Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas dreams!

I have wanted to share this story with everyone but I haven't been able to find the right words. A lady I have never met sent me the best gift I could ever get for Christmas. I am so touched! I keep crying because I am so touched by what she has done! I am so sorry that I can't come up with words to express how truly thankful I am! I thought that the words would come to me but all I can do is cry and say Thank You! I feel bad that I can't even get a good picture of all this lovely stuff! It is the most beautiful stuff I have ever seen! I am so sad that my camera couldn't capture the beauty of this stuff. It is so BEAUTIFUL!
It is...
2.2 lb Llama- Chocolate brown.
2 oz. Mohair/ rayon/bamboo etc.- pink
2.5 oz corridale- blue
2.5 oz corridale green
1 oz mixed wool- grey
11 oz ?- white.

It covered our table! I had to stand on a chair to take the pictures!
The fiber I have had in the past to spin I didn't even know what kind it was! LOL! This is better than any dream I have ever had! This is the kind of feeling you get when you have a baby. You know that joy when the doctor puts your new baby in your arms. That is the only way I can think of to describe it! PLEASE DON'T think that I love fiber more than my children. It isn't that but it is the joyful tears of true happiness that touched from deep inside feeling you get. KWIM?

I love spinning wool because I dream of being a wife of noble character. I think my husband should have a proverbs 31 wife. I feel that I often fall so short it seems like an impossible goal to reach. BUT when I am spinning yarn I think to myself. In her hand she hold the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. I feel like I am a step closer to the woman my husband deserves!

This lady has brought me joy, she has given me such a wonderful gift. She has made me feel like a better person, a better wife, and even closer to the Lord. She gives in secret not wanting her name given. Her asking that reminds me of something I try to do but sometimes fail it is Matthew 6:3 Do not let your left hand know what your right is doing so that your giving may be a secret.

I don't know what else to say! I am very grateful! She is a wonderful person. I hope to remember this feeling the rest of my life. I hope someday I am able to find ways to touch others like this! I don't think she will ever know how wonderful this is and how wonderful she is for doning such a thing!

I do feel that I am a grateful person most of the time for everything I have and all that others have done for me BUT I haven't ever been given so much from a complete stranger like this. I just can't find the words to describe this! I hope you all can kind of tell what I am trying to say. I feel so bad I can't find words to show how I feel. Below are pictures of it all. I am so sorry my pictures don't show how beautiful this all is!


Am I knitting? I guess it depends on who you ask! My Mom gave me this learn to knit kit for Christmas. I decided to give it a try. I got it out and started reading. I then even took the time to look at some free how to knit videos online. I knew it must be the right day to learn to knit because when I typed in on the google search page I saw 2 kangaroos knitting! I felt ready to knit!!

This is the picture of my first day of knitting. I was SO HAPPY! I felt so good about having yarn on my knitting needles. Day 2 I went right back to it. I kept at it off and on that day until I had knitted enough to make a small bib. I put a button on and I was VERY HAPPY! I couldn't wait to go visit my knitting friends the next day. I could see that I made LOTS of mistakes but I was just so happy to have something I made with my knitting needles! I didn't care about my mistakes!

The next day I ran off to visit with my knitting friends. I was so excited I picked up the little bib but forgot to grab two bags of stuff I wanted to take with me (both bags I had right on my kitchen table next to my new bib). I got to see the beautiful things they both made with yarn (I dream of having the talent they both have) I was so EXCITED to show my new creation. I knew it couldn't compare to the BEAUTIFUL stuff they both make but I was still excited about my first try. I pulled out my lopsided, cheap yarn, ugly color, peculiar creation. I said to them that I only know one stitch the knit I haven't learned how to pearl yet. They both got a rather confused look and said that what I did looked like a pearl stitch. It was NOT a knit stitch. WOW! I was really confused!!!! I then watched Vicky sit and knit. I was amazed at how smooth her fingers moved working the yarn. Her yarn was worked in a MUCH different way than I was doing.(LOL) I hurried home trying to keep that picture of what she was doing fresh in my head. After several hours I think I might have figured it out!!!!! I think I was wrapping my yarn clockwise not counter clockwise. I know I was putting my needle in the stitch the right way so I think I MUST have been wrapping wrong. I plan to try again later today. I hope I have it all figured out right. If not I will laugh and try again! I will post my "New ODD CREATION" LOL! I expect to have LOTS of ODD creations before I get the hang of this!

