Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Whale Pillow - Summer Sewing School July 2017


We had an unusually small class last July 2017 for our second Summer Sewing School session. I think a lot were away at camp. No matter! We made a PRECIOUS little whale pillow.

As usual, Nancy explained the project. This one was a little tougher. First - sewing on minky fabric can be a little difficult in the beginning. Second, the shape itself presented a challenge. Finally, they added a little bit of pom-pom trim. Never fear, though! These girls have been doing this for years! They picked up very quickly.

Small class or not, the girls had fun. And the mamas usually comment that they learn something as well!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

Please take a moment to sign up to receive new posts by email.

I wouldn't want you to miss one crazy thing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Beach Towel Bag - Summer Sewing School June 2017

I'm behind - I mean WAY behind - on posting. We've already had sewing school for this year, and I still haven't posted about the classes from LAST summer!

I also have to apologize for lack of detailed pictures of this project. Sorry. When it's my turn to teach, I forget to ask for specific pics. Anyway - we made a cute beach bag out of beach towels. These are great for carrying all your summer stuff, they can be thrown in the wash, and we even used the leftover scrap we cut away to make a cute little bag for wet swimsuits.

We always take a minute to explain the project before we begin. That way - big questions can be answered to benefit everyone.

We also show a sample of the project. I found the towels at Walmart in several colors. I let them choose their color when they signed up.

These two ladies, y'all - my mom up top, and my friend and cohort, Nancy in orange - these two ladies taught me just about everything I know about sewing, crafting, cooking, and entertaining! I'm so glad they do all these projects with me.

We usually have five or six ladies from our congregation to serve as mentors. They bring their machines and help the girls learn all the basics.

I always enjoy the classes because it gives me a chance to get to know new ladies at church. Hobbies are a great way to meet new people!

We usually mix it up and keep mamas and daughters apart. It's nice to learn from different people.

That's my girl right there. She loves to sew. She's been known to stitch paper towels when I was too tired or busy to find her what she wanted for a project! I really should go back and check, but I think this summer is our FIFTH year of Summer Sewing School. I'm so glad we do this. It's such an important (and dying) skill. Even if these girls don't end up making their own clothes, they'll at least know how to replace a button or sew a hem!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

Please take a moment to sign up to receive new posts by email.

I wouldn't want you to miss one crazy thing!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Construction Party...Mr. Manners June 2018

June was a really busy month in our neck of the woods. We had both sets of grandparents for an early Father's Day luncheon, and I hosted two parties - one for Miss Manners, and something new - one for Mr. Manners!

I'm not sure why I haven't hosted a party for boys before - well, I did once. You can check out my "Let's Hear It for the Boys" Mother/son Valentine's luncheon I held for some of our friends a couple of years ago. But I've never done a Mr. Manners party. I should have. I have a son, after all! Anyway - now I can check it off the list. I hosted one the last Saturday in June, along with Brack's help. Check it out below.

I should have dug out my lighting, because I set my table about 10:30 the night before. Gerald took Brack to his black belt class, and Jewell had a fundraiser at Pieology for cheerleading. I had a stamping class, then scooted over to stay the last hour or so of the fundraiser. We got home about 10:00! The party was scheduled for 11:00 am, so I knew my tables needed to be done that night.

I began with my white linen tablecloth. I had planned on using a black gingham check runner, but the day before the party, I found the zig-zag print you see above. We are lucky to still have a fabric department at our local Walmart, and I always look at the clearance stack as I walk past. This cut little print was marked down to $1 a yard! There were two remnants on the bolt - 1.5 yards and 1.75 yards. Perfect! For less than $5 I had the perfect runners. I just folded them in half and trimmed the ends with pinking shears. I wanted to keep the pieces whole so I could use them again for something else one day.

The gray placemats came from Dollar Tree. I found them less than an hour before I set my table! I had stopped on the way home for balloons and look what I found! Again - I had intended to use just a woven natural placemat with black trim that I already had, but these were perfect! They're vinyl for easy clean up.

