Monday, November 28, 2011

A Handmade Christmas Week 9 {Easy Scarves!}

 Good morning! Would you like some ideas for easy, economical and trendy gifts? These scarves are so easy and fun to make. I have had fun finding ideas online and then doing my own thing a little too. Here is what we have been making:

Ruffle Scarf
Another Ruffle Scarf
Infinity Strand Scarf
 Here is the the video that I watched to learn how to make these two scarves:
Here is another type of ruffle scarf:
And a simple scarf:
I think this one would be cute with some added embroidery but I haven't done that yet.
The two scarves above I made out of the same old t-shirt. It was pretty simple- here is what you do:
Cut the hem off and then cut as shown above (cutting through both layers at once) to make the simple scarf. No hemming or anything else is necessary. I found this idea in a Family Fun magazine.

With the remainder of the fabric cut out five circles as shown above. Cut each "doughnut" open on one side and then sew all those circles/ "C's" together so that it makes one long ruffly strip. Then you can sew a decorative stitch along the edge if you desire.

I had fun making these scarves- I hope you do too!


If you have a blog I would love it if you would share the link of your post, And for everybody I would love it if you would leave ideas in the comments.

I can't wait to see what you make!

-Please link up a handmade idea that would work for a Christmas gift, decoration or for eating.

I have decided not to use the linky tool but rather if you would include your link in a comment or send it to me in an e-mail, I will then put the link to your blog post in this post. Thank you!

-Please make sure it is family friendly.

- Please link back to this blog. I would love it if you also would display my button (grab it from my sidebar) either in your post or on your sidebar so that others can learn about and join this carnival too.

Check these ideas out!!....

Thank you!

P.S. I am going sewing machine shopping today- do any of you have any recommendations? I will be looking at Janome, Brother, Elna, Nicchi and Babylock and maybe Viking machines.

Turning old t-shirts into something usable

 In my opinion part of being a "homesteader" is that desire to use what you have, be resourceful and not be wasteful. It is trying to have a sustainable lifestyle. This is something that I really enjoy working on and because of this I have a tendency to save all sorts of things that I know will be useful someday when I want to make something.

 Saving stuff to use later is all very nice until your crafting area just seems to almost explode because of everything that is being stored there. In my effort to get my home as organized as possible before the end of the year I have felt there was a need to do something about all these things that I have collected, so.... Last week I decided to tackle the old t-shirts and sweatshirts and see what I could turn them into.

This is the stash that I first pulled out: (and then later I found even more!)

Here is a portion of some of the things we made out of them:

-Jump ropes (instructions here)
-Flower barrettes and pins (using this method)
-Woven Rugs (using this method)
- Hot pack (stuffed with corn though sometimes I do rice)
I have several cut out but only one sewn up as my sewing machine broke. :-(
-Dishcloths (instructions here)
-Napkins (cut out but not hemmed yet because of my sewing machine)
- balls of t-shirt yarn or strips to use in future projects.
-Quite a few types of scarves which I will show photos of and instructions for tomorrow at my Handmade Christmas Carnival. I hope you come join me!

It has been a fun time to make things. I love the challenge of using something old to make something useful. I do still have a box of t-shirts left but I made considerable progress! I have some ideas of things to make with what I have left as well. Some of my plans are: Baby bibs, Doggy chew toys, more rugs and headbands and using some of the sweatshirts as mittens liners. I did also attempt making a pair of socks from some old sweatpants. That was not very successful but I will try again!

This week I am working on my stash of denim. Hopefully next week I will be able to have a report on some of the things I have made. However I am feeling a bit hampered by not having a working sewing machine. I am considering buying a new one at the moment.....

Have great week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Watchman

I have been reading in the book of Ezekiel lately for my early morning Bible reading. The other day while reading chapter 33 I was really struck by the lesson I could learn from it to apply to my own life. In it God is speaking to Ezekiel about watchmen and their duty and He says to Ezekiel:

"Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, "O wicked man, you will surely die, " and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from you hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life." Ezekiel 33:7-9

Now I do realize that we are living in a time different from Ezekiel- we have the blood of Jesus to cover our sins and in no way are we able to pay for our own sins. However I do think that God does want us to be watchmen just as He gave that job to Ezekiel. In Mark 16:15 &16 it says: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel (that means good news) to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved: but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." God wants everybody to know about the Salvation that He offers through Jesus Christ. He desires that all people would be saved. I am feeling convicted even more that I need to tell others about this salvation. How about you?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I love this holiday because of the reminder to us of how we should live everyday: Overflowing with Gratitude!

