Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Small Space Help

My Works For Me Wednesday Tip this week is how to make more efficient use of small spaces. These are some ideas I put to use in one of my bathrooms.

The bathroom that my sweetie and I (and sometimes my other two guys) share is small. It has 2 doors which allow entrance from two bedrooms. I wanted to have a place to put my stuff that was functional, yet not too plain, so I went to my local Dollar General Store and purchased a basket that would fit on the back of the commode. I put my makeup, etc. in it like this:




The tall container that I put tall items like makeup brushes in is a wine glass. The short glass container that hold q-tips and short items like lipstick are candle holders. I am able to put all of my makeup and other necessities for getting ready in the morning in this one space. If someone is in the shower I can just go get my basket and use it in another area.

I also needed somewhere to store other items and bought this shelf. I like to have certain items here so I don't have to go digging around in the vanity.




We keep the towels, washcloths, toilet paper, extra toothpaste and soap, etc. in the vanity. I need to organize the medicine cabinet and the vanity, so I didn't want to show you pictures of that! LOL

For more "Works For Me Wednesday Ideas", go to Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday - Scrounging up Dinner

My kitchen tip for this week is how I came up with my Sunday dinner by scrounging around in my freezer, pantry and cookbooks!



1. I had a whole chicken, but wanted to make it special. I have one "sample" issue of Cook's Magazine that is stored with my cookbooks. I like this issue, and I really should subscribe to it. The issue I have takes common food, such as pork chops and chicken, and explains how to cook it for the best flavor. This is how I made the chicken: In a small bowl I mixed room temperature margarine (didn't have butter) with some salt and pepper. About 3 tablespoons. You can easily lift the skin on the breast up and put the margarine/butter mixture under there. Then spread it all over by smoothing it all around from the top of the skin. Then I rubbed a little vegetable oil all over the chicken and sprinkled salt and pepper all over the bird, to your taste. We like lots of pepper! Then place the chicken on a rack in a metal pan. I lined the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. My chicken was 5 pounds, and I cooked him for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. We ate everything, but the bones!

I also boiled the little fat pieces, gizzard and livers, etc. in a small pot for chicken broth. I plan to put some rice in this later in the week.

2. I wanted some good veggies, etc. to go with the chicken. I noticed that the sweet potato basket was still in its storage place in the laundry room. What do you know!!! I peeked in and there were 6 or 7 sweet potatoes still in there from last winter that were in perfect condition. If I had known they were in there, they would have been long gone! So I made sweet potato souffle. I didn't' have any marshmallows for the top, but it was delicious as it was.

3. I rummaged around in the freezer and found a bag of frozen corn my Mama had frozen a while back. She had written on the bag: "D & B 03". That is mine and my sweetie's initials and the year. I thought, I wonder if this corn is good after 5 years. The bag was in perfect condition, and did not look freezer burnt or anything. I cooked the corn and it was delicious!

4. I opened a can of cut green beans and placed it in a pot on the burner that vents the oven. While the chicken was cooking the beans were heated up with no extra electricity being used.

5. I peeled and sliced some regular potatoes and placed them in a covered dish in the oven along with the chicken to cook. I just salted and peppered the potatoes and dotted them with margarine. My daughter loves potatoes and I almost always cook some kind of potatoes for her. This made efficient use of the oven, by cooking multiple items at the same time.

I know, I know, we had a lot of starches in this meal. But it was good!

6. I picked off all the little pieces of meat from the left over roasted chicken bones and made myself and my son sandwiches for lunch on Monday.

For our Sunday dinner, the only thing we bought was the chicken. All the other items were already on hand, a couple of which we didn't even know we had! I bet you have a scrumptious meal just waiting for you to scrounge up too!

For more kitchen tips, visit "Tammy's Recipes".

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Monday Minute

Good Monday Morning!

These are some highlights from my weekend.....



On Saturday I hung out three loads of clothes. The weather was perfect for this. Now that the weather is more conducive for hanging them out, I hope to decrease the use of my dryer dramatically. Since I work full time outside the home, this is my strategy for this.

