Well, I finally got around to putting out some fall decorations at our house. I use many of the same decorations year after year. See some from previous seasons here.

I guess I was suffering from too much Pinterest! Too many cute decorations out there that I had no money to buy! “But wait…,” I told myself, “I don’t need to buy ANYTHING! I have TONS of craft supplies to make my own cute things!” So, I dug around in my fabric stash–pulling out ALL of the fall-colored fabric. I didn’t have a pattern. I did see a picture of a cute little hoot owl wall hanging that served as my inspiration. Sorry about the picture quality.

Hootie wall hanging

I love the hooties! The homespun border is pretty great, too. I didn’t go crazy with my quilting. just some outlining. If the black stitching around the owls looks messy, it’s supposed to! I love how my little wall hanging looks hanging on the inside of our back door. I had fun working on it!

When I was ready to put my cute men’s shirts pillow cases on my porch pillows I couldn’t find them! We had drug all the fall decorations out of storage and the pillow cases were nowhere to be found, along with a few other things.

Well, I just happened to be at Goodwill Outlet store the other day. I ran across a great plaid shirt. I LOVE PLAID!!! (I may have mentioned that a time of two! Like here, here, here and I’m sure a few other places!) I thought I would grab it for crafting something. I also came across a ’90s fall sweater. Sorry, I forgot to take a “before” picture. I loved all those fancy sweaters back in the day! I was an elementary school teacher back then. I guess those sweaters just WENT with elementary teachers! Plus, I have always seen myself as having a bit of a Mrs. Frizzle personality!

mrs-frizzle

 

I knew immediately what to do with that sweater!

recycled fall pillow

The front of the sweater was perfect for a pillow case!

The back was cute with just a little pumpkin on it. However, I thought it was a little out of balance with the scarecrow pillow. I roughly stitched “Pumpkin Time” on the sweater. The back of the pillows is made from old blue jeans. I had to add the twine ties on one side of each pillow to make a pillow case and not a pillow.

I think they turned out cute. Don’t you like the new plaid shirt pillow case? Pillow cases are much easier to store than pillows!

By the way, I did find my other box of fall decor hidden under a table and behind a box of Christmas decorations.

One more crafty show and tell item…a sweater pumpkin!

sweater pumpkin

This orange sweater also came from the Goodwill Outlet. The leaves were from a moth-eaten jacket that was headed to the dump.

Here is another picture for you to see the size of the pumpkin.

Size of sweater pumpkin

I simply cut a square form the sweater. I gathered the ends together at the top. Before closing the top with a rubber band, I stuffed the pumpkin. I wrapped a little twine around and around the pumpkin to give it the pumpkin sections. Then I tied the leaves on with the same twine. I thought about stitching some veins in my leaves. I still might do that one day. It was quick to make! The front of the sweater had a zipper. I’m not sure what I want to do with the rest of it yet.  For now, I’ll stuff it in one of my craft closets for another time when I need to have something new!

I LOVE PLAID!

I don’t know what it is about plaid that I like. I just like it.

I especially like it at Christmas time. I have plaid table cloths (actually for every season), plaid Christmas plates, plaid ribbons, plaid shirts, plaid…well, you get the idea.

Ten or twelve years ago, I purchased a large piece of plaid flannel at a garage sale for a couple of bucks.

I knew immediately what to do with it!

Trash to TReasure Craft book

There is a project in this book I had been wanting to do. The flannel was perfect!

The project was to make a quilt out of old flannel shirts. Flannel. Plaid. Recycle project. It just doesn’t get much better!

So, I started collecting. Garage sales, Goodwill, husbands closet.

stacks of plaid

We moved. Life got busy. The project stayed stuffed in a drawer until this summer–10 years later!

I spent a couple of my “Craft Days with Joanna” cutting my shirts into 9 1/2 inch squares.

cutting mat

Those squares sat in the drawer for a while before I actually started. Have I mentioned how life got busy?!

Anyway…

Take the time to press your squares before and after all the cutting.

ironing quilt pieces

ready to sew

I didn’t have a layout pattern. I just laid the pieces on the floor and moved them around until I was happy.

arrange the quilt squares

Chain-piecing the squares made the sewing go more quickly.

chain piecing

Disclaimer: This is not ACTUALLY a quilt. It is really more of a coverlet. A quilt has 3 layers-top, batting, back. My coverlet just has a top and back-for several reasons. First, I thought with an all-flannel front and an all-flannel back that it might be too warm. Second, I didn’t have enough batting at the time. I was ready to finally be finished with this project. I didn’t want a trip into the big city to slow me down. Third, I didn’t want to do a lot of quilting. My “quilt” is just tacked together with buttons from the shirts and other various projects.

button selection

I didn’t do a fancy binding or border either.

Here  is the back of the quilt. (Yes, I know, it just is easier than coverlet.) This is the large piece of plaid flannel that started it all!

back of the quilt

And now for the front…

finished quilt top

I’m so happy to have this little project finished! I even finished it in time for the county fair. Blue ribbon!

