Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs

A few years back I used a natural way of dying my Easter Eggs with things such as leaves and juices with varying results. (you can review that by clicking the hyperlinks). This year I went a whole new direction after I saw a video on the Internet on how to dye eggs with silk ties. (I’d post the video but I don’t know how to link it from Facebook. If you can find it outside of that leave the link in the comments).
It worked, but the desired results need a little work. Here’s what you have to do.
Your supplies are: Patterned silk ties that you don’t mind cutting up, string, white cotton fabric.

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First cut the ties into square pieces (mine aren’t exactly square for the first time but I wanted to make sure it would wrap around completely).

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Wrap the silk around the egg with the right side, bright side, pattern side on the inside.  Then generously wrap it up with string.  This will hold the material tightly to the egg.

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Then cut a square of white cotton and wrap that around as well and tie. 

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Take 4 cups of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a pot. Place the eggs in the water and bring to a boil then simmer for 30 min.

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This is what my eggs looked like when I unwrapped them. The pattern DID transfer. Some not very dark and not always smoother but I was satisfied and would call it a success.

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Happy Easter! !!

4LeafClover1343

Not too much to this craft project, but it was a cute and inexpensive holiday item that I managed to finish in time (i’m known for being a procrastinator and not finishing projects).

This started out as a $3 wooden shamrock.  I had a vision to paint it and then dressed it up with a yellow outline and the edge is white on top and black on the bottom.  I then painted across the front my name: 4LeafClover1343.  I know, I know…. this isn’t a 4 leaf clover, but they are few and far between.  

I’ll find some nice silk ribbon to hang it up on my door.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day !

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Homespun Harvest Quilt

I have been waiting a long time to post this, but I had to because the quilt I made ended up being a gift and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise online.

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At the beginning of January 2015, I decided to put aside my scrapbooking and cards and bring out an old project.  About 10 years ago, I saw this free pattern at Walmart and decided it was something that I wanted to make.  The pattern was a 24″x 24″ wall hanging, but I had designs to make it into a quilt so I bought enough material and first had to iron out 10 years of wrinkles before I could get started.  

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I loved this pattern because of the Autumn feel and all the harvest and rust-like colors.  I had never made a quilt like this before so it was going to be challenging to understand all the directions and geometric shapes. It involved a lot of cutting and measuring that took days in itself.  

Then I started piecing the blocks together, step by step and color by color until I had one square. 

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These first few weren’t too bad, but I really got tripped up when I came up with the left hand picture below and somehow had to turn it into a square.  You can see it ends up being a diamond shape in the center and not a square.  What I had to do was measure so far in on the outside strips and cut them off.  I then capped off what was left with a plaid triangle.  

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I made 9 blocks and you can see once I sewed them together, where they met, they created a whole new diamond pattern.  

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Traditionally, I don’t use cotton batting for the inside.  Seeing as this was such an odd size, I probably should have.  What I do is find a blanket to put inside, but because of this size I went with some plain (blaze orange) fleece cut from a bolt.  However, even the standard with of that was not enough so I had to piece it together and then trim the edges once I laid them on top of each other.  

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For the back I used an Autumn leaf print and folded it over to create an outline.  I can’t find the photo of the finished quilt, but here you an see how the edges come together. 

It was quite a huge undertaking for me and my quilting skill level.  Halfway though the project, I decided that when I finished it I was going to give it away as a gift.  The plaid patterns and Autumn colors and leaves reminded me of my dear friend Andrei and thought he might enjoy it as a Christmas gift.  He certainly did.  I hope it keeps him warm in the chilly months, and thinks of me as he wraps up in it. The one obstacle is that he lives near Moscow so I had to try and find the right way to package it up so it wouldn’t be so big of a box, as the post office loves to charge you for shape, weight and distance for international packages.  I used a vacuum space bag to flatten it as much as I could and then a slim type box.  Slightly more than a month later it arrived…. thus the posting of this blog now.  I don’t regret giving it away after all that work.  It just means now I can move on to my next project.

 

 

Eddie

Eddie- The Life and Times of America’s preeminent bad boy -by Ken Osmond and Christopher J. Lynch

It wasn’t until very recently, last year actually, that I started watching Leave It To Beaver, and since then it has become one of my favorite TV shows.  Growing up in the 80’s it wasn’t a series that seemed very cool or interesting, but now that I’m older, something made me seek out these old black and white, feel good, TV shows.   Who knows, it may have been seeing Wally Cleaver’s dreamy eyes that made me stop channel surfing one day. 