I used the gold chargers I already had to pick up the yellowy gold in the runner.

I had already bought the orange cones at Dollar Tree. (Two for $1!) I used caution tape to wrap a simple glass vase from Dollar Tree.

I bought a $5 bouquet of sunflowers at Walmart, and I split them between the two tables. Greenery came from my yard. I love the way the green pops against the other colors and how the yellow sunflowers pop against the green!

I keep black and orange napkins on hand for our big annual Halloween party. I used the black napkins with the orange plates I already had. They also came from Dollar Tree a few years ago.

Flatware is "Margate" by Pfaltzgraff.

The black straws were purchased at Walmart after Halloween one year when everything had gone 90% off. I literally paid .20 cents for a box of 18 straws.

I found the miniature construction vehicles and race cars on Amazon. The boys each got to take home a few after the party.  

The boys sat in the dining room.

Brack helped me blow up and hang balloons the night before. Balloons are always festive!

We moms ate in the kitchen. I used black plates with orange napkins and straws here.

I reserved one sunflower for a little bouquet on the buffet.

I served lemonade and ice water.

I try to use different levels when presenting food.

I bought a smoked Boston butt the day before and shredded it. I served the sliders on Hawaiian rolls.

Pineapple slaw was perfect on the pork sliders. It added sweetness and crunch.

Ranch-style pasta salad was a yummy side.

Chips and dip are always popular with boys!

Before we ate, we had a quick lesson on how to approach a buffet. They did great! They waited their turn and were very neat.

One little boy had to cancel the morning of the party, so including Brack, we had five. It was good to start small.

For dessert, we decorated cookies.

I used Pillsbury dough rolls to make the cookies. I cut them a little thick (I got 18 out of a roll and not 24) and baked them a little longer to make sure they were crisp and would hold up. I made cream cheese icing for both. We had mini chocolate chips, crushed Heath bars, and sprinkles on one tray.

Fresh strawberries and blueberries, along with crushed peanuts were on the other tray. Speaking of trays, I decided to serve them on two of my cookie sheets! I just added parchment paper and "Voila"! I thought it was cute.

The boys were so careful not to make a mess. In a lot of ways, they were more reserved than the girls of Miss Manners! Maybe it was just because it was their first party.

They were very meticulous. I used tiny spoons to help control portions.

Brack has grown so much lately! He's about 5'6" already. He did such a good job mentoring the young boys! He made me so proud!

Cutter enjoyed his cookie!

They chit-chatted and behaved like little men!

My cookie - sweet icing, tangy fruit and salty nuts. Yumm!

After we ate, they all went to play in Brack's playroom.

Creed playing a little golf. He looked like he was ready for the Country Club in his sports coat!

I enjoyed having these sweet boys and their mamas in my home. They can consider themselves charter members of Mr. Manners!

I have taught all of these boys in church. I love to teach the three year old class so I can get to know them when they're young. Creed and Cutter wanted a hug and picture with me before they left. They said they had fun. I know I did! I think the first Mr. Manners party was a huge success!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

Please take a moment to sign up to receive new posts by email.

I wouldn't want you to miss one crazy thing!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Ice Cream Social...Miss Manners June 2018

I hosted an "ice cream social" for the Miss Manners girls a couple of Saturdays ago at my parents' home. My parents basically live next door to us (actually - they've been there 25 years, us only 12), so it was easy to pack up a few boxes full of things and take it all over the day before. 

It was a rather large group - fourteen - so in the beginning, I set two tables. This one is in my mother's larger and more formal dining room. I initially set two tables - eight and six. When two girls called the night before to cancel due to illness, we moved two place settings into the larger dining room and just set them all together in there.

My color scheme was pastels - cool and girly!

I picked up a $5 bouquet of these pastel-dyed mums at Walmart to serve as a base for my floral arrangements. All the greenery came from my mother's yard.


