"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are"

Friday, January 28, 2011

I came across this quote today and feel that it really speaks to the current direction of my life as well as my crafts! In the past few years my husband and I seem to have been putting off our life until "later". This later is sometimes, when we have a house, when Ant gets a new job, or just when Tiny Tart gets a little bit bigger. I really started to think that life was passing me by, and that is why I started this blog. It kinda makes me hold myself accountable for having a life and doing something with it!

Unfortunately, because my husband is less than thrilled with our current situation, it is hard to have a "life" as a family. So, I made it part of my New Year's resolutions to go out into the world and explore together. Now that Tiny is able to eat "regular" food, and only needs one nap during the day, places like the zoo, aquarium, arboretum, or children's museum aren't out of the question. My goal is to make on "big" outing a month along with the standard trips to the library and playground. That may not sound like much, but considering that Tiny didn't go to a restaurant until she was 14 months, it is pretty impressive for us. 

Since January has been so snowy, and hectic with the move, we didn't manage to venture out. I'm hoping February will be better and we can take Tiny to the Please Touch Museum in the city. It looks like a lot of fun!

In the craft department, I have a similar problem. Something akin to commitment phobia, I just can't seem to use any of my supplies! It starts with the fabric. "What if I cut up this beautiful fabric and then don't like what I made and wish I had done something else?" (Most of my fabric I have had for ages and can no longer be found to just go get more.) I'm not sure when this started, because in school I used to just start chopping, and fiddling until everything worked out. Other things are easier. "If I hate this (hat, sock, scarf) I'll just unravel it and still have the yarn."

Being able to share my creations with someone else (who can appreciate it...cats, toddler, and hubby are naturally excluded) will hopefully make this a bit easier. 

As you can see I am not in danger of running out of supplies any time soon, (Though I always seem to be missing one crucial item!) and I have notebooks filled with ideas on how to use them. It seems to be time to jump in feet first and . . .

"Do what I can, with what I have, where I am"

I'm going to continue with the small projects until I can get that closet mess sorted out and under control! (Everything in there is craft related.) Then I will hopefully be able to move on to bigger and better things (ie. more complicated). 

Today I'm just going to prove how much I really dislike cold weather, and attempt to fend off the frostbite! (I know, I know, so dramatic.) This is not a new or particularly creative project, but it is effective. Rice-filled Hand Warmers! yeah!

I'm sure most of you have used something very similar before if you don't already own your own set. It's just a little bean bag filled with dry rice, beans, corn, flaxseed, oats, etc. that you can heat in the microwave and use to keep you warm for hours. I have a large one that you can wrap around your neck, back, or belly to get rid of pains. Perfect for tight muscles, and cramps, or heating your feet at bed time, but they can also be put in the freezer to make an "ice pack". Great for kids "boo-boos" and it won't drip or be too cold to touch. 

(I used mine while I was pregnant to help with the stretching tendons and the early contractions. Would probably work on the ankles too, but I didn't have that problem.)

The thing is they are really easy to make. Just grab any cotton fabric. (Man-made fibers could melt in the microwave, but towels, washcloths; even old miss-match socks are perfect.) Decide what area of your body you would like to use it on and cut the fabric to the appropriate size. (Fold a washcloth in half for a small one, or a tea towel long ways for a "neck wrap".) I cut 2 small rectangles from a bit of flannel I had so that they would be just the size of my hands, and easy to fit in my coat pockets. 

Next fold each rectangle in half, right sides together, and sew along 2 of the sides. (Follow the blue dashed line.)

Now just turn your bag right side out, and fill with your chosen material (I used plain white rice. (Half full so that it would flatten to fit in my pocket.) And add any "flavor" you might like. This could be essential oils, ground potpourri, lavender buds, sage, or even your favorite tea leaves. Stitch closed the opening with small stitches (gotta keep in the rice) and pop it in the microwave for 30 sec. at a time until it reaches your desired warmth. Due to the differences in  "fillings" and microwave settings, this could be between 1 and 3 min. 

