I decided to give my benches on my front porch new life, so I sanded and sanded and sanded. Then I painted them with an exterior off white spray paint. Then I sanded the edges and added an exterior glaze to give it an old antique look.
I have 2 benches on my front porch. Same size but slightly different style. I feel this gives a little visual interest. I used an electric hand held sander. This goes so much faster.
I was with my friend the other day shopping and she had the cutest little purse. It was made of upholstery weight fabric and lined with a lighter weight fabric and it closed with a simple zipper. So I decided to make these for my girls for Valentine’s Day. I searched online for a tutorial and found this one: Skip to my Lou. She has great pictures and easy to follow instructions.
Here is my version of her cute purses.
I cute out two pieces of heavier fabric for the outside of the purse and two pieces the same size for the lining out of lighter weight fabric. Each piece will be the width of the zipper you choose. I used a 7″ zipper for this one.
Make sure you put the wrong side of the zipper on top of the right side of the lining. (I didn’t do this and had to unpick. The good thing is that it’s not too much to unpick.) Then put the right side of outer fabric face down on top of zipper and stitch with a zipper foot. Make sure fabric is the same length as the zipper, unlike mine .
Fold back wrong sides together. Do the same thing for the other side of the zipper. The wrong side of the zipper next to the right side of the lining and the outer fabric right side down and stitch with zipper foot. Bring fabric out from zipper and you can now top stitch if you’d like.
Bring lining fabric together and outer fabric together, right sides together. Stitch all the way around pulling zipper to lining side and leave a 4″ – 6″ space on the lining fabric to turn it out. Handstitch lining opening closed or stitch closed with sewing machine.
Turn lining into the inside.
I pressed mine with an iron all the way around to give it a crisp look.
I added a tassle to the zipper pull on this one to add a little pizazz.
Here are a few more I made:
You could also tie ribbon to the zipper pull. Several different colors and styles is fun.
I was asked to help make a Christmas Wreath to donate to the Festival of the Trees. I was so excited. This is what I came up with.
First, I took a basic green wreath and attached a grapevine wreath to it with green florist wire. This will make the wreath more substantial and give it some weight and depth. Then I gathered these items to attach to the wreath. I chose a vintage Christmas theme with rusty bells, vintage Christmas cards mod podged to round wood discs, balls painted red for berries, a big 2-tone ribbon I made myself with the Bowdabra, branches with snow and pinecones and snowflakes.
I drilled holes in the top of the round wood discs I mod podged vintage Christmas cards to so I could attach to wreath easier.
Moss is all the rage this season. There are so many fun ways to decorate and craft with moss. I had so much fun covering my last name initial with moss. I went to Joann’s Fabric store and bought the cutest “E” I could find in the size that fit inside my wreath.
You can do it too with these super easy steps. Just buy sheet moss or green moss at your local craft store. A glue gun and glue sticks are all you need to adhere the moss to the wood initial. I started gluing the moss on in small pieces. Make sure you cover all of the letter that will be seen, the sides also.
After the letter is entirely covered, I sprayed it with a dry flower sealant. (You don’t have to cover the back if it doesn’t show, if you want to hang it where the back shows, of course cover it too.)
I attached my initial with a ribbon to a bright summer wreath for my front door.
It looks bright and cheerful on my front door. It only took minutes to make and adds a little folk art to your front door.
You can also make moss initials for Holidays, for example a J O Y for Christmas, L I L Y for Easter, B O O for Halloween, H A R V E S T for Thanksgiving, F R E E D O M for the 4th of July, L O V E for Valentine’s day, the sky is the limit. Have fun being creative.
A friend of mine gave me this cute little apron for Thanksgiving a few years ago. I thought it was so cute and would be easy to make out of lots of different styles and colors of dish towels. Yes, dish towels. You can buy a dish towel to match any holiday, season or decor. So I went shopping and found some really nice thick dish towels at Harmon’s Grocery store and TJ Maxx. Here’s how to make your custom apron in just minutes:
Large dish towels in assorted colors and patterns or large cloth napkins for waist aprons
3 yards Grosgrain ribbon in matching or coordinating color – 5/8″ – 1″ wide
Cut one 26″ piece of ribbon for neck. Fold corners at an angle and pin ribbon between folds of fabric and pin.
Cut two 30″ pieces of ribbon for waist and tuck between folds and pin.
Stitch from neck, following the seam of the towel, all the way to the waist where the ribbon comes out to tie. You will see the stitching on the front of the apron so pick your thread accordingly.
