.

As for the knotted throw, I made it from a kit I bought. I got a soccer ball pattern because my grandson is an avid soccer player. This was equally easy to make (although I found it tedious to do the cutting). I don’t think the fabric quality was as nice as what I bought for the throw, but by the time it was cut and knotted it seemed just fine. I think you could easily buy fabric and make these up for gifts and raffles and things like that. When you are cutting the fabric the first thing you do is cut the corners of the fabric out (5 inches by 5 inches). I didn’t want to waste those 8 pieces so I pieced mine together and made a pillow with 4 pieces on each side. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately, but I think my grandson will like it.

One other thing I did that I almost forgot to mention.  When I made the Moose Throw I wanted to add something to identify the maker since it was a gift and so often I make things (especially stuffed animals) and give them away and no one will know in the future that they were made by Grandma or Auntie etc.  I am not that good at embroidery and I didn’t think I could hand sign fleece.  However I had bought a stamp that was on sale (YES!  on SALE!) and it allowed one to put whatever message you wanted in the center and then a circle of design (holly I think, it is a Christmas stamp) around it.  I had the bright idea to put a “label” on that.  I tried doing one and then “washing” it under running water and soap.  It seemed to hold up.  So, I stamped a label on a wide piece of white ribbon I had in my stash and sewed it in.  Not a bad idea, altho I think it’s time for me to have some labels made up.  I have some dolls that were made years ago by either my Mom or my Grandmother.  Sadly I knew who made them when I was given them, but at this point I can’t recall who made which one for sure.  I wish they had signed them.

Well, this is really long, thank you if you have hung in there!  Time for Handmade Monday!  I will be popping in there off and on for the next few days as my back allows me to sit at the computer.  🙂

 

It’s a New Year!

I guess the first thing I need to do is apologize for not posting more regularly the past several (as in maybe 6 or so) months.  I was out of town for quite a bit of the second half of 2012, helping with my new grandson (oh what a joy!) and then visiting and helping with my 2 step grandchildren (who are older but every bit as much fun).  Then I went and spent some time with my Dad in New Mexico after a few days (not long enough) with my brother and his family.  When I finally got home for good it seems like it was time to prepare for a Thanksgiving visit by my new grandson (he brought his parents along too) and then it was time to get ready for Christmas.

Of course I could have blogged in the meantime but somehow I just got out of the habit –for some reason good habits break far more easily than bad ones.  But, my only New Years Resolution is to get back in the saddle and start blogging again.  I really HAVE  missed it.  It’s not that I haven’t crafted or cooked at all, it’s just that I haven’t done all of the work involved in getting things onto the blog, that is photos and writing.

Now, for today, I will share some of the few Christmas cards I made this year.  Like last year I made them, but I didn’t send out nearly as many.  I got such a late start I used more stickers and stamps than I did before, but I discovered that there are so many beautiful choices that I still liked the way they came out.  You can be really creative and still add your own touches.  And because I was so late getting started most of the items were already on sale!

If you see something you like and have any questions about how I did it, please ask, I will be glad to share.  I’m not going to blog any instructions since they weren’t all that special.  For almost all of them I used prefolded card stock that I already had and sticky dots for most of the gluing (to make things go faster).  I wanted them to go out before Valentines Day!

Now, I’m going to go over to Handmade Harbour  and see what everyone else is up to.  I’ve been away so long, I hope they remember me!  You should go too, I know everyone has been busy.  I really need to check back and see what they were busy with for the holidays, I can’t believe I missed all of that!  See you soon.  I want to share the Moose Blanket I made for my nephew!

I’m Back!

Oh my goodness, I’ve been gone.  I had thought I might blog while out of town but I didn’t.  I am still not really back into the swing of regular life yet, so I’m going to share something I made while I was at my Dad’s house.  I actually made 3 of these, one for each grandchild, but didn’t take photos of the process and in fact only took shots of the last one because I didn’t get it mailed off yet.

First, I had a wonderful 2 months visiting family in Texas and New Mexico.  I got to remember what it was like to take kids to school and activities (oh yes, you do get right back into the swing of that!) and cook for a family etc.  It was hard to leave them but I then went on to visit my Dad and we had a great time eating all of the Mexican food we could hold and I got to meet some family from that area I had never met and see some I had not seen in a long time.  All in all very fun and satisfying.  However, now, back to regular life and my very neglected blog.  🙂  I will likely post some of the many MANY photos I took while traveling, too.  But not today.

So, the project is made from the paper mache mash you can find here.  I used that and just free-hand shaped it into Christmas tree shapes.  I cut a little piece of wire, made a loop and stuck it in the paper mache at the top and made sure it was anchored in there.  I also made sure the ends of the wire stuck out to the sides (not out of the paper mache) instead of down as I thought this would make it more secure.  This made a nice sturdy hanger (I put a piece of ribbon but you could use those ornament hangers). Oh, and being made of paper, this ornament is really really light.

You can see the wire loop at the top.

You can see the wire look at the top.

I let them dry at least overnight and then finished drying in the oven (about 200 or so degrees F –I think my Dad’s oven runs a little hot tho –keep an eye so they don’t burn or get too crispy).  They didn’t take long since they were fairly dry after sitting out and being partially dry.  I just wanted them to be thoroughly dried before I painted them.

Then I painted them green.  I had to mix blue and yellow since the green I had bought was dried out!  Yes I took it back but later and yes, they gave me my money back, but I had already painted my trees, so I didn’t need more paint.  The color was great but I was glad I had bought a few colors when I was at the craft store.  Anyway, I put on 2 coats to make sure it had a nice strong color. I did put a coat of Mod Podge over it too, just to give it some protection and shine.

I had bought all of these cute little buttons at Hobby Lobby (we don’t have one here so I really kind of went crazy in there!).  You can see in the picture some of the cute ones they had. I really like the glittery stars. For my Granddaughter’s I had ones that looked like flipflops and I forget some of the others, but they had such a great selection I bought quite a few different sorts.  Some of them had loops on the back and wouldn’t lay flat but I just nipped those off and they worked just fine.  I glued it all on with just regular white glue.  Since they are just ornaments and not toys I think it will hold.

If the holes in the buttons bother you you could find other items to decorate with.

I forgot to take a photo of the back, but I put their names and the year and Christmas and who it’s from on the back too (Sharpie!).  I always did ornaments for my kids and now for my Grandchildren, every year.  This way they will be able to remember when they pull them out (hopefully) every year.

These were SO easy and fun to make.  You could easily make them WITH kids too.

Now, I’m off to check on Handmade Monday, which I have sadly neglected for way too long.  I hope the rest of you will check them out because they have some amazing things and I KNOW they are all making beautiful things for Christmas by now.

And I hope that you all will be back soon, I promise to get right back into my normal routine (and post some fabulous vacation photos).

Oh and recipes!

 

 

 

 

We Didn’t Blow Away!

Isaac didn’t turn into much, and so here I am for Handmade Monday!  I actually made this project on Friday because I had been working getting everything ready all week for Isaac and I wanted to make something easy.  So, I came up with this very simple project that I could wrap up quickly and have something to post.

Things here in South Florida have mostly just been wet and windy, and we only lost electricity at our house for long enough to make the clock have to be reset.  Otherwise, it has not been much of an event.  I have not even gotten any exciting photos.  Of course, it is still raining and blowing while I am typing this, so I suppose it might yet get worse, but I don’t think so.

Please do keep New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast in your thoughts and prayers, however, as it is likely that he is going to get stronger as he heads that direction through the week.

Anyway, please go check out my Puffy Heart.  It’s just a simple little thing.  And then of course, go check out Handmade Monday.  I suspect I will be spending a lot of tomorrow there, as it will probably be raining most of the day, and I will be able to enjoy seeing all of the wonderful things everyone is making and forget the weather here!

Get Your Boots Up

It’s Handmade Monday and I didn’t have anything really ready so I decided to share an idea I had awhile back when I was trying to organize my close.  I have a couple of pairs of those scrunchy boots that won’t stand up and are always falling over and in the way.  I don’t have room to store them in boxes so I had an idea when I was going through my closet and getting rid of hangers.  I could use skirt hangers for them!  I’m sure someone else has had this idea, but here is what I did:

I used the stick on hooks and placed them on a little wasted space (according to directions which come with the hooks –very easy to do).  I did two since I had 2 pair of boots to deal with but I could have probably gotten 4 if I had placed some below in another layer.  I just held the first pair against the wall to see where the second hook needed to go.

Then I clipped the boots onto the hanger and hung them up.  Easy!  I think the whole project took me less than 15 minutes.  And it’s nice to have my boots hanging up out of the way and I know that they won’t get damaged or stepped on or forgotten when boot season comes back.  The only real difficulty was getting a good photo, but I think you can see what I did in this series of shots.

On the subject of organizing and those little stick on hooks, I used them on the inside of my pantry door to hang a lot of my little odds and ends like measuring spoons and cups and hot pads.  It saves me a couple of drawers and space is at a premium.  They really are a space saver!

I put them up after I got my cabinets refaced and replaced the louvered doors on the pantry.  It’s so nice to be able to put my hands on my tools!  I think organization makes such a big difference when you’re working on any kind of project.

OK, so I think I’ll head on over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone’s “cooking up” over there.  I know they always have some lovely things and some good ideas.  Just click on the link and go blog hopping.