 Since it is snowing again, and I still haven't cleaned off the foot we got yesterday, I'm sure these will be very handy when I go to dig out my car in the morning! Stay warm & Happy Friday!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#28 - Flannel Hand Warmers 

Spring in the Snow

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Woke up this morning to a fresh 12 - 18 inches of snow! Thank goodness Tiny Tart is too small to really care about going out in it, because I'm sure staying indoors today! It does look pretty though (on the other side of the window). 

Since I wasn't going to the market, I should have been doing laundry today, but instead I decided to sort through our plethora of books (7 boxes worth) to decide which need to go on the shelves, and which can be packed away. Ant favors "coffee table" architecture books which really serve no purpose right now since Tiny would just shred them. I on the other hand have tons of paperback teeny-bopper fantasy books that I probably won't read again anytime soon, but can save for the kids. What's left is a handful of crafting books, a few favorites, and the leftovers that we haven't read yet. Thankfully I have started going to the library once a week to feed my addiction, because those things sure get heavy en-mass! 

Anyway, the project for today uses something that I know everyone has in their home .... cardboard toilet paper tubes! I have seen new ads for tubeless rolls, but until that really picks up this is an awesome way to put them to use. 

Inexpensive Wall Art!

I recently stumbled across the idea at Homemade Mamas but if you Google toilet paper tube wall art, you can find some downright amazing ideas. Mine are nowhere near as elaborate as those, but they look cute in Tiny's room. Here's what I did...

- Cardboard tubes (paper towels, toilet paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap)
- a ruler
- a pencil (pen, writing utensil)
- scissors
- paint
- brushes
- plate to mix paint on

I also have a swatch card so I can match my colors to the pom-poms in Tiny's room, and water to rinse my brushes.

And here we go...

First flatten your tube and use your ruler to mark off the measurement you choose. I did 2cm for the petals and then used the last little guy as a leaf. You can do and size you'd like.

Now start painting! I used plain acrylic paints and found it easiest to place 2 fingers inside the ring and stretch it open so I wouldn't leave finger prints. Don't forget the edges. 

If you want to make this step easier bust out the spray paint & head outside. I just wanted to paint the insides a darker shade, and use lots of colors to add more depth. (ie. I didn't want to go anywhere near the snow!)

When everything is dry, head for the glue gun. You only need a thin strip along one of the points. Then squish them together.

For making flowers, this shape seems to be the easiest to join together. Just glue 2 sets of 3 together, or a 3 with a 2. Pop on some leaves here and there, and you have eco-friendly wall art that will impress your friends!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#27 - Cardboard Tube Flowers

Internet Down :(

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Even though everything was working fine on Monday, the internet kinda crapped out on me last night. Thankfully it was a quick fix with a phone call and some numbers, but we have been doing so many things I just now got around to it. Let's back up to Tuesday morning. 

Tiny Tart had an 8am Dr. appointment which went very well. She's a bit Chubby, but not overweight (nothing wrong with that). She did get 3 shots though, so not really a happy camper, but she'll live. Then we drove the next block over to our old apartment to drop off the keys and have the inspection. Maintenance said it was immaculate for having lived there 3 years, and I only have to pay to clean the carpets. (I think I cleaned way more than was necessary, but better safe than sorry!) Next we popped over to the library to pick up some books on hold, but our card is missing (wonder why) and they wouldn't look me up without an id with current address. It didn't matter how many times I told them that "I just moved yesterday. Nothing has my new address!" Of course, as soon as I got back to the apartment I found my card in my purse (of all the stinking places!!), but couldn't go back because Maintenance was coming to fix the oven and wrap the A/C. 

