Sunday, February 23, 2014


These are mostly ideas I got off Pinterest, but I thought I'd add them to this blog anyway. I used to think sleep masks were only in old movies, but then I found out 2 of my granddaughters have to have them to sleep.
My daughter's little girl was imagining shapes in the dark and getting scared, so her mother got her a sleep mask and the problem was solved.
My son's 2 youngest girls shared a room. The youngest was afraid to sleep in the dark and had to have the light on, so then the older one had trouble sleeping, until she got a sleep mask.
Because they sometimes sleep here, and would forget their masks, I made some out of fleece scraps, so they'd be soft to sleep in. Of course I made several, because then the little girls who don't normally sleep with sleep masks want them when they come here. :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thread Catcher

Okay...don't ask me why I wanted a thread catcher, but I did. In years past, I just taped a paper sack to the side of my sewing table and used that until it was full, but lately I haven't done even that.
I used scraps left over from the cloth book covers, since I have given them away and don't have anything for myself with this material. This is a quilted material.
I traced around a large canning jar lid for the bottom. I sewed double fold wide bias tape around the side,  then cut a rectangle piece around it, leaving enough in back for a seam to sew up the side.
I then sewed the bias tape up the sides of another rectangle piece, and folding the bottom under, sewed it to the thread catcher. The buttons are sewed on top, purely decorative.
I then cut a rectangle for a pin cushion. The pin cushion is filled with sand to do double duty - to sharpen needles and pins, but also to weight the thread catcher down. I made the seam come up the back, and then just tacked down the 4 corners. I did add the lady bug and bluebird buttons to the front of the thread catcher for fun, because I had them left over from another project.
This project wasn't very time consuming and I am glad I did it, because it will make me smile when I am using the sewing machine. :)  And all those cut off threads will have a place to go for awhile.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


This is one of the books I cut out just in case my husband had to have surgery and I needed something to do in waiting rooms. Then he didn't, so I have been making them up anyway. It's easier to take pictures of the pages before they are assembled, but I took a picture of a colors book and the cover I am going to put on this noisy book.
Here are the patterns. I do things differently from everyone else, I make the book first and freehand everything, then draw patterns later. :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014


This is how you make a kiss shape. I punched the foil wrappers from a silver gift bag. I actually did 2 types, one shiny and one that looked like glitter. Some of the red hearts are cut from red foil gift bags, along with the edge on the long valentine. I have alphabet punches, and that is how I did the xoxo and the love.
I am really a sucker for making my own cards, but especially valentines.

Friday, February 7, 2014


I made this needlebook out of felt (pages) and cotton material with a piece of felt added inside for stability, but if I was making another one, I would use heavy pellon. I actually made one for my sister-in-law as part of her Christmas present, and it was the favorite one I made, but I didn't take a picture of it. It's pages were similar to the 2nd pattern sheet, but the cover was made of blue felt with a white square on the front. I embroidered forget-me-knots in that white square. 
I had never heard of needlebooks until about a year ago, but I like having one and knowing where my needles are, and they are easy to find now.
I think the patterns are self-explanatory. I could not get clearer photos, no matter how hard I tried, so I apologize for that. I don't know if the room was too bright or what, but maybe you can kinda/sorta tell what the pages look like.
 Just use up your odds and ends of lace, trim and ribbon, with a few buttons or sew-on gems here and there.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Don't ask me why I wanted a hedgehog pincushion, but I did. I have a larger pin cushion that I use, that was given me for my wedding years and years ago, but I wanted a smaller one for my sewing basket. So now I am kind of like Hermione in the Harry Potter books, only she turned her teacup into a hedgehog, and I used fabric scraps. :)
These are fleece scraps, but I think most fabrics would work for this, The photo isn't clear enough to really show this, but she has a flower tucked behind one ear and a pink bow on the back of her. Her eyes are black beads.
Sew the face pieces together and then the body pieces together on one main seam, leaving the bottom open. Then sew the face and body together before you finish. You need to leave an opening in the bottom to turn it and stuff it. Be sure you clip the curve seams first.
The nose is embroidered in black.
I placed a quarter next to it so you can get an idea of size.
This doesn't take much time to make, and it makes me smile every time I see it, so it was worth the time. Plus I use it all the time for my craft projects.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I like to make my own greeting cards. I do not usually use things like buttons or embellishments, and the reason why is that I send most of them through the mail, and if you use anything thick or bumpy and it goes through the mail sorter at the Post Office, it can cause the machine to break down and delay everybody's mail. If you do use those kinds of things, take your cards to the PO desk and pay for it to be hand stamped. The last time I did this, it cost me 17 cents for each card, but the postal rates have gone up a little since then.
I use cardstock to make my cards, and use a half a card (typing paper sized) per card, then fold them. I buy the smaller invitation envelopes to send them, but I have also made my own envelopes at times.

