Wednesday, January 25, 2012

25 Cent Sunday

For the last few weeks, my 3 daughters, granddaughter and I have been sharing some quality time, and making great memories on Sunday mornings with a new obsession of ours -  THE 25 CENT SALE.
Our local thrift store has item with certain colored tags for 25 cents or 5 for $1.00.  Amazing! Incredible!  To quote one of my co-workers "you can't get anything for 25 cents".  Oh, but you are wrong. 

This past weekend, here is what we got:

Fancy little basket - already holding the remote at DD#1's new house.

Two Jones New York sweaters for me.  The gray is a long sleeve, and the pink on it exactly matches a scarf I just finished crocheting.  The blue is short sleeved.  Both are in perfect condition.  I wore the gray one and the scarf to work today.

An adorable skirt for DD#3 to wear for various school functions.  If she only wears it once, I'm money ahead!

Two more baskets for DD #1 new house.  No, the apples were not included, but by the time I got the pictures, the fruit was already in there and on her kitchen counter.  The darker basket with a handle is now in her guest bath with wash cloths.

Three knit shirts of various sizes that I purchased to make bibs for Ms Paytan. The green one is Paul Frank.  I am planning on using the "bapron" pattern that DD #1 found here via Pinterest. It's such a cute pattern, with an even cuter baby model.  I can't wait to make one (or actually several).

Three great guys plaid shirts.  One is Old Navy, one is Ralph Lauren, and one is Redhead (Bass Pro brand).  I can't decide what exactly to do with these, but I love the colors.  They will either become bibs for a little nephew (maybe not the pink one!), throw pillow covers, or rag quilt pieces.  Maybe all three!  DD#1 also bought 3 men's shirts that I didn't get a picture of, and they are already throw pillow covers.

Two light weight shirts to make little summer dresses and diaper covers for Ms Paytan.  Thinking something lady bug from the black checked one, similar to this dress I found on Pinterest.

DD#1 bought 2 summer dresses (back row) and two summer tops.

She also bought this simply darling little top. It is going to become a dress for Ms Paytan to wear to DD#2 high school graduation.  Love the details, and while you can't tell very well from the picture, the buttons are sparkly.

And certainly not least, a Carter's sundress in perfect condition.  This one will have to go into a rubbermaid storage tub for next summer, but for 25 cents, DD#1 will happily store it.

What I didn't take pictures of were the 6 throw pillows of different sizes that are all going to be recovered, a king size sheet that is going to become curtains for DD#1 guest bedroom, 2 sweatshirt that DD#2 is going to do something crafty to, a pair of jean shorts for DD#3, a picture frame and a gray, never been worn blazer for me to wear to work.

In total, I spent $4.00 (this includes DD#2 and #3), and DD#1 spent $9.00. 

Now, I must craft and sew everything I bought so we can go again next Sunday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crocheted bag from grocery bags - part 1

I found a really sweet crocheted bag while surfing the net, on this website.  I love it's shape, but something just didn't quite do it for me, but I bookmarked it.  You just never know when inspiration will strike.

 Then I found a really cool crocheted bag, made from recycled grocery bags on etsy, but I didnt' care for it's handles - plus I didn't want to buy one, I wanted to make one. 

I was working on Christmas gifts, and inspiration struck me one day as I was gathering up all of my plastic grocery bags to take them to the recycling center.  Note: in Podunk, they don't pick up any recycling curbside, you must take it to them.  Inconvenient.

Back to the inspiration... I decided to take the best of both worlds and see what happened.  Since the recycled bag didn't come with any instructions (they wanted to sell it, not give me instructions) I had to make some guesses.  Turns out, I guess pretty well!

I am going to make this post from here into 2 parts.  This part is the prep, and the second part will be the actual creation part.  If you feel the need to jump ahead, the website where I found the first bag has complete bag instructions. 

First, you will need to gather approximately 50 plastic grocery bags.  They need to be clean, so either wash the ones with the "stuff" stuck to the insides, or sort them until you have about 50.  I chose to only use one variety of bag, the one from our local grocery store.  I like the colors.  You can mix and match if you like.

Once you have your grocery bags, you need to cut them up.  For me this is the hardest part - not because it's actually hard, but because it takes a long time, and I am not a patient person.  I am using a cutting mat with a rotary cutter.  This is not essential, but it certainly makes it easier!

