Saturday, January 31, 2009

Procrastinator JoAnne - NOT!

JoAnne has been one busy procrastinator. Look at all the projects that she's finished up. The scarves in this photo were done, but needed the finishing touches...fringe. She's finished all 5 of them. She's also made these adorable pillows...
and these wonderful pillows.

In her entry she said she had several areas that she needed to tidy up. Here's a hutch that she organized.

Another entry that she finished - her kitchen curtains. I love them, my favorite color!

Here are the updates as of today: JoAnne - 9 completed projects (a couple of these include numerous items - like her 5 scarves), Cathy - 6 completed projects, Nicola - 4 completed projects, Sheri - 2 completed projects, Linda ????, Ann 2 completed projects. I've been working on mine and will post later in the week. Keep up the good work ladies. JoAnne, you are really pushing me - Thank you. ~Ann

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fly Lady Wanna Be

Do you all remember (or still subscribe to) the popularity of The Fly Lady a few years ago? She sent out several emails everyday to try to help, by "baby-steps", to organize and clean your home, car and purse! I found the emails to be yet another thing I had to clean up! Loved her philosophy though. JoAnne, one of our Challengers in the Procrastinator's Challenge entered her craft closet into the challenge. Here's the before and......... the after.... WOW! JoAnne, you inspired me to clean up my basement basket weaving room so...

I'm so embarrassed by the before that I'm posting the after photo's first! In this photo you can see my collection of miniature baskets that I've made in the shelf. On top of the shelf, standing in a row is a collection of antique potato mashers that I will weave into catch-all baskets.

Okay, here's the MESSY room before. Basket weaving is not a neat hobby. I hope Pam from Baskets 'n Prims echo's my statement, if you are a basket weaver you know that this grows into a hug tangled mess. I make between 100 - 150 baskets every year for the living history museum where I work here in Ohio. I try to rationalize the mess with the fact that it brings in a nice income in the summer when school is out and I'm not getting a paycheck!

This brings our standings to: Cathy - 6 completed projects, JoAnne - 5 completed projects, Nicola - 4 completed projects, Sheri - 2 completed projects and Linda - where are you Linda? Ann - 2 completed projects. I still have more projects to post from JoAnne, which I will do this weekend. Watch for the standings to change just a little bit! Hope this inspires all of you to pull out your UFO's or organize your crafting area! ~ Ann

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gourds & Dried Potato Garland

My friend, Melissa at posted the directions for drying sweet potatoes. Thanks Melissa. I didn't have any sweet potatoes, so I used good old Idaho's. I purchased the dried gourds from a local gourd farmer this summer with the intention of making this garland, it only took me 6 months to do! (And this isn't even one of my entries into the Procrastinator's Challenge.)
Up close, you can see the color of the spices on the potato pieces. My only advice would be, cut the potatoes BIG, they shrink quite a bit. Be careful drilling the holes - I thought I was going to go through my finger at least once. I used a dremel for the dried gourds, I found that easier than the cordless drill. Hemp cord is the string. I love the way this turned out. I'll have to make another one for a different room. ~Ann

Monday, January 26, 2009

Today's Challenger Updates

Here are today's updates from our Challengers. Sheri from posted this photo on her blog. She made herself a pair of slippers. You must visit her blog to read her description of making a pair of slippers! Sheri, I'm glad you made something for yourself. Sometimes we feel guilty making something for ourselves don't we? We shouldn't, but... The next 2 projects are from Cathy, She painted the bookshelf for her daughter. Cathy's final entry into the challenge is the bread pan. If you scroll through and look at her photo of the plain pan and compare it to the finished pan, you will see just what she did. Beautiful.

Here are the current standings. (I still have projects from JoAnne to publish that aren't included in the count) Cathy -6, JoAnne - 4, Nicola - 4, Sheri - 2, Ann - 2 & Linda - 0. Great work Ladies. Keep working! ~Ann

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Valentine UFO's

JoAnne has checked in with her first finished projects. Aren't these Valentines Day quilts beautiful? These are 4 of the projects that she submitted for the Procrastinator's Challenge. Keep up the good work ladies! I'm so happy that you've inspired others to pull out their UFO's too. Many comments from people finishing up some projects that have been sitting around for a little longer than anyone wants to admit to. I do have other updates to post from Cathy, Sheri, JoAnne and me. The standings at the moment are:

Finished Project Numbers -

Cathy - 4, Nicola -4, Sheri - 1, Linda - ??, JoAnne - 4, Ann - 2. Keep sending me updates Challengers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More completed UFO's

Wow! We are flying through our UFO's. Cathy has finished 2 more wonderful projects. Way to go Cathy! I should share with you that not only does she have this Challenge to motivate her, she is also going on a mission trip this weekend and wanted to complete her items before then.