 This quote came to my attention recently and so I will share it with you:

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."  ~H.U. Westermayer

I love the perspective of that. No matter what condition we are in- we need to give thanks to God.
As for us, I feel overabundantly blessed! God is so good! I hope you are seeing that in your lives as well!

Psalm 100

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pies and other things

 Today was one of those fun holiday sort of days. We decided to take a break from school (even though the public school students still had to go in our area) and we had fun getting ready for Thanksgiving day and doing other fun things. In the morning I did have a piano lesson to teach and then we needed to run to town to do a barter, buy whipping cream and hang up some posters for an upcoming fundraiser but in the afternoon we had fun working around here.

  On a side note- while we were at the grocery store Mara complimented another shopper on her really cool wool coat and hat (which looked felted and had felted applique on it) which she had made. We ended up visiting a bit and she told us about her blog- in it she shares about some of the neat things she makes. I thought you might like to visit there too.

  Our baking plans for today were to make butterhorns and a few pies. My Mom was also making pies for tomorrow but you can never have to many pies can you?r

  This pies on my list to make were a pecan pie and some peanut butter pies. Ken told me that peanut butter pie is his favorite (I was surprised as I had thought he went for the fruit or berry pies more) and since the rest of us love it too I decided that I should make two. I tried a Honey Pecan Pie recipe this year. It looks good- I am looking forward to tasting it as well. I did also make Pumpkin pie- that is a traditional necessity for Thanksgiving, I think. Mom was making them so I didn't need to but since I had extra crust and some cooked squash handy I made one anyway. We will probably eat it for breakfast later on this week. I still had more crust so I also made an apple braid.

  Would you like to try Peanut Butter Pie? Here is the recipe that we really love:
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar (except I use less and this year I used mostly honey- it is yummy.)
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Beat everything but the whipped cream together and then fold in whipped cream. Gently spoon into a baked crust (I use a regular one but you could also use a graham cracker crust or a chocolate crust). Store in the fridge.

Here are some other photos of our day.....
Aaron wanted to knead the butterhorns. Megan licked the spoon after being in charge of cracking eggs.
 While the bread was rising....
Aaron dreamed about and made plans for quilt making

Megan laid hers out and even tried it out.

Mara made a Thank-ful tree.

Jonathan added more details to his new wonderful Popsicle plane.
 Back to the bread making.....
Aaron helped to roll them up (we took some of the dough and made sweet rolls for breakfast).

Jonathan buttered their tops.
Tonight was another fun evening of fellowship and learning at church. The kids talked about thankfulness and ate a bunch of sweets while we adults had a good discussion on walking with God.

   I am curious.... Do you always have pie for thanksgiving? What type is traditional for you and your family? Do you make your own or buy them?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Handmade Christmas Week 8 {Easy Skirts and a Shirt}

 How are you doing this morning! I am doing good. After a couple of days of not feeling so hot I feel so much better and that is always a great feeling. I am a little late getting this up (and I will come back even later to add the tutorial to this post) but I will blame that on not feeling good, playing games with my family last night and working on centerpieces for Thanksgiving instead. Someday I will be better organized and pre-post all my posts but so far that hasn't happened very often.

Anyway, here is something that I have been making:
 Elastic Waist Skirts and a reversible applique t-shirt. The outfit that Megan is modeling we sent in her Operation Christmas Child box and the skirt below is a gift for a friend. Mara also made a skirt like this for her OCC box but we failed to get a picture of it.
These skirts are so quick and easy to make and you can use whatever fabric you have on hand or can find for a good deal and they are a fun and practical gift.

Here is the Tutorial. I hope it works well for me to do it this way. Let me know if you have any problems reading it or understanding it. Thanks!

To make the skirt you will need to first choose fabric (you can make it all one color or have a couple types of fabric- I did it both way.)

To cut it out: I am going to give quidelines for you to follow so you can make it fit any size person and have it the fullness and length that you desire.

