Monday, January 26, 2009

Feed Sack Give Away

Look at these feed and flour sacks. You just don't see something like this anymore. I've seen a few. In some magazines, I've seen them made into curtains or an apron. They have been stretched onto stretcher bars and hung as a picture, or made into pillows.
Friends of my daughter were cleaning out a very old barn. The barn dates back to the late 1800's. The family's great grandparents had homesteaded the land. It was full of wonderful old things. Much of it they will clean up and sell on e-bay. There on a shelf was a stack of these feed and flour sacks. They were going to toss out. To them it was garbage, my daughter knew I would consider it treasure. Most of the sacks had their stitching taken out. They were very dusty. I washed them up. Now they are ready for.........???????
This month is my blogging anniversary. I've been blogging for a year. Where has the time gone? I look back through the posts - wow, I've talked a lot. It's been fun. I've met so many people. Had so many conversations. You have inspired and encouraged me. Thank you for your comments. I savor each one. I wish I could take more time and respond to each one of you. You are all delightful!
To celebrate I am having a drawing to give away three of the feed bags. I wish I could give one to each of you, but......
Just leave a comment. I'll put the names into a hat. Next Monday,Feb. 2, 2009, I'll draw out two names, and announce the winners on my blog that day. Tell your friends.
Thank you for visiting and all you share!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Surprise Snowdrops

I was taking a "walk" around the back yard. Just noting what I need to start on before Spring. Here in the Northwest, Spring seems to come all at once. One day it's winter and freezing, the next day it's Spring. Not really, it just seems that way. The change is gradual. If we look closely we can see the signs. It's still cold in Spring, but we have more and more days of warmth. I was also pondering the change in our country. Change has been coming gradually. Yesterday, we saw it happen. It almost seems like it happened overnight, or just this year. But the change has been happening. We just haven't been looking. Just like seeing the first unexpected snowdrops. I saw the tops of spring bulbs starting to push through the dirt. Then, in another bed there they were - beautiful snowdrops. I hadn't been out in the garden to see them growing. It seem like they were suddenly there.
Right now, the garden is rather bleak. Just these few snowdrops. They are small. Think of how strong they are growing in the cold and snow, the weeks of freezing weather when many plants die. To me they are beauty. Also a reminder, of how, with nurturing, much will grow here in the warming months. So thinking about our country - we are in a "cold time" right now. But we know how to nurture, we know it will take us getting out in the "garden" and working. We can't have this place of bounty, without giving to it what it needs to grow. It's work to weed, fertilize, plant, and water. Soon, "Spring" will be here - our "garden" will be a place of beauty and bounty.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Making a Made Do

This blog is called A Make Do Life. My life is make do. Doing with what one has. Not always buying new. In years gone by woman made make dos. "What in the world is that?" people ask. Basically - a pin cushion. They were rather whimsical. Something very functional and decorative at the same time. Fashioned of wool, linen, or cotton, into flowers, birds, animals, fancy shoes, or just a round ball. Most of the time they would be attached to a pedestal of some sort, such as the base of a broken oil lamp or a candlestick. Kind of like junk out of art that we do so much of today.
I've had this candlestick for years, and rarely use it. The idea has been in the back of my head for a while to use it to make a make do. Yesterday I got out this recycled washed wool, drew a pattern and sewed. Before I stuffed it I sprayed it with some grubby spray.
You can see the difference in red color. It gives it a nice aged look. Next, stuffing.

My grandmother taught us to always save hair from our hair cuts. She learned this from her ancestors who came from the "old country". They were very fugal people, and used everything. The ultimate recyclers. Nothing was thrown out, everything was reused in some way. They stuffed their pincushions with hair. When the pins and needles were pushed in, they were lightly oiled and sharpened rubbing against the hair shaft. When my older children were babies, I used cloth diapers. The diaper pins quickly became dull. I would run the pins through my hair each time I changed a diaper. The pins would slip through the cloth easily then. Through the years, I've saved hair from my children's hair cuts and used the hair in pincushions. This is the hair my son saved from his last hair cut. Into the pincushion it goes. Hair stuffs firmly and smoothly. You don't have to work out the bumps.

Finished. A Red Cardinal. My grandmother's and mother's favorite bird.
Ladies of long ago would have something like this at their side to put pins in while sewing. Maybe a fancy one would sit on their dresser to hold hat pins. My grandmother had one shaped like a flower, where she would put her corsage pins and a few safety pins. She would use corsage pins for many purposes, (another story) so always wanted some handy. This is a visual memory of grandmother, honoring her make do life.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Great Little Fabric Store

After New Years, two daughters and I took a day to go into the city. While a son-in-law and son played paintball, we looked at some fun boutiques. One place we visited was Bolt Fabrics. It's a great little store. It's not huge, but it has a lot. They carry several designer lines, and have a little bit of everything. So many fabric stores are craft or quilt stores now. It was great to be in a place that had unique fabric for quilts and crafts, AND clothing. While we were there, My 16 year old daughter saw some fabric and said it would be a cool pillow case. "Just joking," she said, "or not". So, I purchased a yard, went home and made this pillow case for her.
She wanted the saw tooth edge to replicate the flames coming out of the rockets.

I wanted to show you an old coffee grinder that my husband gave me a while back. Amazingly, it still works. I have an electric coffee bean grinder that grinds multiple grinds, quickly. So I've repurposed this grinder for my spice grinder.
Fresh ground spices are so much more flavorful. I end up using less spice and having more flavor.I uses this to grind dried citrus peel, allspice, cloves and cinnamon. It grinds a beautifully uniform fine powder. I seem to do lots more baking in the winter. Bag lunches "need" cookies. Baking gives more warmth to the house and the aroma is so cozy feeling. When I'm not baking, I usually have a pot of water on the stove with cinnamon, lemon peel, and cloves sprinkled on top, Just for the scent and feeling it gives. What are some of the things you do to give your home a cozy feel in the winter.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

After The Holidays

The holidays were so fun! OK, so there were some snafu's along the way, but I just rolled with it as best as possible. When you roll everything is more interesting, never the expected, staying out of the rut.
Just thought I would share a few interesting gifts.
One daughter gave me this cup, made in South Africa. I love the whimsical design. She also gave me cocoa and rose marshmallows that she had made, (see the rose one floating in the foam?) to have with cocoa in the morning. YUM
Another interesting gift was the old copper measuring cups, given to me by my husband. He came into the room when I was sighing over them at this site. They go so well in our primitive home.
Later, he found them and ordered them for me. What a sweetie!!!
My parents found this little gem here. It is a pinker. I have pinking shears. I had never seen something like this.

As you feed the fabric through on the little platform, the wheel turns and cuts a zigzag on wool or leather.
Fun stuff to feed my visual appetite. The snow is gone, kids are back in school. Hubby is back to work. Now I will have time to create again. How are you spending your time after the Holidays?
Have a great day.