I waited, and waited, and waited, until around 4pm I went down stairs to drop off paperwork and was asked if they came. When I said no, they found the boss and sent someone up. (Before we went to the Dr. I left a message at the front desk for them not to come until after lunch when I'd be home.) The guy who came said he had been there twice before 10am and I wasn't home. His paper said "The tenant would like to be home when you visit." So much for my message. Since it was too late to fix anything, he promised to come back in the morning. He did too! Bright and early he fixed my oven, a badly wired outlet, a door that wouldn't latch, and wrapped all 3 A/C units. (Bless him) When I saw the snow outside this morning I was resigned to wait another day. 

Now we're caught up, and things are starting to fall into place. Because of the oven, Tasty Tuesday has been postponed, but I'll try to squeeze in double next week. (If the snow lets me get to the market!) 

I also haven't been resting on my laurels in the craft department. I've made a pattern for a swiffer cover that you can wash and reuse. (Look at me going green!) We have hardwood floors now so the cat tumbleweeds are gonna amass quickly! Now I can have a ready supply that can be used for wet or dry cleaning. The best thing is the ridges on the bottom that are good for scrubbing, but also catch all the stray litter pieces scattered around without scratching like the normal cloths. It took me about 3 hrs to make one, but I was also fiddling around trying to make it work. You could probably manage it in 2 or less! 

Crochet Swiffer Cover
(I used Lily Sugar'n Cream 100% Cotton with a US H/8 hook)

Ch. 41
Row 1 - 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook. 1 sc in each ch across. Turn. 40 sc. 
**Everyone crochets differently, Please stop here and check the strip against your duster. (stretching a little is ok) You may have to begin again with a different number of stitches. My stitches tend to be tight. If you crochet loosely it may turn out too large.**

Row 2 - Ch 1. Working in back loop only of each sc, 1 sc in each sc across. Turn.
*Rep last row until work from beg measures 4 inches.* (When measuring against your duster be sure to keep stretch in mind. if you needed to stretch to touch the ends, it will make the width thinner also.* 

After you have the correct width - Turn and Ch. 1. *Work 10 sc (1 in each sc). Turn and Ch. 1* Repeat (*) until you have a strip that reaches the other edge. (see picture)
When the strip (the 10 sc) has reached the other side - Sc through both the original chain and the strip 10 sc to the corner. Make an additional 2 sc in the last stitch. Turn the work 90° and continue to sc through the 2 layers until you reach the other corner. Fasten off.

With the new "pocket" in your right hand facing away from you, count in 10 stitches on the top left edge. In this 10th stitch begin to sc towards the left edge. When you reach the edge of the cloth turn and ch 1. Now continue the (*) repeat just like the first pocket. (When you get to the end of the strip make sure you fold it onto the same side as the existing pocket.) (Yes, I did screw that part up!)

I ran out of yarn, but your strip should continue up to the red line.

Remember to end your strip length on the "inside edge",
making it easy to sc the layers together in 1 go.

Now just flip the pockets over the ends of the duster and go to town! I will admit that I love this type of cleaning. It involves next to no effort but makes me feel like I accomplished something. Or you can always just give it to the kids and let them clean for you!

Please excuse the drool. We are getting our last teeth.
I don't have any explanation for the hair though!

As always, if anything that I tried to explain makes absolutely no sense, please feel free to ask questions! I'm not even gonna pretend I'm in an organized state of mind right now. I'm just doing my best to translate the crazy. 

East Coasters be careful in all the snow and ice. I'll see-ya tomorrow.

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#26 - Crochet Swiffer Cover

We're Here (Finally!!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

We are now in our new apartment, and everyone is fine and in one piece, but it must be said ... I Never Want To Move Again!!

This was probably the most disastrous weekend that I have ever had! My life is starting to remind me of those movies where everything that can go wrong does. Those type of movies always end happily, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll give a short rendition of the latest events. 

The first problem actually started on friday night. The elevator broke down. If you have ever moved into an apartment without one, I don't need to explain how frustrating (and painful) it is to have to lug a sofa down from the third floor using the stairwell. I called the Mtg. office friday afternoon to see if it was getting fixed and they said "they are just testing it. It'll be working soon." (Huge sigh of relief). An hour later they call me back "You were right, it is really broken, but we did call and tell the elevator man to come look at it." (6pm on a friday night, you think he'll show?) Luckily, he did come the next morning and fix it before we started to move the sofa. (We had already loaded most of the boxes, but oh well!)

