Card Making and Youth

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I spent some time a couple weeks ago preparing to help with a girls organization called GEMS. This is a church related group that always has a theme verse for the year. I found out that this year it is one of my favorite verses… Micah 6:8 ” He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

My part of the evening was going to be helping with the craft and I was going to help with card making. Last week, was the week I got to have the fun of helping out with that group of girls.

20171106_143517_Film1.jpgIt was a little hard to decide what type of cards I was going to prepare for a group of young girls. It is always kind of an experimental thing knowing what someone else will like. Of course I had to include a chicken card!

They did seem to like that one and it was fun to hear the stories of moms and grandmas who also had chickens. It was also fun to try figure out if I knew those moms and grandmas!

The stamps for the chicken cards were a set from Stampin’ Up called “Hey Chick”. I love this set for obvious reasons! Some gold, white, and navy cardstock, markers to color chicks with and we had a finished card.

The other two cards we made, are in the picture at the top. Not quite as “fun” but they still had a good time making them. All the stamps used on these three cards were from various set from Stampin’ Up. The cardstock and paper came from a variety of places…..Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Stampin’ Up and some really old scraps from Creative Memories. (Nope I don’t get any compensation for mentioning where the stuff comes from….just thought it might be helpful.)

Watching those girls make cards and listening to their comments was wonderful. It gives me great hope for the future. These girls were polite, full of funny comments and they freely helped each other with ideas for their cards.

It should probably be mandatory for everyone over a certain age to spend time with young people. Their view on life can make a person feel young again and see that the future is full of promise. They give you the feeling that anything is possible and bring a joy to life that is catchy.

I have always told my kids that my goal is to get old but not grow up……and after that evening I know why. (Oh….and my kids have assured me that I am doing just fine on my goal.)

It is good to have the joy of a young person. It is good to see the endless possibilities in life. Some days are easier than others to find that joy but it is a wonderful thing when you do. I pray this finds you full of joy and possibilities.

 

The good thing about being young is that you are not experienced enough to know you cannot possibly do the things you are doing.
Unknown

Youth is not a question of years:
one is young or old from birth.
Natalie Clifford Barney

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Another Crafting Day

 

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This past week was another busy one.  Some things made for busyness because of the time of year. Things like daisies needing to be dug out, due to night temperatures dipping below freezing to hauling the pie pumpkins into the house from their place on the porch.

Other things, were fun things that were added in. One of those things was a crafting day with friends. This time around we decided to try decorating bottles for the Christmas holiday.

To prepare for this we collected quart mason canning jars, wine bottles, garage sale decorations, ribbon, spray paint, sparkly letters and of course glitter. It is amazing to me how many empty wine bottles people have! I am not sure if that is bad or good….having so many empty wine bottles.

We decided to hold this crafting effort at one of the friend’s lake house.  The plan had been to spend the night but the weather forecast for the following day was “iffy” at best. The four-letter Snow word was tossed about as well as the Ice word. We decided to believe the weatherman and cut it short to one day.

The day dawned grey, cold and windy……really windy. The view from the lake house patio door was white caps on the lake.

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Coots Riding the Waves

Before we ever got to crafting we had to make a pit stop at the Hobby Lobby in a town nearby. We weren’t even sure what we were really looking for but spent lots of time in the Christmas decoration parts of the store.

It was fun seeing what we all chose to put in our cart at Hobby Lobby. It was also fun to see how we used all those purchases.

Arbor Mist bottle

An Arbor Mist bottle started this project. We used Rustoleum gold paint for the base and then dusted it lightly with a metallic glittery spray paint. (not sure what kind as one of the friends brought that). The tree farm picture on the front was from a tablet of Christmas paper by Paper Studio. (purchased at Hobby Lobby and no…..I do not get anything out of letting you know which products were used or where purchased. I just thought it would be nice for you to know).

We used Mod Podge to glue it to the bottle and rubber bands to keep it stuck there till it dried. We then garnished with second hand shop finds of raffia and berries. I think I will be tweaking mine a little more as I prefer some greenery to use with it.

We spray painted quite a few bottles and it will be interesting to see how we each actually finish them.

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It was so much fun to spend the day with friends. It is such a blessing to have friends that know exactly who you are and like to spend time with you anyway. It is something to be truly grateful for. I am also full of gratitude for the fact that we actually were able to figure out how to use the timer on my phone to get a photo of us! That is truly amazing!

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I hope you have someone to call “friend” …..someone who cares how you feel…..someone who laughs with you, cries with you, prays with you, gives you a hug when you need it and who also isn’t afraid to tell you what you need to hear. Those are the best kind of friends and I am blessed.

