Tuesday, December 31, 2013

~Tying Up Those Loose Ends.... & Some Super Glue~

I think I am ready for 2013
to be a page in the past.
The day after Christmas,
I was taking a plate from the shop fridge to the compost pile
which should have been done long ago.
Being careful not to get any of that compostable stuff on me,
I slipped on the ice, went splat & broke the plate to boot.
Not long after the slip,
I went to add a log to the fire & burnt a knuckle.
Yesterday, the all-star match between 
my paring knife and me ended with the paring knife
being named champion.
I still have my finger - it stopped at the bone.
Mr. LB grabbed the super glue he prefers
which is the liquid.  I prefer the gel.
By the way, you should keep this in your first aid kit.
It's the same thing as skin adhesive.
The glue ran down my finger and glued my wedding ring
to my finger as well as to my other fingers.
I immediately pulled my fingers apart,
and it took a little bit before I got my ring to spin,
but there will be no removing it to clean it
until my finger heals.

So, onward and upward...
The good news is that Mr. LB & I treated ourselves
to a wonderful day of skiing.
And you will be so proud of me.
I am no longer just a green circle; I am a blue square!
Not a good one, but one nonetheless.
(Mr. LB is a black diamond)
In case you don't ski, those are the levels of difficulty of the slopes.
Mr. LB was born with skis on~ my poor mother-in-law.

The other fun and yes, I do realize that I am the only one 
who would qualify this as fun, is that I have been doing 
more de-cluttering.
We have had or have been a part of 3 yard sales in the past 4-5 years,
and we will be having another this spring.
I cleaned out and am still sorting through a room full
of 'goodies' that have never really had a home.
You know...THAT room.
I also cleaned out (de-cluttered:) the refrigerator.
I know it doesn't sound like fun, but it is so nice when
I open the door, and it sparkles back at me.
Honestly, how many open jars of jelly does one fridge need?
One would think it should look like
"Sanford & Son" around here, but surprisingly,
it is the fact that I take a bag to the bargain counter
nearly every week & have the stack started
in the shop for the yard sale
that keeps it all under control.
If you have not been there yet,
there is an amazing blog in my sidebar
Jes has a fabulous and seemingly endless
supply of both knowledge and resources on the topic
of home and home organization.
Every home has its own character, and
there are so many ways that folks make it all work.
She has a way of simplifying it and
making it beautiful all at the same time. 
I am hoping to start 2014
on a slightly more organized footing~
in order to keep it simpler and
enjoy the harmony that nature provides,
and we humans mess up.
I don't make new year resolutions,
but I do have ongoing goals.
One of my goals at the moment is
A few things to prioritize:
stuff vs. space
relationships (enriching vs. draining)
time vs. events/obligations
sanity vs. rushing
health vs. convenience
There are probably more.
Feel free to add your own to the list.

I am looking forward to closing the books on 2013.
So to each of you, I wish a very blessed and prosperous

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches


Sunday, December 22, 2013

*~*~*A Little Christmas Stitching*~*~*

No laughing,
but after I finished writing my couple of cards
(to those who would otherwise think I was dead,)
I actually spent a little time stitching.
It's just a little quilt
made from the scraps of a much larger Christmas quilt.
I have had the stack of scraps sitting there
in my way for ages so decided to get rid of them this way.
They aren't finished and aren't really Christmas fabrics
but will make a nice little doll quilt
or table topper.

Sometimes these weird little projects
turn out to be some of the most fun to do,
because they don't have to be 'just so.'
So far that's how this one is-
just a fun little thing.

I wish you all a very merry
and blessed Christmas.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Saturday, December 14, 2013

*~*~*Last Minute Gift Idea - Sandcastle Brownies*~*~*

This is great for those who have everything.
Also, it is usable so we are not
decorating someones house,
providing them with 
clothes they will never wear
or a gadget to dust etc.

Just gather up a few things.

Sandcastle Brownies
In a 1 qt. jar, layer

1/3 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup flaked coconut
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 cup flour

Then on a tag provide the following information:

Additional Ingredients
2 eggs
2/3 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well then bake in greased 8" pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 min.

