Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Raggedy Ann and Andy

Big Finish! Four dolls- a set for each of my daughters.

I am embarrassed to say that these dolls have taken me a couple years to finish.  The bodies and the outfits were done the first year- pretty much.  It took me two years to complete the hair.  Why?  Because I hated it.  It was a pain in the butt.  I trudged on, albeit rather slowly for my children.  I was bound and determined to get 'er done.  That was my New Years resolution and so far I have completed quite a few projects that I will be sharing with you soon.

My one daughter did not want a hat on her Andy. 

I did different hair on the girls and different outfits.  I goofed some of the socks up.  To be honest about the time I started these dolls I could not find any of the classic stripes for them. There are some differences.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hand Soap DIY

I have been wanting to make this do it yourself handmade soap for a while. I finally came to terms with a 3.50 bar of soap and bought it.  Ouch.  I don't usually buy soap for that much money unless I am buying a multi pack of them.  There was  day when I was single and would treat myself to hand made soaps once in a while.  But now?  Pinching pennies where I can- soap would be the last place I spend a ton of money.  I reasoned with myself- 3.50 for a whole gallon of liquid soap, well, that, I could deal with.  But what if it didnt work?

Guess what?  It worked.  It totally worked.
Grating the soap was real easy.  The soap is soft.  It melts really fast.  So when you are heating it, watch it closely so that it does not boil.  Stir it.  If you see things floating continue heating.  As soon as there are no tiny soap bits, remove it from the heat.  Let cool.  Like don't check it for 12 hours, kinda cool.
Liquid Hand Soap

1 gallon water (filtered or distilled is best)
2 tablespoons glycerin*
1 bar Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap

Grate the soap.  Place the soap the glycerin and the water in a large pot.  It should be stainless steel.  If  you use something that is porous then the soap may stay in the pot and carry over into your food.  Stainless steel will clean up real nice with no soap left behind.  You should also stir with metal- no wood. 

Heat over medium heat until all the little soap bits are melted. Remove from heat immediately.

Cool for 12 hours.  Check it- see if it is thickened.  Stir and let it drip off the spoon.  Notice how it drips.  Does it kind of slide off slowly.  Then it is nearly done.  If it is still very thin, wait another 12 hours. Check again.  This soap will thicken as 24- 36 hours pass.  At first it is thin then about the consistency of egg whites, then more like soft set jello.

Whisk in small circles to combine everything.  Pour into soap dispensers. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Houses, Block by Block

After having signed up for a million 100+ giveaways from Sew Mama Sew, I found Pretty Little Quilts.  She has a nice block of the month, in progress, but towards the beginning and I think I have to join in. It is called Hillside Houses, if you are interested, click here.  Ever since I saw this quilt,

houses quilt!!!! I love this! Just need a house tessellation ?
Here is the maker of this quilt above.  So beautiful!

I have been interested in doing something like it.  Since Pretty Little Quilts already designed it, what the heck, I am jumping on this wagon...

Pretty Little Quilts Hillside Houses QAL
This is the general layout of the quilt-

house quilt

Cute, huh?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Container Gardening

My garden helper.  She digs on demand.
Apparently, I have not been sharing very much.  Who knew a month could go by without me sharing anything.   Don't think because I have not been sharing that I haven't been crafting, because I sure have.  Not to mention the fact that I moved my sewing studio.  It's in a WAY better location however there has been a lot of moving, organizing and purging going on.

Also, gardening and yard work.  Too many irons in the fire as of late.  I am sure you have lots of things going on as well.  We all do! There is always so much to do.  I guess it really is all about what you make time for.  Either you can fit it in or you can't.

When I was a child no one planted anything before Memorial Day in this zone because there was usually a frost in May.  There hasn't been a frost in My for like forever.  The zones have changed, haven't they?  This year is the first year I took advantage of that and planted the first week in May.  This year I planted okra, kohlrabi, kale, collard greens, tomatoes, the usual herbs- basil, dill and a new one- Thai basil.  I cook Thai so I thought I would give it a try.  My thyme is very happy in this home of mine.  It has come back three years in a row.  It was suppose to be annual but I guess it is pretty hardy. 