I found that I can cut about 5 bags at a time with the rotary cutter, so I lay them out flat, and then fold them once and line up on my cutting mat and trim off the bottom.

Then cut the rest of the bag, up to the handle portion into about 1" width strips.

Discard the handles and trimmed bottom.  Add them to your recycling. 

Put all the strips in a bag or a box, or in some way contain them.  You are going to have a bunch, so you will want containment!  Mine tended to have static cling, so I just threw a dryer sheet in with them and shook the bag a little.

Once you have them all cut, you need to string them together to make you "ball of yarn" that you will crochet with. This takes a while too... hang in there, the fun is just around the corner.

 First open up one loop.

Then take a second loop and make a slip knot with it through the first loop.

And pull until snug... not too tight or you will break one of the loops, but you also want your knot to be small, or that will cause you challenges when you start to crochet.

Continue looping together until all your strips are one LONG string.  You will want to either roll it into a ball or have some sort of containment.  Daughter #1 uses a paper grocery bag, but you can use whatever you have handy.

 Once you get finished, kick back and relax.  The hard part is done.  See you again in Part 2.

My New Fat Quarters

I found this quilt that I simply LOVE on Pinterest.  So basic, but so colorful.

And I followed the link off of Pinterest to a blog called Stitched in Color.   She has a whole tutorial on how to make this quilt.  At first I was thinking "what a great idea for my scraps", and in fact I think that's what I said on my pin.

But then, I remembered that I have a nephew due in February, and this would be an easy baby quilt to make.  Only problem was I wanted some really great farm/boy fabric, and the "box" fabric stores near Podunk just don't have the best selection.  So, I followed the advise on the blog, and visited her advertisers... isn't that what all bloggers want you to do anyway?

I found this great fabric, in fat quarters, just as her blog suggested.

Isn't it fabulous? Lots of tiny cows and sheep and pigs and tractors. Just what a little boy needs.  And more than enough to make this quilt with!  I might even have scraps left over to make bibs out of.

I ordered it on a Friday.  They shipped it on the same day, and I got in on Tuesday.

I highly recommend ordering online!  It was so easy.  I will be doing it again. I got this fabric from Fat Quarter Shop.  I will be posting pictures of the quilt when I'm done.  I will, however, be making one slight change to the original instructions - I will be sending this off to get machine quilted.  I've tried to quilt them myself, and it always comes out looking like a herd of monkeys did the quilting! 

No monkey quilting for the new nephew!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest?  I know you're out there... I suspect there are many of us! I hope.  PLEASE let there be someone else. PLEASE.  

I would like to say that I am taking part in the 12 step program to kick this addiction, but I'm not.  I like this addiction, and I don't WANT to kick it.  In the interest of full disclosure, I do think that recognizing you have an addiction is the first step.

Here's what I've made... so far!

I have made sugar hand scrub before.  I found my first recipe here, on the Chickens in the Road blog (one of my very favorites).  But then on Pinterest, there were so many scents and combinations I had never thought of before.  Perhaps for good reason.  I "created" the peppermint sugar scrub picture all by myself.  BAD idea.  It smells amazing.  It looks amazing.  This problem is after sitting for a week to give for Christmas presents, the stuff turned into a solid chunk, and I had to throw it out.  I will stick to the tried and true recipes.  The ones I eventually used are here, but they are really everywhere.

The girls were needing Christmas presents for the FFA gift exchange, and these redneck wine glasses were so cute, but in the store they are like $14.99!  No way, but on Pinterest, I spent $2.00 per glass plus the candy and eventual ribbon that was added.  Everyone that didn't get one was jealous.

We always try to make a special Christmas present for the couple that got us started in cows.  This year we made custom coasters and glasses etched with their farm name.  The calf on the coaster is the first calf we bought from them.  We did 6 coasters with 6 pictures of their different cow.  I didn't get a picture of the glasses, but I also did some glass etching for me.

I borrowed a friend's cricut to cut the "B" out of vinyl.  It worked amazingly!  I made a ton of glass etched Christmas presents, and so did daughter #1.  Now I want a cricut!

These lovely little things are crocheted braclets.  I made one for all the girls for stocking stuffers.  The Pinterest link went to an Etsy shop, and they wanted $28.00 for one.  I just used my smallest crochet hook (which ironically I realized later was label "Loreal" lol) and chained a bunch of stitches (I just wrapped it around my wrist to determine how long) and then single crocheted two rows, added a button, and walla, stocking stuffer.