I just printed it up on a little tag and attached it with a ribbon.
You can do several at one time if you have 
the need to do so.

PS: I like to use pickle jars - washed and sanitized of course.
We certainly wouldn't want pickle flavored brownies.
If you use a regular canning quart jar, 
the layers will actually look a little better
or thicker, but these are jars that I'll never see again.
I think of it as a great way to recycle.
You can also add a piece of fabric over the lid
for an even more festive look.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

*~*~*Just How Cold is It?*~*~*

Last night when we went to bed,
it was -9 & -23 with windchill!
It is so cold that the water is freezing on the rocks.
Then as more water flows,
it flows over the ice and freezes even more.
This is the same corner from up river.

When I make soap,
I do the lye water outside
because it is caustic & can get up to 200 degrees.
I carried it in the house with my bare hands.
It was like holding a cup of hot coffee,
but there was no 200 degrees.

Now it's Mama Hen time.
If you have to travel - even just to work or the store,
carry a few things with you, please.
Small Shovel

It might sound like a lot,
but I just pulled a fella out of a ditch
Friday on my way home.
My tow rope is always in my rig,
but it was out for some reason.
What saved the day was
that the fella had one with him.

I will have another gift idea for you
here within the next couple days,
but wanted to encourage you all
to keep safe and warm.

PS - What's up with naming storms?  We used to have one name
for all the storms - Winter:)

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Traditions, Ideas, & a Gift Tutorial

As many of you are aware,
we don't have television.
Over Thanksgiving,
we were at my in-laws
who seem to have it on for
all but a few sleeping hours.
On our way home,
Mr. LB said, "No wonder people act so stupid."
We couldn't believe what was in the shows
and especially in the commercials.
We didn't 'do' Black Friday &
find it abominable that big box stores
started their 'big sales' on Thanksgiving.
Yet we know - so be it.
There are things that are so much simpler
and for us at least, better.
When the children were just youngins,
they would string cereal on jute
and hang it out for the birds on Thanksgiving
so they could be thankful too.
It was great.
I love that memory.
The year this was taken was extra-special for the birds.
They also got bagels with peanut-butter and bird seed.

One idea I recently ran across
is to make little pockets for the Christmas tree.
When you are taking down the tree,
strip the needles from some of the branches,
and put them in the pocket for in your dresser drawers.
Then you can be reminded of Christmas
every time you open your drawer.
I thought it was a great little tradition
so here's what I came up with.

I made a very simple version
and will probably make a few more
just for a few friends.
(Just letting you know: I used some scraps I had.)
Also, I used a machine, but they would not be difficult to do by hand.
I like the more primitive look (in the real sense of the word)
so I tore a strip of tea dyed muslin at about 4 inches wide.
Then cut at about 11 inches long
Depending on the width of your fabric,
you can get 3 or 4 pockets from one strip.
Then tear an alternate color at about 1/2 inch wide.
You will need 2 that are about 4 1/2 inches long
and one that is about 4 inches ~ the width you tore your muslin.
I wanted the selvage across the edge so left it.
I used a small scrap of iron on interfacing.
This is where the button hole will be.
Also, on the second one (green) I stitched one of the
1/2 inch strips across this end and liked it better than without.
At the other end, I stitched under about 1/4 inch. 
Stitch a button hole in the end with the interfacing.
(Not done in the picture yet.)
Lay the two 1/2 inch strips along the sides. 
Fold her up and stitch along the sides
(after button hole is sewn of course.)
See below~ 
 Sew button in place.
Fill with pine needles and Christmas memories.

You could get as fancy or as detailed as you wanted.
I thought about stitching "NOEL" on one.
I may or may not do that.
I do like the one with the extra strip of color.
(The green along the selvage.)
If you know someone uses a fake tree,
you could stuff it with cedar shavings.

Other than a floral arrangement and using the Christmas napkins,
I don't decorate until a week or so before Christmas.
I do enjoy Christmas,
and like to keep the focus on the real meaning.
I know others do so differently~ 
it's all good.
Wishing you all Peace, Happiness, and Harmony
this Christmastime.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches