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Preview: My Homemade Life

My Homemade Life

Updated: 2018-03-21T16:41:09.598-05:00


Pi Day



A Sweet Gift


It's been years since we've had access to a honeycomb.

These are located just inside the crawlspace under the house. Before we harvest any of it, we are waiting on a beekeeper. It would be nice if the bees can be relocated.

Doll Repair


 This little doll was in terrible shape from years of being loved. I offered to try and repair her even though I've never repaired a store doll.  I began by removing the stuffing; which was cotton and had packed together over the years creating a large lump. The limbs were held in place with string. This surprised me as I figured the limbs were held on with wire. Once the doll was apart, I then took the fabric body apart completely. After ironing the pieces, I used them as a pattern for the new body. Reattaching the limbs were a bit scary, but after a couple of attempts, it all went pretty smoothly. The only change I made to the body, was to add a seam down the back so I could have more space to work with when attaching the limbs and adding the stuffing. This seam was then closed up with hand sewing.  Once the doll was back together, I made a dress with matching bloomers and hat. Even though I wasn't sure what to expect when repairing a doll, the job wasn't too difficult. Taking pictures along the way was helpful; it's amazing how easily a person can forget little details, such as the directions each limb needed to face. [...]

Bed Sheet Corner Alteration


Years ago, when I had trouble with a sheet slipping off the corner of a mattress, I learned about a special clip with elastic that is used to keep the sheet corner in place. This idea was simple and easily copied by sewing a piece of wide elastic in place and my problem was fixed.

Recently I had another sheet slipping at the corners, but kept forgetting to stop by the fabric store for some wide elastic, so this time I decided to be creative and came up with another solution. I began with a piece of stretch fabric, which I had in my stash, and roughly cut it to 16-inches square.
 This was then folded in half, corner to corner, and pinned to the wright side of the sheet corner.
 I stitched it down avoiding the elastic already on the sheet.
 After turning the corner inside out, I had created a nice pocket; which was repeated for the other three corners.
These pockets fits snug on my mattress and I haven't had one corner slip since making this alteration.
The pockets work so well that I am planning on replacing the elastic currently being  used on my other sheets.

Portable Vintage Television


I so love vintage, especially when it's cheap; I paid a whopping $5 for this treasure!Knowing it was impossible to watch an older t.v. these day was okay since my new toy was both a t.v. and a radio. But, I did manage to pickup on one channel, a shopping network show. Just for fun I was curious if it was possible to use a vintage t.v. with a DVD player, so I did an internet search and found this write up: My local electronic store carries the RF Modulators;  And the Coaxial Cables. The salesman said I would need an RG6 Cable; which wasn't mentioned in the article I had read.The Coaxial Cable was to be attached to the antenna connection located at the back of the t.v.It was very simple to attach, all I did was unscrew the screws, slip in the "U" shaped metal pieces and then tighten the screws up. The Coaxial Cable was then attached to the end of the RG6 Cable and the other end of the cable was attached to the RF Modulator.  My excitement was building when it was time to take out the new DVD player I had just purchased for my new setup, but it was soon dashed when I realized the cables on the new players don't work with the RF Modulators!After more reading and asking lots of questions, I learned I would need to find an older DVD player; With the proper plug in outlet in the back. Thanks to the local Goodwill, I found what was needed for $8  Thankfully my son had some A/V Cables and I was back in business. My vintage t.v. was now able to play any DVD I had in my collection. Of course what I watch will only play in black and white, but I have several old t.v. shows that are in black and white; such as Perry Mason, Andy Griffith, The Fugitive....and many old black and white movies.My vintage t.v. sits next to my sewing machine and works very well while I sew during the day.Not counting the cost of the new DVD player I purchased, everything needed for my new setup was roughly $40; way more than the initial $5, but the learning and enjoyment made this a bargain.[...]

More Yarn Bags


In 2009 I made several muslin drawstring bags to hold my yarn and keep it from collecting lint when stored.
Over the years my yarn stash has grown and I seem to never have enough yarn bags to hold everything.
Today I took time to make a few more bags, but this time I used a red and white checkered fabric and just love how the new bags turned out.
Sometimes it the little things!

