Monday, June 10, 2013

The wonders of the corn bag

Corn Bag with Cover
Several years ago I had the unfortunate experience of a fall. It happened so suddenly and completely unexpected.  What a shock to my system!   Thankfully I was not seriously injured, but I did need hot and cold compresses on my elbow and knees for a few days.  

I had read at one time that a bag of frozen vegetables, such as peas or corn, work well in a pinch for an ice pack.  It is quicker and easier to maneuver than ice cubes in a plastic bag and towel.  Well, I found a better solution.  Corn bags.  Like rice bags, they mold around the body part, are ready to go at a moments notice, and don't drip! :)  They hold the heat longer than rice too.

Removable Cover
I made mine with cotton muslin and whole feed corn.  The cotton pouch measures approximately 8” by 10”.  I didn't like the look of just plain muslin, so I made a removable cover out of pretty cotton prints.  This is a really good idea, because you don't want to get the corn wet by trying to wash the fabric.  

Another improvement was to add some batting to one side of the cover and quilt it in place.  This will reduce the intensity of the heat or cold on one side.  Want more heat, just flip it over.  I keep a couple of bags, without the cover, in the freezer, and several near the microwave.

Quilted Front

Since I fell, I've made many bags, in many sizes.  They make great gifts and have so many uses. In winter, microwave one before leaving the office and keep warm while waiting on the car heater. Throw one under the bed covers and reduce the shock of cold sheets on your feet. In summer, the moist heat will ease those aching weekend warrior muscles. I've put one in the bread basket to keep the rolls warm on the table.  The cold ones work wonders for hot flashes or a summer relief from the heat.  Kids love them as boo-boo bags.  I'm sure you can come up with many more uses.  Let me know your ideas.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Loom Knitting for all Ages

In the last couple of years I have discovered loom knitting. I have always preferred crochet and it's versatility. Yet there is something special about the fabric created with the looms. Many varieties of gauges and sizes are available. Being the tool collector that I am, of course I have had to purchase several sets. Provo Craft's Knifty Knitter round looms was my first set. I whipped up a hat the first evening.   Blankets, afghans, shawls, bags, mittens, stuffed animals, nearly any thing you can knit, can be made on these looms. Best of all, you don't need the coordination required of using the knitting needles. Children to adults with arthritis have enjoyed making their very own projects.

Hat and Scarf Set
With so many patterns and tutorials available, loom knitting could be your next relaxation hobby. Check out Kristen at Good Knit Kissses.  You will see how easy this craft is to pick up.  It won't take you long to start designing your own loom knit craft.

I would love to see your creations.  You can comment below with your link, or join me on Facebook at JC's Sewing Room.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Originally set aside as a day to remember those who fought and died in the American civil war, Memorial Day has expanded to all those who have given their life fighting for our country and it's freedom.  Thank you to all our men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they, and their families, make daily.

Memorial Day weekend is also the (un)official start of summer for most. When I was growing up in Ohio, this was the weekend the public pools opened, the school year was about to end and vacation time was in sight. Road trips, long days, barbecues and picnics, parades, softball, summer camp and catching fireflies.

Can or Bottle Cozy
Today, it's a long awaited three day weekend from work.  Although it's been five months since the holidays, the time has gone by so quickly.  I'm sure this summer will be no exception and become a memory before I realize it.

What memories are triggered for you this weekend? Are you planning a family get together?  How about ribs and chicken on the grill?

Have fun and be safe.
Can or Bottle Cozy

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

There is a special love a child has for their mother. She nurtures and cares for her children and family  24/7.  I remember as a child we had a cat who had a litter of kittens. She was a good cat and we played with her often. But she had a special voice, tone, meow that she used when she was dealing with her kittens. I never heard that voice before they were born, and never after they were weened and left her. How much more is our mother's love?

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:Proverbs 31:10, 27-28 NIV

Honor your mother today in your own special way. Your special love is all she craves.

Crochet Carnation of white cotton

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Pocket Just Right for You!

Have you ever said, "I like this, but I wish..."?  When it comes to your Helping Hand Pocket Pouch, customization is key.  Everyone is special.  

You can make your choices in fabric, prints or solids, number of pockets, size, etc.  The perfect Helping Hand Pocket Pouch will be made to order.  Check out this order form to make your decisions easier.

I pay special attention to ease of use. Velcro, buttons with wide buttonholes, snaps, ribbons and ties are all available for your Helping Hand Pocket Pouch. Contact me if you have a special need or request. I enjoy special orders.  

Browse through my Etsy shop to see examples of what we can do together.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Helping Hand Pocket Pouches

I love to sew, especially for others.  Currently I am specializing in walker bags and other aids.  I've been called the "Pocket Lady" because I want pockets on everything.  Stash it away, but keep it handy.

