Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brace Yourself!

Okay, this post isn't about kids, pets, crafts, or cleaning.  It's about me.  :) For years I have struggled with what my dentist calls "tongue thrust".  (It sound so ugly, doesn't it?) Basically, my tongue goes forward when I talk, swallow, play the flute and sleep instead of going up like it should.  As I age, I noticed that it was getting much worse so I decided to get braces. I know, right? Braces at 37 years old! :) I had them put on in August of last year and just had them taken off. Here's my before and after:
I only wore them on the top.  I also went with the cheapest option, metal. I always got pink or red bands except one time I got lavender and another time yellow, which my mom made me promise I'd never do again. (It wasn't a good look.) ;)
This was two days before they were removed.

And finally....the end result. I'm very happy although sometimes I miss my gap. I know, I know...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crocheted Chicken Potholder

So it's no secret that I am chicken crazy.  What can I say...I love my birds!  Since I love crafting and I love chickens, when I saw this Lion Brand pattern, I just had to make these cute little chicken potholders.  You can find the tutorial here.  (There are two separate patterns - one for the mama hen and one for the chick.  My link will take you to one, but check out the other linked patterns on the LB website.)

I found that these worked up rather nicely and quickly.  Definitely add the wing before you join the front and back sides together!  Also, I found it extremely helpful to steam iron my front and back before joining them.  They were curling a bit and by ironing them, they went together very nicely.

Note:  I didn't you the recommended Cotton Ease yarn.  I had Peaches 'n Cream already on hand so I used that.

Fabric Basket

Recently, I found a new You Tube favorite:  The Crafty Gemini.  She uploads weekly sewing and cooking videos each week to YT, and she has a fun blog and Facebook page too.  In one of her tutorial videos, she shows how to make a fabric basket by repurposing a cotton clothesline and strips of fabric.  It looked easy enough so I thought I'd give it a try.

For my fabric basket, I used strips of my white VBS t-shirt (please don't tell Ms. Jesma!) and an old, dirty clothesline that we used to take camping with us.  I finished it off with a few scraps of quilting fabric that I made yo-yos out of and added covered buttons from my stash.  There was an uneven spot where I stopped my cording so I wanted to cover that up, hence the yo-yo flowers.

The next one I make, I think I will try to add handles and maybe make it a bit wider at the top. 

If you try out this project, be sure to test your machine to make sure it can handle the cotton cording.  Sewfia had a bit of trouble starting so I had to really coax her into cooperating.  Definitely use a new sharp needle (a ball point needle won't work) or you'll have lots of thread breaking.

Here's a link to the tutorial.  If you try it out, let me know how it goes!  :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Quilted Christmas Table Runner

Last month for my birthday my family all pitched in and gave me money to buy a new sewing machine.  I like to give away my "first fruits" in most all I do, so I decided to make my first project on my machine a gift for my mom.  Her favorite colors are red and green, so Christmas themed ideas are always good for her and her decor.

I found a YouTube tutorial from Jenny Doan at the Missouri Star Quilt Company for this pattern and decided to give it a whirl.  It went together nicely and I got to try out the free motion quilting on my new machine, Sewfia.  (For those of you who know me, I name everything.  My new machine's name is Sewfia, which my husband suggested.) :)

I am in love with free motion quilting!  I haven't moved past the "stipple" style but am starting to think about other designs to try.  Here's the table runner with a matching gift tag.

(My mom's nickname is "Hey"....long story.) :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Crazy Chickens!

(Trudy, our White Leghorn, checking out the camera while her friends drink their milk.)

My chickens love milk.  Really!  Milk!  I found that to be a surprise, but then again, thinking back to the "old fashioned" way of farming, it was quite typical for farmers to give the first bit of their cow's milk to the barnyard animals.  I guess I just always thought that it would go to the kittens, goats, or other large animals.  After reading in a book that milk was not only good for chickens (the calcium is needed for strong egg shells) but they enjoyed it as a treat, I just had to see for myself....and sure enough!  They love it!

Some other things they really enjoy are yogurt, cottage cheese, and meat. (Why did I have the conception that chickens only liked, bugs, grains and veggies?)

So what fun treats do your chickens enjoy?