The Final Secret Sister Gift


After week-9 we had a "party" and everyone learned who their "sister" had been. I wanted to gift my "sister" one last gift before everything was over for the semester.
Since it was Christmas time I decided to make a quilted stocking and personalize it with my  "sister's" name. Next I filled it with homemade goodies; such as cookies, fudge and so on.
Being a part of the Secret Sister Club was a lot of fun, as well as a lot of work, and I am very happy that I was able to spoil my "sister" with lots of unexpected gifts.

Keep It Simple


While searching for gift ideas, I saw where my "sister" liked the saying Keep It Simple; it was actually a picture on her face book page; so I decided to turn this saying into a pillow for week-9.
 I printed the picture and then enlarged it to the size I wanted. Next I traced it onto some white cotton fabric and then hand embroidered the picture and saying.
 To keep with the camping theme, I shopped at a local quilt store where I found some cute camper fabric that was perfect.
I was very happy with the gift, it turned out so cute!

Grocery Bag Holder


The idea for my week-8 "sister" gift came from etsy. I wanted to make a grocery bag holder, but I wanted something different.
 While searching on-line I stumbled upon an etsy seller who made the cutest bag holders.
 After studying the chicken bag holder, I decided it wouldn't be too hard to make my own version.
The bags go into the bottom of the chicken at the legs;
And come out the neck.
I love how this gift turned out and it just might be my favorite one so far.

Fall Table Runner


It's been fun looking through my pictures at all the gifts I made for my "sister".
 Turning to Pinterest for inspiration, I decided to make a fall table runner for week-7.
All the fabrics came from my stash;
Including the back, which is my favorite.
This fabric was purchased  years ago on clearance.

A Stuffed Cat


After digging through my patterns, I decided to make a stuffed cat for my "sister" on week-6
 The cat turned out really cute;
But sewing it together was awkward. The pattern instructions has the head attached with glue, but I stitched it on with hand sewing and then hid the stitches with the tie.

Personalized Pillow Slips


By week-5 I was running out of ideas;
 so I decided to make gifts for my "sister's" boys.
 Star Wars was a perfect fabric to use and each pillow slip was personalized.
Her boys were thrilled.

A Book Bag


On week-4, I gave my "sister" a book bag.
 The fabric used for the bag was a soft canvas.
The cross was machine appliqued; 
Blessed was done with my embroidery machine.
I love this fall print; I used it for the cross as well as the lining.

Kitchen Towels and Peanut Brittle


For week 3, I gave my "sister" some machine embroidered kitchen towels; this design is one of  my favorites.
 These towels are so practical; I still use the first ones I ever made.
As an added touch, I made some homemade peanut brittle to go with the towels.

Hen and Chick Pot Holders


The Secret Sister club coordinator asked that each person give at least one gift to their "sister" each month; if you wanted to give more that was fine.
When I joined the club, I decided up front to spoil my "sister" by giving a weekly gift, to give handmade gifts, to use what I already had on hand and to spend the least amount of money possible.
 For my second gift, I chose a pattern from my Farm Girl Vintage book and made a set of pot holders for my "sister".
I really love how cute these turned out and plan to make some for my kitchen sometime in the future.

Zipper Pouch Gift


Last year, in September, our home-school co-op 
set up a secret sister club. I had heard of these before, so I was excited to join. The first gift I made for my "sister" was a cute zipper pouch.
I used a fun Cat in the Hat fabric,
Lined with a coordinating stripe fabric.
The pouch was then filled with candy.
I was pretty pleased with my first gift!

Ribbit Ribbit


An early morning find....
On a cool and wet morning.

A Homemade Gift


When giving a gift, I prefer to make something whenever possible; even if it means the gift is given later than planned. My original plan was to make a baby blanket for a friend's daughter, but now the little girl is no longer a baby; so I made a toddler blanket. I used a Robert Kaufman Girlfriends charm pack for the front. The back is Loralie Harris Big Blossoms. As an added bonus, I decided to make a rag doll to coordinate with the quilt. I used some of the fabric leftovers for the skirt; And the bow. The doll turned out so cute and goes very well with the finished quilt.  Here it is all packaged up.I'm so very pleased with both the quilt and the doll and I don't think my friend, or her daughter, will mind that the gift was so late in coming.[...]