 

 

Changing Horses Midstream

This post doesn’t have anything to do with horses, but the title is apt.  I was going to Mod Podge the frame as a gift, and didn’t pay enough attention when I bought my materials.  I was disappointed to discover that the glass didn’t come out but was affixed permanently and so I was going to have to work around it.  In addition it wasn’t “glass” but some sort of plastic or acrylic, so it wasn’t going to be as easy to clean without scratching or ruining.  Wonderful!

I’m not going to go into great detail, since I didn’t take photos along the way and most of it was just tedious stuff and things I don’t really like doing.  I had to cover the glass so I could spray paint the wood frame, as I was afraid it would soak too much Mod Podge.   I used the paper that came with the frame and cut it in pieces to fit in the front “glass” areas.  Then I sprayed 2 coats of black paint on the wood and let that dry overnight.  I ended up leaving the paper over the “glass” while I did my Mod Podging because I figured that would be a real mess to get off of the plastic.

After that was dry I let my husband cut the paper out with an Exacto, (I could have done it but he offered and he has s steadier hand).  As it was, the edges weren’t very neat on the inside, so I had to “change horses midstream”.  I hadn’t planned to do anything on the inside of the edges, but they didn’t look very good.  I decided to use hot glue and put some gold piping I had in my stash around them.  Another tedious thing, but it turned out “okay”.  Of course I got hot glue all over the “glass” which was a minor pain to clean off.

Finally done, but I won’t do another one with glass that is not removable.  I’ll check from now on.  BTW I do love the paper I used for this.  It’s actually a Christmas tissue paper I got about 10 years ago and it’s almost all gone.  I love it because it ends up looking very Americana instead of Christmasy.  Oh, and I almost forgot.  I sprinkled a little glitter onto the frame after each coat of Mod Podge and let it dry.  I love the glittery look.

 

And now, on to Handmade Monday!  I’m sure everyone there planned out their crafts better than I did.  Let’s go see.  🙂

Glittery Mess

I am very late for Handmade Monday, I made something earlier in the week, and should have just waited and posted it today, but couldn’t wait.  You can see it here. (It’s a musical security blanket for a baby).

Today I did a simple birthday card for a friend who has a birthday coming up. I had done something similar for Thank You cards. They are really easy, altho I’m not all that good at anything that takes really steady hands. All I do is paint glue (either white glue or in this case gel school glue) on my stamp, stamp on my card stock and then sprinkle the glitter over the glue. I let it set and then tap off the excess.
I stamped the sun on some yellow paper and cut that out to glue on and hand wrote the “Happy Birthday” (not my strongest skill set!). It’s pretty amateurish looking but this is an old friend, and I think she’ll like it anyway.
Now, off to Handmade Monday to see what everyone else has been doing.

Foxy Idea

These seem to be really popular but I really wanted to make one musical.  A music box was too heavy, but a music button was just the right thing.  I had plenty of that plaid fabric left over from the fox I made for my grandson, and I like the idea that both of his fox friends will match anyway.  Maybe it’s a trend for him!

Anyway, this was very simple to make, I hope my long winded explanation doesn’t scare you away.  The hardest part was getting the music button in (and it didn’t take long).  I think I made this entire blanket in a couple of hours and I did some other things in between.  It’s now sitting here, waiting to go to the post office so my grandson can enjoy it.  Go check Musical Fox Security Blanket and see how to make one for the child in your life!

A Sharpie Idea!

I ran across this idea while I was baby sitting my Grandson this summer in Texas.  I couldn’t wait to try it out, and I had some gifts to makes, so this seemed like the perfect time.  It’s hard to believe I have missed so many Handmade Mondays, I have missed everyone, and I have missed making things.  But I really enjoyed that little boy, and I miss him now that I am home and he is halfway across the country from me.  I’ve been back a couple of weeks, but it’s so hard to get back into the swing of regular life.

Anyway, I’m not going to rattle on and on, please check here to see the very easy to make  Stamped Sharpie Mugs  and then head over to check out  Handmade Monday  and see what everyone else is up to!  I’m going to do the same.  I hope they are all busy making things, and maybe talking about the Olympics, since most of them live right there!

Breakfast at the Pond


Breakfast at the Pond a video by sundero on Flickr.

I’m back after a long break to go visit my new grandson in TX. Here’s a bit of serenity –enjoy!

Metamorphosis

Anyone who follows my blog surely knows that my very favorite thing is to make something new from something old. I hate to throw away anything that still has life in it and I don’t like to waste things. We live in a throw away society, and I think that’s sad.

The first dog bed was made from a remnant I bought to make a dog bed. I was a little irritated when I started sewing, because there was a hole in the fabric that I had not noticed earlier and I ended up having to make a small bed instead of a larger one, as I had intended. Fortunately one of my sons has a little pekingese that will love it, so it ended up being fine (although I learned my lesson, check out remnants carefully!). That bed was a simple rectangle with several thicknesses of quilt type batting. I simply sewed a top and bottom piece together (inside out) leaving an opening large enough to stuff the batting in, then turn right side, put in the batting and flatten it out, and sew up the opening. I had enough extra fabric to make a little bone shaped toy made basically the same way but stuffed with the type of batting I use for stuffed animals. I put a red box around the toy so you could see it in the picture as it tended to fade into all of those doggie foot prints!

I also got 2 other toys out of it, for my oldest son’s 2 dogs, a simple triangle (not too hard) and a disk (much more difficult –there must be a secret to sewing in a circle–it’s a good thing dogs don’t care that much about perfection!).

Of course, I still needed a bed for my much larger golden retriever, Pauli and I didn’t have another piece of fabric that size. I didn’t want to head to the fabric store (which is quite a hike for me–our local Walmart does not carry fabric anymore, very sad!). BUT I did remember that I had some sheets that I had put away to get rid of but had not gotten around to it. They were flannel but the nap was worn. I pulled out the flat sheet and it was in good condition (no holes) and I thought the red and navy plaid would look pretty ritzy.

I made this one in the same manner as the other. It’s really more of a dog mat. Pauli is not a big fan of the big plush beds, she has never been one to use them, but if there is a towel or a bath mat she WILL lay on that, so I thought she would like one of her own. It took almost no time to whip up (an hour or less) and would have taken less if I had known I could set my machine to sew faster! I figured that out, so big projects like this can now really zip by! 🙂

I also made her a little “plaid man” out of some of the sheet fabric. He’s stuffed with the loose batting like I use on regular stuffed animals, but I put a clean and dried out water bottle inside for a little “crinkle” noise. She is in love with that new toy. 🙂

Then my oldest son and his wife decided that they did indeed need 2 new dog beds for their dogs Angus and Bart. There was still quite a bit of fabric left over from that sheet. You can easily get 2 dog beds (approximately 26×36 inches) from one queen size sheet if you use it for both top and bottom. But I needed more fabric to make both of them, so I started looking through my stash. I found some navy corduroy which was actually an old bedspread I had made for my boys when they were small. I had saved it all these years because the fabric seemed like something I could reuse. And I was right!

I made these both the same way I made the others except that I used the stuffing from 2 large square sham pillows I had but had never used. I’m not sure why I had them, but they have been hanging around in the way for quite some time. I’m glad I found a use for them. Don’t you hate things that are big enough to be in the way but too good to just get rid of? The navy corduroy was a perfect match for the blue in the plaid (complete serendipity). It turns out also that both fabrics are dog hair magnets, but I think that’s probably not such a bad thing. I would rather have my dog bed collecting dog hair than my floor and my rug and…well you get the idea.

These should all be completely washable.

So, there you have it. Inexpensive to free (depending on where you get your batting, if you have to buy that it could get a little more expensive –you might also consider buying inexpensive pillows and use the stuffing from those). Washable. Quick. Easy. They even would make wonderful gifts. And these are good beginner projects for people learning to sew.

And it’s also Handmade Monday, which has moved locations. It’s now at Handmade Harbour.  But if you will click on this Handmade Monday link, you will still get there.  And it’s still full of all of the wonderful people with their wonderful crafts and ideas and beautiful things.  Nothing has really changed except the location.  So, please do yourself a favor and head on over.  🙂

Chalk Up Another Handmade Monday!


Running very late this Handmade Monday!  I actually did spend the weekend relaxing but also made a little something for a special little boy.  It’s an upcycle/recycle project.  I have been wanting to try using that chalkboard paint everyone else has already done a million things with, and I have had a jar of it on my shelf for, well, I don’t know how long.

I had a little clipboard that I used to use for school (for something, I don’t even remember what) that was too cute to get rid of, but I haven’t used it in forever.  I got the idea to paint one side with chalkboard paint and personalize it and give it to my grandson (my son’s stepson who is 8 and I think just the right age to love writing on things with chalk –plus he’s very into sports, I think he could keep score or something with it, but mostly, I just remember thinking writing with chalk was very cool when I was a kid).

It turned out to be really easy to work with.  The hardest part?  Finding chalk!  But I found a nice box that included white and some colors too at Target, after checking the office supply place first.

You can see what I did, with photos at Paint a Chalkboard.  Then you can go and check out Handmade Monday, which I understand is also going to be moving very soon.  But don’t worry, I will be sure to give you a good link when that happens, I wouldn’t leave you high and dry!

