Sewing – Advent Calendars

My latest crafty project is the Advent Calendars I made. Here is a reblog from my sewing blog post:


This is PART 2 of this sewing project.

For PART 1 see my Advent Calendar post.

SO I did finish these in time to give them to my grandchildren and married daughter before December 1st. But just barely 🙂 We went and visited the grandkids that are out of state and in state the last weekend in November and delivered all of them.

Here is what I did to finish them up…


I had to wait to go to my moms to get the batting I used for these quilted Advent Calendars. She had the largest roll of batting I had ever seen in my life.
I cut the batting to the same size as the advent calendar backing pieces. Then placed the batting on the bottom, the front backing on top with the wrong side facing the batting, and the backing piece with the right side facing the front backing piece. As you can see above.


I pinned these pieces together and trimmed them so that all three layers were the same size. I had found that in my cutting with scissors at home I had not done it totally straight. So using my moms rotary cutter I was able to make the most beautifully straight edges. I now own my own rotary cutter, btw 😉


While sewing around the edges I was careful to watch and make sure that all the layers stayed together. Even though they are pinned the layers sometimes do not stay together perfectly.

When I got to the corner I stuck my needle into the three fabric layers.


Lifted the presser foot and turned the fabric.


And lowered the presser foot and kept on sewing.


As you can see by these two photos I made sure to leave an opening for when I was finished. I used this whole to turn the entire piece inside out which was in reality right side out 🙂


Next…. now that all the sewing was done I clipped all the 4 corners so that when I turned it right side out the corner would not be bulky.


Here is the clipping of the corners.


Then for the turning of the masterpiece…


Here is the very beginning of the turning process. I am shoving the batting and fabric up through that hole I left for turning the project right side out.


Here it is halfway done. This was the hardest part because the bulkiest part of the project was being pushed through. I was hoping it would make it. I was hoping the hole I left was large enough for this.


The hole was big enough!! Here is the end of pushing the inside into the project. I was like a bag I turned inside out.

Here is the project turned and waiting for the finishing edging.


I then sewed a really tight 1/4″ seam around the edges to keep the batting in place inside the calendar.

I had to figure out a way to hang this up. I had a lot of ideas and finally settled on a tube across the top to slide a dowel through and tie a string on. My mom in her wealth of “it may come in useful someday” stuff had 5 leftover linen calendar rods and strings. Just what I needed. Glad she had not thrown them away.

The tube I made was from the seam binding I had made that I did not end up using as seam binding. It matched perfectly and was just the right size for the dowels. You can see the dowel tubes in the picture below.


I decided to add fabric paint numbers to the calendars. I was worried the paint would go through and stick to the front backing fabric. My mom had a collection of old business cards that the kids cut in half and put into each pocket for me. This is Artist, Pilot, and Director hard at work placing a card in each pocket.


Here is a calendar with the decorative edges sewn, the dowel tube across the top, the dowel in and string tied, and the cards in the pockets waiting for their fabric paint numbers to be added.

I had to do the numbers the same day as all of the above steps in order for them to dry by the next day. I told you I got them done barely in time to deliver them the next day.


This one above is the one I made for my married daughter and her husband. They are expecting our 5th grandbaby in May.


This one above is for our granddaughters who live here in state. They are 1 & 2 years old and are my oldest son Gamers children.


This one above is for our oldest granddaughter Sam.


This one above is for our granddaughter Lillian.


Finally this is ours that is hanging in our house.

I made up little papers that are in each pocket. They are things like:

  • read a Christmas story
  • make a Christmas decoration
  • go see Christmas lights
  • read a Christmas story
  • make a gingerbread house

There is a paper in each pocket along with a candy for each child.

The idea is that all these cousins are living so far apart but if they do what is on their little note then they know their cousins may be doing the same thing as they are. It is a way to keep them connected over the miles.

On the back of the calendars is a hand stitched note: “Love Grandma”

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I hope you have enjoyed reading about my self designed advent calendars.

What crafts have you made for Christmas this year?

Happy Crafting!


Wood Burning

woodburning25 This week we worked on different wood burning projects. Wood burning is a fun project with limitless ideas. We usually find a coloring book page to use to wood burn or we design our own. Here is what we worked on this week. There are lots of pictures here. When we do something we go all out!