Now the second (and most major) issue. I dropped my husband off at the U-haul place at 7am. Everything is fine, they have the reservation, "Be careful Honey, I'll see you at home." I pull into the parking lot 10 min. later and start getting Tiny out of the car seat. My phone rings (my husband in a "girl who just saw a snake" voice) "I have an emergency! There has been an accident!" "Ok, just breath. Calm down. What happened?" "I hit a car!" "...(wondering why he is flipping out)...O..k..well, you got the insurance, so everything is going to be ok. Do you need me to come back? Where are you?" "Yes, please come back, I'm at the U-haul place" "Ok, give me 5 min."
(I drive over wondering how bad this could be that he is having such a fit. I pull in and see a truck missing it's headlight. Not so bad.) 
"Are you ok? Just breath. Did you call the cops?" "Yes, they are coming. I don't know what happened I just lost control!" "Ok, where did it happen?" (the store is at an intersection, and he points across the street less than a block away at a parked car.) "See that black car?" "Yes." "Ok, that one and the one in front of it." 

After everything is said and done, (me making 3 trips back and forth, my brother watching Tiny, and my dad driving the new U-haul) finally at 10am, the policewoman gives Ant a ticket for reckless driving that may suspend his license for 6 months. He actually hit 3 parked cars and pushed the last one into a fourth! I have no idea how he managed this, but 2 are pretty much totaled (needing the entire left side replaced), and one was up on the sidewalk! The owner of the first one (needing a new mirror and front fender) actually thanked Ant for reporting it, because she has been hit twice before when no one stepped up. I have no idea how this will play out insurance wise, but he will not be driving our car for quite some time.

During his time pacing, waiting for the cops, Ant also lost his wedding ring in the snow. It is insured, but the branch we bought it from closed down. Now we have to go to Delaware to pick up a new one!

Next, I lost my keys. Not a big deal, I figured they were in the mess of boxes now stacked in our new living room. (I'll use Ant's since he won't need then.) To bad the keys to the old apt. were still attached and need to be turned in on Tuesday. I searched the parking lot three times, but eventually found them hours later in the kitchen behind a box. 

Then, I hung a blanket over Tiny's bedroom window only to find that there is a inch gap where the window won't shut (too much paint), and freezing wind is blowing inside. This is true for 2 other windows in the apartment.

There are also major drafts around all the A/C units. So I spent the evening plugging up any holes I could find with lengths of fabric I had around the house. (No Tarts were harmed from the cold, and it was all fixed this morning.)

Thank goodness the biggest problems I have had today are a kid who won't nap, a migraine, and finding a pair of socks. With just the normal stress of unpacking and adjusting to a new house, I don't know how much more I can take. 

Needless to say I did not make any crafts today, but I did hang the pom-poms that I made Tiny earlier this month. I'll add a picture as soon as I find the box with the camera in it!

Tomorrow morning we have a Dr. appointment for TT and the official "move-out, turn in the keys" walk through at the old apartment. Wish me luck, and everyone cross their fingers that my bad luck is finally over!!

♥Momma Tart

ETA - Later when I tried to put dinner in the oven, I found that the gas line is clogged. I will have to wait for it to be cleaned or replaced! Guess we're ordering pizza. Why me?

Moving (Jump Started)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We were scheduled to sign the lease tomorrow morning, but the people at the management office heard that they are calling for snow so they asked us to come in today. It was a little last min. so there wasn't time for a craft today. Tomorrow is not looking so good either since we will be moving the computer and TV systems to the new place and trying to make sure it is all hooked up right. (meaning ANT will be hooking stuff up, and I will be ferrying the random small items that fit in the car and watching the kid.)