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. 🙂

It Takes Guts

When I got all the old stuffed animals from the attic last fall one that I put aside to do something with was a patchwork fabric giraffe. He had several small holes along the seams and one very large rip at the neck that looked like a dog had tried to take his head off. In addition he was filled with chopped foam, and after at least 30 years I didn’t feel good about that at all. I don’t know about you, but sometimes if I’m afraid something will turn out badly I put it aside to think about it later. You know, like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about it tomorrow. Well, finally, tomorrow had come.

Amazingly, other than the actual washing and drying, the project didn’t take much more than an hour. Why did I put it off? Let me think. Worst case scenarios. I started taking out the chopped foam and horrible creatures crawled out? REALLY? Hey, if that happened I would grab my camera and start taking photos, that wouldn’t exactly be a BAD thing. Worst case scenario really would have been he didn’t survive washing. But that was going to happen if it was going to happen. Waiting didn’t make that any less likely. And the sooner I found out, the sooner I would know.

I opened the neck seam with the already big hole a bit larger and dumped all of the very old dried out foam into the trash, turning him inside out as I went. I had to scrape him out as the foam tends to stick to the inside. Then, into the washer on delicate cycle and I held my breath. But, he came through with flying colors. I went ahead and put him into the dryer on low to get a head start on drying, and finished drying overnight hanging over the shower door. When I turned him right side he looked fine. He seemed none the worse for wear, and I wish I had thought to take a photo, but I didn’t.

I did find a little puncture in his nose, which supports my dog at the throat theory and so my first order of business was to patch that. It was big enough to get your pinkie finger in and I knew it would do nothing but get bigger. I simply put a patch with white muslin on the inside, and then stitched it to reinforce. It doesn’t really show unless you look hard because the fabric is patchwork looking anyway.

I could have repaired the small places where the seams had come unstitched by machine but I decided not to bother and just hand stitched them (from the inside).
The hard part was his neck. There was clearly some fabric missing. It was like surgery and I had nothing to do a graft with. So, his neck will forever be a little skinnier at the top. It’s like he got a little jowl lift!

Then I stuffed him with nice fresh hypoallergenic batting, not too full so he would be soft and huggable, finished hand stitching his neck closed, and I have to say, he looks fresh and dare I say, happy! I’m starting to love giving old stuffed animals a new lease on life. 🙂

BTW it’s Handmade Monday again! Let’s all run over and check it out. Well, actually, it’s so much easier than running, we can just click on the link above and don’t even have to get out of our chair! Let’s go!

Happy Accidents

Surprise by sundero
Surprise, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

My D60 is trying to die on me, but this image I think was a gift. I had no idea the spider web was in this photo and in fact I almost didn’t even look at it. But when I checked it out on actual size, the web was there, in beautiful focus. I would have cropped it tighter, but I also loved the light and the palm frond so I left them there as well.
A happy accident! 🙂

Add a Little Spice to Your Life

One of the things I miss the most about New Mexico is the food.  And so we have to cook it ourselves because most of what passes for Mexican food out here is… well, something else, but it’s not really Mexican food.  I’ll leave it there.

One of the best things about Mexican food is green chiles and several years ago a friend of mine sent me several packages of frozen Hatch green chiles.  These are famous and with good reason.  They aren’t the only good thing about Mexican food but they are one of the better ones.  If you can get your hands on some (and you can) you should try some of the real stuff.  I have a stash in my freezer.  At any rate, when I used up the ones she sent me I had to start ordering my own, so I found a source and discovered that it works perfectly.  They come frozen and ready to stick in your freezer and use whenever the chile bug hits you.

This recipe is simple although the corn takes a little preparation.  But it’s OH so worth it.  I will warn you, it’s SPICY.  Ok, what I mean is, it’s HOT.  I personally think spicy food is good for you.  It clears your sinuses or something.  Well, maybe not, but I still like it.

So, go indulge your inner chile monster and check out Roasted Corn & Green Chile Chicken.  Then be sure and check out Handmade Monday because believe it or not, it’s that time again!  Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Spring is Around the Corner

Actin' Squirrely by sundero
Actin’ Squirrely, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

The squirrels are out and about and pairing up. That can only mean one thing, baby squirrels! I can’t wait! We don’t get much wildlife in the yard here, and I’m not sure exactly where the squirrels live, because I see them only once in awhile, but every year I do see the young ones playing around in the trees.
So, hopefully, soon they will be doing their acrobatic best!

Some Things Seem So Easy

Do you ever think of things that seem so easy, but when you try them they thwart you at every turn?  Yeah, me too. I had seen this recipe for making marshmallow peeps awhile back and wanted to try them –I think I was going to try Halloween ghosts but never got around to it. So, later I thought, “Oh, Valentine hearts, that will be cute and easy!” Oh, I’m so misguided sometimes!

Maybe if you’re a pastry chef.

I’ll just cut to the chase.  I made it work but if you’re going to follow my directions you don’t need the pastry bag and tip.  Unless you just want to try it that way.  Or you’re a pastry chef.

Anyway, it’s Handmade Monday again!  Yay, now THERE is something that works right every time.  🙂  So, after you check out my Heartmallows go check out what everyone’s doing for Handmade Monday! See you there. 🙂

 

It’s a Wrap

I love little boxes. And that means there are always some around, so I have to think of things to do with them. I needed something to put the little Valentine necklace in because I think presentation of a gift is almost as important as the gift. I had thought of making a bag, but I’m still in the middle of reorganizing my craft room (let’s just leave it there) and so it was easier not to try to get my sewing machine out.

But, I did have this cute little box some bit of jewelry or other came in, so…

I simply painted it with an acrylic paint called Metallic Bright Red, but it looked for all the world like red fingernail polish to me. Perfect! It took a couple of coats to cover the box, which was black. Then I glued on a wooden heart which I got at a craft store ages ago –one of those things I saw and thought, “This would be cute on something.” I have a metal tin with various hearts, buttons and wooden, just for this sort of thing. Don’t you? I just glued it with regular white glue.

I waited until the next morning so everything would be nice and dry, put the necklace in with the filling that was already in there (I always save that too, but you could use tissue paper or batting or whatever) and then tied it up with a thin little ribbon and voilà! Now it’s sort of a dual gift, since I think the little box could be used to keep something in too. Oh, and if you don’t have a little stash of hearts to glue on top, just cut one out of cardboard, I think that would look just as cute –paint it a slightly different red so it will stand out. 🙂 OK. Now, go make something pretty, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us!

Snips and Snails and New Tools

 

I did a few small things this week, no big projects.  But it’s Handmade Monday again and there is only one more before Valentine’s Day! Plus it’s the 52nd one, which means we’ve been doing this for an entire year. I got in almost at the beginning of it, so I’ve been doing this for just short of a year too. I’m sure everyone has made all sorts of cute things with hearts and things, and I can’t wait to go see what they’re doing.  Click the link and check it out after you’re done here.  🙂

I posted a candle in a cup I did using Penny’s method, so if that interests you, please check it out here.  It turned out so well, as you can see from the photo here (I did finally light it!) I’ll share it again!

I get so many good ideas from other bloggers.  Penny, at Planet Penny has such a fun blog, and in addition to good ideas and beautiful things to look at, it’s always fun to read.

I have also been working on a little jar for a young boy for Valentine’s Day.  It’s a little difficult to make things for boys for this particular holiday.  Girls are easy, jewelry and well, everything just fits.  I ended up making something not all that Valentine-like but it came out cute enough to share anyway.  I didn’t take photos as I went, but it wasn’t rocket science so, I’m really just going to share a photo of the best part.  The jar is a plastic jar that shaving cream comes in, then Mod Podged with green tissue paper.  I put the boys name on one side and “Stuff” on the other –both cut with the Cricut of course because I could never cut letters out by hand.

I then made a little snail with Sculpy and made him some antennae with copper wire I had in my jewelry making box.  I used 2 little beads for eyes.  I made the shell and body separate so I could paint them different colors easily, using acrylic paint.

I attached him to the lid with hot glue, but he came off once, so I cleaned the hot glue off of everything and reattached him using hot glue and then put white glue around the edges.  Hopefully he will stay put.

He is so cute, I’m thinking of making some more and maybe painting a little smile on his face!

I also made a Valentine’s Day card.  I’m not going to mention who it’s for in case they see this (and this person does sometimes read my blog!).  I’m not quite done with it, but I wanted to share what I have done so far because I thought it turned out not too bad.  I really didn’t have much in mind when I started except that I had a bag full of red hearts of various sizes I had cut with my Cricut and I had a new tool (which I will tell you about in a minute) and some red ribbon.

I started with a precut white cardstock (the kind that comes in sheets with 2 cards per sheet and you feed them through a printer–I have a package of them for making cards on the printer).  I used my cool new tool and cut out a heart “window” toward the bottom.  I had a piece of red woven something that is, well, I don’t really know what it is.  It feels like something between paper and fabric.  I can’t remember where I got it, but it’s been in my “stash” for a long time.  I glued it behind the heart “window” and then decided to try cutting a heart out of it with my new tool.  That worked, altho it left the edges fuzzy and I had to trim it a little.

Then I just added hearts until I liked the way it looked.  I put the heart from the “window” inside one of the bigger red hearts, and let everything dry.  Then I made a bow with some organdy ribbon and sewed it on.  I hope I can mail this without crushing the bow too badly.

Oh, my new toy, er, tool is a Fiskar’s Squeeze Punch.  They are a little pricey, but they were on sale so I bought a couple of different ones.  I love them because you can cut “windows” OR you can cut shapes.  Just one more fun thing, and very, very easy to use.