In hind-sight, I wish I had added the batting and the border. Oh, well! I’m happy enough with it.

I do love it’s plaid-ness!

plaid quilt

recycled flannel shirts

Pillowcase from a man's shirt

I hate to throw things away. My Dad’s favorite saying has always been, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!” As a teen, I grew to hate that phrase! Now, as an adult, I embrace it!

Since my husband never wore this plaid shirt, he decided to send it to Goodwill. I always liked the colors of the plaid So, I snatched it out of the donation bag and stuck it in my craft closet. The poor shirt sat there in the craft closet for about two years.  I just didn’t have a plan for it.

Finally, this fall, I took the scissors to it.

Since I had floral pillows on the porch in OCTOBER, I decided they needed a change.

I still like the floral pillows, so I didn’t want to change them permanently. Using a shirt was the perfect solution. Plus it didn’t cost me anything! (Another plus-I didn’t have to find a place to store the floral pillows.)

Measure twice-cut once

Just measure your pillow and add enough for a seam allowance. I think I added a half-inch and had a quarter-inch seam. Then measure that amount on the shirt. Cut. Sew, right sides together. You can even stitch all the way around the pillowcase. Turn the pillowcase right side out through the opening where the buttons are.

Perfect pillowcase!

The floral pillow is still usable!

Pillows before and after

Cute-huh? (I later made another one to cover the other pillow. Sorry, no photo.)

You can always turn the buttons to the back side if you want. You could even tie a ribbon around it for extra cuteness, too.

I was really happy with this little recycle project. It was a great temporary fix for my pillows. I have another recycled shirt project to show you soon. Stay tuned!

I recently saw an adorable wreath made out of recycled rain boots. You can see the inspiration wreath here.

Since there had been a pair of outgrown rain boots with holes in them on my porch for months, the idea looked awesome to me!

Here’s a little before and after:

Rainboots-Before-After

I taped off the black part with painter’s tape before I sprayed the boots. I used a paint and primer all-in-one spray paint. Sorry, I don’t remember what brand. Whatever brand they carry at Walmart.

The boots are far from perfect, but I like them. I think they look rather cheery on my porch.

Spring Centerpiece | Pork Chop Tuesday

Rainboots1

The Flowering Quince and Forsythia are from our yard. My grandmother planted them long ago.

Flowering Quince | Pork Chop Tuesday

We have had lots of cold, rainy days here lately. These recycled rain boots added just the right amount of “sunshine” until the real thing came out of hiding.

Rainboots2

Happy Spring!

I say it every year…”I wish I had started earlier!” or “Next year I’m going to start earlier on Christmas!”

Well, this year I actually did it! Hooray for me!

I am a sucker for Christmas craft books! Just look at that cover! The bright green just grabs you doesn’t it?

The Spirit of Christmas 2005

This little gem from 2005 is chock full of great ideas.

One of the projects involved recycling a Pringles can. I like those something-for-nothing kind of projects.

I’ve spray painted Pringles cans before and filled them with goodies. That was easy enough. This project was a bit more involved and not just because I made 20 of them!

Aren’t they cute? Now, let me say this…the book is from 2005. Apparently the Pringles company changed the size of the can sometime between 2005 and 2012. This little template didn’t quite fit the can. I improvised and put a label on the bottom–as if he is standing on something.

nutcracker army

Naturally, you could make these any color you wanted. I made these for the folks at my husband’s work. Blue is the company color, so I went with that. I did toy with the idea of making them all different. Glad I came to my senses!

During the Olympic this past summer, as I watched track and field or swimming, I mindlessly cut out mustaches and eyebrows, etc.

Nutcracker faces

I knew I would never get twenty nutcrackers done for Christmas if I waited until the last minute–like I usually do.

assembly line

Putting the nutcrackers together was fairly easy. Well, mostly. The faces weren’t too bad. I put some of them together during craft days with my friend Joanna, so the time passed quickly.

When I first got started on covering the cans,  I used a large sheet of scrapbook paper. I didn’t like the way it looked. I was able to find some cheap red wrapping paper and thought I had hit a home run. When I wrapped the can with the paper, it was too thin. The words showed through. So, I had to double the paper. When I was down to 2 cans left to go, I ran out of paper. Fortunately, Walmart still had some in stock.

pringles cans

When it came time to actually adhere the nutcracker pieces to the paper-covered can, I was nervous! I tried strapping everything to the can with rubber bands. It seemed like it was a good way to keep everything in the right place and glue a piece at a time. It wasn’t. Besides that it squished the face a little. (Sidenote-The rosy cheeks are made by using a cotton swab and some pink chalk.)

holding on the face

These are the arms. I just rolled the rectangle on a pen to get the curve.

nutcracker arms

Then I just glued the arms on the sides. I used Tacky Glue for the whole project, except for the can. I used double-stick tape there.

gluing on nutcracker arms

The little jacket and belt were a little tricky to line up just right. If I make these again, HAHAHAHAHAHA, I would probably cut the jacket as one whole piece.