I have nicknamed my items as Helping Hand Pocket Pouches.  Who doesn't need a helping hand?  Carry this or that from room to room.  Hide it away and clear a night stand.  Or just sooth an aching muscle with a hot pack.  Browse through the several categories in the shop.

Do you have a suggestion or design idea?  I would love to hear all about it!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Broomstick Lace

I love trying new stitches and techniques.  New for me, at least.  This week I tried the broomstick lace stitch.  The Broomstick Lace Technique uses an object to form the loops such as a broomstick, large knitting needle, pvc pipe, or whatever you find in the desired diameter.

It was a bit awkward at first.  I needed to hold a size US 35/19 mm knitting needle along with the project, while using a crochet hook.  While some people hold the needle, others brace it between their knees.   Once I found that I could brace the knitting needle between the cushioned arm of the couch and my rib cage, (not as uncomfortable as it sounds), off I went making row after row.  What do think of the result?

Broomstick Lace Scarf
There are so many videos and free patterns out there to choose from to learn this technique.  Try your hand and show me your results.  I'd love to see your creations.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Floppy Spring

Spring is in the air, finally!  Raised in Ohio, I still remember after a long winter, it feels great to shed that big and heavy winter coat.  I was so ready for a floppy spring.  

Flip flops and floppy brim sun hats are now my go to items for a spring wardrobe.  

Unbundling from the winter cover ups expose us to the harsh spring and summer sun rays.  The large brim hats with a mesh crown provide needed shade to your face while letting body heat out the top.  

Dont forget the sunscreen for a more healthful and younger looking skin.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Is Risen Indeed!

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. (Matthew 28:1-6 NLT)

Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Remembering Good Friday / Holy Friday

What is Good Friday / Holy Friday?

Good Friday, also known as "Holy Friday," is the Friday immediately precedingEaster Sunday. It is celebrated traditionally as the day on which Jesus was crucified. If you are interested in a study of the issue, please see our article that discusses the various views onwhich day Jesus was crucified. Assuming that Jesus was crucified and died on a Friday, should Christians remember Jesus' death by celebrating Good Friday?

The Bible does not instruct Christians to remember Christ’s death by honoring a certain day. The Bible does give us freedom in these matters, however.Romans 14:5tells us, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” Rather than remembering Christ's death on a certain day, once a year, the Bible instructs us to remember Christ’s death by observing theLord’s Supper.First Corinthians 11:24-26declares, “ this in remembrance of me...for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”

Why is Good Friday referred to as “good”? What the Jewish authorities and Romans did to Jesus was definitely not good (see Matthew chapters 26-27). However, the results of Christ’s death are very good!Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”First Peter 3:18tells us, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.”

Many Christian churches celebrate Good Friday with a subdued service, usually in the evening, in which Christ’s death is remembered with solemn hymns, prayers of thanksgiving, a message centered on Christ suffering for our sakes, and observance of the Lord's Supper. Whether or not Christians choose to “celebrate” Good Friday, the events of that day should be ever on our minds because the death of Christ on the cross is the paramount event of the Christian faith.

If you would like to learn more about why Jesus' death on the cross was so “good,” please read the following article:What does it mean to accept Jesus as your personal Savior?

Read more:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Flings!

Spring is finally here!!  Now is the time to get out and spruce up the yard, enjoy long bike rides, lazy day picnics, and lots of cold drinks.  The only annoying part is the condensation on the container.  Your hands get wet and slippery, water drips and puddles on the table.  I've found that these crocheted sleeves eliminate that annoyance so you can enjoy your spring fling.  They help to keep your hands dry while insulating the beverage.  I've hand crocheted these from 100% USA grown cotton.  A ruffled edge, or flower motif, will determine her drink from his.

Special orders are welcomed.  Choose your color, choose your style.  Would you like solid colors, stripes, or variegated?  Don't like the ruffles?  No problem.  What about sets where each one is a different color?

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Let me know what you are thinking!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Saint Patrick wasn't Irish!

Who knew?  I was curious about the origins of the St. Patrick's Day holiday, so I went searching.  This is what I found:

Answer:  The man eventually canonized as Saint Patrick by the Catholic Church was born to a wealthy family in 387 A.D. in Kilpatrick, Scotland. His real name was Maewyn Succat. It was his extensive missionary work in Ireland for which he is famous. During the thirty years of work there he supposedly converted over 135,000 people, established 300 churches, and consecrated 350 bishops. He died on March 17, 461 A.D.