Saturday my Dad and brother will be coming up to help with the moving of the larger furniture and the standard boxes that will go quickly on the dolly. I can't tell you how much I love that I get to opt out of this because someone has to keep track of Tiny Tart! Too bad it means I get to clean instead. Hopefully, everything will be set up properly and unpacked enough for me to get back into the projects by Monday. 

I have tons of ideas for decorating the new place (especially Tiny's room) so stop back and see what I come up with! (*sneak peek* bunting, contact paper, pegboard, toilet paper tubes, and pot and pans are all part of the plan)

Be back soon!
♥Momma Tart

(Late) Tasty Tuesday - Sausage Soup

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I know, it isn't Tuesday, but with everything that has been going on I seem to have misplaced a day or two. Let's just pretend (for now) that I'm not losing my mind. The pictures for this recipe were ready days ago when Ant asked me to post it, and I still forgot!

Anyway, I love to make soups! I never actually eat them, but for some reason they are fun to make, and always turn out amazing. This is one of Ant's favorites (doesn't take much, especially with sausage) from souporsweets on all-recipes.com

Super-Delicious Zuppa Toscana

I absolutely love the all-recipes website! It's like the worlds most helpful cookbook.  Find any dish you can think of, know the calorie count, and I can easily change the serving size on a recipe to make just enough for 2 people. There is even a place to leave yourself notes about thing to change for next time. Now all I need is an Ipad so I don't have to run back and forth to the computer! (I know, I could print it, but that's a waste.)

Anyway, this soup is pretty easy and the leftovers reheat well from the fridge. It never lasts long enough so I haven't tried freezing, (freezing cream makes me leery) but I have seen reviews that say it works well. You can also use frozen spinach in a pinch. We add the spinach in per bowl, so you can use as much or as little as you like and it won't be too soggy in the leftovers.

Now maybe I can get myself back on track. Enjoy!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#25 - Zuppa Toscana

What a day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You know it's gonna be one of those days when you have to scrub blood out of the carpet before the breakfast dishes are even cleared. 

Tiny Tart had quite the adventure this morning involving a pillow, a coffee table, and a giant fat lip. Everything was going great. We were reading stories, playing with animals, and eating soup (the imaginary kind). The next thing I know Tiny goes to hand me an egg (the crochet kind from here), slips on a pillow, hits her face on the table, and starts bleeding profusely! 

I'm pretty laid back about injuries and sicknesses. I take the wait & see approach more often than not, but to see that much blood coming from such a tiny face, I panicked a bit. I tried to stop the bleeding, but come on, it's a lip, on a toddler. How do you do that?? She isn't gonna sit still for ice. Band-aides are out. I just kept dabbing it with a washcloth as much as she would let me, and watched as she drooled blood into the sink. This all happened in a matter of minutes, but by the time the bleeding had stopped I had a wash rag and a t-shirt both soaked in blood. There is also blood on her, me, the hall carpet, the bathroom mirror, the kitchen sink, and who knows where else along the way!

I called the pediatrician hot-line, but of course it was busy so I left a message. Ten minutes later my husband calls me to ask if I called the doctor. Huh? How did you know? "Oh, they just called me and left a message saying call back if you still need them." "O...K...I'll call you back when i'm done."

Message to nurse #2 "I just called 10 min. ago and you called my husband instead. Please call 315-***-****. Not 215, but 315. Thanks." (Philadelphia'a area code is 215, upstate New York is 315. Ant is from New York and hasn't changed numbers so this is a common problem for us.)

By the time a nurse calls (15 min later) Tiny is perfectly fine and has forgotten that anything even happened. She is sitting in her high-chair munching contentedly on a cookie. After talking with the nurse and making sure that we don't need stitches or a visit to the dentist, I call my husband back. "Everything is ok." "Good, cuz they just called me again." "What? Why?" "I don't know, trying to reach you. I told them to call 315... but the girl told me the number she had was way off." "???? Why do I even bother!"

Hours after the swelling has gone down!

Now Tiny and her fat lip are napping peacefully, so I can finally get back to what I had initially planned for today. I just have to figure out what that was...