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils.
Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island…
to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune;
to keep him is a blessing.
Unknown

 

 

Crafting Day

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Fall Crafting

A while back two of my friends and I decided that we really needed to have a craft day.  Today was that day. All three of us have a penchant for trying crafts of various types. We had planned to make a fall craft and we did!

I had empty bottles from my Young Living Ninxgia Red that I had been saving because I thought their shape was so cool. This seemed like the perfect time to make use of them.

Paint was purchased at Menards.  Rustoleum paint plus primer was used and worked pretty good to cover the jars and their labels. We decided we would paint them without the caps on as we wanted to be able to put flowers, grasses and things like cattails in them for fall decoration.

The paint colors I used on my bottles were Rustoleum Claret Wine, Fire Orange, Strawflower and Oregano with a satin finish.

One of the gals owns a Cricut and she cut the vinyl letters for us to put on. A earlier visit to Hobby Lobby and Michaels yielded some extra stuff to bling our bottles up.

The plan was to spray the paint on the bottles outdoors; so we wouldn’t have to worry about fumes and overspray in a building. Unfortunately, the day did not dawn bright, sunny, clear or glorious! It was, instead, hazy, slightly foggy, damp, chilly and not conducive to spray painting outdoors.

Plan A was scrapped and Plan B was implemented. My husband backed the car out of the garage, put cardboard on the floor, and set up three stations for spray painting. His word of advice as he left the garage……”shake the crap out of the cans before you spray with them. When you think you shook enough…..shake some more.” So we did.

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Spraying commenced and before long we were inhaling the fumes from three constantly spraying paint cans. We did have the garage door open (complete with hog panel to keep out stray chickens) but the fumes did seem to hang out in the garage with us.

We were tentative sprayers at first. However, it did not take long and we were in the thick of spraying.  It also did not take long; and we noticed one gal’s feet had a nifty orange tinge to them. It kind of looked like a bad spray tan.

Once we were done with our spraying we had to wait for our bottles to dry. We decided we would head out to a nearby town for some dinner (or to the city people…..lunch). We found the little local drive-in was still open and we also found that Slade’s Drive In still serves amazing food!

We also decided we needed to check out the second hand store in town…..Lost But Found. It is a second hand store that is a non-profit and benefits a local charity. You just never know what you might find there.   That is what makes it so much fun.

Once we returned home we decided we would finish our decorating at our own homes when the paint was really dried nicely. Cars were packed up and it was decided we really needed to have tea and sample the muffins that the other friend had brought along. It was a great decision!

We also decided we needed to try our hand at a selfie with our painted bottles. I am not totally sure how successful we were on that score! But we gave it our best shot! And it is what it is!

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Selfie

Despite the gloomy start to the day it turned out to be a wonderful time! It was definately an “Ooh, Shiny” kind of day. I would argue that any day spent with friends turns out to be that kind of day.

It was great to craft with them, but it was also so great to spend time with friends that know who you are and love you anyway. We may not be sisters by blood….but we are definitely sisters of the heart.

I hope you all have someone who is family of the heart. I hope you all have someone who knows you well and loves you anyway. Life is so much better with friends like that.

“I have learned
that to be with those I like
is enough.”
Walt Whitman

Card Making and Sister Time

Card Making

I had a great day spending time with my little sister making cards today. In the weeks before surgery we picked this date as a good day to get my mind off recuperating and onto something fun.

She came before noon with dinner in hand…..chicken, broasted potatoes, and cactus bread from our local Pizza Ranch. That was a great way to start and was delicious!  Once eating was out of the way we got down to figuring out what cards we wanted to make.

She got her “stuff” out of her vehicle and then we scavenged through my craft cupboards. We also looked through Pinterest to find ones we thought we could make with what we had. The picture above shows the ones we decided on and ones we put our twist on.

We decided early on that perfection was not the goal.  This was a good decision as our cards ended up not always so perfect. The stamps and ink we used were mainly ones from Stampin Up. Our cardstock and paper came from anywhere we could get them. (Michaels, Ben Franklin and/or Hobby Lobby).

We spent a lot of time today making cards; but what was so much fun was the time spent visiting about anything and everything. We rehashed past surgeries, family history, good jokes we had heard, recipes we have tried and so many other topics. It was a good day spent laughing and connecting.

The time spent turned an ordinary day into something more. It turned it into a time of family and the memories that family carries. We have already made plans to do this again….only next time we are inviting the other sisters and friends. I have one sister who tells us that, “crafts make her sweat.” She will also be invited and we will try to make it as sweat free as possible!

The thing to remember is not what the cards end up looking like ……but how much fun it was gathering to make them. So much of life is like that….it is not what you accomplish but how and who, you accomplish it with.

What do you like to do with your sisters? What makes for a great time spent with your family?

May your weekend be filled with family, friends and fun. May you make memories that will last a lifetime and be the kind you can’t wait to revisit when you gather.

