Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lunch Bucket... pattern by LiEr

It's time, folks! Now I get to show you what I've been working on! As I've mentioned, my latest sewing project was to test a pattern that a friend has written. The pattern is now available for sale, and here is my version of what it makes. 

It's a Lunch Bucket! Or, if you're not into carrying your lunch around, you can use it for craft supplies, knitting, kids' toys, or whatever you can think of to put in it.

The handle tips down for easy access to the contents:

It has a nice fabric cover with a drawstring to hold it closed, to protect its contents:

The handle is removable:

The cover can be tucked down inside:

Or folded over the outside:

The inside is laminated, for easy wiping out:

It is 7 inches in diameter, and 7½ inches high (with handle, 13" high). Here's my favorite little model for some size perspective:

The author of the pattern is LiEr, who also made the pattern for my chickens. And I used one of her tutorials in making my mittens reversible. LiEr is one of the most creative persons I know, and you really should check out her blog, ikatbag, to see what she makes. Prepare to be amazed!

If you're interested in making a Lunch Bucket yourself, there's a link to the pattern in this post, and it can also be found with all of her other patterns on the left sidebar of her blog. If you want a Bucket but don't sew, she made 16 (yes, that's sixteen!) of them in the process of testing the pattern herself, and she listed 12 of them for sale in her Etsy shop. They've been selling like hotcakes, so if you want one, you'd better grab it up fast, because as of this writing, there were only 3 left! And I assure you, her sewing is impeccable!

If you do decide you'd like to buy the pattern and make one yourself, I can tell you that the pattern is very well-written, and every detail is covered, making it a pretty easy project for anyone who's had much sewing experience. For a beginner, there might be some new challenges and things to learn, but LiEr gives you good techniques for doing them.

I love the Bucket, and I want to make another one! Just for fun... not sure yet what I'll put in it, but I just think the Buckets are so cute, and there are so many possible fabric combinations (the hardest part of the whole project for me was deciding which fabrics I wanted to use where!). The fabrics for this one are from Jessica Jones's Amusement Park collection.

And I am still a bag lady!

Linking up to amylouwho's Sew & Tell Friday:

The Graduate

Courtney made it!  She's officially a graduate of Kindergarten Connection (preschool)!  Here are some lousy photos (all but the last one taken from too far away in a not-enough-light situation).  (If you want copies, Mommy and Daddy, let me know.)

Here she proudly shows us the back of her graduation certificate:

Not sure what's going on here... perhaps making sure she's standing in exactly the right spot:

Looking very attentive (alongside someone who is not):

Telling everyone what she wants to be when she grows up... "a mom" (I love it!):

And finally back to her seat after it's all over, with her certificate and a book, and quite excited about the whole evening:

Yay, Miss Courtney!!  Congratulations!!

Gotta give a hand, too, to all the teachers and helpers who love the little ones and have the patience of saints!  They do such a great job!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Family Fun!

Okay, just the two of us - Courtney and me - but hey, we're family! And we definitely had fun! We found a new craft project on the Family Fun website, and it turned out to be pretty cool.

First we went outside (bundling up against the COLD and the WIND... aargh!) and gathered up some pretty bits of nature (not the pony, but the other stuff).

Then we each drew a person on a piece of paper, and we gave them clothes and accessories.

Courtney was the "teacher", and I, as the "kid", had to do as she did. That's why both of our persons had pink-eye.

I sorta started the design ideas, and Courtney followed. Here's the beginnings of mine:

Yes, that's a broken toe.

And the beginnings of hers:

These are our finished projects. Courtney loves to trim around things, leaving just a "frame" around them. I think they look pretty neat that way.

Yeah, I know... my shoes don't match!

I also have a subscription to Family Fun magazine, which I got free from purchasing something online I-can't-remember-where. I let Courtney cut pictures out of them yesterday while I was busy with something else. She cut a whole big pile of them to take home and add to her "stash", but these below are collages that she made for Grandpa and me.

So the magazines were good for more than just the projects inside! And I think I started a new cutting binge for Courtney. I'd better dig up some more old magazines before she comes the next time. Oh, that'll be this afternoon! I pick her up after her last day of Kindergarten Connection, and she GRADUATES tonight! Yeah, I know... she graduated last year, too... but this time it's for good! Next fall she starts kindergarten for reals... all day every day. No more 'Tuesdays with Grandma'. *sigh*

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Settlement... a deep subject

Well.... many of you will recall what a  time we had last summer when our water turned to mud. Yes, we had to dig a new well. The old well was filled in and sealed. There hadn't been much settling of the dirt where the old well was... until yesterday morning. This is what we saw:

Have a closer look:

Yeah, Patches... have a really close look!

