Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grand Ol’ Flag Placemats

I wanted to show you these strip pieced flag placemats from a few years ago….

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waayyy before I had a blog, so no step-by-steps :)   

You’ll need red, white and blue fabric, a rotary cutter and mat, backing fabric, fusible fleece or cotton batting (optional).  Oh, and an iron – lots of pressing in this project!

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I’m sure most of you sewing types out there will be able to figure it out, just from the pictures!!  Just in case, here’s a quick rundown:  The stripes are all 2 inches wide x the length of my fabric.  I sewed them in long sections before cutting them to final placemat widths.  The blue piece is 5 inches by 6 inches.  All seams are 1/4”.

I made the bottom (4 stripe) section and then top (3 stripe section) separately.  Press each time you sew a strip together… be sure to iron the seams toward the red stripes, so they won’t show through the white fabric!

When the top and bottom striped sections are finished, cut the bottom stripes to 18” wide.  Before cutting the top section, I sewed the blue piece to the left side, then cut the right side (the stripes) the same width as the bottom. 

Cut a backing piece the same size as your flag.  I didn’t use any batting, but you could use fusible fleece or cotton batting at this point.  Sew right sides together, leaving room to turn.  Clip corners, turn right side out, press.  Topstitch around the edge and be sure to get the opening securely sewn. 

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I can’t wait to put them out every summer! 

HaPpy sEwiNg! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Willingly working


Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working

for the Lord rather than for people.”

Colossians 3:23



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wishing for summer

I haven’t written much about the garden yet this year.  It’s been extremely cold, windy and wet – even by the standards of our high altitude weather! 

We do have a lot of “frost-free” growing days (up to 130).  The problem is that at LEAST 50% or more of those days the temperatures hover in the 40’s and low 50’s… okay for grasses, trees and hardy perennials, but not nice for warm weather gardening!

So while I wait for something photo-worthy to happen in the garden, I thought I’d show you how to make a tiered planter.

You will need: 
3 pots - small, medium and large (I use clay pots.  They’re less likely to blow over in our heavy winds :) 
2 smaller, but sturdy plastic pots
Potting soil
Moo poo
Your plants :)

I first painted the pots and then sealed them with clear spray paint, but plain is just fine, too.  Take the biggest pot and place a smaller pot upside down, to later support the medium sized pot. 

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Stuff your filler all around the pot.  You can use newspaper, packing peanuts or soda cans, anything light that will fill up the space.  The roots don’t go all the way to the bottom of the pot and you can save all that potting soil for other containers!  I use crumpled newspaper because it can go into the compost in the fall without having to pick out the packing peanuts first ;)

Repeat for the medium pot and stack – see the potting soil in the bottom pot?

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There’s no need for a plastic pot inside the smallest clay pot at the top.  But I do still crumple some newspaper in the bottom before adding the potting soil. 

And finally…the planting!   Don’t forget magic moo poo.  A small handful mixed with the potting soil in each planting hole and your beautiful plants will thank you!  

Here they are all stacked together with a few of the plants in place:

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More photos to come, as they grow…

Iced tea concentrate

I do SO love visiting the south.  Truly, I do.  Seriously. Love. It.
Mostly, because it’s WARM there. Turtlenecks, jackets and heavy socks… NOT needed in June.  Like they are here in the lovely high plains tundra.  Awesome. 

Then there's the charm. The hospitality. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. It. is. warm. there.
There's just one teensy, tiny, little problem.
And apparently it's a deal breaker.  I can't handle the sweet tea.  Not even a little bit.
I have tried. Really, really tried.  That stuff is just, well, really SWEET.

We recently started making iced tea concentrate.  The problem: the first time I made it as per instructions. Including 8 cups of sugar. 8 cups people.  Even my soda lovin' younguns wouldn't touch the stuff.  I’m beginning to think you have to actually live in the south before the tea likes you and you like it right back.
So I'm going to give you the original recipe for iced tea concentrate.  If you like sweet tea, THIS is the one for you.
3/4 gallon of water
5 one gallon tea bags or 24 family size tea bags
8 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Boil the water. Remove from heat and add tea bags.  Cover for 30 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. (This helps preserve the tea, and does not affect the taste).  Add sugar while still warm and stir until it dissolves.  Pour in enough additional water to make 1 gallon of tea concentrate.
This concentrate keeps 4 weeks in the refrigerator and freezes very well.  I store it in clean, washed milk jugs. It is really so handy to have and lasts a long time.
Note:  **If you don't like your tea sweet, you can leave out the sugar entirely.  We like it slightly sweet and use 1.5 cups sugar.
For 1 gallon of tea:  Measure 3 cups of iced tea concentrate into a pitcher.  Add enough additional water to make 1 gallon of tea and stir. 
For 2 quarts of tea:  Measure 1 and 1/2 cups iced tea concentrate into a pitcher.  Add additional water to  make 2 quarts of tea and stir. 
For a 16 ounce glass of tea:  Put 2-3 tablespoons concentrate into a 16 ounce glass. Fill the glass with water and ice; stir. 
Keep unused portions of tea refrigerated.  If the tea is too weak or too strong for you add more or less iced tea concentrate to the water.
So are there any other not-so-sweet tea lovers out there?

Monday, June 13, 2011

What’s new?

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I just added the cutest little Mary Jane baby shoes with tiny bows.  More colors to come, but I’m starting off with this pretty honeysuckle pink. 

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Same sweet Patch-the-puppy baby shoes, in fun new colors!

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I’ve had several requests for the cowboy cowgirl booties in pink for little princesses.  I’ll eventually make them in an all pink version, as well.  You know.  In my abundance of spare time. ;)

Well, I’m off to search for a new-to-me car!  My car has been in the shop for repairs off and on since last December and has finally died for good.  We’ve not  been totally carless (my teenage daughter has a car)… but it’s really a hassle getting everyone where they need to go with one car!  I’d so appreciate your prayers to find a reliable used car!!

Have a blessed week, my friends!

Saturday, June 11, 2011



“But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior;

my God will hear me.”

Micah 7:7



Saturday, June 4, 2011



“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can

make them stumble.”

Psalm 119:165


Friday, June 3, 2011

Clay Pot Wreath

Remember my clay pot wreath from last year?

Sill LOVE it, but. . . 

THIS happened to some of the pots and they needed to be replaced: 


I thought I’d show you how the pots are attached.   The method is the same, whether you’re making a brand new wreath or adding one pot :)

Start with a grapevine wreath, wire and needle nose pliers.  Collect your pots… you can purchase new, but I love the character of thrift and garage sale pots.

Cut about a 10-12 inch piece of wire using your pliers.  Slip it under a few vines, leaving an equal amount of wire on each side: 


Decide which direction you want to the pot to face.  In this case, if you use the wire on the left as the top, the pot will face to the right.  But I wanted it to face the camera, so I used the portion on the right as the top wire. 

Thread your top wire through the bottom of the pot:


Twist the ends together like a twist tie.  Then use the needle nose pliers to roll the ends into a little coil: 



All better…  



The weight of the pots makes this wreath VERY heavy.  Take care to hang it securely and enjoy!



Let me know if you make a clay pot wreath. . . I’d love to see it!!


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