Archive for the ‘home’ Category

No Sew Rag Bags

We use washcloths and dishrags instead of paper towels. We use them all the time, and have quite a few. We need them for the dishes, spills, washing up the babe after every meal. For months now, they have been a big pain. They have been juggled from one place to the other not really having a proper home. When we were visiting Hubby’s grandparents in December, his grandmother had a massive box of magazines ready for recycling. She let me go through them and keep whatever I wanted. I saw this idea in a Good Housekeeping, though they intended it for keeping lingerie in the closet. I had completely forgotten about this until I ran by the torn out picture the other day. This, I thought, would be perfect to house all of our towels. It needed to be somewhere in reach of the kids (so that they can grab a washcloth), but still not a huge eyesore. In a perfect world, all of the towels would be neatly stacked somewhere, but let’s face it, that isn’t ideal. I spend all the time to fold them up, and then they just end up in a messy pile anyhow. So now, as soon as they are clean, they go into their new bag and just stay there until needed. No folding necessary. All you do is find a pretty vintage pillowcase and a wooden embroidery hoop. I already had these in my stash, two vintage pillowcases at 25 cents each, and two wooden embroidery hoops at 25 cents each from my thrift store. I used a 10″ and 12″ hoop. Now, technically this is no sew, unless of course you’re me. Then, because you haven’t loosened the hoop quite enough, when you try and scootch the fabric around, you simultaneously tear two rips into your pillowcase. Then you spend the next 20 minutes hand mending the tears. Normally though, this involves no sewing at all. If I really wanted to take a lot of time, I could have trimmed the top of the bag to make it even instead of just letting it fold down into the bag, but I kind of like this way better. Then if I ever decide to swap the pillowcase out for another colour or pattern, I haven’t ruined these. Anyway, you need to put the inner hoop down inside the pillowcase and fold the top down into it. In order for it to lay straight, you need to put more of the front side of the pillowcase down in , than the back. I hope that’s not too confusing. Really, just play around with it and get it to lie like you want it to. Then cut an approx. 6″ length of ribbon (I used twill tape) and fold it in half. You are going to lay the raw edges down on top of the fabric that is folded over the inner ring. Make sure that the raw edges are pointing away from you and that the fold is hanging towards you. Carefully put the outer hoop on top, catching the hanging ribbon, and tighten. If you are using vintage fabric, especially, be careful not to pull the fabric around too much, otherwise you might indeed end up sewing. On a completely side note, the other day I really felt like some kind of hot chocolate with a twist. I opened the cupboard that holds all of our tea, coffee, etc. and saw a tub of Nutella staring at me. I wonder… Yes indeed it was delicious. I heated up some milk on the stove, stirred a spoonful of Nutella in, and yum. Yum, Yum, Yum. The girls both have colds, and I think I’m coming down with one too. I’ve got a nice scratchy throat. I’m hoping it doesn’t last too long.

food, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 • 21 Comments »

Outdoor Reading

Two days ago, the weather was gorgeous. Well, still a little chilly, but not so cold and windy that we couldn’t play outdoors. I bundled the babe up and took the kids out to play. They all had lots of fun, and I sat on the porch wrapped in a blanket reading a book with a mug of warm milk. I don’t get outdoors enough in the winter. If it’s not too cold, the kids go outside and play, but me, I’m usually inside trying to get laundry, cooking etc. done while they are out. Boy, it felt really good to be out there. Sitting and reading, which doesn’t happen much during the day, with the sunshine beating down on my face. I need to get out more. I know it seems kind of silly that some days I don’t even step outside of the house, but some days I don’t. We homeschool, so I don’t have to take the kids somewhere every day, and with the windchill dropping the temperature by 20 degrees most of the winter, it’s not that brilliant for being outside. That wind can be brutal, one of the downsides of winter in Wyoming. As with the 20 minutes of crafting each day, I am going to try to spend 20 minutes outdoors. I’m not sure if it’ll happen every day, but I’m going to try. I think can do twenty minutes. Other news around here, our big guy did a great job with getting his tooth pulled. I had such traumatic memories of the dentist when I was a kid, but I shouldn’t have even worried. I love our kid’s dentist, and they do too. They had it out in a matter of minutes and he came bounding out with his tooth in a little tooth shaped container. Our kiddo has been wearing a night guard as part of a series of nightguards to hopefully avoid full on braces. Today we got the bad news that he will have to wear real braces for a while as the permanent tooth that was growing in behind the baby one will need some work to be pulled forward. I also found out that my lovely braces will now be on till March 29th. Ugh! They were originally supposed to be off last September, and it has been dragging since then. So, for a little while here, me and my kiddo will both have braces on at the same time. He is really excited at the thought of having blue bands around his brackets. The kids are always disappointed when I refuse to get hot pink ones. I try to explain that that is more for kids, and not mommies. Good news though, our van is fixed. What we thought was going to be a whole transmission problem was just one little part. The dealer was going to charge us $170 to switch it out. Hubby ordered the part for $35 and switched it himself. Yay! That was a huge relief. Don’t forget to leave a comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to win some cloth bags. It’s nice to meet some new people. Hope you guys have a great day. I’ll see you tomorrow.