Only one more week until Valentine’s Day, so I had better get these things in the mail!

A Cup of Hearts

I got this idea from a blog friend of mine and of course I changed it a little bit, but I never would have gotten the idea without Penny!  So, all kudus to Planet Penny (besides, she does such wonderful stuff over there anyway, it’s well worth your time to check her out if you don’t already make it a habit).

I wanted to use some leftover bits from 2 favorite scented candles of mine.  I love the Clean Cotton candle, and always there is some wax left at the end when the candle refuses to burn anymore.  So I scraped the leftover wax out of 2 candle jars (which I will use for other projects, by the way) and put them into this cute little heart shaped cup I had that I wasn’t using for anything else.  It is an adorable cup a friend gave me a long time ago, and says “Butterfly Kisses” around the edges of the saucer and has a little butterfly on the side of the cup.  It’s just perfectly sweet and Valentiney.

Penny had mentioned a much easier way to make candles than the difficult way that I don’t really like –yes, I know candle making is some people’s cup of tea, but it’s not really mine.  So, I did basically what she did, almost.  I poured hot water into a pan and set the cup in there and stirred until the wax was melted.  By the way, I use wooden chopsticks that I get when we eat out or take home Chinese to stir things like this.  Recycle/reuse!

However, the wax was white and I thought, for valentines day I wanted a pink or red candle, so I got a partially used up red taper that was in my candle drawer and added a few pieces of that.  It melted at a different rate, but that’s ok, it finally did melt and I kept stirring until it was blended.

Penny used a wick from another candle, I think, but I had an idea.  I had a little heart shaped tart (or tea light) candle.  I thought maybe it would look cute to use as a “wick”.  So, after the wax dried just a little, I stuck that down into the wax, carefully.  I know that it won’t burn for a long time, since the wick doesn’t go very deep, so I will have to address that, but to be honest, I don’t think I will burn this often.  It’s just really pretty.

Getting Organized

Handmade Monday is here!  I do look forward to it, as it keeps me going no matter what and it’s becoming a Monday habit to go and see what everyone else is doing, even if I don’t get around to it the rest of the week.  So please do yourself a favor and click that little link above (or this one!) for Handmade Monday and see what all the fuss is about.  AFTER you see what I’ve done this time, of course.  🙂

I’m not going to blather on much here, except to say that if you missed it, I did post a Valentiney jar I made last week here as I promised I would. I also posted photos of some of my Mom’s knitting here in honor of her birthday this weekend.

But, for now, please head over and see how I solved one storage problem made some simple Ribbon Jars for my thin ribbon.

Knitting Memories

Mom would have been 79 today, which is hard to believe.  I know she would make a comment about it being hard to believe if I could call her and wish her Happy Birthday.  And she would tell me how much she liked whatever gift I had gotten her and then we’d talk about what the kids were doing and how everyone was doing where she was.  The conversation would turn to the weather (she liked to talk about the weather and she LOVED lightening storms, she really enjoyed them!).  Of course, I haven’t gotten to call her for her birthday for 12 years.  But I still think of her on her birthday, every year.

So, instead I thought I would share a few of the things she knitted that I have.  She was a prolific knitter and I remember sitting with her and listening to the click, click, click of her needles as she turned yarn into afghans or sweaters or whatever it was she was creating. I don’t know much about knitting, although I am going to try to learn, and she did try to teach me.  All I ever produced was a few pointless squares of yarn.  I never had the patience back then to really learn to knit.

But, Mom did wonderful things.  She made this vest for me, and I wore it for quite some time, back when it was in style.  I think maybe it has what is called a cable stitch, altho I’m not sure.

I had actually thought about turning it into a pillow, but I don’t know if I will do that or not.  Who knows, maybe vests will come back and I will live in a part of the country where it is cool enough to wear them again.  It’s in great shape, and beautifully made.

I like the swoopy, wavy pattern in this afghan.  I couldn’t get a photo of the entire thing with my  lens since I couldn’t get far enough away.  It’s big, almost big enough to cover a Queen size bed.  Mom loved purple and the colors are still really bright.  It’s been washed and washed and washed thru the years.  I’m sure the yarn is some sort of acrylic, but I don’t really know exactly what.

It has a more open weave (is that the right terminology for knitting?!) than the vest, but it’s still plenty warm.  It’s one of those you can wrap up in and snuggle on a chilly night.

This last one was one of two ponchos my Mom made for my best friend and I.  They were made in our school colors, black and gold.  I don’t know what happened to mine, but a number of years ago my friend gave this one to me, as she had run across it in her stuff and thought I might like to have it.  I was so thrilled!  It’s a wonderful piece of my life, as it knits together my high school days, my Mom and my best friend!

Happy Birthday Mom.  And thanks for knitting for me and giving me a love of making things with my hands, even if I haven’t learned to knit yet.  Oh, and the kids are doing fine and the weather was pretty good today.  🙂

Pink Heart and Soul

More Sculpey, more hearts, more glass etching.  I did this little jar as a gift for my Great Niece.  I thought it would be perfect for holding jewelry or other small trinkets, but I put a few Sculpey beads in there for her when I mailed it because she does make things.

This was a little face cream jar.  I simply removed the label and cleaned it. Then I used my Cricut to make the letters of her name and put them where I wanted it.  I am not the best at getting things all lined up, but I managed to get it pretty straight this time.  🙂

Then I used my etching cream.  If you haven’t done that before you can find more info and tutorial here.  As always, be careful with the etching cream, remember, it’s strong enough to etch glass.

I made a heart out of Sculpey and painted it pink with acrylic paint. I am not much of a Sculpey expert, I’m just following the directions on the box.  It says to bake in the oven at 275 F for 15 minutes for each 1/4 inch of thickness. I am finding that it seems to need longer, but I also know from experience that you can burn it, so keep an eye on it.  I set the timer and check it every 10 minutes or so.

I used a lighter pink on the lid and sprayed both that and the heart with a couple of coats of Folk Art Lacquer to help seal and give them a little nicer finish.  I used hot glue to attach the heart.

Lastly, I finished the edge of the lid with organza ribbon wrapped around twice (glued with plain white glue) and then a thin white sparkly ribbon over that also affixed with white glue.  Threading the little beads on the small ribbon was difficult!  But I like the way it gave it a more finished look.  I always have a problem figuring out what to do with jar lid edges.

Oh, and I etched a little unicorn on the other side of the jar.  Just because.  

 

 

I Got a Sculpey Heart

 

I have been having such fun with my big box of Sculpey so of course this week’s Handmade Monday involves that. I have been making beads among other things. Only the beads are really useful, the other things are just fun little silly things that I might eventually think of a use for. But beads can always be used for something.

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up I ended up making a necklace as a gift with one of the heart beads I made. I’m not the best jewelry maker, but I have quite a bit of jewelry fittings since I do occasionally make things, so I didn’t have to buy anything. I got to use some of my acrylic paint, some pretty ribbon, a magnetic clasp, hot glue, wire, metallic thread and some other beads that I have collected over time.

I think if you look at the images it will be easy to see how I put it together. Pretty simple. I used the cube shaped beads with letters on them to cover the ends of the ribbon where I tied it (there is probably a better way to do that –as I said, I’m not the best jewelry maker) but I like the way it turned out actually. I also had a hard time deciding how to attach the heart because it has the hole in the middle instead of thru the side (a thing I will think about when I make beads again). I ended up using wire through the hole in the bead, covering it with glass beads, and then attaching that to the ribbon by sewing it on with some gold metallic thread. That way it would hang (dangle) correctly.  I tried a few other things first, but the heart kept hanging sideways which was not what I wanted.

The only other problem was how to make the word-beads stay in place.  So I poked some hot glue down into the hole of the last bead with a toothpick.  That seemed to work.  This is just a simple little thing, but it was fun to make.  Hopefully the recipient will enjoy it.  🙂

I have a few more Valentine’s Day things to show and will share some photos of more heart beads I made too.  I was thinking of making some Valentine cards to send out but if I don’t get started really soon it will be too late!  Now, go check out this weeks Handmade Monday by clicking on that link and see what wonderful creations everyone else has produced.  That’s what I’m going to do!  Thanks for stopping by.  🙂

 

It’s Been THAT Kind of Week…

Bird Dog 3/52 by sundero
Bird Dog 3/52, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

It’s been a long week, fly into the weekend and enjoy!

Cookie Jar for a Doggie Friend


I promised a friend of mine a cookie jar for her Black Labrador, Yogi ages ago. I had thought I could find a nice large recyclable jar to use, but I never was able to find one.  I finally bought the same type I used for cocoa last year, hoping it was made of the sort of glass that would etch. Of course with all of the crazy things that went on in my life in the fall, the roof leak, the kitchen redo, Christmas and being sick it sat there and didn’t get done. Until now.

Originally I had simply intended to put his name on one side and maybe “cookies” or a picture of a dog, or a bone or something on the other. However I wasn’t thrilled with any of the picture options I had in any of my Cricut cartridges, and I didn’t think I could freehand something suitable so I decided to put his name on it and do something else.

I thought at first I might be able to buy a little figurine I didn’t find anything I liked, so I gave up on that idea fairly quickly.

My sister-in-law does the most wonderful things with Sculpey clay, and I have a large stash  so I decided to see if I could make a Black Lab for the lid of the jar. I had to call my sister-in-law for advice, but I’m pleased with how this turned out.