Well, I didn't post yesterday, but I did make a project. Crochet plums. But, when I finally got around to taking pictures, my plum was gone! I knew who the culprits were, but unfortunately they cannot speak, so I spent an hour looking under every table, chair, desk, bookcase, etc. with no luck. (The cats love these crochet toys as much as TT. I am constantly having to confiscate mushrooms and eggs!) I eventually gave up and went to bed.  This morning Ant left me a note with my plum stating that he had found it in the bathtub, of all places. 

Rnd 1 - Magic ring 6
Rnd 2 - Inc. around (12)
Rnd 3 - *Sc. 1, Inc.* around (18)
Rnd 4 - Sc. around
Rnd 5 - *Sc. 2, Inc.* around (24)
Rnd 6&7 -Sc. around
Rnd 8 - *Sc. 2, Dec.* around (18)
Rnd 9 -Sc. around
Rnd 10 - *Sc. 1, Dec.* around (12)
Rnd 11 -Sc. around                                             Leaf
Rnd 12 - Dec. around (6)                                   Ch 7 -sl. st. - sc - hdc - dc - hdc -sl. st.

Since the purple was handy today, I also decided to whip up an eggplant. We aren't big fans of them in this house, but there is no reason that Tiny shouldn't be familiar with them. Maybe she'll even like them in a few years. 

Pattern free from Lion Brand Yarn

With purple, ch 2.
Rnd 1: Work 6 sc in first ch. Place marker in first st for beg of rnd; move marker up as each rnd is completed.
Rnd 2: Work 2 sc in each st around – 12 sts.
Rnd 3: *2 sc in next st, sc in next st, rep from * around - 18 sts.
Rnd 4: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts, rep from * around – 24 sts.
Rnd 5: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 sts, rep from * around – 30 sts.
Rnds 6 -14: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 15: *Sc2tog, sc in each of the next 8 sts, rep from * around – 27 sts.
Rnd 16: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 17: *Sc2tog, sc in each of the next 7 sts, rep from * around – 24 sts.
Rnd 18: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 19: *Sc2tog, sc in each of the next 6 sts, rep from * around – 21 sts.
Rnd 20: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 21: *Sc2tog, sc in each of the next 5 sts, rep from * around – 18 sts.
Rnds 22-24: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 25: *Sc2tog, sc in next st, rep from * around – 12 sts.
Rnd 26: *Sc2tog * around – 6 sts.
Fasten off.

With green, ch 2.
Rnd 1: Work 6 sc in first ch. Place marker in first st for beg of rnd; move marker up as each rnd is completed.
Rnds 2-4: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 5: Work 2 sc in each st around – 12 sts.
Rnd 6: *2 sc in next st, sc in next st, rep from * around – 18 sts.
Rnd 7: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 8: * Sc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 double crochet in next st, hdc in next st, sc in next st, sl st in next st, rep from * twice – 21 sts.
Fasten off.

Sew stem to top of Eggplant. Weave in ends.

Alas, Ant has returned with a giant box of Brillo pads so I must go finish scrubbing the stove burners. Hopefully this is the answer, since nothing else is working. Until tomorrow...(a potentially quieter tomorrow!)

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#23 - Crochet Plum
#24  - Crochet Eggplant

I felt it! Part 1

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I know I was supposed to be finishing up with the kitchen cleaning today, but it just wasn't working. Instead I decided to pack up anything that wasn't essential for living through the next 4 days. My plan is to work on the remaining scrub work a little at a time until Friday. Then when this is all over I am going to the spa darn it. Maybe I can even pull that as a Valentine's Day present. (Well deserved I think!)

I also found time today to make a few projects that will help get me ahead in case of any pending computer and/or unpacking issues. The felt hair clips from Friday inspired me to do an image search about all the different varieties of felt flowers. Some of the possibilities were very impressive. So I decided to make a few items that could be used for hair clips, headbands, brooches, or additions to any number of other projects. (bags, wall art, scrapbooks, hats, shoes, toys, wreaths, pillows, on and on)

I labeled them in an attempt to make both our lives simpler.

