See something that looks familiar here? Perhaps you saw it first over at Family Home and Life, my other blog.

Monday, August 26, 2013

* First Sewing Lesson

When my kids were 8-9 years old, I taught them some basic sewing skills. They each made a patch work pillow, and a felt needle holder. I have to say I haven’t thought about exactly what is the best way to teach a child to sew or what is the best age to start them? My oldest grand daughter, Anne, has watched me constructing many different things and never hesitates to come running when there is a tear or unraveling seam on any toy or garment. Once when I was making a princess costume for her she begged to help me so convincingly that I let her. She was about 3; helping only lasted a few minutes until she pricked her finger with a pin and the flood gate of tears opened. I felt so bad!

Friday, August 9, 2013

* Tea Party at Gramma’s

I was planning a January Family Day and trying to find a day that all could attend. It just wasn’t working, but I did find a day that all the women of the family could attend. So I quickly changed my plans for Family Day and decided to make it a Tea Party, perfect for the ladies and kids!

* Sweet & Sour Cucumber Salad

I don't like cucumbers, and I am not a big fan of pickles. But this Cucumber Salad is just perfect and I love it! It is super easy and is best made the night before though you can serve after an hour in the fridge.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

* Child’s Apron

Children’s aprons are very easy to make and you can have a lot of fun decorating them any way you like. Here is how I made an apron for my granddaughter. It fits about a size 3-4 very well but you can adjust size to your child easily.


* Getting Even

I was addicted (yes I really mean that) to Dr. Pepper for many years. Yes I admit it; and it had to be a fountain drink too. Well after many tries I kicked that habit a couple of years ago and now I can enjoy one on occasion without becoming addicted all over again. Yes, I’m very proud of myself.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

* How We Make a Scare Crow

I try to do most things the easiest way possible and I think that scarecrows are a pretty easy thing to make. The first time I made one I used real straw; it looked great but it was really heavy and soaked up the water when it rained. It also was super messy and though the kids loved playing in the straw they left straw debris every where and itched where it got on their skin. Now we make our scarecrows from plastic shopping bags and wow does it work great. Of course you could use poly fill for stuffing, but the bags are free, and they can be recycled when you are done with your scarecrow. If you use plastic shopping bags for stuffing, start saving them now and ask friends to save for you also, it takes a LOT of bags! We make our scarecrows sized to a child’s clothing size 8-10, size yours any way you like, and I order adhesive faces from Oriental Trading, $7 for a dozen face applications. Let me show you how we make one.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

* Family Harvest Day 2011

As I write this post I am thinking about this last year. You see, it's my one year anniversary of starting this blog. I thought I would be having a big celebration with you all but I don’t have time or energy just now to do that. And really, I opened it up to the public in March of this year (it was a family only blog before) so I’ve decided to wait until next March to celebrate. I’m not as busy that time of the year either. Any suggestions on how I should celebrate my blogiversary? I would love to do some giveaways at least; we’ll see how the bank account looks by then.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

* Uses for Coffee Filters

I receive some good email tips from time to time, here are a few.

* Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I love popcorn, but I don’t love the cost of pre packaged microwavable popcorn. Once up on a time I owned a hot air popper and I was thinking of getting another one. With a hot air popper I can control how much butter and salt is on it and with out all the preservatives. But, I have a small kitchen, where would I store it, and then I really didn’t want to pay for one.

* Training a New Assistant

It’s a cold day here in Arizona, barely in the 50’s! I thought is was about time to break in a new kitchen assistant after losing my last one to kindergarten when school started. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

* The Family Day Garden Grows…..

Here is a picture of our family day garden we planted in an old horse trough filled with purchased compost and dirt. At the very bottom we put a few plastic bottles and containers to take up some space, covered that with straw before adding the mixed dirt and compost. We watered it well for a week before it was planted to help it all settle with the plug removed at the bottom to allow for drainage. The picture is taken from the end of the trough.

* New Use for an Everyday Kitchen Tool

With all the extra effort lately to save money I have a new way to keep my feet looking good between pedicures; stretching out the time between getting them.  That saves money right? Today I have for you a kitchen tool that works so good....on your feet! 

* Spring Time and Family Day

We celebrated spring on Family Day here at our house this last March.  The kids and grandkids gathered for fun and food and some life lesson teaching about sowing and reaping. Our day began with visiting and the kids playing. Then we all gathered together while Gramma explained the natural laws of reaping what you have sown.  I had many kinds of seeds for everyone to see and feel and try to guess what kind of seeds they were. I included some sprouting potatoes too.  Everyone thought that looked gross! 

* 'Sleeves' for my Clothing Hangers

I have a good supply of clothing hangers for clothing pieces that easily slip off, you know strappy blouses, cami's and neck lines that are large.  I have both the satin ones you buy and home made crocheted ones on wood hangers. The satin ones are nice but they don’t always hold on to those little spaghetti straps and seem to not stand up to very much wear and tear.  I don’t crochet much any more though crochet covered hangers work very well; and, I didn’t want to go buy new ones because they can be kinda pricey. I felt I could figure out a way to easily make something with what I already had in my home and with the plastic hangers I already had.
Remember that yellow and white with a green thread checkered/plaid fabric I used to pretty up my craft table? I had plenty left over and not a clue what else to do with it.  It has a bit of a texture so it worked well for this project.  

* More Uses for Mason, Canning, Fruit Jars!

A look inside my refrigerator shows all my beloved Mason jars in use. In the back a 2 quart jar with Sun Tea, 1 quart jar with pasta sauce, pint of strawberry jam, left over mac and cheese, and some beet juice I’m going to use for another project in the craft room. In the front leftover curried rice and raisins ready for my lunch box, home made yogurt, jello in a half pint ready for hubbies lunch box, butternut squash soup, more jello and yogurt, and some fresh whipped cream to top the jello with. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

* My Mother's Quilts

Pearl Irene is in heaven now. She left behind a legacy of remembered love. A caring person, a helper, and always ready to do what needed to be done.  If you were sick she was the one you wanted to be there caring for you and your home. A wife, a mother,  grandmother and great grandmother. We all have at least one item she made for us, most of us have several.

* Glass Canning Jars, Fruit Jars, Mason Jars, Ball Jars

Mason is one brand name, Ball or Kerr another, and if your folks are from the south and a couple of generations back you might know them as ‘fruit jars’. They are jars used for canning fresh fruits and vegetables. Whatever you call them, they are workhorses in the kitchen and around the house.  I use them for all kinds of things besides what they were intended for. I try to stay away from using plastics as much as possible.  I also try not to use to many  disposable items in my home such as plastic bags. These jars really help out with that. They are air tight, **oven proof, **microwavable (with the lid off of course), and can be **frozen. 

* My 'Recycled Reused' Dust Mite Proof Pillow Covers

I wanted to get some new quilted pillow covers; the ones I had were beginning to be a little thread bare, so I went shopping at some home goods stores. I had looked around some for them but didn't find the quality that I was looking for at a price I would pay.   Most only had the one layer thin fabric covers that don’t really do the job.  You want a pillow cover to be thick enough to keep moisture and skin oils from getting to your pillow, made from a natural material so it doesn't encourage perspiration, (plastic covers are terrible to sleep on) and with a thread count high enough to keep dust mites from invading your pillow.

Friday, August 2, 2013

* Focusing on the Big Picture

It seems that the whole world is focused on money and ‘stuff’.  Making money, spending money, saving money, investing money, and all that money does for us.  We make a house payment, we pay for utilities, food and cars, insurance and the list goes on.  Then we buy clothing, household items, toys (an item intended for play time, adult and children’s); we entertain ourselves with money.

* Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

I just love this recipe for soda bread. Everyone who trys it says it's the best! So delicious and good for you.  It’s easy to make, no kneading or waiting for it to rise, and this is a recipe even the smallest child can help with. My ‘assistant baker’  my grand daughter Anne, first helped me with this recipe when she was 2 years old.  This bread makes a quick and easy gift from your kitchen too, a gift everyone will love.  Wrap and tie a loaf in a vintage style dish cloth for a fun presentation.

* Warning! Junk mail can be dangerous!

I had a $10 coupon for a chain department store that came in the mail. It was about to expire so I went to the mall to shop.  Now I never shop at the mall. I really don’t like shopping all that much period. I know that those coupon’s are just a way to get you into the store. But I put my coupon in my purse and determined ahead of time that I will stick to my plan of action: buy 1 or 2 items, perhaps a blouse, maybe some socks, take a quick general look through out the store and get out of Dodge with the budget still in tact. I don’t want a talking to from the man of the house about spending too much money again.

I arrive and begin my search starting around the perimeter of the store to my right.  About middle way some items catch my eye and I stop to browse and select a few things in my size.  Continuing on and I come to the shoe section and I skip right over the new stock of regular priced items and head for the discount shelf.  Oh the cutest little pair of sneakers, in my size too, covered in graphic art in loud colors and some bling. But I decide they are way too young for me.  Don’t want to embarrass my kids.
I find a few more things then look for a dressing room.  In the dressing room, first thing I notice is that I need my hair done.  My roots are way grown out.  It needs to be cut too, perhaps a deep conditioning; looks a little fuzzy. I try on a couple things before I find something that fits right. Darn all that left over Halloween candy anyway.  I ‘m gonna lose a few pounds this year if it kills me.  I know, I’ll see about getting a membership at that new women’s exercise place by the hair salon.  The next 3 items look great and I can’t decide which ones I like the best so I decide I’ll get all 3 because after all I have that coupon.
I start meandering towards the check out when I see another discount rack of things in my size.  Such pretty colors out this season! I don’t think I have any of those colors in my closet at all.  I pick out a few more things and head back to the dressing room.  A few more things fit so nice and it’s so hard to find things that flatter a ‘fuller’ figure.  Well I don’t shop often and these will go nicely with the 3 blouses I already have. 
I finally make it to the checkout and hand my coupon and debit card over to the sales girl who hands the coupon back to me because it expired yesterday. Arrrggg…… what to do? Well I just spent all that time finding all this stuff I can’t just walk out now can I ?  I pay for it and start digging in my purse for my phone.  I look up the hair salon number and call for an appointment. Good news! She has an opening later today.  I tell her I want the works, color, conditioning, cut….and heat up the wax.  My mustache is showing, and let’s get the eyebrows too ok? Pedicure, manicure, you have time for that today too?  Sure why not, great!  I’ll come early in case you can get me in sooner.
I drive toward the salon and stop by that new women’s gym, they have the greatest work out equipment you’ve ever seen. It’s just amazing the things they come up with these days to keep us looking good.  Membership? You bet give me the platinum package honey, I just came from shopping at the mall!
That evening I arrive home with a bag of take out for dinner because I didn’t have time to cook with shopping and all.  Honey Bears BBQ, a favorite of the man of the house.  Good thing too, because I don’t think he’ll notice my new hair do, or my fuzz free face.  He’ll pay no attention what so ever to my pink nails or smooth heels.  He will notice the shopping bags, and I’m hoping the delicious aroma from the little one will make him forget to ask me how I spent my day. :)
So you see, those coupons that come in the mail, hold them by one corner and watch it carefully as you carry it to the nearest trash receptacle. Dispose of it quick because one trip to the mall could cost you more money in ways you can’t even see coming.

* This post first appeared at Family Home & Life.

* Family Harvest Day 2010

Hello all!

Thank you for coming to our Family Harvest Day and making it great! We hope you and yours enjoyed yourselves as much as we enjoyed having you. Most of you made a scarecrow to show off in your yard and add some fun to the season. Next year we hope to make it better than ever and we would love to have input from all of you how we should do just that.