I use to have a pretty large garden but I could not keep up with the weeds so we ended that.  Now we have two container type gardens.  Its good enough.  We have a great public market nearby and lots of farmers around town so there is plenty available, gratefully!

I propagated basil from some hydroponic basil I found at the supermarket. It didn't work as well as I thought it might but I did get two plants out of it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nonni's Bench- Recovered- Finally

This is one of those projects that I have put off for a couple years.  I received this bench from my Grandmother after she passed away. It was part of a whole bedroom suite that sadly was divided up among people.  My parents have the armoire, someone else has the headboard and I am sure someone else has the dresser.  There was a little table that had a mirror that this little bench sat at.  I do not have that either.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not broken up about it because of my Grandmother.  Its material stuff to me.  I have a mirror from her, this bench and a crocheted bedspread that she made for the twin bed I slept in as a child. I am all set.

Truth be told when I was a child and we would go to her house in Carbondale PA, there was something I wanted her to give me.  I was probably about 8 or 9 at the time.  She, around 75.  She lived in this house set on a hill.  Up at the top of the hill, behind a tree line was a lumber yard.  Beyond the trees you could see planks of wood piled high.  I would have adventures with any kids in the neighborhood I could find to play with me.  We would go up the hill and pretend we were in the woods with African animals all around us.  Or we were Pirates looking for our buried treasures some where.

One time I remember going off by myself and finding my way into the house of one of her neighbors.  They were an older couple who had a piano.  They let me sit and play and applauded my efforts.  They gave me ribbon candy that I thought was the coolest EVER.  I thought that there undivided attention was pretty cool too! I will tell you that my parents upset when I returned to my Grandmothers house made the experience even more indelibly etched in my mind.  They had no idea where I was and were sick with worry.  I felt pretty bad but I also remember feeling very torn because how could something that felt so fun and right be so wrong at the same time. Sigh!

Anyway, what I really longed for at my Grandmothers house was her claw foot bath tub.  I thought it was the coolest.  Many years later, I was saddened to hear, after her house was sold, it was at the curb.  Such a sad demise to a beautiful tub.  Into my teen years I thought about that tub!  Loved it.  My Grandmother lived way past the sale of her house, just in case you were wondering.  She came to live with us for a while.

I was in college then, taking lots of psychology courses but also Social Work, which was my major.  Of course, I thought I was an expert but I definitely saw the dementia/confusion.  One day, she told me that Scorpio, of General Hospital, came over on the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.  Really?  She was about 93 at the time, a little slip of a person.  Old school Italian, broken English and all. She was cute if not for the mean things she would like to say to me over the years I grew up.  For an Italian to forget about Columbus... Thats pretty huge!
The bench is kind of ratty these days.  I knew it was time to spruce it up but there is always something more appealing to do.  But aren't you glad when you get one of those kind of projects done.  The kind you have been sitting on.  Kind of like a Mama Chicken on her baby eggs.

One of my earlier posts is here... all about how to recover a chair cushion.  On this one, I put a whole new pad (foam), with batting in there. I am sure there are a ton of You Tube videos that show you how to do it as well.
I kept the tag on the bottom because I think it is pretty cool.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Patricia's Quilt Show March 2015

These are just a few of the quilts from the show.  Stuff that stood out to me for one reason or another.  There were a lot of beautiful quilts.  There were also a lot of people plus I had my children in tow.  It was a fairly quick walk through.
My friend, Sandy of Quilting For The Rest Of Us, had her Numes in the show too! Why I didnt get a picture of it at the show, I will never know.  Maybe because the hall was very crowded and my kids were pestering me to move farther into the show.  Honestly, I think they were anticipating the free candy at the show.

These pics above and below are done with tiny squares.  It was a huge quilt.  I imagine it took forever.  A lot of work! 

The trunks of the trees were people with their arms raised up.

 I love the house in this quilt.   So sweet!
 I have something going very similar to this.  Nearly done...

These ones above and below are by Tina Somerset.  She taught a class I took recently at Patricia's.  Love them!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day

My somewhat Pi contribution to Pi Day.