Here are the supplies we got for this project. Wood burners, tips in the case, and blanks to burn on.


We take a copy of the picture and transfer it onto the wood blank using the transfer point. Here I am transferring my picture I created.


Here it is transferred. Make sure if there are words on your picture that you reverse the picture before transferring or your words will be backwards.


Artist transferring her picture.


Before wood burning we always practice with the wood burning tips to see how they are going to work and which tip we would like to use to do a particular picture. This is our practice board.


Here is Pilots picture he transferred.


Here is Pilot wood burning his picture.

Here are our finished projects!


Luke by Tech. He used a universal point to do this wood burning.


Here is wood burning by Tech. He always uses a universal point.

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Tech cowboy hat using a universal point.

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Pilots snow leopard using the universal point.

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Pilots Clark holding costume. He used a universal point for most of this and the flow point for the hair.

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Pilots wolf using the universal point.

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Pilots Ben using the universal point.

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Pilots horse using the universal point.

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Directors Service Persons using the universal point.

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Collectors ladybug using the universal point.

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Collectors Luke using the universal point.

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Pilots elephant for a friend using the universal point.

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Pilots Howling using the universal point.

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Pilots Military Man using the universal point.

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Pilots lion using the universal point.

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Pilots owl using the universal point.


Techs cowboy using the universal point.


Artists Deer using the universal point.


Techs super hero using universal point.


Pilots truck using universal point.


My wood burned sign for the newly cleaned craft room using the soldering point.

The boys ran out of blanks so they went out to the wood pile and found some boards. They cut them down to size, sanded them, and burned some great pictures onto them.

NOW… Why not try your hand at wood burning? Do you enjoy wood burning or PYROGRAPHY as it is called? Leave a comment and tell us we would love to hear about what you do.

Happy Crafting!

Pumpkin Carving

pumpkin carving

All the kids did a great job carving pumpkins.

We had a great time this week carving pumpkins for the local nursing home. We love volunteering and this was a fun way to do it. We started with either deciding on a pattern in our heads or by taking a pattern that the workers at the nursing home had printed for us.

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Pilot punching his pattern into his pumpkin

Sometimes we had to clean out a pumpkin if it was one that we really wanted to carve. There were many already cleaned out but sometimes you just see the perfect pumpkin and you take the time to clean out the insides yourself.

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Pilot cleaning out his pumpkin

Some of the designs took much longer to punch into the pumpkin than it took to actually carve the pumpkin. After we either punched or used the carving saws to trace our design on the pumpkins then we started carving.

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Artist carving out her owl design onto the pumpkin

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Director carving out her design. She seems very determined.

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Tech and his friend carving their pumpkins

We had a wonderful time of carving and laughing. Each of us carved three pumpkins and at least one lantern design. The nursing home was doing a lighted pumpkin patch and one of the sections was titles “Central Park” and they needed lanterns to put up. The two boys below did a double lantern into one huge pumpkin.

fun pumpkin carving

The boys had great time carving and laughing

Even the littles did pumpkins. I took the time to find out what Princess wanted to carve. Then I drew it on the pumpkin for her. She took one of the saws (which are not sharp) and carved into the pumpkin just a bit. I deepened her markings for her but left the center part of the star so the wind would not blow out the candle inside. She was very proud of her work.

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Princess with her carved pumpkin. The sun sure was bright.

It sure was a work-out for the arms.

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Best friends relaxing after carving

We had a wonderful time and we were able to help people out at the same time. Can’t beat that!

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My kiddos and their pumpkins

row of pumpkins carved

Look at all the pumpkins that were carved. Not all of these were done by us.                     We only did 33 🙂

Happy crafting!

Photography as a Craft

Our family loves photography. Sometimes I wish the camera could take a picture of something exactly as my eye sees it. Here are some pictures we have taken.


Gallop, galloping on Colby.


Sunrise on the farm.

Sometimes, like in the case of the sunrise photo above, we almost miss the shot. I was in the dining room and saw this out the front door and knew it would make a perfect picture. I also knew that the sun was moving fast and I needed to get that picture NOW! I ran back to my room and grabbed the cell phone and was able to catch this just in time. It was a perfect morning.


Director and Artist playing during Homeschool soccer.