1. Be aware of the weather forecast.
2. First thing Saturday morning, weather permitting, wash and hang the clothes that do well on the line. For us this is sheets, t-shirts, boxers and the like. For us there are certain things that need to go in the dryer, such as jeans and towels. While the clothes on the line are drying I can be drying the remaining ones in the dryer.
3. By hanging out some laundry I am able to dry smaller loads in the dryer. I try to watch the dryness of the clothes so I can take them out as soon as possible to decrease dryer time. If I'm not noticing they can be dry and the dryer keeps going, and going.... LOL
3. During the workweek, hang a few clothes before work and/or on the drying rack strategically placed over an air conditioner vent.


SATURDAY SEWING!





I made a set of six cloth everyday napkins to sell in my Etsy Shop. I'm just a country girl/farm girl and I'm a sucker for fabric with sheep, tractors, cows and the like. These have sheep and checked hearts. I am definitely going to make myself some of these. I also cut out a clothespin bag from this same fabric that I'll be sewing this week for the Etsy Shop. I plan to make napkins and clothespin bags from more farm type fabric I have, such as sunflowers, bandanna fabric, etc.



Saturday I made my Son-In-Law a camouflage grocery bag. He wanted to be able to help save the earth without looking like a girlie girl!


These are roses my sweetie cut and placed in this vase for our centerpiece for Sunday Dinner. He gave me this rose bush when we first got married. Its name is "Don Juan". LOL.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Clothespin Bag Tutorial


Note: If you want to buy clothespin bags, please visit MY ETSY SHOP (CLICK HERE) But, feel free to make your own from this tutorial!

This "Laundry Themed" fabric has clothespins, irons, soap, smiling sunshines and tiny hearts pinned on a clothesline on it. Perfect for a clothespin bag! Here is the fabric and the matching lining fabric.



If you would like to make your own bag for clothespins, recycling grocery bags or other storage, these are the instructions:

The first step is to cut one each of your outer fabric and lining fabric in two sizes. The first will be 14 inches wide by 30 inches long and the second is 14 inches wide by 6 inches long. If your fabric doesn't have a directional print to prevent you from cutting it sideways on the fabric, you can cut both pieces from the fabric on the fold and still have a little piece of fabric left over for future projects. (scrap quilt maybe:o)



The longer piece will be used for the back and part of the front of the bag. By folding the bottom end up to meet the top piece you will form the bag.

This tutorial uses a child size plastic hanger, but you can use any size or kind you wish. An adult size plastic hanger would make a bigger bag or a wooden hanger that is straight across would be great. What ever hanger you choose, use it for a pattern to make the shape of the top of both pieces like this. Of course, if you use a bigger hanger, you'll have to make your fabric pieces wider.



Then put right sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam all the way around leaving an opening for turning. Very carefully trim the seam and clip corners to reduce bulk. Don't trim the seam where you left the opening. Do this for both pieces. I leave the opening for turning on the larger piece on one side. This opening will be sewn up later when you are sewing the pieces together. I leave the opening for the smaller piece on the straight edge on the bottom. The opening will be sewn up as you are sewing on the ribbon later.



Turn the pieces right side out and using a knitting needle or other tool, very carefully push the corners out. Press well, making sure to get the seams flat.

You don't have to embellish the opening of the bag, but I like to sew ribbon, ric rac, etc. on there. If you do, now is the time to sew it on. You sew it on the straight end of the two pieces. You can zig zag about two inches from each side which gives it a nice finished look and keeps the opening from gapping open, but its not necessary. If you wish to do this, now is the time to do that too.



Another kind of embellishment for the opening uses your own fabric and is sewn on similar to a quilt binding. This makes a very nice looking bag and you can just use the fabric you already have on hand. This kind of opening ends up looking like this:



To make this kind of opening cut two strips of coordinating fabric three inches wide and 14 inches wide (or the width of the bag you are making)and fold them in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together. With raw edges together sew the folded strip across the two edges of the fabric that form the opening of the bag. Then fold the strip over to the back, press and machine stitch straight across from the back. From the front it is about 1/4 inch from the seam. I did this for both edges of the opening before sewing the bag together. Then I zigzagged about 2 inches on each side. After that I continued on with the normal construction of the bag.

