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.

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.

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Summer days drawing to close

  • Attended a week long professional development session concerning the new Common Core curriculum. Unpaid, during my “vacation”, trying to better myself.
  • Attended the Moral Monday for Education to protest a state government that seems determined to undermine education. Here are some links if you are interested:

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/07/30/3070787/on-moral-monday-teaching-with.html  or http://www.wral.com/-moral-monday-organizers-want-meeting-with-mccrory-plan-future-protests/12716757/ or http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/07/29/4199729/largest-moral-monday-crowd-yet.html

  • Back to school shopping on last tax free weekend for NC. Saving $7 on every $100 doesn’t mean much to some, but when buying shoes and clothes and school supplies times 3 boys, it is helpful. So we gather a list all summer and take advantage of sales and tax free on that first weekend in August.

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  • Some knitting – down to the sleeves on my Moonshine sweater.

P1100930Raveled here.

Here is the crowd of baby owl gifts. Each one a bit different.
Here is the crowd of baby owl gifts. Each one a bit different.
The back side is minky fabric, and I put a little owl pocket on it with the flannel scraps.
The back side is minky fabric, and I put a little owl pocket on it with the flannel scraps.

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Each face was created with some wool felt leftover from my Waldorf mom crafting days.
Each face was created with some wool felt leftover from my Waldorf mom crafting days.
Because I was using scraps, each face is a bit different. And I like them all.
Because I was using scraps, each face is a bit different. And I like them all.
I am including some plastic links with each one.
I am including some plastic links with each one.
I used a satiny ribbon and a grosgrain ribbon for different textures - and quadrupled stitched the loops hoping they will hold up to use.
I used a satiny ribbon and a grosgrain ribbon for different textures – and quadrupled stitched the loops hoping they will hold up to use.
These are flannel, batting and minky - nothing crinkly. But hopefully the new babies will find them snuggly, and the new moms will find them a useful distraction for restless babes.
These are flannel, batting and minky – nothing crinkly. But hopefully the new babies will find them snuggly, and the new moms will find them a useful distraction for restless babes.
  • PT continues for my frozen shoulder. I am getting a bigger range of motion, but progress is so slow, and working at it takes so much time, and always leaves my arm sore and aching. Ugggh.

Next week I do more curriculum writing, have a son turning 20 and a son turning 17. The following week the youngest son starts school, I return to work, we celebrate our 23rd anniversary, and by the 26th we are all back in school. So blogging returns to its intermittent posting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another finished quilt project

Once again, I cannot believe how long it takes me to finish things up. During the school year, there is only room for work, and housework, and boy activities…. and precious little other time. I started this table runner in Jan 2012. It has been hanging over a door and folded up in a box since then, needing quilting and binding. You can see the beginnings of it here: https://willowcaroline.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/january-2nd-acck-the-holiday-is-over/

P1100174I love the wonky stripes. I chose to play with my machine and tried a different machine quilting pattern in each stripe. Considering I did no practice, and am a total newbie, I was very pleased with the results. Yes, the stitches have varying lengths and the patterns show I wasn’t completely used to how to make it flow – but I jumped right in and now have a fun springy quilted table runner.

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I chose the colors to go with the crazy green wall color of my kitchen. The light we get in the kitchen is so perfect for this green at all times of day and in all seasons. I just love this green.

P1100179The runner matches some ‘mug rugs’ I made.

P1100173I had bought some binder clips a while back, and finally tried them out. I really liked using them, although at least one immediately sprang apart and had to be thrown away. Hopefully the others will hold up better, as I can see myself using these frequently.

P1100177You might be able to see some of the patterns I tried. In the solid sections, I played with designs – flowers, ferns, etc. In the polka dot sections I tried to play off the circles – some more successfully than others.

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P1100172And here are some views of the back side.

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P1100169Probably the biggest issue at this point is keeping all the layers together and smooth to prevent bunching as I move the piece about under my machine. I did no basting on this – of any kind – and it shows. It is in the washing machine as I type, so hopefully the bunching will disappear a bit as the layers do their thing with the batting. Not that it matters terribly for this project – as the back isn’t really going to be seen.

All in all, a pretty good first attempt!

 

 

 

 

 

Simple sewing….

Leftover fabric + A need for toilet roll storage in the guest bathroom + pinterest = 

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Small ties to tie it to the toilet roll holder…

P1100147Slip in a couple of spare rolls….

P1100145-001Voila – a quick and easy way to make some storage…

Here is the original inspiration that I had pinned on Pinterest: http://www.etsy.com/listing/47223267/2-roll-toilet-paper-holder-modern

Frozen Shoulder

Slowing down my summer fun is a frozen shoulder. Since Christmas, I have been unable to raise my left arm over my head. No one knows why or how this happened – there was no fall or specific injury. I was a swimmer from age 5 – college, and I am sure all that butterfly, backstroke and freestyle is somehow to blame. Frozen shoulder tends to be a geriatric disease – but as I am not 50 yet, this is a mildly annoying factoid.

Several doc appointments and an X-ray have taken their time – and now physical therapy, icing and exercise are a part of my life, consuming my precious summer hours. Fortunately, I can still sew, knit, and garden!

Progress on my Moonshine sweater, ravelled here.

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