Thursday, May 25, 2017

Old to new!

After making my neat little "recycled" western (skirt) tote bag, I decided to try making one with some old denim. I was very inspired by Connie at Crafty Home Cottage to use some of my own bits and pieces of denim. She made the CUTEST aprons using her old bib overalls! Check them out at her link above.

But, instead of using my own scraps,  I decided to go to the thrift store and buy an old denim skirt! I just HAD to try using a short denim skirt to make another tote bag, like my old western skirt tote (left, and linked above)............my sister's birthday was coming up and I thought it would be perfect for her.

So off I went to the local thrift store!


First though, I must apologize for the poor photos. I made this bag right before a beach trip to celebrate my sister's 60th birthday (did I ever post those photos?), and was in a hurry to get it finished before I went (I ALWAYS wait until the last minute)...... so naturally, I forgot to take photos of it! That's just not like me........but being in a rush does do weird things to a person, right?  So....... the following photos were taken by my sister with her cell phone, and though OK, they don't really show the details. 

Front of bag (above) hanging from a chair. Quite blurry but you get the gist of it. All I did was sew up the bottom seam (after sewing on the trim fabric with my sewing machine).  I used some darling Parisian-type fabric for a trim around the bottom, front and back, and for a "patch" behind some vintage doilies and buttons I had for decoration.

I didn't do anything else to "alter" the skirt at all! I left in the zipper and snap and the belt loops. I did add two more belt loops, one on each side, using the strip of denim that I cut off the bottom before adding the fabric trim.

Better picture of front of the bag, although blurry. Darn! I used some pretty pink stripped fabric for the tie, that was woven through the belt loops. The strips started out at 3" wide by a length that would go around the waistline of the skirt, plus maybe 3 extra inches. I then turned in the edges of the strips to enclose the raw edges and finished off the ends. The ties were run through the belt loops, and it can be pulled open just like a drawstring bag.

I made a "patch" using the Parisian fabric with some old vintage buttons across the top (just for decoration).

All of the lace sewn along the pocket tops was hand sewn as I couldn't reach inside with my sewing machine. 

Closeup of the front (above).
The back shows the trim around the bottom much better. Just love that fabric! My sister loves Hello Kitty things and colors, so I figured she'd like this fabric with the pinks, turquoises and blacks. The lace was hand sewn and also the appliqued heart was sewn on by hand.

I hadn't planned to make this tote so fancy, but you know me, I just can't resist adding lace and doo-dads.

I didn't even take pictures when she was opening this gift! What was I thinking anyway???

Thank you Connie at Crafty Home Cottage for your inspiration!

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Serenity - May 20, 2017

What is serenity anyway? A feeling of calm? A feeling of peace? A feeling that all is right with your life? No worries? no stress?   


Whatever is lovely..
Think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

I am feeling somewhat serene today....... I think it's because I finally have a few flowers to gaze at.

What is "serenity" to you?


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Tiny notebooks.......

Well.... my sad yard is still sad.. but not quite so sad.... I've managed to work out there a little bit and pulled and cut and broke off all of the dead stuff from last year! We also took bags and bags of yard debris to the dump. How exciting! More on that later...........


Lately though, I've been on a roll making little notebooks... yes.. little books to hold notes.... first I made some just for me, and then I decided they were so handy, I'd make a few for gifts.  See the one on the far right with the pink flowered washi tape? That was my first little 'wing it' project that I made several months ago. I was just playing. I've already filled up the inside with my most favorite "go to" projects!  I was always digging through my pile of notes or trying to find the item I wanted to make on YouTube.. now I have them in my handy dandy "note" book.



I even added tiny photos of the finished project on some of the pages!


For this little booklet, I just cut a bunch of white cardstock into 3-1/2" by 5-1/4" pieces, made two little covers and put it all together with brads. so easy and durable. The heavier cardstock holds up really well with all the use it's getting. I printed out my directions on the computer, sized to fit each page, and then glued them onto the pages.

Now to move on to something a little fancier! You know me... I can't do "plain" and "simple". I found a really cute YouTube project from Scrapbookingwith ME entitled Mini Album Card which, to me, is not really a card, but is a little booklet that is super easy to make and has a few pages that I decided I could add pockets to in order to hold more notes.

So here's my first attempt at her little "card"... this one was for me.. for more of my favorite notes and project details:


I used one of my pretty pieces of cardstock (you only use a 6" x 12" piece) that I've been hoarding for years!  I added pockets to the pages (a little 1-1/2" by width of the booklet, glued onto the bottom of the pages). I slipped in many pieces of computer paper to write my notes on...... and added a few pretty tags here and there "just because" I love tags!


My next booklet.. just for "me" mind you.... I made a little taller and thinner. These card/books have 3 basic hinges where you add one piece of pretty heavy designer paper, but on this one, I added extra paper to each hinge.. so instead of 3 pages, I ended up with about 9 pages.. plus I added a few sheets of lined notebook (leftover) paper into the hinges also. This was one is plumb full of blank note papers to write on. Love it....




I used up a bunch of some of my old scrapbook papers that I've had in a pad I bought probably 6 years ago. I'm TRYING really hard to use what I have.. use up my scraps... "use it use it use it". That's my new mantra.

So for gifts, I made a little notebook for my sister who loves to sew and quilt:



This one has an elastic "belly band" to hold it closed, as it is fairly thick with tags and note cards.



There are also some pretty tags scattered throughout... in the pockets. They are all free printables that I found online here and there.


...........and then I made one for my 3 year old great nephew... don't know how much he'll play with it, but I thought he might enjoy the little tags and pictures I put inside..... and he might have fun taking things out and putting them back in..... I hid a couple of little tiny envelopes inside with messages inside...... for all I know he'll tear it up! but oh well.... it was fun to make.