This is a clothespin bag I made with this style of opening:



After you finish embellising your opening, put right sides together like this, start sewing at the bottom and go up to the top, stopping where the handle of the clothes hanger will go through. Leave an opening about 2 inches wide for this. Then sew the other side, making sure to close up the opening you left earlier, for turning, as you sew. Turn it right side out, pushing out the corners and seams.



Here is the finished bag. I love the way the checked lining peeks out through the opening.



There are many ways to use these bags, even if you don't have a need for a clothespin holder. They can be used to store plastic grocery bags, small toys, socks, anything. They can be made in colors to match your kitchen and would make great closet organizers. Just make them the size you need.

One more!

Small Town America



Good Morning! I snapped this picture on the way to the mailbox to get the paper this morning. Its going to be a beautiful day with highs in the low eighties. It was 54 degrees when this picture was taken. Speaking of the newspaper, we either have a new paper person or the old one has shaped up! Our paper is coming early again. For months we had to wait until we got home at night to read it.

Well, here in North Carolina we are going to be the center of the political world until our primary is over! This is unusual for us, since by the time we have our primary, everything's usually already decided. This year our primary is actually important to the presidential candidates.

Between the commercials for the state governor and the presidential candidates, I'm about ready to throw the T.V. out the window! I noticed yesterday that Andy Griffith has a new commercial endorsing one of the governor candidates. That was kind of refreshing. LOL

I received a personal call from someone in Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters asking if I had any questions about where she stood on issues. I replied, "If I can't figure that out by watching all her commercials on T.V. and watching the news, I'll never know!" That was the end of that phone call!

I definitely don't want this blog to get too political, but to tell you the truth, I don't much like any of the candidates!

On a lighter note, I thought I'd give you a sample of what my morning commute to work is like.

My main route to work has been totally changed against my will due to bridge work on the main road to the town I work in. Not that this bridge couldn't use some work! I just hate going so far out of the way every morning and afternoon. The bridge in question is narrow enough that I don't like to meet other vehicles on it. I always adjust my speed so that the car I'm meeting will go through first or I'll go through first. The bridge is out for 110 days, or so says the sign. The work started on March 24th, so I'm stuck with this until at least July.

Nonetheless I have two alternative routes. One is to go about 10 miles in the opposite direction of my work place and hang a left on the main highway. This highway has too much traffic for my taste.

The second route is through the country on winding narrow roads. I pass through a very rural area with all kinds of farms and pretty countryside. Recently I hit someone's guinea who ran in front of my vehicle. I killed the poor bird and he broke my "NC State" sign on the front of the vehicle. I felt so bad about it and every time I pass back by this house I see the bird's lone companion.... :o( He (or she) only has chickens for friends now.

The name of one of the roads I travel on now has the word "Bear" in it. Hopefully I won't see any bears!

I never saw the kid's movie "CARS", so I thought the owner of a wrecker I saw recently was pretty clever. He had hand-painted in big letters on the front, "TOW MATER". I was pretty impressed, until someone told me that came from the movie... LOL

I hope you have a great day! Here is another picture of my mailbox in the Spring!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

When it comes to yard work at my house, Perennials WORK FOR US! They really do "do" the work. If I don't buy a single plant my yard will have blooms most of the spring, summer and fall. If I'm bent on adding new plants, all I have to do is divide some of the ones I already have. Perennials are amazing!

Its still early in the Spring, but here are a few I took a picture of this morning.

This is An old fashioned plant that I started from a little clump dug up from our family cemetery and one lone daisy. This plant is amazing. It has these purple flowers every day until it gets hot and then they close up. The next day they bloom again. They grow very big and I can divide it to make more plants with wild abandon! I have clumps of it all over my yard. Lesson: Any plant that survives at an old family cemetery, is a good one.



Purple Bearded Iris. I kid you not, I started with one root! I now have several bunches in different flower beds.



I bought one tiny pot of this green plant to accent some other perennials in this pot. I didn't know it was a perennial. Not only did it survive the winter, it has completely filled up this pot and has little purple flowers. I'll never have to worry about filling up this pot again. There are other perennials in there that haven't come up yet.