Once I started watching, I got hooked on Eddie Haskell.  No matter how many times, I shook my head and said, “No Beaver don’t listen to him!”  I still liked Eddie Haskell anyway.  

I saw a special All-Star episode of The Family Feud with the cast of Leave It To Beaver was playing against, Your Hit Parade.  At the beginning of the show, during the introduction Ken Osmond was introduced as an LAPD police officer.   I found that to be most interesting, and certainly wondered what it would be like to be given a speeding ticket by Eddie Haskell!  

I don’t recall how I found out that he had also been shot as a police officer, but I wanted to know more about it.  I did some searching online and found out that he had written a book, so I asked for it to be my Christmas present this year (2015).  I was surprised that it was still a relatively new release with it being published in 2014.  

Right off the bat, in Chapter 1, is the story of how Ken was shot 3 times at point blank range by a car thief, and survived.  I found myself having so much respect for Ken Osmond, and I think that can be rare in Hollywood.  Actors can be admired for their roles and memorable characters, but how many can actually be hailed as a hero?  Oftentimes you hear about child stars who become wayward, unable to handle fame and the fall from the lime-light and are then drug addicted or dead.  

Unfortunately, Ken Osmond had been forever typecast as Eddie Haskell and found it difficult to ever get other decent, steady acting rolls after Beaver.  In spite of that, he moved on with his life and joined the army reserves, learned to fly a helicopter, joined the LAPD, reprised his role as Eddie Haskell in the 80’s and of course enjoyed family life as a committed husband and father.  

Even though the story  of Ken’s shooting was in the beginning, and not buried somewhere in the middle, the book still held my interest throughout.  Normally, when I reading a book it can stretch over months before I finish it, but with this one, I wanted to keep reading.  The book, with compact chapters, covers his whole life and tells of how he and his brother got into acting through his career on Beaver and life after.  What is unique is that there are trivia questions at the end of each chapter and you have to read on to the next chapter to find out the answer.  

I admire Ken Osmond as a person, and I probably would have dated him as Eddie Haskell if I attended Mayfield High.  

Thanksgiving at Home

As I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with the family today, I thought back to the one time when I was alone on this holiday.  It was back in 2006 (November 23rd) when I was living in Washington DC for my internship.  I was there from September though December.  I had my own apartment with a full kitchen which was different from the majority of the other interns who lived in dormitories with nothing more than a microwave.

Many were going to fly home for the Thanksgiving holiday and were given time off.  My co-intern-worker was going home to get married.  I didn’t make plans to go home for a few reasons.  1. I don’t fly and it takes the train 24 hours to get there and then 24 hours back so I’d actually be spending most of my Thanksgiving weekend on the train if I did that.  Sure I wouldn’t have minded because I love the train, but kind of pointless to do considering my internship would conclude three weeks later.   2.  The Money $.  My internship was unpaid so to purchase a round trip, first class ticket for 4 days would be beyond my budget.  My family understood and we had discussed it long before.

My sister knows how much I love Milwaukee pickles.  She was thoughtful enough to ship me a jar of pickles as a treat.  It was such a luxury from home.  

I hadn’t made many friends in the first 2 months I had been in DC so it was a really lonely time.  The other interns I was friends with weren’t very tight and was more contained to work time.  The entire internship away from home was the longest time I had ever been away and I thought that would be really difficult, but in reality I had managed pretty well, up to Thanksgiving.  I felt really really low.  

I was doing a good job in eating well, even though my pantry was limited.  On the side of a stuffing box I found a recipe for a turkey casserole so I decided I would go with that for my holiday meal.  It consisted of cubed turkey (similar to a pot pie), mixed with soup, vegetables and topped with the stuffing.  It was a delicious entree that took a long time to make and only 10 minutes to eat.  I don’t recall having any dessert, but I was enjoying dipping pretzels in chocolate frosting every other day.  

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I tried to stave off my loneliness by spending the morning visiting the Smithsonian museums, which had limited morning and afternoon hours.  At least then I was around people.  Albeit they were people of families and friends celebrating together and I was all by my self.  When you think about it, Friday was another day I was going to be alone.  Why did have to be so different because I was alone on Thursday??  I don’t know why it happens but it does.

So this Thanksgiving, I look back on that year and remind myself how much I appreciate having my family surrounding me at the dinner table tonight.  I’m thankful for having so much food that I couldn’t eat it all, I’m thankful for the spider having been killed in the basement before it turned into a national incident and thankful for all the laughter and jokes at the table.  It doesn’t have to be big things all the time.   Sure the list can go on and one for all the things that I am thankful for, but here and now, these small things make all the difference.  

Happy Thanksgiving All.