"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crocheting Green!

I bought a few things at my local Ralphs store the other day. To my amazement, I was charged for the bags my groceries were in! I usually purchase my produce at Trader Joe's; who by the way have not yet charged me for bags.
I have always saved my plastic grocery bags for lining my wastepaper baskets, but I have found a new use for them: Years ago I made a large purse out of plastic bags, I used it for bringing groceries home in. I got so many complements on it, that I started using it as a summer beach bag. Recently, I wondered if I could remember how to make another one; here is the product of my efforts:
 I just cut up plastic bags in strips and then I tied the strips together,
 rolled the tied strips into a ball like yarn, and started crocheting.
 I used 17 bags to make this purse. The dark stripe is Albertsons, the lighter is from Ralphs, and the red flower is the part of the bag that says, "Ralphs".
I used a large red button from my button box, a large snap behind the button to open and close the purse, and some scrap yarn for the embroidered stem and leaf. I cut up an old curtain to line the purse and there was enough fabric left to make a glasses case; which is sitting at the bottom of my purse.
Hey Ralphs! You have nothing on this girl, I can make all my own shopping bags from your own plastic bags :)

In case you are interested in making your very own grocery bag purse, here is a pattern I found on-line to give you inspiration!
I made this purse (above) without a pattern.   
Years ago, when I made my first plastic purse; I didn't even own a computer, so this will be easy for you, good luck!

Materials Needed: numerous white, blue and yellow plastic grocery bags, M hook
Finished Size: 15 inches high x 16 inches wide not including the straps
 Note: Do not use hook that you don't want to break or be stained. I have noticed that my hook has numerous stains of dye on it from the bags, also this is hard on the hook so you don't want to use your good Brittany hooks while crocheting with plastic bags :-)
with white bags
ch 28
Round 1 - hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch, working around the backside of the ch hdc in each st, join with a sl st to 1st hdc (54 total)
Round 2-5  - ch 1, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc  at the end of round 5 change to yellow bags, do not cut white bags
Round 6-7  ch 1, with yellow bags, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc,  cut yellow bags, at end of round 7 pick up the dropped white bags
Round 8-10 - ch 1, with white, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, at end of round 10 change to blue bags, do not cut white bags
Round 11- 13 - ch 1, with blue bags, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, cut blue bags, at end of round 13, pick up the dropped white bags
Round 14-20 - ch 1, with white, dc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, at end of round 20 change to yellow bags, do not cut white bags
Round 21 - ch 1, with yellow, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, cut yellow bags, at end of round 21 change to white bags
Round 22- ch 1, with white hdc in next 7 sts, ch 24, sk 8 sts, hdc in the next 19 sts, ch 24, sk 8 sts, hdc in next 12, join with a sl st to 1st hdc
Round 23 - ch 1, sc in next 6sts, work 28 sc around the next ch 24 sp on last round, sc in next 19 sts, work 28 scs around the next ch 24 sp on last round, sc in next 13 sps, join with a sl st in beg sc (94 total)
Round 24 - ch 1, sc in each st around  (94 total)

Happy Crocheting!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Back . . .