OH! My 6 year old son was watching me knit. He looked like he was studying what I was doing. I was expecting him to ask if I would teach him. Insead this is what he said... You know Mom, if you could tap the sticks together faster you would make a good old lady! He thought was giving me a complement (pep talk of sorts)! LOL! I hope he gets better at complements before he is old enough to date!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Financial NEWS and THANKS!

I am so grateful for all the advice and support people have given me in handling our finances! I feel that often people don't like to talk about how they view spending. I am so happy to hear that others have and are having some of the same struggles as we have had. I don't want everyone to be in a financial jam at all I am just happy to know I am not alone. KWIM? I am very happy for all the advice people have shared! Rob and I have stuck to our values and God did bless us in return. I want to thank the person who wrote me telling me that Oprah wasn't my only tool to use to guide us in making our financial decisions (I like the idea of having a Christian based one to look at) so THANKS! I hope to get a free minute to thank her personally but I can't find her message right now in my email.

NOW! This is going to sound CRAZY!!! I am very thankful for the hard times my husband and I have had over this last year!!! I know this sounds nuts but in my next 10-20 post I think you might see why! I am so happy that we didn't turn to credit cards when things got tight this time! I am so happy that I made the choice to "live without" many things I said I would NEVER live without! I feel that I am such a better person now for it! I think living in the US in this time many people don't know what it is like to live without (I was one of them). From living using credit cards and such I never had to "want" for anything. For me I now "see" that I was so use to having I didn't know what it felt like to be "deep down completely grateful the of tears of joy" feeling! I am happy I ran out of needles and thread and had to see that they are things that we buy with hard earned money! I always took them for granted. Make-up ummm.... not a necessity! I once thought it was. $40 a week food budget CAN be done but it is HARD to do! Koolaid to color yarn isn't free. I found that having to plan to get some kool-aid in our tight budget to color my yarn made the experience so much more enjoyable! For me having all the stuff we bought with credit cards made me numb and kept me from appreciating things. Living without has shown me how to truly enjoy stuff when I get it! I hope that I am able to keep this lesson I have learned in my head for the rest of my life!

My hubby got a promotion and a raise around Thanksgiving time. I am so proud of him! That isn't all our news! He wasn't allowed to be promoted again for 6 months (company policy) BUT! They told him to put in for another promotion and HE GOT IT!!! A few days before Christmas!! I am so proud of my husband! I love him so much! I am thankful that the Lord is helping us so much right now! At the same time my heart goes out to people who have had the same financial struggles raising a family and they haven't been blessed with things like 2 promotions in just a few weeks time. If you are in that situation and would like some extra prayers PLEASE just email me and let me know! I will be happy to pray for you and your family!


So much has been going on in the last 2 months. I am going to have to try to make 2 quick post a day until I get all caught up. I have thanks to give for financial advice. News about my husbands job promotion. My spinning wheel adventures. Last minute Christmas gift for my son. A wonderful Christmas surprise from a person I have never met. Dress up for my Daughter. Our Christmas Eve adventure. Learning to knit. Tons of painting, spinning, fiber, sewing, knitting, and joy to share with all. I will do my best to get it all caught up as quick as I can. Computer time is always limited for me. My children are young so I can't sit and type much. Sometimes it is days before I can get to the computer. I hope all the new toys my children have been blessed with keep them busy for the next few days so I can sneak in some blogging time. I think if I keep all my post as short as possible I might be able to get a few done a day. Only time will tell! I hope you all have enjoyed your holidays! In our house we celebrate Christmas (we are Christians) I had the BEST Christmas in my entire life!!! I will write more about all my little ups and downs over the last 2 months soon. Right now my daughter is calling for me. I hope to get back online when the children go to bed tonight!

