Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lunchtime Lessons

Good afternoon!

I am sure some of you have noticed the absence of LunchTime Lessons last week and this week!  I have been very busy moving things, taking care of customer orders, and other things that the time has gotten away from me!
But new photos are being done, and new lessons are being prepared!  Look for the return of LunchTime Lessons starting Memorial Day Monday 5/25/15. They will resume in earnest!

For now I have a great little recipe that I did this morning!

It's a great add to if you are on Weight Watchers, or if you are just looking to eat power foods for energy and health.

Egg and Squash Mash

1 cup spaghetti squash
2 eggs
1 oz shredded cheese
1 tsp olive oil
garlic powder

Heat the oil in a saute pan until hot.  Add the squash, salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.Cook until the squash starts to brown like hash browns.
When they are done browning, add the eggs and stir to mix in well. Keep stirring to keep the eggs from becoming an omelet. When the eggs are almost done add the cheese on top and heat until almost melted.

Plate and enjoy!
ww+ points 7

hope you enjoy this little recipe!
stay well!

Friday, May 8, 2015

So Welcome to Friday! The start of another weekend!  

Well today we have a simple but great craft for you try at home! 
We are going to make this Garden Cement Hand that you can use outside or in your home. Put a potted plant in the palm and it is a great conversation piece.!

 We need for this project a bag of Cement, I recommend using the cement that is available with little or no rocks......mine had rather large rocks in it, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how smooth it ended up. If it didn't have rocks, it would have been easier to fill the gloves and there probably would have been no holes of gaps to fill, but whatever it all worked out great!
You will also need some bowls and latex or rubber gloves. Make sure you get enough gloves so you can wear a pair and fill the others.

So no take a disposable cup and fill it a couple of times with the cement, than add water until you get the consistently you see here.
add more mix or water as needed.  You need to work rather quickly the cement is usually a quick dry and will begin to set up fast!

Fill a glove with the cement mix making sure to get into all the fingers and thumb. When it is filled to your liking, gently place it into an empty bowl and form the palm and fingers as you want them. I used a jar to push a flat into the palm of the hand. 
I let the whole thing set to hard overnight, and then the next day gently  removed the latex glove.  One of the fingers broke off where the rocks were but I just used a great adhesive for indoors or outdoors and covered the break line and the holes from the rock with more of the sandy portion of the cement.

These are fun to make and I will be making a few more for my garden soon...............50# of cement can make many hands!!!!

Enjoy your craft, enjoy the Sun! See you On Monday when the weekend is done!

LunchTime Lessons -------Quilting Thursday!

Sorry I didn't get do this Quilting lesson yesterday! The shop was busy with questions and phone calls....so today I will be doing two blogs one for quilting and one for crafting!

On to today;s quilt lesson!

Let's talk about fabrics:

The range of fabrics out in the world is massive!  Choice of design and colors is limitless, as it the choice of fibre.......

After you find a quilt design you want, the question becomes, what fabrics do I want...

Lets start with a simple Nine Patch quilt square. I take a trip to the fabric section of my shop ...........Most quilters will you only cotton, some will use blends, some will use silks.........it's all individual choice.

BUT: no matter what fibre is your choice, make sure that all the fabrics are the same fibre, unless you are doing a "Crazy Quilt" like the one on the left or an "Artist Quilt" such as the one on the right, it is important to the construction of the quilt that all the fabrics are the same.

for the Nine Patch you need to choose 9 fabrics that you love............there is alot of leeway here.........the colors don't have to match and can include designs and solids.......let your imagination go wild........the bold, the more beautiful or keep it all quiet and simple.............all up to you!

Now that you have chosen your fabrics, you have many options to decide..........how big do you want it?

Standard Manufacturers' Sizes for Bedding
Measurements are approximate and given for standard US Mattresses
Measured in Inches (Width x Length)
Mattress TypeMattress
(short drop)
(long drop)
Lap Quiltn/an/an/an/a
Crib28" x 52"36" x 54"n/a45" x 60"
Twin/Single39" x 75"65" x 88"81" x 107"72" x 90"
Twin/Single XL***39" x 80"65" x 93"81" x 112"n/a
Double/Full54" x 75"80" x 88"96" x 107"81" x 96"
Double/Full XL54" x 80"80" x 93"96" x 112"n/a
Queen60" x 80"86" x 93"102" x 112"90" x 108"
King76-78" x 80"104" x 93"120" x 112"120" x 120"

Once that decision is made you can go ahead and purchase your fabric...

How big do you want your nine patch squares........we will be using 4" squares to make our quilt square.

To wash or not to wash the fabric first...............hmmmmm......that's a hard decision.......if all your fabric is the same fibre, and will all shrink the same..........no problem. Many quilter's prefer to use it unwashed because it is more stable for machine sewing. If it's an over-dyed fabric such as most batiks..........I would probably want to wash it first.........and if you are using a mix of fibres...........definitely wash and iron it all first!  you don't want to get your quilt all done and than give it a gentle wash and have it go out of shape!