Well, I have not posted since last December! I have been extremely busy with Parties, Weddings, Graduations and Funerals; not to mention my art and my sewing AND especially; my darling grandson, Robbie! I am also working on replacing much woodwork around my old house. It has been sweltering hot here in California. I find myself working in my backyard late into the evening when it is finally a little cooler.
I wanted a swing to have when my little grandson visits, however, a new one like this was well over $250.00. I found this one while just driving down a street. It had my name on it. I got it for $60.00. I washed it, tightened up some loose screws and it is wonderful.
The canopy with new cushions sides and bottom/ brand new would have been $320.00.
While visiting a Thrift store one day, I found a bin full of fabric. I wasn't being picky because purchasing such a large amount of fabric at a thrift store is a rare blue-moon!
I found this salmon colored cotton all rolled up and taped shut; for $7.00!!!!!!!!!!!! There was 8 yards. I purchased it, hurried home and made my two pillows along with the canopy that evening!
I had a problem with the wind blowing the canopy around, so I made a straight curtain casing in the back and I put an old rod which I found in my garage, through the back which weighted down the canopy. I also made 2 small sand bags for the front to balance the front from wobbling around.
For the pattern; I  just laid the fabric over the swing top and I used a dinner plate to draw the scallops. I folded the front part of the canopy over about 10" to make it look like lining so the scallops had no raw edges. I had a little bit of fabric left over, so I made some bows to place on the scallops.
Oh! How I love yard sales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 During the summer months, I like to make cool dishes like, cold Pasta salads, cool grape salad, potato salad, or just slice up some vegetables with dip. I have found a wonderful secret for keeping food cool. I came across a platter at my mother's house after she died. I only took it because it belonged to her. I actually thought it was ugly; not sleek like pottery. The good aspect of these dishes is they weigh so little and they blend with any color of other table wear.
The back of most of these pieces says: "Wrought Farberware" Brooklyn New York. One piece says: "The Crown, Pure Aluminum" with the picture of a beautiful crown embedded on it. Still, another one says "Farber & Shlevin Inc." Hand Wrought. They are serial numbered pieces. They look like they have been pounded. I have seen imitations of these at many stores, but they are much heavier and shiny. There are beautiful scrolls of roses on some, while others have Lillies, Primroses, Pine Cones, or Daisies, etc...
The handles on two of my platters are like vines/ so cool! It looks like the aluminum was stretched, pounded and twisted like Taffy.
I have never spent more than $10.00 a piece. I don't hunt them they find me by chance at yard sales or thrift stores. I really like these!
                                                    My Wild Mural

A dear friend of mine took me to old Town Dana Point for lunch one afternoon. We ate at a quaint backyard of someone's home.The name of the restaurant is called; The Ramos House. The chef lives there. His backyard almost touches the train as it unloads passengers. As we were enjoying our lunch, the sun fell brightly in my eyes. The owner pulled down a piece of Burlap- like a make-shift curtain/shade. The simplicity touched me. I came home a few days later and off I went to purchase a piece of Burlap; only, I wanted to paint something pretty on mine. I used acrylic paints and I had a blast. Now, when the sun gets in my eyes at home, I use my painted outdoor shade. COST-$4.75.
If I find/make the time, I have lots more to share. I am working on a Rose Afghan for my guest room and I just finished a Quilt in my bedroom.
More tomorrow....

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Idle hands are the Devil's workshop...

..My mother quoted that phrase each time I told her I was bored. I can never sit without creating something.
This past week has been a most eventful one. I have survived floods, earthquakes, terrible heat waves where I could fry an egg on my sidewalk, and forest fires right up the hill from my house. We have experienced severe droughts here in Southern California, we have had power outages, and terrible gasoline shortages where we had to wait hours in line to get rationed gasoline. But, I have never experienced  101 mile an hour Santa Ana winds! We were without heat, electricity, phones, there was no school, and many grocery stores were shut down because of no power. It was odd being in the dark several nights just using flashlights and candles. There was so much devastation. Huge, 100 year old oak trees fallen to the ground all over my city . Some of them took the sidewalks uprooted along with them. Roofs were caved in, windows broken , cars smashed, yet I haven't heard of any casualties, Thank God! So we crocheted by candlelight and became better acquainted with each other.
ANYWAY! I have been crocheting and I'd like to share my hats with you. If you are brave, and have a couple of hours, some yarn and a hook; I will give you the easiest pattern which will make you feel like a designer. These will be great Christmas gifts considering how cold our weather is becoming.