To make the waist apron simply fold the top of the cloth napkin about 2 inches. Cut the ribbon the length needed to tie around waist. Stitch the ribbon between the folds and all the way across securing the ribbon on the other side.
Voila you have a very handy apron in just minutes and isn’t it so cute!
Try lots of different patterns and colors. These make great wedding or bridal shower gifts, his and hers aprons, the bride gets the full size apron and the groom gets the waist apron. They also make great gifts for birthdays, Christmas, party favors and housewarming gifts.
Have fun with these. They’re quick, easy, cute and functional!
“Little purple pansies, touched with yellow gold,
Growing in a corner of the garden old;
We are very tiny but must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.”
“In whatever corner we may chance to grow,
Whether warm or cold the wind may ever blow,
Dark the day or sunny, we must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.” Anon.
I’ve loved this song since I was a little girl and love these cute little flowers that gladden the heart and cheer up the soul.
It was warm yesterday so I hurried to the store and bought eighteen pansies and planted them in my front sidewalk flower beds before it started to rain or snow again. I love the vibrant colors especially the ones with purple and touched with yellow. Pansies are hardy and will grow in the early Spring and late Fall. Since it snowed this morning I didn’t worry about them surviving because they are cool-weather flowers. And . . . BONUS, these delicate but hardy flowers are edible. So pluck a few flowers and throw them in your salad, it will make a beautiful colorful salad. Mmmmmm!!!!
Here are some pictures of my handiwork. Maybe it will inspire you to plant before it gets too hot. Pansies don’t like the heat at all and will begin to decline as the days warm up. Water them regularaly and it will help them hang on a bit longer. They flower best in full sun.
Everyone loves pillows and the more pillows you have on a sofa, bed or chair the more comfy and inviting it is to sit down and read a book, watch a favorite movie or TV show, take a nap or prop yourself up in bed. And it’s loads of fun to make your own pillow with fabric that matches your decor and style. Here are step by step instructions to make a pillow with a zipper. Why put a zipper in your pillow? Because you can take out the insert and wash the form with ease and it gives it a professional designer look.
Materials you will need:
Fabric (I cut 2 pieces 11.5″ x 21.5″ for a finished size of 10″ x 20″)
Pillow Insert (I used 12″ x 22″ size)
Zipper to match (I used 14″ long invisible zipper, make sure you choose a zipper that is a few inches smaller than your pillow width)
Thread to match
Rotary Mat and Cutter (useful, but not necessary)
Let’s get to it…..
First, wash and iron your fabric, then cut your fabric about 1.5″ larger than the pillow size you intend to make. I made a 10″ x 20″ pillow, so I cut 2 pieces out 11.5″ x 21.5″. I used a yard stick to measure and with a marking pen or pencil outlined the size and cut with scissors. Allow enough fabric to pattern match if desired.
Next, open zipper and iron the wrong side with coils flat so that the two rows of stitching show. This makes it easier to sew. Pin the right side of zipper to right side of fabric. With right groove of foot as close to coils as possible stitch entire zipper top to bottom. Back stitch both ends secure so the threads don’t come loose.
Now pin the other side of the zipper to fabric, right sides together and matching fabric evenly. Stitch entire length of zipper, backstitching both ends secure.
To stitch remainder of seam on either side of zipper, use zipper foot, put right sides together and stitch as close to where zipper stops and starts.
Open entire zipper, then put rights sides together evenly and stitch 1/2″ seam all the way around pillow, backstitching at corners to secure them. Turn right side out and press seams with iron.
Insert pillow form and close zipper and voila! You have a professional designer pillow to add comfort and beauty to your home!
by Javann Nuttall
1. “Human Beings, by changing the inner attitude of the mind, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” –Wm. James
2. The more love and support you give your loved ones, the more you share your feelings and are open with them, the healthier you and they will be.
3. Enjoy a good nights sleep. Eight hours will replenish the hormones and energy reserves and make you more productive and pleasant.
4. Take a walk in the fresh air, breathe deeply and enjoy the beauties of nature.
5. Eat a long, crunchy carrot. Then include four more vegetables a day.
6. Sing in the shower: “I feel happy, I feel healthy, I feel terrific!”
7. Smile! A simple smile held for 15 seconds activates the immune system, soothes the internal organs, produces endorphins which promote a feeling of wellness and cheers and brightens your life and the life of those you share it with.
8. Read inspirational literature, such as the scriptures, every day. If you are feeling bad, read until you feel better.
9. Count your many blessings: make a list. Add to them often, and review. Keep a feeling of gratitude in your heart and it will bring contentment and joy.