books, family, home, homeschooling • Friday, January 29th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Vintage Towels

In my effort to be more organized, I have been trying to figure out what some of our big problem areas are. One small problem area is bath towels. After bath time, there is always at least one bath towel laying on the floor. None of the kids want to claim it as their own, and we often can’t be sure which child left it there. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a massive problem, but it is something that we can fix very easily. I kept my eyes out at the thrift store for some pretty vintage towels for the girls. Now, every child has their own colour of towel, which means that we know exactly whose towel is on the floor. We could have just bought different coloured towels at the store, but why do that when there are some fantastic vintage ones out there, and at a fraction of the price. I just love these and the girls really like the floral patterns. Besides, they are very good quality towels, they have to be, to be in such good shape after years of use. So we’ll see how this organizes bath time a bit better. I guess if all else fails, we have prettier towels.

family, green, home, thrift store finds • Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 • 15 Comments »

One More Zipped Pouch

Normally when I start working on a project, I know where it is going. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started embroidering this fabric. It sat around for a while while I tried to figure out what it was going to be. Then I decided that hey, a girl can never have too many zippered pouches, right? I use them for lots of things. They are perfect for throwing a chapstick and a couple of dollars in. I used to use one with the babe, for carrying a couple of pacifiers. They’re good to hold coupons, or use for a makeup bag. I even have a bigger one that contains an entire clean outfit for the babe in the diaper bag. They are so versatile, you can make them in any size and I find myself using them all of the time. Our thrift store sells bags of 3-5 vintage and new zippers for a quarter, so between that and the scraps of fabric to make the bags, they cost pennies. They make fantastic gifts, especially if you make two or three in graduated sizes. Do you use zippered pouches? What do you put in them?

gifts, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Monday, January 25th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Purging the (not so) Peace(ful) Lily

To go along with a fresh year, and decluttering I have decided to get rid of my peace lily. It sits behind my sink in the kitchen and I see it quite a few times a day. It was given to my by some friends when I was in the hospital, pregnant with the babe. Unfortunately, they turned out to be not very nice friends and now everytime I see the lily, I think of that situation and am saddened. I don’t know why it has taken me this long to just get rid of it. When I think of all the time that I have been reminded of an unpleasant situation, I’m not sure what possessed me to hang on to it this long. Now it’s gone, and it feels good.

gardening, home • Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 • 9 Comments »

Very Domestic Indeed

rolling pin There are some days where it seems that all I do is make sure the kids are fed, and some learning is accomplished. Where I spend my time breaking up fights and calming frustrated little ones, while balancing a fussy toddler on my hip and trying to get some laundry done. Yesterday was the complete opposite. I was able to bake three loaves of bread, make two quarts of yogurt, wash diapers and gets lots of schooling done. I felt very domestic indeed. We read about St. Alban and Hadrian’s Wall (I just love being able to tell the kids that I have been to some of these places, they get so excited). The children went outside to play, and despite being bundled up like eskimos, they came back in rosy cheeked after only twenty minutes. We had lots of snuggles and were even able get some extra reading done before supper. We are reading The Wishing Chair Collection by Enid Blyton. I loved these books as a child and now my kids do too. They are magical tales that are calmer than a lot of fairy tales, which is really good for my kiddos that have less of a tolerance for scary. Overall it was about as close to domestic bliss as we get around here. Definitely a very good day, especially when all the children were snug in their beds by seven o’clock. Check out this beauty of a rolling pin. It was another gift from Christmas, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It was handmade in Breckenridge, Co. and I’m so glad it found it’s new home with me. Now I really need to bake a pie and try it out. What is your favourite domestic chore? Is it baking, folding laundry, or doing a big spring clean?

family, food, gifts, home, homeschooling • Thursday, January 7th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

My New Best Friend

big bowl This was one of my Christmas gifts, isn’t it great? It’s huge, and I mean huge. The diameter is 12 inches and it’s about 6 1/2 inches deep. I have been using it constantly since I got it. It is perfect for mixing up a cake and because it’s so big, even the most exuberant of mixing by the kiddos doesn’t splash outside of it. Yesterday I used it to serve up mashed potatoes and they were dwarfed by the size of the bowl. I love it, it has become my new best friend. It has so much more character than a plain glass bowl, don’t you think? What are your favourite kitchen items?

