Pink Wash Towel

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I have been knitting for weeks. It’s part of my winter routine, each night I spend an hour or two working on projects. You would be amazed at how much you can produce in such a small amount of time.

I made a number of small gifts for the holidays. My favorite gift combination was hand knit wash towels and home made soap. If you would like to make your own soap, check out my tutorial here.

Now it’s time to get back to my own knitting projects, I have been dying to make a couple of Wash Towels for myself.

 I love their soft cotton texture, it feels like a gentle exfoliant on the skin. They look as luxurious and beautiful as they feel.

The towels hold up amazingly well with regular use. They do stretch a bit as they are wet, but put them in the laundry and they shrink back to their original state in the dryer.

Who knew yarn was so resiliant?

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The biggest plus of this project is it’s compact size, it’s easy to stick the needles and all in your purse and take them on the road with you.

This is Peaches and Cream 100% cotton yarn in Rose Stripes. I love how the variegated yarn makes stripes appear as you knit. It’s like the yarn has a story to tell you that is revealed as you work.

Who doesn’t love a good story?

For this project, you will need 1 skein Peaches and Cream yarn and a pair of size 8 knitting needles (I love the Susan Bates needles).

Here’s the pattern:

Cast on 44 stitches

*Knit 4 stitches, Purl 4* Repeat until end of row.

Repeat all rows the same until work measures 10″. Cast off, cut yarn leaving a small tail. Weave in ends.

10 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

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I am ready for the Christmas season. The house is decorated, and the cookies are baked, the ham is ready to cook. We are so blessed to have each other, our health and so much more.

We have made a few simple gifts to give, but have not purchased gifts this year. This year, we are focused on serving others more than ever before.

For this reason, we are very joyful this holiday season.

We contributed our family’s normal gift budget to a couple of important causes. We bought a goat for a family in need through World Vision. Each year we “shop” through their catalog to purchase a livestock animal to give to families in need so they can support themselves. It is one of our favorite family traditions.

This is the first year I have noticed American children listed among those in need, it’s not just a world wide cause anymore.

We contributed through our church to the Advent Conspiracy program, and joined the masses of people who have decided to give more than they spend. Dozens of our local charities as well as many national ones benefited from the funds our church helped to set aside for them.

We baked cookies to give away and are serving on Christmas eve at church as well. These are our simple family traditions.

There are so many places you can serve no matter how little time or money you have.

I asked my fellow bloggers for some ideas on how they are serving this season. Would you like to join us in serving others this holiday season?

Here’s what they came up with:

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1) Commit Random Acts of Kindness: Ellen over at Confessions of an Overworked Mom has 25 great ideas for giving back to those in need. Commit at least one random act this season, or all 25! The more you do the more joyful you will become, guaranteed.

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2)Buy a pair of pajamas and a storybook: Contribute to the Pajama Program’s One Million Good Nights, NYCJenny blogged about her family’s experience buying a pair of pajamas and a children’s story book for this charity. There are so many children who have never experienced the simple luxury of wearing a new pair of pajamas and being read a bedtime story by a parent. This is so close to my heart, I can’t imagine a child not being tucked into bed by a loving parent. This is her husband in his footy pj’s promoting the event for a local news station.

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3)Teach Your Children to Serve: Briton from Rad Mom Cool Kid has ideas for children and how they can be of service. Teaching your children servitude helps to combat bullying and disrespect. Start now!

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4)Take part in Operation Christmas Child: Melissa from Fab Haute Mamma shared her family’s experience taking shoe boxes and filling them with simple gifts and basic hygiene supplies for Operation Christmas Child. This is also a great family activity! This is a national campaign, look for a drop off site near you and change a child’s life today!

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5)Give Back to your Community: Nichole from Simply Nicole has simple ideas for sharing the holiday spirit such as volunteering at your local senior center and cleaning out your closet for charity. I love the Campout for Hunger program she describes. Volunteers collect and distribute large amounts of canned food for a 5 day period! Wow!

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6)Search the Web for the perfect giving option: Ange from Inspiring Hearts and Homes put together a long list of places you can serve, including the Humane Society and the Make a Wish Foundation. Check out the list, and find an option that works for you in your area.

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7)Decorate a Tree for your favorite Charity: Vanessa Brady from Tried and True decorated a tree for her charity Project BRAVO which benefits the poor in her region of Texas.

Beautiful idea, I can’t wait to do something like this next year!

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8) Donate needed items to a food pantry:  Paula Biggs from the Frog Price Paperie has great suggestions for what is needed at the food pantry this time of year. Did you know that Almond Milk is greatly in demand at pantries? I had no idea! I will buy a couple extra bottles on my next trip to the grocery store.

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9) Ask others to buy Holiday Gifts for Giving Back: Stacy and Eric from Anastasia Vintage Home share their request to family members to give to others instead of themselves. They had some great ideas not on other lists such as Heifer International and Oxfam Unwrapped.

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10)  Be a part of the Drive Thru Difference: Our local Christian radio station started this idea. All you have to do is pay for the car’s order behind you when you are at a drive thru restaurant.  Visit this site to print out a letter of explanation and give it to the cashier when you pay for the meals. This little random act of kindness could change someone’s life today!

Timepiece Christmas Ornament

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Some days just don’t go as you planned. I had planned to shop for food and start cooking Thanksgiving dinner today.

Instead, I spent my afternoon following an instinct.

On a whim, I began making this little Timepiece Christmas Ornament.

I have been dreaming of Christmas Ornaments and decorations for days.

Dreaming is a dangerous thing.

For me, when I wake up, I have to act on the dream or I forget it.

The other nigh,t I dreamed of what I could make with all the broken watches and jewelry I have laying around.

I can’t bear to throw them out. They are still beautiful.