For the top layer: Measure the recipent of the skirt's hips. You need a strip of fabric (this can be one long piece or you can sew a few pieces together to make the strip long enough) that is the length of the hips plus at least 5 inches or up to doubling the hip measurement. Example Hips: 36 inches plus 5 inches = 41 inches. OR 36"=36"= 72" or anything in between. This strip of fabric should be as long (wide?) as the length you want your top layer plus 2 inches for making the elastic casing and seam allowance. 16 inches or around there would probably work well.

For the bottom layer: This strip should be about 1.5 or 2 times as long as the top strip to allow for good gathering. It could be a little less if you don't want it that full. You can work with what you have for fabric. The length of it again depends on how long you want the skirt to be. Have an inch of so extra for the seam and the hem.

Click on the pictures in order to see them larger.

Here is how I decorated the raglan sleeve t-shirt that I made:

I had fun making these tutorials using My Memories Suite which I am hosting a giveaway of right now. Feel free to go sign up!


If you have a blog I would love it if you would share the link of your post, And for everybody I would love it if you would leave ideas in the comments.

I can't wait to see what you make!

-Please link up a handmade idea that would work for a Christmas gift, decoration or for eating.

I have decided not to use the linky tool but rather if you would include your link in a comment or send it to me in an e-mail, I will then put the link to your blog post in this post. Thank you!
-Please make sure it is family friendly.
- Please link back to this blog. I would love it if you also would display my graphic either in your post or on your sidebar so that others can learn about and join this carnival too.
Check this out....

If you missed my earlier Handmade Christmas weeks here they are:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Serve one another

"The end of all things is near; therefore be of sound judgement and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. AMEN." 1 Peter 4:7-11

  This is one of the passages of scripture that I hope will truly sink in and be part of my heart. I so badly want to follow this with everything that I am. I have so much growing to do. I want to have my eyes open to ways that I can better serve others. I want to serve so that God can get the glory. I want to always have the right attitude when I am serving. I want to get rid of the pride that creeps into my heart. I want to do what is right.

What do you think about after reading this passage?

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Memories Software {Review and Giveaway}

A while back I was contacted to see if I would like to review and host a giveaway for "My Memories Suite" a digital scrapbooking software. I was a bit hesitant to do it at first. I love artsy crafty sorts of things and I love photos so scrapbooking is up my alley but I also know from experience that I am not very technically savvy and software and me don't always get along.

  I am pretty happy to report that it wasn't to hard to get something made. I am sure that I will continue to find many more neat ways to use it and understand more of what the software has to offer but with just a limited amount of time and my very limited abilities in this area I was able to have fun making things.

Here are a couple of scrapbook pages that I put together: (They are also super easy to transfer from the scrapbook software over here to my blog. Yeah!)

When you use the software you can choose from layouts that are all ready for you or you can design your own. Both of these were ones that I designed. They have a bunch of "papers" that you can choose from as backgrounds and then there are a bunch of fun tools (which I just got started using) for fixing up your photos. You can crop, shape, shadow, turn them different colors, adjust the lighting, make them look like water color paintings (like the bouquet in the center below) and much more.

Then you can add things like "ribbons", "stickers", "brads", "flowers" and much more to make it look more interesting. Everything I used was part of the basic scrapbook software but I noticed that you can also buy many additional scrapbooking kits that will really allow you to add a lot of stuff to what you make.

 You can also add as much text as you like and there are all sorts of ways to make your text pretty and interesting. I am sure you will have fun working with it!

Scrapbooking pages are an obvious use of this software (which after you get them done you can print them into one of those very cool photo books!) but use of the software is by no means limited to just scrapbook pages. Here are some of the other ways that I hope to use it:
  • Make really nice tutorials for my blog. This is something I have dreamed about and have never done but I think using this software that I might be able to do that.
  • Design Christmas Cards.
  • Make a digital (burn it on a CD) photo album complete with music, video and audio. I haven't looked in to exactly how this works but I saw that it was available. I think I know some relatives that live at a distance that would really enjoy something like this. A fun gift to make that everybody in the family could be a part of.
  • Calendar pages. Something that we like to make often for Ken's parents (and they enjoy receiving it!) is a calendar with pictures of the family in it. This is a very simple way to design those pages and make them look really neat. In about 5 seconds I made this page for the month of December using a pre-made scrapbooking page so I only needed to pop in a picture and title it. 

