Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A few recent simple craft projects

Here are just a few photos of some of the recent crafting taking place in this house. The grandkids have accomplished more than I have!

My 9-year-old granddaughter embroidered this picture.

And my 7-year-old granddaughter embroidered this one.

The kit contained 3 designs and was sent to the girls by their Auntie JoJo. They had so much fun with this kit, which taught the running stitch and also the technique of coloring the design with crayons, heat-setting it, etc.

For quite some time now, as I mentioned in a previous post, I've been wanting to sew a swiffer cover for wet mopping. Those crocheted ones I made work great for dry mopping, and I think I mentioned that they are supposed to be reversible so the smooth side can be used for wet mopping. It just seemed to me that I wanted a cover which was thinner and flatter for wet mopping. I found a pattern here:
Swiffer Cover
but just never had time to sew one. Plus, it calls for terry cloth and I didn't have any more towels that I wanted to give up. Our Walmart is going out of fabric, and I doubt they had terry cloth to start with. But I did find in Walmart a nice, thin terry cloth kitchen towel for only $1 and it seemed to me that would work very well.

It did! Here's the cover, just flat, before adding buttons and buttonholes.

Here it is in place on the swiffer, button side up.

And here again, only now you can see the side that will be in contact with the floor when mopping.

I'm pleased with this cover and am going to buy a second $1 towel for the second cover. I like the idea of having two so there is always a clean one ready when I need to mop.

And here's another whimsical, very casual project which I just put together. I'm sure I could have made it better had I taken more time to think about it, but this will serve the purpose.

Can you guess its purpose? Yes, it's a little bag to hold Scrabble® tiles. Last week we had family members visiting from Florida and had them over for supper along with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who live locally. My sister-in-law brought along her Scrabble game, which, like ours, is the large turntable version. Only hers (found at a yard sale) lacked the bag to hold the tiles so she was using a very worn paper bag to serve the purpose.

I decided she needed something a little nicer. I modeled this bag after the one that came with our Scrabble game -- it is gray plastic, but my sister-in-law is a Coke® collector, and I had this fabric on hand, so it seemed meant to be!

Hope you have enjoyed this look at our simple craft projects!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To make cleaning more fun...

Last spring, I crocheted a swiffer cover. I really like the idea of being able to just throw the cover in the wash rather than using the disposable covers. This is the tutorial I used: Crocheted Swiffer Sock. For this first one, I followed the directions to use 2 colors of yarn.

The swiffer cover worked well and I liked using it. However, I tended not to use it because I only had one cover.  I should have followed the suggestion of the designer and made a second cover right away so I would always have a clean cover on hand. However, I hadn't done this.

I decided this week that the time had come to crochet a second cover, and made this one of my crafting goals for the week. I had planned to use 2 colors of yarn as before. But when I saw how this variegated yarn was working up, I decided it was plenty colorful all by itself.

The pattern went very quickly since I wasn't stopping to change colors. If you are using up scrap yarn for this, you might need to use 2 colors, but otherwise I would suggest just using some variegated yarn for interest rather than bothering with color changes.

Now I will have no excuse not to use my swiffer for dust mopping!

My next project will be making a button-on cover to use for wet mopping with my swiffer. This crocheted one is actually meant to be reversible, with the smooth side for wet mopping and the textured side for dry mopping. I thought this was a great idea, but it seemed to me it could be problematic with getting the cover dry in between uses, and I certainly didn't want to make more cleaning work for myself. I've found a pattern for a sewed button-on cover, and if I'm smart I will make two of them to start with!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Now it can be told...

Image from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
I have a story to share that I couldn't share for quite some time. Now I can; actually, I could have told this story a couple of months ago, but just haven't found the time to do so. Back in January our daughter Joanna and family were visiting us from out West. One afternoon, she and I (and her children -- the husbands were doing something else) got together for a tea party with five other ladies and assorted children, at my daughter Carrie's home. It was really nice; Carrie had set up a separate table for the children in the living room and we ladies sat at the table. One lady brought flowering plants to decorate the table; a lovely touch of spring in midwinter.

Well, when we got to dessert, it became apparent that the tea party was also a birthday party -- a surprise one -- for me! (The flowering plants were one of my gifts.) Two of my friends ( a mother and daughter) gave me a gift bag that was quite heavy. It contained a quart jar of homemade dill pickles

-- one of my favorite things! and also a gorgeous pitcher, both swaddled in tissue paper. As you know, I collect strawberry items.