These yellow iris came from my grandmother's garden many years ago. She was 92 when she died and she has been dead for nearly 30 years.



A couple of hostas just beginning to grow.



As time goes on there will be more and more perennials blooming in my yard. Soon there'll be daylillies and gladiolas. Later there'll be mums.

For more Works For me ideas, visit Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake



Strawberries, glorious strawberries! The strawberry fields in my area are brimming with them, just for the eating!

This weekend we had our first strawberries, so I made a very easy strawberry shortcake.

Instead of buying the packaged angel food cakes the stores sell near the strawberries, I purchased a white cake mix and made it in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Then I capped the strawberries, chopped them with my trusty little hand chopper and sprinkled just a little sugar on them.

Then simply cut a piece of the still warm cake, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then pour some of your chopped strawberries on top of everything! Yummy!

This is great for an occasional treat, but there is nothing better to eat, or better for you than just plain strawberries! So now is the time to take advantage of their availability!

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday Sewing

Sometimes I just want to create something different, (as in not John Deere!) so yesterday I made this "farm scene" clothespin bag. I love this fabric and have used it here and here. I found some matching fabric for the lining in my stash, as well as the ribbon trim. I love the combination of colors. When I posted the picture of the Bible cover I had a comment that the Sheep was a good thing for the Bible cover because Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Now I think about that every time I see it!

This bag is now listed in my Homemaking Dreams Etsy Shop.



If anyone is interested, I was thinking about doing a clothespin bag tutorial. I would love to sell these in my Etsy Shop, but if anyone wants to make their own, I'd love to offer any instructions I can.

The great thing about these bags is that they can be used to store lots of things other than clothespins. My daughter uses hers to store plastic grocery bags she is recycling. I think they would be cute in a child's room to store small items like stocks, toys, etc.

I seem to be gearing my Etsy Shop toward "earth friendly" or "go green" items. So far I have reusable shopping bags and clothespin bags in the shop. This week I'd like to make some cloth napkins to add to the shop.

I'm still planning to make the camouflage shopping bags I posted about Friday. I'm also working on two John Deere bags. One is the medium size bag I have been making and the other is smaller. I'm excited about the new size. I think these would make cute Mother/Daughter bags.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Frugal Friday

Frugal Uses for over the door hangers:


I recently did a post about how I enjoyed using plastic over the door hangers in the laundry room. A good frugal use for this item is to hang wet clothes on hangers to dry. The post is here. But, my Frugal Friday tip this week is another frugal use I have found for the over the door plastic hangers:






I recycle EVERY gift bag that comes into my possession and have found that two of these hooks over the back of my closet door make a great place to keep them organized. I organize them by size. The larger ones go in the back and the smaller ones go in the front.


I keep all the Christmas bags with my Christmas decorations and wrapping paper in their own storage space.


I have been placing my handmade pocketbooks in gift bags for my husband to sell. The men who have been buying the pocketbooks for gifts love having them already wrapped! So, I have about run out of the large size recycled gift bags. I have found that you can find these in pretty colors in the craft section of Walmart at a less expensive price than they are on the wrapping paper isle. I bought this set of 5 to use for Pocketbook sales.



For more Frugal Friday Tips, go to Biblical Womanhood.

Sew Crafty Friday - CAMO ANYONE?

I recently made my daughter some fabric shopping bags made from three different pretty blue fabrics, since her favorite color is blue. Last Saturday, she and her hubby were on the way to the grocery store when I got a phone call with this request: "Mama, can you make some masculine grocery bags for my hubby from camouflage or something like that? Also, could you make them a little wider and not as tall so they won't look as feminine?"

Then it hit me, lots of men do the grocery shopping, mine included! So I should probably made some grocery bags geared toward the husbands out there!

This weekend I am going to make my son-in-law some fabric grocery bags from this fabric. They will be camouflage with black lining. I think they would look great a little shorter and wider too!



