Category Archives: Home Arts

Happy New Year Traditions

It has been a pretty happy and joyous holiday season and I have enjoyed it all, but now it’s time to look toward a brand new year and think how I will spend my time in it.

Before I get to that, though, I want to finish up some Christmas things.  We had such a nice Christmas.  Low key and quiet with some rambunctious children thrown in.  This year there were two gifts that were special to me.  I got a camera which I am still learning how to use, but that isn’t one of the gifts I am talking about.


I was given this darling Jim Shore Santa and I love Jim Shore figurines, but if you look closely, you will see just why I am particularly happy with this one.  He is holding a chicken and a basket of eggs!


That could be Freedom he is holding.


His basket has several eggs in it. How cute is that?  I am wondering if this is the start of a chicken figurine collection?

The other gift I received came from my loving husband.  I have wanted one of these for years.  My brothers had one when we were growing up and I played with it a lot.


A ukelele!!!!  Oh, how I love this. I am practicing on it all the time trying to get my fingers to make the chords sound right.


It’s so pretty, too.  Green paisley.  It has a really good tone and my fingers are beginning to get toughened up by playing it so much.   I know I am going to get hours of fun out of this and I hope I get good enough that when some of our friends get together with their guitars and banjos I can join them on my ukelele.

Today, the first day of 2014 was a really nice day.  We went shopping and I got some fabric.  I haven’t bought fabric since, well, since we went to North Carolina two months ago.  This time, though, I was buying to make gifts for, what else, Christmas this year.  Yes, I am one of those people who works all year on Christmas.  No waiting until the last minute to buy gifts for this girl.  I like to spread the cheer all year and enjoy wondering how people will like their presents I give them.  I have had some specific orders for presents this time and they are going to take a little time.


I came home with these treasures.


Love these wool felt pieces for which I have plans.  I bought a new pattern today and it is so cute and know just the person for which I will make it.

David and I ate at Olive Garden for lunch.  I got baked shrimp parmesan and it was so good.

When we got home, I grabbed Belle and she and I took a four mile walk.  I wasn’t intending to walk quite so far, but the more we walked the more I wanted to.   It felt good to get out in the fresh air. I let Belle loose and she ran all over like a little kid let out of a cage.

When I got back, I started on one New Year’s tradition.  Every year for as long as I can remember, my mother made new pillow cases on New Year’s Day.  It’s good luck, she said.  I have followed in that tradition and I made a couple today.


I used this pretty pink check fabric for one.


No, this isn’t my pillowcase. I am going to sew yo-yos on the one I made today and it will look like this one when I am done.  It’s going to take about sixty yo-yos I think.


I made a pillowcase for David for Valentine’s Day using this fabric.  I will put a York peppermint patty on his pillow.


Here are my completed pillowcases.  Here is a quick tutorial to make a pillowcase.

This is for a standard size pillow.  If you have a King size or other size pillow you will have to adapt this to your pillow.

First cut a length of fabric 42 inches wide by 35 or 36 inches long.



Turn down 1/4 inch on one of the 42 inch sides and press.


Turn down another 3 inches and sew.

Put right sides together and sew the side and bottom seams together.


I use 1/4 inch seams.


Clip one corner where two seams meet. Be sure not to clip your stitching or you will weep and wail and wonder why you ever started this project.

Now this next step is not necessary, but I think it gives a nice finish to your pillowcase.  I zigzag all my seams.

Turn your pillow right side out.  Press the seams flat and then press your pillowcase.  You can starch it if you prefer.  I don’t, but that’s my preference.   There. You have made a pillowcase.  Wasn’t that easy?

Another tradition my mother had was to make something from cabbage on New Year’s day.  It could be sauerkraut, coleslaw or fried cabbage.  I made scalloped cabbage.   I don’t have a picture of it right now, but it turned out real pretty and is it good.  Even if you don’t like cabbage, you might like this.

I was going to show you another tradition I have, but for some reason my computer says no, you cannot add any more pictures to your post. Don’t know why. My husband and I have both worked on it with no luck.

So I will just wish all of you the happiest of New years. I am so happy you take some time out of your busy day to come read this little blog. I am thrilled beyond measure people all around the world are reading it. You there, in Norway, thank you for stopping by. That gal in Australia who comes here. Wish I could meet you all. The British ladies who live where I would love to visit one day. The one in Kuwait, China, France. I know  I haven’t mentioned all the countries, but I just want to say I love knowing you are all here. The local girls, too. I love you all. I look forward to writing about this life of mine. It’s not a large life, but it’s a fun, wholesome, happy life and I wouldn’t want to live any other. I’ll be telling you about some of my plans on my next blog.  BYE.



