food, gifts, home • Monday, January 4th, 2010 • 16 Comments »

Be Still

be still necklace A new year, so full of possibilities. I must admit, after all the gearing up for Christmas, it is sometimes a bit of a relief when it is finished. I immediately think of the spring coming (though that won’t be for many months here), and new life and warmth. I look forward to celebrating a new year of birthdays starting with all of my boys in the spring. Thoughts of what to plant, where to plant it, and how much to plant. Dreaming of picnics every week in the warm summer sun, having it be warm enough to let my kids play for hours outside every day. We have serious cabin fever by this time of year. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just cold, but the wind makes it unbearable. I’m not such a huge fan of resolutions, but a new year does make me reflective over how I would like to do things this year. Much of this past year was spent physically, mentally, and emotionally recovering from the previous two years. This year I feel a renewed vigor and enthusiasm, and I am excited for the possibilities. This necklace was a gift from Hubby. It was made by Lisa Leonard and is called Be Still. I absolutely love it, and it is a constant reminder to be still. Being still is sometimes a little difficult with four children. This year, I want to live in the moment more. Enjoy each and every hug, story, cuddle that I am blessed enough to have. I want to enjoy cooking more, so often it’s a matter of just trying to get a nutritious meal on the table while stopping a squabble, holding a fussy babe and trying to think straight and stir at the same time. I want to be outside more, and truly enjoy the beauty of the world around us. To visit family more as time goes by so quickly, and the children are growing at the speed of light. I want to lie in the grass and read stories to my children, make them picnics to have on adventures in the back yard. Then there are the more domestic things that I want to accomplish, such as being more organized, getting some sort of chore system worked out with the abilities of everyone in the family. Being really good about making a big shopping trip and then only going out when we need milk and fresh veg/fruit. I could go on forever as there are probably hundreds of things I want to do, but my overarching goal is to be still, enjoy what God has given me, and make thousands of new, fantastic memories with my family. I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful new year and are able to accomplish all that you want. Happy New Year!

books, crochet, family, food, gardening, gifts, green, home, homeschooling, kid's art, nature, sewing, thrift store finds, travelling • Friday, January 1st, 2010 • 11 Comments »

Settling Back In

star garland Well, we are finally back home and getting somewhat settled in to our normal routine. It was such a rush when we got home to finish up last minute Christmas gifts, not to mention all the laundry etc. from being gone for two and a half weeks, that I am just now feeling like I am able to catch my breath. It was really nice to get away for a while and visit Hubby’s family. Some of them had not yet met the babe, so that was great. Apart from the really bad weather while driving (we drove through three different blizzards), everything went smoothly. It always makes me nervous as sometimes with different routines, or no routines at all, things can be hard on the little ones, but I didn’t need to worry, they all took it in stride. Granted, they all had a lot more sweets than normal and not nearly enough sleep, but despite this things went really well. It’s always good to get home though, and tomorrow needs to start our normal days again. Back to schooling, cooking, lots of snuggles and reading, and good amounts of resting and sleep. Unfortunately the babe has gone back to waking up a lot at night, so not much sleep for me, but one day she will be older and I will miss these times. I wanted to show you one more gift I made for Christmas. This was one of the garlands I made out of these Grandma Twinkle Stars. I really love how it turned out. The pattern is from The Royal Sisters, and is so hugely versatile. My daughter wants some for her room, so it looks like we will have some fun picking out colours for her star garland. I hope everyone had a really nice Christmas. I am looking forward to this next year and can’t wait to share lots of things with you. Thanks again everyone for taking the time to visit every day and for commenting as well. I truly appreciate it.

crochet, family, gifts, home • Monday, December 28th, 2009 • 6 Comments »

Vintage Ovenex Tins

ovenex muffin tins One reason that I love shopping at the thrift store is that there is so much character in some of the things you find. My mom found these at the thrift store and bought them for me. Aren’t they fantastic? They are from the 50’s I believe and look at how sparkly they are. I absolutely love them, they are so much prettier than those dull gray nonstick pans I have at the moment. ovenex loaf tin So out with the new (nonstick) and in with the old I say. I’ll pass mine along to someone who wants them, and then every time I make muffins or a loaf of something yummy, I will be able to do it in a fun, pretty, sparkly pan.

food, green, home, thrift store finds • Friday, December 4th, 2009 • 16 Comments »