Thursday, May 26, 2011

From My Book Shelf--ROOM by Emma Donoghue

ROOM by Emma Donoghue is one of those books that's so engrossing you can't put it down.
Yet there are times when you HAVE to put it down because it becomes so intense, you need to get away from it for a bit.
It's told through the voice of five year old Jack, who is an engaging and endearing boy. 
Slowly, the reader begins to understand that  what appears to be Jack's secure and structured world is  actually a prison for his "Ma" and himself.  Jack and Ma's world is an 11'x11' room where Ma has been held for the past seven years after being kidnapped at the age of nineteen.  In this room, Ma has created the only world  Jack has ever known. 
Through a gripping plan, Ma and Jack are able to escape.  What should then become "happily ever after" becomes one struggle after another for them to re-enter the real world. 
This is a very satisfying read and I recommend it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Favorite Breakfast These Days

It's strawberry season here in East Tennessee.
I think I've found the perfect way to make use of their abundance

Since I'm eating the same thing every morning these days,
I'm starting with a large container of fat free, plain yogurt.

I add one teaspoon of vanilla flavoring to the container and mix well.
Then each morning I spoon about a half cup of the yogurt into a bowl.

and add one envelope of Equal.

Add some fresh, sliced strawberries.

Then add a handful of sliced almonds
Trust me, this is so good, you could eat it for dessert.
This week I'm linking up with
Tasty Tuesdays at 33 Shades of Green
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Decor Trims Added at ButtermilkCottage on Etsy

In my continuing effort to destash,
I've just added some decor trims to my Etsy site.

Some of these trims are left over from previous projects.
Some were purchased for planned projects,
but never used.

Some almost look like pieces of jewelry.

There aren't huge quantities available of any,
but, if you have a small project that needs
a bit of panache,
I may have just what you need.
I've also added two more fabrics.
This pretty blue and white is a
drapery weight from the Robert Allen Group.
This is a classic Waverly print named English Ivy.
So, drop in and see what's new.
In addition to the new trims and fabrics,
you'll also find a huge selection of knitting needle cases,
bags, knitted and sewn, wearables and
other goodies.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now!!!

Thursday morning of this week, I was up and out early.  I had to be at a nearby eye surgery center by 6:45.  Since last year a cataract in my right eye has been getting worse.  My doctor had told me then, “when it’s time to have it taken out, YOU’LL know.”  So this year when I went in for my yearly checkup, he took one look and, “It’s time.”  I already knew it, but was waiting for his opinion.
So, Thursday morning I had the operation.  I hate to even call it surgery because the medical staff  had it down to such an art, it seemed like a simple procedure.  I was back home within three hours!  Other than putting in a couple of different drops throughout the day and wearing a eye shield at night, I am totally back to normal.
EXCEPT!!!…I can see clearly again!  I can’t really convey to you how wonderful it is to sit at my desk and look out my window at the garden, and to see everything crystal clear…without glasses!!!DSC06439
My only concern now is what am I going to do with all those cute little readers I’ve been accumulating?
sheep w glasses
Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Making a Celtic Braid (Knitted) Pillow

I’ve just finished this Celtic Braid Pillow and thought I’d share the steps to make one.

DSC06173 My beginning inspiration is this book.


Inside are twenty classic Celtic designs. Only half a pattern is shown in the book. Once the design choice was made, I made four copies of one page of the pattern.DSC06177

Then, these four pages are rotated, overlapped and taped together making one full pattern.


A lightweight cotton blend fabric is cut to a dimension a bit larger than the pattern.


The fabric is then placed on top of the pattern for tracing.


The pattern is then pencil traced onto the fabric.


Now it’s time to knit I-Cord, lots and lots of I-Cord.


Next comes the appliqué of the cord to the fabric on top of the sketched design.


I like to do this is small segments and pin as I go.


One stitch at a time, it’s coming!


My cord is now complete. The interesting thing about Celtic braid, is there is no ending or beginning, and the braid crosses “over and under “ itself consistently.


Next the finished top is placed on a thin batting and another square of more fabric. Then an outline is hand quilted all around the braid.

DSC06259 Here’s the backside once all the quilting is done.

DSC06258 Now I’m ready to make the pillow. I cut two pieces of the same fabric for an overlapped back. Because my fabric is fairly fine weight, I am folding each in half, with the fold toward the center, so there’s no need for an edge hem.

DSC06260 Here’s the second half pinned in place.

DSC06261 I’ve now machine stitched all the way around my pillow.

DSC06263 Now it’s time to bring out the object of the love/hate of my life…my serger. Because I only use my serger for certain, specific jobs, I don’t use it everyday. So, if it decides to misbehave, I’m somewhat at a loss. Let me just say this about sergers…when they’re good…they’re very, very good. When they’re bad…they’re horrid!!!

DSC06264 Today, my serger is good. It does a nice overlock stitch and cuts away excess fabric at the same time.

DSC06266The pillow top inside edge is now clean and neat.DSC06267 Here’s the pillow top turned right side out. Not finished yet!

DSC06269 Time to knit more….


DSC06284This I-Cord is hand stitch around the outside edge of the pillow top.

DSC06285This must be done around both the front and back side.

DSC06301Whew!DSC06302 Now I’m ready to insert my pillow form. First I’ll fold back the top half on the back side.

DSC06303 Slide the form into half of the pillow top.

DSC06304Then, carefully, turn the remaining back, right side out.DSC06305 And, voila! The Knitted, Celtic Braid, with quilting is finished!


This week I’m linking to: Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

All Things Inspired at All Things Heart and Home

Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday…Crafts

Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Show & Tell at My Romantic Home

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
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