Making Magnets

One of my nieces made me magnets for Christmas.  Now I’ve wanted these magnets for several years and in the yearly gift exchange I have gotten these several times only to have them stolen picked by another. Sometimes exchanges like that can be fun but sometimes oh so frustrating! When we were talking afterwards one of my daughters said she would like to learn to make them. In the discussion that followed I must have listened because when I needed a craft for many people I knew just what I was going to do.

She used flat marbles, the kind that are used in flower decorating, Modge Podge, a graphic of some kind and a magnet.  I made 96 magnets over several days time. I had some vintage Girl Scout fabric that was perfect for the job. I think this will be a good item to send home with our volunteers. It fits with our 100 years of Girl Scouting celebration and is something useful  A winner in my book!


Semaphore Flags

It’s time for an annual Girl Scout event.  For the last 20 years we have had a volunteer retreat and invited all leaders that are active in our service unit to take part. We usually go to one of the local Girl Scout camps.  We’ve run into a problem this year however and if you live in the greater Seattle area you know what I mean.  The weather is not cooperating! The camps are snowed and iced in and the roads are not safe to travel.  We have planned this event for nearly six months so it’s a bit disappointing.  We will however do a one day local event and hopefully most people will be able to attend.  By Saturday we are hoping the roads are passable. With a little warming and some rain all things are possible.

This is a significant year in the Girl Scout calendar. We are celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting.  We’ve tried to plan some games, activities and food to tie into our theme.  One of the activities will be to communicate with semaphore flags. I’ve made the flags and have the cheat sheet.  It should be a fun adventure!

Little houses

My Slice die cutter has been fun to use.  It will cut the objects in incremental sizes from 2″ to 4″. It will also cut them so you can create a shadow effect, a detailed layer on top of the base and a mirror image.  After thinking about it I decided it would be fun to see if I could create ornaments.  I was successful without too much trial and error.  I put Wonder Under on the back of all the fabric before I cut it out. This made it easy to layer, use a thin layer of batting and a hanging ribbon and well as having a mirror image back. This was so successful and so much fun I’m thinking of all sorts of other shapes or things I can make.  I also turned the little houses over and dated them and put names on them.  More fun times.

Christmas is coming

I always have fun thinking of things I can make for family and friends.  This year was no different.  I’ve tried many different kinds of projects this year as well as variations on projects I have done in the past and also tried some new things.  My bridge friends this year got a smattering of several different things.  I made smaller market bags, appliqued towels and ornaments.  I had a great time.  The bags were made from oilcloth which is one of my favorites to work with. The towels I used my Slice machine and mostly blanket stitch rather than a satin stitch and the ornaments were also made with my Slice machine and Wonder Under.

Reaching the finish line

Even though it is past bedtime I’m sitting in my recliner admiring the lights on the tree and reflecting on the day.  So often this time of year is so hectic that I don’t feel like I have time to enjoy the traditions and the magic of the season.  Each year is different and as the children grow older every season continues to evolve.  Some years there have been boyfriends and girlfriends, some years just family.  The future I also hope will include grandchildren but for now I’m enjoying my older adult children. What a blessing that is. So often family are not able to connect as adults due to jobs, spouses and other commitments.  I’m reminded to cherish each day and each moment with my family and friends.

The past week I’ve had several wonderful visits with friends.  Last Friday I was able to spend time with my dear friend Sarah.  She and her husband have had health issues this past year and it was good to visit with her and hear that they are both feeling better. I also had a visit from my good friend Peggy.  We worked together for a number of years and we had the pleasure of meeting when our boys were in preschool. Last night I hosted Christmas bridge at my house and feel blessed to be able to count Jennifer, Fran and Lucinda as friends. We’ve all shared joyous times and hard times.  These friends all listen and don’t make judgements.  What a rich world of friendship all these people have created for me.

There also has been some gifting this week.  The first gifts were Peggy’s creations.  She brought me a wreath made from beach shells.  It’s a gorgeous wreath and tomorrow it will be hanging on the wall of wreaths.  For now the picture of it on my cutting table will have to suffice.  She also brought me a piece of yard art that she has created out of thrifted dishes.  It is so cute!  I don’t have a picture of that one yet but will take a picture and post in the next day or two.  This lady is so creative and really has an artist’s eye for placement and color.  I’m envious of the gift she has for such creativity and feel fortunate when she brings me these lovely creations. Thanks Peggy. I love them both!