I have been hearing more and more about how the grocery stores around the world have already stopped using plastic bags or are going to stop using them or charge for them in the near future. Just imagine how many of those plastic bags have been put in the landfill, if you take into account the number of plastic grocery bags just one person accumulates. We have always had lots of them in our recycle bag. Sometimes I get so many I just throw them away!

I really need to make my own household several bags and start using them right away.

For more Sew Crafty Ideas, go to the Waiting For Him Blog!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

Comical Coupon Cents is hosting Thrifty Thursday, where she asks fellow bloggers to share anything thrifty. We must be thinking alike this morning because she has almost the exact same post as I have!

My grandbaby visits about once a week and I needed some toys for him to play with at my house. I found him all these toys for $2.00 at a local thrift store.



I also bought him this bag of brand new handmade wooden building blocks for $1.00. They are for building a castle. I researched similar wooden blocks online and they are pretty expensive to buy new. This set of blocks is something the baby might want to keep to give to his own children some day, so I feel they were a great thrift store find!




When I go to a thrift shop I try to keep an open mind. Some trips yield nothing. On other trips I'll find treasures like the wooden block set.

For more Thrift Thursday ideas, please go to Comical Coupon Cents.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday-Dollar Store CDs

I know you've seen those CDs and DVDs at the Dollar store that come in little cardboard sleeves. Many times I have looked through them and dismissed them as not being very good.

Take a second look!

I love piano and other instrumental music. I recently found these Praise and Worship CDs at the Dollar Tree located near me. They have many of my favorite songs. ESPECIALLY, CANON IN D, which was played at my wedding. I listen to it and feel like I'm being transported away to some magical place.



My other favorites on these cds: Holy, Holy, Holy; Ave Maria; Crown Him With Many Crowns; Morning has Broken; How Great Thou Art; and Amazing Grace.

I had to restrain myself and only limit myself to these 4, but for $4.00, I think I got a good deal!


For more Works For Me Wednesday ideas, visit Rocks In My Dryer!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

This is how I used a whole chicken this morning before going to work.

My husband bought a whole chicken at the grocery store this weekend. I usually either roast a whole chicken or boil the whole thing in a big pot to make casseroles or chicken salad.

This morning I cut the chicken up in small pieces and placed it in a glass casserole dish. I mixed up some left over "Carolina Treet" BBQ sauce, ketchup, crushed red peppers and a little bit of vinegar and poured this concoction all over the chicken pieces like this. Not only does this save me time after work, but the chicken will marinate in the BBQ sauce. You can easily remove the skin if you want to reduce the fat. My sweetie says the chicken died in vain if you take off the skin!





This baking dish has a plastic cover so all I had to do was cover it and place it in the refrigerator until I walk in the door today from work. I'll bake it in the oven on about 375 degrees until done, probably a little over an hour.

I placed the bony pieces of chicken left after cutting up the whole chicken in a pot of water in the fridge to be boiled when I get home too. I threw in everything that was left except the chicken's tail. :o) This will make great broth. I will probably put some pasta in this "chicken juice" or possibly freeze it for a future recipe.

None of this chicken will go to waste, because the bones will be delicious for the many farm cats that frequent our farm.

For more chicken tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Monday Minute

Good Morning! Another Monday is upon us. It feels like I just left my work place when I go in on Monday morning! Oh how I love my weekends. It is so wonderful to me to just be able to stay home. Sometimes I wonder if I couldn't easily become a recluse.

My weekend started Friday afternoon at 4:00. My wonderful bosses let us get off work an hour early on Fridays. One of them will let us leave at 3:00 if he can get away with it. The people I work with are so nice.

My sweetie had a late afternoon appointment so I went to my favorite thrift store and picked up a few treasures. Question: Do you think its wrong to buy items at Church run thrift stores to resell on EBay?

I bought this at the thrift store a couple of weeks ago for 25 cents. My husband tightened up the joints and sprayed several layers of white paint on it. Its perfect for hanging grocery bags on in my sewing room. These are the latest set of grocery bags I have made for my Etsy Shop.



I recently bought a similar wooden peg rack that cost $10.00. So you can't beat the price of this one.