The framed piece is one of my own UFO's. The pattern is free and can be found here I did take off the bottom few rows of the printed pattern. I wanted it to fit into the frame I used. I think it is going to hang in my bathroom, I'll have to try and see if I like it there. I printed the pattern on 1/27/05. Wow it's almost 4 years later that I've actually finished it.

This basket is one that I bought the pattern and supplies from East Troy Basketry in East Troy Wisconsin last March. It's called Remembrance by Vinie Hinson for those of you who are basket weavers. I really like it since it is a double wall basket. The inside is reed and the outside is reed, black walnut and maple all mixed together. The black walnut is beautiful. I stained the handle with black walnut stain to match the outside of the basket. I usually stain completed baskets with either a black walnut stain I boil myself or a mixture of Minwax. I like this one as it is and it won't be stained. The contrast between the colors is appealing.

Looking inside you can see the double wall and the great black walnut base.

I'll post more photo's this week. The Challenge as it stands is:

Cathy - 4 completed projects

Nicola - 4 completed projects

Sheri - 1 completed projects

Linda & Jo-Anne - send me an email with some photos of your completed UFO's!!!!!!!!!

Ann - 2 completed projects

Monday, January 19, 2009

Challenger Update

Here are some more updates to the Procrastinator's challenge.

Sheri from finished a sweater for her Dad's dog. You have to check out her blog to see other pictures of this dog and his sister. They are hairless and need the warmth of a sweater. I'm sure doggy is very happy with the sweater as cold as it's been lately.

Cathy from finished this milk can. This is absolutely gorgeous. It would look wonderful on my front porch. I see that there's another milk can sitting in the background....

Nicola from made this wind chime. I don't know if it is meant to hang outside or not, but I'd want it undercover to protect it from the elements. Very nice Nicola.

I do have more updates to share from Cathy. Just wait 'til you see the other items she's painted. I'm drooling over all of them. I will post later this week along with the items that I've completed from my stash of UFO's. Don't forget if you are a challenger, send me an email with photo's of your finished projects. Stay warm. ~ Ann

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Massage Anyone?

I started this blog with the idea that I can share my love of primitives with others who share my passion. I promise not to bore you with stories of my family, however allow me this one digression. This is just so funny you will (hopefully) get a chuckle out of it. On our way to school one day this week the local radio station was advertising a winter giveaway that they have arranged with various local businesses. One of the items you can win is a hot stone massage. I commented to my kids I would really like that. My daughter, 14, agreed that it sounded very relaxing. Not much was coming out of the boys(ages 11 & 8) in the back seat until the older one, piped up "I'm not sure I'd like it, how hard do they throw them at you?" He meant the hot stones! We all had a good chuckle over this after I explained what a hot stone massage is. It's always good to start your day with a laugh.

The photo might help to explain his immediate thought of throwing the stones.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First Updates on Procrastinator's Challenge

Well, here are the first completed UFO's in the Procrastinator's Challenge. Cathy, has painted the blue barrel and arranged a floral spray in it for a customer. Cathy shared that she was having a hard time finishing it up because it wasn't exactly her taste. For those of us who make items for sale, we can sympathize with Cathy. I know when I have a custom basket to make, I drag my feet and wait 'til the spirit moves me. Sometimes I think the spirit went on vacation! The felted bags were made by Nicola from Great job ladies. I will have more updates tomorrow, as I haven't included everything that has been finished in the challenge to date! Keep working on those UFO's. ~Ann

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Last Procrastinator?

Welcome to Jo-Anne! You are Challenger #5. The things I want to get done are sorting out my craft closet, uncovering several surfaces that I have piled beyond belief, put the fringe on 5 scarves, finish up two valentine runners and a quilt, put the finishing touches on another quilt (finish quilting and binding), stuff a few sewn pillows, decide what to do with two Easter needle punched (frame or make into pillows), finish some stitching for the Etsy shop, sew some cutains for my kitchen and cut strips for another quilt that I want to make. WHEW!