Who could resist monkeys and robots?????



My husband's granddaughter just had her sixteenth birthday, so I made a little "note" book for her, filled with tags and places to write all those secret notes a 16 year old needs.


The butterfly paper was so pretty... all glittery... but you can't see it in the photos. 


 I did some doodling on the center white "hinges".


Hidden envelopes here and there............ 


.........an envelope tucked in the back with some money inside! What else does a 16 year old want???  I used my We Are Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board to make all of the little envelopes. I just love that tool! I use it all the time.



I made one more darling "note" book but forgot to take pictures! It's for a beach dweller friend and it was so sweet and "beachey". If I can get her to take some pictures, I'll post them. The tags inside are just wonderful and fun!

This post is long enough I think... so will hopefully post  a few pictures next time... of my not-so-sad garden.... but really.. there is not much blooming yet. We are having such a long, cold Spring.. if you can even call it Spring. At least I don't have to look at all the dead stuff now....

Memories of last summer........
Take care all.......





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Friday, April 28, 2017

My yard is very sad.......

Boy is my yard feeling neglected or what?!! poor thing....... This last month has been crazy and busy with company for 12 days off and on, going to the beach and some part-time working. My poor yard has not had ANY attention, other than a couple of lawn mows. These following pictures are worth a thousand words!  (and scroll down towards the end to see our front yard catastrophe!!!) not good......

Everything dead (almost).. this was taken about 3 weeks ago. Our back "lawn" was ruined by the winter snows and cold.




Below is our "gravel" area where we had our patio set and flowers last year. Looks more like mud now.. the gravel  has sunk into the ground, never to be seen again I fear!


The weeds are doing very well thank you.  And the ladder is there when we had to get our kitty cat down from the roof...... you'll see why later in this post.


At least the weeds are growing now! Is that a good sign? also one little pot of pansies shows some promise.


Pretty sad from 3 weeks ago (below). 


Dead or lying dormant Vinca Minor (I think)..... those vines below..... in my rock garden that is no longer there (see why further down post). 

 Our "patio" area is one giant mess! (below). At least there's some green now.

 Everything grows in the gravel! (grumble grumble)


And now.................. for the not so fun news.......... we lost our big front yard tree in the April 7th HUGE windstorm all around most of Oregon. Although it had died, it was beautiful in its own way, and I really liked it... and it still gave wonderful shade to the front of our house in the hot summer. Goodbye tree.


It hit the power lines.... the power company came and cut just enough out so it would drop to the ground.............then left!


Look at that pretty silver/blond bark. It was SO pretty! A guy was driving the neighborhood looking for downed trees I'm sure, and offered to cut it up and remove it for the wood. We let him. Easy peasy (above).


The root ball tipped and totally trashed my rock garden... also caused a huge crack in our rock wall to the side. The guy didn't get the root ball. We have to deal with it ourselves.



Cracked wall (below).......... plus it was pushed out and in doing that, it pushed out the rock wall along the front of our house, that was cracked a little bit, but now there is a huge crack in it! Not happy.

Good news though, our Homeowner's Insurance will cover the repair, less $500 deductible of course, but at least will pay for some of it and removal of the big root ball and stump.


Even though my yard is very sad, there are a few good things happening, although very slowly....... we're not getting much sunshine these days, but despite that, Mother Nature is performing her magic.


Grape Hyacinths popping up all over.

Spider Wort in the foreground, more grape hyacinths and my vine maple tree that I brought with me from Washougal, WA 5 years ago, has survived.

My raspberries that I also brought with me from Washougal, WA are doing very well. Lots of new babies are appearing. There's our kitty Rudy on the right. He loves playing in the tall grass (that needs mowing). Oh hubby, where are you????

Tons of shasta daisies are raising their cold and wet heads....... amongst all the dead growth from last year, that I just HAVE to get out and cut down. One of these days..............

The grape hyacinths are so cute... but the tall weeds love them too much.

One lone tulip in our back flower bed. We never planted it. Someone did... thank you "someone".

Did I spy some Delphiniums? Yes!  

Did I spy another Holly Hock in our back flower bed? Yes!

Oh good! some strawberries survived the winter! Love.....



A couple of more things............. my rock garden in the front yard is kapoot... the lilac bush survived but just barely... need to transplant that, but it's awfully big. I want to try to save it as our yard is so devoid of color. I think we're going to remove that entire rock area so that I can walk from the side of the house right onto the front lawn, without having to climb a big step, and then go down 2 steps (and back and forth, back and forth) to drag the hose out to the front to water. Now that the tree is gone..........................

We scored a couple of neat garden/yard pieces from a neighbor lady who was moving. Got a big old wood kitchen hutch.......... going to paint it of course. What color says she? Will be perfect for a potting bench outside!

The top part is shoved forward, because after we lost the big tree, our older cat got up on the roof a few times, and then couldn't get back down because the tree was gone! All our cats were used to climbing that tree and jumping onto the roof, and then getting down by jumping over to the tree and climbing down. The two youngsters figured out how to jump down onto the fence, but our older girl was stuck...... I tried shoving that top of the hutch to the front and urged her to jump there, or onto our patio table (to the left) but she wouldn't.... finally had to get the ladder out (in previous photos) and hubby had to climb up and get her. This happened many times until she has finally figured it out!

And surprise surprise, this hutch has two of those big metal bins that were used I'm sure for flour and sugar at one time. They will be perfect for my potting soils!
Also got a pretty wood garden bench in fairly good shape. Just needs a coat of paint.


That big mess of weeds and grass clippings that is in the sunken down area with cement surround, is our future pond (I hope)............... hubby?... are you there?  I have a TO DO list.
I think hubby is hiding............. oh well............ one of these days............there's alot of work ahead...............

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