I made two of these for my sister in law for Christmas, only I never gave them to her!  She got sugar scrub instead!  (Sorry Sally!)  They just look so cute on my dining room table, and smell good too.  The little square glass voltive came from the Dollar Tree ($1.00 each) and then I got whole coffee beans from Dollar General, and I already had the tea lights.  I do intend to glass etch some for Sally as a gift later... really.

And last, but certainly not least is my spin on this adorable crocheted bag, instructions are found somewhere on the internet, but I've lost the link.  If anyone knows where this came from, I would be happy to link the instructions.  But I made a spin on the original instuctions by making this bag 100% out of recycled plastic grocery bags.  I will be posting the complete instructions later, but if you want to make one, start saving your plastic grocery bags now.  It takes about 50 bags!

I have so much stuff pinned.  I can't wait to share it all with you.  What are you pinning?

What's better than cheap??

Free of course!

Daughter #2's boyfriend Landon was helping move a friend's warehouse, and the people who owned the building were getting rid of these "shelves".  For free!

But they are BIG, and HEAVY, so we borrowed a flat bed trailer from a friend and brought them home to make into three sided buildings - one for the cows and one for the horses.

It took 6 of us to unload the things off the trailer... I think Landon loaded them by himself.  (He's handy.. I think I'll keep him!)  Then we bought runners for the bottom, and 4 x 8 sheets of plywood for the sides, and some tar paper for the roof (which they had used as a shelf).

Now if they will just magically assemble themselves.  We are currently in talks about the "right" way to make these buildings, so I would estimate they will be done right after winter turns to spring and the cows no longer need them.

Sunshine believes this. 

 "More cow cookies please!"

It's been a year!

My new grandbaby Paytan with the monkey hat I crocheted for her!
And what a year 2011 was.  So many things to tell you.  So many new adventures ahead.  I'm back... what shall we do first?

Let's recap 2011:
  • I learned I was going to be a grandma for the first time, and was challenged with accepting that my kids lives may differ from what I dreamed/hoped they would be.  I also learned that's ok.
  • I traveled to Canada - Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver (in January)!  Don't travel to Canada in January unless your boss say you have to.
  • I saw my first live hockey game in Edmonton (Thanks Jeff to taking me and explaining it!).  There was no fighting or blood.  I was dissapointed.
  • I learned they have snow mountains in Edmonton and that radio stations run contests on when they will melt each year.  I guessed NEVER!
  • My oldest daughter graduated from high school, and moved in with her boyfriend in an apartment, in town.
  • My youngest daughter bought more cattle... more on them later.  And she has more calves.
  • My middle daughter won Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the National Dexter show in Oklahoma.  She got a banner and a COOL belt buckle that she wears every day. 
  • We attended more cattle shows all summer.
  • I traveled to Hebron, Kentucky.  ALOT!  For work.
  • I garage sale'd alot... looking for baby stuff.  We found way too much, but we stayed in budget.
  • My middle daughter started her Senior year of high school.  Sad face.
  • My oldest daughter started college.
  • My middle daughter brought home her first boyfriend.  He didn't know about cows - he does now.
  • I became a Grandma for the first time, and it was/is totally amazing!  Many, many stories!
  • I started sewing again.  My first project was a quilt for the baby.
  • My youngest daughter bought the farm's first bull.  His name is Gentry.  There will be stories.
  • I started crocheting again (see exhibit A in the picture above).
  • My youngest daughter brought home a boyfriend.  This officially makes my dining room table too small.  He has cows too, but his are spotted.  And BIG.
  • My middle daughter got her senior pictures taken and ordered graduation announcements. 
  • My oldest daughter got a 4.0 in her first semester of college. 
  • We traveled 6 hours to see family for Christmas with a 3 month old baby... she was perfect.
  • My oldest daughter and her boyfriend moved into a house about 3 minutes from my house.  I like this alot.
  • I started recycling again, so the corner of my kitchen is a mess again.  I contend it is a cheap alarm system to keep burglers out... if we had burglers.  I need a better system (in my spare time).
I think that catches you up.  I have missed this, so welcome to 2012 and my life in Podunk!