10. Keep the house clean, the activity is good for you and a clean house lifts the spirits of everyone in the home. Let everyone help according to a fair plan.
11. Enjoy a loaf of the best whole grain bread you can buy or make.
12. Take some time every day just for yourself; to meditate, relax, regroup, nap, replenish and fill your cup. Solitude nourishes the soul.
13. After ‘feeling out’ your negative feelings think of how you can resolve them in a positive way. Negative feelings, if you let persist, are very detrimental to your health.
14. Invite friends over for dinner or to play games. Close friends have a positive effect on health and happiness.
15. Enjoy beautiful music! It soothes, enlivens, inspires, and brings much enjoyment. Good music counters tension and anxiety, lessens pain and improves the mood.
16. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Take time to relax and enjoy the beauties around you.
17. Build your personal relationships. Quickly settle and solve any ‘outs’ you may have. Forgive. You will feel much better, so will they.
18. Make a pot of vegetable beef soup. Home cooking, from scratch, is full of love and good health! You also avoid many additives.
19. Install a water purifier.
20. Be patient and hopeful during trials. Discover what you can learn from your trials and you will become a better person.
21. Positive emotions are life-enhancing. Love is the greatest of all. Love is an action. Show your love to others.
22. “If there is any kindness I can show, or any good that I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, as I shall not pass this way agian.” –William Penn
23. Keep your life active. Be aware of times you can get an extra activity in; such as parking the car farther out in the parking lot so you can walk.
24. Visit the library. Learn something new. Check a book out on an entirely different subject.
25. Recognize and accept your personal weaknesses and blunders. Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up, but work on doing better.
26. Enjoy a fresh green salad every day. Use green leafy lettuce, spinach; then load on carrots, cucumbers, peppers, onions, sprouts, etc. Whatever you like. Top with sunflower seeds, croutons, and your favorite dressing. Yum!
27. Take a whole day off. Take a vacation when you can. Do something nice for yourself. Then do something for someone else.
28. Repeat positive affirmations as often as needed to keep your thoughts positive. Try: ‘Faith, hope, and charity’, ‘cheer, cheer, cheer’, ‘I love life’, ‘I am content’, ‘Day by day in every way, I’m getting better and better’. Make up your own.
29. Have a sense of humor; remember to laugh often. Laughter stimulates and exercises the heart, increases brain alertness, reduces stress and increases hormone levels for 24 hours. Plus it brings fun and good will.
30. Consider a fitness club membership, or take up an activity you enjoy: golf, walking, swimming, bike riding, or exercise video. Invite a friend to join you to double the fun. Have an aerobic workout 3 – 6 times a week.
31. To keep the mind active and alert do crossword or jigsaw puzzles. Play family games more often.
32. Buy fresh flowers for your table. Beautify your home.
33. Go on a picnic with family or friends. Stretch out on a blanket. Have fun!
34. Brisk walking, deep breathing, and laughter relieve stress. Take time to annalyze why you feel stressed and work it out. Say no to overload.
35. Air out your home on a regular basis. Air pollution can quickly build up in a tightly sealed home.
36. Enhance the quality of your life with a snowball or tickle fight. Take a class or learn a sport.
37. Attend church regularly, develop a strong faith, pray often. Remember help from above is always there.
38. Be in charge of your thoughts. Check them often. Choose positive uplifting thoughts on purpose. Make it a habit, positive thinking builds health and prevents disease. Negative feelings and emotions are always preceeded by negative thoughts.
39. Keep God’s commandments. This brings a great measure of peace and safety from most of life’s ills.
40. “One must not loose desires. They are mighty stimulants to creativeness, to love and to long life” –Alexander Bogomaletz
41. Eat an apple! ”An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” then add 4 more fruits a day.
42. Stretching out after exercise and activity brings flexibility, long and lean muscles, and many other benefits.
43. Variety is the spice of life. Keep out of the big rut! Take a different route home, buy something new to eat such as a mango or bokchoy. Do your daily schedule in a different order. Visit a museum, call a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Keep flexible and open to new experiences. Variety is very mentally stimulating.
44. Have a pet. A dog, cat or other animals brings joy and love into a person’s life. Pets are totally accepting and give unconditional love. You live longer and healthier when you have a pet to love and keep you company.
45. Intentionally do all you do with a feeling of joy. Plan activities that make you happy. Happy people are healthy people. Make your own happiness and share it with others.
46. Enjoy a good conversation. Be an attentive listener. Build your communication skills by intentionally saying what you feel and mean, speaking plainly and sharing yourself.