I didn’t take photos as I went along, so no tutorial. For an etching tutorial you can look here. I will do some more Sculpey and do some tutorials on that, it was really fun. My SIL does AWESOME stuff, and I wish she would do some tutorials for me!

BTW it IS time again for Handmade Monday!  Pop on over and check out all of the wonderful things everyone is doing.  I know we are all right back into the swing of things.  I’m going to go myself and get a few good ideas!  🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

As for Yogi’s jar, it’s going into the mail hopefully tomorrow so my friend can fill it up with cookies!  I hope he likes it.  He’s a good dog!  🙂

 

Still Playing Catch-up

I thought I would have something ready for today, but I’m still trying to get things back together after having the kitchen cabinets refaced and the holidays over with, so I thought, since most of the Handmade Monday crowd didn’t see what I posted over Christmas anyway, I would give those a little repeat.

The marshmallows were a big hit, so if you missed that, you can find the recipe and directions at Peppermint and Cinnamon Marshmallows.  Very easy, and better than store bought.  Almost everyone who got them said, “I had no idea you could make marshmallows!”

Also, the peppermint trays were fun and easy.  They were all over Pinterest.  You can find my blog on them at Candy Trays.  At least save the idea for next year!

I’m so glad we are getting back to normal.  I should have my kitchen back in order in the next few days, and then can get back to organizing my craft room.  I will take some photos of both and share them, as I think there are some good ideas there also. I’ve really enjoyed finding ideas on Pinterest, if you’re not using that resource, you really should be.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask, I’d be glad to bend your ear (and give you an invite)!

And after you’ve finished here, head over to Handmade Monday.  Finally, it’s back up and running.  I know I’ve missed everyone! Holidays are wonderful, but it’s always nice to get back into the groove of normal life. 🙂

Happy Birthday NM

Happy Birthday NM by sundero
Happy Birthday NM, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

My favorite state is celebrating it’s 100th birthday!  100 years ago today, New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union.  I think to celebrate I should make enchiladas for supper.  🙂

My Mom’s family moved from Texas to New Mexico before it was a state, back in the early 1900s.  I wonder how they celebrated statehood?  I’m sure it was a very big deal to them.  The house my great grandmother lived in was the first house in Dexter (or so I was always told) and my grandfather’s parents owned a house in Roswell.  It’s gone now, there is a commercial property on the land.  But my Mother grew up there, and although I haven’t gotten to live there in years, New Mexico is home to me.  I travel back every chance I get.

If you’ve never visited, you should.  It truly is the Land of Enchantment!

Getting Back to Normal

 

I always find it difficult to get back to “normal” after the Holidays, does everyone else?  We haven’t had Handmade Monday for the past 2 weeks since Mondays have fallen on the BIG Holidays (Christmas and New Years Day) and so, I have been pretty lazy.  Not that I didn’t do anything, but I didn’t write about it.  🙂  However, here is something I did do, and I thought I would share it.  I didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here, but I thought I came up with a fairly clever way to mount this glass piece simply and economically, with the additional advantage that it will also be easy to remove and change if the recipient later decides they want it mounted in a different way.

This little frog “tile” is one of the very first fused glass pieces I did –if not the first–I think it probably was, but my memory is about as old as I am.   It was simply slumped into a mold at a glass shop where I went to take classes, but it came out pretty cute.  The problem, of course, is that I was always afraid it would get broken, and I wasn’t really sure how to display it easily.  When I found out I was going to have a new GrandSON I thought, Boys/Frogs, PERFECT!  So, my husband and I (he’s so good to bounce ideas off of for this sort of project) came up with a way to frame and mount this little amphibian that I think will be really stable and cost very little.

The frame was on sale (and frankly, I think most of us have frames around the house we could reuse, OR I see them at thrift stores really cheap all the time too).  The napkin I used for backing was from an after Thanksgiving sale.  I had to buy a set of 4, but the others actually are ones I can use as they go with my “decor” at least until I cannibalize them for another project!  The art board was a couple of dollars.  And the Super 77 adhesive was a little pricey, I admit (I think about $12.00) HOWEVER, I still have a nearly full can and it is AWESOME!  I will use it for a lot of things.

Well, lets get on with this.  Oh, and please, don’t tell my son and daughter in law, this is a gift for their baby.  Let’s just quietly go see How to Frame a Frog, shall we?

Christmas 2011

Christmas dinner, 2011.

The main event was a Prime Rib Roast using Pioneer Woman’s recipe and it was outstanding.  In addition we had Easy Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Creamed Corn (my husband’s recipe), Sauteed Mushroom Medley, Cucumbers W/Balsamic Vinegar and a nice red wine.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and the rest of 2011 is full of magic and whatever it is that makes you happy.  Here’s wishing only the best for 2012.  🙂  Oh, and yes,  Pauli got some of the roast.  And she pronounced it perfect!

Candy Trays


I ran across these cute candy trays on Pinterest and was infatuated with them, as was everyone else, apparently. I thought they would be perfect to give with my marshmallows to my neighbors and maybe bring the goodies I was making for my husband’s office party. So I gave it a try.

Mine didn’t turn out quite as perfect and beautiful as the ones on the original blog. The edges were not really nice and straight, I think maybe my oven temp is not even. Something I now want to check. Then again, I still liked them a lot and had fun with them.

A bigger problem is that they WERE sticky! I suspect it’s a function of living in South Florida where it’s very humid and particularly humid right now (70%). Heck, everything is sticky. I happened to be making marshmallows at the time so I had cornstarch out and had an idea. Why not try dusting them with cornstarch like I do marshmallows? So, I put some on both sides and rubbed it all over and let it sit. Then I wiped it off after awhile. I did this several times and it seemed to work. They don’t end up as pretty and glossy, but it does seem to take the stickiness off, at least for long enough to use them.

I’m not posting instructions here, you can check out the instructions at this blog Tutto Bella. Really easy and quick, and fun (except unwrapping the peppermints). Oh, and I had a harder time finding the green ones.  My green ones were a different brand than the red ones and I noticed they melted at a somewhat faster rate. I checked and the ingredients were different, so if I make these again I will try to find some that are the same brand with the same ingredients. Maybe my results will be a little more consistent. But, still, I was happy and they were fun. You could have kids place the peppermints and then have an adult do the oven part. And if you live in a less humid place maybe you won’t have to mess with cornstarch at all!

Impress Your Friends With –Marshmallows!

Seriously, I never thought about actually making homemade marshmallows until someone gave us some handmade ones for Christmas a few years ago.  They were peppermint flavored and they came from a boutique shop and they were awesome!  From that moment on I thought, “If they don’t only come in a bag from the grocery store, and they can be flavored, and they can taste this much better than the ones I grew up eating, why can’t I make them?!”  So, I finally got serious about finding a recipe that seemed simple enough and getting brave enough to try it.

And guess what?  They’re EASY.  Yes, you heard me right.  EASY.  There are a number of recipes out there on the web, so I picked one from someone who usually makes things that work for me and went from there.  I wanted to add flavors, but I started out with the original basic recipe and didn’t change anything the first time, so that if anything went wrong later I would know that the change was the problem (yes, I am a former science teacher).

However, not to worry.  No problems, easy and impressive.  Messy, but really, nothing really worth doing isn’t messy.  You still have time to make some for a last minute gift that will please virtually anyone, or to serve at your own Christmas or New Years party, or just to make to indulge yourself.  My husband gives them a big thumbs up.  I’ve made at least 4 batches so far.  OK, enough chit chat.  The recipe is at Peppermint and Cinnamon Marshmallows.  Check it out!

 

Joy

Joy
One more card. This one sort of made itself. I had the letters for JOY made from Mod Podge and food coloring –I think I need to do a blog on that, but not today. I wanted to do them in simple cut outs in the card, and it just started from there. It kept just needing *something else*. 🙂 That’s really my favorite way to work.

I ended up using ric rac and lace and glittery ribbon (behind the cut outs) and some snowflakes left over from making gift tags.  I glued the lace down on the dots, and amazingly that worked.  I cut it big enough to go all the way around the other side so it’s very secure.

Make a joyful noise.  And some cards!  🙂

Add A Little Christmas Color

It’s been a busy week, I’ve managed to get a lot done.  Christmas is almost here, but there’s still time for a few last minute gifts, and a little more decorating.   I actually did some of these glass balls a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t take photos of the process.  It was an experiment that I wanted to try, because I have several boxes of clear glass balls in my craft closet and I wanted to try the same process I used to make the colored glass jars earlier in the year.

As it turned out, they are beautiful!  I used one for the  Quick Christmas Ornament with ribbon in it earlier in the week, and I have a bowl full. I made a couple more to take a couple of pictures to show how to do it today.

You can check out a quick tutorial with photos at Colored Glass Balls.  Afterwards, you should probably pour yourself some tea (or really, it’s the season to indulge in a little Egg Nog!) and check out Handmade Monday and see what everyone else is up to. It’s the last one for this year, and I peeked and it might be the last one for a few weeks since the next 2 are Christmas Day and then New Year Day! So, better check this one out or you’ll be out of luck for a few weeks!  Oh, and if you really have some time on your hands, I have done several blogs this week with new crafts.  Yes, I know, that’s a record for me, but I’ve been quite busy, as I said!  And I’m hoping to keep up the pace!  It’s that crazy busy season.  Merry Christmas!