“The only ones who truly know your story are the ones who helped you write it.”
Unknown

 

Dishcloths and Memories

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One of my first posts I ever wrote; spoke of my yarn stash and how I was trying to use it up. I have been somewhat successful in that endeavor. I say somewhat because it never seems to totally disappear. It might be a little like the story of the widow’s oil in the Bible.

I should confess that it probably never disappears because I tend to keep purchasing yarn here and there for various projects. It never fails that you always end up with some extra from any project you do. At least I end up with some extra each time.

When I ventured over to the stash and looked through it I found some Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn. I thought I should probably turn it into a couple dishcloths as mine are getting pretty tacky.

Years ago, my Grandma made dishcloths and taught me how. I never knew what a YO (yarn over) was until she showed me.  I even have her pattern, in her handwriting, on a 3 x 5 index card. It is very special, at least to me, to be knitting a dishcloth from that pattern. Her spidery handwriting brings back more memories than just dishcloths.

In looking back she taught me way more than just how to make dishcloths. She taught me that there is a satisfaction in making something with your own hands that can be used in your home. She taught me that even things like dishcloths can be beautiful and colorful.

I can still see her sitting in her kitchen, on her chair with the wheels on it. (I personally thought that was pretty neat as our dining room chairs did not have wheels!) She would be hunched over the table, reading a pattern, a pile of yarn in front of her and a bowl, in the middle of her table with a single rose floating in it.

When she saw you come in the door she always made sure you sat down for a visit (at the table) and were served a piece of cake, cookie, banana bread or some new muffin she had tried. I learned at her kitchen table that a person could visit, eat lunch, and knit at the same time!

Grandma shared easily and so in the spirit of my Grandma I would like to share the dishcloth pattern with you. These are not too difficult to make if you can knit and do the YO thing.

They are a great project to take along when you travel; as they don’t use a lot of yarn or take up half your car with needles and balls of yarn. It is a pattern that works up quickly and is not overwhelming.

I also love how these clean my dishes. They have a slightly “bumpy” texture to them, which works great for scrubbing. I have also discovered that if they become stained or tacky looking; they make wonderful cloths for scrubbing the floor.

Knitted Dish Cloth
Sugar ‘n Cream or other cotton yarn
Size 10 knitting needles

Cast on 4 stitches
*K2, YO, K to end
Repeat from * until you have 45 stitches on the needle.

**K1, K2 tog, YO, K2 tog, K to end
Repeat from ** until you have 4 stitches on needle.

Bind off.
Weave in loose ends
K = knit, K2tog = knit 2 stitches together, YO = yarn over
NOTE: Grandma always made them with 45 stitches.
I tend to knit looser than she did so I do 40 stitches.

I hope you have as much fun making these as I do. I also hope you find them as useful and pretty as I do. If you do give these a try….let me know how they turn out for you.

In looking for a quote to go with this post I ran across a bunch of them by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. They are so funny …..perhaps because so many of them are so true!

“Achieving the state of SABLE is not,
as many people who live with these knitters believe,
a reason to stop buying yarn,
but for the knitter it is an indication to write a will,
bequeathing the stash to an appropriate heir.”

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,
At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
“SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,
At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

 

 

 

Repurposed Woodwork

 

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Repurposed Vintage Woodwork

 

I am a fortunate woman.  I have a husband who is willing to make items for me (usually…..after a space of time).  He is even willing to use old things and help me repurpose them into something else. I think he might be willing to do this because he likes the thought of making things that are useful and don’t cost a bunch.

My recipe box is a case in point.  It started out life as a baseboard in a home that was later abandoned. After getting permission from the owner, my husband and I removed some of the woodwork and hauled it home.

Some of the woodwork has been repurposed and used in our upstairs bedrooms. I love the old wood work. I love the wide old boards and the ornate corners and all the beautiful details those craftsmen of years past put into it.

Every so often I see a project on Pinterest or in a shop that I really really like. The price often deters me from purchasing. My brain, having a little conversation with itself, also deters me from purchasing.

Me:     Wow!  Isn’t that just so cool!
Me 2:  Yeah that is cool…..what does it cost?
Me:     (looking at price tag) Whoa!!! No wonder it is so cool.
Me 2:  Hmmmmm…… I bet I have stuff to make that in the schoolhouse.
Me:     Yeah, you might be right.
Me 2:  Of course I’m right.
Me:     Think the husband can be talked into making this?
Me 2:  Maybe…… Get a picture or make a drawing.

At this point I am hoping there are more of you out there who hold conversation with yourself. It would be a comfort to know I am not alone in this!