A. Carnation-like flower - great tutorial here.
C. Rolled Rosette - tutorial here (mine still seems to be missing something.)

B. Bows

First cut out 2 strips of felt. These can be any size, but the smaller strip should measure half the width of the larger.

1 inch by 4 1/4 inches
1/2 inch by 2 inches (may be trimmed later)

(My finished bow is 1 inch tall and 2 1/4 inches long)

Wrap the longer strip into a loop, overlapping about a 1/4 inch, and glue or stitch.

(Use glue sparingly or you may have trouble pinching the loop into a bow shape later.)

Flatten your loop and center your stitch (or glue) line.

Fold the stitch area into a hill and then valley shape and pull a stitch through these pinched folds.

Attach the small strip with a dab of glue on the top of the bow towards the back.

Now wrap the strip around snugly and secure with more glue on the back. (trim any excess)

 D. Circle Petal Flowers

Cut out circles for the number of petals you would like your flower to have. (I used 6 traced from a quarter.)

Fold each circle into a "taco" shape and thread onto a needle about 1/8 of an inch in from the edge and 1/8 up from the fold.

After all of the petals are on the thread stitch back through the first petal in the same spot and pull the circle tight and fasten.

Adjust the petals and adorn with buttons, beads, etc.

*I have seen examples where a bead was placed inside the "taco" fold and stitched through. (through felt then bead then other side of felt.) really cute.*

E. & F. Clover and Star Flowers

This one the paper cutting is harder than the actual construction.

Start with a square (slightly larger than the size flower you are making nothing perfect)

Fold in half once and then again until you have a smaller square.

Fold this square in half to make a diamond shape. (Make sure the folded point that is the center of the original square stays at the bottom. Like making a paper snowflake.)

Now cut out the shape you prefer. (You may need to try a few times to get it just right.)

Red line - clover
Blue line - star

Now I believe that it has taken me longer to write about them then it has for me to have actually made them, but at least I feel better that I won't fall behind during this move. Please let me know if any of my instructions are unclear.

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#17 - Felt Carnation Flower
#18 - Felt Bows
#19 - Felt Rolled Rosette
#20 - Felt Circle Petal Flower
#21 - Felt Clover Flower
#22 - Felt Star Flower

I hate cleaning!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How in the world could it possibly take an entire day just to clean an oven? And we still aren't done! I still can't believe how many pieces the stove breaks down into. This was a hardcore clean. Besides just taking off the burners (4 pieces each) and racks, I took off the whole door, the broiler (and pan), the bottom of the oven, the knobs, and more! My fingers have been prune-y most of the day from all the scrubbing I've done. I started out with gloves on, but they are too big so it's more of a hassle than a help. I vow to henceforth wipe out the oven every week and clean the stove top every day (or make Ant do it!) I know that will never last, but maybe I can just wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil. 

Fortunately, Ant did help. He pulled out the fridge and cleaned behind it and the sides, he pulled out the dishwasher and got the dust bunnies, and he wiped down most of the cabinet. I'm starting to think that those were all ways to put off putting some elbow grease into the oven though. Guess I'll just have to take what I can get. At least he made dinner (cheeseburgers which dirtied up the stove again, lol). 

Tomorrow I will hopefully have time to make double crafts to make up for todays slacking. We only have the 4 burner cage things and the 2 racks left, but I can see those taking forever too. I can't help but think that even after all this work, the mtg. people are still going to say that it wasn't good enough and charge us anyway. Then I may have to strangle them!

Well, goodnight. I'll try to bring back the fun tomorrow.

♥Momma Tart

No Nap!

Friday, January 14, 2011

After tons of running around this morning, I just wanted to crash this afternoon when I laid Tiny Tart down for her nap. I pushed through it though and found a whole bunch of new projects to add to my to do list.

