Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cute Cat Outfit and Christmas Projects

Kaleigh found this adorable pattern on Ravelery. It's a Candy Corn Cat Sweater. She crocheted it in one evening and put it on her cat. Doesn't Ginger look cute?

I've begun working on Christmas gifts. This year, seeing I'm hanging on to every penny I can, I thought I would make things using what I have. Usually, I see something for someone and go buy whatever I need to make it... even though I could probably improvise with what I already have. So this is a new exercise for me. This first gift is for Corey's and Kyle's girlfriends. I got them each two body washes from Body and Bath, made a drawstring bag and two knitted washcloths each. I only have one gift set photographed as the other is the exact same thing, just a deeper blue washcloth.
During the next few weeks I'll continue to make gifts and show them as I go.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ironing Board Cover

This little project has been on my 'to-do' list for a long time. My old ironing board cover was disgusting. I decided I needed a new cover but the ones in the store were not quite as cute as some bright, cheerful fabric I could find in my stash. So today was the day to make the cover. I used the "pattern" in Sewing In No Time. Of course, there really wasn't a pattern, more of a 'how-to'. The directions were, as always in this book, very good. I'm not sure that the new cover will make me want to iron more, but at least the fabric makes me smile.
Yesterday was a bit more fun as we...

spontaneously decided to head to Rhode Island at about 10:30 in the morning. A little late start for the beach, but in the end it didn't make a bit of difference. We had a beautiful beach day, with lots of sun and swimming. The water was the perfect temperature and the waves were just right for riding in. I hope we can pick a day next week and have a repeat... it was a great day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jammies Hand Knit Bag and Vintage Bread Bag

Kyle's girlfriend's birthday is in mid-September and I wanted to make her up a little gift. Over the summer, I stopped at a barn sale and found vintage linens for a dollar apiece. I took all they had of these napkins. Two make up a very nice bread bag. I didn't line the bag for two reasons: one I want the bread to breathe so a double layer of fabric wouldn't be good, and two, using a napkin, it's already hemmed so the inside finish is nice and neat.
The jammie bag is just too cute for words. I bought the pattern as a PDF file from I Live on a Farm. I've made several of her patterns and they always come out really nice and her directions are very clear. The pattern comes with directions for all different jar sizes. I will be making more of these for sure.
I plan on making grape jelly as soon as the grapes are ripe. I'll fill the jar with lovely purple sweet stuff and the color coming through the lace holes will be oh, so pretty!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tea & Mug Cozie Gift Tray

One of my friends is going to a wedding soon. She asked me to come up with something unique for the gift. I thought it over and this is what I came up with. I made the tea cozy using the book, Sewing In No Time by Emma Hardy. Instead of tucking a tea pot under the cozy, though, I bought a pure white coffee pot. I also made a lined draw-string bag picking up one of the fabrics in the cozy. Inside the bag is a bag of specialty coffee, Cape Cod Nut Fudge. Now does that sound good, or what? I also knit a pair of mug cozies using the pattern Knitted Mug Cozy from the Homespun Living blog (see sidebar to visit). I enjoyed making that so much I think I'm going to make a few more for three of my long-distance friends for Christmas. They'll be useful, cute and cheap to mail!
All the goodies are sitting on a wooden tray I got from Michael's. I painted it a pretty, soft pink and then Mod Podged on a pretty scrap paper to match. I hope the newly married couple will like their original gift.
I even bought some pretty clear/speckled gift wrap and a wired pink and white gingham check ribbon to tie it all up in. I thought I would do that over my friend's house after she tucks in her card. I sure hope it looks purty...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gardens, Pickles and Beans

The front flower garden is in full bloom. The colors are just spectacular.

This picture was taken the other day of my downstairs pantry. There's much more on the counter now and the cupboards are getting rather full.

Green beans just picked and getting ready to be canned.

The cabbages are growing rather nicely.

The carrots are in full swing...

One of two green (pole) bean boxes. The yield on these is unbelievable. We pick every three days!

Gads, I've been canning and freezing like a wild woman. This year our garden is overflowing. So far, we've picked 21 lbs of green beans. I froze four bags, but I really like canned green beans better. So far we've canned 22 quarts! We have pickles coming out of our ears! We have 14 quarts of varying kinds, so far. I've frozen brocolli, kohlrabi, peas, zucchini, scallions, wild black raspberries and 20 lbs of wild blueberries. I've canned spaghetti sauce and baked beans in the pressure canner. I'm telling you, my kitchen has been one busy place! I know all the work will be appreciated come the fall and winter when we eat organic (meaning non-sprayed) home-grown fruits and produce. Oh, and one of my friends invited us to once again this year, pick off her four overflowing peach trees until our hearts are content! Last year, I had a freezer full of peaches and I plan on doing the same this year. I love frozen peaches on oatmeal and in smoothies. She kept me peach eating right through March!
Here are a couple pickle recipes. I've made several different kinds.
Bread and Butter Pickles
7 cups sliced cukes
1 cup diced onion
1 cup green pepper, diced
2 TBS salt
1 TBS celery seed
2 cups sugar
1 Cup white vinegar
Put in very large bowl and leave overnight in 'fridge. Can put in jars and leave in 'fridge. At my house, the bowl was gone in a matter of days; no need to put in jars!

Dill Pickles
8 lbs, cut in lengths cukes
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
1 quart vinegar
1 quart water
3 TBS pickling spices - tie in cheese cloth
One for each jar: peeled clove of garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1 piece hot pepper, 1 sprig dill.
Combine sugar, salt, vinegar, water and bring to a boil. Place tied spices in above solution and boil for 15 minutes. Pack cukes in hot jars, leaving 1/4 " headspace. Ladle hot liquid over cukes. Remove air bubbles. Adjust 2 piece caps and process pints and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Animals in Aprons Wall-Hanging

Now that Cassidy just turned nine, I thought it was high time I completed her baby sampler. I know it's a little late but hey, better late than never, right? This was a joy to stitch. I let Cassidy choose which animals she wanted on her wall-hanging, and what material she wanted for aprons for them. If you'd like to see the real Animals in Aprons, you can google in Vicki Haninger, Animals in Aprons. For some reason, I don't have the web address on the bottom of my pages.

This is how we spent our day today at the resevoir. It's supposed to be a beautiful week so we may go back later in the week. The kids have so much fun there and it's very relaxing as there aren't any waves like at the beach. See...

even the hubs likes it there.