Isn’t she talented? Daughters scrapbooking gift

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I wanted to show a bit of my daughter’s beautiful scrapbooks. The photos are of two miniatures she made for me and ‘Dad’ as ‘remembrances’ when she and the kids joined her husband at his newly assigned duty base. (He is military, returning Iraq veteran and currently in Iraq again in his second deployment).

Not your Grandmother’s or Mother’s crafting

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It’s been a time of retooling for me. Getting to that age for women that is the Big M word, and now that I’m in it, there, I’m startled by just how big a ‘change’ in life it really is. Wondering why more women don’t talk about it, but that isn’t quite the focus of this blog so I won’t fill it up with all my thoughts and reflections – maybe that is another blog I might make. My attention is by necessity refocused then on some pro-active work towards making this change a bit more positive and upbeat while I continue to look in the mirror and no longer recognize who is looking back at me.

For weeks now, no more like several months, I’ve been fascinated by the amount of talent out there blogging about homemaking skills; crafting, needlework, sewing, beadwork, decorating and well the list goes on and on. But I’m particularly struck by how a new generation of young women have taken up the old arts and brought amazing new flair to their creations. I have long crocheted, but pretty basic kinds of afghans, baby blankets, hats, scarves. I have made a few afghans which is probably more king size bedspreads. It takes me 6 months working consistently to finish one. I put down the crochet hooks several years ago and now that I am picking them up again, I am fascinated to find how much the ‘old crochet’ has become the ‘new crochet’.

There are amazing types of yarn out there now, and crochet projects have taken on a whole new life in the hands of the new generation. There is a yarn type for everything from elegant, to classic, to standard, to fun, to whimsical. New patterns being made, new ideas being tried and it’s become an industry of it’s own.

I remember how startled I was to watch the old fashioned scrapbooking become a new industry in the hands of the younger set. Quilting became it’s own kind of industry with amazing fabrics. And now I am watching the transformation of another industry in needlecrafts, crocheting, knitting, felting, needlepoint. I’m wowed!

My daughter has become particularly talented in her scrapbooking. I think it kept her sane during her husband’s first Iraq deployment and is keeping her sane now in his second Iraq deployment. I can well understand the need to be doing something with your hands to help calm the worries, and I was pleased she found a niche for that with scrapbooking. She has made some wonderous scrapbooks. I think I’ll take a photo of one of the miniature scrapbooks she made for me and show it here.

My older daughter has made a transformation for her entire family in taking them vegan and learning to find the food products, cook them and develop a pantry and a whole new repetoire of recipes and approaches to eating healthy food. Over the years, I have attempted modifications, and have been proud of my efforts, but daughter has gone the full gamut and has become what I consider to be an expert in the art of vegan. It’s more than just eating in a certain way, it’s a way of life and living with food and products that are free of animals or animal products or animal testing or animal abuse.

My son took himself on a serious regimen of transformation several years ago, dropping a lot of weight and becoming a tall, thin man, inclined towards athletic sports of basketball, soccer, skiing, snow boarding, and several other adventursome activities and sports.

I’m thrilled to see the directions my now grown children are taking their lives and believe me it’s not quite the same world at all as the one of their mother, as the one of their grandmother. My two oldest granddaughters are now sixteen years old and are the newer generation. I love seeing the fresh new approaches the young and younger generation bring to the table.


She sends Paper Art Greeting Cards

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My step-daughter is amazing in keeping faith with acknowledging every occasion. She has a large family and never misses anyone’s birthday, anniversary, congratulations, holiday or whatever else there is to celebrate. I don’t know where she finds them, but over the last couple years she has sent me the most adorable greeting cards. I place them around places in my kitchen because the cards make me smile, make me feel happy.

Thought I’d show off her artsy taste. Here are three of the cards she has sent me.

Crochet Market Bag, one for baby too!

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I made a wee little market type bag using baby yarn, a bit of a diaper type bag for extra diapers, bibs, a bottle, an extra outfit, maybe. Should tuck nicely into Mom’s purse.

And then I made another adult size market bag but not for marketing, to hang on my bedpost as a place to tuck away my nightclothes.


Craft Project; For Ashley – Make Emo Kid gloves from socks

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My Emo Kid granddaughter spent a couple weeks with us and taught me a bit about the nuances of dressing Emo which is apparantly a distinction among many styles of fashion, not to be confused with Gothic.
Tutorial to show how to step by step is here at Cut Out + Keep

Find a pair of socks

Cut a straight line across where the foot part of the sock begins.

Fold inside out and place on your hand. Spread out your thumb and pin out where the edge of your index finger and thumb begin.

Sew along this v-shaped line, removing the pins as you go.

Place this on your hand again and cut a line down the middle of the v-shape.

Fold over, about 1cm, at the top of the glove and thumb hole.

Take a needle and thread and sew around the glove and thumb holes. To sew it correctly start with a hemming stitch, turn this in to a running stitch for 1cm and then make another hemming stitch and so on.


Craft Project; diy Duct Tape Dress Form

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Custom dress forms be damned. Why spend an arm and a leg on one of the limbless de Milos when, in less than two hours, you can make one from duct tape for about $15 (instead of the $300—or more—a custom form would cost you)? The folks behind Threads magazine have put together a great primer on how to make a duct tape double.

Perhaps because of its irresistible body armor allure, the duct tape doppelgänger is also oddly popular among Lord of the Rings costume makers, and historical reenactors. The process requires a partner (who will mummify your t-shirted torso with tape), so invite your stitch-savvy friends over for drinks and a duct-tape dummy-making party à la The Bookish Girl. Spilling wine on your shirt isn’t a problem when you’re wrapped in duct tape!

A duct-tape dress form is quick, cheap, and simple. You’ll need a couple of 60-ft. rolls of duct tape, a long tee shirt, and a little plastic wrap. Oh, yes, and someone to wrap you in tape.


Craft Project; Turn a tree branch into a coat rack

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Coat rack from a branch…I can do this!

found at Apartment Therapy – San Francisco, which found the image somewhere else, it was promotional of the wallpaper decor. Turning the branch into a diy project; hang branch by curtain rod mounting brackets; use S hooks to hang hangers.