Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Commissioned Tree Skirt

It's fun being paid to be crafty!  The receptionist where I have my nails done asked me to make a tree skirt for her.  I brought in an assortment of ideas and she picked this one.  The directions were for a 25" diameter and I adjusted the measurements to make it 60" for her 9' tree.

Making a 60" diameter circle takes about 4 yards of fabric by sewing two 60" long pieces together then trimming the 88" width down making a 60" square. I then folded the square in half and then in half again the alternate way. I then folded it on the diagonal twice making it into a cone. I used a plate charger which gave me the scalloped look I was after.

For the ornaments I traced the design onto iron fusible interfacing. After ironing the the fusible interfacing to the fabric I cut out each piece then ironed in place.
Finally I embellished each ornament with gold trim and a red ribbon.
Before quilting I sewed the back fabric, batting and top together with top wrong side up.  I left a large enough gap to turn the skirt right side out. Then I machine quilted the edge and around each ornament.
Then I added red ribbon to tie the skirt around the tree and whola I was done!
Merry Christmas! and Happy Crafting!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Organized Work Space

One of my favorite websites that helps me get my house in order is FlyLady. I found a printable Grand Master To Do List on her site here. I went through my house and made a list of everything I want to get done before Christmas.

I took time to tackle my work space in the kitchen.  FlyLady calls this Control Central.  I keep my laptop, phone directories, post office supplies, bills, and miscellaneous items like coupons, catalogs, and the such.



A Place for everything and everything in its place!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Getting My House in Order

We leave in a few days for Thanksgiving and when I get back Christmas will be here before I  know it!  My house is such mess I don't know how I'll get it all cleaned and decorated before company comes. I'm so anxious about it I could not sleep and so I got up at 4am to see what advice I could find on the Internet.  Wow! who would of guessed there are so many websites and blogs to help me with my task. Oh but where to start?

The Morning Routine!  every site says start with your morning routine.  I have one so that wasn't difficult to incorporate.  I even wrote a post about it here

1. healthy breakfast
2. God's word
3. get dressed
4. make bed
5. check calendar and to do list

Now that I am dressed which job to tackle first?

I decided to make a grand master list of everything I want to do before Christmas.  And at the top of that list is to get my office area cleaned up.

Of course if I don't get off this computer I will never get anything done.  So until tomorrow, I hope you all have a happy organized and productive day!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu Planning

Do you have a day that you sit down and plan out your meals for the week?  I do and Monday mornings work best for me.  I've been doing it for over 5 years now and have quite a collections of weekly menus.  At first it was hard.  I didn't even know where to start.  I took some advice from different experts like Martha Stewart and Pam Young and Peggy Jones They taught me to first assign a type of meal for each day of the week. Such as

Monday: Chicken or Pork
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Crock pot
Friday: Fish
Saturday: Beans
Sunday: Beef

Then start trying out recipes you think your family would like.  Over the months you will start to have a collection of favorite recipes that you can rotate throughout the year.

After I write out the week's menu I sit down with the recipes and devise a shopping list which also has the breakfast, lunch and snack favorites already listed.

There are also a lot of websites out there that already plan your meals for you with recipes and shopping lists. Just type Menu Planning in the search engine to find them.  Here is one I used to use

The biggest benefit to all this is saving time and money.  I'm not wasting time walking through the store every evening trying to figure out what's for dinner then giving up and going for take out.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Moving Day

Today I'm helped my stepdaughter moving into her new home.  It's been a fun but very exhausting day!

For anyone who has packed up their life into boxes and moved to a new home you know the ups and downs or thrills and frustrations that go with it.  I've moved 9 times in the last 20 years and would like to share some things I've learned along the way with you.

#1 Start Early

As soon as you know you are moving start packing all those non essential things like good dishes you only use during the holidays, and decorative items you have around the house that make it a home.

#2 Mark and Label Everything

You can get fancy and color code but most important is to write the room the box is from and an idea of what is inside.  Example: Living room, DVDs

#3 Invest in Supplies

I can't say loud enough buy moving boxes!  They are sturdy and stack evenly which means less floor space is needed to store them.

#4 Make a Last Box On; First Box Off

You will drive yourself crazy trying find toiletries, medicines, cell phone chargers, paper towels, garbage bags, pen and notebook.

#5 Research How to Move

If this is your first big move I would also recommend that you read up on the professionals' websites for what they recommend. Here are a few I like

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful for Family

Today Im thankful for my family.  Actually Im thankful for my family everyday but I'll be going to help our youngest move this weekend and so they are on my mind as write today.  I came across this verse that says it well...

Our family's like a patchwork quilt,
With kindness gently sewn;
Each piece is an original,
With beauty of its own.
With threads of warmth and happiness,
It's tightly stitched together
To last in love throughout the years,
Our family is forever.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What Makes You Happy?

This past month has been pretty crazy.  On top of it all I turned 45.  And more so than before it has really made me stop and think about my life so far. The perverbial mid-life crisis. I could say I'm even a little depressed.  However I don't feel like I have the right to those feelings because of all the opportunitees and blessings that surround me personally and then see on the news the horror of death and destruction other people are facing especially after this past weekend's hurricane that hit the east coast.

Today is November 1, and in a few weeks families in this country are going to sit down for a delicious feast and take a moment to remember all the things they are thankful for.  Being thankful I think is one way to keep disappointments and failures in check.  Feeling sad or depressed are real feelings and should not be denied however so are feelings of happiness and joy.  So instead of sitting on the couch and just dwelling on those feelings why don't we figure out what might be effecting them?

Being thankful makes me happy.  So everyday of this month and hopefully everyday of my next 45 years Im going to make it a point to acknowledge the things I am thankful for.

And today I am thankful for you my blog readers.  Thank you for letting me rattle on about my "wonderfully complex" life.  Thank you for the kind and insightful comments you write.  And thank you for sharing me with your friends and family.  You are the best!