The Star of the Show

Another day, another ornament!  I keep having these ideas pop into my head while I’m doing something else and I just have to try them.  This one is another gift for someone and it turned out to be pretty easy.  Well, sewing a circle that you’re going to stuff is not really that easy, unless you’re satisfied if it doesn’t turn out perfectly round.  However, to be honest, this doesn’t really have to be round, it could be square, or randomly shaped, or if you’re creative it could be shaped like *something*.  But I wanted this to be quick and easy.

I used some of the leftover fabric from the gift bags I’m making and decided to make the opposite sides different, just to make it more interesting (this ornament is going to a boy and altho it’s not classically boyish, I think it’s *interesting* enough and not girlie).  I used a big ribbon spool to draw a circle on one piece of the fabric and cut both pieces at the same time (cutting them about a quarter inch larger than the circle I drew).

Next I simply placed the “right” sides facing each other and sewed around, leaving an opening about half an inch so I could turn it and stuff it.  THIS is the hard part as I’m not that good yet at sewing where I intend to sew and turning in a circle is a little tricky for me, but it was mostly roundish.  I stuffed it with some leftover batting from another project (and you know, if you have any old pillows you want to just get rid of, wash them first and save that batting and reuse it for other things, batting is kind of pricey!).

Then, I turned the edges under and hand stitched.  This was also a little tough, as it tends to want to be a bit flat there.  I just did my best, and maybe someone has some good advice for how to do this better.  As you can see from the photo mine isn’t perfect, but then again, it’s sort of how I roll.  If someone criticizes your home made stuff say, “Oh, I like the organic, home made look –it’s how I roll!” And then don’t make them anything.  🙂

Last, I took some cording that I’ve had forever that’s really pretty. I bought it for wrapping gifts but hardly use it anymore because It usually end up buying things online these days.  I just stitched it around the edge (not nearly as difficult as it sounds and it took about 10 minutes tops, I promise).   Just be sure to leave enough on what you are going to use as the top to tie once (not a knot, just one over and under) and then make a loop for a hanger and tie a knot at the top.  If you have a twisted cord like I did you will have to cut it close because it will unwind.

If you want to put a dangly thing at the bottom (do it, it looks cool!) here is what I did:

It’s 2 star shaped buttons hot glued together with a piece of metallic gold thread sandwiched between them.  Be careful when you do it that you get the thread where you want it so the buttons will hang the direction you want them to (just put a little thought into it).  Then I took those little glass drop things that you find at craft stores in the jewelry section (I think–I’m sorry I have all this stuff that I can’t recall where it came from anymore!) and hot glued them over the button holes.  You could use beads or something else.  Whatever floats your boat.

Then I put that thread on a needle and sewed it into the bottom of the ornament, and there you go. It was kind of funny because I was ready to put it in the mail this morning before I added the dangly star, but I thought….  “It needs something.”  And it hit me.  I’m glad I didn’t mail it yesterday.  I think that last addition is sort of the star of the show!  🙂

A Bit of This and That

Another day, another quick ornament.  It’s one of my favorite things about the Christmas season.  I used to make this sort of thing by the dozen, and so I still have a box of odds and ends with which to put something together in short order.  I thought I would share the process, briefly, since it’s not so much a step by step thing, but really more like, “Here are the things I have, what can I make them into that will be pretty/cute/nice.”

I started out with a mini blue twig wreath.  I didn’t want a blue and red ornament though, and I happened to have a nice green wreath I had just bought to decorate for the front door, so I clipped 2 pieces of greenery from the back (I often recycle artificial greenery that way).  A dab of hot glue to anchor each piece to the wreath, and wound it around the wreath until it pleased me and then a couple more dabs of hot glue (be careful, the hot glue gun can melt the greenery).

Next, I took some pretty mini red ribbon with silver edging and wrapped the top (the part that wasn’t covered by the greenery) and also hot glued that in place.  The red berries came from a little sprig that was in my old wreath box.  I cut several off and kept adding until they looked good to me (odd numbers always look better).  The middle looked bare, so I tied a little bow and hot glued it down.

I already knew I was going to use the little red bird.  He’s been sitting in my craft things for many years, and I have never found the perfect thing to use him on.  This ornament is going to my niece, and so I think he will have a wonderful home.  I had first intended to position him facing out and his tail going through the wreath, but when it came to placement I liked him flying across better.

Lastly, I added a ribbon hanger.

I suppose it’s too late to be brief.  However, these are very simple.  If you want to make a quick gift/ornament, you can do something similar with things you may have around the house or a quick trip to the craft store.  None of the items are expensive. Great for teachers, Moms, Grandmas, friends, to have on hand, even to decorate gifts.

Quick Christmas Ornament

I’m going to do a more in depth tutorial on making colored glass balls, but wanted to share something I made that I had to package and send, and I just never can wait, so here is a quick explanation with a photo.  This is a clear pink glass ball that I simply pushed some thin white ribbon into –the sort that is edged with shiny silver so it sparkles!

Don’t trim the ribbon until you have finished shoving it into the ball and just keep shoving it in until you like the effect.  If it bunches up and you don’t like it, pull it out and try again.  Leave enough out on both ends to tie a bow (if you can’t guestimate be safe and leave several inches).  Then pop the top back on, tie a bow around the hanger ring thingie and you are DONE!  You could jazz it up a little more if you wanted to put a little ribbon around the neck but I just left it just like that.  Quick, easy and I thought really charming.  I think this would make a great craft for kids too.

Golden Christmas Wishes

Golden Christmas Wishes by sundero
Golden Christmas Wishes, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

Still working on Christmas things, but as the holiday approaches I realized I had not done Pauli’s Christmas photo! So, here she is, wishing you all warmest Christmas wishes! Even she knows that Christmas is all about love!

Christmas Cards

I am closing in on the cards, and hopefully by the time you read this they will be in the mail –at least most of them.  But I am writing this a little early so that I can get it posted and get back to work.  I have most of them finished, so I thought I would do a few photos before I put them into envelopes and realized I was short a few (or maybe not a few!)

I won’t go into details about the making of them, since eat one was different.  I will just admit to using my Cricut (and I will post a photo of it soon for those who don’t know what it is) to cut the cards and the words and some of the shapes.  I also cut out things from wrapping paper, and leftover Christmas cards from other years, ribbon, and fancy pens, colored pencils (altho sadly I cannot find my good artists colored pencils, they have managed to hide themselves somewhere in the craft room mess, but I know they will turn up).

I wrote the messages on vellum paper that I had from another project because I was afraid if I tried to write directly onto the cards I would mess up and have to throw away cards I spent a lot of time on.  I spent a great deal of time deciding how to affix the vellum into the card, but finally settled on the little corners you can buy to put photos into scrap books.  This has the added advantage of not only looking nice (they basically disappear on the page if you use the clear ones) but the recipient could recycle the card if they wanted to by removing the greeting and putting their own in there! Or, even replacing it with a photo.  It was an accidental idea, and I have to give my husband credit for pointing it out to me.  I should also mention that he’s the one who cut out all the vellum for the messages too.  He’s a wonderful partner because he never seems to mind those mundane tasks that make me crazy!

I’m pleased with the cards.  Some of them look a little whimsical (that means they look like a small child made them!) but hopefully the people who get them will enjoy them.  I know I had fun making them.  I would have had more fun if I had started them in August.  🙂

Now, go and check out the other Handmade Monday crafts.  I am going to, and then I hopefully will post a few other things over the next week.  I have done a few other Christmas Crafts.  Once the cards are in the mail, and I have my Christmas shopping done (closing in on it!) my only other big project is little kitchen thing that is going to disrupt the entire house, I’m afraid.  So, I will either have lots of time to blog, or I will be nowhere to be seen.  I’m not sure which.

 

A LIttle Christmas Mess


I have been working on everything at once this week.  It’s the season to be doing everything at once and making a mess.  I don’t know how I used to do it all and with kids and all of their busyness as well.    I don’t have any tutorials to share this week.  I did make something that I will share, but I wanted to perfect it (it’s a recipe) and everything else I did was something I’ve already done before, except for the cards, and those I’m not good enough to do a tutorial for and I’m cheating anyway, with my Cricut!  🙂

So, I just thought I would take a photo of what I’ve done and what I’m working on.  My Step Grand Daughter asked for a Mod Podge ornament and so I made one for her and her brother –they turned out well, I hope they like them.  Then someone else made noises about wanting one of the Mod Podge cups, so I went ahead and made a special one for THAT person and will get that off in the mail right away.

The cards are another story.  I decided to make my Christmas cards this year, which is kind of silly since I normally send out about 30.  I’m cheating and using my Cricut, but still, it’s going to be quite an undertaking.  As you can see, I’ve finished 2.  🙂  But I have cut out 27, and that’s a lot of the work, so I hopefully will get them finished next week and into the mail.  I will try to take some photos of some of the better ones.  I usually have trouble cutting things straight and getting glue where it doesn’t belong.  So, we’ll see.  🙂

Anyway, if you’ve stuck with me this far, please head over to Handmade Monday and check out what everyone is doing.  I know everything there probably has the glue in the right place and they usually cut their lines straight!  🙂  I’m going to check them out!