Well that's enough info for today so let's gather up our fabrics, our rotary cutters, rulers, and cutting mats so we will be ready for next Thursday's lesson on using those tools!
See you then!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Today's LunchTime Lesson-------Crochet

Good Afternoon! Hope you have great weather and a good lunch to enjoy today!

Here we are at Wednesday already! The weeks are just flying by!

Yesterday I posted a yarn chart with all the weights of yarns and knitting needle sizes. I won't re-post that chart here but get right onto the descriptions and size equivalents for crochet.

Fine/Lace weight yarns use fine steel hooks sizes 6,7, or 8 or you can use a B-1 size for your project.  This weight make beautiful shawls, sweater and more......the most delicate baby items can be made with this!

Sock/Fingering/Baby weight yarn the most common articles made from this weight are afghans, sweaters, socks and anything where you want that delicate look and feel about it. Crochet hook  B-1 to  E-4 are the most used for this weights.

Sport/Baby weight yarns are next.........great sweaters, delicate afghans, hats and more to make from these yarns.  The most common size hooks to use range from E-4 to size 7 (no letter designated to this size).

DK/Light Worsted yarns use sizes 7 through I-9 depending on the thickness of the yarn. This size and the next yarns are the most commonly used weights for so many clothing items, especially great for making baby clothing.

Aran/Worsted/Afghan weight yarns used for clothing, afghans and more.  They call off needle sizes I-9 to K-10 1/2. Aran is the lightest of the three yarns.

Chunky weight is next and encases rug and craft type yarns also....Needle sizes K-10 1/2 to M-13 are the common sizes to use with this weight yarn...

M-13 and larger needles are used on the Super Bulky weights of yarn.........if you want to work with fabric and make rag rugs, 1" strips work best on size P-Q hooks...............

don't forget the yarn label is the key to what needle size should be used for your project. And many times a pattern may call for a larger or smaller sized needle to achieve the pattern look the designer has in mind.

Have fun with it and if gauge isn't an issue (as in the case of a scarf or blanket) double up the yarns, triple them and make quick and fun projects. If your needle size doesn't "feel" right for those items, change it!  go up a size!

See you next Wednesday for more Crochet!

Tomorrow's LunchTime Lesson is all about Quilting!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

LunchTime Lessons! Tuesday---Must be time to Knit!

So I have been receiving emails from people asking if it's okay to print out their LunchTime Lessons or transfer them to folders to keep each craft separate>>>>>  OMG Thank you so much! I am so thrilled that you are enjoying my series of classes.......

Today we are going to learn about yarn thicknesses and appropriate needle sizes to use with each yarn.

Here is a handy chart with the yarn thickness:

Let's start with Lace weight yarn...........wow talk about being fine!  This super thin, thread-like yarn makes the most beautiful shawls, sweaters, and much more!  usually it is worked on a larger needle to give a more lacy effect to your work.........many lace weights are in wool or mohair yarns. Don't be afraid to have fun with this size. And if you want, you can always ply more than one strand together to make a thicker yarn!
The intended needle size for Lace weight yarn is 000-1 needles.......yes they are tiny.

Next up we have fingering/sock/baby weight yarns...........yes they are all fingering weight. The most common items are of course sock, baby sweaters, fine baby blankets and more... Most sock yarns are in wool with a nylon added for strength............some sock yarns are 100% wool and will come with a separate matching nylon to add to the heels and toes for durability. Baby fingering yarns can be anything from 100% wool to 100% acrylic and every combination in between.  Usual needle sizes range for size 1 -3.........

Fine weight yarn also known as sport weight yarn is great for baby items, sweaters and lots more. All fibers are available in this weight also. Wools, Alpaca, acrylics and more. Recommended needle sizes range from sizes 3-5.

Then we have DK/Light worsted weight yarns. This size has become quite popular for those who don't want to work with really tiny needles, and make a quicker but yet beautiful item. Needle sizes range from 5-7.

and now we come to the most popular yarn thicknesses. Aran/Worsted/Afghan weight..... this is the weight we use to make blankets, sweaters, baby items and so much more that your head will spin! Common needle sizes are 7-9 with Aran using the 7's, worsted most commonly the 8's and many times afghans are done on  9's or even on 10's if the worsted is a bit thicker.

Bulky weight yarns are great for Sweaters, afghans and more. They work up quickly on sizes 10-11 knitting needles and can be doubled up to create the Super Bulky yarns!

That brings us to the end of the chart for Super Bulky yarns! Commonly worked up on sizes 11 and up depending on the thickness of the yarns. So now you ask what the heck do we use that weight yarn for?>>>?? So glad you asked! Commonly used to make very chunky, clunky cowls (say that three times fast!), quick afghans and some great patterns are out there for lush rugs! (yes you can knit a rug!)