Monday, December 11, 2006


My WONDERFUL DH gave me a spinning wheel for Christmas!!!! I know it isn't Christmas yet but I couldn't leave it in the box! Anyone who knows me knows what a HUGE deal this is! I have been spinning for a year now on a drop spindle. I LOVE spinning! I have been dreaming of someday having a wheel but I didn't think that would happen for a few years yet. Money has been tight in our house. My DH had to do a lot of careful planning to swing a wheel for me.

I wanted the Babe wheel. WHY? Well 1st I am a thrifty person. I don't like to spend a lot of money on things unless I know it is what we need. I have been wondering what if I don't like spinning on a wheel? What if I can't learn to use a wheel? What if something breaks in our house (car, major appliance, or such) and the repairs cost a lot and because of a spinning wheel we can't afford to fix it. What if's like that kept me from wanting a nice wooden spinning wheel. I live WAY out in the country. I can't go to a shop and take spinning lessons. I knew that if I ever got a wheel it would have to be something I could learn on my own.

I LOVE this wheel!!!!! I am in heaven!!! I feel like a child who pictured something in her dreams and all the sudden it became REAL! First when I opened the box I was all excited!!! THEN came the instructions....... I must say that this is the DOWN side of getting a Babe wheel! The instructions I felt are POORLY written!!! The illustration is AWLFUL! GOOD side is that it is such a simple wheel that even for me (a person who has NEVER used a wheel) It could be put together. My WONDERFUL DH did help me put it together. It was quick (could have been quicker if we had better instructions and pictures.

This is something a spinner will find funny! I don't know how to knit yet. I have a sweater machine that knits for me. I can knit in minutes on this machine what takes my MIL days to do. I thought that going from my spindle to a wheel would be the same. BOY was I wrong! I can spin faster on the wheel but not at the speed I pictured! SO if someone is thinking about getting a wheel and you think you are going to spin up HUGE amounts of yarn in a few minutes time..... Ummmm... I don't think you will do that. If you use a dropspindle and you would like to save the time you spend winding on you will be able to do that once you get your wheel spinning.

This wheel is EASY to pick up and move! My 1 year old is in love with yarn. When I need to leave the room she will walk over to the wheel and start undoing my yarn. This Babe wheel is so small and light I can pick it up and put it in a place my DD can't get to. If I had a wooden wheel I know it wouldn't be that easy to do such a thing! I like that this wheel doesn't have a lot of parts and that I will be able to teach my children how to spin on it and not be afraid that they will do harm to it.

Looking back now I think if I had a chance to pick out a wheel again I "might" have went with the cheapest of the Babe wheels. I can treadle with one foot on my double treadle without a problem. I wouldn't have minded white PVC pipe. The Pinkie Wheel for $150 looks like the best bargin! I thought that Fiber Starter - Double Treadle looked a bit nicer and I thought that a double treadle might be easier to do. It cost
$226 so it was a lot higher in price. I didn't know that a single treadle could get going by giving the wheel a bit of a turn with your hand. I am VERY happy with the wheel I got. The black looks nicer in my opinion. The double treadle was easy to get going. I do feel that I "could" have been happy with the pinkie wheel and that would have cost less money.

If you want to look at the babe wheels you can find them at

(above) This is my first yarn on my wheel. I have to say that I am VERY surprised that it looks like my first yarn on the spindle. I guess I thought that with my year of experience on the spindle that my first yarn on a wheel would look more even. LOL! I didn't ply it I am not sure what to do with it. LOL! (Below) is a picture of my 3 bobbins done after I made the yarn above. I didn't ply the stuff in the above picture.

This is my 2 spools of yarn I have finished 2 ply. I must admit that I LOVE the uneven look yet at the same time I want to spin more even yarn.

This is the single I have left over because my spools didn't have the same amout of yarn on them.