This is my favorite old watch. We have been through much together.

It’s missing parts, and no longer works. I love it anyway.

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I love this old watch even more as part of a nostalgic keepsake ornament.

I cut up a couple of pairs of wool trousers and used the fabric for the ornament base. Mother always said, “Never throw anything away.” She was right of course. You just never know when you will need some scraps of old wool.

I cut a 4″ circle in of the dark wool, and a 3 1/2″ circle of the lighter color wool.

The edges were trimmed with pinking shears, and then bonded the two fabrics together with a fusible webbing.

Belt loops from the old trousers help hold the watch in place, and were topstitched in place .

A single needle stitch around the outside holds the front and back pieces in place. I probably should have used the fusible webbing to hold the pieces together before stitching, as they are small and hard to stitch without shifting under the needle.

A leftover bit of polyester fluff from an old pillow made the inside stuffing.

Bits of ribbon and greenery made the finishing touches.

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I couldn’t resist adding the original garment label to the back of the ornament.

“Made in Italy” just sounds so sweet and exotic.

What’s not to love?

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I can’t wait to use this ornament as part of my Christmas decor this season.

Arm Knitted Scarf

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I admit defeat. I have given up on my 31 Days of Sewing Series from the month of October. If you want to read what I did accomplish during this series, click here. I will post more updates in the future.

I was eager to finish another sewing project, but my sewing machine has broken and needs repairs.

The last time I took it in for repair, it was a 3 month wait. Yup.

Apparently, fixing sewing machines is a lost art. At least around here it is.

Ridiculous.

So, I admit that I have once again started something that I am not able to finish. Big surprise, right? I bet you have NEVER DONE THAT.

My husband loves to remind me that I struggle in this area.

In my defeat, I sat down in front of the TV to watch the Hallmark channel’s Christmas movie marathon and I conquered the Arm Knit Scarf that you see here.

It’s super easy and only takes two balls of yarn.

It is completely knit on your arms, no needles or hooks involved.

If I can do it, so can you.

It takes less than 30 minutes, even if you have never knitted in your life.

I love how it turned out.

Makes up for my lack of success in other areas.

 

 

 

I found this great video with step by step instructions. This gal has very clear pictures and it is easy to follow. I love that she calls it “Arm Knitting for the Clueless“. I definitely fit into that category!

Give it a try, you’ll love it!

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I had so much fun making the first scarf, that I had to make a second one. I envision this scarf with my favorite blue jeans and a comfortable sweater. Cozy!

It would also make a great gift. Christmas is just around the corner!

Yikes!

Speaking of Christmas, I have to sit down and do some planning. I normally have planned out my holiday decor, food and such by this time of year but this year, I am struggling for direction.

I don’t like struggling. I don’t function well without a plan. Direction normally comes rather easily to me.

Not having it makes me stressed out, and it shouldn’t. Life is complicated enough without having to worry about the simple things.

Tomorrow is another day!

How do you find your direction and inspiration?

DIY Dog Bed

This DIY Dog Bed is extra large and fluffy for the super sized pooch.

DIY Dog Bed|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

DIY Dog Bed

31 Days of Sewing
I recently made a dog bed for a local animal shelter.

I did a similar project last year for the Animal Thrift Benefit and it was such fun I decided to do it again.

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I used 1/2 yard of ivory fleece and  an indoor/outdoor chevron print to make the bed. Both are machine washable, durable fabrics.  Make sure to pre-wash and dry your fabrics before you start sewing.

Directions:

1. Remove selvages, block and straighten fabrics matching corners and raw edges.

2. Sew right sides together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn corners by taking one stitch on the diagonal before making the turn. Leave a 12″ opening on the lower edge for stuffing.

3. Turn right side out, use a pin to pull out and straighten corners.

4. Stuff with poly fiberfill stuffing. I used 5 old pillows for this project.

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(The stuffing for the bed was a bunch of old pillows that I cut the covers off from. If your family is like ours, then you have a constant supply of old flat pillows. Rather than throw them away, I use the compacted fiberfill,  pulled and cut it apart, re-fluffed and stuffed it into the new dog bed.)

5. Topstitch the opening closed, 1/8″ away from pillow edge.

DIY Dog Bed

I had to borrow a pooch for the day to try the bed out. At this time, we do not own a pet. This is sad for us.

I have always wanted a dog, maybe someday we will have one.

My friend Sarah has the most beautiful dogs. Since we don’t own a pet, I have to covet other people’s animals.

This pooch is Maggie. She’s the only dog I know with a professional portfolio. She’s even been in TV commercials.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Her coat is just as silky smooth in person as it is in these photos.

She’s my dream dog.

DIY Dog Bed

Maggie thought the doggie bed was A-OKAY.

That is, once she could relax enough to lay down on it.

It took a bit of coaxing.

Somehow a stranger pointing a camera in her face had her all excited.

I can’t imagine why.

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Maggie’s counterpart, Kiera felt differently. She couldn’t understand why Maggie was so bent out of shape.

Both dogs thought that the lady laying on the floor staring at them with the camera was a bit quacky.

Perhaps she is.

The dog bed was donated to our local animal shelter, Angel’s Wish.

They do great work in our community. So many animals to feed and house, especially with the upcoming winter.

In our area temperatures frequently drop to -40 degrees. Even if you have a furry coat, that’s pretty darn cold to be out on the street.

The shelter gives the animals food, medical care and a foster home until they are adopted.

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Today, I am participating in the Animal Thrift Benefit.

You can help the animals by shopping through this Amazon link to benefit the animal shelter.

All help is appreciated!

Come back Oct.14th for the DIY Project Linky Party, you won’t want to miss it!

Thank you for your participation!

Pin this post for later! 

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