Category: crafts and such



Recently, our family has expanded a bit. Single parent grandson and his children have been staying with us, while he does some serious re-hab on their house.

Having a Head Start student and a Pre-K student around is a challenge. We have had an assortment of the older ones in and out over the years, but no ‘little ones’ on a regular basis.

Of course we are handling it, pretty well. As Hubby says, “We can do this one more time.”

Last week our Pre-K boy needed something that started with the letter N for his ‘Show and Tell’. Uncle Brett and I helped and we soon had lovely noodle necklaces for him to take. 100_0533

I’m re you can see that the finished project made him happy, and he said  everyone in his class liked it too.

While we worked on them, I realized that I did these with my siblings, my own kids, grandkids, various nieces and nephews, and a host of the other children that filtered through out home over the years.

That’s a lot of pasta!

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A friend of mine, Verna Moss, posted a picture of a pin cushion on Facebook. I made a comment about it and was treated to this wonderful story. I asked permission to share it, and graciously, my friend has allowed me to share the picture and the lovely tale.

verna's grandmother

My grandma, Hannah Burton-Hall-Warren, my dad’s mother, made this pin cushion when she was 90 years old and totally blind. You can tell by the long, running stitches that she had to do this by feel and what she could “see” in her mind. She made many projects such as stuffed dolls, aprons, and pin cushions without assistance other than she would have us to match up fabric, lace, and thread, etc. We would put a safety pin on the “right” side of the fabric so it wouldn’t be wrong side up.
Grandma was born with limited vision – she could read by holding a book up close or using a magnifying glass. She had a cornea transplant in her 60’s but it failed and she was then totally blind for the remainder of her life. Because of her poor vision, they didn’t send her to school; but, she outsmarted them by teaching herself how to get by in life. For the most part, she raised 3 children by herself – her husband, Marian Burton, had TB and died at an early age. Grandma took in laundry; ironed clothes; raised big gardens and canned; she raised, butchered and sold chickens and eggs. . She did whatever she could to feed and clothe her family – she didn’t live on welfare or handouts – she worked hard to survive. Grandma was very independent and came up with many creative techniques for everyday life. To prevent overfilling a cup, she would put her thumb inside the rim to judge how full the cup was; when writing letters or shopping lists, she would put a rubber band around a stenographer notebook to determine where to place the ink pen and then roll the rubber band down the paper to prevent writing on top of each line. She would have us sort her money out and then she would fold each bill a different way according to its denomination – she always knew exactly how much money she had. To sweep, she would sit in the floor with an old rag and a dust pan and “sweep” the dirt into the dust pan. She died at the age of 97. She never considered herself old, in her late 80’s, she would still say, “When I get old …” She was quite a lady!! I wish her great-great grandkids would have had an opportunity to know her; she was a master at storytelling and loved nothing more than spending time with children. After my mother died in 1955, both of my grandmothers, Grandma Hall and Grandma Angel, helped Daddy to care for us. Grandma Hall came to the “old store” and helped Daddy care for us and the store until he remarried in 1956.

Grandparents are such a treasure!


there are some things you really regret.

One of those things was the Christmas I was 17. Back then, as most teens, there was an aura of complacency, and not a little feeling of superiority in my being.

An elderly aunt had hand crocheted a large doll for me, looking back and now aware of what time and effort went into that doll, I know it should have meant a lot.

However, as a soon to be adult Senior in High School, I was sorely disappointed in the gift. Not because it was hand made but because it seemed to me she was not seeing me for the grownup that I had become.

The doll was tucked away, out of sight in my parents attic for several years.

I don’t know what ever became of it, but this morning while working on some Christmas craft projects, I remembered the doll and more specifically, how I felt.

I’m really sorry I was not more appreciative at the time.


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Recently, I attended a Heritage Event at Alley Spring in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

One of the exhibit demonstrations was Wagon Wheel Rug Weaving, which greatly intrigued me.

The lady weaving gave some information about how it was done, and I thought since I have lots of fabric scraps from quilt making that I should really try this.

When I got home, I looked on the internet and found some further instructions.

The first and foremost item of importance is a hoop big enough for the project. I did not have one so made a prototype on an embroidery hoop. (We are not going to discuss that here, other than to say it gave me a lot of feed back on what NOT to do).

A couple of days later, a friend came over to learn how to do this and gifted me an old hula hoop. Much better! I gave her a copy of my instructions, a sort of lesson and she has her rug completed as well.

The following pictures give an idea of this weaving technique. Adding the wheel ‘spokes’ as you go is rather challenging . Probably comparable to basket weaving. I might try that one of these days…

It took two old sheets, an assortment of scraps, about 12 hours of actual ‘work’ to complete a 34 inch rug..

Hubby remarked “It looks like a rug.” Very astute, or as a friend says, depend on a man to tell you the truth.

Not perfect, but I now know a lot more about the ‘how to’ and am looking forward to beginning another one before long.