Fabric Tablecloths


For years I have used a plastic tablecloth purchased by the yard at Jo-Ann Fabrics. It worked very well, but stained very easily.A couple of years ago I found a fabric tablecloth at a thrift store for a dollar. It was the first time I ever considered using one and was amazed at how much I liked using it and how easy it was to keep clean. Finding a used tablecloth for a good price has been a fun challenge. The cheapest one I've found to date, was 75-cents at a garage sale. It is a blue cotton gingham with large print and the fabric has a nice body.Recently I was shopping at the thrift store and came across this maroon cotton gingham shower curtain that was just like my blue tablecloth. It was under 2-dollars, so I decided to buy it in hopes of making it into a tablecloth. After measuring, I noticed the shower curtain was too wide on the long side of my table and too short on the end. After trimming off the sides, I added this extra fabric to the ends, even though it was impossible to match the plaid stripes, and now I have another tablecloth.An added bonus to using a shower curtain for a tablecloth? I now have a dozen very nice clear buttons for a future sewing project!  The same day I found the shower curtain, I also found a cherry print tablecloth trimmed in red gingham. It was way too long for my table, so I simply folded, stitched, trimmed and top stitched one side.   This one just may be my new favorite.While searching for a tablecloth big enough to fit my table, I am buying anything that is too small and turning them into more kitchen towels (like these). The striped towels were a round tablecloth and the rust colored towels were a small rectangle. Both of these tablecloths were purchased at different places and on different days, so it was exciting to discover they coordinated very well.[...]

Pencil Bag


This year I bought a fun adult coloring book planner.
 Not wanting to carry around my colored pencils in the plastic box, I decided to make a pencil bag.
 After digging in my scraps, I chose a Joel Dewberry fabric.
 My bag is lined inside with a black and white damask fabric about the weight of upholstery fabric.
The pencils fit perfectly inside; including the pencil sharpener.
The whole bag fits nicely in my purse.
Now I'm ready to color anytime I need something productive to do while out and about.

Fred and Barney


Meet Fred and Barney, two adorable Chihuahua puppies that have stolen our hearts.
We lost their mother, Penny, a few days after they were born. Apparently she had another puppy that didn't come out and by the time we got her to the vet, it was too late.
 Fred, the bigger puppy, and Barney, the smaller puppy, love each other and we are so grateful they are both alive. We spent many, many hours feeding them and almost lost Barney several times.
They are now 5-weeks old and so far it looks like they are going to be okay!

Finding time to make some Christmas Goodies


For years and years and years I have made homemade goodies for my family, Pat's family and our friends. It has been one of those holiday activities, or traditions, I've always looked forward to each and every year.This year I felt burned-out. Not sure why, but I couldn't seem to muster up the energy to cook batches and batches of goodies to package up and mail to everyone. So this year I just cooked a little and shared it with a few; such as the ladies at the bank. The ladies who treat me like I'm their friend when I stop by. The ladies who always smile and want to know how my day has been. I truly love those ladies at the bank.This year I made one batch of sugar pecans and divided the nuts between these cute little boxes.  I made one batch of peanut brittle and divided it between these cute little paper bags. I made one batch of chocolate chip cookies and filled these fun little Chinese take-out boxes. And I made one batch of fudge and filled these cute blue boxes. Then I dug through my stash of gift bags and found wonderful bags with Christmas songs printed on both sides.  And finally, all of the goodies were put into each bag and delivered to the ladies at the bank.It wasn't much, just a small handful of sugar pecans, several pieces of peanut brittle, four pieces of fudge and just over half a dozen cookies. When I got to the bank, the ladies were surprised and so excited to receive an unexpected gift; making it worth staying up until midnight preparing everything.[...]

Christmas Recital 2016


This year at the Christmas Recital Elizabeth played three songs.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

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O Little Town of Bethlehem

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Moonlight Sonata

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At the recital the piano teacher announced she will be retiring in May. We are going to greatly miss her!

Sunday Afternoon


I love to relax on a Sunday, especially when the previous week has been a busy week.
Today Elizabeth and I whipped up some homemade butter; yes, making homemade butter is relaxing.
It still amazes me how simple butter is to make. 
One 16-ounce carton produces a nice amount.
We store our butter in small plastic cups with lids. These go directly in the freezer until it's time to eat some on crackers or homemade bread.

I just might have to make biscuits for supper with the leftover buttermilk!



The first harvest; small, but still exciting.
 Because everything looks better in a basket, I couldn't resist.
The potatoes are destined for the skillet, but I will save a few to add with the green beans.