The Amazing Corn Cutting Machine

Before I show you my amazing corn cutting machine I’d like to tell you what I have been up to for the last couple of days.  Yes, I have been freezing corn, but I have managed to catch up on some long awaited sewing that has been bugging me all Summer.

I started a quilt in the Spring and had to put it aside for quite a while since I had a graduation quilt to complete  and several door prizes to sew for our family reunion/anniversary party.  Now that those things are over, I am getting back into the swing of working on some new things.  I made a blouse the last couple of days.  I don’t have a picture of it yet, but will show you on another post.  It’s from a pattern that I have used to make several blouses.  It is really more of a smock type blouse, loose with full sleeves and a tie at the neck. This blouse is so comfortable to wear and so easy to make.


I have to make ninety of these blocks plus cut out blocks to go between .  This is a fun quilt because I get to use up a lot of my different fabrics.  The squares measure six inch square.  It will be an old fashioned looking quilt I hope.


I am pinning this quilt and this is all that I can show you because I am going to give it to someone.  I pinned it once and discovered the backing wasn’t big enough for it so I had to unpin it all and sew more borders on the backing and then repin it.  Errrrrrrgggg!!   Now it is going together nicely and I am looking forward to quilting it on my sewing machine.

Yesterday David and I shucked and froze sixteen quarts of sweet corn.  I told you about putting up corn on my old blog if you can find it.  Every time I do corn I forget just how sticky everything gets.  Thankfully we now have air conditioning or the job would have been unbearable.  I have frozen corn on very hot summer days without air conditioning. I think that is why I quit doing it for a few years.

My amazing corn cutting machine came in quite handy.  I have the only one in town so you won’t find it in the stores.  First I will show you the corn in the freezer and then you will be able to watch a video of my amazing corn cutting machine.


It’s nice to know that when the snow is flying we can taste the wonderful taste of corn on the cob from our freezer.  I still have corn left over from last year so we are stocked up now.

Now for the amazing corn cutting machine.


Click on above link, click on the link at the next screen to see the high speed corn cutting machine. Okay, so it’s not a machine.  But I felt like one.

Here’s to happy sewing and sweet corn.  Bye.


Textiles and Tidbits

I have always liked working with textiles.  Even when I was a little girl I wanted to sew.  I made my first doll out of an old sock. I drew a face on her and was quite proud of her.  I still have her somewhere.  If I can find her, I will show her one day.

My mother sewed a lot while I was growing up and she taught me to sew. I also took home economics in school for six years and learned to make drapes, clothes and other things.  Going to home ec. class was really fun for me because I got to do what I loved doing.  Some of the girls didn’t even know how to thread a sewing machine.  I remember one poor girl who almost had a dress she was making completed and she accidentally cut a hole in it right in front.  My home ec teacher thought of a way to cover the hole with a fabric belt.  It worked perfectly.  I have had many holes happen when I have been sewing and because of that teacher, I learned you can figure out how to cover your mistake.  In fact, something happened like that quite recently with something I was sewing and I covered the hole and no one will ever know.

A new fabric line came out recently called Bake Sale by Lori Holt and I fell in love with it.  I could think of so many things to make with it.  I am making door prizes for a family reunion and anniversary party we are having in July.  I can’t show what I am making, but I can show some of the fabric I am using.







I also took these two fabrics……DSCN6077



and made this.




Remember these?  These cute little balls of fluff?  They are getting so big now and I look every day to see if they have laid any eggs yet.  They sure do eat a lot and peck and scratch all day in their yard looking for fat bugs and worms.  I throw them some fresh mint out of the garden sometimes or anything with leaves and they fall on it like it was sirloin steak.   I have one barred rock who races me to the gate every time I leave their yard trying to get out.  She is very sly about doing it.  She can be on the other side of the yard and as soon as I open the gate, she is right at my heels.  I haven’t told you about Belle, our chocolate lab following me into the pen and pouncing on the lame chicken I have been babying for months.  Thankfully, I got her out before she did any damage to her, but I thought for sure I was going to have one dead chicken.