Upon arriving home (full of enthusiasm); I show my idea to my husband. He gets a rather pained expression (sometimes) but is usually a pretty good sport about it. It is fun to venture to the schoolhouse that is on our place and dig through stacks of architectural salvage to see what I can use for that particular project. It kind of makes me feel like a cross between American Pickers and Indiana Jones.

My recipe box was quite simple to make.  It only required a small amount of old baseboard.  I looked for the painted ones that were beginning to peel and had the old green paint showing underneath.  My husband cut it for me and assembled it and then I proceeded to paint the raw edges to match the peeling portions.

I painted the inside with leftover paint from other projects. I did seal it with some polyurethane varnish as I am not sure about that old paint. I put two layers of the varnish on to thoroughly seal it and keep it from peeling any further.

I then dug through my ribbon stash to dress up the outside. I also put little rubbery self adhesive things on the bottom corners.  We made my Recipe box  big enough to hold the 4×6 sized recipe cards and is a great replacement for the cardboard box I had been using to hold my recipes.

There is something quite satisfying about taking what others would toss and turning it into something useful again.  It gives the joy of seeing something worn and used turned into something of value once again. It has the feel of redemption about it.

That recipe box is like a small life lesson just sitting on my countertop. Without using any words it is a reminder that there is value in a life that is worn, weary and seemingly at it’s end.  There is a beauty in the life well-lived and repurposed. There is value and redemption when grace is extended.

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
Francis of Assisi

Crocheted Coat Hangers

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The last couple weeks have been spent working on prepping cupboards, painting cupboards, installing cupboards, installing counter on the bottom cupboards, putting cupboard doors on the top cupboards and now sorting through the boxes and stashes of craft items that I am going to be putting into those cupboards.

I think that by the time I get it all put back together and organized; I am going to be very ready to start crafting again instead of organizing crafting supplies.

There are some things I do like to work on at night as we just sit and watch TV. I do like to do crochet or knit projects.  These projects only involve needles or hooks, the yarn and a pattern. It is a pretty tidy way to do crafts…..except when the ball of yarn rolls over the floor and tangles through stuff.  Last month I spent evenings crocheting coat hangers. I should probably say crocheting coverings for wooden coat hangers.

I was fortunate to have a Grandma who crocheted and knitted and was incredibly thrifty. When my Grandma Boogerd was still living, and before she developed macular degeneration, she knitted and crocheted an unreal amount of hangers.

Every Christmas each grandchild and great-grandchild received a set as a gift. She and Grandpa had at least 20 grandkids and many  many more great-grandkids.  Those coat hangers were more colorful than Joseph’s coat. She used up every leftover scrap of yarn when she made them.

I really took a shine to those coat hangers; as they are wonderful for keeping clothes from slipping off the hangers. I have not yet started to make them every Christmas for my kids and grandkids…..I might have to consider that as a project!

I have made them as gifts for various occasions from playing bingo on Christmas Eve to birthdays. I have a sister who loves it when she gets a set. They are a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn when you don’t have quite enough for a large project.

If you would like to give them a try; here is the pattern I was taught by my Grandma.

Crocheted Coat Hangers
Size F crochet hook
wooden coat hangers
any 4 ply yarn


Directions:
Chain 80
Row 1: 5dc in 4th ch from hook.
*Skip 3 ch, sc in next ch, skip 3 ch, 6dc in next ch.
Repeat from * ending with sc in last ch.
You will have made 10 half shells.


Row 2: Turn * 6dc in bottom of half shell, sc in bottom of sc.
Repeat from * to end of row.
You will have made 10 full shells.
Fasten off.

For each hangar you will need to make two of these.
I use a contrasting color for crocheting both sides together.


Put both sides together with right sides facing out.
With contrasting yarn color, sc in each stitch, starting in center where the hook of the hangar will be.
Once you have sc  half of the “top” portion and all along bottom edge, insert hanger and finish sc around to hook of hanger.
I like to leave a long tail of the contrast color. I cut two more pieces of yarn and tie a bow around the hook of the hanger to finish off.  Weave in any loose ends that might still be hanging around.


My Grandma used to make pom poms to tie at the base of the hook ;but I have never mastered that art so I stick with an easy bow.

Grandma always made these scalloped ones for the girls and she knitted very plain ones for the guys. I usually just make all scalloped ones as my husband really does not care what his clothes hang on.

I do enjoy making these hangers.  I love using them in my closet but I also love the link it gives me back to my Grandma. I can still see her sitting in the nursing home with yarn strewn all over her bed. She was choosing which colors to make for specific people.

She felt so bad when her eyesight became too poor and it became too difficult to keep making them. That was the year I learned to crochet coat hangers; as I finished the Christmas hangers for her.

Maybe someday I will have a granddaughter who decides she wants to try doing some of the things this Chicken Grandma did. I think that would be a very fine thing.

“The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children”
Philip Carr-Gomm