Thursday, March 29, 2012

Little Things to Sew - Bucket Hat

Well, this took longer than I thought it would. Have you ever heard that from me before??? ;) The story of my life. I think when I die, at age 110 or so, that should be inscribed on my headstone. Got that Jess 'n Nate? But then, you'll be in your 80's, so you might not remember. Ha!

This is my last project for the Little Things to Sew sew-along. The project for the month was an Explorer Vest with lots of pockets for collecting things. Courtney didn't want one, though, so I opted to do the Bucket Hat, since I missed out on that one before I joined the sew-along. The hat was easy to make. I took me longer only because I embellished it some. Here's the hat, and please pardon my "milk jar" model. Courtney wasn't available for photos when I finished the hat today.

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Yes, it's reversible. The band on each side was one of the things I added. I'd seen a cute one here with a band, so I wanted one, too. It wasn't hard to add, but it just made it take a little longer.

I'd actually thought about making this hat already last summer. But I knew that it would need a strap to hold it on in the horrendous winds we get out here on the prairie (like up to nearly 50 mph last Mon. and Tues.!). Yet I wanted the hat to still be reversible. I couldn't figure out a good way to do it, so I never did get the hat made last summer. Then this month I decided to make the hat for the sew-along, so I started wondering again how it could be done. One night at supper the solution suddenly popped into my head! It was so simple!

Here's what I did:

I put a buttonhole just above the brim on each side. Then I made a strap and put a button at each end of it to fasten to the hat. It can be fastened from either side, so the hat can still be reversed! See?

I used a 2-inch strip of velcro to fasten it under the chin, making it somewhat adjustable. So the strap is actually two pieces.

The cool thing is that if you've already made the hat and want to add a strap, you can! I did the buttonholes and strap after the rest of the hat was completed. In fact, here IS Courtney modeling the hat before I finished it! (There always has to be a little goofiness nowadays. Must be the age. I love it!)

The project was not without its struggles. Since the hat is made of canvas (Jess's fabric), that made dealing with the four layers where I put the buttonholes pretty difficult. My buttonholer had no trouble going through it, but I couldn't get them as close to the seams as I wanted, not to mention that I'd intended to make them vertical, not horizontal, but couldn't. Plus it made them terribly hard to cut open! I had to use an exacto knife to cut them, and I did end up cutting some of the stitches, so I used fabric glue to hold them down. It looks a little messy, but it still works, and it doesn't really show under the buttons.

I also had a little pucker problem attaching the brim to the top. It looked better than this BEFORE I ripped out the stitches and resewed it! I should've left it alone. And I wasn't about to do it again!

But all in all, I'm very pleased with the hat, and I love that it has a strap and is still reversible! :)

Linking up to Amylouwho's Sew & Tell:

And to Skiptomylou's Made by Monday:

Skip To My Lou

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pretty perler projects

These photos are a couple weeks old. I'm running out of blog fodder! If I'd hurry up and get my sewing projects done, I'd have more to show you. One is almost done... I'll finish it today, barring some unforeseen complication. And I have two more that I've told myself I must start and complete in the next week!

Anyway, Courtney brought her perler beads along that Tuesday a couple weeks ago so I could make things with her. As it turned out, she did all the making... I just did the ironing that melts them together. Josie did the supervising observing.

Look at all those beads! Aren't they pretty?

We also ended up doing maybe an hour's worth of sorting. The cover wasn't latched on tightly at one point, and when the box was tipped... well... you can guess what happened. They didn't all spill, thank goodness, but there were a lot of mix-ups. And fortunately most ended up in Courtney's bag instead of on the floor for Josie to find.

It's pretty hard to pick up just one out of many... more so for my bigger fingers than Courtney's little ones. We tried several things, including using spoons. We found a narrow baby spoon that worked the best. But since I only have one of those, and Courtney wanted to use it, I decided to try a toothpick! Viola! That worked best of all. So the baby spoon got abandoned and we both used toothpicks! It was fun to see how many beads we could get on one toothpick. Courtney really stuck to the job well, and she never complained. We got them ALL sorted!

Here are the projects she made that day:

They happened to be exact replicas of some she'd made at home. She insisted..... ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

I should hint more often

It pays to "hint" publicly on my blog! Remember Saturday morning I hinted to Grandpa about the broken limbs still hanging from the ash tree? Well, voila! Looky here!