If I Can Do It…

It’s not that I think I can’t do anything, it’s that I’m not a seamstress, so if I can sew it, someone with minimal sewing skills can certainly do it too.  I never even took Home Ec in school, I never took a single sewing lesson, I never sat still long enough to let my Mom teach me to sew (she could sew and did!).  But, if you follow my blog at all you know by now that I do muddle along on my sewing machine.

Well, this is pretty elementary, and if you’re a seamstress you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, hey, it’s just 2 side seams and 2 little hems at the top, 6 little eyelets and there you have it.  But, well, as easy as it was, I was pretty jazzed that it came out and looked really pretty.

What is it?  A little fabric gift bag with ribbon run through eyelets for a closure.  Initially I was going to do a drawstring, but I started having problems thinking about how to run the drawstring out without having a raw edge, and then I thought…eyelets.  Let me tell you, I love my eyelet tool.  I love tools in general.  I love to go to the hardware store and look at tools.  I love to think of projects that require me to have more tools. Well, I will shut up about that now.

So, I was going to use 2 pieces of fabric, run a seam around 3 sides and do it that way, and then it occurred to me that if I took ONE piece of fabric and just stitched the sides up that would be easier.  It helps to be lazy.  🙂  I suppose this might be more of a pouch than anything else.  What it is is easy.  As I said, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

So, my Handmade Monday offering is this Eyelet Gift Bag.  I hope you enjoy!  And while you’re at it, please go check out Handmade Monday.  Everyone does such beautiful things.  And they really CAN sew, and lots of other things.  In fact, the main reason I’m learning to sew is because I keep going back and getting inspired by everyone over there!  🙂  I’ll be checking them out myself tomorrow (it’s not Monday here in the US yet!)

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 by sundero
Thanksgiving 2011, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, if you are where you celebrate it, and if not, I hope you remembered to be thankful anyway.
I often don’t remember to be grateful for the large things, much less the small ones. Someone mentioned that being born in the time and place I was is like winning the lottery, and he was right. So, in addition to being thankful on this one day, I need to try to remember it every day.
May you always be blessed and may you always remember to be grateful. God Bless.

A Cupa Christmas

I do love Christmas and I have always loved making Christmas decorations.  I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for a couple of weeks, in fact ever since I ran across these little china cups while cleaning out the attic.  These were some little blue and white cups I had collected back in the 1980s.  I think they were one of those premiums the grocery store gave away, and while they were pretty, they are really pretty nondescript and rather worn. I looked them up online and they aren’t worth much (I wanted to make sure before I did something else with them).  I don’t need more cups, so when inspiration struck I decided to go for it.

It also just so happened that I had read in several places about a product that this was a good opportunity to take out for a test drive.  I love Mod Podge, but it’s not water proof.  I often have ideas for things, but I would like the item to withstand moisture.  So, I thought, you know what?  I’m going to try that stuff and just see.  It doesn’t matter if these cups are water proof, but I can see how that stuff goes on, how it looks and how well it works.

At any rate, I have to say, I’m really pleased with my little Christmas Cup.  I have only made one, but I really wanted to share it with you for Handmade Monday. So, before you head over there to check out what everyone else has done, I hope you will take a look at what you can do with a little tissue paper, some Mod Podge, an old china cup, gold thread and that mystery ingredient!  Just click on Christmas Tea Cup.  Then head over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone else has been up to!  🙂

Vintage

Vintage by sundero
Vintage, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

I am starting to think about Thanksgiving Dinner. I know, most people have long since planned out what they’re cooking, but because it’s just the two of us, I really haven’t given it much thought. I’m not making a turkey, that’s too much food for 2 people and I don’t want all that leftover stuff.
So, time to start ruminating… Any suggestions?

Silly Sweater Snake

I have been really busy organizing my craft room after the roof leak and still cleaning out the stuff from the attic and garage.  BUT I did think that a sleeve from one of my old sweaters looked a little like a snake, so I wanted to try making it into one.  It is quite silly looking.

Because everything is still in disarray I didn’t take photos of the process, but I learned a few more things during the task, so hopefully when things are back together here and I have time to really get back to it I will sort of know what I’m doing.

This little fellow is made completely from recycled items.  The sleeve from an old sweater, the stuffing from an old throw pillow and some buttons from my button jar.  Does everyone save buttons that come with blouses and things they buy (or ones that come off or they find etc?)  I sure do and have for years.  Oh, I guess the thread I used to stitch him up was new.  Otherwise, he’s really something old!

I admit, he’s pretty silly looking ,but I think my grandson will get a kick out of him.  Oh, his tongue is part of the sweater.  I took one of the red stripes, rolled it, zig zag stitched it and sewed it in!  🙂

Now onto Handmade Monday.  I’m very very late!  🙂  Please go check them out.  It’s always great fun!

Some Gave All

Some Gave All by sundero
Some Gave All, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

In honor of all Veterans on Veteran’s Day.

Starting Christmas

I am still cleaning out and organizing my craft room.  One thing I ran across was some Christmas ornaments I made before we moved to Florida that I put away and never did anything with.  I don’t need to take up that much space, and honestly, someone needs to enjoy them, so I finished them up with some ribbons and will get them into the mail to my sons and their wives.

They are very simple to make, so I thought I would share them here.  Obviously I didn’t take photos of the process.  However, it’s just torn tissue paper and Mod Podge on glass Christmas balls.  You can use either the clear ones, or the colored ones you buy to decorate a tree.  I actually used gold balls I bought a box of because they were cheaper.

Buy pretty Christmas tissue paper and tear it into manageable pieces (about 1 or 2 inches, random sizes).  Brush Mod Podge onto the ball and smooth the tissue onto the ball and brush more Mod Podge over the paper.   I like to buy cheap one inch paint brushes from the hardware store to use.    This is messy, by the way.  I don’t know if I do many things that aren’t.  You will have to do one side and set it on something like a small glass jar to let it dry and then do the other side.

Overlap the paper as you go, and just keep working it until you like the effect you get.  On some of them I wrapped gold thread for an interesting effect and on some I sprayed gold glitter spray.  I’m sure there are other things you could come up with.  Add a few coats of Mod Podge and let it dry thoroughly.  Add a nice little ribbon and that’s it!  These cost next to nothing.

When my boys were growing up I gave them an ornament every year so that when they left home they would have at least 20 or so ornaments for their tree.  Some years I bought them something if I found one that was perfect, like the year I found Santas with various sport’s themes.  Other years I made something.  Do any of you do this for your kids?  I think it’s such a nice tradition.  I even have a few ornaments made by my Mother in Law that will pass down too.

Oh, and don’t forget to also go check out Handmade Monday.  I’m sure everyone has done some really amazing things!  They always do.  🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

Ghosts and Something From the Past

Here it is Handmade Monday. And it’s Handmade Monday FORTY! So do go check it out.  I made the ghosts from t-shirts and glue that I was going to make for last Monday but went ahead and posted them earlier in the week so people could make them in time for for Halloween.  They turned out well, so you might want to check them out for next year (plus, the process will work just as well for other items, is pretty easy and could be fun to do with older children, messy but non-toxic).  It’s at Tabletop Ghost. At least see how cute they are!

I was going to make pillows out of old sweaters (not wool felted ones, I am allergic to wool so don’t have many old wool sweaters around) but the first one I did is sort of asymmetrical and lumpy and sad looking. I learned a few things in the process, but needless to say, it’s not ready for prime time. Not to worry, I have more old sweaters to work on. We live in South Florida after all, and I have a bunch of old sweaters I’ve finally decided I’m never going to wear. I still love them and I might as well turn them into something I or someone else in my family will use and love. So, that will be an upcoming blog. I know it’s not very original, but so what.

It’s been a rather bad week anyway.  First, we had 10 inches of rain Friday night alone from the remnants of Hurricane Rina.  We have had a few house repair issues that have kept me busy, and I’ve been cleaning out the attic and garage and just doing some general Fall cleaning and trying to get my craft room (which is really a guest bedroom) reorganized to make my crafting life a little easier. I seem to take one step forward and 5 steps backward, as each time I think I’m getting somewhat ahead, something else comes up that requires me to go in another direction. I’m sure there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not seeing it. Well, I’m going to be optimistic and say that if you don’t keep moving forward you won’t ever get anywhere. So, onward.

I had to have a photo to share, so, I’m sharing this one. This is my first real crewel embroidery project I ever did.  It was a footstool for my Mother in Law, the second Christmas we were married (I think), so about 1977. It was an Elsa Williams kit, and I thought I would never finish it, I remember working on it right up until the last minute!  It was quite difficult, but interesting because it had a lot of different colors and stitches.

My Mother in Law took wonderful care of it, and when she passed away 6 years ago it came back to me, and it makes me think of her, which makes me happy.  I don’t know if I will ever do anything like this again, but it’s a little bit inspiring to think I did this!  I sure did love this Jacobean pattern.

I hope next week to have some awesome sweater pillows to show you, but that may depend on what the house decides to do!  Hope everyone else had a better week than I did!  🙂

 

Ghosts!

I was going to do this for Monday but I started it Saturday and it didn’t work out and I had to start over.  I finally finished the second one today after some mishaps.  If I wait until NEXT Monday, obviously it will be too late for Halloween (it nearly is now).  But I’m going to go ahead and post this today.  If you see this and start today, you can have them made before the weekend, or save this for next year.  I’m also intrigued by the idea of making things other than ghosts anyway.