Here is a video that explains My Memories Suite better than I can and helps me to see even more of the possibilities that it has:

If you would like to Buy My Memories Suite~
All Proverbs 31 Living readers can receive $10 off their purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software and a $10 coupon for the store by using this code: STMMMS71963   (copy and paste it for accuracy). My Memories Suite just costs $39.97 so with $10 off it is quite reasonable.
If you would like to try to Win My Memories Suite~

One reader will get to win My Memories Suite Software.
To enter to win please visit My Memories and then come back and leave a comment here telling me what digital paper pack or layout you like best. Make sure to leave some way for me to contact you in your comment. If I can't tell you that you won then I will pick someone else.

If you would like additional entries you can do any of the following and then leave another comment telling me that you did that.
This giveaway is open to anybody and it will remain open until: December 9th. So enter and then tell your friends about it! I think you will enjoy it!

Disclaimer: I received the software free for purposes of reviewing. All opinions are my own. If you should choose to buy the software and use the coupon code I will also be rewarded. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doing my own Recycling

Yesterday was "America Recycles" day. I am an avid recycler- not so much the taking it to the recycling station (though I do that quite a bit as well) but more the taking something old and junky and recycling it by myself into something new and usable. That is one of my very favorite hobbies. Before throwing anything away I usually think- could is reuse this in some way instead? And often I find that I can.

 Yesterday in honor of the holiday I finally made a wreath that I have been thinking about making for some time ever since I started seeing them all over the Internet- a book page wreath. I made it out of a tree/shrub catalog that we had received in the mail as well as a circle of cardboard from an old box. It isn't my favorite wreath ever but it was fun to make and I am glad to have tried it. Now I am hoping to find an old songbook to tear up as I think this would be very cute made with sheets of music. Making all the paper cones takes a while but I was able to make them all while watching the movie "Facing the Giants" so that worked out well.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the other projects that I have recycled things to make. So here we go......

Mittens from old wool clothes.

Leggings from an old turtleneck.

A baby dress from a onesie and a turtleneck.

An Apron from an old pair of overalls.

Socks from an old sleeper.

A dress from a t-shirt and a sundress.

Two skirts from a dress.

A Revolutionary War Costume from old clothes.

Wool pants from bigger wool pants.

Skirt, leggings and scarf from t-shirts.

A raincoat from a bigger short sleeved jacket.

Underwear from old t-shirts.

A skirt from T-shirts.

Cards decorated with flowers made from junk mail and scrap papers.

A berry picking bucket from an old milk jug.

Fabric flowers made from old wool clothes and other fabric scraps.

Dish rag made from old t-shirts and scrubbies made from onion/orange bags and other recycled tulle.

Hot pads made from old jeans and other recycled fabrics.

Jump rope made from old t-shirts.

Flower barrette made from used lining fabric.

Art bag made from recycled clothes.

A soft doll made from old t-shirts dyed with tea.

Cards made from Catalog pictures.

 A display board made from old shutters.

 Crocheted rugs from old clothing.

 A bible case made from an old wool coat.

A crocheted rug made from old curtains and slipcovers.

 Hankies made from old pajama pants.

A basket made from paper grocery bags.

A plane made from Popsicle sticks.
A baby quilt made from old clothes.
A bag made from old jeans.
Candles made from old candles. (molded in salt cartons, butter boxes and toilet paper tubes.

Doll clothes made from recycled clothes.

Gift container made from an old butter box.

Flower petal basket made from a milk carton.

Valentines cards made from junk mail/ flyers.

Candle Centerpiece using old books.

 Quilt using recycled fabrics.

 Basket made from an old ice cream tub.

Planters made from milk cartons.

Rag rug made from old clothes and fabrics.

A bag from old wool clothes.

 Slippers made using recycled cardboard.
An organizer made using tin cans.

Gifts tags made by repurposing brown paper and fabric scraps.
 Napkins made from old t-shirts.

 A barbie house made from recycled items to numerous to mention (basically everything is repurposed).

A quilt made from old clothes.

Hat and Mitten set made using an old t-shirt, and other repurposed fabrics.

I hope if you haven't ever repurposed things before that you might be inspired to try it out. It really is lots of fun! If you do like to repurpose things then I would love to hear about what you have done!
Repurposing things works for me!

I have blogged about all the projects I told about above and I had hoped to link to the posts- for now I ran out of time but I hope to do it later. Meanwhile feel free to search through my old posts to find them.


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