That happened yesterday morning. Saturday it was such a gorgeous day out that I managed to get a lot of things done outside myself. I got all the little branches and twigs picked up, and I cleaned some dead stuff out of my flower beds. I also tried raking out the asparagus stalks, but I decided they weren't going to come out very easily, so I just left them for the time being because I was tired by then. At dinner yesterday, Grandpa and I were trying to figure out what would be the best way to get them out... mower, chainsaw, whatever! Later on, I looked out the window and there he was pulling them all out by hand!

The hard part is done. Now all I have to do is go haul them out of there. Yay! Thanks, Grandpa!!!!

Happy Birthday, too!!!

Now, about that lawnmower that needs an oil change, new blades, etc....... ;-)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

First bloom

As I was walking past the house yesterday after getting the mail, I happened to notice a spot of color in front of my sewing room window. A TINY spot of color. Can you see it? You can click on the photo to enlarge it if your eyes are straining.

Or here, I'll help you out a little:

It's the first dianthus to bloom this year. It's actually the first anything I've seen blooming this year. Even the dandelions haven't started yet.

"Yet"??? What am I talking about? It's still March, for heaven's sake! And oh, please.... tell me I'm not going to have to start mowing already in March!!! But look at this lawn:

*Sigh* Even though I think I only mowed once since the end of July last year due to no rain, I'm still remembering the every 4-5 days up until that point. Ack. Not looking forward to starting again.

I think our lawn suffered a lot because of the drought. It has a lot of patches where there's no grass. But I'm sure the weeds will fill it in nicely. Ack again.

As you can see, the broken limbs from the ash tree haven't been removed yet. Grandpa? I know you're reading this! Hint, hint! And obviously I haven't gotten rid of the old asparagus stalks from last year. Or picked up all of the branches/twigs that fell from all the ice on them, although I did haul away the biggest of them.

Spring and the sunshine and warmer temps are nice. I'm just not ready to start the yard work yet. I'd rather sew! In fact, I think I'll go do just that. Can't wait to show you my latest, which is coming along nicely!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I forgot to tell you!

I won something! Remember the Little Things to Sew projects I've been doing every month? I don't think I mentioned that there was a random drawing each month from all the link-ups for a prize from one of the sponsors. I was the lucky winner in the last drawing! My prize just came in the mail today, and that reminded me that I hadn't told you about it. Here it is:

Okay, lousy photo. But it's after 10:30 p.m., and I wasn't about to get my photo tent and lights all set up just for that. Not important, anyway. It's just the envelope that my winnings came in. It was decorated around my name/address (which is under the black fabric... hahaha... you can't read it!) with some cute tape. The important part is where it's from:

Figgy's is a pattern shop. I won my choice of one of their patterns. Check 'em out here. Although there weren't a lot to choose from, it was still somewhat of a hard decision. Which one would YOU pick? Which one do you think I picked? It's a good thing I have a little girl to sew for! :)

You'll just have to wait to see which pattern I chose! Mean, aren't I? But I like secrets. ;) I don't know what fabric I'll use for it yet. Or when I'll get around to making it. I have one project in the works right now, another one right after it in the queue, and then there's that secret one coming up. Yeah, I like secrets! ;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grandma's photo booth

Inspired by a little craft project we saw in this month's Family Fun magazine, which called for using paint sticks, Courtney and I made these little gals. The popsicle sticks were her choice. She wanted them little.

She chose the fabrics. I thought maybe she'd be getting tired of those dots, since she already has a backpack and a clutch made out of them, but I guess she still likes them!

We hot glued (well, I did, actually) the hair and fabric on. Courtney likes the straight red hair best. I like the curls.

I, of course, wanted to take pictures of what we made. She, however, was a bit reluctant.

But I coaxed her into doing some funny shots, so here they are:

I even got a shot of the bruise on the birthmark on her knee. ;)

We had a fun day today!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Spring is bustin' out all over! It's no wonder, after hitting 84° today! Whoa... too much too soon! But things are turning green, and I couldn't resist going out and getting some photos of it this evening.

Tiny lilac leaves are coming out in a hurry:

The grass is greening up fast, too!

Have a closer look:

Ack! At this rate, I'll be mowing before too long! Noooo!!!!

I looked at the tulips a couple of days ago, and they were only 2-3" high. Look at 'em now! (But please ignore the dandelions.)