Winter is coming and crafting is a good way to while away cold weather. And while I do it, I will have this little rug to rest my feet on!

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October 18, ready to add more ‘spokes’

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October 22, progress!

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October 28 Finished project. Still needs some trimming


My dad was a genius for homemade costumes, one year my brother was a robot, thanks to some boxes and foil wrap.

I stood out at a long ago Halloween party, done up in a brocade dress of my mothers, some of Gram’s costume jewelry and a cape. For a few hours I was an elegant queen of a far off land.

What could be simpler than a bag of groceries? Back when paper was not an option. a few clever cuts with scissors and some glue to attach empty packages.

I guess with five of us to costume it might have been as much necessity as anything, but we never felt ‘bad’ that we did not have Superman, Cinderella or a witch outfit from the store.

It was a tradition I carried on, an old graduation robe has stood several incarnations, a set of sweats with a bit of judicious trim was a Power Ranger, another with some fabric paint became an articulated skeleton and when the girls were small, every year a clown costume made of flannel also served as winter pajamas.

Life was easier, and far more practical.


A young mother of three I know, lamented, “I wish I could snap my fingers and a genie would come clean my house.”

I knew that feeling, during the long hot summers of my own kids growing up, even as I babysat grandkids, nieces and nephews in the more recent past.

As I look back, yes, the genie would have been nice. Maybe I could have managed time better. Who knows?

I do know, moments of wonder, drawing pictures, weed bouquets in grimy hands, blowing soap bubbles in the wind, playing with them in the sprinkler, hearing them say, “Please, read/tell us a story”, and “Can we have a tea party?”, are much more precious than spotless floors, folded laundry and a clean sink will ever be.

Housework lasts a short time, so does childhood. Housework lasts forever, children grow up and move on in the blink of an eye.

I’ll take the memories, a weed bouquet and a tea party!

Some day, dear, you will wish for these things too.


I walk into the kitchen for more coffee.
Hubby greets me with “It’s 2 below right now.”
“And you think I want to know that?” is my reply.

And it doesn’t really matter, the weather is something we have and can only accept.

Outside my window, sunshine, a few clouds zip across the bright blue sky in the wind.

Cardinals fluffed out to keep warm, stick close to the feeder and preen a bit in the sun.

I think, I can choose to grumble about the cold, or enjoy what is given to me outside that window.

I am warm, cozy and being treated to a lovely view. Things to be happy about, many do not have even this simple pleasure.

The mail brings catalogs of garden seed, poultry and crafts to contemplate over the coming days. Winter will pass.

Daylight arrives a bit earlier and lingers longer, Spring will come , it always does. All is well!


Living in the mid-west, ‘fair season’ is usually late summer and early fall. I really enjoy these events, so I was delighted to attend one in central California while we were traveling.
May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 149a
A day at the fair

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 154
There were chickens,

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 158
goats,

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 163
food,
and floats.

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 164
Flowers,

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 174
exhibits,

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 177
baked goods,

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 179
FFA animals shown for conformation

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 180

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 193
4-H market hogs

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 198

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 199


Some time ago, the Quilt in a Day forum had a contest. Simply put, you had to name and describe an ice cream flavor, using quilting terms. The quotes in the body are for quilt terms and quilt block names. I let imagination take over and this result was my entry:

In honor of talented ‘sewing’ instructor, author, ‘quilter’, and owner of “‘Quilt’ in a Day”, Eleanor Burns, we would like to introduce, “Sunbonnet Sue ‘Light'” our newest ice cream. So much like ‘hand made’, you won’t believe a ‘machine’ was involved! A perfect new ‘angle’ for a sweet treat.

We all ‘cotton’ up to something good and this new reduced calorie flavor is sure to go around the ‘block’. Just a bit will prove our brand is a ‘cut’ above the rest. It will beome a real ‘star’ when served at your ‘log cabin’!

‘Double’ delicious, with reduced fat and calories, a ‘delectable mountain’ of “Sunbonnet Sue Light”,’fabric’ated of creamy ‘traditional’ fresh vanilla, ‘bound’ together with succulent ‘strips’ of chocolate, ‘charmed’ with ‘bright’ cherries, ‘soft’ marshmellow, and ‘pieces’ of almond will not cause any guilt in your day.

From ‘king’ to those in the ‘crib’, all will agree to our tasteful ‘blend’.

Don’t go to the ‘mat’ for a great snack or dessert idea, just ‘pick out’ our new “Sunbonnet Sue Light” at your favorite store, for a simple but elegant ‘finish’! It will become a ‘top’ choice in your freezer.

This was a lot of fun to enter and the prize of a quilt book from Quilt in a Day was a great added bonus


The winners are:

Deborah Spaulding and Verna Humphrey.

Thank you all for visiting the blog and entering,

Deborah won the embroidered pillowcases and Verna gets the quilted potholder.