Princess posing with wig.

We were shooting a movie here at the house and these were some props that Princess has fun with. There is one of dh wearing this wig, but I will spare you from that one 🙂


Princess’s silhouette.

This is another spur of the moment picture. I was sitting on the coach in the living room. The sun peaked out from behind a cloud and there was her silhouette. This was not the perfect silhouette because in the amount of time it took to get the camera the sun had moved and there was this huge shadow in the right corner. I still love the picture, but…


Monarch butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace.

I am not sure which of my children took this, but I love it. There is a series of these with the butterfly moving across the flower and flying away. This is the best one.


Bird on sand.

On vacation we had this bird that would not leave us alone. It was lovely and fun. We had so many opportunities to take his picture. Just love this one.


Pilots birthday.

I love this picture of Pilot hiding in his birthday balloons.

We enjoy photography very much and consider it a craft. It is so hard when we are somewhere and do not have a way to take a picture. Usually we have the cell phone with us, but sometimes we just miss the shot.

Happy Crafting!

Kids & Crocheting & Grandmothers

My children love to crochet. Boys, girls, young, old, doesn’t matter. At some point they loved to crochet.

My mother-in-law, Grandma Marion, was an avid crocheter (is that even a word?). She crocheted all the time. I mean all the time. She crocheted until the days just before she passed away. My thoughts as she lay in her hospital bed were that hers hands were so still. I had not remembered a time when she wasn’t crocheting a blanket.

That is what she would make, blanket after blanket. They were all the same size, Queen bedspread size. They were huge. She always did the same stitch for every blanket. Her stitch of choice was the triple stitch.

Triple Stich

Link to how to sew a Triple Stitch

My children who had the opportunity to know her learned to crochet from her. She could sit for hours, days, even weeks and teach them to crochet. Not once did it bother her that they didn’t get it. Not once did she get upset with them. She just sat and talked them through it and laughed and joked about it.

When a child was too young to crochet she would have that child sit and roll up balls of yarn. She had to have them rolled. She would NEVER use the yarn right from the skein. She would roll and re-roll a skein until it was tight enough for her. Kids did not mind. They would sit and listen to her stories from the early 1900’s and roll yarn.

Our latest crocheting child is Pilot. He did not learn from Grandma Marion. She had passed away before he was born. The funny thing is when he asked me the day before yesterday, “Who taught me to crochet?” My first thought was Grandma Marion. She had taught Gamer, Gallop, Director, and Artist to crochet. I still remember the primary colored rainbow blanket that Gamer made so many years ago. I think we still have it in a box somewhere.

Pilot is working on a secret project for a family member for Christmas so I cannot divulge what the project is yet. Here is a picture of the progress so far. He does not use the triple stitch, since Grandma Marion was not his teacher. He has amazingly well spaced and even tightness to his stitches for 11 yo. He is using a single crochet stitch, a J hook, and dark brown worsted weight yarn.

Pilot Crocheting

Pilot Crocheting


Close up of Pilots work.

Happy Crocheting!



My children love crafts of all kinds. People usually think of crafts as making a scrapbook page or a quilt top. But my children think that all things that involve their creativity is crafting and I agree. Hence my topic: drawing.

My daughter, Artist, is well very much an artist. She loves almost any kind of media. Her latest fun craft is drawing. She asked me just this morning if there was anything I needed her to draw for the blog posts. I said I wasn’t sure yet. She has done some wonderful work for me lately and I wanted to do a post displaying that work. Here is a sample of some of her drawing.

Tomato Hornworm

Tomato Hornworm

This drawing was for a post I did on the Gardening blog about this little pest and how we were going to till the garden this fall to eradicate them.


A rat

This drawing was for the Small Farming blog post about the rats that invade our farmhouse each fall and their adventures in my bedroom.

Artist started her drawing career with tracing. She would have me print up pictures after picture and she would trace and trace during all her free time. She learned a lot from tracing. She learned about shading and depth. She learned about the size of the page and adjusting her drawing to fit before it went off the page. She just had so much fun.

Now she is at the stage where she takes a picture and freehand draws it. She is quite good. I am wondering if the next step will be taking a live specimen and drawing right from life. No idea and I am not worried about it. She has fun and enjoys this immensely. “More power to you girl!”