Since I had all the materials close at hand I decided to make some more simple hair clips. This set is really quick and easy, just a few circles and leaves cut from felt and glued to a snap clip with a button. I'm pretty sure you guys can figure out how to put them together just by looking at them, but if not, let me know.

Tomorrow is our major move-out cleaning day, where I get to scrub the kitchen top to bottom (lucky me). I'm not looking forward to seeing the hairballs that have collected behind the fridge and stove, but with 5 cats (2 long haired) it is kinda inevitable. My dreams will surely be filled with a flat-top stove and a self cleaning oven.

Please ignore the busted up eye and also the sauce
on her cheek. (you know how toddlers are)

Now I'm finally off to take that nap. Maybe when I wake up Ant will already have everything clean! (Hey, I can dream.) Hopefully your weekend plans are much more fun than mine. Until tomorrow...

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#16 - Circle Felt Flower Hair Clips

Falling behind

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Well, I'm not gonna deny it. Yesterday was a complete flop. When I woke up there was almost 6 inches of snow on the ground and that was the beginning of the end. Even though all the walks were clean I knew we were staying in. I'm not really good with cold, and slushy cold is definitely worse.

I've said before that we are hermits and I'm not kidding when I say Tiny and I normally only leave the house once a week. It isn't that I dislike the outdoors, so much as I hate the city. I grew up on a small farm with cows, sheep, chickens and tractors. It was all right on the other side of the door, and now it's all just not.

Ok, maybe it isn't exactly the city, so much as apartment living. I want a yard desperately! A place to go out and hang up the laundry, play with the kid, and watch a dog run around. If a garden can fit in there, all the better. I know I could go to the park or playgrounds, but some days you don't want to haul crap around, and where is the bathroom at the park? (On the other side, of course!)

We used to go to the library for story time once a week, but the holidays threw everything off. I thought it would be a good place for TT to interact with some other kids, but everyone just seemed to ignore us and stick with the people they already knew. (sounds just like high school, lol) This seems to happen a lot. Everyone acts like they already have enough friends and they don't want anymore. (Ant says I just look too young to have kids, they think i'm a teen mom, but I'm 26! And this is my first kid! They had to have their first kid sometime.)

So, I sit around the apartment doing things that make me seem "old" in the eyes of everyone that I "do" know. I know i'm not the only 20-something who ______ (knits, quilts, crochets, makes clothing, wants to grow a garden, etc.) The problem is finding others. I could go to a (knitting, quilting, book) circle, but that usually involves major scheduling conflicts.  I was hoping some of you guys (le sigh...I know my husband is my only follower) would be able to help me figure out where you congregate. Alas, you can't even be found on the internet. I must be doing something terribly wrong.

Now that I am extremely off topic . . . I did make something yesterday. It was just another of the shirt pillows, but Tiny loves the pocket on this one. (I can't decide if 3 pillows should count 3 times toward my goal though.)

Today, I tried to get a little extra work done in anticipation of the move and the rut it will probably throw me into. Unfortunately, Tiny has decided that she no longer needs to take naps. (Until this week she took two 3 hr. naps during the day, so I got a lot done.) Instead I squeezed in some mushrooms during the hour or so that she did sleep, but they are still super cute! A little button and a baby portabella to add to Tiny's kitchen set.


Magic ring 6
Rnd 2-4 - sc around
(change color for gills"
Rnd 5 - Inc. around (12)
Rnd 6 - * 1 sc, Inc* 6x (18)
Rnd 7 - sc around
fasten off

Magic ring 6
Rnd 2 - Inc. around (12)
Rnd 3 -  * 1 sc, Inc* 6x (18)
Rnd 4-6 - sc around
Rnd 5 - sc around in back loops only
Fasten off

Stitch stem inside cap.
light stuffing = brown portabella type mushroom
firm stuffing = white button type mushroom

Hopefully all the running around we have to do tomorrow will tire the Tiny Tart out so much that she'll sleep through the afternoon and let me get something done. Here's hoping.

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#15 - Crochet Mushrooms
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