Are you confused?  It's easy to get confused by all the types, sizes, colors, and more of the yarns on today's market!

Notice one thing regarding needle sizes for the various yarn weights.......you will notice that they are variable. That is because just because it's labeled as one weight, if you take the same weight from two different yarns, you will notice that they seem to be different weights.........some DK's and sports are interchangeable, some Worsted and Chunky are so close that they could also be interchangeable. And forget the thickness of the various bulky and super bulky yarns!  Sky's the limit and if you use a LYS (local yarn shop) to purchase your yarns, they will be very happy to help you with size, weights and types of yarn to use..........

Read the yarn label for all the info you need to know..........every yarn label gives you (not all will have a little symbol with the number in it!) the recommended needle size, the suggested gauge for that yarn, the stitches per inch and the care of that particular yarn. The label also includes the fiber used to create that yarn and the yardage and weight in ounces and grams.

Please keep in mind that so many patterns are written with a different needles size than we are accustomed to........example:  mohair is indicated as a lace or fingering weight yarn and many times uses a size 10 needle.  This gives the yarn and item a much more lacy effect and keeps the mohair from matting down.

Well that is it for today! 
See  you tomorrow for our Crochet LunchTime Lesson! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday LunchTime Sewing Lesson!

Good Afternoon (at least it is here in NE!). I hope you all had a great weekend and are starting your Monday on a good note!
I managed to get in a little yard clean up this weekend. Got the dead Roddy brush out of the ground, weeded a huge section in the back!  Rescued the furniture from under the grapevine arbor and my sister started cleaning them!  Next weekend it's finish the major weeding while the bushes are still small, get some veggies in the ground, put up the awning on the arbor so we can sit under it! Hope you had sunshine and got to enjoy some of it!

Today's Sewing lesson is about using a tool that you have right at your fingertips to make sure that you are using the correct seam widths every time you sew!

The Presser foot has two stitch widths that come in very handy..........
look at the photo to the Right. Notice that stitch line and where the presser
foot is located (sorry the photos' not so great!) but it's the green line right
where the foot starts to flair out...........that is on most machine and
pressure foot the 1/8" mark.
The next stitch guide on your pressure foot is the outermost edge of the foot and it will guide you to the perfect 1/4" seam.

Notice the edge of my fabric is abutted to the edge of the presser foot.....That's my 1/4" seam.
Moving right to left to right.....the lines are in 1/8" increments. So the next line would make a 3/8" seam, than 1/2", than 5/8". please note that the 5/8" is the most commonly used seam allowance in sewing. That's why it is so prominent on the stitch plate. The last line on my plate is for a 3/4" seam. Some machines I have also have the numbers, 3, 4, 5, 6 at the top of the stitch line guides .........they mean just what I have stated above.

Now that you know a little more, next week let's set a zipper or two! See you then!  hope you are enjoying these LunchTime Lessons!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Welcome To Friday! LunchTime Lesson!

Otherwise from here on it to be know as "LunchTime Crafting" Day!

I know I have have you fill your kits this week with the necessities for Knitting, Sewing, Quilting and more, but today we will take a little break and after a very short list of "needs", get you right into a Mother's Day quickie!

Your Crafting Kit should have at least the following items:

A good pair of scissors for cutting fabric, ribbons and more.
A junkie pair for only paper (don't want to ruin the good!).  Make sure you label them so the family will keep their mitts off!

A glue gun.......both mini and regular are good to have on hand.  I use mostly my regular size gun for just about all gluing needs.............UNLESS I know something may be used in a window or over a heater or in direct sunlight..........hot glue will re-melt if it's exposed to hot sun for any length of time!

A good tacky glue---we use Aleenes' Tacky here in the shop.

A good project..........this is where your stash will begin to grow!

And a good vessel to keep it all together in!


For Mother's Day I have a very simple project that is so easy you may have to make more than one!

Pleated Fabric Ribbon  or  lace fabric with tiny holes....... 12" long by 5-6 wide.
12" of 1/4" ribbon
12" of 1 1/4" ribbon
one bunch of fabric Rose Buds
2 oz of Lavender Buds
Needle and thread
Glue Gun or tacky glue
Hand Cream!   If you are using the glue to work this project..........put the hand lotion on in case you accidentally get the hot glue on your hands..........trust me it is HOT and it will remove your skin and cause blisters!  the hand cream puts a protective coating on your skin and IF you do get glue in the wrong place...it will come off with the skin intact..and chances are that it won't blister!

 Fold the fabric in half and glue the bottom and side together......
 Fill the bag with the lavender buds.

Use the needle and thread to do a running stitch around the bag opening, single layer.

 Pull the thread tightly and securely tie off the thread.
 tie the wider ribbon around the gathered top and glue the thinner ribbon right into the little hole at the top.

Take three of the ribbon roses and glue them to the ribbon bow.

That is all there is too it!

Mom will love it!