Careful, Hairry!

All our recent rains (another 1.4" or so Sunday night) must've finally soaked down far enough to make the dirt settle. And boy, did it settle! Yep, it was about 10 feet or so, straight down! Grandpa will fill it in as soon as things are a little less muddy. Meanwhile, I'll keep Courtney out of there.

There's been a little settling, too, next to the new well cap. But that's minor.

Plenty of weeds around there, too. They're doing much better than the newly seeded grass. But I mowed 'em off yesterday.

Update:  Thought I'd let you know that the hole was filled in the next day... so no one will have to worry about it. :)

On another note... I finished the sewing for the pattern test! All done... so cute! And I get to show you SOON! Like in only a day or two! Do come back and see! Meanwhile, I have another sewing project ready to start... and ideas for more!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Crafting with Courtney

I've neglected to show you what Courtney's crafted in recent weeks! So here's some catching up. 

When we were in Chicago, I came across these little "safety scissors" that cut zigzaggy designs. I thought Courtney would have fun creating things with them.

They turned out to be pretty cheesy (well, what can you expect for $2.99?). They didn't cut very nicely at all. But we made the best of them, and here's a little card Courtney made (with some help from Grandma). We copied the design from the scissors package, basically.

Last week we did some things that worked out a little better. Jess had posted a link to this owl bookmark and card set on her blog. Courtney loved it... the owls and the colorfulness (<- is that a word?). We just had to print the page, and then she cut out the owls. I trimmed the card to size, and I cut the slits with an exacto knife. They turned out so cute! The owls are interchangeable on the card, and they are also bookmarks. They'd make a cute card/gift for a child.

I'd done some searching online for preschool activities that Courtney could do, needing something interesting to keep her busy on days when we couldn't be outside all the time playing with kittens. I found a website with lots of printables for kids, and here are her projects for that day:

Yeah, she was a busy girl! Actually, she buzzed through them pretty fast. :) I can't find the link to the website I got them from, but if you want ideas for fun stuff, just google "crafts for kids". There are TONS of free printables and tutorials available!

Yesterday it rained all day, and Courtney and I had a coloring "marathon". I meant to take pics of the 11 (I think) pictures we colored, but Mommy showed up too soon with melting ice cream in the car and needed to get home, so we skipped the photo shoot. That's okay... you don't need to see Grandma's coloring, anyway!

I hope to finish my pattern test sewing today. I haven't asked the author when I can blog about it, but I'll show you as soon as I can!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Look at little Rusty. He plays SO hard and gets SO sleepy! Or maybe it's those long walks his mama's been taking him on the last couple days, out learning to hunt... or something.

Someone else (unnamed as yet, unless it's Midnight, or 1 o'clock, or 2 o'clock, or....) wanted to get into the picture:

This next little gal was rescued from a tractor. She was ON a tractor, under the cab! (What was her mama thinking?!) Courtney's daddy stretched out his long arm and was just barely able to reach her. I think she belongs to Rainbow, but unfortunately nobody wanted to claim her. She was very hungry last night, and this morning I couldn't find her. I'm hoping her mama took her back, but I'm doubtful.

A couple days ago I discovered this view in the long grass:

Intriguing, huh? What a cute little head!

Of course I had to pick her up for a better look.

Isn't she beautiful? She's one of Patches' babies.

Patches had re-hidden them since they were discovered in the bale stack. But now I know where they all are. (Courtney will have a blast tomorrow!) They are soooo pretty! There's one I MUST get a pic of and show you... she has such unusual markings. Later......

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Not a moth... yet!

(Title's for you, Becky! ;) )

If you've been wondering what became of the moth eggs I wrote about in this post, you're about to find out! Here they are, 9 days after they were laid. See the few little "worms" with dark heads?

Click on the pics to enlarge, if you want to see the teeny things even bigger (not you, Cindy!). They were in actuality only about a millimeter long!

Below is a photo I took of the earlier ones at the top of the window. You can see them a bit more clearly.

The dark colored eggs are the unhatched ones... the clear ones are empty.