use scrap yarn. I make 2 adult and 1 child's hat out of one skein of yarn.
chain 30
Row1  double crochet into each chain and turn your work for the next row
Row2  go into the back loop ONLY and double crochet through each until the end of the row, turn
Row3 Continue to crochet for about 20 rows into the back loop of each double, turn and repeat until you have done about 10 or 12 inches long, it is a matter of choice and also how big your head is. Use your discression.
you now have a rectangle
lay the first row on top of the last row you crocheted, now sew them together making a seam which makes the hat look like a cylinder, or a large noodle.
turn the cylinder inside out so the ugly seam is on the outside just while you are working on gathering the top circle part closed
Now, weave the yarn with a yarn needle or you could use a crochet hook(little tricky) and make a draw string while closing the top part of the hat gathered shut. Pull hard. You might want to use double yarn on your needle for this.
Now, you will turn your hat inside out and you have your hat!
Turn up the bottom (hem area) up to look like a cuff. I tack mine down every 2 inches. You can crochet a border along the bottom of the hat with a contrasting color that might match your flower or pom pom.
You can put a flower on the side or a pom pom on the top. You can even sew on some large bells for the Holidays!
CONGRATULATIONS! HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and stay WARM and safe,and............Most important, God bless you! :)

My little Pumpkin head grand baby!
                             My little Turkey head grand angel ! This hat was challenging trying to keep the feathers from falling! LOL! I just crocheted a fan with variegated yard and outlined it with a scallop.
My little Candy Cane boy!
      My USMC babies, Sarah and Robbie!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Candy Corn Banner

Happy Halloween!!!!
I cut out 14 triangles from a piece of Burlap. I painted them to look like candy corn, I then wrote the letters with a sharpie marker, then I stitched black yarn through the tops and hung the banner in my front yard. I think this banner would be more visible on a mantle or above a door.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Retro Shellback Metal Chairs Revamped

 This table below, was under $10.00. I think it was 5 or 7,  I honestly cannot remember exactly.
 This metal table below, was rusty, chipping and bent. I felt sorry for it; especially when I saw the same one at an antique show for $50.00.
 This table belonged to a great Aunt. When she passed on, this table was unwanted by the relatives. I took it with the hope of one day repainting it.

 Sarah's dad has all the good tools, so I put him to work after hours of my hand sanding. Boy, the proper tools make all the difference in the world when doing a project!
 We got them in 1975 for $10.00 each at a swap meet, but didn't paint them until 1979.
                                                  All rust removed and sanding is finished!
                                                  The little table feels loved now.
                          This table had lots of scratches and dings. We did our best, and I love it!
 From June of 1979 to July of 2011. The old paint job lasted 32 years. WOW! what a difference a little care can make. I recently saw this era of shell back chairs at a swap meet for $65.00 each, and yesterday I went to a garden furniture store where they were $95.00 each. The sandpaper, primer, and paint for all of these chairs was about $25.00.  Restore it baby!!!!!
 The patio store wanted $90.00 for each chair pad!!! Whew! Home Depot wanted $50.00
 I used my very old dining room chair pads, and just recovered them with a remnant from Walmart that cost $3.oo a yard.

 I pick up little lanterns that I see at yard sales or at Thrift stores. My rule is never to pay past $3.oo each. I prime them and paint them. They are beautiful at night with a tea candle glowing inside! I have strung these on a Jasmine vine.
 My friends brought me the purple metal rocker which you can see to the right. It was white and rusted pretty badly, but I loved that it was a rocker. The friends are walkers and they have brought me several treasures on trash day. How thoughtful they were to drag this lovely chair all the way to my house. You should see the wicker shelf they brought me. (it is still in progress.) As you can see, I use very bold colors! I love color, it must be the artist spirit in me!

I made six of these cushions.
We found this darling little metal chair (below) on a close out sale at the Lowe's in San Clemente, Calif. It was only $10.00. Now, our little Robert will fit in with the large metal chairs.

 The 99 cent store has Terra Cotta pots for 99 cents each, they also had Tea Roses for 99 cents each. I bought  some and decided to paint them to match the chairs.
 This is my favorite chair which cost NOTHING, the trash chair turned purple!
This is a swap meet chair, I think it was 5 or 10 dollars. I bought it a while ago. It has been sitting in a pile of other "STUFF" waiting it's turn to be restored.
In my life, necessity has always been the mother of invention.