I will get online later to read email and post some more pictures of my wheel for anyone who is wondering what kind of things I was confused with. Right now my children are taking a nap and my new wheel is calling my name!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dirty Fleece

My first try with this fleece was BAD! I am trying once again. The first time I tried I took a small amount and after 5 or so washings my water was still dark brown. YUCK! I am taking pictures this time so if I have problems again maybe someone can "see" what I am doing wrong and offer more advice. I feel ready to do this because I got so much advice on the yahoo spinners group I feel that I all the info I now have should help me a lot. First I dumped a lot of my bag out on a table outside and picked out the clean spots. I was SHOCKED to see that a lot of it looks clean. I just had to dig WAY into the bag to find the good stuff. I started with a small amount and did a cold water soak first. this is what I got.
I then did a hot soak with some dish soap and a hot rinse. LOOK! It already looks a lot cleaner. Can you see my water? I can see the bottom of my bucket!
This is what I now have. My water had some dirt in it but it was nothing like what I had from my try last week. I still have dark ends on my fleece.

Can you see this is what I am saying with the ends. I am not sure what to do now but I must say I do feel much better with this than my last dirty fleece try.

My husband is off work today we are all going out shopping so my fleece will have to be put on hold until later today.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Pilgrim costume finished.

In case you wanted to know...... I did finish in time!!!

I finished the pilgrim and indian costumes by 4 am on Wed. I got tired and didn't have time to put them on my blog. I got up early Thurs. morning found a small amount of black fabric and decided to whip of a dress. I didn't take pictures as I went but I can tell you how I did it.
This should fit my DD for a very long time yet. I used 1 piece of black fabric 19 inches wide and about 44 inches long. I folded it in half the fold is the neck area. I cut a hole in the center of the fold 9 1/2 inches wide it dips down about 1 1/2 inches in the front and the back of the neck just went straight across. You can just cut a hole large enough for the child's head. I left 5 inches on each side for her arms and sewed up the sides. I then turned under the 10 inch (5 front and back) of the armholes and seamed along. 1 inch black FOE was added at the neck and that was it. I spent about 5 maybe 10 minutes and it was all done.
The apron was a piece of fabric about 16 inches wide and 11 inches long. Sewed around 4 sides and added ties (same thing the bonnet ties are). Very simple.

The collar isn't pretty! BUT it did work OK. This was what I was working on at around 3 am (my excuse for being ugly). cut 2 circles (mine was more like ovals) 13 inches around and another circle in the center about 5 1/2 inches. Then just a large upside down V to make the shape. I sewed around the entire thing leaving a hole to turn. Turn then sew the hole shut. I added a little velcro to hold it shut in the front. This is the full costume. It was so worth staying up to do. My DD LOVES it! I feel good knowing was able to do something for her like I did for her brother when he was her age. KWIM?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More Indian Costume

I think if I made a few more I would find a simple way but when I wait until the last minute I don't have time to think about what I am doing. This didn't take long just longer than I wanted.

Sew a tube of fabric. This one was 26 inches long but it didn't have to be.

Add some elastic (using head size) Sew ends together.

Take a rectangle of fabric long enough to wrap around the tube (just small area to add feathers).

Sew feathers on the end with WRONG side of FEATHERS facing up.
Snip the ends that hang over.
Fold the feathers over making a fold in the fabric
Wrap feathers around tube and stitch shut
I added beads as I was sewing the layers together.

It is very late and I am in a rush so if this is hard to understand just email me at

Indian (Native American) costume

First I have to say that I am breaking one of my own rules with this one. I try not to ever mention to anyone things I make for anyone other than myself and my children. That is why I often go so long without posting my crafts. This time because I am short on time and supplies I will have to show the Indian costume that is for my Nephew. I do have on almost the same for my son but it is one I already made back when he was 2 or 3 years old. When I started this earlier in the day I wasn't planning on making more than one costume but because I found our old one that (just needed beads) I will take pictures on making one. VERY simple. This was made from a large piece of felt. Great thing with felt is it doesn't fray. This was a NO SEW just cut and bead project.
The felt piece is 18 inches wide and 4 feet long. It was the size I had so that is what I am using. The one I made up years ago is around 3 1/2 feet long and almost 2 feet across.
I folded the fabric in half and cut a large T so a child's head will fit in. I have a piece of paper under the fabric so you can see. The picture is upside down. The neck is at the bottom.
Cut away some of the T like this. Again a piece of paper is under top layer so you can see.

