Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Stockings

I was rooting around in our church’s Sunday School teachers Resource Room and found two boxes stuffed full of pieces of old felt leftover from some other project, so I decided to make Christmas stockings for my Sunday School kids.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Scrap Pincushion

I found this poem and it reminded me of a crocheted pincushion that my husband’s grandmother showed me how to make using scraps of yarn.
Pincushion Fancy
By Ellen Martin

It is not new, nor is it fancy;
It’s a gift from Grandma’s day,
A cushion that preserves the pins
That otherwise might stray.

It’s a resting place for needles
That kept us in repair,
And quietly reminds me of
My mother’s loving care.

To Crochet =

You will need four strips of graduating sizes to make this pincushion. A size G hook. I crochet loosely, so if you crochet tightly, use the next size up in a crochet hook.

Step 1) Measure around a thimble with a flexible measuring tape to get the approximate length of the center pincushion strip. I have three thimbles at home and I’m using the largest one – it’s approximately 2 ½” around the widest part in diameter. The strip should be three inches wide to fold in half lengthwise, so I need to crochet 13 chains to make my beginning chain (ch).

Step 2) We’re going to single-crochet (sc) all the way across the beginning chain to make the first row. Stick your hook into the second chain from hook, then grab the yarn and pull through the chain – you should have two loops on your hook, the #13 chain and the one you just pulled through. Yarn over (yo) the hook, then pull a loop through the two loops on the hook and you’ve made your first single crochet (sc). Repeat the steps until you come to the end of the first row. You should have made 12 sc. Yo and make another ch. Turn.

Step 3) Second row. We’re going to crochet all across this row in the back loops of each sc. This will make ridges or ribs in your work. If you look at the top of the row, each stitch (st) are interlocking V’s. The back part of the V is the loop we want to sc in, so sc 12 sts across row. Ch 1, turn.

Step 4) Third row & continuing rows. Sc in back loops – 12 sts in each row until piece length measures approximately 12 rows or about 2 ½ inches. To tie off, pull a 12 inch or so length of yarn through the last loop on the hook, cut through the middle of the loop, remove loose end and pull tail tight. Thread tail though a large-eyed yarn needle, grab first row alongside and whip stitch together to make a long tube. Tie off by wrapping yarn around end of needle once, pull through and weave ends back through yarn material. Fold tube over, edge to edge and you have your center of the pincushion. Insert thimble to see how it fits.

Step 5) Repeat directions (steps 1-4) for next three tubes of pincushion, making each strip 1 ½” longer. Here’s my formula for my pincushion. =

1st strip = 2 ½” x 3” (approximately 12 rows)
2nd strip = 4” x 3” (14-17 rows, depending on thickness of yarn)
3rd strip = 5 ½” x 3” (22-24 rows)
4th strip = 7” x 3” (24-30 rows).
Fold tubes in half and nest all tubes together, from smallest to biggest.

Step 6) Optional finish = Pull out a yarn strand approximately the length of your arm, cut and thread onto the needle. Starting at center of your pincushion, catch all the layers together by weaving the needle through the end stitches of each row on the back loosely, leaving a 5 or 6” tail to knot off at end. Weave the needle to the outside, then back to center in all four cardinal directions. DO NOT pull thread tightly. Return to the center and tie off. Weave short ends in and trim. Insert thimble and pins and it’s ready to go as your handy-dandy sewing helper!

Churchmouse Cookie

Making a list and checking it twice. Okay, I just finished sewing up the felt cookie with the bite out of it for our children’s church mice Christmas drama. It has white felt “icing” and bugle beads for sprinkles sewn on. The rather flat “pillow” is stuffed with plastic grocery bags. They mold a little flatter and stiffer than pillow stuffing will. Some of the children were to hold candy canes and they came from the dollar store. Now to find “nests” of blankets/towels for all the “mice” and wrap the HUGE “gift” with wrapping paper and a large bow (hot water tank box) for the stage.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Paper Grocery Sack Gingerbread House

The Dollar Store Craft Lunch Sack gingerbread house reminded me of the gingerbread house that our son made for us in second grade. I had to go dig it out and take a picture of it for you. He was so sweet and now he's working at Micheal's as a stockboy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Light of the World

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. . . And God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light. God saw that the light was good.” ~ Genesis 1:1,3,4a

As we headed to the cashier at a thrift shop to pay for our items, I overheard a argument between siblings about God creating the day and light. While it may not have been the most appropriate place to have the argument, it was refreshing to hear one about the Bible, knowing these children probably had a good foundation in the Word already by that time. I wondered if they knew that this light primed the world for the Light that came as a baby 2000 years ago to die for my sin.

Later, I picked up a book that caught my eye at the library about two brothers, Bob and Joe Switzer who invented the Day-Glo colors which helped to win a war, brighten everyday life, and save people’s lives. They mixed paints with fluorescent chemicals to make colors that glowed in the dark. But they had two problems – the colors only showed up under an ultraviolet lamp and daylight faded their paints. They kept experimenting, eventually mixing their dye with alcohol which made the colors glow intensely in daylight, too, without fading.

Prayer: Happy Birthday Jesus! Thank you for flashing your light in the dark regions of my heart, then washing it clean, and saving my life! Amen!

Today’s Quote:
"St. Nicholas visited many children in Europe on his feast day, December 6th, or the eve before, especially in the Netherlands. He, in centuries past, questioned the children on their knowledge of the Bible. For the correct answers, the children were rewarded with fruit, nuts, and sweets." ~ Barbara Hallman Kissinger.