Can this really be only the 18th of March?  Seems more like May! But it's supposed to cool down into the lower 60's this week. There's also rain in the forecast, which we badly need. I hope the forecast is right, on both counts. I'm not in any hurry for summer, especially this early!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another bag

Although I didn't think about it till just now, I guess I'm still a bag lady. Ha! This time it's a sleeping bag... for a doll. I made it from a tutorial found here. Those of you who have been following me for awhile will probably recognize the fabric, since I've used it for pillows for Courtney, her dolls, and even her tiny mouse in a tin. Pretty good mileage for fabric I bought to use for curtains in Jess's bedroom over 30 years ago. We ended up building a new house instead, so I never did make those curtains. It's perfect for a sleeping bag, though, huh? Kinda makes me sleepy to look at it. (Or maybe I'm getting sleepy because it's after 11:00 p.m.)

It's quilted, and I think this baby finds it pretty comfy.

Courtney hasn't seen it yet.  I'm sure when she does, though, the baby will end up in it like this:

And she will get her back patted until she falls asleep. :)

You might wonder where I come up with all these tutorials for the things I sew. A few weeks ago I signed up for a daily newsletter from Sew Can She. Each day (except Sunday) there is a different, free tutorial. I think it's great, and you've seen several things I've made from those tutorials, including this little sleeping bag. If you like to sew, and if you like sewing from free patterns/tutorials, check out that website and sign up for the newsletter. It costs nothing, and there are even great giveaways! I just thought you might want to know about that.

Hey, guess what? I have a SECRET sewing project coming up! It's so secret, in fact, that I don't even know what it's going to look like! Ha! I've been asked to be a pattern tester sometime in the next month. I'm looking forward to it. I've sewn from this person's patterns before, so I know it'll be good!

Linking up to Amylouwho's Sew & Tell:

Check it out and see what everybody else has been sewing!

Also linking up to Quilting by the River's Linky Party Tuesdays.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Craft jar project #'s 2,3,4, .....

Here are the rest of Courtney's projects from her craft jar of goodies. She did all of these totally on her own! Be sure to click on the pics to see them in greater detail.

This one below I thought was quite interesting! She cut up sections of pipe cleaners and glued them to the front of a greeting card I'd gotten and saved for her. She also stapled a piece of white foam sheet to the back. It is blank. :) And don't tell her this, but I've forgotten what she said those pipe cleaners are! LOL They look like caterpillars crawling on the flowers, but I don't think that was it.

This next one is pretty obvious. Note the two hearts!

I like her ideas in the next picture. She had sheets of foam stickers in various sizes. They made very cute little piles!

Next we have a couple of faces... one for Grandpa and one for me. Can you tell which was for whom?

I almost forgot the little guy below. I did help her with this one. She chose the design... I just helped her with the putting together and glueing. Quite a character, huh?!

That's it for the craft jar projects! But definitely a lot for only one day, huh?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Craft jar project #1

Courtney made this project (with a little help from Grandma) last week Tuesday, but we had to keep it a secret until today! Here she is, working very hard cutting up little squares of several colors of tissue paper.

She really concentrated, and did a careful job!

After cutting all the little squares, she scrunched up every one of them! Then we glued them onto the front of a card she was making.

Here's what she wrote, all by herself, with only the spelling by me. Then she added some foam stickers, and the card was done!

It was for her mommy and daddy, whose 8th wedding anniversary is today.  Happy Anniversary, Nate and Suzi!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's here!!

Spring is here! Well, not by the calendar. But surely robins are one of the first signs of spring, right? And they are here!! I saw two of them this evening! One flew away, but the other waited very nicely while I went back in the house for the camera. Then it posed for me, too!

With temps predicted to be in the 70's this week, I'll say spring can't be very far away, for sure!

Out of the jar

As I mentioned last week, Courtney FINALLY brought along one of her birthday gifts for me to play with with her on Tuesday. Here it is... her huge jar of "Crafts & Activities"!

There were so many things in that jar! It was packed pretty tightly, so we decided it would be a good idea to dump it out into a box so nothing got away. It didn't dump very well, though.

So we pulled it out a little bit at a time.

Here's a sampling of what was in there:

Even some googly eyes!

Hmmm.... what to make with these puffy balls/

Come back again to find out what we made out of some of the 'stuff'!!