Cut some fringe.

using a bunch of pony beads that I already had and some denim thread and adding 5 beads on the needle at a time I went around the front.
Not perfect but DONE! My son is happy I hope my Nephew will be also. I will post my headband next.

I am going to look and see if I can find enough brown fabric to make ties for the sides. I might be able to dig up some string or something to tie the sides. If not I will add a snap to each side to help keep them in place on the boys.

Quick Pilgrim hat.

Pilgrim hat can fit from baby to adult (depending how far your roll the ends).
WARNING! This was something I came up with as I went along. It is NOT as NICE as ones you can buy a pattern for. My little girl is to young to care so it works for us.
Very fast pilgrim girl bonnet..... I cut out a piece of fabric 12 X 18 inches. This was large enough for me (an adult to wear). The next hat I do will hem around the outside first this one I did it as I went along.

This is shows the elastic along the one end. Sorry about the blurry picture I am in a hurry.
When pulled tight it makes the back of the hat.

The opposite end of the hat got rolled up to make it the right fit for my 17 month old.

LOOK what I found.....

This came from my MIL (she keeps lots of stuff) this was 25 cents new. I found it in a box of stuff she sent me.

It worked great for the ties! Project took only a few minutes! COST...... $0 YEAH!
This is it on a baby doll with a tiny head (my DD's head is a LOT larger).

This is the back. I still need to snip the strings. I was making it up as I went along and I didn't want to waste time snipping if it didn't work. KWIM?
I will post my Indian costume in a few minutes. I am making costumes adding the pictures to my blog and taking care of my children all at the same time. My children get a little wild around this time of night. I hope to get this all done in the next few hours.

Training pants

When my DH was off work on vacation last week he played with the children so I could sew some. I made up 18 new training pants/diapers for my DD. I spent NO money but I did already have all this material. I am running very low on thread (I had to take the thread out of my serger to use my sewing machine. I think my projects will have to be more and more creative (thrifty) as the weeks go on. March is still a long way off. The pattern I used was from I used the Wee Weka M-L Side Snap Nappy. I just printed out the pattern and traced it on 1 layer pul and 1 layer Alova then I used FOE to go around the outside. I let the Alova slip out of the FOE in the front to make a very quick pocket. I did not read the pattern. It might even give suggestions to alter it the way I am looking for BUT when DH says I will play with the children you can sew..... I RUN LIKE THE WIND! I grabbed a handful of my PUL and ALOVA and started sewing ASAP! I didn't want to waste any sewing time. Most of the time I don't like using patterns because I never have the time to read them and they never turn out the way I want. This pattern "FITS" my DD. I do think that they will work well. but I will give a try at making up my own pattern next time. My DD is 17 months old and about 19 pounds. We can slip the trainers on and off without snapping but they are very loose. They don't seem to be so loose that they leak (we even used one at night last night). I would feel better if I added another snap because of how thin my DD is. I think when I make up a pattern for my DD I would make one with a little wider (tiny bit) in the crotch. My diapers are not stretchy so stuffing them takes a little longer. I would make a under belly cut and make the tummy area not as wide. I would make shorter sides. SO what I think would be better for my DD would be to take the diaper pattern I already made and turn it into a side snap. I have plenty of diapers right now so I don't know when I will get around to giving this a try..... Maybe not until after the holidays. I need to try to get my DD down for a nap so I can give a try at making a simple Pilgrim and Indian costumes for my children..... If I get them done today I will post them.
OH! first a close up picture front and back of the trainers! (Don't look to close at the stitching I am still just a beginner with sewing).

Monday, November 20, 2006

Poor and happy?