History records that Saint Patrick, at age sixteen, was captured by Celtic raiders and spent several years as a slave in Ireland. It was during this time that he learned the various rituals, customs, and language of Celtic Druids. It was these people that he eventually converted to Catholicism. He apparently had a dream in which God spoke to him saying “Your ship is ready.” Saint Patrick was then able to escape by ship back to Britain. Shortly thereafter, he experienced another dream in which he received a letter which claimed to be the “voice of the Irish.” When he opened it, he heard the voices of all those who he had met in Ireland begging him to return.

Saint Patrick then began a course of study to become ordained a bishop in the Catholic Church and returned back to Ireland to establish the church. Though the task was difficult and dangerous, he persisted and was able to build a strong foundation for Christianity. The Irish people were very receptive to his teachings especially in light of the fact that he was able to take several of their Celtic symbols and Christianize them. The most prominent of these is the green shamrock, a certain type of clover. He used this plant, which was held sacred by the Druids, as a symbol of the Trinity. Additionally, Saint Patrick was instrumental in bringing alcohol to Ireland which eventually had a significant impact upon the Irish culture.

Each year millions of people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It is a national holiday in Ireland when people do not work, but observe it in worship and family gatherings. In the United States, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York on March 17 of 1762. It consisted largely of Irish soldiers. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by wearing green which symbolizes the return of spring as well as the Irish culture. Also, prominent in this celebration is green beer, pointing back to Saint Patrick’s introduction of alcohol to Ireland.

What initially started as a Catholic holiday became an official feast day in the 17th century. Since then it has become a secular celebration of the Irish culture. Neither Saint Patrick or St. Patrick’s Day is mentioned in Scripture. While we would strongly disagree of some of the aspects of Catholic theology that St. Patrick taught, the fact that around 1600 years ago a man dedicated his life to proclaiming the Gospel, resulting in tens of thousands coming to faith in Christ – that is most definitely worth celebrating (Luke 15:7-10).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trying my hand at the Knook

Crochet has been my craft of late. I tend to run in spurts. My grandmother started me off with stamped cross stitch hand embroidery. High school and my mother encouraged garment and home decor sewing. Then I went on to plastic canvas, rug hooking, knitting and crochet. I was introduced to loom knitting a couple of years ago. This Christmas I picked up the Knook by Leisure Arts.

This technique is promoted as knitting with a crocket hook.  The tool is a crochet hook with a life line on the opposite end from the hook.  The line cord actually is a substitute for the second needle.  I did a small swatch of the knit and purl stitches.  Leaning more towards crochet, I found it fairly awkward and wonder if it wouldn't be faster to use regular needles.  The upside is it so much easier to pick up a dropped stitch since this life line stays in place until you are finished with the row.

Then I tried it with a specialty ruffle yarn.  Much easier than my previous methods and faster.  Now that I have the hang of it, we'll see what great creation will appear off this hook?  :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Yarn Minder

Yarn Minder
 Working with this specialty yarn is fairly easy, once you know the tricks. Although Sashay comes in a ball, it is twisted and condensed. The ribbons come in a hank, which needs to be dealt with very gently so not to tangle into a bird's nest.  Both should be rewound onto a tube such as the inside of a paper towel roll. Once wound flat, the project rolls smoothly into place.

I designed the Yarn Minder pictured to steady the flow to my needles. My dear sweet husband made it a reality with some wood and some small diameter PVC pipe. The Yarn Minder double decker is great for using two together as one. In the picture, I'm actually making two scarves at the same time on a knitting loom.  

I really wanted something sturdy.  I made some scarves for gifts last month, and winding the ruffle yarn on the pvc pipe helped a lot.  But it was just rolling on the end table behind a couple of coffee cups.  LOL  This works much better.

Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say.   Sometimes you have to make do with what is at hand.  Sometimes you have a husband that is just itching to use his power tools.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sashay and Ribbon Ruffle Scarves

Sashay Tango
Ruffle scarves are very popular this season.  Redheart yarns makes it so easy to design your own with their Sashay and Ribbon Boutique specialty yarns.  Take a look at some of the scarves I've made.
Chain Scarf

Ruffled Scarf

Ribbon Scarf

Some are made with crochet hooks, some are made with knitting looms, and some are made with knooks.  Each technique has it's advantages, but generally give the same results.  Try whichever method you feel most comfortable.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Crochet Corner

As winter approached a couple of years ago, I decided to get back to crochet.  I participated in a crochet along with the fine people at Bernat.  What a great way to refresh my skills and learn new techniques.  Crocheting also gives my idle hands a constructive purpose for the couple of hours of TV a night as well as being able to participate in a conversation with dear sweet husband.  

Check out my Crochet Corner in JC's Sewing Room.

May God continue to bless you all.