Sunday, December 28, 2008

Handkercheif Curtain and Other Ideas from Mom

We went to my mom and dad's house for Christmas dinner, so I snapped a few photos to share with you. Mom and dad bought an old home that had been converted into apartments...thinking to live in the ground floor and rent the other apartments. Soon enough though, they realized they liked using the whole house. They left the apartments in case they want to rent them in the future...this creates a couple of mini suites in the upstairs of their home. These photos show the bedroom from one of the apartments upstairs. It's fun to go stay staying in an inn!

The color combo you see here came from using the suggested color harmonies from the old Martha Stewart paint line at Kmart. Martha and her people did a great job of showing good color combos. Our Kmart doesn't carry paint any more, but I think Sears does have Martha paint.

Another corner of the room. My mom is the thrifting queen...almost everything in her home is a treasure she found somewhere. And my dad can repair most anything if she finds it and it needs a little work, between them they are able to fix it up better than new.

As you can see there is some work needed on the old plaster walls. Mom said they will get to it someday, but she went ahead and painted anyway...that way they have pleasant rooms to use in the meantime. I wish I had done that with my old house, because sometimes it takes a lot longer to get to some of those repairs than you would think.

Another part of that room. This house has neat some great features like the lamps on the walls. Some of the original shades had been replaced with cheap dime store shades... they found some more suitable vintage shades at garage sales and antique shops. We've found the antique shops are usually more affordable than some of those restoration places that sell new replacements.

These two photos show the window treatment in the kitchen of that apartment/guest suite. Mom has a huge collection of hankies... she pinned them to the top of a white valance using a straight pin in one corner of each hankie. It looks so cute and it's easy to take the hankies off when they need to be cleaned and ironed. My mom and dad have a ton of great ideas, so you will probably see me posting some more of their house in the future.

Christmas Day!

This is just a collection of random photos from Christmas Day. Please excuse all the pjs and such...we just stay in them while we open presents. We did stockings, had french toast and then opened presents. This is me handing out stockings...the part I like is Hawkeye watching closely.

Here's Joe in his new hat I knit him...and a cool cup I found at an antique shop.

The kids examining their tools for Mike from Jill. Cool and crazy hat from the grandparents.

Relaxing and reading instructions by the Christmas tree.

Playing with the cameras.

Joe and me

Apparently Cowboy stuff is appealing to grandpas and grandsons!

Mike and Jill

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ice Storm

We awoke this morning to a very beautiful, but dangerous world. Joe made it to work, but I decided not to risk it....somehow, I don't think folks will be out hunting for antiques in this. I hope not anyway!

We didn't have any limbs down in our yard, but look at the's touching it's toes!

The ice is so beautiful though.

We heard we could get up to an inch of wasn't quite that thick, thank goodness. Joe went out and bought a generator last night. Folks, those babies are expensive! My mom just had surgery the day before though and he didn't think we should be unprepared. We didn't need it so far, but now we are prepared if we ever do. The next town down the highway is without power this morning.

Hawkeye is not crazy about our patio being turned into an ice rink.

Want to come and sit on our swing? Brrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Friday, December 12, 2008

How to Make Snowflake Ornaments

Last year I made some snowflake ornaments that have held up pretty darn well for paper snowflakes, so I thought I'd tell you about them. I made mine out of maps, just because I love maps and I have saved a ton of them from National Geographic Magazine. You could also use sheet music, old book pages, or pretty scrapbook paper. Personally, I love using things that usually get thrown away and this is a great way to use books or maps that are in very bad shape...just pick the good parts out and use them.

You fold the paper in the usual manner and make your paper snowflake. There is a great tutorial here if you don't remember how. Then iron your snowflake to get it nice and flat. Lay it on a piece of felt that you've trimmed to about the right size.

Then go to your sewing machine and stitch around the edges of the snowflake, holding it flat as you go. You could use some wonder under to hold it, but I didn't. You just can't pin it because, obviously, you'd end up with holes in your paper. I put blue thread in my machine to match the map, and white thread in the bobbin to match the felt. Hand stitching with embroidery floss would also be cute...kind of a primitive look.

After you have your paper snowflake stitched down take a sharp pair of scissors and snip out the openings in the felt and trim around the snowflake, leaving a small bit of white showing around each opening and around the edges. Add a floss loop at the top to hang it.

I wish I had some in process photos, but as you can see it's a pretty easy thing to make. Email me if you have any questions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One more handknit Christmas hat..........

This one is done from Cascade 220 yarn also. The red was actually white and I dyed it red...through a process that I could not hope to duplicate. The color turned out ugly the first 2 times I dyed it, then I finally dyed the whole thing again using food coloring and vinegar. I finally got a color I like. It sounds like more trouble than it is. The crock pot does all the work. The gray is leftovers from my son's hat. I made this a little bigger because my hubby has a big son is our model here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blagojevich Arrested

Wow! Many of us have been hoping and praying for the corruption to come to light. Now it is and hopefully our state is on its way to saying loud and clear, "This kind of politics is not welcome in Illinois anymore." You can read the story here.

For now our Lt. Governor is in charge, and I believe (and hope) that to be a big improvement.

ETA: Apparently there is no clear provision saying who will act as is it possible that we would not have that clearly spelled out? This state has a lot of work to do.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Decorating!

I thought there must be some mistake when this giant box showed up in the mail....I was looking for my prize from SC Johnson Right at Home for the contest, but I was expecting a little envelope with a gift card. Let me tell you I felt like the dad from A Christmas Story receiving the "significant award!"

They sent this huge basket of products and the gift nice! Thank you to and to SC Johnson.

I knit up a hat for Mike's stocking and made the mistake of letting him try it on...he liked it so much he wanted to start wearing it right away. Well, I'm glad he liked it!

Then I used the left over gray from Mike's hat and some red I dyed (same kind of yarn) to start a hat for Joe. He's tricky because he has a much bigger head. I altered it to fit...and I hope it does!

Tonight we started decorating for Christmas....Hawkeye's pretty sure this is not where the wreath should go.

Joe got it done in the warmth of the house and then went out and hung it up. It's starting to look alot like Christmas!