Jo-Anne, if you can't find a place for these wonderful reds, send them my way, I'm sure I could stash them somewhere! I have updates from a few of our contenders that I will post tomorrow so all can see what they've accomplished. Keep up the good work procrastinators! I'm off to put pizza crust in the bread maker and settle in for an evening of work. NW Ohio is again getting snow and the roads are BAD. On the way home from school the kids and I saw an accident that resulted in a light pole toppling over onto our main street - it had been it head on by an SUV that slid through the intersection. Everyone stay safe. ~Ann

Monday, January 12, 2009

Challenger #4

Welcome to Linda! Here's her photo and a description of items that she is entering into the challenge: the stuff I need to finish-there's more. I need to make Barbie clothes for my granddaughter, finish a quilt I started last year, finish my grandkids name plaque quilts, cut out and make a quilt kit I bought in '08, and a whole lot of fleece to make hats and etc. with. Is this enough? Thanks for including me and for hosting this. Linda

Linda I do have to chuckle "is this enough?" Keep us posted with photos of your finished projects - just email them to me and I'll get them on the blog! Again, Welcome! Ann

More entries into the Challenge

These 4 pictures are from Welcome Sheri! I can't wait to see how all these projects turn out. I'm really glad that we have a variety of techniques so we can see a full spectrum of crafts.
The blanket on the left is a blanket and it's a SURPRISE for the recipient so shh....
The variegated project below is going to be a dog sweater! Sheri is creating this as she goes - very talented. We need to see the pooch in the finished project. How cute.

There are actually 4 different scarves in this photo:
The earth tone is for her son's classroom aide
The blue yarn is for her Dad
Green for her brother in law
And the one I like the best is the brown, because it is for Sheri herself! We really do need to create things for ourselves!

Sheri has a very personal story to go with the camouflage blanket that she is working on. She works on it as she feels moved to. Again, Welcome Sheri

Friday, January 9, 2009

The next Challenger

The second Challenger is Nicola Brown, Welcome Nicola.

Handle and closure on large green/lime/white bag.
Handle on small green bag and possibly some beading.
Handle on small blue/purple/navy/white bag.
Handle on natural bag with goat hair.
Handle and closures on the small mixed blue saddle bag.
Wet and re-felt the brown and cream vessel so that I can use it as a bag instead of a desktop tidy. Add a handle, poss leather.
Make a closure for the red and pink mosaic neck wrap.
String felt beads to make tactile outdoor and indoor mobiles.
String beads to make jewellery.
Decide how to finish and hang my batiked circle fabric, been waiting a long time for this one!!
Possibly make something with the blue/purple nuno felt you can just see peeking out from behind the bags.
I can't wait to see Nicola's finished projects, this is an avenue of crafting that I've never tried! Hmmm....
Here in NW Ohio we are experiencing SNOW. We are supposed to get 6-10" of snow by Saturday at 5:00pm. That's a lot of snow for us. All after school activities are cancelled. I must get to the grocery store and then I'm coming home to work on my UFO's. I will post updates from the challengers and myself over the weekend. Ann

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our first Challenger!

Welcome aboard to Cathy from who has stepped to the plate and joined my Procrastinator's Challenge. Here's Cathy's information and picture of UFO's:

So here they are, my items that I have been putting off. I have lots of needlework started but it would not seem fair to add that because that is all that I want to work on right now.

1 and 2. The blue barrel and the milkcan that I have started for two different customers and they have been more than patient with me about them. I have trouble painting what someone else wants...I want to do what I want. Sounds bratty, doesn't it? Anyway I just found out that I may be going on a trip and I think that I am going to need the extra money that these will bring in.

3 and 4. The butter churn and the wood bowl have been sitting on my paint counter for longer than I even want to admit, let's say a year, that's my story anyway. They are not for anyone in
particular, they will tell me who they are for as I paint them, in other words which one of the girls is going to have to add them to their house to dust.

5. The bread raising pan is mine, I bought another one several years ago and painted it and sold it and felt bad that I had sold it. About a month after that, one of John's buddies showed up here one day and he had been at an auction and had saw that and bid on it thinking that it was something I would like...very touching and I feel so bad that I have not painted it yet, but I was not sure where I wanted to set it and wanted it to be PERFECT.

6. The bookshelf is for my granddaughter's books. I want it done for her birthday on the 27th. It is the newest, unseasoned piece in the collection.

There you have it, now I am off to make those paintbrushes fly!

I can't wait to see all of your items painted up Cathy. You are a very talented artist and we are all going to want your finished projects!

Don't forget that you have until Sunday January 10th to enter my Procrastinator's Challenge, so gather up your items, email me a photo and I'll post them. There are prizes for the first and second place finishers! More information is farther down in my blog. Ann

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hats, Hats, Hats

I know what you are all thinking, I've started another project without finishing my Procrastinator's Challenge items! YES I did! My daughter has had these looms for a couple of years, just kicking around the house. I decided after seeing photo's on some of your blogs to give it a try. This is so cool! If you haven't tried making a hat yet - you have to!!! It is the most relaxing craft. I think it must be the repetitive motion of taking the stitches over the top. For the black hat I used eyelash yarn in a gray tone with a black yarn for the brim and then dropped the eyelash for the body of the hat and replaced it with the black that I was already using. The blue hat is with one strand of variegated and one of the denim blue yarn for the brim and then 2 strands of denim for the body of the hat. I really like the finish on the black hat better - the eyelash yarn really perks up the brim of the hat. After I finished the black hat my daughter, a very fashion conscious 14 year old, said "I'd wear one of those after basketball practice". She has to wear a hat after basketball practice, coaches rule! I did make her one and she has worn it! I've passed the 14 year old fashion police!

