Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Great Turkey Chase

November 24th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

 

This morning we woke to a fairy land, ice bounced rays of sunshine wildly across the hills. I took a deep breath of cold morning air – thankful. Always.

And then we began cooking…. In truth, I am a bit of a Thanksgiving curmudgeon. Do we ALL really have to cook the same exact meal??

Yesterday as I ran from store to store trying to procure all the traditional ingredients of the holiday I found myself laughing at the grocery cart gridlock. I watched folks chucking frozen turkeys into their carts that would take a week to defrost! Here we cooked and cooked until the wee prep cooks took up arms.

Thanksgiving economics

7 Hours of cooking,

20 minutes of eating,

2 hours clean up!!

Next year how about we just have PIE?


The Colors of Fall

November 22nd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Walking in the big woods with our new companions – the textures and colors of fall.

Make a Braided Rag Rug!

November 14th, 2011 by zoe 34 Comments

My love of old T-shirts just keeps on growing!

See this stack of old T-shirts – they are going to become a fabulous rainbow rug!

Begin by collecting a colorful pile of old t-shirts. To make a 36″ round rug you will need about 10 to 12 shirts.

Cut the shirts into lots of strips, I made mine  1 1/2″ wide and that seemed to work great. You will now braid your strips together to make one single extremely long braided rope.To begin, take three t-shirt strips and sew them together at one end. Start braiding!

I used a curtain rod clip to hook one end of my braid to a chair to provide tension while braiding. A clothes pin is also helpful for holding your braid tight. As you come to the end of your first length of strips you will need to add more length. Connect strips together to add more length – cut a small slit in the ends of all your strips. Thread new strip through the hole, loop it’s end through on its self and pull tight. 

You will now have extended your strip! It is important to stagger your strip extensions so that they are not all lumped in one spot on your braid.

Now you are ready to braid and braid and braid!

When you get tired of braiding it’s fun to coil your rope and see what kind of progress you are making.

When you have finished your braided rope it’s time to begin stitching.

Set your sewing machine for the widest zig-zag stitch,tightly coil your braid, stitch round and round. When stitching push the two braids together tightly with your hands, watch your stitches carefully to ensure they are connecting the seams.  Your hands will get tired from all the pushing, I found it was easier to set my adjustable chair higher to get better leverage while stitching. Try not to stretch your rope too much while stitching because it will cup like a bowl. But don’t fear a hot iron can correct the cupping. Every so often your bobbin will run out of thread, this is a good time to iron your rug flat. Set the iron to hot, start and the center and iron out toward the edges. Repeat on both sides.

This rug currently measures 34″ across and took me a day to make. I haven’t finished the ends off yet because I think I want to make it a bit bigger – I just found a pile of gray shirts that I am hoping will bring it closer to the size I was dreaming of. I will take another picture of it finished and in place next week. I just had to share it today because I was so excited stitching this together. I love the colors and weight of this rug. I am already dreaming of the next one!!

Maybe ocean colors?

Working on the Family Table

November 11th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Yes, that is a rainbow right over my studio!

Sanding, painting, stapling and elbow grease have funked up the family table. Wish I could find the true “before” shot of the table – just imagine dark 1970′s stain, a thick sticky high gloss lacquer, and a scalloped country edge.

Knowing that this table will be danced, slobbered, painted, and feasted on it’s oh so nice that it was FREE.

 

 

 

Sewing This & That

November 7th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

I have been puttering around sewing a few random things here and there. The shift of seasons always throws me for a loop. Getting into the groove of low light, shorter days and more time indoors. That cold weather groove.

I made a quilted laptop sleeve for my computer last week from pink waterproof pack cloth. The inside is a funky vintage canvas and it’s padded with batting scraps from this quilt project. I could have bought one but where’s the fun in that!

I sewed this cute cap, pattern found here. Oliver is modeling it but it became a birthday gift for an adorable little friend of ours.I used recycled fabric reclaimed from a pair of old corduroys which made the hat nice and soft and we lined it with hot pink cotton from the scrap pile.

Lastly we have been doing lots of freezer paper stenciling. Now I thought pretty much everyone had heard of this technique but everywhere the kids go wearing their newly customized shirts folks are asking. So if you havent tried this super fun stenciling technique —– check out tutorials here and here for the how to. So much fun!

ps. I don’t use fabric paint, just straight acrylic paint because that is what I have on hand and it seems to work just fine.

Oh and I don’t let the paint dry because I am too impatient, we just carefully peel the paper stencil off after painting and it always seems to come off just fine.

Oh and you know that freezer paper is kind of hard to find, just ask the local butcher for a bit of it, they are usually happy to oblige. A little goes a long way!

 

 

 

Halloween Redux

November 4th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

I know  Halloween is old news but here in New England we got such a damaging snowstorm in many communities —- cover the ears of your small ones — Halloween was …CANCELLED!! Downed electrical lines all over the place just didn’t make for safe Trick or Treating.

So Halloween is being rescheduled well into November.

In our little hamlet we were lucky (if you call trick or treating in 2 feet of snow lucky) and actually got to run through town shivering and begging for candy on the 31st.

This year I made three fake fur animals hats – Skunk, Dog and Unicorn. I hate sewing fake fur but the hats were actually pretty fun to make and read pretty well in the cold darkness of the evening. Stinky skunk had great fun spraying everyone with his giant tail bobbing up and down as he ran from door to door.

Bat Dog was a little under the weather and lost his voice telling everyone “I’m not BAT Man, I’m BAT DOG, see I have a tail”.  Bat Dog opted out of his dog hat and went for his favorite Bat Man mask at the last-minute.

Note to self – don’t get too attached!! But, man did he look cute in the dog hat!!

Oliver thought we should put all the candy in a pinata and have a party – I thought that was a good one to remember for next year. Emmett had the idea that we should eat it all in one night!!