Two wooden block signs served as my centerpieces. These came from Hobby Lobby this year and were 40% off.

I picked up two rolls of the pastel print wrapping paper from the Dollar Tree to serve as a base for my tablescapes. It pulled all my colors together perfectly!

Everything else came from me or my mother. I used her white tablecloths. I already had the placemats - the came from Dollar Tree a couple of years ago - and the white chargers. I picked the chargers up at Dollar Tree back around Christmas. The flatware is mother's. It's Oneida, but I 'm not sure what the pattern is called. Pink plates and paper napkins came from Dollar Tree. The paper plates are not thick or sturdy, so I had the girls carry the plates on the charger when they went through the buffet. Mama had the great idea to roll a piece of tape to attach the plate to the charger so it didn't slide off. 

Mother and I both have a set of the ice cream sundae glasses, so we used them. The ice cream cone at each place setting is actually a bottle of bubbles! I found them in a pack of three for $1 at Dollar Tree this past Spring.

I had the pink and green shred in my gift wrapping supplies. After the party, I saved it to use again one day in a clear gift bag. I always have left over paper straws, so I keep them in a box for future use. The frappe bottles belong to me. I have about three dozen. Brack "volunteered" to drink the frappes for me over the course of a couple of months several years ago! They're perfect for kids' parties.

I found the cute striped vase in my mother's china closet. It was perfect for the color scheme!

Here is the table in the smaller dining room after we moved a couple of place settings. Some of the moms ended up sitting here during lunch. The mint-colored tablecloth is my mother's. It actually belonged to my grandmother years ago. It was perfect for the color scheme. I love to use old things!

Another one of the Hobby Lobby signs. These will probably show up in one of my seasonal hutch displays soon!

Aren't the balloons precious? They came from Dollar Tree as well. They already had the confetti in them. We discovered that if you ran your hands over them once they were inflated, it created static and the confetti would stick on the sides and not just settle in the bottom.

Another angle shot of the table.

Closeup of the balloons.

The balloons and flowers look like they were made for each other!

For lunch, we had pimento cheese sandwiches...

corn and black bean salsa...

fresh strawberries...

and chips and homemade dip.

The girls visited in the living room until everyone had arrived.

We had a quick etiquette lesson about how to start a conversation at a party with someone you may not know very well. The girls always listen and practice what they learn! 

They used their manners as they waited their turn in the buffet line.

We often review what to do if you are served something you don't like. They also know not to overload their plate the first time through the line!

Part of our lesson that day was being sure to talk to the people on both sides of you at a luncheon or dinner party.

Before the meal, we practiced different conversation starters so they would have something prepared to say in case they were nervous about talking to someone new.

Such a sweet bunch of young ladies!

For dessert, we built our own ice cream sundaes. I had two trays with identical toppings to make things move more quickly. The cute ice cream trays came from Five Below. They were $2 each!

A picture worthy creation!

The girls were so excited about making their own sundaes.

Who doesn't love ice cream?

Sweets for the sweets!

They were very careful as they assembled their creations.

Each one was a work of art!

Afterward, we braved the heat to visit the horses.

The horses were excited to have some company!

My parents have the best tree for a swing. My SIL is a professional photographer, and she hung a swing one year for Spring pictures. The grandkids have always loved it. Now that they have outgrown it, a new group of kids was able to enjoy it!

Several of the young ladies brought hostess gifts, but these two were especially cute!

One of my friends has a crafting business, and she made the canvas screen and homemade frame.

Her sister-in-law is an artist, and she and her daughter painted this watercolor for me. Is it sweet?

We also did a simple craft which, apparently, I did not photograph. We made cards with ice cream cones on theme. Anyway, we had a wonderful afternoon. The girls always love to dress up and attend parties! I'm so thankful that my mother helped out by co-hosting this party!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

Please take a moment to sign up to receive new posts by email.

I wouldn't want you to miss one crazy thing!