47. Take a deep breath often throughout the day. Oxygen and wellness go together.
48. Fasten your seat belts, and your children’s. Make sure you are well rested and alert when you drive.
49. Keep trying to give up bad habits and harmful addictions until you succeed. Seek the help you need and keep trying. You can do it!
50. Wash your hands often!
51. Take up the country’s number one hobby – gardening. It’s a great activity and good for your body and soul. The fruits of your labors will be wholesome and delicious!
52. Visit someone who is sick or shut in. Take a gift or a gift of yourself. Serve another and your sorrows will vanish.
53. Simplify your life; dejunk, slow down, find joy in simple pleasures.
54. Hug someone, give a pat on the shoulder or a handshake. Human touch is healing and affirming.
55. Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Use sunscreen for protection.
56. Eat fresh fruit and whole grains for breakfast every day. A nourishing breakfast increases your metabolism and gets you off to a good start for the day. It never goes to fat.
57. Drink 2 – 3 glasses of water before breakfast and you will be well on your way to your goal of 8 glasses of water a day.
58. Go ahead and cry if you need to. Crying lowers blood pressure, relieves muscle tension, and helps you feel better again.
59. Enjoy a foot or back massage. It feels good, is great for the body and spirit, and releases toxins.
60. Do something creative. Take up a new hobby or renew an old one.
61. Have family members over often or visit them. Sharing life’s experiences with loved ones and showing love to them is profoundly healing and health promoting.
62. Be accepting of things you can’t change. Having a healthy degree of detachment keeps you from being easily upset.
63. Strike up a conversation with a stranger as you wait in a line. It is fun to meet new people.
64. If you don’t judge others as doing wrong, you won’t have to forgive them.
65. Enjoy an active lifestyle. Remember “use it or lose it!”
66. Live fully in the present moment. Don’t fret over the past or worry about the future. Enjoy today!
67. Keep a bottle of water in the car and at your desk. Be aware of keeping hydrated.
68. You will gravitate to your ideal weight when eating mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein.
69. The love and good feelings you send out are the ones that will come back to you. Our silent attitude toward others, be it loving or critical, is returned to us.
70. Lets come right out and say it: for a more fulfilling life — Turn off the TV!
71. Seek mental and physical stimulation every day. You will be much less likely to loose your mind in your old age.
72. When snacking turn to a handful of nuts and fresh fruit.
73. Dress and groom early in the day. You will feel better about yourself. Do the same for your children.
74. Make lifestyle changes gradually. Small changes can bring big benefits to your life; to your health and happiness. Add green leafy lettuce, more whole grains. Walk more. Keep trying.
75. We can’t control events around us, but we can control our reactions to them.
76. Do things to make your life enjoyable, be happy and you will be healthy.
77. Do well life’s daily tasks, it brings forth the blessings of heaven.
78. The more you forgive and extend kindness to yourself the more it becomes automatic response to others.
79. Deal with anger and other negative emotions quickly, settle them in a constructive way, such as forgiveness. Pushing anger inside can be deadly, as can exploding.
80. Overeating of even whole natural foods is detrimental as it obstructs the organs with excess acid and waste matter. Food is hard to digest and assimilate when it is not needed. Eat slowly.
81. Hug your children 3 times a day minimum. Take good care of them. Children who are loved and cared for are 95% healthier than those who are unloved.
82.Train yourself to be kind and loving. Look for the good in others, not the bad.
83. Eat 3 wholesome meals a day. When the body doesn’t receive the nourishment it needs it thinks it is starving and so sends the signal, “store fat, hard times are here.” Eat until you are just satisfied not full.
84. Be in a constant state of gratitude. There is always much to be grateful for no matter what your circumstances are. Negative thinking and it’s many ills cannot coexist with gratitude.
85. Choose to actively create the kind of life you want. Make it happen.
86. Spend at least 15 minutes of one on one time with your children every day.
87. You are literally what you eat and your cells make a complete change every 11 – 12 months. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables.
88. Love is the best medicine to give the sick. It is the number one proven healer of the body and spirit from any cause.
89. Water does more to prevent disease and cure illness than any other single factor taken into the body.
90. Keep the great power of your mind in your control. Make your choices carefully. Choose to think positive.
91. Take it easy on candy, soda pop and pastries. Too much can lay a foundation of disease.
92. Choose supplements according your needs. Some important ones are: Vitamin C, The Whole B Complex, Vitamin E in a natural form and A in a smaller dose.
