Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My yard .. birds & flowers and trees and ...

Here's a virtual walk for you.
Pictures I took both from inside the house and walking outside in the yard.

Cedar Waxwing

Mourning Dove

E. Starlings

House Sparrow

 This young robin was calling for it's parent to feed it... every few minutes there's a squak .. and it would look around .. I think it's still calling .. lol .. Not ready to search for worms on it's own .. guess it will just have to be hungry until mom or dad come with a worm!
 This is what I see when I look out the bedroom window .. beautiful view to wake up to in the morning!
 Garden from the North side.. the previous owners had lettuce, onions, and potatoes already planted!  It was a bit weedy though.  They hadn't had time to weed it .. and I don't blame them .. it's mine now! :)
 Garden from the South side ... the boys and I weeded ( mostly me, but the boys did help some yesterday) and while we were weeding we found volunteer tomato plants, so we've left those.  Hopefully they will grow well.  I'll probably plant some summer squash and cucumber after I get my seeds from Iowa .. and maybe purchase a green pepper plant or two this week ...   :)
 Found this on our southern border today ..new discovery!  I cut the open flower and brought it into the house.
 Potentilla ... love the contrast in this picture from the leaves to the flowers to the red lava rock ...
 This momma robin was yelling at me as I walked in the front yard ... wouldn't go far either... so I checked.. and she has eggs in her nest ... you can see one newly hatched robin as well ... precious new life! :)  (Click on the picture to see it larger ... )
 And below .. lots of different pine trees in the yard ... This one has very weird .. something ... growing out of it... I'm assuming that is it's cone or seeds .. anyone know the type of pine this is?
Hope you enjoyed that little walk ... come visit us in person! :)

Irritations & Delightful Neighbors

So, one of my biggest irritations is that when ppl start a bottle of water or g2 or N2 or whatever, they drink part of it, leave it on the counter, and then tell me that they weren't the ones that left it there and that it belongs to someone else!  This is an epidemic in my house and it bugs me almost as much as mosquitos!

I've created a law .. no one can drink from a bottle unless they have their cozy on it! .. so .. I made a couple really quick cozies for the boys ..

We were in the middle of the move from the apartmenet to the new house so I didn't do anything fancy .. but the boys should be able to use them... so I won't get bugged anymore! :)

Also - Here's a special picture of some neighbors that welcomed me and the boys the first time we came to the house to unload out items into our new house... :)

 I don't see cranes often, so they were a very welcome sight!  I wasstanding in our driveway, looking out over the backyard, across the county highway and they were in the field there ..  we have seen them one time since then as well .. so I'm glad ... they are very cool birds!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jean Bag & FQ Bag

Well, I haven't done much sewing lately, but I do have a couple of items to show you.

First is a jean bag lined with cotton fabric, and a couple of zip pouches that I made to go with the jean wallet I made.

I'm also working on a fabric/quilted mini tote to go with this as well .. worked a little on it last night, like 5 minutes, but I do hope to work more on it today.

Also - a couple of days ago I tried out this pattern from KellyRachel.com .....
I made mine from a 12" square of fabric, and it ended up being about as big as my hand .. say 4-5 inches square-ish.  I used some scrap ribbon for the handle and to cover up the not so pretty seam.

It's kind of hard to see but there's another pocket in front. The print blends and you can't see the edge of the pocket.

I recommend the FQ bag pattern, it's very simple but very versatile too.  I'm going to do a larger one as well.  I've seen one done from a 40" square .. I think that would be very kewl!

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Elefantz Newsletter !

There is a great new newsletter that's going to be published soon .. You can find it at:


She has some great patterns that utilize both embroidery, embellishment with beads and ribbons, and also applique and basic piecing. Everything she makes is very pretty and elegant!  Check it out!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pop Tab Bracelets

I finished my 2nd pop tab project last night .. a bracelet :)  It's the one with the green ribbon ...

I did the other bracelet a couple of weeks ago using a crochet method.

I kind of like it, but I used a scratchy ribbon, so it's a bit scratchy to wear, I'm working on another one that has a much smoother ribbon, I think I'll like that better.  I didn't want one that was terribly loose on my arm, so I used a clasp I found at Michaels to close it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jean Wallet Tutorial

The Tutorial for the Jean Wallet is below.  If you prefer a pdf file.. click here.

I freely give this for you to use for your own personal use and for gift giving or charity.  Please do not sell my pattern as it is not yours to profit from.

Let's begin:

You will need denim material cut from old jeans: (a corduroy material would work as well.)
Use ¼” seam allowance unless otherwise specified.

Outside Pockets
1 – 4 ½” x 6”
1 – 4 ½” x 3”

Base of Wallet
1 – 4 ½” x 10”

Large Inside Pocket:
1 – 3 ¾” x 10”

Inside Pockets:
1 – 2 ½” x 3 ¾” with a  Pocket Flap 1 – 3” x 3”
1 – 3” x 3 ½”

I used rectangles that were precut for something else and had to seam two pieces together for the 10” long pieces. I do this by sewing a 3/8” seam and then finger pressing it open before I top-stitch on both sides of the seam. You can make this nearly invisible, or you could choose a high-contrast thread and make it a design feature.

Use a pinking shears and trim the very edge of each piece. You don’t want to reduce the size of the pieces, so be very careful to trim as little as possible.

Next, stitch around each piece a scant ¼” from the edge all the way around so that you have a box of stitching on every piece. Do this with a matching thread.

