Finishing projects

A while ago, I made some posh pillowcases, using this tutorial Posh Pillowcases   Easy basic sewing, which produces a very fun pillowcase. And the tutorial then proceeds to show you how to add a crocheted edge – also very nice and easy crochet.

This summer, I finally dug them out of my WIP bin, and added the crochet edge to all 8 of them. Now, I am no longer storing them in the wire project bins in my sewing room, but can actually put them in rotation on my bed. And there is something yummy about using them on my bed. I just adore laying my head down for a rest on my own handmade with love pillowcases.

Here is a photo of some of them – I used different edgings than the ones in the tutorial, just for fun. And I am showing the front and back of the pillowcases here so you can see the combinations of fabrics that were used for the inner pocket and outer case. I love that pocket feature because the pillows no longer fall out of their cases.

Crochet trims… So many to patterns to choose from, so little time.#finishingwips #crochet #handmade #summer2016

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So. Much. Fun. to mark these off my to-do list and enjoy them.

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Spring Break 2016

I cannot believe how quickly spring break went by. Well, that’s a lie. It always goes by quickly. This year, it started on Good Friday. Then there was Easter. This always means some extra cooking. It usually takes one full day to run all the backlog of errands, a day to really catch up on cleaning – there is always a bit of school work to do. Each year I tell myself not to go too crazy with the list making and need to get things done, but to try and enjoy it. This is a hard lesson to learn.

Solomon's Seal- signs of spring! Except 29 this Friday? Ugg.

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But, I did manage to balance somewhat. I did some lovely home made meals – fresh bread, carrot cake, nice dinners. I got lots of gardening in – mostly weeding and mulching.

First lily of the valley…

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I got a new stash of library books and enjoyed reading some. I found time to spend my yarn gift certificates at a couple of local yarn shops.

Yarney goodness from my favorite yarn shop. Thanks Hillsborough Yarn Shop! #Hillsboroughyarnshop #springbreak #happiness

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Getting new yarn meant updating my Ravelry site, and trying to finish a knitting project so I could cast on something new.

Making progress…

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But I also found time to get distracted. I knit a gift of a soap sachet and made one for us as well – ever get tired of the tiny slivers of soap left at the end? Just bung em in a little cotton knit bag with a new bar of soap and voila! Problem solved!

Soap sacks… Gonna put all the little slivers of soap in one.

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And then there were these cute knitting project bags…. but more on that later!

Finished a sweater….

Labor Day is here – and we have been recovering from the first week of school. Here is where I am at – sorry for the bullet points, but time is of the essence.

http://www.wral.com/low-pay-forces-nc-teachers-to-choose-between-profession-state/12828323/

http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/north-carolina-ends-teacher-tenure-85899493655

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/07/nc-law-ends-pay-raises-teachers-masters-degrees-blow-college-finances

**Morale amongst teachers is at an all time low, thanks to local government and all the policy changes.

**My work week to prep for students was useless because every piece of technology I was supposed to use to teach my class broke. Projector broke on my smartboard – all my lessons are designed for this. No bulb in the building to replace nor anywhere to steal one from. Finally obtained the expensive bulb, to find it is the projector – and no spare projectors. Phone, desk top, everything broke. Week was rather hard to deal with.

**First week of school. My lower level classes are not supposed to be over 25. A stretch at 29. Right now I sit at 33 and 33. Plus 32 IB Students.

**By end of first week of school another teacher had quit to go elsewhere. In the math departments of the 2 high schools, we have lost 2 teachers to competing districts where the supplement is higher, 1 to stay at home – too expensive to have children in child care on her salary – 2 to pursue alternative, more lucrative careers, and 2 we know are finishing out this year to move on to different pursuits next year. Enrollment in teaching programs in the state went down 17% this fall….so soon, there will be no one to replace missing personnel with. Not to mention, enrollment is the highest its been – class sizes should require more staff.

**Am trying and failing to be positive. But will continue for the student’s sake. But it is one tough road right now.

**2 late nights this week, working a football game and Open House. At least those are out of the way.

**Surviving early morning PT for my frozen shoulder – making good progress and grateful there is a time that fits into my day and gets me to school by 8.

**Have manged so far to not miss a run in the couch to 5k program I started. Not planning to run any specific 5 k, but did want to amp up the exercise. Walked all summer long, but don’t have an hour to walk a circuit as I did this summer – by running I can cover more territory more quickly. But I am not a runner. So starting small, and sticking with it. Must be healthy.

**Garden overhaul right before school started, and fall garden planted. Peppers still coming in faster than I can handle, so dealt with 2 basket-fulls today.

**Sweater finished. Looking forward to cool weather to wear it. So here are some cheerful sweater pictures to round out this depressing post.

P1110022 P1110025 P1110027 P1110028 P1110031

 

Minion Cake Pops

The middle son will soon be 17, and the youngest son and I decided to make him some Minion Cake Pops because  – well, you just have to know our middle son.

It started with Bakerella – she is just so talented. Here is her version of the minion cake pop. http://www.bakerella.com/mini-minions/ We used a lemon cake and lemon icing to make ours. We had never done cake pops, but she has basic directions that are easy to follow and we had no trouble with the making of the pops themselves.

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But I had also seen these on Pinterest, and this video tutorial made me think we could do them no problem.  The woman doing this tutorial has an entire You Tube Channel: Mycupcakeaddiction….

http://pinterest.com/pin/262686590738322481/

The video is very clear, and the means of decoration made me feel my 12 year old could do alot of it, so we followed her guidelines.

P1110006A couple of tips from our making of the cake pops….

  • You need enough space to stand up your cake pops… we had a square of styrofoam we thought was large enough, but we did have trouble banging into not dry cake pops. A cake will make about 48 pops, and they need space for you to reach between them and place them in the foam. We found when a stage was dry – for example all the blue pants were done and dry, we could lay down the pops on wax paper and start with an empty square.
  • You really want fluid candy melts. Watch the video and notice when she bangs the cup to settle the candy melts. It took us a try or two to get the right consistency – and we ended up adding Crisco per the instructions on the candy melt bag, and it was also mentioned in the video.
  • We used store bought eyes, but really liked the rim around the eyes she made in the video from candy necklace pieces. So we put a dot of chocolate on the dried yellow cake pop and then pressed the white candy eye into it – same effect achieved.
  • We did hair, eyes, and face- but called it quits when it came to arms and hands. At that point, the 12 year old boy was done, and so was I.

P1100998P1110008P1110009P1110012P1110011P1110014Yes – there is a three eyed Minion – youngest son’s creation. And the middle son was thrilled and ready to eat them all. Alas, he is having to wait until after dinner.