93. Eat meat sparingly. Whole grains, nuts, eggs, green leafy vegetables, cottage cheese, all contain high quality protein. Excess protein leaves a toxic residue in the tissues which can eventually lead to many serious diseases, pre-mature aging and a lower life expectancy.
94. Acceptance is a calming healthy attitude. You may not like what is happening around you but since you can’t change it, just go with the flow. To do other than be accepting is painful and frustrating and can lead to disease.
95. Try to avoid chemicals in your food. Read labels at the grocery store. Know what you are getting. A bag of rice is rice, a box has quite a list of additives.
96. The body, mind and spirit work together as a unit. Each one affects the other. The mind is in charge. Choose to be positive, choose to be healthy and happy!
97. Buy most of your food in the produce section. You might ask yourself, “Did God make this food or did man?’ God does a much better job.
98. Keep your life in balance, with an adequate amount of rest, relaxation and sleep; with work, activity and exercise; social events and associations; with solitude and meditation. Balance work with play in the right proportions. Include mental and spiritual activities every day.
99. Listen to the subtle messages your body is always sending. If you feel tired, rest, even if just for a few a minutes. Are you hungry? . . . then eat. Stop when you get the stop message. Do you feel lazy or bored? . . . maybe you need more activity.
100. Take personal responsibility for your health, your thoughts and your happiness. Doctors can’t always be there to tell you what to do or not to do. Friends and family can only contribute to your happiness. It is really all up to YOU! GO FOR IT!
by RosaLee Ewell
The heart is the universal symbol of love. I created these cute little heart-shaped pillows from discontinued fabric samples I have collected and scraps of fabric I saved for such occasions. I love fabrics: their textures, patterns and colors spark my creativity and I want to make something that pleases the senses. I also collect scraps of lace of all sizes, colors and shapes. I added lace to these pillows to add a touch of romance.
To make these cute little heart-shaped pillows start by cutting out a shape of a heart from a piece of cardstock by folding it in half and free-handedly cut half a heart, unfold the heart and see if you like it. You can make a tall or fat heart. I like to use all different sizes for an ecclectic look.
Place pattern on fabric of varying colors and patterns. I like florals with lots of reds and pinks for a more romantic victorian look. Stripes are fun also. White linen with flowers or words of endearment you embroider adds a very personal touch, especially if your giving it away as a gift. Use two different fabrics: one for the front and one for the back. I added lace on top of a floral to one side of my pillow.
For a vintage look add a broach or a beautiful button. A bow made from grosgrain ribbon or sheer ribbon with the broach or button added near the ribbon adds beauty, charm and romance. A loop of ribbon added to the middle and top of the heart will allow you to hang the heart on a doorknob or a bulletin board. I added a button to the back of this pillow so I could attach the ribbon.
Have fun making these pillows by adding anything of interest to you. Fill the pillow with potpourri for a scented sachet for a sock drawer or anywhere you wish to add a beautiful aroma. Creating something original is fun and satisfying.
by RosaLee Ewell
I just finished remodeling my son’s bedroom. He just got home from spending two years in Brazil and I wanted to surprise him with a fresh and more sophisticated look. The best part is I spent less than $100. It’s amazing what you can do to a room on a very limited budget.
I got my inspiration for color from the duvet cover I purchased at Ikea. I chose the orange color for the accent wall and the silver/gray color for the other three walls. Painting is a very cheap and easy way to give a room some color and vitality.
I had two extra black square throw pillows that I tucked behind the pillow sham which adds warmth and comfort. They finish the bedding nicely. I decided not to paint the bed. I liked the vintage look of the natural pine.
For the orange accent wall I took the picture that was hanging on the wall next to his desk and painted the frame black and distressed it with an antiquing glaze. I hung it low on the wall near his nightstand and close to his lamp. This gives a cozy feel to the room and creates a more spacious look to a small space. I added a black vinyl quote (one of his favorites) above his headboard, this gave the orange wall just what it needed to finish it off.
For the window wall I hung the two open baskets to either side of the window and added faux grass to them (which I purchased from a craft store going out of business). Looks much better there and you notice them now where before you couldn’t see them behind the door above the chest of drawers.
The desk just inside the door is much more functional with a small black chair which I purchased at a furniture outlet for $30. I hung the bulletin board closer to the desk. This gives him a cozy corner to do homework, study and read his favorite books.
I hung the bamboo mirror over his chest of drawers, before it was hung in an odd spot next to the window by his headboard. Mirrors bring light and depth to a room. Place them where they can be functional and reflect something of interest. And it’s near his door so he can take a quick glance before he leaves.