Sometimes I feel the prices at the thrift store don't make sense. My new wooden peg rack was only 25 cents, but cheap plastic pitchers are $1.00. I can buy new ones at the dollar store for $1.00.

After the thrift store I went home and started on my weekend cleaning by vacuuming a good part of the house. This gave me a little head start on Saturday's chores. I really need to choose at least one of my weekly chores to get done each day during the week. Then on Saturdays I could be ahead of the game.

I sewed 3 more grocery bags and made most of another John Deere Pocketbook on Saturday. My sweetie is still selling these as fast as I can make them. I'm only able to get about two a week done. Usually when he takes a new bag with him, he has sold it before noon that day! Amazing salesman, that husband of mine!

Saturday started early. My son worked 12 hour daytime shifts all weekend and had to leave home by 6:30 A.M. So I got up to see him off and make his lunch. My husband and step son also went to work and everybody was out of the house by 7:00 A.M. I finished my vacuuming and got the laundry going. Then I put on my piano cds and sewed and worked around the house. Some of this music makes me cry, so since I was alone I endulged myself.

My sweetie brought home the groceries. This has become our new routine. This way I can stay home most Saturdays.

Sunday my mother and I went to church. This week's message: The Good Shepard. I love this message of love, compassion and mercy. We also stayed after the service for a healing blessing. On the way home we arrived on the scene of an accident as only the second car in line waiting to get through. We actually followed the fire trucks and rescue squad to the scene. An SUV was upside down on the highway with the roof squished. The rescue personnel whisked the person away and hopefully they are ok. The person could easily have been killed. If we had not stayed for the blessing, we might have been involved in or witnessed the accident actually happening! Thank you Lord!

We had no company for Sunday Dinner this weekend, as my daughter, son-in-law and grandbaby needed some time at home, not to mention how expensive the gas is to drive to our house. She says it costs about $20.00 just for the gas to come to our house. She lives about one and 1/2 hours away.

I hope you all have a great Monday and a great week! I've got a busy, busy day coming up, so gotta run!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sew Crafty Friday - Angel Scraps

I received my newest issue of "Quick Quilts" yesterday. I haven't had a chance to really read the entire magazine, but one project really caught my eye. It was called "Angel Scraps and Fairy Dust" Well, I didn't think of that name first, but the name "Angel Scraps" really hit home with me.

I love fabric scraps! I tend to keep every tiny piece and have bought scraps on Ebay several times. I'm a scrap-a-holic.

This week I have made two more John Deere Pocketbooks, three more grocery bags and a clothes pin bag, but didn't want to bore you with those again, so here are some of the Angel Scraps I have been working with.

I am working on a boy's and a girl's scrap quilt. I keep a container of strips beside my machine to use with the "leaders and enders" system I learned from Bonnie at "Quiltville". They will be like this quilt that I made about a year ago that now belongs to my grandson, :o) and this Fall Quilt that is my favorite.

This picture shows the container of strips and a ziplock bag of pink scraps I have been adding to for a while. I use my rotary cutter to cut the scraps in the strips. They don't have to be any certain width or length. After I sew them together I'll even them up with the rotary cutter and mat.




I have the blue strips sewn together and have started cutting them to the size needed for the pattern. I'll add white triangles to the sides to make the squares.






These are some of the pink strips I have been working with. They don't look like much right now, kind of raggedy, but when I press them, trim them and sew them together, they will be so cute!



If you have been reading my blog, you will know that I have been making grocery bags and have posted a grocery bag tutorial. The bottom of the rectangles used for the bags require that 2 1/2 inch squares be cut out. I was accumulating a lot of these so I decided to start storing them together for a future project. I do trim these so that they are exactly 2 1/2 inch square while at the cutting mat so when I start using them I'll have the correct size. You might recognize some of these fabrics.




I'm not sure what I'll end up using them for or how long it'll take to accumulate enough to make a project, but I'm looking forward to it!

For more Sew Crafty projects, please visit the Waiting For Him Blog.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

I am very thankful for my laundry room! Its not too big, but years ago my laundry area was in a hallway covered by folding doors, or even worse, the laundromat. So, I know how blessed I am to have it. I have some of my favorite things in there. There are pictures of my children, a small table my husband bought me and a long rug in front of the washer an dryer, which help make the laundry experience more cheerful.