Pin cushions

As any seamstress knows a pincushion is your friend.  I own many types of pin cushions and have made pin cushions but recently when I was cleaning out a drawer I found a pin cushion that a friend  brought me many years ago.  She had traveled to Switzerland to visit with relatives that were temporarily living there and brought me back this wonderful pin cushion.  As I’ve mentioned before I struggle to use special things and for many years have put them aside for safe keeping.  One of my recent decisions however is to live life with intention.  One of my intentions  is to cherish these special items but also to use them so I can get pleasure out of them every day.  This pin cushion sits on my sewing table and holds threaded hand sewing needles. Although I don’t do a lot of hand sewing there are always finishing touches that require a needle and thread.  So Sarah, every time I use this pin cushion I think of you and am thankful for  your years of friendship.  What a gift!

A successful swap

A while back I made a comment on a friends blog that I liked the yarn she was spinning.   She offered to let it come and live at my house and now it’s arrived! We made a swap and I’m excited.  This is beautiful yarn and I’m still stroking and admiring all of its loveliness.  I have a couple of projects in mind but not entirely certain what the final project will be. I really have zero skills in the yarn fiber department.  Yes, I have done my share of crocheted granny squares and ponchos and have several failed knitting attempts, like the sweater with the monkey arms.. and two different size monkey arms at that!  While I’m thinking long and hard, I just keep moving this skein around and dreaming about all the things it could become.


Vintage rag dolls

A friend was cleaning out a closet and came across a package of old fabric.  One of the pieces was orange silk and the other was a panel of fabric that had been fashioned after vintage rag dolls and was printed for “Her Majesty’s Stationery Office” and came from the Bethnal Green Museum in London. ” London’s Bethnal Green houses the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, spanning the 1600s to the present day.”  I have been looking at their website and it looks like a very interesting place to visit.  I’ve also checked out the gift shop link and there are many interesting things here as well.  I wish it was closer because I would love to visit.

These dolls however will be fun for my friends granddaughters to play with.  I applaud her for the decision to make them up and let the kids play.  So often I find myself bringing this kind of stuff home and then feeling I should save it for a special occasion or day and then the kids grew up or lose interest and here I had this very fun whatever and never got used.

Here are pictures of the panels.  After they have been stuffed, I’ll ask Sally to take a picture and send me so I can add it to this log of projects.

A quick gift

A friend is having a birthday and I wanted to make a quick gift.  One pair of fleece socks was included but also some pouches for carrying things.  It seems everyone has a phone and various ways of carrying their phones.  When you get a new phone invariably it’s a different size than the last phone.  That creates the problem of transportation.  Now with  smartphones and the big screens, how do you carry them if you don’t carry a purse or have the right size pocket. The kids often travel with a backpack or book bag and throw the phone in the bottom of the bag. The goal here was a little bag to add some protection to the phone and the screen.  I made three different kinds of pouches not knowing for sure which the  recipient would prefer.  I also don’t know for sure if they always have a plastic cover on  the phone as this too will determine the fit.  I also am guessing on the exact size of the phone.  I think it’s about the same size as mine but I don’t know for sure.  Although I started with the same size pattern for all the pouches they all ended up different sizes due to the construction process.  Two of them have zippers and the other is a snap type pouch.  I’m thinking at least one of them will work for the phone and the others will have other uses. This was a fun project and I think I’ll  be making more pouches.

Smaller oilcloth bag

I’m making a smaller oilcloth bag for a friend.  I’m trying out a couple of different sizes of bags because I keep having requests for a smaller size.  This first one I reduced the height by 5 inches and the width by 2.5 inches.  I like the width and think that will be fine but I think I’m going to make another bag and shorten the height a bit more.  This one is actually a good size and would be handy at the drugstore or at the bookstore where you want a bag but don’t want or need such a big one.  I’m looking forward to making a few more of these and then ask what size my friend would like what her opinion is.