Friday, January 27, 2017

Idle Hands - Five on Friday

Idle hands are the devil's workshop. 

Remember that old saying? 

My Scots-Irish family was full 
of wonderful old sayings, 
mostly in my Grandmother's
and Mother's voices. 

If we were caught with nothing to do, 
or Heaven forbid - complain of 
nothing to do, we might very well
be admonished in this way 
and speedily given a chore. 

Mostly, not to our liking.......
So we tried not to appear 'idle'. 

I've been hearing these voices
from so long ago and trying to 
keep my hands busy. 

I've been thinking of all the dear loved 
ones from times gone by, 
as I work my idle fingers crocheting and sewing 
to pass these winter days. 

I've been doing what women (and some men, 
bless their hearts) have been doing
since the beginning of time - 
creating 'something out of nothing'
to make our homes a little more beautiful. 

Useful little things, but made to bring a smile
as we go about the sometimes weary, dreary 
chores of every-day life. 

Today I will share five of my 'Idle hands' creations
for Amy's 'Five on Friday' link party. 

Here, I've made some sweet little dishcloths, 
towels and a little blue scrubby pad - 
all gifts for a hard-working loved one
who deserves a little cheer. 

Here is another gift-set with a slightly different 
crocheted edging.
 (a row of single crochet and a second row
 of evenly spaced single crochet and chains).

You can make your own flowered dishcloth and scrubby
with the pattern books at this website....
I've used Lily, Sugar'nCream 
and Lion Brand, Kitchen Cotton
for all the dishcloths and towel edgings. 

For the scrubby, I used Mary Maxim 'Scrub-It'. 

All yarns are 100% cotton. 

My latest project is a crochet edged pillow case
for a throw pillow that I've made out of vintage curtains. 

The edging is a shell stitch border. 

I first made 1/4 inch stitches around the edge of the pillow
with thin green crochet thread. Then added a row of
single crochet through those stitches. 

I used the same crochet cotton yarn as in the dish cloths
for the shell edging (directions below). 

The pillow case is 20 inches square and has a zipper for 
easy removal and laundering. 

I was nervous about installing the zipper, 
but it was easy! I just basted that seam 
together with large machine stitches,
(before sewing any other seams)
then pinned the zipper face down
 on the inside of the seam,
sewed both sides of the zipper in, then cut
the basted seam stitches and voila'! 

Can you tell I am proud of myself? haha! 

This pillow will go on my daybed in the kitchen.

I made these pillows for the daybed, too. 

I found the vintage heart crochet lace 
a couple of years ago at the thrift store. <3

I simply made a ticking pillow, 
then made a pillow-case out of white
cotton dish toweling. 

The result is so soft with a charming vintage style. 
I deliberately made the pillow-case smaller
than the pillow to allow the sweet ticking to peek out.

I'll share the daybed redecorating next week.

This is how it looks now.
I want to trade the winter plaid
for something more feminine and romantic. 

I've also been crocheting Valentine's hearts.

I can't tell you how much fun these have been
to create.

They have two sides with an opening at the top
to insert a little sachet of lavender
or a cotton ball with your favorite perfume.

This is a very old pattern I've had since I was
a new bride, many years ago :)

It was from an old needlework magazine.
I believe it was McCall's.

Here is the pattern that I wrote down
so long ago.....

If you are an experienced crocheter, this will be easy to follow.
If not, here are the abbreviations:
ch - chain stitch
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch
hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
picot - decorative edge
Any good crochet how-to book will explain each stitch.

I will show you how I used these in my
Valentine's decorating next week.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my 'idle hands' creations
and that this inspires you to keep your
hands from idling too long, too!

I'm sure I could find something around
here for you to do!


Today I am linking with:

Love Made My Home - Five on Friday

Won't you join the fun?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Hello, Dear Ones, How have you been? 
January is almost over, can you believe it?

Have you noticed that the days are getting longer? 
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are now 
seeing daylight past 5 p.m.

The mornings are still as dark as ever, but 
there are subtle signs that winter is moving along
in its steady march towards spring. 

I saw this ladybug the other day - 
lured from its hibernation by 
some fleeting, winter sunshine. 

Our snow has melted and we have 
had some warming during the day, 
although the nights are still icy
and cold. 

My Glacier Pansies have started blooming 
in the thin warmth of the January sun, 
a true testament to the resiliency of nature. 

Late afternoon light casting shadows.....

My new 'French' watering can stands ready for service. 

My rusty bear wind-chime frames a sunny view.

As we zoom in we can see bare trees in a sea of evergreen. 

Rising above, Mt. Rainier rests under 
thick clouds and snow. 

An inhospitable environment that 
even the most skilled of mountain climbers 
are reluctant to climb. 

So I stay inside where it is warm and pursue 
the gentler arts. 

I've been having fun creating flowered 
dish cloths and embellished dish towels 
as gifts for loved ones. 

This set went to my sweet Daughter-in-law, 
Jen, for her birthday. 

Here she is at her party with my son, Dustin. 

I've been spending lots of time with family 
the last few weeks :) 

I've been babysitting my new little grandson, 
Gavin, while his parents move into their new home. 

He is already almost 3 months old. 

When you can mark the passing of time 
with a baby, you realize how quickly 
it all goes by. 

I'll be sitting for this little guy once a week
from now on. Mommy and Daddy do need to work
to keep this sweet chub-chub in onesies! 

My Grandson, Ethan is almost 2 now! 

Uncle Dustin holds him still for a moment.... 

He is in constant motion, running and jumping - 
talking and singing.....
Until he is exhausted......
and then he sits in his little chair, 
hugging his 'lovey'. 

Here he is with his little red nose, enjoying his first snow. 

I've also been creating some Valentine's decorations
which I will show you soon. 

And I've been spending time in my sewing room 
with a little help from 'Birdy-Boy', 
my pet cockatiel. 

I'm sewing pillows for my day-bed. 

He loves to pull the pins out of my pin-cushions
and anything I have pinned. 

It definitely slows me down, but he is 
so methodical and determined that 
I just have to laugh. 

When he is not undoing my work, 
he likes to sit in the window and alert
me to anything going on outside. 

He is always on 'Hawk alert'. :)

He comes to me when I whistle and is quite attached 
to me, nibbling and whispering sweet nothings
in my ear. <3

Maggie spends most of her time curled up 
waiting for spring. 

Whitey-Bear is also lazy these days
and looking forward to warmer days.

Kai keeps us all young with his playful 
spirit and happy exuberance. 

I captured this January sunset at the bottom 
of our mountain road as I was returning 
home from the market the other day. 

January can be a difficult month as we cope 
with the darkness and the cold.

Finding solace in small pleasures, cherished family, 
 faith, beloved pets, and favorite past-times help 
as we wait for warmer 
 and happier days, here in the North.


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