Just call it Craft Central!

After many months of working almost exclusively on the camping blog Robert and I are creating I finally have some time to get back to crafting, and get back to just writing about my home and all the goodness there is going on.

This is a block from the Dear Jane quilt I have going on. It’s going to be one of those many year projects as I usually pick it up here and there and work a little in between other projects. I am working on a lot of other stuff – some in reality and much in my head! I am making a large lap quilt for someone for Christmas. Someone who I have no idea if they read this blog, so no pictures or info on that yet. It is the “Turning Twenty” pattern which is really easy and quick though, so that’s definitely nice.

I am also participating in a swap on Craftster, my first swap in quite awhile. It’s nice to be thinking about how to make new things, challenging myself and just doing for someone else (and knowing someone is doing for me too!). It’s a one hour swap, which means I should spend only about an hour on the project. Well, we agreed to give it 4 hours – either for four different projects, or slightly larger projects, or whatever. It’s been fun so far and I am enjoying it.

I have a stack of fabric next to me from the Happy Camper fabric line to make something for the camper. A quilt for the couch I think, though in what pattern, I don’t know. I also have a quilt in progress for my new baby cousin Natalie. Fabric for one for her brother Nathan. A pattern and about half of the fabric for another Christmas gift. I am loving it. The projects are going well. I’m having fun. And I am full of ideas. It’s awesome!

We’ve started using the woodstove somewhat regularly. Mostly to just warm things up in the mornings or evenings. Right now the giant, sturdy and wonderfully awesome clothes drying rack we got in Shipshewana is near the stove, holding some laundry. I’d take a picture but it’s mostly underwear, so, you know, don’t wanna get all TMI on you!

I hope I can keep up this crafty momentum. It has been nice to sit down in my office, get my work done and then go into the sewing room and be creative.

Lots to do…

There are so many things on the to-do list right now I am not quite sure where to start. Robert worked on bread today. He makes a double batch, creating four loaves at once. This lasts 2 1/2 to 4 weeks depending on how much toast we have for breakfast or if we just use it for his lunch sandwiches.

I am so glad that he enjoys doing things like this. I think the two of us could be happy living many different types of lifestyles but it is enjoyable to us right now to work together to save money by doing things like baking our own bread, cooking from scratch and gardening. We make quite a good team and I’m glad Robert doesn’t think I’m nuts for wanting to do these kinds of things!

On Friday I finally found my sewing scissors and rotary cutter. I jumped in and started sewing right away. One of the first things I did was make a pillowcase for Robert. He is a volunteer firefighter and the station he is a part of has a schedule which requires the guys to stay over at least one night per week. Currently he stays two nights per week to take up some slack. Anyway, I had this great firetruck fabric and knew it would make a perfect pillowcase to take to the firehouse. I think he liked it a lot, so I was pretty happy. It was relatively simple to make as well, so even better. I may have to make a few for my nephew for Christmas. They are doing some actual attempts at decortating at the fire station and since Robert doesn’t have any type of fire memorabilia to take down there, he asked if I might make some curtains (after seeing the way cool fire truck fabric). I of course, said yes. We just need to measure the windows and find some equally cool fabric as the pillowcase fabric is several years old already.

We went to the library yesterday and got library cards which was kind of fun – for me at least. I wandered the stacks for quite awhile before Robert came to get me and ask if I was done yet. 🙂

Today I made a short trip to the grocery store to get apples for applesauce while they were still on sale for 88 cents per pound. I got about 25 pounds. I also got some ginger to go with some of the pear recipes. I just remembered that I forgot to b uy lemon juice. Oh well, I still have to go to Walmart ot buy more pectin so I will get it then I suppose.

I also spent some time cleaning out my car today. It was in rather rough shape after the school year and soccer season and such. Hopefully this evneing we can drive it a bit and see if it needs more work done or if I can finally drive it.

I think now, I will go sew some more. Or read some of my library books!

Rain! and a thrifty makeover of sorts

I call this God chipping in on the water bill...

I call this God chipping in on the water bill...

I was quite happy for the rain today. All my new seeds can use a good, long drink. And, when that drink doesn’t add to the water bill, it’s always a good thing. I just wish we had our rain barrels, but, it’s one of those capital expenses that’s in the future budget. We just haven’t gotten there yet. Being green and saving money takes a bit of an upfront investment at times!

Some curtains from my younger days

Some curtains from my younger days

My other project was a repurposing of some old curtains. When my parents came to my wedding in June they packed up their camper with lots of my old stuff. So, I have been going through it slowly, getting rid of what I no longer needed, enjoying finding things I hadn’t seen in awhile and all that. One thing that arrived was some curtains I had made for my bedroom back home sometime in late high school or early college, I think.

There are currently blinds on all the windows in our house and no curtains anywhere. I hated to throw away such large pieces of fabric but I couldn’t think of any fabulous uses of them if I cut them up either. And, the hems and whatnot for curtains were already sewn. I asked my husband what he thought of the curtains for the guest bedroom, which is painted light blue and being slowly decorated in a Texas/Americana theme. We both thought they seemed a little too light colored . And, that room gets first morning sun so it needs something a bit more light blocking.

The perfect solution for curtains that aren't the color you want!

The perfect solution for curtains that aren't the color you want!

So, while I was at Michael’s today doing something for a Christmas present in the works, I picked up some Navy Blue Rit Dye.

Mmm... dye soup!

Mmm... dye soup!

The curtains dyed very well and stayed a dark navy, which surprised me. I was expecting them to wash out a bit but, I guess things actually work when you follow the directions! I hung the curtains up with clothespins in the guest room to see how they looked.

Trying out the new look

Trying out the new look

I think I will leave them up for a few days to see how it feels in the room, see it in different lights, etc. I also think the two curtains are large enough that I can cut each in half and have a set of curtains on each window (instead of just one per window). The window area at my parents house was three large windows across I think. So, that will be another thing to consider.

A close up of the curtain details

A close up of the curtain details

The curtains are a little bit darker than this picture shows but I was happy with the way the design came out. It is printed on the curtains in a sort of rubbery raised up design so I thought it would come through the dyeing process ok.

I discovered this morning if I split one of my homemade muffins in half, it fits into the toaster. Or rather Robert did and made sure to tell me about it before he left for work. Blackberry muffins. Yum! I used the Joy of Cooking basic muffin recipe and added some frozen blackberries. I have found the Joy of Cooking to be a great reference for basic recipes or ideas on how long to cook something and all of that. It’s really good for basics.

I finished my first dish cloth last night!

I finished my first dish cloth last night!

So, my dish cloth came out kind of rectangular instead of square but since it’s the first one, I’m not too worried. I need to learn to make my stitches more even and find a pattern that I like. I got some more cotton yarn today so I can get right to work on another one. I also got some tabs to work on making a homemade planner. And since my husband is at the fire station tonight for meeting until who knows when, I might actually have time to get a good portion of it done.

I always try to spend time with him when he is home since there are  several nights a week when he is not. I’m sure he would let me work on whatever I wanted any night of the week. But, it’s important to both of us to spend quality time together. I at least attempt to get most of my work and play done before he comes home so the evening can be for us. It’s nice!