The only complaints I have are that its located in a high traffic area and there isn't anywhere to hang clothes. I hang a lot of clothes on hangers, some straight from the washing machine to air dry and some straight from the dryer.

I purchased these very sturdy, large plastic over the door hooks which hold a lot of hangers. If my memory serves me right, they were $1.00 for two in a pack. They are so sturdy, that I've had them for years.

I like to hang each person's clothes on a different hook which makes it easy for each person to take their clothes to their closet. There are four different doors in the area that I can hang a hook on. A couple of the hooks stay there all the time, but a couple of them I take down when not in use.




I tend to do most of my laundry on Saturdays. Its an all day thing, but I don't mind! My laundry room is located right next to my sewing room and its just a minor inconvenience to stop sewing and go move the laundry along its way.

I also love over the door hooks like these for the bedrooms.

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips go to Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring in the Kitchen



Spring has sprung! It may not look or feel like Spring where you are, but the calendar says so! The kitchen is one area of the home that can reflect the different seasons in special ways. Here are some ideas:

1. Make or purchase some inexpensive Spring dish towels, dish cloths, pot holders, tablecloth, or napkins. If you are like me its about time to replace your dish towels. Mine really look bad, even though they are clean. They have reached the point of no return. I am planning on visiting the Dollar Tree or Dollar General to replace them with some Spring ones. I already have this set in my stash that I'm going to start using.




2. Put away anything in your kitchen that looks like Winter and put out a spring floral arrangement. This could be as simple as putting a $1.00 bunch of silk flowers from the dollar store in a recycled vase or a mason jar. You could tie a ribbon around the mason jar's neck. That sounds so pretty to me because I love "country" type things.

You could use a grapevine wreath you already have by sprucing it up with some spring silk flowers. You might be able to find things in your yard to bring some Spring inside. This is a small grape vine wreath I made a few years ago decorated with my favorite kind of flowers. I use it year round.



3. Its time to plant some early cool weather garden plants. Don't have a garden? A flower pot will do! You could plant a small "kitchen garden" near your back door with lettuce, carrots, cabbage, etc. It would be so nice to be able to pick a few fresh, organic sprigs of food to go with your meals. One of my blogger friends posted that she had a small pot with a head of lettuce in it. She would pick a leaf or two from the bottom of the plant to put on sandwiches. The plant would continue to grow and produce.

If you have space for a garden, its time to get that going too!

4. If you like candles, start burning those that have Spring and Summer scents.

5. A topic of discussion while your family is around the dinner table could be what you are going to do this summer. Do you want to go on a vacation? Do you want to hang out at home all summer? Do you have plans for your children to attend day camps or have special tutoring? Sometimes planning fun things is half the fun!

What ways are you reflecting Spring in your home?

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Joy in the Every Dayness of Life

When I was thinking about what I would write in this post about my weekend, I realized that I do much the same thing every weekend. Then it occurred to me that it is in the every dayness of life that we find joy. There might not be huge excitement all that often, but when we look back at our lives, its the things we do everyday that made a difference in our lives and those we love. Sewing, cooking, cleaning, gardening, going to church.... all these things make up the fiber of my life.

So here's what I did this weekend!

Saturday I did laundry and cleaned the bathrooms extra well. Exciting, huh?

In between doing those things I sewed and cooked.

My sewing produced another John Deere Pocketbook, more grocery bags and a clothes pin bag for my shop. Here are some pictures:




Saturday was a rainy day and I loved it! It literally poured all day and I was able to stay home all day. I put on my inspirational piano music cds and just enjoyed being home. This is a picture of rain pouring off the roof on to some blooming azaleas.



Today we went to church and had a very nice service. Our Gospel reading was about the Road to Emmaus. An interesting thought, the unnamed disciple could have been a woman! Who else would have rushed back and talked about all the details!

We celebrated my son's 21st birthday some more!


My grandbaby is growing!



Hope your weekend was a joy, even if it was an every day weekend!

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