If you haven't emailed me your photos, or list of projects for the Procrastinator's Challenge, please do so before Sunday night.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Monday, Monday!

Well today is Monday and that's back to school for this household. 8th grade girls basketball game tonight, hopefully the team will play like they are a team! They seem to have a little problem in that area.

Thought I'd share a great recipe with you today - it's quick, easy and delicous. My friend gave it to me, I think it might be from Weight Watchers.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 box yellow cake mix(do not add the ingredients to make the cake!)

1 15 oz can pumpkin

1/2 cup water

1/2 bag of Hersey's cinnamon chips

Mix all ingredients together. I like to use the mini muffin tins, make sure you use nonstick spray. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. The best thing about this recipe is all 5 of us like them. Usually I have at least one person saying "I don't like these"!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Procrastinator's Challenge

Here's the Challenge ladies - get out all of those unfinished projects, you know the ones I'm talking about - they stare at you pleading to be finished as the guilt gnaws away at you! This is my stash of projects and I hate to admit that a couple of them are over 2 years old! My stash includes:

1. Backing a denim throw that I made for my middle child. One of those projects that's been sitting for 2 years.

2. A basket that has been sitting for 6 months - I made a mistake in the curling pattern and I have to tear it out.

3. A reindeer cross stitch ornament that needs to be made into a pillow

4. A blackbird cross stitch sampler that I've had in my work basket for over 2 years.

5. A punch needle rooster from Create and Decorate that I started many months ago and stopped working on

6. Long skinny stocking from The Pickled Pepper Patch

7. Santa from Moonchild's Primitives that I never got done before Christmas

8. Santa from Tennessee Ridge Primitives

9. Bunny Hugs shelf sitter

10. Primitive Woolens Stitchery from Mercantile Gatherings.

The guidelines for the Procrastinator's Challenge are as follows:

1. Take a photo of your projects or make a list and email them to me at with Procrastinator's challenge in the title. I will email you back that I received your entry. If you don't hear back from me, leave me a comment on my blog. Sometimes my junk folder gets ahold of emails that I really want! The deadline for entry is January 11th.

2. As you finish projects up email me a photo and I will post them in my blog for all to see. I'll keep a running tally to spur you on to motivation.

3. The challenge will end on February 8th. I have prizes for the top 2 finishers.

Let's start 2009 out with a bang!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Latest Addiction

I must admit that I have a problem with....picture frames! Whenever I go into Goodwill,
a garage sale or rummage sale, I am on the lookout for picture frames.
I only have a couple of requirements when I'm looking for them. 1. - They must be made of wood and 2. They can't cost more than $1.00. At most garage sales the 5 x 7 and smaller only cost 25 cents. I've even purchased a few for 5 cents - what a bargain! When I get them home this is what I do to them:

1. Sand them lightly to rough up any finish so the paint will adhere better.

2. Paint them with 2 coats of Lamp Black paint from Olde Century Paints. (Any paint will work - my personal favorite is Olde Century)

3. Sand them lightly again, especially around the edges to distress them.

4. Apply a gel stain. I again use Olde Century - Pecan. It happens to be the background color in the photo above - It's the finish on my wonderful kitchen floor.

Now I add them to my stockpile and as I finish up a stitchery I can usually find a frame that works. The following are a few things I've stitched up over Christmas break:

This stitchery is from Betty for all of your wonderful patterns. I stitched it on Irish Linen over 2 threads, my favorite medium. I did tea stain this when complete, but the flash has washed out almost all color from the stitching.

This one is a little hard to see, but it says Primitive on the inside star. The larger star is blue ticking blanket stitched to the muslin background. The smaller star is muslin blanket stitched to the ticking star. I coffee stained this one.

This one is a free pattern from, it's from Stacy Nash. Simply go to FREE and you'll find it. Stacy has some great patterns. I stitched this one on Onsaburg - it was not easy, but I love how it turned out. This one is coffee stained too, a little heavier since you can see the splotching in this photo. I especially like the "Ohio" stitched on it since that is my state! Emma was the name we had picked out for child number 3 who turned out to be Daniel!

This last one is "Old baskets", one of my favorite things! I simply wrote on a piece of fabric my words and then stitched over them with DMC3371 - dark brown. Again I coffee stained this one and it sits on top of a cupboard with this antique ash basket in my dinning room.
Happy New Year.