I have no idea where they went, or what they eat... or anything. If I had more time (and curiosity), I'd look it up. But this will be the last of my moth posts (unless I come across something interesting again!). I must get to my fabric and sewing machine! Seeya later!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Not a hummingbird

Speaking of moths, have you ever seen something flitting around the flowers and wondered if it was a hummingbird? Chances are, it may have been a sphinx moth. I've seen a lot of them this year, and one was busy in the flowers just outside my sewing room window a couple days ago, so I managed to get some pics and even a video.

Now you'll recognize one if you see it!

I found it interesting that the camera slowed the wing speed down in order to capture a pic or a video. The wings actually go so fast you can hardly see them, but they appear to be going considerably slower in the video below.

If you're wondering what happened to those moth eggs, I'll have an update for you soon. They look like they're about ready to hatch!

On a sewing note, I received the awaited pattern to test yesterday! I did some proofreading for her first, and now I'm getting ready to cut fabric. I also have another project headed to me in the snail mail, and another potential one on my kitchen table! I hope to give you some sneak peeks.

Then there are the plants I bought on Wednesday that are just waiting for the 90-degree temps and gale-force winds (ACK!!!) to go down so I can set them out in the ground. Not to mention the garden that's only partially tilled with nothing at all planted yet. So don't be surprised if I don't post regularly for a while!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Now THAT'S a teacup!

Courtney's other grandma and I switched days this week, so Courtney was here today instead of Tuesday. Because our farmers were busy planting, we didn't get together on Mother's Day, so along with Courtney today came a gift for me! It's a ceramic teacup and saucer!

A very BIG teacup and saucer!

(Doesn't she look like she's about 16 there?!)

Actually, it's a planter, and inside it was a gift certificate to our local greenhouse! I think it's soooo pretty!! The colors go great in my living room. However, I'm afraid if I put a plant in it in my living room, Josie would ruin it. Does anybody know of any plants that cats don't like (to destroy)???

I could use the teacup to put something else in, but I haven't figured out what yet. Any suggestions???

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Clean windows help

Yup, clean windows do make for much nicer photos.

You can even see a dab of grape jelly on the end of his beak below.

Here's his mate, patiently waiting for her turn. Note the striking difference in coloring. But still so bright and pretty!

The finches haven't been so thick this year. The most I've ever seen on the feeder at one time is three. Other years I've seen so many that they fight over it. Maybe more are coming yet?

Some of you may be wondering what's happened to the sewing. I actually haven't touched my sewing machine, except to clean and oil it (pats herself on the back for doing that), for about 3 weeks! I haven't had anything to sew! Or at least anything that I thought was worth making right now, though I have lots of tutorials. BUT, that is about to change. I have a pattern to test very soon (from one very busy lady who keeps getting delayed by other things), a fun project for Jess, plus my local librarian/friend, who knows I like to sew, called me to say they'd just gotten in a new pattern book and I could have it first if I wanted. Yay, I'll pick it up today... lots of potential in it, I'm sure! So hopefully I'll have sewing projects for you to see again very soon.

I'd better hurry up and get my garden and flowers planted ASAP!

On an interesting other note... as I was uploading the above photos, I noticed that I've now taken over 10,000 photos on this camera! WOW!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rusty, it is!

Here's some of my crew, eating their supper. There are 3 adults missing from the photo, but all 5 of Mama's babies are there (that's a tail of one by the water bowl). I like the little paw of that black one attempting some mischief.

Awhile back I asked for your help in naming that little orange one. Courtney and I finally decided that his name will be Rusty! Thanks, Becky, for the suggestion. You win the prize! Oh, that's right... there wasn't any prize offered. Well, you get the recognition, anyway. ;) Hey, I have an idea! You can have Rusty!!! Your kids would love him!!!! ;) Okay, he can be yours by surrogate, if you want. Or something like that.

BTW, Courtney at first thought that Rusty was kind of a funny name. Then I told her she had a great-great grandpa by the name of Rusty (nickname for Russell... and he'd had red hair), and she thought that was even funnier yet.

I was taking these pics because I wanted to show you what a difference there is in "oranges". Little Rusty is quite different in color than our golden boy, Hairry!

He's quite a playful little guy, and one of his favorite spots is this bit of rope hanging from the wall.

He had a lot of fun playing on it with his sister while I was out there, too.

Now, only 13+ more to name!!! :)