This pitcher, the Large Jug in the Portmeirion Eden Fruits pattern,

would be a fantastic addition to my collection! Here's how Portmeirion describes this pattern:
"Using rich colors and modern shapes, the Eden Fruits pattern is lively and cheerful ... not to mention mouth watering! With luscious oversized fruits and joyful colors, Eden Fruits is sure to become a favorite for the table."

When we left that day, I made sure the pickles and pitcher were well wrapped in their tissue paper inside the gift bag. The driveways were icy, and I stepped very carefully as I went from Carrie's house to the car, and then again from the car to my own house. I set the bag down inside the entry with a sigh of relief. And then, conscious that 2-year-old Emily and 3-year-old Darrin would be coming in right after me, I picked the gift bag up again and set it carefully on the dining room table.

Not far enough from the edge, however. As I turned my attention to supper and other matters that needed doing, Darrin decided that I needed to have my gift! Before I could do more than utter a despairing shriek, he had pulled it off the table. Being much heavier than he expected, it tumbled to the floor.

Where, as one might expect, the heavy glass pickle jar smashed the pitcher to bits. (Thankfully, the pickles were unharmed -- can you imagine the aroma of pickle juice pervading everything if that jar had broken?) I managed to shed only a few tears. It was so pretty, and I hadn't even gotten to display it yet, never mind use it! But I reminded myself that it was only a thing, after all -- nothing of eternal value. How would I ever tell my friends, though?

Joanna set about searching for an affordable replacement -- we knew where it had been purchased, but there were no more there. We looked in other stores in the same chain -- no success. Finally Joanna suggested I try using the pieces to make a mosaic. So I kept them, still in the gift bag.

When I told my friend Judy what had happened, she made me an Artist Trading Card as a reminder. Isn't it pretty?

Fast-forward to a couple of months ago. One Saturday afternoon, UPS arrived with a large box. I hadn't ordered anything, and it was no special occasion that I knew of. When I opened the box, there it was. One Eden Fruits strawberry pitcher, and a card reading, "Happy Birthday again, Mom!" Joanna had found one on eBay and had it sent to me. Here it is happily in place on a shelf with some of my other strawberry items.

... And now I can tell my friends what really happened. What a happy ending!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two pretty trays

I don't believe I have shown these two pretty trays yet. I found them on clearance at Marshalls several months ago.

Love the tea time tray.

But this fruit-themed one is, of course, my favorite, featuring strawberries!

I think I paid $2 for each tray. ( They are the same size, even though they don't look that way in the photos.) What a great deal!

Fun with counted cross stitch

For Christmas, my oldest granddaughter (8 at the time) received a counted cross stitch kit. This was a brand new craft for her. She started the project, but got sidetracked quickly and didn't continue. Now she has!

Here is the finished project. The kit even included the hoop-type frame.

Here's the proud stitcher, pleased to have completed a challenging project!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Brown and pink

Here are my most recent embellished dish towels. I like the combination of pink and brown, but hadn't planned on actually making any dish towels in this color combination. Here's how it happened:

While sorting through a craft materials tote, I found 2 chocolate-brown dish towels. They'd been there for many years while I waited to think of a way to use them. I bought them as part of a set of 3 (at a dollar store!) years ago. The third towel of the set had been a brown and cream linen type towel with coffee pots on it, and I gave it away as part of a gift a long time ago. So, here were these 2 kitchen towels, and it stood to reason I would trim them with fabric, since that was my current favorite way to embellish dish towels. But what fabric? Did I have anything in my stash that would go with this deep brown? I didn't think so. However...

In sorting through fabric scraps, I came upon a piece of vintage chintz (still glazed and shiny! It had never been washed) in a print that featured brown and pink! So that would be my main trim fabric. A few days later in a Walmart in another town, I spotted a remnant for 60¢. It was brown with pink polka dots... perfect for the narrow trim with the chintz.

Last week, I finally put the two together. I discovered that there was enough chintz to do one more pink and brown trimmed towel.

So, I used one of the microfiber towels I stocked up on awhile ago (on clearance at Walmart) and trimmed it to match.

Here is the set of three.

Aren't they pretty? Now, if I only knew someone with a pink and brown kitchen!