And you can learn from my mistakes.  I certainly did!  I don’t know about you, but I remember things better when I do them wrong the first time.  I still have a few things on this I want to work out, but this works just fine.  And since it costs basically nothing and recycles things you could just get rid of anyway, it’s my favorite sort of craft.  The glue is pretty cheap (and who doesn’t have that around the house anyway?).  So, it’s a fun thing to try, takes minimal ingredients, makes a mess, and I’ve already made the mistakes!  Sounds like a perfect project to me!

Click on the link and see how I managed to make a couple of Tabletop Ghosts for Halloween out of old T-Shirts. As always, if you try it, let me know. I would love to see photos. And your comments always make my day!

 

Recycle Love

I love Yankee Candle jars. They’re pretty and it always seems a shame to get rid of them.  I generally put them into the recycle bin though, because I can’t think of anything to do with them.  I had wanted to etch them, but I really thought they were made of some sort of Pyrex and couldn’t be etched.  However, I discovered I was wrong!  I can’t tell you how happy I am about this.  I feel like dancing!  Now I wish I had all of those I put in the recycle bin back! Oh well, it gives me a great excuse to burn more candles.

So, check this out before you head off to the other Handmade Monday blogs.  It’s fun, it’s easy and you can surely think of something  you need to store! I thought this one turned out fun because I was recycling jars for recycled crayons and recycling ideas from my other projects!  It was sort of a recyclorama!  🙂

I think this particular jar with the heart crayons would be an awesome Valentine’s Day gift.  Check it out at Reusing Candle Jars.

 

 

 

Draw Me an Elephant!

When my youngest son was little he used to ask me to draw him elephants. I’m not sure why. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but I guess he liked elephants (what kid doesn’t?) and I always said yes, and so it was one of our “things”. I was trying to think of something to make this weekend with an extra jean’s leg and it occurred to me that a little stuffed elephant would be a fun surprise thing to send him, now that he and his wife are awaiting the birth of their first child.

I won’t do a tutorial on it, since it was so simple. I just drew one on computer paper, cut it out (be sure to cut it bigger than the final size to account for seams!) and used that as a pattern. I like to draw on dark fabric (and glass for that matter) with silver sharpie markers. Draw on the wrong side.

Cut it out, and then stitch it up except for the back. Use something like a chopstick to turn the legs and trunk right side (don’t make the trunk too thin or you will have a really difficult time turning it!). I actually think they make a tool for this, and I might try to find one and buy it.

Stuff it with batting (mostly full), add your eyelet for an eye if you want to (altho I would not consider this baby safe as I think over time that could come off and be a choking hazard, like a button) and hand stitch most of the back up, finish stuffing and hand stitch the rest of it up.

Easy! I thought it was really cute. Now I need to get it off in the mail. 🙂

Denim & Lace

This turned out so girly, I’d almost wish I made it for me!  So, here it is, Handmade Monday again, and here I am, all ahead of the game, or at least on time!  When you get done here please check out some of the other wonderful blogs by clicking on the link above. I always get great ideas, plus some of them are really funny (and there are recipes!).  They actually keep me going.  🙂

This week I spent making another Jean Purse, this one is a little simpler than the last one, but I really like it.  It’s also a gift, and I hope it’s well received.  But I have to say, I just really like the process of coming up with the idea, troubleshooting the problems and learning how the sewing thing works! I don’t know what I’ll do when I run out of people to make them for, because I can imagine them just stacking up around here. 🙂

Anyway, please go check out my latest creation Drawstring Jean Purse. BTW, Annie is modeling the purse over there. I realized she has been slacking, so expect to see her more often around the blog.

 

Color With Your Heart

Handmade Monday again!  And I’m ready.  🙂  Go check it out, but first, check out this fun project.  It uses things that you probably already have around; crayons, cooking spray, muffin pans (hopefully you have a heart shaped one, but you can buy the silicone ones online or I think I actually got mine for about $10.00 at Target), cookie sheet, and oh yeah, an oven.

If you have kids, let them help by having them bring you all of their broken crayons.  Let them get off whatever paper is still on the crayons, break them into smaller pieces and help sort the colors.  However adults need to deal with ovens and hot melted crayons.

This was so much fun and came out much prettier than I thought.  I am envisioning heart shaped crayons for little girls for Valentine’s Day or for party favors.  Of course you can do other shapes too.  But the hearts were just so awesome!

Easy directions, try this out just to recycle those used crayons or to do something fun for your next kid’s party or even if you don’t have kids but want to make a special surprise for one. You can find the directions at Crayon Hearts.  Check it out!

She Thinks She’s The Boss

And who am I to argue?! 🙂

Planning After the Fact

I suppose that is a contradiction of sorts.  Or at least it might seem like a bad idea. But it seems to work for me.  I don’t follow patterns all that well, and sometimes it’s just more fun to make it up as I go along.  Of course that also means that I end up making more work for myself or that things don’t turn out, or that in the end I realize that the project could have been better or easier.

Let me back up.  I made a purse out of the leg of a pair of jeans I couldn’t wear anymore.  I mulled around the idea for awhile, and finally decided to use the leg instead of the top part (which I did years ago when I was a teenager and they were cool in the 1970s).  I looked online at various ideas, but didn’t see anything that really struck me so I just decided to go for it and let it lead me where it would.  It seemed like the perfect project to help me learn how to use my new machine and remember how to do the few things I already know how to do, sewingwise.

I had to buy a few supplies that I don’t keep on hand anymore (or if I do they have managed to hide themselves so well that I finally gave up looking).  That took some time as our local craft store has a pretty thin selection of sewing notions, as well as our closest Walmart.  They used to have a fabulous fabric section but several years ago they did away with it, and now they carry very little in the way of sewing supplies.  Sad.  But I was able to scrounge up what I needed and make a sort of a plan (which fell apart as I went along) and got to work.

I didn’t take very good photos since my plan was such a non-plan, but I will try to explain what I did.  It wasn’t really very complicated.  In the end I was pleased enough with the purse to send it on as a gift, so it could have been worse!  You can find the gory details here at Jeans Purse with Heart.

And please go check out Handmade Monday.  I have been very negligent with my blog and with my good friends over there.  I’ve been sick since we got back from our vacation, and have not been keeping up very well.  So Please go over there and say hi, they do the best stuff!  In fact, they are the reason I am trying to learn to sew!  🙂

Finished Purse

Norman and Catherine

Norman and Catherine by sundero
Norman and Catherine, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

You probably wonder who the heck Norman and Catherine are. I have no idea either. These two cups still sit in my Dad’s cupboard and every time I go home to visit him I look forward to being either “Catherine” or “Norman”. It hardly matters which one I am.
My Mom bought them somewhere, because they were on sale. It didn’t matter that her name wasn’t Catherine (or Norman!) and neither was my Dad’s. In fact, none of us was named Norman or Catherine. They were good cups and they were on sale.
That was how Mom was. She liked a good sale.
And so, when I would visit, she and I would be Catherine and Norman (we didn’t care who would be whom) and it became a funny joke between us.
Now that she’s gone, when I visit Dad, sometimes my Dad or husband is Catherine or Norman, and it still makes me happy to laugh about it. Memories are like that. Or should be.

Because today is also Handmade Monday please go check out the link and see what everyone is doing.  I have been out of town on vacation, but promise to get back on track, making things and posting recipes and back to my normal blogging self!

Did I Mention I Love Mango?

I promised mango sherbet and so I was forced to make and consume more mango sherbet!  How terrible!  And of course my husband suffered too.  Very sad.  🙂  What we both won’t do for Handmade Monday!  And of course that means you all really should go over and have a look at all of the wonderful things everyone is doing over there.  Since we both suffered.  🙂

I love my ice cream machine, but mostly all I ever make in it is vanilla ice cream.  We both love that, and so it’s our old standby.  Not that it’s not wonderful.  There is not much better than homemade ice cream.  And if I’m going to make it, I make it with cream and real vanilla.  My memories of home made ice cream are of my Grandfather and a hand crank machine and rock salt and peaches.  He always made peach ice cream.  It was stunningly delicious.  It was as good as my Grandfather was funny.  I miss them both.

But, anyway, I ran across a recipe for lime sherbet, but I’m not crazy about lime, and so I thought, I’ll try mango, which I love, and I thought, why not honey?  And then I thought, why not try coconut milk?  Well, if you follow my blog at all, you know that I just like to experiment.  Of course, you don’t know about all the ones that don’t work because,  I don’t post most of those!  🙂  However, this one is good.

Try it.  You can find it here by clicking on Mango Honey Sherbet.  There’s still some summer left!

Morikami at Night

Morikami at Night by sundero
Morikami at Night, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

We went to the Morikami last night. It’s a Japanese garden and museum here in South Florida. We love to go there and enjoy the natural setting and take photos. Because I lived in Japan as a child is has that feel of being “home” to me and it’s also just beautiful.

They normally close at 5 pm, but once a month from May through September they have Sushi & Stroll and you can enjoy the gardens until 8:30. They also have various other things going on including a buffet dinner.

We had sushi (of course!) and mochi ice cream (I promise I’m going to try my hand at that later this year and blog it!). I took over 200 photos, but this was my favorite. It was a rare opportunity to get an image of the lights on the water. I just had to share.

If you live in the area, do go check out the Morikami. It’s a real jewel here in Delray Beach. And if you’re trying to think of a place to see on vacation, do check it out. Just remember, it’s closed on Mondays!