This is what Freedom looked like a few weeks ago. she couldn’t move unless I moved her and I had to bring her food and water to her.  After weeks of Poly Vi Sol, a couple of Epsom salt soaks and vitamins, she can now stand up from time to time and can get to the food and water all by herself. Now I am going to tell you something some of you will think is crazy, but there is a song I learned in Sunday school about Peter healing a lame man.  The song goes something like “Gold and silver I’ve none, but what I have give I you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk. He went walking and leaping and praising God.  Walking and leaping and praising God.  In the name of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth stand up and walk!”  I sang that song to Freedom every day and one day when I got to the part where I sang “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk,”  Freedom stood right up on both feet.  I still sing it to her and I think she understands.  I don’t know if she will ever be able to walk well or be able to fly up and sit on a roost, but right now she can get around and is healthy and happy and none of the other chickens dare peck her because I poke them on the beak when they try.  I just know she will be the first one to lay an egg.



Another project I almost have completed is a barn quilt for the front of our house. This is not it.  Last fall when we went to Tennessee to look for barn quilts I decided then I wanted one on our house.  When David and I drove to Chillicothe Ohio a week ago, we saw more barn quilts along the Ohio River than we did in all of Tennessee.   I will show you our barn quilt when David gets it hung, hopefully this week.


Still getting rhubarb from the garden and instead of a pie, I made these rhubarb tarts. David ate all but one of them.

Here’s to lovely fabric, barn quilts and lame chickens who still love life.  Bye.



A Little Beauty, A Little Sweetness

Hurray, I got some pictures again.  My new computer was not uploading pictures for some reason so I am using our old laptop and it is working, so now my blogs won’t be boringly picture free.

I don’t know about you, but it seems we Americans have seen enough bombings, explosions and bloodshed to last forever.  We have been blest not to have had to endure these things in our country so much in the past, but they seem to be becoming a part of life.  I truly pray all those who have been affected by all these horrible things will recover or be given peace.  I can’t imagine the horror.

That said, I think we all are ready for some beauty in our lives.  Some kindness.  Some love.  Here is my love to you with flowers.




















These are all flowers and bushes in my garden or will soon be planted in my garden.

Now how about some sweetness?  I have been baking.  Rhubarb pie. The rhubarb is not from our garden.  We bought it at Appleworks some time ago and it’s been in the freezer.  Our rhubarb is ready so there will be more of these.


Wait a minute.  That is a pie shell.  Did I make a different pie?



We found this at Wal-Mart and since David loves Key Lime Pie I had to buy the four cans they had.



Wait, this is my rhubarb pie.  Did I make two pies in one day???



You bet I did and David and I ate every last piece.  I didn’t like the key lime pie too well.  The consistency didn’t appeal to me so David got most of it.  When I was little, Mom would let me play with the pie dough and make little pies in my own little pie pan.  Now that I am not so little, I use the left over dough and make cinnamon rolls.



I think these are better than some of the pies.  I make my pie dough with lard which is the only way to get a truly crumbly, flavorful dough.  Mom use to buy lard by the five gallon can and kept it in the kitchen where she would turn out pies almost every week.  My Grandma Ridenour made the best pies ever.  When she lived with us, she would be in charge of making the pie dough and taught me how to make good dough.  When I was in high school, I took Home Economics and one time we had to make pie crusts.  My best friend and I were a team and honestly, we could not make a bad pie crust.  The teacher’s pet made pie crust after pie crust and they just wouldn’t turn out and my friend and I would stand back and pat ourselves on the back because our crusts always turned out.  Not very nice, but we were competitive about the whole thing. It could have been because we were both farm girls and had learned to cook and bake when we were younger.  I had the best teacher of all, though, and for that I am very happy.

Now are you ready for some cute?


Parade of the chickens.  The girls are growing.  Five of them are doing well, but one of them has gone off her feet and I am trying to doctor her.  I think she has rickets, which is lack of calcium in the diet, so I bought polyvisol with vitamin D and am putting supplements in the drinking water.  I am really worried about her.  I don’t remember what my dad did when hens got sick.  I really don’t remember too much about the care of the chickens except for feeding and watering them.  I am watching the rest of them closely.  I really don’t want to lose any of them.  David said, “And that is why you don’t name chickens.”   But I did, and I love them all like pets so I will worry.

I hope your days are filled with sweetness, beauty and light.  Bye.