The pickle card is an "I'm sorry" card. If I am handing it to someone, I use paste on google eyes. I often glue a strip of paper down the edge inside, and then use the shape scissors and cut the edge a bit. The top right card is a get well card for accident or surgery, and I used a small punch for the holes in the middle.
The bottom right card is actually a dried pansy from my garden. I have a homemade flower press and I often dry my smaller flowers. I used a small square of adhesive laminating paper to cover the flower on the card.
The bottom right card is a birthday card. The candles are scrapbook paper scraps, I drew a black line for the wick, and the flames are foil star stickers. You can't tell here, but these are silver.
The top cards are cards I drew with colored pencils and markers. Again I used scrapbook paper scraps for an edge down the side. Here is another tip of what I occasionally do, depending on the card - I buy metallic gift bags from the dollar store to use for shapes I punch out or edges I glue on. I buy the biggest size I can, and it gives me a lot of shiny paper for little money. I have also bought the glittery gift bags for the same reason.
This bottom card is a birthday card. The candles are actually done with a punch. On the outside it says, "Don't count your birthday candles..." and inside inside another flame, it says, "just think, 'Oh, yeah, I'm HOT!' "  Then I have Happy Birthday stamped. By the way, this picture doesn't really show it, but I have a smaller, different colored flame inside the big one on the front.
I have built up quite a collection of greeting card stamps, and here is the secret: At Michael's and WalMart (and probably other stores, but I don't know of any) there is always a bin of greeting card stamps, and they are only a dollar. So bit by bit I have amassed a good collection of them, but you can always just write what you want, too. I bought a plastic shoebox-type container to file greeting cards in, and when I am in the mood I make 30 or 40 and file them in this box according to categories of birthday, sympathy, congratulations, etc. About half my cards do not have anything written on them so I can either stamp or write it when I use it.I scanned in the full size cards to the size of typing paper, so you can print these off to use as patterns if you wish. Here's the thing, though - it's your card, your personality, so you can change things to show that, and us your own ideas, too.

Monday, February 3, 2014


These are actually what is left after making about 3 dozen prayer rocks last year for a children's church class I teach. The cutest ones were taken. I decided to make a lot of them while I was making them and keep some on hand, because I like to give these out each year when we have our first lesson on prayer. The kids keep them on their pillow or night stand to remind them to say their prayers.
I give them a base coat of acrylic paint, usually painting them pink, blue, red, green, yellow and purple, as these seem to be the favorite kid colors. It may take 2 or 3 coats to cover the rock. Then I paint faces on them and the word "prayer" somewhere. I spray a clear acrylic coat over the top when they are dry. I like the glossy spray.
If you don't have access to suitable rocks, buy a bag from the dollar store.
I think you could give these to older kids for scripture reading, too, with the words "The Scriptures Rock".
The kids really like getting these, and it is worth the extra effort.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I teach the 3 and 4 year olds at church, and in a moment of insanity, I decided to make these puppets so that the children could act out the story of Daniel and the Lions' den. I have 12 children in that class, so that is why I have so many lions. FYI: they loved it. A yard of tan material made these 8 puppets, and the rest I made from scraps. I used some fake fur I had on hand for the manes, but I drew a mane from felt on the pattern if you don't want to do the fake fur. The fake fur manes are just a circle with a smaller circle cut out of the middle, and you have to sew both edges down.
Applique all of the features on the front piece before you turn them right sides together to sew up. I like to sew down one side, then hem them, then finish sewing the seams, because it is easier to hem that way, but each to her own. Another option would be to just make lions and tell the story without the men finger puppets, but I did have children choose to be the men over the lions, so I was glad I did both.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


(Double click on pictures to see details)

I made this quiet book out of heavy pellon, with a quilted fabric for the cover. I sewed pages back to back, and then sewed 3 of them together at a time, then sewed those sections together. All of that was with a blanket stitch. I then opened the pages to the middle and laid them flat, centered them on the cover, and then sewed them in, taking care to make sure the stitches on the spine stayed little.
Some of the eyes are the sew-on google eyes, and the rest are beads. I have a lot of odds and ends on hand from past craft projects, so used sew-on gems here and there, various buttons, sequins, etc. Use what you have or do felt shapes. I also embroidered faces and other fine details with 3 strands of embroidery floss to make it longer lasting. I put powdered blush o the faces of the baby, princesses, etc. It is a nice little detail that does a lot.
Note that the clock has movable hands. The hands were cut out of a plastic lid, the kind that comes on hot chocolate or canned nuts. The center piece that holds them in is actually a pink eye I found that has a piece on the back that snaps in and holds it tight.
I did not include the patterns for 2 of the pages, the chicken and hatching eggs, because I modified it from something I saw online, and the fishing game, because it could be a choking hazard for young children.
ALso, I made the book square, but wished as I was making it that it had a little bigger pages, so the patterns are done on typing paper size.
The clothes (that fit in the dresser) could be made of various colors and trim to look different.
I don't have finger puppets on every page, but finger puppets was kinda/sorta the theme here.
I did use some patterned felt that was given to me as a gift by my sister. I have seen it at various craft stores and WalMart. It's kind of fun to use for something a little different.
Here are the patterns: