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Cheap and Easy Crafting from Home….

 

 

                       Drop Cloth Wreath                       

 

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Needed for this wreath:

I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to use for this time of the year  – between snow and spring –  for my outside door.  I’ve seen a lot of wreaths made from white sweaters, burlap and other material ( I really like the sweater ones, but have a really hard time buying one just to cut up), and I’m not ready for spring flowers quite yet.  I saw some drop cloth wreaths on Pinterest and decided to try one since I had most of the supplies.  Take it from me, this was SOOO easy to make!

I bought a metal wreath form at JoAnn’s that was priced at $5.39 and was on sale for $3.19.  I already had the drop cloth so that’s where I started.

Several of the posts I saw said to cut strips 1 inch by 12 inches and then cut in two – 6 inches each.  I started out that way but I had a really hard time tying these onto the form that short, so I cut mine 1 inch by 8 inches.  I started with a ruler  and pencil marking the strips as you see above, but quickly started just estimating it. When you think you’ve cut enough strips – cut about 3 times that many!  I liked it when I tied the strips really closely together.  WARNING:  The drop cloth frays very easily and it leaves a pile of mess, so be prepared for lots of string! *If you use a sweater, you would cut and tie the same way as you do with the drop cloth.  The finished product is beautiful and looks soft and snowy.

Tying on the strips is very easy and mindless, but as I said, it’s very messy!  I like the strips close together and started with just one small area at a time.  The form has 4 or 5 tiers (or wire strips) and I started on the inside ring and then went to the next one up and finished with the outer ring last.  I worked in clusters and completed one cluster at a time.  I found it easiest to work with the ring lying on the table as I tied.

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Once you finish a cluster, simply move to the next one.  When you’re through you can eyeball it and insert pieces anywhere you feel you need it.  You shouldn’t have any wire showing.    Here’s another picture of the completed wreath:

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Of course, I couldn’t have finished this project without my little friend.  I always put a throw into the bottom drawer of my desk and he lies there and gives his opinion!

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I love easy and cheap ideas and hope this inspired you to try it.  Good luck if you do!

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Today from Home

Well, I “cleaned” my wood floors with my sock feet, started on and then gave up on cleaning up my garage and throwing half the junk in there away, I changed my sheets and I’m doing laundry…. and, as I look around out here I notice things need to be dusted, cleaned, and swept here too……….but as you can see in the picture, this is where my heart is today!

 

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Yes, it’s only in the 50s on its way up to the mid-60s, but sitting here in a hoodie and socks (not the ones I cleaned with) and snuggling with a couple of puppies makes this old girl’s heart incredibly happy!  Feeling the sunshine and hearing the birds sing is such a nice treat from January in Middle Tennessee.

Just last week we were inundated  blanketed with 3-4 inches of beautiful snow, and this former teacher loved the Snow Day announcements each morning, even though I wasn’t going anywhere anyway!

 

 

It’s supposed to hit us again the end of next week, but for now, I’ll take the breeze, sunshine and birds. Isn’t God generous to give us so many weather opportunities in such a short time?!?  Hope you’re enjoying this Friday too!

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Book Review from Home

Nothing beats sitting by the fire in this snowy weather with a great book!  Check out the most recent book reviews by clicking on the Books, Books, Books tab. Here’s the latest:

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is a fiction book based on true events. It is a very sad part of our history that could have ended so differently. According to the end of the book, the author wrote: “For the hundreds who vanished and for the thousands who didn’t. May your stories not be forgotten. For those who help today’s orphans find forever homes. May you always know the value of your work and your love.” This book is based on a real life scandal involving the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, a Memphis-based adoption organization. Even though the book chronicles a wretched tale of lost and stolen orphans, it is ultimately an uplifting story of a child’s heart and her journey to reunite with those she lost. This is a very good book!

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Going to the Dogs Today….

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I’ve posted about this sweet little boy before, but he’ll be 13 years old in a couple of weeks and lately he’s been aging right before my eyes.  He’s been my little companion all these years and to say how thankful I am that God gave him to me just can’t be done. (Yeah, I know – he’s a dog, not a child!  I’m not comparing, but unless you’ve been blessed with a pet who fills so much of your heart, don’t knock!).

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Mason has been a little under the weather lately and was diagnosed with a more pronounced heart murmur and kidney failure last week.   He has a new diet and I’m hoping it will help his kidneys, but this news has made this mama’s heart break.  As I see him struggle to get comfortable and know this is all part of that stupid old life cycle, I’m immensely thankful for the days he’s been mine.

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He came to me at a time when I faced a REALLY REALLY empty nest and he was here when I returned home to an empty home after I retired. He follows me around the house, is always ready to take a ride, loves vacay, loves to check the mail, ALWAYS wants my lap, and shows me such love, indifference, interest, and even humor as we’ve traveled  this journey together.  But for now, I will not count the days, only the blessings!

 

The fidelity of a dog is a precious gift demanding no less binding moral responsibilities than the friendship of a human being. The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be.”

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Staying Warm at Home

Baby, it’s Cold Inside!

Here in our part of the country, winter has blown into 2018 with way below freezing temps with no snow benefit!  As an old teacher, I’ve always measured my winters with the Snow Stick and Snowbird!  With temps and wind-chill way below freezing for several weeks in a row, I’ve bundled up more than usual.

I’ve always been fond of throws for decoration, but lately they’ve become much more functional!  Here are a few of my favorites.


This throw is faux fur and is so heavy and warm!  It is also large enough to completely cover your feet. You can check it out: Pinzon Faux Fur Throw Blanket 63″ x 87″, Alpine Brown at Amazon. 

Here it is in off-white that I bought as a Christmas gift for my youngest.

I love the added dimensions of both of these.

I must be faux fur crazy, because here’s another one in my office.  I’ve had it since last year and bought it really cheaply at Dirt Cheap.  I really love covering my feet with it when I work in the office, but it’s not long enough to really wrap up in.

I had been looking for an affordable cable knit throw lately because they’re usually lightweight enough but add such a nice texture. Lo and behold, I received this one as a Christmas gift!

Not only do I like textured throws, I also like pillows that are oh so wintry!  Here’s one I’ve had for a while:

……and these I bought in the fall.

I’m not the only one who appreciates these warm throws. These little babies get undercover at my house every chance they get and Mason always has his choice!

Stay warm out there – next week we’ll get back into the 40s and 50s!  It is January after all!

 

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Soup for the New Year

I rarely put recipes on here, but I ran across a soup recipe when I was surfing on Pinterest for a soup for New Year’s Day.  I wanted a stick-to-your-ribs soup that is made with black-eyed peas for the whole southern tradition for the New Year!  (My younger daughter is a life-long vegetarian/hater of all meat, so I cooked the beef separately and just added it to individual bowls).  Check it out below from Maebells.com

CABBAGE AND BLACKEYED PEA SOUP
20 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr, 20

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups cabbage, chopped small
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 ounce) can of tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (16 ounce) package of frozen black eyed peas
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (32 ounces) carton chicken broth
1 cup of water
Instructions

Heat a large pot to medium high. Brown ground beef and drain off any fat.
Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until softened.
Add spices, stir well.
Add in the remaining ingredients (do not drain any of the cans) and stir well.
Bring mixture to a slight simmer, then reduce to medium low, cover, and let cook for at least one hour or up to 90 minutes.

Slow Cooker Version:
Follow steps 1-3 add ingredients to a large slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

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