My DH and I have looked over our spending and we agree that we should live debt free. We are using Oprah's debt diet as a guide. WOW! It is hard!!! I thought this would be easy for us. We quit using credit cards a long time ago. We have no credit card debt right now. We don't have a mortgage and we don't live with lots of extras (Oprah's site calls it the latte factor). We don't get coffee on the go. We don't buy bottled water or many sodas, we hardly ever eat out, we don't smoke, I am never near a vending machine, I don't chew gum, we only use candy for rewards for difficult math or spelling drills for our son. We don't get the paper, and I only get 1 magazine that I will cancel when my 2 years is up. We do have a cell phone and we will cancel that when the contract runs out. Anyway I thought we were doing so GREAT! UNTIL!!!!! We got to the spot that said Other Living Expenses 25% of income. That is all food, clothing, entertainment, Travel, Childcare, medical expenses, Tithing, charity and other. I thought we would do so well looking this over. After all we don't do much traveling, we have very little expense with entertainment (we don't rent movies or even have our dish hooked up right now). I hope the Internet doesn't have to go only time will tell. Childcare is no cost to us. I am ALWAYS home with the children. We gave up most of our eating out a few months ago. I haven't spent much at all on clothing in the last year on any of us. BUT we still went over in this group!!!! They have a spot for tithing but when you give 10% before taxes that puts us at about 15% out of our check. Once that is done we have spent 15 of our 25% That gives us 10% to live on! We have been doing this for a few weeks now and I think we are still going over our 10% but we are getting closer. I doubt we will be able to get into the 10% number with Christmas so close but we are going to do what we can.... I think the other areas that we are not over in our spending like housing and credit card debt should keep us on track some but it would be nice to be in the right spots on that pie graph. KWIM?

Now to the reason I wrote all of that....... I am going to try and post one craft a week that cost me NOTHING! I will be using the supplies I have in my house already but I am going to try to not spend any money at all. I hope that I am creative enough to do this! I hope to make some Christmas gifts along the way. I am going to try and start a project tonight and with my DD cutting a tooth I don't know how far I will get but I will try to get one a week done. I think if I keep looking at this as a fun challenge it will feel better. If I am busy crafting I will not have time to want to shop and spend. Tune in later to see how this all turns out.........

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lucky Girl

My friend Kcaarin gave my girl ALL this! You can't see from the picture how large the pile is. My little one will be warm and cozy for the winter. I have such Great friends!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Look at the wonderful gift I got!

I didn't make this! Vicky Forba gave this to me! What a COOL GIFT!!! It reminds me of Harry monster from SS. We turned up the heat in the house so we could watch my DD run around in it! I have NEVER seen a diaper like this. I should tell you all that not only is it neat looking it is VERY SOFT! AND she sews BEAUTIFULLY! I dream of learning to sew that well! I don't think I can get that good at sewing.
SEE! Isn't it the coolest?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I had a sweater that I thought was wool. I tossed it in the washer but it didn't felt much. Turns out it is only 70% wool. I decided to try to make my dd an outfit with it. This is a HUGE sweater. I am not at all on the slim side and I could fit 2 or 3 of me in this. The sleeper is one that still fits my dd it is size 9 months and she is 15 months old but only 18 pounds. The sweater is about 3 inches longer than the sleeper. I cut off the arms and used a sleeper as a guide for the crotch. I used the waist of sweater to make the leg cuff. I cut off the end of the arms (used the sleeper for the size measurement).I cut the shoulder on the sweater down to the size the sleeper was. I did take the neck in a tiny bit (my dd has a large head). I want to learn how to use my serger so my stitches might not look nice I am still learning how it works. A sewing machine would have worked. I surged the along the open legs to keep it from fraying The only spot I attached the front to back in the legs was the bottom cuffs. I can get my dd in and out to put on potty or diaper change easy with the cuffs together. I turned in the serged edges (enough to stick the snaps in 2 layers.) I added snaps to close the legs. I turned up the cuffs on the wrist and ankles (until my dd grows some). I am sorry my pictures are so dark. It was dark and raining when I did this. My dd was taking a nap not far from me so I didn't turn on the lights. I used the flash but the pictures still look kind of dark.
It looks a little boyish to me but it will work great when winter hits. The floors in our house are always cold.