Lay out your Wallet Base and the Large Inside Pocket. Match them on three raw edges. Measure in from one side 3 inches. Draw a line with pencil. This line is your sewing line. Sew on the line as shown here:

Fold the Wallet Base back so that you have just the Large Inside Pocket on one side, and the three layers on the other. Lay your 2 ½” x 3 ¾” pocket on one end, matching the raw edges as shown here. Sew on the three outside edges of this pocket.

Place the Pocket Flap on top of and “above” the pocket. The edge of the flap should be atleast ½” away from the edge of the pocket. Stitch across the top of the flap to hold it in place.

The pictures below show it after it’s been sewn. You only want to be sewing this pocket through two layers .. the top piece you are attaching and the Large Inside Pocket. The Wallet Base should be folded back out of the way while you are doing the actual sewing.

Next, we will turn this over to be face down, and add our Outside Pockets. You will want to decide which side you want the small & large pockets to be. I put my larger pocket over the top of the pocket & flap end. Lay it out and test folding it to be sure you have it the way you want it.

Then, sew around all 4 outside edges to secure all pockets in place.

Your wallet is complete. Fill it with money and plastic!

I'd love to see your wallets!  Post a comment below and you can link to your blog so that we can see what you've made!  I think these wallets would be extra cute with embellishment like fabric paint, embroidery, applique, or beads. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jean Wallets - Upcycled! :)

Here are two jean wallets I made from jean rectangles that I inherited from my grandmother's stash.  She cut the rectangles from old blue jeans.

This was the first:

This is the second:

I'll have a tutorial for the second soon .. hopefully by tomorrow... if I'm lucky, maybe by later today!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crochet Baby Hat, ufos finished .. Lake Michigan!

Well, I am not much for words .. so let's get straight to the pictures...

Here's a picture of the baby hat I had started in the last post .. i had the band done in the multi - I added white to it in order to finish off the baby hat.

It's kinda cute uh?

After that,I was able to get some time to finish a few ufos that had been sitting around ..

On this one, I only had to add a button .. why did it take me so long to add a simple button?  I think it will be for someone else..... not sure what I would use it for, not my style... but it is very pretty. Or if anyone wants to buy this one .. tell me what it's worth to you and we can make a deal! :)

This other bag, I had the base crocheted for the longest time .. and the handles were crocheted as well, although they weren't attached.  A month or two ago, I lined it with fabric.  Then it sat .. and I finally finished the handles by ading a strip of fabric to strengthen them and added a button closure as well .. I think this is a bit pretty .. What do you think? 

Last of my crafty show and tell today .. I finished an embroidery piece! :)  I got the pattern here, and used it on a dishtowel.  Not too shabby! 
Anyway .. had a lot of fun having these things completed.. I'm currently working on a jean wallet for my son.  I'm hoping he will like it .. and that it turns out the way I want it to .. if successful, I'll write a tute for this blog :)  It has embroidery on it as well .. I have so much floss stash, figured I should use it .. :)

As an extra special treat, I thought I'd share this photo of myself .. rarely is there a photo of me that I feel "doesn't suck" .. so .. here you go .. a not sucky photo ..

I'm the only one of my family that was brave enough to put her feet in Lake Michigan this past weekend... :)  The water was very cold .. but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Footer Photo

Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and you'll see I added a photo.

I took this about 2 1/2 weeks ago on a trip west on I94 in WI .. Love sunsets....

My Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend we did a lot of travel. Since dh was driving, I did a little bit of crochet. First we traveled from WI to Indianola, IA.

First I started with trying out a new stitch I saw Wednesday night on a recorded episode of Knit & Crochet Now! It was a crochet cable. I made a pillow front using the stitch, and it turned out pretty neat. Of course, it's too small for the pillow I intended because I didnt' measure before I left and the pillow wasn't with me in the car!

While at Indianola we did a bunch of yard work at the house. Trying to keep it looking nice for potential buyers. Please Please Please let the house sell quickly! The yard got mowed, the weeds are pulled from the driveway, and we cleaned more out of the basement and loaded the van down so that the basement looks bigger and more open. Then it was time to drive to Thompson, IA .. so we could attend an Oleson/Escherich Reunion in Mason City on Sunday.

I finished the pillow back while at my parents on Saturday & Sunday. Also on Saturday and Sunday I took two sport weight skeins that I had (partial skeins) and put them together to make a baby hat and a snack mat. Or I suppose it could be a doll's blanket.
On the way back to WI on Monday, I grabbed another sport weight skein of yarn from the back of the van and made a baby's hat, and started a second one .. but I ran out of yarn on that skein, and decided to put the crochet on hold for the moment .. I'll finish the second hat with white sometime .. this week hopefully! maybe today?

My friends at One Stitch At A Time really like embroidery, and it's been a long time since I got out my embroidery floss.  I used to do quite a bit of cross-stitch, but haven't picked that up in a long time either!  They've inspired me to do a little bit.  I had some flour sack towels in my stash, so I took one, and traced this birdhouse design on it ... and well, this is what I got done yesterday .. just a bit of green for the wood of the birdhouse... not bad fo rnot having done it in awhile! ... :)
Well, I'm off for now.  We are going to the first activity of the Ozaukee Homeschool group ... I joined the group (it's basically an online forum) a few weeks ago, but today they have a field trip activity for the kids to do archery/boating/candlemaking/disc golf .. and Joel would love to do some archery, so I decided to sign us up.  It's at a local campgrounds/retreat center called "Jewish Community Center".  I suppose it's a lot like the Methodist church camp back in Indianola. I think Seth is coming too .. hopefully the boys will have fun and I'll get to meet some of the moms .. ..