Nutcrackers

Lookin’ pretty cute, huh? I had a hard time finding just the right sized beads for the hands. I thought about just leaving them off completely. Then I found these.

wooden hands

They were perfect! I didn’t even paint them. I just squirted some glue up the nutcracker’s cuff and shoved in the little wooden ball.

nutcracker hats

The hats turned out really cute.

Here is a little video of how I made them. Aren’t you impressed at how “hi-tech” I am-ha!

Actually quite the dork! I had the camera strapped to my neck with a headband!

FYI-I did not poke myself with that corsage pin.

Of course there had to be something tasty inside these cute little canisters, and it HAD to be nutty! I thought about making sugared pecans or something like that. Since I was making 20 of these things, that seemed a little expensive. I came across a great recipe for caramel corn that you make in the microwave! It turned out great! The hardest part was finding a grocery store that still uses paper bags!

almond caramel popcorn

You can make your nutcrackers as simple or as fancy as you like. Glitter and trim are fun! I wish I had had time to put a little red glitter on there.

nutcracker army

I realize you won’t have the Olympics to watch this summer, but if you are like me and “say it every year” you might want hit the Red Box and get started soon!

Nutcracker template

Keep in mind the canister size!

WomenBlogger-Main

You may remember that I am part of the Arkansas Women Bloggers group. The group had a Secret Santa ornament exchange. What fun!

The ornaments were to be handmade. Even more fun!

Little did I know when I signed up that I would be sick for a week and not really have time to make anything before the shipping deadline.

Fortunately, I had an entry in the county fair this year that was a handmade ornament. I was very excited about participating in the exchange, so I kissed my sweet little ornament goodbye and mailed it off to my counter part. There has been a little trouble with the mail. I was told she would receive it today. Fingers crossed! Since the exchange it cloaked in secrecy, you will have to surf over to the ARWB site and see if you can figure out which one I sent. Click the picture below.

ornamentswap-300x270

The shipping deadline was December 10th. As soon as the 10th arrived I started watching for a package.

Hooray! It came!

This exchange is interesting because many of us do not know each other at all. That is the whole reason I joined ARWB. I wanted to get to know some of the bloggers in my area.

I was thrilled when I opened my package. Just look at that cute little box. Who wouldn’t be excited?!

gift box

There was an ever so thoughtful surprise awaiting me when I opened the box.

Not one, but THREE ornaments! Just wait, I’ll tell you more of the thoughtfulness.

box of ornaments

My treats came from Brittney at Razorback Britt. Brittney said in her note that once she received my information she started snooping around my blog. She came across this post from last year. She saw the ornament that Chip and I made back in our OBU days. Turns out that Brittney is a Ouachita graduate too! We weren’t there at the same time, but if you went to Ouachita, you are part of the family. That makes us sound like mobsters! Let me say it this way…there is an immediate and special bond when you meet a fellow Ouachitonian. I am so glad to “meet” Brittney.

THE iconic building on OBU’s campus is Berry Chapel. Here is a picture Chip took on one of our visits a few years ago.

Berry Chapel Ouachita

Well, look at what my Secret Santa did.

Berry Chapel

She took a picture of a snow-covered Berry Chapel and glued it in a cookie cutter!

I was so touched that she would take the time to do the research and come up with something so special. Thank you, Brittney.

The other ornaments are great too. I’m thinking she used an old Christmas card for the star and snowflake.

star

snowflake

The edges are all glitter-fied. Sorry, I failed to get that photographed.

What a cute craft idea from someone who says she is not a crafter.

I hope you will check out the rest of the handmade ornaments that were exchanged. I’m off to track a package once again!

UPDATE (12/18): My Secret Santa Swapper, Jeanetta at Splendid Things, finally got her cotton boll angel ornament! Click here to see it on her tree!

My grandmother was a piano teacher. My mother is a piano teacher. Do I play piano? No. That is a blog post for another time, or not!

It’s funny, since people know my Mom is a piano teacher, when they come upon old music, they think they should give it to her. I guess people feel bad about throwing music away. I get that.

I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but it seems like there are always lots of Christmas decorations made out of old music.

When I spotted the idea for this fun little project on Pinterest the other day, I was able to put 2+2 together! Help Mom use up some of her music stash AND have a cute little Christmas decoration.

You can see the tutorial here.

I made mine a little different. The original tree uses old books. I like the old music. Either will do just fine. She sprinkled glitter all over her tree. I painted the edges of my papers with glue and then just covered the edges. I used Martha Stewart vintage silver glitter. The look of it reminds me of old Christmas cards. It took a little longer this way, but the end result is nice.

I really like my little Glittery Music Tree. I finished it in a day! Those kind of projects make me happy.