Friday, February 05, 2016

Trivial pursuits

An unexpected snowstorm this morning has given me more time at home than I thought I'd have today.  Do you ever find that when you're given an unexpected gift of time, you have trouble figuring out to do with it?  I finished my quiet time early with the intent of heading out to do the grocery shopping.  As it became light out, however, I realized it was snowing quite steadily.

I've been puttering ever since at various tasks, the most important of which would be my Sunday School lesson.

Image from
I'm all set with the lesson for this Sunday, but I have to work ahead as it often takes me a couple of weeks to prepare.   And it often takes close to a month for our class of ladies to work our way through a lesson together.  I hope that everyone else is learning as much as I am!  And yes, I realize that learning and applying are two different things, and both are necessary for true spiritual growth.

Another thing I did was to put together my Valentine ribbon board.  This is something I try to do every February ... display some of my vintage Valentines as well as other special items from this season.  I've got all the items in place, just need to hang the board in the front hallway.  And I will do a post, probably next week, on my simple Valentine decorating.
This is from 2010, I think.  This year's is more sparse.
I'm also working on making tags from 2014's Christmas cards, always an inspiring task while snow falls outside the dormer window in which my little crafting desk is located.
Again, these are from a previous year.  I'm just getting started with this year's.
And I'm also planning, if time allows, to put together a little sample craft for a "Christmas club" I'm helping out with at a local library.  I'll share pictures when I get it figured out.

I think I'll make a Baked Fish Chowder for supper, and maybe some Iron Skillet Biscuits to go along with it.  My hubby dearly loves the biscuits from that recipe!

Lastly, I've been looking for a chance to slip in these pictures of a rather random sewing project I recently completed: simple pillows for a kitchen rocker.  We have, in our kitchen, a somewhat shabby rocking chair with chippy green paint.  When my grandmother gave it to me, the seat was missing, and my then-12-year-old son and I wove a red and white checkerboard replacement out of macrame cord.  (My kitchen has a strawberry theme.)  I've been reluctant to repaint that chair -- although it certainly could use it and in fact needs more help than that -- because I'm pretty sure my grandmother painted it herself.  Anyway, over time the seat got less comfortable so I padded it with a couple of pillows.  These were small square pillows made from washcloths trimmed with cotton fringe.   (Anyone recognize that as a home decor project from the 1960s?)  Someone had given these pillows, made from red washcloths with ecru fringe, to my mother as a gift.  There was literally no place in my parents' house where red pillows would look even remotely at home, so my mother passed them on to me.  They have lived in that rocker, with time out for occasional washing, ever since.  But they had just given out.  Flat, stained, ugly pillows that I cringed at every time I noticed them, which wasn't terribly often.  I knew I had to replace them, and I thought the best choice would be to make some more washcloth pillows.  So "washcloths for pillows" has been an item on my shopping list for awhile, but I never had time to browse that aisle in Walmart.

One day I was cruising past the clearance section and came upon a package of five microfiber "bar mop towels" in two nice shades of green.  Inspiration struck, and within a week I had carved out the time to make my pillows.
This is the darker green, though it doesn't appear all that dark in this photo.  See below for one of each.
I made each pillow out of two shades of green, so I can have two darker green pillows, two lighter green pillows, or one of each.
The colors are a bit truer-to-life in this lower picture.  My camera is so random at times!  One never knows what it will do.
Are they perfect?  No.  Will they stay pouffy?  Probably not.  Do they serve the purpose and look as good as I need them to look?  A resounding YES!

The rocker itself will have to be a project for another day.

I've taken the fish out to thaw, and fed the wood furnace.  The snow continues to fall.  Now back to tag making!


  1. Ahh, those iron skillet biscuits are a keeper recipe for sure :) Glad your husband enjoys them! I liked the title of your post today, trivial pursuits, although nothing that you were doing today was trivial, it all sounded quite wonderful! Your pillows grace the chair beautifully! Enjoy your day my friend :)

    1. Oh, that surely is a keeper recipe. The biscuits remind us a lot of the ones at Cracker Barrel (as I've probably noted several times), only even better. I've made them with the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 baking flour and they turn out fairly well, but most times I will use half gf flour and half regular.

      And I do agree -- not all I am doing is trivial, but it just feels so odd to have some time to do whatever I'd like.

  2. Mrs T, thank you for your sweet is displayed on my kitchen hutch. It just makes me smile whenever I see it!! Now I wanted to see your macrame seat too! My mother in law had some of those washcloth pillows in her den. That certainly brings back sweet memories for me. Your cushions look great!!

    1. Oh, you are welcome, Arlene! I had intended to get a New Year card out to you and it just didn't happen. So I thought a friendship card would be a fun idea! I'm glad it's making you smile!

      The seat of the rocker isn't actually macrame but some sort of Punjabi weaving, I believe. It just uses macrame cord. I found the instructions in a BHG magazine back in the 70s. There were many different patterns to use, but the checkerboard was the easiest. It has held up well, but not easy to clean and the white parts have become rather dingy. That's why I didn't show it.

      So you remember the washcloth pillows too! I never made any myself -- they were just a bit before my time -- but they certainly were the handcrafted home decor rage for awhile there!

  3. Yes, that dusting turned into a nice snowstorm didn't it? We have seven inches here. Yes, I do remember those facecloth with pom-pom fringe pillows of the 60s. My grandmother made many. We had gold and red ones. Looks as if you've come up with a good solution for your vintage rocking chair. I love the idea of a vintage rocking chair in the kitchen. My paternal grandparents had a daybed in theirs handy for taking naps on.

    1. Seven inches of snow from that "dusting"! Wow! It snowed all morning here but I think, when all was said and done, we had less than an inch. It was on top of ice, so travel was a little questionable. So happy I could stay home all day!

      Neat that you remember those pillows and that your grandmother made so many. Yes, a rocking chair has been so handy in the kitchen over time. Rocking babies and small children, a place to rest during a long phone conversation (back in the day before cordless phones), a place to sit for a task like snapping beans or shelling peas. On chilly mornings I have sometimes drawn it up in front of the kitchen woodstove and had my quiet time there.

      I've seen daybeds or couches in kitchens before, too. Not a bad idea! My kitchen is too small for that, though.

  4. Don't paint the chair, it's the original shabby chic. It is perfect. Lovely job on the pillows! I will keep an eye out for that book, I like Elizabeth George. Sounds like a creative snow day ❤️

  5. You're right, I know, Mrs. Smith; I probably never will paint it! I was pretty pleased with how the pillows came out, for something so simple and inexpensive.

    Yes, do see if you can find that book -- Thrift Books is one site you might check.

    Creative snow days are great! Of course this one was tempered by the fact that, since I didn't go put food on the table in front of my dad, he forgot to eat. Even though I called him and suggested what he could eat. That sort of thing takes a lot of the enjoyment out of any snow days I have ... just knowing he isn't going to be doing so well if I don't pop in to check on him.


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